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601
General Discussion / Re: Pictures of Brahma Gnanis
« on: July 25, 2014, 09:58:55 PM »
LORD JESUS by SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA

Jesus was born a Palestine Jew. He was born of Mary and Joseph at Bethlehem without impregnation and out of immaculate conception. He was meek and humble. He remained as innocent as a child throughout his life. He was tolerant, kind and merciful. He was a Yogi of the East though he preached in Palestine.

Jesus welcomed and embraced the sinners, the despised and the harlots and purified them. He comforted them and gave them solace and peace. He raised the fallen. He brought relief and rest to the broken-hearted.

Jesus said: "Unless you become as little children, you shall in no wise enter the Kingdom of God". To Jesus, God was a loving Father. Jesus' watchword was love for God and fellowmen.

"Have faith in God. The Lord is our God. Thou shalt love the Lord with all thy heart and all thy soul, and all thy mind, and all thy strength. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The love of God manifests in the love of man." This is the central teaching of Jesus.

Jesus was a world teacher, a prophet and Messiah. His Sermon on the Mount is nothing but the practice of Sadachara or right conduct. It corresponds to the practice of Yama-Niyama of Raja-Yoga, the Eightfold Path of Lord Buddha. It is marvellous, inspiring and soul-stirring.

Jesus washed the feet of his disciples at the Last Supper. How humble he was! He said, "Blessed are the meek, for they shalt inherit the earth".

Lord Krishna washed the feet of the guests in the Rajasuya-Yajna performed by King Yudhishthira. Avataras or mighty souls perform such actions. Should you not learn lessons from those great persons ? Lord Krishna, the mighty Lord of the three worlds, took delight in washing the feet of the guests. Should you not learn to be humble ? How haughty and proud you have become ! You are puffed with vanity and intoxicated with pride when you possess a little money, a small car and a small estate. You think you are a mighty emperor and walk with arrogant steps and treat others with contempt. You think too much of yourself and your position in life. In reality, your officeship has created in you a slave mentality and a fear of losing your position !

Christ's message has always been: "Love thy neighbour as thyself". He said: "The Kingdom of Heaven is within thee. His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Be not anxious. Seek ye first His Kingdom. Everything will be added unto thee". He was the way, the truth and the light, for all men to follow.

Jesus Christ laid stress on love of God and love of fellowmen, and the need for repentance or a change of heart, for entry into the Kingdom of God. He instructed people to feed the hungry and clothe the naked. He said that a contrite heart was necessary in order to receive God's forgiveness.

"The Kingdom of God is within thee. Seek and ye shall find. Knock and the door shall be opened unto thee." This is the foundation upon which the ethics of Jesus has been built.

Jesus recommended prayer as a means to seek the Kingdom. He said, "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more gifts unto your children, how much more good things shall your Father who is in heaven give to them who ask Him ?".

Jesus said: "You have heard that it was said by them of old time, 'Thou shalt not kill and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment'. But I say unto you that whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment". In the Sermon on the Mount, he said, "Blessed are they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled up. Those who seek the Kingdom of God within themselves will find Him, and therefore, 'All things would be added'." "Overcome evil by good." Jesus prescribed this great rule for his followers and the world at large. This is only the practice of Ahimsa or non-violence which purifies and softens the heart. Ahimsa is a form of truth only.

Lord Jesus retired after baptism into the wilderness beyond the Dead Sea. He disappeared at the age of thirteen and reappeared in his thirty-first year. During this period, from his thirteenth to his thirty-first year, he came to India and practiced Yoga. Thereafter he preached for about two or three years and passed into the Great Beyond.

Jesus left Jerusalem and reached the land of Indus in the company of merchants. He visited Varanasi, Rajgriha and other places in India. He spent several years in Hindustan. Jesus lived like a Hindu or a Buddhist monk, a life of burning renunciation and dispassion. He assimilated the ideals, precepts and principles of Hinduism. Christianity is modified Hinduism only, which was suitable for those people who lived in the period of Christ. Really speaking, Jesus was a child of the soil of India only. That is the reason why there is so much of similarity between his teachings and the teachings of Hinduism and Buddhism. Some Christians do not believe in this account of the Lord's "missing period." They argue it is not specifically mentioned in the Bible.

In matters connected with persons who lived as far back as nearly twenty centuries ago, there is bound to be slight divergence of view. The Old Testament naturally cannot contain any reference. The New Testament consists of Gospels, etc., written by His Disciples, after He was enlightened. It is obviously futile to search for a reference about the period preceding this,-which was the period during which he travelled in India where he got initiation from sages and seers-in accounts of His actions written by people who could never have had any knowledge of His earlier days. It has been the belief of many historians that at some time during the missing period Jesus travelled in India. Anyway there is nothing untenable in this view, and its acceptance would only strengthen the bonds of love between the East and the West, and promote good will between the two hemispheres, which is the Mission of the Lord.

 

Jesus preached on earth the divine and perfect love. He spoke very highly of gifts and charity. He said: "It is more blessed to give than to receive. Give thy heart's best treasures. From fair nature learn. Give thy love and ask not. Await not a return. And the more thou spendeth from thy little store, the more will God give thee. He will give thee a double quantity".

