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General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: ksksat27 on June 29, 2017, 01:17:37 PM

Title: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: ksksat27 on June 29, 2017, 01:17:37 PM
dear devotees

need your in depth insight and advise.

off late I am encountering variety of life situations. 

in this material world, though I already earn well and be in prestigious companies,  there has been more peer pressure in social circle that compels me to run even faster and chase more opulent things abroad.

before I came to Bhagavan, I used to be like that, constantly running after things....

now I find it difficult to have that vigour on material pursuits...I am 34 now... In another 30 years, all this pursuits will become useless... should I consider these distracting ambititions as vasanas?  should I concentrate on sadhana and fight the vasanas?

or keep these vasanas in one wing and sadhana on another wing? mix both and lead life?

kindly please don't give advise like 'work is worship', 'both can go together, like bhagavan told work is not an hindrance'

I am not talking about work here.  'Work' I do, question is about the appetite to earn more and more. to still establish myself. to explore even more brighter opportunities, do more and more courses etc.

please help me with deepest insight....
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Jewell on June 30, 2017, 02:57:29 PM
Dear Sri Krishna,

The only point here is,i believe,do You really need all that,is it necessary? The best way is if we can be completely honest to ourselves and see why we want all these stuff,what is the real reason behind it. To relax. But this is possible only if we can see through desire.
So,the thing is,when the reason is the real need,or when it all became simply greed?.

Like someone wise once said,the answer for some problem is always in the problem itself. And if You asked this question,it seems You are,somewhere,aware what is the answer.

Like Maharaj said: "To exist as a separate individual constitutes the entire problem."

Best of luck in Your journey!

With love,

Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: ksksat27 on July 04, 2017, 06:30:54 PM
Thanks Jewel.

I am wondering why the learned members Ravi sir,  atmavichar,  anand sundaram and all others whom I have not mentioned are silent in this topic.

Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: ramesh.aba on July 05, 2017, 02:39:12 PM
Even if one has the financial means to support the living from now (i.e. from the age of 34) till say up to 85th year, it will be prudent to engage in some activity and gradually reduce to a level that one is comfortable with the mind.

Moreover,  society places immense stress on what one is and what one does. So, it will be very dificult to live just anywhere in India and expect to move on leading a life of simplicity and meditation.

From personal experience, particularly if you are less than 60, only Tiruvannamalai (that too near Ashram) offers a setup where this life style is acceptable.

Desires for more & more vs Meditative life - are counter productive. Work per say is not hinderance (as Bhagavan says) as long as it is towards sustaining a simple living.

There is one illustration in  Guru Vachaka Kovai -  Kadai Vadakai. Explained in detail by Sadhu OM in his book Sri Ramana Vazhi. Michael James has translated this in English - "The_Path_of_Sri_Ramana_Part_One_BySadhuOM" - refer Appendix 3. PDF version of the English book is available in http://www.happinessofbeing.com/path_ramana.html

May Bhagavan help you find the right answer.


Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Ravi.N on July 05, 2017, 07:52:03 PM
ksksat,

"before I came to Bhagavan, I used to be like that, constantly running after things....

now I find it difficult to have that vigour on material pursuits...I am 34 now... In another 30 years, all this pursuits will become useless... should I consider these distracting ambititions as vasanas?  should I concentrate on sadhana and fight the vasanas?

or keep these vasanas in one wing and sadhana on another wing? mix both and lead life
?"

you seem to be having so many choices to choose from...and are asking which 'choice' to exercise?
Are you looking for an approved 'blueprint' to chalk out the job of living? Very much like an architect certified building plan that one resorts to before constructing a house?...and it looks like you are inviting 'certified architects'(or otherwise!) to come up with alternative approved plans so that you may choose the one that appeals to you!

Do we see that the job of living cannot be reduced to following a blueprint however sacred or attractive that be?It can only be lived intelligently and for that one has to be open and vulnerable as JK would put it...to see what is and not what should be i.e the actual viz a viz the ideal,as JK would always emphasize over and over again...and deal with it with intelligence and not as an automaton.

To be ever in conflict with ourselves and to be looking for compromises and trying to make the most of it...how can this be a prescription for spiritual living?

Desires always create conflict and resolution would call for learning to handle them intelligently...Desires cannot be swept under the carpet or put out of sight...avoidance would only distort them to take on more hideous forms but they would eventually get back to claim their pound of flesh.

Desire has a rightful place in the evolutionary scheme of the jiva in its growth curve...it is what drives the jiva in its quest for excellence and expansion...but along with the 'fruits' it also hands one the 'thorns'...and in the process of evaluation of 'fruits' viz a viz 'thorns' it provides the opportunity for learning ...and also the intelligence to handle desires in the job of living.

One has to 'rationalize' Desires, which means that one should have a measure of their strengths,one's capacity and drive to realize the desires,one's assessment of the pros and cons of realizing the desire...this sort of a introspection can be done ...and we should be able to sift the ones to which we give the nod from the others that do not really stand our scrutiny...we should be in a position to discard all desires which are not worth our energy and attention...and those which we are truly convinced that we should entertain,we must give them all the energy and effort to realize...and our efforts may meet with success or not but the most important thing is that we have handled the 'desire' appropriately .

Please note that Spiritual earnestness is also a "desire'...it is called Subechcha(an auspicious desire)

Now we are not advocating 'satisfy your desires' type of a thing...we are only saying that we should handle them intelligently...and this would mean that we will make mistakes and such mistakes are part of learning but eventually we will learn not to make them...and this learning would enhance our ability to deal with desires and put them in place.

As Emerson says wonderfully in his 'Self Reliance': There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.

If you ask me to compress my message,I would refer to this tirukkural:

வையத்துள் வாழ்வாங்கு வாழ்பவன் வான்உறையும்
தெய்வத்துள் வைக்கப் படும்.


He who lives in this world as life ought to be lived
Shall abide as consciousness that permeates space.


Namaskar
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Sadhak on July 06, 2017, 05:15:34 AM
Dear Ravi,

Regarding Bhagawan and Krishnamurti, their solution is fundamental and half measures are not possible. Krishnamurti  says thought is a material process taking place in the brain which is matter. So stopping material pursuits means ending of thought.  Bhagwan has made it amply clear not to be concerned with thoughts of 'I am a sanyasi', 'I am pursuing materialism', 'I am this or I am that'.  But to enquire who am I?  The notion 'I will improve' without knowing the I is false.  Self enquiry is the only way out.



Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Ravi.N on July 06, 2017, 06:59:51 AM
Sadhak,
There is a time and place for everything in life ...everyone has to go through life and learn the lessons...one cannot prematurely live by what even a sage has recommended...each person has his own past and predilection and that has to be taken into account and cannot be wished away.
What I have posted is what i know first hand and not from any book whatsoever...and i have referred to Krishnamurti from the perspective of understanding the conflict between the actual and ideal...being one kind of person and wanting to be another and trying to focus on the ideal while ignoring one's nature ...and yet getting dragged by one's nature...one cannot be fighting one's nature all the time.
So,understanding one's nature or swabhava is very very essential and one cannot get away from it...and living life in the workaday world has to correspond to this swabhava at one level.

This is the reason why Lord Krishna talks to Arjuna at many Levels in the Gita.

Please note our objective is not to become a better person ...become a goody-goody person over a period of time...that is not the idea...the objective is to gain firm and first hand understanding of one's nature and learn to handle it responsibly and effectively without smothering it ...and this is very very essential...and from this understanding of what bondage that it entails, it is less arduous to explore the avenues for the inner freedom and pursue it with ardour...and all this without being at loggerheads with our swabhava and in conflict with it all the time.

Please note that 'full' or 'half' measures are also relative only...What is 'half' measure for one may be more than a 'Full' measure for another...so all those assumptions are arbitrary and not of much practical use.

It is all very  easy to say that self enquiry is the only way but if that can be resorted to in the true sense,the sort of question that is asked would not arise in the first place!

Namaskar
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: silentgreen on July 06, 2017, 12:25:38 PM
Hi ksksat,

The issues you have raised are all valid and many who want to lead a spiritual life face these. You are trying to turn your life more towards spirituality but the activities of the world does not seem to fit with it. On top of it there may be some desires creating conflicts within the mind. These are all natural.

If you want a prescriptive solution, just follow these and your life will get internally organized soon:
1. Divide life into 12 year divisions. 12, 24, 36, 48 etc.
2. You are now in 3rd block. 2 years are still left.
3. In those 2 years, orient your life spiritually for the fourth block. Try to bring things in your spiritual life which gives joy.
4. Consolidate your finances by simplifying life and saving.
5. Do not leave job, but gradually cut yourself out of competition internally. When mind gets freed from competition, job becomes more enjoyable. You may get the right slot.
6. The fourth block of life should be primarily oriented towards the spiritual activities you had planned.

Sri Ramakrishna said:
The more you go towards the east the west will be left behind.

That is the most practical advice. The details will differ from person to person but the overall life will go towards God. Exams will come in life. Sometimes we will pass and sometimes we will fail. Exams are necessary for growth. With God in the heart exams can also become enjoyable.
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Ravi.N on July 06, 2017, 08:09:08 PM
Friends,
Silentgreen has covered it nicely ...and this is what is provided in Dharma-artha-kama-Moksha' framework...that framework is a time tested and proven one...and the principles that are behind it are forever valid.

One fundamental principle is that the mind can attain peace only when it is free of desires...yet the desires cannot be eliminated without one experiencing them in some measure and in an intelligent manner.

We shall see how the master covers this in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna-I have always found the guidance provided here is invaluable for all aspirants...there is nothing that is not covered here...as such it provides the best possible satsangha for the earnest man who has to live in the workaday world...and is compelled to find his bearings.

1.Renunciation, true and false

Master:Is renunciation possible except in the fullness of time? The time for renunciation comes when one reaches the limit of enjoyment. Can anybody force himself into renunciation? There is a kind of renunciation known as 'monkey renunciation'. Only small-minded people cultivate it. Take the case of a fatherless boy. His poor widowed mother earns her livelihood by spinning. The boy loses his insignificant job and suddenly is seized with a fit of renunciation. He puts on the ochre cloth of a monk and goes to Benares. A few days later he writes home, 'I have secured a job for ten rupees a month.' In the meantime he tries to buy a gold ring and beautiful clothes. How can he stifle his desire for enjoyment?"

BRAHMO: "Is it good to renounce the world?"
MASTER: "Not for all. Those who have not yet come to the end of their enjoyments should not renounce the world. Can one get drunk on two annas' worth of wine?"
How to lead a householder's life
BRAHMO: "Then should they lead a worldly life?"
MASTER: "Yes, they should try to perform their duties in a detached way. Before you break the jack-fruit open, rub your hands with oil, so that the sticky milk will not smear them. The maidservant in a rich man's house performs all her duties, but her mind dwells on her home in the country. This is an example of doing duty in a detached way. You should renounce the world only in mind. But a sannyasi should renounce the world both inwardly and outwardly."
BRAHMO: "What is the meaning of the 'end of enjoyments'?"
MASTER: "I mean the enjoyment of 'woman and gold'. It is risky to put a typhoid patient in a room where pitchers of water and jugs of pickled tamarind are kept. Most people don't feel any longing for God unless they have once passed through the experience of wealth, name, fame, creature comforts, and the like, that is to say, unless they have seen through these enjoyments."

The Master underlines the need to see through the enjoyments...there is simply no other way ...We will see next how Sri Ramakrishna explains this to Mahimacharan,another householder devotee .
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Ravi.N on July 06, 2017, 08:21:05 PM
Excerpts from The Gospel continued....

