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Messages - Nagaraj

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1531
General Discussion / Re: Subject of Marriage
« on: February 13, 2013, 07:25:20 PM »
Dear Sri Vinod,

Thank you, it is thoroughly an holistic approach, it has been of excellent help to me as well.


1532
General Discussion / Re: my musings
« on: February 13, 2013, 10:25:16 AM »
What is being still, it is complete cessation of the movements of the Vritti, or movements of mind or thoughts. Being still is truly peaceful and thoughtless awareness. I contemplate and also feel that yes, it is definitely possible to engage in activities perfectly being still. But i do note that when we are being still, we will ourselves will not engage in any activities by ourselves, other than those activities that present themselves before us, that cannot be ignored.

I discern that perfectly being still, the only movements that go on are only two, one is the breath which goes on rhythmically and ones heart beat, both are beyond the scope of our own volition. Apart from these activities, any other activities that may happen, happens only at the volition of ourselves, and immediately one ceases from being Still. This also indicates that we are still bound in the hands of certain activties for ourselves, one is unable to just be still.

They are because of Vasanas or tendencies, what pulls us out from Being Still? wanting to correspond with somebody, even about Self Enquiry, or engage in some activity. Surely in these moments one is not being still, as these activities have not presented naturally, but they originate from our own volition.

Now, The Sage has said that whenever we cease from being still, that is the birth of 'I' that takes birth in order to engage in some activity, we are asked to trace the source of this 'I' that has just take birth.

Now, it is said so that we enquire the source of this 'I' back to its source which is being still. This may continue for some time, and again this cycle of the 'I' taking birth repeats again and again and again. And we feel, we should trace this back everytime the I takes birth.

Why the 'I' is taking birth after all, in spite of repeatedely nurturing ourselves in tracing back this wonderous I? because we are not sorting out the real problem, unless the tendencies are completely eradicated, the I will keep taking birth in order to fulfill its purpose.

Bhagavan said "“All the age-long vasanas (impressions) carry the mind outwards and turn it to external objects. All such thoughts have to be given up and the mind turned inward.”"

Are we truly doing this? it is observed (each one, each case) that no, we are not really doing it with integrity, we are feeling and concluding in the lines that whenever the I takes birth we will trace it back.

Truly if we genuienly discern, the real activity that presents itself naturally before us, is almost negligible, majority of activities we are involved in only out of our own volition, being unable to remain still or even carry out Self Enquiry for the said purpose with truest integrity.

This means, Rajo Guna is predominant. Without Rajo Guna, one cannot perform any activity. IT is a natural response that here, we try and reduce those activities that are the result of our own volition by avoiding it and help ourselves as much as possible to not leave any traces of temptations that may compel the 'I' to break from its tapas. Neither being Still, nor indulging in the activity desired by our volition, results in vritti, movements of thoughts without serving its purpose, mental brooding. If there is a weapon before a child, who is very curious, it is wise to throw the weapon out of the vicinity of such a child, that the child may now be free from any thoughts regarding that weapon, of that desired activity. This helps the 'I' get back and reconcile itself knowing, now that activity is beyond my reach, even if it wants to, it cannot get to its goal, it gives up. slowly this tendency will permanently vanish.

Take away TV from the 'I', it gives up, take away, books from 'I' it gives up eventually, take away bike and money, it gives up slowly coming to terms with yathartham fact.

Now, here it is important, we do not give any room to ourselves to develop any new activity. if newspaper is before it, it will aspire to feed on it and so on.

Similarly, the 'I' would want to feed on the taste of food, it will keep making activities for its survival, the life of brahmacharya has it that one should avoid eating junk foods, and external foods, so adopting this discipline the 'i' has to reconcile and give up eventually,

keeping the body supple is a great help, or the I will try and feed on those activities to enjoy the luxuris from body, and so on.

Therefore, it is wise, to have a regulation, The life of a Brahmacharya, be it a woman or man, or a householder, is a very very wise tool to facilitate one to pursue Self Enquiry or Being Still eventually.

personal musings. thank you.