Jesus said: "The Kingdom of Heaven is like unto the treasure hid in a field which a man hath found. He selleth all that he hath and buyeth that field".

Jesus Christ was crucified and yet he is living now. He has immortalized his name. None can silence his voice. His voice has been speaking through centuries. Jesus said: "Come into the Kingdom by selling all ye have and distributing it to the poor". Men have not adhered to his message, but his voice has not been silenced.

Jesus was a perfect Yogi. He did many miracles. He stopped the waves of the ocean. He gave sight to blind people. He cured lepers by mere touch. He fed a large multitude with a small loaf of bread.

Lord Christ was crucified. He accepted death with great joy in order that others might live. What a magnanimous soul! He had learnt to die cheerfully for His children. His last words are an example to the world. He said: "O Lord! Forgive those people who are torturing me and putting me to death, for they know not what they do". How noble! His hands were tied to the cross and nails were hammered into them. In this state he prayed for the people who were tormenting him. What a large and forgiving heart he had! Jesus was an embodiment of forgiveness or Kshama. That is the reason why he still lives in our hearts and why millions of people now worship him.

Jesus set an example to man to overcome evil by good. The cross of Jesus will remain for all time as the supreme example of this doctrine: "Return good for evil". Jesus surrendered himself completely to God. He knew that God changed the heart of the unjust through the suffering of the just.

The life of Jesus displays a silent yet supreme heroism in the face of the most determined opposition, persecution, and misunderstanding. And he has set an example how a true seeker repulses the temptations on the spiritual path. Long before the outward drama of crucifixion, Jesus had voluntarily crucified himself spiritually by annihilating the lower self and living a purely divine life. Jesus declares: "Ye cannot serve both God and Mammon". In other words, his teaching implies: Detach; attach. Detach yourself from the material objects of this transient world. Attach yourself to the eternal spiritual treasure of Atman. Christ thus teaches us the great way of going beyond all sin and sorrow.

Jesus was God Himself. The Holy Scripture reminds us of this fact again and again. Yet, why did he have to endure so much of persecution and suffering ? Could he not have overwhelmed his foes by a mere exercise of his divine will ? Yes. But the supreme incarnation of love that Lord Jesus was, he had willed it that his own life would be an example for people to emulate. Therefore he behaved like any other human being; and while so doing, fully demonstrated in his own brief but eventful life the great Sermon that he gave on the Mount.

After Jesus was crucified, he was restored to life. The resurrection or the rising again from dead was, according to Jesus, and ineffable condition in which all bodily limitation was transcended. It was a condition of being perpetually in the presence of God. Jesus was a fully developed Yogi and sage. He had no identification with the physical body. He identified himself with the Supreme Soul. He said: "I and my Father are one".

JESUS AND THE MODERN MAN

True, Lord Jesus bled on the Cross for the redemption of his people. Today, from his eternal seat in the Kingdom of God, his divine compassionate heart bleeds even more profusely. For, the people of his time were ignorant of the Law and they erred; but the people of the modern world have the resplendent light of Lord Jesus' life and teachings illumining the path of righteousness, and yet, they wantonly walk the path of darkness, ignorance, sin, selfishness, sensuousness, and misery. If his merciful heart bled for the ignorant sinners, how much more would it not bleed for the sins of those who err, ignoring His light !

Is this the way in which you would like humanity to show its gratitude to the Saviour ? No, a thousand times no. It is never too late to mend. Study the Gospels again. Meditate on the resplendent, spiritually glowing, divine form of Lord Jesus. How sweet, how compassionate, how gentle and loving he was ! And yet, he showed no leniency towards himself. He turned resolutely away from Satan - not that he could ever be tempted, but to set an example before us.

Trials and temptations come but to be overcome by the brave. Tests and trying situations come to strengthen your mind and purify your heart. They are, as it were, the wise men that discover the Jesus in you. To succumb to these trials is weakness. To fast, to pray, to discriminate, and to overcome these obstacles with the help of the grace of the Lord is spiritual heroism. When the victory is achieved, to feel, to realize, and to proclaim that it was the Lord's grace that enabled you to attain victory is real meekness. Meekness is virtue; weakness is sin. Learn this great lesson from the life of Lord Jesus.

Study the Sermon on the Mount again and again. Meditate upon it. Choose the Lord's instructions one after the other, month after month, and endeavour diligently to put them into practice. Thus will you grow into a worthy child of Lord Jesus. Thus will you reincarnate Lord Jesus in your own heart. There are many today who truly and sincerely follow the teachings of the Saviour. In their hearts has Jesus reincarnated, to guide you, to lead you to the Kingdom of God, where he has his supreme seat.

CHRISTIANITY

There is not much of intricate philosophy or Yoga Sadhana in Christianity. There is reason for this. Jesus had to deal with the illiterate fishermen of Galilee. He gave them only moral precepts and showed them the way of righteous living. Leaving aside all abstruse philosophical theory and subtle intellectual researches, Jesus told man how he must live, what he must think, what he must feel, and what he must do. To do this, he clothed even the highest truths of spiritual life with simple stories and parables, which even the common man in the street could easily grasp and comprehend. Couched in the form of simple parables, the deepest wisdom of spiritual life became expressed before man, through the sweet and blessed words of Divine Jesus.

