SriMani Dravid Sastrigal
Courtesy The Hindu
A sure clue to one's spiritual quotient is present in the answer to the question “Who am I.” If one is conscious of his position as a man, in the context of his birth, status, society, education, etc., it is indicative of bondage. A Jnani always perceives the Atma Swaroopam and the concept of the involvement with the material world does not occupy any space in his consciousness. To detach oneself from bondage, we have to understand this truth and be able to see the Jnani's viewpoint regarding one's true identity, pointed out Sri Mani Dravid Sastrigal in a lecture.
The Upanishads describe the omnipresence of the Supreme Brahman by stating that He is smaller than the smallest atom, and bigger than the biggest ever presence. The Isavasya emphasises that God is accessible to those who realise His presence in everything and everywhere — from the mundane to the profound.
But it is difficult for the Jivatma, who is caught in the cycle of birth, to be aware of this truth always, though sometimes it is realised in flashes (for brief spells) in one's consciousness. The involvement with the daily activities in the material world keeps us immersed in joy and sorrow. These worldly experiences delude and obstruct us from realising the essential truth of God. It is similar to our inevitable reactions, when in darkness, a rope is misconstrued to be a serpent. We are relieved only when the light reveals the absence of the serpent.
When in sorrow we do think of God and seek His grace for alleviation of sorrow. Kunti prayed for difficulties to enable her to think of God at all times.
God is both far and near says the Upanishad. He is far to those who are preoccupied with the material world and near to those who are always established in His presence. A Jnani seeks God for His sake and revels in His sheer glory at all times. He perceives only Him as the ever present reality and remains detached to the happenings of the world.
Our lifetime becomes fruitful if we strive to seek Him — using the opportunities before us. The ability to learn to comprehend the views of realised sages is a faculty available only to human beings.