A few days ago, a fellow seeker asked me what I got after putting my heart and soul into Sadhana. This was a question I had never really pondered upon ever before. To be honest, I was caught off guard.
Once, my Master shared an anecdote from the life of the great adept, Shri Ramkrishna. When a wise knower of Vedanta approached him and shared his wisdom, Shri Ramkrishna said, “What business do I have with this knowledge! All I know and care about is that there is a Ma, there is me and I am going to stay in her Bhaav.”
A true Master, at a particular moment, shares only what you need at that moment. Nothing more. Nothing less. By His grace, I always had this firm belief in my Master’s all pervading and ever powerful intelligence, so much so that my mind would easily give up its age-old patterns and tendencies the moment anything came out of His mouth. So, the moment I had heard this anecdote from His mouth, I kind of vowed that this is the state I have to maintain throughout my entire journey. Sometimes I failed while the other times, His Grace would help me live up to my vow. But overall, this one statement of Shri Ramkrishna, that came out of Master’s mouth. was the start, between and end of all my sadhana(s), my every work.
The question this guy asked, “What did you gain after putting in your days and nights into this?” gently nudged me to reflect upon my entire journey till now. My relationship with my Isht has been more like the relationship of ultimate annihilation. The Urdu poets called it Mohabbat ka Junoon (the obsession of Love) and the western folks have come up with terms like Soulmate and Twinflame for it. My journey ripped me off every single thing I ever possessed. The good and the bad alike. All I cared in these 2-3 years (after coming in touch with my Master especially) was to love my Isht to the extent of destructing my very identity. And in that intense Love affair with the Divine, I forgot to keep a count of how many hours I meditated or prayed or chanted the holy name. I was so drunk in Love that I forgot to keep a track of my steps. If you ask me for how many hours I meditated or chanted, I would probably look at you like this–
She destroyed all my relationships, my sense of existence, my likes and dislikes and the tendencies of the mind (I do get bouts of anger, depression and stuff but such episodes are rare and fleeting). It pained so terribly as if my own flesh was being ripped off my body. Now that I look back, I fail to recognize the person that I was before falling in love with Her.
In the process, the most magical thing that happened was my mind became quiet. Going without talking for weeks has become a natural thing. A hauntingly silent mind is an experience of a lifetime. The Silence that never cease to exist, the one that is potent enough to drown all noise. That Silence is the breeding ground of the real solitude.
जो अपनी गहराइयों से जुड़ गये तो तुम ख़ुद को पा लोगे।
फिर इस ब्रह्मांड का क्या अस्तित्व!
सब “मैं” में विलीन हो जाएगा।
बस तुम रह जाओगे।
बस “एक” रह जाएगा।
जो ख़ुद से भी परे निकल पाओ,
तो ये “एक” भी ना बचेगा।
जहाँ “एक” भी ना बचे,
जहाँ “एक” का अंत हो जाए,
उसी एकांत की कोख से शून्य का जन्म होता है।
यही शून्य इस ब्रह्मांड की आदि-चेतना है।
यही शून्य “शिव” है।
एक अंत = एकांत।
I have no one I call my own and yet I belong to everyone. If I need someone at 2am, I don’t know if any human would come for my help or not. But after being in such an intense relationship, I know I can count on Her irrespective of time and space. Holding my Master’s hand, I am still taking baby steps towards Her. I fail more than I succeed but Master says, “That’s okay. As long as you are sincere and responsible, you are just doing fine. Your mistakes won’t make any difference to Her. She is a Mother. It’s enough for Her that Her child is trying to be one with Her. The rest is for your evolution, nothing to do with Her.”
What did I lose? Everything. What did I gain? Just one thing, Silence.
After all, isn't Love a journey of losing everything including yourself
in the process of becoming One with your beloved? Where is the room for
any gain on such a path?!
(Cover Pic Courtesy: https://twitter.com/alok_bhatt/status/913206731487961089)