Have you ever had that vague feeling of homesickness? May you be blessed enough to understand by yourself where it comes from.
As the flowers spread their fragance to all equally, so the sun shines for all, to evil doers and the saints and so Bhagavan´s grace is always present. It is a matter of, in Sri Ramakrishna´s words, “unfurling the sail” because the wind is forever blowing. This is Love with capital letter, this is the Satchitananda, the bliss (ananda) of living in the conciousness (chit) of the unchanging truth (sat). Sat-chit-ananda is our original state. And Sat-Chit-Ananda is Brahman, pervading everything and everyone as the Atman. We Are That, the one and unique Atman endowed with a body-mind-sense complex to utilise in this world. That is why only joy derives from the realisation of the Self, the “I”.
All sadness that we may suffer traces its root to the longing for what we are, but that we mistakenly look for outside us. All sorrows come from a false sense of separetedness. But we are divine and unconciously we miss being attuned with our divine nature. Time goes in cycles. Once upon a time, we were fully identified with that sense of plenitude. Once we were Brahman who decided to taste the separatedness through His Lila and became the atman in all. Maya, His active Shakti, did the rest. And we forgot our origin, and we entangled in mundane pursuits bringing the duality to our lives. And we trapped ourselves in the Samsara, repeating once and again the same senseless lives. Till one fine day, something peeped from inside, “is this ALL?”. And that very moment we started our trip back home, after so many lives of wandering.
This is the most pleasurable journey one can take. The most meaningful and bestower of happiness, a trip to enjoy while travelling, with a fixed goal: finishing off the untrue pursues, detaching from them even while enjoying for finally leaving everything apart. This is the sense of the four purusharthas (dharma, kama, aartha and finally moksha) and of the four ashramas (stages) of the ideal system that every Hindu used to follow in ancient times:
- 1st brahmacharya ashrama: the child and later youth is focused on his studies and he should remain celibate and pure in mind, as long as entertaining in relationship would distract him from the study of the Veda and of all other training the Guru gives.
- 2st grihastha ashrama: it is time for the youth to pay to society what he has been given, so he gets married and works to contribute. He takes care of the family and their needs and brings up the children in a religious atmosphere.
- 3rd vanaprastha ashrama: retirement: once the children are grown up and settled in their own life, it is time for the parents to gradually withdraw from the mundane affairs and focusing more on spiritual practices.
- 4th sannyasa: renunciation of the world: material properties are passed onto the children or whoever one wants to pass it on, but the most important is the inner renunciation, the inner detachment, from everything that is mundane. It has had to be exercised during the whole life through detachment. Now the full focus is in Moksha.
Some people have had enough of worldly involvement in the previous lives, and do not want to taste this deceitful world anymore. They become sanyassis, renouncing the world even when being young, and devoting their whole lives to seek and unite with Bhagavan.
Everything in Hinduism is conducive to unveil our final truth, and like this it should be understood. One may argue that times have change, and things should be adapted. This is allowed by Sanathan Dharma, as long as it doesn´t loose the essence. And that essence is Dharma and living a Dharmic life. And one has to be blessed to have the adhikara to discriminate between what can be changeable with the passage of time and the change of circumstances, and what must be maintained. Otherwise, the risk of falling into the “anything goes” is a temptation to avoid if we don´t want to go ashtray from the spiritual path.
Because whether we know it or not, life is a spiritual trip with material traps, and sooner or later all will be aware of it.
om asato ma sadgamaya
tamaso ma jyotirgamaya
mrtyorma amrtam gamaya
om shaantih shaantih shaantih.
OM, lead me from the unreal to the real. Lead me from darkness to light (i.e. from ignorance to knowledge). Lead me from death to immortality. May there be peace, peace and perfect peace.
(Brhadaranyaka Upanishad — I.III.28)