Deep within the Cave of the Heart
– A Sikh Perspective –
The Ultimate reality cannot be known through one’s wealth or one’s progeny of actions.
Renunciation is the only path through which those who have known the ultimate Reality have entered the Deathless.
Beyond heavens shines the ultimate Reality, which is deep within the cave of the heart.
Thus can be sought by a faithful seeker.
Am I that one? Ponder. Examine. Reflect.
Death is surrounding, encompassing us at every moment from all sides. Wherever I may go, finally I will find death. Whether I think about it or avoid thinking. It’s there; it’s here. It’s in the now.
We all fear death - in fact all other fears are shadows of fear of death let it be poverty, illness, loosing someone, experiencing failure, deep down, behind all of them, is the fear of death. Fear of death is one side of the coin of life; the other side of the coin is lust for life. The more the clinging to the lust of life, the greater the fear. Consequently I indulge in a plethora of activities - we live less and spend more time and energy making safeguards against death. Consequently no time is left for living- or for the flower of life to bloom.
I run, scramble, I earn money, acquire fame, build houses with high walls having huge safes, make all sorts of arrangements for my security for one reason only : I simply never want to die. Yet all my safety measures, precautions, prove futile. They are all in vain.
Billions of us have simply wasted our lives in simply fighting against death. And yet we go on doing the same thing without paying any heed to this wasteful activity, a meaningless effort. Amusingly some of us think: It’s ok that I will die, but at least my children would remain, hence investments in building assets starts and this chain goes on and on with increasing intensity, madness — each generation outperforming the previous one.
The bottom line cause to the belief that future generation will be so incompetent that they simply will not be able to do anything on their own. We have produced parasites. And in doing this I experience a sense of pride- that I am immortal.
Some seek immortality through their childen, some through their creations- painter through his paintings, sculptor through his sculptures, musician through his music- all these are just ways of searching for immortality.
The truth is that creation and destruction are opposite poles of the same phenomena- moment something is created - perishing starts. It’s immaterial whether I live for 70 or 700 years- both these dates are not under my control. Yet the gap between them is and let me bloom to my fullness during this time.
Let me lead a life of celebration, pure ecstasy, richness, aliveness, completeness, dance- where every moment is infinite, immersing, evolving.
Yet the efforts that to attain immortality prove to be in vain.
The deepest longing in life is to experience the deathless; the immortal, that which can never be destroyed.
And the day when the search ends- when one experiences the ultimate reality - the immersion- he is a Sikh- one who has found that room from which there can never again be separation; no beginning, no end. Immersed in his Master till eternity. Oneness personified.
The search for the ultimate reality is a search for eternal always has been, never ever destroyed, never will die. And only when I become one with this, I am a Sikh - the immortal - the deathless.
Unless I have become one with this, my life will be a trembling fear, like a leaf in the wind, because death will shake me from everywhere, I constantly would experience the winds of death. And where the fear ends and fearlessness begins, I would experience the sunrise of life, there only lies the new dawn.
Wealth, power, recognition are simply deceptions- they create illusions of permanence- a false sense of security- with which I can fight against the momentary things- making permanent arrangements against death, This madness reaches a point where I even forget, why, in the first place, I had started accumulating money. And in this mad pursuit of acquisition, I lose myself in the process.
People earn money to make their living, but on closer inspection of wealthy people, one observes that are living to make money. Interesting paradox.
A great motivational speaker Andrew Carnige left billions of dollars behind- till his very end he was on an accumulation spree- more, yet more and yet more was his drive. Was he living or was he earning. What a colossal waste of life. Earning never finishes and living never begins.
The hard truth. The naked fact of today.
Wherever my ego races in life, it goes on creating a horizon of its own. Wealth is one of them- no matter how far go, I simply reach nowhere; the goal moves yonder, the race continues. Never ending yet life ends. Rich people often lead a poor life. Poor lives that way, because he has to, it’s by default. And people who think that they can reach the essence of life through money, power, fame are simply lost travellers. Real immorality cannot be experienced through acquisition of materialistic comforts.
Most of us have no idea where to find the spring of life’s juices. One can live for others- yet one who has found that spring, sans attachment, acquisition. He is centred. He is still. He is here and in the now. Actions, more action, constant activity is not the path to be immortal- the realized one- the awakened one- the aware one. Jumping in and out from one activity to another- the whole life doesn’t create the experience of fullness, richness, completeness. The being is simply present in me, it has not to be created; only it’s to be uncovered, discovered. It is not produced, no system, no discipline of action, will be able to produce the already produced.
Interestingly if I and you are surrounded by fear all along, how can the light arise out of us? Through action we can find others, not ourselves. My presence is hidden behind all my actions. Even if there is no action, I am still there- I am deeper than the action. So if I need to discover my intrinsic self, I need to let go - just relax. Take a pause and be there in the now. Need to observe sans judgements.
Fifth Master let go his physical body - he wasn’t clinging to it- he simply dropped it. Let it go. Ninth Master in the name of upholding of individual freedom, dignity, coupled with the right to practice ones faith without fear, did a supreme sacrifice- He gave up his physical being - let it go. Tenth Master, an epitome in letting go everything- his father, his four sons, his mother and finally himself. No clinging, no sorrow, no crying- he celebrated those moments with thankfulness, gratitude. Nothing could hold him back - clinging was never a part of them. That’s true renunciation- let go off the hold- cause what is not yours, is not yours. The body isn’t mine, it never was, it was simply a shield given by the creator- and had to be returned back with smile.
I went to the Gurudwara, I bowed, I offered money, I do sewa, wash utensils, polish shoes, being in the management committee. Wow. I went - or it was the Masters’ graciousness that he allowed me to enter, given who I am. Whose goodies am I owning up? I very craftily convert my money or my self- centred actions into virtue. To renounce does not mean that one turns renunciation into a new kind of currency- it actually means to understand that no wealth is really wealth- either here or anywhere else. Wealth simply does not exist. No wealth is mine at all. Furthering this if the fist that is holding money, wealth opens up completely- in total fearlessness- then it’s on this same opened fist that the nectar of deathlessness will shower. In open hands the nectar showers while in a closed one, only poison gathers.
Interestingly, that’s why with my so called acquired wealth, power, fame, position, my misery also increases increasingly- it simply goes on deepening and growing.
Renunciation is the disappearance of the attitude of holding across dimensions, one who does not hold on to a person, money, scripture or virtue. The problem is in my clinging not in the things. One renounces money and then he clings to his renunciation. Another renounces his home, he clings to the ashram, one renounces his worldly life, but he clings to sannyas. Different strokes with the same base- clinging.
Renunciation is possible only if I start living with more awareness- it’s not limited to the outer act, but becomes and inner state of being. The awkward one remains alert and awake that his fist does not close on anything, that whatever he holds does not become bondage. Hence I need to be mindful of what I am doing. Am I dropping all that I had and I am not substituting anything else in its place?
As long as I ask for gain, its better that I stay where I am, because it’s the mind which seeks gain, which searches for gain, that’s the world. So even if I go to the Master, I go with the intent of seeking some gain. One simply needs to dissolve, immerse in the Master- no questions, no pains, and no gains. I am in an eternal state of completeness, fullness, richness and all is happening in the now. It’s now. Only here. Nowhere else to go. Here everything is in place and there is a place for everything.
ęCopyright Institute of Sikh Studies, 2017, All