Enlightenment – Time is Now

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Postponement
The whole journey of being enlightened is something that we like to postpone. Let us get a good job first, let the children grow up, let me retire and then I can look at enlightenment. However, if we look at what the Sages said, the message is simple and that is that only this moment matters. Who knows when our life will end?

Why should I strive for enlightenment?
The need for enlightenment is a personal step one should take. It is up to me, up to you if you want to reach the highest state of being a human. Enlightenment has always been the next step for evolution. If we are to evolve then enlightenment is said to be the answer. It may be that we are cynical and we can say that it is all words but not a reality, however, the question is have we even attempted to go towards enlightenment before we just sweep it under the carpet? Have we even taken a single step towards knowing the Truth? The choice is ours to test it and experiment with it to reach a result and conclusion.

Enlightenment is exciting
The one single factor that makes enlightenment exciting and worth pursuing are that you get to see the whole world, the whole universe as One. In a world where people want to divide us in the name of religion, nationality, colour of our skin, our caste or class within society, the hierarchy in the workplace etc. isn’t it better to strive and see everyone and everything with the same non-discriminatory approach? It makes perfect sense to my mind. The mind that has itself created all these concepts, ideas and divisions would want to end its current paradigm for a vast , indefinable and formless paradigm. When labels were meant for recognition, we have instead taken a darker turn and it has taken the form of definitions . Once we have started to define them and keep them in a box then that is all we can think of – the box. It is like a frog in a well, the little he sees of the sky is what he perceives to be the whole universe. Until the water rises to the top and he is able to leave the well can he discover that there are infinite life-forms and therefore his vision is expanded. This is the true aim of having enlightened-thinking.

Fragility of life and time
Life is fragile and it can escape from our hands just like we hold sand in our hands, we watch it slide through with great ease. Life will leave this body with great ease but what remains is our soul. Some may believe or not believe in a soul and again it is just another word to recognise that awareness that has been the same throughout our life, that has watched us grow up yet has remained untouched by all the changes. I call that witness the soul. It is a subtle energy and it is part of the greater formless expanse. Once we know our soul and we realise we are not just this body and mind then we attain a unity with this Formless Energy. We only have this moment to realise it. No doctor will guarantee that you will live tomorrow. Nobody can say this for certain so it is best that the most important task as the Sages say must be done now. Once, we have attained this oneness with God or the Formless then we see the whole universe as our own.

Going beyond Darkness and Light
Enlightenment is all about leaving the darkness and entering into the Light. This does not mean that darkness will not exist. It will and that will be the battle between your ego and realisation. If we are in darkness then the Light will try to enter into our lives in many ways. One way and this is the quicker way is to find someone who is enlightened and receive wisdom or True Knowledge from this person. It is said in many scriptures that by staying in the company of those in the Truth is the quickest way to realise God and be enlightened. You see there is no difference between the darkness and the Light. The only reason we see a difference is because we are not united with either of them. When we are in darkness, we need the Light. When we are in the Light, we want to be in darkness as it looks an easier way to live. Such is our nature towards ignorance. However, once someone has become enlightened they see no difference between the Light and Darkness. They rise above and live a life beyond all descriptions. That is the nature of God – unaffected and unmarked and enlightenment can give us that way of life.

Enlightenment is now!
The journey is ours to take and all I can say is that for me – enlightenment is my number one goal or target. It is the purpose of my life and this is because my Guru (Spiritual Teacher) has given me a gift in which enlightenment can happen in this moment itself. All it requires is the audacity to think beyond my ego. Some say that you need many lives in order to be awakened or to know God but who knows if this is the very life in order for you to achieve it. If we are to take full advantage of being a human being, to reach the highest potential then enlightenment is the only way! Enlightenment is a happening in the now.

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Humanity – the root of all virtues

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We all face a certain situation where we feel that we have been treated unfairly or we know of others who have been treated unfairly. We find corrupted leaders who are able to place corruption charges of those that are ‘below’ them or accuse them of crimes, which they themselves commit. Such hypocrisy is there and it is up to us to do something about it.

When you expect someone that you respect breaks your trust, could be a person in your own family, could be a friend or a role model and they turn their back on you then what do you do? If you are treated disrespectfully, is it right to fight back? Is it right to be angry? Is it right to be violent in such situations? What should one in such a situation?

