Author Topic: Atmic Will  (Read 3833 times)

Nagaraj

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Atmic Will
« on: May 02, 2012, 08:11:40 PM »
Today as i tried to get up early in the morning as usual, i began to contemplate on my body consciousness; i realised how difficult it is to really get up, when the demand to sleep is inviting. I was thinking and contemplating thus, and without deliberate thoughts, i began to remember all the scriptural teachings, which have conveyed, how one has to go beyond the body and so on. But, here i am, struggling to get up.

What really struck a chord in me, from Sri J Jayaraman's speech is these 2 small words "Atma Balam" and i remembered these words in the state of drowsiness, early in the morning, in between sleep and waking, in my contemplation.

Now, i realised, first of all, i am able to recognise that i am finding it difficult to get up, i am also able to recognise my thoughts, such as, how difficult it is to get up; i wondered, what Sri Bhagavan has really conveyed. It was like a flash, that the moment i have recognised this, then i am sepetare from that. i remembered how Bhagavan used to get up as early as 2:30 or 3:00 in the morning, and go about doing some chores of kitchen and a few other things. I wondered, whether Bhagavan never felt any such discomfiture at all, while it is true, he never felt any discomfiture, as they say, He is beyond body consciousness. i wondered what this 'being beyond body consciousness' means, then it came forth, very simply, that, being beyond body consciousness is simply being indifferent to both discomfiture and comfort. that is all. there is nothing more to this revelation. It ceased to be any more bigger 'brahma vidya'.

But, in our experience, we are still bound by these dualities, we are still attached to what gives us Sukha, and we resist what gives us Dukha. This was what is happening to me now, i contemplated, early in the morning, in those moments between waking and sleep.

The strongest should be God, the strongest should be Atma itself. Now, is it not from the Atmic source that i am even able to recognise my weakness - 'oh, how i wish i could sleep more, oh i dont want to get up yet' from this Sukha' - IT WAS ABSOLUTELY CLEAR THAT THIS DISCERNMENT IS ABLE TO HAPPEN ONLY BECAUSE OF ATMA.

what was there at all times. something was there, when i slept, so as to now say that, 'oh how blissful it is to sleep,  how i dont want to get up now' and from the same source, i was able to even discern 'oh, how or when am i going to be able to go beyond this drowsiness of this dilemma, how will be able to go beyond this body consciousness' - it struck me, that the same source has remained witness to these, so as to now be able to discern these, as written here. This is that Atma, though, is now dormant and camoflaged by various doshas, such as doubt, underconfidence, being a loser, of not being able to over come body consciousness, etc... is that light, from which all these discernments even became possible.

Such contemplation was going on from within. Then it struck me these two words "Atma Balam" now, when Bhagavan has said, Atma is Balam, then this Atma must be the strongest, therefore, a voice from within rang a bell, that how this itself can win over these dualities by its own sheer will. It now flashed forth, from within, this Atmic Will.

That which enabled me to recognise my Doshas, such as, my being unable to get up and my demand to sleep further, and how i am bound by these dualities of Sukhas and Dukhas; is itself beyond these Sukhas and Dukhas, otherwise, itself would not give about these unbiased discernment. :) it became very clear! i felt ecstatic! i felt, God has given me a new revelation or weapon or knowledge, how i can over come my doshas, by sheer Atmic Will. Once we recognise this source, i realised that we can use the same source to over come our own Doshas.

Having said this, yes, I am aware, that it is not as easy as it is said here, but, this is the PURUSHAARTA, this is the Atmic Will. Purushaarta is Atmic will. We can, Yes, we can. We just need to keep affirming this again and again, and make our acquiantance with this Atmic Will. like how Jaambavan had to lift the spirit of Hanuman. As we keep practicing this, implementing this Atmic Will, in all dualities, such as this sleep, body consciousness, desires, etc... it will become our second nature, and there is no losing body consciousness at all, Body is inclulsive of the Atma, only, we become indifferent to these prompts, such as, 'oh how nice it would be to sleep, how nice it would be to not get up",  "how nice it would be if i can eat this, how nice if i can have these" etc...

