Innermost Essence

This morning was spent on contemplating the changes that have occured in the last 4 years. A lot has happened in between and not only have things affected me on a personal level, but it seems the country, continents and the world at large has gone through a lot too.

In May 2016, when my Spiritual Master left His body, the brightest Light in my world had disappeared and I continue to miss His persona, His compassionate teachings and His understanding nature. My experiences with Him were always pleasant and one that moved me forward in my spiritual journey. In fact, it was having close contact with Him that truly helped. It was having the ability to discuss my ego and the way it would trap me and it often finished with a good belly laugh after recollecting the experience. When He would finally speak His one or two sentences, they would become pointings to guide me spiritually and they stood the test of time. I used to have a lot of questions too, I dare not repeat some of them here but He answered them gracefully and understood my doubts fully. He made space for me to deal with them. He never advised me to let go of my doubts but instead instructed for me to keep pursuing the doubt so I carried on learning.

I do believe that behind every doubt lies a great teaching. Doubt is like a veil that hides the Light of the Teaching. You have to use your hands to remove the veil, you must have faith that you will get to the Teaching. You simply cannot surrender and expect the veil to move by some hand of God. Therefore, it requires an element of strength and determination that one would work on delusions and ignorance so the Light faces no obstruction.

There is a gift that my Spiritual Master gave and the Spiritual Masters that have followed Him have continued to give – that is to show the way to the Inner Light of my atman (innermost essence). It is understanding that this innermost essence must be discovered daily, I must abide by it as much as I can and be aware of it as much as I can. This innermost essence is formless, shapeless, colorless, boundless, limitless etc.

4 years on with the continuous guidance from my Spiritual Master(s), I have found that this innermost essence is shining brighter whenever I focus and concentrate on it. The question is my availability to this practice. The ability is already given when one is blessed with Brahm Gyana (Knowledge of the Ultimate Reality). Even a minute spent available to this wonderful blessing is most beneficial. Yes, the Spiritual Master will always be the brightest Light and will be there to guide but it is us, as individuals that have to awaken that same Light within us. It is my delusion that this Light, that is the brightest ever just shines with one individual, when really it is within every being. To say it is not, I would be implying that the first spiritual sages thousands of years ago and the philosophy built upon their teachings till date is wrong. Day by day, this feeling grows stronger that each being is divine and all are the same One Light. All that is needed is the vision to see this Light within everyone and understand that no veil can extinguish it.

Mirages and Spiritual Awakening

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Growing up with a thirst for spiritual awakening was not easy as I had to study and build a life thereon. Studying for me was boring because it was forced upon me and inside I knew that I would probably never use half of the things I learned in high school. I was right about that but my thirst for spiritual awakening was also growing, as I became more thirsty, several mirages appeared in my life to distract me – whether it was women, intoxicants, wealth etc.

Eventually these mirages were ignored after several years of going through these experiences as if they were true. I look back at the past and think I was so sure I was doing the best thing for me and now I almost regret some of it. However, what has been done has been done. I have to move forward.

As several mirages appeared again, I knew it was right to let them be as they were but not be allured towards them. I was then clear for spiritual awakening, so I thought but such experiences never come easy even if you have the tool to instantaneously get it.

The mirage of concepts was very heavy and while I got rid of some concepts through careful analysis on their validity, I ended up created some more concepts and down again I went down the rabbit hole. From saying there is a god to know saying there isn’t a god – I was firm on both these concepts at one time and now – I don’t know even though the answer is very, very clear to me.

Two things I had never let go of: One was my love for my Spiritual Master and two was my meditation. Even though, I tried to stay clear from my Spiritual Master, I understood that something else was being played. Even though I disagreed a lot with some of the philosophy that His organization taught, it was later discovered through my own meditation that those were my philosophies and not His. This was when I realized that our perception had to be cleansed in order to truly understand a philosophy as it is and not how you interpret it.

Let’s just say that the way I see the philosophy now is very simple – the realization of the Formless Self, is the realization of your True Self. The Spiritual Master just points at that Formless Self. It is up to you whether you look at the Formless Self or take a little detour with looking at the Spiritual Master. If you do take the detour, it becomes dangerous territory because you may love the Master but your mind has not realized it’s true self so therefore, your Master will be judged by you – even if it is a positive judgement. Any judgment will not let you see something clearly.

As I mentioned, I stayed away from my Master while I was going through this major analysis, but I was very devoted to meditation and meditated a lot. I was working and would wake up as early as 4am and meditate for an hour, then read for two hours and then get ready for work. It so happened, that on a Saturday, I started meditating again around 9am and as I was focussing on empty space for a while, I saw the tiniest dot of Light appear and I was amazed at this. I floated in this empty space and went near it and I heard a sound that simply said ‘Before this, I am,’ and I just saw this dot expand and the whole of creation was presented to me. I couldn’t contain myself and took myself out of the meditative state. I didn’t know what I experienced other than there had to be something before creation.

I have never forgotten this experience but it came back to me three weeks ago. This time, the tiniest dot was not seen but empty space was taken away from me and I came to an absolute stillness and centered my whole focus on that stillness. I was so taken aback by it that it felt like I had been there for 10 minutes when in fact, it had only been around 30 seconds. It was an intense experience. I realized one major thing – it didn’t matter whether this is god or not – there is only stillness. Call it whatever you want now to personalize it. I totally understand why we name it. Yes, it certainly dilutes what It Is but people need something to relate to and the easiest thing to do is to name it.

I enjoyed this experience and I have noticed how it continuously presents itself to me without any desire from my side. It’s presence cannot be ignored by me. It only then occurred to me that my Spiritual Master had told me about this around 5 years ago. He held his right hand out, His palm facing His stomach, maybe 15 cm away from His stomach and with His left hand waving in between the right hand and the stomach said “You have to be aware of this, it is stillness. Keep focusing on this awareness.” Little did I know that after almost 3 years of His departure from His physical form would this golden nugget of wisdom make sense to me and I would understand it.

The mirage I had then was that a Spiritual Master is only the physical body, this is a massive illusion. The teachings are of an eternal nature and so is the presence of the Master. It is now that I truly appreciate everything that has been taught to me. I am still learning, discovering and in fact, I am more eager to learn than I probably was in my teens. Spirituality has no end in terms of literature but in the end it is your own experience that matters. Use the literature to inspire you, refuse to let it be a concept.

A few weeks ago, I had my second spiritual awakening, the sight towards enlightenment is also on the horizon. All gratitude goes to my Spiritual Master.