Author Topic: Reality of Shiva, Vishnu and other forms  (Read 15138 times)

ksksat27

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Reality of Shiva, Vishnu and other forms
« on: April 25, 2014, 08:29:37 PM »
Dear devotees

Some of you even Maharishee's devotees have this in your sub conscious in subtler form.

We have to remove this if we want real devotion and love.

Until the last trace of duality exists in us,  Gods like Shiva, Vishnu, Devi, Surya , Subhramanya, Ganesha are as real as our prana.  Bhagavan himself has acknowledged many times the role of ishwara.

But some devotees,  find it hard to believe that Shiva exists in his form in Kailasa and exists as a mountain in Arunachala.

They think that forms are illusions, visions are just mental delusions and that no reality exists in them. 
The so called japa, sthothra they do only with the aim of concentration and mind purification.

They dont believe in Vaikunta or Chintamani gruha.

They jump into some dry theories,  call Lord Rama and other Dasavathars as some evolutionary concepts etc. etc.

These people often take the help of Ashtavakra Gita and Yoga vashistha.

Name and form are very very important in any sadhana.

Some time ago, Anand Sundaram had asked  a question about worshipping Bhagavan.  We received plenty of replies sugar coating and stressing the need of impersonal Bhagavan.
This is total misunderstanding of Bhagavan's teachings. Bhagavan Ramana did bless devotees who concentrated and worshipped his name and form.  Mudaliar Patti or Akhilandamaa often did grand arathi to Bhagavan's photos.  Echammal is another example.

In recent times, Sri Nanna Garu who never met Ramana in his lifetime simply took his name and form & attained great heights in Spiritual life.

The great sage Sri Lakshmana Swamy chanted Hare Ramana and concentrated on his name and form when he was severely afflicted by Malaria in Gudur. 


Ritter

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Re: Reality of Shiva, Vishnu and other forms
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2014, 03:52:11 AM »
As someone who was initiated in Tibetan Budhism (karma kagyu) after Advaita Vedanta... I asked one Lama about this issue, because in the Tibetan Buddhism there are infinite Buddha forms, that good one quality perfected till the absolute maximum value. Like Buddha of Compassion Avalokitesvara, etc. In fact it can be in some way similar to the concept of polyteistic Hindu Religion... One Absolute God, but with many faces, many Gods, that took some qualities from the impersonal God, as their own and our own Source. RETURN TO THE SOURCE! :)

I asked him ARE these Buddha forms illusion, some kind of our trip or not? Do they really exist? He answered me how I don't think even to think about that, as they are aid in my meditation, and as long as it is like that, there is no point to think about reality of them.

In my own humble opinion it is similar to the angels, seraphims or similar creatures in Western Religions, but I am not sure about it. For human eye, they are all depicted like that we can see in some pictures, paintings, etc. In fact, there is no way to present them visually in a good way, because they are in some higher dimensions, our eyes can't see so good... But sometimes, some people can feel the energy of these creatures, even talk to them...

I hold the same or similar view for these Infinite Buddha Forms, Half-Gods (Demigods), etc.

In kabbalistic view, mythology of different people presents also the Gods, but these Gods are some kind of archetypes of human soul, of its potential, guides how we can develop some of its qualities...

And in Jung's psychology (yes that the same Jung who was afraid and coward to see Ramana but, okay his psychology in some points is good to western mind), mythology is final proof of deep collective shared conciousness of the humanity. Different people across the globe, without the real physical connections, developed similar archetypical images, similar mythologies across the globe, that is who he finally got to this proof.

Anand

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Re: Reality of Shiva, Vishnu and other forms
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2014, 09:32:34 PM »
dear learned friends,
Related to this same topic, I would like some of our learned friends to give their opinion on the appearance of Lord Shiva to some of the Nayanmars ,in some case he appeared to more than one Nayanmar.
Was it only an illusion or hallucination (mass hallucination when seen by many ) or is it, that the one Brahman appeared as Lord Shiva in response to their complete surrender brought  about through  their devotion.
Regards,
Anand Sundaram.
Sundaram Anand

Subramanian.R

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Re: Reality of Shiva, Vishnu and other forms
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2014, 07:08:02 AM »
Dear Sundaram,

In ardent Bhakti, Siva comes before the devotees.  This is of course a vision.  But at the same time, unless these devotees
have in their Heart, Siva, the latter can appear.  Bhagavan says that Heart in Siva, means realization.  Narayana has also
appeared before devotees in the same fashion (e.g. Elephant Gajendra)

Arunachala Siva.,

Ravi.N

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Re: Reality of Shiva, Vishnu and other forms
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2014, 08:14:22 AM »
Anand sundaram,

You have asked for responses from learned friends,yet I am responding here. :)

 
Quote
I would like some of our learned friends to give their opinion on the appearance of Lord Shiva to some of the Nayanmars ,in some case he appeared to more than one Nayanmar

How did Lord siva appear to Tiruneelakanta nAyanAr?How did he appear to sOmAsimAra nAyanAr?

