TRUTH Beyond Business
A Journey into Thy Self
Excerpts from book of Acharya Tulsi
God is an embodiment of Truth rather than a historical hero.
Our devotion to him is devotion to Truth for he himself devoted his entire life to the search, attainment and dissemination of Truth. He vitalized collective spiritual discipline through rigorous spiritual exertion.
The ideals of non-possessiveness, non-violence, freedom, harmony, co-existence and equality have already begun to become universal today as against violence, discrimination, material wealth, etc.
Spiritual liberation cannot be attained without getting freedom from the passions of attachment and aversions.
Attachment to material comforts and sensuous pleasures is one of the instincts of man. It leads men to conflicts of interests. But when conflicts reach their climax, people are by necessity driven to seek spiritual solutions. This situation is a prelude to the advent of a great spiritual leader who would lift society to a higher stage of spiritual development. When the psychological background for a qualitative change has been prepared, society takes a leap.
Change is the universal law of nature.
The rising sun floods the whole world with light, but when it sets, everything is again plunged into darkness. This drama is enacted every day. Spiritual leaders appeared on the stage of history like the rising sun and enlivened the world with the light of non violence, equanimity and equality, but soon after their nirvana the spiritual movement begins to grow thin. Followers become inactive. The elementary Truth is that every particle of the world shines by the light of the sun and as soon as the sun sets, the particles grow dark. This has been the fate of history of mankind also. Those who illumine the world with their own light are very few indeed and the world seldom shines by its own light.
Spiritual leader / follower is:
One who exerts himself
One who is calm and maintains equanimity
One who treats every one equally.
Spiritual leaders are born after having gone through several cycles of births and rebirths and in which they have spiritually exerted themselves. In the ultimate birth cycle their soul attains liberation (freedom from being born again).
It is common knowledge that the mind of a child grows with the growth of his sense organs and the brain.
Knowledge is not innate in the mind of a child. Prince Mahavir commanded extra sensory perception while he was still in the womb of his mother.
In his earlier lives Prince Mahavir had performed long penances. He would remain absorbed in meditation for a whole month without eating anything. At the end of the month he would take meals for a single day only and then again begin month long meditation. These penances and meditations lasted for years and years. Subtle (delicate) powers had come to acquire perfect control over gross ones. By removing the effects of karma enveloping his consciousness he had permanently developed the capacity of direct perception.
While it was still in the womb of his mother, the child out of compassion for his mother decided not to move and stir in the womb. Why it should cause pain to its mother or to anyone, it thought. Its soul had been soaked in non-violence and compassion from time immemorial. This caused anxiety to his mother and she became worried as the foetus was not stirring in the womb. The unborn child perceived what was happening in the external world. He saw sadness in the whole atmosphere of the palace. The child reflected “That what is done for good of others is treated as distressful. The world is accustomed to gross things only beyond which it is not capable of imagining anything. Hence it stirred and brought joy to the mother. The child in the womb reflected upon the mental state of his parents and resolved not to become an ascetic during the lifetime of his parents.
Success in life depends on two factors: wisdom and energy. Wisdom unattended by energy is pitiable and energy uncontrolled by wisdom is dangerous. A harmonious combination of the two makes a man fearless and strong.
Mahavir lived in the royal palace with comforts but his mind was turned inwards into the depths of his self.
He was unattached to everything. His unwilling marriage did not disturb his spiritual preoccupations. Marriage implies duality. One has to enter into worldly relations with another being. The husband’s consciousness will have to be diverted to the external world.
The death of his parents did not affect him at all as the spiritual heights he had attained made him averse to pleasures and pains. He had a direct perception of the Truth. He did not take death seriously. It was a normal happening in life.
Man’s ego remains shared by the attractions of the world when his spiritual consciousness is undeveloped. Once the spirit wakes up, sensuous pleasures do not attract him any more and the world appears to be tasteless. Being a prince, he adopted an attitude of equality and compassion towards everyone instead of an authoritarian attitude. He realized his self and remained in a state of complete surrender of all worldly activities. He had acquired complete control over his sense organs. He had mastered the process of meditation with full control over his speech.