The easiest thing always looks like the most difficult thing to do. The easiest is to forgive the fool. Now you may be thinking how is that possible, especially when you have been wronged but that is the best form of retaliation. On top of that, you keep silent with them and you do whatever is necessary to bring justice. If a person is famous for something, show what they do as an opposite for what they are famous for. Another one is to forgive them openly, and if they don’t respond to that then they surely will look foolish to the intelligent amongst the crowd.

You see a lion only needs to roar once to indicate that the presence is truly there. You don’t have to be a dog that barks at anything and everything – that is a quality for something else. A lion decides when it is best to prey for righteous action and that which does less harm.

I have a friend, a close friend who is in such a situation and cannot speak out. This post is rather vague in the context but what I am trying to say here is that take whatever comes your way but never lose your righteous spirit, your spirit to do good and inspire good. The corrupt never win because truth always prevails. Truth always wins and will be victorious. All it requires is humility, love and compassion. If these are the driving forces for action then you will do the most damage to what is bad and unruly. However, this is not damage in a destructive and evil way but damage in the sense that the world cannot cope with evil for too long. We see that the basic humanity within us all starts speaking and, therefore all good action grows and has the snowball effect.

If you feel that life is drowning all hope, if you feel good isn’t winning for you, if you feel that bad people look ‘holier-than-thou’ but are in fact manipulative and conniving, then do not lose your values in exchange for their vices. Another person’s vice cannot be defeated by your own vices. It is by your virtuous nature, rooted from your humanity that finds ways to let the Truth highlight what is false.

Do not give up. The sun always shines whether it is day and night. In the day, the one Sun lights up the sky but it is the millions of Sun’s that light up the night sky. Truth works faster in darkness because then it is a group working together – and that is why they are called stars!

His blessings
Rahul

Past

shadows-of-past-bwEveryday can feel like a test. Anything you do, you may find peace in it and then suddenly something has to disturb it. Or a situation occurs and you question whether it is to throw you two steps back or brings things forward.

Recently, I have found that I am being tested a lot. You feel that you are about to enter a comfortable few moments of your life and things seem to be working your way and then a blast from the past arrives and it weaves it’s sacred way into your present. You realise that this situation has arisen because there is a lesson to be learned but what is the lesson? What am I suppose to do? What is the best thing to do?

Inner turmoil appears and disappears, appears and disappears and finally you come to a nice sanctuary – your inner Self. Away from the hustle bustle of thought, the unnecessary chat, the falsifying expressions of emotion and feelings and the sanctuary feels like the best place to be…until it chucks you out.

You know that the best thing that happened to you was in the past and now that it makes your way into the present, you are a little confused. I say ‘you’ but I mean ‘I’! Here is my reflection and therefore I continue. You feel that the best thing wants you, it desires you abut there is a problem! The future is knocking and the present moment will not let it in. The future is shouting and expressing so much to lure you into giving up so that the present can feature the future. But neither the past nor future is real but only your present. Now, is your present worthy to keep the past or is it worthy to continue into the future.

Very rarely but it happens, you are chatting to someone whom you care about deeply, you feel high like as if you have taken a drug whenever you speak to this person. And although this person doesn’t admit it, they feel high after speaking to you. It’s amazing, it’s everything you want but whatever makes you high will result either in a crash landing or a safe landing.

Crash!

The landing is always rough and uncontrollable. The future that looked stable has a new dimension added into it. The past wants a piece of it. And me, the present wants the past. No matter how many times it has let me down, disappointed me, distracted me, disturbed me, I find an incredible urge, desire, need to allow this past take charge of my present.

I am being really cryptic at the moment, using different styles because this is what happens when you become more intune with yourself. Nothing is ever linear. Nothing can occur in successive linear movement, life is full of waves, it travels in waves and it is best to surf on the tide!

People want answers and you can’t give any. Is there an answer? Do I need to give an answer? I don’t know. Do I need answers? Definitely. Maybe it is time to take a step back and see what I want. I need to take some time for myself and allow the limitations of my mind explore the vastness of what is occurring. Let life flow with absolute ease and beauty. Maybe the past can build in the present to create a wonderful future.

