Every superhero possesses abilities that are beyond that of common people. They use that ability to protect people from crime. From childhood, we are fascinated by their super abilities and we always long to have such ability for ourselves. All these super heroes are product of our imagination. But there is one ability that we all can develop resulting in us achieving feats that previously was impossible for us. It is “Awareness”.
Our thoughts are what makes us. Most of these thoughts are repetitive and negative. These are very effective for humans living in caves. Modern humans can do without most of them. Imagine a computer running unwanted programs in the background, this will severely hinder the ability of the computer to perform. We need to close these unwanted programs so that the system works at its peak capabilities. But as these thoughts are hardwired into our nature, it is very difficult for a person to overcome them. Now the question is how to overcome the negative emotions?
Non judgemental Awareness is the only thing that we need to remove negativity from our minds. Is Awareness so powerful?
Adi sankarar in a poetry called “Nirvana (Moksha) Shatakam (Six) tells us about our true nature. The meaning of the first Para is “I am not the mind, intellect, memory or ego. I am the form of consciousness and bliss, I am the eternal Shiva. Adi Sankara continues to state many other things which we falsely think of as “us” and states the true state of us is Consciousness. This poetry will teach us an important thing, to see our thoughts from a third party angle. When we own our thoughts and emotions we are obliged to serve them, but when we disown them or see them from a third party angle or see them as a product of our brain, we will not be enslaved by it. When we are aware of our thoughts we will be looking at our thoughts as a different entity. Even strongest of emotions and thoughts can be easily overcome over a long period of time by being aware of them and looking at them in a non-judgmental way.
Passion or Compulsion?
We all have a wrong notion about passion. Most of us when asked about our passion we invariably state our current occupation as our Passion. For the doctor, it is his practice, for a businessman it is his business. Itch to do the practise or to look after the business will be there till we die. Retirement will only be a distant dream. It will become a compulsion without which void will be formed giving us pain. In Baghavath Gita Krishna teaches us about “Swadharma” which might sound like passion but a subtle difference is there. Krishna says “We should act to exhaust our saṁskāra (subconscious habitual tendencies) and dissolve the rigid patterns clouding our intellect”.
If we act with Awareness we will not be reinforcing the old habits , or developing new ones. If we act without Awareness we will be strengthening these tendencies and will be working till we die. Our passion will become a compulsion and will burden us.
Your victory is not yours if not done consciously.
Can a puppet claim that it acts well? It cannot right. Most of our acts are due to our thoughts and emotions. Our victories and failures are result of such acts. And when we don’t have any control over such thoughts and emotions how can we claim the victories as ours? Any act done without our Awareness are not our acts. If Kohli is not conscious or aware he cannot celebrate his success, it is just a byproduct of his genes, conditioning and random thoughts that arises in his mind. He was just lucky.
Forgive those who did harm to you
By the same logic, we don’t even have to own our failures and Ill behaviour? If we do so we will only contribute to our downfall. But there is one place where we can use this logic. Imagine a relative or a random person committing a crime against you. You wonder why he did that to me, I was good to him and so on. These thoughts will destroy our peace of mind. This is where we can use the logic. He did what he did because of various reasons. Make no mistake I am not asking you to love him or give him another chance. All that I am saying is he has done it without Awareness. If we live a life without Awareness we too will end up committing crimes that we never intend to do.
Third Eye – Awareness.
One of the distinct features of Shiva is his “Third Eye”. There are many stories regarding it. Once Kamadeva (God of Desires including love and lust), shoots a arrow at Shiva. Shiva opened his third eye and burned the Kama to ashes. Like every story this story too has a esoteric meaning, in fact surprisingly this story is very open. We don’t need to decipher much. The only point we need to understand here is that the third eye is Awareness. As discussed above if we see our thoughts and emotions from a third party view we can overcome these thoughts.
What makes us humans?
When we live a life without Awareness, We are also like machines but with life. How different are we from animals whose brain always is in fight or flight mode? Should we also procreate when a hormone commands us? Should we live a life in auto mode?
Awareness is what makes us humans. It can remove negativity and help you achieve your full potential. It helps us in getting freedom from our hormones and we can start living our life the way we want. A life that will enrich us and of those around us. A life which we will feel proud of. A life which you can claim as ours. It is the only superpower we would ever need.