Simplicity – The Pivotal Foundation of Religion

Date: 03 Jan, 2018  No Comments

By Upadhyaya Shri Amar Muniji Maharaj

Upon seeing Krishna Bhagwan sitting at the bank of river Yamuna playing his flute so fondly, the Gopis, with a hint of jealousy questioned, ‘What is so special about your flute which we do not possess’? Krishna Bhagwan, with a charming smile, replied ‘There are many qualities of the flute which I like but especially three qualities. Firstly, it is straight and without knots, secondly it remains silent until made to produce a sound and finally whenever it speaks, it only expresses delightfully.’ Upon hearing these words the Gopis silently introspected whether they had any knots within them and any of the qualities just mentioned.

Our scriptures describe food to be divine. Food is the source of energy for the entire world and to cultivate it farmers toil day and night. They plough the land so as to level it, removing the stones and loosening and aerating the soil. If there are any pits, they fill these up with extra soil, and any hard clumps are broken up. If someone asks the farmer why he works so hard to prepare the land in this way when the earth has the potential to yield it’s bounty when seeds are scattered without any preparation, the experienced farmer will say, ‘You do not know how to grow grains. The grains will not grow on land which has not being loosened and is full of pits, stones and clumps of mud.’ If life is like the ploughed land, soft and free of stones and weeds, then there is potential to cultivate the crop of good qualities.  But if life is full of complications, of thorny bushes of anger and misdeeds and impurity, then life will be permeated with evil qualities.

Root cause of all evil is deceit

If you think deeply, then you will discover that the root cause of all evil is deceit.  Each and every incidence of violence, murder, political conflict, and religious differences is because, and only because, of deceitful thinking. Equally the root cause of stealing, accumulating unnecessary things and attachment is also deceit.

Falsehood, fraud, tricks, betrayal, treachery, dirty politics, abandoning and changing sides and internal fights, are indeed all different forms of deceit.

In him, whose mind, speech and actions are simple, humble and unpretentious there is no place for evil to hide. If you pour water on land which has no obstructions, the water will simply flow and will not be blocked up. However, if the terrain is full of pits and thorny bushes, then the water will clog up and will become a hiding place for many harmful organisms. We can compare the mind of the human to such terrain:  if the mind is pure, gentle, simple and straightforward, then there will be no place for the thorny bushes and pits for evil to reside in and so pervade the whole mind, thereby leading to loss of humanity and divinity!

When asked, ‘What is the foundation of your pious teachings?’ Bhagwan Mahavir answered,

‘Dhammo Sudhassa Chittai’

‘Religion will only reside in the purity of mind.’

And when further questioned, ‘How can we make our mind pure? Bhagwan Mahavir responded,

‘Sohi Ujjuyabhuyassa’

‘Only with simplicity will the mind become pure.’

So where there is simplicity, there is purity. Without making life simple, there can be no purity of mind.

The life of Rahu-Ketu

According to Indian mythology there are two planets, Rahu and Ketu. In fact it is one planet which has been divided into two parts. According to Indian mythology, once there was the churning of the ocean and nectar was produced. God told Lord Vishnu that the nectar should not be given to the demons as they were already very powerful and drinking the nectar would make it impossible to gain victory over them.  After much deliberation, Lord Vishnu asked all the heavenly beings to sit in a straight line and started distributing the nectar. But Rahu was a demon and he wanted his fill of this particular nectar. He decided to transform his appearance to look like a heavenly being. He too sat down with the other heavenly beings, awaiting his turn to drink the nectar. However, he became impatient, staring both at the pot containing the nectar and at Lord Vishnu, worried that the nectar may run out before his turn came. His facial expressions displayed his anxiety. He was very disturbed and his eyes continuously stared at the container with the nectar. He wanted to jump the queue. Seeing this, Lord Vishnu became angry and asked Rahu to show patience and await his turn. Rahu politely told Lord Vishnu, ‘I am in a great hurry. Please can you give me the nectar first.’ Vishnu trusted him and gave him the nectar. Rahu started drinking the nectar and continued with no sign of stopping. Lord Vishnu was surprised and thought to himself, ‘What type of heavenly being is he? He is being selfish and inconsiderate. And he is not still satisfied.’ Lord Vishnu irritably turned towards Rahu and said, ‘Who are you? What type of heavenly being are you? You do not behave like them. There is no divinity in you. You are not civilized at all.’  Rahu, having drunk the nectar was emboldened, became fearless and said, ‘I am not a heavenly being. I am Rahu.’ Lord Vishnu on hearing this became furious. It is said that Lord Vishnu cut off Rahu’s head with the help of sudarshan chakra. However, as Rahu had already drunk so much of the nectar, he did not die but he was split into two. The head became Rahu and the body became Ketu. This deceitful action turned one demon into two demons.

Even in today’s life this mythology stands true; whether at a personal, family or social level, everywhere there is dirty politics being played. Today’s politics is a synonym to complexity and fraud. In every step of life, you will find deceit, misinterpretation, delusion, disloyalty or other sinful activities. Whether it is a father/son, a husband/wife or a brother/sister relationship, there is no openness – there is one thing hidden within and another displayed outwards. Thinking is different, speaking is something else and the activity is also completely different. There is no harmony between mind, speech and body. Life is divided into so many pieces and human beings are living a broken life, just like Rahu and Ketu.

The centre of friendship is simplicity

Human beings should develop oneness within themselves. This will only happen if there is simplicity, purity, harmony, humility and straightforwardness in our mind, speech and action. All living beings in this world desire friendship. From an individual to the whole nation, everyone desires friendship. But what is the basis of this friendship? The first requirement is openness of the mind. But if there is no openness, if there is no simplicity, if there is no trust, then how will the light of friendship arise? When things are hidden, the thread of love is disintegrated. In this arrogance, the power of friendship is broken. Will friendship last in deceitful activities? No, it will not. This is the reason why Bhagwan Mahavir in Deshvaikalika Sutra said,

‘Māyā Mittāli nāsei’.

‘Deceit will destroy friendship.’

Deceit extinguishes love, harmony, good feelings and bonds within family, social and national relationships. This is the reason why simplicity is the centre of friendship.

Lord Buddha has also said,

‘Daru namayanti tachchaka attanam damayanti pandita’.

‘The skilled carpenter knows how to bend straight sticks to create beautiful toys.‘

In the same way the spiritual aspirant who has cultivated simplicity will create a temple of friendship. In today’s world, simplicity is sometimes mistaken for foolishness, dullness and unintelligence – this is a huge misconception.  One reason is that over the years some people have made mistakes and carried out deceitful activities and then have portrayed themselves to be naïve, to try and hide their wrong doings – this naivety is not simplicity and humbleness. To be humble is one thing and to be foolish and unintelligent is something different. Simplicity goes hand in hand with discrimination, intelligence and wisdom and there should be no deceit.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone