Author Topic: Nature and Spirituality  (Read 4272 times)

silentgreen

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Nature and Spirituality
« on: April 22, 2009, 06:47:19 PM »
Nature and Spirituality

Nature plays an important part in spirituality.
The ashrams of ancient sages and saints were built in natural surroundings,
where one wakes up with the singing of the birds,
where the solitude of the lush green surroundings embraces the soul in its own fold,
where one feels the silence in the murmur of the streams,
where the mind finds its haven in the vast expanse of the Universal Soul.

Whenever human mind tries to comprehend spirituality, it often uses the attributes of Nature,
As deep as the sea, Vast as the sky.

Nature is an object of meditation itself.
Contemplating on nature is contemplating on peace and tranquality itself.

This post is for Mother Nature;
To thank her for whatever she has given us,
put forward those events where Nature played a prominent part in spirituality,
or otherwise topics related to Nature.

Today is also the Earth Day for this year,
And the whole world is remembering Nature and feeling the wonderful link with Her.


Om Shanti ...
Homage to the Universal Being...Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ...

Subramanian.R

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Re: Nature and Spirituality
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2009, 07:10:53 PM »
Dear silentgreen,

Yes. Natural surroundings play an important part in meditation
and spiritual practices.  The Himalayas, the Vindhyas and Kolli
Malai in Tamil Nadu were most sought after.

But Bhagavan Ramana made a qualification.  He said, unless you
learn how to control your mind, if not immediate destruction of mind,
the surroundings may not be of much help.  He came to Arunachala,
without knowing that it is a Hill, because, He had a called from Arunachala Siva.  He says in the first verse of Sri Arunachala Ashtakam, "I came thinking that it is a very big thing.  But when
I came I knew that it is a Hill, which can kill your ego. When I saw,
I did not really see.  Where is the seen?  I cannot say that I did not
see,  because there is no seer.  There is only Seer!"

Arunachala Siva.

silentgreen

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Re: Nature and Spirituality
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2009, 08:49:37 PM »
Dear Subramanian.R,

It is true, that without purity in the heart and control of the mind it is not possible to progress in the spiritual path. However vast expanse of nature has a quality in which a person feels a sense of oneness with a bigger presence. This cannot be had by seeing pictures of nature or video recording of it, but by actually being present...with a quiet mind and a sense of hearty appreciation of nature.

I remember that during my early years, one day I saw a small black-and-white picture of a natural place with tall pine trees and a solitary dear roaming in it. The picture had a great effect on me and awakened my longing to go to such natural places. Years later I had the opportunity to travel all alone to places of my choice. I traveled to Himalayan pilgrimages and similar places. The effect is just unexplainable...I had the satisfaction of a person who feels the joy when all the major desires of his life gets fulfilled. And it did not end there...for memories of the expanse of nature remains with one all along one's life and keeps one reminding of the Creator who has created the finite... one with the infinite.

Om Shanti ...


Homage to the Universal Being...Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ...

silentgreen

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Re: Nature and Spirituality
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2009, 08:53:48 PM »
Sri Ramakrishna’s first divine ecstasy-samadhi-at the age of six

As a young boy, when Gadadhar (Sri Ramakrishna's childhood name) was one day walking through the rice field in his village, he first experienced samadhi, which was to become the natural habitat in his future life. About this first vision he said,

There appeared a beautiful black cloud charged with rain.
I was looking at it while eating parched-rice.
Very soon the cloud covered almost the whole sky, when a flock of milk-white cranes flew against that black could. It looked so beautiful that I became very soon absorbed in an extraordinary mood. I was overwhelmed with bliss and my external consciousness was lost. I fell down and the rice got scattered near the balk.
People saw it and carried me home.


Om Shanti ...
Homage to the Universal Being...Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ...

silentgreen

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Wisdom of Avadhuta
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2009, 08:43:55 PM »
Wisdom of Avadhuta

Maharaja Yadu once observed a certain brahmana avadhuta, who appeared to be quite young and learned, wandering about fearlessly. Being himself most learned in spiritual science, the King took the opportunity and inquired from him as follows.

Sri Yadu said: O brahmana, I see that you are not engaged in any practical religious activity, and yet you have acquired a most expert understanding of all things and all people within this world. Kindly tell me, sir, how did you acquire this extraordinary intelligence, and why are you traveling freely throughout the world behaving as if you were a child? Generally human beings work hard to cultivate dharma, artha, kama and moksha, and their usual motive is to increase the duration of their lives, acquire fame and enjoy material opulence.

You, however, although capable, learned, expert, handsome and most eloquent, are not engaged in doing anything, nor do you desire anything; rather, you appear stupefied and maddened as if you were a ghostly creature. we see that you are devoid of any contact with material enjoyment and that you are traveling alone, without any companions or family members. Therefore, because we are sincerely inquiring from you, please tell us the cause of the great ecstasy that you are feeling within yourself.

The Avadhuta said: My dear King, with my intelligence I have taken shelter of many masters. Having gained wisdom from them, I now wander about the earth in a liberated condition. Please listen as I describe them to you.

I have taken shelter with twenty-four gurus, who are the following: the earth, air, sky, water, fire, moon, sun, pigeon, python; the ocean, moth, honeybee, elephant, the deer, the fish, the prostitute Pingala, the kurara bird (Hawk), the child; the young girl, arrow maker, serpent, spider and the wasp. My dear King, by studying their activities I have learned the science of the self.


Earth

People when they are harassed should understand that things are happening helplessly under the control of providence, and thus he should never be distracted from progress on his dharma. This rule I have learned from the earth.

A wise man should learn from the mountain to devote all his efforts to the service of others and to make the welfare of others the sole reason for his existence. Similarly, as the disciple of the tree, he should learn to dedicate himself to others.


