I am seeking to become something all the time. I am seeking to become different from what I am on account of the fact that I am not happy with the way l am. Therefore there is an endeavor on my part to constantly bring about a change in me so that I will be different, and happier, than what I am, acceptable to myself. In Pujya Dayanandji’s words, I am seeking to be a pleased self, a happy self, a satisfied self. Why do I want to become a pleased self? Because I am not pleased with myself as I find myself to be. I have a certain perception of myself, and in that perception, I find myself not measuring up to my own expectations of myself. In my perception of myself, I find myself to be Inadequate, Wanting or lacking, and I am not satisfied being a wanting or a lacking or an inadequate being. Therefore, I want to be free from any limitation; meaning that I want to be limitless.
When we analyze what it is that we are seeking to be, it will be discovered that we are seeking to be free from every form of limitation. We are seeking to be limitless: then alone we can be pleased with ourselves. In the Chandogyopanisad, sage Sanatkumara says to Narada, यो वै भूमा तत्सुखम् न अल्पे सुखम् अस्ति – yo vai bhuma tatsutkham nalpe sukham asti. That which is bhuma, abundant, limitless, that indeed is happiness. Only limitless can be happiness. Na alpe sukham asti. “In anything that is limited, there cannot be sukha, happiness.” This is a very fundamental definition of happiness given by the Upanisad. Happiness can only be in the limitless; there cannot be happiness in anything that is limited. Therefore, whenever: I find myself limited or lacking in any way, I become unhappy, because in limitedness there cannot be happiness. Thus When I say that I want to be happy, it amounts to saying that I want to be limitless.
This may not be so understood by most people, because people usually associate happiness with things other than themselves, such as wealth, name, fame, recognition, heaven and so on, and that is therefore what they are trying to achieve, accomplish, or become. But going by the definition given in the Upanisad, it is very clear that happiness can only be in the limitlessness, and that there cannot be happiness in being limited.
I want to be adequate, I want to be happy, I want to be pleased, meaning that I want to be free from every limitation. This is what my endeavor is. It is this endeavor to become limitless that has been making me assume embodiment one after the other from beginningless time. Vedanta says that will] this desire to become limitless can be satisfied only when I discover that I am limitless. A limited being cannot become limitless. Regardless of what I do with myself, regardless of how much I multiply myself, how much I add things upon myself, I can never become limitless. As Mundakopanisad says, नास्ति अक्रतः क्रेत्न nasti akratah krtena. Akrta, un-created, cannot be created by karma (action). Limitless has to be un-created, it has to be free of time, and timeless means that which is here right now. What is right now doesn’t have to be created, it has to be discovered.
Therefore, the limitless has to be discovered, has to be known, which amounts to saying that what I want to become is what I want to know, because becoming limitless can only be accomplished by knowing that I am limitless. Vedanta says, तत्वमसि tat tvam asi, “that thou art.” You are what you are seeking to be. You are seeking to be limitless. You are limitless, so knowing and becoming is one here, because what I seek is my nature. That is called knowledge, when I spontaneously become limitless, spontaneously own my true nature, which is limitlessness. That spontaneous, abiding knowledge is called knowledge. If I have to remember, that cannot be called knowledge. It may need remembrance for a while until it becomes abiding knowledge, but as long as there is an effort on my part to remain limitless, so long it is not an abiding knowledge. Knowledge is called निश्चितम् ज्ञानं niscitam janam when it is free from any error or vagueness or doubt.
Swami Viditatmannada Saraswati