His love and blessings,
Rahul

Temptation – A Positive Approach

temptation_to_no_avail_be46Temptation is annoying. Damn annoying and the annoying thing about this is the fact that you are in control of your temptations. What is it that triggers the temptation? What then fuels this temptation? Obviously, thought always gives energy to temptation or to anything that we wish to remove ourselves from.

Being on a vegan diet is difficult as it is. I recently went into Waitrose (I am not middle class) and they do quite a bit for us vegan peeps. They had these ginger – chocolately biscuit bites and they are pretty yum. However, I have put them in the freezer and I want one. I could give in to temptation as I salivate about them now or prove determination over temptation. Today, I wanted to avoid sweet things and wanted a healthy day. Trust me, when chocolate is scarce already then all you can think about is chocolate.

Temptation happens in all parts of life. The temptation to look at an attractive woman or come across an amazing and beautiful woman on instagram or facebook, especially the ones you know and you have that desire to pursue that temptation and then reality sticks its nose in it and it is all over. You start thinking of reasons why it cannot and should not work. You think of the last time she rejected you and stopped talking to you and mentioning how hot she looks may literally be the last nail in the coffin to any possibility of ‘something’ later. What is this ‘something’ beats me.

When I am meditating, I feel like putting my attention and awareness on the occasional itch on my arm. The itch that never occurs otherwise but suddenly finds it amusing to happen now. You can’t take the intensity of the meditation and 5 seconds feels like 5 hours. How can one be still? The temptation to move gets stronger and stronger. However, your determination wins, your willpower is victorious because no way will you let anything stop you from your goal.

The times when someone ignores you and you just want to tell them that it isn’t cool. They have posted on Facebook, Instagram or whatever. Nowadays, snapchat easily shows someone opening your post thing and they don’t reply to it. Sad times! However, why should people reply? That is attention seeking. My existence isn’t worth the response of every single person. It is mad and I don’t respond to everyone’s and that is because I think my life is the best! Madness I tell you!

Temptation is crazy and yet, it is what makes you grow. Be happy that you are tempted because it shows that you can make your willpower stronger and stronger. It is a gym session for your willpower. Temptation can be made positive if you want it to. And if temptation wins then so what. Sometimes, eating that ginger biscuit chocolate bite thing may make you happy. Telling that one woman that you have secretly been attracted to her can be the beginning of a blossoming relationship. Scratching that itch may help you get back to meditation and moving may make your bottom feel less numb! Also, telling those people not to ignore you may create a conversation that will eventually change your life. I know it does sound incredibly ideal but let’s be real, whatever was once ideal has become a reality. I remember being a kid and thinking about cameras on mobile phones being revolutionary! So things can be done.

Whatever it is that tempts you right now and you see a spark of positivity in it then go for it. If it doesn’t work out then fair enough, their loss aswell as yours!

Love and blessings,
Rahul

Devotion – An Underrated Practice.

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The intense longing for the Truth, the strongest desire for the perception of Reality, the heartbreaking moments of losing everything and everyone even your own self for the sake of enlightenment is the beauty of devotion. Dancing like there is nobody watching, dancing by yourself without the need of music because the sound of the universe vibrates around you. Singing like there is nobody listening, singing by yourself without the need of the audience because the only spectator is the Formless One. Speaking like there is nobody listening, speaking with yourself without the need of appreciation, speaking just because you are sharing your heartfelt experiences with the Divinity that is within you, that surrounds you and that permeates within every aspect of creation and yet at the same time is beyond creation.

It is a shame that the western audience for Hinduism, specifically for Advaita Vedanta or nonduality or even neo-advaita is shunning devotion because they feel the intellect can reach the highest state of knowledge. Frankly, it cannot and it never will. They praise Kabir, Shiva, Rumi and yet, the miss the fundamental practice they had and that is bhakti or devotion. They had a strong passion for the Formless and the one who revealed the Formless to them. They praised their Gurus and today, we have become sceptics, albeit not for the wrong reasons, we have not opened our hearts to the Guru.

Self-realisation or God-realisation is impossible without the grace of the Guru. The disciple feels that the Guru is absolutely needed and the Guru will feel equally as dedicated and passionate towards his disciple. I know for a fact that the Satguru or True Teacher is out there, literally in love with his devotees and sacrifices everything he has for them. Devotion is impossible without a Guru.