Sri Shankara has said in Vivekachoodamani, that Vasanakshyam Moksham वासनाक्षयं मोक्षं ie the destruction of our predispoositions itself  is liberation. Moreoever, if we look subtly, the direct method as revealed by Bhagavan has got nothing to do with really finding the truth, the direct method has got mainly to do with curbing the emergence of the fundamental root of all predisposition, the primal - i

Atma is truly ones Balam. With Bhakti and grace, what cannot be achieved? i would like to conclude with these fiery and strong words of Swami Vivekananda -

All power is within you; you can do anything and everything. Believe in that, do not believe that you are weak; do not believe that you are half-crazy lunatics, as most of us do nowadays. You can do any thing and everything, without even the guidance of any one. Stand up and express the divinity within you.

Salutations to Bhagavan
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Subramanian.R

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Re: Atmic Will
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2012, 08:16:55 PM »

Dear Nagaraj,

Amta has got all the  Balam in the universe. But one should seek it and take it. It is like Grace of Guru. Unless one seeks
it how can the Grace be obtained?

Arunachala Siva., 

Nagaraj

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Re: Atmic Will
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2012, 08:48:20 PM »
Dear i,

yes, one has to seek it earnestly and obtain it. like Bhagavan says, grace is every present, the grace of the Guru is like the ocean. If the disciple comes with a cup he will only get a cupful. It is no use complaining of the niggardliness of the ocean; the bigger the vessel the more he will be able to carry. It is entirely up to him.

And, remembering the very wise words of Mahatma Gandhi here, "be the change you want to be" i also am also prompted to recollect a wonderful story as told by Sri Ramakrishnar, where one thief goes to village with all bad intentions and when he tries to run away with gold, and, realises the futility of his running, he got an intelligent solution, he had long hair, he matted and tied them like a Sadhu, and he buried the jewelry and kept a towel upon it and sat below a tree as a sadhu, closing his eyes as though in deep meditation, with full of fear from within. Soon the chasing villagers came near him, obviously could not recognise him, asked him if he saw a thief running, to which he calmly responded saying, he was in deep meditation and could not take note of anything around him.

Slowly, the innocent villagers began to show immense respect towards this imposter and began to give him all food, fruits and jewelry out of sheer love towards a 'Guru' the imposter, now was full of joy as he contemplated that he was now earning much more than ever before and what a bonus, he felt, he was also getting all sorts of exotic food as well.

Many days passed like this, one fine day, the thief wondered, and felt very deeply, how much love the innocent villagers have been showing on to him, even though he was just an imposter, and thought, how much more love he could expect, if he were really a sadhu? discerning thus, the thief, became truly a great Sadhu.

Such is the power of Atmic Will.

Salutations to Bhagavan
« Last Edit: May 02, 2012, 08:50:03 PM by Nagaraj »
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Ravi.N

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Re: Atmic Will
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2012, 07:47:23 AM »
Nagaraj,
"i realised how difficult it is to really get up, when the demand to sleep is inviting."
This happens when the sleep is predominantly Tamasic .This can be changed through sadhana in the waking period and specifically the hours preceding the time we retire to bed.This time is very crucial and whatever is initiated then continues as an undercurrent in sleep as well.The quality of Sleep will be of a totally different nature and one will get up quite fresh and the body will be felt quite light like air and agile.One can literally spring up from  bed and be in the same state preceding the hour when one retired to bed.The Sleep itself will be a sort of 'being with oneself'.

There are certain physical things that one can pay attention to-One should avoid heavy meals beyond 20:00 hrs ,if one goes to bed at 22:30 hrs.Onions definitely produce Tamas when eaten Raw;when cooked they are fine.This can be clearly perceived as a sort of inert heaviness of the Body/mind complex.One cannot drastically reduce the quantity of food,but one may reduce it gradually to just sufficient level of light ,satvic food(Vegetarian).

It also helps to avoid watching TV;this is easy for the Sadhaka,as he is eager to use every available time for sadhana only and is in no need for any entertainment or distraction.Listening to good music like classical music and devotional songs are an aid in making the mind receptive and ready for sadhana.Reading the lives and teachings of the Great ones is indispensable.One can never say-'I have read it'.I come across such statements 'Yes,I have read The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna'.I will ask-'Are you reading now'?If the answer is 'No',then I will say-'Well,perhaps you have not read properly'!This is as good as not reading at all.A Book like 'The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna' or the "bhagavatham' cannot be 'read' just like that.One has to soak in its atmosphere,its ambiance.This is the purpose of reading it,not just to understand the 'contents' and 'quote' from it.As Sri Ramakrishna used to say-'Bhagavatha,Bhakta,Bhagavan'.This 'soaking' in the ambiance is the key to proper sadhana-and if one may do this before retiring to bed,it will continue during the hours of sleep as well and one will then gently wake up and continue this 'soaking'.The Difference between 'Sleep' and 'Waking' will be minimal.

