Striking a Balance!

From Pratiksha Apurv's desk Media Watch

No need to relinquish material wealth for spiritual gains, writes Pratiksha Apurv in Speaking Tree, India, on May 30, 2016

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Discourses on spirituality often touch upon the topic of ‘material world’ or ‘outer world’, which is generally frowned upon by many with strong arguments that ‘material possession’ needs to be relinquished to attain inner peace. A clear line has been drawn since a long time, dividing the ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ world, as if both should never be uttered together. But, this poses a big question whether it is possible to enrich the ‘inner’ without the ‘outer’? Perhaps not. Both, inner and outer richness are required in perfect balance, in perfect harmony for spiritual growth, which we also like to call an inner journey.

The symphony of richness

Zorba The Buddha

Osho called this perfect balancing of inner and outer richness, ‘Zorba the Buddha’. For him, Zorba represents all the materialists of the world in the best possible way. Zorba has madness in him, he enjoys material comfort of what we call ‘outer world’ — food and drink; he loves songs, plays and wholeness of the world. Osho says this man Zorba is the beginning, he is the foundation and the Buddha is the palace. Osho’s words are simple. He says that Zorba is the rock out of which the Buddha statue has to be carved. The Buddha himself had come to be the Buddha because he had lived the life of a Zorba. For this inner and outer richness he coined a new term ‘Zorba the Buddha’ — someone who enjoys the wholeness of being, tuning everything together, without differentiating one from another.

My painting describes this balancing of inner richness through zero, which is very significant for both inner and outer richness. The more zeroes you add into your outer wealth from 100000 to 1000000000… the more you are getting trapped into the cycle of greed and money-mindedness; it won’t make any difference to your inner world. The same shunyata or ‘nothingness’ in your inner world will bring in the balance, the real treasure for the inner pilgrimage.

The shunya or zero is Aum, which will bring harmony between the materialist — which is Zorba, and the spiritualist — which is the Buddha. There is every possibility for Zorba to become the Buddha, the awakened one. So, no need to become a pretender and abjure fun and beautiful things in life. All one needs to do is to create a perfect balance. If you go on collecting wealth without moving inwards, then it is a problem. One can possess luxury but must not let possessiveness dominate life. There is no need to choose or reject anything in life, as Zen master Ho Koji puts it: “Nothing I choose, nothing reject.”

According to a story, when Ho Koji met Sekito, he asked, “Who is he that is independent of all things?” The story says, Sekito covered Ho Koji’s mouth with his hands and Koji underwent an experience like this: In my daily life there are no other chores than those that happen to fall into my hands. Nothing I choose, nothing to reject. Nowhere is there ado, nowhere a slip. I have no other emblems of my glory than the mountains and hills without a spot of dust. My magical power and spiritual exercise consists in carrying water and gathering firewood.

Inner Journey

Anyone on an inner journey has nothing to choose. His life has to be a life of choicelessness, living in totality. Inner and outer richness are two sides of the same coin. Nothing to choose, nothing to reject. Live fully like Zorba and there is every possibility of you entering into the life of Buddha. Just be aware about the zeroes.

Pratiksha ApurvPratiksha Apurv –

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