When one speaks of inner peace, in the context of the ancient sources of spiritual knowledge, it seems like a journey from “Aham” to “Atman”. In the process, we surmount the ego and find our inner SELF. Let us examine this premise and understand.
Most often during the outer journey of life we seek meaning: Who are we? What are we doing? Thus leading us to put a correlation, context, meaning and thus a sense of being incomplete – rather a fear of not knowing answers to many questions. This fear or lack of confidence, congests our mind, analyses every situation and leaves impressions thus creating deep imprints or “samskaras”. Add the ability of imagination to the mind and now we have a deeply congested mind with its own imagination of supremacy or “Aham”.
The process of decongesting the mind and connecting it with the source of light in the heart enables the journey from “Aham” to “Atman”.
A few key “carry-ons” will make this journey a smooth one.
Selfless service is equal to the proverbial renunciation or detachment. The very act of getting involved in serving others without being very conscious of doing so is a very simple and first step towards Atman.
Exercise willpower is considered to be the only friend of the inner Self. By exercising one’s willpower, one learns to ignore the onslaught of external stimuli, liberate themselves from fear, desire, anger, praise and blame.
Self Observation: When meditation is practiced with discipline and consistency, the practitioner is able to look within and appreciate the mind that occupies the body, the thoughts that occupy the mind, the realm/field that occupy the thoughts and the opportunities and threats that occupy those realms.
Thus MEDITATION brings awareness and attention to ones heart where the reality of his own fears and courage resides and the practitioner is able to appreciate the same in the individuals around him. Thus showing compassion and encouragement. This gives birth to empathy and ability to let go.
Avoid Prejudice: When an individual carries impressions of fear and survival, there is a propensity to judge. Everyone here is tying to compare and contrast and set their own versions of excellence, success, valor and victory. The observing self wants to figure out the best and optimal way to get answers to every situation – in a victorious fashion with recognition and accolades.
This animal tendency to identify the other as the opponent or competitor or prey is innate in every human. However, when the journey from ‘Aham’ to ‘Atman’ happens, there is an inside-out transformation from animal-human to human-human (Vanara to Nara) to divinized-human (Narayana). This process is achieved by learning to regulate the mind, decongest the mind and eventual discovery of the ‘Atman”. In other words from self- realization to mergence…with the source.
“He who does not hate anyone, is always friendly and compassionate, not possessive and self indulgent, stable in pleasure and pain, forgiving, contained, controlled and firm in his love for the ultimate, in heart and head, is the ONE” . –Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 12, verses 13 & 14 (paraphrased).