We will start with these and proceed to understand the Nature of these Visions.

Please refer to this talk of Swami Vivekananda:

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Complete_Works_of_Swami_Vivekananda/Volume_2/Bhakti_or_Devotion


Namaskar.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2014, 08:16:20 AM by Ravi.N »

Ravi.N

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Re: Reality of Shiva, Vishnu and other forms
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2014, 07:30:40 AM »
Friends,
We are seeing so many forms -there is a huge variety out there in this world.Now in addition to this,if we happen to see one more form,with a Trident and matted locks and deer skin and with a third eye.What would make us conclude that it is Lord Siva and not an alien descended from another planet?
How do we recognize God?If as our friend Ksksat has said in another thread that Siva with form should come first and sivam will come later-Who is that Siva?What does he mean to us?What prevents us from taking(mistaking)siva to be another creature or Jiva like all other jivas?What would prevent us from shrinking by seeing  his three eyed Face that we may take as resembling a monster?Let us even take for Granted that such a siva exists in Kailasam.What does He mean to us now?What would He mean to us even granting that we land up in kailasam?
What is the Nature of God that makes us seek his presence?How is this presence related to his form?
Namaskar.

atmavichar100

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Re: Reality of Shiva, Vishnu and other forms
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2014, 08:12:24 AM »
From my personal experience, as well as from that of others within my knowledge, I can say that before recommending any path to an aspirant Bhagavan would first find out from him what aspect, or form, or path he was naturally drawn to and then recommend him to follow it. He would sometimes endorse the traditional stages of sadhana, advancing from worship (puja) to incantation (japa), then to meditation (dhyana), and finally to Self-enquiry (vichara). However, he also used to say that continuous and rigorous practice of any one of these methods was adequate in itself to lead to Realization. Thus, for instance, when one adopts the method of worship, say of the Shakti, one should, by constant practice and concentration, be able to see the Shakti everywhere and always and in everything and thus give up identification with the ego. Similarly with japa. By constant and continuous repetition of a mantra one gets merged in it and loses all sense of separate individuality. In dhyana again, in constant meditation, with bhavana or deep feeling, one attains the state of Bhavanatheeta, which is only another name for pure Consciousness. Thus, any method, if taken earnestly and practiced unremittingly, will result in elimination of the "I" and lead to the goal of Realization.


Concentrate on the Original Purpose by Kunju Swami( source:From the Mountain Path, July 1966)

However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

Ravi.N

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Re: Reality of Shiva, Vishnu and other forms
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2014, 04:32:25 PM »
Friends,
I will share excerpts from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna ,a book that i recommend over and over again-for the simplicity , clarity and inspiration that the words of the master carry for all seekers whatever the path he or she pursues. I will post a series of excerpts that clarify the nature of God with form,the personal God, the vision of God,etc,etc.
Namaskar.

Ravi.N

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Re: Reality of Shiva, Vishnu and other forms
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2014, 04:42:54 PM »
Excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna-1 (M's second visit to Sri Ramakrishna ,1882)

God with and without form

MASTER: "Well, do you believe in God with form or without form?"

M., rather surprised, said to himself: "How can one believe in God without form when one believes in God with form? And if one believes in God without form, how can one believe that God has a form? Can these two contradictory ideas be true at the same time? Can a white liquid like milk be black?"

M: "Sir, I like to think of God as formless."

MASTER: "Very good. It is enough to have faith in either aspect. You believe in God without form; that is quite all right. But never for a moment think that this alone is true and all else false. Remember that God with form is just as true as God without form. But hold fast to your own conviction."

The assertion that both are equally true amazed M.; he had never learnt this from his books. Thus his ego received a third blow; but since it was not yet completely crushed, he came forward to argue with the Master a little more.

God and the clay image
M: "Sir, suppose one believes in God with form. Certainly He is not the clay image!"

MASTER (interrupting): "But why clay? It is an image of Spirit."

M. could not quite understand the significance of this "image of Spirit". "But, sir," he said to the Master, "one should explain to those who worship the clay image that it is not God, and that, while worshipping it, they should have God in view and not the clay image. One should not worship clay."

