November 25, 2013 Comments Off on Reason is learned from the ever changing world
Reason is learned from the ever changing world, but true knowledge comes from the essence of life.
Bowl of Saki, November 23, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:
Knowledge and heart quality must be developed together. … Without a developed love quality, man is incapable of having that knowledge. There are fine lights and shades in one’s life that cannot be perceived and fully understood without having touched the deeper side of life, which is the devotional side. The person who has never in his life been wholly grateful cannot know what it is. He who has not experienced humility in life does not know its beauty. The one who has not known gentleness or modesty cannot appreciate its beauty or recognize it. … The heart must be open too. A very intellectual man went to Jami and asked him to take him as his pupil and give him initiation. Jami looked at him and said, ‘Have you ever loved anybody?’ This man said, ‘No, I have not loved.’ Then Jami said, ‘Go and love first, then come to me and I will show you the way.’
Wisdom is that which is learned from within, and intellect is that which is acquired from without. The source of wisdom is above, the source of intellect is below. And therefore it is not the same method, it is not the same process one adopts in order to attain wisdom as that which one adopts in order to acquire intellect.
There are people who look at life through their brain, their head, and there are others who look at life through their heart. Between these two points of view there is a vast difference; so much difference that something that one person can see on the earth the other sees in heaven, something that one sees as small the other sees as great, of something that one sees as limited the other sees the unlimitedness. These two persons become opposite poles; it is as if one is looking at the sky, the other at the earth.
July 28, 2013 Comments Off on CONSEQUENCES OF ANGER
A terrible fit of anger shatters the physical nervous system. It produces a lasting impression on the inner astral body. Although the effects of a fit of anger may seem to subside in a short time, the vibration or wave, continues to exist for days in the astral body. A slight unpleasant feeling that lasts in the mind for five minutes may produce a deep inflammation of the astral body. It may take several weeks or months even for this ulcer to heal.
Now, have you realised the disastrous consequences of anger? Do not be victims of anger. Control it by love, mercy, sympathy, vicara (enquiry) and consideration for others. Even slight annoyance, or irritability, affects the mind and the astral body.
Aspirants should not allow these vrttis (thought-waves) to manifest in the mind-lake, as they may burst out as big waves of anger at any moment, if you are careless or weak. There should not be the least disturbance in the mind-lake – it should be perfectly calm and serene. Then only you will find meditation possible.
It is difficult to control anger. Anger is a manifestation of sakti (energy). At first, try to reduce its force and its frequency of duration. Endeavour to attenuate or thin out this formidable modification of the mind.
Do not allow this modification to assume the form of a big wave on the surface of the conscious mind. Nip it in the bud when it is in the form of irritability. Divert the mind. Entertain divine thoughts. Do vigorous japa (repetition of God’s name) and kirtan (chanting). Repeat some prayers or slokas (verses) from the scriptures.
Develop the opposite, divine qualities. Develop patience, love, forgiveness – anger will die by itself, gradually. Blessed are those high-souled people who can control their anger by pure, strong will and intellect.
Be serene. Serenity is like a rock. Waves may dash on it but they cannot affect it. Waves of irritation may break on this rock of serenity but they cannot affect it. Meditate daily on the ever- tranquil Atman (Self). You will attain this sublime virtue of serenity gradually.
– Swami Sivananda
July 14, 2013 Comments Off on It is the lover of God
It is the lover of God whose heart is filled with devotion who can commune with God, not he who makes an effort with his intellect to analyze God.
Bowl of Saki, July 10, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:
Science is learned by analysis and esotericism by synthesis. If a person who wants to obtain esoteric knowledge breaks things up into bits, he is analyzing them; and as long as he does this he will never come to understand esotericism. In psychology two things are needed: analysis and synthesis; and when through a better understanding of psychology one has accustomed oneself to synthesize as well as to analyze, then one prepares oneself to synthesize only, which leads to a fuller understanding of esotericism. Therefore, the acquisition of esoteric knowledge is quite different from the study of science.
