Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Destination - Self; Vichara - the flight; Life - 'terminal'

We can think of our lives as people waiting at a airport terminal. Only problem is we dont know the time of departure of our flight and the destination.

And just like travellers, we fritter away the time by occupying ourselves with various mundane 'terminal' activities - browsing through the terminal at leisure - we make an acquaintance or two, get some work done, consume some food, and do some shopping, and watch some TV or the news, and daydream. It is in this situation that we obtain from a benevolent Guru the ticket called Vedanta? What is this ticket? It is that which gives us the crucial information about the flight and destination - no longer are we waiting for the Vaikuntha flight or the Pearly gate flight etc etc. The flight is nothing but vichara and the destination but the Self. Not only that we are also told that nothing that we buy in that terminal, none of our baggage, is going to be allowed on flight? What are we supposed to do upon obtaining that knowledge? Drop whatever it is that we are doing, drop all our temporary belongings, bid goodbye to our temporary acquaintances, and rush to catch the flight "home" and our 'terminal' status.

How effectively we do this depends on so many factors - how caught up are we in our terminal activities and with our terminal acquaintances, how utterly are we tired of the 'terminal' activities at the terminal, how convinced we are that the terminal is not our home, how reliable do we consider the flight-ticket information to be and most importantly how urgently do we wish to reach our destination - our permanent originl "real" home - the abode of the Self.

Unfortunately for us, if we miss this flight, the flight of Lord Yama can come at anytime, and that truly would be terminal! Because we dont know when the next time we have the fortune of landing at a terminal from where the flight of Self-knowledge can take off.


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