God the only real teacher
MASTER (sharply): "That's the one hobby of you Calcutta people - giving lectures and bringing others to the light! Nobody ever stops to consider how to get the light himself. Who are you to teach others?He who is the Lord of the Universe will teach everyone. He alone teaches us, who has created this universe; who has made the sun and moon, men and beasts, and all other beings; who has provided means for their sustenance; who has given children parents and endowed them with love to bring them up. The Lord has done so many things - will He not show people the way to worship Him? If they need teaching, then He will be the Teacher. He is our Inner Guide.
Suppose there is an error in worshipping the clay image; doesn't God know that through it He alone is being invoked? He will he pleased with that very worship. Why should you get a headache over it? You had better try for knowledge and devotion yourself."

continued....
« Last Edit: May 16, 2014, 08:42:07 PM by Ravi.N »

Ravi.N

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Re: Reality of Shiva, Vishnu and other forms
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2014, 04:50:28 PM »
Excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna-1 continued...

This time M. felt that his ego was completely crushed. He now said to himself: "Yes, he has spoken the truth. What need is there for me to teach others? Have I known God? Do I really love Him? 'I haven't room enough for myself in my bed, and I am inviting my friend to share it with me!' I know nothing about God, yet I am trying to teach others. What a shame! How foolish I am! This is not mathematics or history or literature, that one can teach it to others. No, this is the deep mystery of God. What he says appeals to me."

This was M.'s first argument with the Master, and happily his last.

MASTER: "You were talking of worshipping the clay image. Even if the image is made of clay, there is need for that sort of worship. God Himself has provided different forms of worship. He who is the Lord of the Universe has arranged all these forms to suit different men in different stages of knowledge.
"The mother cooks different dishes to suit the stomachs of her different children. Suppose she has five children. If there is a fish to cook, she prepares various dishes from it - pilau, pickled fish, fried fish, and so on - to suit their different tastes and powers of digestion.Do you understand me?"

Need of holy company & Meditation in solitude

M. (humbly): "Yes, sir. How, sir, may we fix our minds on God?"

MASTER: "Repeat God's name and sing His glories, and keep holy company; and now and then visit God's devotees and holy men. The mind cannot dwell on God if it is immersed day and night in worldliness, in worldly duties and responsibilities; it is most necessary to go into solitude now and then and think of God. To fix the mind on God is very difficult, in the beginning, unless one practises meditation in solitude. When a tree is young it should be fenced all around; otherwise it may be destroyed by cattle.

"To meditate, you should withdraw within yourself or retire to a secluded corner or to the forest. And you should always discriminate between the Real and the unreal. God alone is real, the Eternal Substance; all else is unreal, that is, impermanent. By discriminating thus, one should shake off impermanent objects from the mind."

« Last Edit: May 16, 2014, 04:56:01 PM by Ravi.N »

Ravi.N

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Re: Reality of Shiva, Vishnu and other forms
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2014, 07:53:34 AM »
Excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna-2

How to see God
M: "Is it possible to see God?"

MASTER: "Yes, certainly. Living in solitude now and then, repeating God's name and singing His glories, and discriminating between the Real and the unreal - these are the
means to employ to see Him."

Longing and yearning

M: "Under what conditions does one see God?"

MASTER: "Cry to the Lord with an intensely yearning heart and you will certainly see Him. People shed a whole jug of tears for wife and children. They swim in tears for money.But who weeps for God? Cry to Him with a real cry."

The Master sang:
Cry to your Mother Syama , with a real cry, O mind!
And how can She hold Herself from you?
How can Syama stay away?
How can your Mother Kali hold Herself away?
O mind, if you are in earnest, bring Her an offering
Of bel-leaves and hibiscus flowers;
Lay at Her feet your offering
And with it mingle the fragrant sandal-paste of Love.

Continuing, he said: "Longing is like the rosy dawn. After the dawn out comes the sun. Longing is followed by the vision of God.God reveals Himself to a devotee who feels drawn to Him by the combined force of these three attractions: the attraction of worldly possessions for the worldly man, the child's attraction for its mother, and the husband's attraction for the chaste wife. If one feels drawn to Him by the combined force of these three attractions, then through it one can attain Him.
The point is, to love God even as the mother loves her child, the chaste wife her husband, and the worldly man his wealth. Add together these three forces of love, these three powers of attraction, and give it all to God. Then you will certainly see Him".

