Author Topic: Rough Notebook-Open Forum  (Read 342857 times)

Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #195 on: August 27, 2012, 08:02:37 PM »
Hari,
You have expressed an earnest question or dilemma:

Quote
Quote
"Is Brahman Sagura or Nirguna? What's the nature of the phenomenal world? Is it real or just appearance? Are the heaven or astral worlds existent? Is every bardo in The Book of the Dead a fact? Is eternal communion with God possible if only non-dual consciousness is real and eternal? If I can have eternal communion with Lord Jesus, Lord Shiva or Lord Rama why should I try to merge in Brahman? When I have been asked such kind of questions I really don't feel competent enough to answer to them. Because I don't know. Questions continue: Why should ego die when it can be purified and directed to serving God? Is serving God (dual) inferior to realizing the Self? Is the desire to be an eternal soul wrong? And I really don't know what to answer. If I say "Oh, serve the Lord but someday this ego will disappear, no matter if you want it or not", this makes me much unsporting and self-sufficient. If I say "Oh, you can be eternal individual soul" I am like lying according to Lord Ramana's teaching. So I don't really know what to answer to such kind of questions."


Interestingly there is exactly the same conversation in The Gospel Of Sri Ramakrishna!Here it is:

No finality about God's nature

A BRAHMO DEVOTEE: "Sir, has God forms or has He none?"

MASTER: "No one can say with finality that God is only 'this' and nothing else. He is
formless, and again He has forms
. For the bhakta He assumes forms. But He is formless for
the jnani, that is, for him who looks on the world as a mere dream. The bhakta feels that he
is one entity and the world another. Therefore God reveals Himself to him as a Person. But
the jnani-the Vedantist, for instance-always reasons, applying the process of 'Not this, not
this'. Through this discrimination he realizes, by his inner perception, that the ego and the
universe are both illusory, like a dream. Then the jnani realizes Brahman in his own
consciousness. He cannot describe what Brahman is
.

"Do you know what I mean? Think of Brahman, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute, as a
shoreless ocean. Through the cooling influence, as it were, of the bhakta's love, the water
has frozen at places into blocks of ice. In other words, God now and then assumes various
forms for His lovers and reveals Himself to them as a Person. But with the rising of the sun
of Knowledge, the blocks of ice melt. Then one doesn't feel any more that God is a Person,
nor does one see God's forms. What He is cannot be described. Who will describe Him? He
who would do so disappears. He cannot find his 'I' any more.
Illusoriness of "I"

"If one analyses oneself, one doesn't find any such thing as 'I'. Take an onion, for instance.
First of all you peel off the red outer skin; then you find thick white skins. Peel these off
one after the other, and you won't find anything inside.
"In that state a man no longer finds the existence of his ego. And who is there left to seek
it? Who can describe how he feels in that state-in his own Pure Consciousness-about the
real nature of Brahman? Once a salt doll went to measure the depth of the ocean. No sooner
was it in the water than it melted. Now who was to tell the depth
?

Sign of Perfect Knowledge

"There is a sign of Perfect Knowledge. Man becomes silent when It is attained. Then the 'I',
which may be likened to the salt doll, melts in the Ocean of Existence-Knowledge-Bliss
Absolute and becomes one with It. Not the slightest trace of distinction is left.

"As long as his self-analysis is not complete, man argues with much ado. But he becomes
silent when he completes it. When the empty pitcher has been filled with water, when the
water inside the pitcher becomes one with the water of the lake outside, no more sound is
heard. Sound comes from the pitcher as long as the pitcher is not filled with water.
"People used to say in olden days that no boat returns after having once entered the 'black
waters' of the ocean.

"All trouble and botheration come to an end when the 'I' dies. You may indulge in
thousands of reasoning, but still the 'I' doesn't disappear. For people like you and me, it is
good to have the feeling, 'I am a lover of God.
'

The Master is talking to the Brahmo Devotees and it is interesting how he talks-'For Jnanis,it is like this' ,and for 'Devotees ,it is like this'!Who then is the Master?What is his position,what is his view?We will find that he is everything,identifying with one and all,and agreeing with one and all.So much so that each one will think-'Oh!He belongs to our system'!!!

