Author Topic: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:  (Read 37907 times)

Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #45 on: February 06, 2013, 09:24:08 AM »

12. A phenomenon cannot be a reality simply because it serves a purpose. Dreams also serve dream purposes.  For example,
the dream water quenches the dream thirst. The dream creation is however contradicted in the waking state. What is not
continuous cannot be real. The real is ever real, and not real once and unreal at other times. The same is with magic, which
appears real yet it is illusory. Similarly the world is not real apart from the reality which underlies it.

                                                     - Talk No. 315.

This is an answer to some Tantrikas who hold the world is not an illusion like mirage, because it serves the purpose which
the mirage does not. Bhagavan refutes the argument of utility as a criterion of reality, on the analogy of dream objects which
have their utility in the dream world, e.g. dream fire cooks dream food, and dream food satisfies dream hunger, and so on, yet
they do not exist. The test of reality is not utility but perennial continuity, which places the phenomena of this world - of jagrat
-- on a par with those of dreams, being ephemeral and, therefore, as illusory as them, whereas Reality is the fixed substratum
on which the phenomena appear. The dream's substratum is the dreamer himself. The jagrat dreamer is the substratum of the
jagrat phenomena. He is real but not the phenomena. And as the dreamer of dreams and of jagrat are the one and the same jiva,
the jive is therefore the Absolute Brahman, which once again validates the identification of the jiva with Brahman by the Srutis:
"jiva Brahmaiva na parah" - there is no difference between the jiva and Brahman.

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Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #46 on: February 07, 2013, 08:15:23 AM »


13. There is fire on the screen in a cinema show. Does it burn the screen? There is a cascade of water. Does it wet the screen?
There are tools.  Do they damage the screen?  Fire and water are only phenomena on the screen of Brahman and do not affect it.

                                                                - Talk No. 316.

This is a practical and perfect illustration of Sri Krishna's words in the Bhagavad Gita that the fire does not burn it (the Self),
nor does water wet it, nor can swords cut it, of which no one cal plead ignorance. For there is scarcely an intelligent person
who has not witnessed it in a picture-house, and has not known the piece of cloth --- the screen --- which receives the fury of
fire, water and swords, remains completely unaffected by the celluloid conflagration that appears to rage on it. The screen is
the seeing mind,  the subject spoken of in the last post and the celluloid conflagration is the world.

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Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #47 on: February 08, 2013, 01:42:00 PM »
THE WORLD:

14. "Why should individuals remain caught in the affairs of this world and reap trouble in the result? Should they not be free? If they
are in the spiritual world they will have greater freedom."       

The Master answered: The world is only spiritual. Because you identify yourself with the physical body you speak of this world as physical and the other world as spiritual. Whereas that which is, in only spiritual. If you realize yourself as the Spirit, you will see that this world
is only spiritual.

                                   - Talks No.  328.

If pure consciousness alone is, the phenomena that are seen and endured by it are utterly superfluous. But because we take them seriously, we say that the affairs of the world are troublesome. What is more serious is that we take the body to even more real
than the phenomena, because the body adheres to us throughout life as an inseparable companion, from which we have no relief.
We are never given a chance in the waking state, to see ourselves by ourselves without the body, so that we may distinguish between
the real us and the unreal body. This ceaseless companionship through which we perceive, act, obtain and enjoy the objects of our
desires, has created the illusion that the body is our very Self. And in that illusion,  lie all our difficulties. Because the body is physical,
we think that we are diseased, and tired, and so on. But when the Master draws our attention to our error, we take measures to correct it --- from seeing the outer world, including the body, we turn back upon our own selves as the knowers of the world, and the
body. For Knowledge is not physical; it does not have shape, smell or color, as does the body. We will thus realize ourselves to be the
Infinite Consciousness which uses the body, when the suffering of the body will cease to affect us, and we likewise will cease to see the
world and the body as external, but the phenomena inside our own Self. From being physical, the world will turn out to be Consciousness or spiritual in essence. The conscious separation of the body from the pure consciousness, as a first step, will thus resolve all doubts and is the aim and object of this Sadhana.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                   

Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #48 on: February 09, 2013, 09:48:49 AM »
The World:

15. A Spanish lady writes in a letter: "If the individual self merges in the Universal Self, how can we pray to God for uplift
of the humanity?"

