Author Topic: Editorial - Mountain Path - October -December 2016:  (Read 820 times)

Subramanian.R

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Editorial - Mountain Path - October -December 2016:
« on: February 17, 2017, 12:48:09 PM »
GRATITUDE -:

There is a story attributed to Chuangn Tzu, the legendary Chinese Taoist Sage.
Although, as is so often the case, there are many variations of the story, in the main
it goes something like this:

There was an old man who was well regarded in his village for his wisdom.  He had
two abiding interests in life: his horses and his son, whom he loved above all else.
He and his son shared their passion for horses and together they would ride out far and wide. The happy family and the valuable horses the old man owned were seen as
the good fortune that life had lavished on him.  When neighbors congratulated the old man on his luck, he replied enigmatically, 'May be. May be not.'

One morning, one of the old man's cherished stallions escaped.  The neighbors heard the news and expressed sympathy over the ill luck of the loss of such a valuable horse, but oddly enough the old man was not distraught.  He again said: 'May be.
May be not.'  He did not seem to consider that losing the prized horse was necessarily
bad luck.  It could not be predicted that the horse would escape, and now there was nothing that could be done about it.  It just happened. The neighbors also realized that there was nothing to be done and if the old man was not feeling sad why should they?

Soon after, the stallion reappeared and with him was a beautiful mare that came from a rare breed of horse noted for their stamina.  When the neighbors heard of this,
they quickly came to admire the mare and congratulate the old man on his good fortune.  Again, the old man was not thrilled at what happened.  He again said,
'May be. Maybe not.'  He explained that it was not necessarily good luck which had brought him this beautiful mare.  It just happened, and there was no reason to get
over excited.  Puzzled the neighbors left

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.           

Subramanian.R

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Re: Editorial - Mountain Path - October -December 2016:
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2017, 03:55:28 PM »
His son was pleased with the new mare and would often ride it for pleasure.
One day while cantering out on the pastures she slipped, fell and rolled on the
young man's leg, which was shattered.  From then on he walked with a severe limp.
Again the neighbors came to the old man's house to offer sympathy for the bad luck
that had crippled his son.  He again said, 'May be. May be not.' It was suggested that the old man sell the mare because it was obviously ill omened, and others advised that he should slaughter the animal in revenge.  The old man did neither.  He suggested that they should not feel sorrow, for his son, nor anger towards the mare.  It was an accident that could not be predicted, and there was nothing he or they could do to change it.  The neighbors were convinced that the old man was a fool.

Some years later a large enemy force invaded the country, and an order was decreed
by the emperor that all young men were to be drafted into the army to defend their country. Because the old man's son was seriously disabled, and in fact, was a liability
he was not compelled to join in the fighting.  The war was savage and many warriors died.  Many young men of the village were killed, but the crippled son was spared.  The neighbors were envious of the old man who was free from sorrow that infected the village, and told him so. With equanimity undisturbed by either good or bad luck,
he replied:  'May be.  May be not.'

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.
       

           

Subramanian.R

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Re: Editorial - Mountain Path - October -December 2016:
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2017, 11:33:32 AM »
It has happened to all of us that even an event which seems to forebode disastrous
consequences, turns out in later years to be beneficial in ways we could not imagine.
Conversely, it can also occur that what appears to have been exciting turns out later as too good to be true. We were lured by an inviting dream that became a nightmare because we forgot there would always be a cost. We met someone for example whose promises are laced with delusion and alarm bells go off in our mind, but we do not
know as yet why.  We face it daily for instance on a mundane scale with advertising
that promises to fill us with contentment if we only use some product whose very
existence we were unaware of until then!

Because of our limited minds, we cannot see the bigger picture. How can we evaluate the effect of that which is happening right now when we are ignorant of what may  happen in the next moment, let alone next week or year? Like blind mice we grope our way along.  Gratitude is the right attitude which affirms our faith that the guru is teaching us though we may not immediately see it.  We trust that in everything that happens to us there is the possibility of good. We may not see it now but with Sraddha (faith) we affirm the possibility and thereby open ourselves up to the action
of Grace.  A closed heart will never bring us closes to the light of Bhagavan's Grace.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.       

