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The curtain that hides the mountain

Updated: Feb 15, 2022

Sat (absolute truth) is the paramatma or parabrahma – the all-pervasive divine cosmic energy. The approach to realizing it can be simply referred to the path of seeking truth which in other words is spirituality or Sanatana Dharma.

If we consider ourselves to be climbing up the ladder to reach absolute truth then the effort to stay on path of seeking truth is the first step to climb that ladder. In my view, following our inner self is seeking truth. Most among us would have had a beautiful momentary spiritual experience of losing ourselves or dissolving into a state of oneness (Samadhi stithi as per ashtanga yoga). This usually happens when we are either in a deep meditative state, deeply engrossed in Bhakti bhava during a bhajan or a pravachan or sometimes even while watching a beautiful scene from a movie, while reading a book or when we are in nature. That is the absolute truth. In that state we feel love, bliss and have a still mind with no scope for mundane thoughts. However, in a few moments we are forcefully pulled back into the outer world keeping us busy and occupied with all the matters related to our senses and mind. On top of it, upon our re-emergence in the outer world the impact of Maya is such that we doubt the earlier state of oneness in absolute truth or Samadhi and dismiss it to the extent it becomes a distant priority.

We know that the absolute truth is in everything and everything has the absolute truth. However, as per design Maya, as if an invisible screen, hides this absolute truth from us even though it is next to us. Maya literally surrounds and always keeps us busy in its play.

Either with scriptural knowledge, guru’s guidance or our inner calling we understand that our role in this life is to seek absolute truth. What do we do? We begin the process of knowing who I am.

Let us do a little visualization exercise.

Visualize yourself spending a quiet moment in your room before you are called downstairs for lunch. You know there is the mountain that you can see through the window of your room. Consider that the window curtain is always closed obstructing the view of the mountain. To see the mountain you would move the curtain aside with our hand to get an unobstructed view of a beautiful mountain for as long as you want.

Similarly, in this process of knowing myself, I gently push aside the screen called Maya to take a peek at my SELF. With practice, the practitioners or sadhakas can stay in that state for as long as they want. Now, continue to be in that same scene at the window completely engrossed in watching the beautiful still mountain with your hand firmly holding the curtain aside. At that time, you hear your mother or spouse call your name “lunch is ready” when you immediately take away your gaze from the mountain and let go of the curtain which once again closes the window hiding the mountain until only the next time you push it aside. The moment you leave the window and reach the dining table you would already be completely engrossed in a worldly matter while the experience of the mountain starts to fade into a distant memory.

Similarly Maya the curtain along with its associates the senses and mind are always keen and ready to distract us back away from our quest for absolute truth the very moment we take away our focus from the absolute truth and allow the curtain to hide it again till we remember to peek at it again.

So powerful is Maya that we should therefore train our mind and senses through methods given to us by rishis to help us in this journey. In our busy lives we should make regular attempts to move that curtain called Maya aside for a better, more frequent and a longer view at the mountain called Absolute Truth. The momentary blissful state of Samadhi or Brahmastithi is our baby step towards our goal and purpose of this life - Moksha.

Dr. Malladi Srinivasa Sastry Sohamvidya

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