Seeing the Unseeable
God was bored one day. There was no one to talk, play or get angry with. She was the only One. As she gazed at her divinely manicured fingernails, she wondered what could she do to have some fun. Suddenly an idea struck her! Her face lit up to match the glow behind her head.
“Let me play hide and seek.” she said aloud. With that she closed her eyes and created the Universe within her. The galaxies, stars and Milky Way. She created the Solar System and a blue-green marble like planet called Earth. These names came later. At the time of creation there were no words, only existence.
On Earth she created life. Soil, water, fire, air, plants, birds and animals. She then took a step back to examine her creation. “Where do I hide?” she asked herself, amused at her own antics. As she said that, the power of her question populated the Earth with human beings. Men and women of different races.
She gave every human a mind. Each mind had the capacity to remember, imagine, create symbols and language. And within that mind she created an illusion.
Every human thought themselves to be an individual with the power to choose and create their own destiny. They forgot that they were created by Her.
God smiled. Everything was perfectly in order for the game to begin. She transformed into a small child and hid herself in every human heart.
Siddhartha got up with a start. He was again late for work. He sighed visualizing the lecture he would receive from his boss. “What do I do if I don’t like what I do?” he thought to himself. But then what else was he to do? Everyone had a job. And everyone earned money. Neither of which excited him. “Is something wrong with me?” he wondered.
He had been reading the book Alchemist. It said “When we want something, all the Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” That was the damn problem! He did not know what he wanted. He always thought ‘job-money-marriage-house-children-car-foreign vacation-emi’ was the template of a happy life. After three jobs and two and a half relationships (the half was complicated) he was now seeking an answer to the purpose of his existence.
“Are you crazy?” he told his friend. “I am not the kind to meet Gurus. Definitely not a Guru who sells paan and cigarettes. Aditya his friend persisted. He had come across Maruti, a paan shop owner, who had one fine day declared he had found God. Even though illiterate, his talks were attracting a large following of educated people.
As they made their way up the small staircase to Maruti’s house, Siddhartha was struck by the dilapidated condition of the building. The small room was cramped with people sitting or standing. Maruti, a diminutive figure with a large twirling moustache, wore a white kurta and dhoti. He sat at one end of the room on a wooden chair. An old rotating fan attempted to provide ventilation in the packed room.
“We are all seeking happiness. We feel we will get it from the world. Only when you are disappointed by what the world has to offer you come to my humble dwelling.” Maruti said in chaste Hindi. Siddhartha adjusted his spectacles nervously. It felt as though Maruti was speaking to him personally. “True happiness is your own nature. Remove your attention from things of the world and keep it on yourself at all times. If you can do this then no other practice is needed. Everlasting happiness will be yours forever.”
“What do you mean keep the attention on yourself?” asked an elderly gentlemen sitting in the front row. “Every moment of your life you exist. You are conscious. Place your attention on your consciousness. The life in you is God. If you keep knocking on his door in this manner, he will reveal himself to you. Out of a million, a rare one will have the persistence to find God.”
Back home Siddhartha reflected on what he had heard. “Place your attention on yourself.” kept playing in his head. “If I have to place my attention on myself, then where am I?” As he pondered this question, he became attentive to where his attention was in that moment. When he did that his mind became quiet. His attention moved to his breath, the sound of the ceiling fan, the sensation of the cool air on his skin. He also noticed the sensations inside his body. All this indicated he was alive.
He had never paid attention to any of this. His mind was preoccupied by thoughts. Memories of the past and imaginations of the future filled his awareness all the time. There was so much to do and achieve. There was no time to breath, leave alone notice the breath. In that moment he realized that he had spent his entire life living in his thoughts. Taking life for granted.
Three years had passed from that fateful meeting with Maruti. Siddhartha had diligently practiced placing his attention on himself every single day. Sometimes he sat quietly to observe the life in him. He did not call it meditation. When asked what he was doing, he would simply say “Noticing life.”
The easy part of noticing life was that it could be done anywhere anytime. Wherever he was, there was life. The difficulty was, that the mind would easily drift towards anything outside. His biggest tapasya became dealing with his mobile phone. He reduced his internet and social media usage. He realized whatever he saw, heard and read would become his thoughts. One thought lead to another, drawing his attention away from noticing life.
It was late evening one day, when he went for a walk to the beach. He noticed the sand touching his bare feet. The sea wind ruffling his hair. And the waves crashing on the shore with their resounding sound. He stood facing the sea looking at the clouds spread across the horizon, tinged dark orange with the setting sun. His eyes closed. In that moment it seemed that his Being pervaded the entire Universe. There was no Siddhartha. Only the Universe. Breathing. Pulsating. Throbbing. As a Single Energy.
As his attention went into his Heart, he saw a small luminous girl sitting there. She smiled at him. She had been found. The game was over.