Author Topic: Rough Notebook-Open Forum  (Read 284893 times)

Ravi.N

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4049
    • View Profile
Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #1995 on: August 03, 2016, 01:59:25 PM »
Nagaraj/Friends,

Quote
God forbid, one day in some future some child lest study that once this great country had the great religion that was Hindu, the vedas.

We have families already say, that your grand father was great man, you are from a great family...


In a lighter vein,am reminded of Abraham Mendelssohn-Abraham Ernst Mendelssohn Bartholdy (born Abraham Mendelssohn; 10 December 1776 ? 19 November 1835[1]) was a German banker and philanthropist. He was the father of Felix Mendelssohn(well known Western Classical Music Composer) and Fanny Mendelssohn.
The son of the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, Abraham is supposed to have complained to a friend, "Once I was the son of a famous father, now I am the father of a famous son."

As long as we do not meet with this dilemma,it is okay...ha,ha.


Ravi.N

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4049
    • View Profile
Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #1996 on: August 03, 2016, 02:33:06 PM »
Nagaraj/Friends,
Whatever dross that had accumulated and  had to be purged in the web of religious life of the nation as also elsewhere has to happen.There is no stopping it.Whatever is temporal will be blown away and those that are eternal will stay.
Sri Ramakrishna narrates this interesting parable in the Gospel to Pratap Chandra Mazumdar: Listen to a story. A man had built a house on a hill.
It was only a mud hut, but he had built it with great labour. A few days after, there came a violent storm and the hut began to rock. The man became very anxious to save it and prayed to the god of the winds,'O god of the winds, please don't wreck the house!' But the god of the winds paid no heed to his prayer.The house was about to crash. Then he thought of a trick. He remembered that Hanuman was the son of the god of the winds. At once he cried out with great earnestness: 'O revered sir, please don't pull down the house. It belongs to Hanuman. I beseech you to protect it.' But still the house continued to shake violently. Nobody seemed to listen to his prayer. He repeated many times, 'Oh, this house belongs to Hanuman!' But the fury of the wind did not abate. Then he remembered that Hanuman was the devoted servant of Rama, whose younger brother was Lakshmana. Desperately the man prayed, crying aloud, 'Oh, this house belongs to Lakshmana!' But that also failed to help matters. So the man cried out as a last resort: 'This is Rama's house. Don't break it down, O god of the winds! I beseech you most humbly.' But this too proved futile, and the house began to crash down. Whereupon the man, who now had to save his own life, rushed out of it with the curse: 'Let it go! This is the devil's own hut!'
(To Pratap): "You don't have to perpetuate Keshab's name. Remember that he achieved all his success through the will of God. Through the divine will his work was established, and through the divine will it is disintegrating. What can you do about it? Now it is your bounden duty to give your entire mind to God, to plunge deep into the Ocean of His Love."

Although he said this to say that the Brahmo samaj will disintegrate....it is equally applicable to all that is temporal even in sanatana dharma or any other religion as well.
In a sense the Eternal Truth has to find  expression in new ways as has happened in the past....From the early Vedic period to that of the Upanishads,a similiar change had already happened.... the Early Vedic language of suggestion and symbolism had already given place to the more rational expression of the upanishads .....the upanishadic way of expression was supplemented later on by the Itihasas and puranas which emphasized a more accessible way of personal approach closer to the average human sense and sensibility(as against the impersonal approach of the upanishads)....we may see that although the principle and spirit pervading all this is the same,it is cast in different moulds of expression and approach....and I feel it is only inevitable that this outer change will continue- in terms of newer ways of expression, in terms of the way the inner and outer being are integrated in the web of life and living....whatever shape it takes,as long as it is informed by the Eternal spirit(the Sanatana Aspect)there need be no anxiety or concern that the fount of inspiration would run dry.....and this just cannot happen as the Eternal spirit is just what it is!

Namaskar

Nagaraj

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5130
    • View Profile
Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #1997 on: August 03, 2016, 03:11:24 PM »
Dear Sri Ravi,

Below is an excellent Anugraha Bhashanam by HH Bharati Tirtha. What i quite wished to convey.

https://youtu.be/6ywDTCIN0eY

--
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Jewell

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6267
  • Love,always love and only love
    • View Profile
Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #1998 on: August 03, 2016, 03:22:54 PM »
Dear Sri Ravi,

Thank You for Your kind words.
Yes,that example given by me was actually about rituals we have,which are offerings (in shape of food) to our ancestors and the dead. I believe You understood well what i wished to convey.
About Sri Nagaraj's views,well,this is Your very own observation:

Quote
Interesting thoughts here!How long we can keep blaming the Muslim invasion and the British conquest for the present state of confusion and neglect?

