Saturday, 31 August 2013

Atma - anatma- viveka


Practical  steps  to  spirituality- section 6  part  31

Atma-  anatma - viveka  

                          Self  knowledge  is  attained  by  Atma-  anatma  - viveka  - the  differentiation  between  the  Self  , the  Atman  and  the  anatman, the  not- Self. . Vedanta  tries  to  prove  conclusively  that  the  Atman  is  distinct  from  the  anatman. 1. What  is  described  as ' mine'  is  different  from  'me' . We  refer  to  things  which  we  possess  as  this  is  my  book,  . that  house  is mine  and  so  on. , meaning  I  am  different  from  the  book, the  house  and  so  on. .We  never  say'  Iam  the  book  or  the  house  . Then  it  stands  to  reason  to  say  it  is equally  wrong  to  say  'I  am  my  body,  I  am  my  mind  ,  I  am  my  causal  body  ' Why  do  I  identify  with  my  three  sariras  and  say  so  ,when  I  only  own  them  but  I  am  not  any  of  them? . . When  I  say  'my  body  ' , the  owner  of  the  body  is  distinct  from  the  body  that  is  owned  . And  when  I  say  ' my  mind  '  , the  Self,   the  owner  of  the  mind,  is  distinct  from  the  owned  mind  . Whatever  is  described  as  mine  is  distinct  from  the  Self. 

                   2.  One  other  way  of  distinguishing  the  Self  from  the  not- Self  is  the  method  of  drg- drsya- viveka  . -  differentiating  the  seer  from  the  seen  .. The  knower  (  drg  )  , that  is  the  Self,  has  to be  distinct  from  the  known  (  drsya  )  , that  is  the  perceived  object. . If  both  the  knower  and  the  known  are  taken  to  be  one, then  no  knowledge  can  take  place  . Knowledge  presupposes  the  distinction between  the  seer  and  the  seen  , the  hearer   and  the  heard  , the  knower and  the  known  . . I  see  a  book  and  so  I  am  different  from  the  book. . I  am  the  knower  of  the  three  sariras  hence  I  am  distinct  from  my  sariras. . This  differentiation  between  the  seer  and  the  seen    called  ' drg- drsya-  viveka  '  in  vedanta  proves  the  distinction  between  the  Self  and  not- Self. 

                     Thus  what  is  described  as  mine  is  different  from  me   and  the  seer  -the  subject,  is  distinct  from  the  seen -  the  object and  both of these arguments      point  out  that  I  the  subject  , the  Self  is  different  from  the  object  , the  not-Self. . This  knowledge  or  understanding  of  Atman  as  distinct  from  anatman  is  called  -  Atma- anatma- viveka   and  it  is  this  knowledge  that  destroys  the  identification  of  the  Self  with  the  not- Self. 

to be  continued....

Thursday, 29 August 2013

the Ananda aspect of Paramatman


Practical  steps  to  spirituality-  section  6  part  30  

The  Ananda  aspect  of  Paramatman, 

                                  The  Self  is  of  the  nature  of   happiness  because   one  is  dear  to  oneself  at  all  times. One  may  be  sick  or  disabled   but  still  he  desires  to  become  healthy  and  live  ,even  if  he  is  in the  verge  of  death. . Even  the  thought  of  suicide  , which  is  nothing  but  the  wish  to  destroy the  body  and  mind  ,  is  entertained  because  of  the  love  of  the  Self   alone  . Only  when  there  seems  to  be  no  possible  solution  for  freedom  from  pain  , death  is  considered  as  the  only  means  to  get rid  of  pain  and  pain for sure    is  not  one's  inherent  nature  . Such  is  the  overwhelming  love  one  has  for  the  Self. 

                                 Atman  is  dear  to  all  beings  . All  others such as  the  spouse , the  child  ,  wealth, fame  and   power  and all else   that  are  desired , have  only  an  instrumental   value   and  are  desired  for  the  sake  of  the  Self  alone. . The  father  is  ready  to  renounce  even  his  dearest  son  if  he  becomes  a  source  of  unbearable  pain. . Such  is  the  absolute  love  one  has  for  the  Self. . This  love  for  the  Self  is  the  very   proof  that  It  is  of  the  nature  of  bliss. , for  who  would  love  that  which  is  painful and  sorrowful  ? 

