Truth Of Life: [4.2] Awakening - 24 - Awareness Of Reality

Published: 15.06.2008
Updated: 06.10.2008

The Art & Science Of Living

Chapter 4.

Awakening

24

Awareness Of Reality

[Without practising meditation, we cannot attain the state of awareness. The practice of perceiving the breath and body also leads to the state of awareness. The purpose of awareness is to enable man to accept the reality of distress in human life and seek its solution. The state of infatuation does not enable man to accept the reality of suffering in human life. Those who do not know and accept their negativism and ignorance, remain infatuated. The state of awareness is success whereas the state of infatuation is failure. There are two parts of awareness - acceptance of reality and its solution. The first hurdle of awareness is fickleness. Fickleness of speech, vision, hands and feet are hurdles in the path of awareness. It is important to understand the particular weakness and seek its solution through suitable practice of Prekshadhyana.]

A man was standing on an elevation and another was standing below. The man standing above said, "Oh! Such and such a person is coming." The man standing below said, "No, nobody is coming. I do not see anyone coming." The man above spoke again, "I clearly see him coming, you also come to the top, and then you will also be able to see him."

Awareness is height; it is the pinnacle of meditation (sadhana). Man wants to achieve the state of awareness but it requires sincerity, dedication and self-exertion. Those who are at the height of realising bliss can say how important or pleasant the state of awareness is. The realisation of the state of awareness is very personal, ineffable and beyond articulation. Unfortunately those who don't practise meditation (sadhana), may not realise its bliss, pleasure and virtue, so they may not appreciate it.

The process and purpose of meditation (sadhana) is to elevate to the state of awareness. Without the practice of meditation, no one can attain that state. No one can ascend to that level merely by repetitive chanting. It necessarily requires practice. One man among thousand maybe born and blessed with the state of awareness but it cannot be cited as a normal phenomenon. The general rule is that man should ascend step by step to the different levels of awareness. The practice of perceiving the breath and perceiving the body is meant to ascend to the state of awareness. The perpetual perception of breath will mature and stabilise the state of awareness and eventually transform it into an eternal awareness. It can be accomplished only by effort, practice and determination. Initially, man finds it difficult to practise awareness towards breath even for a moment, because his mind goes on wandering in different directions. This is a common problem with the masses. Systematic and well-organised practice is essential to get rid of this impasse. While commencing, one should try to develop one minute of awareness, then for two minutes, three minutes and so on. Advancing gradually, a moment comes when the state of awareness becomes automatic, spontaneous. Then it is an eternal awareness as it becomes the very part of your being.

The meaning of awareness is to accept the truth of suffering of material life. It requires prowess and maturity to accept the harsh truth at its face value. If one does not hide his weakness, sickness and painful sufferings of material life and has the guts to accept them freely, then one sincerely seeks its solution and wilfully practises achieving awareness.

The gist of awareness is the acceptance of truth of distress of material life, and then the solution to the distress. There is an important story from Prakrit literature. There was a ruler named Jeetsatru of Ujjayani, and the ruler of Soparak was Singhjeet. Both were very fond of wrestling, and were interested in grooming wrestlers in their kingdom. The king of Ujjayani had a powerful wrestler, named Attar. A wrestling match was organised annually. Wrestlers from different countries used to participate in the wrestling match and Attar always emerged as the winner. The king of Ujjayani also praised Attar. The king of Soparak craved fame and name. He also initiated and organised a wrestling match. Attar went there too. He defeated many wrestlers and was declared the winner eventually. The king of Soparak was belittled. He decided to retaliate. He sought a young wrestler with a well-built physique. He took the sole responsibility of training him as a skilled wrestler. He was given all the amenities and taught all the tricks and trades of wrestling. He became a very powerful and skilled wrestler. A wrestling match was organised again. Attar again participated in it. The young wrestler defeated him convincingly and Soparak was praised everywhere. Attar was enraged at his defeat. He planned a strategy and searched for a well-built youngster to train him as an adept wrestler. The youngster became a skilled wrestler and was named Falih. A wrestling match was organized again. Falih and the wrestler of Soparak, named Machhiya started wrestling. The wrestling continued for the whole day, but neither could win. In the evening, the wrestling was suspended till the next day. In the evening the king went to Machhiya and instructed him to get all his wounds, injuries treated properly so that next day he could wrestle with his full might and enthusiasm. Machhiya was an egoist, he overestimated himself and declared, "I have no pains, I shall defeat him tomorrow." The King of Ujjayani went to his wrestler. On enquiring, Falih showed him without hiding, the pain and injuries he had suffered. His injuries were treated accordingly and he again became fresh and vigorous. Next day Falih defeated Machhiya continuously. The reason was obvious. Falih truthfully accepted his problems and pains and got them treated, whereas Machhiya was highly egoistic and kept hiding his troubles, pains and problems arrogantly, so he faced defeat.

