You have spoken about how, at some original point, we all possessed peace and then, somehow or other, we lost it.
Somewhere within us is a very quiet state where thoughts and desires have not arisen. That state is called Pure Consciousness. We are each inherently an embodiment of Consciousness, an embodiment of Light.
Pure Consciousness can be likened to a deep sleep where there are no dreams, no thoughts, but still you are conscious. When thoughts or desires arise, they disturb that unruffled quietude. This is how, year after year, decade after decade, life after life, we remain restless, active or disturbed. That state of Pure Consciousness is still there, only it is obscured. So the solution is to quiet the mind. If you can avoid restlessness and disturbance of mind, if you can quiet your mind to that supreme stability, then perfect peace is already there. That is called Spirit or Light. Quieting the mind may take days or months or years, but if you can go on relaxing and waiting patiently, at one point your mind will completely stop - and you will experience the sublime peace that is already within you.
Would you talk a little bit about the purpose of life? Does each one of us have an individual purpose here and how do we go about understanding it?
The ultimate purpose of life, which is common to all, is to be free from ignorance, to know God, to know our Self. Unless you know you shall not be free. But each of us has an individual purpose as well, which is to exhaust our karmas so that we evolve. In Sanskrit this individual purpose is called swardharma. Each of us has to find our role and place in relative living to finish our Earthly karmas in order to grow into higher consciousness.
Through listening to Satsangs, meditation, reading books, sharing or discussing with others, and convictions born from your experiences, you will find your role - or your Master can tell you. And whenever you discover your definite purpose on Earth, you will relax all of a sudden. You will feel happy about it, not only that day but until that karma finishes. You will feel at home with your role, as long as you do not calculate other considerations like money, position and such things. It may be that sometimes you fit at a place where you do not earn much money or get a high position. You have to accept this, and as soon as you do, you will feel relaxed.
When you find out what your temperament is, do not judge by any other criterion. We have to fit into some aspect of the whole world machinery. This will not give you salvation but it will prepare you for the highest purpose: to know who you are. To know the secrets and mysteries of life is the purpose of everyone - who you are, where you came from, where you will go after this life. Until you know this you will not feel fully satisfied. Seeking God, the Divine, being aware is the common purpose of all. That brings unity or oneness among us.
When we come to the level where our ego wants to surrender, is it through the grace of God that we take that final plunge?
By the grace of God it shall happen if you allow it to happen. That is within your power. Ego has to let go, not resist or block the grace. Do not resist, do not reject, do not put your ideas or commentaries upon it, do not try to understand. Let go and allow it to happen. Grace cannot descend if your wishes are still there. If your ego is prepared to let go and not resist, it will happen in a flash. The problem is, although you may want to surrender when the moment happens, the majority of souls instinctively resist it because ego wants to save itself.
That is why you have to prepare for that moment so that your ego will not instinctively save itself. And when that point does come, it is such a fraction - one thousandth of a second - that you have no time to think. Afterwards you may become wiser, “Oh, I wish I had surrendered that time,” but the moment is gone. To arrive at that very auspicious moment again may take years. In that flash, if you let go, it just happens.
All practices including meditation are for when that flash happens, that you may be open to it. That is why we preach purity, humility, harmlessness, charity, goodness, and so many qualities: to make your mind elastic, flexible and humble for when that moment comes, to receive God’s grace. This process is carried on until the mind gets softened, like wax that melts when near fire. All virtues and practices are, as if, to make you zero.
The mind has its own revolution or rotation - we call it chakra - such that once you miss that point of Light, it goes round until it comes back to that point. You might say, “Now I understand…” but in between your karmas and thoughts break the stillness. The mind has to be perfectly still when the Truth is given or the Light shines. Sages have defined it as a point between any two consecutive thoughts. If you could stand between those two thoughts, that will be a flash. You have to be so alert and awake at that moment; then you surrender.
God gives us opportunities every now and then. Through many vicissitudes, prepare yourself for that moment. Ego trying to save itself is the biggest sin because that separates you from your God. When that flash of Light shines, your ego should not resist or react or hold on to its sense of security. In devotional language we say: keep yourself ready for when the Lord will come.
© 2013 by Truth Consciousness. Excerpted from the Satsangs of Swami Amar Jyoti: Faith in the Ultimate (D-9) and Finding Our Balance (N-2). For further information on the audio Satsangs of Swami Amar Jyoti please see online at truthconsciousness.org.