Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Lustre lost to Lust

by Sri P.C. Lahiri

A young orphan boy from Kolkata, an important city in the eastern part of India, made it to the status of an icon - amongst the sharpest, brightest, wealthiest and most successful individuals in the entire world. He reached such heights that on one hand he moved at par with the Chairmen and CEOs of elite world organizations, advising them in various capacities.  On the other hand his eminence amongst the people who matter ensured that Presidents and Prime Ministers of various countries held no reservations in engaging him to understand financial matters related to their country as well as to the rest of the world.  His friends, contacts and acquaintances were the who’s who of the world.  He led a life which is a dream of billions of people.  Needless to mention, he had worked extremely hard with unwavering focus and total dedication for many years to reach such dizzying heights.  It seemed like there were no gaps in his repertoire of talent, intelligence, all round capability and luck.  All of a sudden one fine day, his accumulated misdeeds to acquire more wealth at the cost of others got exposed.  Judicial process took over leading to conviction, as a jury unanimously found him guilty of insider trading.

The story of this orphan boy is a living proof of the coinage ‘The Great American Dream’.  Most Americans very proudly talk about this coinage to show that their country provides equal opportunity to all irrespective of background, and that there are great growth/business opportunities awaiting the ‘right’ person.  In the material world, this is a great dream to live and realize.  Some members of the jury wept before pronouncing their guilty verdict, for they fully believed in the concept of the great American dream and were proud to be Americans.  A large chunk of people who have followed this case sympathize with the guilty because of his rags to riches story built around his brilliance, hard work and luck. They feel that the greatness of this person is genuine, and not just based on fraud.  This case assumes a special significance when compared with other high-profile fraud cases in the USA such as Madoff, Khashoggi, Rajaratnam etc., because the person in question here was regarded as a brilliant financial wizard who lived the great American dream.  The dreams of all who believed in this dream got shattered along with the exposure of this fraud.  More than money, he held an exalted status of awe and inspiration for millions which other fraudsters like Madoff etc. could not create for themselves.  This icon, currently out on bail (but facing the prospects of life imprisonment following sentencing in October, 2012), is of course Mr. Rajat Gupta, ex-Chief Executive of the consulting firm, McKinsey and Co. and a former director at the Goldman Sachs Group Inc. 

Where did it go wrong?  What went wrong?  How did it go wrong?  Why did it go wrong?  Copious notes have already been written on it, many are in the pipeline including books and films.  Most of these writings are to simply cash in on an event.  The higher the profile of the calamity, the greater the scope for making money.  To exaggeratedly publicize and utilize the pain and agony of a fellow human being is quite an accepted behavior all over the present day world.

Material scientists and investigators will at most investigate the where, what, how and why (as mentioned before in the first line of the preceding paragraph) of this incident and come to a conclusion that includes convicting the guilty.  A spiritual scientist and investigator on the other hand will go beyond the above questions and ask--- ‘To whom has this calamity befallen?’  Whose respect has gone down the drain?’ Finally the last question shall be---‘Who is he?’ Answers to these questions shall reveal all that needs to be revealed to eradicate the menace of greed from its roots, once and for all.  Answers to the earlier four questions shall give us the ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ of this case which will at best lead to conviction, but not to any sort  of reform or a comprehensive, sustainable solution.  Recurrence of such a behavior from another equally talented and competent person cannot be ruled out even after we have found the answers to the first four questions.  A conviction and subsequent life in jail is only a deterrent, not an educator in the true sense of the term.  It does not help such brilliant individuals attain a level of refinement that would ensure they not only shun all greed, hunger for wealth, name and fame, but also become true role models and icons who inspire millions of people.  The Vivekanandas of the business and political world have not emerged till date simply because of the absence of a true guide who can perfectly blend the outer material world with the inner spiritual world to prove to one and all the Oneness of these two worlds.   Without the spiritual world, the material world is blind, and without the material gross world, the spiritual innermost world cannot manifest.   In essence they are but that Supreme One, without any distinction whatsoever.

