When the student who is unable to understand what the mind is all about, but torn apart in the world of names and forms, surrenders at the feet of a teacher in tears, the ever compassionate master says, “Be not afraid, O learned one! There is no danger for you. There is a way by which you can swim across the ocean of transmigration and change. I will show you that path by the help of which you can cross and reach the shores of this ocean.”
There is a great way by which you can get rid of the fear of change. By swimming across this ocean of existence, you can attain supreme bliss. How does one cross this ocean called Samsara or change? It is by contemplating on the meaning of the words of Vedantic discourses. As a result of such churning, supreme knowledge rises in the heart. By the aid of this knowledge, you can see an end to all the extreme sorrow that you face as you struggle through this ocean indeed.
There is an attachment to the notion that the body is me. This is caused by the ignorant thought called Avidya. To be free of this thought in the very near future, the student must cultivate qualities such as shraddha or an intense faith in the means shown by the teacher and the scriptures, love and devotion, meditation and an intense longing to be free. These are the causes mentioned in the books of knowledge to help us be free of the bondage of change.
The effect of ignorance can be burnt from its very roots if you who, on account of your association with the ignorance of your true self, has confused that supreme truth to be something that is bound, material and subject to changes such as birth and death. With the fire of knowledge that helps you to discriminate between what is the true self and what is not, this ignorance can be blasted thoroughly.Hearing this from the teacher, the student seeks an answer for a question, which alone can make his mind experience peace.
The question of one verse has seven parts to it. “What is this bondage? How has it come? How did it get established? How can I be free of this bondage? What indeed is not the true self? What is the real supreme self? How do I learn to distinguish between the two? Please tell me, O Master!” the student pleads. Before beginning to tick out the questions with replies, the teacher first congratulates the student and says he is indeed blessed and has achieved what he needs to achieve, for simply asking these questions. He says that his whole lineage has been purified by this desire of wanting to know that supreme truth and to experience that state of mind too.
The writer is Sevika, Chinmaya Mission, Coimbatore (www.chinmayamission.com); email: email@example.com