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General topics / Re: Buddhist Teachings and Practices
« Last post by atmavichar100 on July 19, 2019, 08:34:59 PM »
~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~
I think when people listen to the teachings of the four noble truths, they hear the words ill - being and suffering, and they think that Buddhism is only about suffering. But they don't know that the third noble truth is about happiness, the opposite of suffering. There is suffering, but there is also the cessation of suffering, which means happiness and there is a path leading to happiness. Maybe it would be good to put the second two noble truths first. The first truth would be happiness and the second truth would be the path leading to happiness. Then the third truth would be suffering and the fourth would be the causes of suffering.
General topics / Re: Buddhist Teachings and Practices
« Last post by atmavichar100 on July 19, 2019, 03:38:36 PM »
The Buddha's original teaching is essentially a matter of four points -- the Four Noble Truths:

1. Anguish is everywhere.

2. We desire permanent existence of ourselves and for our loved ones, and we desire to prove ourselves independent of others and superior to them. These desires conflict with the way things are: nothing abides, and everything and everyone depends upon everything and everyone else. This conflict causes our anguish, and we project this anguish on those we meet.

3. Release from anguish comes with the personal acknowledgment and resolve: we are here together very briefly, so let us accept reality fully and take care of one another while we can.

4. This acknowledgement and resolve are realized by following the Eightfold Path: Right Views, Right Thinking, Right Speech, Right Conduct, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Recollection, and Right Meditation. Here "Right" means "correct" or "accurate" -- in keeping with the reality of impermanence and interdependence.

~ Robert Aitken Roshi, "The Dragon Who Never Sleeps: Verses for Zen Buddhist Practice"
Bhagwan Sri Ramana Maharshi: Can a man become a high official merely by seeing one? He may become one only if he strives and equips himself for the position. Similarly, can the ego, which is in bondage as the mind, become the Divine Self simply because it has once glimpsed that it is the Self? Is this not impossible without the destruction of the mind? Can a beggar become a king by merely visiting a king and declaring himself to be one?

Devotee: Can Self-realisation be lost again after once being attained?

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: Realisation takes time to steady itself. The Self is certainly within the direct experience of everyone but not in the way people imagine. One can only say that it is as it is. Just as incantations or other devices can prevent fire from burning a man when otherwise it would do so, so vasanas (inherent tendencies impelling one to desire one thing and to shun another) can veil the Self when otherwise it would be apparent. Owing to the fluctuations of the vasanas (inherent tendencies), Realisation takes time to steady itself. Spasmodic Realisation is not enough to prevent re-birth, but it cannot become permanent as long as there are vasanas. In the presence of a great master, vasanas cease to be active and the mind becomes still so that samadhi (absorption in Realisation) results, just as in the presence of various devices fire does not burn. Thus the disciple gains true knowledge and right experience in the presence of a master. But if this is to be established further effort is necessary. Then he will know it to be his real Being and thus be liberated while still living.

Source: The Teaching of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi in His Own Words

Devotee: When I think, 'Who am I?', the answer comes: I am not this mortal body but am Consciousness or the Self. And then another thought suddenly arises. Why has the Self become manifest? In other words; 'Why has God created the world?'

Bhagwan Sri Ramana Maharshi: The enquiry: 'Who am I?' really means trying to find the source of the ego or of the 'I'-thought. You are not to occupy the mind with other thoughts, such as 'I am not the body'. Seeking the source of the 'I' serves as a means of getting rid of all other thoughts. You should not allow any scope for other thoughts such as you mention, but should keep the attention fixed on finding the source of the 'I'- thought by asking, when any other thought arises, to whom it occurs; and if the answer is 'to me', you then resume the thought: "What is this 'I' and what is its source?" Bhagavan did sometimes allow or even use mental argument but that was to convince the beginner of the unreality of the individual self or ego and thus induce him to take up Self-enquiry. The argument itself was not Self-enquiry.

Devotee: Who am I? How is the answer to be found?

