The Cataract of the Spiritual Eye


Cataract - a problem very common among all mankind. A cataract is a clouding of the lens inside the eye which leads to a decrease in vision. It is the most common cause of blindness and is conventionally treated with surgery. Visual loss occurs because opacification of the lens obstructs light from passing and being focused on to the retina at the back of the eye.
Eye with Cataract
However, what most people don't pay attention to is the fact that Cataract is born from the eye and blurs the vision of its very source. This is exactly the problem with our personality as well. The cataract of illusion or maya is born from God and blurs our vision of Him.
Swami gives us beautiful examples of this. The clouds which are formed because of the rays of the Sun block the Sun and prevent us from seeing the Sun. The ash covers the burning embers even though its the burning embers which produced the ash.
Similarly, the mind which is born out of our true, eternal, blemishless and resplendent Self covers our knowledge and awareness of being the Self. I remember during an interview, I humbly submitted to Swami saying, "Swami, I know that I am also God since You are telling me so. However, knowing this does not change my state. I feel no bliss although I know. Why is it so?"
Swami sweetly replied, "Knowing is not enough. You must experience it."
"But how do I experience it Swami." I asked
"You have to do Abhyasa. Did you know A B C D the moment you were born? No. It was only due to constant practice that you learnt it. Now, you can write not just words but sentences and essays as well. How? Only due to Abhyasa.  So, start practicing this feeling of being God. Some day you will experience it." said Swami.


Swami lighting a lamp

Beautiful conversation. But the question still remains that if I am the source then what do I have to practice? Practice is when you pick up something new. But this is to go back to your original state. It is like the cataract of the eye which blurs the vision. This cataract has to be removed. For this, Swami gives a solution. He says that the cataract can only be removed via surgery by a doctor. That process of surgery is Sadhana - what Swami meant by Abhyasa in that conversation. And the doctor who can perform that surgery is God. But then, isnt the surgery performed by God! What process should the patient undertake. Only that of absolute surrender to the Doctor. That is when God will make you do what is necessary and effect the cure.


The ash on the embers have to be blown away by someone. The clouds have to be wafted away by the Wind. The cataract has to be removed by the doctor. Who plays these roles in our case? God!
Swami gives the example - the wick, the oil and the container are there. But, someone has to light the lamp isnt it? The wick of sense control, the oil of devotion and the container of renunciation need to be present for God to light the lamp. Do we have them? Sometimes, its just not enough if we have devotion. We need to be able to have sense control as well. We need to have a quality of selflessness as well.
The presence of a wick should motivate one to secure the oil and the container in order to light a lamp. The devotion in the heart should motivate the devotee to practice self control and selflessness.
It is not enough if the thread, the needle and flowers are present. Will it form a garland on its own? There should be someone who can stitch it into a garland. But, if either of these is not present, can the garland be made. The flower of devotion, the thread of self control and the needle of discrimination are needed. God needs these tools.

Will we be able to secure these before its too late? Time will only tell.














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