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Thursday, January 05, 2012

Prastaar Aarohan Shibir

My very first Shibir:

प्रस्तार आरोहण शिबिर 
14th to 16th May 2002
Pegasus Institute, Kallukotte
(60 kms from Bengaluru)

" अनुहुत: पुनरेहि  विद्वानं उदयनम पथ: l

आरोहणं आक्रमणं जीवतो जीवतो अयनं  ll "

"The wise men repeatedly call us back to the rising, ascending path.
To rise up and conquer is the characteristic of living beings."

                 The path to God, the spiritual journey, is an extremely difficult one. It requires perseverance, determination, discipline and the single-minded focussing of one's attention on the final objective. It is an ever-ascending road, marred by many temptations that lead us astray. The wise men call us back to this difficult path. Why do they want us to walk this path?

                     The second line of the verse provides the answer to this question. To rise against all odds and emerge victorious, to become the Master, is an inherent quality in all living beings. Human beings, irrespective of their caste, creed, religion or race, have the inherent urge to rise above the situations and circumstances that surround them in order to achieve new heights - to attain the unattainable. This is आरोहणं - the everlasting, on-going quest to attain a higher state of spiritual bliss.

                  In this context, the word आक्रमणं does not imply 'to attack', rather, it means 'to conquer', 'to be the Master of'. Once the initial uphill climb is over, there is a plateau period when nothing seems to move - neither forward nor backward. This does not mean that the journey's end has been reached and it is time to rest. Neither does it imply stagnation. It is merely a transient, passing phase that provides us the time and  opportunity to recover our balance and stabilize on one step of the spiritual ladder. It gives us the time to assimilate and absorb lessons learnt during the uphill climb. It gives us the opportunity to link up our past learnings to new ones acquired along the way. It lets us garner the knowledge (संवित) to conquer the present, and move on to the next level in our unending spiritual quest.

                 And hence, during the plateau periods in our life, when we feel a lack of progress in our spiritual साधना, we must not despair and become disheartened. We must remember that we are only being given time to master ourselves, to assimilate our knowledge and understand all that we have learnt, in order to be well-equipped for the next, still tougher, uphill climb.

(My views after the विमर्श conducted by Shri Ashwin Hoskote maam on 14th May 2002 at the Pegasus lakeside)


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