                         If   I am of  the  nature  of  Bliss  , and  am  infinite   and  independent  of  all  factors   such  as  time,  place  objects,  birth and death , body  mind  and  intellect   and  any  other  external  factors  , why  is  it  that  I,   the  Paramatman , who is of  the  nature  of  absolute  Bliss ,  do not  experience  that  infinite  Bliss  ?   The  answer  that  Vedanta  gives  is  as  follows  :  just  as even   in spite of standing     in  front  of  the  Himalayas,if  one  does  not  look  in  the  direction  of   the  Himalayas  , then  there  is  no  scope  of  perceiving  them  ,  so  too  our  attention  is  presently  turned  towards  the  not- Self  and  the  world of  objects  . Hence  even  though  the  Paramatman  is  present  as  the  very  Self  of  the  seeker  , we  do not  come  to experience  It  . We should turn   within  and  perceive  the  Blissful  Self  within. . A great  saint  says "  I  exist  ever  , always  shine  and  never  do I  dislike  myself  . . Therefore  it  is  established  that  Brahman  which  is  of  the  nature  of  Existence,  Consciousness  and  Bliss  alone  I  am " 

to be  continued.....     

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

janmashtami - the birth of Lord Krishna


Practical  steps  to  spirituality-  section  6 part  29 

The  birth  of  Lord  Krishna  - Janmashtami  

                                         Today  is  the  Lord's  birthday  and  let us  celebrate  His  birthday  by  first  making  ourselves  pure  . Arjuna  was  given  the  Lord's  visvarupa  darsana   out  of  the  Lord's  grace  and  not   because  he  had  earned  any  merits or  put  in any  efforts  for  the  same. . Now  what  should  we  do  to  get  the  rare  vision  of  the  Lord  which  Arjuna  experienced  ?  

                                        Finite  actions  give  only  finite  results  . Good  actions,   like  ritualistic  sacrifices  , charities  , austerities  and  special  worship  all  done  over  a  period  of  time  bring great  results  - worldly  and  heavenly. . However  , they  are  not  capable  of  giving  the  rare  vision  of  the  infinite  cosmic  form  of  the  Lord  that  Arjuna  experienced  .This  visvarupa  darsana  was  given  to Arjuna  out  of   sheer  love     for  Arjuna. . Now  we  want  to  know  what  invokes  the  love  of  God  ?    God  is  love .  He  does  not  need  any  reason  to  love  us  . He  loves  all  beings  unconditionally  as  His  own  Self. . But  our  unswerving  love  (  ananya  bhakti  )  evokes  His  special  grace. . With  His  special grace  it  is  possible  to ' know'  Him, ' see'  Him  and'  become  one  with  Him'. . The  devotee  passes  through  three  stages  :  initially  he'  knows'  God  as  ' I  am  His  '   and  then    he  goes  to  the  second  stage  wherein  he   ' sees ' God  as  'He  is  mine  '   and  finally  the  devotee  'becomes  one  with  God  ' with  the  Realization  ' I  am  He  '.

                                          What  should  we  do  to  love  God  and  get  His  grace ?   We  should  consider  Him  alone  as  Supreme  and  our   supreme  Goal   (  mat  parama ) ,  we  should  love  Him  alone   wholeheartedly  (  mad -  bhakta )   and  serve  Him  alone   enthusiastically  through  all  our  actions  (  mat- karma-  krt )    and  we  have  to  give  up  all  our  attachments  for  the  worldly  things  and  beings  (  sanga- varjita  )  and   all  the  hatred  that  lies  in  our  hearts  (  nirvaira  ). . So  when  our  body, mind  and  intellect  are  thus  aligned  with  God  , we  shall  surely  attain  Him  This  is  the  assurance  the  Lord  gives  us   again  and  again   in  the  Gita. . So  we  can  indeed  '  know',       'see '    and  'become  one  with  Him  '  through  unswerving  love   expressed  through  all  our  thoughts,  feelings  and  actions  .

to be  continued......