But i understand Your intention. And these,more political things You have mentioned,which are happening in India,well,this is another subject,and i would always support every effort to preserve ones's tradition and legacy. We deal in my country with some similar,in essence,problems,and i understand that problem very well. Sure,it is Your internal affair,and i do not know anything about it,so this is the subject for You all to discuss among Yourselves.



Dear Sri Nagaraj,

Quote
Talking about rituals, in context to the example provided by Sri Jewel, the wonderful aspect of such ritual is that it provides us an opportunity to undo what is undone earlier.

I was not talking about this at all. You cannot undo something if You think You did nothing wrong. And what will be the purpose of this,if in the very present that man got an opportunity to change something,or correct this mistake,with having more respect and love for the living? That is the whole purpose of seeing an error: Do do things differently,while there is still the chance for that.
You are talking about remorse,and correcting things,i am talking about situations where there is actually no remorse what's so ever.
And i do not understand what You meant with 'judgemental',when this whole conversation is based on this only. We are not speaking about perfect living,or such things. Our opponents are not perfect too,so would You provide an excuse for them too?

 I do not have the problem with Your patriotism,and such things,with Your call,or anything similar. I find it quite beautiful.

But, It seems that some of Your views are in war with eachother,and sometimes quite misplaced. You say You are not talking about superiority,but it is all You are actually talking about,in essence.
All in all,this whole conversation is totally unnecessary,if You ask me,because,we are talking about different things all together. I feel Your talk is meant for a  special audience,so i will refrain from further discussion.

I was talking about old superstitions,and ways that simply are giving us only degradation and weakness. You cannot do things in the same way,the way they are did four thousand years ago. What is the purpose of so many Avatars or incarnations than? It seems every one of them came with some duty to do,and among all,to adjust this 'Religion' to the mind of these particular times. Or to make corrections in interpretations of Holy books. Actually,they never adjusted or changed these Scriptures,they just gave a fresh views on them,and interpreted them the way they should be interpreted. All Sages actually did nothing but that. Each epoch has its own diseases,and each of Them acted according to that.
But one Truth stayed same with all. That we are all Nothing but The Soul,Free and Immortal.



With love,

Nagaraj

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5130
    • View Profile
Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #1999 on: August 03, 2016, 03:35:14 PM »
Dear Sri Jewel,

I only wish you could be able to listen to the video link i have just pasted, but it is in Tamil language. The essence of it all very well explained is just that you follow your Dharma of your place and tradition.

In context to India, it is not merely superstition. Yes those superstition do exist, i am not talking about those Superstitions, but well laid out way of life Dharma as laid out to us by our Rishis specific to India.

The essence of rituals is quite different what is practiced here. One need not know the full meaning of it, like said whether one circumabulates the Arunachala with faith or not it will bring benefit. the fire will show its effect.

Dear Jewel, my point is that you are free to take the truth that way, it your liberty. But for the ones here in India, its slightly different, it doesn't work like that. This is called a Karma Bhumi. Each one born here is born with a duty inbuilt.

Thanks Jewel,

--
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Ravi.N

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4049
    • View Profile
Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #2000 on: August 03, 2016, 04:26:42 PM »
Nagaraj,
Yes,I am presently watching the video link that you have posted.Thanks.I am aware of this view and it has its validity and I appreciate this view.

All the same,the opposite of this is equally valid in this sense...it is this ... we do not see this sort of an emphasis on the adherence to the external forms in the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna,Sri Aurobindo and Sri Bhagavan.

In fact Sri Ramakrishna says:
"For the Kaliyuga the path of devotion described by Narada is best. Where can people find time now to perform their duties according to the scriptural injunctions? Nowadays the decoctions of roots and herbs of the orthodox Hindu physicians cannot be given to a fever patient. By the time that kind of medicine begins its slow process of curing, the patient is done for. Therefore only a drastic medicine like the allopathic 'fever mixture' is effective now. You may ask people to practise scriptural rites and rituals; but, when prescribing the rituals, remove the 'head and tail'. I tell people not to bother about the elaborate rituals of the sandhya as enjoined in the scriptures. I say that it will be enough for them to repeat the Gayatri alone. If you must give instruction about scriptural ceremonies, do so only to a veryfew, like Ishan."

Over the last 200 years,the revival has been lead by these great sages and this also cannot be ignored....With all my respects to the sankaracharyas,I find that they still hearken back to revival of the dharma by Sri Adi Sankara.......they do not seem to recognize or give weightage to the fact  that the situation had gone 'dire' just recently in the previous century....and the changes that are sweeping the country ever since....the glorious revival of the upanishads by Swami Vivekananda and all the other band of sannyasins....in fact ,the R K mutt may have more publications of Sri Sankara's works than all the 4 sankaracharya mutts put together....and works like Viveka chudamani and atma Bodha are expounded by the other organizations like RK Mutt,Chinmaya Mission,Arsha vidya asramam,etc.and the glorious redefining of the upanishad in its pristine purity by Sri Bhagavan and his path of self-enquiry.

