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Messages - srkudai

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136
Quote
Verse 1:

Verse 1:
karturaaGYayaa praapyate phalam |
karma ki.N para.N karma tajjaDam ||
 
कर्तुराज्ञया प्राप्यते फलम्।
कर्म किँ परँ कर्म तज्जडम्॥

kartuh -- The Lord's , phalam -- the results or fruits , karma -- Action, param -- supreme ?
jadam -- are inert., aajnaya -- by orders, prapyate -- is gained , kim -- is it ?,tat karma -- that action.

"By the Orders of the Lord one receives the fruits of actions, are the actions supreme in themselves ? Those actions are just inert."


We look at this world as something real and as a result we think that our results are dictated by our action. As I sow, so I reap, is the common way of presenting this truth. While this is not entirely false, Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi did not look at the world as real. He often said that this world is no more than a dream. This being so, can we still hold that my actions are giving me results ? If in a dream I do something and get a particular result, is it the action that's responsible for the result or is it purely the imagination [or order, in a way :)] of the dreamer that shows up as the action and the result ?
 
Once king Janaka called his ministers and asked them a very interesting question: "Yesterday I dreamt that I was the king of a kingdom which was famine affected. Having woken up now, I ask you a question: Am I the king of a famine affected kingdom dreaming that I am prosperous or vice versa ?"


There is a similar Zen story of a monk who said "Yesterday I dreamt that I am a butterfly. Now please tell me, am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a monk or am I a monk who dreamt that he was a butterfly"

Lets try a simple experiment :) :

Please take a look at the following image:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Necker_cube.svg


you can see either one of two versions of this cube. Just focus on the rear face  of the cube and the version of cube you currently see will flip. Do we see this ?

Ok, now lets ask a question : When we look at it, we see one of these two cubes. when we do not look at it , which of these cubes exists there ?

do we get this question ? Does it sound like he zen koan, if a tree falls in a forest where no one is there, is there a sound ? [infact is there falling of tree or a tree in the first place? ] ?

The point is, there is no cube on a flat surface. A cube is a 3d surface and on a 2d paper or surface there cannot be a cube. That cube is our imagination.

If you are with me till now, let me add one more fact. Our retina is a flat surface, can there be any 3d object there ? :) ! Please ponder. Physics says that we are living in a holographic world - and for once it seems to be close to truth .

This world is a mental world, there is nothing physical out there !
Our ideas of karma and the theory of karma are perpetuated by our belief in the reality of this  physical universe. Karma theory is a gross approximation , like the newton's laws of physics ... it falls apart the moment we delve a little deeper. Yoga Vasishta goes so far as to say that all our causal relationships are only kakataliyam - a crow sits on a tree and a coconut falls and we conclude that the crow dislodged the coconut. Karma theory is  a very gross approximation. The mistake of the ascetics is of taking such a gross approximation to be the truth ! Before getting deeper into the verse, lets study a story from yoga vasishta :

 

137
OM !

INTRODUCTION TO UPADESHA SARAM: 


A few days ago I prepared a power-point presentation and showed it to my friend. It contained just pictures without any text. He saw that and was not sure what I was trying to convey. Later on as I explained each picture he understood the import. If someone else gave a totally different interpretation to those very same pictures he would probably get a totally different meaning from it.

In our lives too, various events take place and we look at them. They are like static pictures [or at best dynamic movies -- a movie is only a collection of pictures anyways] stored up in our memories with some "Interpretation" attached to each picture. When I was a kid if a dog had attacked me, there would be a picture of a dog with an associated interpretation "dogs bite" :). If as a kid I saw only a few cute dogs, then there would be "dogs are cute" interpretation. And these interpretations run into our subconscious mind. We surely don't know what all is there in the subconscious mind ... lot of interpretations and images stored in the memory and the subconscious. Totally unknown to us.

So when we look at the world and the various situations, we look at them with a certain interpretation which makes our world. The events "as they are" do not convey anything. Someone failed in an Exam, and he interpreted "I am not good for studies, I need to concentrate on sports where I am better". Another person failed in the same exam and concluded "I am a failure, fit for nothing". Yet another person may conclude "I need to work harder". So various interpretations, same event.

