Life is like the sky, sometimes cloudy, other times, very clouded. The same sky offers a completely different view depending on the time of the day. At night it is full of stars and the waning or the waxing moon. During the day, it is full of light. Artificial lighting of cities make the beautiful star-studded sky hazy. The same sky when covered with clouds hides both the very bright sun or the soft moon. Clouds seem to come from nowhere followed by rain. Sometimes the same cloudy sky dislodges a hail storm, other times, the very quiet but cold snow.

If you look up, you are looking at the infinite sky. If you look straight you may be greeted by the horizon creating the illusion of sky meeting earth. Rain, thunder, showers, snowfall, even day or the night are merely transient phases in the sky. The sky does not get affected by it. It remains infinite and blue. Moods of various seasons are allowed, if not accepted, by the sky in an unassuming and unattached fashion. It does not lose its unsullied nature. You can move to any part of the world, the sky stays the same. Whether it is the noisy jet that is flying or the quiet trackless bird, the sky does not discriminate. The clouds may be in the sky but the sky is not in the clouds. How ideal!

Similarly, a life of purity will always be like the blue sky. If you are always aiming for something higher, a terminal point may never come just like if you are running towards the horizon, there is never a finish line. A rainbow always emerges in the clean sky. And sky is often clear and clean soon after the downpour. When you are experiencing rainy days, take an umbrella or sit tight, be patient, clear days are just round the corner. If you always want a clear sky, you may have to live in the normally inhabitable deserts. When life appears dark like the sky on the night of new moon, you can settle your gaze at the glimmering stars. When sun is spewing fire, do not stare at it. Let it be certain in your mind that all the colors of sky are only the most temporary phases.

Your true nature like the blue sky is unaffected by all internal and external phenomena. If you always find it cloudy and muggy, you are merely looking at a photograph depicting that weather. Removal of that picture (read thought) from your sight will unveil a new one. It is merely your conditioned self that you do not experience the pleasant tropical weather all the time. When you turn inward, the sky is beautifully blue with pleasant temperature. You can be by the seaside or the Himalayas anytime you wish, absolutely at will. There is a microcosm in you. When you know who you really are, the clouds of ignorance and all negative emotions dissipate promptly. Only the warmth of love, the radiance of peace, the shower of grace, the clouds of compassion, the soft moon of kindness, and forbearance of the sky remains. You remain pure, unblemished, for that is how you really are.

The dawn always follow the dusk, summers are greeted by the winters, days follow nights, but, these all are ephemeral expressions of duality; expressions of the conditioned mind and an interdependent phenomena. Is light absence of darkness, or, is darkness absence of light? Is joy lack of sorrow, or, is sorrow lack of joy? Is heat absence of cold, or, is cold absence of heat? In essence, these are subjective characterizations and dependent on the conditioning of an individual. A farmer in Australia may feel pleasant at thirty five degrees Celsius whereas an immigrant from Alaska may sweat at twenty five.

While experiences of the body can not just be ignored, all things experienced by the mind can be turned into a sublime and uniform experience, a divine one. It is not that the self-realized will not feel heat or cold, he will bear both with grace. That is only for the external phenomena; for all emotions, desires and the like, the self-realized remains unaffected, unperturbed and alike — just like the sky.

Free yourself. Know yourself. Be yourself. Realize your Self.

Peace.
Swami

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