Sages and our scriptures suggest that the original abode of the soul is absolute peace, tranquility, and pure consciousness. In the process of coming to the world or the body, it goes through a journey downwards through five states of being, which are like five Realms. It travels down from its original abode of always being in the state of Love and Bliss to the Realm of Body and in the process, it loses its freedom to be in its original state of Bliss, which is its inherent and original nature.
It further loses its connection with the Supreme consciousness or God and its discerning Intellect. We are not able to differentiate between the Means to live in this world and the Objective of our being and for most of us the “Means only becomes the Destination”. Mind and Intellect become cluttered to know what is right and fair. Finally, in the Realm of Body, it is only interested and focused on its sensory pleasure and living a mechanical life. Its state becomes like that of a cattle, trapped in a marshland, which does not know how to come out of it and more it struggles to come out, deeper it goes. It becomes caged in the body and after staying for some time in this state, he even starts loving the cage. In the process, he goes through pain & pleasure, but the lasting peace always evades him, and he does not know how to lift himself to his original state of Bliss. In another words, he is not aware, how to attain Nirvana or Salvation.
These states or Realms are:
The first level is the lowest level of being, a very mechanical, almost animal-like existence. Eat, drink and be merry is the mantra. Focus is always on taking care for the body and satisfying its demands, without analyzing whether right or wrong. Objective of life is Sensory pleasure as opposed to being awake. Some people never wake up to the higher level of awareness and stay stuck.
After the Realm of Body, comes the Realm of Life in which we get drawn up towards the divinity and cosmic consciousness, practicing religious rituals and connecting to the spiritual world. These two Reals are covered through External Karmas like rituals, chants, visiting individual places of worships etc. After we cross the two states, we enter the Realm of Mind. This is where the real spiritual pursuit begins because Mind is the controller of all organs. It is the Mind, which works as the fulcrum between Body and Soul and which is responsible for transforming thoughts into actions. We can not achieve lasting peace without befriending mind and quieting our mind. The practice for covering this Realm is ‘Upaasana’, Which is the core of our Guru Maharaj’s system. After this for the fourth Realm we need to practice cleansing our intellect and sharpening our wisdom. And finally, for the final Realm the practice is complete surrender and becoming an Observer or Drashta as it is called in our Eastern Philosophy. Only after that we experience the unison with God and savor the Bliss.
Hence, the objective of our Spiritual pursuit is to be aware, awake, and then crossing these five states to transcend back to our original state of being. This means to reverse the process and again go through them albeit in the reverse order to reach again the Realm of Love / Bliss. Its logical like peels of onion, that the state that had come last is crossed first and the original state is reached at the end i.e. our Final destiny.
In this process, the Mind plays its game and puts up several hindrances before the seeker. It continuously tries to push him down, at times alures him with all kinds of worldly temptations. They could be material wealth, some mystique powers, name & fame or even disrespect towards his Master or God. Fighting and winning over the game of Mind by adopting the spiritual practices with the help of the Power of his Master is general known as ‘Satsang’ or the ‘Spiritual Pursuit’. For a long time, the battle between the Mind and the Seeker continues with win lose to each other but slowly and steadily we evolve with the help of our Master.
Hence, this pursuit is also known as the ‘Journey of crossing the five states.’ The specific Practices to cross any Realm, would be different, which the seeker must adopt as per the advice of his Master. The detail about the different practices and the different Realms would be discussed in subsequent sections.
Our Guru Maharaj has given us a system of Spiritual pursuit which He developed for us considering our worldly responsibilities and considering we are pressed for time and do not have resources for the difficult ‘yogic practices’. The system not only enables us to cross these five states with much ease but also provides the much-needed joy of Love, inner peace and freedom from fear and anxiety during the journey. Our Guru Maharaj’s system starts from addressing the Realm of Mind, as the lower two Realms get addressed and covered in the process in the beginning only. We get the first Realization that we are not just a Body, but we are a ‘Divine entity’ within the Physical body and part of the same divinity that pervades the entire world. We appreciate the importance and identify the transactions and interplay of our ‘Mind, Intellect & Ego’, the internal organs with our Body and Soul. We understand the importance of befriending our Mind.
One of the most critical pre-requisites for this system is to connect with an able Master, who knows the lanes and by lanes of these Realms. Some of them are like climbing a mountain which is both slippery and steep. The Master has crossed them many a times, and accordingly He provides help and support to his disciples. We can choose to call Him Friend, Guide, Master, or anything of our choice.
Our Guru Maharaj suggested that the best way is to establish a family relationship with Him like Uncle, Aunt, Brother, Friend, or anything that suits us. Another pre-requisite is to establish this relationship based on absolute ‘Faith & Respect’.
Our prayers to Guru Maharaj to bless us with a sense of resolve and duty towards ourselves. May He enlighten our path to lift ourselves to our original Abode of Bliss, Peace, and a sense of Equipoise. Amen.