Continued...

Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #196 on: August 27, 2012, 08:23:03 PM »
Hari,
The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna continued...

Personal God for devotees

"The Saguna Brahman is meant for the bhaktas. In other words, a bhakta believes that God
has attributes and reveals Himself to men as a Person, assuming forms. It is He who listens
to our prayers. The prayers that you utter are directed to Him alone. You are bhaktas, not
jnanis or Vedantists. It doesn't matter whether you accept God with form or not. It is
enough to feel that God is a Person who listens to our prayers, who creates, preserves, and
destroys the universe, and who is endowed with infinite power.
"It is easier to attain God by following the path of devotion."


BRAHMO DEVOTEE: "Sir, is it possible for one to see God? If so, why can't we see
Him?"

MASTER: "Yes, He can surely be seen. One can see His forms, and His formless aspect as
well. How can I explain that to you?"

Intense longing enables one to see God

BRAHMO DEVOTEE: "What are the means by which one can see God?"

MASTER: "Can you weep for Him with intense longing of heart? Men shed a jugful of
tears for the sake of their children, for their wives, or for money. But who weeps for God?
So long as the child remains engrossed with its toys, the mother looks after her cooking and
other household duties. But when the child no longer relishes the toys, it throws them aside
and yells for its mother. Then the mother takes the rice-pot down from the hearth, runs in
haste, and takes the child in her arms."

Why so much controversy about God?

BRAHMO DEVOTEE: "Sir, why are there so many different opinions about the nature of
God? Some say that God has form, while others say that He is formless. Again, those who
speak of God with form tell us about His different forms. Why all this controversy?"


MASTER: "A devotee thinks of God as he sees Him. In reality there is no confusion about
God. God explains all this to the devotee if the devotee only realizes Him somehow. You
haven't set your foot in that direction. How can you expect to know all about God?


continued...


Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #197 on: August 27, 2012, 08:28:24 PM »
Hari,
The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna continued...

Parable of the chameleon

"Listen to a story. Once a man entered a wood and saw a small animal on a tree. He came
back and told another man that he had seen a creature of a beautiful red colour on a certain
tree. The second man replied: 'When I went into the wood, I also saw that animal. But why
do you call it red? It is green.' Another man who was present contradicted them both and
insisted that it was yellow. Presently others arrived and contended that it was grey, violet,
blue, and so forth and so on. At last they started quarrelling among themselves. To settle
the dispute they all went to the tree. They saw a man sitting under it. On being asked, he
replied: 'Yes, I live under this tree and I know the animal very well. All your descriptions
are true. Sometimes it appears red, sometimes yellow, and at other times blue, violet, grey,
and so forth. It is a chameleon. And sometimes it has no colour at all. Now it has a colour,
and now it has none.'

"In like manner, one who constantly thinks of God can know His real nature; he alone
knows that God reveals Himself to seekers in various forms and aspects. God has attributes;
then again He has none. Only the man who lives under the tree knows that the chameleon
can appear in various colours, and he knows, further, that the animal at times has no colour
at all. It is the others who suffer from the agony of futile argument
.

"Kabir used to say, 'The formless Absolute is my Father, and God with form is my Mother.'

"God reveals Himself in the form which His devotee loves most. His love for the devotee
knows no bounds. It is written in the Purana that God assumed the form of Rama for His
heroic devotee, Hanuman.

Vedantic Non-dualism

"The forms and aspects of God disappear when one discriminates in accordance with the
Vedanta philosophy. The ultimate conclusion of such discrimination is that Brahman alone
is real and this world of names and forms illusory. It is possible for a man to see the forms
of God, or to think of Him as a Person, only so long as he is conscious that he is a devotee.
From the standpoint of discrimination this 'ego of a devotee' keeps him a little away from
God
.