Here is a poem by Rumi:

Once again my beloved sought me and found
Joyously in the marketplace sought me and found.
I hid myself, at my feet that drunken rose, rose from the ground
I escaped the House of Wine, sought me and found.
How wondrous that so doggedly would hound
What luck that such swindling lock sought me and found.
Who would find me if with crowds myself surround?
Knower of crowded secrets sought me and found.
I have left a bloody trail; just look around
And the one on my trail sought me and found.
Run away to what avail, deathward bound
Why hide, a thousand times sought me and found.
I pulled the thorn from my side, yet one more round
That oak towering flowerbeds sought me and found.
Like a pearl at the bottom of ocean, drowned
Pearl diver, with a string sought me and found.
Shams-e Tabriz with piercing eyes and no sound
In the light of insight sought me and found.

Kabir also says:

Even if the whole earth is transformed into paper,
with all the big trees made into pens,
And if the entire water in the seven oceans are transformed into writing ink,
Even then the glories of the Guru cannot be written.
So much is the greatness of the Guru.

Today, devotion needs to be celebrated and observed correctly. It is not just about passionate love and affection but it is the route to grow within spiritually. Knowledge transforms into wisdom by the act of devotion. Having the intense love to be there with the Beloved, the Formless One. Without the Formless, there is no love for even the forms around us. With Advaita Vedanta and other paths, you may negate until you reach the Formless, but to stay with the Formless, you have to learn to love the Formless unconditionally. Only then does the realisation stay with you. Only then does wonder and awe become an everyday part of your life. Only then do you become an explorer of Reality and Wisdom. This is only when the intense longing of the Formless is within us. To truly be wise, is to truly long for the Formless. The Formless is Reality. The Formless created consciousness. You can only understand the nature of consciousness, if you understand the nature of the Formless.

The Formless is shapeless, ceaseless, boundless, birthless, deathless, self-existent, colourless, endless, without a beginning, full of love, compassion, radiating with peace and harmony, celebrating the oneness of all things. The Formless can be yours but can you let go and surrender to the Formless.

Surrender is not letting go of you, it is letting go of who you think you are. When you surrender then you truly find yourself. Then you truly discover who you are and this Reality will stay with you. Surrender is only possible in duality, once you enter the nondual state then who will it be that surrenders. In the grand scheme of it, it is the Formless surrendering to the Formless. Surrender removes any aspect of the ego that can disturb the process of enlightenment. The chances of surrender become higher with keeping in the company of like-minded people, serving others selflessly and constantly remembering the Formless is within you and around you. Remembering the Formless not as a form of repetition but as a form of daily practice. Every feeling, every intention, every emotion and every thought must be done with the remembrance of the nature of the Formless.

Devotion is the key to spiritual enlightenment. It can be done instantly and it all depends on how much you really want to be enlightened by the Formless One. The path of devotion is simple and it is simple because the Formless is simple. It doesn’t need to be complicated by massive words which mean nothing. The less you want the Formless then frankly the longer it will take you to be enlightened. It is not if you become enlightened either, you already are but the ego will always make a goal or a meaning out of it. Being on the path of devotion, you have to let go of meaning, of concept and context. You simple have to be in this moment. This moment reveals the eternal. Give time to the Timeless and you will see a moment transform into eternity. Devotion adds juice to your journey. Without it, your faith, your practice will stand like a wilted tree, bored and secluded in the desert. However, devotion will be like an oasis in the desert. Not only does the oasis enjoy itself but others feel blessed by the presence of the oasis. They also drink the nectar that leads them into immortality.

The path of devotion is extremely important. I would go far to say that it is the best way to God, to the Formless, to Reality or whatever you would like to call it. You can even curse This, and if you do it out of love and passion then it will reveal itself unto you. It is not partial to words. You think God is so sad that He analyses each word. He knows you analyse it yourself and you yourself provide your own punishment. God neither punishes nor congratulates. He has left that to You!

His Love and Blessings,
Rahul N Singh

Post 95 – Knowing is the Only Way!

Hi readers!

Hope you are well.

