The Mother Divine
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(Excerpts from BE TENSION FREE)

By Kinkar Vitthal Ramanuja
Sri Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath

The truth is, yearning for happiness begets more and more desires, no sooner is a desire fulfilled than another is born. There is no peace in satisfying desires. Suppose there is a fire raging and you pour clarified butter in it, what happens? It is consumed at once and the flames seem to ask for more. You pour more butter and still more, no matter how much you pour, the fire is never done with its demand. Its rapacious flames aren’t satisfied. In the same way, no matter how much a human being enjoys sense pleasures, he is never contented. The desires proliferate boundlessly. The only way a man can have perfect contentment is by turning inward and directing his quest within. He can find the perfect bliss only in his own heart and nowhere else. This is the age-old truth, decreed by the scriptures and it has been proven in the light of experiences of hundreds of thousands of spiritual aspirants seeking bliss over millennia. No wonder Bhagavan Sri Krishna explains this truth to his dear devotee Arjuna in the Gita:

Aapuryamanam achalam prathistham
samudra apah pravishanti yadvat
Tadvat kama yam pravishanti sarve
Sah shantim apnoti na kaamkaami
(—Bhagavad Gita 2/70)

—Just as the waters from varied rivers enter the ocean, without the latter’s will, and yet causes no disturbance, leaving it full and still as ever, incessant flow of desires merge in a person of steady-intellect without causing any disturbance. Such a person alone can achieve peace, and not the man who strives to satisfy such desires.

Chhandogya Upanishad declares:

Na-alpe sukhamasti bhumaiva sukham (Chhandogya Upanishad 7/ 23/1)
True happiness does not lie in the finite (world); it exists in the Supreme Soul (God) who is Infinite.

Spiritual aspirants should always remember that it is impossible to gain complete and boundless bliss in the external world. It can be had in the realization of God alone. And God resides within us, there is no need to look for Him outside. Mahatma Kabir has said:

Moko kahan dhundhore bande, mein to tere paas mein
na teerath mein, na moorat mein, na ekant niwas mein
na mandir mein, na masjid mein, na kabe kailas mein
Mein to tere paas mein bande, mein to tere paas mein

Where do you search for me, O my devotee! I am always with you!
Not in pilgrimage, nor in icons, neither in solitudes,
Not in temples, nor in mosques, neither in Kaba nor in Kailash.
I am with you O man, I am with you!

One finds many kinds of deer in the mountainous region. Foremost among these is Kasturi Mriga, a deer in whose navel is stored a rare musk.

There is a beautiful story of a kasturi-mriga, or musk deer, which brings out the nature of all spiritual endeavours. Once, while roaming about and frolicking among hills and dales, the kasturi-mriga suddenly became aware of an exquisitely beautiful scent, the like of which it had never known. The scent stirred the inner depths of its soul so profoundly that it determined to find the source out.

So keen was its longing that notwithstanding the severity of cold or the intensity of scorching heat, by day as well as by night, the deer carried on its desperate search for the source of the sweet scent. It knew no fear or hesitation but undauntedly went on its elusive search, until at last, happening to lose its foothold on a cliff, it had a precipitous fall resulting in a fatal injury. While experiencing awful agony, the deer found that the scent that had ravished its heart and inspired all these efforts came from its own navel. This last moment of the deer’s life was its happiest, and there was on its face inexpressible peace.

Exactly in the same way, God lives within every human being and He alone is the locus of all happiness in life. But the individual soul, slave to maya (illusion), does not realize this and cries aloud in so much pain.

Sri Ramakrishna tells us a parable. Once a bird sat on the mast of a ship. When the ship sailed through the mouth of the Ganges into the ‘black waters’ of the ocean, the bird failed to notice the fact. When it finally became aware of the ocean, it left the mast and flew north in search of land. But it found no limit to the water and so it returned rather disappointed. After resting awhile it flew south. There too it found no limit to the water. Panting for breath the bird returned to the mast. Again, after resting awhile, it flew east and then west. Finding no limit to the water in any direction, at last it settled down on the mast of the ship.

This world is the ocean; wife, child, relatives, friends or society, no matter where you go, you cannot get lasting peace. This body may be likened to a ship drifting in the ocean. And the soul is the mast of this ship. Hence, the only way to procure lasting peace is to dive deep within one’s own soul.
Sri Sri Gita is peerless and an incomparable text in the entire world of spirituality. The gospel of Gita has been the spring of supreme peace as well as happiness for millions of people for centuries. In it Sri Krishna lovingly imparts to his dear disciple Arjuna words which alert him to righteousness and spur him to be established in yogic poise. These words are pertinent even today:

Anityam Asukham Lokam Imam Praapya Bhajasva Maam
(—Sri Sri Gita 9/33)

This world is temporary and full of miseries; if you aspire for abiding peace here, do thou worship Me.

Despite knowing it notionally, why doesn’t a human being really understand that this world is not merry abode, but a misery abode. This is precisely what maya (illusion) is! It is the play of maya which produces attachment to the transient and disinclination to the eternal thing. As a result, the individual soul never enjoys abiding happiness.