October 19, 2013 Comments Off
The principles of mysticism rise from the heart of man; they are learnt by
intuition and proved by reason.
Bowl of Saki, October 18, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Hazrat Inayat Khan:
One might ask why man has lost that intuitive faculty. It is because he has
become so absorbed in material gain that he has become, as it were,
intoxicated by the worldly life; and intuition, which is his birthright and
his own property, has been lost from view. This does not mean that it is
gone from him, only that it has become buried in his own heart.
We are vehicles or instruments that respond. If we respond to goodness,
goodness becomes our property. If we respond to evil, then evil becomes our
property. If we respond to love, then love becomes our possession. If we
respond to hatred, hatred becomes our life. And if we respond to the things
of the earth so much that our whole life becomes absorbed in worldly
things, then it is quite natural that we should not respond to those riches
which are within us
As soon as intuition springs up, reason, its competitor, rises also and
says, ‘No, it is not so.’ Then there is conflict in the mind and it is hard
to distinguish, because there are two feelings at the same time. If one
makes a habit of catching the first intuition and saving it from being
destroyed by reason, then intuition is stronger and one can benefit by it.
There are many intuitive people, but they cannot always distinguish between
intuition and reason and sometimes they mix them up, for very often the
second thought, being the last, is more clear to one than the first.
Therefore, the intuition is forgotten and reason remembered. Then a person
calls it intuition and it is not so.
Reason and intuition are two competitors, and yet both have their place,
their importance, and their value. The best thing would be first to try and
catch the intuition and distinguish and know and recognize it as intuition;
and then to reason it out.
The principles of mysticism rise from the heart of man. They are learned by
intuition and proved by reason. This is not only faith, though it is born
of faith: it is faith with proof.
My intuition, has thou ever deceived me? No, never. It is my reason which
so often deludes me, for it comes from without; thou art rooted within my
July 14, 2013 Comments Off
The summum bonum of existence is the attainment of knowledge of the self, the realisation of the one homogeneous self. The knowledge of the Self can only dawn when there is extinction of all the vasanas. Vasanas are subtle desires; they are gross in nature. Some philosophers define vasanas as tendencies or inclinations. Others say they are blind clinging to sensual objects, through intense longing or craving, without deliberation or thinking.
There are two kinds of vasanas – the pure and the impure. Pure vasanas liberate one from rebirth. Impure vasanas cause the mind to fluctuate, producing agitation in the mind and affinity for objects. If you are led by pure vasanas, you will soon attain the immortal seat of ineffable splendour. The vasanas generated by you in past lives will cling to you in future births. But if pure vasanas cling to you, you will easily attain knowledge of the self, and through this you will attain liberation. If the impure vasanas cling to you, you will experience pain and sorrow; you will get rebirth in this world, again and again.
The tree-mind has two seeds – one is vasana and the other is the fluctuation of prana (life). The seeds produce a big tree and the tree again produces seeds. So also the vibration of prana arises through vasana and the vasana operates through the movement of prana. If either perishes, both soon perish.
Egoism is the first asuric (demoniac) son of avidya (ignorance). Egoism has two asuric daughters – raga and vasana. There is an intimate connection between vasana and raga. Raga is attachment. Mamata (mine-ness) is due to raga. If you want to kill raga and vasana, you must annihilate egoism. If you want to kill egoism you must first kill avidya. Destroy avidya first – raga and vasana will die by themselves.
Mind is the cause for bondage and freedom. A mind filled with impure vasanas leads to bondage, whereas a mind destitute of vasanas tends to freedom. When mind is no-mind (through destruction of vasanas), then you become mindless. When you become mindless, intuition dawns and you are endowed with the eye of wisdom. You will enjoy indescribable peace. - Swami Sivananda
June 10, 2013 Comments Off
Surrender is isvarapranidhana. The devotee consecrates all his works and their fruits to the Lord. He has no will of his own. He says unto the Lord, “I am thine. All is thine. Thy will be done. Thou art just.
Thou doest everything for me. I am an instrument in thy hands.”
In surrendering one’s will to the Lord, his will becomes one with the cosmic will. He becomes one with the Lord. There is no loss in surrendering one’s will to the Lord.