Bhagavan comments: They prey to God  and finish with, 'Thy will be done.' If His will be done why do they prey at all? It is
true that the Divine Will prevails at all times and under all circumstances. The individuals cannot act on their own accord.
Recognize the force of the Divine Will and keep quiet. Each one is looked after by God. He has created all. You are among
2,000 millions. When He looks after so many will He omit you?

Again there is no need to let Him know your needs. He knows them Himself and will look after them.

                                                                                        -  Talk No. 594.

The recorder adds that 'the question seems to be common among the thinkers of the West.' So it is! For the simple reason
that the Westerners are taught from infancy to pray for others, not forgetting, of course, to begin with themselves, their
fathers, and mothers, sisters and brothers.  At the same time, they are taught to have absolute faith in the Lord. They find
no inconsistency in having this absolute faith side by side with ordering Him to execute what they wish Him to, as if He knows
nothing about it. They follow the Sermon on the Mount which enjoins them, like this text, "Be not ye, like unto them, (the heathens
who make long petitional prayers): for you knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him." (Matthew VI. 8).

Sometimes they even involve God in international squabbles and invoke His help on both sides of the fighting line.
They coerce Him through mass religious processions and open air prayers.

Rational faith is a great unifying force in the spiritual world, but blind faith is most disastrous all around, as the lurid history
of the Dark Ages have evidenced. Blind faith is still going strong in this 20th century, but mercifully, with its fangs blunted.

Followers of Sri Ramana remain consistent and hold on to the rational Advaitic path. God is our Self and so long as we do not
realize Him as such, we continue to bear this belief firmly in us, which we reinforce by the conviction that no man is ever neglected.\
God, Who is infinite Wisdom, knows what is best for each and does it without our reminding Him. He does not need our suggestions
or advice.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva. 
       
 
     

Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #49 on: February 10, 2013, 09:32:44 AM »
THE WORLD:

continues.....

16. Still more, why do you pray?  Does not your Creator and Protector know that you are weak?  You say God helps those
who help themselves. Certainly, help yourself and that is itself according to God's Will. Every action  is prompted by Him only.
As for prayers for others it looks so unselfish on the surface of it. But analyze the feeling and you will detect selfishness there
also. You desire others' happiness so that you may be happy. Or you want the credit of having interceded on others' behalf.
God does not require intermediaries. Mind your business and all will be well.

                                  --- Talks No. 594.

Bhagavan's accusation of the intercessor of selfishness is fully justified. We have only to read religious history to realize the
havoc this intercession played in the political, social, domestic and spiritual life of the West. Intercessions and certificates of
intercessions under the name of indulgences were brought and sold in the open market for some centuries in Europe, and the
practice, at least the notion of intercession, still, even today, lingers among a vast section of humanity, so that we should not
wonder at people who want to pray for others and for the peace of the world and pose as heroes in the eyes of
God and men. Even in India the imported notion has spread to some spiritual institutions, where intercession is being
practiced on a large scale. Bhagavan reminds us that "God does not require intermediaries."

That "every action is prompted by God" requires some explanation. On the face of it, it looks as if the statement negates
karma and free will. In fact, it does not. What it means is simply this: since the Self or God are pure intelligence, that is,
alone intelligent, and since no action is done without an intelligent actor, it follows that the Self Itself is the doer (or prompter)
of all actions, notwithstanding these being bound by the laws of karma, which are themselves the work of the same Self.
Thus God is the all doer and all knower.

The Self alone is intelligent existence, and because it is not perceived as such, there is all this wrong thinking, this false belief
about the impotence, sinfulness and ignorance of man, which need confessions, intercession by saints, prayers for forgiveness
and for peace, and what not.

Bhagavan shows us the right way and asks us to mind our own business and go on practicing till we realize the truth about
God and above humanity by our own efforts and direct experience.


contd.,

Arunachala Siva.
                 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #50 on: February 11, 2013, 08:45:16 AM »

17. Does not God work His will through some chosen person?

Bhagavan: God is in all and works through all. But His presence is better recognized in purified minds. The pure one reflects God's
actions more clearly than the impure mind. Therefore people say that they are the chosen ones. But the chosen man does not
himself say so. If he thinks that he is the intermediary, then it is clear that he retains his individuality and that there is no complete
surrender.

                                                                                 - Talks No. 594.

That God alone is the doer, we have already discussed the point. The new point brought here is to the effect that only a pure
mind can understand Him as such, and such a mind does not pose as an intercessor. He who so poses, as certainly many people
do, should be branded as victim to egoistic delusions.