Air

Every person is surrounded by innumerable material objects, which possess good and bad qualities. However, one who has transcended material good and evil should not become entangled even when in contact with the material objects; rather, he should act like the wind. Though the wind may carry various sweet and bad scents, it is never contaminated by it and the scent neither belongs to the breeze.


Sky

A thoughtful sage, even while living within a material body, should understand himself to be pure spirit soul. Similarly, one should see that the spirit soul enters within all forms of life, both moving and nonmoving, and that the individual souls are thus all-pervading. The sage should further observe that the Supreme Person as the Supersoul, is simultaneously present within all things. Both the individual soul and the Supersoul can be understood by comparing them to the nature of the sky: although the sky extends everywhere and everything rests within the sky, the sky does not mix with anything, nor can it be divided by anything.

Although the mighty wind blows clouds and storms across the sky, the sky is never implicated or affected by these activities. Similarly, the spirit soul is not actually changed or affected by contact with the material nature. Although the living entity enters within a body made of earth, water and fire, and although he is impelled by the three modes of nature created by eternal time, his eternal nature is never actually affected.


Water

O King, a wise man is just like water because he is free from all contamination, gentle by nature, and by speaking creates a beautiful vibration like that of flowing water. Just by seeing, touching or hearing such a saintly person, the living entity is purified, just as one is cleansed by contact with pure water. Thus a saintly person, just like a holy place, purifies all those who contact him because he always chants the glories of the Lord.


Fire

Saintly persons become powerful by execution of austerities. Their firmness is unshakable because they do not have anything to do with the material world. Such naturally liberated sages accept foodstuffs that are offered to them by destiny, and if by chance they happen to eat contaminated food, they are not affected, just like fire, which burns up contaminated substances that are offered to it.

A wise man sometimes appears in a concealed form and at other times reveals himself like fire hidden in the woods. For the welfare of the jivatma who desire real happiness, a wise man may accept the worshipable position of guru, and thus like fire he burns to ashes all the past and future sinful reactions of his worshipers by mercifully accepting their offerings.


Moon

The various phases of one’s material life, beginning with birth and culminating in death, are all properties of the body and do not affect the soul, just as the apparent waxing and waning of the moon does not affect the moon itself. Such changes are enforced by the imperceptible movements of time.


Sun

Just as the sun evaporates large quantities of water by its potent rays and later returns the water to the earth in the form of rain, similarly, a wise man accepts all types of material objects with his material senses, and at the appropriate time, would return such material objects. Thus, both in accepting and giving up the objects of the senses, he is not entangled.

Even when reflected in various objects, the sun is never divided, nor does it merge into its reflection. Only those with dull brains would consider the sun in this way. Similarly, although the soul is reflected through different bodies, the soul remains undivided and nonmaterial.


Om Shanti ...
Homage to the Universal Being...Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ...

ramanaduli

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Re: Nature and Spirituality
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2009, 09:26:33 PM »
In the same way another story goes like this.... One boy I think he is Satya kama was asked to go to take the cows and return when it become thousand cows.
By the time cows were increased by numbers, satya kama got enlightened. His face was shining with brahma thejas.  I may be wrong. I heard this story
long time ago. I understood he got all the lesson by obeying his Guru. and contemplating in the jungle, he might have learned lot from the nature.


Ramanaduli

Subramanian.R

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Re: Nature and Spirituality
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2009, 10:44:56 AM »
Dear Ramanaduli,

Satyakama Jabali went to his Guru.  He was the son of
Jabali, who worked in the palace and became a paramour
for many people working inside the palace.  She begot
Satyakama.  She asked Satyakama to go to the Guru.  In
the olden days, the disciple had to tell his gothra, lineage,
his father's name and then his name.  The boy did not know
his gothra and father's name.  The Guru asked him to go back
and find out.  Jabali, the mother told him the truth, and he came
back and told the Guru that he is Satyakama Jabali, since he
did not know who is his father, hence no gothra or father's
name.  He is telling that he is Satyakama Jabali, since mother
Jabali is only known to him.  Guru appreciates this truthfulness
in him, which is the first requisite of a disciple. 

Then he does his karmas that is grazing the cows very well
and the cows multiplied.  This shows the purity of his karma,
which is the second requisite. Thirdly, he must have observed
the Nature in the jungle and meditated.  This gave him poorna
bhakti bava.  He stays with the Guru for many years and this
shows his sraddha, steadfast interest. 

All these got him Brahma Jnana.

Arunachala Siva. 

ramanaduli

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Re: Nature and Spirituality
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2009, 04:10:24 PM »
Thank you Subramaniyan ji.

I saw this story in G.V.Iyer's movie "Adi Shankra" Now I could recollect. The boy asks his mom, 'KIM GOTHRAM" Then his mom tells about his linage.
Once again Thank you,



Ramanaduli

Subramanian.R

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Re: Nature and Spirituality
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2009, 05:18:56 PM »
Dear Ramanaduli,

There are many such good stories in Upanishads.  There is
one Nachiketa and Yama dialogue in Kathopanishad.  There
is one Narada and Sanatkumara dialogue in Chandogya Upanishad.  There is one Maitreyi-her husband story.  All
these stories can be briefly posted in this Forum.  I shall
try, Bhagavan Ramana willing.

srkudai has already started Yoga Vasishtam, which contains
many such stories.

Arunachala Siva.

ramanaduli

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Re: Nature and Spirituality
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2009, 09:23:46 PM »
Dear sir

Thanks for the reply. I read yoga vashitam. But I would like to go through Udai ji's interpretation. The way he explains big subject is unique one. I got
kathoupanishad book also. Any way I try to go to the old pages in this forum so that I can read all the stuff.


Ramanaduli