I clearly remember the day I met my master Premananda Deva. It was May 3rd, 1994 and I was in a Tibetan village in India called Mcleod Ganj (Dharamsala). In the days preceding the event I had heard of a master who offered his teachings in a place called: The Rising Horizon. At that time I had been traveling in India for six months, listening to teachers and visiting sacred places, so I was really curious and I went to see him.
When I arrived, I was very impressed. He was an older man, very tall and his presence was strong, calm and at the same time delicate. After listening to him talk with others, I approached him to ask questions and we begin a dialogue. He was so gracious and patient with me that I felt that this meeting would be the beginning of a great friendship. Indeed it was, for after this first experience I continued having conversations with him, usually in a beautiful place where one could contemplate the view of the majestic Kangra Valley and the snowy Himalayan mountains.
His company inspired me to know the depth of my Being and existence. His way of being was fascinating, he spoke about the spiritual path and a sacred life with knowledge, fluency and simplicity, and most significantly for me, with humor and happiness. In my journey I had met several representatives of different spiritual paths, but in spite of their knowledge, a lightness, a happiness and an inner joy was missing. He was a Westerner who had studied the Oriental philosophies for more than three decades. Therefore, he could express to my Western mind the complexity and depth of Eastern wisdom, and he knew exactly what specific western psychological aspects I should work on for my inner growth. After a period of time with dialogs and insistence I was accepted as his student. This relationship of friendship and guidance extended for fifteen years, until his passing in 2008.
During the time beside my teacher and after a decade accompanying people from different latitudes, I have arrived to the certainty about the importance of discovering The Truth of the Self as a foundation for transformation.
The search for truth and its revelatory power acts as an alchemy that produces luminous experiences and a life with meaning.
As has been suggested in various traditions for centuries, after experiencing the essence of the Self, it is widely understood how easy it is to become lost again in the illusions of one’s personality and existence (Maya, in Sanskrit). The seeds of truth help us to distinguish between the illusions and the essential truth, to later appreciate the cosmic play (lila, in Sanskrit).
In the powerful metaphor of The Cave, included by Plato in The Republic, reference is made to the process of distinguishing the real from the illusory. In the allegory, there are some human beings who live in a cave, they are chained from the time of their birth and they can only see a wall in front of them where they see shadows. Behind these people there is a wall, with a bonfire and, finally, the way out from the cave. Between the wall and the bonfire men pass carrying figures that simulate reality creating the shadows on the wall.
The people in chains, with their limited perspective, believe that they are observing the true reality when they only see shadows. The story continues and one of the men manages to free himself from the chains. The bonfire dazzles him, he sees the forms that give rise to the shadows, then he goes out the exit, he marvels at the forms of the world and finally he sees “the Sun and understands its nature” (The Republic, 516b). The sun represents the force of truth and thanks to the summation of his realizations the human being begins to live in the reality, to identify himself with the source and the essence of the forms.
This allegory is pertinent to our World of Consciousness in Deep Delight. We will identify illusions and truths of our Being and the world. Also, through our observations, analysis and reflections we will discover a sacred inner consciousness that is waiting to be liberated. To reach this objective I propose a path that will take us to four states: Perceiving, Understanding, Discovering and Knowing.
In the state of Perceiving we will learn about three movements of existence (Gunas, in Sanskrit): Tamas, Rajas and Sattva. According to this perspective these three qualities are always present in existence. Tamas is inertia, Rajas is accelerated action and Sattva is equilibrium. This way of understanding our nature will be a tool to aid us in a diagnosis where we will able to understand the mental, emotional and physical pendulums between which we move. We will seek the conquest of the ups and downs and we will work to live more in states of Sattva, in balance and equality.
In the state of Understanding we will identify the duality of our Being, with the intention of uniting the consciousness with the truth. We have within us two Selves: the Deep inner self and the Ego elf. The first is the authentic, real, spiritual part of us. The Ego is our shadow self that dwells on the surface. Detecting the two parts will be an art that is fundamental on our path and we will develop the capacity to differentiate their tones, movements and intentions.
In the state of Discovering we will invoke our luminous will, which is a spark of the universal sacred fire. In this process of transformation, it is essential to summon our will to overcome obstacles and persevere. This is the moment for the meeting with the inner warrior, a powerful archetype that will allow us to access our innate strength. Breathing, meditations and practices will lead us to connect with the inner fire, so that its flame will shine during our adventure.
In the state of Knowing we will experience the philosophical technique of asking “Who am I?” (Nan Yar, in Sanskrit), transmitted by the great master Ramana Maharshi. While this yogi lived in a cave in silence, he wrote to a disciple about this process of self-inquiry. This valuable method consists of directing the consciousness behind the thoughts and, specifically, behind the first “I” thought.
The World of Consciousness leads us to the essence of ourselves. It is a fundamental step on the path to living in the Truth. It is the foundation for the flowering of Delight. When we are aware of our movements, duality, strength and connection with the sacred, we connect with something real and conquer the mirages of the mind and life. With the act of Being, the light of truth can shine within us. This will be the way to know our inner master, who will guide us towards another kind of existence and toward more elevated goals.