Namaskar.





sanjaya_ganesh

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Re: Atmic Will
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2012, 08:44:25 AM »
Ravi sir

I cannot agree more with you - you are absolutely on dot in what you said. I can tell from my experience - the only thing I do 45 minutes before sleep is reading Bhagavad Gita - it may be just 2-3 verses, but I try to soak in its meaning. And at least 4 days a week I wake up at my usual time of 5AM without an alarm. And make it a point to never have my dinner after 7:30PM and go to bed at 9:45PM and read Gita few verses till 10:30 and mostly fall asleep reading it :) (sorry! I know it is bad to read Gita and fall asleep - it is not a fiction - but I like doing that). Yes - I am still only 4 days a week normal and rest 2-3 days I still struggle to wake up. But let us see how it goes in long term.

Many thanks for bringing this important practical point, Nagaraj garu. I am sure you know most of this like us - just implementing it is as hard :) as for me as well.
Sanjay
Salutations to Bhagawan

Nagaraj

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Re: Atmic Will
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2012, 08:55:27 AM »
Dear i,

thank you for your wise words, yes, what you have observed is so very true. Everything begins with food and chitta. i would like to discuss what constitutes a satwic food. There was a time when our food was predominantly satwic, but now a days, onions are integral part of every family, lifestyles changed, dinner times change. can we talk about neat food habits. what foods make a good food for sadhakas? what is to be eaten, what is to be avoided, in detail, timings - not to adhere to a strict routine, but, it is a need perhaps for everyone to know, become aware at least.

Thank you

Salutations to Bhagavan
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Nagaraj

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Re: Atmic Will
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2012, 09:07:03 AM »
Dear i,

please also do share the daily routine and food habits of Ramakrishna order monks, at your convenience. thank you. knowing the Life of such a monk would be of immense benefit to us all.

Salutations to Bhagavan
« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 09:08:39 AM by Nagaraj »
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

sanjaya_ganesh

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Re: Atmic Will
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2012, 09:11:56 AM »
Dear sirs -

Type of food and timings is one part. But I am also reminded hearing in a satsang by Swami Chinmayananda some 20 years back when I was in college that food must be eaten like this - "Half stomach food, one fourth is water and one fourth is left free / air". Whenever I tried eating like that it feels so great next day morning. Coming to scientific part, I also heard a famous naturopath / nutritionist saying the same and he also opined that most of the days you feel tired when you wake up is because, though your outer senses slept at  10:30PM or so, your inner organs (mainly stomach) goes to sleep only at 1AM or so as it was working hard digesting what you ate. So when you wake up at 5AM, they have not slept enough and feel tired. I found this true, when I followed that half stomach at 7:30PM principle. You wake up automatically at 5AM with no effort and feel energized.

The thumb rule was : "If you do not feel energetic when you wake up and you dont wake up automatically without an alarm, that means you over ate / ate late the previous night" - per that gentleman.

Peace
Sanjay
Salutations to Bhagawan

Nagaraj

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Re: Atmic Will
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2012, 11:22:30 AM »
Dear i,

what you have mentioned is very true "Half stomach food, one fourth is water and one fourth is left free / air"

due to my lifestyle, most days i am only able to eat my dinner after 9:30, sometimes even late due to my job. Many of the Sage's advises such as above becomes difficult to implement, and, on the other hand, holding the people at home at ransom to prepare food the way we want and in the time that we want, would be, i felt worst than even eating tamasic food :) so there are so many dynamics here.

deep within, i feel, there is really not very much, we could really do to change our lifestyle much, yes, we could bring in few changes, that too, only minimally, for we are all interconnected with every other people at home and society.

