Neither is this a confession nor a justification; a mere expression it is.
Like a vortex, entrenched in illusion and delusion, was this world when as a naive seeker, with knowledge meagre and mind uncertain, I felt the urge to find not just the answers to my uncertainties and doubts, but the questions too. I had this feeling that I was not asking the right questions or perhaps that the questions were not strong enough to lead to the right answers. While it is not my intention to drown you into the pool of philosophy, it is my candid wish to bring you into the mind of a teenager. Unlike profligate teenagers who have every comfort of the world, I was living on the other extreme. Like everyone, I had dreams too. To peek through the window of poverty and gaze at the horizon of success was not enough. While I could not rise beyond that horizon, my thoughts lingered far enough to understand what success was and to my dismay, how difficult it was. When I was eighteen, it all began. I had no idea at the onset that the quest I was about to embark upon would be a life-changing adventure.
In search of gold, I found God. The reader must not read ‘gold’ in its literal sense and rather delve upon its figurative significance. This word indicates, in this context, material possessions. To name but a few, gold would mean land, house, status and rank, ease and comfort, car and fame. The search was for these short-lived possessions but I ended up finding God. Though the meaning of God might be presumed to be a ‘specific’ God based on the reader’s religion but to circumvent this, God in this context refers to an energy that is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent.
Those days are still vivid in my mind, when I used to walk through the bustling markets of Port-Louis, from the Royal College of Port-Louis to reach the National Library after school hours. The wide smile of the humble staffs at the reception, the undisturbed atmosphere, the smell emanating from the old books, the wooden shelves and the countless books of all sizes were enough to bring sudden solace in my heart, without searching it within me for hours. I would choose the most isolated area to sit, and load my table with religious and historical books including the sacred Quran and Bible, and accounts of colonisation eras and wars in different countries.
I learned as much as I could during those days and as I grew older, I ceased coming to the library. Though that was to my detriment, at the same time it was not because the spark was already triggered: the spark to question, the spark to find and the spark to become. On the brink of completing my tertiary studies at the University of Mauritius, I grew interested again in the different religions of the world but in the broader sense, the interest was not for religions but for a God within the religions. I turned myself into an avid reader and traveled to different places in quest of God. From the north to the south, and from the east to the west of Mauritius, I visited several temples, churches and even mosques. I visited monasteries, ashrams and meditation houses. I had long conversations with learned sages, spiritual teachers and seekers. I met like-minded people and exchanged my version of truth while listening with great enthusiasm to their version (s).
Eventually, I found no God in religion. I found all religions in God though. I found a God who has no name and no gender. I found a God who has created nothing and has not been created either. I found a God who is far from even the fifth dimension of this multiverse. I found a God who posits duties first, and not emotions. I found a God who advances purity, not lust. I found a God that refutes attachment and encourages detachment. I found a God who has created no religion. I found a God who is part of us and in whom we reside too. I found a God whose abode we can reach too and for this to happen, one has to renounce this material world and its pleasures entirely, strictly and purely. Relationships of bodies and emotions within these relationships have to be forsaken too. Renunciation should not be read in its literal sense in this context. It has a deeper figurative meaning. To renounce is to forsake the relationship with the people and objects, and not the objects and people themselves. One evident example is that of an IT savvy who is so attached to his IPhone. He needs not throw away his IPhone until it is not at his detriment. He can however set his rules and principles clear around the usage of his IPhone but by doing so, one must not be personally motivated with the view to twist the reality in such a way that we pretend to be renouncing but in fact, we are not. By so doing, we fool no else. The practice of renunciation is the sacred of all practices of a spiritual being. It teaches non-dependence on people and objects and fosters the spirit of detachment. It liberates oneself from all sufferings of the world. It lights up the candle of pure bliss in our hearts. Renunciation, from the little to the biggest things in our life, without being untrue in the process brings one closer to God.
I now rest my pen with this popular last idea which shall serve as food for thought for you: We come empty handed and we leave empty handed.