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: Ask yourself the question. The body (annamayakosa) and its functions are not 'I'. Going deeper, the mind (manomayakosa) and its functions are not 'I'. The next step takes one to the question: Wherefrom do these thoughts arise? The thoughts may be spontaneous, superficial, or analytical. They operate in the mind. Then who is aware of them? The existence of thoughts, their clear conception and operation, become evident to the individual. This analysis leads to the conclusion that the individuality is operative as the cogniser of the existence of thoughts and their sequence. This individuality is the ego, or, as people say, 'I'. Vijnanamayakosa (intellect) is only the sheath of the 'I' and not the 'I' itself. Enquiring further, the questions arise: What is this 'I'? Wherefrom does it come? 'I' was not aware in sleep. Simultaneously with its rise, sleep changes to dream and wakefulness. But I am not concerned with the dream state just now. Who am I now, in the wakeful state? If I originated on waking from sleep, then the 'I' was covered up with ignorance. Such an ignorant 'I' cannot be what the scriptures refer to or the wise affirm. 'I' am beyond even sleep; 'I' must be here and now, and must be what I was all along in sleep and dream also, unaffected by the qualities of these states. 'I' must therefore be the unqualified substratum underlying these three states (after anandamayakosa is transcended).

Source: The Teaching of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi in His Own Words

General topics / Re: Quotes from Shankaracharya's
« Last post by atmavichar100 on July 17, 2019, 12:34:52 PM »
Rama Bhujangam
By Adi Shankaracharya; Translated by P. R. Ramachander][url][/url]

Works of Adi Shankaracharya, Stotras of Adi Shankaracharya, Hymns of Adi Shankara, Gauri Dasakam, Govindashtakam, Dakshinamuthy Stotram, Brahma Jnanavali Mala, Bhashyas of Adi Shankara, Soundaryalahari, Shivanandalahari, Atma Bhodha, Vivekachudamani

Vishudham param sachidananda roopam,
Gunadhara madhara heenam varenyam,
Mahantham vibhantham guhantham gunantham,
Sukhantham swayamdhama ramam prapadhye. 1

I salute that Rama, who does not have any support,
Who is pure at heart, who is the eternal truth,
Who is personification of the ultimate happiness,
Who is above characters, who is the greatest,
Who cannot be divided, who is end within himself,
Who is at the end of properties. Who is the ultimate pleasure,
And who is the way for himself.

Shivam nithyamekam vibhum tharakakhyam,
Sukhakaramakara soonyam sumaanyam,
Mahesam kalesam suresam paresam,
Naresam nireesam maheesam prapadhye. 2

I salute that Rama, who is the lord of this earth,
Who is peaceful, who is always alone,
Who is the way to salvation,
Who is the way to cross ocean of life,
Who is pleasure itself, who does not have any form,
Who is well respected, who is the greatest god,
Who is god of all arts, who is the lord of devas,
Who is the lord of the ultimate, who is the god of humans,
And who is one who does not have any Lord.

Yada varnayal karnamoole anthakale,
Shivo rama ramethi ramethi kasyam,
Thadekam param tharaka brahma roopam,
Bhajeham, Bhajeham, Bhajeham, Bhajeham. 3

Salutations, Salutations, Salutations, Salutations,
To that great eternal form of tharaka Brahma,
Which makes lord Shiva whisper in the ear,
At the time of death in Kasi, Rama, rama, rama.

Maha rathna peete shubhe kalpa moole,
Shukaseenamadhitya koti prakasam,
Sada Janaki Lakshmanopethamekam,
Sada Ramachandram Bhajeham, Bhajeham. 4

I always salute and Salute that Ramachandra,
Who sits on the bejeweled throne,
Placed below the wish giving tree,
Sitting in the pleasant style,
With the luster of billions of suns,
Always served by Sita and Lakshmana.

Kwanadh rathna manjeera padaravindam,
Lasan mekhala charu peethambaradyam,
Maha rathna harollasath kousthubhangam,
Nabha chanjari manjari lola malam. 5

I salute that Ramachandra,
Whose lotus feet is adorned by jingling anklets,
Who adorns himself with red silk tied by golden belt,
Who wears garlands of great gems and Kousthubha,
And also flower garlands attracted by bees.

