Author Topic: material pursuits and sadhana  (Read 4030 times)

ksksat27

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material pursuits and sadhana
« on: June 29, 2017, 01:17:37 PM »
dear devotees

need your in depth insight and advise.

off late I am encountering variety of life situations. 

in this material world, though I already earn well and be in prestigious companies,  there has been more peer pressure in social circle that compels me to run even faster and chase more opulent things abroad.

before I came to Bhagavan, I used to be like that, constantly running after things....

now I find it difficult to have that vigour on material pursuits...I am 34 now... In another 30 years, all this pursuits will become useless... should I consider these distracting ambititions as vasanas?  should I concentrate on sadhana and fight the vasanas?

or keep these vasanas in one wing and sadhana on another wing? mix both and lead life?

kindly please don't give advise like 'work is worship', 'both can go together, like bhagavan told work is not an hindrance'

I am not talking about work here.  'Work' I do, question is about the appetite to earn more and more. to still establish myself. to explore even more brighter opportunities, do more and more courses etc.

please help me with deepest insight....

Jewell

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Re: material pursuits and sadhana
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2017, 02:57:29 PM »
Dear Sri Krishna,

The only point here is,i believe,do You really need all that,is it necessary? The best way is if we can be completely honest to ourselves and see why we want all these stuff,what is the real reason behind it. To relax. But this is possible only if we can see through desire.
So,the thing is,when the reason is the real need,or when it all became simply greed?.

Like someone wise once said,the answer for some problem is always in the problem itself. And if You asked this question,it seems You are,somewhere,aware what is the answer.

Like Maharaj said: "To exist as a separate individual constitutes the entire problem."

Best of luck in Your journey!

With love,


ksksat27

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Re: material pursuits and sadhana
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2017, 06:30:54 PM »
Thanks Jewel.

I am wondering why the learned members Ravi sir,  atmavichar,  anand sundaram and all others whom I have not mentioned are silent in this topic.


ramesh.aba

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Re: material pursuits and sadhana
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2017, 02:39:12 PM »
Even if one has the financial means to support the living from now (i.e. from the age of 34) till say up to 85th year, it will be prudent to engage in some activity and gradually reduce to a level that one is comfortable with the mind.

Moreover,  society places immense stress on what one is and what one does. So, it will be very dificult to live just anywhere in India and expect to move on leading a life of simplicity and meditation.

From personal experience, particularly if you are less than 60, only Tiruvannamalai (that too near Ashram) offers a setup where this life style is acceptable.

Desires for more & more vs Meditative life - are counter productive. Work per say is not hinderance (as Bhagavan says) as long as it is towards sustaining a simple living.

There is one illustration in  Guru Vachaka Kovai -  Kadai Vadakai. Explained in detail by Sadhu OM in his book Sri Ramana Vazhi. Michael James has translated this in English - "The_Path_of_Sri_Ramana_Part_One_BySadhuOM" - refer Appendix 3. PDF version of the English book is available in http://www.happinessofbeing.com/path_ramana.html

May Bhagavan help you find the right answer.



Ravi.N

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Re: material pursuits and sadhana
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2017, 07:52:03 PM »
ksksat,

"before I came to Bhagavan, I used to be like that, constantly running after things....

now I find it difficult to have that vigour on material pursuits...I am 34 now... In another 30 years, all this pursuits will become useless... should I consider these distracting ambititions as vasanas?  should I concentrate on sadhana and fight the vasanas?

or keep these vasanas in one wing and sadhana on another wing? mix both and lead life
?"

you seem to be having so many choices to choose from...and are asking which 'choice' to exercise?
Are you looking for an approved 'blueprint' to chalk out the job of living? Very much like an architect certified building plan that one resorts to before constructing a house?...and it looks like you are inviting 'certified architects'(or otherwise!) to come up with alternative approved plans so that you may choose the one that appeals to you!

Do we see that the job of living cannot be reduced to following a blueprint however sacred or attractive that be?It can only be lived intelligently and for that one has to be open and vulnerable as JK would put it...to see what is and not what should be i.e the actual viz a viz the ideal,as JK would always emphasize over and over again...and deal with it with intelligence and not as an automaton.

To be ever in conflict with ourselves and to be looking for compromises and trying to make the most of it...how can this be a prescription for spiritual living?

Desires always create conflict and resolution would call for learning to handle them intelligently...Desires cannot be swept under the carpet or put out of sight...avoidance would only distort them to take on more hideous forms but they would eventually get back to claim their pound of flesh.