But the questioner seems to mean differently from the implications of deliberate intercession. He seems to refer to an act of Divine
Grace for the benefit of someone or other or of a whole nation, through a human agency. This is quite valid. But Sri Bhagavan's point
is that such an agency is possible in a mind which is fitter than another for this particular work. Yet, this 'chosen' person would not
know, still less say, that he is chosen without contradicting his mission, for the simple reason that the choice is an automatic act,
and appears to the person himself as natural as any other act, though it turns out to be for the benefit of mankind.

If we grant that all actions are God's, then there is nothing to distinguish one act from another, all actions being induced or inspired
by the intelligent actor from inside himself without the reminder that it is God's. The same may be said of the universally or individually
beneficial act. Thus he who poses as an intercessor, a conscious intermediary, must be looked at with suspicion, more so if he lays claims to highest spirituality through the tapas of surrender. This proves that his surrender is very defective and his tapas not worth
the name.

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #51 on: February 12, 2013, 09:33:04 AM »
THE WORLD:

continues....

18. Are not Brahmins considered to be the priests or intermediaries between God and others?

Bhagavan: Yes. But who is a Brahmin? A Brahmin is one who has realized Brahman. Such a one has no sense of individualitiy
in him. He cannot think that he acts as an intermediary.

                                                   - Talks No. 594.

This definition of Brahminism is as ancient as the Hills. When Bhishma was lying on his bed of arrows, some thousands of years
ago and taught the Dharma Sastras to the Pandavas in the presence of Sri Krishna, he also like Bhagavan, gave the true meaning
of Brahminhood, as follows:

"Acts alone determine who is a Brahmana and who is not. Performing all rituals and sacrifices does not make a Brahmana. There
is only one bondage, namely, that caused by desire. He who is free from this bondage is a Brahmana. He who restrains his senses,
who is constantly in yogic samadhi is a Brahmana. He is distinguished above all others, and derives his joys from the Self alone."
(Shanti Parva of the Mahabharata)

Thus a Brahmin is, truly speaking, a dweller in Brahman, a Jnani, or at least a foremost sadhaka, irrespective of his physical descent.
But the questioner is thinking only of the sacred-thread wearers, who claim Brahminism by right of descent, which the Srutis, Smritis, as
in the above quotation, and Sri Bhagavan repudiate. Yet the Brahmins as a caste have done a lot of good to India and to the world
by saving the Sastras from destruction, through staunch adherence to tradition in many vicissitudes through which this sub continent
has passed in its long history. But unfortunately, the wind of change that blew over the world in the last century or two affected this
caste also. The majority of the Brahmins found themselves faced with the need to struggle for their existence, which compelled them to
occupy positions which had been reserved for the Kshatriyas and Vaisyas.  Yet, notwithstanding, these disadvantages, they continue
to stand in the forefront where the study and practice of Yoga and Vedanta and the spreading of Sanskrit knowledge are concerned,
which is a redeeming feature in the materialistic tendencies  of this age.

It is now clear that there exists no human agency of any kind that can intervene between God and man. The Jnani, the God realized
mukta, alone can help --- not as an intermediary, but as a teacher of, and guide to, the absolute state of the Self.

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #52 on: February 13, 2013, 09:25:10 AM »
THE WORLD:

Dream and sleep do not make any appeal to me. The sleep state is really dull. Whereas the waking state is full of beautiful
and interesting things.

Bhagavan: What you consider to be filled with beautiful and interesting things is indeed the dull and ignorant state of sleep to
the Jnani. A Sanskrit saying goes:  "The wise one is wide awake just where the darkness rules for others."  You must certainly
wake up from the sleep which is holding you at present.

                                                                   - Talk No. 607.

The English lady who has asked this question seems to have unwittingly given us the secret of Creation.  She has most probably
hit on the cause of the disturbance of the gunas in consciousness, which has given rise to the senses, that is the world. The
disturbance is admittedly an inner impulse, an urge to experience the "Beautiful and interesting  things", and lo! the beautiful
and interesting  things are. The formless, colorless, tasteless, smell less, sound less state of the pure being becomes intolerably
'dull' and the stir in the consciousness takes place to spread a dream, to erect a picture house in order to enjoy a kaleidoscopic
show, this world of multiplicity. At all events the desire of this lady for beauty is the cause of this body of hers, which permits her
to enjoy 'beauty'.