Ladad chandrika smera sona dharabham,
Samudhruth pathangendu koti prakasam,
Namad Brahma rudhradhi koteera rathna,
Sphurath kanthi neerajanaradhadhagreem. 6

I salute that Ramachandra,
Whose smile with reddish lips reminds the pretty moon,
Who has luster of thousands of moons and suns,
Whose feet is worshipped by the light of billions
Of gems on the crowns of Brahma and Rudra,
Who bend and salute at his feet.

Pura pranjali nanjaneyadhi bhakthan,
Swa chin mudhraya bhadraya bhodhayantham,
Bhajeham, bhajeham sada ramachandram,
Thwadanyam na manye na manye na manye. 7

I always salute and salute that Ramachandra,
Who is surrounded by Saluting Hanuman and others,
And who teaches eternal knowledge by its symbol in his hands,
And say, Other than you, I do not think of any one, not think and not think.

Yada madsameepam kruthantha samethya,
Prachanda prakopair bhatair bheeshayen maam,
Thada vishkaroshi thwadeeyam swaroopam,
Sada apath pranasam sakodanda banam. 8

When the god of death comes before me,
And threatens me with his powerful angry soldiers,
Then please bring before me your form armed with Kodanda bow,
Which will remove all fear of dangers from me.

Nije manase mandhire sannidehi,
Praseeda, praseedha Prabho Ramachandra,
Sa soumithrina Kaikeyi nandanena,
Swa shakthanu bhakthya cha samsevyamana. 9

Be pleased and pleased, Oh Ramachandra,
Come in my real mind and be present in that temple,
Served by Bharatha, Lakshmana and Shathrugna,
And help this devotee by your power.

Swabhakthagraganyai kapeesair mahesai,
Neekaira nekai cha Rama, Praseedha,
Namasthe namosthweesa, Rama Praseeda,
Prasadi prasadi prakasam, prabho maam. 10

Be pleased with me, Oh Ramachandra,
Who is surrounded by great devotees,
Great monkey lords, kings and chieftains,
I salute you my God, be pleased with me,
Bless me, bless me with light, Oh Lord.

Thwamevasi daivam, param may yadhekam,
Su chaithanya methath thwadanyam na manye,
Yado bhoodameyam viyadwayu thejo,
Jalopadhi kayam charam cha acharam cha. 11

You are my only God, the only eternal fact for me,
I do not acknowledge any power except you,
As all the Bhoothas like air, ether, water,
Earth and fire have only come out of you.

Nama sachidananda roopaya thasmai,
Namo deva devaya ramaya Thubhyam,
Namo Janaki jeevithesaya thubhyam,
Nama pundarikayathakshaya thubhyam. 12

Salutations to Him, who is eternal happiness,
Salutations to Him, who is the God Rama,
Salutations to Him, who is the consort of Janaki,
Salutations to Him ,who bears lotus on his belly.

Namo bhakthi yukthanurakthaya thubhyam,
Namo punya punjai kalabhyaya thubhyam,
Namo Veda vedyaya chadhyaya pumse,
Nama sundrayindira vallabhaya. 13

Salutations to Him, who loves his devotees,
Salutations to Him, who can be seen only as a result of good deeds,
Salutations to the god of Vedas and the primeval man,
Salutations to the pretty one who is the consort of Sita.

Namo viswa karthre, namo viswa harthre,
Namo viswa bhokthre, namo viswa bharthre,
Namo viswa nethre, namo viswa jethre,
Namo viswa pithre, namo viswa mathre. 14

Salutations to him who creates the universe,
Salutations to him who destroys the universe,
Salutations to him who uses the universe,
Salutations to him, who rules over the universe,
Salutations to him, who is the eye of the universe,
Salutations to him, who wins over the universe,
Salutations to him, who is father of the universe,
And Salutations to him, who is the mother of the universe.

