Saturday, August 21, 2010

Doubt is an essential tool in pursuit of truth.

Perhaps because of people’s inherited religious background, they have a tendency to regard doubt as almost as an enemy because religion is based on blind belief. People feel that if they have doubts, it means that they are denying the teachings and that they should really have unquestioning faith. In organized religion, unquestioning faith is considered a desirable quality.

In pursuit of truth is pursuit of verification of facts. One has to Investigate,” not “blindly believe.” An inquiring mind is not regarded as a drawback in pursuit of truth. However, one who says, “This is not part of my mental framework, therefore I don’t believe it,” is not a receptive to self-knowledge, and such an attitude is a great disadvantage for those who aspire to follow any spiritual path. But one who is receptive, and questions and doesn’t accept things simply because they are said, but he uses his own reason and investigates on his own till he finds the un-contradictable truth. .

Many teachers have their own doctrine. Each claims that his particular philosophy and practice is the truth, but they all contradict each other. Thus they put everyone in total confusion. Many people are confused. This confusing situation is the starting point of pursuit of truth. One should not take anything on trust merely because it has passed down through tradition, or because his teachers say it, or because his elders have taught him, or because it’s written in some famous scripture. When he has verified the validity of his belief on his own and found to be right and true, then he can accept it.”

All through the ages it has been understood that the doctrine is there to be investigated and experienced by each individual. So one should not be afraid to doubt, it is right for one to inquire. But he needs to inquire with all receptiveness, not with the idea that everything that fits our preconceived notions is right and anything that does not is automatically wrong. One must have courage to accept the truth and reject untruth in pursuit of truth. If one has a set pattern in place, and everything he comes across must either be stretched out or cut down to fit it. This just distorts everything and prevents from grasping and assimilating the truth. Thus, noting has to be accepted as truth without verification of the facts.

If we come across certain things that we find difficult to accept even after careful investigation, that doesn't mean the whole investigation has to be thrown overboard. Even after many years of investigation, one may still find certain things that they are not sure about it. People to go to some guru and ask him about some of these unsolved queries which they did not find proper answers, and he may say some answers based on the some doctrine, which also is inadequate and not satisfying answer.

When Arjuna says in Verse 63, Chap.18, Gita, that all his doubts are cleared, he means his doubts on every question. But this happy state could not have been reached if he had not begun by having doubts and asking questions and demanding proofs.

When Krishna tells Arjuna to overcome doubt by the sword of wisdom, he does not mean that Arjuna should give up his doubt and believe, as the Pundits interpret it, but that he should keep on thinking about his doubts until they are solved; that he should not stop until this point is reached.

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad;- The Self is indeed Brahman, but through ignorance people identify it with intellect, mind, senses, passions, and the elements of earth, water, air, space, and fire. This is why the Self is said to consist of this and that, and appears to be everything. 

All the attributed are mere illusion. It is the Self that is in illusion and it is the self that has to get free from the bondage of the illusion. The illusion is present in the form of mind. Mind is in the form of universe. Universe appears as waking or dream and disappears as deep sleep.  The individual experiences of birth, life, death and the world are within the waking experience.  The dream is parallel waking experience and waking is parallel dream.

Deeper self-search reveals the fact that the, self is neither the waking entity nor the self is the dream entity but the self is formless soul, which witnesses the coming and going of the three states in succession without the physical apparatus.  This has to be mentally grasped and assimilated to realize the formless soul, the innermost   self is nothing to do with the three states. On the standpoint of the three states, the three states are mere illusion.

The practical life within the practical world, which is present as waking experience, is mere illusion. If waking experience is mere illusion than the individual experience of birth, life, death and world are mere illusion.   If the experience birth, life death and the world are mere illusion, it means the form; time and space are mere illusion.  If form, time and space are mere illusion, it means the past, present and future is mere illusion. Thus it is necessary for the seeker to realize the fact that,   form, time and space are one in essence, in order to realize the three states are one in essence. That essence is consciousness. Thus all the diversity is created out of   formless consciousness. Thus no second thing exist other than consciousness, the innermost self. The seeker of truth has to constantly reflect on the subject in order to get firm conviction of the truth.  Seeker has to reflect on the same truth again and again until it becomes reality. One needs to constant reflect on the subject until he gets firm conviction of what is what.