People burden themselves unknowingly with a number of religious and other impositions in order to feel secure and to reach ego-satisfaction. This load on the mind destroys inner freedom and leads to mediocrity in life. Much of the psychological contact with life is lost through self-imposed injunctions in the hope of pleasing God or for reaping spiritual rewards. After a point, they would be counter-productive and become an unfortunate burden on the mind.

When people become somewhat serious and want to get a grip on their lives, they look around for being guided by DOs and DON’Ts. Almost all books in the market that deal with the mind and life indulge in giving the reader instructions on what to do and what not to do. Religious preachers also indulge in that kind of presentation. While this is meaningful in some practical issues, it cannot help people move on to truly spiritual grounds, because it will inevitably feed the ego.

Listening to an Enlightened Master, we notice that his talk rarely rides on DOs and DON’Ts. Such talks are not addressed to the Outer Self (the ego) but to the Deeper Being so that the growing awareness in the listener gets charged, and there is nothing for the ego to hold on to. The Masters’ talks are in the form of exposition that lights the way even as one listens – a matter of transformation in the very act of listening. People in whom awareness has advanced to some extent listen quietly to the Master and, riding on his words, enter the void within. Even while listening, they sense the intrinsic beauty of the inner silence. In contrast, one who values a moralizing speech is likely to collect a bunch of DOs and DON”Ts and feel guilty if he is unable to fulfill them. Even when he is able to fulfill them, the satisfaction leads to megalomania which is a characteristic of the ego. The self-imposed righteousness and the attempt to become an ideal person leads to inner conflicts and can be quite stifling. Freedom from it is not easy; it cannot come through any set of commandments. The growing inner awareness brings it along in its own way through making us a detached witness to ourselves.

When one listens to the Master, the non-verbal contact with the Inner Being is clear. It generates in us the ability to listen to the serene movement of life with the same detachment with which we listen to the Master’s talk. If there is that quiet non-resistant contact with life, there is a natural order in one’s behavior. That natural order ensures such kindness and compassion that whatever the person does will be right in the sense that it augments harmony and well-being in him and in others. No megalomania or fanaticism can formulate itself in such a mind.

It is interesting to note the difference between the talks of a Master and of a moralizing preacher.

The preacher usually speaks from erudition and verbal knowledge. He (or she) generally confines to the system to which that person is emotionally attached and quotes only from the scriptures belonging to that system. The talk centers on DOs and DON’Ts and the associated moral codes. Such speakers indulge in expounding prescribed paths, methods and techniques to reach pre-determined, self-satisfying goals. Pious egoism plays a role. They do not make it clear that all desires, whether for worldly things or for spiritual ones, arise from the same ego.

In contrast, the Enlightened Masters speak from inner transformation and direct awareness, which is a matter of non-verbal knowingness. When they quote from scriptures, as they sometimes do, such scriptures span over several cultures and are not confined to any one system. Their talk contains only pointers for reflection and self-knowing. There are no instructions or insistence on conformity. The fact that all desires arise from the same state of mind is made clear; that is, the lust for heaven is no different from the lust for money or for sex.

Those who go through a near death experience understand the psychological harm behind falling a prey to self-impositions or impositions from others. This helps them from carrying unnecessary mental burden. They move towards non-sectarian spirituality rather than belong to some sectarian religious group. All these make it possible for them to have candid relationship with Divinity in which there is no attempt to use God to one’s end for satisfaction or security.

People interested in inner freedom would enjoy reflecting on the above matters. To them, the website can be a wayside companion.

Author's Bio: 

Gopalakrishnan TC was born in Madras (now Chennai), India, in 1941. He received his doctoral degree in Coastal Engineering from the North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA in 1978. He served on the research and teaching faculty of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India, the North Carolina State University and the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait. Aside from his professional involvements, he was interested in the philosophic issues of life for the last forty years or so. This led him to the messages of Ramana Maharishi, Lao Tzu, J Krishnamurthy, UG Krishnamurthy, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Eckhart Tolle, Marcus Aurelius and similar Masters. His book entitled “In Quest of the Deeper Self” is the outcome of his reflections on those and his wish to share the outcome with others.
Gopalakrishnan is a member of the International Association for Near Death Studies, Durham, NC, USA. He presented a paper at the 2011 conference of the Association on the theme "The Spiritual Content of Near Death Experiences". Functions as a freelance counselor for mental relaxation. Lives in Kodaikanal, a hill town in south India, with his family. Now he and his wife are both retired and currently involved in developing a fruit farm at a village 20 km from their residence.