This is to say that while the other mutts are all inclusive,I find that the sankara mutts are not catching up!Nor is there a dissemination of proper information/hints and clues as to the why of even basic practices like sandhya vandanam....just what is the essence of these practices....what are the various limbs of sandhya and why that sequence,etc....If these are properly and systematically taught,young boys will take to it with gusto....Just saying that it is 'mandated' just do not help....most of the adults also simply go through the motions and quickly as if it is something to be done with!.
It is not enough to just call for Shraddha in people....we have to give them ways to understand the spirit and develop an initial interest that can later on grow into sraddha.

In fact it is Sri Aurobindo who has done a marvelous study of the Vedic symbolism and given the key(in his work 'The Secret of the Veda')....The very same 'Karma Kanda' is interpreted as an inner spiritual journey by him....yet he says that this is beyond the reach of the present day mentality(not in a negative sense but that it is inaccessible to the present day of thinking and sensibility)

All the same,it is very much in our interests to preserve all that is best in our culture and scriptures.....but then it has to be given a fresh approach and relook that is broad and all inclusive and yet have the intensity and depth.The old rhetoric of a call for  blind adherence is not going to help.

Namaskar.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2016, 02:09:49 AM by Ravi.N »

Nagaraj

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5130
    • View Profile
Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #2001 on: August 03, 2016, 05:33:46 PM »
Dear Sri Ravi,

Thanks for watching the video.

Quote
All the same,the opposite of this is equally valid in this sense...it is this ... we do not see this sort of an emphasis on the adherence to the external forms in the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna,Sri Aurobindo and Sri Bhagavan.

My observation is that they are not opposite at all. They all convey the very same thing. Only from the top it may appear different, if we look deeper, they are saying the same. It is not quite about emphasis about external or internal forms of worship. It is about Shraddha. My cousin's friend in his work place is a Sri Ramakrishna devotee, my cousin once told me that his friend who is RKMath devotee told him that if he can meditate like how Sri Ramakrishna has told then there is no need to do Sandhyavandanam. This was a great prize for one already struggling to cultivate the good habit. Teachings are misused Sri Ravi. What Sri Ramakrishna has said as seen in Gospel and that of Ramana are for the more evolved lot! They certainly do not apply for the general lot. Even Aurobindo!

I am more than sure that if we go and meet any monk from RK Math, none would decline from advising one from engaging in an activity like Sandhyavandanam. There are exceptions. As I have said in more than couple of instances in the past that we should not generalise Bhagavan's answers to certain devotees. They are case specific. Similar with certain answers from Sri Ramakrishna as well.

Quite true that RK Maths have more publications of Sri Sankara's works than all the 4 sankaracharya mutts put together, yet it is not just about the quantity alone! It is also more about the Sannidhi. One Kanchi Mahaswami's presence is so great that it will remain forever like the Sun, even though many of his thoughts were quite archaic. A great Tapasvi's presence is worth more than thousands of books. There are many such great monks even in RK Math. Each Mutt or Ashram have some role to play. They need not get into race with each other, that would be great problem. It is not just about Knowledge also. There are so many people who just need the presence of a great Tapasvi, they care least about Brahman atman. If they derive such compassion from somebody, it is enough for them.

Swami Vivekananda is the reviver of Hinduism. He is a Karaka Purusha. Somewhere I heard that Sri Ramakrishna once said that Swami Vivekananda was one of the Saptarishis. At

Inclusiveness is also very misused word. What is inclusiveness. We tend to understand inclusiveness with social equality. There are going to be differences and it is not inequality.

Ultimately, it is not just about the Shankara Mutts. I do not deny the pace at which the Shankara Mutts have been going. Whether Shankara Mutts are playing the role nicely or not, the sum Substance of what is conveyed by the Acharyal is what I am more interested. And my objective of posting that video was not for evaluating how the Mutts are doing, yes they yet to catch up, they are slowly catching up.

The Dharma is the Same no matter who does its Prachara. Whether it comes from Shankara or Ramana or Ramakrishna or Chinmaya Mission or Swami Sivananda and any other schools, the methods may vary but the fundamental truth remains the same.