 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Editorial - Mountain Path - October -December 2016:
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2017, 11:11:08 AM »
It was once said that in life we are like people in a boat on a river.  We cannot see the shoals or rapids; but the guru sitting above and looking down on the boat can see the whole course of journey from the start to end.

We have a tendency to compare our lives with others.  Yes, some have more money,
more friends or better health.  This is a recipe for bitterness because we poison  our inner selves with wild swings of mood between grasping and self hatred or recrimination because we think we have failed.  Gratitude is the anti dote. If we but focus more on the blessings we enjoy but have taken for granted, we would see there is much to be thankful for.

Rarely is anything free in this world.  It is true that Bhagavan's Grace is free, but we
must work for it to become a permanent reality.  If we remember that a blessing is the beginning, we will realize that the responsibility is ours to walk in union with the light guiding us forward.  Then how do we know if what appears to be good luck may result in misfortune?  Like a precious jewel. we keep it carefully so that it is neither scratched through neglect nor lost through ingratitude.

Again, those lines of Shakespeare quoted in a previous editorial are germane:

There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in the shallows and in miseries.

(Julius Caesar, iv. iii.)

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Editorial - Mountain Path - October -December 2016:
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2017, 10:31:01 AM »
One should never lose the commitment to continue on the path, even if a traumatic incident occurs, nor should one be too jubilant or indulge in smug self satisfaction
because of a fortuitous event, or because something long desired suddenly, smoothly
and effortlessly turns out right.  We will inevitably experience joys and effortlessly turns out right. We will inevitably experience joys and defeats.  In a sense, our bitter setbacks are our best teachers for through them we have no choice but to mature and grow stronger in our inner awareness of what is right and wrong.

How grateful we should be to given this awareness.  This may be the first step towards detachment.  For it will save us a great deal of unnecessary suffering and despair.

It is important to remember that once we are on this path guided by Bhagavan the rules and priorities change. Instead of acquisition, we learn to let go; instead of trying
to control, we learn to accept and flow with circumstances; instead of complaining
if misfortune hits us, we see that it is an opportunity to see our ignorance and learn
discrimination and detachment.

When we look back on our lives there are moments when what at that time appeared to be a disaster, with hindsight , we see was the best thing that could have happened to us, however shocking it may have been. There is a Jewish saying, 'And that is also
for good'. (Moris Alan, Everyday Holiness, The Jewish Spiritual Path of Mussar,
Trumpter, Boston, 2008).

contd.

Arunachala Siva.


         

Subramanian.R

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Re: Editorial - Mountain Path - October -December 2016:
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2017, 11:11:40 AM »
We bless the apparently bad because who knows what good may come from it.
The true fool is one who never learns because of pride, jealousy, envy and hatred and
sheer tamas (dullness). We avoid such people like a disease because they infect the atmosphere with their negativity.

The wise person is one who accepts every moment as a possibility to be thankful.
We all have had ample opportunity to meet both the wise and the foolish, in our lives and we gravitate to the wise person.  How much more so it is with Bhagavan who is pure light.  Bhagavan does not see our 'precious' ego or sense of identity, which we cling to like misers out of fear or desire.  He sees into our hearts what is real and what is unreal.  That is why Bhagavan though it seems he forgives us for many transgressions and stupidities, goes straight past our mountain of self righteousness
to the untainted center of who we really are.  It was observed in Bhagavan's time that there were so many problematic people and tense situations as personality with each
other for attention but it did not matter.  Bhagavan saw that it was necessary for all
toxins to come out just as the steam comes out of a pot placed on a fire. Bhagavan did not  believe the Vasanas were important. They were clothes and like the clothes could be dispensed with once the person realized they were harmful to their well being.

Kanakammal, a devotee who was with Bhagavan for many years and whom when she was old and frail in later years, was asked what she had learnt. She replied that Bhagavan had taught her not to place too much importance on the body.  She was then asked why, when her body was old and wracked with pain, she still came to the
Asramam every day to sit quietly for an hour or two in the Hall, where Bhagavan had sat for so long.  She said it was for gratitude.

May we too recognize and express our gratitude.

concluded.

Arunachala Siva.