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1. What is the Game of Life?

Life is interplay of complex matrix of several components. There are some goals to achieve, some aspirations for the sublime, some emotions in the play, some sentiments and relationships at work and the components can be many. Several of these things are at play. There is joy and happiness where there is synergy of these but nay there is also disappointment and frustration when there is non unison in these components. It is a game being played by all either unknowingly or consciously. Play you have to, then why shirk away from it?

2. Is it a Game among Humans?

The evolutionists dote on the emergence of present human existence from a unicellular being. How true it is when we find in ourselves the memories of our past existences. The tail of the monkey is a vestige but the mind plays monkeyish several times. The slothful snake which is always loyal to Newton's First law now finds its safe abode in us for we alone were responsible to eliminate them from their homes. Be happy to find that we were wise enough to retain the eye of the fish and so its slipperiness too. The jackals are now few in jungles and many amongst us. So it is not exactly a game confined to human life alone but it tries to stretch itself to all forms of existence.

3. So what is the Game upto?

This is a game where we portray the various states during meditation in particular and life in general. We have been behaving like cats and dogs, snakes and foxes, lions and jackals, eagles and sparrows at various points of time. The game aims at evaluating ourselves as to what is the true self of aspirant in the path of spirituality and what is the true goal he is aiming at. The Divine in its infinite wisdom has given various forms of expression to itself, all interaction are between expressions of the Divine, some have affection, some have love, some have enmity, some have jealousy and some have sharing. In all forms of life these things are expressed. The game here gives a mix of interesting portraits of the self with so many forms and images that we thought it would be useful in evaluating the condition of the aspirant. The game gains meaning and worth as we play this game again and again.

4. Somebody calls us a Jackal? Is it offending you?

There is a Divine potential in us as also in other forms considered lower in the evolutionary process. The genuine spiritual aspirant always attempts to increase the Human and Divine resource lying deep in the human psyche and reduce and if possible eliminate the Animal resource which is in abundance expressing itself in various forms of expression. As that is difficult because the Animal in man is Gods' will one tends to moderate the instincts and urges and this is the aim of spiritual life. This Game of Life is meant for people who are serious about life: however those who are not serious may also play to develop such seriousness. If somebody calls us a jackal we may feel offended but if we know that potential in us and confront it then we can overcome that and grow into next level of being. Various symbols have been used to express various characteristics that we have got. It is not that all the characters will come out to ones knowledge at the first time one plays the game but repeated performances on this game will yield more clarity to the type of person one is and the probabilities of reaching the goal sooner or later.

5. Do you know that we are serpents and swans simultaneously?

As you play the game you will understand that while very many good traits have developed simultaneously we come across several negative factors of our life which are all that not very much perceivable or explicit in the beginning. The fall is something that may happen at any time to lower plane but with the help of some master you will be able to move to higher plane or maintain stability.

6. If positive and negative coexist, how do we move on in the game of life?

The spiritual path is chalked out in such a way as to be progressively evolving to higher planes of consciousness starting with the Earthly consciousness in which majority of the human beings live and we go through various stages and reach the super conscious state of feeling of Oneness with all.

7. Game of life is all about snakes and Ladders.

The concept of snakes and ladders is an age old one. Snakes have been considered as a creature which is venomous and makes us fall unconscious, symbolically in life we have got various occasions where we are bitten by snake of Lust, snake of Greed, Snake of Jealousy, snake of Ambition, snake of Covetousness and so on. The ladders have always been considered as aids for moving on to higher plane. You do get assistance from a Friend, from a Neighbour, a guide, some unforeseen opportunity and help from various other sources. We find that we lift ourselves up and develop certain traits and characters or behaviour which gets certain social recognition. The game naturally involves some snakes and some ladders. The game has been designed in such a way that we get enough ladders and enough snakes as we move on. Remove the ladder life is a misery and remove the snake life is no challenge. Very interestingly we find that when we have fallen there is an opportunity to come of out of the predicament- provided we have the courage to play the game of life. Miseries never come together nor does Happiness whenever we lose something we gain something and when we gain something we lose some thing. The life is like that, Play it. Spiritually, aspiration, determination, courage, help from a good guide enables us to move on the path steadily and this is represented by ladder. Undue attachments to petty details of life, anger, lust, greed and avarice and similar negative qualities are snakes in the path that pull us down and make us fall flat and infact give us a feeling of crawling.