The world appears to us as it is, only because of our interpretation of the events. A person was chanting Srimad Ramayanam and a monkey came there , he interpreted it as Hanuman! Probably someone else might have interpreted the same monkey as a nuisance.

Its ultimately our interpretation that makes this world for us. Vedanta says that "God is everywhere"... and if for a few moments we take this to be true, then it means that we are constantly meeting this God every day, every moment. In fact there can be no moment we do not meet God, coz God is everywhere... right now... to our left, right , up , below, within and without !! As if embracing us ... now! But then we certainly "Miss" him all along, we think he is not here! We think he has to be found. So naturally it means we are missing God not because we lack his experience but because we interpret these experiences in our own ways. 

The same thing applies to ourselves too. Vedanta says "You are Ever Purna, Complete or Fulfilled". And we experience a sense of "emptiness", we feel we lack various things in life. We see that without some objects [or some people] our lives remain empty and unfulfilled. This is not what we experience ... this is really our interpretation of our experiences. The Events themselves, as we already saw, are dumb. The events do not come with a commentary. Right now if there is a huge calamity ... an earth quake or a tsunami ... it just happens. The nature does not say "This was bad", nor does it say "This is good"... its mute. The entire creation remains mute. Its only we who comment upon it and say "This is really a tragedy". Please note that I do not mean to say "this is not a tragedy". All I mean to say is that the events are not our experiences. Our experience is an "interpretation" along with the event. And that "interpretation" is our offering , our side of the story. Events are just dumb without our interpretation. So if Vedanta says we are ever fulfilled and lack nothing and we feel we lack lot of things ... where is the gap ? the gap is created by our interpretation of the events. The gap is in the way we look at the events and situations ... more particularly the gap is in the way we look at ourselves.So here is a question: What if we just "See", sans all interpretations / commentaries ? Just see ? We will return to this later...

in a simple poem called Kaupina panchakam,Sri Adi Shankaracharya paints a very nice picture of an enlightened saint. This picture is very much like Bhagavan Ramana's :). He says :
kaupinavantah kalu bhagya vantah ... a person with only a lion cloth is indeed blessed, he is indeed Lukcy. He has got bhagya, luck.
He is blessed not because he has a lion cloth :). Its indeed true that there are much richer people and more successful people ... but internally they remain unfulfilled while this person has nothing and yet is fulfilled.

Its also important to note that he is fulfilled not because he has only a lion cloth ... otherwise give him a nice dress and he would become unfulfilled. The simplicity is not in the external circumstances ... its within ... in the very way he appreciates or looks at himself. How does he look at himself ? What is his vision ? How does he look at the world ? what is it that makes such a person live a fulfilled life ? Shankara adds:
Vedanta vakyeshu sada ramayantah ... he always revels in the Truth revealed by the Vedanta. Which is not to say that he has memorized all the vedantic works and is therefore happy :). This is to say that he "Revels" as that which those words point to ! What is "That" ? Its his true nature -- its He as He truely IS, sans his "interpretations" and "conclusions" about himself. He therefore lives a blessed life. Shankara has presented us with a possibility ... we can remain extremely satisfied even when our possessions are minimal!This person is living a fulfilled life even when he has just a lion cloth while we have all the possessions in the world and yet we remain unfulfilled. Why ? Because we miss the truth revealed by Vedanta. The saint with a mere kaupina, lion cloth [Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi] has experiences very similar to ours. He too had tooth ache and various kinds of physical sufferings and yet he remained aloof and equanimous and we miss it not because we do not have some exotic experiences but because we have a tainted vision -- we see exactly what the saint sees but we miss the fulfillment which is our true nature and he does not. Thats the difference.

This gap can only be sealed through an upadesha - a teaching from a guru who has seen the Truth. This teaching is his vision, the vision that enabled him to remain untouched and aloof. This teaching is not yet another interpretation. This teaching simply dissolves all our interpretations about ourselves and the world , leaving us as we are. This text is an upadesha: its called upadesha saram ... meaning the "Essence of Teaching".In 30 verses Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi has consolidated the entire vedantic teaching.Upadesha Saram was written by Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi at the request of Sri Muruganar. Sri Muruganar was writing some puranic story about people who believed that Karma [Vedic Rituals, in the context] alone could lead to Moksha. In order to correct them, Lord Siva himself descends to earth. While writing this puranic story in poetic form, Sri Muruganar requested Bhagavan Ramana to write the part where Lord Siva taught the Truth to the rishis.