It is the lover of God whose heart is filled with devotion, who can commune with God; not the one who makes an effort with his intellect to analyze God. In other words, it is the lover of God who can commune with Him, not the student of His nature. It is the ‘I’ and ‘you’, which divide, and yet it is ‘I’ and ‘you’, which are the necessary conditions of love. Although ‘I’ and ‘you’ divide the one life into two, it is love that connects them by the current which is established between them; and it is this current which is called communion, which runs between man and God.
The Spiritual Message of Inayat Khan
July 9, 2013 Comments Off on MENTAL FACTORY
Now I will take you to the most wonderful mental factory. It is very close to you; it is a wonder of wonders. Even a rank materialist, if he is very sincere, will be turned into a perfect theist, instantly, if he closes his eyes for a moment and seriously reflects on the working of this marvellous factory. The Kena Upanishad opens with the following lines: “Who is the Director of this mind? Who gives Light and Power to this mind?” It goes on “Brahman is the Mind of minds, the Prana (life) of pranas, the Eye of eyes, the Ear of ears.”
What a bold philosophy. At once it raises man to an unerring solution for all the different problems of life. The four mahavakyas (great utterances): “Prajnanam brahma” (consciousness is the Absolute); “aham brahma asmi” (I am the Absolute); “tat twam asi” (that thou art); “ayam atma brahma” (the Self is the Absolute), infuse power and joy into the hearts of all hearers. They produce drastic changes in your life. Then you will laugh at the vain pomp, the empty glory and the artificial and miserable life of a rich man.
The eyes and the ears are the gate-keepers of this mental factory – they are the ‘way in’ and mouth is the ‘way out’. Eyes and ears bring inside the mental factory matters for manufacture. Light and sound vibrations are brought inside through these two avenues.
First of all they are made into ‘percepts’ by the mind. They are then presented to the intellect. The intellect converts these ‘percepts’ into ‘concepts’ or ideas. These ideas are expressed by the outside gatekeeper, the organ of speech.
The external physical eyes and ears are mere instruments. But the real visual and auditory centres are in the brain and in the astral body – these are the real senses. Understand this point well. The intellect receives these materials from the mind and presents them to the purusa or Atman (the Self), who is behind the screen.
The mind is the head clerk of this mental factory. He has ten clerks, the five jnana indriyas (senses) to bring news from the facts outside. The facts are placed by the mind before the intellect, who places them before the purusa (inner self). A message comes back from the purusa to the buddhi (intellect). Buddhi decides and determines, and then gives the answer back to the mind, for execution. The five karma indriyas (organs of speech, hands, feet, genitals and anus) execute the order of the mind who is their master. – Swami Sivananda
July 6, 2013 Comments Off on PRAYER
As children we pray to our parents, elders and guardians at the time of our need. We seek their help and guidance. When we grow into adolescence we learn to pray to ourselves – to our latent abilities and strength. We try not to be dependent on others. But there is a limitation to this prayer. So when we feel we are in need of something else, something beyond our capacity, we resign ourselves to God and pray for His help and guidance. Evidently we feel His response – an all-potent inner force that listens to our prayers and fulfils our wishes the moment we are a little sincere and faithful.
As for the devotee, he resigns himself to God – surrendering his ego at His feet. He forgets all about the world and thinks of nothing else but God alone who would surely save him and who alone would be able to help and guide him. He communes his will with God’s and acts as per His guidance. There is no sense of individuality or doer-ship in him. He knows that God’s will is his will and that he must act up to it. Does that mean that he is devoid of self-effort? Certainly not. For he negates himself and resigns himself to the Lord. To him flows the divine grace instantly. His nature is divinised and so he naturally exerts himself in the right direction. Indeed the very act of self-surrender is purushartha (self-effort) of the highest order.
For the vedantin however, his prayer is essentially the prayer to the Self within – to himself – to the cosmic consciousness that is immanent in all. In the initial stage he considers his prayer as a sort of desire – either earthly or spiritual – either with motive or without motive. Then when he advances sufficiently in his sadhana (practice) he considers his (so called) desire as divine will, which finally opens his intuitive spiritual sight and becomes one with the cosmic will.
