Author Topic: Editorial - April - June 2017:  (Read 639 times)

Subramanian.R

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Editorial - April - June 2017:
« on: April 08, 2017, 12:09:13 PM »
Surrender:

In the Bhagavata Purana, there is a famous story about an elephant named Gajendra,
which illustrates the importance of devotion and the power of the guru. The elephant Gajendra was the king of a large herd of elephants and was proud of his position. On a hot summer's day, he went down from the mountain side where the group lived to a large lake that was cool and inviting with lotuses to eat. Gajendra entered the lake and lolled around enjoying the refreshing water.  Unbeknownst to him there was a crocodile who lived there and was disturbed by Gajendra's frolicking.  The angry crocodile caught him by one leg and began to pull him down into the depths.  In spite of his strength Gajendra could not break the crocodile's grip.  He struggled hard for years but all his efforts were unsuccessful.  The Purana says that the crocodile held Gajendra's foot for over a thousand years.  In the meantime all his entourage of queens and courtiers abandoned him thinking that he was dead.  He eventually realized that he could not be released from the iron vice of the crocodile's teeth and that only God could help him. Gajendra then plucked a lotus from the pond with his trunk and offered it to the Lord as an expression of Atma Samarpana, self surrender. Lord Vishnu heard his cries and appeared before him. Lord Vishnu came down from his mount, Garuda, and hauled Gajendra and the crocodile from the water. With his Chakra he ripped apart the jaws of the crocodile and saved Gajendra. 

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Editorial - April - June 2017:
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2017, 04:13:22 PM »
Much like Gajendra we live with a certain degree of complacency because we may have all kinds of security in terms of money, power and family connections that support our image of ourselves.  The first thing we need to realize on the spiritual path is how much we do not know and that all our ideas about spiritual life are hearsay and have little grounding in reality.  We live as much in a dream world as in everyday reality.  The discrepancy between the two is quite often the eventual cause of some type of crisis or breakdown when we finally see that we are not only entirely dependent on the goodwill of others if we are to live, but that we are reliant on some higher transcendental power that gives meaning to our lives and frees us from our human predicament.  To accept our helplessness is the first step on the ladder of spiritual ascent.  The second step is to realize that the laws govern the spiritual life are not the same as those which command our physical life, just as the aims of each are different.  For a wealthy person it does not make sense to give everything up and live a simple life devoted to prayer.  Where is the profit in it?

The idea of giving up or of surrender is normally associated with losing or giving up control, but it materially or a position, say, of power.  To a person interested in material benefits it seems a loss but for someone who wishes to reach a higher than material satisfaction, having first tasted its benefits and slowly seeing that it is not the panacea for all one's troubles, it is a positive power step.  For it means letting go of control, actual or more often illusory control of a situation that was always out of our reach. Consider addicts of any type who think that by alcohol or drugs or some other behavioral pattern, they are in control of their lives because it gives them a brief explosion of euphoria free of all responsibilities.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                       

Subramanian.R

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Re: Editorial - April - June 2017:
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2017, 01:12:33 PM »
What surrender means is jettisoning an outmoded way of behavior that no longer is relevant because one has matured beyond that condition. How could Bhagavan explain
to His family that after the supreme revelation, He could no longer live the life He had before?  Obviously He could not and left without explanation.  He did not run away but went forward to meet His destiny.

It is the same with us.  There are times when our modes of thinking or feeling are obsolete and we endure the painful process of shedding an old skin.  It does not mean
we run off but our relationship with the world and those in it has radically altered. Sometimes we can rationally explain it, sometimes not; hence the confusion when others ask us what happened. Unless that person has been through a similar rite of passage, any explanation is pointless.  When a person discovers her or his destiny and truly believes in it, nothing can stand in the way.  Neither security, calls from family, loved ones, society's demands for conformity to its values, nothing.  That is why Bhagavan's story continues to inspire us.  Here was someone for whom the power of Arunachala over rode every other consideration.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.           

Subramanian.R

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Re: Editorial - April - June 2017:
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2017, 02:44:48 PM »
Presumably all the devotees who read this editorial have also experienced the pull, the magnetic attraction of Arunachala that makes all other ways of spending one's time but a pale imitation of reality. Arunachala is a hard rock upon which we can beat our head at times, but its sweetness is like no other.

Surrendering to Arunachala is not the same as giving up anything intentionally.  Arunachala puts the world in a perspective and makes us realize what is important and what is not.  It means accepting and embracing our connection with something far greater than ourselves.  What we are surrendering is our small conception of who we are and acknowledging a transcendental power that can take us beyond our addictive thoughts which come round again and again, but which we mindlessly hold on to for fear of being left with nothing.  It can be a terrifying process but the Guru is always there.

Trust is required if the power of grace is to find fulfillment in us.  Bhagavan's Grace is ever available, but for it to enter us we must have faith in the process, because it is not always smooth till our negative habits or Vasanas are cleansed.  Trust means being open to new possibilities that we have not yet been capable of conceiving by our           
own volition. Trust means opening up to a higher power, not in a thoughtless way, but with due consideration, patience and humility. Surrender does not mean sitting there like a stuffed doll expecting the heavens to open up.  It demands our total attention and active consent.  Like the silent chanting of a mantra the attitude of surrender has to become as natural as rhythmic breathing if it is to have an effect.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.       

