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If one finds the time to reflect on the course of his life, he would discover many facts about himself. True, there are various possibilities, various permutations and combinations of what each individual would discover. However, one can venture a few guesses. Firstly, maybe he would discover that his life has no definite purpose, that it is patterned and routine, that one day is not different from another. It is only a movement in chronology, in time, with its inevitable consequence that one is born on a particular date and there is death around the corner, the date and time is uncertain.
One would also discover that the driving force of his life is desire, more and more of it, though different in content as one moves up the ladder of achievements. Needless to say that he would be pushed into the 'rat race" of competition and all its negative fall-outs.
The third common fact that one would discover is that the nature of the desire is such that it is an unquenchable thirst and is ever a half filled cup. One would also find that there is a directional pull to thought and action, which make one act in particular way, because of that fact.
One who has found time and the need for change in one"s routine life would have discovered many things. Even so it is difficult to stand apart and be detached. For, the happening of the events in his life are all centred on him the thinker, the desirer and so on. Hence Ramana refers to certain hidden truths.
Firstly, all one"s tall claims and thinking that he is the boss of life are constantly negated by the events of his life. For, a desire oriented life is a dependent life, dependent on others and circumstances for happiness. In contrast one"s natural state is one of total freedom, complete, non-dependent and Self-fulfilled. By locating happiness in others or in changing circumstances, one has sown the seeds of sorrow. Since desire"s fulfillment is the source of happiness the fear of its loss is also inevitable.
If happiness depends on 'my" people, they are subject to varying moods and whims and fancies. They are as brittle as you are. That which you are labelling as happiness is only an opposite of what is labelled as sorrow and is therefore a see-saw with ups and downs.
Ramana is gifting, for all those who desire a root and branch change in their life, His guidance, which would enable one to find out the fountain-head of happiness, not outside in others but in the very centre of his own heart.
To be continued
About the author
Sri A.R.Natarajan has had the opportunity of a long association of over 50 years with the Ramanashram. He was the editor of "Mountain Path" for two years. He was the secretary of Ramana Kendra, New Delhi for ten years. He founded the Ramana Maharshi centre for learning, a non profit institution. He has authored more than thirty six books and eleven pocket books on the life and teachings of Bhagavan Ramana.