Home Wisdom Articles Pujya Gurudevshri Pujya Gurudevshri Insights Make Experience Your Teacher

Make Experience Your Teacher

“I am just not good enough, I keep making the same mistakes over and over again. I am a loser.” We often hear ourselves and others making such statements. Pujyashri Gurudev invites us on a journey of deeper understanding, to discover why this happens and how we can benefit from our own experiences

The followers of every religion believe that their scriptures have a solution to any situation. Muslims believe that everything has been explained in the Holy Quran. Christians believe the same about the Holy Bible. Hindus believe that in the Holy Gita lie solutions to all situations. But in spite of these solutions, why have the problems not ended? Despite all the answers, why is there such unhappiness and confusion?

In a school, children are asked to solve Maths problems. The answers to these problems are given at the end of the same book. The student copies the answers from there and thinks that he is done. But the answers are just information. Merely knowing the answer does not solve the problem. Between the question and the answer, there is a method of arriving at the answer. Where is that process? Without the process, what is the use of having an answer? It is borrowed and is someone else’s. In reality, it cannot even be called a solution. The Enlightened Beings have attained the answer through their own experience, they have paid the price for it. You have not paid the price. If you believe that you have attained the truth, then it is only your delusion.

Saints say that you must learn from your own experiences. But we feel that the experiences of the ignorant have no value. We say, “What can be learnt from our experiences when we ourselves are unaware? What is the use of such consolation? We are so deluded that we keep falling into the same pit! Therefore, we must learn from the experiences of saints alone.”

Learn from Your Experiences

Saints say that one must first understand what it means to learn from one’s own experience. Which state will give you peace and joy, and which state will lead to disquietude and pain – this you must learn from your own experience. Remain aware of your experiences.

People are not sensitive towards their experiences. They do not remain aware and therefore miss learning from them. So, the only solution that remains for them is to believe in what others say, or what the books say. But the others speak of their own experiences. If your circumstances and your inner state do not match with theirs, then their words do not benefit you and may sometimes even prove harmful.

One must study the scriptures keeping in mind who has given those instructions to whom, when and where. Otherwise that borrowed information will not be beneficial. What is needed is understanding, not just blind imitation. The most important lessons are the ones learnt from one’s own life. And those lessons can be learnt only when you remain aware of your experiences.

Why are Mistakes Repeated?

Even if you falter a thousand times, you can still learn from your mistakes. When the same error is repeated again and again, it shows that you have not learnt from it. If you were pained by it, you would never repeat it. But if you do not experience the pain, then it is bound to happen again.

You say that you are so deluded that you keep falling in the same pit again and again. This only means that you have never felt that it is a pit. Someone else told you that it was a pit and you believed it. The Great Ones exclaimed that these were pits, and you started parroting them.

Saints may call it a pit but do you see it as one? Within your heart, you wish to go back into that pit again. The day you realise that it is a pit, you will stop falling into it.

Transformation Cannot be Borrowed

Without changing your beliefs, if you blindly start living the words of the Enlightened Ones, you will realise that your attraction for the pit has not reduced. You still have the yearning for sensual pleasures and will also feel guilty about it. Gradually hypocrisy and deceit will set in.

When you do not see cigarette smoking as causing spiritual, physical, and emotional harm, you cannot stop the desire for it. Even after being informed of its ill-effects, if you are not convinced, the desire remains. And in addition a feeling of guilt will also develop resulting in deceit, fear and finally the hypocrisy of smoking. Trying to change based on what others say, without changing one’s beliefs will result in a split personality.

Your Own Faith is Needed

You will experience a transformation within yourself only if you keep checking your beliefs, thoughts, emotions and experiences. Once a saint was asked, “How can one save oneself from vices?” He replied, “The day you see them as vices, you will become free from them.” The one whose house is on fire will not ask, ‘how can I escape?’ He will not wait to learn about good conduct or rules. He will take a leap and jump out.

By remaining aware of your own experiences, your ignorance and stupidity will be revealed. The first ray of knowledge dawns upon you. Once you see it as a pit, true efforts to avert falling into it begin. You may put in a ton of effort and read millions of books. It will not help. It should become your understanding. You may have the best of books and yet, their best lessons will not be able to make you the best. Awareness of your own experiences will make you vigilant.

Wake Up

Life teaches it all. It may just be that you do not wish to understand. Life teaches you big lessons. You need to be awakened. You are sleeping. Your concepts need to be challenged. Your beliefs need to be broken. You just need to wake up.

Imagine someone asleep, snuggled in a cosy blanket, enjoying the cool morning breeze and a sweet dream. In such a condition, he will not like it if you try to wake him up, even though he himself may have asked you to do so earlier. Because he likes sleeping, he likes dreaming! But in unconsciousness, there is no progress, the person remains in the same place where he has been.

There is only one solution for a dreaming person – to wake up. Once he wakes up, his eyes will open and he will see the truth with his own eyes. Your feeling that you are religious is also a dream. Even if you become an ascetic, that too will be a dream alone because your eyes have not opened. Renunciation, vows, discipline, charity whatever you do they will all be a dream. Wake up and look with your own eyes! True religion begins here – with seeing, seeing in the right way and with the right belief. This awakening is important. You can wake up because you are not dead, you are just sleeping. The one who has gone astray can return to the right course. The one who has fallen can get up. The one who is capable of going to sleep is capable of waking up too. Your sleep announces your capacity to wake up.

Live Wisely

Therefore, the first thing to be done is to wake up. Cultivate awareness of your own experiences. Turn your eyes from the external events to the internal changes. Establish the right relation between the cause and the effect. Live life wisely. Live with awareness. What am I doing? Why am I doing it? What do I want? Give up the excuses of fate, karma, or time and accept reality. Do more of what gives happiness, and let go of that which makes you suffer. If anger gives you pain, give up anger. If meditation gives you happiness, increase meditation. Direct the energy used in anger to meditation. With this, a transformation will happen.

If you can realise having a headache or stomach ache, why can’t you recognise the suffering of your soul? Are you in such deep slumber that you are not even able to realise the pain? No, you are not even that sleepy. It is a different matter that you do not wish to recognise the pain.

Whatever happens in your life, know it with absolute awareness. Search for the cause of suffering. In the diagnosis alone lies the remedy. You shall find the cause of suffering within yourself. And on finding the cause, it will fall off. You will become free from it! You just need to wake up! Do not ask for a list of what you should do or what you should not. Seek awakening. Once you wake up, the worthless will slip away and what is valuable will stay.


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#SadguruWhispers Sanyas is to accept the Lord's invitation to go within.