Namasthe, namasthe samastha prapancha,
Prabhoga, prayoga, pramana, pravena,
Madheeyam mansthwath pada dwandwa sevaam,
Vidhathum pravrutham sukha chaithanya sidhyai. 15

Salutations and salutations to the expert,
In working upkeep and control of the entire world,
Oh God, my mind is engaged in service of your feet,
With an aim of getting to the real eternal truth.

Shilapi thwadamgrikshama sangirenu,
Prsadhadhi chaithanya madhatha Rama,
Namasthwath pada dwandwa seva vidhanath,
Suchathanya metheethi kim chithramathra? 16

Even an ordinary stone, getting the dust of your feet,
Oh Rama, got the active life back,
And so by saluting and serving your two feet,
If people get perennial salvation, What is so strange?

Pavithram charithram vichithram thwadheeyam,
Nara yea smaranthyanwaham ramachandra,
Bhavantham bhavaantham bharantham bhajantho,
Labhanthe kruthantham na pasyanthyatho anthe. 17

Hey Ramachandra, those men, who remember,
Your holy story which is strange,
And those who chant the names of you,
Who is the destroyer of sorrowful life,
Get at the end what they desire and do not see God of death.

Sa punya sa ganya saranyo mamaayam,
Naro Veda yo deva choodamanim thwam,
Sadhkaramekam, chidannda roopam,
Mano vaga gamyam param dhama Rama. 18

That man who knows that you are the greatest of devas,
Who has a form that is real,
Whose form is eternal happiness,
Who is beyond mind and words,
And who is Rama, the object of salvation,
Is the only one who is blessed and counted one,
And he is the one who has submitted himself to you.

Prachanda, prathapa prabhavabhi bhootha,
Prabhuthari veera, Prabho Ramachandra,
Balam they kadam varnyathe atheva balye,
Yado agandi chandeesa kodanda dandam.19

Hey Lord Ramachandra, who is the greatest,
Who is very famous all over,
And who is the killer of his enemies,
There is no need to describe your prowess,
For even at a very young child's age,
You broke the great bow of Lord Shiva.

Dasagreevamugram saputhram samithram,
Sari durgamadyastharakshoganesam,
Bhavantham vinaa Rama, Veero naro vaa,
Asuro vaa amaro vaa jayeth kastrilokhyam? 20

Are there either heroes or asuras or devas,
Capable for killing the ten headed one along with his sons,
And friends in a place surrounded by the sea,
Except you Oh Lord Rama?

Sada rama ramethi ramamrutham they,
Sada rama mananda nishyanda kandam,
Pibantham namantham sudhantham hasantham,
Hanumantha manthar bhaje tham nithantham. 21

Always chanting Rama, Rama
Drinking always, the nectar of the name Rama
Which is ever pretty and a tide of real happiness,
Saluting you and having a smiling face Is Hanuman,
And I pray him always and always.

Sad Rama ramethi Ramamrutham they,
Sada ramamananda nishyantha kandam,
Piban anvaham nanvaham naiva mruthyor,
Bibhemi prasadaadasadaa thavaiva. 22

I who am always chanting Rama, Rama
Drinking daily, the nectar of the name Rama
Am not afraid of death,
Due to your uninterrupted grace.

Aseethasamethairakothanda bhooshai,
Soumithri vandhyair Chanda prathapair,
Alankesa kalair sugreeva mithrair,
Ramabhi deyairalam daivathair na. 23

No other God is required by us except Rama,
Who is always with Sita,
Who wears the Kodanda bow as ornament,
Who is being saluted by Lakshmana,
Who is well known as a great hero,
Who is the God of death to the king of Lanka,
And who is a friend of Sugreeva.

Aveerasanasthair chin mudrikadyair,
Bhkthanjaneyadhi Thathwa prakasair,
Aamandhara moolair mandhara malair,
Ramabhi deyairalam daivathair na. 24

No other God is required by us except Rama,
Who is sitting on the throne of heroes,
Who shows the sign of eternal truth,
Who exhibits eternal principles
To the devotee Hanuman and others,
Who sits on the roots of Mandhara tree,
And who wears the garland of mandhara flowers.

