A perfect life
In a state of ignorance, imperfection is natural and perfection is an effort. In a state of wisdom or enlightenment, imperfection is an effort; perfection is a compulsion and is unavoidable!
Perfection is taking total responsibility, and total responsibility means knowing that you are the only responsible person in the whole world. When you are in total vairagya (dispassion), you can take care of even trivial and insignificant things with such perfection. Perfection is the very nature of the Enlightened one.
Knowledge will be different at different levels of consciousness. At a particular level, you will become anasuya (meaning ‘devoid of fault-finding eyes’. There is a certain mindset that always finds fault, even in the best of conditions. Even with the best possible companion, or the most beautiful painting, such people will still find something wrong. That kind of mindset cannot know the sacred knowledge.
The weaker the devotee, the purer the Guru needs to be. Krishna tells Arjuna that he is giving him the Royal Secret, because he is Anasuya. Similarly, Hanuman never saw any fault in Rama. From a distance, even craters cannot be seen. Even on a smooth surface there will be holes. If you are only interested in the holes, you will not see the magnanimity of things. If you are not in Anasuya, knowledge cannot blossom in you. Then there is no point in giving knowledge.
If you look for imperfection you can see imperfection even in Rama and Krishna. If Krishna had been living today then probably there would have been many court cases filed against him for telling lies, stealing etc! In Buddha’s life you don’t see any imperfection. Buddha lived a pure life not for his own sake but for the sake of the world, for the sake of the devotees.
For an enlightened person, if someone drinks or smokes, nothing will happen to his consciousness. In that state, all that you want is good for everyone, welfare for everyone and happiness on this planet.
In a perfect world, why is man so imperfect? It is so that you can become more perfect. Recognition of imperfections leads you to more perfection. This is a very delicate point. If you recognise imperfection you may just sulk and brood over it — ‘‘Oh, I am imperfect, imperfect and imperfect.’’ Recognise the imperfection in you and overcome it by seeing more perfection.
You have heard this before, that all is God and all is love. But then what is the purpose of life? If everything is God then where is life heading to? Life is heading towards perfection, isn’t it? We want perfection. There are three kinds of perfection: Perfection in action/work (kriya), perfection in speech (vachan), perfection in feelings/intention (bhaav).
Some people may be very good in their actions but inside they feel very grumpy and angry. Some may lie — ie, their speech is not perfect but they do their jobs right or they feel right. A doctor may tell a patient, ‘‘Don’t worry, your disease will be cured’’, but that may not be true. At times, the intention behind lying is perfect. For example a child asks his mother where his baby brother came from, the mother replies that she bought the baby. The mother’s intentions behind lying is perfect. If someone lies intentionally then the feeling is imperfect, the speech is imperfect and the action will also reflect the same.
Suppose someone makes a mistake and when you look at the mistake you get angry. Then you are no better than the person who has made the mistake, because there the action was imperfect, but here your feelings have become imperfect. Any action will have some flaw. But when the feeling becomes imperfect then it stays for a longer period. The innermost perfection is lost.
Many people who fight for human rights are fighting for a cause but inside, they get angry. Anger is as bad as lust and jealousy is no better than anger. From all these six imperfections (lust, anger, greed, entanglement, arrogance and jealousy) you think one is better than the other, but they are not.
Sadhana helps you maintain your centredness and not be shaken by small events. When someone screams at you, their speech is imperfect but don’t assume that their feeling is also imperfect. Don’t see an intention behind other peoples’ mistakes as then, the mind brings in more impurity.
That’s also Vikara, the distortion. Prakriti and Vikriti; the whole creation is made up of nature and distortion of nature. Anger or jealousy is not our nature. It is distortion of our nature. They are part of this creation but we still call them distortions, because they do not allow the Self to shine forth fully. And this is what sin is. Sin is not your nature and you are not born out of sin. Sin is just the wrinkle in the cloth. It needs proper ironing.
Lust is considered a sin because in lust, you treat the other person like an object. But in love, you see them as someone higher. Anger is a sin because when you are angry you lose your centre, you lose sight of the self. In guilt, you are limiting the small mind to an action that has already happened.
Be thankful that you have been bestowed with the qualities that you have because it is not of your own making. And these qualities depend on the part that you have been given to play. When you understand this basic truth, then your inner perfection becomes stable. It is said by some psychologists that ‘‘Deep inside you there is fear, guilt and anger.’’ These psychologists know nothing about the mind or consciousness. I tell you that deep inside, you are a fountain of bliss, a fountain of joy!
Jesus got angry twice. He threw people out of the church and shouted in anger. Krishna once broke his own promise. He had vowed that he would not take up a weapon in his hand during the Mahabharata war. But when it became impossible to conquer Bhishma, he picked up his weapon, the Sudarshan Chakra.
The peak of every emotion, every sensation leads you to blossoming, to the innermost perfection. Don’t look for perfection just in actions. You name any action and I’ll show you that there is a flaw in that action. Even when you give alms or charity, you are bringing down the self-respect of the receiver. But perfection in feeling is possible. Perfection in speech is possible to a great extent and to a greater extent, perfection in action is also possible.
Even if the Vikritis come in your way, don’t give them too much importance for they are like the wrinkles in a cloth. If you give importance to somebody’s anger, greed or lust, then it’s not only in them but at some point of time it takes a permanent place in your mind.
For example, an animal has sex and after that it doesn’t think about it till the next season. But a man keeps on thinking about it in his mind. This is what Krishna says in the Gita on several occasions; ‘‘What has happened to your mind? If you nourish these Vikaras inside you they change from one impurity to another and keep multiplying inside you. Relax and know that you are not the doer.’’
See this whole thing as a drama. That is the only way you can remain in your centre.