I certainly agree that this Dharma has to be given a fresh approach and relook that is broad and all inclusive and yet have the intensity and depth.

just some humble thoughts. Thanks Sri Ravi
« Last Edit: August 03, 2016, 06:28:04 PM by Nagaraj »
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

atmavichar100

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2227
    • View Profile
Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #2002 on: August 03, 2016, 06:11:04 PM »
Quote
This is to say that while the other mutts are all inclusive,I find that the sankara mutts are not catching up!Nor is there a dissemination of proper information/hints and clues as to the why of even basic practices like sandhya vandanam....just what is the essence of these practices....what are the various limbs of sandhya and why that sequence,etc....If these are properly and systematically taught,young boys will take to it with gusto....Just saying that it is 'mandated' just do not help....most of the adults also simply go through the motions and quickly as if it is something to be done with!.
It is not enough to just call for Shraddha in people....we have to give them ways to understand the spirit and develop an initial interest that can later on grow into sraddha.

Dear Sri Ravi ,Nagaraj and Others Interested


Swami Paramarthananda has given a very  excellent 10 talks on Sandhya Vandanam which has been fully transcribed here and one of my motivations to keep this Sandhya Practice alive is after going through these talks . For those interested in putting Upanayanam for their son's I always recommend this link to first educate themselves on the same so that at least they understand its imporatnce and the Upanayanam function just does not end up as a normal routine function .

http://spiritualsathya.blogspot.in/2014/08/sandhyavandanam-1_13.html


The Audio version of these 10 talks can be listened in this link


http://hinduonline.co/AudioLibrary/Discources/LectureonSandhyavandanamParamarthananda.html


One Sri Sarma Sastrigal ( from Chennai ) is conducting regular camps highlighting the importance of many Nitya Karmas like Sandhya Vandanam , Samithadanam , Panchayatana Puja and has written small booklets on the same , just google "sarma sastrigal" to get more info . Even recently I got his book on "Achamanam" and he has described not only how to do it properly but also the spirit behind the same and how people are doing it wrongly .

Anyway I do agree with you that many of these practices are loosing relevance and even majority of  those who do it , they are doing it mechancially .But there are also people who are doing it very seriously even now and they understand both the form as well as the spirit and deeply committed to the Veda Dharma .

Due to Modren Education , these traditional scriptural teachings and practices have taken a back seat and many have forgotton the same or just mechanically following without knowing the deeper significance .

Anyway fortunately avenues are still there to learn and practice these things if one is keen and willing to spend time ,resource and energy for the same .
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

Nagaraj

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5130
    • View Profile
Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #2003 on: August 03, 2016, 06:55:47 PM »
Sri Jewel also re-pointed out this thought of Sri Ravi's

Quote
Interesting thoughts here!How long we can keep blaming the Muslim invasion and the British conquest for the present state of confusion and neglect?

I agree, how long can we keep blaming the British and Muslims. But the point is to recognise the damage that they have done. It is still having its impact in our society. Right from the couple of generations from our Grandparents time, our faith and our faith in the content of our scriptures, their knowledge have been dented in the minds.

We are struggling to revive the same. Sanskrit has lost its relevance. This is the reason youngsters are not attracted towards the Karma aspect. The problem is Still we are dependent on English translation or Tamil translations.

What kind of education we give to the children will alone shape them. Naturally they are unable to be attracted by the ones with saffron robes with ashes or naama and dhandam! They are seen with contempt. only all that is in English and modern and secular alone is acceptable! They believe in Self Help books these days. India is fast growing into a global hub of psychiatric disorders, depression, rapes, agression, aimlessness, unealthy working hours and glorified slave workers with a bit of salary. This all it takes to make our youth happy! increase in the number of divorces. Yes there is still traces of the effects of the misdeeds of the British! They have dented us psychically so much so that when we see the fair ones of foreign land our people stand amazed! There is more damage than that is ordinarily been spoken or realised.

Those that have escaped are fortunate. So i am not done with just blame. India is waking up slowly and recognizing her glory. More information is now freely available. People are no longer dependent on the opinion makers or news makers alone. Thanks to the Digital medium. They no longer need get cheated by charlatans.

It rests in our hands to share the little knowledge that we have. At the most, say we can take a copy of the Paramarthananada lecture on Sandhyavandanam and distribute to a youngster at the time of his Upakarma. Basically, if we spot a banana peel on the way, we pick it up and put it into dustbin.

Forgive me friends I dont know how suddenly this thought about our Motherland has creeped in to my mind and has ignited some food for thought. Just I realised now that it is August and we are couple of weeks away from our Independence day.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrPmeCersnA

Thanks

--
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Ravi.N

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4049
    • View Profile
Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #2004 on: August 03, 2016, 08:27:02 PM »
Nagaraj/Friends,
Of-course we are not doing any evaluation of the quantum of work any mutt is doing....that is certainly not our business...Nor are we in any way diminishing the role played by Sri Mahaswami in almost single handedly consolidating  and reviving the almost lost Rig veda chanting tradition ......this is just to say that the Truth has to be approached anew and new ways of reaching out to the people,in tune with the times are the need of the hour.I have referred to this sort of an approach as diametrically opposite(no opposition meant) to the traditional approach....Most Importantly this is what we see happening.

