Sunday, 26 January 2014

a shitha prajna


Practical  steps  to  spirituality-  section 6  part 65 

The  Gita  revisited

a  shitha  prajna 

                    Arjuna  wants  to  know  how  a  Realized  Master  would  behave  even  while  being  alive  and  active  in  this  world  . There  is  contentment  in  the  Self  . He  knows  that  happiness  is  within  him   and  that  he  himself  is  infinite  happiness  , hence  he  is  totally  contented  . He  is  completely  free  from  all  desires  . He  does  not  depend  on  external  things  , beings  and  situations  to  bring  him  happiness  . Being  free  from  desires  ,he  is  always  at  peace  with  himself  . He  has  total  dispassion  for  all  things  and  beings  , nothing  conducive  or  non -conducive   can  give  him  joy  or  sorrow  . He  moves  around  the  world  like  a  wind  totally  detached  . He  is  like  a  tortoise  which  effortlessly  withdraws  its  limbs  as  and  when  needed  in  times  of  danger. . The  Realized  Master  having  a  mastery  over  his  senses  uses  them  only  when  needed  . 
                 Sometimes  ,it so  happens  that  we  desire  certain  things  thinking  that  they  are  good  for  us  . But  our  family  , the  elders  ,  the  society  ,  government  or  even  our  doctor  do not  allow  us  to  enjoy  what  we  wish  to  have  . So  we  learn  to  exercise  control  over  our  desires  by  suppressing  them  . Then  we  start  showing  our  resentment  towards  all  those  who  stood  in  the  way  of  fulfilling  our  wishes  . So  when  the  right  opportunity  comes  , we  indulge  with  a  vengeance  . While  a  Realized  Master  does  not  have  any  desires  because  he has  nothing  more  to  achieve  in  life  . He  has  attached  himself  to  the  higher  and  has  sublimated  all  his  lower  desires  .In  the  Gita  ,he  is  called  a  shitha  prajna  ,  gunatita  , a  bhakta   with  reference  to  the  theme  of  the  chapter. In  the  second  chapter  he  is  called  a  shitha prajna .  

to  be  continued...


Wednesday, 22 January 2014

the goal of human life

                                                                           HARI  OM

Practical  steps  to  spirituality-  section  6  part  64

The  Gita  revisited

The  goal  of  human  life. 

                               The  four  purusharthas  are   dharma  , artha  , kama  and  moksha  . Without  exception  we  all  want  happiness   and  want  our  lives  to be  filled  only  with  happiness  without  even  a  shadow  of  sorrow  .Due  to  our  ignorance  ,we  mistake  the  finite  ego  to  be  our  true  nature  and  hence  we  live  as  changing  and  inert  entities  . Living  as  a finite  entity  , we find  there  is  chaos  and  confusion  within  us    in  our  minds  and  without  in  the  world  outside. Our   life  becomes  burdened  by  sorrows  and  joys  . As  long  as  we  live  as  finite  beings  ,we  have  to  undergo  the  pairs  of  opposites  such  as  heat  and  cold,  joy  and  sorrow  , honor  and  dishonor   and  so  on. . Complete  happiness  cannot  be  attained  as  long  as  we  live  as  finite  beings   and  keep  doing  finite  actions  or  keep  expecting  happiness  from  finite  things  and  beings  . Pure  undiluted  happiness  can  be  found  only  in  that  which  is  infinite   and  is  of the  nature  of  infinite  bliss.

                       This  ignorance  of  the  Self  - that  of  identifying  ourselves  with  our  body- mind -intellect  ,  can  be removed  only  by  Self  - knowledge  . Self  - knowledge  helps  us  to  see  life  in its  totality  and   have  the  right  vision  in  seeing  the  unity  in  diversity  . It  is  Self - Knowledge  alone  that  can  help  me  develop  this   right  vision  and  experience  true  bliss  (  ananda )  .  When  we  realize  that  we  ourselves  are  of  the  nature  of  infinite  bliss  , we  then  realize  that  we  do  not  have  to  run  after  finite  things  and  beings  to  attain  happiness  . This  realization  of  our  true  nature  as  infinite  bliss   through  Self  - knowledge  is  called  moksha  ,  liberation  . . Among  the  four  goals  of  human  life  , it  is  Self  -knowledge  alone  that  will  help  give  moksha  -  the  highest  goal  of  human  life.

to  be  continued....


