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Hindu religion seeks to transform mental state to a higher stage, to feeling of bliss

By NS Venkataraman* 

Everything happens in my life without my consent.  I  was born without my consent though, perhaps, with the consent of my parents. I would pass away one day  against my consent.  The limbs  and other parts of my body grow without my consent and steadily decline over the years without my consent.
All is happening,  with myself remaining simply as an observer. The  time that I spend in my life  seem  to be only a time passing exercise, in total ignorance of my origin and end.
Even if I may not be very keen to know from where I came into the world,  certainly I am very keen to know as to where I would go after my passing away.  Perhaps, if I know the destination, there would  be greater clarity of thought   for me and there could be some sort of comfort at the time of leaving. . But, it is not to be.
It is not only me but billions of people around the world during the last thousands of years would have experienced such thought process.
Many of them would have  remained  in confusion on these  questions all the time. Perhaps, most of them might have  felt disturbed by such unclear and frustrating  thought process   and would have tried to move away from such thoughts.

Deep thinkers  and their postulates

However, the deep thinkers,  whom we respectfully  and deservedly hail as sages,   did not  want to give up and they persisted with the investigation on origin and end  of human  life.
These deep thinkers   who  strived  to look for clarity and explanation  on life process   must have  finally concluded that there should be a  “creator”  and “destroyer”, without which this universe  could not happen. With such  idea ,  they must have introspected deeply and then must have arrived at sort of hypothesis  / postulates  that   a “system” or “force” or “order”   should be  hovering  around earth, sea , sun, moon, galaxy of stars and so on.
The  deep thinkers over the last  several generations,  who  continued the thought process relentlessly based on their view that  there should be “ a system “ hovering around  and they , by consensus , must have termed “the system”   with a nomenclature “God” and  declared that this could be the only way of  explaining the  life phenomenon.
With the thought process continuing with sages after sages over several generations,  religions have sprung up recommending a way of life for humans to live with peace and harmony  with faith  on  God.
Obviously, the sages all over the world have contributed  to the development of scriptures and epics ,with illustrations and case studies, which describe their religious thoughts that combine their postulates on origin and  end of  life and their advocacy on the ideal  way of life with  appropriate  disciplined thought process 
Along with the religious doctrines , came the idea of idol worship, hell, heaven, fate, rebirths, predictions and astrology related to movement of stars and so on as a corollary. Such views have stood the test of time , obviously highlighting the fact  that billions of humans  over several generations have accepted these versions  as the best possible way of  explaining and living.

The ardent followers vs atheists

Most people followed the guidelines of religion in the day today life in full or part , as they do not  understand anything better and do not want to  subject the views of the much respected deep thinkers to any scrutiny  in the uncertain situation.   
They unquestioningly accepted the guidelines given by  sages to meditate and introspect and indulge themselves in deep prayers. In other  words, they virtually  surrendered their thought process  to the thought process of  sages.
Individuals try  to follow the  guidelines recommended  by  sages fully or partially.
 In any case, most persons who observe these guidelines even partially  have averred that such prayers enable them to gain sort of peace in the mind and  their sustained and devoted prayers enable them to reconcile themselves to the events happening. The followers think that  prayers enable them to  live in peace with themselves  atleast to some extent.
 Can this  be a psychic feeling?  May be or may not be.
Certainly, those who do not agree with the concept of God  and advocacy of the deep thinkers, who are branded as atheists, are  less thinkers  than the deep thinkers who conceptualised the God.  The atheists have nothing better to offer but   they restrict themselves only to reject the concept of God  and thought process of sages and these atheists  cannot move beyond that. They are negative thinkers.

Further probe of deep thinkers in Hindu religion

Many of the  sages espousing the philosophy of Hindu religion are said to have undergone  state of “Samadhi”, from time to time, with focused thought process or absence of thought process  to realise the truth in the form of consciousness   and anchor themselves in the truth buried in the inner self.
Essentially,  the deep thinkers  who paved the  way for development of Hindu religion have arrived at conclusion that human body is a shell enclosing the soul (jeevatma) and all human endeavour should be towards remaining a pure soul ,that would enable them to  transform the mental state to a higher level by prayers and meditation to  realise a feeling of   bliss  (Ananda)  in the mind set. 