Love!
Silence

138
Dear Raviji,
           :) Thank you for initiating this wonderful discussion.
I think there are deeper ways of looking at things and this is what you have done. most people stop with the elementary view that the first three verses are karma yoga. but Ramana , who said even Sravanam is really hearing to the "I" -"I", would definitely mean something far deeper than the traditional sense in which karma yoga is understood. My approach would be slightly different ... from the dream perspective !

I read through the entire explanation and really like your posts!

Love !
Silence

139
An interesting topic.

Whilst "Death of Mind does not mean Thoughtlessness" the sadhak is nevertheless required to strive towards mental stillness as this is the only means by which the ego may die.

    Be still and know that I AM God. So stillness is the aim of the seeker.
    All that is required to realise the True Self is to "Be Still" [Maharshi].


At ego death it is found that the Self is thought-free, yet mind may or may not continue to have thoughts as per its destiny.

    In the realised man the mind may be active or inactive, the Self alone remains for him [Maharshi].


Dear Nishta,
       :) Nice observation. There are two kinds of stillness in vedanta , technically. cit samadhi and citta samadhi. citta samadhi means stopping thoughts. cit samadhi means relaxing in awareness. Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi talks about cit samadhi where one resolves in awareness and therefore is stillness itself in true essence. Citta samadhi is usually by force ... I do not particularly recommend it. Cit samadhi is total relaxation in the Awareness - being here and now, present moment ... infact its not just living in the present moment... rather its being the presence ! You are the Presence is Self Knowledge. Being it is living it and so one is always 24 7 in the present moment : conscious, relaxed and ever fresh.

Love!
Silence

140
OM!

This is an attempt to reconstruct the thoughts that went into an old thread on upadesha saram in which many of the forum members have participated. In a fit of disappointment I am guilty of spoiling that thread by deleting my posts. while what I did cannot be undone, here I would make an attempt to correct some of the damage done. This effort of mine is especially dedicated to sri DRPVSSNRAJU who is no more with us.

I request all the forum members  to participate by presenting their views on the verses. Lets  not engage in debates and arguments here. Debates may be done in another thread. :) The first person who starts a verse should make it a point to give the sanskrit verse with translation. And please write the verse number on the top of your comment for clarity.

Love!
Silence

141
Dear Atmavichar,
             :) Very nice to communicate with you after a long time :)

yes Thich Nhat Hanh is really exceptional.
did you see his video on emptiness is not nothingness ? :)

142
General topics / Re: Can we consider pooja as a vasana?
« on: August 03, 2017, 12:43:30 PM »
Dear ksksat27,
          :) Let me add to that a few more thoughts.

1. so puja itself is the discovery [or inner reveling as Self] of purnatvam [completeness/fulfillment] taking support from some act.
2. the external activities may form vasanas, not puja itself, since if i revel as Self even for a moment that burns the vasanas away.
3. just the external actions, i would not call it puja, it would call it external rituals associated with puja. its not puja until i start reveling in Self ... ie, until i surrender.

Now, the entire philosophy is : "the ground on which i fall, i take support from the same ground to get up" ! this is the philosophy. so we get attached to physical body and hence we create a physical image of God to go beyond the physical image... it is the going beyond that is called puja, not the physical image. a physical image may create attachment , but if it creates attachment it means i am not doing puja there ... i am actually playing with the image! its only when i go beyond all forms taking help form the forms that i can call it puja.

similarly we can take support from anything ... pick any vasana, take support from it and go beyond ! This is the beauty ! work can be worship. usually work creates tension and worries, because i am attached to the result... by surrendering it to God or by bringing in knowledge ... as i learn to work being in the present moment ... that is worship ... because i am using that activity to go beyond !

Love!
Silence

143
General topics / Re: Can we consider pooja as a vasana?
« on: August 03, 2017, 10:42:47 AM »
Dear Ksksat27,
        :) Puja is defined as "purnaat jyayate iti puja", that which is born of inner fulfillment. the external actions are only aids to invoke that inner fulfillment.
any expression of that inner fulfillment is puja.