Saturday, 24 August 2013

the Cit aspect of Paramatman


Practical  steps to spirituality- section 6 part  28 

The  Cit  aspect  of  the  Paramatman 

                   In  the  previous  page  ,we  have  seen  the  Sat  aspect  of  the  Paramatman.   Today  ,let us  see  the  Cit  aspect  of  the  Paramatman.   Cit  is  of the  nature  of  Consciousness. . Every object  , without  exception is  known  or  capable  of  being  known   at  some  point  of  time  or the  other. . Even  the ignorance  of  an  object  is an  object  of  my  knowledge.  I  not only  know what  I know  but  I  also  know  what  I  do not  know. . . The  subject'  I'  which  knows  all  these  objects  , both the  known  or  unknown  , has  to  be  of  the  nature  of  knowledge. 
                   The  senses  , mind and  intellect  are  all  inert   as  they  are  made  of  the  subtle  aspect  of  the  five  inert  elements. . The  capacity  of  the  senses  , mind  and  intellect   to reveal  their  respective  objects  namely  sense objects,  feelings  and  thoughts  cannot  be  inherent  in  themselves  as  they  are  basically  inert. . The  object  revealing  capacity  of the  senses, mind and  intellect  is  borrowed   from  the  Paramatman. . The  Self ,  which  is  of  the  nature  of  Consciousness,  lends  sentiency   to  all  of  them  

                 The  effulgence  of  the  Self  is  present  in all  the  three  states  of  awareness  , namely  the waking, dream and  deep  sleep  states . . In  the  waking  state  one  is  aware  of  the  external  world  ,  in the  dream  state  there  is  an  awareness  of  the  inner  world  projected  by  the  mind  and  in deep  sleep  state  one  is  aware  of  the  absence  of  both. 

                  The  Self  is  known  without  the  medium  of  thoughts   because   the  Self  is  self- luminous. . Further,  only   to  know  an  object  apart  from  oneself  do we  need  the  instruments  like  eyes  to  see,  ears  to  hear  and  so  on. . To  know  oneself  , where  is  the  need  for  any  instruments  ? . This  eternal and  ever shining  Principle  of  Absolute  knowledge  is  called  Cit. . The  Self  is  known  by  the  Self  through its  own   effulgence.  

to be  continued.....

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

The Sat aspect of Paramatman


 Practical  steps  to spirituality- section 6 part  27

The Sat   aspect  of  Paramatman  

                               The  Self  is  described  as  the  I, the  subject,  contrasted  with  the  object,  the  world. . Atman,  the  subject  ,is  of  the   very  nature  of   Sat- Cit-  Anand  . It  is  the very  core  of  one's personality   and  ever  shines  as  the  I   and  is  ever  the  witness  of  the  not- Self   namely  the  three  sariras  -sthula,  sukshma  and  karana  . Due  to  the  non-apprehension  of  the  Self's   Sat-Cit- Anand  nature  there  arises  the  misapprehension  of  the  Self  as  not-  Self. , which  expresses  as  the  wrong  notion  '  I  am  the  gross   , subtle  and  causal  body. Self  knowledge  is  the  only  solution  to  the  false  identification  with  the  not- Self. . This  knowledge  is  attained  by  atma- anatma  -viveka , that  is  the  differentiation  (  viveka  )  between  Atman  and  the  anatman  (  not- Self ) 

