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All wisdom traditions emphasize the significance of awakening as we are going through the journey of life. As I child I used to listen to the song my father used to sing every morning. It is in Hindi. “Utha jag musafir bhore bhai, ab rayan kahana tak sovat hai. Jo sovat hai vo khovat hai, jo jagat hai vo pavat hai.” Hey traveler wake up! How long will you sleep? The morning has already dawned. One who awakens gets the blessings. One who keeps on sleeping, loses the gift of life.
Life offers many opportunities for us to wake up. When we are not awake, we stumble, fall down, hurt ourselves and hurt others close to us and around us. We inflict suffering on us and others. If we open our eyes and see us falling down, we stand up and walk on the same path with awareness. Falling down leads us to rising up if we are awake. If we keep our eyes closed, we keep on falling down causing suffering. When we are awake, we hold the hand of someone falling down with kindness and compassion. And this way, we help others to wake up-one lamp lighting the other.
Awakening happens when we are attentive to our footstepping. We are mindful of what is happening within us and around us. We are aware of ourselves and aware of our surroundings-human and natural beings. Awakening is non-judgmental existential awareness-mindfulness, clear consciousness without mental and emotional clouds or chattering. We see things clearly, we hear sounds clearly. Awakening evokes or invokes clear light of knowing and compassionate energy resulting in wise speech and wise actions. Awakening is not a conceptual knowing or conceptual understanding. It is a state of being. Right thinking, right feeling and right doing arise from the ground of being.
Awakening is like the light that shines in every corner of our life. Awakening is like the flower that spreads its fragrance in every corner of our life. In the awakened state of consciousness nothing is missing. There is deep sense of contentment and fullness. The cup of our life is filled with love, compassion and joy. As the sage sings in Ishavasya Upanishada - a book of wisdom-” Purnamadam, Prurnamidam, Purnat Purmaduchyate. Purnasya Purmadaya, Purnamam Avashisyate.” This is full. That is full. If you take the fullness out of the fullness, what remains is the fullness. If you add fullness to the fullness, what remains is the fullness.”
What do we experience when we live in an awakened state of consciousness? What happens when the stream of awakening flows through our everyday living? We feel oneness in everything.The other is me and I am the other. We are not apart from each other and from nature. We are an integral part of each other and of nature. The light of the Divine love shines and we embrace all beings with unconditional love.
We all have the potential to be awakened. We need to be aware of the obstacles created by our unawareness. We need to recognize the bondage we have created by ourselves. With the light of awakened consciousness, we let ourselves be free from the self-created bondage. It is called moksha-liberation and such a person is called muktatma- liberated soul.