Of-course no monk of the RK mutt or any other order is going to say -Do not do sandhya or any other traditional practice.....That goes without saying....and certainly when I meant an all inclusive approach,it is not 'social equality'.....I have never raised this issue at all.....When I mean all inclusive,I mean it should take along people of all mindsets.....there will be the thinking type,there will be the feeling type,there will be the kinetic type,there will be the pious type who will adhere to tradition...there surely cannot be a one size fit all....The Earlier varnashrama division wherein the roles of each citizen was more clear cut in terms of life style is no longer available.....The other spiritual organizations have tuned themselves to address the changed scenario(actually old now!)....and they have programs that recognize and  encourage this sort of diversity.....The Clock has to move forward and cannot be rolled back.

The Sankara Mutts are predominantly aimed at addressing the Brahmin community(We should not fight shy to admit this!)....and its objectives are more geared towards the preservation of Tradition or whatever remains still.....although it is certainly true that the needs of other communities are catered to as a secondary line of approach by way of encouraging chanting of tiruppavai and tiruvempavai hymns(these include all communities)and encouraging folk arts,encouraging maintenance of village temples,etc....Yet,they are predominantly aimed towards the Brahmin community....and this is with a valid reason as well....for the Veda Samrakshana is still to be entrusted only to this community.

All this is fine but there is one big change......that the 'masses' of today are not the same as the 'masses' of yester centuries....with communication and media having made inroads,they are much better informed and exposed(for worse or for good)....No longer can anyone be pigeon holed as unsuitable for the so called 'Higher forms' of sadhana....The Highest Truth has to be scattered and disseminated along with the itihasas ....and this is happening.

Interesting also is to see what is happening outside India....Sanskrit is taught in institutions (more so than in India!) in the UK and the U.S...and Yoga and Vedanta are well studied and understood.....and practised as well.....was any sort of 'compulsion' or pressure of any Acharya or Guru needed for this spread and assimilation....Was there any preparatory ritual or schooling that was required to facilitate this?...How did it catch up here?How was the interest kindled in this sphere?.....If this be so,why it should be different in the country of origin ?(Again,Please do not get me wrong....I am not ringing out the traditional rituals,etc....I am only questioning the premise that People cannot Graduate to a 'Higher form' of approach without going through this rigmarole)

Just some food for thought......In fact Swamiji had thought of this a long while ago....I think it was in his 'Practical Vedanta' talk where he touches on this and in a big way....I shall post it once I get hold of it.

Namaskar.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2016, 08:35:26 PM by Ravi.N »

Ravi.N

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4049
    • View Profile
Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #2005 on: August 03, 2016, 11:06:47 PM »
Nagaraj/Friends,

Quote
I am more than sure that if we go and meet any monk from RK Math, none would decline from advising one from engaging in an activity like Sandhyavandanam. There are exceptions. As I have said in more than couple of instances in the past that we should not generalise Bhagavan's answers to certain devotees. They are case specific. Similar with certain answers from Sri Ramakrishna as well.

I agree but when I posted Sri Ramakrishna's advise on the Sandhya -This is not something said by him in response to a case specific query by a particular individual but was given proactively by him to pandit sashadhar,who was a preacher.I will give the complete conversation here where Sri Ramakrishna sets out to meet him:

About four o'clock in the afternoon the Master left in a carriage for the house where Pundit Shashadhar was staying. As soon as Sri Ramakrishna got into the carriage he went into samadhi. His physical frame was very tender as a result of the austerities he had undergone during the long years of his spiritual discipline and his constant absorption in God Consciousness.
The Master would suffer from the slightest physical discomfort and even from the vibration of worldly thoughts around him. Once Keshab Chandra Sen had said that Sri Ramakrishna, Christ, and Sri Chaitanya belonged to a delicate species of humanity that should be kept in a glass case and protected from the vulgar contact of the world.
It was the rainy season, and a fine drizzle of rain had made the road muddy. The sky was overcast. The devotees followed the carriage on foot. As the carriage stopped in front of the house, the host and his relatives welcomed the Master and took him upstairs to the drawing-room. There the Master met the pundit.

Pundit Shashadhar
Pundit Shashadhar, a man of fair complexion and no longer young, had a string of rudraksha beads around his neck. He was one of the renowned Sanskrit scholars of his time-a pillar of orthodox Hinduism, which had reasserted itself after the first wave of Christianity and Western culture had passed over Hindu society. His clear exposition of the Hindu scriptures, his ringing sincerity, and, his stirring eloquence had brought back a large number of the educated young Hindus of Bengal to the religion of their forefathers.