Desire has a rightful place in the evolutionary scheme of the jiva in its growth curve...it is what drives the jiva in its quest for excellence and expansion...but along with the 'fruits' it also hands one the 'thorns'...and in the process of evaluation of 'fruits' viz a viz 'thorns' it provides the opportunity for learning ...and also the intelligence to handle desires in the job of living.

One has to 'rationalize' Desires, which means that one should have a measure of their strengths,one's capacity and drive to realize the desires,one's assessment of the pros and cons of realizing the desire...this sort of a introspection can be done ...and we should be able to sift the ones to which we give the nod from the others that do not really stand our scrutiny...we should be in a position to discard all desires which are not worth our energy and attention...and those which we are truly convinced that we should entertain,we must give them all the energy and effort to realize...and our efforts may meet with success or not but the most important thing is that we have handled the 'desire' appropriately .

Please note that Spiritual earnestness is also a "desire'...it is called Subechcha(an auspicious desire)

Now we are not advocating 'satisfy your desires' type of a thing...we are only saying that we should handle them intelligently...and this would mean that we will make mistakes and such mistakes are part of learning but eventually we will learn not to make them...and this learning would enhance our ability to deal with desires and put them in place.

As Emerson says wonderfully in his 'Self Reliance': There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.

If you ask me to compress my message,I would refer to this tirukkural:

வையத்துள் வாழ்வாங்கு வாழ்பவன் வான்உறையும்
தெய்வத்துள் வைக்கப் படும்.


He who lives in this world as life ought to be lived
Shall abide as consciousness that permeates space.


Namaskar

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Re: material pursuits and sadhana
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2017, 05:15:34 AM »
Dear Ravi,

Regarding Bhagawan and Krishnamurti, their solution is fundamental and half measures are not possible. Krishnamurti  says thought is a material process taking place in the brain which is matter. So stopping material pursuits means ending of thought.  Bhagwan has made it amply clear not to be concerned with thoughts of 'I am a sanyasi', 'I am pursuing materialism', 'I am this or I am that'.  But to enquire who am I?  The notion 'I will improve' without knowing the I is false.  Self enquiry is the only way out.




Ravi.N

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Re: material pursuits and sadhana
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2017, 06:59:51 AM »
Sadhak,
There is a time and place for everything in life ...everyone has to go through life and learn the lessons...one cannot prematurely live by what even a sage has recommended...each person has his own past and predilection and that has to be taken into account and cannot be wished away.
What I have posted is what i know first hand and not from any book whatsoever...and i have referred to Krishnamurti from the perspective of understanding the conflict between the actual and ideal...being one kind of person and wanting to be another and trying to focus on the ideal while ignoring one's nature ...and yet getting dragged by one's nature...one cannot be fighting one's nature all the time.
So,understanding one's nature or swabhava is very very essential and one cannot get away from it...and living life in the workaday world has to correspond to this swabhava at one level.

This is the reason why Lord Krishna talks to Arjuna at many Levels in the Gita.

Please note our objective is not to become a better person ...become a goody-goody person over a period of time...that is not the idea...the objective is to gain firm and first hand understanding of one's nature and learn to handle it responsibly and effectively without smothering it ...and this is very very essential...and from this understanding of what bondage that it entails, it is less arduous to explore the avenues for the inner freedom and pursue it with ardour...and all this without being at loggerheads with our swabhava and in conflict with it all the time.

Please note that 'full' or 'half' measures are also relative only...What is 'half' measure for one may be more than a 'Full' measure for another...so all those assumptions are arbitrary and not of much practical use.

It is all very  easy to say that self enquiry is the only way but if that can be resorted to in the true sense,the sort of question that is asked would not arise in the first place!

Namaskar

silentgreen

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Re: material pursuits and sadhana
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2017, 12:25:38 PM »
Hi ksksat,

The issues you have raised are all valid and many who want to lead a spiritual life face these. You are trying to turn your life more towards spirituality but the activities of the world does not seem to fit with it. On top of it there may be some desires creating conflicts within the mind. These are all natural.

If you want a prescriptive solution, just follow these and your life will get internally organized soon:
1. Divide life into 12 year divisions. 12, 24, 36, 48 etc.
2. You are now in 3rd block. 2 years are still left.
3. In those 2 years, orient your life spiritually for the fourth block. Try to bring things in your spiritual life which gives joy.
4. Consolidate your finances by simplifying life and saving.
5. Do not leave job, but gradually cut yourself out of competition internally. When mind gets freed from competition, job becomes more enjoyable. You may get the right slot.
6. The fourth block of life should be primarily oriented towards the spiritual activities you had planned.

