You, me, the birds, the bees, the tree, its roots and every atom in the cosmos, are part of the same source – the supreme consciousness. We needn’t aspire for divinity; we are already divine. Yet, billions of us remain unaware of our true self. Instead, we search for divinity in other people, places and things.
So, what keeps us from realising that all we seek has been within us all along? The answer to that question lies in understanding the nature of Maya.
What is Maya?
Maya is the perception of a false reality. It can be described metaphorically as multiple veils covering the eyes, blinding us from reality. As long as the veils exist, our vision is foggy and unclear; but the moment the veils are lifted, everything becomes crystal clear.
The Nature of Reality
We experience reality objectively and subjectively. Objective reality is experienced through the senses, whereas subjective reality is perceived on the basis of reflections embedded in our consciousness. The mind exists, with its own biases, in between these realities, acting as a fetter that shackles us to delusion and ignorance. It works as a sieve – tempered by conditioning, beliefs, time, space and causality/Karma – filtering the information and data that it receives. In many ways, the mind is the barrier that prevents us from embracing our divine reality.
In a world filled with billions of people, it’s impossible to find two people who perceive an object exactly the same. Our sensibilities differ, and these sensibilities evolve or devolve over time. How the Mayans perceived the world is very different from how our generation perceives it; and how we perceive the world will be markedly different from how the future generations do. In a nutshell, what we believe to be ‘real’ is nothing more than a mental construct. The mind builds worlds of illusion, and keeps reinforcing them.
Our understanding of reality is further muddled by wrongful identification with the body, mind and ego. When we identify with our bodies, we fear disease and death. When we identify with the mind and the ego, we are consumed with a see-saw of emotions. Yet, none of this affects our jivaatma, our real self, which remains a passive observer, detached from the flux of ignorance and emotion. Ego, arrogance, attachment, temptation, anger, greed, self- loathing, etc., add veil after veil over our reality, distancing us from the awareness of our inherent divinity. Maya draws us outward, trapping us in worldly affairs. We believe we are our body, mind and ego. This “I”ness is a downer.
To understand our true nature of being and connect with the divinity that exists within us, we need to reverse the journey from outward to inward by silencing the rumblings of the mind, transforming into passive observers. When we calm the mind, become emotionless, indifferent and detached, we see the world without veils and filters, and understand the true nature of things.
But how do we reach this state of emotionlessness?
The Role of a Siddh Guru
It takes a Siddh Guru with an undisturbed vision, who has understood the nature of Maya, to help his followers, devotees and disciples transcend the delusion of worldly existence and re-connect with their inner divine. An accomplished Guru understands the nature of things and is not blindsided by the illusion of appearance. He is detached, observing things as they are, without imposing any mental constructs on them. This is because he has overcome emotions and exists in a state of detachment. His awareness of his divinity is complete.
The Siddh Guru puts his disciple on the path of unlearning to free the latter from the baggage of conditioning, belief systems, emotions and attachments – that have been perpetuated over lifetimes. And through the unlearning, he lifts the veils of untruths that blind us. Controlling the senses and dissolving mental constructs is the mission of those on the path of sattva*. The destination is spiritual freedom.
“Guru bina Gatti nahin” are not empty words; for you cannot transcend delusion without the grace and guidance of a realised master.
The Guru makes it his mission to hasten the process of the disciple’s self-discovery, using multiple techniques to awaken him. As the disciple surrenders himself to the Guru, and makes the latter’s will his own, the true nature of his being is revealed to him. Over time, he understands that he is not the body, nor the intellect, nor the ego, nor the senses – he is the atman; he is the consciousness supreme.
* Sattva is one of the three gunas. It connotes goodness and purity. It leads to minimalistic thinking, self purification and service to all