- Religion and Philosophy»
How can one escape from the cycle of birth and death?
Ego vs Self; Chanting the names of God-Chaitanya.
By remembering God through chanting his name, one can attain God now!
The clinging to the ‘I’ feeling is the root cause of all troubles in human life. Why should we cling to the ‘I’ feeling which we falsely identify as the body/mind conundrum. The mind, no doubt clings to the body, otherwise it cannot exist. Mind owes its existence to a corresponding body. Sathya Saibaba has said once, that the body is ‘solidified mind’. We can take an example. Water when condensed, becomes ‘ice’. Likewise, the condensed mind is represented as the body. Body is an instrument of the mind. The body obeys the directions of the mind!
How this happens is really a mystery. How the body controls the mind is a great mystery. Many of us falsely assume that the brain controls everything. But the brain really needs the help of the mind for cognition to fructify. The brain receives signals from the neurons. It can identify the separate sensory inputs and construct a picture out of it but it transmit it to the mind to really perceive or know the thing. When the mind is absent, you cannot recognize anything. Your eyes may be open; your hearing faculty is perfect; still, if the mind is absent or focused on some other thing, then whatever you have seen or heard has no meaning to you!
Hence the mind is the interface for man, like the monitor is interface to the computer operator. Imagine a computer without any monitor! What you can get out of the computer in the form of an output? Practically nothing! Hence, a computer must have a monitor for human interface. We may feed information into the computer through various devises like the keyboard or compact disc but the output is mainly the monitor. Otherwise, we cannot edit documents, perform calculations, and verify the correctness of the data feed.
Hence, the mind is a powerful connection between the man and the world around. All impressions are finally felt only by the mind. Various thoughts arise in the mind based on the input we get from the outer world. The pain and pleasure are felt through the mind. But in reality, the ultimate witness is the Atma or Self within. The self is ‘pure awareness’ whereas the mind is not aware. It can undergo the feelings or emotions but it is not awareness per se.
The term ‘awareness’ is something, which constitutes exalted conscious. Sathya Saibaba has coined a term “Constant Integrated Awareness” which gives a clear meaning. The awareness of God or Avatar is constant as well as integrated. But human perception is disintegrated, momentary and changing. Hence a human to rise to the scale of Divine should cultivate the awareness of Divine!
Human being is a minute fraction of the Divine! The Self is taken to be a flash of light measuring to the size of a thumb in each individual situated in the right side located parallel to the heart. It cannot be seen as a form. It is symbolized as Light.
The mind is involved in the affairs of man whereas the Self is a mere witness of each human being as well as the collective external world. It is said in the scriptures, “Not a leaf moves without the will of the Divine” There is a subtle meaning also that God is aware of even a minute thing. As there are fixed laws for the planetary movements and stars (though we consider the stars as static but there is a minute movement for stars also), everything happens according to the Will of the Divine. He willed the creation, sustenance and ultimate dissolution. There is a fixed time scale for the span of each Yuga. We are in the beginning of Kaliyuga and it may last for another 4, 27,000 years as contained in the scriptures. Some people consider the passing away of Krishna as the commencement of Kaliyuga.
As narrated in various puranas which describe the characteristics of different Yugas, the Kaliyuga is the darkest period of human life. The previous three Yugas are by far better than the Kaliyuga. But in every yuga (time scale) there exists both good and evil but the proportions are better in the previous yugas but in the Yuga, evil occupy 75% and good or righteousness is only 25%. Hence the Kaliyuga needs the guidance of God more than other yugas. But the spiritual discipline needed for the yuga is simple. It is enough if one is able to chant the name of God. That will ferry him across the ocean of existence. Hence much importance is given to chanting and singing the name of God. By continuous contemplation of the Divine, one can transcend the cycle of births and deaths. Thus the ego of the individual is relinquished and the mind becomes null and void. Then one attains the status of Divine. This is like the river merging in the sea!