2.Advantage of a householder's life
Sri Ramakrishna now addressed Mahimacharan, who was a householder.
MASTER: "What need is there of renouncing the world altogether? It is enough if you can rid yourself of attachment. But you must have sadhana, you have to fight the sense-organs. " It is a great advantage to fight from inside a fort. You get much help from the fort. The world is the place for enjoyment. After enjoying different things, you should give them up one by one. Once I had a desire to put a gold chain around my waist. I obtained one at last and put it on, but I had to take it off immediately. Once I ate some onion. While eating it I discriminated, 'O mind, this is onion.' Then I moved it to different places in my mouth and at last spat it out."

The master plays both the sides of the drum...on the one hand he is emphasizing 'you must have sadhana, you have to fight the sense-organs' and yet he is also suggesting the way to 'see through enjoyment'  and cites his own personal example.
This is something that can be done and has to be done.
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Ravi.N on July 06, 2017, 08:35:04 PM
Excerpts from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna continued...
3.Master (To Govinda): "The fact is that one does not feel the longing to know or see God as long as one wants to enjoy worldly objects. The child forgets everything when he plays with his toys. Try to cajole him away from play with a sweetmeat; you will not succeed. He will eat only a bit of it. When he relishes neither the sweetmeat nor his play, then he says, 'I want to go to my mother.' He doesn't care for the sweetmeat any more. If a man whom he doesn't know and has never seen says to the child, 'Come along; I shall take you to your mother', the child follows him. The child will go with anyone who will carry him to his mother.
The soul becomes restless for God when one is through with the enjoyment of worldly things. Then a person has only one thought-how to realize God. He listens to whatever anyone says to him about God."
(To the devotees) "One cannot renounce by the mere wish. There are prarabdha karma inherited tendencies-and the like. Once a yogi said to a king, 'Live with me in the forest and think of God.' The king replied: 'That I cannot very well do. I could live with you, but I still have the desire for enjoyment. If I live in this forest, perhaps I shall create a kingdom even here. I still have desires.'

4.DEVOTEE: "Why do we not feel intense restlessness to realize Him?"
MASTER: "A man does not feel restless for God until all his worldly desires are satisfied. He does not remember the Mother of the Universe until his share of the enjoyment of 'woman and gold' is completed. A child absorbed in play does not seek his mother. But after his play is over, he says, 'Mother! I must go to my mother.' Hriday's son was playing with the pigeons, calling to them, 'Come! Ti, ti!' When he had had enough of play he began to cry. Then a stranger came and said: 'Come with me. I will take you to your mother.' Unhesitatingly he climbed on the man's shoulders and was off.
"Those who are eternally free do not have to enter worldly life. Their desire for enjoyment has been satisfied with their very birth."

The Key thing is take ourselves as we are and where we are...and not be apologetic about it or afraid of it or be at loggerheads with it...not to seek to run away from it ...but to go about our life in a cheerful and positive way...be absolutely honest about it and we shall find ourselves well on the road to self mastery...and we will know every inch of the path trodden...that knowledge and assurance will be with us and no circumstance can confound us anymore...we shall find our way amidst chaos and out of it.
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: kishorelr on July 07, 2017, 01:24:01 AM
Dear Friend,
Ravi and Slight green already conveyed the message beautifully.

Two cents:

Ask honestly whether the interest in spirituality is an escape from the worldly issues we are facing ? what is the real motive ?
It was a great wake up call when i first realized  that hankering in spiritual world is an escape from worldly sorrows.I really don't want to get rid of the worldly pleasures.
I want worldly pleasures and when i face issues in pursuing them i shift to spirituality as an alternate to over come them or as a solution to fix the worldly pleasures.
This understanding was a real honest wake up call. It helped me started to see my motives clearly and provided me a starting point to check myself what i am really after in my day to day activities.

Secondly as Sri Rama Krishna put it the level of increase in spirituality is inversely proportional to the level of over attachment to the world. How will we realize the truth the better we are.

Thirdly i feel cultivating Bhakti is more essential.To cultivate bhakthi we need to better understand bhakthi. Listening to few talks on bhakthi helped me a lot.

Fourthly we should continue sadhana as periyava puts it in advatik sadhana.

This is the perspective from my side. May or may not be helpful as the path would be different for each.
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Ravi.N on July 07, 2017, 06:55:21 PM
The Great carnatic music composer Saint Thyagaraja probes his mind to tell him the Truth in the following wonderful  Krithi(composition)...I am copy pasting here from another site:

nidhi cAla-kalyANi raga

In the kRti 'nidhi cAla sukhamA' - rAga kalyANi (tALa miSra cApu), SrI tyAgarAja asks his mind to consider which is better ? wealth or service to the Lord.

pallavi(Refrain)
nidhi cAla sukhamA rAmuni
sannidhi sEva sukhamA nijamuga palku manasA

anupallavi
dadhi navanIta kshIramulu ruciyO
dASarathi dhyAna bhajana sudhA rasamu ruciyO (nidhi)

caraNam
dama Samam(a)nu gangA snAnamu sukhamA
kardama dur-vishaya kUpa snAnamu sukhamA
mamata bandhana yuta nara stuti sukhamA
su-mati tyAgarAja nutuni kIrtana sukhamA (nidhi)

Gist

O My Mind!Tell me truthfully - whether wealth is very comforting or the service in the holy presence of Lord SrI rAma comforting?
Are curd, fresh butter and milk etc. tasty or the nectarine juice of meditation and bhajana of dASarathi tasty?
Is a bath in the (holy) river ganga called (practice of) self control and tranquility comforting or a bath in the water of well called the filthy, evil natured objects of senses comforting?
Is extolling humans bound by egotism comforting or singing songs of the pure minded Lord praised by this tyAgarAja comforting?

The Story goes that the King sends word to Thayagaraja that he should come to his court and sing before him...and he sends Jewellery and other riches as gifts to the poor saint...and it is at this moment Thayagaraja puts his mind to the Reality check...and this is brought out nicely in that old black and white Telugu Film 'Thaygayya':
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGkRpObyzo0 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGkRpObyzo0)
Needless to add that Thaygaraja is not in the least interested and refuses to sing for the king...The Actor is Chitor Nagaiah and his life is poignantly interesting ...I shall post next about that.
continued...
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Ravi.N on July 07, 2017, 07:16:09 PM
chitor Nagaiah

Nagaiah V. Chittoor was a legendary Telugu cine artiste. Known for his films Bhakta Pothana and Bhakta Thyagaraja, he visited Sri Ramana in the 1930s.

When my wife died, the whole world looked bleak to me. Everything seemed like an arid desert with no oasis in sight. I would be reading the Gita over and over again. The slightest thought of my wife would sink me into deep sorrow. To overcome it I would let my friends force me into giving music concerts. One day I left my house, and wandering here and there, reached Sri Ramanasramam. To me it was like entering the heaven on earth. The atmosphere of profound peace which surrounded the Maharshi and which enveloped the place sank into me. At long last, my mind knew some rest. The majestic silence of Bhagavan ended my suffering and my self-concern about the bereavement. Paul Brunton [No.1] and I became friends, and time passed happily. One day a friend from Chittoor spotted me and cajoled me into accepting a recording programme for his film. I told him that unless the Maharshi gave his consent, I would not budge. I had not spoken a single word to Bhagavan all this while nor had he to me. But there was some imperceptible yet strong bond of love between us. To leave the majestic master who filled my heart with peace was unthinkable. Still the seeds of desire had been sown. I was looking for an opportunity to get the Maharshi's permission. When the permission was sought, he said, 'Yes, you can go. There is still a lot of work for you to do.' I could not comprehend the implications of the statement at that time. The recording assignment took me to the film world where name and fame came to me in a big way. I would have withered away unhonoured and unsung but for the grace of Bhagavan Ramana. He poured new life into me. The Maharshi had an uncanny perception of each person's need and would lead one along the path best suited to that person.

Excerpted from 'Face to Face with Sri Ramana maharshi
Nagaiah's observation on Sri Bhagavan is absolutely true...despite dogmatic assertions by devotees that Bhagavan taught only 'this' and 'not that',etc,etc...
It was Nagaiah who set up the Thayaga Brahma Gana sabha in T Nagar,Chennai...Here is an article On nagaiah that appeared in the Hindu:
http://www.thehindu.com/2005/07/28/stories/2005072814750300.htm (http://www.thehindu.com/2005/07/28/stories/2005072814750300.htm)
Here is another fine song from the old film 'Ramu' where Nagaiah puts in a guest appearance as 'the sadhu':
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e90W0fMMZLI (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e90W0fMMZLI)
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Anand on July 07, 2017, 10:14:48 PM
Dear Krishnan,After seeing practical life  I feel  that till retirement, we should diligently pursue our career,showing zest ,initiative and enthusiasm and not confuse this with spiritual life. However in all this,we should not forget our real nature.The metaphysical reality is that the world including our body,  is  a projection of our innate desires(the world is a seeming juxtaposition of all the collective desires of all beings-seemingly real because of the nature of Brahman ) but because of the nature of Brahman,seems real in all its twists and turns,as long  we have the sense of 'Sutarivu' (the sense of a personal I) as Muruganar  puts it.So we must wholeheartedly act ,do what it takes,but somehow remember our true nature,since except our being, nothing in reality,truly really  exists.We should wholeheartedly live the illusion-it is almost like acting in a drama where we are the director, actor, audience and the screen -even be apparently scared by it,till the realisation that there is just being ,is realised  as a living experience. It is like having two personalities at the same time ,one meticulously concentrating on materialistic life and other equally meticulously focusing on our innate divinity -in either there should not be any compromise. This is to be done till matters(our Prarabha)  settle such that this apparent quandary no longer exists to trouble us, and we remain what we truly ever are.
Regards,
Anand .
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Sadhak on July 08, 2017, 09:34:46 PM
Ravi,


"What I have posted is what i know first hand and not from any book whatsoever""

One who has experienced first hand one's true nature/swabhava  and seen the truth of the ideal and the actual does not need any sage or self enquiry.


"What is 'half' measure for one may be more than a 'Full' measure for another...so all those assumptions.."

Yes and by the same logic what is assumption for one may be true for another. A sage may say that anything other than understanding ones true nature is a half measure.


"It is all very  easy to say that self enquiry is the only way but if that can be resorted to in the true sense,the sort of question that is asked would not arise in the first place!"

The question will arise again and again until the person sees the importance of self enquiry. This is the preliminary step to it.  That is why it appears in different forms even on this forum.

But it is not applicable to somebody who has experienced one's true nature directly. The question does not arise in that case.


Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Ravi.N on July 08, 2017, 11:35:58 PM
Sadhak
The 'Swabhava' that I have alluded to is 'Prakrutheh swabhava' i.e one's past conditioning and predeliction...and one simply cannot set it aside...it is not to be mistaken as 'swarupa or swabhava of the atman'.

This is how Sri Ramakrishna explains this:
Power of inborn tendencies
YOUNG MAN: "If the world is of the nature of illusion-magic-then why doesn't one get rid of it?"
MASTER: "It is due to the samskaras, inborn tendencies. Repeated births in this world of māyā make one believe that māyā is real.
"Let me tell you how powerful inborn tendencies are. A prince had, in a previous birth, been the son of a washerman. While playing with his chums in his incarnation as the prince, he said to them: 'Stop those games. I will show you a new one. I shall lie on my belly, and you will beat the clothes on my back as the washerman does, making a swishing sound.'

Many youngsters come here. But only a few long for God."

This is what Lord Krishna says in chapter 3,verse 33:
Chapter 3: Karma-yoga
TEXT 33
sadrsam cestate svasyah
prakrter jnanavan api
prakrtim yanti bhutani
nigrahah kim karisyati
SYNONYMS
sadrsam-accordingly; cestate-tries; svasyah-in one's own nature; prakrteh-modes; jnanavan-the learned; api-although; prakrtim-nature; yanti-undergo; bhutani-all living entities; nigrahah-suppression; kim-what; karisyati-can do.
TRANSLATION
Even a man of knowledge acts according to his own nature, for everyone follows his nature. What can repression accomplish?