"Do you know why images of Krishna or Kali are three and a half cubits high? Because of
distance. Again, on account of distance the sun appears to be small. But if you go near it
you will find the sun so big that you won't be able to comprehend it. Why have images of
Krishna and Kali a dark-blue colour? That too is on account of distance, like the water of a
lake, which appears green, blue, or black from a distance. Go near, take the water in the
palm of your hand, and you will find that it has no colour. The sky also appears blue from a
distance. Go near and you will see that it has no colour at all.

"Therefore I say that in the light of Vedantic reasoning Brahman has no attributes. The real
nature of Brahman cannot be described. But so long as your individuality is real, the world
also is real, and equally real are the different forms of God and the feeling that God is a
Person
.

"Yours is the path of bhakti. That is very good; it is an easy path. Who can fully know the
infinite God? and what need is there of knowing the Infinite? Having attained this rare
human birth, my supreme need is to develop love for the Lotus Feet of God.
"If a jug of water is enough to remove my thirst, why should I measure the quantity of
water in a lake? I become drunk on even half a bottle of wine-what is the use of my
calculating the quantity of liquor in the tavern? What need is there of knowing the Infinite
?
"The various states of mind of the Brahmajnani are described in the Vedas. The path of
knowledge is extremely difficult. One cannot obtain jnana if one has the least trace of
worldliness and the slightest attachment to 'woman and gold'. This is not the path for the
Kaliyuga.


Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #198 on: August 27, 2012, 08:39:12 PM »
Hari,
You have asked:

Quote
If I can have eternal communion with Lord Jesus, Lord Shiva or Lord Rama why should I try to merge in Brahman? When I have been asked such kind of questions I really don't feel competent enough to answer to them. Because I don't know. Questions continue: Why should ego die when it can be purified and directed to serving God? Is serving God (dual) inferior to realizing the Self? Is the desire to be an eternal soul wrong?

Here is the excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

Dogmatism condemned

(To the goswami) "With sincerity and earnestness one can realize God through all religions.
The Vaishnavas will realize God, and so will the Saktas, the Vedantists, and the Brahmos.
The Mussalmans and Christians will realize Him too. All will certainly realize God if they
are earnest and sincere.

"Some people indulge in quarrels, saying, 'One cannot attain anything unless one worships
our Krishna', or, 'Nothing can be gained without the worship of Kali, our Divine Mother',
or, 'One cannot be saved without accepting the Christian religion.' This is pure dogmatism.
The dogmatist says, 'My religion alone is true, and the religions of others are false.' This is
a bad attitude. God can be reached by different paths
.

"Further, some say that God has form and is not formless. Thus they start quarrelling. A
Vaishnava quarrels with a Vedantist.

"One can rightly speak of God only after one has seen Him. He who has seen God knows
really and truly that God has form and that He is formless as well. He has many other
aspects that cannot be described
.

Parable of the elephant and the blind men

"Once some blind men chanced to come near an animal that someone told them was an
elephant. They were asked what the elephant was like. The blind men began to feel its
body. One of them said the elephant was like a pillar; he had touched only its leg. Another
said it was like a winnowing-fan; he had touched only its ear. In this way the others, having
touched its tail or belly, gave their different versions of the elephant. Just so, a man who has
seen only one aspect of God limits God to that alone. It is his conviction that God cannot be
anything else.

Illustration of the ocean and the ice

(To the goswami) "How can you say that the only truth about God is that He has form? It is
undoubtedly true that God comes down to earth in a human form, as in the case of Krishna.
And it is true as well that God reveals Himself to His devotees in various forms. But it is
also true that God is formless; He is the Indivisible Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute.
He has been described in the Vedas both as formless and as endowed with form. He is also
described there both as attributeless and as endowed with attributes
.
"Do you know what I mean? Satchidananda is like an infinite ocean. Intense cold freezes
the water into ice, which floats on the ocean in blocks of various forms. Likewise, through
the cooling influence of bhakti, one sees forms of God in the Ocean of the Absolute. These
forms are meant for the bhaktas, the lovers of God. But when the Sun of Knowledge rises,
the ice melts; it becomes the same water it was before. Water above and water below,
everywhere nothing but water. Therefore a prayer in the Bhagavata says: 'O Lord, Thou
hast form, and Thou art also formless. Thou walkest before us, O Lord, in the shape of a
man; again, Thou hast been described in the Vedas as beyond words and thought.
'
"But you may say that for certain devotees God assumes eternal forms. There are places in
the ocean where the ice doesn't melt at all. It assumes the form of quartz."