Sri Ramakrishna said:
The more you go towards the east the west will be left behind.

That is the most practical advice. The details will differ from person to person but the overall life will go towards God. Exams will come in life. Sometimes we will pass and sometimes we will fail. Exams are necessary for growth. With God in the heart exams can also become enjoyable.
Homage to the Universal Being...Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ...

Ravi.N

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Re: material pursuits and sadhana
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2017, 08:09:08 PM »
Friends,
Silentgreen has covered it nicely ...and this is what is provided in Dharma-artha-kama-Moksha' framework...that framework is a time tested and proven one...and the principles that are behind it are forever valid.

One fundamental principle is that the mind can attain peace only when it is free of desires...yet the desires cannot be eliminated without one experiencing them in some measure and in an intelligent manner.

We shall see how the master covers this in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna-I have always found the guidance provided here is invaluable for all aspirants...there is nothing that is not covered here...as such it provides the best possible satsangha for the earnest man who has to live in the workaday world...and is compelled to find his bearings.

1.Renunciation, true and false

Master:Is renunciation possible except in the fullness of time? The time for renunciation comes when one reaches the limit of enjoyment. Can anybody force himself into renunciation? There is a kind of renunciation known as 'monkey renunciation'. Only small-minded people cultivate it. Take the case of a fatherless boy. His poor widowed mother earns her livelihood by spinning. The boy loses his insignificant job and suddenly is seized with a fit of renunciation. He puts on the ochre cloth of a monk and goes to Benares. A few days later he writes home, 'I have secured a job for ten rupees a month.' In the meantime he tries to buy a gold ring and beautiful clothes. How can he stifle his desire for enjoyment?"

BRAHMO: "Is it good to renounce the world?"
MASTER: "Not for all. Those who have not yet come to the end of their enjoyments should not renounce the world. Can one get drunk on two annas' worth of wine?"
How to lead a householder's life
BRAHMO: "Then should they lead a worldly life?"
MASTER: "Yes, they should try to perform their duties in a detached way. Before you break the jack-fruit open, rub your hands with oil, so that the sticky milk will not smear them. The maidservant in a rich man's house performs all her duties, but her mind dwells on her home in the country. This is an example of doing duty in a detached way. You should renounce the world only in mind. But a sannyasi should renounce the world both inwardly and outwardly."
BRAHMO: "What is the meaning of the 'end of enjoyments'?"
MASTER: "I mean the enjoyment of 'woman and gold'. It is risky to put a typhoid patient in a room where pitchers of water and jugs of pickled tamarind are kept. Most people don't feel any longing for God unless they have once passed through the experience of wealth, name, fame, creature comforts, and the like, that is to say, unless they have seen through these enjoyments."

The Master underlines the need to see through the enjoyments...there is simply no other way ...We will see next how Sri Ramakrishna explains this to Mahimacharan,another householder devotee .
« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 08:11:32 PM by Ravi.N »

Ravi.N

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Re: material pursuits and sadhana
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2017, 08:21:05 PM »
Excerpts from The Gospel continued....

2.Advantage of a householder's life
Sri Ramakrishna now addressed Mahimacharan, who was a householder.
MASTER: "What need is there of renouncing the world altogether? It is enough if you can rid yourself of attachment. But you must have sadhana, you have to fight the sense-organs. " It is a great advantage to fight from inside a fort. You get much help from the fort. The world is the place for enjoyment. After enjoying different things, you should give them up one by one. Once I had a desire to put a gold chain around my waist. I obtained one at last and put it on, but I had to take it off immediately. Once I ate some onion. While eating it I discriminated, 'O mind, this is onion.' Then I moved it to different places in my mouth and at last spat it out."

The master plays both the sides of the drum...on the one hand he is emphasizing 'you must have sadhana, you have to fight the sense-organs' and yet he is also suggesting the way to 'see through enjoyment'  and cites his own personal example.
This is something that can be done and has to be done.

