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No Rushing of Self-Actualization
Seeker: Dear Sundari, you are working on four books at the same time!?! And finding time to answer emails, etc? My God, I don’t know how you do it. When the energy is liberated, amazing things are possible.
Recently I found a collection of letters you sent me at the beginning of our correspondence. It contains essential advice with regards to my particular jiva construction. It was very timely and helpful to read them again, so thank you VERY much, and thank you also for your last letter too. It was really good to hear about Swami Paramarthananda saying that nididhysana generally takes 15 years. Slow and steady is the way, as you say.
Sometimes I get bummed by not seeing any obvious progress after so many years (boohoo!) and comparing myself to those who seem to fly free. A useless occupation, I know, all fueled by what I want as a jiva and forgetting for however long it takes that Isvara is in charge here. But despite this, a steady and wonderful deepening of self-knowledge is taking place. The application of self-knowledge, the application of the opposite thought, as simple an instruction as it may be, is finding a foothold in areas where before the strength of vasanas would just blow the knowledge away. In terms of self-esteem or self-respect, I think there is no greater self-respect to be gained than to see “myself” standing up to habitual thoughts and feelings of fear, anger, depression, anxiety, etc., etc. There’s sometimes a wonderful sense of strength, of self-respect, of confidence in the truth. There is only one way to do this: to apply the knowledge that I, awareness, am always free from all experience. A few minutes later my mind will be taken over again by habitual vasana programs until I wake up once again and apply the teachings. Isvara runs the program!
Sundari: Yes, the books are quite a challenge, since expository writing is the hardest of all, especially breaking new ground in the Vedanta pramana. I am tackling the lifestyle issues according to the gunas in great detail, which has never been done. While I am a good and very creative writer, with this kind of writing one must keep a very strict format in mind, and I am fairly new to it. Ramji of course is the greatest teacher. I am truly blessed to have him as my editor. And he is a tough one! But in the end, all the hard work will hopefully produce some very good and necessary teachings. Sometimes it feel like my brain is smoking, I have to use it so much.
I am so happy for you that self-knowledge is lessening the pressure of the vasanas. It is the application of karma yoga and taking a stand in awareness as awareness by practising the opposite thought that will eventually snip off all those wiry vine-like tentacles of the vasanas – and boy, do they grip! As you say, there is no rushing this process of self-actualization. Prarabdha karma must play out, and we must clean up every inch of our microcosmic causal body with the scrubbing brush and detergent of Vedanta. There is no other way.
While it may seem enviable that some people seem to “get it” very quickly, unless they are truly qualified, they “un-get it” just as quickly. It is a very rare soul indeed for whom liberation happens in a short time. Macrocosmic ignorance being what it is, we are all hardwired with it. I know of only one person who is 100% free of the jiva, and that is Ramji. I am 100% sure of who I am, but am also still in the nididhyasana stage. While I am aware of the jiva’s stuff so it is as good as non-binding, I still must apply vigilance.
So don’t feel bad or somehow compromised by what seems to be slow progress. I bet you are not fully cognizant of just how much you have already changed because it has become normal for you. You are doing just great, humbly going about your life, taking care of your karma and doing what needs to be done. Take a bow!
~ Much love to you, Sundari