KEDAR: "It is said in the Bhagavata that Vyasa asked God's forgiveness for his three
transgressions. He said: 'O Lord, Thou art formless, but I have thought of Thee in my
meditation as endowed with form; Thou art beyond speech, but I have sung Thee hymns;
Thou art the All-pervading Spirit, but I have made pilgrimages to sacred places. Be
gracious, O Lord, and forgive these three transgressions of mine.'"

MASTER: "Yes, God has form and He is formless too. Further, He is beyond both form
and formlessness. No one can limit Him."

M. (aside to Girindra): "How well he has explained God with and without form! Do the
Vaishnavas believe only in God with form?"

GIRINDRA: "Perhaps so. They are one-sided."

M: "Did you understand what he meant by the 'eternal form' of God? That 'quartz'? I
couldn't grasp it well."


MASTER (to M.): "Well, what are you talking about?"

M. and Girindra smiled and remained silent.

I will post one more excerpt from The Gospel where the Master takes up the question that you have posted from another angle.

Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #199 on: August 27, 2012, 09:07:36 PM »
Hari,
An Excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

The "wicked I"

"The 'I' that makes one a worldly person and attaches one to 'woman and gold' is the
'wicked I'. The intervention of this ego creates the difference between jiva and Atman
.
Water appears to be divided into two parts if one puts a stick across it. But in reality there is
only one water. It appears as two on account of the stick. This 'I' is the stick. Remove the
stick and there remains only one water as before.

"Now, what is this 'wicked I'? It is the ego that says: 'What? Don't they know me? I have so
much money! Who is wealthier than I?' If a thief robs such a man of only ten rupees, first
of all he wrings the money out of the thief, then he gives him a good beating. But the matter
doesn't end there: the thief is handed over to the police and is eventually sent to jail. The
'wicked I' says: 'What? Doesn't the rogue know whom he has robbed? To steal my ten
rupees! How dare he?
' "

VIJAY: "If without destroying the 'I' a man cannot get rid of attachment to the world and
consequently cannot experience samadhi, then it would be wise for him to follow the path
of Brahmajnana to attain samadhi. If the 'I' persists in the path of devotion, then one should
rather choose the path of knowledge
."

The "servant I"

MASTER: "It is true that one or two can get rid of the 'I' through samadhi; but these cases
are very rare. You may indulge in thousands of reasonings, but still the 'I' comes back. You
may cut the peepal-tree to the very root today, but you will notice a sprout springing up
tomorrow. Therefore if the 'I' must remain, let the rascal remain as the 'servant I'. As long as
you live, you should say, 'O God, Thou art the Master and I am Thy servant.' The 'I' that
feels, 'I am the servant of God, I am His devotee' does not injure one. Sweet things cause
acidity of the stomach, no doubt, but sugar candy is an exception
.

"The path of knowledge is very difficult. One cannot obtain Knowledge unless one gets rid
of the feeling that one is the body
. In the Kaliyuga the life of man is centred on food. He
cannot get rid of the feeling that he is the body and the ego. Therefore the path of devotion
is prescribed for this cycle.

This is an easy path. You will attain God if you sing His name and glories and pray to Him
with a longing heart. There is not the least doubt about it
.

"Suppose you draw a line on the surface of water with a bamboo stick. The water appears
to be divided into two parts; but the line doesn't remain for any length of time. The 'servant
I'or the 'devotee I' or the 'child I' is only a line drawn with the ego and is not real
".

continued.....

Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #200 on: August 27, 2012, 09:11:47 PM »
Hari,
The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna continued...

The "ego of a devotee"

VIJAY (to the Master): "Sir, you ask us to renounce the 'wicked I'. Is there any harm in the
'servant I'?"


MASTER: "The 'servant I'-that is, the feeling, 'I am the servant of God, I am the devotee of
God'-does not injure one. On the contrary, it helps one to realize God."


VIJAY: "Well, sir, what becomes of the lust, anger, and other passions of one who keeps
the 'servant I'?"

MASTER: "If a man truly feels like that, then he has only the semblance of lust, anger, and
the like. If, after attaining God, he looks on himself as the servant or the devotee of God,
then he cannot injure anyone. By touching the philosopher's stone a sword is turned into
gold. It keeps the appearance of a sword but cannot injure.

"When the dry branch of a coconut palm drops to the ground, it leaves only a mark on the
trunk indicating that once there was a branch at that place. In like manner, he who has
attained God keeps only an appearance of ego; there remains in him only a semblance of
anger and lust. He becomes like a child. A child has no attachment to the three gunas sattva,
rajas, and tamas. He becomes as quickly detached from a thing as he becomes
attached to it. You can cajole him out of a cloth worth five rupees with a doll worth an
anna, though at first he may say with great determination: 'No, I won't give it to you. My
daddy bought it for me.' Again, all persons are the same to a child. He has no feeling of
high and low in regard to persons. So he doesn't discriminate about caste. If his mother tells
him that a particular man should be regarded as an elder brother, the child will eat from the
same plate with him, though the man may belong to the low caste of a blacksmith. The
child doesn't know hate, or what is holy or unholy.

"Even after attaining samadhi, some retain the 'servant ego' or the 'devotee ego'. The bhakta
keeps this 'I-consciousness'. He says, 'O God, Thou art the Master and I am Thy servant;
Thou art the Lord and I am Thy devotee.' He feels that way even after the realization of
God. His 'I' is not completely effaced. Again, by constantly practising this kind of 'I' consciousness',
one ultimately attains God. This is called bhaktiyoga
.

"One can attain the Knowledge of Brahman, too, by following the path of bhakti. God is
all-powerful
. He may give His devotee Brahmajnana also, if He so wills. But the devotee
generally doesn't seek the Knowledge of the Absolute. He would rather have the
consciousness that God is the Master and he the servant, or that God is the Divine Mother
and he the child."


continued....

Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #201 on: August 27, 2012, 09:16:21 PM »
Hari,
The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna continued...

VIJAY: "But those who discriminate according to the Vedanta philosophy also realize Him
in the end, don't they
?"

Path of bhakti is easy

MASTER: "Yes, one may reach Him by following the path of discrimination too: that is
called Jnanayoga. But it is an extremely difficult path. I have told you already of the seven
planes of consciousness. On reaching the seventh plane the mind goes into samadhi. If a
man acquires the firm knowledge that Brahman alone is real and the world illusory, then his
mind merges in samadhi. But in the Kaliyuga the life of a man depends entirely on food.
How can he have the consciousness that Brahman alone is real and the world illusory? In
the Kaliyuga it is difficult to have the feeling, 'I am not the body, I am not the mind, I am
not the twenty-four cosmic principles; I am beyond pleasure and pain, I am above disease
and grief, old age and death.' However you may reason and argue, the feeling that the body
is identical with the soul will somehow crop up from an unexpected quarter. You may cut a
peepal-tree to the ground and think it is dead to its very root, but the next morning you will
find a new sprout shooting up from the dead stump. One cannot get rid of this identification
with the body; therefore the path of bhakti is best for the people of the Kaliyuga. It is an
easy path
.