This is  very fundamental ...and applicable to one and all....of course one may do self enquiry or any other practice ...all that is fine...but in the workaday world(as also in the spiritual path) ,there is no escaping one's nature...one will be compelled to reckon with it ...and rather than fighting with it,one needs to understand it and handle it intelligently...there is no other way.

I think I have covered it extensively in my posts and nothing more need be said.

Namaskar
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Sadhak on July 11, 2017, 11:23:07 AM
Ravi,

"This is  very fundamental ...and applicable to one and all....of course one may do self enquiry or any other practice ...all that is fine...but in the workaday world(as also in the spiritual path) ,there is no escaping one's nature...one will be compelled to reckon with it ...and rather than fighting with it,one needs to understand it and handle it intelligently...there is no other way."

The intelligent way that you speak of is self inquiry.  All other methods may be helpful at some level but they only modify ones conditioning (which you clarified as ones nature).
The whole compartmentalization of life into spiritual, material etc etc is due to our conditioning. So is our desire to fight it, yield to it, or overcome it. But these will arise again and again until self inquiry is seen firmly as the only solution.


 
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Orihh on July 11, 2017, 03:22:03 PM
I've just come across the following, taken from Day By Day With Bhagavan, page 23:

9-10-45 Afternoon

Mr. K. Mahatani asked in continuation of the above, "If we want to succeed in any enterprise in the world, we must give our whole mind and heart to it.  Otherwise we cannot succeed.  So it is rather impracticable to devote one's mind both to God and worldly activity."

Bhagavan: If one keeps fixed in the Self, the activities will still go on and their success will not be affected.  One should not have the idea that one is the doer.  The activities will still go on.  That force, by whatever name you may call it, which brought the body into existence will see to it that the activities which this body is meant to go through are brought about.



Edit: Dearest Krishna, take what you may from this.  To directly answer your original question though, it seems to me that Bhagavan would be saying that it's best not to be concerned with whether or not you are thirsty for more worldly success and material gain.  This thirst will play itself out by God's will.  Once you become more spiritually mature, you will turn your mind inward.  This turning of the mind has nothing to do with the outside world and your role in it.  For this reason, the body will continue to float down the stream that is prarabdha whilst your mind is being turned...

My own personal advice would be to avoid worry and to try and keep a light-hearted approach to everything.  If necessary, forget about spirituality for a moment.  You may find that this relief of pressure is the exact thing you need at this moment to progress further on the path.
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Ravi.N on July 11, 2017, 06:12:16 PM
Sadhak,

"The whole compartmentalization of life into spiritual, material etc etc is due to our conditioning. So is our desire to fight it, yield to it, or overcome it. But these will arise again and again until self inquiry is seen firmly as the only solution."

Quite true...but to get to this needs maturity...and this does not come without some sort of a working out...either in this life or in the past lives...we necessarily have to admit 'kala' or time ... although reality is forever beyond time and is changeless.

"The intelligent way that you speak of is self inquiry.  All other methods may be helpful at some level but they only modify ones conditioning (which you clarified as ones nature)."
Yes and No.
'Yes'- it is because all apprehensions and struggles and divisions are on account of our 'limiting ourselves' as a limited entity and non apprehension of our true nature as Infinite divisionless existence...and it is essential and fundamental to get rid of this fundamental error.

'No' it is because by the very nature of maya,it is difficult to dislodge at one stroke...it necessarily calls for preliminary preparation...and the objective of preliminary preparation is not to 'modify' the conditioning but to provide graded steps for the infant soul(seeker) to grow in maturity and facilitate true understanding to take the final leap so to say...It is like a child trying to learn riding a bicycle...to facilitate it to gain the balance necessary to ride,the cycle is fit with small support wheels on either side...and as the child rides the cycle,it falls on one side and is supported by the small wheel on that side...and as it falls on the other side it is supported by the small wheel on that side...aided by this sort of a safe support,the child gets the courage and learns the first thing to do...the first thing it learns is to crank the pedal...next it learns is to hold the handle bar straight ...and as the cycle moves forward it comes to know that if it somehow manages to not lean on either side,the balance is maintained and the ride becomes smooth and enjoyable...and once it gains in confidence,the support wheels are dispensed with.

Quite a similiar thing happens as part of our growing up...We have to keep 'pedalling' the cycle of our life and it does tend to fall on the 'high' (happiness)side or on the 'low' side(sorrow)...and we have to learn to hold the handle bar straight (not get deflected by happiness or sorrow) while being supported by whatever 'the practices' that we are truly inspired to do(as a matter of shraddha or faith ...and not empty belief)...and once we get the hang of it,there is no more the 'rider' trying to 'control' the cycle...there is only the movement in freedom...the rider,the cycle and the act of cycling all become one.

One of the First things that we come to realize is the inevitability of the fact that we are in this world and each one has to carry his cross or baggage...no escaping this fact...this very realization in a way lightens the load!...the second thing to realize is that this 'load' is our own making and so no one else is responsible for it...this Realization further lightens up the load...for if it is our own making,we may unload it as well...and we realize that however 'valuable' the load is,it is still a 'load'...and although we 'take care' of the 'load' while carrying it in our lives,the 'load' has to be set aside and our true freedom lies in setting aside this 'load'.

This understanding is a sort of 'Leavening' and not a result of any analytical thought process...and this is the handiwork of 'Grace' which has been doing this work from 'behind the scene' as it were...until it reaches a critical moment when it becomes perceptible to the fortunate seeker...and he is too happy to entrust himself to its care...and all care and anxieties cease for such a one...he still continues to do all that is needed towards unwinding that 'burden' but now it is no longer a 'burden'.

There is no substitute for this understanding...there is no specific method by which this can be gained...yet there are definitely 'aids' that foster receptivity and help the bud in us to blossom.

All this is covered in the wonderful Chapter 'Four Aids' in The Synthesis of Yoga ,by Sri Aurobindo...This is recommended for one and all:
http://intyoga.online.fr/ywrks_01.htm (http://intyoga.online.fr/ywrks_01.htm)

Every sentence in this chapter is so pregnant and insightful...and one would do well to set aside all biases and past learnings and read this wonderful chapter.

Typically I have encountered 'Oh,Sri Aurobindo is only a Yogi and philosopher...He is not a Jnani' type of reactions from quite a few...but all such views are totally misplaced and if one may set aside all such biases and approach it with an openness and receptivity,one will find that Sri Aurobindo has perfectly captured the process of 'Leavening' as I prefer to call it.

Now with regard to self enquiry....yes if one is fortunate to have got a hang of it...there is nothing as simple as that and one should have fallen silent...if one is practising it for 'years' it is quite likely that one is not practising it but is only a 'votary' of it...may be an ardent 'votary' which again is also a good thing.

Namaskar
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Ravi.N on July 13, 2017, 04:53:24 AM
Friends,
Warmly recommend this wonderful talk on the life of Tapovanam maharaj(guru of swami chinmayananda):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LSKOf-EBLg (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LSKOf-EBLg)


Sadhu sangha is one of the best ways to orient ourselves to the spiritual path amidst our busy workaday schedules...there is no substitute for such a satsangh.

Swami Tapovanam maharaj's autobiography 'Iswara darshan' is a wonderful account ...it should be available for purchase from Chinmaya Mission.
Swami Tapovan maharaj's 'Wandering in the Himalayas' is another excellent account of how  a jivanmukta views his rambles in the himalayas...how everything is Brahman alone.

Warmly recommend these two wonderful books.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Sadhak on July 14, 2017, 08:54:50 PM
Ravi,

Quote
Quite true...but to get to this needs maturity...and this does not come without some sort of a working out...either in this life or in the past lives...we necessarily have to admit 'kala' or time ... although reality is forever beyond time and is changeless.

Yes the mind invents time or kala. Then it can spend one life time or many practising, preaching, indulging in different pursuits and  keeping itself active. Thereby preventing self enquiry that could lead to its destruction.



Quote
"'No' it is because by the very nature of maya,it is difficult to dislodge at one stroke...it necessarily calls for preliminary preparation...and the objective of preliminary preparation is not to 'modify' the conditioning but to provide graded steps for the infant soul(seeker) to grow in maturity and facilitate true understanding to take the final leap so to say..."

This is the explanation the mind gives as I mentioned above. Problem is that the notion of maya, preparation, progress, activity, time, are all creations of the mind based on its conditioning. Somebody who is not conditioned as a Hindu may not believe in maya and rebirth at all but may be bound by a different conditioning. One must see all that to even start self enquiry.



Quote
"Now with regard to self enquiry....yes if one is fortunate to have got a hang of it...there is nothing as simple as that and one should have fallen silent...if one is practising it for 'years' it is quite likely that one is not practising it but is only a 'votary' of it...may be an ardent 'votary' which again is also a good thing."

One who is already in 'silence' may not see others as separate from himself and there is no need to be a votary of this or that. But the issue for most if not all of us is to even start self enquiry which is only possible when the importance of it is seen.

Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Ravi.N on July 14, 2017, 11:24:20 PM
Sadhak,
Any discussion is useless if it does not serve the purpose...the topic under discussion is quite clear and my responses have been towards meeting that...and they are based on my first hand experience...and it has assuredly worked for me...and I have offered it  (after being specifically asked to do so by the one who opened this thread)...so that is it.

you are saying :
1."Yes the mind invents time or kala. Then it can spend one life time or many practising, preaching, indulging in different pursuits and  keeping itself active."
No,the mind does not invent time...Mind is thoughts...and thoughts are always about the past or the future,implying time...Mind Is Time,Space and Causation...and as long as the mind exists ,time cannot be wished away....This is a Practical matter of fact Reality that any seeker has to contend with.

2." Thereby preventing self enquiry that could lead to its destruction."
So,you agree that self-enquiry can be prevented...This is what is termed as Maya...that which prevents one from Realizing one's true nature.

3."Somebody who is not conditioned as a Hindu may not believe in maya and rebirth at all but may be bound by a different conditioning."
He need not call it 'Maya' but it is that only ...Maya is the power that veils the ever present Reality...but for 'Maya' there will not be the Jiva,World and God...Mind is Maya and as Bhagavan has called it adhisaya sakthi or 'wondrous power' that projects the jivas and the world...It is this 'projecting power' and the very fact that 'effort' is needed to realize the Self even through 'self enquiry' is on account of this Projecting Power.
It clearly does not have anything to do with whether one is a Hindu or a Muslim or a Christian...It is applicable to all jivas...even the amoeba,viruses,Microbes,insects,reptiles,birds,and animals and humans.

4."One who is already in 'silence' may not see others as separate from himself and there is no need to be a votary of this or that".
Where did I say that the 'one' in Silence is a 'Votary'?...Votary  is one who is not in Silence and who says he is Practising 'Self-enquiry' ...Please note that one may be a 'votary' of 'Self-enquiry' or any other ,say Nama Japa ...The objective of all spiritual practices is to still the mind and Realize one's true Nature as The Self...and what matters here is shraddha and Shraddha alone....and as I have said that it is a matter of 'Grace' that works behind the scene to effect this...and all that one can do is to recognize this and cooperate fully...this cooperation is Shraddha.

I have not said anything new in this post....It is clear that you are not familiar with the Vedanta  framework(as is clear from your 'Maya and non Hindu' poser)...and I find that your views are mostly reflecting the views of JK...and a lot of what JK said is beyond the reach of the average human being who has his feet strongly planted on the material domain... JK was quite profound and compassionate and I love him for what he is,although I cannot go all the way with him.

