Thursday, January 27, 2011

10. Isn't the desire to be desireless still a desire?

Desires should never be a habit; As Sharadha maa has said we have to have higher desires in spirituality. 

“Desiring to be desire less is also a desire right???"


We can explain it this way:

A shape object resembling a thorn is required to remove a thorn stuck in the foot. And after removing the same we throw away both of them. Higher desires (Spiritual) are required to eliminate the Lower desires (Materialistic) and then after enlightenment both are not required. 

Being Desireless doesn’t mean one should reject the fortunes that come in the way if he deserves. We have seen many of us who desire but don’t deserve. Desire is good to be ambitious in life but not craving.

We have seen how a child behaves when it sees chocolates. It eats a couple, and then stuff one in the pocket and tries to stuff more in the other pockets. The child is in frenzy. This is called feverishness which is to satisfy our senses. As an adult we may not have this feverishness for chocolates but what are chocolates for a child is materialistic comforts for an adult. When such feverishness for objects is missing, we really enjoy the object of senses. We have to experience and enjoy but without craving for it, knowing that the joy comes form within us. The object is only a mere reflection. We can enjoy only when we understand that the joy is within and not in the object outside. This is a little profound and it clicks to a mature mind.......What say?????

Thursday, January 20, 2011

9. Maya and Illusions

What is Illusion?

Illusion is one that can never be accepted as a perceived image as the information gathered by the human brain to give a percept does not allay with only one. And the human brain is confused for some time to understand the two percepts and then project it to the Mind.

In the figure we can find a person with a spectacles, now just by tilting the head to the left we will find a word LIAR, now the human brain constructs a world inside our head based on the percepts and sometimes tries to organize the information it feels best and in other times it tries to fill in gaps this is the way human brain works on the basis of an illusion.

This illusion was created since there were two in the one picture. The human brain has to struggle out to find out the perfect percept to deliver it to Mind. Like wise there is only one Absolute Brahman and He alone is true (Satya). The materialistic world we live in is not real (Asat), or it is only vyavaharika satya.

What does vyavaharika satya mean? Let us suppose we dream of winning a brand new car in a lottery and driving it, though we experience the drive once we are awake there is no car. Did we not experience the car drive in the dream is it not true? Yes, it was true, if so then where is the car? This is vyavaharika satya. Sri Sri Shankara says that appearance of this world is due to Maya—the illusory power of Brahman—, which is neither Sat, nor Asat.

As for the “falseness” of this world - first let us make it clear that Advaita does not claim that this world is false. It only says that it is illusory. Let us pause a minute here and go over the rope and snake analogy. A man sees a coiled rope in insufficient light and thinks it to be a snake, and is therefore afraid. Later, when he sees it again with the help of a light source, he recognizes it as a rope, and realizes he was in error when he thought it to be a snake. However, till he realizes that this object of perception is not a snake, he harbors the illusion that it was a snake i.e. he was under the influence of his own ignorance about the true identity of the thing, and was therefore under "mithyatva". The same "snake" is later, at the moment of realization, understood to be a "rope". Similarly, we humans’ think this world has an independent reality, and assumes that the pleasures, joys, frustrations and miseries we experiences here are somehow "real". It is this that is "mithya".

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

8. Mind Control

The mind, (manas) is controlled by intelligence, (buddhi) and has control over our sense organs, (indriyas). If our sense organs are horses of a chariot, the mind is the leash that is held by intelligence, the charioteer. The chariot will move in the right direction only if the charioteer has control over the horses through the leash. The mind is like the supervisor in the factory of life, and directs the sense organs. The mind does a wonderful job of carrying out directions, but it is not supposed to be the key decision-maker in the factory. Key decision making is the job of intelligence. If intelligence is clouded, then the mind has a habit of listening to whoever is speaking the loudest in the factory (Indriyas).

There is conflict between intelligence and mind that is judged by our consciousness. This is never seen in animals. Let us suppose a landlord who happens to leave his house for a few days orders both his housekeeper and the dog not to go out of the house in his absence. Even though both have violated the order, the dog has no inner conflict and sleeps happily, but the housekeeper is sleepless. He feels guilty and is also ticked off for not following orders. The mind should always listen to intelligence and order the sense organs, and then there would be no conflict of mind and intelligence. When we say we have a disturbed mind then we have done something that our intelligence does not want us to do.

7. Consciousness as Seer

Viveka (Wisdom) is like the “butter” which is extracted from the “cream” of Buddhi (Intellect) which in turn is got from the ocean of milk called Manas (Mind). Wisdom is to be aware of the differentiation between the seer (the one who sees) and the seen. 

What is seen and who is the seer?