                                 Vedanta  declares  that  the  Paramatman's  or  Supreme  Self's   nature  is   Sat-  Existence  , Cit  - Consciousness  , Ananda  - Bliss  .         The sanskrit  term  Sat  just  means ' being ' or ' noble ' but , has  a  deeper  significance.  Sat  is  that  which is  permanent and remains  unchanged  in  all  three  periods  of  time -past, present and future   . Only  the  Atman  can  be  described  as  Sat  in  as  much  as  there was  never  a  time  It  was  not  nor  will  It   ever  cease  to  be  now  or  in  the  future  . . The  Sat  aspect  of  the  Atman  can  be  understood  by analysis  thus  :  1. That  which  is  made  up  of  parts  has  death  through  the  destruction  of  its  parts  . The  Self  is  a  homogeneous  whole  and  has  no  parts  whatsoever  . Therefore  the  Self  is  beyond  destruction. . 2  The  Self  is  not  subject  to  modification  . It  is  always  of  the  same  nature  sada-eka- rupa.   Modification  , that  is  change  from  one  form  to another,  implies  death  of  the  earlier  form  and  birth  of  the  new  one. . The  body  dies,  thoughts  of  the  mind  change   and  everything  in the  external  world  is  subject  to  change  but  the  Paramatman  is  beyond  the  pale of   modification.  

to be  continued....

Monday, 19 August 2013

six steps to liberation


Practical  steps  to liberation  -section 6 part  26 

Six  steps  to  liberation  

                                The  spiritual  practices  such  as worship, charity  , austerity, japa  and  so  on   enable  the  seeker  to  obtain  two  prerequisites for  Self- Realisation.  namely  -citta suddhi  and  citta  ekagrata  . The  seeker  endowed  with these  qualities  alone  will  gain  direct  experience  of  the  Self  , while  others  can  get  only  an  intellectual  appreciation  of  Vedanta. 

                                The  student's  next  question  "  katham   vimoksah  ?  . "    How  does  one  attain  liberation  is  answered   by  the  Guru  in  the  Vivekacudamani  thus  :  there are six essential steps  for  attaining  liberation  . For  liberation , first  comes  the  complete  dispassion  for  all  impermanent  things  . Then  follow  sama, dama  , titiksha  and  uparama  (  shraddha  and  samadana  )  . Thereafter  comes  listening  to    and     reflection  on  what  has  been  listened  to  and  after  that  comes  long  constant  contemplation  on  the  Truth. . Ultimately  the  learned  one  attains  nirvikalpa   state   and  experiences  the  Bliss  of  liberation  in  this  very  life. 
                            The  six steps  to liberation  mentioned  in  the  above  verses   are  :1.vairagya  (  dispassion  , 2. samadi satka  sampatti  which  are :  sama  (  mind  control )  dama  ( sense  control )  , titiksha  (  forbearance  )  uparama  (  renunciation  of  selfish  actions  ,  shraddha  (  faith )  and  samadana  (  concentration  )   3. Sravana   ( listening )  4.  manana  (  reflection  )5.   dhyana  ( contemplation   ) . and  lastly  samadhi  (  meditation  )  . The  seeker  in  samadhi  state  annihilates  ignorance   and  becomes  free  from  samsara  once  and  for  all. . He  is  now  a  jivan  mukta  even  while  living. 

                      Vedanta  asserts   that  knowledge  alone  leads  to  liberation  . This  is  because  ignorance  of  the  Self  being  the  cause  of  bondage,   knowledge  of  the  Self   alone  can put an end to ignorance  . This  knowledge  by  itself  can  neither  be  clear  or  firm  if  one  does  not  have  purity  of  mind and  single pointedness  of the  intellect. 

                        A farmer went  out to sow  seeds  and  scattered  the  seeds   and  most  of  them  just fell  on waste land and hence got lost. . Only  a  few  fell  on  good  soil   and  produced  crops   twenty   thirty , sixty  times  what  was  sown  . The  sower  is  the  Guru  , the  seed  is  the  knowledge  of  Vedanta   and  the  fertile  field  is  the  pure  and  single  pointed  mind.   Is  your  field  fertile  ? 

to be  continued..... 

