How is one to gain this knowledge? (Part II)
We continue exploring how is one to gain this knowledge in the 6th lecture too, from the view of requisites on the part of a student. We had seen in the previous lecture that the one who has a Master gains this knowledge. There was a thorough analysis. During the course of the lecture we also recalled the meaning of the word Knowledge, which means thought modification of a thing true to the thing. We can gain knowledge of certain things all by ourselves but there are certain other things the knowledge of which we cannot gain. The knowledge of objects we can gain, because they are available for objectification by the senses/instruments that can facilitate in appreciating things better or differently. The subject matter of our Quest members’ quest is the Self, which is not available for objectification. Further, each of us have any number of notions about ourselves and the things around us and we can only add to the notions. Well, we do destroy some notions only to create room for newer notions to set in. In this connection we saw, if we have a Master, then the Master paints the picture of the self in our minds and this vision is a product of a means of knowledge, and hence will not roll away in time.
Well, having a Master is solving the problem to some extent, but then the question could be, should I do anything or is it that the Master will do everything for me? Can he eat or breathe for me? There are certain things that the Master has to do and there are certain other things that I have to, is it not? Yes! That is very true. There are three requisites mentioned in the Brahma Vidya texts, with which one can gain the knowledge but without which one does not.
The first requisite is definitely the frame of mind. The Master unfolds the truth and that is all that he does, and there is nothing more he need do too. What is being unfolded, the seeker has got to see. Today unfortunately this does not happen. What happens is very interesting and it is better that we have a clear perception of that. As the Master keeps unfolding, two distinct thought processes could be there in people. One may believe in all that the Master speaks, the other may disbelieve in that stuff. Both these tendencies are not useful or conducive in knowledge taking place. Let us analyse what a belief is. A belief as we have already seen is a thought modification that is subject to correction on verification. This means that when we see the truth of a thing, the belief in the thing rolls away. So, seeing is one thing and believing is quite another. What is right in front do you believe? Do you believe that I am there in front of you? Can I request you or try my tricks or treat method in making you believe that I am there? Nothing is going to work and even if you say, you believe in me, it is just to please me. Well, supposing I were to say, “please believe that I am the messiah that has been sent to save you all,” there could be some who believe and the others would disbelieve. Some might even say, Swami I would believe you to be so, had you got one horn on the nose and a big tail elsewhere. You do not see a messiah, but a human being, hence you could possibly believe or disbelieve in the messiah business, but then, coming to seeing the human being Swami- there is no room for belief. Hence, we have to appreciate this, a seeing mind does not believe and a believing mind does not see. A believing mind is a projecting one and that is not fit for receiving the teaching.
As the teaching, which we call unfolding is going on, the mind should be able to travel without being caught by the beliefs, whether it is a belief or a disbelief, it does not matter. A disbelief is as much a belief as a belief is, as it is based on a belief. The mind, rid of beliefs, just watches or listens as the truth is being unfolded, and is said to be a mind in a healthy state. You could call it an attentive mind, a curious mind, a seeking mind, a vigilant mind, a sincere mind, a wakeful mind, or you could possibly invent few more words. All these words that are there in circulation today reveal that mind and others that we could possibly invent, if I were to give one Sanskrit word for that, it would be Sraddha. It is not a mind having faith, belief or whatever, but is a mind that has reverence to the body of the teaching and the Master, and is allowing the words to pass through the mind, with the understanding that untruth can never remain and truth can never be away. This healthy frame of mind that facilitates in listening and gain of knowledge is called Sraddha, which is the first requisite. The one who has a Master and has Sraddha gains knowledge.
But then, if the mind is chit-chatting, it can never gain knowledge. A chit-chatting/gossiping mind is shallow and projecting, hence will never be at the work-spot-class room, which is the place where the teaching takes place. A spinning, projecting and weaving mind, can only weave theories or ideas, but not see the truth that is being unfolded. Hence there is a great need for the contemplative frame of mind. This contemplative frame of mind is not something that automatically comes upon. We have to work for this, so a contemplative frame of mind is another pre-requisite. Between Sraddha and a contemplative frame of mind, there is yet another important element, which is called devotion. These three are the pre-requisites and a person who enjoys these three and has a Master, such a person gains this knowledge.
Well, the contemplative frame of mind, has to be gained and only then the listening to the teaching can be there, but how to gain that state of mind? Who is there to help me? Can I help myself out of this problem? Can my friends around bail me out? Can my family members come to my rescue? The mind is so powerful that it can capture everything or become captured by everything. Is this not a fact? Is it not because of the trapped mind that we become trapped? Well, irrespective of things that may trap the mind, is it not the mind that gave them the power to trap? When we are talking about capturing a powerful foe, do we not need an equally powerful ally? The powerful impulsive mind has to be trapped or caged and may be tamed, for which I require a source of strength and that cannot be found elsewhere. Without this I cannot make any head way. The mind that discovers this utter helplessness and is not timid to jump into channels of escapism, discovers that there is one area that the majority of us seem to miss.
That is the lord, creator, ruler or God. You are free to choose the word, but you cannot say that there is no such thing. There are many atheists or rationalists, who deny the existence of God. If we ask them the reason for their denial, you would discover that they give some vague or lame reason, which invariably would be the presence or absence of something. Well, what has the presence or absence of something to do with God, and if you counter question, they could at best fly into rage.
God is not a figment of imagination, but your imagination definitely is a figment. The basis for all the figments is the Lord. Every action and reaction that is taking place in the world, is it not governed by laws? Are laws not pervading the whole creation? If I have to give one word to the laws, the laws that go to make those laws and the law that ultimately governs that law, the word would be God.
An understanding of the nature of that Lord or God, our placement in the set-up and the relationship that exists between the Lord and us, would automatically bring about a frame of mind that is humble, simple, unassuming, cool and composed. From this frame of mind -attitude, whatever action flows out is devotion. This devotion is a very important element that can help put the mind in the right frame-contemplative frame. With devotion and Sraddha, contemplation becomes easy.
The means of knowledge is valid, if it is not then it is not a means of knowledge at all. All that one should do is, expose oneself to the means of knowledge and allow the words to go inside and do the job. Sraddha causes this unhindered movement of mind.