Author Topic: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:  (Read 37072 times)

Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #30 on: January 22, 2013, 10:11:49 AM »
BRAHMACHARYA, SOLITUDE AND SOCIAL LIFE:

3. "Is not then celibacy indispensable? Can a married man realize the Self?"

     Bhagavan: "Certainly, it (Realization) is a matter of fitness of mind. Married or unmarried one can realize the Self,
     because the Self is here and now."

                                                               - Talk No. 17.

The Self is All. The married as well as the unmarried. Being one's own self, who can be debarred from experiencing it 
in its utter purity, if the mind has been prepared for it? If celibacy is the only cause of eligibility, then all celibates should be
muktas and all grihasthas in abysmal bondage, which experience and tradition refute.

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Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #31 on: January 23, 2013, 10:22:40 AM »

'How does a grihastha fare in the scheme of Moksha?'

Bhagavan: 'Why do you think of yourself to be a grihastha? If you go out as a sannyasi, the thought that you are a sannyasi
will haunt you. You will only be substituting one thought by another. The mental obstacles are always there. They even
increase in new surroundings, There is no help in the change of environment. The mind is the obstacle. Therefore why change
the environment?'

                                         - Talk No. 54.

The real enemy, therefore, of the sadhana, is not so much a domestic life as the habits, restlessness, the pet notions,
the desires, the stubborneness, the dullness, --- the immaturity, in brief, -- of the mind which keeps us company wherever
we go. Why blame it on the family, or sometimes even on God Himself.         

continued....

Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #32 on: January 24, 2013, 09:41:55 AM »
The environment never abandons you, according to your desire. Look at me. I left home. Look at yourselves. You have come here
leaving the home environment. What do you find here? Is this different from what you left?

                                                                       - Talks No. 54.

"Look at me: I left home", Bhagavan says, forgetting for a moment that what He found in the pitch-like dinginess of Pathala Linga,
in the Big Temple at Tiruvannamalai to which He had escaped from home in 1896, was entirely different from His "home environment"
in Madurai. To strike a personal note of my own, I would add that seeing Bhagavan all day long, and seeing a grasping landlord as an
incubus of a neighbor elsewhere, an incubus which certainly was not "according to my conscious desire", makes a Himalayan  difference.
But we understand what the Master means. One carries one's environment with him, which is not other than one's own mind, as we discussed in the last note. No one can leave his mind behind and go out in search of God. The mind is thus the most troublesome as well
as the most helpful instrument, depending on the use we make of it, an instrument, which keeps us constant company. It makes
the environments.

By "the environments never abandons you, according to your desire", Sri Bhagavan wishes to impress upon us against the
restlessness of the mental sankalpas -- our own whims and fancies, -- which shape our circumstances. We thus prepare our bed
and we sleep on it.

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Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #33 on: January 25, 2013, 10:26:30 AM »

Even if one is immersed in nirvikalpa samadhi for years together, when he emerges from it, he will find himself in the environment
which he is bound to have. That is the reason why Sankaracharya emphasized sahaja samadhi in preference to nirvikalpa samadhi
in his excellent work Vivekachudamani. One should be in spontaneous samadhi, that is, in his pristine state, in any environment.

                                                        - Talk No. 54,

Sri Bhagavan continues the topic, but includes in the mind the physical environment, which for the Jnani affects only the physical
body. Even the Jnani, Sri Bhagavan elsewhere asserts has to be subject to the karma of the body --- his mind being no longer
tarnishable. The Jnani is ever in samadhi. When he switches off the world, he is in nirvikalpa (better call it kevala nirvikalpa, because 
sahaja is also called nirvikalpa, vide chapter on Samadhi). When he switches it on, he is in Sahaja, that is, perceiving the physical world
at the same time as being in the reality. The physical environment of the Jnani is chalked out for his body by prarabdha, and this sticks
to him, as long as he is in the body. But of whatever sort it may be, it cannot affect his mind which is ever centered in the 'pristine
state', irrespective of what the physical environments are.

continued.....

Arunachala Siva.   

Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #34 on: January 26, 2013, 09:44:01 AM »


Solitude is in the mind. One may be in the thick of the world and maintain serenity of mind; such a one is in solitude. Another
may be in a forest, but still unable to control his mind. He cannot be said to be in solitude. A man attached to desire cannot
get solitude wherever he may be. A detached man is always in solitude.

                                                - Talk No. 20.