"And, 'I don't want to become sugar; I want to eat it.' I never feel like saying, 'I am
Brahman.' I say, 'Thou art my Lord and I am Thy servant.' It is better to make the mind go
up and down between the fifth and sixth planes, like a boat racing between two points. I
don't want to go beyond the sixth plane and keep my mind a long time in the seventh. My
desire is to sing the name and glories of God. It is very good to look on God as the Master
and oneself as His servant. Further, you see, people speak of the waves as belonging to the
Ganges; but no one says that the Ganges belongs to the waves
. The feeling, 'I am He', is not
wholesome. A man who entertains such an idea, while looking on his body as the Self,
causes himself great harm. He cannot go forward in spiritual life; he drags himself down.
He deceives himself as well as others. He cannot understand his own state of mind.

In the above conversation, the Master is talking to Vijay krishna Goswami,a great devotee and he is saying all the above from this perspective!

continued...

Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #202 on: August 27, 2012, 09:19:22 PM »
Hari,
The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna continued...

Prema-bhakti

"But it isn't any and every kind of bhakti that enables one to realize God. One cannot
realize God without prema-bhakti. Another name for prema-bhakti is raga-bhakti. God
cannot be realized without love and longing. Unless one has learnt to love God, one cannot
realize Him
.

"There is another kind of bhakti, known as vaidhi-bhakti, according to which one must
repeat the name of God a fixed number of times, fast, make pilgrimages, worship God with
prescribed offerings, make so many sacrifices, and so forth and so on. By continuing such
practices a long time one gradually acquires raga-bhakti. God cannot be realized until one
has raga-bhakti. One must love God. In order to realize God one must be completely free
from worldliness and direct all of one's mind to Him
.

"But some acquire raga-bhakti directly. It is innate in them. They have it from their very
childhood. Even at an early age they weep for God. An instance of such bhakti is to be
found in Prahlada. Vaidhi-bhakti is like moving a fan to make a breeze. One needs the fan
to make the breeze. Similarly, one practises japa, austerity, and fasting, in order to acquire
love of God. But the fan is set aside when the southern breeze blows of itself.
Such actions as japa and austerity drop away when one spontaneously feels love and
attachment for God. Who, indeed, will perform the ceremonies enjoined in the scriptures,
when mad with love of God?

"Devotion to God may be said to be 'green' so long as it doesn't grow into love of God; but
it becomes 'ripe' when it has grown into such love
.

"A man with 'green' bhakti cannot assimilate spiritual talk and instruction; but one with
'ripe' bhakti can. The image that falls on a photographic plate covered with black film is
retained. On the other hand, thousands of images may be reflected on a bare piece of glass,
but not one of them is retained. As the object moves away, the glass becomes the same as it
was before. One cannot assimilate spiritual instruction unless one has already developed
love of God."


continued...

Ravi.N

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #203 on: August 27, 2012, 09:23:54 PM »
Hari,
The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna continued....

VIJAY: "Is bhakti alone sufficient for the attainment of God, for His vision?"

MASTER: "Yes, one can see God through bhakti alone. But it must be 'ripe' bhakti, premabhakti
and raga-bhakti. When one has that bhakti, one loves God even as the mother loves
the child, the child the mother, or the wife the husband
.

"When one has such love and attachment for God, one doesn't feel the attraction of maya to
wife, children, relatives, and friends. One retains only compassion for them. To such a man
the world appears a strange land, a place where he has merely to perform his duties. It is
like a man's having his real home in the country, but coming to Calcutta for work; he has to
rent a house in Calcutta for the sake of his duties. When one develops love of God, one
completely gets rid of one's attachment to the world and worldly wisdom.

"One cannot see God if one has even the slightest trace of worldliness. Match-sticks, if
damp, won't strike fire though you rub a thousand of them against the match-box. You only
waste a heap of sticks. The mind soaked in worldliness is such a damp match-stick
. Once
Sri Radha said to her friends that she saw Krishna everywhere-both within and without.
The friends answered: 'Why, we don't see Him at all. Are you delirious?' Radha said,
'Friends, paint your eyes with the collyrium of divine love, and then you will see Him.'

(To Vijay) "It is said in a song of your Brahmo Samaj:
O Lord, is it ever possible to know Thee without love,
However much one may perform worship and sacrifice?
"If the devotee but once feels this attachment and ecstatic love for God, this mature
devotion and longing, then he sees God in both His aspects, with form and without form."

