Knowledge is the Largest Miracle # 2

Death and Life

Oh! Life proceeding towards death takes me to-wards those moments which I had at one time seen while lying under mulberry trees or seen while walking along the G.T. Road. The moments with the whirring sound of the flour-mill, the moments which receive their nurture in deep despair, the moments which embody deep humiliation and shame, always appealed to me.
The moments, which I was in search for, are now coming to me as I proceed towards death. My feelings and perceptions, which are getting their nourishment in the shade of death, solved a riddle of life.
This is above greed and attachment,
Far from the unrest of longing desire
This showed the imperfect, insatiable Shaheer, part of a path leading to perfection.
Tables are turned, there is the reversal of the situation, unconsciousness turns into consciousness, and death begins to change into life.
With the change of direction my impressions have not been destroyed.
When worldly interests ended, I had a glimpse of nature. I changed and for me the entire shape of the world changed. The world puts on the garb of nature and becomes my director. Now what has remained unchanged?
Impressions—environment—surroundings—habits? Now with this new direction, a new film of life begins. Though the film is new, the material to be used is still worldly, therefore the same turmoil! Staunch determination with new enthusiasm undertakes a new travel. The bursting buds of new longings lend me a new efficiency and begin to teach the new page of the successful art of living; every bit of experience becomes for me the milestone and begins to rebuild a new efficiency.
Then what did I see?
I saw the hubbub of mind seeking for solitude where the aroma of quietude, the savory murmur of feelings, and the peace tranquility residing in the summit of my experience, all fell within the range of my apprehension. Thereby my individual shape and appearance begin to acquire a balance. This equilibrium raises circles of tranquility near the center of my whirlwind. In this quietude and peace there are puffs of beautiful sensibilities. Not only that, I also feel that the weight of this peace is only five or six kilograms and lies in my belly in the shape of a ball. I begin to safeguard it as though I have become pregnant; my behaviour changed. The uniqueness of this feeling lent my skin softly.
The moments of today demand that:
Life remains a problem only till one realizes how to face its challenges.
The new perceptions of this new direction have begun to renovate this life’s every moment. My habit of striking parallels and contrasts has begun to bring into relief to this spiritual voyage.
I see the state of comparison emerging from peace and relaxation, a logical angle of vision filled with firmness and determination which passes in daily life.
Five years back, before the year 1999, my life was purely sentimental and on this account, for me, the world itself was an emotional field. A field fraught with suffocation, helplessness, imperfections, tension, thought, and reflection; it was a battleground of worries and anxieties. Here the clash lies, not between material objects but between feelings and passions. My longing was very deep and I wished that everybody would have peaceful and happiness, a smile turning into a guffaw, and the embrace of oneness! Under the burden of this knotty problem, my mental balance was disturbed and I would weep and cry bitterly!
My department of intellect was on leave! I was quite unaware of the term 'wisdom', and Shaheer was the compound of mere sensibilities. My state of mind was piteous, though filled with pious desires, but in a state of listlessness. I failed to understand what I was to do and what I was not to do. Even the question of such reflections did not arise, only the flow of feelings and passions swept me away. I had no desire for any article or any approved persuasion. For me, my feelings and sentiments were my God. In every desire of mine you might catch a glimpse of the desire for other’s happiness and longing for oneness. However I found my life always full of tension, suffocation, and listlessness; for I was condemned and censured, my sentiments mocked at. Existence was considered humble and mean; my bold courage and enthusiasm were taken for nonsense.
I would keep reflecting upon:
Will no one ever understand my feelings and perceptions?
The moments of today smile with tearful eyes and say, “What do you take yourself for? O you, stupid fellow! Just see through me today, the latent layer of you.” For your pure, immaculate feelings and sentiments a beautiful life has welcomed you. However darkness has disappointed you, and on this account, you have to experience the fatigue of sensibilities and the suffocation of despair! Just ponder over it:
Q- What did you do then?
A- Only satiating my desires and passions.
Q- How?
A- With a plan and endeavour.
Q- Why?
A- For I longed for you.
Q- Who were you?
A- An existence groping in the darkness of ignore-ance.
Q- Why was there this darkness?
A- Because there was no light.
Q- Light? What light?
A- Light of reason, sense, and knowledge.
Q- Why was there no light?
A- Because I was full of ego.
The ego that is hidden behind vices is never so deep as the ego hidden behind virtues.
Today, as I glance at this hauteur of mine, I imagine how today's pilgrimage unstitches the subtle veils of the mind and the intellect introduces me to my own frailties.
