Friday, May 25, 2007

the desire for enlightenment is necesary

Q: The outside world is a miserable, confusing place. There is not much going on there that helps us to remember who we really are.

Annamalai Swami: Yes, we can say that this state of affairs is also Bhagavan's grace, Bhagavan's compassion. You could say that he keeps the world like this as an incentive to go inwards. This state of affairs sets up a real choice: if we go outwards there are problems; if we go inwards there is peace.

Q: I want to ask about some other aspect of this that troubles me. The desire to become absorbed in the Self seems to be some kind of vasana. It is still a desire, and to indulge in it implies that I must look for something that I don't already have. With this attitude I then feel that I am setting up enlightenment as some kind of future goal, and not as something that is here and now. There is something very dualistic in this attitude, and I sometimes get the feeling that I am not accepting Bhagavan's will for the present moment if I am looking for something that is not here and now.

Annamalai Swami: This desire is not counterproductive. The desire for enlightenment is necessary because without it you will never take the necessary steps to realise the Self. A desire to walk to a particular place is necessary before you take any steps. If that desire is not present, you will never take the first step. When you realise the Self, the desire will go away.

~ Annamalai Swami, Final Talks, edited by David Godman

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