We have already observed that the state of mind is the true environment. But the remark of the Master, about the relation
of desires to solitude can be summed up as:

"Desire is the crowd and desirelessness is solitude." Or, "Desire creates the city, and desirelessness creates the forest."

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Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #35 on: January 27, 2013, 10:33:51 AM »

Work performed with attachment is a shackle, whereas performed with detachment does not affect the doer. The latter is in
solitude even while working. As for service, Realization of the Self is the greatest service that can be rendered to humanity.
Therefore, the saints are helpful although they dwell in forests. But it should not be forgotten that solitude is not obtained in
forests only, but even in towns, in the thick of worldly occupations. The help is imperceptible, but it is still there. A saint helps the
whole humanity unknown to it.
               
                                                                            Talks No.  20.

This should be the quietus to the criticism that yogis or seekers of the path of Liberation are selfish.  The critics will now see their
shortsightedness in attaching great important to physical service, which on no account can give permanent and all round satisfaction.
Laws of economics and social reforms may work well on physical plane, may increase the earning capacity of the laborer, give him a better shelter, educate his children, and raise him to a higher social status. But it can never give him happiness. We see it before our eyes that the more you raise your wages, the greater will be the struggle of the laborer to gain more -- he never knows where to stop his demands. But even if you make him a millionaire, his mind will remain indigent proletariat, like the fuzzy and ever agitated minds of all the millionaires under the sun. Therefore, all this talk of working for, and uplifting the poor is intrinsically based on false values. Poor is he who is unhappy, even if his wealth were that of Croesus. The greatest wealth is the peace which flows from true knowledge, which can be imparted only by their 'selfish' yogis and Rishis. This does not mean that philanthropists and social workers should close shop and cease helping. It is their dharma to help, which they cannot shirk, for in the performance of this dharma lies their own salvation. But they must stop sneering at the one who alone can give the most valuable help of all, namely, redemption from ignorance and misery --- and for ever.

The questioner remarked: 'In Europe it is not understood by the people that in solitude one can be helpful, imagining that working in the world alone can be useful.' Sri Bhagavan said: Never mind Europe and America. Where are they but in your mind? Realize yourself and all will be realized. If you dream and wake up and recall the men of your dream, will you try to ascertain if these men are also awake?'

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Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #36 on: January 28, 2013, 10:24:02 AM »
THE WORLD:

If you make your outlook that of wisdom, you will find that the world to be God. Without knowing Brahman, how will you find
His all pervasiveness?

                                                                - Talk No. 1.

This 'outlook of wisdom' is that of the Jnani who has realized Brahman which he finds to be the source of all perception, that is,
of the world. Brahman is not only the source of the world, but also its pervader, nay, its very self - its warps and woofs, its very
stuff and texture. But this all pervasiveness of God cannot be perceived till the realization of the Self has been fully achieved in
Sahaja Samadhi. To tell the unrealized person that the world is God is like writing it on water --- meaningless. Ask him first to realize
the God or Brahman, and he will cease to puzzle, but will try to understand.

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #37 on: January 29, 2013, 09:15:15 AM »
THE WORLD:

continues.....

The world is not external. The impressions cannot have an outer origin, because the world can be cognized only by consciousness.

                                                                     - Talk No. 53.

What is the world? Sri Bhagavan answers, 'impressions in the mind.' Do impressions have a source? Modern psychology answers,
'Yes, the external stimuli', which Sri Bhagavan repudiates. The psychologists have no proofs at all of a non physical stimulus, located
in outer space. Yogic experience has shown that there exists no such thing as outer object or space, for if it were, it would not be known at all; what is not mental cannot impress the mind. Therefore, impressions rise from the consciousness itself, like the dream
impressions which rise from the dreamer's mind and are perceived by it. The world cannot stand by itself, but has to depend upon
consciousness to be known, or else, how can we be sure that it exists at all?  If for, example, in the midst of a dream we are to be
challenged to prove that the world we perceive and the food we eat were only figments of our imagination, we would be in as much
a dilemma to prove it as we would should such a challenge be thrown to us in the waking state about the jagrat world and jagrat
food; for while in dream we take the dream to be real,  much as we take the waking to be real while in it.

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #38 on: January 30, 2013, 08:47:50 AM »

Is the world perceived after Self Realization?