Asindhu prakopair vandhya prathapair,
Bandhu prayanair mandasmithasyair,
Danda pravasair ganda prabodhair,
Ramabhi deyairalam daivathair na. 25

No other God is required by us except Rama,
Who got very angry with the ocean,
Who is sufficiently famous as to be saluted,
Who traveled along with friends,
Who wears a pleasant smile,
Who lived in Danda forest,
And who taught the vast knowledge.

Hare Rama seethapathe ravanare,
Kharare murare asurare parethi,
Lapantham nayantham sada kalamevam,
Samalokayalokaya sesha bandho. 26

Oh lord who is the relation of the entire world,
Please cast your graceful look on me,
Who always spends all the time by chanting,
Hey lord Hari, consort of Seetha,
Enemy of Ravana, Killer of Khara and Mura,
Killer of asuras and Hey, eternal truth.

Namasthe sumithra suputhrabhi vandhya,
Namasthe sada kaikeyi nandanedya,
Namasthe sada vanaradheesa bhandho,
Namasthe, namasthe sada Ramachandra. 27

Salutations to him who is venerated by son of Sumithra
Salutations always to him who is respected by son of Kaikeyi,
Salutations always to him who is the friend of king of monkeys,
Salutations and salutations always to Lord Ramachandra.

Praseedha, praseedha, Prachanda prathapa,
Praseedha, praseedha, prachandari kala,
Praseedha, praseedha, prapannanukampin,
Praseedha, praseedha, prabho Ramachandra. 28

Shower your grace, shower your grace, He who has great fame,
Shower your grace, shower your grace, he who is death to his enemies,
Shower your grace, shower your grace, Who is kind to his devotees,
Shower your grace, shower your grace, My Lord Ramachandra.

Bhujangaprayatham param veda saram,
Mudha Ramachandrasya bhakthya cha nithyam,
Padan santhatham chinthayan prantharange,
Sa eva swayam ramachandra sa dhanya. 29

He who reads or always thinks about in his mind,
This Bhujanga prayer of Lord Ramachandra
Which is the summary of Vedas, daily,
Will attain Ramachandra and always be blessed.
In reply to Miss Leena Sarabhai, a cultured Indian lady of high rank, Sri Bhagavan said: The state of equanimity is the state of bliss. The declaration in the Vedas "I am This or That", is only an aid to gain equanimity of mind.

Devotee: So, it is wrong to begin with a goal: is it?

Bhagwan Sri Ramana Maharshi: If there be a goal to be reached it cannot be permanent. The goal must already be there. We seek to reach the goal with the ego, but the goal exists before the ego. What is in the goal is even prior to our birth, i.e., to the birth of the ego. Because we exist the ego appears to exist too.
If we look on the Self as the ego then we become the ego, if as the mind we become the mind, if as the body we become the body. It is the thought which builds up sheaths in so many ways. The shadow on the water is found to be shaking. Can anyone stop the shaking of the shadow? If it should cease to shake you would not notice the water but only the light. Similarly to take no notice of the ego and its activities, but see only the light behind. The ego is the I-thought. The true 'I' is the Self.

Devotee: It is one step to realisation.

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: Realisation is already there. The state free from thoughts is the only real state. There is no such action as Realisation. Is there anyone who is not realising the Self? Does anyone deny his own existence? Speaking of realisation, it implies two selves - the one to realise, the other to be realised. What is not already realised, is sought to be realised. Once we admit our existence, how is it that we do not know our Self?

Devotee: Because of the thoughts - the mind.

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: Quite so. It is the mind that stands between and veils our happiness. How do we know that we exist? If you say because of the world around us, then how do you know that you existed in deep sleep?

Devotee: How to get rid of the mind?

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: Is it the mind that wants to kill itself? The mind cannot kill itself. So your business is to find the real nature of the mind. Then you will know that there is no mind. When the Self is sought, the mind is nowhere. Abiding in the Self, one need not worry about the mind.

