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 Blooming Stars

Real Truth

             The aim of this writing in different forms is actualization, realization, holiness. What is realization or holiness all about? Being all that we can be; becoming all that we have the capacity to become; more specifically, becoming all that God has placed in us to become, or becoming “being perfect as your heavenly father (God) is perfect” in the words of Sadguru Jesus Christ (Matthew, 5: 38). Becoming aware of who we are and living that awareness every moment. Here a story from Bhagavat Puranam comes to my mind. Pingala was a highly sought after prostitute who lived in the city of Mithila in ancient India.

            She, decked in beautiful dress, ornaments, and make-up, and living in a palatial house with expensive décor, entertained rich clients and persons with high status in society. One day she was very upset as nobody showed up. She became very inconsolable and started crying. Finally she cried out in her despair: “Ashahi paramam dukham (Desire is the cause of supreme sorrow); nyrashyam paramam sukham (Not having desire leads to supreme happiness). From her philosophical insight she broke out into a spiritual insight: Santham sameepe ramanam, rathipradam, vittapradam nityamimavihaya (With the presence always of the entertainment of the Supreme Being in me I have all the sexual pleasure as well as financial bliss).

            We are all in a way like Pingala in the sense we “prostitute” ourselves in some ways. We are in a constant struggle between the flesh and the spirit, between the material and the spiritual quest. Holiness and the lack thereof is on this continuum of struggle. Interestingly, we also look for and run after others, for instance, the so-called God-men and God-women for fulfillment without being aware that the One that can give the true and real enjoyment and happiness is within us, nay, more intimate than we ourselves are as St. Augustine, perhaps the greatest pillar of Western civilization, put it. These God-men and God-women would not tell their devotees the real truth that they cannot give lasting joy as they themselves in their illusion (maya) consider themselves to be avatars (incarnations) of god or some holy persons of old. It looks like they themselves are not aware that they are only pointers to the Ultimate. Persons who throng after them do not have a clue of who they are.

            Looking at it another way, we are all in illusion, a variant of delusion; we are all in reality God-men and God-women; the only difference, perhaps, is that those who proclaim themselves to be so are aware of being such and we do not have that same awareness. Here awareness (insight) plays the most crucial role. Pingala the transformed woman moved from her maya - the transitory and therefore illusory state of commercial sexual union with men for livelihood - to the reality of sublime union with God. In the whole of Christendom, Mary Magdalen is known not as a prostitute but as one of the greatest saints who was privileged to witness to the risen Christ first, and to communicate that all-important news to his apostles and disciples. Weneed like to look at awareness, realization, and holiness from Eastern and Western perspectives, more specifically, from Hindu, Buddhist, and Christian points of view.


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