I have been reading autobiographies, philosophy, religious books, gurus and many prophets of alternative religions each professing their own way and practice that can lead one to lead a happy, content and pious life. Be it at the monasteries of the Dharamshala where old Buddhist and shaman practices merge though the words and way of the Dalai Lama, or the Ashram of Baba Ram Dev in Haridwar that preaches good health through yoga, exercise and healthy eating. Steeped in the flavour of Desh Bhakti, Patanjali Yoga and public welfare, the programs offer a way to Improve the quality of people’s day to day life and keep them fit and happy.
In Coimbatore, you have Sat Guru, the practitioner of ISHA Yoga and his love for Shiva which stands out along with his lessons on inner engineering and meditation. Along with that, we have the sacred walks, these are religious journeys one takes with Sat Guru, I am already booked for Mansarovar and a trip to Tibet. In Pune, you have the OSHO ashram offering meditation programs all selling their books and CDs full commercial style. Of course, why forget Sri Ravi Shankar, the big daddy whose art of living foundation teaches people how to live a life that is absolute dance, joy and sheer painting. His recent world festival of dance and music was fined crores for polluting the banks of the Yamuna. Then there are the older Gurus like Vivekananda and Ram Krishna Paramhans who are not alive but live through their preaching, books, speeches and the way they conducted and lived their lives. These merry band of Sadhus, Sanyasis, gurus, healers and spiritual Godmen all pedal the same stuff. They are the opium sellers of joy, enlightenment, bliss, delight and euphoria through religion. The marketplace is full of their rhetoric, each wooing followers to join them, so they can sell packed bliss to all. Energised baths, natural hot water springs of Manikaran and Badrinath are places where the mass baptise themselves at the same time cleaning their sins in the Ganga at Benaras, Hrishikesh and Yamunotri. A lot of the ashrams offer an almost SPA like service to their clientele, delivering massages and therapies for the aching body. Both the inner and the outer is healed and then energised.
We must be a really unhappy lot for so many of these spiritual factories catering to our ever growing demand. At the end of the day, all that we need to realise is that we are the enlightened human being already, we are the atman beyond the five senses and our bold experience. Once we know atman, we know we can never be born and never die, we are the embodiment of the eternal, this itself should make fear, struggle, pain and misery disappear from our lives. Once we know that we are the eternal that lives in the eternal, we merge with the whole and thus merge with the will of the supreme. This is a state of total let-go and relaxation, now we are in tune with our internal rhythms, now life is joy, dance and a song as we skate and glide through life knowing very well that the whole knows where it is headed. Then life is play, you can play it, alter it, manipulate it through will and appropriate action. You are in charge and that is a great feeling. So make the most of this song and dance knowing well that you yourself are eternal.