Monday, 30 November 2009

To pave the whole world with leather, you need only put on a pair of shoes.

Is it possible to learn our lessons directly from the only teacher that we really have - life? Instead of looking to someone else for a theoretical diagnosis, to look directly at the problem itself? Theories are born of man's quest for a solution to the immediate problem of sorrow. But who created this problem? I myself. Trouble does not come from outside. We do not need theory. Look at it directly - here is my sorrow; it arises in me. This may not be easy for everyone. It needs a certain maturity of intelligence, a certain ability to focus one's attention on the source of sorrow while undergoing that sorrow. This may be difficult while the pain is still there. Therefore, the theories and belief systems will take us to a certain point, but the solution must be found inside.

Sorrow is experienced very clearly - I know I am miserable. So, if instead of trying to destroy all my external enemies I readjust the thing within myself that responds to external circumstances, the problem is solved. No one is my enemy. In the Yoga Vasistha it says, "To pave the whole world with leather, you need only put on a pair of shoes." Instead of trying to manipulate the environment to suit myself, why not readjust the self so that it does not get hurt?

Is there a state of mind, a state of awareness where one is not hurt or sorrowful at all? Let us observe what it is that gets hurt. Look directly, without any theory whatsoever, merely look within to see where the hurt is experienced - totally unrelated to the external provocation. I am hurt, or whatever it is that says 'I' in this body, that is hurt. But what is it that says 'I' in this body... eyes, heart, stomach? There is no 'I' and therefore there is no hurt! I discover that the truth is extremely simple.

Yet since body consciousness is there, it is possible that I will be hurt again. 'I' arises and whenever it arises it gets hurt. But if I have found the key, what does it matter if someone locks the door? It is as simple as that. And all the theories that man has invented are meant only to lead us there, to the discovery that 'I' is not. When we realise that simple truth, confusion disappears.

swami venkatesananda

No comments: