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The Seven Levels of Relationship

August 9, 2012 3 comments

Seeker: In society, we live and deal with many relations. Sometimes we feel relationships are for our good, but why do we get entangled in difficult relationships? Sometimes we just drag the relationship with our partners.
Sirshree: Have you ever thought over the meaning and nature of a relationship? How many of us have ever explored multiple dimensions of a relationship, or as you said, why are we often compelled to relate the way we relate? Let us explore the answers to some of these questions and understand how we can move our relationship to a higher level.

There are seven levels of a relationship. Let us understand the seven levels through the example of a relationship between a husband and a wife.

Let us understand the seven levels through the example of a relationship between a husband and a wife.

Let us understand the seven levels through the example of a relationship between a husband and a wife.

On the first level there are only petty quarrels happening between the husband and wife, leading to big fights. Both feel that “to get married means to fight” and try to win and have the last word.

On the second level, the couple becomes aware of the fights and know the reasons. Now things become a bit clearer and the relationship begins to clear up.

On the third level, the husband and wife begin to understand not only the cause of their fights, but also begin to solve problems jointly. Both start seeing things from the partner’s point of view. Now they identify the reason for their disagreements and try to pre-empt it by amending their own behaviour. This realization and willingness to be more adjusting and understanding takes them to the next level.

At this fourth level, they begin to dig deep and see the real reason for their conflicts, not just the superficial reasons. They realize that on the surface they may seem to be arguing about the same issue (time, money responsibility and so forth), but secretly they may be arguing about some other hidden issues. There is an evident reason and a hidden reason for their differences. On the fourth level, they go deeper and encounter themselves and their hidden motives. And then true transformation occurs and they think honestly. They become aware of why they do what they do. And now they start understanding their patterns which were subconsciously developed while watching their parents since childhood. After getting the insights, they want to get out of the tendencies and patterns of their parents by probing deeper and with high understanding.

On the seventh level, where Bright love reaches its destination. It becomes devotion. -Image via Wikimedia

On the seventh level, where Bright love reaches its destination. It becomes devotion. -Image via Wikimedia

At the fifth level, they get the perspective that the fights are not of their parents, but of their values and beliefs. These values and beliefs and way of living got into them by observing their parents and society. After confronting the real reason and the operating beliefs, they find the right remedy for it. The couple now enjoys the power of relationship by functioning from the same level of consciousness, from the same platform. They now live and operate from serenity, freedom, love and happiness. This is freedom from within, real independence.

At the sixth level, disputes end. What remains is not love, but Bright love. Transactional love ends, reason seeking love ends. This is the beginning of unconditional love. At this level, the relation is not dependent on give and take. Love is full and complete and the couple enjoys freedom and bliss. The focus is only on giving unconditionally.

On the seventh level, there is full expression of the unconditional love. Where Bright love reaches its destination. The highest form of unconditional love now manifests; it becomes devotion. This type of rare devotional love exists between a devotee and the Lord, as in Meera Bai, or between a disciple and his Guru.

Seeker: How to move to higher levels?
Sirshree: To move to higher levels, simply do two things. Contemplate and Communicate. Contemplate on questions such as: From which level are you operating? What are you creating everyday in your life?  What are you creating in the now, around you, in the space of a relationship? Contemplate and elevate your level of relationship.

Having contemplated, now simply keep communicating and giving feedback to each other.

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Cast off your blindfold – know thyself

July 27, 2012 1 comment

Seeker: What is the definition of spirituality and how far is it required in life?

Sirshree: Spirituality means knowing our self and understanding our true nature. Many people think that spirituality is not really required to that extent. Let us understand this through an example. There are some people who live in a jungle. They work with their eyes covered with a strip of cloth. They make huts, pluck fruits, do some cleaning, rear animals, and carry out other such activities. However, they perform all these activities with their eyes blindfolded. Hence, while working they keep stumbling, falling and dashing against things. It is so difficult for them; yet this is the way they have always lived.

Is spirituality required in life?

Once, one of them happens to go to a place where his blindfold is removed. He begins to see! He is amazed. This person now comes back and tells everybody that they should go to this place where blindfolds are removed. They should all get the strips removed off their eyes and that will be extremely beneficial for them. If one of them replies, “I don’t feel that there is really any necessity to do this. Also, I don’t have the time for it”, then what will you say? You will say, “You are a fool! If you remove the blindfold, all your work would be completed much faster and in a better way. ”

All those people who are leading their lives blindfolded by false beliefs do not need spirituality. If you are going to live with such people all your life, then even you do not need spirituality. But, if you want to come out of that darkness, then spirituality is essential for you. When you will understand the real meaning of spirituality, this question will not arise. This question has appeared only because you do not know what real spirituality is. If you consider applying vermillion on the forehead, wearing saffron clothes, adorning garlands and rosaries as spirituality, then you are under an illusion. True spirituality is knowing your essence, recognising what you actually are.

Then the question is, how essential is spirituality? Is it really required? In spirituality, is it necessary to perform all the rites and rituals, rise early in the morning and read holy scriptures and perform worship, dip a lotus flower in water and sprinkle that water on everyone? The fact is that carrying out such activities is not spirituality; these acts are merely reminders of spirituality. People mistake these reminders (medium or channel) to be spirituality. That is why questions such as whether spirituality is necessary are asked. When reminders of spirituality become spirituality (or when the means become the end), things go wrong. The medium or channel is not the goal. The medium or channel exists for achieving the goal.

True spirituality is experiencing (not intellecutally knowing) the answer to the question, Who am I and then establishing in that experience of consciousness. It begins by casting off the blindfold of assumimg yourself to be a separate individual.  All that a guru does is to help you cast off this blindfold. Everything else done in the name of spirituality is akin to leading you to do various exercises with a blindfold on.  Someone who can ‘see’ can help you cast off the blindfold so that you too can see. Cast off this blindfold (assuming yourself to be a separate individual) that has clouded the Truth, shrouded the Self and eclipsed who you truly are.  Nothing else is required!

Source : Extract from The Magic of Awakening, a book authored by Sirshree and published in English by Penguin India and further translated into 9 Indian languages and featured in the Limca Book of Records for a book released in multiple languages on the same day. 

The First Thought

July 2, 2012 5 comments

The first thought that arises within us when we wake up in the morning is the ‘I’ thought. There are variations of this ‘I’ thought – I woke, I got up; Now what is the first thing I should do?; Though my eyes feel a bit heavy today, is it time for me to wake up?

The first thought is the 'I' thought.

The first thought is the ‘I’ thought. (Photo via Flickr)

The words could be different, but all of them are only those pertaining to the individual ‘I’. With the advent of the ‘I’ thought, other thoughts also begin to follow. By then, the senses are awake too. It is only after the ‘I’ thought that the contrast mind appears, which then judges everything as good or bad. This mind assumes a separate identity for itself and says: my work, my name, my actions, my religion, my country, my sins, my virtues. It compares and contrasts every event, every thought. This is precisely what brings unhappiness and bondage. This is ignorance and illusion. This is the obstacle to attaining the truth. This is the black cloud over the sun (the true self or the truth). This is what causes the eclipse. This is the speck that has got into your eye and is not allowing you to see even something as obvious as the largest mountain.

Read more:

  1. Liberation from False Notions
  2. How is Contrast Mind formed
  3. Thoughts and Self Enquiry

See the reflection of the Self in kith and kin

June 7, 2012 2 comments

Seeker: Do we need to be associated with kith and kin in order to live in this world? When man knows that he has come alone and will exit from this world alone, why then does he get into marriage? why does he beget children? Why does he toil for getting name and fame?

Sirshree: Yes, it is indeed essential to maintain associations with kith and kin in order to live in this world. Let us understand this with an example. You make friends and acquaintances with fellow passengers whilst you are traveling alone by train. Why do you do so? It is so that your journey transpires smoothly. However, this is an obvious reason. The other reason is so that you can learn the lessons that you have come to learn in this world.

See the reflection of the Self in kith and kin

See the reflection of the Self in kith and kin. Image courtesy: EzykronHD

The deeper reason for the creation of so many relations and relatives is that you (the individual) are crooked from eight angles (Ashta-vakr). What do you do, so as to straighten your crooked aspects? An individual with the eight fold crookedness  (Ashta-vakr) is also Ashta-ark. Let us understand the meaning of these two terms. Within us, there are certain aspects that are crooked and certain aspects that are our nature. The term Ashta-ark means the Self and Ashta-vakr refers to the ego-sense. The individual is crooked in eight ways due to the eight fold illusion (Ashta-maya). The notions of ‘I’-‘Mine’-‘To me’-‘You’-‘Your’-‘To you’-‘They’ and ‘To them’ are the eight crooked aspects. How do you get rid of them? For this you first need a mirror that enables you to see all the crooked aspects. Without a mirror, you will never able to know of them.

When people see their own photographs, they exclaim “’Hey! Do I look like this? … Do I think like this? … Do I walk like this? … Do I walk like this? … do I have such eyes? … such hair?’ People come to know about many of their own aspects only when they see their own photographs. When one hears his own recorded voice being replayed on an audio player, one would exclaim ‘Oh! Is this my voice?! … I never knew it is like this! … I never knew it’s so harsh!’ in the same way, the bad qualities, i.e. the eight fold crooked aspects that exist within the individual should be brought to light. If we do not get a chance to observe our own shortcomings, it will seem to us that we are absolutely perfect and absolutely right. For this reason, it is necessary that we get the real picture.

You need a mirror to visualize the crooked aspects within and also to see yourself

You need a mirror to visualize the crooked aspects within and also to see yourself

For example, if a judge, who passes verdicts in the court of law, continues to pass his judgments at home as well, it could be unacceptable to his family. He then leads an unhappy life. One day, he will try to analyze and see what are the mistakes he is making. He will see where he is going wrong. He will then realize that the world, comprising all the people he has to deal with, is indeed a mirror. In the court of law, no one can dispute his verdict as he benefits from the position of the judge. However, at home, he does not have the rank of the judge. At home, he is what he actually is. His designation does not come to his rescue. Thus, at home, he is able to see the reflection of his nature. He will not be able to impose his verdict on his child. His child will not adhere to his verdict. The child will naturally be obstinate. The orders that he commands at home are not final. The child will remain adamant and will force him to change his mind. It is possible to experience all these aspects only amidst kith and kin. If someone is telling you something, you are getting irritated … if someone is telling you something else, you are pleased… sometimes you do not carry out the task assigned to you by a particular person… you can witness all these vagaries of the mind only amidst relationships. What happens when you are dealing with your neighbor or the grocer? What is happening when you are shopping for clothes? What are you doing when you are buying medicines from the pharmacy? What are the questions you are asking? What are the underlying fears that that are evident from the questions you ask? Our kith and kin serve as a mirror to reveal ourself and the fears that lurk within us.

Ashta-ark indicates that when you get rid of the eight-fold crookedness your essential nature (Ark – essence), the self reveals itself. These very relations can then become the medium as well as the opportunity for the expression of the Self. This will be the beginning of heaven in life. When you are overflowing with boundless love, it will naturally be shared with those who are close to you. When the clouds are full of water and precipitate, where do they rain? Obviously, the land that is directly below the clouds will receive the rain.

By now, you must have understood that your essential nature is veiled by the eight-fold crookedness (Ashta-vakr). You therefore, need a mirror to visualize the crooked aspects within and also to see yourself. Your kith and kin serve as such a mirror in your life to enable you to see your nature.

The Power of Wise Discrimination

May 9, 2012 4 comments

Wield the sword of Viveka

Wield the sword of Viveka

Wield the sword of Viveka

A thought comes to your mind, “I am very much disturbed.” Then the intellect steps in saying, “Are you really disturbed, or are you allowing yourself to get disturbed?” A second thought arises, “Oh! I am getting bored.” Then Viveka (power of wise discrimination) will say, “Are you really getting bored, or are you allowing yourself to get bored?”

Thus when the sword of contemplation works, you will be astonished. No sooner you look at your thought in this manner, “Oh! I am allowing myself to get bored, is it necessary to get bored?” If it is not necessary, you will find that those thoughts will disappear instantly.

When a thought emerges, “That person is disturbing me,” then Viveka will think, “I am giving an opportunity to that man to disturb me. Should I allow him to do so?” When you ask this question to yourself, the sword of Viveka works. When the sword of contemplation starts operating, a question will immediately arise, “Should I give him that opportunity?” The answer will come from Viveka, “I will not allow him to disturb me.” Then the person in front of you will not be able to disturb you and you will see that you have stopped getting disturbed, you have stopped becoming unhappy. This is the sword of contemplation. Whenever thoughts arise, this sword will operate and a division between the truth and untruth will occur.

In this way, with the help of Viveka, you will be able to bring every belief, tendency and pattern to light. These patterns and tendencies will then begin to break. With the awakening of the power of discrimination, nothing will disturb you ever.

The Art of Averting Double Unhappiness

May 6, 2012 Leave a comment

(Sirshree’s article in Speaking Tree on May 8, 2007. Click here to read this article on the Speaking Tree website)

Why are you unhappy? You could be unhappy because of double unhappiness. Suppose you are troubled by something… suppose your body is under pain — this is the first unhappiness.

But on that unhappiness the mind becomes unhappy, “Why this pain? Why me? When would this pain go away?” Then the unhappiness of the body increases many times over.

The Art of Averting Double Unhappiness

Non-acceptance of unhappiness is the point where double unhappiness begins.

The body is in pain. The body is curing it too. Nature has its own way of healing. But the mind made it “my pain”, “my unhappiness”.

Instead of working on curing yourself of unhappiness, work on curing yourself of double unhappiness. Children get angry. But you also see them playing peacefully the very next moment.

Now compare that to an instance where you have gotten angry. You got angry. It does not trouble you as such. The episode is over. But you are thinking, about it.

Even after the incident has passed, what you think gives you trouble. This means you get angry over anger and this troubles the mind.

As your understanding increases, you get rid of this double unhappiness. Unhappiness alone cannot trouble you. Unhappiness in and of itself does not possess the capacity to trouble you.

Non-acceptance of unhappiness is the point where double unhappiness begins. That is where there is unhappiness over unhappiness as to why you are unhappy.

When there is acceptance of this unhappiness, then unhappiness over that unhappiness doesn’t happen. Depression doesn’t occur.

The understanding will arise that it is only non-acceptance that is unhappiness and that it is only acceptance that is happiness.

Accept moments of unhappiness and let it go. How do you let them go? You let unhappiness go without resisting it by asking a simple question, “Can i accept this?”

This question propels the release of unhappiness. In most cases, the answer you shall receive within is that you can accept this.

You immediately release your unhappiness and change your focus. What if you cannot accept your unhappiness? What if the answer to the question, “Can i accept this?” is a ‘no’?

Then, ask yourself a second question, “Can i accept that i cannot accept this unhappiness?” Be alright with your non-acceptance. Do not become unhappy over not being able to accept.

Then you are not accepting non- acceptance. Accept the non-acceptance and you shall be able to release your level of happiness instantly. What is true at one level is true at all levels.

As in small, so in big. As in the microcosm, so in the macrocosm. When you answer “Yes” to the “Can i accept this?” question, then you have let go of negative feelings associated with it.