He did not like wealth accumulating in the hands of a few.
He gave up all his wealth to the needy everyday during the last one year before his renunciation, till he had nothing to give. The course of giving ended and that of non- possession began.
On an auspicious day, the prince renounced the world and seated in a palanquin left home for the forest escorted by thousands of people. He was 30 years old. He was fasting for the past 2 days. One who is not able to distinguish between the soul and the body attaches value to the body, but one who has the right knowledge to distinguish between the two puts a premium on the soul alone.
For him living for the body is no life at all. He lives in order to liberate the soul from the bondage of the world. It is necessary to free oneself from the limitations imposed by the body in order that the soul might be liberated. Fasting is a part and parcel of this process of liberation. Fasting leads a man into the independent world of the soul. Only those who have attained self enlightenment can renounce the world.
The prince alighted from the palanquin, stood under a tree and became an ascetic. The prince stood looking towards the horizon between the east and the north. His face beamed with joy and a divine light shone on his forehead. The whole atmosphere pulsated with joy and enthusiasm. Folding both his hands the prince said, “I bow to the Perfect Beings”. As soon as he had dedicated himself to the attainment of liberation, his egotism and attachment disappeared.
He resolved whole-heartedly to follow the principle of equanimity and not to do any action born of attachment and aversion. Attachment and aversion give birth to inequality and sin. One who renounces passions becomes unfettered and is free from inhibitions. He no more belonged to the kingdom he had left behind. He had now entered an empire where there were no rulers and the ruled. He transcended the limitations of time and space completely cutoff from his people. The last stage of spiritual development is a state of loneliness.
The seeds of spiritual strength are inherent in every man. What is needed is a strong will for them to sprout.
After becoming an ascetic his will power began to exert itself. He shed all fear and took the entire world to be a testing ground for his courage.
Fear remains entrenched in the body. One who attaches no importance to the body is never afraid of anything. By giving up attachment to his body, he became fearless.
Fear is born of the desire for possessions. He became fearless because he had assumed an attitude of non possession.
Fear takes root in us when we feel that we have enemies. He became fearless because he assumed an attitude of friendliness towards everyone.
He began to traverse the path leading to infinity. He never thought of what was going to happen to him the next day. He did not care for food, shelter and the inclemency of the weather. All the anxieties disappeared with the renunciation of his interest in his body. Even a month long starvation did not interfere with his practice of spiritual discipline. He took shelter in abandoned houses, places of worship and under the forest trees. He experienced no difficulty as he had put clothes of self certainty, lived in the home of consciousness and drew strength from the subtle spiritual world. He was no longer in a egocentric body. He was now firmly entrenched in himself.
When man is in such a body, he longs to live and is afraid of death. He desires comforts and fears pain. He pins for fame and fears being criticized. He is greedy of gains and fears losses.
The perception of Direct Truth, the state of Perfect Knowledge as well as Liberation is attained through one’s own spiritual exertion. It is their own strength that helps them. Usually the involvements in the world do not allow people to take any interest in the Truth.
An extrovert is always bound by external ties, whereas an introvert is always free. Mahavir experienced freedom within himself, he experienced Truth within himself.
It is true that once we get attached to the external world, we lose sight of the Existence within and once we become absorbed within the Existence within we become free from the worries of the external world.
Duel of love and rage
A snake occupied a forest hermitage, where no one dared to enter as the person on whom it cast a glance would be burnt to ashes. Mahavir entered the hermitage against the advice of the cowboys as his soul had transcended life and death.
He walked up to the interior of the hermitage and began to meditate in a standing position. The snake appeared on the scene and became enraged when it sensed that someone had encroached its domain.
It spread its hood, looked at the sun and looked at Mahavir. The snake began to spray its poison which spread over the aura around Mahavir’s body. The entire atmosphere became poisoned but Mahavir remained unaffected.