Namaskar
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Ravi.N on July 15, 2017, 02:24:09 AM
Friends,
An excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

So the Master talked with M. -now standing, now pacing up and down the long verandah.
MASTER: "A little spiritual discipline is necessaryin order to know what lies within."
M: "Is it necessaryto practise discipline all through life?"
MASTER: "No. But one must be up and doing in the beginning. After that one need not work hard. The helmsman stands up and clutches the rudder firmly as long as the boat is passing through waves, storms, high wind, or around the curves of a river; but he relaxes after steering through them. As soon as the boat passes the curves and thehelmsman feels a favourable wind, he sits comfortably and just touches the rudder. Next he prepares to unfurl the sail and gets ready for a smoke. Likewise, the aspirant enjoys peace and calm after passing the waves and storms of 'woman and gold'.

"Woman and gold" is the obstruction to yoga
"Some are born with the characteristics of the yogi; but they too should be careful. It is 'woman and gold' alone that is the obstacle; it makes them deviate from the path of yoga and drags them into worldliness. Perhaps they have some desire for enjoyment. After fulfilling their desire, they again direct their minds to God and thus recover their former state of mind, fit for the practise of yoga.
"Have youever seen the spring trap for fish, called the 'satka-kal'?"
M: "No, sir, I haven't seen it."
MASTER: "They use it in our part of the country. One end of a bamboo pole is fastened in the ground, and the other is bent over with a catch. From this end a line with a hook hangs over the water, with bait tied to the hook. When the fish swallows the bait, suddenly the bamboo jumps up and regains its upright position.
"Again, take a pair of scales for example. If a weight is placed on one side, the lower needle moves away from the upper one. The lower needle is the mind, and the upper one, God. The meeting of the two is yoga.
"Unless the mind becomes steady there cannot be yoga. It is the wind of worldliness that always disturbs the mind, which may be likened to a candle flame. If that flame doesn't move at all, then one is said to have attained yoga.
" 'Woman and gold' alone is the obstacle to yoga. Always analyse what you see. What is there in the body of a woman? Only such things as blood, flesh, fat, entrails, and the like. Why should one love such a body?
"Sometimes I used to assume a rajasic mood in order to practise renunciation. Once I had the desire to put on a gold-embroidered robe, wear a ring on my finger, and smoke a hubble-bubble with a long pipe. Mathur Babu procured all these things for me. I wore the gold-embroidered robe and said to myself after a while, 'Mind! This is what is called a gold-embroidered robe.' Then I took it off and threw it away. I couldn't stand the robe any more. Again I said to myself, 'Mind! This is called a shawl, and this a ring, and this, smoking a hubble-bubble with a long pipe.' I threw those things away once for all, and the desire to enjoy them never arose in my mind again."

The Master is actually coming down to the practical workaday level of the disciple and clearly explains how it is done...this is very very practical for the average devotee who is caught up in his worldly duties...something that he can learn and put to practice.

Once when Sri Annamalai Swami was troubled by sexual thoughts,Bhagavan made him stand on a hot stone until that thought subsided...that was the most appropriate thing to do to diffuse the situation that was threatening to go out of hand...He did not advocate self enquiry on such an occasion...It does not mean that this practice had to be resorted to forever ...No,it just means that when desire has taken a Gross form,appropriate means has to be resorted to at that level to get over the situation...and it is only after this important step is taken and the situation brought under control that one may resort to the subtler and subtler means towards preventing recurrence...this is the PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE of innumerable sadhaks over the ages...and is a proven approach.

Bhagavan did make annamalai Swami carry on all the work of construction and never allowed him to sit for meditation...the vasanas had to be worked out for several years before Annamalai Swami was granted permission to pursue a purely contemplative life of self enquiry...that stage of maturity had to be reached by Annamalai swami while carrying on hectic activity....Bhagavan said 'Whenever Annamalai Swami approaches,it is as if buildings are approaching'(I have paraphrased)...those vasanas had to be channelized towards fulfillment and exhausted.

This is not to say that 'self enquiry' cannot be attempted while one is engaged in activity...No....self-enquiry or any other practice(remembrance of God) has to be attempted at all times....it has to be in the backdrop as we carry on our duties in the work a day world.

Namaskar
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Ravi.N on July 15, 2017, 02:33:23 AM
Friends,
I am copying what atmavichar had posted a few days back in another thread here:

ON SPIRITUAL MATURITY BY Saradamma

Saradamma: People look at Swamy ( Sri Lakshmana Swamy ) and me and think that realization must be relatively easy to achieve because we both realized the Self in a short time. However, we are exceptions. It is rare for someone to have the determination and dispassion that Swamy had during his sadhana, and it is equally rare for a devotee to be as God-intoxicated as I was.Complete surrender or earnest self-enquiry can only be effectively practiced by advanced devotees. Even Ramana Maharshi sometimes said that self-enquiry was for ripe souls only. Most people need a long period of purification to get their minds pure enough for total surrender or effective self-enquiry. Devotees ask for grace to realize the Self, but most devotees are nowhere near ready for realization; if they were given a large amount of grace the shock would kill them. For most people a preliminary period of mind purification, such as can be produced by japa or pranayama will be most useful.

- No Mind- I Am the Self by David Godman , p 214

This is what all sages have stated and we can verify it in our own experience as well, provided we apply ourselves in right earnest...Our activities in the world and the situation that we are required to face  provide just the opportunity to purify our mind...and this is something that can be done and must be done.

Namaskar
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Sadhak on July 17, 2017, 10:58:46 AM
Ravi,

Quote
"Any discussion is useless if it does not serve the purpose...the topic under discussion is quite clear and my responses have been towards meeting that"

And I have been saying directly that such so called 'solutions' often prevent the start of  self enquiry. It may no doubt be difficult to see it and that is the issue facing most of us.



Quote
"and they are based on my first hand experience...and it has assuredly worked for me...and I have offered it  (after being specifically asked to do so by the one who opened this thread)"

Earlier you gave the impression you were speaking from silence but later you clarified it was not. If it is worldly experience then everybody has his own. When one has not even started self enquiry there is no point in claiming what has worked and what does not.


Quote
"Yes the mind invents time or kala. Then it can spend one life time or many practising, preaching, indulging in different pursuits and  keeping itself active."
No,the mind does not invent time...Mind is thoughts...and thoughts are always about the past or the future,implying time"

You have admitted thoughts are always about the past or future and the mind is thoughts. So the past and future are inventions of thought/mind when the fact of the present is not seen. Theories of Past births and rebirth would also be examples of this.


Quote
"Thereby preventing self enquiry that could lead to its destruction."
So,you agree that self-enquiry can be prevented...This is what is termed as Maya...that which prevents one from Realizing one's true nature."

Prevented even by the very division of life into material and spiritual parts. You can call it as Maya or whatever you like. But self enquiry is still needed.


Quote
"Somebody who is not conditioned as a Hindu may not believe in maya and rebirth at all but may be bound by a different conditioning."
He need not call it 'Maya' but it is that only ...Maya is the power that veils the ever present Reality...but for 'Maya' there will not be the Jiva,World and God"

It is part of our deep conditioning to think that our own theories are truth and the rest is not. A Buddhist expert will logically reject all theories of Jiva, Atman, God ete etc. But there will be a different theory in its place.


Quote
"It is clear that you are not familiar with the Vedanta  framework(as is clear from your 'Maya and non Hindu' poser)...and I find that your views are mostly reflecting the views of JK...and a lot of what JK said is beyond the reach of the average human being who has his feet "

I am quite familiar with Vedanta for many decades but I have no issue in being called ignorant.  It is always a good reality check. The mind loves to cling to Vedanta framework or some other framework in any case. But I would question the logic in jumping  to the conclusion based on misunderstanding the context in which Maya/Hindu were used. As far as Krishnamurti is concerned there are volumes on what he said to school children and office goers and house holders. More than any other sage as far as I can tell. But I will stay away from him or any other sage given that most of us are not even in the pre self enquiry stage unable to first see what prevents the start of self enquiry.


Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: atmavichar100 on July 17, 2017, 03:13:15 PM
Jiddu Krishnamurti - Most people are occupied with jobs

1st QUESTION: The speaker has said that going to an office everyday from nine to five is an intolerable imprisonment. But in any society all kinds of jobs have to be done. Is K's teaching therefore only for the few?

You have understood? Shall I read it again? The speaker has said that human society is so constructed throughout the world that most people are occupied with jobs, pleasant or unpleasant, from nine to five everyday of their life. And he said also that it is an intolerable imprisonment. I don't know how you feel about it. Probably you like being in prison, probably you like your jobs from nine o'clock to five o'clock, rushing, rushing back and all the rest of it. What shall we do? To the speaker he wouldn't tolerate it for a single minute - for the speaker. I would rather do something which would be pleasant, helpful and necessary to earn enough money and so on. But most of us accept this prison, this routine - right? We accept it. So what shall we do? Nobody, as far as one is capable of sufficient observation, nobody has questioned this. We say it is normal, it is the way of society, it is the way of our life, it is the way we must live. But if we all see together that such an imprisonment, which it is actually, that we all feel it is intolerable, not just verbally but actually do something about it we will create a new society - right? We will if all of us say we will not tolerate for a single day this routine, this monstrous activity of nine to five, however necessary, however good and pleasant, then we will bring about not only psychological revolution but also outwardly. Right? We may agree about this but will we do it? You might say, "No, I can't do it because I have responsibility, I have children, I have a house and mortgage, insurance" - thank god I haven't got any of those! And so you might say, "It is easy for you to talk about all this." But it is easy for the speaker to talk about it because he refuses to go in that pattern. From boyhood he refused it.

For more refer this video clip here it is around 13 mts


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5kTObI2Y_s (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5kTObI2Y_s)



Jiddu Krishnamurti - Brockwood Park 2nd Public Question & Answer Meeting 30th August 1979
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Ravi.N on July 17, 2017, 05:09:07 PM
Atmavichar,
Typical JK's talk...absolutely earnest and compassionate...but ?...can this be offered to all?will they take it?...JK takes up this and related questions in the video ...it is essentially about shraddha.
Elsewhere JK has also said  that it is not work that dulls the mind as much as the resistance to it(I have paraphrased).
So...we may leave it to the person who raised the topic under discussion here...whether this sort of a fare meets his requirement...We may rejoice if it does.
Namaskar
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Ravi.N on July 17, 2017, 05:31:51 PM
Friends,
Here is another JK's video about 'What is the right relationship with money?' that may be relevant to the topic under discussion.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ep_g41H-6nE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ep_g41H-6nE)



Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Ravi.N on July 17, 2017, 05:57:40 PM
Friends,
Here is another wonderful video of JK: What is the right way to Earn a living?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIqVJaF4Gig (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIqVJaF4Gig)

Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: ksksat27 on July 17, 2017, 06:22:39 PM
Atmavichar,
Typical JK's talk...absolutely earnest and compassionate...but ?...can this be offered to all?will they take it?...JK takes up this and related questions in the video ...it is essentially about shraddha.
Elsewhere JK has also said  that it is not work that dulls the mind as much as the resistance to it(I have paraphrased).
So...we may leave it to the person who raised the topic under discussion here...whether this sort of a fare meets his requirement...We may rejoice if it does.
Namaskar

I did not read sadhak's full reply, but his replies looks very similar to straight point self enquiry practice as recommended by sadhu om of ramana maharshi school only.

This person JK is so confusing,  if I read his work for 2-3 minutes, I will bound to get sleep.  I am not joking.  it is literally so confusing, dry and without any inherent power.

Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Ravi.N on July 17, 2017, 07:17:30 PM
ksksat,
self enquiry is all about recognizing the ego and egoistic functioning...and what JK is wonderfully pointing out is no different than what Bhagavan is pointing...in fact JK shows the mirror for one to see the workings of the ego...and if we can do it earnestly and unflinchingly we will clearly perceive the hollowness of the ego and the futility of all strivings based on that...but then it requires tremendous earnestness and courage to do this...and the question truly is this....whether one has this earnestness and courage....this is  Shraddha and although we may tend to think we have it the fact may be otherwise.
The question then is how to discover the shraddha...the answer to that may be 'satsangha' or the company of those who have it in full measure.