Devotee: How to get rid of fear?

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: What is fear? It is only a thought. If there is anything besides the Self there is reason to fear. Who sees the second (anything external)? First the ego arises and sees objects as external. If the ego does not rise, the Self alone exists and there is no second (nothing external). For anything external to oneself implies the seer within. Seeking it there will arise no doubt, no fear ? not only fear, all other thoughts centred round the ego will disappear along with it.

Devotee: This method seems to be quicker than the usual one of cultivating qualities alleged necessary for salvation (sadhana chatushtaya)?

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: Yes. All bad qualities centre round the ego. When the ego is gone Realisation results by itself. There are neither good nor bad qualities in the Self. The Self is free from all qualities. Qualities pertain to the mind only. It is beyond quality. If there is unity, there will also be duality. The numeral one gives rise to other numbers. The truth is neither one nor two. IT is as it is.

Devotee: The difficulty is to be in the thought-free state.

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: Leave the thought-free state to itself. Do not think of it as pertaining to you. Just as when you walk, you involuntarily take steps, so too in your actions; but the thought-free state is not affected by your actions.

Devotee: What is it that is discriminative in action?

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: Discrimination will be automatic, intuitive.


Question: Swami, it is good to love God, is it not? Then why not follow the path of love?

Bhagwan Sri Ramana Maharshi: Who said you couldn't follow it ? You can do so. But when you talk of love, there is duality, is there not ? - the person who loves and the entity called God who is loved ? The individual is not separate from God. Hence love means one has love towards one's own Self.

Question: That is why I am asking you whether God could be worshipped through the path of love.

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: That is exactly what I have been saying. Love itself is the actual form of God. If by saying, `I do not love this, I do not love that', you reject all things, that which remains is swarupa, that is the real form of the Self. That is pure bliss. Call it pure bliss, God, atma, or what you will. That is devotion, that is realization and that is everything.
If you thus reject everything, what remains is the Self alone. That is real love. One who knows the secret of that love finds the world itself full of universal love.
The experience of not forgetting consciousness alone is the state of devotion [bhakti] which is the relationship of unfading real love, because the real knowledge of Self, which shines as the undivided supreme bliss itself, surges up as the nature of love.
Only if one knows the truth of love, which is the real nature of Self, will the strong entangled knot of life be untied. Only if one attains the height of love will liberation be attained. Such is the heart of all religions. The experience of Self is only love, which is seeing only love, hearing only love, feeling only love, tasting only love and smelling only love, which is bliss.
Source: Be As You Are
Mr. Vaidyanatha Iyer, a lawyer, asked: If the Jnani (one whom has attained Self-knowledge) says "I am the body", what happens to him in death?

Bhagwan Sri Ramana Maharshi: He does not identify himself with the body even now.

Devotee: But you said just before that the Jnani says "I am the body".

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: Yes. His 'I' includes the body. For there cannot be anything apart from 'I' for him. If the body falls away there is no loss for the 'I'. 'I' remains the same. If the body feels dead let it raise the question. Being inert it cannot. 'I' never dies and does not ask the question. Who then dies? Who asks questions?

Devotee: For whom are all the sastras then? They cannot be for the real 'I'. They must be for the unreal 'I'. The real one does not require them. It is strange that the unreal should have so many sastras (scriptures) for him.

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: Yes. Quite so. Death is only a thought and nothing more. He who thinks raises troubles. Let the thinker tell us what happens to him in death. The real 'I' is silent. One should not think "I am this - I am not that". To say 'this or that' is wrong. They are also limitations. Only 'I am' is the truth. Silence is 'I'. If one thinks 'I am this', another thinks 'I am this' and so on, there is a clash of thoughts and so many religions are the result. The truth remains as it is, not affected by any statements, conflicting or otherwise.

Devotee: What is death? Is it not the falling away of the body?
Bhagwan Sri Ramana: Do you not desire it in sleep? What goes wrong then?

Devotee: But I know I shall wake up.