Now the question arises, if the questioner is so devoted to the beautiful things of this world, why does she leave them daily
to seek the 'dullness' of sleep? She is hardly consistent in her loyalty to the beauty when she deliberately and even longingly
forsakes it for the uncouth, obscure, sleep ---- not once in a blue moon, but at least three hundred and sixty five times a year.
She ought seriously think that there is something uncanny, something mysterious in her ardently seeking what she ardently dislikes,
namely, dull sleep. Some inquirers do not care so cast a glance --- even when reminded by sages --- at their conditions in the sleep
state, taking it to be irrelevant to their questions. They imagine themselves well established in a solid world of truth, and there can be
no sense in taking them out of it into a world of shadows and mist.

But the fact remains that the comparison and coordination of all the three states are most essential for the full understanding of the
true nature of jagrat. Again the questioner fancies sleep to be useful for the 'relaxation of the body'. Relaxation implies an antecedent
feeling of tension. We have on many occasions proved the body to be insentient. That being the case how can an insentient object
feel tension? Moreover, if relaxation of the body is the objective, where is the earthly reason of dropping the body completely in this world in bed and going to another world for it? Why cannot it be done right here, where so many other machines are given rest?

The fact is, that what impels us to seek sleep is the longing for the rest and delight of the inner 'home', where we gather ourselves,
so to say, from the exhausting dissipation caused by the senses, whose 'interesting' creation is fictitious, and 'beauty' an ephemeral
mirage. What we take to be waking is actually dreaming, and our sleep is actually waking into the sanity of dreamlessness. What is
darkness for the ignorant is light for the wise, Bhagavan's  quotation reads, and its significance we have to study carefully.

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Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #53 on: February 14, 2013, 09:13:02 AM »
THE WORLD:

continues.....

20 The sleep,  dream and waking states are mere phenomena appearing on the Self, which is itself stationary as simple awareness.
The same person sleeps, dreams and wakes up. The waking state is perceived to be full of beautiful and interesting things, the absence
of which makes one think that the sleep is dull.  Because you identify yourself with the body and you see the world around you and say
that the waking state is filled with beautiful things. Sleep appears dull because you are not there as an individual and therefore these
things are not perceived. But what is the fact? There is the continuity of Being in all the three states, but not of the individual and the
objects.

That which is continuous endures. That which is discontinuous is transitory.  Therefore the state of Being is permanent, whereas the
body and the world are not.

                                                - Talk No. 609.

This is extremely lucid. It all amounts to saying that because the body which sees 'the beautiful and interesting things' in the
waking state, is absent in sleep. Therefore, the world and the body rise and sink together without affecting the being who wakes,
dreams, and sleeps.  Thus the body is not the being, but only the instrument it has chosen for itself to enjoy the beautiful and
interesting things, just as one chooses a telescope to see an object ten miles away, which otherwise would remain invisible.
The body is no more oneself than the telescope is.  Further, the body can be discarded, whereas the being is continuous. Thus
the being is the reality, whereas the temporary body is not.

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #54 on: February 15, 2013, 08:55:46 AM »
THE WORLD:

21. The mind is like akasa (ether of space).  Just as thee are objects in space, so there are thoughts in the mind.... One
cannot hope to measure the universe and study the phenomena. It is impossible. For the objects are mental creation;
it is like to trying to stamp with one's foot on the head of one's shadow. The farther one moves, the farther goes the shadow's
head.

                                         --  Talk No. 485.

We have already seen that space is the mind's extension, containing thoughts which appear to be the external objects.
Since the objects are our own creation, pursuing them in the attempt to reach their end is like trying to place one's foot on
the head of one's own shadow which recedes as the body moves nearer, for the more we think the larger will the universe grow,
however unwieldy and of incomprehensible immensity it already is.

Therefore the study of the phenomena will lead absolutely nowhere but to the never ending phenomena ---- never to the Real
which underlies them. All sciences --- mathematics, physics, medicine --- pertain the phenomena, the world of space, of time,
of experience, of bodies, of action, and perish with them.

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #55 on: February 16, 2013, 10:35:18 AM »
THE WORLD:

22. Are thoughts mere matter?

Bhagavan: Do you mean matter like the things you see around you? But who is the thinker?  You admit that he is Spirit. Do you
mean that Spirit generates matter? Can Consciousness generate non-consciousness? Or the light darkness?

                                                                  - Talk No. 613.

The questioner rightly demands clarification of the oft repeated assertion that the world is merely our thoughts.  Bhagavan's answer
implies that 'by our thoughts' is means a mere appearance, which has nothing real in it, like the appearance of of water in a mirage,
which is no water at all.