In 'nAn yAr' Sri Bhagavan says:

அன்னியத்தை நாடாதிருத்தல் வைராக்கியம் அல்லது நிராசை; தன்னை விடாதிருத்தல் ஞானம். உண்மையி லிரண்டு மொன்றே.
Not seeking anything other than the self is Vairagya;Not letting go of self is Jnana.In Truth, both are one.

The self attention that Sadhu Om or anyone else is saying is possible only if the vairagya is there...and JK is showing why there is no TOTAL Vairagya....on account of the clinging of the egoistic way of our life style...How we cling to relationship,to money,power,status...This is very very important for any seeker to understand totally...and JK goes into this like no other sage has done....over and over again...He is truly wonderful in pointing out all this...and the earnestness that he displays in checking with his listeners whether they are with him in the exploration is tremendous...truly a one of a kind human being(why brand him a 'Jnani' ?...that seems to be a needless badge!).

If one can stand up to what JK is pointing out ,one may walk free!...yes ...'IF' in capital letters.

Just keep an open mind and watch the videos that are posted here....Do not expect anything out of that...enough to just listen to what he is saying...and see if there is anything in that you are comfortable to deal with or seems beyond you.

Namaskar

Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Ravi.N on July 17, 2017, 07:28:19 PM
Sadhak,
I do not have any difference with you fundamentally about self enquiry...the difference is as regards any auxiliary aid that one may resort to...you tend to think that none of that would help or would be of little help ...and I am saying that they are necessary for a vast majority who do not have the maturity to measure up to the earnestness that is needed for true self enquiry.
Namaskar
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Jewell on July 17, 2017, 08:54:09 PM
Liberation is not the result of some means skilfully applied,
 nor of circumstances.
It is beyond the causal process.
Nothing can compel it, nothing can prevent it.

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Thought is so cunning, so clever,
 that it distorts everything for its own convenience.

Jiddu Krishnamurti

Believe me, you need nothing except to be what you are.
You imagine you will increase your value by acquisition.
It is like gold imagining that an addition of copper will improve it.
Elimination and purification of all that is foreign to your nature is enough.
All else is vanity.

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/43/b2/d3/43b2d3656f1fec828c3dd8a26d08e278.jpg)(https://68.media.tumblr.com/08c8908f40d4375381937c4a2cd001b6/tumblr_nmn7bcns7v1txt22yo1_400.gif)
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Ravi.N on July 18, 2017, 10:40:07 PM
Friends,An excerpt from 'Letters from Sri Ramanasramam':

Today, I reached the hall at about 3 p.m. Bhagavan was at leisure, answering questions asked by some devotee. One of the questions was: ?Swami, they say that japa and tapa performed in the presence of Bhagavan yield greater results than usual. If so, what about bad actions done in your presence?? Bhagavan replied, ?If good actions yield good results, bad actions must yield bad results. If the gift of a cow in Benares yields great punya (virtue) to the donor, the slaughter of a cow there result in great papa (sin). When you say that a little virtuous action done in a holy place yields enormous benefit, a sinful action must likewise yield enormous harm. So long as the feeling that you are the doer is there, you must face the consequences of your actions, good or bad.?
?There is the desire to discard bad habits but the force of the vasanas is very strong. What are we to do?? that person continued.

 ?There must be human effort to discard them. Good company, good contacts, good deeds and all such good practices must be acquired in order to eliminate the vasanas. As you keep on trying, eventually with the ripening of the mind and with God?s grace, the vasanas get extinguished and efforts succeed. That is called purushakaram (human effort). How could God be expected to be favourable towards you without your striving for it?? said Bhagavan.

Another person took up the thread of conversation and said, ?It is said that the whole universe is God?s chidvilasam and that everything is Brahmamayam. Then why should we say that bad habits and bad practices should be discarded??

Bhagavan replied, ?Why? I will tell you. There is the human body. Suppose there is some wound inside it. If you neglect it, on the assumption that it is only a small part of the body, it causes pain to the whole body. If it is not cured by ordinary treatment, the doctor must come, cut off the affected portion with a knife and remove the impure blood. If the diseased part is not cut off it will fester.

If you do not bandage it after operation, puss will form. It is the same thing with regard to conduct. Bad habits and bad conduct are like a wound in the body; if a man does not discard them, he will fall into the abyss below. Hence every disease must be given appropriate treatment.

12th February, 1947  (93) SADHANA IN THE PRESENCE OF THE GURU
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Sadhak on July 19, 2017, 06:43:16 PM
Ravi,

Quote
I do not have any difference with you fundamentally about self enquiry...the difference is as regards any auxiliary aid that one may resort to...you tend to think that none of that would help or would be of little help ...
   

My point was that so called aids may be of some help initially for a few but they turn out to be a prison if one gets stuck in them forgetting the goal of self enquiry. I have seen it everywhere for decades.

It may be helpful to read the articles on Cycle Swami (Ramaswamy Pillai) posted under The Human Gospel of Maharishi. The danger of the vasanas created by pujas etc are clearly mentioned.

Sure my generation (and earlier ones) were given many aids by elders even by the age of five.

1. Do sandhyavandhanam daily.
2. Listen to suprabhatham daily.
3. Visit Perumal temple daily during margazhi month.
4. Etc, etc, etc.

In other words a compartmentalized life made up of a few minutes of 'aids' and the rest of 'unavoidable material pursuits'.

While Advaita, Buddhism, Krishnamurti, and of course Bhagawan make good reading there is very little if any self enquiry and the laundry list of aids had occupied ones mind and time.

Quote
" I am saying that they are necessary for a vast majority who do not have the maturity to measure up to the earnestness that is needed for true self enquiry."

Constant justification and reinforcement is often part of the problem. I would not  worry about majority and minority or what maturity means when we have not started to even look at the causes preventing our own self enquiry.

The original question was on material pursuits and sadhana. And not surprisingly it veered to 'doing' and 'not doing' this or that. The issue of the 'doer' is not addressed.

Yes I am not trying to differ with you at all. And there is no offense taken even should you differ strongly.



Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Ravi.N on July 20, 2017, 08:06:29 AM
Sadhak,

"My point was that so called aids may be of some help initially for a few but they turn out to be a prison if one gets stuck in them forgetting the goal of self enquiry. I have seen it everywhere for decades."

I am aware of this...and if yesterday it was 'Sandhya'...today it is 'self enquiry' added to that list...Nothing avails if there is no shraddha....Yes part-time sadhana is as good as 'No sadhana' only.

" The issue of the 'doer' is not addressed."

Very true...I intend  addressing this in this thread as well as in the  'Practical Hints on the sadhana from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna' thread.

The topic in this thread comes up over and over again in this forum and a new thread gets opened every time ...it would be a nice reference to have posts consolidated under one thread...so that it may be easily referenced and put to use.
It will also help if people come back here to share their learning and share how they have moved ahead (hopefully)....so that it would be beneficial for any other person facing a similiar problem.
Anyway,I do not consider the time spent here as wasted...whatever I am posting here at least helps one person...myself...and I am thankful for  the opportunity to reflect on the teachings of the great ones.

Namaskar
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: atmavichar100 on July 20, 2017, 09:20:14 AM
Quote
Anyway,I do not consider the time spent here as wasted...whatever I am posting here at least helps one person...myself...and I am thankful for  the opportunity to reflect on the teachings of the great ones.

Definitely not a waste ir-respective of whether people reply to your posts or not .I know of people who read through the various posts but do not reply or share ( it is not everybody's nature to express in writing what they feel ) but have acknowledged to me during my discussions with them that they have found many of the content ( the posts , quotes , discussions etc ) valuable here for their own self introspection . I consider this online forum as a sort of satsang itself and going through the posts here has helped me introspect on my own beliefs , opinions etc . So continue sharing .
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Sadhak on July 20, 2017, 11:23:22 AM
Ravi, Jewell and others,

I am sure the quotes/videos of Krishnamurti, Nisargadatta, etc are useful. But rather ironically after more than half a century of so called religious pursuit I only find one saying of Krishnamurti to be relevant these days.  Which just shows my inability to even start self enquiry.

"I have followed all these old paths of discipleship, of worship, and I see that they are much too long, too complicated, unnecessary -because whatever path you may follow, whatever god you may worship, whatever shrine you may build, you are forced at last to come back to yourself and solve that self."
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Sadhak on July 20, 2017, 11:57:43 AM
Ravi,

"I am aware of this...and if yesterday it was 'Sandhya'...today it is 'self enquiry' added to that list"

Self enquiry cannot be on a 'do' list or 'don't do' list since it is an enquiry into the doer of such do's and donts. In any case to the best of my knowledge I don't see anybody ready for it. Which is why it may be important to understand the causes preventing it.


.

Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Ravi.N on July 20, 2017, 03:18:10 PM
Atmavichar,
Thanks for your kind words...I have not alluded to any lack of response to 'my' posts...have only stated that if there is a continuity maintained by way of a response from those who have expressed  difficulty or a problematic situation ... how they have subsequently overcome or outgrown the same and their learnings...that would be beneficial to others who are caught up in a similiar situation ... i do know there are quite a few such people.

As the saying goes in tamizh 'கரும்பு தின்ன கூலி வேண்டுமா ?'( does one need wages to eat sugarcane?)...If the posts with excerpts from the sayings of great ones is of help to someone, it is just the good karma of that person and the grace of the divine that enables him to find whatever is good in it...I have nothing to do with that.

There was a good deal of enthusiasm and participation for the Tiruppavai thread...I have not continued it for some reason...so it is not something that can be done because one 'wants' to do it or one 'likes' to do it...it has to wait.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: atmavichar100 on July 20, 2017, 03:47:32 PM
Dear Ravi

My comment was meant for all people who post here  and  I feel everyone's contributions here very useful . Sometimes I go through old posts and feel refreshed reading them once again . In this regard I wish to share  a personal experience to prove that positive impact of these sharings . Apart from this forum I keep sharing some spiritual thoughts , quotes etc with a close set of  people ( family and friends ) by email , FB , Whatsapp  and while everyone reads the same only very few respond ( but they do say when I meet them personally that they read my posts )  and I send it not just for others to read and get inspired but  it must serve as a reminder to me also . During one such instance I shared a  life style  which a serious spiritual aspirant must adhere to and it was a list of 12 points and equally applicable to all people world wide ,ir-respective of the Religion they belong to ( I have also shared it here ) and I sent it by email to the group of my close friends/family members and that day evening I got a Phone call from my friend thanking me for sending the same as that Message really hit him hard and really woke him up . He is a very deeply spiritual person but then suddenly became very Tamasic and lost track and took to excessive watching of TV ( not just watching the news or once in a while the Cricket matches but the non stop  mindlessly watching to the extent it became an uncontrollable habit  ) and in the message that I sent the first Point was "Stop watching TV etc " and he felt it was a big wake up call and realized how much time he had been wasting on watching TV mindlessly ( Note : I am not against Watching TV but it must be in our control and the TV must not control us ) and he decided to cut down on his watching TV from that day and he felt that my message really hit him hard and it was a nice wake up call for him .

I have also had my own wake up calls from many such messages that I read in this forum and at other FB pages that I have subscribed .
So in conclusion : Keep sharing the  messages and it does make a positive impact with people whom we would have never met ( as the messages get shared and passed on ) . This is also a form of satsangh ( Online satsangh ) .
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Ravi.N on July 20, 2017, 03:51:28 PM
Sadhak,

"Self enquiry cannot be on a 'do' list or 'don't do' list since it is an enquiry into the doer of such do's and donts. In any case to the best of my knowledge I don't see anybody ready for it. Which is why it may be important to understand the causes preventing it."