He stood motionless in a atmosphere charged with poison. An endless stream of spiritual compassion flowed from his steady gaze at the snake. There ensued a duel between love and rage, nectar and poison.
Seeing all this, the snake could not believe its eyes. It spitted more poison but finding the man unaffected, its rage knew no bounds. It tried many attempts and failed to reduce Mahavir to ashes. It moved near Mahavir, but the latter was perfectly composed. While the serpent sprayed poison at Mahavir, he continued to look at it kindly. It was a strange tussle between love and anger. The snake bit the foot of Mahavir and blood began to flow from it.
After repeated bites, Mahavir was still perfectly composed. The serpent coiled round the body of Mahavir but could not upset him. The snake lost its self – confidence and presumptuousness. Its anger disappeared and it became calm. It ate a humble pie. Its grip on Mahavir’s body began to become loose. Love and compassion became victorious.
When Mahavir’s meditation was over, he saw the snake docilely sitting before him. He addressed the snake, “Be calm, you are born as a snake because you had been a victim of anger in your previous lives. You were an ascetic and you had trampled a frog to death. One of your disciples had entreated you to do a penance for the sin but you refused to do so. Enraged by the repeated entreaties of your disciple you tried to strike him and having lost your senses you crashed your head against a pillar and died. In the next life you became head of this hermitage. Once a prince came to this hermitage and plucked fruits and flowers, you ran behind him with an axe and were fatally injured by your own axe when you slipped and fell into a ditch. After the death you are now born as a serpent. You have already suffered much due to your passionate nature. Leave the passion of anger and be peaceful once for all”. The serpent began to remember its past lives. Its heart changed and the seeds for equality for living beings began to sprout in it.
Mahavir performed penance for 12 years, 6.5 months. He would meditate in the forests and enter a village when he had to seek food. He never accepted food especially prepared for him. He observed fasting most of the time, meditated and spoke little. He immersed himself in the depths of his soul in a state of intense meditation.
When he became an ascetic, he developed another knowledge – perception of thoughts of other people’s minds. During his penance period, on his visits to villages, he was instrumental in abolishing the slavery system. His continuous fast for 5 months and 25 days changed the hearts and the mental attitude of people.
Attainment of omniscience
His penance period of 12 years and 6.5 months came to an end when he attained the state of omniscience – kevalgyana (state of perfect universal knowledge). On the river banks of a village he was meditating under a tree. He had been fasting and had not taken water for past 2 days. In a state of deep meditation, he established himself in perfect equanimity, extirpated the karmas responsible for delusion, ignorance, imperceptions, and spiritual weakness and at once attained the state of omniscience. He had a direct perception of his own self and the whole world. He became omniscient.
In his theory, Man is the maker of his own fate, nobody else is. Even karma is not such a controlling force, for man himself is the maker of karma. Man is bound to suffer the consequences of his karma, but not to the extent that he cannot change its course. His spiritual exertion and valor will eliminate his karmas. Once the karma is completely obliterated, man’s power to know, to be detached, and to act freely begins to operate fully.
If karma remains only partially dissolved, than man’s power expresses itself occasionally and not continuously. This process of manifestation and suppression of man’s power goes on. During this process sometimes karma and sometimes man’s power has the upper hand. As gold does not cease to be gold even if it is heated in the fire, an enlightened man does not cease to be enlightened on being tortured by the effects of karma.
Thereafter, Mahavir disseminated the Truth through his sermons for
30 years and improved social values.
Lord Mahavir preaching the Kings.
Liberation at the age of 72 years
Mahavir had been fasting for the last 2 days. He did not even take water. He had been delivering long sermons. After completing his final sermon he entered into silence and adopted the lotus posture of yoga. His body was completely motionless and relaxed. He became emancipated from his gross as well as his subtle bodies and became free from the shackles of birth and death. The pure and serene light of his soul attained the perfect state.
Man desires only ASCENT in business.
Spiritual awakening requires DESCENT into thy own self.
Enjoy Life. Enjoy Business. Awaken your spirituality.