Thursday, 15 August 2013



Practical  steps  to spirituality- section 6 part   25

Vichara  - unique  method  of enquiry 

                               Anger, greed  ,passion  , likes  and dislikes  , ambition  , jealousy   and  so  on  are all  impurities  of  the  mind . When  we meet with  these  impurities  in  ourselves  , our  immediate  reaction  is  to get  rid  of  them   ,for  instance  ,when  we are  in anger   we  immediately  ask  how  can we get rid  of  anger  . By  this  impatience  ,the  problem  escapes  our  attention  , we  forget  what  our  problem  is  , what  caused  it   and  so  on   and  we  jump with  the  solutions   and  forget  all  about  the   actual   problem  

                          Vichara  is   making  an  enquiry  into  this  problem  . Awareness  and  knowledge  are  the  very  essence   of  this  path  of  enquiry. . Instead  of  running  away  from  the  problem  ,  or giving  a  knee jerk  reaction,  , we  objectively  enquire  into  the  problem   for  instance  we have   angry  outbursts and so we find out     as  to  what    it  is ? where  does  it  have  its  source ?  and  what  are  the  ways  anger  gets  expressed   and under what  circumstances the  problem  aggravates   what  are  its  consequences  . ?. So  without  being  judgmental  , this  enquiry  helps  by  being  aware  of  the  problem  . By  being  conscious  of  the  impurities as and   when  they  arise in the  mind   and  also  by  being  non  -judgmental  and  not    labeling  it  as  good  or bad,  positive or  negative   nor  justifying   or  glorifying   them  , we are able to study it calmly  . Thirdly  , to  understand  them  in their  totality   and  see  their  consequences  . If  we  can  practice  these  three  steps  , then  we  can  see  all  the  impurities  of  the  mind   can  stop  existing  altogether  . . If  we  start  with  one  mental  impurity   and  start  working  on it  , soon  other  impurities  will  bid  us  goodbye  . 

                          We  can  maintain  a  dairy  of  all  the  impurities  we  have  . . Start  observing   one  bad  tendency  we  want  to  give  up  , study  in detail  how  we  acquired   that  bad  habit  , how  it  became  worse  , and  its  consequences  in our  lives   and  how  much  it  has  harmed  my  health, or  character   and  keep  observing  everyday  for  three  months   and  maintain  the  dairy   for  three  months  . By  this  time  the  habit  be  it  alcoholism  ,smoking  ,or  getting  angry  and  so  on  would  have  left  you. . Then  when  you have  successfully  given  up  one  bad  habit  , now  take  up another  impurity  you want  to give  up  and  work  on  it. . Very  soon  ,we  will  find  most  of  our  impurities  have  either  left  us  or  at least  lessened  to a  great  extent.

to be  continued.... 

Monday, 12 August 2013

thirtham and vratas


Practical  steps  to spirituality-  section 6 part 24

Thirtham  or  pilgrimage.

                         We  are  following  the  methods  to purify  the  mind  and  continuing  the  discussion  ,lets see  what  thirtham  really  means  . In sanskrit  the  term ' thirtham  ' means  that  which  helps  you  to  cross  this  ocean  of  ignorance  and  confusion. . The  understanding  of  the  word  'pilgrimage ' may  vary  from person  to  person  . The  common  mean  understands  it  as  visiting  temples  , that  it is a  tour  of temples    on walk. To  an  advanced  seeker,  a  pilgrimage  will  mean  something  more  than  just  visiting  temples  , for  him  it  would  also  mean  taking  time  out  to  visit  the  saints  in  those  areas  , sit  under  their  feet  and  learn  from  them . Satsang  with  Mahatmas  is  a great  purifier. 

  Vratas  or  vows  

                     Vratas  are  undertaken  by a  seeker  in  the  form  of  denying  oneself  food  once a week  or  taking  food  only  after  finishing  the  morning  puja  , or  observing  silence  once a week  and  so on.   Vratas  help  increase  one's  will  power   and  help  discipline  the  mind  from  falling  for  sensual  pleasures. .In  the  West, there  is  a  'time out  ' concept  wherein  a  child  is  disciplined  to  sit  in the  corner  of a  room  whenever  he  behaves  in a  stubborn  way. . This  quietens  the  child's  mind   and  the  child  now  has  an  opportunity  to  think  about  his  behavior  . Vratas  are  a  kind  of ' time out '  when  the  mind  voluntarily  denies  itself  certain  habitual  pleasures   and  comforts , just  to  discipline  the  mind. . But  when  someone  else  enforces  ,it  leads  to suppression  

                        So  these  two practices  ,pilgrimages  and  vratas ,  each  in its  own way  strengthens  the  mind  and  helps  the  seeker  to progress  spiritually . These  practices  help  turn  the  mind  away  from  lower  desires  and  pleasures  and  turn  the  mind  in  higher  pursuits  and  remembrance  of  the  Lord.

to be  continued.....


