A Reset on Life – April 25 2020

A Reset on Life – April 25 2020

It is through your ignorance alone that the universe exists. In reality you are one. There is no individual self or Supreme Self other than you.

ASHTAVAKRA SAMHITA, XV.16, 

translated by Swami Nityaswarupananda

 

Life is not for sissies. Especially now, in the time of coronavirus. Things fall apart, society comes unglued, life becomes unbearable; hearts are broken, friends die, pets get sick, relationships break down. We take the hit, then so often we tell ourselves stories about ‘why.’ It’s because life is unfair, or because God doesn’t like me. There’s something wrong with me, I don’t deserve to be happy, maybe I don’t even deserve to be alive.

 

This is why we read spiritual writings. When we go to the negative, we read something to take us back to the basics.

 

The Ashtavakra Samhita is an ancient teaching given by the sage Ashtavakra to King Janaka on the truth of Oneness.

 

It is through your ignorance alone that the universe exists.

 

In order to ignore something, I must know that thing; and it is only by ignoring the truth of myself that I can experience the universe as all these separate things – as problems or enemies or people who are making my life difficult. And in order to find freedom from all these so-called problems, there is nothing I need to attain. The Self is always free. I simply have to remember the fact of my freedom, cease ignoring this truth of what I am.

 

I Am That. Thou Art That. All this is nothing but That.

 

If all this universe and I are one, doesn’t that mean that, staying home with myself one more day contains the possibility of miracles, of adventure, of the unknown?

 

If I am all that is, if God is closer to me than the air that I breathe, if the reality is that you and I are One, what does it matter that there is a blip on the radar screen of life? What does it matter that you hurt my feelings or ignored me or forgot my birthday or whatever idea it is that I am using to make myself feel separate from you? It’s only an idea, a feeling. It’s only a mistake. It is only ignorance.

 

And truth be told, it takes more work for me to hold onto my wrong ideas, my resentment and my judgment than if I were to let go and simply love.

 

Today I will remind myself that you and I are One, and if you seem to be in my way, or behaving in a way that ignores me; if you seem to be out to get me or after my job, if you seem to be my competition in work or romance, I will remind myself that if you and I are One, there’s nothing I can lose. If you and I are one, we are both in the loving hands of God, who also is One with us. If you and I are One, then together, we are nature, and together, the only thing we are capable of is evolution. Even in the middle of all this.

Ardhanarishwara, collodion glass plate negative, Studio City, CA