The pundit saluted the Master with reverence. Narendra, Rakhal, Ram, Hazra, and M., who had come with the Master, seated themselves in the room as near the Master as they could, anxious not to miss one ofhis words.
At the sight of the pundit the Master again went into samadhi. After a while, still remaining in that state, he looked at the pundit and said with a smile, "Very well, very well." Then, addressing the pundit, the Master said, "Tell me how you give lectures."
PUNDIT: "Sir, I try to explain the teachings of the Hindu scriptures."
Efficacy of bhakti for modern times
MASTER: "For the Kaliyuga the path of devotion described by Narada is best. Where can people find time now to perform their duties according to the scriptural injunctions? Nowadays the decoctions of roots and herbs of the orthodox Hindu physicians cannot be given to a fever patient. By the time that kind of medicine begins its slow process of curing, the patient is done for. Therefore only a drastic medicine like the allopathic 'fever mixture' is effective now. You may ask people to practise scriptural rites and rituals; but, when prescribing the rituals, remove the 'head and tail'. I tell people not to bother about the elaborate rituals of the sandhya as enjoined in the scriptures. I say that it will be enough for them to repeat the Gayatri alone. If you must give instruction about scriptural ceremonies, do so only to a very few, like Ishan.(We will see why Sri Ramakrishna is singling out Ishan....He had a traditional bent of mind-Ravi)

Futility of lecturing
"You may deliver thousands of lectures, but they won't make the slightest impression on worldly people. Can one drive a nail into a stone wall? The point of the nail will sooner break than make a dent in the stone. What will you gain by striking the tough skin of the crocodile with a sword? The sadhu's water-bowl, made from the shell of a bitter gourd, may visit the four principal holy places of India with its owner, but it will still remain as bitter as ever. Your lectures are not helping worldly people very much; and you will realize this by and by. The calf cannot stand on its legs all at once. Now it drops to the ground and now it stands up. So it learns to stand finallyon its legs and walk.
"You cannot distinguish a lover of God from a worldly person. It isn't your fault, of course. When the first onrush of the gale shakes the trees, it is impossible to distinguish one tree from another-the mango from the tamarind, for instance.

Rituals prepare the way for divine love
"Without having realized God one cannot give up rituals altogether. How long should one practise the sandhya and other forms of ritualistic worship? As long as one does not shed tears of joy at the name of God and feel a thrill in one's body. You will know that your ritualistic worship has come to an end when your eyes become filled with tears as you repeat 'Om Rama'. Then you do not have to continue your sandhyaor other rituals."When the fruit appears the blossom drops off. Love of God is the fruit, and rituals are the blossom. When the daughter-in-law of the house becomes pregnant, she cannot do much work. Her mother-in-law gradually lessens her duties in the house. When her time arrives she does practically nothing. And after the child is born her only work is to play with it. She doesn't do any household duties at all. The sandhya merges in the Gayatri, the Gayatri in Om, and, Om in samadhi. It is like the sound of a bell: t-a-m. The yogi, by following in the trail of the sound Om, gradually merges himself in the Supreme Brahman. His sandhya and other ritualistic duties disappear in samadhi. Thus the duties of the jnani come to an end."

This is again an absorbing chapter ...which is not?...ha,ha...

Anyway the point is that Sri Ramakrishna although when he grants that rituals cannot be got rid of ,yet at the same time is advising the removal of 'Head' and 'Tail' and keep it to the gayatri mantra.....and this is not advised to some 'individual' but as an advise to a 'preacher' who was already wielding a beneficial influence in  reviving the orthodox practices......We can see in the Gospel that he was not just a 'Pandit' but a highly evolved soul and earnest devotee as well....and this is not the only place where the Master advises like this.

I will post on Ishan Kaviraj who was referred to by Sri ramakrishna earlier.He was  an earnest devotee and was fond of the gayatri mantra.
Namaskar 

Ravi.N

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4049
    • View Profile
Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #2006 on: August 03, 2016, 11:42:55 PM »
Friends,
Sri Ramakrishna, Ishan Kaviraj and Gayatri Japa,an excerpt from the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

