We might have heard people saying that the Indian wisdom is ageless and superior to all that west can offer as all that they can talk about is on material plane in the name of science (external) but our civilization is great in inner sciences and has given birth to peaceful (actually peaceful) religions or simply methods to experience the supreme being. Have you ever thought why when people throughout the world use the word – spirituality, their gaze is turned towards India? There must be a reason, isn’t? The terms like ancient wisdom, spirituality, inner sciences etc., have their meaning and existence owing to India.
I have encountered dilemmas many times when I discussed with people about the treasure or wisdom that India offers to the world when it came to authoritatively quoting the sources because all that I have been saying is knowledge acquired through other’s opinions but not based on reading the original source. I have some time ago read a book about lord Shiva written by Swami Sivananda of Divine life society, but that is it and later did a “bare” reading of Gita and Vijnana Bhairava Tantra once, but that is it. It is understood that one must read the aforementioned books many number of times simply to understand its essence, but still that first time reading did not shake me, it is surely because of my inability to get grasp, nothing else.
Accidentally some time ago I landed on “Who am I” – a small compilation of Bhagwan Ramana Maharishi’s answers to some of the existential questions asked by his disciples. It is often said that for most of the questions asked by his disciples, Bhagwan Ramana Maharishi answered them by quoting or referring to Tripura Rahasya and Vashista Yoga. It is only then I have decided to read the original source. I began with Tripura Rahasya. As I have read it page by page on a daily basis as if it is a daily prayer, I have understood that why the whole world looks up to India when it comes to “spirituality”, why the modern political, social and religious ideas of book based belief systems looks like the scribbling of kindergarten kids. I am bedazzled.
The superficial notions I have had on what is real and what is not were shattered. The concept of Karma, the necessity to investigate, requirement of associating with the wise, problems with Vaasanas, the concept of beauty, what is pure knowledge and what is ignorance, what is bondage and what is liberation, what is time and what is space, what are different levels of consciousness, different classes of sages, is this world real? Problems with ego, the knower and knowable and much more is explained in detail by Lord Dattatreya to Parasurama. Fundamentally it helps us transcend the three states – Waking, sleeping and dreaming and experience the I, or consciousness or simply God?
At the end of the session Lord Datta says that it is important that one should contemplate on this matter to improve the understanding on this subject. It is also said that if one does not acquire Vidya (knowledge, intelligence) even after reading this then Lord Shiva also cannot help him. And precisely because of that reason I would be re-reading it many more times, and probably write short commentaries chapter wise to improve my understanding. It is a must read for all Humans.