A Reset on Life – March 29 2019

A Reset on Life – March 29 2019

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
 
One of the most profound gifts of the Vedic worldview is how easy it is to reset one’s experience of life. Things fall apart, life becomes unbearable, hearts are broken, jobs not won, relationships break down, pets die, and so often we begin to tell ourselves it is because life is unfair, or because God doesn’t like me. Or we tell ourselves there’s something wrong with us, that we don’t deserve to be happy. Or even that we don’t deserve to be alive.
 
This is why we read spiritual writings. When our experience of life moves to the negative, we read the words of another who can take us back to the basics.
 
The Ashtavakra Samhita is an ancient teaching given by the sage Ashtavakra, to his king, King Janaka, on the true nature of life and consciousness. It lays out in clear language the Vedic idea 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 my ignoring the truth of myself that I experience the universe as all these separate selves, as problems or enemies or people who are withholding what I need. And in order to find freedom from all these so-called problems of life, there is nothing I need attain. The Self is always free. I simply must 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 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 and my resentment 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 at the grocery or in traffic, 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, no one can lose. If you and I are one, we both are 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 of which we are capable is evolution.
 
Spring Sky and Downtown LA