1533
Is the state of 'being still' a state involving effort or effortless?

It is not an effortless state of indolence. All mundane activities which are
ordinarily called effort are performed with the aid of a portion of the mind and
with frequent breaks.

But the act of communion with the Self (atma vyavahara) or
remaining still inwardly is intense activity which is performed with the entire
mind and without break.


(Spiritual Instructions)


1534
Vaidharbha’s question was: “In practice, the thoughts are found to manifest and subside alternately. Is this jnana?” Sri Bhagavan explained the doubt as follows:

Some people think that there are different stages in jnana. The Self is nitya aparoksha,  i.e., ever-realised, knowingly or unknowingly. Sravana, they argue, should therefore be aparoksha jnana (directly experienced) and not paroksha jnana (indirect knowledge). But jnana should result in duhkha nivriti (loss of misery) whereas sravana alone does not bring it about. Therefore they say, though aparoksha, it is not unshaken; the rising of vasanas is the cause of its being weak (not unchanging); when the vasanas are removed, jnana becomes unshaken and bears fruit.

Others say sravana is only paroksha jnana. By manana (reflection) it becomes aparoksha spasmodically. The obstruction to its continuity is the vasanas: they rise up with reinforced vigour after manana. They must be held in check. Such vigilance consists in remembering = “I am not the body” and adhering to the aparoksha anubhava (direct experience) which has been had in course of manana (reflection). Such practice is called nididhyasana and eradicates the vasanas. Then dawns the sahaja state. That is jnana, sure.

The aparoksha in manana cannot effect dukha nivritti (loss of misery) and cannot amount to moksha, i.e., release from bondage because the vasanas periodically overpower the jnana. Hence it is adridha (weak) and becomes firm after the vasanas have been eradicated by nididhyasana (one-pointedness).


(Talks)


1535
General Discussion / Re: Subject of Marriage
« on: February 13, 2013, 06:34:42 AM »
BRAHMACHARYA

This means giving up sex in thought and deed. This is essential for ensuring that the kundalini is moving in higher chakras and not the baser ones. Also, sprituality puts great ppressure on the brain and nerves, and not pracitising brahmacharya will weaken it even further. Very highly sensitive nerves are essential to perceive higher spiritual truths. These nerves die when sexual energy is let out and not conserved. THE SECRET TO BRAHMACHARYA IS TO NOT GIVE IMPORTANCE TO DETAILS OF FOOD AND LIVING. The more you harp on how food and living conditions affect your sexuality adversely, the more they will. Ignoring it, is the key. It is not possible to do it fully all at once, but slowly and steadily build this up till u can live without being aware of the body at all. SOME HELPFUL HABITS ARE - Give up thought of sexuality, give up company of people who dwell on that. Be a little hard and tough on yourself. Don't sleep too less or too long. Eat lightly at night. Don't dress too warm. Do not put your body through any extremes either. DO NOT GET OBSESSED WITH ANY OF THESE THINGS. YOUR MENTAL STATE ABOUT CONSUMING FOOD IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE ACTUAL FOOD CONSUMPTION ITSELF. So if you have to eat something that is not very pure or satvic, just take it in stride. That is the most helpful attitude.

Do not be perturbed by nocturnal emission. It is natural And eventually it will also go down if the mind is brought in control. Keep the mind CALM. DO NOT AGITATE IT WITH ANYTHING. (meaning do not watch violent things, or news or stuff like that,m espoecially at night). The day after one has nocturnal emission, one could repeat the name of God more often, and maybe even observe moderate fast. MODERATION, AND NOT EXCESS IS THE KEY TO BRAHMACHARYA.

THE QUESTION OF FOOD

EAT ONLY WITH CERTAIN PEOPLE. Tthat is even more iportant that eating the right kind of food. ACIDITY IN THE BODY IS THE MAIN CAUSE OF FATIGUE. Even eating meat occassionally is alright for the normal man. Vegetarian food, avoiding spices, is the most conducive to good contemplation, but the fuss that is made on this issue, is absurd. Polluting the food affects only the spiritually advanced and not the novice, so one need not harp too much on this issue. The mental aspct is more important than that of the physical. FOOD RELATED TO SHRADDHA (DEATH CEREMONY) SHOULD BE AVOIDED BY THE SPIRITUAL ASPIRANT. (this was something Ramakrishna paramahasa used to insist on) Ramakrishna also used to say that even eating beef is better if one is good by nature, rather than be a tyrant and eat just rice and ghee. FOOD DOES NOT MAKE A MAN SPIRITUAL.

