Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Intense Yearning: The basic Ingredient

What makes a Parivrajaka different from just another conducted trip? The mystics and sages who wander in the quest for truth certainly don't treat their journey as just a sight-seeing pleasure trip. So, what's the necessary ingredient that makes a Parivrajaka what it is?

Intense yearning or seeking for the Truth This was one of the main messages, or should I say, the message of the Varanasi Trip - intense yearning for the Ultimate.

At each and every place, the Master kept drilling this single point into us. He said, 'The two things that are important during parivrajaka (wandering) are intense yearning for the Truth and intense excitement.'

All the enlightened masters, whether they wandered or not, had the intense yearning to find out the Ultimate Truth. That is what makes them so different from any other person. They would do anything to find the Truth. The Master gave various examples of how all enlightened masters had this single emotion in common before they got enlightened.

At Bodh Gaya, the Master narrated the story of Buddha's life which showed the intensity with which He was yearning for enlightenment. Buddha was weak and feeble and was almost dying without food for many years in His pursuit for the Truth. One day, while He was lying down almost dead, a lady offers Him a handful of food. After eating that, with whatever energy He got from that food, He sat up with no other thought but knowing the Truth. With burning determination to seek the truth, He made a vow to Himself, 'Idam aasanam sushyate shareeram', which means 'Let my body dry up and wither away but I will not get up from this position till I get enlightened.' That was the intention which came out with such force, intensity and strength that He got enlightened immediately.

In Dakshineswar, the Master narrated similar incidents from Ramakrishna's life. He used to rub His face on the ground, hurt Himself and cry to Goddess Kali, if at the end of the day, He found that He hadn't yet realized the Divine. Ramakrishna used to say, we cry for so many things in life. But one day, just one day, 24 hours if we genuinely cry to see Her (the Divine Mother), she will appear!

The Master also talked about His own experiences; how He was immersed in one single thought - enlightenment; how He was unperturbed by whatever people said, whatever society thought; how only one thing mattered to Him - enlightenment.

At one point towards the end of the trip, with regards to enlightenment, the Master said, 'Even if you meditate for 24 hours, without the intensity of yearning for the Ultimate, you will go nowhere. But if the intensity is so strong that even a tornado cannot push you away if you were sitting in the middle with the resolve of seeking the truth, then even if you do not meditate, you will see the Truth.'

He also gave us another analogy: If a person's head is on fire, will he be thinking of anything else but to ran to a nearby pond and cool it? His FULL attention and intensity is to put off that fire first. He would do anything for that! Just like that, the sole focus of our lives should be that of seeking the Truth.

His concluding beautiful words of the trip were: This trip need not end here. All you need to do is to maintain that intensity even after the trip and you will see that this trip never ends! He also reminded us that the very intensity will show us the path. So, whenever we a low or a dip in the intensity for the truth, let us remember these great inspiring words and pull ourselves back. Let the fire of seeking be alive in each of us, guiding us forward...


Udaysree said...

excellent, thanks Arpanas! will you have more postings on the Varanasi trip? would love to hear more about your times w Swamiji and anything about Parivrajaka.

Sri Nithya Arpanananda said...

Hi Udaysree

Nithyanandam! Yes we will be posting more posts on Varanasi trip. Lately we have been a bit busy with Swamiji's upcoming visit to Singapore :)

In Nithyananda
Sri Arpana