Also, on a forethought, it occurred to me that, one cannot live like a monk living in the world, one can only live like a monk internally but externally, to incorporate a monk's lifestyle would boomerang, i felt :)

i am reminded about this wonderful instance from the life of Shirdi Sai Baba, this story helps us assimilate the true essence of jnana:

Once it so happened, that a sadhak of Yoga came to Shirdi with Nanasaheb Chandorkar. He had studied all the works on Yoga, including the Yoga-sutras of Patanjali, but had no practical experience. He could not concentrate his mind and attain samadhi even for a short time. He thought that if Sai Baba be pleased with him, He will show him the way to attain samadhi for a long time. With this object in view he came to Shirdi, and when he went to the Masjid he saw Sai Baba eating bread with onion. On seeing this, a thought arose in his mind - `How can this man, eating stale bread with raw onion, solve my difficulties and help me?' Sai Baba read his mind and said to Nanasaheb - "Oh Nana, he who has the power to digest onion, should eat it and none else". Hearing this remark, the yogi was wonder-struck and then he fell at Baba's Feet with complete surrender. With pure and open mind, he asked his difficulties and got their solution from Baba. Thus being satisfied and happy, he left Shirdi with Baba's Udi and blessings.



Bhagavan's mother was a very orthodox lady, full of caste prejudices and superstitions. Bhagavan did not tolerate any of her ideas. He criticised her many times and was quite ruthless in destroying all that stood in the way of her emancipation from ignorance and fear. When she refused to cook onions, which are taboo to a Brahmin widow, Bhagavan would show her one and say, "How mighty is this little bulb! it can stop my mother from going to heaven."



In this spirit, many of us, we realise, that how we are all interwoven within the society and people, even within the family. Can we demand not to use onion for our spiritual progress? can we demand a particular time for our lunch dinner just for our spiritual progress? sometimes, it would become counterproductive, and people may begin questioning our spirituality etc... instead, what i felt is best, is work ourselves stronger and stronger from within, where these foods cannot affect our spirituality, we are that Atman, again, i land onto "Atma is Balam" atma alone could be depended upon.

Seeing the realities of our times, i am sure, many of our families cannot avoid going to restaurants some times, as the women themselves are tired of their jobs and they do want some holidays, can we hold them on ransom? Instead, of lamenting to ourselves, "oh, am eating so much outside, i am eating so much junk food, etc..." we can develop the bhakti and spirit and make ourselves stronger So, it becomes our utmost duty to imbibe more, the spirit, than the actuality! These things, drop away, by themselves, when times are right.

The kind of environment, that we live today, i am sure, many working in IT field would know, how they have to go to office parties, etc... can they avoid such things? no, instead, one can observe moderation, eat just for the sake of eating, and remain. The best of everything is making oneself Stronger and only Stronger, more resolute, "nothing can affect me" with bhakti, and offer what ever we eat to God first and eat what ever we are eating with a feeling that the this food is His Prasadam.

Gita says, Him the sword cannot pierce; him the fire cannot burn; him the water cannot melt; him the air cannot dry, what can a mere food do to such a one? one must delve in constant Tapas, Tapas nothing can harm one. Atma is Balam, yes!

Salutations to Bhagavan
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

sanjaya_ganesh

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Re: Atmic Will
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2012, 11:38:30 AM »
Nagaraj garu

Very nice writing from you. I have nothing to add and I can also assimilate with many things you have written. We end up buying outside food few days a month too - and cannot avoid any of what you wrote in this Kali Yuga. But I think moderation is something we can all try to practice irrespective of what and when we eat. We eat at 9:30PM - fine - but we can choose to eat half stomach. Nobody will find fault in that part :) I hope at home and society.

Again, I stayed in the neighbourhood of Swami Chinmaya for a long time in school days and go to him to learn Gita as small kids :). He used to eat - I remember - only one idli and used to tell us : "Children, dont follow me in eating now at young age :) - but you all shoudl eat very well". So I think we should progressively moderate the quantity we eat rather than what and when (if we cannot) is my humble suggestion

Peace
Sanjay
Salutations to Bhagawan

Nagaraj

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Re: Atmic Will
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2012, 11:52:02 AM »
Dear i,

yes, that is wisdom, this much we surely can incorporate - "but we can choose to eat half stomach. Nobody will find fault in that part :) " at the same each one should eat requisite food to get enough energy as well, and, not under eat as well, depending on the amount of mental-physical activities of such a one.

Salutations to Bhagavan
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Nagaraj

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Re: Atmic Will
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2012, 11:53:30 AM »
Have you had personal interactions with Swami Chinmayananda? kindly do share your experiences.

Salutations to Bhagavan
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

sanjaya_ganesh

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Re: Atmic Will
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2012, 12:17:16 PM »
Dear Nagaraj garu

Thanks. My interactions were as a kid  - and I really dont have much I can share in this enlightened forum. BUt there are few things I distinctly remember now when I recall some of his words and actions and analyze from the present knowledge I have.