Please go through my posts ...i have said the same thing and have given excerpts from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna ...I have covered everything regarding the subject matter.

I have used the word 'Shraddha' over and over again...and please also check the ' 'Practical Hints on the sadhana from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna' thread (the latest post) where I have already taken up the 'doer' and 'doing' paradigm that you have raised in your previous couple of posts...you have mentioned "The issue of the 'doer' is not addressed."

You tend to think that Sandhya and other practices should figure in the 'to do' list ... and you are differentiating self enquiry as belonging to a different category....and you have talked about the futility(or close to it) of your pursuit of religious life over the years.

Quote
But rather ironically after more than half a century of so called religious pursuit I only find one saying of Krishnamurti to be relevant these days.  Which just shows my inability to even start self enquiry.

"I have followed all these old paths of discipleship, of worship, and I see that they are much too long, too complicated, unnecessary -because whatever path you may follow, whatever god you may worship, whatever shrine you may build, you are forced at last to come back to yourself and solve that self."

Please go through my posts again...I have completely understood your position right at the outset...I have pointed out to precisely this point when I referred to JK ....How his teaching has impacted you ....nothing wrong with that...To each one ,the way is in accordance with his nature.


All these are resolved if we grasp the significance of the word 'shraddha' and this is what I intend going into, in this thread...and it will take some time to cover this...please bear with me and I request you to take a holistic view of what I am putting on the table...piecemeal analysis would break the flow of what we are going to go into.

continued....
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Ravi.N on July 20, 2017, 04:37:15 PM
Sadhak/Friends,
The Significance of Shraddha
When do we put something on the 'To do' list?...We do not put breathing,Drinking and Eating on the 'To do' List...They are essential and hence not 'optional'....They are part of our Living...they meet the fundamental requirement to preserve life....that is 'my' life...and we take 'utmost care' that we do not run short on these...This 'Utmost care' and "attention' is Shraddha.
If Shraddha is there in doing something we Live it.... and if it is not there we say we have to 'do' it either willingly or unwillingly...it then becomes a burden if for some reason we are compelled to carry on that 'work'....so where is the center of focus here?...Again the 'I' and 'me'...so,it is clear that the 'I' and 'mine' is always the center of our activities...and this is termed as the 'egoistic' activity.
There are activities which drag us outward and Shraddha is required for those also to make progress in that direction....This is the so called 'Material Pursuit' and even here,we may 'Live' it or 'Drag it' depending on the degree of Shraddha  at play.

At some point in one's life,one tends to realize that the 'outer' excursion is meaningless beyond a point and that peace,contentment ,freedom from the rat race etc are also needed...and one tends to strike a balance between these two conflicting objectives...and one then turns to what is popularly termed as 'Religious Life' or 'Spiritual Life'...and this again depends on the very same Shraddha...If it is there we 'Live' it or else we 'Observe' practices or 'Do' practices...and the efficacy of the same is determined by the Shraddha that one brings to the table.

The Key question is this...If one is short of 'Shraddha' in his so called 'Materialistic' activities(we can hardly call that 'living'),how can the person bring in the much needed Shraddha in his so called 'spiritual' activities?....If one is lacking in Shraddha,that is it....period.

There is simply no question of Shraddha being divided between the so called 'Material' and 'spiritual' Life....Priority is a different issue altogether...Just how it is different?

One may accord priority to 'material Pursuit'... and 'Spiritual Pursuit' is on a 'as and when possible' basis...but there cannot be any let up in Shraddha in either direction...without it there is no possibility of fulfillment(in the ordinary sense of the term) in either sphere...one cannot be called a sadhaka as long as this sort of a priority is accorded but in any case Shraddha is still called for...so that over a period of time (sooner or later) a switch in Priority can take place as soon as the material objectives are by and large met.

A Sadhaka is one whose  Priority is in the spiritual dimension and the material sphere is an appendage to the former that he carries on as per the lifestyle and vocation ...He Lives his conviction and does not merely 'do' the Spiritual practices.

Summary: Shraddha=Living and Lack of Shraddha=Doing.

continued....
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Jewell on July 21, 2017, 03:41:37 PM
Ravi, Jewell and others,

I am sure the quotes/videos of Krishnamurti, Nisargadatta, etc are useful. But rather ironically after more than half a century of so called religious pursuit I only find one saying of Krishnamurti to be relevant these days.  Which just shows my inability to even start self enquiry.

"I have followed all these old paths of discipleship, of worship, and I see that they are much too long, too complicated, unnecessary -because whatever path you may follow, whatever god you may worship, whatever shrine you may build, you are forced at last to come back to yourself and solve that self."

Dear Sri Sadhak,

I think i understand what You mean. Few days ago i was in similar dilemma. We read so much about this subject,about Reality and all the paths that lead to it,and with time we overload ourselves with so much information,so much contradictory things and teachings,etc,etc. Pondering over that i realized i put God,the Self,the Supreme,what ever name we give it it does not matter,in just a few words. Something so rich and wonderful i put in a few concepts,and i wonder where i made mistake. And in my case,that was it. Reading all this i simplified God so much,that He lost all beauty. Simplified in the wrong way. Now i understand all the Masters when they say it cannot be explained. It simply cannot. However beautiful word we use is it not enough. The mind puts it in some frame,in some concept,and in reality that does not mean a thing. Those are just words,just mind which is not able to capture something which is beyond it,and beyond its knowledge. So,however we know,it is useless in the end. And ultimatievly,it is all lie.
How can something so wonderful and great,something which holds in Itself million of galaxies,so much life,and even the wonder of birth itself,to be named or made into some concepts. How can the mind ever understand such greatness! God,the Self, must be,and it IS something much much much much more Greater!

Many times i came to the point i cannot do anything anymore. I become irritated and tired,and every time that proves to be just the faze which than brings me even greater blessings when it pass. I think we all are going through such periods,and they are many times the good sign. There is also a time for rest,apparent rest.
And when that is not the case,i know i am wrong somewhere. There is one saying of Rumi which stayed with me till now,and that is 'When we are not feeling energetic and in awe,when we feel dull.we missunderstud some teaching'. That is my guidance these days.
So,for me,there must be a place in our hearts for Miraculous,for the Wonder and Awe,for the Unknown. Always!


And just to add,i also see this forum as Satsang,and i am sure nothing goes to waste here.

With love,
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: ksksat27 on July 21, 2017, 05:05:02 PM
Dear all

as opener of this thread,  and also as very rightly Ravi sir said about reverse feedback,  let me share my inferences.

it is not that i will not post a similar question in future, but atleast for now whatever i have arrived at.

summary reply in 2 lines:

I realized that material pursuits and lust are born with me, it is in my strong prarabdha that i should go through all this.
So the only option for me is to invite Ramana Smarana and self enquiry more and more frequently in all small small gaps that i can find in my hectic life made of action events.

elaborate reply:

First and foremost,  my chemistry:  i learnt during the time I posted , during the time I received replies etc.  that i have strong samskaras and must have traveled in a certain shiva and shakthi devotion based path in past lives.   For me pooja, rituals, abhisekam, visualization of deities like  arunachala shiva etc.  are very very valuable sadhana combined with self enquiry.     That way I bring all that including self enquiry in one fold.  I dont view them as pooja vasanas.  they are pure satsang for me. 
Bhagavan Ramana is the only person who can understand me very deeply and offer guidance as Self remaining in Heart.  because i need to accept that i dont feel human in normal sense,  there is much of occult aura and vitality in my being.

Bhagavan Ramana, Sadhu Om, Lakshmana Swamy,   Papaji, Annamalai Swami all have encouraged absolute devotion and devotional practices as valid sadhana means.

Second,   for me Ramana Maharishee, his Naan Yaar and self enquiry are gem modes of sadhana.  Repeating ulladhu narpadu arunachala pancharatnam, atma vidya keerthanam, listening to nochur talks,  practing self enquiry are my main sadhana ( the other wing of jnana) during my bus journey are most valuable sadhana modes.  Sadhu om's point blank words help me a lot in this .

Now I realized that material pursuits and lust are born with me, it is in my strong prarabdha that i should go through all this.
so what i do is, i find free time in bus journey, during lunch and tea time,  even during meetings ,  i keep arunachala form satsang .  i keep connnected to Ramana.  that small small gaps do help me.  also in the morning, i put bhagavan works or shiva stothras and light incense.  those 10 minutes are intense sadhana moments.   and then the 2 months once trip to arunachala.   

In short, Bhagavan has given me enough break in my seemingly hectic schedule to keep that satsangh.   Not only that,  i have tried this multiple times,  during very hectic managerial meeting, right in middle of a conversation, i will remember ramana maharshi and his ashram. 

So now Bhagavan has merged into my lifestyle,  inseparable,  appears at anytime and peeps straight into the middle of a busy work. 
that is where i will remain and do my sadhana.

Ravi sir replies were helpful in one sense --    accepting practical aspects of one nature and to proceed from there.

Sadhak replies were helpful in uncomprimising self enquiry --  esp.  it is very true that the mind produces past ,present, future, all bondage and karma in this current moment. what he has told is there in yoga vashistham and other books.

I also realized that the type of help that I need to get is not intellectual replies.
it is a sort of emotional help,  a word or console and more than that,  the Grace, the power of the Self to purify. 
that is what I get in Ramanasramam and in Ramana satsangh.  but sometimes the human personal mode of guidance is required.  that is what i seem to ask with all this questions.

that grace sometimes gets communicated in replies, it does not matter what is written , but whatever written to me by you devotees carry that grace.  some element of it.


lastly i feel i have lot of vitality, the pranic force.  ( even though have BP etc.).  so what i need to do is, engage in more and more japa, self enquiry,  walking around arunachala .  and lot of walking.    this so much energy i need to channelize. otherwise it will result in lust.



Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: atmavichar100 on July 21, 2017, 08:53:44 PM
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CosmoPPXEAAv4yQ.jpg)
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Ravi.N on July 22, 2017, 06:36:14 AM
Jewell,
Wonderful post from you...I always enjoy the understanding,sympathy and love with which you express yourself...and how you draw inspiration from diverse sources ...this is something very very rare.
Yes...what you have said ...to be always in awe and in wonder of the unknown always...excellent.

It reminds me of the following saying of Sri Ramakrishna:
All is possible with God
MASTFR: "Nothing is impossible for God. Nobody can describe His nature in words. Everything is possible for Him. There lived at a certain place two yogis who were practising spiritual discipline. The sage Narada was passing that way one day. Realizing who he was, one of the yogis said: 'You have just come from God Himself. What is He doing now?' Narada replied, 'Why, I saw Him making camels and elephants pass and repass through the eye of a needle.' At this the yogi said: 'Is that anything to wonder at? Everything is possible for God.' But the other yogi said: 'What? making elephants pass through the eye of a needle - is that ever possible? You have never been to the Lord's dwelling-place.' "

Namaskar.



Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Ravi.N on July 22, 2017, 07:04:14 AM
Sadhak,

I am sure the quotes/videos of Krishnamurti, Nisargadatta, etc are useful. But rather ironically after more than half a century of so called religious pursuit I only find one saying of Krishnamurti to be relevant these days.  Which just shows my inability to even start self enquiry.

"I have followed all these old paths of discipleship, of worship, and I see that they are much too long, too complicated, unnecessary -because whatever path you may follow, whatever god you may worship, whatever shrine you may build, you are forced at last to come back to yourself and solve that self." (http://I am sure the quotes/videos of Krishnamurti, Nisargadatta, etc are useful. But rather ironically after more than half a century of so called religious pursuit I only find one saying of Krishnamurti to be relevant these days.  Which just shows my inability to even start self enquiry.

"I have followed all these old paths of discipleship, of worship, and I see that they are much too long, too complicated, unnecessary -because whatever path you may follow, whatever god you may worship, whatever shrine you may build, you are forced at last to come back to yourself and solve that self.")

