Author Topic: LOSS - Editorial in Mountain Path, Apr. June 2003:  (Read 1459 times)

Subramanian.R

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LOSS - Editorial in Mountain Path, Apr. June 2003:
« on: January 24, 2014, 12:53:59 PM »
Just as morning follows night, gain inevitably follows loss.  At each important stage of our lifespan we leave behind a part of us,
who we identified with and step into a new sense of identity.  Life is a series of alternations between expansion and contraction.
Though we may desire just the positive and dread the negative, the impersonal current of our existence, inexorably moves by
laws over which we have little or no control.  Our destiny is already preordained according to Bhagavan, it is just a question of
whether we identify with the prarabdha of our body / mind complex or not.

In Advaita there are three basic view points.  The vyavaharika in which we see the world and presume there is a creator.  There
is a sense of duality and isolation and we learn of existence of something greater that gives us immortality.  The phenomenon
of existence is due to the play of maya, which is the Sakti of Isvara or God.

The pratibhasika says, the world, the soul and God are all established by the seer or Jiva and do not have any independent existence.

The third is the paramarthika, also known as Ajatavada which means that there was no existence in the first place.  There is no
seeking something new, there is no bondage or liberation. 

When we address loss or gain it is from the first view point, vyavaharika, the relative or empirical, that we speak. In the
other two views, the question does not arise. For most of us, the world can be nothing but implacably real however we spin
our story.  But why are we involved with the physical, emotional and mental worlds that come with being a human being?
Why then do we suffer excruciating hurt on whatever physical, emotional or mental level that we identify with when it may
seem that we are not in any way at fault ourselves?  There are various explanations of karma but in our immediate agony,
they are of little consolation.  Ordinarily it is time that heals more than anything.  Grace too, if we are so blessed, plays its
part in soothing the ravages of searing pain.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.       

Subramanian.R

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Re: LOSS - Editorial in Mountain Path, Apr. June 2003:
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2014, 02:51:41 PM »
continues......

The greatest emotional and mental pain we can endure is the loss of a loved one: be it a mother, a father, a daughter or a son,
a brother or a sister, a husband or a wife, or a dear friend.  There is no avoiding that even if we have not already done so, one
day we will face a wall of fire.  We can neither avoid the fact nor can we prepare for it in any way that may alleviate the harshest
aspects of the ordeal.

Many people came to Bhagavan for solace and an explanation as to why they had to suffer.  Sometimes Bhagavan would offer
the consolation of philosophy, sometimes He would listen to their story and inquire of the details and sometimes He would say
nothing as if He did not hear.  But sometimes He would respond with such irresistible compassion, it would break the shackles
of ache that twists the heart and then He would overwhelm the bereaved with waves of grace that scour clean the trauma.
Bhagavan is just as inscrutable as is Life.

It is often asked, why. Why has someone been taken before their time; why has someone gone who had so much to give;
why has someone been taken away from us who gave our life meaning.  There is no answer as we normally know it.  We cannot
see the larger picture and we cannot understand the complexity of Life and its unfolding. 

Arthur Osborne once described life in terms of an analogy of sitting in a boat going down a stream without any idea of its
course and without knowing what bends or falls loom ahead.  The only one who could know all that he said, was one who
was sitting on a hill overlooking the stream and seeing exactly where the travelers were going.  We live with approximations
and our understanding is fragmentary.  Though we have religious, scientific and social and personal explanations but none of
them are ultimately satisfactory because death is implacable. It is final:  it is unresponsive to our pleas, fantasies and demands.
It is unique to our cultivated consciousness of that moment.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.       

Subramanian.R

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Re: LOSS - Editorial in Mountain Path, Apr. June 2003:
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2014, 04:35:58 PM »
Continues....

It is said that when the Vedic gods had to choose one who would be responsible for the proceedings of death, they
chose Yama, because he was the most righteous of the gods and for that sense of justice he was called Yama Dharma.
Yama is portrayed as a teacher and in the Katha Upanishad teaches Nachiketas the secrets of Reality.  Though Yama can
be overruled by Siva and Vishnu, as say in the story of Markandeya, the exception proves the rule.  Thus, one can say
no one can stop the time of our departure from the world. 

