day I came across a young man who felt he had been insulted and
mistrusted. He just smiled and said – ‘It’s okay, I am transparent’,
although seeing tears in his eyes it showed that he was hurt and felt sad.
If the mind still hasn’t detached from the ego and names and forms yet, we
can use this saying to help us to go through difficult situations and to
train the mind to become stronger and not bother about any insult or
Transparent might be used to explain namelessness and formlessness, but even being labeled as ‘transparent’ is also a name and form. It is still bound by name and form. The person who said this still felt hurt, but was also trying to be strong at the same time. There is still “a word”, or “a speech”, or “an action” being recognized as an insult, but the person tries to endure or ignore the insult. There is still the perception of a person giving the insult and another person receiving the insult.
If we practice namelessness and formlessness, we won’t give any values to words, speech, or actions. We see all negative and positive intentions are not different, all praise and censure are the same. When a person says something bad to us in a language that we don’t recognize, what is there for us to perceive as an insult? When a person does something bad to us in the way that we don’t recognize, what is there for us to perceive as abuse?
It is because we, or the mind, gives good and bad qualities to everything that we see and hear, and makes us feel praised or insulted. It is the ego that likes praise very much but strongly rejects insults. If the mind is free from the ego, we will not be affected by what we see or hear. That is similar to the meaning of namelessness and formlessness. It is not that we can’t see or don't hear anything. The action is there, the sound is there, but if we give them no meaning at all, then “where” is the praise and “what” is the insult? If we are selfless, then “who” is being praised or insulted? When we realized non-separateness where we are not separated from all, then “who” is there giving praise or insults? If there is praise or insult, ‘I’ am the one who give it to ‘myself’.
We can’t deny that we have a body to experience pain and pleasure. We have a life to live. We have duties and responsibilities that we need to carry out. We have family and friends that need our attention, love and care. We have happy feelings and unhappy feelings. Everyone, including rich and famous people, has to go through all these so called life experiences, including those people who chose to renounce the world and become a Sannyasin – a monk or a nun, except their duty and responsibility now is towards everybody and not just towards their families and friends. Sannyasin also have feelings, but one of their duties towards themselves is to detach from the thoughts, feelings and emotions, and not be affected by them.
Not being affected by our feelings doesn’t mean ignoring them or suppressing them, but by not identifying with them and letting them pass away.
Real detachment is not about letting go of our relationship with our family or our partner, or being irresponsible towards our family and our work, unless all kinds of worldly duties and responsibilities have come to an end.
It is letting go of the expectation and judgment towards our loved ones, so that their actions and reactions will not determine or affect our tranquility, clarity, faith, practice, self-improvement and self-control.
Real detachment is the mind detaching from its own modification of the mind, the thoughts, the ego, the physical body and the senses of sight, sound, smell, taste, touch and thinking. Once the mind is detached from all these ‘things’ that is happening within the body, then whatever the mind perceives outside this body will not affect this mind at all. Everything out there will have no power to make us happy or unhappy.
And it doesn’t matter if we are with somebody or on our own, or whether we have a family life or are single and independent, or whether we renounce the world or live in the world. Our faith and the meaning of life remain the same, our spiritual understanding and the goal of all spiritual practice remains the same.
It is not about neglecting or denying our life or what we are doing. It is about living in the world but not being affected by all the ups and downs in our life and all that is happening in the world. We see all beings are equal and everything that happens in the world is the same. Detach from the duality of praise and censure, heat and cold, likes and dislikes, cravings and aversions, happiness and suffering, beauty and ugliness, young and old, strong and weak, good health and bad health, rich and poor, gain and loss, birth and death.
Detachment from duality of whatever the mind perceives through the senses is true detachment. We are being fooled and blinded by the ignorance in our own mind and the ego all the time. It is not the smart intellect that can give us peace of mind - in fact it gives us so many troubles, fears and worries.
Letting go of troubles, fears and worries that make us so tensed and anxious all the time is the real detachment.
To annihilate the ego and egoism, is the essence of all detachment.
It is because of the ego that we need to practice detachment in order to transcend suffering. Without the ego, there is no suffering, there is no need for detachment and there is no need for Yoga practice. The world is okay, life is okay, everyone and everything is fine without this ego.
It is because of the ego that we have likes and dislikes, anger, greed, lust, jealousy, arrogance, hurt, dissatisfaction, disappointment, unhappiness, bitterness and low self esteem, feel good or feel bad about ourselves and towards other people. It is because of the ego, we think that we are very good or not good enough. It is because of the ego that we want ‘this’ and don’t want ‘that’.
