October 2014 By Shivi Verma Innocence is power. All spirituality is about rediscovering the purity and the innocence we were born with, and which we lost in the trauma of growing up, says Shivi Verma. Genius is the recovery of childhood at will. -Arthur Rimbaud Innocence is our purest state of being. It is the way each one of us is intrinsically created. Our essence is unblemished purity, with clear hearts and minds. In short, the soul is innocence personified. Children and animals attract us irresistibly because of the innocence that reflects from their eyes. The innocence with which tiny fledglings look at you, as you discover their hidden nest in the attic, mysteriously tug at your heart, and arouse the protector in you. The innocent have no judgement since they have very little mind activity to overcast the clear crystal of the soul. A little baby wrapped in the arms of the mother peers out innocently at the world. He has no sense of getting hurt since he has only known protection. Innocence arouses the softest, gentlest, most tender emotions in the heart of the onlooker. It provokes the Higher Self to force its way up through the rubble of negativity, despair and cynicism. Innocence means being totally in the moment. It means no judgement of oneself and of others. On growing up, all of us look back longingly at those carefree times when we fought with our friends only to befriend them the next moment. When everything was full of wonderment, and we needed no special occasion to be happy. The sight of a flying aeroplane, a hurtling train, rising soap bubbles, a trail of ants on the wall could fill us with joy and ecstasy. We lived in the moment, and lived it fully. Innocence is at its peak when we know that love, security and acceptance is unconditional. When we know we will never be rejected for committing mistakes and making errors. When we have no doubts about the abundance of everything we need. Mohanji: Innocence is godliness Says Guru Mohanji, author of the book, Power of Purity, “Innocence is a state when purity overwhelms the heart. Purity is the basis of innocence. There is no manipulation, no private agenda, no urge to prove anything to the world, no expectations and corresponding disappointments. Just sheer love generated out of purity of the inner space. Only such a space creates the state of innocence. Innocence should not be confused with naivety. Naivety is a weakness. Innocence is strength. Innocence is a state close to godliness. Or godliness brings forth the state of innocence. True saints and small children are prime examples. A state of no ego, no expectations, no manipulation, and no agenda leaves the space for innocence. Animals and birds display innocence spontaneously.” Keeping up pretences, outsmarting others, putting them down, wheeling and dealing, or turning cynical, may feed our egos, but starve our souls. Cleverness and craftiness often comes at the cost of losing our inner purity. We live in our minds…totally detached from the current of bliss running beneath in our hearts. Judgmentalism, cunningness, disconnect and separate, whereas innocence joins and connects people. All meaningful relationships in our life have their base in innocence. Innocence enables us to accept people in their totality, without judging or labelling them. “Innocence is that utterly natural state of your being – free from all negativity, in which you came to this world, and which is still present inside you,” says Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living Foundation. The power of innocence Innocence is a state of power. It is a state of purity which is divine and infectious. Crusaders may or may not change the world, but innocence changes people. Says Rehana Mohammed Shakir, an avid cat lover, “I used to feel very intimidated by dogs, until one of them touched my life with love. This dog shared space with a young kitten in my office compound. I used to bring cat food for the kitten, and the building security guard requested that the dog be given a share of the food. He was most affectionate even when he knew I was mortally frightened of dogs. I would speak to him from a respectful distance, as he wagged his tail in joy. One day he was so happy to see me, he leaped onto me. A few days later at work, I couldn’t spot him, and when I asked they said he had died the evening before. He had been suffering from cancer. I was heartbroken. I still remember his gentle, loving eyes, his gratitude and affection. I believe he was an angel. It doesn’t matter if you are a cat person or a dog person. The language of love and compassion remains the same. That’s what he taught me.” This innocence which may appears as ignorance in children or animals becomes a very powerful tool in the hands of the realised. Their choice to remain innocent despite the distrust and