Ishan intended to retire to a solitary place and practise a special discipline of the Gayatri (purascharana-Ravi), through which Brahman is invoked. But the Master said that the Knowledge of Brahman was not possible without the complete destruction of worldliness. Further, he said that it was impossible for a man totally to withdraw his mind from the objects of the senses in the Kaliyuga, when his life was dependent on food. That is why the Master discouraged people from attempting the Vedic worship of Brahman and asked them to worship Sakti, the Divine Mother, who is identical with Brahman.
.............
ISHAN: "Please bestow yourgrace on me."
MASTER: "Say to God with a guileless heart, 'O God, reveal Thyself to me.' And weep. Pray to God, 'O God, keep my mind away from "woman, and gold".' And dive deep. Can a man get pearls by floating or swimming on the surface? He must dive deep.
Faith in the guru
"One must get instruction from a guru. Once a man was looking for a stone image of Siva. Someone said to him: 'Go to a certain river. There you will find a tree. Near it is a whirlpool. Dive into the water there, and you will find the image of Siva.' So I say that one must get instruction from a teacher."
ISHAN: "That is true, sir."
MASTER: "It is Satchidananda that comes to us in the form of the guru. If a man is initiated by a human guru, he will not achieve anything if he regards his guru as a mere man. The guru should be regarded as the direct manifestation of God. Only then can the disciple have faith in the mantra given by the guru. Once a man has faith he, achieves all. The sudra Ekalavya learnt archery in the forest before a clay image of Drona; He worshipped the image as the living Drona; that by itself enabled him to attain mastery in archery.
"Don't mix intimately with brahmin pundits. Their only concern is to earn money. I have seen brahmin priests reciting the Chandi while performing the swastyayana. It is hard to tell whether they are reading the sacred book or something else. They turn half the pages without reading them. (All laugh.)
"A nail-knife suffices to kill oneself. One needs sword and shield to kill others. That is the purpose of the sastras.(This is to be noted ,how the master views Sastras ....It is not viewed as the ONLY AUTHENTIC source to govern one's conduct and practices as the orthodox bastion views it-Ravi)

"One doesn't really need to study the different scriptures. If one has no discrimination, one doesn't achieve anything through mere scholarship, even though one studies all the six systems of philosophy. Call on God, crying to Him secretly in solitude. He will give all that you need."

(Ishan went ahead with his puracharana of Gayatri mantra!-Ravi)

The moon had not yet risen. It was a dark night. The Master, still in an abstracted mood, sat on the small couch in his room and continued his talk with the Divine Mother. He said: "Why this special discipline of the Gayatri? Why this jumping from this roof to that?? Who told him to do it? Perhaps he is doing it of his own accord. . . . Well, he will practise a little of that discipline."
The previous day Sri Ramakrishna had discouraged Ishan about Vedic worship, saying that it was not suitable for the Kaliyuga. He had asked Ishan to worship God as the Divine Mother.
The Master said to M., "Are these all my fancies, or are they real?"
 M. remained silent with wonder at the Master's intimate relationship with the Divine Mother. He thought She must be within us as well as without. Indeed She must be very near us; or why should the Master speak to Her in a whisper?

I have posted this to give the sort of devotee Ishan kaviraj was....He was inclined to orthodox ways and this is why Sri Ramakrishna suggested to pandit sashadhar to prescribe the ritualistic practices like the sandhya to someone like Ishan.

Again,this is not to say that Sri Ramakrishna was against such rituals...but the master emphasizes the devotional aspect over and above all these preparatory practices....and does not consider that they are mandatory as declared by the sastras.

Also,this is not to put down or discourage seekers who take to such practices like a duck takes to the pond....any practice done wholeheartedly is good.

It is also to say as Sri Ramakrishna says:The mother brings home a fish for her children. She curries part of the fish, part she fries, and with another part she makes pilau. By no means all can digest the pilau. So she makes fish soup for those who have weak stomachs. Further, some want pickled or fried fish. There are different temperaments. There are differences in the capacity to comprehend."

Namaskar

Ravi.N

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4049
    • View Profile
Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #2007 on: August 04, 2016, 02:07:24 AM »
Friends,
There are two unfailing prescriptions from Sri Ramakrishna specifically tuned to what he calls as 'Kali Yuga' and this is quite in line with Srimad bhagavatham.The Master was a paragon, a living embodiment of of all paths and he prescribed the path of devotion to all people and devotees.This prescription is indeed perfect in the present times,given the challenges of secular/professional life.

He says:
1.In the Kaliyuga it is extremely difficult to perform the rites enjoined in the scriptures. Nowadays man's life is centred on food alone. He cannot perform many scriptural rites. Suppose a man is laid up with fever. If you attempt a slow cure with the old-fashioned indigenous remedies, before long his life may be snuffed out. He can't stand much delay. Nowadays the drastic 'D Gupta' mixture is appropriate. In the Kaliyuga the best way is bhaktiyoga, the path of devotion-singing the praises of the Lord, and prayer. The path of devotion alone is the religion for this age.

