HIGHLY PHILOSOPHICAL MATERIAL:
NOT FOR PRACTICAL OR SENSITIVE MINDS
IF YOU ARE AFRAID TO READ ANY FURTHER,
All these years you have been a creative, innovative, productive person, taking from the society and dedicating unknowingly. You have been a good student and a good son/daughter, a good friend and a good person. You follow all the laid down rules perfectly, and you can’t remember the last incident where you broke even a school rule. You are helpful, matured beyond your age, intelligent and far-seeing. You love your life.
The last paragraph fits almost all the people who are going to read it.
This one fits even better:
You are a slave, a brainwashed, blind prisoner in a prison of thoughts, beliefs, notions and missing knowledge. You have absolutely no idea who you are, and don’t care to find out. To you, birth is the start of a race which ends at a solid black stone wall called death, and beyond it, there’s nothing. You just evaporate in the stream of time and ‘you’ remains a moving, talking entity that lasted and occupied some space on this Universe for seventy or so years. You are flowing in a stream of common beliefs, fears and consequent rules, and are just another toy of the society.
Does that fit?
For the Generation X, philosophy might be a fossil to preserve very carefully in a national museum, to be occasionally pointed out and laughed at. You are content with what you are, and your infinitesimally narrow and confined worlds give you more pleasure than you can possibly bear in one life. There’s one slight problem, though: you never get to see the seas and the skies and the worlds which lie beyond the old stony mountain that takes the form of studies, parents, the girl/boy who threw a smile at you last Thursday, and so on.
And this fits all. The minute fraction which do not fall into this category are fast becoming extinct.
But tell me, didn’t you ever reflect in solitude as to who exactly you are? Do you even believe that you are someone, apart from the bone and flesh and skin that people call by your name? Are all your thoughts, emotions, infatuations, anger, decisions, temptations and wisdom just a bunch of electric pulses coursing through your head inside the axons? Is that you? Think. And there’s a wonderful sentence I heard in a famous movie that consisted of the two words: ‘Know Thyself.’ That’s the problem with the Generation X. They don’t know who they are.
Listen to me, now. I know you will start the mouse cursor for the little ‘X’ on the top right of the screen as soon as you see this word, but you’ll be missing things.
You’re a soul. That’s the word that completely defines who you are. You can now forget all the paragraphs
you’ve read. That’s a sentence that contains an eternity in it. Because it defines the wonder that Science is still miles off from, and it’s the word that’s the driving force of the universe.
Soul. You’d expect religion to provide a satisfactory answer to the enormous question that’s hidden inside that word, but the religion that you experience can’t.
Listen to me now as I tell you a story that is found only in a very, very old Indian book, the Gita.
Krishna, one of the gods of the Hindu religion, was once asked by three people, one a highly intelligent person, another a worker and the third a pious man, as to how he should be worshipped. Krishna replied to the first man, the intelligent one: "You first need to believe that there is no god. All you have been taught until now,
you forget. Then with your thoughts and arguments and logic and realization, you shall try to find the answer to all the questions that baffle you. At the end of it all, you will know everything, You will know who I am, and you will see that you and I are no different, and you will know what this universe means. That will be worship enough."
To the worker he said: "You only need to love your work. Keep belief and faith in God, but your work should have higher priority. It is work you must worship. Take care that you have respect and love towards whatever work you do. Do not separate good and bad. They are the same thing. Through your love of work, I shall find your love of me."
To the last person, the pious man, he said: "You are a man who will find satisfaction through rituals and customs. Keep belief in God, but never question too much. Observe all the rites, and you will be worshipping me. You must believe blindly in religion and God."
The first person he called the Gyanayogi, or the one who took the path of knowledge, the second he
called the Karmayogi, or the one whose worship of God was worship of work, and the third he called the Bhaktiyogi, or the one whose path lay in faith and blind devotion.
The first person, obviously, was far superior. He knew what he was doing, and he was never afraid to question. He had his eyes wide open.
The second was partly blind, but his needs and fulfillment of cravings and completion of life was done through his love and concentration towards work. Worship in any form is worship.
The third, in my eyes, was the most inferior. He never thought of himself as a creature that could question. He accepted everything blindly. His rights stopped at the walls of faith and he could not venture out to the world where the Karmayogi was, let alone touch the Gyanayogi’s world. He was totally blind.
The first paragraph of this piece fits the Bhaktiyogis and Karmayogis. Even if you are not a religious fanatic or don’t believe in God, even if you completely avoid religious matters, lack of the knowledge about yourself, inability to comprehend the basic things makes you either a Karmayogi or a Bhaktiyogi. The hard truth is that the people who currently represent religion are Bhaktiyogis. That is the reason behind their inability to answer the question named soul.
But religious people do not have to be Bhaktiyogis. The fact that such a story was in a religious book proves that there can be religious Gyanayogis, too. They are, in fact, the most religious people of all, because they do not make a puzzle out of it that’s only to be solved through rituals and customs, but instead they hold it upside down and shake it thoroughly until all the secrets and puzzles are lying on the floor in broad daylight, innocent little facts that are so hard to connect to the heavy stuff that you know as religion.
Does that make you think again?
The purpose of this piece is not to persuade you to follow any particular religion, but to persuade you to believe that all religion lies within you. You don’t have to believe what every other person says as long as you know who you are.