The materialistic world lays a lot of emphasis on cherishing a material dream (whatever may be the nature of that dream), and then go full steam ahead to achieve it. The training and guidance imparted by the modern system to achieve goals and fulfill dreams is scientific, but only materially and superficially - not inherently and comprehensively.  It provides a lot of information to any person who strives for it, but cannot provide the road to inner formation.  Information is power in the modern day world, but the collection of a lot of ‘information without inner formation’ leads to disaster more often than not, as is evident in the case of Rajat Gupta.  ‘Information without inner formation’ is the original coinage of Prajnanpurush Sri Sri Babathakur, hereinafter referred to as the Master.  I and many like me, regard Him as our true Guru (although He never had a personified Guru, nor laid claim to being the Guru of another).  Why does it (i.e. ‘information without inner formation’) lead to disaster?  The more the collection of information in an individual, the more are his chances of earning money, acquiring name, fame, power and status.  Wealth and public adulation is highly sought after, and when received is cherished as well - however very few are trained to handle it appropriately.  Gross mishandling has ruined many a lives. It is great to dream the American dream - and the country does provide a lot of opportunities for the able and lucky ones - but it is dangerous to live it without proper mental training.  We have many examples of such downfalls.  Rajat Gupta like cases shall keep recurring, many may be in the pipeline waiting to be exposed, till a total and complete solution is adopted within the world order.

In the light of the understanding gathered while sitting at the lotus feet of the Master for some years, a few things have emerged which have clarified the whole picture without reasonable doubt.  Rajat Gupta’s conviction took place only after the prosecution was able to prove the guilt without reasonable doubt.  Ironically, this guilt was proven by a prosecutor of Indian origin, again with a very humble beginning.  The prosecutor Mr. Preet Bharara has become world famous.  Doors are open for him to become very wealthy and be the cynosure of public eyes each time he handles a high profile case.  He will now be getting many more of such cases. The vish (poison) of vishaya (material matters) shall ruin, unless surrendered at the feet of Vishnu (the Lord of the universe).  All that is missing from the concept of the American dream is the second part of the above statement which is a coinage of the Master. There isn’t enough of correct training or scope available in the Western world to learn the art of surrender to the Supreme Divine.  The required emphasis is also not laid on this matter.

The Master has many times said that the world phenomenon is the ‘becoming of the Being’.  The Being is the Eternal Substratum (Satta), of the nature of Saccidananda [Sat (Existence Absolute) + Cit (Pure Consciousness/Knowledge) + Ananda (Bliss)]. Our true nature is the Being Itself which is ever inactive.  If the Being is inactive then how did the ever active world phenomenon come into existence? It is because the Saccidananda Shakti, i.e. the inherent eternal Power/Energy which is one with the Saccidananda Satta, reveals first as the Universal/Cosmic One (God), and then gradually by more and more admixture of gunas (qualities) through a perfectly scientific process, as the Mother Nature (Prakriti), the individual ones and the material universe (jiva-jagat).  Despite all this revelation of the Saccidananda Shakti, the Saccidananda Satta remains as It is without undergoing any change whatsoever.  In other words, our true nature never undergoes any change. It is ever fulfilled and complete in Itself; hence, It has no needs. So, It is ever inactive, and is only a Witness (Sakshi).

We, the individual ones, have forgotten our true Saccidananda nature by coming under the influence of our mind (antahkarana), which is only a product of the process of the admixture of gunas mentioned hereinbefore.  So is the case with our physical body, outer and inner senses, and the entire outer world. They are continuously undergoing a change; nothing is permanent in this universe including our own body and the rest.  How to deal with this ever changing all round scenario with our needs, desires, compulsions, goals and dreams, is unknown to us.  There are no subjects in our standard schools or colleges which deal with this education.  We do not get to hear or learn about it from peers, seniors and teachers.  What is generally taught in the religious world is an incomplete science.  So how do we rightly deal with the outer world which is for the use of the individual ones - especially given how rarely we get to know, learn or even hear about the science of its right use?  Dwelling in the outer world and using it indiscriminately, we suffer for not knowing this science.  The more indiscriminate the use, the more the suffering.