Self-surrender is atma nivedana, or prapatti. This is the highest bhakti (devotion). The gopis of Vrindavan, Radha and Mira surrendered everything at the feet of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna was their all.
In Kathopanishad it is said, “The Lord chooses that man who has surrendered himself, reveals himself unto him and bestows the highest wisdom on him.”
The two obstacles to self surrender are egoism and desire. Egoism and desire wage guerilla war. They assume various forms and assail the devotee again and again. Be on the alert. Be ever vigilant. Slay the egoism and desires beyond resurrection. Then alone will you be safe.
Your sadhana sakti (ability to practise) is grace of the Lord. Guru is grace of the Lord. Sticking to the spiritual path is grace of the Lord. Progress in sadhana is grace of the Lord. Revelation or intuition is grace of the Lord. Descent of divine light is grace of the Lord. Human birth is Lord’s grace. All sorts of aids to sadhana you get such as kutir (cottage), food, clothing, medical aid, good place for meditation, books, satsanga (good company), etc., are his grace only.It is difficult to eradicate the self assertive nature. Every man has built his personality from the beginning of time. He has allowed the rajasic (impure) mind to have its own way. This personality has grown very strong, it is hard to make it pliable and elastic. The self assertive man wants to dominate over others; he does not want to hear the opinions of others, even though they may be sound, logical and tenable. - Swami Sivananda
May 19, 2013 Comments Off
Let the sadhana (spiritual practice) always be regular, continuous, unbroken and earnest. Not only regularity but also continuity in sadhana and meditation are necessary if you want to attain selfrealisation quickly.
A spiritual stream, once set going, does not dry up unless the channelbed gets blocked, unless there is stagnation. Be vigilant eternally. Meditate regularly. Annihilate the undercurrent of vasana (habit-patterns).
Patience, perseverance, courage, determination, discrimination and dispassion are needed to tread the spiritual path. Put away thoughts, stimuli, perceptions, intentions, emotions, feelings, preoccupations and deliberations arising out of the senses and the sense objects.
You will attain supreme blessedness or the peace of the eternal. Keep the flame of thy aspiration ever kindled bright. Let purity, serenity, compassion, truth and oneness, manifest in thy thoughts and actions. Through penance, prayer and meditation the soul ascends on the divine chariot to the realms of infinite bliss, to God’s halls of wisdom.
Regularity is of paramount importance in spiritual practice. Spiritual aspirants must be arduous and efficient in performing their tasks without a break. Pray without a break. Have unshakable faith.
Remember vairagya (dispassion) and abhyasa (constant practice). Prayer is the wing by which you fly to God. Meditation or intuition is the eye by which you see God. Pray fervently unto the Lord. Pray for the Lord’s light and guidance.
Meditate on the great truth within. Strive ever to keep thyself close to the divine centre. Day by day draw nearer unto the Lord. Strive inwardly to grow into the likeness of the divine ideal. – Swami Sivananda
May 15, 2013 Comments Off
Unity in realization is far greater than unity in variety.
Bowl of Saki, May 6, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:
What keeps the soul in perplexity is the threefold aspect of manifestation, and as long as the soul remains puzzled by this, it cannot arrive at the knowledge of the One. These three aspects are the seer, sight, and the seen; the knower, knowledge, and the known. In point of fact these are three aspects of life. One aspect is the person who sees; the second aspect is the sight, or the eyes, by the help of which he sees; and the third aspect is that which he sees. That is why one cannot readily accept the idea that what one sees is the same as oneself, nor can one believe for a moment that the medium by which one sees is oneself, for these three aspects seem to be separate and to be looking at one another’s faces, as the first person, second person, and third person of Brahma.
When this riddle is solved by the realization that the three are one, then the purpose of the God-ideal is fulfilled. For then the three veils which cover the One are lifted, then they no longer remain three, and then they are found to be One, the Only Being. As Abdul Karim al Jili, the fifteenth-century mystic, says, ‘If you believe in one God, you are right; if you believe in two Gods, that is true; but if you believe in three Gods, that is right also, for the nature of unity is realized by variety.’
