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India is deeply steeped in spiritual values 
Samata & the Eternal Nature of Reality

India is deeply steeped in spiritual values. Each historical period has its own needs, and these needs demand a contextual revelation of the world that would fulfil the need of the age. The words and teachings of sages in different periods can be experienced as the disclosure of the world in which they lived. Whatever they said, wrote or spoke was redemptory. In each period of history, a sage or saint comes with a mission and the mission discloses the salvific revelation of the world in terms of the convergence of being, samata. It is a state of being where you and I, this and that, remain not. It is a state of absolute knowledge. Being is not only seen or known but experienced in its totality and unity. The diversity which we see and experience in terms of discrete entities has to be viewed against the total background of reality, Brahman. In so far as we see reality in terms of discrete entities, we remain deprived of the knowledge of Brahman. But once there is convergence of this and that, you and I, the knowledge of being comes to be. The mission of sages was to point out the way that would lead to the point of convergence whereby the knowledge of being, by overcoming the phenomenal distinctions, could be gained and life's goal achieved.

Redemptory paths advocated by spiritual souls like Vashisht, Kapil, Kanad and Patanjali in ancient times and that of saints like Kabir, Nanak and Meera during medieval times were pointers to developing the aptitude for looking within. In our own times, we had amidst us Ramana Maharishi and Gurudev Mangatramji. Gurudev Mangatramji (1903-54) exhorted us to become wide-awake to understand the true path of dharma and peace. The five cardinal principles laid down by him which can help us to achieve self-realisation are: Simplicity -- innocent and un-self conscious, Service -- of all creatures, Truthfulness, Right assemblies -- association with the seers of sameness and Meditation on the name. Adherence to these principles leads us to redemption. Mangatramji taught nothing that he did not practise to perfection. Revelatory verses welled up from within the depth of his samadhi and spilled over for hours on end, where differences and dualities drop, a state where finites melt into infinities, where being thunders into its ultimate -- beyond space, beyond time.

By understanding the transcendent state of emergence and submergence, of expansion and withdrawal, of unity and diversity, human limitations can be overcome. Situated in the transcendent state of absolute gnosis, Mangatramji expressed esoteric wisdom in terms of which freedom from human limitation is experienced at the deepest level of being. He lived on a bowl of tea a day, and did not drink more than 10 draughts of water in his entire life time. He hardly slept for a continuous 25 years. His nights and days were spent in solitary places where silence reigned supreme. He loved those who came in contact with him. His heart spoke without the use of words, and when he did speak, his words had such depth and grandeur that they brimmed with poetic beauty.

The teachings of Gurudev Mangatramji are the quintessence of samata or sameness. The meaning of the word samata, according to him, is to remain same in each and every condition. That is, to remain same to all opposites. He did not enunciate a new school of thought, nor did he propound any kind of sectarian religious doctrine; rather he reaffirmed, through his own spiritual enlightenment or intuition, the ancient spiritual truth: that reality or truth suffers not from the fissures of division or difference: it is one. Being one, reality is characterised by evenness, and the relative polarity or duality, at the transcendent level recedes into oblivion. As there is inherent unity and evenness in reality, so it has been referred to as Brahman or absolute.

Reality is spoken of as Brahman (absolute) because ``It is eternal and beginningless. Although immanent in everything, yet it is aloof and is affected by nothing. Being absolute, it transcends time, as it remains the same through three periods of time -- past, present and future. They come to know the sameness of reality who recollect and meditate the unnameable name of the transcendent one, God. They alone feel the presence of the Lord, both within and without, who rest in the presence of the ultimate'' says Mangatramji.



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