Quest for Truth

Krishan Kumar Anand

 

ma

 

For over 20 years a persistent thought had coursed within and grown in me: Who am I, what is this world and what should be the nature of my life? This thought allowed me no peace, but led me into intense studies of the teachings of Prophets and of others; into endless visits to ashrams, churches, educations and social work centres; into slums and villages; into deep discussions with writers, thinkers, teachers, spiritual leaders and others. They all spoke in terms of the highest philosophies – and impractical ideologies which ignored their actual lives – and my quest received no satisfactory answer- until one fine day, just as a lonely seaman, storm-tossed in hurricane seas for endless days, suddenly chances up on a quiet haven with friendly beings, I found myself at Madhuban – and met the enchantingly dear Ma with Her delightful group of people: an island of love, understanding and activity, pivoted around a vibrant consciousness.

At Madhuban, what people termed as “Ashram” turned out to be a very homely country-house, buzzing with the usual activities of a home – and yet pervaded by a serene sense of joy and freedom which I had missed everywhere else. I queried Ma on all the salient points of my doubts, and She quickly put me at ease, not by a ‘high pedestal led’ philosophy, but by some strangely superb process of discussing with me from my own viewpoint and level. Gradually, the cobwebs of my own doubts and confusion in my understanding began to be swept away, clarifying my own thinking, without any superimposition.

Behind her loving friendliness and homely charm, I sensed a sharp incisive intellect which removed doubt and confusion and at the same time developed in me an objective outlook. The little ‘family’ which I found in Madhuban had individually sought Her guidance and love, either through their own free will or through destiny and she had accepted them all, as they came.

In the very first week I happened to repeat to Her, from the depths of my intellectual knowledge “I am neither the body, nor the mind nor the intellect”. Her reply to this and to a few similar statements by me gave me a deep shock. “You are telling a downright lie”, she said forcefully. I was stunned, for what I had said was an essence of Vedanta which was certainly no lie! It was only after weeks of intense reflection, counter-questioning and discussion with the other members of the family and after playing the role assigned to me in the Ashram activities, that I realized how right She was: for I had spoken from mere intellectual knowledge, whereas, in actual practical life I was still deeply identified with and attached to my body, mind and intellect.

Gradually one by one, all my similar basic conceptions which had made me believe I was an ardent seeker of truth, were exposed in their true hues by the thorough and frank analysis by Ma. Step by step I realized not without great pain in the early stages, that far from being a highly superior person who, by virtue of having renounced his family, relations, friends, responsibilities (including my job as an Architect) was exempt from all duties other than the ‘duty’ of ‘realizing myself’ – in other words, by becoming a Sanyasi, I had attained a high superiority over all other beings who had not renounced similarly, I was actually a total escapist from life and it’s responsibilities, a coward and a failure in life, who, on the mere strength of some study and discussions had assumed that he had reached the heights! Unless I came out of this self created delusion about my superiority and goodness based on false premises, I could never become objective and would thus be totally unable to tread the path of Truth.

Destiny and perhaps a bit of sincerity in my search for truth brought me before Ma, who out of her deep love and generosity and to the extent that I allowed Her, revealed the above to me. She never once offered me any unsolicited advice. It was my inner desire for progress, coupled with my conscious expression of the same that elicited her actions of knocking down the barriers and obstacles which I had myself erected in my path; exposed my misconceptions, fixations, repressions, suppressions etc. through a wonderful combination of study, discussion and physical work whereby my escapist traits were revealed to me, and thus progressively, I started to comprehend the path of truth, and this comprehension included the awareness of inner motives based on passion, anger, avarice and greed camouflaged in the garb of my “renunciation”. It was these that I should have renounced rather than the world outside.

My search for Truth had found its anchor, for here, at Madhuban, I found myself face to face with “the living Truth” – Ma. It was all up to me now to be practical and do my duty to the external world in the fullest sense in the back of my mind loomed the pictures of those whom I had neglected and renounced – all mutely crying for justice.

Ma’s benevolence and Grace gradually gave me the understanding whereby I stopped blaming the external world, for I understood that the only right which I possessed was the right to perform my duties towards the world, for everybody deserved my sympathetic and constructive attitude rather than my condemnation. Actually, I came to learn later that the external world is only a projection of one’s own mind and instead of running away from situations they should be tackled with love, generosity, understanding and other divine qualities. Thus Ma encouraged me to acquire the spontaneous habit of accepting, analyzing and facing all situations that cropped up at Madhuban (and I daresay, Madhuban seemed to get all varieties by the dozen, as if some strange force was deliberately cooking them in abundance for our consumption!).

This fascinating play-way method consisted of self-analysis, after the day’s work was over, wherein the different situations, problems and temperaments of other members had provoked all sorts of reactions within me, thereby offering me rich material for thought in the light of the Gita which enumerated the qualities of a Gunatit, Sthithpragya, Bhakta,Yogi and Sanyasi etc. to act as a measuring rod – of course under Ma’s guidance. At the onset, I was often dismayed to discover that while I was wrongly imagining myself to be adorned with many divine qualities, in fact what I possessed were just the opposite qualities. This true picture of myself would thoroughly dishearten me, but Ma was always there to hold and encourage me.

Today, I feel myself standing on the threshold of a new life of Sadhana –knowing that Ma abounds in the Grace that I seek.

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