Man’s thought has a great power. And when he comes to the realization that everything comes from one source and that everything is developing towards one goal, he begins to see that the source and the goal are God. Then the world of variety is no longer variety to him but unity; it is one.
The power is in unity, but is lost in variety. Thus, for instance, if we hold a thing in our hand, we can hold it with strength, because all five fingers have united to hold the object. But if we try to lift it by one finger, this one finger may drop it, even though the finger belongs to the same hand. In all aspects of life unity is power. All religions show that power is in unity. This is the secret of philosophy.
There are two aspects of unity: firstly, the unity of variety; secondly, unity realizing itself. One is earthly, the other is heavenly. One cannot serve two masters. Unity is the only source of happiness. Unity in realization is far greater than unity in variety.
‘When two hearts unite, they can break even mountains.’ As two fuse in love, the more does intuition grow, the more does one understand whether the other is happy, or pleased, or displeased, whatever distance may separate them. This is nothing but just the unity of the one person with the other. It is clairvoyance. The mother knows the condition of her son at the battlefront. She can see him in her dreams. Hearts, which are united in love, perceive the state of mind of the loved ones. They do not have to study mysticism or concentration, for they have natural concentration. The mother does not pretend to meditate; love teaches her more meditation than a person who pretends to study it can attain.
May 4, 2013 Comments Off
Truth, mercy, humility, self-control, purity, devotion, courage, dispassion, discrimination, serenity, equilibrium are the doors to liberation. Contentment is the greatest virtue – it makes a man richer than an emperor. It brings every blessing and everlasting peace. Bearing insult and injury is saintliness. Justice, mercy, compassion, honesty, selfless service, sacrifice, self-restraint, are the ingredients or limbs of “Be good, do good”, yoga.
Self-control, charity, courage, compassion, humility, non-violence, truthfulness, purity and serenity are the cardinal virtues. Self- control means the control of the lower self by the higher Self for the realisation of the Self. The five virtues that lead to supreme blessedness are: truth, integrity, kindness, generosity and gentleness. Humility is the arch enemy of egoism. Therefore cultivate humility and egoism will perish. True humility is a mighty spiritual force. It is born of supreme realisation.
Courage, humility, purity, love and truthfulness are the real virtues of a man. Vrata is the practice of self denial – it is a vow. There is a spirit of renunciation in every individual. It develops will power. Obedience is better than reverence. Obedience is better than sacrifice. Obedience is the secret of discipline. Kindness and love are the foods which sustain the soul within each one.
Is there one single virtue that will contribute to make the world a better place or a happier place? Is not unselfishness that virtue? Disinterested kindness is the highest virtue.
The nearest approach to truth or God is through love. Faith, devotion and love are immortal sisters. Love of God arises in the heart that is desireless. Love divine is the only solvent – the one great healer and forgiver. Love opens the doors of intuition. Love is the marriage of the individual soul and the supreme soul. The first condition of union with God is a state of love. – Swami Sivananda
March 26, 2013 Comments Off
Renunciation of family life is the beginning of self-surrender. He who is endowed with burning vairagya (dispassion) and discrimination, one who is really earnest for his spiritual rejuvenation, can also do complete self-surrender even though he is living in the world.
In and through the world he realises the Lord by complete surrender of his whole being to Him. But it is only very few who are capable of doing this. This is because worldly life is beset with innumerable obstacles and temptations. And it is hard for the aspirant to attain complete dispassion in the midst of so many dissipations and distractions.
Therefore renunciation of family life makes the path easier for the aspirant. It also makes it smoother. The seed is now sown. The aspirant then goes to his preceptor and falls at his feet. Now the seed germinates.
The aspirant now starts the service of the guru. As he advances in his devotion and sincere service, his surrender becomes more and more perfect and complete. His heart becomes purer and purer and gradually the light of knowledge dawns in him. Now he cognises the supreme Atman which pervades all, everywhere.
The actions performed by the sadhaka (seeker) after renunciation do not bind him, because he has offered all his actions unto his preceptor or God. He does not do any action which can be considered selfish.
Thus, through service of one’s preceptor, with utter self-dedication, his heart becomes purified and, ultimately, the Lord becomes his preceptor. Now he is completely surrendered to the Lord and he attains the highest intuition.
- Swami Sivananda