What you are is the external world

December 21, 2013 Comments Off on What you are is the external world

Most of us in this confused and brutal world try to carve out a private life of our own, a life in which we can be happy and peaceful and yet live with the things of this world. We seem to think that the daily life we lead, the life of struggle, conflict, pain and sorrow is something separate from the outer world of misery and confusion. We seem to think the individual, the “you”, is different from the rest of the world with all its atrocities, wars and riots, inequality and injustice and that this is something entirely different from our particular individual life. When you look a little more closely, not only at your own life but also at the world, you will see that what you are—your daily life, what you think, what you feel—is the external world, the world about you. – Krishnamurti, Talks with American Students, p 8

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How can we spread harmony?

October 15, 2013 Comments Off on How can we spread harmony?

When in ourselves there is inharmony, how can we spread harmony?

Bowl of Saki, October 13, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Hazrat Inayat Khan:

It is harmony which makes beauty; beauty in itself has no meaning. An
object which is called beautiful at a certain place and time is not
beautiful at another place or another time. And so it is with thought,
speech and action: that which is called beautiful is only so at a certain
time and under certain conditions which make it beautiful. So if one can
give a true definition of beauty, it is harmony.  …

The teaching of Christ, ‘Resist not evil,’ is a hint not to respond to
inharmony. For instance, a word of kindness, of sympathy, an action of love
and affection finds response, but a word of insult, an action of revolt or
of hatred creates a response too, and that response creates more inharmony
in the world. By giving way to inharmony one allows inharmony to multiply.
At this time one sees in the world the greatest unrest and discomfort
pervading all over. Where does it come from? It seems to come from
ignorance of this fact that inharmony creates inharmony and will multiply
inharmony.

http://wahiduddin.net/mv2/VIII/VIII_1_9.htm

The wise in all ages have dived deep into life in order to attain unity in
themselves, and in order to spread unity. In the life of the world every
man has some complaint to make. He lacks something; he is troubled by
something. But this is only the external reason; the real truth is that he
is not in unity with his own soul, for when there is disharmony in
ourselves how can we spread harmony? When mind and body are at war the soul
wants something else, and soul and mind are pulled by the body, or the body
and mind by the soul; and so there is disharmony. When a man is in harmony
with himself, he is in harmony with all; he produces harmony and gives
harmony to all, he gives it out all the time.

http://wahiduddin.net/mv2/IX/IX_1.htm

Renunciation of Results – External or Internal ?

October 15, 2013 Comments Off on Renunciation of Results – External or Internal ?

The sole object of resorting to Yogabuddhi is to perform all activities with efficiency, excellence and joyfulness. Such a yogic pursuit is itself adequate to gain for the practitioner the supreme spiritual goal also simultaneously. This is what Krishna emphasizes in the last verse concluding his exposition of karma yoga:

The introspective people (manishinah) reach the unassailable abode (anamayam padam), freed from the bondage imposed by birth (janma-bandha-vinirmuktah). This is accomplished by abandoning the phala born out of karma (karmajam phalam tyaktva), as their buddhi remains well-integrated (buddhiyukta hi).

Manishi means manana-seela (introspective person). The karma yogis have thus to be manishis. Only then their yoga pursuit will become meaningful and bring its destined spiritual outcome.

In karma yoga, the practitioner has to be extremely alert in doing manana or rumination, by which alone the mind gets more and more exposed to the truths about the world and the life, about action and its consequence, about bondage and freedom. One may do any extent of karmas. It will still be mere performance. One’s vision and depth will grow only when his buddhi and mind begin to introspect. This is what Krishna pin-pointed when he stated earlier that “the resolute nature of buddhi (vyavasayatmika buddhih) is the fundamental factor in pursuing karma yoga” (verse 2.41). Any extent of restatements on this account will not be an excess in bringing home the need for repeated introspection.

Right rumination or introspection is extremely essential for any one to live in this world. Mind knows only to think and bring memories. To study them, understand the implications and evaluate these with depth and insight is the task of buddhi. This buddhi has to be activated in all situations. Krishna is inspiring and arousing Arjuna’s intelligence by presenting before him the truth of the Indestructible Soul, by proving the transitory nature of the body and all that it does and meets as outcomes. As a further note, Krishna takes Arjuna’s mind away from the fleeting karmas and their ephemeral external results to the lasting inner enlightenment.

By virtue of manana, what do the manishis accomplish? Krishna makes it clear that the phala born of karma is kept away by the effect of manana. Krishna uses the word tyaga (abandonment) for this ‘keeping away’. Tyaga here actually means renunciation, the highest spiritual concept as well as attainment.