What I remember is that I was amazed at how detached he was with body just like any jnani. Disciples force and take him to US for heart check ups etc. as he had chronic heart issues and I think he had 3 attacks which finally took him away from us. The day before his US travel he used to tell us : "Kids, tomorrow they are going to take me and check up whether my heart is still there or not. Dont worry your class wont be disturbed. We will see whether they bring me back in this state or inside a box :). If I am not inside a box, I will continue the class after a week with you all" and he bursts into a laugh and points to one of his disciples and says that that sadhu will take the class for the one week gap. His sense of humour was unmatched. It was laughter half the time with him even in Gita class.

He used to keep repeating to us kids- "Krishna has only one message. He knows 18 chapters is not required for it. But what to do? Arjuna is a budhu (and he laughs) and keeps asking questions like - 'show me this, show me that. I dont believe you, show me vishwa roopa etc etc'. And what is his one message - Krishna keeps repeating at start and end of every chapter in various ways that 'Supreme truth is ONE and ONLY ONE all pervading ever present in and out of everything". He laughs and says if Arjuna was a "ripe fruit" only one verse and Gita would be over "Ahamatma Gudakesa Sarvaboothasaya sthitha. Aham adim cha madhyam cha boothanam anthamevacha".

All I recall vividly is his sense of humour even when once he returned back from hsi heart check up and doctors apparently commented "We dont know how his heart still keeps fucntioning, there is nothing left" and he cracks many jokes on that too...

Peace
Sanjay
« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 02:20:26 PM by sanjaya_ganesh »
Salutations to Bhagawan

Nagaraj

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Re: Atmic Will
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2012, 12:29:33 PM »
Dear i,

wonderful to hear your recollections of Swami Chinmayananada. i have once visited the Chinmaya Heritage centre at the Harrington road, and i thoroughly enjoyed those moments. Swami Chinmayananda books are excellent for anybody, they are absolutely straightforward. Yes, humor was an integral part of being in his satsang, i however, have only seen him, only in internet and youtube videos.

The book i love the most is his Ashtavakra Gita.

thank you for taking us near to Him, i feel like, i have just had His darshan :)

salutations to Bhagavan
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Ravi.N

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Re: Atmic Will
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2012, 08:28:49 PM »
Friends,
Facts are what they are;we cannot alter them to suit our convenience.What we can do is to adjust our lifestyle so that we get close to the Facts.
Yes,moderation is key and this is something that one has to observe and workout for oneself.As the sadhana deepens,it by itself will regulate the lifestyle.
It is not as if we cannot avoid parties!We definitely can go to office parties and manage by sipping water,and after a couple of such episodes,who knows,we may be allowed to take the bow early!This is where atma balam is.
Similiarly we can manage this as well:"i am sure, many of our families cannot avoid going to restaurants some times, as the women themselves are tired of their jobs and they do want some holidays".
Instead we can learn to cook and give the ladies a little rest!In general,it is safe to avoid eating outside if we can help it.We can simplify cooking by just boiling a little rice and having some ready made dish like podi(Granular powder made of Lentils spiced with pepper,salt ,etc)and curd with just pickle to get along.There are plenty of things that can be done.

I am taking the extreme position to show that for an earnest seeker ,nothing is an obstacle.In The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna ,the Master says about Captain's Father:
"Captain was born in a family of devotees. His father was a soldier. I have heard that on the
battle-field he would worship Siva with one hand and hold a naked sword in the other."


The Core thing is to carry on Sadhana and not unwittingly compromise to anything that we find is an obstacle,not what we think or read is an obstacle.Regarding the quality and quantity of food,please do not bring about drastic change;Observe what works for you and fine tune it accordingly.Please do not reduce  and go Hungry!No such formula like Half Stomach,etc.I have heard that Prophet Mohammed had said that as well,but I would say that each one has to find the Right quantity for oneself.Do have your onions as well if you do find it is not affecting you,but when you do find one day that it does one will take necessary measures to avoid it.

I will recommend this book by Swami Ashokananda called 'Spiritual Practice' which is available as a download:
http://www.estudantedavedanta.net/spiritual%20practice.pdf

Please use guidelines but do not be bound by any formula.We need to employ our common sense and intelligence as to what works for us.Importantly what works for another need not work for us!As Sadhana intensifies,we will have the clarity to organize our life to support it.

Wishing you the very Best.

Namaskar.