Purity of heart

VIJAY: "How can one see God?"

MASTER: "One cannot see God without purity of heart. Through attachment to 'woman
and gold' the mind has become stained-covered with dirt, as it were. A magnet cannot
attract a needle if the needle is covered with mud. Wash away the mud and the magnet will
draw it. Likewise, the dirt of the mind can be washed away with the tears of our eyes. This
stain is removed if one sheds tears of repentance and says, 'O God, I shall never again do
such a thing.' Thereupon God, who is like the magnet, draws to Himself the mind, which is
like the needle. Then the devotee goes into samadhi and obtains the vision of God
.

Hari,on and on this goes and this whole chapter is so full of Practical and inspiring words dispelling whatever doubts one may have.Truly a wonderful treasure Trove of wisdom.
Namaskar.

Hari

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #204 on: August 27, 2012, 10:05:36 PM »
Thank you, Sri Ravi. Exceptional excerpts! That's exactly the answers I needed! Thank you very much!
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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #205 on: August 28, 2012, 09:25:51 PM »
Hari,
You have asked about the Formless aspect of God.Here is an excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

Sri Ramakrishna went to the Panchavati on his way back to his room. M. accompanied him.
It was then about ten o'clock.

Path of the Impersonal God

M: "Sir, is there no spiritual discipline leading to realization of the Impersonal God?"

MASTER: "Yes, there is. But the path is extremely difficult. After intense austerities the
rishis of olden times realized God as their inner most consciousness and experienced the
real nature of Brahman. But how hard they had to work! They went out of their dwellings
in the early morning and all day practised austerities and meditation. Returning home at
nightfall, they took a light supper of fruit and roots.

"But an aspirant cannot succeed in this form of spiritual discipline if his mind is stained
with worldliness even in the slightest degree. The mind must withdraw totally from all
objects of form, taste, smell, touch, and sound. Only thus does it become pure. The Pure
Mind is the same as the Pure Atman. But such a mind must be altogether free from 'woman
and gold'. When it becomes pure, one has another experience. One realizes: 'God alone is
the Doer, and I am His instrument.' One does not feel oneself to be absolutely necessary to
others either in their misery or in their happiness."

M: "Sir, nowadays I like to think of God without form. But I am also beginning to
understand that it is God alone who manifests Himself through different forms."

MASTER: "Will you take me in a carriage some day to Mati Seal's garden house at
Belgharia? When you throw puffed rice into the lake there, the fish come to the surface and
eat it. Ah! I feel so happy to see them sport in the water. That will awaken your spiritual
consciousness too. You will feel as if the fish of the human soul were playing in the Ocean
of Satchidananda. In the same manner, I go into an ecstatic mood when I stand in a big
meadow. I feel like a fish released from a bowl into a lake".

Sri Ramakrishna, accompanied by the devotees, took a carriage to return to Dakshineswar.
They were going to pass the temple garden of Mati Seal on the way. For a long time the
Master had been asking M. to take him to the reservoir in the garden in order that he might
teach him how to meditate on the formless God. There were tame fish in the reservoir.
Nobody harmed them. Visitors threw puffed rice and other bits of food into the water, and
the big fish came in swarms to eat the food. Fearlessly the fish swam in the water and
sported there joyously.

Coming to the reservoir, the Master said to M.: "Look at the fish. Meditating on the
formless God is like swimming joyfully like these fish, in the Ocean of Bliss and
Consciousness."


Namaskar.

Hari

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #206 on: August 29, 2012, 07:47:06 PM »
Thank you, Sri Ravi. Very beautiful answers.
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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #207 on: September 01, 2012, 08:30:05 AM »
Friends,
In this wonderful verse,Sage ThAyumanavar calls out to the world at large to join the Feast:

காகம் உறவு கலந்துண்ணக் கண்டீர் அகண்டா காரசிவ
போக மெனும்பே ரின்பவெள்ளம் பொங்கித்ததும்பிப் பூரணமாய்
ஏக வுருவாய்க் கிடக்குதையோ இன்புற் றிடநாம் இனிஎடுத்த
தேகம் விழுமுன் புசிப்பதற்குச் சேர வாருஞ் சகத்தீரே.

