Monday, October 12, 2009


Awareness is another jargon used in Indian philosophical and spiritual context. It may be appropriate to discuss it here. Even though the meaning of ‘awareness’ is straight forward, due to the constant use of it in philosophical discussions, it has become a jargon.
Awareness is the perception of ‘what is happening’ and ‘what is there’ from moment to moment. We know that there is nothing constant in this existent, except continuous change. At this moment we are not same as what we were in the last moment and will not be same as what we are now in the next moment – both physically and psychologically. As we do not have much awareness, we recognize this fact only during our birth day celebrations – we realise the change taken place within us only when we know, we have passed one more year and many of us still try to hide this change! The change is unavoidable for anything around us – For both animate and inanimate objects. The planets, stars, galaxies are changing with respect to their physical property as well as their position in the space from moment to moment. Even in the space, the contained energy states may be changing from moment to moment. This is a fundamental realization in the path of inward journey and without this realisation no possibility of looking inward. When we understand this fundamental and realise change as our way of life, the awareness may start blossom within us.

How far are we aware of these changes? We may be able to understand the changes after the change has been taken place by means of measurements, with the help of science and technology – but that is not awareness. It is just knowledge. The awareness is living. The extent of our living depends on the extent we are aware of the existing and the change of existing from moment to moment. On the other hand, if we are not aware of what is there and what is happening within and around us, we cannot claim ourselves as living entities.

Why are we unable to be aware of our life? For being aware, the brain have to be alert at all times. Our senses capture the change within and around us and send the information to the brain all the time. Whether we are aware or not, this functioning of senses is always happening. But we are living in a life where the brain is unable to process all the information received from senses. It is not that our brain is incapable of processing these information, but we are loading the brain with all psychological factors of fear, belief, pain, suffering, pleasure, desire………… When our brain is occupied with so many such (psychological) challenges, it spends its entire energy to find solution or escape from those challenges. Due to the enormous challenges it faces from time to time, escape from that challenge is the only possible way for survival of brain. On this struggle, the brain may start decaying also.

It is obvious that to be aware of happening in and around us or to be live in the right sense of living, our brain and hence mind has to be freed up from these psychological challenges. The freeing up of mind from the challenges is possible only if it is able to recognize and understands the real challenges. When the challenges are recognized and understood, those challenges will be no more challenges and hence the mind will be free from the thoughts generated by those challenges. Hence the brain is free with respect to space and energy to process the information received from senses. When the brain completely responds to all our senses, it is the ecstasy. Every one of us had had such an ecstasy, at least with lower intensity and momentarily, multiple times in our life. The irony is we are so insensitive that either we fail to recognize it or recognize it only after its completion. Hence it goes as an insignificant event.

One point to be noted with respect to fewer thoughts in mind is that it should not be achieved by controlling or concentration. If we concentrate our mind on certain things and bring it to a thoughtless state, what we are doing is contracting the mind to a single point. In this case, there is no space available within the mind for the awareness to flower. On the other hand, when we achieve thoughtless state by concentration, we will not be aware of anything else other than the point of concentration. Our current way of life is definitely better than such a contractive mind, at least now we are aware of our pain and sufferings.

When we are completely aware of happenings within and around us, in addition to the ecstasy, the intelligence may work at its peak. At this level of intelligence, we may not be having any choices to choose in the life. The intelligence may guide all our actions and we will be doing what is required for us.

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