Falling in line to a cosmic plan

2 Jan 2009, 0000 hrs IST,

The words happiness and enlightenment are perhaps among the least understood in spiritual vocabulary. Happiness is mistaken for pleasure which is transitory (Getty Images)

Quite often, happiness is mistaken for pleasure which is transitory. Enlightenment is sought as a state of perpetual bliss, which, when not attained, leads to frustration. Ramesh Balsekar, teacher of Advaitic truth, clarifies that what one wittingly or otherwise seeks is happiness and peace.

This is referred to in Hindu scriptures as Sukha-Shanti. Sukha or happiness is derived from peace of mind. Peace of mind is what enlightenment gives. We, therefore, need answers to only two questions. One, what is enlightenment and two, what will enlightenment give us for the rest of our lives that we did not have till now?

The important point here is that our ability to be happy is in direct proportion to our acceptance of the One Truth, which is highlighted by all religions. 'Thy Will be Done' in Christianity; 'Inshah Allah' in Islam and 'Thou art the Doer; Thou art the experiencer; Thou art the speaker and Thou art the listener', in Hinduism. Total acceptance of this helps us to surrender our ego or sense of volition to the cosmic will or law. The Buddha explained: "Events happen, deeds are done, consequences happen, but there is no individual doer of any deed."

The catch, however, is that the majority are not able to accept this in daily life and give up their sense of doership. However, an earnest reflection on the happenings and events in our daily life can gradually strengthen and reinforce our level of acceptance of this wisdom. Total acceptance of this truth is enlightenment.

Enlightenment will not result in reducing the amount of pain or increase the quantum of pleasure that each one of us has to experience as part of the Divine Will or cosmic plan. It will, however, give us peace of mind, which ends suffering. Suffering is what we normally undergo due to the sense of guilt and remorse we feel for our actions as well as the actions of others. As suffering decreases due to lesser involvement of the mind over various happenings, we will find a shift in our attitude to life. We will be able to realise that while we do have total and full freedom to do whatever we want in any given situation, the outcome of action has never been in our control.

Just as we did not choose to be born to our parents living in a given social circumstance, we are also governed by our genes which might significantly impact our response to situations. This is increasingly being validated by scientists. The conditioning that we undergo right from birth and through life, while having a bearing on our responses, also largely happen due to circumstances over which we do not have complete control. By reflecting on this and earnestly using the gift of our intuition, we can become more aligned to our source or consciousness. We will then also be able to appreciate and acknowledge with gratitude the many blessings we enjoy. This reinforces our faith and increases our ability to accept life as it flows. We will gradually acknowledge the wisdom of living life moment by moment, doing the best we can in any given situation; free of undue expectations and involvement.

Albert Einstein said: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift." Indeed, the mind is limited in its ability to comprehend the workings of the Divine. Just as the painting cannot understand the purpose of the painter, the mind is inadequate to comprehend the nature and design of cosmic law.