Sunday, July 24, 2011

Being Indifferent

There was once a guy who was searching for a spiritual Guru and was keen to get an Upadesh (or spiritual advice)from such a Guru. One fine day, a renowned Guru was camping near his town and so he went to visiting. The Guru usually observed a vow of silence and would not speak with anyone. When this guy went near the Guru and asked his for the Upadesh, the Guru spoke two words "Chuuma Iru" in Tamil which meant "Keep quiet".

Normal people would take this as an admonition and may sulk. However, so intense was this desire of this devotee that he literally accepted the Guru's words as gospel and started observing a vow of silence himself. Over a period of time, his observation skills shot up sharply. He also slowly started withdrawing into himself as his conversations with others had ended.

Over a period of time, he became what a true Yogi aspires to be. He started observing things with a disinterested eye and witnessed events without getting involved. He realised through personal experience that the world is like a stage with different people playing different roles. Different event occurred unexpectedly just as it would in a interesting play. He realised, in his mind, that nothing is permanent and there is no point getting attached to things. Just as the waves which rise and fall again in the mighty ocean, thoughts come and go, possessions come and go, friends come and go...

His mind became peaceful and balanced. Nothing disturbed his equilibrium and calm state of mind. Soon he too became sought after as a Guru.

This real story shows us a path to realise our life's purpose. We too can cultivate an attitude of indifference in ourselves. We too can withdraw ourselves from the overpowering attraction of the world and start seeking inwards. We too can use our senses for the right purposes only and not misuse it for indulging ourselves.

Of course, this path is not easy and not for every one. One practicing it will find people mistrusting and unhappy with this approach. One can be accused of hypocrisy. One way to reach this stage is to practice meditation earnestly. If we can learn to be indifferent at all times and in all eventualities, we will certainly find peace.

Moderation, which consists in an indifference about little things, and in a prudent and well proportioned zeal about things of importance, can proceed from nothing but true knowledge, which has its foundation in self acquaintance. – Plato