Thoughts are after all mere vibrations in consciousness, in themselves they are nothing, but in our minds they assume ideas or notions
of objects --- mountains, lands, seas, forests, and the thousands of the things that surround us, --- or else how can Brahman or God
who is pure Spirit, generate stones, fire, water, however much the religions of the world ma hail Him as their Creator?  Further,
it is utterly non conceivable that He, Who is immaculate radiance as Supreme Bliss-Intelligence, should give rise to the abnormal
darkness of avidya or to fear, hatred, envy, pain, diseases, etc., The inference is neither world nor avidya exists. They are pure
fantasy --- Consciousness alone is.

Vasishta tells Rama: 'The visible world, O Rama, myself, thyself and all things are nothing, they are uncreated, unborn. The Supreme
Spirit alone exists by Itself.

      'As pearls in the sky the world is non existent. It is as unreal as the individual soul in the void of consciousness.'

                                 - Yoga Vasishta, III, xiv-xv.

Yoga Vasishta's quoted verse clinches the content of the chapter, which has again and again proved that the world is nothing
but a state of the mind, that is, a temporary appearance in the mind of its experiencer. By itself it does not exist at all.

It is an oft repeated truth that the Reality --- Self or Brahman -- is changeless and ever present --- not once present and once
absent. The Reality is the experiencer of the states himself. He is present in the waking, dreaming, dreamless sleep and Turiya
(the fourth) or samadhi, whereas the world is present only in the waking (jagrat) and completely absent in others. The world
with all its mountains, oceans, mighty rivers and mightier volcanoes is simply wiped off the slate  of the seer's consciousness the
moment he steps out of the waking into another state. This proves that the senses which are active only in the waking to make
it are the creators of the world.  The physical body through the sensory organs --- eyes, ears, nose, etc., --- which are lodged in it
feeds the senses on the impressions received by them from an apparent outside. In no other body, this machinery of sense and
sense organs  are found, which is why its deluding power --- Maya --- prevails only in the waking state (Jagrat) and why deliverance
from it (Maya) is sought in Jagrat only, through the practice of tapas  --- meditation and study. This is the only Maya known to us
---- Advaitins --- put in the simplest language to unbaffle the baffled seekers and students who love simplicity and direct approach.

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #56 on: February 17, 2013, 09:52:36 AM »
GOD:

Is it possible to have a vision of God? 

Bhagavan answers: Yes. Certainly. You see this and that -- why not also God? All are always seeing God, but they do not know
it. Find out what God is. People see, yet see not, because they know not God.

                                                             - Talks No. 31.

That's just is: 'They have eyes but do not see, ears but do not hear, noses but do not smell,' sings the Psalmist in another
context. Because God cannot be seen, tasted, smelt, heard or touched -- the only means by which men cognize an object --
He, though always present, is not cognized. And if we do not know what God is, what shape, color or size is He to assume in
our vision to convince us that He is God? It poses a terrible dilemma to God when a devotee, who does not have an anthropomorphic
pet God of his own, appeals to Him to show His true Self, for whatever shape He would assume the devotee would not be convinced.
Moreover, it would certainly not be that of God, Who is formless.

We have previously seen that the world appears to the Jnani as Divine, and some teachers go so far as to preach it loudly, thinking
hey would thereby please their listeners. But the louder they preach it, the less the thoughtful listener is convinced. The latter
would argue: If the world is God, then why are we so starved after the vision of God, as the present questioner shows himself to be.
If the world is God, there would be complete satisfaction -- Ananda, Elysium, heavenly joy -- everywhere. It is only because the world
is not God that we hanker after God, so that we may have peace from the ungodly world. The scriptures are more rational in that they
equate the world with the not-Self (neti neti), with gunas, with the disturbed equilibrium in our consciousness. It is therefore for the
ajnani (unrealized) the reverse of God, so that to go Godward, we have to turn our backs to the world.

Thus, he who pins his faith to the five senses, can never expect to have the vision of God as God is in Himself, but only as a spurious
entity which plays the role of God. It will be an imitation, a symbolic representation of the God the worshipper has in mind or understands best. A Krishna worshipper sees Him as Baby Krishna, a Rama devotee sees Him as Rama, a Christian sees Him as one
of the Christian Saints, but the true devotee knows that God has no form of any kind. He being the seer of all sights, hearer of all
sounds, smeller of all smells, knower of all knowledge, and thus ever present in a world which consists of nothing but sights, sounds,
smells, etc., Sri Bhagavan asks us to know Him thus, when we can say that we have truly known God.  This is the highest and only
true vision of God.