"It is necessary to pray to Him with a longing heart. The kitten knows only how to call its mother, crying, 'Mew, mew!' It remains satisfied wherever its mother puts it. And the mother cat puts the kitten sometimes in the kitchen, sometimes on the floor, and sometimes on the bed. When it suffers it cries only, 'Mew, mew!' That's all it knows. But as soon as the mother hears this cry, wherever she may be; she comes to the kitten."

Friends,just like the kitten knows only to cry 'mew,mew' ,we may also only call on God by chanting his name and wanting him intensely.The kitten may not even have opened its eyes to see its mother.It may not even know how its mother looks like,whether black or white.It only knows that its mother is there and will come to feed it with milk-Likewise,the Sadhaka does not need to have any understanding about how God looks like,whether He is with form or without form.He only needs to call on God.This is the simplicity and directness of the teaching.Here is the essence of Sadhana.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2014, 07:59:01 AM by Ravi.N »

Ravi.N

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Re: Reality of Shiva, Vishnu and other forms
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2014, 07:06:04 PM »
Excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna-3

Prayer and holy company & Earnest longing
MASTER: "Prayer and the company of holy men. You cannot get rid of an ailment without the help of a physician. But it is not enough to be in the company of religious people only for a day. You should constantly seek it, for the disease has become chronic. Again, you can't understand the pulse rightly unless you live with a physician. Moving with him constantly, you learn to distinguish between the pulse of phlegm and the pulse of bile."

DEVOTEE: "What is the good of holy company?"

MASTER: "It begets yearning for God. It begets love of God. Nothing whatsoever is achieved in spiritual life without yearning. By constant living in the company of holy men,the soul becomes restless for God. This yearning is like the state of mind of a man who has someone ill in the family. His mind is in a state of perpetual restlessness, thinking how the sick person may be cured. Or again, one should feel a yearning for God like the yearning of a man who has lost his job and is wandering from one office to another in search of work. If he is rejected at a certain place which has no vacancy, he goes there again the next day and inquires, 'Is there an vacancy today?'

"There is another way: earnestly praying to God. God is our very own. We should say to Him: 'O God, what is Thy nature? Reveal Thyself to me. Thou must show Thyself to me; for why else hast Thou created me?' Some Sikh devotees once said to me, 'God is full of compassion.' I said: 'But why should we call Him compassionate? He is our Creator. What is there to be wondered at if He is kind to us? Parents bring up their children. Do you call that an act of kindness? They must act that way.' Therefore we should force our demands on God. He is our Father and Mother, isn't He? If the son demands his patrimony and gives up food and drink in order to enforce his demand, then the parents hand his share over to him three years before the legal time. Or when the child demands some pice from his mother, and says over and over again: 'Mother, give me a couple of pice. I beg you on my knees!' - then the mother, seeing his earnestness, and unable to bear it any more, tosses the money to him.

"There is another benefit from holy company. It helps one cultivate discrimination between the Real and the unreal. God alone is the Real, that is to say, the Eternal Substance, and the world is unreal, that is to say, transitory. As soon as a man finds his mind wandering away to the unreal, he should apply discrimination. The moment an elephant stretches out its trunk to eat a plantain-tree in a neighbour's garden, it gets a blow from the iron goad of the driver."


Ravi.N

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Re: Reality of Shiva, Vishnu and other forms
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2014, 07:28:43 PM »
Excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna-4

M: "Sir, what is the meaning of the realization of God? What do you mean by God-vision? How does one attain it?"

MASTER: "According to the Vaishnavas the aspirants and the seers of God may be divided into different groups. These are the pravartaka, the sadhaka, the siddha, and the siddha of the siddha. He who has just set foot on the path may be called a pravartaka. He may be called a sadhaka who has for some time been practising spiritual disciplines, such as worship, japa, meditation, and the chanting of God's name and glories.
He may be called a siddha who has known from his inner experience that God exists. An analogy is given in the Vedanta to explain this. The master of the house is asleep in a dark room. Someone is groping in the darkness to find him. He touches the couch and says, 'No, it is not he.' He touches the window and says, 'No, it is not he.' He touches the door and says, 'No, it is not he.' This is known in the Vedanta as the process of 'Neti, neti', 'Not this, not this'. At last his hand touches the master's body and he exclaims, 'Here he is!' In other words, he is now conscious of the 'existence' of the master. He has found him, but he doesn't yet know him intimately.
There is another type, known as the siddha of the siddha, the 'supremely perfect'. It is quite a different thing when one talks to the master intimately, when one knows God very intimately through love and devotion. A siddha has undoubtedly attained God, but the 'supremely perfect' has known God very intimately.