If the eye is the seer the objects around is the seen. Similarly, to the mind, the eye is seer and the sense organ of vision is the seen. For Chaitanya (Consciousness), which is the seer, the mind becomes the seen. Thus Consciousness is the ultimate seer which experiences without the help of other entity, this non dependent Consciousness alone is the witness. Does a lighted lamp which in a dark place, need the help of another lamp to confirm its presence.

In darkness a beam of light is required for us to know if a person exists, but we need no light to know our own presence. The flame in the lighted lamp has no shadow and so also the Consciousness which is also referred to as Brahma Chaitanya has no silhouette. Consciousness is self-aware of its existence. But this non dependent Consciousness has a reflected consciousness which is ego that is projected due to the reflecting medium called the Mind. The mind is a subtle form of energy that has no consciousness of its own but acts as a conscious entity due to ego. This ego is of limited consciousness and acts as the observer, knower and the experienced. Identification of the reflected consciousness with the world and getting attached to the likes and dislikes is called Samsara (Life). The only way to overcome ego is to shun Karttatva Bhava (Doer-ship). The ego is the “I” ness present in mind where thoughts, feelings and experiences circle. Once this reflected consciousness is withdrawn from the mind and merged with the non dependent Consciousness -- then the non attachment to the body and the mind is achieved. We require a proficient Guru and uninterrupted sadhana to know which this reflected consciousness is.

Once a King announced a reward of 1,000 gold coins to whomever who could fetch the diamond necklace which his daughter lost. A beggar was walking along a polluted river. He saw a spark in the river and when he looked close he saw the diamond necklace. He decided to try and fetch it so that he could get the reward. He put his hand in the filthy river to grab the necklace, but somehow could not get it. He took his hand out and looked again and the necklace was still there. He tried again. But strangely, he still missed the necklace! He came out frustrated and started walking away, feeling depressed.

Then again, he saw the necklace, right there. This time he was determined to get it. He decided to plunge into the river. Although it was disgusting, he plunged in and searched everywhere for the necklace. Just then, a Sadhu who was walking by saw him, and asked him what the matter was. The beggar didn’t want to share anything with the Sadhu, thinking he might take the necklace and get the reward. Being compassionate, the Sadhu again asked the beggar to tell him the problem and promised that he would not tell anyone.

The beggar gathered some courage and decided to put some faith in the Sadhu. He told him about the necklace and how he tried and tried to get it, but kept failing. The Sadhu then told the beggar that perhaps he should try looking upward, toward the branches of the tree, instead of in the filthy river. The beggar looked up and was surprised to see the necklace dangling on the branch of a tree. He had been trying to capture a mere reflection of the real necklace all the time.

6. Advaitha and Dvaitha Philosophy

The eternal Self is the ultimate phase, like gold, while the name and form of an individual is like that of gold jewellery. Some may not like the making of the jewel but the gold that is in it is not inferior. The face value of a currency note is the same even if it is soiled. Every individual is the same like gold and the intrinsic value of a currency note. This is what Sri Sri Shankara tries to convey through the prism of Advaita philosophy.

The Dvaita philosophy of Sriman Madhava endorses the need for every individual to live life in a way that enables one to take out or forge an attractive jewel out the gold or clean the currency note so that it become new and crisp. Both these great exponents of philosophy of Advaita and Dvaita, have really said the same thing but in different ways. Sri Sri Shankara asks us to see others in the same perspective as we see ourselves. Sriman Madhva explains to us that even though others see us in the same perspective as they see themselves, it is righteousness to live a quality life.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

5. Is Comparison required to better our life???????

Some well-wisher posed this question and stirred my thoughts. Is Comparison required to better our life? Yes or No! Comparisons are in matter of money or socialization.

Comparison can be broadly classified as
1) Financial comparison
2) Social comparison

Financial comparison is with the intention of betterment of our self and family and all it needs is to better our earnings or if we have good earning to spend in a way that we are on par with others. In all this exercise we in a way want others to think that we are happy. Because if I were to be contented and be happy with what I have got I would not have compared myself with others.

Social comparison is process whereby we learn to get along with and to behave similarly to other people in the group, largely through imitation as well as group pressure. Social comparison is with the intention of betterment of our life with others and all it needs is to keep in good relationship with people around us. For this to be achieved we have to share our views and accept others views, and being so others are happy for us. They miss us the moment we leave their company they yearn for it.

4. Result Oriented Living

I was told about Result Oriented Living, “To keep the world’s mouth shut be result oriented” they say. Well I had read many literatures where I perceived that result are secondary and doing work is important. Also the quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson” Reward for a thing well done, is to have done it” this is in fact one of my best quote.

Now, after listening to Result Oriented Living I went into contemplation on this issue as I was skeptical about it. Then I had this thought about the Silk Worm, people keep these worms in farms and feed them with finely cut mulberry leaves with the result of getting silk cocoon. And if we look at the other worms in the farm they are just wiped out using pesticides. Yes, world respects those who are result oriented people.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

3. DESIRE: fulfilled or not is dangerous.

Desire works in one of two ways. 