Bhagavan: What does it matter if the world is perceived or not? the ajnani sees the Jnani active and is confounded. The world
is perceived by both. But their outlooks differ, Take the cinema, for instance. Pictures move on the screen. Let the pictures
disappear. What remains? The screen alone. So also here. Even when the world appears find out to whom it appears. Hold the
substratum of the 'I'. When the substratum is held what does it matter if the world appears or disappears?

One sympathizes with the questioner. His curiosity is a common weakness. In the beginning of this answer the Master wishes to
draw attention to the fact that to the Jnani, there is neither gain by seeing the world, nor loss by not seeing it. What matters most
is the Being, which is the man himself --- as he is in himself --- self sufficient and perfect, and in this Being the Jnani is firmly established.
It thus matters very little if he perceived the extraneous world or not.

To speculate about the mental state of the Jnani is an idle labor; for it is anybody's guess, like the state of the Supreme Brahman.
For both are one and the same, notwithstanding the appearance of activity on the part of the Jnani. This activity is, truly speaking,
inactivity, like the movements of the pictures on the screen, which in reality do not exist. There is no activity whatever on the screen,
but only an appearance of it. As the screen is alone real and the pictures unreal, so is the Self alone real, and not the action.

Activity and the world in which it takes place are thus both unreal. The 'I' is the screen, the sentient seer, and all pictures and worlds
are the insentient shows playing in, or upon it.

Sri Bhagavan asserts that when you are confused by the sights, turn your attention upon yourself, their seer. Continue doing
that again and again and you can bet on your assured success.

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Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #39 on: January 31, 2013, 10:14:00 AM »

How to turn the mind away from the world, you say? Is there a world apart from the Self?  Does the world say that it exists?
It is you who say that there is a world. Find out the Self who says it.

                                                                                                  Talks No. 81

The substance of this answer is the same as that of the preceding ones, but it differs from them in the form. In all fundamental
principles we discover unity in the substance but diversity in the presentation, which is the superficial form. Differences in the
questions impose differences in the answers, and differences in he spiritual quests are responsible for all the scriptures of the
world. Otherwise even the voluminous Vedas could be summed up in one syllable - OM.

Thinking is the world. It creates the world.  We think and our thoughts appear as the external objects. That the world had been
before we were born and continues to be after we are dead, and that science and history bear evidence to this fact, does not alter the
truth that even these scientific and historical facts are our present thoughts or notions --- notions which haunt us as long we are in
jagrat. All the worlds and the billions of ages which they have lased, tumble down like a pack of cards the moment we lay our heads on
the pillow and sail off from jagrat, and with them come down the history of the people who preceded and the world which preceded
the people, etc.,, Yet, notwithstanding the total pralaya of our jagrat thoughts, the complete blotting out of the universe --- in our beds ---- we continue to BE, to travel to new lands and cross new seas, though lands and seas are, like jagrat, our own creation. So the
dreamer of jagrat alone is real --- the jgarat dream is a total false.

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #40 on: February 01, 2013, 09:31:46 AM »
THE WORLD:

You say that the world is materialistic. Whether it is materialistic or spiritual, it is according to your outlook. Make your outlook
right. The Creator knows how to take care of His creation.

                                                                    - Talk No. 240.

The last sentence makes us think of the politician, social worker, philanthropist, economic philosopher, and even the
clergyman who are ever anxious to help the nation and the world, perpetually thinking of how to save the humanity from
misery and disaster. Sri Bhagavan practically tells them that there is a Power which is making and moving all things. Who
are you to imagine that you can make and unmake to your liking? Such worries denote ignorance of Providence, or the arrogation
to oneself the duties of Providence. These preoccupations should be abandoned by the seekers, who are expected to begin
with a strong faith in omniscience and omnipotence of the Supreme Being Whom they are seeking. Service to others is only permitted
if it is done as a sadhana with jnana as the ultimate aim, as a means to self purification. Find truth and all will be well with the world.
'make your outlook right, for the world is according to your outlook.'

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #41 on: February 02, 2013, 10:34:11 AM »
THE WORLD:


Does Bhagavan believe in evolution?

Bhagavan: Evolution must be from one state to another. When differences are not admitted, how can evolution arise?
You say that when Sri Krishna tells Arjuna that after several births the seeker gains knowledge and thus knows 'Me',
denotes evolution. But you must not forget that Gita begins with 'Neither I was, nor you, nor these chiefs etc.,'; neither it
is born, nor does it die, etc.,' So there is no birth, no death, no present as you look at it. Reality was, is, and will always be.
He is changeless.