To hear and learn the science of right use, we need a true Master who is established in the ‘science of right use’.  Merely going through scriptures and books or even listening to a preceptor who is not one with this science, howsoever good an orator or charismatic guru he/she may be, is not enough.   There will always be gaps in one’s understanding, which shall remain unanswered till the seeker comes in contact with a perfect Master.  How do we get such a perfect Master---by simply longing for Him/Her to the best of our ability, if such a great One is not already present and available due to His Supreme Grace. We long/desire for so many things in a lifetime.  Depending on the strength of our longing/desire, we get them sooner or later.  We can’t get a perfect Master, unless we very strongly long for Him/Her.  We do not long for such a person as we do not feel the need of it.  We do not feel this need because the contact of such a person is not an immediate facilitator of our regular mundane needs.  We are not trained to look beyond the mundane. We set short/long term goals at work, in family life or even in social/friend circles.  All those goal settings and subsequent achievements are related to worldly affairs. By dint of solid hard work and focus, we do achieve those goals often.  Having achieved the desired, many a times we are unable to hold on to it.  Then starts the blame game of laying the culpability for the loss of status, wealth, or other mundane acquisitions, on others.  Many sympathizers come forward who are equally ignorant about the real reason of that loss, but nonetheless give lip service, blame others and provide baseless reassurances to make the person complacent and temporarily satisfied, or else make him pursue his so-called enemy who is supposed to be the cause of the loss. This complacency and/or animosity towards his perceived enemy draws him away from the search of the real cause. He lands up learning nothing, instead creating unpleasantness in his life as well as in the life of many others around him. A chain reaction starts, leading him towards a greater fall.

What we really need to sail through this ever changing world is something which is everlasting and never-changing.  In normal course, we do not come across anything which is truly permanent.  This is where the Master comes in and scientifically explains the ‘Science of the Absolute’ to one and all without any distinction whatsoever.  The Science of the Absolute, being all- comprehensive, is inclusive of all other sciences including the science of right use mentioned hereinbefore.  His teaching starts by pointing out to us the ever permanent eternal nature of our true Self.  So, right from the beginning he provides us a permanent, omnipotent and omniscient support that is verily our own real Self.  It is a support which never leaves us even if we are not really aware of It, or even if we choose to ignore It.  It is a friend who does not expect anything in return; a truly disinterested friend. Many of us are fortunate to have come in contact with the personification of such a truly disinterested friend, Prajnanpurush Sri Sri Babathakur (the Master).

The unlimited and infinite wealth we all have within us is revealed by such a Master day-in and day-out, relentlessly and selflessly through all His actions, discourses, behavior and most importantly through His silence.  There remains no urge and need to unduly run after material wealth available in the outside world.  The key is to hold on to the Supreme and Absolute wealth of the True Nature within us steadfastly, as per the guidelines and clear directions of the Master.  The strong grip of our ego through which we run our daily lives will not only get automatically loosened, but shall disappear altogether.

How is that possible?  What link has all this got with the ‘where’, ‘what’, ‘how’, ‘who’ questions with which this article started off? Why was the science of right use mentioned earlier in this piece?  All these and more related points shall be shared with my fellow seekers and readers in the coming issues.  I reiterate that the above is simply my understanding of what I heard from the Master.  It will always be limited by the limitations of my mind and intellect.  There is no alternative to the revelations of a Self-Realized soul.  The above is only my effort to recapitulate the lessons I've learnt and share them with fellow seekers to get better understanding. We all are seekers seeking the total and complete realization of our True Nature to get fully established in the same.

Submitted at the lotus feet of the Master.

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