Monday, 24 September 2012

Living in the present

I have received a comment from a good friend quoting Swami Dayananda, which states "the present moment is undefinable. It is not even a micro or a nano second. One cannot stop the motion of time to live in the present".  So I thought I will write a bit in detail explaining what I mean by living in present.

Yes, ‘present’ is undefinable as a container. But usually we refer to the time content only by the word present.  This content can be small or big as in present moment or present millennium. In the present, we act physically with our sense organs and also mentally with our mind.  Mind can be focused on the action we are engaged in or employ itself in an activity connected with it or may be, even totally unconnected with it.  For example, as you are reading this blog your eyes are travelling over the words while the mind is absorbing the meaning, forming an overall picture.  This it can do with concentration, eyes and mind focused on the words, with no disturbance and without simultaneously reacting to the ideas or it can do without concentration, i.e. with a background noise like music, or forming a judgment simultaneously about the idea or comparing it with similar ideas, it has read, even at the time of reading itself or merely wandering elsewhere in totally unconnected fields.  Reading with concentration as explained first, is an example of living in the present. This is true of any action, whether it is listening, eating, walking, praying, meditating etc.  This means that when our body is involved in any action our mind must also be 100% in it, without travelling back or ahead or tangentially.  Actions include enjoyment of fruits of actions as well.  When there is a total acceptance of the results without complaints or without excitement, then we are living in the present, while experiencing the fruits of action.  When mind and body as a single unit are focused on the action, then we are living in the present, while acting.

Our thoughts are mostly about the past or the future and not on the present. So when we live in the present, we have a thought-free mind and a thought-free mind is a happy mind, free of stress and tension. This happiness is not the one coming from external things or events, but the intrinsic happiness that is one’s real nature and that comes from mind’s quietness.  It is this happiness we enjoy in deep sleep, when the mind is totally quiet and the sense organs are not in contact with the outside world.  When the mind is absolutely quiet, one is in contact with one’s real Self, Consciousness, which is of the nature of happiness only.  For our real Self is in essence, Brahman, whose nature is Sat, Chit, Aanand i.e pure Existence, pure Consciousness and pure Bliss.  Present always, is. This isness is pure Existence, Sat.  When one can consciously keep the mind quiet, one is in one’s true Self and so enjoys true bliss.  It is this happiness that realized souls like Ramana Maharishi enjoyed and radiated always.
Though we may not be able to live in the present continuously in all our activities in the waking state like these realized souls, we can make a beginning by practicing it at the time of prayer at home and at the time of our visit to any temple.  As our eyes are fixed on the form, let our lips chant His Nama and mind be contemplating His glory.  This effort to live in the present can be slowly extended to our other activities like eating etc., and through this let us root ourselves more and more in our real divine Self  by living in the present. When practiced over a time as a sadhana, this will help us to attain purity of mind by imbibing the positive qualities that Sri Krishna describes as Daivi Sampath in the 16th chapter of Gita, besides helping us to lead a stress free happy life, with no regrets for the past and  fear of the future.


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