Everytime I look at myself, I find an individual being, cut off from the rest, trudging along on a journey called 'life'. I know I ought to tread the path of dharma or right living, but I also know it requires a great deal of effort and will power.
Unfocused, I continue to trudge aimlessly, and so I feel inadequate in terms of "achievement". I tell myself I should achieve something, but then, achieving more always seems to be in the "future". Without questioning, I keep going, on and on, trying desperately to achieve things in life in the hope of making myself more complete and secure.
Still, I find myself insecure and unhappy — at least, most of the time. In my endeavour to make myself happy in as easy a manner as possible, two things have become very important pursuits in my life, Artha and Kama.
Artha pursuits are those which bring me security economically, emotionally and socially which is why I enjoy my pursuit of wealth, stocks and shares, relationships with family and friends, and a name, title or designation in a job or society.
It makes me feel very secure when I am addressed as "Sir", "Mr..." etc., little realising that titles and honorifics add nothing of true value to one's spiritual evolution or understanding of the Ultimate Truth. I attach myself to my bank balance, investments and designation and take myself to be that alone. When my shares plummet or rise at the stock exchange, my heart beats wildly and I get excited and anxious.
I have all that I could wish for — yet, I feel unaccomplished and unhappy. And at such times I go for another pursuit, Kama, to feel happy and complete, but with no success. I am unable to sustain efforts to follow the path of dharma. I flit from one day to another, through what I call "living" and I try to "eke out" a few "thrilling moments" in my life just like the musk deer.
The musk deer, enchanted by the fragrance of musk, and not knowing its source, keeps running hither and thither, looking for it. It is only when the musk deer is dying that it realises for the first time that the beautiful fragrance was coming from its own body.
We human beings are more fortunate in that guidelines are available to us in the form of the Vedas and other teachings to tell us that the source of happiness lies within. Ancients declared: "Aham Brahma Asmi" — "I am the whole".
I am that very thing which I am trying to be. It is my very seeking that makes me separate from the whole that I already am. This doesn't mean that the Vedas ask us to stop our pursuits in life. They merely show us a way as to how to pursue knowing well that we are already "complete". This, naturally, wipes out the notion of inadequacy and incompleteness centred around the "I" and makes life truly worth living.
For this to happen, the student has to, however, live with a traditional teacher of the Vedas. A learned guru can teach us all about Vedanta, using the Vedas as an instrument with which to discover the Self just as you would use the pramana of a mirror to see your face. The guru only helps you unfold the message to help you grow in your understanding.
In fact, it is only when one understands the message of the Vedas that one can say "I live life". Until then we are only dragging ourselves from one life to another. And that too, only to keep coming back, again and again.
Lovely Thoughts for Lovely People Just Like You