|Vedanta Spiritual Library|
Module - F
Unit - F02
Lesson - 0210: What should we do?
By Raja Subramaniyan
Our only purpose of being here in the world is to enjoy life. Although we want to enjoy life all the time, we are not able to due to various obstacles. The first step towards this destination is to recognize the miseries of our life.
Statement 16: Recognize that we are leading a miserable life.
While the environment is conducive and nice, we feel that we are happy. This is miserable life because we are a prisoner of the environment and we do not have absolute control over the environment.
Only human beings are capable of getting fully liberated from all the miseries of the world and live joyfully. (Inert objects do not suffer or enjoy. Other living beings suffer/ enjoy as dictated by the environment since they do not have the capability to acquire the required knowledge to live joyfully)
Although capable, not all the human beings will get the liberation because most of them are searching for joyful living in the wrong direction. They are under the assumption by correcting the environment and making it conducive, they can reach the goal of Joyful Living. This is an erroneous belief.
Statement 17: Know that it is possible to be liberated from all miseries of the world and live joyfully forever
Most human beings do not consider this as a possibility. They accept that miseries are part of life and they think that one has to possibly reduce their frequency and impact or endure them
This is a wrong notion. As and when they realize that it is possible to get fully liberated from all the miseries, they will cross this hurdle and progress to the next step.
Statement 18: Identify that the root cause of all the miseries is ignorance
This is a very difficult step to cross.
Initially human beings tend to think that the misery is caused by external objects/ events/ persons. Each misery in their life is assumed to be due to varied reasons. After some experience, they will assume that money will solve most of the miseries. It will take a while for them to figure out the root cause is their ignorance.
When they understand this, they move on to the next step
Statement 19: Understand that the knowledge is the only solution.
After recognizing that the ignorance is the root cause of all their miseries, people tend to act in different ways to drive the ignorance. They may start meditating or praying to the lord, do service to the society etc in order to erase their ignorance.
When they understand acquiring the right knowledge is the only way to remove their ignorance they progress to the next step.
Statement 20: Realize that the enquiry is the only way to gain knowledge.
The true knowledge can be gained only through enquiry. Enquiry is required when we have wrong knowledge. If we are ignorant of any subject, we can gain knowledge by reading/ listening. No enquiry is required. Only when we have wrong knowledge we need to enquire to get the right knowledge.
One should commence the enquiry on Living beings, Universe and Self, because one has wrong knowledge on all these aspects.
Statement 21: Ensure consistent, continuous and complete enquiry.
There should be a strong desire for Joyful Living. Only then, there will be seriousness in the enquiry. Enquiry is not a mere intellectual exercise. Unless one has deeply wishing to get liberated from miseries, the enquiry cannot be sustained for long.
It is essential this enquiry should be consistent and continuous until the right knowledge is gained.
It may be easy for someone to claim that since the universe is seen obviously, there should be a creator of the universe. This is a very generic knowledge. One needs to continue the enquiry to find the specific knowledge of the universe.
When we perceive that the universe is present, the IS ness belongs to ONE. Borrowing the IS ness from ONE, the universe appears to be present. It also claims the property of 'reality', which it does not have from ONE.
Example: A bangle made of gold borrows the IS ness from gold. If gold is not there bangle will not exist. In addition, the bangle claims that it weighs 20 gram. The weight belongs to the gold and not to the bangle. The bangle is just a name and form. It does not have any weight.
Similarly, the universe is merely a form. It appears to be real substance by borrowing the IS ness of ONE.
Enquiry should be done until one gets this right knowledge.