Subramanian.R

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Re: Editorial - April - June 2017:
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2017, 11:17:27 AM »
There are forces at work in this world which are beyond the range of our perception. We are like blind mice feeling our way tentatively by touching the walls of the familiar.  We live in a multi dimensional world where the waking world is but an extension of the dream (svapna) and deep sleep (Sushupti) planes of existence. If we are able believe in a higher purpose to our lives it makes sense that with our limited awareness it is impossible to progress until we surrender our narrow will to a greater will.

Bhagavan is our Guru and as such commands two realities. He is a teacher: through the remembrance of His physical form as a portal, we are able to communicate with this divine force.  We read the instructions He gave us in books and we practice them. He is also the pervasive reality of Truth, (Satyam). He is both teacher and dweller in our hearts.  As a teacher He guides us externally if we but listen.  And as the permanent resident of our Heart, He silently pulls us into the cave of the Heart.  If we allow it Bhagavan will take care of us.  That is His nature and requires no effort on His behalf.  It is spontaneous. 

WE may ask how it can be that He is the indweller in our hearts.

In the Bhagavata Purana it is said that Lord Krishna married 16,000 gopis.  The Purana tells us about the life of Krishna's wives after their marriages.  It is said that each of the wives had a home with maid servants and that Krishna divided himself into multiple forms, one for each wife. Narada, Vishnu's devotee, wandering sage and benign mischief maker, was curious to find out how Krishna managed this.  He went to every house and saw Krishna present with his wife, engaging in domestic activities with kindness and love.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Editorial - April - June 2017:
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2017, 11:38:40 AM »
What this means is that the supreme reality is present in all our hearts.  It is a wonder that confounds our sense of logic. It is important to note that Narada concluded that Krishna was not a polygamist; that he was only married to one Reality, though it forms may be many. 

Bhagavan does not conform to our preconceptions.  Like Krishna He is not bound by our prejudices.  He breaks through all our storehouses of conflicting desires and fears for the simple reason that He knows they are unreal and that you and He are joined as one.

The folk tales of Akbar, the great Moghal emperor, and his courtier Birbal are legendary and quoted in India for their humor, wit and sharp intelligence, often at the expense of the envious fellow courtiers of Birbal.

There is a story about Akbar questioned Birbal why Lord Vishnu should himself come to the rescue of Gajendra?  He could easily have sent someone else to rescue the pitiable elephant.  As emperor, Akbar had very many courtiers to do his bidding so as to not to waste his time with trivial mattes.  If Vishnu was a god why could he not do the same?  Birbal replied that he would answer the question but it would take time to explain, and left it at that.

Birbal was responsible for taking care of a beloved child who was the son of Akbar. Birbal watched over the child with loving attention.  One day Birbal arranged for a beautiful stone image of the boy to be carved and placed the statue at the edge of
a well knowing that the emperor had the greatest confidence in Birbal's ability to protect his son from harm. 

In the evening, when shapes were hazy at a distance, Birbal guided Akbar on a walk to the vicinity of the well.  Akbar thought he saw his son by the well and called out to
him to be careful.  Birbal reassured the emperor that there was nothing to fear.

Prior to the evening walk Birbal had organized that someone would be near when Akbar arrived, and unobserved, would push the statue into the well when the emperor was watching.  This happened when Birbal exclaimed in fake terror that the child had fallen into the depths.

Akbar ran immediately to the side of the well. But Birbal took hold of him and said, 'Wait here.  There are so many servants who can bring the boy out of the well.  Send them.'

Akbar was beside himself with anxiety and told Birbal to shut up. Did he not see that his beloved child was in danger and had to be quickly rescued? 

Birbal coolly replied that Akbar need not fear, for his child was safe.  What had fallen into the well as but a statue.  Then Birbal asked Akbar whether he remember the conversation the other day about Gajendra and Lord Vishnu's immediate and personal response to save the elephant?

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.         

                           

Subramanian.R

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Re: Editorial - April - June 2017:
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2017, 11:51:09 AM »
Bhagavan would laugh at the thought that He had renounced the world when He left
Madurai as a boy, for now He had gathered such a large family.  The immense love that
Guru holds for his devotees cannot be explained.  According to the Srimad Bhagavatam,
'Sri Bhagavan said, 'I am completely under the control of My devotees. Indeed, I am not all independent. My heart is controlled by devotees free of material desires. What to speak of My devotee, when even those who are devotees of My devotee are very dear to Me.'

Why in our case should Bhagavan be dependent upon us, His devotees?  It is clear that the knot of love binds all in a embrace that can never be broken.  In this union where is the sense of separation?

We in our case should Bhagavan be dependent upon us, His devotees?  It is clear that the knot of love binds all in embrace that can never be broken.  In this union where is the sense of separation?  We would do well to keep in mind that not only is there boundless love if we but dedicate our hearts and minds to Bhagavan, but that He too ever bound to us and will never desert us in our genuine time of need.

concluded.

Arunachala Siva.