Jesus explained the real nature of God, man, and the world he lived in. He taught people to change their way of looking at things. He told them that if they would change their outlook on life from its materialistic to its spiritualistic aspect, they would realize that the world they were living in was God's Kingdom.

Jesus has left no written records of his important teachings, He delivered all his teachings orally. Neither he, nor his followers, ever wrote down even a single word which was spoken by him, in his lifetime. The words of Jesus were not collected till some generations after they were uttered.

His words have been misunderstood, wrongly annotated, mutilated, deformed and transformed; and yet, they have survived almost two thousand years as they were very powerful and came from the heart of a realized Yogi.

THE TRUE SIGNIFICANCE OF CHRISTMAS

Christmas is named after Christ. This is the birthday of Lord Jesus, the Saviour Christ, the Yogi of the East. He was born in a stable at Bethlehem, of Mary and Joseph, the obscure village carpenter. Mary and Joseph made the stable a home for Christ, the King, the Prince of Peace. The birth of Jesus is celebrated all over the world as the sacred Christmas.

Lord Jesus was an embodiment of mercy, love and humility. He was an apostle of non-violence and peace. His body was crucified, but his voice has been speaking through the centuries.

The message of Christmas is the message of universal love. It is the message of ineffable divine glory and splendour. The message of Christmas is the message of peace and goodwill among all nations.

Christmas is more than a day of rejoicing and festivity. It is a day for realizing the Christ-consciousness or cosmic consciousness. It is a day for remembering the noble deeds of Lord Jesus and his sacred life of pristine purity. Christmas comes and Christmas goes, but let the spirit of Christmas be ever with you all.

Merry-making is not Christmas at all. Christmas does not consist in ringing bells and singing songs, exchanging mutual gifts and sending Christmas cards, and in enjoying rich repasts and heavy dinners and eating cakes.

Christmas is a state of spiritual awakening. To realize the Kingdom of Heaven within yourself, to hold communion with the Lord in the chambers of your heart, to regain your lost divinity, to attain Christ-consciousness or cosmic consciousness, to love all, to include all in the warm embrace of your love is real Christmas.

Realize the spirit of Christ. Walk in the footprints of Christ. Dive deep into the heart of Jesus. Ever seek to express, in your daily life, love, joy and peace. Imbibe Christ's message of love and sacrifice. Manifest the latent Christ within you. Follow the Sermon on the Mount. Attain God-consciousness. Live in the spirit of Christ's teachings. Annihilate this little self-arrogating personality and melt yourself in Christ or the Universal Soul. This is real Christmas.

All wish to enter the Kingdom of God. But how many of you possess the real spirit of Christ ? How many of you are real Christians ? How many of you follow the teachings, precepts and doctrines of Christ ? How many of you love your neighbours as your own self ? Those who are endowed with purity of heart, humility, universal love, generosity and nobility - they only can attain the Kingdom of God or supreme peace and immortality.

The spirit or heart of Christ is seriously lacking in the vast majority of persons. The love of Christ is badly wanted. What is Christmas without love, mercy and purity ? Everybody wants to exploit his neighbour. One nation wants to destroy another nation. Is this Christmas ? Is this the teaching of Christ ?

Real Christmas never comes and goes. It is eternal. Feel the spirit of Christmas not only on one day, but throughout the year. Every day is a Christmas day for a real follower of Christ, for a thirsting aspirant. May you all walk the path that Jesus laid out! May you all be living embodiments of the Sermon on the Mount! May you realize the Kingdom of God within you here and now!

--

602
Mark,

If we carefully look without the noise of the mind, then we can find no difference between Jesus Christ and Nisargadatta Maharaj or for that matter, do the words of Great Yogis across religions ever contradict each other. We may see the Gospels, the Sufi songs, the Upanishads, and so on, say the one same thing in different manner.



The life of Jesus displays a silent yet supreme heroism in the face of the most determined opposition, persecution, and misunderstanding. And he has set an example how a true seeker repulses the temptations on the spiritual path. Long before the outward drama of crucifixion, Jesus had voluntarily crucified himself spiritually by annihilating the lower self and living a purely divine life. Jesus declares: "Ye cannot serve both God and Mammon". In other words, his teaching implies: Detach; attach. Detach yourself from the material objects of this transient world. Attach yourself to the eternal spiritual treasure of Atman. Christ thus teaches us the great way of going beyond all sin and sorrow.

Lord Christ was crucified. He accepted death with great joy in order that others might live. What a magnanimous soul! He had learnt to die cheerfully for His children. His last words are an example to the world. He said: "O Lord! Forgive those people who are torturing me and putting me to death, for they know not what they do". How noble! His hands were tied to the cross and nails were hammered into them. In this state he prayed for the people who were tormenting him. What a large and forgiving heart he had! Jesus was an embodiment of forgiveness or Kshama. That is the reason why he still lives in our hearts and why millions of people now worship him.

Jesus was God Himself. The Holy Scripture reminds us of this fact again and again. Yet, why did he have to endure so much of persecution and suffering ? Could he not have overwhelmed his foes by a mere exercise of his divine will ? Yes. But the supreme incarnation of love that Lord Jesus was, he had willed it that his own life would be an example for people to emulate. Therefore he behaved like any other human being; and while so doing, fully demonstrated in his own brief but eventful life the great Sermon that he gave on the Mount.

After Jesus was crucified, he was restored to life. The resurrection or the rising again from dead was, according to Jesus, and ineffable condition in which all bodily limitation was transcended. It was a condition of being perpetually in the presence of God. Jesus was a fully developed Yogi and sage. He had no identification with the physical body. He identified himself with the Supreme Soul. He said: "I and my Father are one".

Excerpts from Swami Sivananda's article on Jesus Christ.

Follow link for complete article - http://www.arunachala-ramana.org/forum/index.php?topic=8183.msg65351#msg65351

(http://www.dlshq.org/saints/jesus.htm)

603
Hi Mark,

I would just like to express a couple of thoughts, without going direct into your questions. I believe these thoughts could change some perspectives you are having.

What is 'Jesus Christ'? Was He the body that was crucified? Did He really die or was it his body that met its end? Does Jesus Christ ever die? Jesus Christ is the Para-Brahman, the Soul of the soul, the principle that is in everybody, like the thread that runs within the beeds. Jesus dying for our sins is verily a great sacrifice to show to us that we are not the bodies as we assume ourselves to be. That which remains inspite of death of body is the Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the 'Brahman' the deathless Atma.

One principle that is common to all religions is the principle of 'soul' or 'spirit' contemplate the nature of the soul of spirit and its relation with the body. Many things will fall in place. Here in India, as you may know well, body is like a shirt that one wears and discards it when its worn out. Body is verily such a shirt that covers the spirit.

All answers are within. Jesus is within shining as brightly as thousand suns!

--

604
General Discussion / Re: my musings
« on: July 25, 2014, 12:06:34 AM »
"Devotion to the mother is the root of all welfare.?

Swami Vivekananda

605
General Discussion / Re: my musings
« on: July 24, 2014, 10:49:46 PM »
To Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
All pray in their distress;
And to these virtues of delight
Return their thankfulness.

For Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
Is God, our father dear,
And Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
Is Man, his child and care.

For Mercy has a human heart,
Pity a human face,
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace, the human dress.

Then every man, of every clime,
That prays in his distress,
Prays to the human form divine,
Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace.

And all must love the human form,
In heathen, Turk, or Jew;
Where Mercy, Love, and Pity dwell
There God is dwelling too.

William Blake

606
General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: July 21, 2014, 11:52:09 AM »
Duties And Privileges Of Discipleship

Yasya Deve Para Bhaktir-Yatha Deve Tatha Gurau;
Tasyaite Kathita Hyarthah Prakashante Mahatmanah.

He whose devotion to the Lord is great, and who has as much devotion to the Guru as to the Lord, unto him, that high-souled one, meanings of the sacred texts stand revealed (Svetasvatara Upanishad).

A disciple is he who follows the instructions of the Guru to the letter and spirit, who propagates the teachings of the Guru to less evolved souls in the path till the end of his life.

A true disciple is concerned only with the Divine Nature of the Guru. The Guru?s actions as man is not the disciple?s concern. He is totally oblivious of it. To him, the Guru is Guru even if he acts unconventionally. Always remember that the nature of a saint is unfathomable. Judge him not. Measure not his divine nature with the inadequate yardstick of your ignorance. Criticise not the Guru?s action which is done on universal vision.

True discipleship opens the vision. It kindles the spiritual fire. It awakens the dormant faculties. It is most necessary in one?s journey along the spiritual path. Guru and disciple become one. Guru blesses, guides and inspires the disciple. He transmits, transforms and spiritualises him.

Who Is Qualified To Approach The Guru?

To approach a Guru, you must be a proper Adhikari. Correct understanding, non-attachment to worldly objects, serenity of mind, restraint of the senses, absence of base passions, faith in the Guru and devotion to God are necessary equipment with which the aspirant has to approach the Guru.[/b]

The Guru will impart spiritual instructions only to that aspirant who thirsts for liberation, who duly obeys the injunctions of the Sastras, who has subdued his passions and senses, who has a calm mind, and who possesses virtuous qualities like mercy, cosmic love, patience, humility, endurance, forbearance, etc. Initiation into the mysteries of Brahman will fructify only when the disciple?s mind becomes desireless, and will produce Jnana in it.

Guru-Seva

Aspirants should direct their whole attention in the beginning towards removal of selfishness by protracted service of Guru. Serve your Guru with divine Bhava. The cancer of individuality will be dissolved.

The captain of a ship is ever alert. A fisherman is ever alert. A surgeon in the operation theatre is ever alert. Even so, a thirsting hungry disciple should be ever alert in the service of his Guru.

Live to serve the Guru. You must watch for opportunities. Do not wait for invitation. Volunteer yourself for the Guru?s service.

Serve your Guru humbly, willingly, unquestioningly, unassumingly, ungrudgingly, untiringly and lovingly. The more you spend your energy in serving your Guru, the more divine energy will flow into you.

He who serves the Guru serves the whole world. Serve the Guru without selfish ends. Scrutinise your inner motives while doing service to Guru. Service must be done to Guru without expectation of name, fame, power, wealth, etc.