The concept of soul  in Hindu religion

Is it then that  sages  of Hindu religion could go only so much and not beyond to explain from where would the soul (jeevatma) come with the human body when one would be born and go away with the human body when one would pass away?   
In the Hindu scripture  Kathopanishad, it is said that when Nachiketa questioned Yamadharma   about the death   process, Yamadharma  tried to dissuade Nachiketa from such thought and told him that   this would be a mystery even for rishis  ( sages). On persistent questioning by Nachiketa, Yamadharma spoke about the individual soul (jeevatma)  and  paramatma (the ultimate).
As per the sayings  of Yamadharma , the soul would  never  be born nor would  die. Soul would be beyond cause and effect. While  the body dies, the soul does not die. It is necessary to discriminate the soul from the body, which is the seat  of desire. After death, it is the soul that remains.
The Hindu scriptures evolved by the  sages over the years echo the above saying of Yamadharma  and  say that the soul   would be indestructible  with no origin and end. This virtually mean that universe has no beginning  or end. The  Hindu sages   essentially said that soul in individuals  (jeevatma)  and the ultimate (paramatma) have to merge  when the result would be mental bliss (Ananda) for the individual human
It was further pointed out that  such  bliss   (Ananda) is different from the so called happiness which is a result of materialistic pursuits. Ananda is beyond such mental happiness.

Soul and its eternity

How to rationally explain the view  that soul has no birth or death and it is eternal?
The Hindu  sages  concluded  that such concept  of soul is beyond  the human understanding and thought process capability of individual humans. 
The Hindu scriptures pronounce “Om tat sat” .  "Om tat sat" represents the manifestation of absolute reality, which is God. This is the final conclusion of  Hindu religion.
According to the sages, the  above  postulate can be  understood and feeling of bliss ( Ananda )  can be realised . only by attaining  a mental state that has no attachment to any aspect of life, whether hate or love.
The basic  question is how many humans can achieve such mental state and realise the significance of the concept “Om tat sat”?
What happen to others who cannot attain such mental state to realise the bliss (Ananda) ?  The Hindu  scriptures say that such humans would be born and die again and again until the absolute state of mind is realised.
Now, all these above postulates are “brain breaking”.
Hindu religion concludes that let it be left at that and there is no alternative way or path. Let not the human brain break over this concept of eternity of soul. Hindu scriptures conclusively say that the concept of  soul cannot be for dialogue and debate  and has to be only realised.
What happen to the deep thinkers?
The deep thinkers (sages) who have paved way for  evolution of religion also pass away one day due to natural or unnatural causes.  While these deep thinkers are much respected and most common  people consider them as superior, finally it is seen that they  also pass away in no way different from the other humans. 
In any case, most  of the sages who pass away like anyone else are respected as “avatars”   (reincarnation of God)   and worshipped    by the followers and disciples  and over the years,  they themselves get the image of God, adding to the number.
This make one  wonder whether the deep thinkers ( sages ) should be hailed and respected as  profound researchers and  as  much more determined deep thinkers than other humans.

Hindu religion stand apart

There are   different  religions being practiced in the world today  and all of them insist that humans should  surrender themselves at  the feet of God and all religions have   laid down guidelines   for humans to  lead  a life of high ethical and moral standards.
Hindu religion has evolved over thousands of years by several generations  of deep thinkers  and Hindu  religion has no founder  as such.  This is so, while other religions definitely have a founder who developed and propagated the philosophy of the religion.
While Hindu religion attempts to go to the deepest possible level to explain the concept of life and origin and end  process and have recommended methods to `realise mental bliss' (Ananda)    which amount to  realisation of God, other religions seem to confine themselves largely to recommend a way of life for humans and the concept of God  is emphasised as the ultimate goal.
In this scenario, Hindu religion certainly stand apart, as it  explain in a way where the concept of Jeevatma and Paramatma become the basis of such explanation.  In short , it appears the depth of explanation of  Hindu religion is unique.

Believe, believe, believe

Over the past thousands of years, billions of men and women  were born in the world and then faded away with the body being buried or burnt.
Really,  the thought process of humans to understand the life process  over last thousands of years has now reached a saturation point .
 While huge developments have taken place in the field of science and technology bringing significant change in the materialistic world, science and technology also have come to a halt, while finding an explanation with regard to the existence of  “ultimate force” or “ultimate system”. All technology changes have taken place only  within the  gambit of the natural law, in other words,  the law represented by “ the ultimate force “.
There is no need to search further. Simply accept whatever the sages have said  and move on with the life process in the   way suggested.
Deep thinkers are bound to be born in the future also. Not sure, whether the future deep thinkers can arrive at any better postulate.
---
*Trustee, Nandini Voice For The Deprived, Chennai

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