Ravi.N

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Re: material pursuits and sadhana
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2017, 08:35:04 PM »
Excerpts from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna continued...
3.Master (To Govinda): "The fact is that one does not feel the longing to know or see God as long as one wants to enjoy worldly objects. The child forgets everything when he plays with his toys. Try to cajole him away from play with a sweetmeat; you will not succeed. He will eat only a bit of it. When he relishes neither the sweetmeat nor his play, then he says, 'I want to go to my mother.' He doesn't care for the sweetmeat any more. If a man whom he doesn't know and has never seen says to the child, 'Come along; I shall take you to your mother', the child follows him. The child will go with anyone who will carry him to his mother.
The soul becomes restless for God when one is through with the enjoyment of worldly things. Then a person has only one thought-how to realize God. He listens to whatever anyone says to him about God."
(To the devotees) "One cannot renounce by the mere wish. There are prarabdha karma inherited tendencies-and the like. Once a yogi said to a king, 'Live with me in the forest and think of God.' The king replied: 'That I cannot very well do. I could live with you, but I still have the desire for enjoyment. If I live in this forest, perhaps I shall create a kingdom even here. I still have desires.'

4.DEVOTEE: "Why do we not feel intense restlessness to realize Him?"
MASTER: "A man does not feel restless for God until all his worldly desires are satisfied. He does not remember the Mother of the Universe until his share of the enjoyment of 'woman and gold' is completed. A child absorbed in play does not seek his mother. But after his play is over, he says, 'Mother! I must go to my mother.' Hriday's son was playing with the pigeons, calling to them, 'Come! Ti, ti!' When he had had enough of play he began to cry. Then a stranger came and said: 'Come with me. I will take you to your mother.' Unhesitatingly he climbed on the man's shoulders and was off.
"Those who are eternally free do not have to enter worldly life. Their desire for enjoyment has been satisfied with their very birth."

The Key thing is take ourselves as we are and where we are...and not be apologetic about it or afraid of it or be at loggerheads with it...not to seek to run away from it ...but to go about our life in a cheerful and positive way...be absolutely honest about it and we shall find ourselves well on the road to self mastery...and we will know every inch of the path trodden...that knowledge and assurance will be with us and no circumstance can confound us anymore...we shall find our way amidst chaos and out of it.

kishorelr

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Re: material pursuits and sadhana
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2017, 01:24:01 AM »
Dear Friend,
Ravi and Slight green already conveyed the message beautifully.

Two cents:

Ask honestly whether the interest in spirituality is an escape from the worldly issues we are facing ? what is the real motive ?
It was a great wake up call when i first realized  that hankering in spiritual world is an escape from worldly sorrows.I really don't want to get rid of the worldly pleasures.
I want worldly pleasures and when i face issues in pursuing them i shift to spirituality as an alternate to over come them or as a solution to fix the worldly pleasures.
This understanding was a real honest wake up call. It helped me started to see my motives clearly and provided me a starting point to check myself what i am really after in my day to day activities.

Secondly as Sri Rama Krishna put it the level of increase in spirituality is inversely proportional to the level of over attachment to the world. How will we realize the truth the better we are.

Thirdly i feel cultivating Bhakti is more essential.To cultivate bhakthi we need to better understand bhakthi. Listening to few talks on bhakthi helped me a lot.

Fourthly we should continue sadhana as periyava puts it in advatik sadhana.

This is the perspective from my side. May or may not be helpful as the path would be different for each.

Ravi.N

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Re: material pursuits and sadhana
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2017, 06:55:21 PM »
The Great carnatic music composer Saint Thyagaraja probes his mind to tell him the Truth in the following wonderful  Krithi(composition)...I am copy pasting here from another site:

nidhi cAla-kalyANi raga

In the kRti 'nidhi cAla sukhamA' - rAga kalyANi (tALa miSra cApu), SrI tyAgarAja asks his mind to consider which is better ? wealth or service to the Lord.

pallavi(Refrain)
nidhi cAla sukhamA rAmuni
sannidhi sEva sukhamA nijamuga palku manasA

anupallavi
dadhi navanIta kshIramulu ruciyO
dASarathi dhyAna bhajana sudhA rasamu ruciyO (nidhi)

caraNam
dama Samam(a)nu gangA snAnamu sukhamA
kardama dur-vishaya kUpa snAnamu sukhamA
mamata bandhana yuta nara stuti sukhamA
su-mati tyAgarAja nutuni kIrtana sukhamA (nidhi)

Gist

O My Mind!Tell me truthfully - whether wealth is very comforting or the service in the holy presence of Lord SrI rAma comforting?
Are curd, fresh butter and milk etc. tasty or the nectarine juice of meditation and bhajana of dASarathi tasty?
Is a bath in the (holy) river ganga called (practice of) self control and tranquility comforting or a bath in the water of well called the filthy, evil natured objects of senses comforting?
Is extolling humans bound by egotism comforting or singing songs of the pure minded Lord praised by this tyAgarAja comforting?

