Mind, Free Me from Me:
Elevating the Soul by Teachings of Shrimad Rajchandra
I live among the illusions of attachments, liberation, and salvation, but everything seems vain because what is there and what is not there is infinite. It is here that your words come to rescue me. I am unable to grasp even a bit of your state of being, which has reached the ultimate secrets. With mortal eyes, I see the cosmic dimension of yourself, and with words, I try to understand the depth of that mystery. However, my situation is like a tiny particle, but how I wish that I free myself with the help of your words!
For the past many months, in this space, we have been carrying out a dialogue continuously, but all the paths are futile without a noble Guru. Who, if not the Guru, will warn us? The ocean is right in front of you, but apart from Guru, who will guide you on how to cross over it? When I rub my eyes and open them, all I see is darkness. I try to come out of it. Among them, I can hear the voices of some scriptures and discussions. During the turmoil of the 20th and 21st century, Shrimad Rajchandra talked about divine peace, which can take you to the ultimate truth.
During a short life span of 34 years, Shrimadji had read a gamut of books and written an almost similar amount of literature. It is not surprising that he has the multifaceted personality of a poet, thinker, critic, Yogi, etc.! From a very small village, his name became popular across the world. Many intellectuals from the globe were influenced and impressed by him. I can hardly tell you anything about him because you already know about him.
He not only explained the complex spiritual issues very simply, but he internalized them based on experiences. At the tender age of 16, he wrote a book called Moksh Mala, a commentary on scriptures containing about a hundred and eight stanzas in just three days. Two of his significant works are Aatma Siddhi Shastra and Apoorva Avsar. The first one is a philosophical commentary. The second is poetry dealing with emotions and the internal state of being. By reading these words, we come to know the depths and profoundness of his experience and thoughts. On the other hand, we can see contemplation about self. As he says, “self-knowledge is the only way out to all kinds of conflicts and mysteries. There is no self-knowledge without thinking, and there is no thinking where the person does not involve in discussions with Nobleman.” The spiritual Guru like Shrimadji explains the importance of self-knowledge unless theories thoughts, how can one achieve realization? As discussed, there is a necessity for self-knowledge for self-realization. On the one hand, he clarifies the form of the soul and, on the other hand, advised to the soul focused on the path of spirituality. He also distinguishes between the principles of Vedant and Agams. He has explained the teachings of the Tirthankars. Soon, all the events of his life will look like a miracle because how can one accomplish all these at a very young age? Was he blessed with a permanent state of awareness? But this is just one of the many unbelievable events. Whenever the sense of suspicion develops, it is with the true spiritual miracles that one can have an incredible understanding.
The teachings of Shrimadji awaken each cell of our body. They are mostly related to Jin Tatva (The essentials of Jainism). He has clarified the meanings of Samyak and Pratikramana. We should carry out Samyak devoid of 32 types of vices. We should make our soul concentrate on Samyak. He has talked about reaching to the meaning of Samyak and in the same way; we should remember our weaknesses during Pratikraman to attain repentance. It is the process of being free from the Karma that we attach ourselves with the soul, mind language for the body. Our soul is purified with the repentance carried out with our state of purity and develops a sense of giving up those things which are worth leaving. What a wonderful thought! To develop a sense of giving up for those things that are worth giving up. What is the difference between knowing what things are to be given up and clarity about it because clarity remains for a longer period? The awareness of Karma Nirjara and austerities will take us a step towards the welfare of the soul. We can see from all his writing that he is trying to illuminate the meanings of religion. He has explained what a person should do and what he should not do in his Chintankanika and Vichakanika. One of the features is there is no difference between his philosophy and poetry.
He has understood the world by being stoic and focused on conscience and by displaying that the devotional path requires purity and knowledge. He considers it a childish soul that makes futile attempts to change external situations. We get to listen to four beautiful words: Vishal Buddhi (Broad intellect), Madhyasthata (Balance), Saralata (Simplicity) and Jitendriyapanu (Winning over the senses). The soul who has all these four qualities is the ablest to receive the ultimate knowledge. All of us should develop the ability for the liberation of the soul. If we cannot cultivate that, what is the point? As the soul should be free from all the sins and weaknesses, humans must behave as per the Supreme Being’s directions. It has also clarified various perspectives prevailing in Jaina philosophy. It is not proper to have different sects in the same Jainism that talks about many-sidedness. If there is a difference of opinions at the level of processes, one can be free from them. If we accept and implement Shrimadji’s ideas, we find solutions.
Let’s understand this in the words of Shrimadji, “O Separatists, monotheism is the symbol of imperfect knowledge! Like amateur poets use bombastic words to emphasize in their poems, you are also emphasizing certainty in your understanding. My Mahavira never says anything like this.” And that is the gift of a true poet!
Our faith is naturally attracted towards him because of his intellectual clarity and profoundness of his experience based on knowledge.
His vast literature in his letters shows us that he has guided many great minds with clarity. He has removed confusions about the chanting of names, devotion, meditation, meanings of relationships, meanings of language and communication, teachings of Guru, service, time, Supreme Being, to name a few. Here, it is not just a set of moral stories but the logical discussion that convinces us.
Compassion for others is developed by moral teaching. We should have the same vision for all the souls of the world as we have for our own. We should have the same love for everyone as we have for self and therefore, we should wish the same thing as we wish for ourselves. Thus, think for everyone with, equanimity (Sambhav), to develop global tranquility. The words of Shrimadji educate us.
He has also clarified how to be free from the dominance of Karma. If the soul is not carrying out any Karma that does not mean Karma is executed on its own. This is the beauty of the soul, but when the soul is free from the attachments, it does not have any restlessness or anger, and it experiences a pure and blissful state. It is the quality of its nature when it is not conscious of its form; it is the developer of the impression of Karma. In short, the very thought that has developed when we are active can never lead to effects of passiveness or the results of that thought.
In today’s world, those who understand and experience this clarity are throbbing with excitement because they are experiencing the scriptures directly. It is not surprising that the next generation will feel an affinity with its own history. When someone implements his own ideas and explains them like a friend, dear one, or Guru, there is no room for any doubt. Today, it is very necessary to simplify these ideas for others and contemplate them. These ideas are timeless; they are very much rooted in our sense of existence.
The words of Shrimadji are important because they have evolved from experiences, as he has said at one place that it is better to observe the internal qualities of great minds rather than observing their behaviour. We can experience his words here, as well. These words directly come from his experiences; they get intensity and transparency only to pierce through our hearts and illumine.
Shrimadji, who is all illuminating, has also shown the path to the man of the millennium Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation; the one who enlightened the world. What is required is to understand the words and to orient ourselves towards them. True service to knowledge is to experience the knowledge directly.
At one place, he has written, “Let my consciousness and awareness become so tranquil that the deer keeps on staring at me without getting startled by it or run away!” It is such a beautiful wish that one should not be a disturbance to anyone and be completely absent and oblivion to others: only my soul and I remain aware. Therefore, he writes further, “Let my conscience be so tranquil that if an aged deer wants to scratch its back with an inanimate object, let that object will be me, and it would rub its body with me!”
How and from where to get such strength to make this body completely detached?
Shrimadji’s personality was away from the sectarian understanding of religion, and he was completely engrossed in spirituality. His life experiences are so much relevant in today’s global world that we should keep repeating them and discussing them. His ideas can pierce through multiple layers wrapped around our souls and start a journey towards internal transparency. Forget everything; it will be really helpful if his ideas provide us with an ability to see things as they are!
Dr. Sejal Shah (Ph.D)