ind is the filter through which different experiences touch our inner world. But if our filter is not precise and clear, then the negative influences of the world also touch our hearts, and that gives birth to suffering. When I was young, I was taught: ‘Study hard. If you get into a good college, you will get a good job. If you get a good job, you will have a very good lifestyle, you will be able to support yourself and your family. By having a good lifestyle, you will be happy.’ But today, even if I have a good job, I have a beautiful family, but still I remain unhappy, I’m suffering in this world. So now I have reached a point in my life where I realize that whatever was taught to me was not necessarily true. And this is what I call the ‘crossroad of confusion’. And at some point of time in our lives we all reach this crossroad where we simply do not know what to do with our lives, what choices to make, how can I be truly happy and satisfied. And that’s when a search begins from within, and the search is to know the Truth, because the Truth will set me free. But until I know the Truth, I am trapped, I am bound by the conflicts of this world, and in turn the conflicts of my mind. So it becomes very important to understand the conflict of the mind. How does our mind work? Our mind is influenced by instant gratification and fear. When I want something in this world, desire arises from within me. Desire for anything in this world, our Masters said, will lead to suffering.
It is your mind which is attached to this world, not your true self or your true being. But until I understand these limitations of the mind, I cannot move beyond the mind and be free. So it becomes very important to find the way to move beyond the influences of the mind. Say, for example, tomorrow God appears in front of you and says, “Pack your bags”, which actually you don’t need. But he says, “Your time is up and you’re coming with me.” Now comes a very important question which you have to ask yourself, your own heart: if tomorrow God comes and he asks you this question, are you ready to leave this world? Will you say, “God, I am ready to go wherever you want me to go.” Or will I start making excuses in front of God? Will I say, “I am not even married, I don’t have kids, I just started my business, I don’t have grandchildren, I haven’t experienced certain things in life, I haven’t travelled to certain places in this world”? Whatever attachments you have in this world will all start to surface.
It just shows how attached we are to this world which one day will anyway end for us. That is why our sages or our Masters encourage us to find the ultimate reality, which is beyond time and space, which is beyond all limitations, which and space, which is beyond all limitations, which will give us the courage to tell God, “I am ready.” But this is all a feeling, to wish something is not necessarily the actual reality of this world, or our own self. We can wish for many things in life, but if you don’t work towards them, a wish will just be a desire. But if I find a way to go towards that ultimate reality, then I do not have to wish, because that ultimate reality is already a part of you, it is part of your eternal self, not your limited mind. Now, whether God appears in front of you tomorrow, or five years down the line, or ten years down the line, the question is, that one day His call is going to come, and also the question is that I don’t know when the call is going to come, it could be the next moment for me, and if that call comes and I am not prepared, then what happens? That is the greatest attachment in this world. None of us want to move on.
So it becomes very important to go beyond the mind’s limitations. Now, the big question mark is, how? It is to be who you are and to realize it throughout your life. Ask yourself this question, ‘Who am I?’ Are you just emotions, bundled up in the mind? Are you anger? If you are not, detach from anger. Are you just a sense of pride? If you are not, if you are something more, then detach yourself from pride. Are you lust? If you are not, then detach yourself from lust. Slowly, slowly, when we remove all the limitations that we are not, in the end you will find within you who you are, because that will be the only thing that remains. This process is known as self-realization, it is the essence of all forms of yoga or meditation, it is the essence that all religions try to teach us, it is this understanding that all Masters try to give us. But, what becomes the limiting factor? It is me, no one else.
Once there was an Irishman who was getting late for a very important meeting. He reached his destination on time, but he couldn’t find anywhere to park his car. So he was driving around the parking lot in circles, and he knows he’s getting late. So, when we lose all hope, who do we turn to? Automatically we start praying to God, so this is what he did. He looked up and he said, ‘God, I promise I will never drink again, if you find me a parking space.’ So, the moment he said that, he saw a car reversing and a parking space became free right in front of him. So, the moment he saw the empty space, he looks up again and says, ‘God, don’t worry about my prayer, I just found an empty parking space!’
This, in short, is the story of all our lives. We want a lot of things, but somehow we don’t want to work towards them. If something good happens to us in our lives, we walk not on the ground but in the air. We will pat ourselves on the back and we will say, ‘Good work, I have done this.’ But if something bad happens to us, who do we start blaming? We won’t look at our own shortcomings, we will turn to God and say, ‘Why, God? Why did you do this to me?’ This is again the limitation of the mind. The world is what it is. It is the world of duality. There is life and death, happiness/sadness, meeting/separation, construction/destruction, and in this world of duality I exist, but I am not dual. What is the essence of our being? If you are sitting here, what force or what power is making you sit here? If you are listening to me, what force is making this possible?