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: Yes - thought again. There is the preceding thought "I shall wake up". Thoughts rule the life. Freedom from thoughts is one's true nature - Bliss.
Tripura Rahasya and other ancient works / Unitive Wisdom of Srimadh Bhagavad Gita
« Last post by ekarshe on July 14, 2019, 12:43:06 PM »
The Holy Gita is praised as the essence of all Vedantic scriptures, for it expounds upon the wisdom of the Vedas in a nut-shell. The terms such as Yoga or Vedas gives a reader the mental picture of a man lost in meditation inside a himalayan cave, unfortunately. This is the great tragedy of Hinduism that have happened historically. Thankfully, this was obvious to the great sage-bard Vyasa who in his brilliant work of philosophy - Bhagavad Gita, initiates a student into the ever resplendent ideas of the Upanishads, which is the philosophical section of the Vedas, in its utmost purity.

Yoga is a very broad subject to be classified, even then it is divided into four generalized aspects. This is purely according to the mental and intellectual temperament of the students following them and should not be compared for superiority.

Jnana Yoga - The Yoga of Knowledge or Contemplation.
Bhakti Yoga - The Yoga of Devotion.
Karma Yoga - The Yoga of Action.
Raja Yoga - The Yoga of Mysticism.

These are usually understood of different paths, but Sri Veda Vyasa introduces a unitive path in his sublime hymn of dialectics - Srimadh Bhagavad Gita. The seeming classifications are taken up and applied in different aspects of human personality, i.e. the yoga of knowledge, devotion and action are prescribed for the intellect, mental and physical levels respectively.

How these classifications of Yoga are inter-related is the theme of our inquiry. Jnana Yoga or the Yoga of knowledge is one in which the student is introduced to the pure philosophy of the Vedas and then these ideas are subjected to reflection and contemplation, whereas in Bhakti Yoga (Devotional), the student learns how to attune his psychological faculty to a higher altar or ideal. The Karma Yoga or the Yoga of action is where all these ideas of different techniques of attunements works in a harmonious union, making the students capable of more efficient and productive action.

This will be understood more clearly as we proceed. Jnana Yoga introduces the student to a higher reality or a cause, which transcends his individuality and at the same time not alien to him. This higher reality is indicated through a normative notion of a supreme value otherwise called Brahman. When we try to understand this term from a pure literal sense, the sanskrit root Brh means ?Growth?, and the sound ?Man? means without limitation. Therefore, the idea of an absolute reality is introduced through this term.

This idea of an absolute reality, Brahman, which is omniscient and omnipotent, which is the cause for the origin, existence, and dissolution of the universe, and which is known as such from the Upanishads (Philosophical section of Vedas). How? Because of being the object of their fullest import; For instance: ?O amiable one, this universe, before its creation, was but existence one without a second? (Chandogya Upanishad VI.ii.1) ?Before creation this universe was but the Self that is one? (Aiteraya Upanishad I.i.1) ?That Brahman is without prior or posterior, without interior or exterior (i.e. homogenous and non-dual) ?This Self ? the perceiver of everything is Brahman? (Brhadaranyaka Upanishad II.V.19) etc..

Being the cause for the Macrocosm, this absolute is also the cause for the individual or the microcosm. Thus, every perception, feelings and thought happens due to the presence of Brahman, which also can be said to be the ?Higher Self? of everyone who is limited by his sense of Individuality, at this moment.

The Goal of Yoga is a unitive attitude to life or a universalization of all our thoughts, emotions and actions, this can be done only when the student forgets his individuality and exerts himself without any selfish motives. Therefore, he is taught to attune to a ?Higher Self?, by study, reflection, contemplation and identification of his emotional self with the Absolute Totality. This is the whole teaching of Gita?s Karma Yoga, which introduces us to the idea of right action, wrong action and what is inaction (not non-action).

Herein is the secret of Vedanta, on which the author of Gita has put his finger with precision and certitude when he says:

?On what is action and what is inaction, even intelligent men here are confused. I shall indicate to you that action, on knowing which you will be emancipated from evil.?