If we bear in mind we realize that when a soul leaves this world, it is their time for whatever higher purpose it may serve
for them and their evolution.  Though we could dearly wish it otherwise the best we can do is to wish them well on their
journey, after all it is their life and though we can be heart broken, it is our heart that has the lesson to learn; nothing belongs
to us; naked we came into the world and naked we will leave it. 

There is a profound prayer in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad: om asato ma sad gamaya / tamaso ma jyotir gamaya / mrtyor
ma amrtam gamaya / om santi santi santih.  Lead us from the unreal to the real; /Lead us from darkness to light; / Lead us
from death to immortality; / Let there be peace, peace, peace. 

What we do repeatedly is to confuse the real with the unreal; light with darkness and immortality with death and to ask
the rules of the universe to be bent for us is absurd.  We can learn and adapt or we are doomed to repeat the same pattern
to no greater purpose; banging our head against the wall gives us headache. Nothing more.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.             
   

Subramanian.R

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Re: LOSS - Editorial in Mountain Path, Apr. June 2003:
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2014, 12:49:50 PM »

continues.....

One of the great changes in our lives now is how we seek information.  More and more we turn to the Internet and punch
in relevant words and wait for a jungle of alternatives to appear.  Knowledge once so hard to obtain is now at our finger tips.
The velocity of our thought and communication increases rapidly with each succeeding year.  The day is no far coming when
we will have a chip implanted into either our brain or body in general, that can respond to our questions.  The whole question
of knowledge is changing radically.  No longer will the search for understanding be driven by the inaccessibility of facts and the
time taken to acquire it.  We no longer have to wander the world in a quest for satisfactory answers.  The over-riding question
then is what is knowledge?  What makes us human and not machines?

Even science today has moved so far from its original premise of hard cold facts being the basis of reality, that it is now seeking
for answers in areas where answers have already been provided to spiritual seekers.  The old creed of science and its philosophy
of utility would tell us we are nothing more than billiard-balls randomly bouncing off each other.  How else would it survive unless
it feeds on our incredulity that this material existence is all there is?  We intuitively know there is more' we do not there is a
transcendental principle.

Death is a prerequisite of that knowledge which defines us not as machines but essential living entities who are consciously
interlinked in ways we cannot even begin to fathom and who are transformed from time to time. It is not for nothing that Yama
the Lord of Death is called Kala, Time.  death is both a catalyst and a reassurance that transformation is a natural and essential
aspect of life.  Without it, life would be meaningless.  It would be a frozen wasteland of repetition.  In short, it would be
mechanical.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.               

Subramanian.R

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Re: LOSS - Editorial in Mountain Path, Apr. June 2003:
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2014, 03:46:50 PM »
continues....

What we need to do is not acquire more and more facts as if that leads to wisdom but to develop our understanding of
consciousness.  Bhagavan gives us a key and it is up to us to use it.  His grace and power of Arunachala are freely available.
In truth we are swimming in it we but knew.

One of the mysteries of 20th century Western classical music is the thirty year silence of Jean Sibelius, the great French composer.
He was at the height of his powers and then he stopped.  Though he worked for over a decade on an eagerly anticipated Eighth
Symphony he never allowed the public to see it.  In the mid-forties he collected all his papers and burned them in the fireplace
of his isolated forest home, called Ainola.  After the conflagration, his wife who helplessly stood by said he became calmer as if
a great burden had been lifted from his shoulders, heavy with the expectation of others.  He died some fifteen years later
at the age of ninety one. 

When he was writing one of his best known works, the Fifth Symphony, and in particular the second movement, he wrote in
his diary, 'Every day I have seen the cranes. Flying south in full cry with their music. Have been yet again their assiduous pupil.
The cries echo throughout my being.'  He called it one of his greatest experiences; their beauty as they circled over him and
vanished into the sun 'like gleaming silver ribbon.'

One September morning in 1957, he went for his usual walk in the fields and the surreal quiet of the uninhabited forest around
Ainola, scanning the skies for the white cranes flying south on their annual migration.  It was par of his autumn ritual. The
cranes fittingly appeared, and told his wife, 'There they come, the birds of my youth!' It is said that one of the broke from the
flock, circled the house, cried out, and flew away to join the others on their long journey south.  Two days later he left this world.

for those who are now gone from this world we do not wish them to stay but rather we actively wish them well on their journey
as we would wish others to pray for us and not hold us back on our journey with tears of regret.

concluded.

Arunachala Siva.