Drop that frame!

From Pratiksha Apurv's desk

Religions have created frames to help you look for the Divine, but they act like blinkers, preventing you from looking at the larger picture, writes Pratiksha Apurv in this editorial published in Speaking Tree on March 4, 2017.

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Can God be found? Can a spiritual master be sought? Can certain religious rules and guidelines if practised daily help us find God? These are some of the most debated topics throughout human history, yet they have been answered so simply by the great mystic poet Sant Kabir. He lived a life of a simple weaver, yet he sang beautiful verses such as this: Herat, herat hey sakhi, gaya Kabir heray; Boond samaani samund mein, so kat heri jaai, by which he means to say, “I was seeking and searching but I could not find what I was looking for, and when I got lost in the search, it was then that the union with the Divine happened. The water drop got merged with the ocean. It could not be found anymore.”

Seeking Pratiksha
Seeking – Oil on Canvas, 2008, 36 x 36″

An Alert Mind

Eastern philosophy has always emphasised the art of ‘seeking without really seeming to be seeking’, because by merely seeking one will never find God. Instead by keeping an alert and open mind, a mind that lives in the present, an available and receptive mind, there is a possibility of the union with the Divine.

Eastern mysticism says that God is not something that is to be found outside somewhere, instead God already exists in our inner being. When we start the search with a certain frame of mind, with dreams in our eyes and desires in our heart to achieve something outside of us, then we have already created barriers, raised certain future dreams and plans in our minds, which lessen the possibility of melting into the Divine and experiencing it in our own lives. Several religions and sects have created certain frameworks to search for the Divine. It is like putting blinkers on a horse’s head to keep it focused on the path it’s running on and preventing it from seeing the vast landscape around. This is exactly what the so-called priests do all the time.

They provide blinkers to seekers; a certain frame is created to give them a feeling that they are really seeking God. The blinkers and frames of guidelines of a particular path, religion or sect may mislead and misguide seekers with disastrous consequences, resulting in despotism, fanaticism, and intolerance. This happens too often, especially to those who are immature and naive and have personal problems or issues, or are seeking just to satisfy their personal egos. After a certain time, they think that what they have learnt or understood is their ultimate destiny. It is such fixed thought patterns or mental frames that prove to be a deviation from the real search, because a certain frame or blinker has been put on their mind. They forget about the vast universe that awaits them outside of the frame of their mind. Essentially, what we are seeking is already hidden inside us, simply waiting to blossom the moment we have dropped these mental frames. The frame itself is the very obstacle. So when the desire and the search disappear, which are obstacles in a way, that very moment one attains the ultimate bliss. But so long as the frames of wrong understanding and fixed thought pattern remain, the Divine is unachievable, thereby resulting in bitter misunderstanding, chaos and the resultant wars. Each one then believes that the frame he holds in his mind is the right and true frame. This however, doesn’t mean that there should be no seeking and searching. In fact, the real quest must begin from within.

Do Not Seek

The frame is the human mind consisting of our dreams and goals. When all thoughts, dreams, desires, and all future longings vanish, when there is nothing left and you are totally empty, without even a single frame of thought, then one will suddenly taste divine bliss. A shloka from Kaivalya Upanishad says, Jagrat svapna sushuptyaadi prapancham yat prakaasate, tad Brahma it jhaavtvaa sarva bandhaih pramuchyate, meaning, “That by which the waking, dream, and sleep worlds are illuminated, that Brahma I am, and by knowing this, that very moment, I am freed from all shackles.” You have to be ready for the Divine to find you and you have to know yourself before commencing the journey to the Divine.

The Chinese sage, Lao Tzu, says something similar: “Seek, and you will not find. Do not seek and find.” To this Osho adds, “This does not mean you must stop the search, because you will be able to drop the search only after you have sought.”

Seeking is essential, because if one doesn’t seek, nothing will happen. However, the seeking has to first start from within and then that too has to be dropped. One needs to drop the last frame of seeking – the frame of achieving a certain goal – and dissolve into the Divine, who is ever present and ever effulgent.


Pratiksha ApurvPratiksha Apurv – www.pratikshaart.com

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