Obedience To Guru

Obedience to Guru is better than reverence. Obedience is a precious virtue, because if you try to develop the virtue of obedience, the ego, the arch-enemy on the path of Self-realisation, slowly gets rooted out.

Only the disciple who obeys his Guru can have command over his lower self. Obedience should be very practical, wholehearted and actively persevering. True obedience to Guru neither procrastinates nor questions. A hypocritical disciple obeys his Guru from fear. The true disciple obeys his Guru with pure love for love?s sake.

Learn how to obey. Then alone you can command. Learn how to be a disciple. Then alone you can become a Guru.

Give up the delusive notion that to submit to the preceptor, to obey him, and to carry out his instructions is slavish mentality. The ignorant man thinks that it is beneath his dignity and against his freedom to submit to another man?s command. This is a grave blunder. If you reflect carefully, you will see that your individual freedom is, in reality, an absolutely abject slavery to your own ego and vanity. It is the vagaries of the sensual mind. He who attains victory over the mind and the ego is the truly free man. He is the hero. It is to attain victory that man submits to the higher spiritualised personality of the Guru. By this submission, he vanquishes his lower ego and realises the bliss of Infinite Consciousness.

Happy-Go-Lucky Disciples

The spiritual path is not like writing a thesis for the Master of Arts Degree. It is quite a different line altogether. The help of a teacher is necessary at every moment. Young aspirants become self-sufficient, arrogant and self-assertive in these days. They do not care to carry out the orders of a Guru. They do not wish to have a Guru. They want independence from the very beginning. They think they are in the Turiya Avastha when they do not know even the ABC of spirituality or truth. They mistake licentiousness or ?having their own ways and sweet will? as freedom. This is a serious, lamentable mistake. That is the reason why they do not grow. They lose the faith in the efficacy of Sadhana and in the existence of God. They wander about in a happy-go-lucky manner, without any aim, from Kashmir to Gangotri, and from Gangotri to Ramesvaram, talking some nonsense on the way, something from Vichara-Sagara, something from Panchadasi, and posing as Jivanmuktas.

Surrender And Grace

If you want to drink water at the tap, you will have to bend yourself. Even so, if you want to drink the spiritual nectar of immortality which flows from the holy lips of the Guru, you will have to be an embodiment of humility and meekness.

The lower nature of mind must be thoroughly regenerated. The aspirant says to his preceptor: ?I want to practise Yoga. I want to enter into Nirvikalpa Samadhi. I want to sit at your feet. I have surrendered myself to you.? But, he does not want to change his lower nature and habits, old character, behaviour and conduct.

One?s individual ego, preconceived notions, pet ideas and prejudices, and selfish interests should be given up. All these stand in the way of carrying out the teachings and instructions of one?s Guru.

Lay bare to your Guru the secrets of your heart. The more you do so, the greater the sympathy, which means an accession of strength to you in the struggle against sin and temptation.

The aspirant, before he desires the grace of the Master, should deserve it. The supply of divine grace comes only when there is a real thirst in the aspirant, and when he is fit to receive it.

Guru?s grace descends upon those who feel utterly humble and faithful to him. Faith is confidence and trust in Guru. Faith is firm conviction of the truth of what is declared by the preceptor by way either of testimony or authority, without any other evidence or proof. The disciple who has faith in the Guru argues not, thinks not, reasons not and cogitates not. He simply obeys.

The disciple?s self-surrender to Guru and Guru?s grace are interrelated. Surrender draws down Guru?s grace, and grace of Guru makes the surrender complete. Guru?s grace works in the form of Sadhana in the aspirant. If an aspirant sticks to the path tenaciously, this is the grace of the Guru. If he resists when temptation assails him, this is the grace of the Guru. If people receive him with love and reverence, this is the grace of the Guru. If he gets all bodily wants, this is the grace of the Guru. If he gets encouragement and strength when he is in despair and despondency, this is the grace of the Guru. If he gets over the body-consciousness and rests in his own Ananda Svarupa, this is the grace of the Guru. Feel his grace at every step, and be sincere and truthful to him.

How The Guru Teaches

The Guru teaches through personal example. The day-to-day conduct of the Guru is a living ideal to the disciple who is observant. The life of the Guru is a living sermon to the sincere disciple. By constant contact, the disciple imbibes the virtues of his Guru. He is moulded gradually. Study Chhandogya Upanishad. You will find that Indra stayed with Prajapati for a period of a hundred and one years and served him wholeheartedly.

The Guru only knows the spiritual needs of his disciples. He will give Upadesa according to the disciple?s temperament and evolution. This Upadesa should be kept a secret. Discussion among disciples will lead to criticism of Guru and slackness in Sadhana. There will be no spiritual progress. Follow the Guru?s Upadesa to the very letter. Remember it is meant for you only. The other disciples have received Guru-Upadesa, too. Let them follow it. Do not impose the Upadesa you have received on others.

The student can imbibe or draw from his teacher in proportion to his degree of faith. When the Guru comes to the aspirant to give spiritual instructions, if the aspirant does not pay any attention, if he is self-sufficient and heedless, if he bolts the door of his heart, he is not benefited.