THE NECESSITY OF A GURU

The modern mind is very egotistic and individualistic. People start questioning - the truth is everywhere, it is in me also, so why do i need a Guru? This is a wrong argument. It is futile. Guru is essential is eveyr way. Through him, we go to the ishta devata or the chosen deity. Take your time to choose your Guru, but once having accepted one, you must become blind to all his flaws and mistakes, even if you find any.

SIGNS OF A TRUE GURU

There are definite lakshanas for a guru and a shishya. the disciple must have viveka and vairagya. Without that, he is not qualified to be a good student. ALTHOUGH TRUTH IS WITHOUT DIVISIONS, ONE HAS TO CHOOSE A GURU WHO IS ON THE SAME PATH AS ONE WISHES TO TRAVEL. A SHAKTHA MUST APPROACH SOMEONE WHO HAS REALISED GOD AS THE MOTHER, AND A VAISHNAVA MUST BE GUIDED BY ONE WHO HAS SEEN GOD AS VISHNU ETC. Occult powers are not indicative of advancement in spirituality. There are some other signs that Swami Vinekananda has given. They are - A true guru has more to do with the spirit of the scriptures, and lesser with the words. The second condition is that the guru must be sinles and pure because there is a lot that is taught by way of non verbal comunication also.. Third, there must be no ulterior motive in the person to teach for any reason. If all these conditions are met, then one is safe.

A disciple has to oberve the guru day and night. If he is convinced that the guru is indeed worthy, then he has to surrender himself at his feet. Then there can be no looking back. THE SEARCH FOR A GURU IS A VERY LONG ONE. UNTIL ONE FINDS THE GURU, ONE HAS TO PRAY TO GOD TO SEND HIM THE RIGHT GURU, AND BECOME BETTER IN HIMSELF. WATCH AND PRAY. WHEN THE STUDENT IS READY, THE MASTER APPEARS.

CONCLUSION

Having led one to the feet of the Guru, nothing more is yet to be done. From here, the aspirant has entered into God's mansion. The Guru wil take him where he needs to be taken, The scope of this book is to take the aspirant until this point only. Om Shanthi Shanthi Shanthih

1536
General Discussion / Re: Subject of Marriage
« on: February 13, 2013, 06:32:22 AM »
ON THE THRESHOLD

So ,for a very long time, we have to play the double game - that is, slowly re train the mind to think of spiritual things, weaning it away from the material, all the while being physically immersed in it ourselves. When we are here, wr need to ask ourselves two questions - 1) is this spiritual hunger real or false, 2) will we able to sustain it till the very end. Only deep and true Vairagya should be the basis of wanting to renounce the world. Vairagya born out of someone's death, or some other tragedy in life is bound to be short lived. It is risky to take a drastic step at this phase of life. It is better to wait. UNTIL ONE IS IN THE WORLD, ONE HAS TO HAVE DISCIPLINE AND EFFICIENCY IN DISCHARGING THE WORLDLY DUTIES. THESE QUALITIES WILL COME A LONG WAY EVEN IN THE SPIRITUAL LIFE. Another important aspect to be noted is that spirtual life is a life of labour. One has to constantly do work and keep the baser things away. It is not a one time effort. It is a life long, slow, often painful thing. This has to be borne in mind before one ventures into it.

WHEN SHALL WE RENOUNCE

Only when you have the power to succeed in the worldly pursuits, then you can think of renouncing. Not being good at worldliness is a very poor reason for jumping into spirituality and guarantees failure in that dimension. One must hve everything it takes to succeed in the world, and then give it up for good. The other acid test is this. If your mind does not go in search of sensory pleasure when it is not in front of the eyes, then you are ready for renunciation. But when the object is not there, and yet you think of it, then it means that you are not yet ready to leave. THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION IS THAT OF LUST. Do you think of sex only when provoked? Or does the mind go to sex by its own? If that is the case, you are not yet ready to renounce and you need physical discipline.