To be doing karma and at the same time to be abandoning its result, may look quite strange, if not absurd. If you do not perform any karma, then there will not be any question of a result at all. Where is then the need for abandoning the result? Only for one who is given to karma, the question of disturbance caused by its result and the need for getting relieved from it arises. And this is what has to be accomplished.

Here the point to be understood is that Geeta does not state at any time that the objective results of karmas are to be abandoned or kept away. Every karma has its specific result. Devoid of result, no karma can ever be thought of even by a foolish person. Look at Nature. Think of the whole lot of vegetation, the plant kingdoms. Everywhere growth and activity take place only to bring forth their specific outcome. To think of dissociating the karma from the objective result while doing karma or after doing it, is unnatural and impossible too.

Like a flower blossoming from a plant, a fruit growing from the flower, the objective external result is always an inevitable phase of the very course of karma. If action, karma, is the precedent factor, then its result, phala, is the succeeding one. Both together constitute the full range of the karma process. How can then any separation as such between the performance of karma and meeting its result or outcome be thought of at all?

Thus the question becomes very relevant: What is the renunciation of results Krishna speaks so emphatically about? The answer is quite clear, unmistakable. The objective external results of karmas are not what Geeta wants us to renounce. The subjective results are the one implied here and they can be renounced in full, no doubt. By so renouncing, we do not lose anything, but gain instead something everlasting. Objective results are external, material in nature. They belong to the object sphere. Whereas the subjective results or impacts always belong to the doer, the karta. These impacts are subject to alteration, improvement or even replacement. Mental responses can always be treated and altered. As explained earlier, depending upon the outlook and vision, attitude and evaluation, a karma or result will bring about an altogether different impact in the doer, as happened in the case of Arjuna himself. Arjuna, as he began to be receptive to Krishna’s gospels, changed his point of view and assessment about the war and its outcome.  – Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha (Extract from the  “Essential Concepts in Bhagavadgeeta” by Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha as published in Vicharasetu in January 1998)
(c) Narayanashrama Tapovanam, 2012

What you are is the external world

September 9, 2013 Comments Off on What you are is the external world

Most of us in this confused and brutal world try to carve out a private life of our own, a life in which we can be happy and peaceful and yet live with the things of this world. We seem to think that the daily life we lead, the life of struggle, conflict, pain and sorrow is something separate from the outer world of misery and confusion. We seem to think the individual, the “you”, is different from the rest of the world with all its atrocities, wars and riots, inequality and injustice and that this is something entirely different from our particular individual life. When you look a little more closely, not only at your own life but also at the world, you will see that what you are—your daily life, what you think, what you feel—is the external world, the world about you. – Krishnamurti, Talks with American Students, p 8

Life is a continual series of experiences

August 19, 2013 Comments Off on Life is a continual series of experiences

Life is a continual series of experiences, one leading to the other, until the soul arrives at its destination.

Bowl of Saki, August 5, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:

The truth is to be realized from all things, from religion, from philosophy, from science, from art, from industry. The only difference is that one takes a shorter way and the other takes a longer way. One goes round about and the other takes a straight path. There is no difference in the destination; the only difference is in the journey, whether one goes on foot or whether one drives, whether one is awake or whether one is asleep and is taken blindly to the destination, not knowing the beauties of the way.

from  http://wahiduddin.net/mv2/VI/VI_21.htm

‘I passed away into nothingness — I vanished; and lo! I was all living.’ All who have realized the secret of life understand that life is one, but that it exists in two aspects. First as immortal, all-pervading and silent; and secondly as mortal, active, and manifest in variety. The soul being of the first aspect becomes deluded, helpless, and captive by experiencing life in contact with the mind and body, which is of the next aspect. The gratification of the desires of the body and fancies of the mind do not suffice for the purpose of the soul, which is undoubtedly to experience its own phenomena in the seen and the unseen, though its inclination is to be itself and not anything else. When delusion makes it feel that it is helpless, mortal and captive, it finds itself out of place. This is the tragedy of life, which keeps the strong and the weak, the rich and poor, all dissatisfied, constantly looking for something they do not know. The Sufi, realizing this, takes the path of annihilation, and, by the guidance of a teacher on the path, finds at the end of this journey that the destination was he. As Iqbal says:

‘I wandered in the pursuit of my own self; I was the traveler, and I am the destination.’