?One has to understand about action and understand about wrong action. Again, one has to have a proper notion of inaction. They way of action is elusively subtle (indeed).?

?The one who is able to see action (ephemeral world) in inaction (transcendental absolute - Brahman) , and inaction in action, he among men is intelligent, he is one unitive attitude (Yogi) while still engaged in every (possible) kind of work.?

(Bhagavad Gita IV, 16?18)

Only when our vision is universalized and free from the shackles of our own individuality is there a scope of right action, which blesses the whole world and its generation. This Idea is beautifully put-forth in a famous work by Sri Narayana Guru who was as great a philosopher-saint as Adi Shankara himself.

?What here we view as this man or that
Reflection reveals to be the Self?s prime form;
That conduct adopted for one?s Self-happiness
Another?s happiness must also secure at once.?

?What spells benefit to one, while to another distress brings,
Such conduct is one that violates the Self; beware!
That spark of pain intense to another given
Into inferno?s ocean it falls, there to burn its flames.?

-Atmopadesha Shatakam (24, 25)

This idea of perfection in the field of action is only capable for he who sees himself in all beings i.e. he who is totally identified with the supreme absolute value - Brahman. His actions become as though an expression of his freedom and innate divinity. He is unconcerned and have zero anxiety for the fruits of his action, since he is devoid of his individual ego.

He is the intelligent man mentioned in the Gita, who sees inaction (Absolute Self) in action (ephemeral universe). The Absolute Self being all-pervading is devoid of any movement, qualities and attributes. The true Yogi identified with this Absolute Self is the true sannyasin as mentioned in the Gita and not who have escaped from the world due to attachments or aversion.

Thus, the secret of dexterity in action is taught in the Yoga of Gita, which is when the individual puts forth his honest efforts attuned with the Supreme Value- Brahman. His actions become skillful since he is not affected by doubts or anxiety but have a proper understanding of the universe through intellectual studies, reflection. His actions are never tainted by his emotional Self since they are universalized through Bhakti or devotion, and his physical body becomes as though a living pulsating idol of the Lord expressing the innate divinity which is lying dormant in all of us.
This is the unitive wisdom of Srimadh Bhagavad Gita, which is inspired by the Upanishads themselves, for the Isavasya Upanishad says:

?Performing, verily, work in this world should one desire to live a full hundred years. This alone is right, for there is no other right path. Action never taints a man following this path? (mantra ii)

?He who constantly sees everywhere all existence in the Self and the Self in all beings and forms, thereafter feels no hatred for anything? (mantra vi)

Om SriKrishna Paramatmane Namah ||

Bhagwan Sri Ramana Maharshi: Who is this 'I'? It cannot be the body nor the mind as we have seen before. This 'I' is the one who experiences the waking, dream and sleep states. The three states are changes which do not affect the individual. The experiences are like pictures passing on a screen in the cinema. The appearance and disappearance of the pictures do not affect the screen. So also, the three states alternate with one another leaving the Self unaffected. The waking and the dream states are creations of the mind. So the Self covers all. To know that the Self remains happy in its perfection is Self-Realisation. Its use lies in the realisation of Perfection and thus of Happiness.

Devotee: Can it be complete happiness to remain Self-realised if one does not contribute to the happiness of the world? How can one be so happy when there is a war in Spain, a war in China? Is it not selfishness to remain Self-realised without helping the world?

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: The Self was pointed out to you to cover the universe and also transcend it. The world cannot remain apart from the Self. If the realisation of such Self be called selfishness that selfishness must cover the world also. It is nothing contemptible.

Devotee: Does not the realised man continue to live just like a non-realised being?

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: Yes, with this difference that the realised being does not see the world as being apart from the Self, he possesses true knowledge and the internal happiness of being perfect, whereas the other person sees the world apart, feels imperfection and is miserable. Otherwise their physical actions are similar.

Devotee: The realised being also knows that there are wars being waged in the world, just like the other man.

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: Yes.

Devotee: How then can he be happy?

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: Is the cinema screen affected by a scene of fire burning or sea rising? So it is with the Self.
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