Guru?s Tests

The Satguru communicates the secret knowledge of the Upanishads to his trusted disciples only after repeated entreaty and severe testing. Sometimes, the Guru may even tempt his disciple, but the latter should overcome by firm faith in the Guru.

In days of yore, the tests were very severe. Once Gorakhnath asked some of his students to climb up a tall tree and throw themselves, head downwards, on a very sharp trident or Trisula. Many faithless students kept quiet. But one faithful student at once climbed up the tree with lightning speed and hurled himself downwards. He was protected by the invisible hand of Gorakhnath. He had immediate Self-realisation.

Once Guru Govind Singh tested his students. He said: ?My dear disciples! If you have real devotion towards me, let six of you come forward and give me your heads. Then we can have success in our attempt.? Two faithful disciples offered their heads.

Guru Govind Singh took them inside the camp and cut off the heads of two goats instead.

The Guru tests the students in various ways. Some students misunderstand him and lose their faith in him. Hence they are not benefited.

Four Classes Of Disciples

The best disciple is like petrol or aviation spirit. Even from a great distance, he will instantly react to the spark of the Guru?s Upadesa.

The second class disciple is like camphor. A touch awakens his inner spirit and kindles the fire of spirituality in him.

The third class of disciple is like coal. The Guru has to take great pains in order to awaken the spirit in him.

The fourth class of disciple is like a plantain stem. No efforts will have any effect on him. Whatever the Guru may do, he remains cold and inert.

Two things are necessary for a beautifully finished idol or image. One is a perfect, faultless, good piece of marble; the second is the expert sculptor. The piece of marble should but unconditionally remain in the hands of the sculptor in order to be carved and chiselled into the fine image. So too, the disciple has but to cleanse himself, purify himself, and make himself a perfectly faultless piece of marble, and placing himself under the expert guidance of his Master, allow to be carved and chiselled into the Image of God.

~ Swami Sivananda

607
Humour / Re: Zen Humour
« on: July 09, 2014, 01:11:39 PM »
A wise old Zen master, very near death, lay quietly on his mat with his eyes closed, all his disciples gathered around. Kneeling closest to him was his number one disciple, a longtime practitioner who would succeed the old man as head of the monastery. At one point the old master opened his eyes, and lovingly gazed at each and every one of his disciples assembled in the crowded room. Finally his glance rested on his successor, and he managed to speak his last words to the man: ?Ah, my son, you have a very thorough knowledge of the teachings and scriptures, and you have shown great discipline in keeping the precepts. Your behavior has, in fact, been flawless. Yet there is one more thing remaining to be cleared up: you still reek and stink of ?Zen?!?

608
General Discussion / Re: my musings
« on: July 07, 2014, 10:07:41 AM »
Stray thoughts...

"Loss of mind falls neither of the left nor right nor centre. It is simply lost!"




"Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance."

~ T. S. Eliot

609
General Discussion / Re: my musings
« on: July 02, 2014, 10:53:37 AM »
There was once a man got stranded on an island after his ship became wreck. Every day he prayed asking God to send someone to rescue him, but to his disappointment, no one ever came.

Months passed and this man learned how to survive on the island. During this time, he accumulated things from the island and stored them in a hut that he constructed. One day after hunting for food and returning back to his hut, much to his dismay he saw that his hut was on fire along with everything else he owned!
All of his possessions were going up in smoke! The only thing he had left were the clothes on his back. Initially he was in shock, and then he was consumed with anger and rage!

In his fury he threw a fist into the air and began cursing God and yelling, ?God, how could you let this happen to me? I?ve been praying everyday for months about being rescued and no one has come, and now everything that I have is on fire! How could you do to this to me! Why did you let this happen??

Later the man was on his hands and knees weeping heavily when he happened to look up and catch sight of a ship coming in his direction. The man was rescued and as they were heading back to civilization the man asked the captain, ?How were you able to find me??

The captain responded, ?We were voyaging across the ocean when we noticed on the horizon a column of smoke going up. We decided to go check it out and when we did, that?s when we found you!?

In life we are going to be confronted with challenges, problems, and disasters. But keep in mind that what the devil has meant for bad, God can transform into your good! What is a catastrophe can sometimes be a blessing in disguise. ?The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.?

--

610
General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: June 30, 2014, 04:41:13 PM »
TWENTY IMPORTANT SPIRITUAL INSTRUCTIONS

1. Get up at 4. a.m. daily. This is Brahmamuhurta which is extremely favourable for meditation on God.

2. Asana: Sit on Padma, Siddha or Sukha Asana for Japa and meditation for half an hour, facing the east or the north. Increase the period gradually to three hours. Do Sirshasana and Sarvangasana for keeping up Brahmacharya and health. Take light physical exercises as walking, etc., regularly. Do twenty Pranayamas.

3. Japa: Repeat any Mantra as pure Om or Om Name Narayanaya, Om Namah Sivaya, Om Name Bhagavate Vasudevaya, Om Saravanabhavaya Namah, Sita Ram, Sri Ram, Hari Om, or Gayatri, according to your taste or inclination, from 108 to 21,600 times daily.

