We have to think - “How detached are we to the negative qualities? How detached are we to our desires?” The Guru teaches us that we can be free from desires only when we attain the state of Nirvana - Jeevanmukti. We must accept the fact that what has to come will come and what has to go will go. We must just flow with the flow. We must us offer everything to the Lotus feet of the Guru. This is not a pessimistic attitude but this is the right attitude. That means we have to calm down and this calmness is nothing but peace from deep within us. “You must be a man of action, but sacrifice the fruits of your actions” says Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita. So, we must let go of the fruits of our actions by offering it to the Guru. This is because the Guru himself is pure. When we do this, he will give us purity completely.
Often religion is mistaken for spirituality. People feel that religion is the binding factor than a liberating factor due to various traditions and customs that are prescribed by our scriptures, saints and sages from time immemorial. Peoplewho cannot keep up with the statue prescribed, condemn them as the binding and constricting factor. The state of bliss is the state of freedom and liberation from all our negativity. This can be attained only through firm anchoring of ourselves with the spiritual code of conduct, mental discipline, dedication and devotion which only the Guru can teach us. A great saint Swami Muktananda, who himself is a great example for being a dedicated disciple of his Guru once said, “Religion is not a business for idle people, it is not a pursuit for people who have nothing else to do in life”.
It is true that we have to bind ourselves to righteousness or dharma to attain artha, kama and moksha. That is why sanatana dharma is based on the four cornerstones of Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. The four cornerstones can also be Dharma, Artha, Ahimsa and Prema. So, Dharma is the base. It is the foundation. We must come out of the notion that only sanyasis and can attain liberation.
One cannot attain liberation or knowledge only be wearing a saffron robe or shaving his head or by becoming a sanyasin or a monk. One has to be a true renunciate. This is what the Guru teaches us. He teaches us how to be in this world and yet not remain attached to it. Once again, King Janaka is a perfect role model for us. He ruled his kingdom by firmly abiding the laws of statesmanship, however, personally he was a renunciate. He didn’t have to wear a saffron robe to prove that. That is exactly what we should understand today. We have families. We work in various capacities. We may be a boss to a few people at the same time we are also answerable to our bosses! Spirituality doesn’t say give up your work, responsibility and sit under a banyan tree.
Spirituality only teaches us that sense of “I” called the ego is pulling us down all the time. Instead of bragging all the time that I AM THE BOSS, I AM THE HUSBAND, I AM THE WIFE, I AM THE MOTHER, it teaches us to say “I AM THE PURE ENERGY OF GOD .I AM THE TRUTH, I AM CONSCIOUSNESS AND I AM BLISS”. This is how spirituality changes our viewpoint of the whole life itself. Through the righteous principles imparted by our Guru, we must make our State as THAT. That is why the great Maha Vakya says - “THOU ART THAT’.
When we as disciples go to the Guru after cutting off the veil of anti-principle in us, we will be able to see that the inner light which enables us to see, experience, perceive and function in the world is the ‘Guru’.
Extract from ‘The Force of Nirvana’ by Shri Shri Nimishananda