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A question of continuous development.

{written by : Sri Bimal Mohanty.}

Article word count : 1835 -- Article Id : 965
Article active date : 2008-10-30 -- Article views : 7298


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Article is about :
Every created being is destined for final liberation (Moksya). Divinity is every one's basic characteristic. Not fear of punishment, but the promise of the final bliss inspires us to our goal.





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Based on the lectures by Sri Bimal Mohanty

This question of continuous ‘development of the soul is indeed a unique feature of our Vedantic thought process. In many other philosophies, explanations about sin, devil, judgment and punishment have been given so frightful dimensions that it has in effect destroyed the dignity and greatness of human life itself. It has gone to undermine the very confidence that is required by man to lift himself up. Fear of punishment is the last thing that can free the spirit. Watch the great lion inside a circus cage performing out of fear of the electric baton. It is the same majestic lion, the king of the forest, the dignified beast that has been reduced to a pathetic undignified creature out of sheer fear.

The spirit of the man does not have to be treated that way. The vedantic philosophy on the other hand accepts that man will make mistakes. After all, unlike other philosophies the Vedantic philosophy does not subscribe to one birth, one life and a summary judgment at the end of it. It believes in a great continuum of existence starting from the first spark of life going through a continuous developmental process spanning many lives till Satchidananda ­ the ultimate bliss of union with the Parambrahma is achieved.

To meet the creator and merge with him is the inherent nature and goal of all creation. In this long progress of the pilgrim, going through countless experiences while performing the ordained task, ignorance, mistakes, and distractions would always be there. But the Sanatan philosophy goes on to explain in painstaking details why and how mistakes are committed, how does it affect us (or any other being) and most importantly how we ourselves can set things right. It reposes tremendous faith in human ability and its tremendous potential. When The Lord’s benevolent and merciful intervention is supplemented with human endeavor, a person is able to rise above the failures and setbacks and return to the desired path. The vedantic philosophy never preaches about the degradation of human soul to the level of that caged circus lion.

It is one thing to understand the failures and using one’s intellectual capacity to draw strength by learning from the failures. But it is entirely another thing to tremble in fear and accept the punishment as the final verdict. This is the moot point.

In Vedantic philosophy, punishment, hell etc are not ­ repeat not ­ the final verdict or destination. They are only setbacks in the journey. Sri Aurobindo sang the same tune when he said, ‘In God’s providence there is no evil but only good and its preparation.’ The final ‘good’ or goal is unquestionably bliss and Moksha or union with the Lord for one and all. Not a single soul shall be deprived of deliverance. All the mistakes that we commit while pursuing this goal, are in the nature of our preparation. What a tremendously uplifting thought this happens to be.

The Vedanta has made an astounding philosophical outburst- a profound pronouncement that immortality is reserved for one and every one. Sarve Amrtasya putrAh. – we are all offsprings of immortality. Is it just a thought? Just an intellectual exercise? Nay, it is a conviction born out of reasoning. It springs from that eternal truth that every created being, from the most developed ­ the human being ­ to a lowly insect has the same source and is inherently divine. Being divine, each has tremendous potential of strength, reasoning and ingenuity to lift its own self out of all the pitfalls in its journey towards its ultimate goal ­ the realization and merging with the ParamAtma.

Being divine, man does not need the fear of punishment to goad him on. Does he not possess the intellect and wisdom to correct himself? Please ask yourself this question. Does not denying man the benefit of this credit is an indirect indictment of God Himself? If Brahmeiva Jiva na parah ­ The Brahman and Jiva are one ­ then how dare anyone doubt the tremendous power of self-development inherent in man? And how dare anyone debase the human dignity by suggesting that only the fear of punishment would chastise man?

No matter how much we argue, one can not overemphasize this great realization about this basic character and potentiality of man. It is the very foundation of man’s self-confidence ­ without which man can not progress. It is the very essence of man’s individuality without which man is no better than a lump of clay.

THE INDIVIDUALITY OF MAN
This human individuality is also the basis of human spirituality. The very question ‘ who am I?’, which has foxed the intellect of all thinking people in all ages is not a question of our position linked with a place, time or name of the present life. It relates to our link with something higher and loftier. In order to understand the linkage between human life and spiritualism, we must, understand this aspect of human individuality.
To explain this, one can do no better than referring to the beautifully put arguments of Swami Vivekananda on this very subject. He has said it so convincingly.

He said in so many words while addressing a gathering. Being inseparable from God what is our individuality? And he answered: ­ That is ‘God’. Our individuality is God. This is not the individuality you have now. You are approaching toward that.