8. The Game of Life is also a game of Dice?

The game of dice is an age old one. In the game of dice one fails to forget the great emperor Nala and the famous King Dharmaraja of the Mahabharata. Both of them have played the game of dice and lost kingdoms, fortunes, near and dear ones but by playing their game well in life by developing proper virtuous conduct never swerving away from righteous path were able to win their game of life.

9. What does a pair of dice signify?

The game of life is played with a pair of dice one is our Effort and the other is the Divine support to our effort. Our effort can be positive or may be negative for a particular cause and many times not relevant so much so that many of our actions in life bordering on stupidity does not help anybody least of all the person concerned. The dice has been designed in such a way as to reflect our attitudes in life as positive, negative or indifferent. It is wisdom to accept whatever comes. As far the Divine is concerned it either chooses to support or waits for the opportune time, but it is never negative.

10. What is the logic of the DICE?

1. As discussed earlier, this game is played with two dice.

2. One dice is our effort and the other dice is the Divine Support to our effort.

3. Our effort is, -1, 0, 1 or 2 and the Divine support is 0, 1 or 2

4. Our effort gives us either a negative result (-1) or a Positive result (1,2) or many times it is no result (0) in spite of the effort.

5. Divine Support is either affirmative (1, 2) or there is no response (0) but there is never a negative support to the humanity. The definition of the Divine by principle can never be negative towards Humanity or to the creation in general. At best there is no response from it to our efforts and the reasons for it are inexplicable to our reason.

6. For you to enter into the spiritual game of life you should be 0 and the Divine should be 1. But considering patience required to get such a result, the game is designed in such a way that you are allowed entry into the game after 5 trials by seeking Divine intervention at the entry stage itself. This is to be understood as the Divine is ever willing and ever Kind to give us an opportunity, should we seek for such a life. The first lesson that is learnt is, our life is a Divine blessing.

7. At some places, the player has to get 1 compulsory to get further movement on the path. It is advisable for the seeker to take note of that characteristic of the cell in his real life. It will help in his spiritual pursuit.

8. There are two to three big snakes in the last stages of the game. The fall from these stages is too steep. If one perseveres with the game even if one has fallen from these stages for twice, then the Divine intervention is available to be sought for one to get transported across these dangerous snakes.

9. What the 13x11 Matrix mean?

The first 10 rows relate to the conditions till the Pind Desh. Each row has 11 cells. The various aspects of the knots in Pind desh have been covered in the book earlier. The cells of the 11, 12 and 13 rows depict the various stages of the consciousness of the transpersonal realms leading further into the Divine Realms called as Central region by the Great Master Sri Ramchandraji Maharaj.

It is evident that in the game of life and spirituality there are opportunities to progress and problems that impede our progress. An attempt is made here to present the possible opportunities through proper attitudes that develop as we progress in the path and probable pitfalls that are caused by adverse circumstances which are mostly our own making and certain times beyond our control. The Table below lists the traits that are developed as a consequence of understanding and gaining knowledge of each element primarily related to the knots in question. The possible positive developments and the probable pitfalls are shown in separate columns in the table. It is not possible to list out various odd shades the understanding of each knot or combination of knots can generate. However it is a matter of some solace that the research work by IMPERIENCE which is a part of ISRC has innovatively designed a game of life that depicts the possible uplifts and probable down falls in sadhana. {This book carries with it a CD-Rom of the Game of Life. Play the game and gain wisdom through entertainment}

