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Power of reflection

Enquiry and reflection is known as atma vichara. The purpose of this reflection is to dispel the cloud of ignorance and to cultivate a better understanding. Otherwise, what is the use of reflecting? What is the use of thinking? When you reflect, you tend to brood over your problems, rather than searching for a solution. Under the normal conditions in life, if there is a thought process or any kind of reflection, then it is always about your suffering or about what you do not have, what is called the ‘worry factor’. In your life, reflection is not pure. Reflection takes on the garb of worry instead. When reflection takes on the garb of worry, you identify with and go deeper into a state of mind from which you cannot extract yourself. You cannot be natural, free and spontaneous, and instead you get caught in the vortex of that one thought, that one idea, that one feeling, that one sentiment, that one emotion, and it sucks you down. It takes you down; as you get sucked into that vortex of worry, wisdom and knowledge disappear and you encounter more darkness. It is like diving down deep into the ocean. If there is a vortex in the ocean and you get caught in it, you simply go down. You leave the sky, the sun and the wind above, and you become surrounded by water and suffocate in it. That is avidya. That is ignorance. The negative aspect of reflection always pulls you down into a deeper state of ignorance. Reflection is the antidote. Instead of worrying about something, reflect upon it. Find out what the solution to the problem can be. Instead of worrying that ‘I am like this and like that’, reflect on how you can cultivate your strengths so that you aren’t ‘like this and like that’. Find out how you can be something different and better. Through reflection, guilt and ignorance can be avoided, and clarity of mind can be maintained. With clarity of mind comes wisdom. With clarity of mind comes knowledge. That wisdom and knowledge become atma vichara, reflection on one’s own self. In worry, anxiety and frustration, there is always a reaction and no reflection. Reflection happens when you are able to see the situation in a different form, a different light. When you are able to analyze the nature, then you can also discover the truth of a situation. For instance, if someone complains about someone else, you may be able to see that the person is speaking out of jealousy. Therefore it is not the other person who is at fault; it is the person who is complaining who is at fault. That is reflection and of course the idea of reflection can go much deeper. The idea of reflection is keeping your focus in front of you all the time and not being swayed by the influences that surround you. You utilize your wisdom and knowledge, and you dispel from your life the cloud of ignorance that makes you do the wrong thing and reap a negative result. If you can become aware and cultivate this understanding, cultivate the quality of knowing and observing, then that becomes the stepping stone that will lead you to a relationship between you, nature and the divine. You discover a connection, a link between the three, and the sensorial links are severed. In the course of time, this reflection becomes jnana, wisdom. It becomes the realization of ‘What I am’. With this realization, avidya disappears.

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