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Self-inquiry: A must

When the Buddha announced his impending death, his disciple Ananda got into tears, “Lord, so far you have been our sole adviser, writes MN Kundu.

india Updated: Jan 25, 2010 01:41 IST

When the Buddha announced his impending death, his disciple Ananda got into tears, “Lord, so far you have been our sole adviser. After your passing away whom should we approach for advice and instructions?” The Buddha calmly replied, “Atmadeepo bhaba.” That means ‘be light unto yourself’.

Enlightenment can be attained only through inner illumination. No one from outside can help you unless you kindle the inner light to see the path for yourself.

The essence of spirituality lies in rediscovering the answer to the fourfold fundamental question. Who am I? Wherefrom have I come? Why have I come? Where shall I ultimately go to?

Answers to these are unknown and unknowable to the finite mind as they relate to the realm of the Infinite.

We need to transform our ego, the fragmented self into cosmic self to enter the domain of the Infinite where the questioning mind gets automatically silenced.

Spirituality is not a matter of knowing through the intellect, but being and becoming one with the Infinite.

We all behave like the man who was rejoicing in the sinking ship while all others were mourning their imminent death. Being asked the reason for rejoicing, he replied, “Thank God! I have not taken the return ticket, and thus saved a lot.”

Indulging in such momentary pleasure out of living in the present is highly irrational in the context of absolute impermanence of all worldly things. That is precisely why our great seers advised us not to live in the past or future, not even in the present, but in eternity.

Our transitory life on earth for a few decades can be really meaningful, enjoyable and carefree only in the context of divine eternity.

Only spiritual people can enjoy life in full, others roam in darkness of delusion with some semblance of enjoyment. Let us make a sincere quest for spiritual meaning of life through serious self-inquiry.