“Consciousness is nothing but an absence of unconsciousness,” writes Pratiksha Apurv. Published in The Times of India and Speaking Tree, November 9, 2021.
When Isaac Newton’s research paper came out in 1672, the other scientists and scholars of that era for the first time became aware that sunlight contains particles of different colours. Sunlight has always been there and so was the case with the other rays, but it took Newton to remind humanity about the potential and true nature of light.
Much before Newton, our ancient scriptures talked about a journey that removes all the darkness and brings light into our lives. That light is not some external illumination, but consciousness or awareness and we attain to it by living our lives in the here and now.
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad’s message to humanity on light is more reflective than Newton’s: ‘Asato Maa Sadgamaya, Tamaso Maa Jyotirgamaya…’ – Lead me from untruth to the truth, lead me from darkness to light. The shloka indicates another aspect of our being that man has the potential to become light if consciousness is awakened.
In one of his satsangs, the Buddha declared, “I am awareness.” And, when he said this, everyone was surprised as to how an enlightened person like the Buddha could say that ‘i am only this and not that’, because to most he was almost godlike in human form. But, if we deeply examine his response, it clarifies that pure awareness which is blissful in nature can only fill our lives with light.
And how does one welcome this light or awareness into our lives? Kabir says in one of his dohas: “When ‘i’ was there, the Divine was not, and now when the Divine is there, ‘i’ am not. All darkness vanished when light appeared.”
Several saints have defined light as the ‘absence of darkness.’ Consciousness is nothing but an absence of unconsciousness. But the transformation from unconsciousness to consciousness is possible through constant awareness.
In the Bhagwad Gita, Krishna describes this as an illumination within the body: Just like the sun illuminates the entire universe, consciousness too illuminates the entire body from within.
“Darkness,” says Osho, “only indicates that light is not there, nothing more, and the same is with unconsciousness. So when you ask what to do other than to be aware, you ask an irrelevant question. You will have to be aware; you cannot do anything else.”
That is why when the seeker comes to the master for the first time, he is asked to sit silently and be continuously aware of his breath. The mind gradually stops and slowly merges into existence itself. In such a state, one could be aware even in deep sleep, and while moving one’s toe or leg. This really occurs at the stage of ultimate consciousness, when the inner light has fully blossomed, a state that every seeker has been searching for his whole life.
In a dialogue with Sage Yajnavalkya, King Janak asks what will happen if there is no sun, moon, woodfire, and even our speech. Yajnavalkya replies that our inner self is our pure awareness and would be the light for man.
This pure awareness has to be awakened within our hearts for us to become fearless in any situation and be ready always to welcome the challenges confronting our daily lives.
Quote by Osho from The Ultimate Alchemy, Vol 1, Ch 18
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