4. Dietetic Discipline: Take Sattvic food, Suddha Ahara. Give up chillies, tamarind, garlic, onion, sour articles, oil, mustard, asafoetida. Observe moderation in diet (Mitahara). Do not overload the stomach. Give up those things which the mind likes best for a fortnight in a year. Eat simple food. Milk and fruits help concentration. Take food as medicine to keep the life going. Eating for enjoyment is sin. Give up salt and sugar for a month. You must be able to live on rice, Dhal and bread without any chutni. Do not ask for extra salt for Dhal and sugar for tea, coffee or milk.

5. Have a separate meditation room under lock and key.

6. Charity: Do charity regularly, every month, or even daily according to your means, say six paisa per rupee.

7. Svadhyaya: Study systematically the Gita, the Ramayana, the Bhagavata, Vishnu-Sahasranama, Lalita-Sahasranama, Aditya Hridaya, Upanishads or Yoga Vasishtha, the Bible, Zend Avesta, the Koran, the Tripitakas, the Granth Sahib, etc., from half an hour to one hour daily and have Suddha Vichara.

8. Brahmacharya: Preserve the vital force (Veerya) very, very carefully. Veerya is God in motion or manifestation?Vibhuti. Veerya is all power. Veerya is all money. Veerya is the essence of life, thought and intelligence.

9. Prayer Slokas: Get by heart some prayer-Slokas, Stotras and repeat them as soon as you sit in the Asana before starting Japa or meditation. This will elevate the mind quickly.

10. Satsanga: Have Satsanga. Give up bad company, smoking, meat and alcoholic liquors entirely. Do not develop any evil habits.

11. Fast on Ekadasi: Fast on Ekadasi or live on milk and fruits only.

12. Japa Mala: Have Japa Mala (rosary) round your neck or in your pocket or underneath your pillow at night.

13. Mouna: Observe Mouna (vow of silence) for a couple of hours daily.

14. Speak the Truth: Speak the truth at all cost. Speak a little. Speak sweetly.

15. Reduce your wants. If you have four shirts, reduce the number to three or two. Lead a happy, contented life. Avoid unnecessary worry. Have plain living and high thinking.

16. Never hurt anybody: Never hurt anybody (Ahimsa Paramo Dharmah). Control anger by love, Kshama (forgiveness) and Daya (compassion).

17. Do not depend upon servants: Do not depend upon servants. Self-reliance is the highest of all virtues.

18. Self-analysis: Think of the mistakes you have committed during the course of the day, just before retiring to bed (self-analysis). Keep daily diary and self-correction register. Do not brood over past mistakes.

19. Fulfil duties: Remember that death is awaiting you at every moment. Never fail to fulfil your duties. Have pure conduct (Sadachara).

20. Surrender to God: Think of God as soon as you wake up and just before you go to sleep. Surrender yourself completely to God (Saranagati).

~ Swami Sivananda

611
General Discussion / Re: my musings
« on: June 04, 2014, 07:04:04 PM »
stray thoughts...

"To come to terms with Truth is that
there is no coming to terms with Truth!"

--

612
General Discussion / Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« on: June 03, 2014, 08:27:12 AM »
Friends,

some stray musings...

Moreover, the Dharmasastras are not stubborn and forceful as well. There is a shloka which i don't remember, but it says, one has to follow 100% when one is at ones own place ie. agrahara, 75% if one is at a village and 50% if one is at town. In these ways the sastras themselves go hand in hand with the pace of ones living.

These obligatory duties are like the chains tied to the elephant leg, with a tree, so that it does not go about beyond a point, which over a period of time, comes to believe that it cannot move even if the chain is not tied to the tree. Similarly, do these sastric injunctions keep us at check and makes sure that we do not get out of the boundary beyond the spirt of God and our ultimate goal.

What is important is the spirit behind, it is paying our homage to the source of all knowledge, what we talk so much about Brahma Jnana etc... we owe our salutations to the Vedas, and all the ways prescribed which we can follow is truly paying of respects to the source.

Just to share, i never had any special background in my childhood days, i barely knew any shlokas, but since my upanayanam, which also was late when i was around 17, i was inspired to make efforts to learn the Sandhya worship, i struggled and struggled a lot to learn it, it was alien to my upbringing, i was basically pampered and enjoyed the luxuries and enjoyments of life!!! i have been learnining the vedas, from a Guru here locally, also was inspired to take up panchayatana puja, Gods grace, some times my Guru takes me to houses where any Rudraabhihekam etc. is conducted.

I could not even find one who could teach me the Sandhya worship, all were busy in their lives and work, i remember buying cassettes and listening to them in Walkman in the nights. I used to be scared to approach purohits. But at every stage Mother Gayatri has herself arranged for everything i required and i believe that truly she has been shaping my life, ever since.

I began from scratch zero, i do not profess to know much in the matters of sastras, but i am able to enjoy appreciate the innate spirit behind these acts and the faith that i am able to see in some few people whom i know in my circle. It is the Gayatri which has indeed blessed me with various blessings from spirituality. I believe it is the Gayatri that brought me to Ramana Bhagavan, it is the Gayatri that brought me to Ramakrishnar, it is the Gayatri that gave me the access to various unheard of scriptures. It is the Gayatri that gave me a chance to learn vedas mantras. In a limited life of mine, i have seen the power of Gayatri, as to how powerful it is, If muttered even casually, it protects and brings to the person all wonderful things of life. I was unable to read fast, i knew nothing well, neither sanskrit or tamil, or any any language for that matter, but the preranai that came out of Gayatri, i was able to learn many shlokas, i remember even now, how much i used to struggle, reading devanagari letter, i used to read letter by letter to learn thye Vishnu Saharanamam, it all looks like a miracle if i look back. I wouldnt even say even that i did any great such great japam of Gayatri, But Gayatri mantram is miracle, to the extant that the Gayatri manifests herself in the form of your Guru eventually.

