- Religion and Philosophy»
Pride and arrogance are serious obstructions in spiritual path!
We can not change external circumstances
None can change the external circumstances!
We cannot alter the external environment or circumstances! It is not within our capacity. What we can do is ‘to change the way how we react to events and circumstances’. Yes, it is not possible to change the world but it is within our capacity to change our outlook on events and remain unaffected. Remaining indifferent or remaining unconcerned with events that is external to us, is the best way to cultivate peace and harmony! But, it requires long practice. Reactions resound and reflection is the three unavoidable emotions in normal human beings. But those who focus on the inner self and not on the body can float over the waves of emotions safely! There is an analogy between our emotional reactions and the three states of matter like the solid, liquid and gas. Everyone here is aware that the reactions are swift and strong in solids, a little less in liquids and almost nil in gases. If you want to dig a hole on the earth, there is resistance. In liquids, we need less force to penetrate and in gases it is almost no efforts. An iron rod needs greater forces to work with, while it is lesser in water and nil in air. Hence, vehicles speeding on roads get lot of surface friction, while the boats glide over water with lesser resistance and aero planes move swiftly in the sky, since wind resistance is comparatively lower. Now, we can understand the basic truth. As things become coarser and coarser, there is greater resistance and when the things are subtler like air, the resistance is comparatively lower.
Body attachment gives rise to Ego and Selfishness!
The body of human being is coarse and when one attaches himself to the body, there will be rise of ego and selfishness! We are aware that the big ego and selfishness are the cause of all the troubles of the world and human beings! During world war, some countries used atomic weapons which caused heavy destruction of two cities and millions of lives were lost during the war! But look at the sky, after the subsidence of toxic clouds of the bomb, the sky remains pure as ever! A solid can be broken or burnt in fire. Liquid too can be heated to boiling point and become gas. Can we destroy the sky or the air contained in it? It is not possible. Hence remain like the sky with no reactions to movement of jet planes, rockets and ignition of atom bombs. We have no indication in the sky of bombs. In a similar way, we should never become rigid to resist others anger and opinions! Remain unconcerned like the sky in which many clouds pass through. Yet the sky remains unaffected. This is how human beings must lead their life on earth! When a devotee told his Guru that the world exerts much influence on him and he is entangled by the world. The Guru told him, ‘it is not the world which has entangled you; you have voluntarily got attached to the world. As you have attached yourself to the world, detach yourself from the entanglement! If one is wound by rope, to get release, he has to unwind it in the same manner! It is a false perception that the world had caught you. In fact, you have caught the world.
Harder the material, greater the resistance!
Detachment and discrimination can take us far in spirituality!
In spirituality, detachment and discrimination plays major part! If one is unable to exercise discrimination, he cannot move forward in spiritual path! In fact, walking through spiritual path is like walking on a sharp sword. A little carelessness will land the aspirant in mess! Raw fruits never get disengaged from the tree. Once the fruit is ripe, it will automatically fall on the ground. Hence there should be natural ripening and one should not hurry to pluck a raw fruit. If we compare worldly life, spiritual life is comparatively safe and easier. Even a recluse find it difficult to get away from the worldly, earthly attachments. There is an apt story to point out this fact. Goddess Saraswathi was once born on earth and she was walking around the fields along with her associates. On the way, she saw a recluse lying on the way, keeping the shrunken gourd for his head rest. Bharathi (Saraswathi) told her friends, “Look at the Sanyasi! He has not left his attachment to the dried gourd which is useful for keeping water! On hearing this, the recluse threw away the dried gourd! Then Bharathi expressed, “I thought this recluse has attachment; now his behavior shows he is full of ego! Instantly, the recluse realized that the woman was a realized soul. He fell on her feet and sought guidance!
Thick liquids offer resistance (viscosity)
How pride and arrogance defeated a King?
In Indian epics, there are many instances of great sanyasis slide down to error. Sage Viswamitra was once a king and he used to practice penance for many years to excel in penance and to get the acknowledgement from Sage Vashista! Sage Vasista was egoless, selfless and very humble. He earned a name as “Brahma Rishi” a title for his penance! Viswamitra was infuriated and he wanted to earn the title and hence he went to the hermitage of Vashista and begged him, Oh sage, you have got a celestial cow which will feed all and which can supply you even warriors to protect you. As a recluse, you have no need for the cow. I am a king and I have the duty to protect the kingdom and feed all the people. If only you could hand over the divine cow, I will be indebted to you! Sage Vashista is aware of the evil plan of the king; he politely refused the request. The king got angry and asked his soldiers to seize the cow! But it is a Divine cow and instantly, from its body thousands of soldiers issued forth with mighty arrows and spears. They defeated the soldiers of the King and drove the king away! Saddened by this episode, the king renounced everything and sat on deep meditation which subdued his anger and jealousy. Once transformed of his bad traits, he went to Vashista and prostrated to him. Sage Vashita conferred the title Brahmarishi to him! Thus pride can never achieve any glory in spiritual path. Those who are humble will rise high in spiritual firmament!