Asato maa sat gamaya | tamaso maa jyotir gamaya | Mrutyor maa amrutam gamaya|
Lead me from the unreal to the Reality. Lead me from darkness to Light. Lead me from mortality to Immortality.
Do you imagine? Do you create?
I bet you do. Rather I imagine you do.
I imagine everyone on earth is highly imaginative and creative. Phenomenally so, in fact. With the possible exceptions of may be the new-born infant or the person in coma. Even this I do not know for a fact but can only imagine it to be so.
What a continuous web I weave in my mind ! What a kaleidoscopic phenomenon called “the world” I’ve imagined ! What a fascinating, mesmerizing beauty called “life” I’ve created ! In a deceptively simple yet supremely powerful manner, how I create my own traps in “the world and the life” I’m imagining ! Trapped in my own imaginations and creations, how desperately and helplessly – yet naturally – I want to free myself from these traps!
Wanting to be free! I must be the greatest con there is. Because I’ve conned myself into imagining that I’m NOT free!
Imagining limitedness, I become limited. Imagining weakness, I become weak. Imagining helplessness, I become helpless. Imagining strength, I become strong. Imagining beauty, I become beautiful. Imagining hope, I become hopeful. Imagining compassion, I become compassionate. Imagining selflessness, I become selfless. Imagining love, I become love. Imagining divinity, I begin to taste divinity.
The mind imagines and creates all these appearances and disappearances. I imagine my own traps. And also the tools to get out of them. [Manomoolam idam jagat ]
This “imagining” power also takes me to a place where there is no imagination, where there is an unadvertised peace.
I experience the oneness with, and within, my body. This oneness experience – both with and within my body – is automatic and natural, quiet and undisturbed. Every cell in my body is different from the next one. Every organ is different from the next one. Every limb is different from the next one. Yet, I don’t gravitate to these apparent differences but to the oneness in them. By doing that, I experience only oneness.
But I differentiate the differences outside my body as not me, by imagining them to be not with my body or within my body. I don’t imagine that I and they are part of the same cosmic body. I don’t imagine that I am the cosmic body itself. I don’t imagine, and therefore do not experience, I’m the love itself that binds and dissolves all the differences. I look at and gravitate to only the apparent differences “outside” my body. My mind revels in this imaginary differentiated dance, mesmerizing and trapping me in perennial unrest.
Taitreeya upanishad describes this imaginary game that is being played and teaches how to stop it .
The Supreme Entity is the basis of all this. Worshipping It as such, you become established in It. If you worship It as Great, you become great; as the Power of the Mind, you become established in mind; as Praiseworthy, you are praised by desires; as the Most Expansive Entity, you become the expansiveness of the cosmic body…
tat pratishtaa iti upaaseeta| pratishtaavaan bhavati| tat maha iti upaaseeta | mahaan bhavati | tat nama iti upaaseeta| namyante asmai kaamaah | tat brahma iti upaaseeta| brahmavaan bhavati |[Bhrugu Valli 10]
The mind is the cause for man’s bondage and freedom. Both the imagining of being trapped and wanting to be free are really the imagination and creation of the mind. The mind is also the tool to stop it. [mana eva kaaranam manushyaanaam moksha bandhayogo]
[This two minute video shows how the same mind perceives differences in colors and also the oneness in them.]
To be able to experience the one entity masquerading as many, Brihadaaranyaka Upanishad teaches a very powerful prayer (1.3.28)
asato maa sat gamaya – let me be the Eternal Reality in life’s unreal appearances and disappearances
tamaso maa jyotir gamaya – let me be the Light that illuminates darkness
mrutyor maa amrutam gamaya – let me be the Immortality beyond death
Constant repetition of this prayer tames the mind and directs it to the Seat of Love within oneself. Once there, just as a bee tasting the nectar in the flower hums and buzzes no more, the mind no more hums the tune of imagination or buzzes to the dance of creativity.
( Swami Krishnananda of the Divine Life Society gives an exhaustive and stimulating explanation of this prayer, its context and necessity. You can read it here)
This prayer takes one to The Seat of Love, Hrudayam, itself. Taitreeya Upanishad describes this Seat of Love.
Its head is Love. In part and whole, it is Bliss. Its body is Most Expansive, everywhere, at all times, in all places.
tasya priam eva sirah | modo dakshinah pakshah | pramoda uttarah pakshah | aananda aatmaa| brahma puchcham pratishtaa| [Brahmaanada Valli 5]
There is no imagination here. No creativity. Just being IS.
This is the clarion call of the Vedas. This is the prayer every one of the 8.4 million species in creation is continuously reciting. This is the yearning of every atom, every being, from you, me, speck of sand, tiny ant, gigantic elephant to the distant star. Yearning to be free of the imagined delusion. To be free of self-inflicted imaginary happiness and sadness, pain and pleasure, victory and defeat, good and bad. To be free of imaginary creation. To be free of imagination. To be just Be. Period.
Imagine? Please, no! Let me just BE.