Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The world is what we need


Eighty four million lifetimes
Taken for this one lifetime
Eighty four million births
Just to evolve and be blessed
with a life of a human being –

In order that we may See the Self

What good is his
who fasts for a week
or who has vowed celibacy
for years on end?
After the penance of
Eighty four million lifetimes -
the labour undergone
Over eons just to be born
as man?

The chaos “outside” is merely
A projection we call the world
It is what we create
In order that we may be thrust within
To fulfil the purpose of a human life
To See our Self

There is no light
Without darkness;
No rays of the sun
Without objects;
No stillness in the lake
Without ripples.

We need the chaos of the “outside”
The eighty four million lifetimes in different forms
We need to go through the penance
of creating the “outside”
To be born as human
Only to See our Self within

For
Without water to reflect
the moon is invisible to itself.
- Julia Dutta

According to ancient Indian thoughts, the human life comes once after eighty four million lifetimes in different forms over eons. It is a fruit of penance over lifetimes that one goes through, only to be born a man.

Why should this be the case?

What is it about this life as human that we must go through eighty four million lifetimes to wait for this one?

At a biological level, it seems apparent that the human brain requires that many births to evolve that many brain cells which then make possible what we call “consciousness”. It is of utmost importance that it is only the conscious human being, who is capable of striving for realisation. And that seems to be the ultimate purpose of this human life.

The search for Self is primary to human existence. According to Vedanta, there are three states – the waking, dream and deep sleep state. In deep sleep, there is no world. In the dream state, the dreamer creates the world outside and involves itself in it, but in the waking state, neither the dream state nor the deep sleep state exists. The dreamer wakes and realises that it was all a dream. In fact it is he who was dreaming. He created his dream and now that he is awake, the dream has ceased to be.

There is a third state – the state of deep dreamless sleep. Sometimes, when he wakes up, he realises that he has had a deep sleep, totally free of all dreams.

By these findings he becomes aware that after all, the dream state which disappeared as soon as he woke up was after all false. He can be said to have woken up.

Similarly, it is evident that we create the world outside, in order that we may be disillusioned with it and wake up to the inside – the Self, which is always there, forever still, never moving and never to be found in the outside. Yet, even though it is apparent that the search for Self is inside, it must necessarily begin outside, whether it is in this lifetime or in the eighty four million lifetimes we pass through, in order that we may be born as human.


We need the chaos of the “outside”
The eighty four million lifetimes in different forms
We need to go through the penance
of creating the “outside”
To be born as human
Only to See our Self within

For
Without water to reflect
the moon is invisible to itself.




Painting picture: By Jamini Roy

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