That strength and courage that lay suppressed assumes the shape of cinders and begins to demolish the fortress of hauteur. The enthusiasm of this courageous new energy begins to endeavour in the interests of my life: to demonstrate the loftiness of the Unknown summit and to create a healthy environment.
That hauteur which keeps bedecking itself in the garb of sweet virtues begins to appear in its stark nakedness in the smouldering lava of my quiet state, on the verge of eruption. The hearing of my unfinished longings and insatiable passions begins in the court of quietness; my being makes endless efforts to see itself in the garb of perfection. My wish, passing through this sphere of action, goes on forming its own colourful designs.
The moments of today resolve a latent mystery of life—is our imperfection the originator of our discontent, instability, imbalance, and restlessness? Does Perfection come only through knowledge?
I had never known that within me only healthy, sweet, and gentle ideas hummed a tune; still this beauty of mine, my enthusiasm, my efforts, and my individuality were annihilated. Then why did the plane of my mind always gyrate over these sensibilities? Then why did it fail? My existence was not confined within the bounds of “I” and “mine,” but remained free in this age of Materialism, even remained free in the domain of passions. Then whose slavery did it undergo? Why did my life roll on the rail of tension and unrest?
Today, I see, in the duration of the moments that have gone by, I have always misunderstood my 'self'. I did not understand its secret, for I could not make it out. For whenever I see the land of my longing desires there is no callousness of any selfishness; then why am I always in the state of mental imbalance?
Were all my feelings wrong?
Was my field of action wrong?
Was my method of approach wrong?
However whenever I sought to know myself, the beauty of my feelings and sentiments makes me happy, though there is always some element of pain in my mental conflict.
Nevertheless the moments of today teach me that:
Today, takes its birth from yesterday, which flowers consolation and contentment on the branches of good wishes. Those good and august feelings remove rust from intellect and a polluted mind and provide a means for the realization of one's individuality. If our feelings are good, our actions too will be good. Let there be goodness and virtue, though there can be no peace and satisfaction without knowledge. The acquisition of knowledge is possible only when we accept our lack of ability and incapacity.
Thundering, aggressive desires and echoing temptations ever rule us because of differences in individuality—all looks separate and isolated.
Our feelings and sentiments, august or dismal, raise enclosures of 'I' and 'mine' and take a concrete shape by becoming ‘ego,’ a manifestation in the depth of our being, dragging our life. My being found much relief and comfort by virtue of feelings and emotions, but because of egotism and pride, my unrest and torment increased. Because the root of my feelings lay in the soil of my Sanskaras, what were my feelings and passions?
I have ever wished to see everyone happy, to see during my lifetime everyone living in oneness and homogeneity—the feeling of mutual love. It was my desire to be rid of suffocation, helplessness, and incompletion.
From where did these ideas of wishing good for others originate?
They got their birth from the womb of my suffocation, helplessness, and incapacity. My existence became magnet, which attracted the situation of human rights towards me. I tossed and convulsed a lot, had neither any peace in the daytime nor at night. To mitigate my anguish I also used knife and dagger upon myself, hoping that the physical pain might lighten my mental pain. On the worldly plane, on the material level, and on the social level I was happy from the personal point of view. My pain began at the sight of any sad human countenance. If I could not bear to see the face of an unhappy life, what else could I do?
Another thing—
If I glanced at the people living around me, they all look very selfish and weak. In their limited field of existence they led a hopeless and disgusted type of life, with dreadful ugliness they settled the wrong of their actions, and in the intensity of their inferiority complex they collected the gloom of their low and mean deeds and did nothing else. Their mode of life suggested a direction for my life.
My moments moistened themselves in the demon-stration of my love; they would buy gifts for people. My tears wished happiness and good luck for them. Even the firmness of my determined footsteps could do anything for them. On the contrary, they all bestowed upon me the title of a crazy, foolish simpleton!
I—laughed hilariously—laughed to the extreme—laughed to my capacity—laughed whole-heartedly, until I was exhausted. When the brake was applied to my laughter, the train of depression started. Nevertheless, my good sentiments never let me be influenced by these repugnant, crude, or ugly sights nor allowed me to become a party to this roughness.
The moments of today say:
“Shaheer, are you alone aware of this sense of roughness and ugliness? Does not anyone else? They are used to living in their own feelings and emotions; those were your sentiments. In everybody's sentiments lies latent the completion of this individuality.”
Today, with the moment flowing through the window of awareness, it sees that others are in a happy state. The feelings of others fill me with the realization of my own imperfection; the sadness of all reminds me of my own sadness.