hostility of the world converts it into a weapon which disarms attackers and moves Providence to support them. Though a student, Swami Vivekananda was skeptical of Ramakrishna Paramahansa’s spiritual achievements, and often made fun of him…Yet, pulled by his purity, he would still be found at his doorsteps every day. When Ramakrishna asked him why he came, Narendra replied, “I come to you because I love you…not to hear your sermons.” Very often, he would put Ramakrishna in doubt about his divine connection with his incisive, cutting logic. “All your visions are nothing but mental madness and hallucination,” he would say. Innocent Ramakrishna would seek shelter in his Divine mother at such times, and she would dispel his doubts. Steeped in his love for Narendra, once Ramakrishna made his way to his house in Calcutta calling ‘Naren, Naren’ only to be chided by Narendra for exposing his God-intoxication to his friends. However, Ramakrishna’s true love, childlike innocence, vulnerability, and pure devotion to Mother Kali finally won the rebellious disciple over, who later stormed the world with his spiritual prowess. When a resentful woman dumped a heap of garbage everyday on Prophet Mohammed…he would not say a word. Instead, the one day she did not appear, he inquired solicitously after her well-being. The simplicity of his heart melted the woman’s angry heart. She sought his forgiveness, and became his follower. Reflects Mohanji, “In the harsh world of profits, innocence is seen as a weakness. On the contrary, innocence is liberation. Innocence means inner richness while greed means inner poverty. Inner richness eventually leads to outer richness. Inner greed eventually leads to outer poverty. The world is reeling in manipulations and greed which ruthlessly crush the innocent. Yet, innocence is the flower that gives hope to humankind.” Innocence protects According to Sanjiv Ranjan, healer, psychotherapist, and founder of the All India Institute of Body-Mind-Medicine, innocence is self-protective. Says Sanjiv Ranjan, “When you are aligned with innocence, you move into heart intelligence which is much more powerful and into the Universal Mind, which is supremely intelligent, infinitely resourceful. It is like being connected to www.universe.com.” Sanjiv Ranjan: Innocence is self-protective Once my two-year-old sister slipped out of the house through a door left open, unknown to my mother. My mother only noticed her absence when an acquaintance came running to inform her that her daughter was with a stranger. When she ran out, she saw my sister in the arms of a burly man who was enquiring about her parents. “Who is this pretty child? If the mother does not want her, then I am ready to take her.” Apparently, she had gone past his car when attempting to cross the road, and was only saved by the speed with which he applied his brakes. My mother thanked him profusely. But she would often recall how my sister’s cuteness and innocence made many people wish to adopt her. She herself, though not very fond of animals, could not stop her motherly heart from overflowing on seeing a litter of newly born puppies in our compound. Every day she would walk to them with a bagful of food for the new mother. “She needs energy to feed these infants,” she would say, teary-eyed. Bonfires were lit to keep the little ones warm in winter, and she would weep on seeing anyone of the litter crushed to death under a speeding bike. “Look at Lord Shiva – the most popular and powerful deity, worshipped by most. It is his innocence and simplicity that makes him the most preferred god. He is also known as bhole baba. Bhole means innocent in English, and a child is fondly called baba in major parts of India. Baba also refers to someone with timeless wisdom. A father or grandfather are also called Baba. In innocence, there is timeless wisdom. When we stay innocent we stay protected,” Sanjiv adds. Lord Narsimha vindicates innocent Prahlada’s faith Scriptures testify that the gods have often intervened to protect the innocent. Lord Krishna protected innocent gopis from the wrath of Indra and many other demons. When child Prahlada stood with folded hands before his father, ready to be killed for his faith in Vishnu, the Lord himself exploded from a pillar, in the form of the ferocious Lord Narsimha, and killed Hiranyakashyapu. Till today the universe conspires to protect the innocent, the pure and those with no ulterior motive. Says Marian English, in a paper published in the Christian Science Journal, “If ever we’re tempted to compare childlike innocence with weakness, consider Malala Yousafzai. The teenage Pakistani insisted on the simple concept of a girl’s right to gain an education. The meekness with which she spoke was not timidity or fear, but the innocence of c
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