Once a particular desire is born there are only two possibilities: either desire is not fulfilled or it is fulfilled to our satisfaction.

If our desire is not fulfilled, we are agitated and annoyed. When anger takes over, frustration slips in and we feel envious. Envy makes us feel jealousy when, for instance, someone known to us or very close to us have achieved something that we were yearning for since a long time. This will cause loss of peace in our mind, hence our elders used to advice us to first deserve and then desire.

If our desire is fulfilled, then there is the emotion of elite for having what others do not have. This feel of elite makes us think we are unique and all that we got by desiring is ours. It makes us forget that the entire things in this earth belong to the Lord who created them and we are here to get some benefit out of them and pass it onto our next generations. Ultimate reality is the we do not even own this physical body of ours which we are obsessed with.

When we attain what we seek, we develop attachment towards them. this attachment makes us greedy. In an effort to fulfill the greed we often tend to take refuge in untruth and unlawfulness. Again there is loss of peace in our mind. 

Now is it good or bad to desire for?

Desire is just a feeling that tells us that we are missing something in our life. In fact desire can actually be quite a good and necessary part of our life, for example desire for knowledge, to help others and or for a harmonious living all positive traits to becoming the person you were meant to be; what I consider as a divine human.

Desire is not the enemy to a happy and balanced life. It is not a hindrance to experiencing a higher self. In fact, desire can often be the motivational for all that greater awareness. It is not desire that is bad; it is the lack of will to check and balance that desire which can turn a healthy emotion into a self-destructive one. It is when desire is driven by the ego that we start to undermine the righteousness part in our desire.

If our desires are well within the limits of Dharma (righteousness) and if we keep a check and maintain a steady balance by asking where the limit to our desires is, then we need not worry about its path and pace. It is okay to desire if we make sure the “desire” that we want is in line with the person we truly want to become. Only then can we truly find happiness and enlightenment. Happiness does not come from having everything under the Sun but it comes from having the things that hold upon to the Simple Truth.

2. Concept of GOD

There is nothing to be achieved or attained in God consciousness. It is not something outside; it is all here within us. If we think we should go towards God who is somewhere away from us then that idea has no meaning. Again if we say “within us “somewhere at the back of the mind we sound “not outside”. Neither up nor down, inside nor outside, here nor there none of these notions apply to the Omnipresent God. 

It is impossible for a human mind to remain a human mind and at the same time understand God. Only God’s mind can understand God. Only when the human mind is so relieved of its Ego then it becomes God’s mind and that mind is capable of understanding God. With such a mind it is possible to live blissfully in this beautiful world.

We read in Srimad Bhagavatam 10 Cantos that in Krita Yuga during Narasimha Avatar young Prahlada tells his father Hiranya Kashyapa that Sriman Narayana is every where in every thing. And Hiranya Kashyapa hit the pillar with his mace and out emerges Narasimha. 

In Treta Yug at the time of Sri Rama Coronation, Sita devi gives Hanuman the pearl necklace, Hanuman starts searching for Sri Rama in it and say he cannot find Rama in it. When people around asks him if Sri Rama is inside him, Hanuman tears of his chest to show Sri Rama in it.

In both the incidences which are described in Sriman Bhagavatam there is a huge contradiction. While one of the devotee of Sari Hari perceive him everywhere there is another who believes Sri Hari is in him and nowhere else. Such is the concept of God, God is just the state of MIND.  And we need to have His grace for Him to be in our Mind always and this is all the prayer is all about. Now as it is important for us to think of Him always it is also important for us request Him to have us in His Cosmic Mind also.

Kulashekara Alwar one of the adherent devotee of Sri Hari says in Mukundamala thus:

maj-janmanah phalam idam madhu-kaitabhare                   mat prarthaniya mad anugraha esa eva                     tvad bhrtya-bhrtya-paricharaka-bhrtya-bhrtya bhrtyasya bhrtyam iti mam smara lokanatha    

Meaning"O Supreme Lord of all, slayer of the demons Madhu and Kaitabha! Please be merciful to me and grant my prayer that You may remember me as a servant of Your servant's servant, a servant of such a servant of Your servant's servant, a servant of a servant of Your servant's servant, and a servant of Your servant's servant servant." 

1. Talking: a way to Express

A lot of trouble in the world would disappear if people talk to each other instead of talking "about" each other. Talk is the only way to express our intent and get other persons content. In the process of letting our intent known we use comparison or examples as content, unfortunately the content takes the important place than the intent. If the content is taking seriously the value of the intent is lost. Intelligent person will ...try to concentrate on the intent than on the content. It is important to be the first to talk, in Ramayana Sage Valmiki writes about Sri Rama as "Hitha Bhashi" and "Purva Bhashi" (One who talked in a pleasing manner and one who would start a conversation).