The power of prayer is indescribable. Its glory is ineffable. Only sincere devotees realise its usefulness and splendour. Prayer should be done with reverence, faith and non-expectation of fruits. It should be done with a heart full of devotion. O ignorant man: Do not argue about the efficacy of prayer. You will be deluded. There is no arguing in spiritual matters. Intellect is a finite and frail instrument. Do not trust this.
Remove the darkness of your ignorance now, through the light of prayer. – Swami Sivananda
July 3, 2013 Comments Off on MIND AND MATTER
Mind is not a gross thing, visible and tangible; its existence is nowhere seen; its magnitude cannot be measured; it does not require space in which to exist. Mind and matter are two aspects, or subject and object of one and the same all-full Brahman – who is itself neither and yet includes both.
Mind precedes matter; this is the vedantic theory. Matter precedes mind; this is the scientific theory. Mind is immaterial only in the sense that it has not the characteristics of ponderable matter. It is not immaterial in the sense that Brahman – pure spirit – is.
Mind is the subtle form of matter. Hence it is the prompter of the body. Mind is made of subtle, pure (satvic), atomic matter. Mind is all electricity. It is formed of the subtlest portion of food.
The soul is the only source of intelligence; it is self-evident; it shines with its own light.
The organs or mind and senses derive their principle of activity and life from the soul. By themselves they are lifeless. Hence the soul is always the subject and never the object. Mind is the object of the soul.
It is a cardinal principle of vedanta that that which is an object for a subject is non-intelligent. Even the principle of self-consciousness is non-intelligence – it does not exist by its own light; it is the object of apperception to the soul.
Mind is composed of coarse or fine matter, according to the needs of the more or less unfolded consciousness connected with it. In the educated it is active and well-defined. In the undeveloped it is cloudy and ill-defined.
Absolute consciousness is common to all. It is one. All the workings of the mind are presented to the one common consciousness which is the witness of the mental vrttis. It is the mind that limits man, who is in reality, identical with Brahman.
This identity is realised when the veil of ignorance is removed. For Brahman, the mind is an object of perception. Atman directly cognises all the phenomena of the mind – desires, imagination, doubt, belief, shame, intellect, fear, etc., – and yet remains quite unattached and unaffected. – Swami Sivananda
June 21, 2013 Comments Off on THE FLOWER OF FLOWERS
Divine love (or prema) is the flower of flowers. It is the rarest of all flowers and it is cultivated in the hearts of all devotees. Prema or bhakti is intense love, or the highest form of devotion to God. It is supreme attachment to the lotus feet of the Lord. It springs from the bottom of the devotee’s heart. In it there is no effort – there is only genuine, natural, spontaneous longing to meet God.
Just as a fish cannot live without water, just as the sunflower cannot live without the sun, just as the chaste wife cannot live without her husband, so also a true devotee cannot live without God even for a moment.
Bhakti or prema is of the nature of nectar. It gives freedom to the devotee and makes him perfectly and fully satisfied. It takes him to the feet of the Lord.
There are three things which are indeed rare and are due to the grace of the Lord. They are human birth, the longing for liberation and the protecting care of a perfected sage.
The man who, having by virtuous actions in previous births, obtained a human birth and a good intellect, is foolish indeed not to exert for Self-realisation. He verily commits suicide, for he kills himself by clinging to things unreal.
There is no hope of immortality by means of riches. Such indeed is the emphatic declaration of the srutis (scriptures). The scriptures declare: “Na karmana na prajaya dhanena tyagenaike amrtatva masasuh” – “neither by rituals, nor by progeny, nor by riches, but by renunciation alone can one attain immortality.”
Mere giving up of objects will not constitute real renunciation. Dear friends, remember this point well. Real tyaga (renunciation) consists in renouncing egoism, ‘mine’-ness, selfishness, anger, pride, desires and cravings.
People despise this Kali Yuga. This is a mistake, for in Kali Yuga you can attain God-realisation easily; you do not have to do hard tapas (austerities). Merely singing the names of the Lord and by his constant remembrance will you attain God-realisation. Wherever there are satsanga (holy company), kirtan (chanting), svadhyaya (study of scriptures), bhaktas, swamis and yogis – there is Satya Yuga (golden age). In all ashrams and holy places Satya Yuga prevails. Kali cannot enter here. – Swami Sivananda