I do not take your statement at its face value...and I get an impression that you are only saying how this enquiry needs to be in right earnest...and  i do agree with you (although in the context of this thread I will be exploring the opposite position).

Sri Aurobindo in his aphorisms says:
I know that the opposite of what I say is true, but for the present what I say is still truer.
Namaskar
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Ravi.N on July 22, 2017, 07:11:44 AM
Krishna,
Thanks very much for your detailed response...In general it is advisable to keep details regarding the sadhana under wraps...however I appreciate your candor...and trust that you will find your orientation and balance...Wishing you the very best.
We shall however continue the discussion on this topic in a leisurely fashion...the whole drift would be how to live life in an integrated way...and live with a sense of fulfillment.
Namaskar
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Jewell on July 22, 2017, 06:11:22 PM
Dear Sri Ravi,

Thank You for so kind words.

...and for making me realise i wrote 'Awe' incorrectly. :) :) :)

With love,
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Ravi.N on July 23, 2017, 06:21:43 PM
Friends,
We referred to The Significance and importance of Shraddha...We shall see practical examples of shraddha a little later...We shall see a few other basic and Fundamental principles and Facts of Life and Living...This is not going to be a Text book Manual or something like that...so we shall see snippets of all that goes into making living purposeful and fulfilling.

The Interdependence of Life:
We are ushered into this world through our parents...Even in the womb we were totally dependent on the nutrition that was supplied through the Placenta...and after being born we have to be supported by our Parents and they in turn are supported by their parents during the post natal period...We are also aided by the Doctor and the nurses who facilitated our delivery into this world...and by the People who transported us from wherever we were born to our home.
We are dependent on food and this food is supplied by people who toil in the fields all day long....and they in turn are dependent on rains to help raise their crops...and the rains are facilitated by the trees and ecosystem...which again are dependent on the Birds and animals and worms that help pollination,etc.
It is clear from even a cursory understanding of the food chain how each is related to  All...and nothing can survive on its own....what affects one affects everything else and this interdependence of Life is a fundamental fact whether we realize it or not...Realizing this would make us respond Intelligently to situations in life...Not Realizing this would make us self centered and self defeating automatons....The Gita refers to this Fundamental principle as 'Bodhayanta parasparam'(Spiritual Symbiosis).

One of the questions that is asked almost everyday by most people when they initiate a conversation is :"How are you?"...and the other person answers or is expected to answer:"Fine" or "Going on" or "So far so Good" and there the matter ends....until the next day the same question gets repeated and more or less with the same response...until the next moment the person who was "Fine" is "Not so fine" when accosted with a 'problem'...The Problem may be 'an unreasonable Boss' or 'A Betrayal by a Friend' or it may be 'Downfall of Stock Market' etc,etc...Fragmented living is as Fragile as this.

Summary:We are not apart from the world...Interdependence is Fundamental...We are the world...If we live in a way in accordance with this fact we live intelligently...To ignore this is to live in isolation and this is what is called self centered activity...and this is a fragmented way that cannot be deemed as 'Living'.

continued...
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Sadhak on July 23, 2017, 07:44:21 PM
Ravi,
Quote
Please go through my posts ...i have said the same thing and have given excerpts from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna ...I have covered everything regarding the subject matter.

You have given quotes from various sources - Ramakrishna, Krishnamurti, Bhagawan etc etc.  But that is not the subject matter. Somebody has asked a personal question that he is facing in his life. Namely, the struggle between the opposite forces of materialism and spirituality in his life. For all we know, he may have read most if not all of these quotes already. I don't think he is asking for more material that is easily available in books or that he can find with google. At least I am not sure that is all he is looking for.

Quote
I have used the word 'Shraddha' over and over again...and please also check the ' 'Practical Hints on the sadhana from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna' thread (the latest post)

Yes I have no doubt about your sources or authenticity.

Quote
You tend to think that Sandhya and other practices should figure in the 'to do' list

No. Please read again. I said  'dos' and 'donts' are peddled as religion/spirituality. Something that many are told even as kids.

Quote
and you are differentiating self enquiry as belonging to a different category

I have said over and over that we are not even in the pre self enquiry mode where we are prepared to admit we are not capable of self enquiry, and still ignorant of the causes that prevent it.


Quote
I have completely understood your position right at the outset...I have pointed out to precisely this point when I referred to JK ....How his teaching has impacted you

Unfortunately you did not understand my posts. I said that nothing has impacted me. There is no point in labeling oneself or others as impacted by JK, Ramakrishna etc etc. Even on this thread people have commented that I am saying things from Yoga Vasishtam , Sadhu Om and whatever else. Impact is not simply reproducing what sages have said (however great they may be).

Quote
All these are resolved if we grasp the significance of the word 'shraddha' and this is what I intend going into, in this thread...and it will take some time to cover this...please bear with me and I request you to take a holistic view of what I am putting on the table.

Sure you can discuss shradda which is something I am quite familiar with though you may address it from a particular/specific point of view. But the real issue facing me (may be all of us) is the enormous resistance to self enquiry that takes many forms and persists all through our life no matter what we do (or don't do). Not a particular viewpoint on shradda, this or that.

Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Ravi.N on July 25, 2017, 05:50:17 AM
The Principle of Dharma-The Sustainer of Life

Dharma is that which characterizes the intrinsic nature of each and every thing in the world-both animate and inanimate...The Dharma of Fire is to burn ,of water is to wet ,of air is to blow,of Earth is to bear...Similiarly the Living organisms have their characteristic nature...Each tree has its Characteristic,each insect and animal has its typical nature and will behave in accordance with that nature...There are animals with peaceful nature that eat leaves of plants and shrubs and there are carnivorous animals that are aggressive and prey on other animals...and all act in accordance with their nature which is well defined and predictable to a large extent...Even the aggressive animals only use it to satisfy their hunger and to guard  their territory and once these requirements are met,they do not venture to expand their dominion.

Human beings are bestowed with the intellect and on account of this sixth sense as it is called,there is an enormous complexity that comes into play...it can ennoble life or it can destroy life on a scale that no other living being can ever match...it thus becomes necessary for humans to understand and adhere to Principles that ennobles life and sustain it.
One very fundamental principle is the Law of Karma wherein it is not just the action but the motive behind the action which characterizes that activity...and as one sows so one reaps...and hence one need to take care of what one sows.

continued....
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: ksksat27 on July 25, 2017, 12:11:41 PM
"But that is not the subject matter. Somebody has asked a personal question that he is facing in his life. Namely, the struggle between the opposite forces of materialism and spirituality in his life. For all we know, he may have read most if not all of these quotes already. I don't think he is asking for more material that is easily available in books or that he can find with google. At least I am not sure that is all he is looking for."


This was exactly my mind set when I posted the original question.  not that these were answered,  I wanted not quotes but devotees own insights and explanations.  quotes are fine, if it is limited to a line or two. not so complex quotes.

Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Ravi.N on July 25, 2017, 05:05:06 PM
ksksat,
This was exactly my mind set when I posted the original question.  not that these were answered,  I wanted not quotes but devotees own insights and explanations.  quotes are fine, if it is limited to a line or two. not so complex quotes.

Friend,Have I quoted ?Are they simply Quotes?Are they complex?...They are conversations which are very relevant to the question that you have posed;at least that is the way I see it...and the contextual clue is clear for me...and I can only offer what I know...I do not have any 'own original insight' that I can call 'my own'...this is the reason that  I kept quiet looking at your question...You had already got the answer from Jewel and what I have elaborated is no different than that...and since you pointedly asked me,I cleared the premise right at the outset:

"you seem to be having so many choices to choose from...and are asking which 'choice' to exercise?
Are you looking for an approved 'blueprint' to chalk out the job of living? Very much like an architect certified building plan that one resorts to before constructing a house?...and it looks like you are inviting 'certified architects'(or otherwise!) to come up with alternative approved plans so that you may choose the one that appeals to you!
"

That entire passage is where I have shared and there are only 'two quotations' towards the end of that passage...one from Emerson and the other from Tirukkural and they are there to summarize what I have stated in that Fairly lengthy ,elaborate writeup which may be considered as 'Own insight and explanation' as per your paradigm...Insight is just Insight...there is nothing like 'my insight' or 'your insight' or 'his insight' ...for if there are  'many' insights,the sight is not there;that is for sure.
There has been nothing complex at all in what I have stated...yes,they do require our undivided attention and earnestness to see what is pointed out and may be helpful....it requires the basic trust that the other person has spent so much time and energy and there may be something in it ,even if it is something that we have already 'read' and are 'Familiar' with...and it is possible that the person is not a 'Google' search Engine or 'copy paste' operation in action dishing out pages of information.

These days I have grown wiser (I think so hopefully) and generally prefer to keep silent...if there is anything that I have to share on my own (and not in response to someone),I do that...not otherwise...for what is food for me may only be data for most and information for some...for if they have not found the responses to their query in what Great ones like Bhagavan or Sri Ramakrishna or JK have already said, I do not  have any so called 'insight on my own' to offer...there is nothing new except the Self...and there are not many selves.

I have observed that most people want only 'Fast Food' or quick fix ...and my shop does not sell those wares.

Namaskar
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: atmavichar100 on July 25, 2017, 08:35:13 PM

Dear Friends

The question asked by Kskat is something that does not have right or wrong answers ir-respective of whether they are answered with quotes or without quotes . The discussion here is an ongoing process for all of us to help develop more clarity inspite of the fact that many of the questions may seem repetitive . That is  part of the sadhana .
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Beloved Abstract on July 25, 2017, 09:15:19 PM
find the pursuer .........  :)
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Ravi.N on July 25, 2017, 10:38:27 PM
Friends,
The Fundamental problem arises when we think that there is no correspondence between how we live the life in the world and the sadhana through which we seek the divine...Just 'somehow' manage the job of living and pursue the spiritual through Sadhana (atma vichara ,japa or any other)...somehow sneak through worldly life and through vichara get to know the Self ...anyway the world is only a dream and whatever one dreams ,how does it matter as long as one has to only awaken from it?

We are examining just this wrong paradigm...and we are exploring aspects of the Principles of Dharma,the interdependence of Life,The law of karma...and how Righteous Living is essential to spiritual growth and leads to it in a natural manner...and if we can grasp these principles ,there is simply no need to keep on asking the same question again and again.

This is the perspective for  understanding the discussion that we have initiated here in this thread.

Namaskar
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: ksksat27 on July 27, 2017, 04:23:38 PM
Dear Ravi sir

i think my lines went terribly wrong....  first and foremost i am very sorry that i meant you by that 'quotes' analogy... yes you or anybody else can take that personally...

i always look towards the speaker and his grace... especially with my traditional mindset,  one who helps and mentors others is a sort of teacher...to get all required information and help first, to get comforted,  then to bury one's teacher is grave sin...  i never dreamt on that angle sir... please forgive me... especially first to ask someone to answer and then find mistakes in that is not a good manners... very sad that i somehow triggered that angle of thinking by this reply

so many people posted replies, some i read at a glance, some i read full etc. 

i typed that whole 'quote' stuff fastly and never considered it as a particular thing...

for fast moving people in samsara sometimes it is difficult to read and digest the original quotes...
i meant that way only

Please continue posting...  such a nice and elderly devotee guidance is required for one and all...especially from people like you who have seen through practical life...

regards,
krishna


Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Ravi.N on July 27, 2017, 05:01:12 PM
ksksat,
Please do not feel sorry Krishna...there is nothing that you have said that is hurtful...no...not at all...I was only pointing out the need to be absolutely earnest in going through what the Masters have said...and we can never say that it is all read and finished...they are ever relevant and living...they have the power to banish our illusion as the words they have uttered are not empty sounds or dead ideas...they are shafts of light that would illumine the dark recesses of our mind...and breathe life into the fossilized, somnambulist life that we drag around.
We will assuredly carry forward the discussion leisurely...as and when the water springs in our small well.
Namaskar
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Ravi.N on July 27, 2017, 05:48:44 PM
Krishna/Friends,
I have posted in the rough note book thread the following incident...and I am posting it here again:

Sri Ramakrishna had a householder disciple, an ishwarakoti (godlike soul), whose name was Purna Chandra Ghosh. Long after Sri Ramakrishna passed away, there was trouble in Purna's family and he wanted to commit suicide. He decided to bathe first, and then pay his respects to his guru before killing himself. He took a bath, then went to the shrine and bowed down to the Master. But then he thought: "Let me read a little bit of the Kathamrita. Taking the beautiful message of the Master, I shall depart from this world." He opened the book at random and his eyes fell on this sentence: "Purna is a young devotee. The Master was thinking of his welfare." "What?" cried Purna. "The Master is thinking of me and I shall commit suicide? Impossible! He is thinking of my welfare and I am contemplating killing myself. It cannot be." He gave up the idea and thus his life was saved. Such is the power of the words of The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna!