In other words, the external paraphernalia is only an aid to discovering inner fulfillment. if, instead of delving deeper, i get caught up in the paraphernalia, then that is a vasana -- but then we cannot call such an activity puja in the first place.

so the ritual or the external action is not real puja, and one may get attached to these things and even get into the habit of showing off ! but when such is the  case i would not call it puja -- its only puja when one uses those external actions as an aid to delve deeper and abide as Self.

Love!
Silence

144
Meet The Happiest Man :)

Mathieu Ricard is famously known as the happiest man. This is why:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzBEaBEkcXU

Some interesting videos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_30JzRGDHI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbLEf4HR74E

There are many more, worth searching on youtube. He is an inspiration too, just as Thich Nhat Hanh is.

These techniques of mindfulness, kindness, altruistic love, compassion really are the fundamentals ... once these are well learnt, we can easily assimilate self knowledge. in the end, its indeed true that we are not the mind and as vedantins we should be very clear not to associate calmness  of mind with our calmness  and agitations of mind with our agitations. but how do we actually see this ? mindfulness is a great aid and once this is mastered, self knowledge amazingly simple to live.

Love!
Silence


145
Thich Nhat Hahn Guided Meditation:

Thich Nhat Hanh is a wonderful teacher. His teachings on living in mindfulness and present moment are definitely among the best. The following is a guided meditation from him, yet again its easy and very suitable for regular practice:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIgdz-M2UrA&t=86s

Love!
Silence

146
General topics / Re: Misc Ideas on Meditation
« on: August 02, 2017, 12:02:36 PM »
The Most Elementary Meditation Technique

So here is the most elementary meditation technique which everyone should definitely try:
https://palousemindfulness.com/meditations/bodyscan.html
its guided , so very easy to focus and if one does this regularly it changes the brain structure in very favorable ways. :) I make it a point to share this with every friend of mine, since its so easy to do and the benefits are really enormous. These simple techniques can be life transforming really.

Jon Kabat-Zinn of MIT medical  school has developed an entire project called MBSR , that revolves around using mindfulness for calming the mind and reducing stress. Here is an online program based on this:
https://palousemindfulness.com/index.html

There is elaborate research done on the benefits of mindfulness -- the physical benefits are only tip of an iceberg, the real benefit is that these methods help us gather the mind and allow us to assimilate the vedantic teaching.

A note for Vedantins: 
Mindfulness = being Awareness = Abiding as Self = Just Be
but here we are doing it as a practice while vedanta says that we should remove our ignorance so that we can naturally abide as self and mindfulness becomes natural

Love!
Silence

147
Hi Friends,
         For all of us , whether we are students of Vedanta or whether we are seeking worldly success, its important that we gather our minds together and sharpen them so that they could be used effectively. Most often, our minds are not really with us. Let me take a simple example: Swami Vivekananda says "Be Strong" but then a "weakness" overtakes us and we are gone for a toss. The teaching is correct but we are not really in a position to "own it up" because our minds are not with us. To assimilate the teaching we need to introduce certain simple sadhanas into our daily practice. Daily practice is absolutely important and very basic. In this thread I will be presenting a few simple techniques / articles /videos on useful daily practices. In my opinion, any of these [or a combination, one can try some variation] can be of immense benefit in assimilating self knowledge. These are very elementary but "regular" practice of these simple and elementary techniques can transform our lives in big ways and also make assimilation of knowledge very easy.

Here I would also like to present some modern research findings on the effects of meditation and other  miscellaneous stuff.

Love!
Silence

148
General Discussion / Re: material pursuits and sadhana
« 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

149
Forum advice, news & etiquette / Re: forum devotees and their fate
« on: August 01, 2017, 11:32:08 AM »
Dear Ravi ji,
     :) Thank you.

Dear ksksat27,
        :) This forum is always fantastic ! It has the grace of Bhagavan Ramana.

Love!
Silence

150
Forum advice, news & etiquette / Re: forum devotees and their fate
« on: July 31, 2017, 12:30:27 PM »
_/\_ My pleasure ! I too am equally happy to be here.

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