Practising awareness is the greatest spiritual practice that can be followed by a seeker, says Shivi Verma
Even though I am capable of making rational decisions, deep down, I am an emotional person.
I reached my spiritual goals galloping on the horses of intensely strong emotions. And I enjoyed the ride because it lead me to the intoxicating nectar of romancing the Divine. The highs of gaining proximity, mixed with the lows of feeling separation from God, used to be my manna. I survived on these yo-yoing emotions and felt that I was the chosen one for getting the exclusive feeling of being in love with the Divine.
But, later, I realised that even though desirable, it was neither the highest path nor the greatest experience of spirituality. It was a form of deep attachment, that blinded you to other
realities of life. It took away objectivity, impartiality, and clarity of thought. Bhaava is
bliss which gladdens your heart and makes you feel whole and complete, yet, if not mixed with the right amount of awareness, can create havoc in life.
Something which is so evident in the outside world. People get emotionally attached to their form of worship or God, making it very easy for disruptive forces to provoke them to violence and arson. Gripped by even the
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purest and highest of emotions, you can still be entrapped by maya and act irrationally.
Recently my colleagues gifted me the picture of my guru as a pleasant surprise gift for Christmas. I was beside myself with joy. It was the best gift I could ever have received from anyone. I gave it pride of place on my table and left for some urgent work. Upon returning, I saw that my peon had
unknowingly put my bag on top of it, flattening the image in the process. I felt infuriated to see this desecration of my guru’s
picture. As though the sanctity of my feelings for him was violated. I patiently pulled up the bag and kept it aside. No sooner had I done it than my peon returned and in a bid to impress me with his eagerness to serve, placed the bag on the picture of my guru again. He could not see the image since its front did not face him. A dagger went through my heart. I was about to scream at him for his foolishness when the cold hand of awareness stopped me. I thought, “What would actually please my guru? Protecting his picture or not hurting an innocent man?” I realised it was the latter. With great self-control, I told him that it was my guru’s picture he
was putting the bag on. He was contrite and begged profusely for forgiveness. I smiled and let him go.
I passed the litmus test placed by destiny before me. But I also realised that it wasn’t easy and required a great deal of awareness from me. Something I wouldn’t have been able to do had I not been into spirituality. I realised the perils of blind devotion that day, which causes people to hurt others simply because a sacred emotion was violated. Truly, there is no spiritual practice greater than awareness. Since it does not have the juice of emotion, it may not be preferred by many seekers, but it is capable of leading you to the ultimate emotion of having led a life free of the guilt of hurting others. Awareness tells you when to indulge in your emotions and when not to. When to work and when to relax. If you can master it, you have virtually mastered your life.
Editor of Life Positive, Shivi Verma is a devotee who found all her answers in loving God passionately.
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