It is foolish to marry for the sake of satisfying lust. If one marries, then one will never leave. Procreation is not the foremost duty of every man. It is a very foolish argument to say that one has to mmarry, get a daughter in law to serve one's parents. ONE SHOULD SERVE THE PARENTS FOR AS LONG AS THEY LIVE, AND AFTER THEY MOVE ON, ONE CAN RENOUNCE. Marrying for the sake of lust, will help one appease the lust, not conquer it. After clear understanding of all this, it is alright to renounce.

IS RENUNCIATION NECESSARY

Celibacy is the basis of all spiritual power. Wiuthout renunciation, true celibacy is not possible. Mental renunciation, renouncing everything that is not linked to God, is very essential. Even service, if not practised with this idea, can become bondage.

EXTERNAL RENUNCIATION

This is also very very important. ALL OF US ARE NOT BORN GNANIS LIKE JANAKA. BUT THAT SAID, UNTIL ONE HAS ANY DUTY LEFT IN THE WORLD (any obligation to someone else, one's parents are alive and they have to be served etc) JANAKA IS THE IDEAL FOR A SPIRITUAL ASPIRANT TO LIVE BY. At the moment when one's duties are over, one has to physically renounce and leave. The world is a place where everyone is in search of some form of self gratification. being in the world will not help a sadhaka, and will keep dragging him down. So, when time is on his side, it is better for him to externally / physically renounce the world. Renouncing things hysically will bring the latent attachment to the forefront and one will be able to deal with it. If one is in the world, one may not enjoyr pleasures every moment, but the awareness that the pleasures are in the vicinity, ready ot be be enjoyed, keeps them happy. This can be addressed if one renounces. ALSO, LIVING IN THE WORLD, ONE CANNOT AND SHOULD NOT TREAT EVERYONE EQUALLY. ONE HAS TO DO MORE FOR ONE'S OWN. This will be remedied only when one renounces the world.

IS HUMAN LOVE A HELP

No. At the stage of renunciation, even human love is a hindrance, a burden. But until one reaches that level of complete renunciation, one must actively love one's people, for it elevates one from the beastly stages of a brute. This minor refinement is the only use of this.

THE CASE OF THE UNMARRIED

If we can formally renounce the world, these questions would not even apply, but for many of us, that is not possible. There is some duty that stops us, parents who need to be attended to, someone who is dependent on us in many ways etc. Earlier, Hinduism did not allow unmarried men to live in the world. Either one got married and lived in the owrld, or one renounced and became an ascetic. BUT TODAY, UNMARRIED MEN DO LIVE IN THE WORLD. The world is more complex, more problem ridden. So if it not possible to renounce, they can live a life of service. But certain things arr to be observed. UNMARRIED MEN HAVE TO OBSERVE THE STRICTEST BRAHMACHARYA. This is the foundation of spirituality. Without this, anything else is totally meanigless and a mockery. Then comes regular spiritual practise, and then comes sevrvice. One must do some form of spritual practice - whatever is chosen, it must be done regularly and systematically. Then duties have to be discharged diligently and efficiently. Then comes interaction with humans - every interaction should be done with the idea that one is serving / interacting with God. This is called spiritualisation (of even the normal, the mundane things of life)

THE CASE OF THE MARRIED

It is more difficult for a married person to take up the spiritual path. Householder's life is a concession to the spiritual life. It is not the best. Even if married, one must follow continence. After having children, spouses must live like brother and sister. They must sleep in different rooms, or atleast different beds. It is more helpful if both husband and wife have the same goals spiritually. The other important thing is to practise periods of solitude. The other inportant thing is satsanga. He must also go to a Guru, get initiation and do what is prescribed for him.

KARMA YOGA

The mind tends to go out and look for things. It is this trait that is addressed in the due and proper obsrvance of karma yoga. Karma yoga has to be done in combination with either Bhakthi - sacrificing everything to God, or Jnana yoga - being dis associated from the deed itself and not taking ownnership of anything. This is the key that the Gita prescribes. The first stage is to do work for mind purification. The second is workng with an attitude of worship. At this stage, even being a clerk or a mechanic should be done, as if it were the service of God. Every action should be executed thinking that one is offering a flower at God's altar, or the like. With respect to work, one has to be mentally rrmoved and detached. Not hysically.