from  http://wahiduddin.net/mv2/I/I_I_1.htm

The individual soul is a shoot that springs from the all-pervading Spirit, its goal being its origin; and every attachment it has on its way is, no doubt, a detaining on the journey. The soul is never fully satisfied so long as it has not reached its destination. The love of the external world is a rehearsal before the performance, which is the love of God, the Inner Being.

~~~ Sangatha II, Tasawwuf, by Hazrat Inayat Khan (unpublished)

GOD AS MASTER AND FRIEND

June 14, 2013 Comments Off on GOD AS MASTER AND FRIEND

 

Dasya bhakti is love of God as the servant of God. To serve God and to carry out his wishes – realising his virtues, his nature, his mystery and his glory and considering oneself as a slave of the supreme master – this is dasya bhakti. Serving and worshipping the murtis (images) in the temples, sweeping the temples, meditating on God and serving Him like a slave (mentally), serving the saints and the sages, serving the devotees of God, serving the poor and the sick, is also included in dasya bhakti.

To follow the words of the scriptures, to act according to the injunctions of the vedas considering them to be direct words of God, is dasya bhakti. Association with and service of love-intoxicated devotees and service of those who have knowledge of God, is dasya bhakti. The purpose of this is to be ever with God, in order to offer your services to him and win his divine grace and thereby attain immortality.

Arjuna prays with the sentiment of a servant and a disciple in order to get the grace of Lord Krishna: “O Lord, I am your disciple. I have taken refuge in you. Teach me.” The aspirant should completely give himself up to God and should not retain any personal reservations. Ananya bhakti is total relinquishment of the self to God.

Sakhya bhava is the cultivation of the friend-sentiment with God. The Bhagavatam says: “Oh how wonderful is the fortune of the people of Vraja, of cowherd Nanda, whose dear friend is the perfect, eternal Brahman or absolute bliss.”

To be always with the Lord, to treat him as one’s own dear relative or friend, belonging to one’s own family, to be in his company at all times, to love him as one’s own self, is sakhya bhava of bhakti-marga (the path of devotion). The devotee takes up with eagerness any work of the Lord, leaving aside even the most important and urgent and pressing personal work, and totally concerning himself with the love of the Lord. How do real friends love in this world? What an amount of love passes between them. Such love is developed for God – physical love is turned into spiritual love. There is a transformation of the mundane into the eternal.

It is a great pity that sakhi bhava (the attitude of God’s beloved) is misunderstood. The jiva caitanya (individual soul) is the real sakhi. Sakhi bhava is purely an internal state, not a mere external show. The individual soul is united with the supreme soul by self-surrender. The lover and the beloved become one. This is the acme of bhakti. This is the culminating point. Bhakti begins with two and ends with one. – Swami Sivananda

Striving For Perennial Happiness

June 10, 2013 Comments Off on Striving For Perennial Happiness

 

It is in the nature of man to strive for happiness, but all the happiness which he can gain by his actions is only of limited duration. The enjoyments of the senses are transient and the senses themselves are worn out by too much enjoyment. Further, sin generally accompanies these enjoyments and makes men unhappy beyond comparison.

Even if the pleasures of the world are enjoyed as much as their nature permits, if they are as intense, as varied and as uninterrupted as possible – old age still approaches and with it, death. And the enjoyments of heaven are in reality not more enviable than these pleasures of the senses. They are of the same nature although more unmixed and durable, and they come to an end for they are gained by actions. Actions are finite and their effects must also be finite.

In one word, there is necessarily an end to all these enjoyments and what avails us to strive for pleasure which we know cannot sustain us beyond the moment of enjoyment? It is therefore the nature of the man to look out for an unchangeable, infinite happiness (ananta sukha) – which must come from a `being’ in which there is no change if such a being can be found. It is only from him that man attains an unalterable happiness. And if this be so, this `being’ must become the sole object of all his aspirations and actions.

This `being’ is not very far – he resides in your heart. He is the saksi caitanya (witness consciousness) who witnesses the activities of your buddhi (intellect). He is the nirguna Brahman of the Upanishads.

TRUE BEING. True being is that which knows no bounds, neither physical nor intellectual. It is unbounded, spiritual being. The nature of approach must befit the nature of the object approached. The pathway can be known only when the destination is known. The indivisible, absolute and conscious nature of the reality signifies that life on earth should be lived according to rigid laws – laws of dispassion towards external existence and active awareness of the Self as an unlimited being. It also shows that all forms of physical and even intellectual indulgence are deviations from eternal truth. It shows that every desire for objectification of consciousness is suicidal in the real sense. – Swami Sivananda

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