Crows crowding together to feed,thou hast seen.
Verily, verily , Billowing  Bliss of Siva Bhoga ,
The Inundation that is undivided ,whole,Here Lies!
Come ,Gather Ye all ,People of the world
ere this body falleth to ground,
To drink of it in joyous Rapture.


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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #208 on: September 25, 2012, 04:29:04 PM »
Tushnim,
Thanks very much.May I call you silence speaks:)
You have asked "why does the mind wander from the real and goes towards the unreal and transitory"
It is on account of  habit and immediate gratification.It is on account of this that the 'Goad' needs to be applied repeatedly.

This is what Sri Ramakrishna says:
'Woman and gold' is impermanent.

God is the only Eternal Substance. What does a man get with money? Food, clothes, and a
dwelling-place - nothing more. You cannot realize God with its help. Therefore money can
never be the goal of life. That is the process of discrimination. Do you understand?"

M: "Yes, sir. I recently read a Sanskrit play called Prabodha Chandrodaya. It deals with
discrimination."

MASTER: "Yes, discrimination about objects. Consider - what is there in money or in a
beautiful body? Discriminate and you will find that even the body of a beautiful woman
consists of bones, flesh, fat, and other disagreeable things. Why should a man give up God
and direct his attention to such things? Why should a man forget God for their sake?"

How to see God

M: "Is it possible to see God?"

MASTER: "Yes, certainly. Living in solitude now and then, repeating God's name and
singing His glories, and discriminating between the Real and the unreal - these are the
means to employ to see Him."

Longing and yearning

M: "Under what conditions does one see God?"

MASTER: "Cry to the Lord with an intensely yearning heart and you will certainly see
Him. People shed a whole jug of tears for wife and children. They swim in tears for money.
But who weeps for God? Cry to Him with a real cry."
The Master sang:
Cry to your Mother Syama , with a real cry, O mind!
And how can She hold Herself from you?
How can Syama stay away?
How can your Mother Kali hold Herself away?
O mind, if you are in earnest, bring Her an offering
Of bel-leaves and hibiscus flowers;
Lay at Her feet your offering
And with it mingle the fragrant sandal-paste of Love.

Continuing, he said: "Longing is like the rosy dawn. After the dawn out comes the sun.
Longing is followed by the vision of God".

"God reveals Himself to a devotee who feels drawn to Him by the combined force of these
three attractions: the attraction of worldly possessions for the worldly man, the child's
attraction for its mother, and the husband's attraction for the chaste wife. If one feels drawn
to Him by the combined force of these three attractions, then through it one can attain Him.
"The point is, to love God even as the mother loves her child, the chaste wife her husband,
and the worldly man his wealth. Add together these three forces of love, these three powers
of attraction, and give it all to God. Then you will certainly see Him.

Namaskar.

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Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #209 on: September 25, 2012, 05:48:22 PM »
Tushnim,
There are 3  aspects to what you have asked:
1.Pleasure does not last and wanes over a period of time.
2.It does not come free.We expend our prAna(life energy)to get this pleasure and this exhausts us.
3.If we look out for pleasure we may also have to accept the pain that may accompany it.

If we are okay with this,we may stay satisfied with Objects.

You ask- How can one move away from this and become attached  to God?
When we are tossed between pleasure and pain,we wonder whether there is anything that is lasting and gives us unalloyed happiness and joy.If we are earnest,we may be lead to someone who may show us the way-that true happiness is within us and if we can divert the mind within and gently lead it back to the Source or God,we directly experience the peace,Love and Joy.Even If we taste it once,then the mind can be arrested from its wanderings and learn to stay one pointed and poised.Spiritual practise is only the recollection of a scattered mind,making it one pointed and turned within.

Namaskar.