So, all this while I’ve been trying to acquaint myself with deep philosophical truths, getting into details and striving to stay there for some time. Whether or not it’s a result of spiritual fortitude, am not sure, but I can identify this intense yearning towards this philosophical knowledge.
Now, in one of the Vedanta classes that I attend online by Swami Sarvapriyananda, Swamiji mentioned this anecdote of a young prince from pre-independent India days where he got immersed seeing a portrait of a princess that belonged to Kashi. He got so mesmerised looking at her that he decided to marry her.
Days passed and the young prince’s parents discovered that the young prince had lost interest in the affairs of the kingdom and behaved as if something was missing in his life. Hearing this, the Minister stepped forward and said that he’d take care of the situation. He took the prince to the forests, gained his confidence and finally the prince confided that he was deeply in love with the Princess of Kashi and would like to marry her.
This startled the Minister as he said that there wasn’t a princess of Kashi as the prince described. The prince showed the Princess’s portrait then when the Minister laughed and told him that it was he himself that was dressed as the princess in a play organised by the kingdom.
Now, Swamiji said that this is the nature of our lives where we do know that we are complete in ourselves and wish to seek something outside, which isn’t very different from us. Swamiji even mentioned Swami Vivekananda once saying that all of that seems attractive to us from the outside is already dead in itself and that we are the ones that add lives to it, and it’s only after that it becomes attractive and pleasurable to us.
I do understand this concept and cherish it pretty much, but the point is could this be fructified in real life? Consider me an unmarried female aged 30 that has to fight with every breath for her existence. Whether it’s family, work or society, she doesn’t have it easy. Perhaps this is what life is. It’s not meant to be easy.
What can she do in this regard? Where would she get a princess of Kashi and even if she does would that help her identify and shatter the societal shackles? Vedanta mentions that whatever is the problem of an individual, it’s at the level of the body and mind and that it cannot affect the inner being. I agree completely, but in that case, how do I manage this stress that the world keeps throwing at me always?
Perhaps there’s nothing much that I can do to change the mindsets of others, not even of those that are the closest to me, I can make an endeavour to change myself. By releasing the divine nature of the self, but realising that the enjoyed and the one enjoying it are one and the same.