2.What is the Dharma that he prescribed?Sri Ramakrishna says:
Truthfulness in speech is the tapasya of the Kaliyuga. It is difficult to practise other austerities in this cycle. By adhering to truth one attains God. Tulsidas said: 'Truthfulness, obedience to God, and the regarding of others' wives as one's mother, are the greatest virtues. If one does not realize God by practising them, then Tulsi is a liar'.

This is something that is immensely practical....although it does call for total earnestness and commitment.

The question arises as to how we inculcate these qualities in our children?This is by living it ourselves.What other resources we have?As a Tamilian ,the literature available in Tamizh is quite rich....What readily comes to mind are avvaiyar and Tiruvalluvar....There is nothing that these have not covered in their works 'Athichudi' and 'Tirukkural'....Besides this we have ofcourse the Rich Tiruppavai and the devotional Hymns of Appar,Manikkavachakar,Thayumanavar,Bharatiyar....actually the list is endless.

We also have  superb Hymns in Sanskrit and in other languages.We have the wonderful Ramayana,Mahabharata,Bhagavatham.....We have the Glorious Srimad Bhagavad Gita.....all these can fill our lives....and truly one lifetime may not be enough!We can certainly expose our children to these works....We can take them to meet the Sadhus and on places of Pilgrimage....So,it is not as if we are handicapped in any way....If only every household is exposed to even a few of this and start living this,Dharma will take root and fresh foundation gets laid....and this can flower and spread its fragrance.
Ofcourse we also need to give quality education to all and promote excellence in all aspects of Life....There is no reason that excellence in Life cannot go hand in hand with spiritual outlook....contrarily it is what would help lay a firm foundation to the spiritual dimension.
Master TGN taught these fundamentals in all his talks...Ofcourse he emphasized on Rectitude ,Honesty and Industry in action(Karma Yoga)along the lines of Tirukkural and Jnana aspects...He lived such a life himself and this carried its own stamp of authority.
He used to say 'Tirukkural' is enough to restructure and rebuild ourselves in all possible dimensions.

I have mentioned the above by way of suggesting a pragmatic approach towards building a strong spiritual foundation....Ofcourse,once the seeker starts 'tasting' the fruit of practice,that momentum will carry him onwards....He does not require any crutches in any form.

Each seeker has to learn to delve deeply into what works for him and stick to that ....all other things are more ancillary in nature.
Here as Sri Bhagavan wonderfully advised 'Vanda Velaiyai pAru Oye!'(Attend to what you have come for)....This is Fundamental.

Namaskar.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2016, 02:10:54 AM by Ravi.N »

Ravi.N

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4049
    • View Profile
Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #2008 on: August 04, 2016, 03:37:33 AM »
Nagaraj/Friends,
I failed to respond to this observation by Nagaraj:
Quote
My cousin's friend in his work place is a Sri Ramakrishna devotee, my cousin once told me that his friend who is RKMath devotee told him that if he can meditate like how Sri Ramakrishna has told then there is no need to do Sandhyavandanam. This was a great prize for one already struggling to cultivate the good habit. Teachings are misused Sri Ravi. What Sri Ramakrishna has said as seen in Gospel and that of Ramana are for the more evolved lot! They certainly do not apply for the general lot

Well certainly this sort of a thing cannot be helped.All the same it certainly is not true that what Sri Ramakrishna has said  in the Gospel  is for the 'more evolved lot'....They certainly are totally accessible to an average person,provided they are in right earnest....This,I can vouch from personal experience,in that I have seen quite a few people benefited who got the taste of it.This is the beauty of the Gospel that it casts its spell.

For  disinterested people,no method or practice will work...They simply have to bide their time until they are called...Period.Just getting them to do 'sandhya' will not help either.....we have seen enough evidence of this as well....On the other hand,if such people are exposed to some Bhajans,association with sadhus....there is every chance that it may rub in on them and once they get to taste it,they will require no further persuasion and will latch onto it on their own....Holy Association is the ultimate resort and there is no substitute for that.....Yet as Sri Ramakrishna says,the water pot made of bitter-gourd may visit all the tirthas but its bitterness will still remain!....Nothing can be done in that case....That Indifferent 'Narayana' has to continue playing that role until something in-spite of him prompts  to  get interested ,to whatever degree.What to do?

Namaskar.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2016, 03:39:50 AM by Ravi.N »

Ravi.N

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4049
    • View Profile
Re: Rough Notebook-Open Forum
« Reply #2009 on: August 04, 2016, 10:23:56 AM »
Atmavichar,
Thanks for the link to swami Paramarthananda 's sandhya vandana.......I am familiar with what he has said.
I cursorily saw 'sandhyavandana Bhashya' by Sri 'Anna' subramanian published by R K Mutt ....I thought it provides more insights and cross references.I have it in my mind  to explore what it has to offer .
Namaskar