From Harmony to Illumination

Rise in tranquillity
Walk in peace
Stay in harmony
from Echoes of Japan by Hari Prasad Shastri

THERE IS a deeper realm of harmony and peace hidden within our own being. If we want ultimate fulfilment then we need to experience this realm directly—to be one with it—and this realisation is possible. Actually it is close at hand. Our present experience can be made an aid to our awakening. If we fix our resolve and do the practices that are recommended to us—which include meditation—we will find ourselves on a path that makes for real and ongoing progress in life, leading to enlightenment.

Harmony usually concerns the right relationship between things or people. In the world of the five senses, harmony applies most intensely to what we hear. If we listen to a piece of music, or hear someone singing, we may find even a single wrong note unpleasant. When this happens, it creates a disturbance in the form of a reaction. Such a slip is likely to stay in our mind more vividly—and a little unfairly—than all the good things we have heard. So sensitive is our ear to harmony.

What about harmony in our own life? We know this is not easy to establish. Our relationships are often challenged by unexpected discords. To live harmoniously we have to be patient with one another. And then there is the question: Is there harmony within my own mind and heart? As human beings we are naturally stirred by various desires—things we want but lack, or experiences we crave to repeat. There are also the negative desires—the conditions, the situations, we would rather be free from, but lack the power, opportunity or courage to change. Our dissatisfaction is turned inward. But it does not just drop away because we want it to. It breeds in our mind and robs us of harmony. Quite apart from our personal likes and dislikes, life itself is endlessly inventive in creating situations that mar our peace. There are always pressures and uncertainties, and these leave us strained and tense unless we have an antidote, an inner remedy to put ourselves right.

What is the way to establish our heart and mind in a deeper harmony, undisturbed by outer influences or inner doubts? It is the way of illumination. This illumination is our birthright and highest potentiality as human beings. There is a definite path to its realisation. One could say there are several paths to the goal. The yoga of self-knowledge and its non-dual philosophy is one of them.

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This article is from the Winter 2019 issue of Self-Knowledge Journal.