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #57 on: February 18, 2013, 10:15:30 AM »
GOD:

continues.....

Does not Advaita aim at becoming one with God?

Bhagavan:  Where is becoming one with God?  The thinker is himself is ever the Real, a fact which he ultimately realizes.
'
                                                                                                   - Talk No. 31.

Bhagavan  here, as always, definitely eliminates the distinction between the individual and God, supporting the Srutis,
by experience.  Becoming implies the present non Being which is absurd. Being mean eternal existence, which is God or
eternal truth. And as we admit only one existence, namely our own, of which alone we are irrefutably sure, it follows
that we are Being, --- we are now and for ever God Himself or Itself. Advaitins like us are not rattled by dualists who consider
the identification of man with God heretical. These have not the foggiest notion of what God is, but make Him in their own image
and worship Him as a personality, owning, both human weaknesses -- partiality, jealousy, injustice, cruelty, petty mindedness,
callousness, and what not -- as well omnipotence. And because their senses are solid and liquid, of eyes, ears and noses, and of
their peculiar communal beliefs and customs. In the last note we have discussed what in Advaita we mean by God, and if the\
questioner gets used to that view, Bhagavan's answer will be clear to him.

******

Arunachala Siva.             

Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #58 on: February 19, 2013, 09:12:29 AM »
GOD:

"Do we not see God in concrete form?"

Maharshi: "Yes, God is seen in the mind. The form and appearance of God-manifestation are determined by the mind of the
devotee. But it is not the finality. There is the sense of duality. It is like a dream-vision. After God is perceived, Vichara commences.
That ends in the Realization of the Self.  Vichara is the ultimate path. Of course, a few find Vichara practicable. Others find bhakti
easier."
                                                                        - Talk No. 251.

This amplifies the first text of this chapter, and bears out the reflections thereon, namely that the sense bound person sees visions
of Gods and saints as forms --- the former in which he expects them to be, or comprehends them best, for God is pure spirit, pure
consciousness, which can be apprehended by the pure light of our personal consciousness which underlies and witnesses all the
appearances. Sri Bhagavan is every explicit on this point, namely, "the form and appearance of God's manifestation are determined
by the mind of the devotee, but it is not the finality,"  because it is the sankalpa of the devotee which manifests the duality of the
worshipper and the worshipped. Therefore this external form has to be transcended through the internal Vichara, which will reveal
the individual consciousness to be identically the same as the Pure Consciousness we call Brahman or Absolute Self. For if they
were not one and the same Consciousness, the attainment of the latter by the former would be impossible, entirely out of the question.

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #59 on: February 20, 2013, 09:48:35 AM »

'How is all immanent God said to reside in the Ether of the Heart?'

Bhagavan: Do we not reside in one place? do you not say you are in your body? Similarly God is said to reside in the Heart-lotus.
The Heart-lotus is not a place. Some place is mentioned as the place of God, because we think we are in the body. This kind of
teaching is meant for those who can appreciate only the relative knowledge. Being immanent everywhere, there is no particular
place for God. The instruction means "look within"

                                                   - Talk No. 209

That the Almighty God, who is infinite and boundless, can squeeze Himself in such a small and uncomfortable hole as the human
heart, poses a tremendous problem to the sense bound person. Bhagavan explains that the heart-lotus is not a physical place,
but an apt simile made for the sake of those who 'appreciate only relative knowledge', that is, sensuous experience. But the
designation of Heart to God is not without foundation; the experience of Absolute Being is felt in samadhi as Pure Consciousness
in one's inmost being, rather, to be precise, in the heart of one's being, because it is blissful as well as being. We are all agreed
that joy or any emotion is only felt in the heart -- not the muscular heart, but somewhere in our being, which we locate in the chest
though not in the flesh and ribs of the chest.  It is in this heart, this subtle emotional center, that the bliss of the pure consciousness
--- or God is felt in samadhi.  This is the meaning of the saying that God is bliss, and resides in the ether of the heart.  If the whole
universe resides in in this consciousness, it follow that consciousness pervades the universe.   God is thus immanent and resides
in the Heart as well.  And if you wish to verity it, Sri Bhagavan exhorts you "to look within."

******

Arunachala Siva.