I thought it would be nice to read along through some scriptures and discuss the passages. I have a translation of the Upanishads done by Eknath Easwaran, a teacher whom I deeply trust and love. In this book there is an introduction before each translation with some insight from Easwaran.
The sixth verse of the Easwaran translation of the Isha Upanishad is…
Those who see all creatures in themselves
And themselves in all creatures know no fear
Another translation, this one by C.S. Shah is
The sadhaka, who sees all beings in the Self, and the Self in all beings, feels no hatred by virtue of such realization.
I can definitely see how being able to see one’s self or God in every being would alleviate fear and hatred. So much of fear and hatred comes from thinking that we have to protect ourselves against others who are trying to harm us or take something away from us. If we are able to really believe that things being taken from us are also going to ourselves, it takes all the sting out of it!
Easier said than done, of course. I think it might even be really difficult to function within maya and play our proper roles when we truly believe this. I know when I was a kid I had a lot of trouble with constantly giving away everything that I had. In truth, it was all going from my Self to my Self, but within the play it was probably driving my parents crazy. And I guess what I missed as a kid was that the Self that is within me deserves a share too.
Anyway, that’s getting off on a tangent.
I think this verse is the basis for the exercise that I’ve been working on with seeing all the people around me as family members. I think doing that does get me to a point of a lot less fear and less hatred.
So my goal has been connected to spending time in my home altar but I’m finding it a bit too personal to talk about here. I guess I really value the privacy of my home altar and it feels like a violation of that to talk about it here. So I’m going to leave that one for now and move on to a new goal.
New goal is to celebrate Maha Shivratri this week!
This is the great night of Shiva and is traditionally spent in an overnight vigil with fasting. It’s extremely intense. The largest temple in the area is doing an event for it, so I’ll have to see if I am up to trying to go down there for it! I’m not sure if I can handle all night, though! Last year I celebrated quietly at home and I may do that again this time.