Different moods of aspirants

"But in order to realize God, one must assume one of these attitudes: Santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, or madhur.
"Santa, the serene attitude. The rishis of olden times had this attitude toward God. They did not desire any worldly enjoyment. It is like the single-minded devotion of a wife to her husband. She knows that her husband is the embodiment of beauty and love, a veritable Madan.
"Dasya, the attitude of a servant toward his master. Hanuman had this attitude toward Rama. He felt the strength of a lion when he worked for Rama. A wife feels this mood also. She serves her husband with all her heart and soul. A mother also has a little of this attitude, as Yasoda had toward Krishna.
"Sakhya, the attitude of friendship. Friends say to one another, 'Come here and sit near me.' Sridama and other friends sometimes fed Krishna with fruit, part of which they had already eaten, and sometimes climbed on His shoulders.
"Vatsalya, the attitude of a mother toward her child. This was Yasoda's attitude toward Krishna. The wife, too, has a little of this. She feeds her husband with her very life-blood, as it were. The mother feels happy only when the child has eaten to his heart's content. Yasoda would roam about with butter in her hand, in order to feed Krishna.
"Madhur, the attitude of a woman toward her paramour. Radha had this attitude toward Krishna. The wife also feels it for her husband. This attitude includes all the other four."

Friends,Please refer excerpt 2 that I have posted earlier.The master is just reiterating again the need to enter into relationship with God and loving him intensely.

Ravi.N

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Re: Reality of Shiva, Vishnu and other forms
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2014, 07:34:41 PM »
Excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna-5

M: "When one sees God does one see Him with these eyes?"

MASTER: "God cannot be seen with these physical eyes. In the course of spiritual discipline one gets a 'love body', endowed with 'love eyes', 'love ears', and so on. One sees God with those 'love eyes'. One hears the voice of God with those 'love ears'. One even gets a sexual organ made of love."

At these words M. burst out laughing. The Master continued, unannoyed, "With this 'love body' the soul communes with God." M. again became serious.

Seeing God everywhere

MASTER: "But this is not possible without intense love of God. One sees nothing but God everywhere when one loves Him with great intensity. It is like a person with jaundice, who sees everything yellow. Then one feels, 'I am verily He'.

"A drunkard, deeply intoxicated, says, 'Verily I am Kali!' The gopis, intoxicated with love, exclaimed, 'Verily I am Krishna!'

"One who thinks of God, day and night, beholds Him everywhere. It is like a man's seeing flames on all sides after he has gazed fixedly at one flame for some time."

"But that isn't the real flame", flashed through M.'s mind.

Sri Ramakrishna, who could read a man's inmost thought, said: "One doesn't lose consciousness by thinking of Him who is all Spirit, all Consciousness. Shivanath once remarked that too much thinking about God confounds the brain. Thereupon I said to him, 'How can one become unconscious by thinking of Consciousness?'

M: "Yes, sir, I realize that. It isn't like thinking of an unreal object. How can a man lose his intelligence if he always fixes his mind on Him whose very nature is eternal Intelligence?"

MASTER (with pleasure): "It is through God's grace that you understand that. The doubts of the mind will not disappear without His grace. Doubts do not disappear without Self realization.

« Last Edit: May 17, 2014, 07:52:06 PM by Ravi.N »

Ravi.N

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Re: Reality of Shiva, Vishnu and other forms
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2014, 08:07:43 PM »
Excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna-6

Meditation on God with form

Master:"How are you getting along with your meditation nowadays? What aspect of God appeals to your mind - with form or without form?"

M: "Sir, now I can't fix my mind on God with form. On the other hand, I can't concentrate steadily on God without form."

MASTER: "Now you see that the mind cannot be fixed, all of a sudden, on the formless aspect of God. It is wise to think of God with form during the primary stages."

M: "Do you mean to suggest that one should meditate on clay images?"

MASTER: "Why clay? These images are the embodiments of Consciousness."

M: "Even so, one must think of hands, feet, and the other parts of body. But again, I realize that the mind cannot be concentrated unless one meditates, in the beginning, on God with form. You have told me so. Well, God can easily assume different forms. May one meditate on the form of one's own mother?"

MASTER: "Yes, the mother should be adored. She is indeed an embodiment of Brahman."

Friends,This is the true significance of the upanishadic statement-'mAtru Devo Bhava,Pitru devO bhava,AchArya devO bhava'-Regard the Mother as God,Regard the Father as God,Regard the Teacher as God.All the sayings of the Master here are as in the upanishads and in the Gita;Only that he has stated all this in a simple way that a child can understand.