You may think that this is just a small step. But when you do so, it causes a giant shift in your consciousness. At that very moment, a lot of other unrelated things open up for you and you begin to attract more positive things.

The smallest letting-go action helps us in every facet of our life. Not only do you become mentally free, but it affects you at the physical, emotional, social and financial levels, setting off a chain reaction that reverberates through your entire being and leaves you in quite a different place than you were before.

1st April : The most spiritual day of the year

April 1, 2012 5 comments

(Sirshree’s article in Asian Age and Deccan Chronicle on 1st April. Click here to read this article on the Speaking Tree website)

April 1 is celebrated as All Fools’ Day all over the world. On this day, people try to play pranks on others and laugh at the jokes situations create. But what if the joke is on you? April 1 can be taken to represent the day of the cosmic joke. The biggest cosmic joke is maya… the illusory nature of reality. So, the joke is on humanity and what better day to celebrate this joke than on April 1. Let us first understand what this cosmic joke is all about.

The world is nothing but Self in Action (Shakti) brought forth by Self at Rest (Shiva). The very purpose of the creation of the body and mind is for consciousness to experience itself. But, the beauty of creation is such that the mind has also been made self-aware. Hence, the mind forgets its very purpose and becomes externally focused and mired in the world. This is the cosmic joke… the mind assumes itself and the world to be real and wants to control and experience the world. True spirituality is about allowing the mind to drop so that consciousness can experience itself.

Look who's fooling you

Look who's fooling you (Photo by sravenk)

However, the joke is so real that the mind forgets its very purpose. If you break a mirror in front of a particular mirror every day, that particular mirror forgets that it too is a mirror and is brittle. It forgets that it shall break too. One can say that the mirror has been April fooled. Because, every night the mind dreams, it assumes itself to be real. The illusion created for expression of consciousness assumes itself to be reality. The mind forgets that it too is a part of a dream and is a mere visualisation of consciousness. The mind (humanity) has been April fooled. This is the biggest joke of all.

A merchant once invited a jeweller to assess the value of his wealth all converted into diamonds. The jeweller informed him that alas all his diamonds were fake. The merchant began to lament his fate. The jeweller proposed a solution, “I know it is a fake. But others don’t. So, why don’t you organise a bumper sale for the world where you offer the diamonds at one-third their value?” The wily merchant jumped at the idea thinking he would at least make something. He organised this sale and every time someone would buy a diamond, the merchant would wring his hands in glee. “Oh look. Another one has been fooled. I am making a fortune even by selling them at one-third their value.” What the merchant did not realise is that all along he was the one who was being fooled. The jeweller had lied about the diamonds being fake. All those men who had, one by one, bought out the entire stock from the merchant were all the jeweller’s men buying on behalf of him.

Thus, this April Fools’ day, do not laugh at the expense of others. Instead ponder on how you are being fooled by the cosmic joke. Here are three special ways to celebrate April 1 to make it the most spiritual day of the year:

  • Contemplate to celebrate: Celebrate this special day by contemplating on the illusory nature of reality. Contemplate on how maya has fooled you.
  • Meditate to celebrate: Celebrate this unique day be meditating and attaining the “no mind” state. When the mind drops, then the Self shines. Then the purpose for creation of the mind is fulfilled since consciousness experiences itself through the body and mind. The mind is no longer being April fooled.
  • Investigate to celebrate: Celebrate this novel day by investigating your foolishness. What follies do you have? What false beliefs are hindering your spiritual growth?

One may ask why celebrate? The answer is why not? Celebrate because April 1 signifies creation… when the cosmic joke was put in motion. Celebrate so that you are upbeat and happy.

In Hindi, April is pronounced as “uprail”. The world is a journey where the rails of life progress upwards, not downwards. Instead of being downrailed, depressed or dejected by the illusion of this creation, contemplate, meditate and investigate. Then, this April 1, you can laugh with the creator by being the creator.

– Sirshree is the founder of Tej Gyan Foundation and an author

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