||Aum Sri Ramakrishna Sharanam||
|| Aum Namo Narayanaya||
As human beings, we practice a very unique characteristic that encourages us to doubt the facts presented before us until we view tangible proof or evidence on the matter. In the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, I recall an incident where two gentlemen were having a conversation and the one refused to believe that an incident occurred because he had not read about it in the local news tabloid even though the person relating the story had seen the incident occur. Even the great Swami Vivekananda who had unconditional faith and devotion in His Master... at the very last moments in Master’s life entertained some doubts about Master’s qualities... but these were immediately put to rest by Sri Ramakrishna who provided an immediate answer to Naren’s mental enquiry.
Although Vedanta and various scriptures and Saints have provided solutions and methods to mitigate the quagmire of challenges that plague humanity, we have not taken them into confidence due to insufficient empirical evidence of their results. The tragedy of our lives is that we are like the musk deer that chases the wonderful smell that is actually inside its own body. We tend to run from one external pleasure to another trying to find happiness and satisfaction. Although exposed to the knowledge that the great fragrance of Divinity is within, we defy the truth and wander the world fruitlessly.
Swami Vivekananda taught the world that there is no liberation for the self until every soul is liberated and that progress and peace can be attained only when the condition of the masses is raised. The light in these teachings of Swamiji came to revelation during the past six months when South Africa experienced the longest industrial action undertaken by the mining sector in its entire history. In January, the miners in the platinum sector appealed to their employers for a basic salary of R12 500 per month. The failed negotiations between the parties saw the miners down tools and a resolution to the impasse was only drawn up last week.
At first, the plight of the mass of ordinary labourers who dug and shovelled the earth for a living did not catch the attention of the other citizens. However six months later when investor confidence, economic ratings, exchange rates, etc. took a dip attenuating the pace of the economy... South Africans raised their heads and noticed the earth digger’s contribution the prosperity and peace of every citizen. Their action had in fact affected the ability of people across South Africa to transact and do business as usual.
Hence we now find so much appreciation for the teaching of Swamiji and tend to resonate with His words. We must therefore take the time to read and understand these teachings of great souls within the context of our lives. They have gained the experiences and understanding of this world and life through severe penance and austerity and have selflessly passed them unto mankind so that we need not have to suffer. However our ignorance, foolishness and pride force us deeper into the jungle of life.
The aspirant should rather dive deep inside and know the inner... which is the fragrance of spiritual self-knowledge. Having found the glorious perfume of Divinity inside, never again will the aspirant rely on externals or be disillusioned by the world, knowing that all is the play of the Divine.
Lord Narayana is glorified as one who adorns the Kasturi Thilagam [Kasturi Thilagam Narayanam link embedded]: the symbol on the forehead of the Lord which oozes with the fragrance of kasturi identifies Him as the one who has the knowledge of the self. We are mere aspirants and seekers of the knowledge. If we follow and emulate the practices of the realised ones, then we as well will not be like the musk deer running aimlessly in the world seeking the fragrance that emanates from its own body. We also will stand gloriously in the world adorning the Kasturi Thilagam.
There is no need to suffer and hanker for perennial joy that is always within you. Let us all translate the wonderful glorious teachings of our Saints and Seers into a life full of bliss, is my sincere prayer. As we approach the auspicious period of Guru Purnima, let us make a concerted effort to study the works of the bona-fide teachers for our own salvation.
With love and prayers Yogan