I had a thought, can I call it a thought or shall I say revelation? Hear this out: ‘If you know the Truth then you don’t know. You can only be in knowing of the Truth.’

I probably could say the last sentence with greater clarity but I shall explain this a little now. Whenever, you come to a point and say ‘I know the Truth’ that cannot be the Truth speaking. It can only mean that you have given up knowing or desiring to know more. Instead, you have made the Truth a possession and you cannot possess the Truth. It cannot be grasped nor seen but it creates a great amount of intensity within you. It creates something intimate, where the feelings overflow into something magnificent. So the state of what is called enlightenment is the discovery of knowing. Knowing is everlasting, it is infinite and therefore cannot be grasped by thought. If it is, it creates memory and memory cannot be the Truth. Truth is always new, always fresh and pleasant as it is created from wisdom. Truth is freedom. Memory is distorted and can lead to illusion as it is base is knowledge or just mere words on a paper. Memory is a prison.

Therefore, meditation must be treated as a ground for inner enquiry and discovery. It is easy to say there is a God or there is a soul. But has this very discovery been your own? Never be comfortable with any idea. The Truth is never comfortable because it implies knowing which leads to internal growing. Remember, knowing is a verb, it is action. And to know really means you knew. If you know something today then tomorrow it may be something different. Therefore, this means you ‘knew’, you don’t ‘know’ it. You have to think about this. This might sound a little too intellectual but if you let this settle within you, enquire within you, be part of this whole discussion then something great can be discovered. Can you know God? Can you know the Truth?

I shall keep this post nice and small so you may think about it.

My love to all,

Rahul

Post 94 – Meditation and Music

Dearest friends,

Hope all are well!

Gratitude to the Formless that resides in all hearts! I wanted to write about music and meditation/prayer. Real prayer is meditation and meditation is real prayer. In sanskrit, they call it dhyana. Meditation is a very cold word to use compared to the sanskrit word. I love the word dhyana because in the sanskrit, there is a sense of union. A union between you and Existence, you and the Divine and you and God. I use God because it is a common term. We all pray to God but do we know God? Worst still, some of us have Gurus or Gods that we worship and can we say we know them? And truly knowing them is loving them, truly merging with them is the only worship.

I want to tell you a story. A Hare Krishna devotee once asked me ‘Do you know Krishna, can I meet Him?’ When he asked me, I looked into his eyes deeply and saw whether he was genuine and trust me, some people are good actors too! I replied ‘What would you do if you met Krishna? What would you say to Him?’ He looked rather confused at my question and said ‘I would like Krishna to answer my prayers.’ I laughed because now I understood what he was trying to do. I shook my head and said ‘It is better you still repeat ‘Hare Krishna, Hare Rama’ because if I let this meeting take place, you will destroy everything. Don’t ask me again until you deeply inquire within why I will not allow this meeting to take place.’ I ended it there and you must be wondering why? But before I disclose why…take a few moments to think why!

So why did I say no? First of all, he was sort of challenging Krishna. He doesn’t truly worship nor love Krishna. In your case, you may not truly worship nor love your Guru or God(s) or Goddess(-es). Plus, his challenge was weak to Krishna, he wanted Krishna to answer his prayers. Now, to you it does not look like a bad thing but it is a sin in my opinion. Now, Krishna can easily say ‘No’ and this person, because he truly has not worshipped, he has not surrendered, he has not accepted, he has not loved will pretend to be ‘heartbroken’ and will lose his ‘belief’! Remember, I have not said faith! Faith is above belief, faith is based on acceptance and knowing. Think and inquire, whether every cell of your body wants to meet the Divine, to meet the Ultimate Reality, to meet God. If this meeting takes places, enlightenment is at your feet!

Now, for those that find meditation difficult, it is essential to put some music on. It is best if it is spiritual music of course and preferably without words. Meditate with eyes closed, concentrate on each breath and take your God’s name in the outtake of the breath. So exhale and take your God’s name or Guru’s name.  Music is the union of sound and instrument. Meditation is the union between your mind and the Ultimate Reality. There is an inner world that needs to be discovered and this is your chance now!

I will keep this post short and somewhat incomplete. If you have questions, just post them underneath but better still, meditate!

Love always,

Rahul