Table 2

Knot Possible Positive Developments Probable Pitfalls
1 (EARTH) Determination, Control of Senses, Stability, Steadfastness, Austerity, Penance, Non Injury, Seeking, Discriminative Intelligence, Truthfulness, Analytical Capacity, Purity,selflessness,Non attachment to worldly matters Inertia, Laziness, Sloth, Hoarding, Attachments, Sensousness, Loss of Discrimination, Lack of Goal Clarity, Greed, Self Adoration, Loss of Memory, Abuse, shame, Discrepancy in perception through touch (un-touchability)
2 (WATER) Santushti (Happy Person), Contentment, Accepting everything as a gift of Divine, Disinterestedness, Vairagya, Belief, Celibacy (to live in the company of Divine), Trusteeship, Peaceful Sate of Mind, Tranquility, Capacity to be a link to the divine, Empathy, Contentment, serenity, steady and unshakable faith Infatuation, Jealousy, Cheating, Stealing, Deceit, Impulsive Desires, Laziness, Sutala-inferior type of super consciousness), Anger, Disproportionate attachment to ones' ideas and ideologies, Gourmet, Lack of control of self- to be in excess, hatred, doubt (scepticism)
3 (FIRE) Reverence, Dependency on God, Interdependency in Life, Purified Mind, Love (motherly), Willingness to forgive, Compassion, Non Lust, Piety, Devotion, Faith, Abiding by Masters will, Venerable Devotee, Concord, Expansive, austerity, striving (aspiration), simplicity, meekness: Non attachment strengthened Fickleness, Boastful, Indecisive, Religious Fanaticism, Scandal, Anguish, self torture, Disproportionate Self esteem, Clinging to false doctrines, clinging to rituals, perceptual discrepancy of scent (nose)
4 (AIR) Adopting a lowly attitude, Utterly Devoted, Intoxicated love towards co-traveler, Constant Remembrance, Fortitude, Forbearance, Steady State of Mind, Self-offering, Frankness and plainness, Single-Pointed orientation to Divine, Helplessness inspite of Competence, Composure, Surrender, utter humility, Endurance, Fit for Divine work, Soaring with both the wings, non-identification with any person or thing other than God, Reverence Arrogance, Gossip, Idle Talk (Boastful of Erudition), self-righteousness, fickleness, Discrepancy of perception of ears.
5 (ETHER) Parama Bhakti (Eternal Devotion), A balanced state of mind, A realm of pure consciousness, Transition from beauty to Happiness, Happiness, Unqualified Surrender to Master, Abiding in Masters consciousness, Divine Vision, Nakedness, Liberated while in body, Soul ecstasy, Realm of fraternity, Advaita Anubuti (Non dual experience), Oneness with Universal consciousness, Eternal bliss Samsayamu (Doubt), Ravana - Arrogance due to spiritual powers, slandering, aversion, desire for form and colour, perceptual errors of the eye
Brahmand Nirmalamu (Purified Consciousness), Atma Layamu (Soul Set), Amrtaasvadanamu (Partaking of the Nectar), Brahma Padamu, (Universal Path), Asampragnyata Samadhi (Natural Balance), Mansarovar (Chit Lake), Saraswathi Dhamamu (Center of Wisdom), Prapanna (Surrendered) Anti-Guru
Parabrahmanda Prabhu (Masterly), Prapanna Prabhu (Slave Master), Gairat, Brahma Samipyamu(Nearness to Absolute), Sahaj Samadhi, Amalamu (Absolute Purity), Brahma Anandamu (Absolute Bliss) Anti-Divine Super fine Ego
Central Region Maha Maya (The Mother), Satyapad (True State), Founder of Path, Shanti ( Absolute Peace), Nada of Aum in its origin, Bhuma (The Vision of the Manifest Absolute), Brahma saaroopyamu (Absolute Similarity), Brahma Salokyamu (Resident Realm Divine), Brahma Sayujyamu (Identicality Realm Divine), Jnana Hinata (Total Ignorance), Brahma Layamu (Absolute Mergence) Possible continuation of defects, Possessiveness of Divine, Converting the Unlimited as limited, Anti- guru, Anti-God