Saturday, 10 August 2013

japa yajna


Practical  steps to spirituality- section 6 part 23 

Japa  yajna  - repetition  of the  Lord's  name  

                                  The  Lord  says  in the  tenth chapter  of  the  Bhagavad  Gita  "   yajnanam  japa  yajnosmi  " "  I  am  japa  of  sacrifices"     says  Lord  Krishna  . Yajna  means  worship. . Satras  prescribe  various  types  of  yajnas  as  spiritual  practices  . Jnana  yajna  is  the  worship  through  the  offering  of  one's  ignorance  in  the  fire  of  knowledge. . Jnana  can  be  gained  only  by  one  who  is  intelligent  to  understand  the  scriptures  and  who  has  developed the  inner  virtues  of  viveka  and  vairagya  . . The  ritualistic   fire  yajna  can  be  performed  only  by  one  who knows  the  mantras  and  the  method   and  has  the  money  to  buy the  materials  needed  for  the  puja  . 

                            Japa  yajna  , the  repetition  of  the  Lord's  name , is  a spiritual  practice  easy  to  practice   and  is  easily  available  to  all. . It  can  be  done  by  anyone  at  anytime  ,anywhere  ,under  any  circumstance . One  can  chant  the  mantras even  when  one  is  tensed  or  in  grief  or  ill  . Japa  can  be  done  softly  ,loudly  or  mentally. It  can  be  done  mechanically  ,without  knowing  the  meaning  or  with  knowing  the  meaning   and  as  an  aid  to  meditation. . It  is  an  effective  and  powerful  spiritual  practice . Just  repeating  the  Lord's  name  can  bring  the  vision  of  the  Lord  (  ista -rupa -darsana  )   and  make  one  feel  His  presence  at  all  times  and  lead  one  to  liberation. 

                        In  this  spiritual  sadhana  , the  seeker  continuously and  consciously  repeats  the  name  of  his  ista- devata   like  Rama  ,  Krishna  , Jesus  , Allah  or  a  mantra  like  Om  Namo  Narayanaya  ,  Allah- O- Akbar.  and  so  on. . The  mind  develops  single-pointedness  -  citta  ekagrata  . When  the  seeker  chants  the  Lord's  name  , His  Divine  form  and  qualities  will  flood  the  mind  filling  the  mind  with  devotion  and  purity. . So  japa  becomes  an  effective  technique  to  purify  one's  mind as  well  as  to  develop  lasting  concentration. . All  religions  give  importance  to  japa. which  gives  both  mental  concentration  - citta  ekagrata  and  mental  purity  - citta  -suddhi. 

to be  continued......



Tapas or austerity


Practical  steps  to spirituality- section  6 part 22  

Tapas  or  austerity  

                               In  the  puranas , a  person  is  described as  standing  on one leg with his hands held aloft and  practicing  severe  penances  . The  real  meaning  of  tapas  or  austerity  is  single pointedness  of  the  mind and  senses. . Tapas  is  an  internal  way  of  living  ,maintaining  the  right  relationship with  the world  of  objects  and  beings . It  is  a  means  to  conserve  our  energy  rather  than  wasting our  energy  in  unproductive ways.  Getting  up in the  early  morning,  doing  puja  and  meditation  or  limiting  the  time  one  wastes  in  reading  the  newspaper  or  seeing  TV  programs  or  fasting  occasionally  or  observing  silence  - all  this  can  be  called  tapas . The  energy  that  is  conserved  as  a  result  of  these  austerities  is  used  for  creative  purposes  or  for  achieving  a higher goal.  Where  tapas  is  concerned  one   should  observe  the  'golden mean ' , which  is  a  life  of  moderation  wherein  one  does not  deny  oneself  completely  nor  does  one  indulge  . . Initially  tapas  is  undertaken  to  give  up  the  negative  tendencies  of  the  mind  like  anger,  hatred  lust  greed  and  so  on   and  purify  the  mind  of  its  impurities   but  later on  to  absorb  the  mind in the  contemplation  of  the  Lord. 

