The Base of Life
A finite entity requires a base for its existence. The base shall not only preserve its “I” feeling in physical form, but it shall also nourish the same every moment with vital energy for that entity. The subtle entity requires a base in exactly the same manner as a physical entity – the base is simply the subtle form of the physical entity.
The subtle entity with which we are always intimately concerned is the mind. The base or vitality of the mind is the collection of objects which have been contemplated, accepted or discarded. These objects in their basic states are external physical, but the mind enjoys them in their internal impression, as mental forms.
The mind of a certain individual enjoys a particular finite object either for a long time or slowly according to its saḿskáras. After enjoying a particular object just for a short time it wants to turn to another. The mind cannot forever enjoy any finite object because the finite objects have both a beginning and an end. In that eternal movement, that which has a beginning certainly has an end too. You will not be able to enjoy it for all time. The long hands of death certainly will snatch it away. People fail to comprehend this. They treat those things as pleasant which, according to saḿskáras, they retain in their mind for some time or which they enjoy slowly. They treat this slow speed as pleasure and call it happiness.
The minds of some people remain absorbed in the thought of money for a long time. They surrender the fragrance of their lives at the altar of money. Others treat the achievement of fame or having a child as the principal object of their lives. They do not hesitate to lay down their life to have a son or to achieve fame. When the mind cannot enjoy a particular object for a long period, or enjoys it hurriedly, then such an experience is called a painful experience or pain. For example you cannot look at a decomposed corpse for a long time. Similarly, after a brief talk you will dispose as quickly as possible of a person who causes you pain.
Therefore, whether an object is pleasant or painful, its finiteness cannot be your permanent object. You and that object are bound to separate. The mind is needed for one’s preservation and for its own preservation the mind needs a safe shelter, as can hold it throughout eternity. Human beings always crave for a safe shelter. Is it not so? Will you build your house on quicksand? No, you will construct your house on the firm foundation of solid earth.
People always seek a solid base to preserve their mental potentialities till eternity and to give them vital energy in the struggle with temporal factors. Is there a solid base in this world? That which is finite cannot be the base of your life, because it will be used up and will leave your mind unsheltered. Thrusting you in the abyss of darkness, it will pursue its course on the unending path. Therefore, no one except Brahma, the beginningless, endless and infinite can be the object of your mind and the base of your life. How then in this manifested Universe, where there are multitudes of finite objects can we start a life based on Brahma? The answer is that you adopt Madhuvidyá. Instead of seeing the finite and superficial objects as finite look upon them as the finite expressions of the Infinite or the permanent. Then the attraction for Preya and love for Shreya shall all fuse into one.
Vishvajaner páyer tale dhúlimay ei bhúmi,
Sei to svarga bhúmi;
Sabáy niye sabár májhe lukiye ácho Tumi,
Sei to ámár Tumi.
Do you love your son? It is perfectly right that you should, however, when the son dies, you will experience great pain. Is it not so? The son is Preya, a finite entity. He cannot live till eternity. He will depart and make you weep. But if you treat your son as the expression of Brahma in the form of your son, then you will never fear losing him because Brahma cannot be lost in any span of time. He is present around you in all the ten directions.
Eśa ha devo pradisho’nusarváh
Púrvohajátah sa u garbhe antah;
Sa eva játah sa janiśyamánah
Pratyauṋjanáḿstiśt́hate sarvato mukhah.
O Human beings, in that state, no finite object can colour your mind. You will be beyond all colours or Varńátiita. Then you will be able to give proper treatment to any finite being that you may come in contact with. Give proper treatment to the expression of Brahma in the shape of your father by serving him and paying attention to his comforts. Give proper treatment to the expression of Brahma in the shape of the earth by cultivating it and increasing its fertility. If you give such proper treatment to the different objects, they will not be able to degrade your mind. This is called true Vaerágya.
Vaerágya does not denote renunciation, desertion or escaping to the Himalayas after leaving one’s spouse, child and family. Ananda Marga staunchly opposes such an escapist mentality. According to Ananda Marga, the practice of Dharma by means of Vaerágya is a part of family life. Those who harbour the sentiment of running away and leaving everything behind are labouring under a defeatist complex. The thief, who for fear of the police, the debtor, who for fear of the creditor, the afflicted, who for inability to put up with afflictions, are all amongst those who take recourse to the so-called Vaerágya. Such Vaerágiis do not have the fortitude to face the setbacks of this world. They try to hide their cowardice under tall talks. Even when they accept the order of the so-called Vaerágya, the worldly attractions do not abate in their mind. Therefore, pursuing an incorrect interpretation of the term, they insistently practice Tyága (abnegation). Consequently most of them fall from their path.
“Vaerágya” is derived from the word virága. The word “Rága” denotes attachment. The practice whereby we develop detachment from finite objects, i.e. the discipline whereby the mind is not influenced by the attractions of worldly objects is Vaerágya Sádhaná. The true Cosmic Entity is only revealed to people with this Vaerágya. This Cosmic Entity alone is the basic shelter of the human beings. It is a strong foundation which shall not, at any time forsake them leaving him forlorn. In this very Cosmic shelter you can establish yourself fearlessly for all time to come.
Bhoge roga bhayaḿ guńe khala bhayaḿ, rupe tarunyá bhayaḿ;
Kule cyuti bhayaḿ máne daenya bhayaḿ vitte nrpáládbhayaḿ.
Bale ripu bhayaḿ, shástre vádiibhayaḿ, káye krtántád bhayaḿ;
Sarvaḿ vastu bhayánvitaḿ bhuvi nrńáḿ vaerágyamevábhayaḿ.