A flurry of activities are on. It is that time of the year. The time to celebrate the advent of the Mother. It has me wondering why she comes only this once. Why do we think about defeating evil only once a year? Is the Pujas a reminder to cleanse my mind once a year or is it a reminder to always keep myself clean? Why is the prep work of Maa's arrival about so much activity? Should it not be a time for me to contemplate rather than on getting busy with cultural, social and ritualistic activities? What is the significance of my activities?
Many questions and all the answers tell me that the activities are all about running away from the contemplation that will get my ego to take an inventory of itself and find it to be short of many qualities that it needs to become a true reflection of my spirit. As the scriptures say a Bhakta who loves his Ishta becomes one with the Ishta. He acquires all the qualities of his Ishta except His powers. A true bhakta remains one with his Ishta as long as he does not attempt to emulate the power of creation, maintenance and destruction. Once he acquires these powers a Bhakta becomes a slave of his ego again. Becoming one with my Ishta - what a blissful thought. The journey there requires to tread a path that means my ego must be trampled on without breaking my spirit.
Getting involved in outward activities means drawing attention of the outside world towards me - being in the limelight. Something I must learn to draw myself away from. The more I do with the intention of being noticed the further away I am moving from achieving oneness with Thakur. All my life I have been recognized for my achievements. I have always known that the recognition I get is many folds more than my achievements and have considered this a blessing of Thakur. Then it was brought to my attention that I take the limelight and it made me think. How am I doing this? It is by getting involved in outward activities. Action cannot stop but it can be done without projecting myself into the public eye. I must accept that being recognized feels good and then learn to do, without expecting recognition. I am definitely not creating anything, I am maintaining nothing and am hopefully not destroying anything. It is all His doing. Providing lip service to this thought is no longer enough.
Over the last few weeks I have contemplated on this aspect of my ego and have found it to be lacking. Whatever I do has the odor of wanting to be noticed. Except for my writing. When I write it does not matter what people think about it. I enjoy knowing what thoughts it raises in the minds of my readers because it helps my thought process to move forward or to change direction. This in turn spurns a new burst of ideas that take me into further contemplation. My writing does not need appreciation for it to continue - but almost everything else I do wants appreciation.
This year my contemplation on the arrival of Maa has helped me make a resolution. Draw myself away from outward activities as far as possible. Do what is necessary as silently and as inwardly as possible as activity or karma must continue. I have a duty towards society to continue to serve it since I am in it. These duties must be done as far as possible anonymously and not as a leader but as a member, not for adulation but to be of humble service only.
Recognition is not a blessing unless I can use it to keep me on my chosen path. Till the time I can learn to use it this way I will stay away from it. I am not ready for it. Humbly recognizing and applauding the achievements of those around me I must continue on my path towards inner silence.