I have seen this sort of a thing first hand ...when my younger sister lost her only son aged 17 in a tragic road accident on the treacherous Tanjore-Kumbhakonam highway...He was studying at Loyola College chennai and as Colleges were closed (Mr Karunanidhi was the Chief Minister and he had ordered closure of colleges for a trivial political partisan reason) and the lad gone along with his friends on a holiday outing...We brought his lifeless body home and the next day he was cremated...and that very night I handed a copy of the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna to sister and asked her to read a portion of it before retiring to bed...She later told me what happened...As she opened the book,her eyes fell on this song Of Ramprasad that the master sang....and it immediately assuaged her grief :
Divine Mother's sport
Then the Master sang the following song in his melodious voice:
In the world's busy market-place, O Syama, Thou art flying kites; High up they soar on the wind of hope, held fast by maya's string. Their framesare human skeletons, their sails of the three gunas made; But all their curious workmanship is merelyfor ornament. Upon the kite-strings Thou hast rubbed the manja-paste of worldliness, So as to makeeachstraining strand all the more sharp and strong.
Out of a hundred thousand kites, at best but one or two breakfree; And Thou dost laugh and clap Thy hands, O Mother, watching them! On favouring winds, says Ramprasad, the kites set loose will speedily Be borne away to the Infinite, across the sea of the world.
The Master said: "The Divine Mother is always playful and sportive. This universe is Her play. She is self-willed and must always have Her own way. She is full of bliss. She gives freedom to one out of a hundred thousand."
A BRAHMO DEVOTEE: "But, sir, if She likes, She can give freedom to all. Why, then, has She kept us bound to the world?"
MASTER: "That is Her will. She wants to continue playing with Her created beings. In a game of hide-and-seek the running about soon stops if in the beginning all the playerstouch the 'granny'. If all touch her, then how can the game go on? That displeases her. Her pleasure is in continuing the game. Therefore the poet said:
Out of a hundred thousand kites, at best but one or two breakfree; And Thou dost laugh and clap Thy hands, O Mother, watching them!
Reassurance to householders
"It is as if the Divine Mother said to the human mind in confidence, with a sign from Her eye, 'Go and enjoy the world.' How can one blame the mind? The mind can disentangle itself from worldliness if, through Her grace, She makes it turn toward Herself. Only then does it become devoted to the Lotus Feet of the Divine Mother."

Sister subsequently lost her husband few years ago...and has taken it all in her stride and is well fortified in her spiritual path...and gamely carries on...she teaches poor children at the Ramakrishna Math & Mission school as a volunteer...Once the Pujari swami at the Mylapore Math enquired her about her 'family' and was speechless after listening that they are gone!...He was much moved and  said 'Amma,we are all your children...You are Blessed ...Mostly people would lose all faith and become disoriented'.

I rarely share personal stories...it is just to say that this 'book' called 'The Kathamrita' or 'The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna' is not just a  'Book' but is something of a boon...it provides satsangh with the Master...and there is no aspect of spiritual life that is not covered here...and most importantly it caters to both lay devotees as well as Ripe devotees...I have personally seen any number of people drawing inspiration from this inexhaustible resource.
Namaskar
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: atmavichar100 on July 27, 2017, 07:16:53 PM
Quote
I have seen this sort of a thing first hand ...when my younger sister lost her only son aged 17 in a tragic road accident on the treacherous Tanjore-Kumbhakonam highway.

Dear Sri Ravi

On reading the above line especially the highlighted one I was reminded of an incident that happened with me during Dec 2009  when I was on a visit to Tanjore , Kumbakonam Temples along with my brother ( from USA ) and mother . We halted at a hotel in Tanjore and finished seeing the Brihadeeswar Temple and planned to go night by Car to Kumbakkonam . My brother was feeling sick ( due to outside food  etc ) and so we checked in with a local Doctor there and he told not to worry and prescribed some medicines and he asked where we were staying we told we  were staying in a Hotel and will soon be checking out and going to Kumbakonam by Car at Night and he firmly told us not to travel at night and we laughed and told that it is just 45 mts and he got angry and  told us very STERNLY whether it is 45 mts or 4 mts please do not go at night and better to go next day morning after 7 am .I personally found it amusing why he is making such a fuss ( I was not aware of the road condition in those areas as I am going there after a long time ) and  told my mother that let us not listen to him and continue our journey and my mother felt that we must not take that warning lightly as it was given by the Doctor in a firm tone and so we just obeyed it . Now after reading your line I can guess now why the Doctor told that way .
Quote
I rarely share personal stories...it is just to say that this 'book' called 'The Kathamrita' or 'The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna' is not just a  'Book' but is something of a boon...it provides satsangh with the Master...and there is no aspect of spiritual life that is not covered here...and most importantly it caters to both lay devotees as well as Ripe devotees...I have personally seen any number of people drawing inspiration from this inexhaustible resource.

True . One always finds this book very refreshing inspite of repeated reading and it has a message for everyone young and old .

Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Jewell on July 28, 2017, 07:38:36 PM
Dear Sri Ravi,

I am deeply touched with Your story! It left me speechless,for so many reasons...

When ever i prayed sincerely for something to a Mother,whenever i have been faced with hardships,whenever i felt alone and in dark,She lead me to the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. And i always went to the page where i have found exactly the same problem.  :)
It is interesting,only His words could sooth me,because in those moments i needed someone soft and loving...i needed All embracing Mother.

So true,so very true! He is so sweet and wonderful!

(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/c6/9d/80/c69d80c840313d713d4567e933a6c449.jpg)(http://www.wyzu.cn/uploadfile/2012/0404/20120404112928673.gif)
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Ravi.N on July 29, 2017, 07:38:12 PM
Jewell,
Thanks for your loving words...have posted a more detailed response in the 'Articles,news' thread so that it may be referenced with ease .
Namaskar
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Ravi.N on July 30, 2017, 07:07:18 PM
The Rare Opportunity-Human Birth
Birth as a human being is a rare opportunity...for it is only the homo-sapiens as we are called are endowed with the faculty of the Intellect...and using this intellect,he(or she) can reflect on his thoughts,actions and experiences ....and thereby understand the purpose of life beyond the creature comforts...to understand that the purpose of living is to discover the happiness that is unalloyed and without a tinge of sorrow.
Initially the intellect searches for this pure happiness in the objects and appearances of this world...and it tends to consolidate its position by way of expansion in terms of relationships,material acquisition,name and fame,social status...and in the process experiences the inevitable triad of sukha(happiness),Dukkha(sorrow) and Bhaya(Fear)....although it tries to eliminate the negativity in terms of sorrow and Fear,it  realizes sooner or later the flimsy  nature of this  uneasy truce.
In pursuing this it learns that it is not living in isolation and that its actions not only yield the happiness or sorrow for itself but also causes happiness and sorrow for others ,directly or indirectly...and not just this,it also learns that it can only consolidate its position of happiness only if others are happy as well...its own welfare depends on the welfare of all beings in this world.
Somewhere here about,the intellect also understands that however much it tries to consolidate the Happiness and security in the outside world,such an attempt is never going to be a successful one...for it can never control the events in outer life inspite of the best of intentions and actions based on those intentions...but in maintaining such a  equitable disposition it has discovered a contentment within that is apart from any worldly happiness...This contentment leads the intellect to discover that the Happiness it was seeking unsuccessfully outside is infact a projection of what is its very inner nature...that although it was all along thinking that the happiness was to be obtained from outside ,it only appeared so...the source of real happiness is always within and that the intellect has to seek it  independently...and it also realizes from this discovery that what is the center of its existence is also the center of other beings...i.e the center of the world.
It thus realizes that towards seeking this happiness it has to turn within and live from its depths...and it can live from its depths only when its outer actions are in harmony with the inner...it cannot lead a ruthless callous life in the world while pursuing the happiness that lies within ....the two should be harmonized.

continued.....
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: atmavichar100 on July 31, 2017, 10:30:37 PM
The Wise, who know that all worldly experiences are formed by prarabdha alone, never worry about their life?s requirements. Know that all one?s requirements will be thrust upon one by prarabdha, whether one wills them or not.
('Guru Vachaka Kovai', v. 150)
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: srkudai on August 01, 2017, 11:42:35 AM
Dear ksksat27,
          :) It is not material pursuit itself that is a problem, its trying to find fulfillment through the material pursuits that is a problem. Because materials can give us comfort not fulfillment. If i get more money i can buy a bigger flat, better car etc but that does not give me fulfillment! if i think ill be fulfilled by getting money, it means am just looking at the wrong place and when my hopes are wrong i would be disappointed. most often we realize it towards the end of our lives.

So by all means earn more money, become more knowledgeable and famous... however one should not live in the illusion that these things will make us fulfilled. They have the capacity to give us some comforts. with money i can have an air conditioned room. but as death draws near we will realize that none of these are really going to make us happy in a true sense. yes , i might die in an air conditioned room if i am rich and may have to die on the roads if i am poor --- so i would earn some money if i can.... but i may as well die on the roads peacefully and die in an air conditioned room in agony ! most important therefore is my self knowledge and the punya karma i do.

with this understanding one may go and acquire any materials that can make one comfortable ... but never think that those comforts can make us fulfilled. thats all there is to it.


Love!
Silence
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: ksksat27 on August 01, 2017, 02:53:08 PM
Thanks Ravi sir for the detailed replies .

Thanks Jewel for the first and crispier reply.

Thanks Anand for the reply and insight.

Thanks Atmavichar sir for the Guru Vachaka Kovai Muruganar reply.

Thanks Udai for practical vedantic reply.

Thanks Sadhak, uncompromising self enquiry reply.

Thanks Kishore sir for replying three main perspectives from your life experience.

Thanks Beloved abstract, for that one liner which is a mantra from our beloved Ramana Who Am I.  Loved that answer.

Thanks Orihh ( Kofi) for your quote from Devaraja Mudaliar.

Thanks Silent Green for intense perspective as usual.
Title: Re: material pursuits and sadhana
Post by: Anand on August 13, 2017, 04:37:13 PM
dear Friends,
Felt I had to say a few words in this same thread, after reading Swatmasukhi,the ashram's latest publication.
Bhagavan has said that even during the sadhana that duality is   non existent .That means that the jiva which seems to be struggling and worrying is itself  a questionable identity or to boldy put it non - existent .So amongst our various sadhana ,one additional sadhana is we have to recognize that this ' so called 'I' is a pseudo 'I' and learn to periodically ignore it, whether it is so called success or failure in materialistic pursuits or spiritual ,here we must take cue from some of the posts of Beloved Abstract.
So while relentlessly pursuing sadhana ' as a dhira ' as Bhagavan has  said,we should not dvelve on the so called falls, since the question is  'who' has fallen .
Regards,Anand.