The essence of Ramesh Balsekar’s teaching – ‘All actions are happenings which could not have happened unless they were ordained by the Source’ – is conveyed here in short, simple passages that everyone can easily understand. The subjects range from ‘Free Will’ to ‘meditation’. This book contains a collection of quotes, some comprising just a single sentence and others a few paragraphs long. Each quote, complete in itself, is a sparkling jewel through which the teaching shines forth.
Ramesh’s focus in on the ‘practical’ aspect of spirituality. Something which is to be lived each day of our lives, and not pursued as a lofty ideal. He draws the essence of his teaching from the Indian philosophy of Advaita (non-duality) that affirms that there is only ‘One Source’.
I remember that evening vividly. It was during the seminar in December 2003, that we were relaxing on the terrace of the Rockholm Hotel overlooking Kovalam beach. The sun was low on the horizon, behind Ramesh, its rays scattering jewels on the sea.
Ramesh told me that for some time now, he had been writing small passages which came to him spontaneously. These had accumulated and could now be compiled into a book. I loved the idea of such a book. One you could pick up any time, turn to any page at random to read a couple of passages, and then put it down to let their meaning sink in. In this age of information overload, it was a brilliant way of conveying the teaching.
You will find no chapters in this book, as we have endeavored to retain the spontaneity of the writings as they happened - in an 'unbroken wholeness', as it were. These reflections are from a man who has had an illustrious yet simple life - as a family man, bank president, a leading Advaita sage loved by people across the world, and a prolific author of over 20 books. At 87 years of age, I could think of no one better 'qualified' to present these gems of understanding to guide us on our life's journey.
The basic concept of Ramesh's teaching that there is only One Source pervades the entire book. No one is a `doer' but, rather, all actions are happenings ordained by this One Source. As Nobel Laureate Pablo Neruda wrote: When did smoke learn to fly?
Ramesh's guru, Nisargadatta Maharaj, said, "The same mirror that shows you the world as it is, will also show you your own face." May this book serve as `a polishing cloth'.
The mirror as an object of divine intervention is timeless. Its efficacy is delightfully recounted in the ancient myth of Shinto Japan:
Terrified by the violent acts of her brother, the beautiful sun-goddess, Amaterasu, recoiled into a heavenly rock dwelling. As darkness descended, the universe was threatened by an inevitable end. Faced with calamity, the counsel of gods advised that a mirror be placed opposite the entrance of the cave. A simple but ingenious plan.
The forlorn Amaterasu, amazed and enticed by a fleeting glimpse of her own magnificence, gently stepped forth. When light was restored to the world, the gods rejoiced and stretched behind the sun-goddess a rope of straw, called a shimenawa. And though Amaterasu may retreat each night into a restful sleep, the shimenawa ensures that she does not disappear forever...
What, one might ask, is the relevance of this story to a book of reflections?
A reflection is none other than a mirror, a plane of wisdom in which we can at last truly see ourselves. Imbued with pure, spontaneous insight, this book sparkles with a luminosity that beckons us out of our dark and solitary confinement into renewed vistas of eternal light. A light that is peace, a light that is harmony...
Protected within the bounds of an invisible shimenawa, amidst fields of meditative contemplation, we are free to meander with the innocence and careless abandon of youth. Knowing that we shall never be lost again. Guided by the silence of sunshine. Reflections mirrored in the flow of life.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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