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Unbiased Introspection

Often plagued by the discord between his beliefs and actions, a seeker yearns to find a way out, to come to harmony and integrity. Examining this situation, Pujya Gurudevshri offers invaluable insights and a simple means of overcoming one’s animal instincts

Dharma begins with a yearning for liberation. This yearning leads to an impartial discernment of one’s flaws. Such unbiased introspection cultivates straightforwardness, purity of heart and obliteration of conceited self-will, readying the seeker to set out on the path to emancipation.

A seeker is one who feels extremely uneasy with his delusion. He does not blame the events in his life. He associates his restlessness with his thought patterns and constantly remains watchful of them. Those who are not seekers attribute their shortcomings to events and seek solace from that. They wish to escape from accepting their flaws and try to keep their image untarnished. But a seeker shifts his focus from events to his thought patterns for the transformation he wishes to see in himself.

The Beginning of the Spiritual Journey

The seeker must first look within and recognise his self. He who is ready to break his image and give up wearing masks alone can go within and realise what he is.

One may visit a temple regularly and not be a lover of God; it may be that he is a lover of sensual pleasures. He may offer charity; yet, he may be greedy. He may observe fasts, but his desire for taste may not have decreased at all. He may be undertaking pilgrimages; yet, he may not be weary of transmigration. He can discover his truth only when he looks within.

The Enlightened Ones say that you hide so much of yourself from yourself that you are not able to realise what you truly are. Do not conceal anything from yourself. Bring yourself into the light of awareness; this unmasking marks the beginning of the spiritual pilgrimage. With an adventurous spirit, venture to know yourself as you are. As you become familiar with the reality of your own self, your life begins to change radically. It becomes very difficult to live with your flaws. They feel so painful that you put in sincere effort to get rid of them. The imperfections last only because you protect and keep them hidden.

Readiness to Accept Faults

Become absolutely clear about what you have and what you do not. Only you can gain this insight into yourself. No one else will be able to do this for you. Only he who is able to introspect without any bias and exhibit readiness to confess his mistakes is qualified for liberation.

When you acquire the openness to accept your mistakes, you are a seeker of liberation. This will require great courage on your part because your ego will not like to get eliminated; it will stir up a mutiny. But as you become pure due to impartial introspection and acceptance of your weaknesses, you will experience extraordinary silence, peace, fearlessness and joy within you. The seed of deep yearning for liberation will sprout; your life will evolve and become filled with the Divine. He who is prepared to muster the courage to observe his thought patterns, annihilate his flaws and dissolve his ego is sure to attain Godhood.

Man Trapped in Duality

The human psyche is caught up in duality and suffers due to it. Man is suffering because he gets confused between what he is and what he should be. His thinking, desires and inclinations follow what he is; however his words and behaviour are in accordance with what he thinks he should be. So he projects an image of himself, leading to duality and hypocrisy. So long as this split exists within him and until he eliminates this duality, he will not be able to remain peaceful, and will not progress spiritually. Therefore, as a seeker of liberation, his first obligation is to acknowledge what he is in the present.

A board outside a photo studio read, ‘Three types of photographs available here: 1. Rupees 10/- for the photograph of yourself as you are, 2. Rupees 15/- for the photograph of yourself as you would want to be seen and 3. Rupees 20/- for the photograph of yourself as you should have been.’

A villager visiting that city read this and curiously asked the man in the studio, “Who would want the second or third type of picture? Isn’t it natural to want the first type?” The photographer replied, “No! In fact, people come here only to get the second and third type because they both end up looking better than the first! Which one would you prefer sir?” The villager promptly responded, “The first type.” The photographer was astonished, “You are the first customer who wants to get the first type clicked.” To this the man replied, “I want the first type because I want ‘my’ picture, not someone else’s.”

Masking the Defects

When man looks within, he discovers animal instincts in him. Unfortunately, his ego does not let him accept this reality because the ideal picture he has in his mind of himself does not match with his present animal-like state. He now has two choices, either strive to align himself with the image he has of himself, or wear a mask of that image. The first option involves a great amount of work; so he chooses the second easy one. Portraying himself as far better than he really is creates duality in his life.

He is so scared of his reality being revealed that he wears mask after mask to hide the animal in him. As situations change, his mask too changes along with them; this keeps him constantly under stress. He has a different mask to wear when he is in front of his Guru, a separate one when with his wife, children, seekers, boss, servant, in public and when alone.

When he sees greed in himself, he offers charity and consoles himself that he is good and charitable but not greedy. But his inclination of coveting wealth remains the same. When he gets angry, he apologises but does not inquire why he gets this fierce emotion time and again. Busy adorning the mask, he lives a life of pretence in vain.

Unmasking the Thought Patterns

If you are desirous of liberation, you must shatter the false images you have created regarding yourself, and accept the reality of the now. This is not at all difficult. Simply begin to unmask yourself. Wearing masks is difficult; taking them off, is not. It becomes difficult only when you are not ready to do it; when you fear the ugliness. But you do not realise that by hiding it; you are not destroying it, nor do you become beautiful by such make-up.

Examine your inclinations. Analyse the nature of your defects. Check the moments when these weaknesses arise, scrutinise where they grow and study when they subside. Make note of your beliefs during these times and correct them wherever faulty. If you run away from reality, you will wake up only when you are pushed by your inclination, and then you will criticise it. But by suppressing, escaping or criticising, it will not be destroyed. On the contrary it may remain silent for some time and later bounce back with greater force. Being vigilant, and increasing your awareness of the present reality begins the transformation. By knowing and accepting the animal in you, you become fearless. This fearlessness brings courage to break the identification with those thought patterns and inclinations. With this is born the witness, and witnessing brings real transformation. But you must experiment to experience it.

Experimenting with Reality

Take an emotion or an inclination; for example, you believe in non-violence and consider violence to be painful and sinful. Now, monitor your thought patterns for 24 hours to find out when and where violence arises. When the thought of it arises, just accept being violent. You will realise that you were violent when you spoke harsh words to your helper, pulled your child’s ears, argued with the shopkeeper, competed with someone, and so on. Remember, you have to practise awareness, so don’t try to escape. Be present.

You will be surprised to see that as your awareness of the inclination of violence grows, this inclination slowly begins to diminish and is replaced by non-violence. All negativities like violence arise only because of your unawareness. When your energy does not get dissipated in such negativities due to the practise of awareness, this energy gathers strength for the soul to evolve. It paves a pathway to liberation, building a bridge to connect you to the Divine.

Thus, awareness alone is the dharma, endeavour and resolve of a seeker of liberation. He who is awakened to this dimension of awareness attains unprecedented peace, an ocean of nectar, showers of bliss, realisation of the Self.

May the strength of Param Krupalu Dev’s Being bring such awareness to all lives. May the light of awareness shine in every heart, removing the darkness of defects. May all progress towards liberation.


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#SadguruWhispers A seeker's inner journey begins with love, faith, and surrender to his living Enlightened Master.