Contd..

1537
General Discussion / Re: Subject of Marriage
« on: February 13, 2013, 06:29:51 AM »
Some time back Sri ravi sharef a wonderful book, Spiritual Practice. Below, i provide a much shorter, abridged version of the book. Hope it is of some help to some who are intetested.

INTRODUCTION

The first impact of spirituality is one of awe at its beauty, something very emotional. But when the moment passes, there are so many doubts that arise regarding the why and what. The author of this book felt the same need. This book is an attempt to discuss the preliminary stages of practical religion. The writer does not claim to be perfect, and this book is a record of his own personal understanding of things.

IN THE OUTER COURT

Some people get the 'call of religion' and give up their worldly activities, some even go to monasteries. But very often these people are not fit for the live of religion and renunciation. They lack the preparation and qualifications without which religion can be dry, or at worst, even harmful to the individual. Religion is not so easy to come by. It requires not just an interest, but proper preparation. MANY PRELIMINARY STAGES HAVE TO BE COVERED BEFORE RELIGION CAN BE OF ANY GOOD TO MAN. Ignoring these preliminary stages as unnecsssary is a serious mistake that sadhakas can make. The vast majority of humankind is not ready for serious religion. They have attachments to sensory pleasures or strong body consciousness.

When the animal instinct is strong in man, religion only means submission to rules and following them blindly. Art, pursuit of beauty, charity and love are steps by which man's nature is elevated beyond the basic. It is not possible to circumvent these stages. Rajas must overcome Tamas and only then can Satva come up. So the first step for an aspirant is to see if he has gone beyond the grosser aspects of life and has learnt to appreciate the finer aspects of life - art, beauty, quest for knowledge, service, love etc. If these steps are discarded, bitterness and confusion results.


SANDHYA VANDANA AND KIRTANA

Apart from all that has been mentioned in the previous chapter, there are three things which are pathways - Sandhyavandana, singing the names of the lord, and Pranayama. But there are some points to be noted here also. Sandhyavandana is not equally effective in everyone. It depends on the mental frame of the doer also. There is a common misconception that doing this ritual will take one to the gates of heaven. But it is not that easily attainable. Our character is of far greater consequence than these rituals in the spiritual journey.
The same way, nama sankirtanam is not easy. It is not enough to just sing the names of the lord, but one must be totally humble and must surrender his will to that of the lord. Without this step, singing the names of the lord is not enough, and contrary to popular belief, nama sankirtanam calls for a very great amount of mental control and tuning.
IN INDIA, ESPECIALLY BENGAL PEOPLE FOLLOW THIS BHAKTHI CULT AND SING AND BECOME VERY EMOTIONAL. THIS IS DANGEROUS.
SWAMI VIVEKANANDA HAS WARNED VERY STRINGENTLY ABOUT THIS TO HIS DISCIPLE  - He has specifically advised that during meditation (or any form of thinking of the lord) avoid emotion altogether. EMOTIONALISM IS A GREAT SOURCE OF DANGER. The emotional high during kirtan might rouse the kundalini upwards, but on the cessation of that state, it runs down with an even greater force, ruining the sadhaka. All these STATES of Bhakthi are very dangerous and they invariably lead to a rise in lust when they are over. BHAKTHI OR DEVOTION, SINGING OF THE NAMES OF THE LORD, GETTING EMOTIONAL ABOUT GOD, WITHOUT ADEQUATE MENTAL PREPARATION IS FAR MORE DANGEROUS. IT HAS MORE MINUSES THAN PLUSES. This is unfortunately not spoken about much. A lot of people believe this to be the best and easiest sadhana. Far from it. Without character being attended to, without man weaning away from the lower impulses, all of these are totally useless. Art, beauty, love have greater value on the spiritual life than these rituals.