The questioner is a Theosophist, and, like Arjuna and Darwin, sees the evolution of of forms and mistakes it for the evolution
of life, which is changeless. When Sri Krishna saw that Arjuna was unable to grasp His meaning about the absoluteness of the
subject, which is neither born nor dies, He turns a leaf and starts speaking a language which Arjuna understands. What moves,
changes and progresses is the form which the life inhabits, or its ideas, concepts, outlooks, which are its functions, and not
itself as the thinker or conceiver. We have all observed ow man daily changes his views about things and the world, from infancy,
to old age, though himself remains the same jiva. Life is changeless and ever perfect, so that it has no need to progress, to 'evolve'.
Life is pure sentience, i.e no external existence, which is bound by no frontiers to need breaking its chains through 'evolution'. It is
the usual human astigmatism, rather failure in precision of language that ascribes progress to life and brings in evolution and reincarnation. The Srutis also speak of rebirths, but they know what they are talking about, as does Sri Krishna in the Gita. They
say this to the millions of Arjunas of all ages, but speak a different language to the dedicated sadhaka who has prepared himself 
to receive the Absolute Truth.

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #42 on: February 03, 2013, 09:30:25 AM »
THE WORLD:

continues.....

What should we do to ameliorate the condition of the world?

Bhagavan:  If you are free from pain, there will be no pain anywhere. The trouble is due to your seeing the world externally
and also thinking that it has pain. But both pain and the world are within you.  If you look within there will be no pain.

                                   Talk No. 272.

Here again the world is sitting on our shoulders.  Its misery is weighing heavily on us: "What should we do to ameliorate it?"
Is this true altruism? Is the life of the man who worries free from blemishes of selfishness? If not, we know the exact value
of such altruism. But this is not really the concern of Bhagavan who approaches the question from the absolute level. You look
outside, He tells us, and see a world, and then you start worrying over its suffering. But is the world really there that you should
take its suffering so seriously? The whole drama is enacted by, and inside your mind. You are like the thief dressed as a policeman
going in search of the thief. The whole show of sympathy and concern for the world is a show put  up by the criminal who is responsible'
for the world and its suffering.  The thinking mind creates the world and its suffering and the thinking mind now poses as the savior
of the world.  Bhagavan virtually asks it not to be a hypocrite. Root out your own sins and you will see no sins anywhere.

contd.,

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #43 on: February 04, 2013, 10:28:13 AM »


Is there a spiritual hierarchy of all the original propounders of religions watching the spiritual welfare of humanity?

Bhagavan: There may or may not be. 'It is only a surmise' at best. Atma is pratyaksha (self evident). Know it and be done
with speculation. One may accept such a hierarchy; another may not. But no one can gainsay the Self.

I have placed It is only a surmise - in inverted commas, which should be taken as an authoritative statement from the Master
that no one can have the means of knowing definitely whether such a hierarchy exists or not. This must not be forgotten, so
that all such claims may be taken at their face value.

But even if such a hierarchy exists, can it help us to attain the Reality? Yet "watching the spiritual welfare of humanity" sounds
very attractive. But the question is, suppose this is true, how does somebody's watching from some unknown area in some
distant, unknown world over, say, my spiritual welfare, help me to attain the Reality -- a process which should be undergone by
myself alone, inside my own consciousness, through the immediate guidance and presence of the Master, who has himself attained
it, and be become the Reality personified, and who is far more competent for this job than any invisible, remote 'watcher'?

It all appears mist and fog to the seeker who is too practical and too rational to hug shadows, 'speculative' hypotheses. The path
is too simple to admit dubious complications. The truth is self evident (pratyaksha), says the Master.  It does not consist in discovering
hierarchies, but in discovering the mind, or the being, which discovers hierarchies and everything that is known. And as everybody
is a being, it follows that every man is himself is the truth and the container of all things, a fact, which cannot be 'gainsaid'. Know
Thyself remains the wisest and the most practical counsel.

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #44 on: February 05, 2013, 08:19:33 AM »
The World:

11. Anyway there is nothing apart from the Self. Even the 'spiritual hierarchy' cannot exist apart from the Self. It is only in
the Self and remains as the Self.  Realization of the Self is the only goal of all.

This clinches the matter. Even this hierarchy is, if it does exist, included in that one Absolute Self. Then why not seek the
Self alone right now? Why waste time on secondary, irrelevant matters, which will lead nowhere?

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