Once there was a monk who rewarded his disciple, Chitra, a magic mantra that would fulfill three of his wishes. But the boon came with a catch: The neighbor of Chitra would be twice blessed with whatever received.
Chitra was overwhelmed. He chanted the mantra for a good living, including luxury house, beautiful wife, elephants, horses, cows, buffaloes etc., without paying heed to the codicil.
As predicted, his neighbor received twice what Chitra wished for.
Suddenly Chitra felt weight of his wish and its condition. He became jealous and started wanting to harm his neighbor. So intense was his desire that he used his second wish for his neighbor to lose one of his eyes and break a leg and an arm. His neighbor lost both his eyes and broke both arms and legs.
But, as destiny had it, soon Chitra was struck paralyzed and completely immobilized. He lost the use of his arm, leg and eye. He was devastated and wanted to use last wish to get back to normalcy. However, mantra failed to work now.
Chitra was confused and called his master, the great monk. Wise monk came to Chitra and learned everything. He expressed that Chitra could not be granted because of the condition. The neighbor had to receive twice whatever Chitra wished for, and no normal human has four eyes, arms and legs.
Chitra realized his mistake and used his last wish to regain the use of one eye, arm and leg to move at least. And lo! His neighbor was back to being healthy.
Moral of the story –
This is what happens when we get too wrapped up in ourselves and our own importance. Chitra was probably hard-working and loyal, which is why he received boon from his master. However, lack of self-introspection his hard work and loyalty turned him into an egoist.
To save our mind and not be trapped in an ego-trip, it is very important to investigate the motives behind our actions. And the reality checks every now and again would not go amiss either.
Realty check – we play different roles like – son or daughter, brother or sister, wife or husband, mother or sister, boss or subordinate, mentor or mentee etc.
But who we are, our identities, differs in each of these roles. In other words, can we behave like a son or daughter, be demanding and emotional the way we are with our parents, say, or in front of a boss?
The answer is no, we cannot. Our behavior changes based on the people and situation we are in. The same thing applies to social media. Our behavior, actions, the way we project ourselves, is influenced by the various platforms on which we have our profiles. And it is when our identities clash that we enter crisis mode, much like the story of the neighbor in the beginning. The desire to be better than someone else pushes us toward an identity crisis.
In the race to be better, to be the same as others, to fit in, we compromise on personal space, without taking a note of the fact that we have no control over the way people may perceive us.
We have no clue which version will be appreciated. So, to meet the unsaid demands of social media, we keep changing our behavior, which eventually leads to a loss of identity.
The only way we can save ourselves is to go beyond this fake existence, identify who we really are, and become secure in ourselves.
How to approach a real us?
Let’s have a self-study. How do we merge the experience of the virtual world with our authentic self?
“What does it be authentic mean? Does our version of our authentic selves align with the reality?” – I am asking myself.
Knowledge is not completed without subject and object. When we introspect, we can differentiate between subjective perception (that we imbibe from our surroundings), and objective knowledge (of things and life as they are).
This is self-study: To be able to differentiate between perception and reality, which happens when we go beyond our existence.
Meditative practices help this process, helping us to stay true to our inner nature without letting the demands of a consumer-driven society define our existence.
Therefore, the questions like – Who am I? Why am I here? What am I really doing? What is the purpose of my life at this time? – as we started, are those questions that help us stay true to ourselves and stick to reality.
They trigger a spirit of injury from within, which in turn lifts us to another dimension that is free from ego, jealousy, depression, worry and all sorts of mental stress.
Seeing life from a broader context is what meditation is all about. It is not about chanting a few mantras or some nasal breathing techniques and performing religious rituals. Instead, the quest to uncover the very source of our existence is enough to help us differentiate fake from reality.
Let’s have a broader view of the Reality: Close eyes and focus on breathing – Start counting – one – two …one hundred. Initially it is difficult to stay till twenty. It is true – when you close eyes you will think of the issue like – your child is playing game in his mobile phone, you forgotten to shut the first-floor window, your sweet pet is playing with the dinner plates etc. However, it is normal to everyone. It happens.
You need to start counting from one. If you fail again, keep try once more. Now it happens. You can move from one to hundred.
Focus on the sensation in your body as you inhale and exhale: Keep your all-other expressions other-side. Focus the reflex you are feeling now. How your body and mind respond while taking deep breathe.
You want to be in the state of Tension Free World. Morning brings your daily busy schedule and you are involved in the operations. Close eyes with full concern will open a new World – that never been experienced yet. You have to explore in your own. No App, other person, your pet, your child or else may bring this new World to you.
This is state where people explore himself /herself – the “INNER-SELF”. Please don’t confuse with loneliness. It has different definition. Remember the objective of this action. You started your journey to make your day in different mode. You know you will do all those pending works as per schedule. However, as you on this ‘Close Eye’ with your full concern explore the positive energy.
Try to imagine you are observing the Earth from space. What you see? There is ‘Tide and Ebb’ in a location twice a day.
Does it not picturize the Earth is Breathing?
Earth is breathing…
You are also breathing….
Match yourself with the Earth. Feel you are the Earth. You are the full of all energies in this World. You are the river which creates island, you are the mountain which stops wind and forces it to rain, you are the land who prepares food for life, you are the tree who provides shelter to poor birds and you are the all.
Feel this all in ‘close eye’. Feel the positivity.
The only side effect of sticking to our true nature is a happy, healthy and intuitive conscience.
So, as they say, “You be you.” That’s the purpose of our life at all times.