All this makes us
suffer and feel unhappy, whereas in fact ‘thinking’ that all our suffering
is the fault of people and events out there, is what make us suffer and
It is due to fears and worries that we want to be in power and in control of everything. If we truly understand the law of nature, we will stop wanting to control how things are, because we will have no more fears and worries, but we will have control over our own self and not desire to control anybody or anything outside of us. Our willpower is stronger than our mind, the ego and everything that can influence us.
A wise man will not try to manipulate or hypnotize anyone to do anything, even if it is out of a good intention because if manipulation or hypnotization works, people in the world could easily be manipulated or hypnotized to be good, to do good and the world would be in peaceful harmony. There wouldn’t be any wars or crimes. Even though there were many saints and sages, like Buddha, in the world before, but they didn’t use their power of enlightenment to manipulate or hypnotize anybody to listen to them and turn everybody into good people and take away people’s suffering with their great power.
There would be no
suffering in this world and no bad people in the world if any
enlightened being could manipulate and hypnotize everybody easily with
the power of hypnotism, to make the world into a peaceful harmonious place.
They did not.
Because of the law of nature, the law of karma and the Truth do not run by this way.
No doubt that the compassion and wisdom from an enlightened person might can touch people’s hearts, but it is up to everyone to think on their own, to act and to speak on one’s will. Everyone is the choreographer of their own destiny. If Buddha could have stopped all wars, violence, hatred, discrimination, selfishness, greed, corruption and suffering with certain influencing power, he would have done it. But he didn’t, as it's not possible.
Any action that is other than working on our own self-control is not the real practice for achieving liberation. Any so called short-cut that uses a certain type of manipulation or hypnotism or drug therapy which acts as an external element to influence our mind or to control our thoughts, actions and speech, but not through self-inquiry, self-effort, self-control, purification and detachment, is not the path of self-realization.
If a person sees some kind of image or hears some kind of sound in his attempt for achieving enlightenment by using external forces to help him and becomes attached to these phenomena, he might still be miserable and craving for more supernatural experiences by using such external forces. This is very far away from the Truth and self-realization.
If a person does all sorts of actions under hypnotism or under the influence of drugs without his own willpower to control his body and mind, and cannot perform the same actions without this external force, then this is certainly not the practice for self-realization, even if that action is supposed to be good for him.
Hypnotism is about influencing the energy fields in the body and mind, and manipulating the mind – it is an external force and causes temporary effect. If our mind is being controlled or influenced by an external force, it is not self-realization.
It is worst when some people with evil intention use the technique of hypnotism to rob somebody’s money or belongings.
Anything that arises, changes and passes away – momentary, impermanent or temporary, that changes selflessly, is not real. Using drugs or hypnotism to help someone to get temporary relief from painful feelings or to perform certain actions or to experience something that is supernatural is not wrong - but it is not the end of suffering or the goal of our practice, simply because it can’t permanently remove our ignorance - the cause of suffering. It can’t root out our ego, fears, worries, attachment, likes and dislikes, and it doesn’t destroy all our accumulated karma. It can’t liberate us from the cycle of birth and death – the inevitable suffering of restless impermanent changes of the selfless body and modification of the mind.
It is intuitional wisdom that leads us to liberation.
It is willpower and self-control - beyond all attributes, qualities, energies, elements, actions and inactions, dualities, names and forms, which will free us from suffering permanently.
Prana affects or moves the modification of the mind, or the state of the mind, the modification of the mind influences the action and speech, but we learn to go beyond the modification of the mind, by purifying and disciplining and quieting the function of the mind. When our willpower is stronger than the function of the mind (through self-control or self-restraint), the Prana (energy) no longer influences the state of the mind and our willpower is the controller of our action and speech. The Prana is influenced by the 3 Gunas – Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Sattva makes us feel calm and peaceful, rajas makes us feel passionate, ambitious, restless and energetic, and Tamas makes us feel lazy, dull and negative. Our body and mind are governed by these Gunas (energy). Vedanta teaches us to go beyond these 3 Gunas, go beyond the energy field, and have total self-control over the body and mind. We should continue practice until we realize oneness, where there is no internal or external influences, because there is no separateness.
Real beneficial action for anybody should be done by oneself, under one’s willpower and with complete self-awareness.
Self-reliance and self-control is the path towards liberation, absolute freedom. If we need to depend on anybody or anything external to be ‘liberated’, it won’t be real liberation. This is the advice from all the saints and sages in the past.