The Story goes that the King sends word to Thayagaraja that he should come to his court and sing before him...and he sends Jewellery and other riches as gifts to the poor saint...and it is at this moment Thayagaraja puts his mind to the Reality check...and this is brought out nicely in that old black and white Telugu Film 'Thaygayya':
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGkRpObyzo0
Needless to add that Thaygaraja is not in the least interested and refuses to sing for the king...The Actor is Chitor Nagaiah and his life is poignantly interesting ...I shall post next about that.
continued...
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 06:57:44 PM by Ravi.N »

Ravi.N

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Re: material pursuits and sadhana
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2017, 07:16:09 PM »
chitor Nagaiah

Nagaiah V. Chittoor was a legendary Telugu cine artiste. Known for his films Bhakta Pothana and Bhakta Thyagaraja, he visited Sri Ramana in the 1930s.

When my wife died, the whole world looked bleak to me. Everything seemed like an arid desert with no oasis in sight. I would be reading the Gita over and over again. The slightest thought of my wife would sink me into deep sorrow. To overcome it I would let my friends force me into giving music concerts. One day I left my house, and wandering here and there, reached Sri Ramanasramam. To me it was like entering the heaven on earth. The atmosphere of profound peace which surrounded the Maharshi and which enveloped the place sank into me. At long last, my mind knew some rest. The majestic silence of Bhagavan ended my suffering and my self-concern about the bereavement. Paul Brunton [No.1] and I became friends, and time passed happily. One day a friend from Chittoor spotted me and cajoled me into accepting a recording programme for his film. I told him that unless the Maharshi gave his consent, I would not budge. I had not spoken a single word to Bhagavan all this while nor had he to me. But there was some imperceptible yet strong bond of love between us. To leave the majestic master who filled my heart with peace was unthinkable. Still the seeds of desire had been sown. I was looking for an opportunity to get the Maharshi's permission. When the permission was sought, he said, 'Yes, you can go. There is still a lot of work for you to do.' I could not comprehend the implications of the statement at that time. The recording assignment took me to the film world where name and fame came to me in a big way. I would have withered away unhonoured and unsung but for the grace of Bhagavan Ramana. He poured new life into me. The Maharshi had an uncanny perception of each person's need and would lead one along the path best suited to that person.

Excerpted from 'Face to Face with Sri Ramana maharshi
Nagaiah's observation on Sri Bhagavan is absolutely true...despite dogmatic assertions by devotees that Bhagavan taught only 'this' and 'not that',etc,etc...
It was Nagaiah who set up the Thayaga Brahma Gana sabha in T Nagar,Chennai...Here is an article On nagaiah that appeared in the Hindu:
http://www.thehindu.com/2005/07/28/stories/2005072814750300.htm
Here is another fine song from the old film 'Ramu' where Nagaiah puts in a guest appearance as 'the sadhu':
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e90W0fMMZLI
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 07:21:43 PM by Ravi.N »

Anand

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Re: material pursuits and sadhana
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2017, 10:14:48 PM »
Dear Krishnan,After seeing practical life  I feel  that till retirement, we should diligently pursue our career,showing zest ,initiative and enthusiasm and not confuse this with spiritual life. However in all this,we should not forget our real nature.The metaphysical reality is that the world including our body,  is  a projection of our innate desires(the world is a seeming juxtaposition of all the collective desires of all beings-seemingly real because of the nature of Brahman ) but because of the nature of Brahman,seems real in all its twists and turns,as long  we have the sense of 'Sutarivu' (the sense of a personal I) as Muruganar  puts it.So we must wholeheartedly act ,do what it takes,but somehow remember our true nature,since except our being, nothing in reality,truly really  exists.We should wholeheartedly live the illusion-it is almost like acting in a drama where we are the director, actor, audience and the screen -even be apparently scared by it,till the realisation that there is just being ,is realised  as a living experience. It is like having two personalities at the same time ,one meticulously concentrating on materialistic life and other equally meticulously focusing on our innate divinity -in either there should not be any compromise. This is to be done till matters(our Prarabha)  settle such that this apparent quandary no longer exists to trouble us, and we remain what we truly ever are.
Regards,
Anand .
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 10:41:32 PM by Anand »
Sundaram Anand