This is the success of awareness and failure of delusion. The denial of reality of sufferings in the material world is delusion and acceptance of reality is awareness. One who does not know his imperfection and helplessness lives in delusion. The state of delusion results in failure and the state of awareness brings success.

The meditator (sadhaka) should clearly understand that everybody has got some imperfections and shortcomings. Every creature, born in this universe, has some imperfection. The meditator (sadhaka) must know his imperfections and limitations fully and never strive to hide his drawbacks or imperfections under any circumstances. The common tendency is not to accept the imperfections. This problem is difficult to sort out. The sufferer should realise his sufferings clearly and explain his problems without hiding or hesitation, only then can the right treatment be given. Correct diagnosis is essential before starting the treatment of a particular weakness. The awareness of the self means "Who am I? Where am I? How is my behaviour and conduct?" As long as these questions pertaining to self-awareness are not introspected, one s weakness cannot be treated properly.

There are two parts to awareness. First is to accept reality as it is, and the second is to seek its treatment. First discern and then treat. It is difficult to diagnose because people have different inclinations. They may be full of attachment to what they like. Somebody may be friendly; others may be inclined to quarrel. People have different natures. So first of all, it has to be examined, "Who am I? What am I? How is my nature? How is my conduct and behaviour? What are my likes and dislikes, as regards food, hearing and smell? Which attachment is intense and which is mild?" It has to be clearly and realistically diagnosed because the same process of meditation {sadhana) is not advised to all. The meditator (sadhaka) has to choose the system of meditation to suit his idiosyncrasies and individuality. In one type of meditation (sadhana) that subject is only treated with which the meditator (sadhaka) is more attached. Some people have full control over the eye but have no control over their tongue. They are more attached to the taste of the tongue. One who is deluded due to non-control over the tongue cannot achieve the state of awareness. In order to reduce his lust for tasty foods, he is given different kinds of foods, sometimes tasty food, sometimes bland, sometimes hot or cold, sometimes less quantity, etc. Prolonged experimentation and practice controls his lust for tasty food. Similarly, somebody may be more attached to the pleasure of listening, others may be more attached to the pleasure of smell and somebody may be more attached to the pleasure of touching. For everybody, in accordance with his idiosyncrasies, attachment to the type of pleasure and its intensity, there are different methods of meditation (sadhana). One meditation may have special emphasis on some senses and be of less importance to others. Another meditation process may give less importance to one sense and lay emphasis on others. When one decides to shatter the state of delusion and move to the state of awareness, then he has to understand his imperfections clearly and develop a firm determination to get rid of them. After the unshakable resolve to be free from those imperfections and vacillations, he reaches his coveted goal.

Once there was a king who was very generous. He was fond of poetry. Whenever any scholar came and recited poetry, the king used to reward him liberally. His minister thought that if this trend continued then the treasure would be shortly depleted. He thought of a plan and wrote a sentence at the entry gate of the royal assembly - "Money should be saved for misfortune." While entering the royal assembly, the king read it, and grasped its origin. He wrote another sentence below it, "Misfortunes do not affect great people." The minister thought again and wrote a third sentence -"Sometimes even great people get entangled in distress due to their destiny." The next day, the king saw these three lines and wrote the fourth line - "In that situation, even money proves futile and worthless."

The minister read it and knew that the king was fully determined in his resolve. A person whose resolve and fortitude are intense and powerful would not deviate at all.

The meditator (sadhaka) has to determine firmly that he has to be aware, so first of all he has to overcome all the hurdles anticipated on the path of awareness.

The first hurdle of awareness is fickleness. Fickleness of speech, vision and of the limbs go on interfering. We must understand the problem of fickleness and then seek its solution. The first step of awareness involves the understanding of fickleness, seeking its treatment and then practicing meditation.

Sources
Edited by Muni Dulharaj
Copyright by Pathfinder Trust, New Delhi, India ©2001
Published by Sterling Publishers Pvt.Ltd., New Delhi, India
Translated by Pathfinder Trust, New Delhi, India
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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Body
  2. Meditation
  3. Prakrit
  4. Prekshadhyana
  5. Sadhaka
  6. Sadhana
  7. Science
  8. Science Of Living
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