Our Divine Connection

May 01, 2015

There is a proverbial saying that if we want to live a contended and well balanced life “You have to give up your present life to get another life”.  Though not to be taken literally, it is very relevant to the predominant intellectual temper of our time.  It is not a novel idea but only a new way of looking at the old ways of thinking.  The new life goes by the name Pragmatism or Humanism which is nothing more than living   by applying “common sense” solutions to complex situations.  Common sense, as my spiritual master defined, is “one that works everywhere, all the time, and for all of us” Often, we dismiss the word “common sense’ because it sounds too simple and unsophisticated among intellectual circles. We presume it only applies to our mundane life and living and does not satisfy our intellectual curiosity.   This is not so. Today, common sense goes by the name Pragmatism or Humanism in intellectual circles.   The name Pragmatism was first invented by Mr. C. S. Pierce as long ago as 1878.  It was applied by him to the doctrine that the significance of thought lies in the action to which it leads.  The full fledged philosophy of Pragmatism or Humanism developed much later and it is now accepted in intellectual circles as the way of living.  It also goes by the name Holistic Living.   It can be summed up in two statements:  (1) we must know the truth or “FACT” (as opposed to “opinion or viewpoint”); and, (2) we must avoid error.   Just because we do not know the truth or lack conclusive evidence, our passion for knowing the truth should not be abandoned.   Often, we are compelled to act and make decisions even when there is lack of evidence.  It is under these circumstances that being tuned to our “Divine Connection” within helps in deciding among complex alternatives and at the same time to get closer to knowing the truth. Truth is revealed only by experience and that too by our own living experience and not someone else’s experience.   It tells us impartially   “what one has to do under the compelling circumstance” and not “what I, the ego- centric individual, wants or ought to do”.

To understand the Divine connection is to understand life’s mission. Life’s mission is not limited to the external life we lead, namely our relationships and external surroundings.  At some point in everyone’s life, questions arise such as: ”why are we here in this world?’’; what is the purpose of our life?”; “who should we approach to guide us?’ how should we set our direction going forward?”  Choice is our greatest power, greater than even love which is proclaimed as the ultimate in divine living.  We must first choose to be a loving person,   For example, if someone has spoken hurtfully to us, in that single moment, the power of transformation rests entirely in us.  We can choose to forgive which is  what our inherent Divine nature would tell us to do  or repress our inherent divine nature and break out into anger and create a negative outcome for both .Choosing to act in accordance with our Divine potential is an opportunity to grow and transform life.  This power helps us in Self understanding which in turn teaches us that the experiences and relationships that we go through in our lifetime are only those that we are meant to have and not a matter of choice.   Mother Nature and the Cosmic laws carry out these functions whether we know it or not.  Science cannot unravel these deep and subtle cause-effect relationships and our choice, once we are here on this earth, is limited to “our intentions” only while acting and living.   Divine living implies living that supports each others’ spiritual growth. It emphasizes that relationships be treated as divine contracts made in previous lifetimes to be fulfilled.  Self understanding helps us to listen to our inner conscience and follow our intuitive faculty that is not connected or dependent on our mind, body and intellectual functions.  It alerts us at all times if only we are attentive to it and stay
focused in the midst of choice situations.

A confused and directionless life has other consequences besides our body and spirit. It can be a destructive force in our relationship. Howard Thurman, the late theologian and mystic said there are two questions that we have to answer ourselves.  The first is “where am I going?” and the second is ‘Who will go with me?”.  If we ever get these questions in the wrong order we are in trouble. Without self understanding or without knowing why we are here and our mission we can hurt others as well as ourselves.  If we don’t have a clear sense of how to see the “bigger picture” in the enacted world we will not be able to respond to situations especially those that are physically and emotionally close to us.  Every situation demands a sincere and conscientious resolve from our part to adjust and change our stand for an amicable outcome.  Life being a living experiment and a learning process   eventually will give us the inner resolve and strength needed to fulfill our life’s mission in an amicable way without conflicts and complaints. It will open up the immense divine potential within us while we are still living in this physical body.   We should be earnest and prepared to receive the Divine Grace which is ever present.  What is needed from our side to receive this Grace is for us to set the sails high and open so that life’s sail boat can safely and effortlessly reach its destination.  One change is never enough to transform our life.   Change is a never ending process and is the vital force that keeps the world functioning .It affects everyone, every moment.  The Knower, Soul, Atman, kingdom of God by whatever name we call it is the only unchanging entity and it is the Divine power within us which we forget and  fail to exercise.    Staying connected with the Divine power implies being aware and alert to the unchanging and changing phenomena that we experience every moment of our life. 

Every human who has inhabited this earth from recorded history has gone through    transformation and change in their lifetime.  It is the common path and the natural path that gradually leads us to a higher level of self understanding. However long it takes, the truth revealed by our own experience in our lifetime is the only truth that we will readily accept regardless of what we read, hear or taught by others. That notwithstanding, it is only from close association with those who have realized the Divine power within and lived an exemplary life can help  and guide us in this journey. Relying on our own potential in the early stage of our pursuit for self realization can be challenging because our vision and understanding are tainted by opinions, beliefs, likes, dislikes, desires, etc.  All these act as hindrance in the early stages of self realization.  However, they can be overcome when we surrender to the Divine Force within us and follow the path of the enlightened souls who have left a legacy of their earthly experience.   The lessons to be learnt from their experience are that we are merely on lookers of the cosmic play that goes on endlessly.  The self -regulated and impartial force that operates everywhere is the only Actor in this universe.  None other than it can act independently.  Real freedom can be experienced only when we accept   and surrender whole heartedly to this Natural force and let the Natural Justice prevail.  We learn to accept situations “as they are” and not “as we expect”. When we recognize the common thread that binds us as Humans, our vision and understanding become clear and get reflected in our relationships and actions.  We begin to share our life and not possess it. We see the underlying unity in diversity. Individuality takes a back seat and we live within the bounds socially, ethically and morally.  Our sense of individuality gradually vanishes and at the allotted time Mother Nature steps in to free us from the fetters of our earthly connections and unites us with the Divine.  It happens on her watch and not ours.  It is so well exemplified in the following excerpt from the philosophical writings of the late Sarvapalli Radha Krishnan, the ex-president of India and one of the greatest philosophers of our time.

“The oldest wisdom in the world tells us we can consciously unite with the divine while in this body; for this man is really born.  If he misses his destiny, Nature is not in a hurry; she will catch him up someday and compel him to fulfill her secret purpose.”

-  Dr. Radhe Krishnan, Vice President, HSCRF