Limited to Limitless

by Swami Prajnanananda
Created: 20 Jul, 2011

There seems to be a limit to everything that man can do. There is limit to eat, limit to speed, limit to authority. However people always strive to exceed the limit. The very same object that gives pleasure turns out to be unpleasant and harmful when the limit is exceeded. A person who likes cakes finds it very tasty when eating the first cake. When he is offered too many cakes beyond his limit, he says, “No, thanks, it is enough, no more cakes”. What is the difference between the first cake and the last one? The cake is the same. When the limit is exceeded, what is dear becomes bitter. When the limit is self imposed, we are in control of things; otherwise we are being controlled. We also find that the recorded limits are continuously broken as in the case of champions in Olympics. In all our interaction with the external world, we are limited by speed, time, space etc. Human body has limits in height, weight and sense perception just like the earth on which we live also has its limits. We find ourselves limited and the things around us are also limited. However, we keep trying to break these limits. We always have an inner urge to be limitless. There seems to be a contradiction between the limited person and the urge to become limitless. Is there a solution to this issue? Can one become completely limitless and be free from all restrictions?

Bhagavad Gita says,”The limitless self is the purusha, the person who is limitless, in this body, the ultimate seer, sustainer and enjoyer. Further Bagavad Gita states, “The limitless self can be seen by meditation, inquiry and karma yoga”. The real nature of self is limitless. Ignorance covers the true nature of oneself and hence there is a continuous attempt to become limitless. How canone become limitless from a limited entity? Limitlessness is eternal and beyond time and space. Therefore Gita says, “One who sees the non destructible Lord in all perishable things alone sees”. Our sense organs and mind if used in the right direction with proper guidance can reveal the truth. Proper action, meditation and devotion can take us to self knowledge. By self knowledge one can become limitless. Let us see some practical steps towards this ultimate goal.

  • There is nothing wrong in trying to expand our limits as individuals. Our physical body is meant for action and without action we cannot progress. Recognize the fact that the limits in physical world are due to the identification of oneself with the physical body and mind. These limits can also be expanded to an extent by sincere efforts.
  • Set a target for the desired expansion and work towards it in proper, legitimate ways with enough knowledge, training and efforts.
  • While expanding, learn to appreciate the needs of fellow beings and help them in their expansion.
  • Continuously increase dharmic (good and beneficial to society) activities and reduce adharmic (evil and illegitimate) activities. Take control of sense organs and mind by regular practice and dedicated action.
  • Develop an attitude to love and appreciate everything around. See God in His creation. plants, animals, fellow beings, mountain, river. sky, stars. in everything that is seen.
  • In all the actions, aim for excellence and accept the results as they come by. The results are given by God as per merits of action.
  • When these steps are practiced, one finds himself in harmony with nature, gains self esteem and grows internally. Now the mind is prepared to accept the facts as they are and seek the way to see the limitless self.
  • With a clear and peaceful mind, expansion takes place internally. The matured mind accepts the external world in its totality.
  • Regular, spontaneous practice of dedicated action, meditation and devotion to Lord lead one to enquiry about one's own self.
  • Possessions, responsibilities and relationships are treated objectively without attachment and hence no pains and fear of security. This is indication of internal strength.
  • With this inner strength, one can realize the Supreme Lord outside and inside of all beings. The Supreme Lord remains undivided in the beings and is only seemingly divided.
  • Craving for individual ownership and control gradually gets reduced as the realization of the fact that everything that exists belongs to the Lord, becomes firm.
  • One understands the real nature of self and hence not affected by the limits of external world. One becomes one's own source of permanent peace, security and happiness.

Consciousness is not limited by the boundaries of the body; consciousness pervades and enlivens the body and continues to exist ever without limits. The individual who realizes this truth is limitless.

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