Yoga and Vedanta ask us to face the problems of life through Knowledge of Reality.
The ills of life are not created by God, or by the stars, or by luck, but by our own inability to live in the light of Reality. Good and evil move together; one cannot be separated from the other. There is no absolute definition of good or evil.
What is good for one person may be bad for another. The world we live in is in our own mind.
The Vedic seers tell us that the causes of suffering are five, and they are:
- Ignorance that makes us out of touch with Reality;
- Ego that creates the world of dreams and desires;
- Attachment to things and beings of that dream world;
- Aversion toward things and beings we do not like; and
- Clinging to life and not moving forward.
Reality, according to these seers, has two faces: Ultimate Reality that is real for all times and is unchanging, and relative reality that is real for two years, two hundred years, or two thousand years.
Relative reality, when separated from the Absolute, becomes destructive, and the relative world becomes fraught with pain, sorrow and suffering. The Absolute Reality is the reality of one all-pervading Self dwelling as the inmost Self of all beings, as the witness consciousness of the changing phenomena of life.
The universe is the dynamic manifestation of the Absolute Reality within the bounds of time, space and causation.
All existence is one. Each individual is like a leaf on a tree. Leaves come and go, but the tree continues to exist.
This Absolute Reality is our true identity, the Consciousness of all consciuousness, the Truth of all truths.
Forgetfulness of this Reality creates spiritual blindness and eventually spiritual bankruptcy, the root cause of all sufferings and maladies of life. Physical and mental sufferings are only the symptoms of this deep-rooted spiritual malady.
… to be continued.
SWAMI ADISWARANANDA, in Meditation and Its Practices, Introduction, xi-xv (emphases, if any, are mine. – nytanaya)