There is this parable I had heard a long time back on two frogs. One used to live the well and the other in the sea. The frog that lived in the well was born in the well and that well was the world for him. He didn’t know the world outside of the well. One day the frog of the sea was passing by and saw this one in the well. “What are you doing here in this small well, when there is an unlimited ocean outside.”, the frog inquired. The well frog said you are lying, this well is so big. There cannot be anything bigger than this well !. The sea frog suggested, “Why don’t you come and join me?”. Well, the frog replied, “I have always been here. Moreover, I am comfortable here. I don’t think there is anything for me outside. This is where I belong”. So the sea frog after insisting leaves and the well frog continues to live in its ‘limited’ well.
This story very beautifully conveys how we allow our beliefs and conditioned patterns of thinking ‘limit’ our lives. Most people when asked about their interest in understanding self or spiritual knowledge or meditation think – This ain’t for me, I am better off without it. I have a ‘comfortable’ and ‘happy’ life and don’t need to explore my inner world. Only one in distress really explores this and practice meditation or maybe once I retire I’ll have time for this. These are the people who refuse to leave their ‘well’. It doesn’t matter how luxurious and ‘comfortable’ your ‘well’ is. A well is still well.
Spiritual Knowledge is like a signboard pointing the realm of light. It is that which points to that ‘ocean’ – where there is only love, peace, and immense joy. It is a realm of the unlimited, it is a realm of the unseen which is of tremendous beauty and magnificence. A space where we truly belong but we end up being in our ‘well’.
The problem is – we don’t know what we don’t know. We have been in the ‘limited’ body consciousness for so long that we don’t know what the ‘unlimited’ tastes like. We have been in darkness for so long that we don’t remember the experience of light. Unless guided by someone who dwells in that space as a result of persistent effort and attention on self, one is completely oblivious to the ‘unlimited’ consciousness just like the frog in the well completely oblivious of the ocean outside.
It is spiritual knowledge that helps us get out of our well. Hence there is this saying, there is salvation only through knowledge. Knowledge here refers to the knowledge of the self. Who am I? Understanding the self is the key.
Meditation helps us to go in that space of light. To be able ‘to meditate’ accurately, there needs to be a great clarity in understanding. This understanding shouldn’t be a superficial understanding just because you have heard/read it somewhere or an understanding that the mind creates to convince itself but an understanding that emerges from personal experience, from the spiritual heart. You can read many spiritual texts, but if not experienced and inculcated it is only information, not knowledge. This is primarily what is happening in every religion now, there is much information on all religions but the followers haven’t really experienced what the texts are pointing to. They have merely held on to the words, idols, images, and rituals which don’t contribute in their journey of being who they truly are. In fact, this took us away from the truth. You can see the state of the world. There is so much suffering everywhere, there are so many wars fought in the name of religion in history. Identification with religions strengthens the illusion of ‘mine’ (More detail on this here). So take in the knowledge of self, play with it, experiment, make it yours, experience the one it is pointing towards and you’ll know salvation as our birthright.
Knowledge means understanding and spiritual knowledge is understanding who you truly are. It is only when we become who we truly are we will be liberated in life. A life where we don’t create any suffering and just enjoy this play of life as it is.