                        Prince  Siddarth left  his  palace  , his  wife  and  son   to  become  an ascetic in the  forest. In  his  over  enthusiasm  to  realise  the Truth  , he  started off  observing  severe  penances  , he  hardly ate  or  slept. . Soon  he  went  into  a  semi -conscious  state   and  in that  state  he  overheard  a  conversation  between  a  student  and a  teacher ,who were passing by  . The  student  asked  the teacher as  to how  to tune  his  vina  (   stringed  musical  instrument  ) and  the teacher  replied  neither  too  tight (  as it will  break  )  nor  too  light  (  for it will  create  no  music  )  . This  conversation  gave  a  new  insight  to  the  famished  siddartha  . Needless  to  say  he broke  his  fast  and  then sat  under  the  bodhi tree  and  meditated  with  a fresh  resolve  and  new  energy  . He  realised  the  Truth and  became  Buddha  ,The  Enlightened   .Then  he gave  the world  the  'golden  mean ' to  be  followed  in all  aspects  of  life  

                     Lord  Krishna  reiterates  the  same  idea  in  the six chapter  (verses  16 and  17 ) of  the  Bhagavad  Gita  . "  yoga  is  not  for  those who  eat  or  sleep too  much  or  too  little   . Practicing  yoga  will  vanquish  the  troubles  of  one  who  performs  his  duties  diligently  and  who  is  disciplined  and  balanced  in his  eating  ,sleeping  and  waking. " 

to be  continued....

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Danam- charity


Practical  steps  to spirituality- section 6 part 21

Charity -danam 

                           Charity  , danam,  is  also  an  important  method  of  purifying  the  mind. . To  give  something  away   without  expecting  anything  in  turn   is  charity. . When  we  work    and  serve in the  world  , we  are  bound  to get  some  rewards  which  could  be  material,  intellectual  or  spiritual   and  these  rewards  can  be  shared   with  others. . Besides  money  , one  can  give  one's  time  by  giving  emotional  support  or   by  sharing  knowledge  or  simply  by  physical  help  to  others.  Charity  is  an  attempt   to  expand   and  bring into  the  ambit  of  one's  life all  others around  us  and   grow  to  consider  others  ' need  and  pain to  be  at least  as  important  as our own  personal  needs

                        Some  worship the  Lord  elaborately  in the  idols  but  cannot  see  the  Lord  as dwelling  in the  entire  creation,. . When  one  understands  that  the  Lord  alone  pervades  the  whole  universe  then  this   becomes  the  true  foundation  of  charity. Scriptures  are  full  of  stories  of  saints  who  have  given  away  everything  that  they  could  call  as  their  own  . One  such  saint  was  Eknath,  who  along  with  others  was  carrying  the  waters  of  Ganga   from   Kasi   to  worship the  Lord  at  Rameshwar. . This  was  a  pilgrimage  that  took  years  to  complete   and  the  group  had  been  walking  in the  scorching  sun  for  weeks  ,when  they  saw  a  thirsty  donkey  . Eknath  saw  the  donkey  as  the  Lord  Himself   and  gave  away  the  Ganga  water to the  donkey. . He  stood  there  coming  to terms  with  the  fact  that  his  pilgrimage  of  years  got  aborted  here but  then  a  miracle  happened  that  he  could  hear  the  Lord's  voice  confirming  that  the  donkey  was  none  other  than  the  Lord   Himself .

                          This  then  is  true  charity  . A  lot  many  people , to  get  over  their  guilt  feelings , give  away  lot amount  of  money  in  charity and  satisfy  themselves  into  believing  they  have indeed  done  great  charitable  deeds  .It  is  not  what  we give  that  really  matters   but  it  is  the  attitude  with which  it  is  given  that  really  counts  . And  whatever  we  give  in  charity  , we  must  see  that  it  reaches  the  needy  persons  and  does  not  get  misused  by  anyone.

to be continued.....