My life started at the emotive level, needing a material field that was not in my grasp. My life of material enjoyment and satiety remained complete, but the value of commodities remained poor. It always seemed a folly to me to win praise for a false status, to endure mental tortures, and to pass life in foolish selfishness. Then how could my pain and unrest vanish? I was not awakened enough to know of it.
I always found the lives of pundits, priests, and granthis shallow, boring, selfish, false, and stressful. Despite pains and frustrations in their lives, they all looked contented, they slept well at night, and they lived in pursuit of material goods and rejoiced in collecting them, but I was always unhappy. Why?
Was I weak?
Was I off my head?
No, I was neither weak nor off my head. In reality some sense of imperfection kept suffocating me, some hollowness trampled over my existence. At times, my thoughts grew sickly and were lost in the clumsiness of my dangerous feeling but with no result. These moments of unrest only put a strain on my life and grabbed my breaths. I cannot say what power it was that put a stop to my wrong steps.
The present moments say that: strength permeating, passing through the breaths was the firmness of that aspiration that took me out of grip of the contradictory feelings and emotions. There was an aspiration to become perfect and to secure my freedom. Meanwhile these painful misgivings, sobbing comforts, and peels of laughter, all were the sonatas to pacify the distress; dreadful situations that lay soaked in the enthusiasm of that firmness gave birth to a new life. The first step of this new life fell into the world of thought and reflection. My emotional world stood apart and my sweet entry took place in a thought-provoking world. On coming out of the grotto of emotions and passions, I found this thought-provoking world beautiful. I remember when intellect opened its door; I at once raised and shut the door, for my understanding was impeded by feelings and emotions.
Nevertheless, today, I learn that life is very profound and its other end is unknown; life’s field of experience is very vast. With this awareness, still more energy, infinite courage, and deep enthusiasm stepped in. A firm resolve begins to visit wisdom and good sense.
Lame excuses, shallow schemes, irrelevant beliefs, and false promises give comfort to my distress all begin to vanish. Frightened despairs, turn their back and left. Deep problems begin to be resolved as well as entangled; the dreadful state of helplessness and the suffocating situation take their stand in the queue of time to bid farewell. The freshness of feelings and emotions, the beauty of life, and the capacity for dedication all join in a chorus. The fatigue of my life and the unrest fall into a deep sleep in the lap of peace. Now start the philanthropic flow of the art of living.
Today, my swinging steps stand at the threshold of life and embark upon an expedition to seek pastures brave and new.
What is life? What is this world?
These and similar questions, holding the skirt of the present day moment, enter this intellectual field. Gradually, as the stream of ideas flow, my thoughts finds maturity, my angle of vision finds courage, and my life becomes rich and sublime.
My reflections caused my life to find a unique and worthy pride of immaculacy and transparency. Then it began to assess the worth of my feelings and passions of ideas, and then, of material layers; because of it, my life, after passing through the sighing moments of helplessness, the existence tormented by helplessness, and the suffocating daily life, began to breathe with satisfaction and satiety.
I remember the time gone by, when chanting 'Wahiguru,' 'Wahiguru,' my throat and tongue had lost all vitality. My plight became miserable; the body was exhausted. How do I get rid of this parrot-like repetition? I wished to cut my throat and, thus silence my tongue and throat. On the day I got rid of it, I felt the beauty of an unparalleled lightness.
Today, again, I am facing the same circumstances. Am I tired of my ideas? I feel so speedy as if I had covered a distance not of several years but of several ages. Day or night, a question or an answer, my words and deeds were most powerful, as though the present moments had paid off the cost of millions of past-moments. These moments attach little importance to patience and contentment and the frenzied diligence exhausted my intellect.
Amidst the fatigue of this predicament, another predicament besieged me and I began to feel acutely that I was playing merely a puppet. I had this perception in the past also, but today it came in full magnitude. When the bondage of my limited range was fully complete, I felt acutely perturbed about myself.
Today, I know that the intellect enables us to understand everything except itself. I have the sense of living in external life, but I have no rest or relaxation. Though the visit to each encampment is brief, I am buried under the deep pressure of boredom and fatigue. Perhaps this life wants to tinge me in the apparel of a special meaning. This realization brings some patience to my existence.
For nearly three months, I remained actively engaged in this speedy journey of the mind and the intellect, and became exhausted. Despite this exhaustion, I surveyed the whole situation carefully and said, “Shaheer, the person whom these moments suckle and support is highly lucky. Today, these moments have given birth; you have become highly blessed.”