PRANAYAMA

There are certain essential conditions to Pranayama that are ignored. People think this is an easy route. Many people have gone down the path of Yoga and pranayama and it has turned fatal for them. Mind body are interlinked. One influences the other. Which is why the concept of altering / controlling breath to control the mind.
The nerves are very important for a healthy body and mind. Yet people overlook the significance of the nerves. PRANAYAMA IF PRACTISED UNWISELY CAN RUIN THE NERVES AND BRAIN COMPLETELY. Either the baser nature is repressed and the nerves are forced to carry religious and spiritual thoughts and ideas, or the sexual energy is brought into consciousness. In both these cases, physical degradation is inevitable.

So Pranayama should only be practised after careful and diligent preparation of the mind. The grosser impulses have to be done away with, the mind has to be used to thinking of the finer things of life. And then, it has to be llearnt under the guidance of a proper teacher.

INTELLECTUALISM vs SPIRITUALITY

It isi easier to know things intellectually than to be fixed in that knowledge. Intellectual knowledge is very common in spirtuality. Very often it is mistaken for true realisation. If this is the case, then why did we talk about knowledge as an important pre requisite to spirituality? Not to know the truth, but to understand the nature of all that is untrue. To rid ourselves of the grosser side. To this end, knowledge is very important. In the ultimate state, knowledge or karma are of no consequence, in the undivided, non dual state of the Absolute, but until one gets there, they are very important. To live in the world, it is important to understand the ideals of one's religion so that one may not be swayed by opposing views and ideas.

Contd...

1538
General Discussion / Re: Subject of Marriage
« on: February 13, 2013, 04:24:42 AM »
Dear Sri Deepa,

Yes, i strongly believe in what you have said. For some, they may be already in a setup that automatically facilitates or create an environment to shun what is to be shunned. There may be few who may perhaps require nothing else absolutely, but, i truly believe so in totally striving to facilitaye our main sadhana by taming ourind, which is slave of many things.

I do not see it wise to leave it tp happen all by itself. If am free, no people aroind me, alone, family, then pwrhaps these thinhs may be different. But we are in different embironment. Discipline is essential

Bhagavan has saif

 What are the rules of conduct which an aspirant (sadhaka) should follow?Moderation in food, moderation in sleep and moderation in speech.

1539
Dear Sri Jewel,

That was not arguement or anything, but just yey another view of mine. That is all. What i observef is in my view, there is nothing more to exchange, from what i gathered from your views.

that was a genuine view. You have to face it too, for the views you are standing for.


1540
Subramanian Sir,

Yes you are right. We owe our gratitude to this great soul. Such great treasure he has given us.

1541
Dear Sri Jrwel,
 :)

That now makes that there is nothing more to share or discuss or discern together as each person is different.

If we are so sure of ourselves as to know what is good or bad for ourselves, Well what more can i say, i would be the last person to convey any of my views to you.


1542
Dear Sri Jewel,

There is no coersion here, we are just expressing views, its upto each one to take what is good for oneself and reject what is bad for oneself.

These views expressed do not in any way aspire or even subtly convey, the other view is in any way wrong or flawed.


1543
General Discussion / Re: Subject of Marriage
« on: February 12, 2013, 05:28:19 PM »
ask a person who lives and abides as Self and let him tell.

Ok swamiji


1544
EREFORE, PSEUDO ENJOYER MUST GO AWAY TO PUT AN END TO ALL SORTS OF ILLUSORY ENJOYMENTS. This alone is the right way             

Dear Anil ji,

Here, i would like to highlight that the efforts taken on the part of the sadhaka in the macro or what we call external discipline such as avoiding any such enjoyments that causes the enjoyer to remain, therefor avoiding watching tv is killing of enjoyer, taking proactive steps to kill the enjoyer which feeds on such an external activity also is same as striving to be still, ultimately.

Therefore, i felt certain external changes may be necessary for majority of sadhakas, they are all the same ultimately.

Thank you

1545
General topics / Re: Quotes from Shankaracharya's
« on: February 12, 2013, 03:54:27 PM »
Sri Atmavichar, thank you, part of this quote was handy now to provide assurance to a family member. You have posted this at such appropriate time,..

Hands of God

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