Individuality means what can not be divided. How can you call this individuality? One hour you are thinking one-way and the next hour another way and two hours after, again another way. Every particle in this body is continually changing. No one has the same body for many minutes together and yet we think of it as the same body. So it is with the mind. One moment it is happy and the next moment it is unhappy. One moment we are strong and in another moment weak. The mind is like an ever-changing whirlpool. What is then our individuality? Individuality is that which changes not - that which is beyond all things and changeless. The real individuality is that which never changes and will never change and that, is the God within us. The concept of God is a fundamental element in human constitution.

What Swami Vivekananda explains is that the Divine in us is the only non-changing attribute of us. Hence Divinity is our only individuality. Remembering this constantly gives a spiritual meaning and loftier value to life in this world.

As a matter of fact, so strong and universal is this belief that it inspired our original seers to declare with unhesitating boldness ‘Aham BrahmAsmi’ ­I am verily that Brahman ­ and all the great seers and original thinkers on Vedantic philosophy have corroborated this. Sri Aurobindo reminds us while explaining the four roots of philosophy. Nityo’nityanAm (one eternal in many transient). ChetanAschetanAnAm (the one consciousness in many consciousness). So’ham (That am I) and Aham BrahmAsmi (I am Brahman the eternal ).

The Vedanta has made an astounding philosophical outburst- a profound pronouncement that immortality is reserved for one and every one. Sarve Amrtasya putrAh. – we are all offsprings of immortality. Is it just a thought? Just an intellectual exercise? Nay, it is a conviction born out of reasoning. It springs from that eternal truth that every created being, from the most developed ­ the human being ­ to a lowly insect has the same source and is inherently divine. Being divine, each has tremendous potential of strength, reasoning and ingenuity to lift its own self out of all the pitfalls in its journey towards its ultimate goal ­ the realization and merging with the ParamAtma.

Being divine, man does not need the fear of punishment to goad him on. Does he not possess the intellect and wisdom to correct himself? Please ask yourself this question. Does not denying man the benefit of this credit is an indirect indictment of God Himself? If Brahmeiva Jiva na parah ­ The Brahman and Jiva are one ­ then how dare anyone doubt the tremendous power of self-development inherent in man? And how dare anyone debase the human dignity by suggesting that only the fear of punishment would chastise man?

No matter how much we argue, one can not overemphasize this great realization about this basic character and potentiality of man. It is the very foundation of man’s self-confidence ­ without which man can not progress. It is the very essence of man’s individuality without which man is no better than a lump of clay.

THE INDIVIDUALITY OF MAN
This human individuality is also the basis of human spirituality. The very question ‘ who am I?’, which has foxed the intellect of all thinking people in all ages is not a question of our position linked with a place, time or name of the present life. It relates to our link with something higher and loftier. In order to understand the linkage between human life and spiritualism, we must, understand this aspect of human individuality.
To explain this, one can do no better than referring to the beautifully put arguments of Swami Vivekananda on this very subject. He has said it so convincingly.

He said in so many words while addressing a gathering. Being inseparable from God what is our individuality? And he answered: ­ That is ‘God’. Our individuality is God. This is not the individuality you have now. You are approaching toward that.

Individuality means what can not be divided. How can you call this individuality? One hour you are thinking one-way and the next hour another way and two hours after, again another way. Every particle in this body is continually changing. No one has the same body for many minutes together and yet we think of it as the same body. So it is with the mind. One moment it is happy and the next moment it is unhappy. One moment we are strong and in another moment weak. The mind is like an ever-changing whirlpool. What is then our individuality? Individuality is that which changes not - that which is beyond all things and changeless. The real individuality is that which never changes and will never change and that, is the God within us. The concept of God is a fundamental element in human constitution.

What Swami Vivekananda explains is that the Divine in us is the only non-changing attribute of us. Hence Divinity is our only individuality. Remembering this constantly gives a spiritual meaning and loftier value to life in this world.

As a matter of fact, so strong and universal is this belief that it inspired our original seers to declare with unhesitating boldness ‘Aham BrahmAsmi’ ­I am verily that Brahman ­ and all the great seers and original thinkers on Vedantic philosophy have corroborated this. Sri Aurobindo reminds us while explaining the four roots of philosophy. Nityo’nityanAm (one eternal in many transient). ChetanAschetanAnAm (the one consciousness in many consciousness). So’ham (That am I) and Aham BrahmAsmi (I am Brahman the eternal ).

Author Bio :
From Ahwanm the spiritual approach to life by Sri Bimal Mohanty. http://www.ahwan.org/index.php

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