We can overcome whatever challenges we face in life. If we know who we are, if we know our true self, we will know that by attuning ourselves to God’s presence, we are able to move on in life regardless of the number of hurdles Life throws at us. Life presents many obstacles to us, no matter how evolved or enlightened we are. The difference lies in how an enlightened person addresses the challenge.
Whenever a person feels unable to deal with a situation in life, it is not his true Self who is reckoning or assessing the severity of that situation. The false identity of a person is merely a reflection of how the society (or the world) has shaped him. The world teaches us about our limitations and boundaries, and by extension, teaches us not to attempt going beyond those limits. God is not separate from us, God is not a separate being. Our true Self is the manifestation of the eternal and infinite presence of God. In other words, our true Self is the individualized manifestation of God. What we can do and what we cannot do stems from our appreciation of this truth. The truth that our true Self and God is no different. The moment we become conscious of this truth, we will not see life’s challenges as problems; instead we will face them in a way that we know we can overcome them and pursue our journey to the ultimate destination, which is the Eternal Abode.
“Prem Jagaawe Biraha Ko, Biraha Jagaawe Peev;
Peev Jagaawe Jeev Ko, Vahi Jeev Vahi Seev.” The yearning for love (of God) is a result of feeling the pains of separation; that separation awakens the Beloved (God). God then awakens the soul, which makes it realise that it is no different from God.
(see transliteration and pronunciation guide here)
Having faith in the eternal truth is crucial for anyone who wants to live a good life and attain salvation. The practice of meditation enables one to acknowledge that truth and realise his true Self. Consistent practice and perseverance gives the experience of that union, that mystical union with God. At that point, all sense of individual ‘selfhood’ disappears; the realization is one where we experience our existence in just one infinite field of light. That experience is not one which you can have through your five senses.
“Param Prakaashak Poonj Gyaan Dhan, Ghat Bheetar Darashaayaa. Man Budhi Baanee Jaahi Na Jaanat, Ved Kahat Sakuchaayaa…” The vast light of knowledge shines within me; that knowledge is not comprehensible using the mind or words, nor is it in the Vedas.
(see transliteration and pronunciation guide here)
(to view the full bhajan, click here)
Doubts are cast by the false Self; our true Self is beyond doubts of confusion. We need to get rid of the limited sense of our Self. Feeling oneness with God gives us access to all the divine attributes of God. This feeling allows God’s power to flow through us. At that point, we realise that the power within us is much greater than what our false Self was suggesting. Having faith in ourselves is vital. Having faith in ourselves is in fact having faith in God. The vastness of God’s presence within us. It may seem hard to build faith, but once we are convinced of God’s presence, and we know that we can tap into that divine reservoir by going deep down within ourselves, then everything else is straightforward.
This little story illustrates how unconditional faith can resolve issues easily. A village was struck by drought for several months. Water had become very scarce. A swami came to the village, and all the villagers went to seek his help. The swami advised the villagers that they must all come together for ten days at one point in the village, near the river, and pray together. All the villagers agreed and joined in the prayers. On the ninth day, the swami told all of them that for the tenth and last day of prayer, each of them had to come to the next day’s prayer with a token of their faith. He told them that the last day’s prayer was very crucial and their faith was very important in the manifestation of God’s will to send them rain. On the tenth day, each one came with their token of faith. Some came with sandal paste on their foreheads, others with the idol statue of their gods and goddesses, still others came with their holy books. When the prayer was over, it did rain. Heavily. So heavily that none of them could find a shelter on time. The idols, the holy books and all the things that they brought with them got wet, some even damaged. There was one little girl who did not rush to find a shelter. She was the only one still standing at the prayer place. Her token of faith was an umbrella. As the rain poured, she opened her umbrella and stood there to see the manifestation of God’s will. The swami told the villagers that the unconditional faith that the girl had was indeed exemplary. That kind of unconditional faith is what produces results.
In the same way, if we believe in ourselves, if we believe that we can tap into the infinite reservoir of God’s power within us, then we can lead our life in peace, merge in that supreme consciousness, and attain the Eternal Abode.