I know and have met persons who are doing Nithya Agni hotram and also do Swayam Paakam in the times of todays, which is remarkable.

Talking about tuft, i did have small tuft for some time, but my mother did not like it, however, later, by mistake when i had a hair cut, the barber chopped it off by mistake :-) and therefore i deemed, that it was Gods will and keeping the Mother happy is supreme duty some times even over sastras. Adi Shankarar Himself was a great rebel, who did the final obligatory duties towards his mother against the village as we well know.

--

613
General Discussion / Re: performing rituals to the departed
« on: June 02, 2014, 01:34:28 PM »
Thank you Sri Ravi, the series of posts were truly enlightening. One thing is quite clear, that each one recognize and fulfill ones armic responsibilities towards his duties responsibly and diligently. I thoroughly enjoyed reading these series of posts with regard to the subject in discussion.

--

614
General Discussion / Re: performing rituals to the departed
« on: June 02, 2014, 12:10:31 PM »
Dear Sri Ravi,

The key issue is to deal with the karmic burden of the departing soul -the fact that one is born implies that one has come with a baggage -and when departing a certain baggage gets carried.The departing soul depends on those with life links(close relatives like spouse,sons ,daughters)to share a part of this load(which ofcourse it has been doing during its life time as well).This needs to be absorbed by the relatives and towards this they need to follow discipline.particularly ,couples need to avoid sexual relations during this period immediately after death of the near one.This is to ensure that harmful karma does not get transferred to the offspring ,if the conception happens during this period.Instead of the grownups absorbing the karmic load,it may fall on the defenceless soul in the womb.

Why i became interested in the above subject is because, as far as i knew, i felt ones Karma cannot be shared or transferred to other souls and each one has to face the consequences of ones own karmas. We see in the story of Valimiki, when as Ratnakar, was made aware of his misdeeds and because of which he would acquire negative karmas, Narada asked him to enquire with his family if they would share his load of bad karmas acquired, and when he realised that none would come forward to share, he surrendered to Narada for emancipation, and the rest of the story is known.

On the other hand, we have seen from Jnana perspectivem when it is asked why the children have to bear the burden of the karmas of their fathers, they said, the children are none but their own fathers.

I wonder if the karmas of the departed can be transferred to others. In the time of mourning, it does not befit a person to engage in activities of pleasures, it befits one to mourn for the departed soul. But I wonder beyond offering respects and ones duties to cordially finish the duties towards the body. The performance of Amavasya tarpanams thereafter, i learn that the offering of Pindams in spirit, would eventually reach the soul, which may be born in some other form in some place, and all the other good spirits involved in it.

But beyond this, i wonder how the bad karmas may be transferred to others. Yes, the antyesti samskaras ought to be performed in faith to help the soul reach its place, other wise it may result in what is called a pitru dosha, of not performing the antyesti karyam completely not helping the departed soul to complete its journey.

Each one is born with their karmas, In the Ramayana, (Rama to Bharata Sarga 106, Ayodhyakaanda, who had come all the way to Chitrakuta where Rama was residing inorder to bring Rama back to kingdom)

"Inescapable is separation, for just as drifting pieces of wood come together, in the boundless main toss around for a while and then drift apart. So do wives, children, relatives and riches. They remain together for some time to be separated again by the irresistible laws of destiny to which all life must bend and bow. In this changing world the common lot of not one man can ever be neither changed nor averted. Why lament for the dead, whom tears can never bring back. Like a flowing river life can never roll back to its source, and age with time marches onwards, relentlessly. Those who aspire to conquer the higher worlds must lead a life of compassion and obedience to the gurus, seeking only the pleasures that do not contradict the rules of dharma."

But, When one is born with ones share of Karmas and if one is born in such a birth which involves performances of karmas, duties enjoined in the scriptures, it becomes ones own obligatory karma to perform the karyas enjoyied in such a birth. If however one does not perform ones karyas such as Antyesti in proper manner and engages in non sanctioned activities during the period of such a karma, such a one would incur a sin of ignoring ones own duty, and it would be understood that the departed soul's karma is such that it does not receive its antyesti karma in full because of that souls karmas and it has to undergo the consequence till its expiation.

I hope i have been able to convey what i am striving to state or question in good spirit. Thank you.

--

615
General Discussion / Re: performing rituals to the departed
« on: June 02, 2014, 07:06:37 AM »
Dear Sri Ravi,

I understand the importance of what you have mentioned very briefly is seldom found anywhere anywhere in books or does one openly talk about these.

I would be grateful if you can kindly write further on the issues of the karmas of departed souls. It would be nice if you mention what Master TGN has said about these and the ways one may overcome the same.

Thanks so much.

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