Saturday, 18 January 2014

samatvam yoga uchyate


Practical  steps  to  spirituality  -section 6  part  63  

The  Gita  revisited  

Samatvam  yoga  uchyate  

                       In  the  last  page  ,we  have  seen  the  meanings  of ' yoga  karmasu  kuasalam  ' -  dexterity  in  action  is  yoga  . It  is  doing  our  duties  choicelessly  and  unconditionally  with  the  karma  yoga  attitude  so  that  our  existing  vasanas  get  exhausted   and  no  new  ones  are  formed    and  the  mind  becomes  fit  for  higher  pursuits  . Today  let  us  see  the  meaning  of  ' samatvam  yoga  uchyate  '  that  is  what  we  mean  when  we  say '  equanimity is  yoga'. 

                     Some of  us  work  feverishly  ,are  hyper-active  and  work- alcoholics    . Most  of  our  actions  are  done  towards  gaining  more  wealth , name and fame  ,power  and  position  , appreciation  and  rewards  . And  even  as  we  go  about  doing  our  duties  , we  are  always  stressed  out  because  of  the  anxiety  over  the  results  of  our  actions   and  on  seeing  the  results  not  in  our  favour ,we  are  further  stressed  out. . So  the  net  result  is  that  we  are  agitated  all  through  our  life  .  So  to  escape  from  our  stress  and  mental  imaginations  , we  need  tea- breaks  vacations   and  holidays  . The   funnies   part  of  all  this  is  we  do not even  enjoy  our   short  breaks  nor  the  long  vacations  because  our  minds  are  always  focused  on  planning  our  next  break  or  holiday. The  mind  always  remains  in  the  future   since  it  has  never  learned  the  art  of  keeping  it  in  the  present.

                    The  Gita  tells  us  that  when we  do  actions  without  likes  and  dislikes  ,  or  selfish  motives  or  without  an  eye  on  insisting  a  particular  result,  we  can  indeed  remain  calm  and  poised   while  doing  the  present  action  . This  will  help  us  to  put  in  our  best  efforts   to  remain  calm  and  poised  even  while  receiving   the  results  of  our  actions  , whether  they  are  good  or  bad . This  equipoise  while  doing  the  actions  and  also  when  going  through  the  pleasant    or   unpleasant   results  is  called   samathvam  yoga  uchyate  . This  equanimity  is  yoga

                       to  be  continued....

Sunday, 12 January 2014

yoga karmasu kausalam


Practical  steps  to  spirituality-  section  6  part  62 

The  Gita  revisited 

Dexterity  in  action  is  yoga-  yaga  karmasu  kausalam  

                    The  Gita  instructs  us  to  perform  our  duties  choicelessly  and  unconditionally   without  a  selfish  motive  but  with  the  right  attitude   ,we  then  uplift  and improve    ourselves  which  automatically  benefits  all  . By  doing  ' our  duties  ' ' serving  others'  is   also  taken  care  of  . Doing  our  duties  towards  others  is  to  serve  society, the  country  in  all  respects. 

                    Dexterity  is  to  do any  task  well  , systematically   while the  mind  remains  focused  on  the  job  on  hand  . But  not  all  efficient  actions  can  be  called  yoga  because  even  a  murderer  plans   so  meticulously   and  can  be  efficient  in  his  activity  but  that  is  not  yoga  at all. 
               Actions  bind  us  as  one  leads  to  another  in  a never  ending  sequence Not  to  get  caught  by  actions  is  called  dexterity  in  action  . . It  is  desire  that  prompts  all  our  actions ,which  bring  results   which  prompt  us  to  do  further  actions   . As  we  enjoy  or  suffer  the  results  , new  impressions  (  vasanas  )  are  created  which  create  new  desires  which  prompt  further  actions  which  in  turn  bring  their  own  results  . Thus  actions  become  never  ending  . The  doer  of  action  becomes   the  enjoyer  of  results  and  the  enjoyer  becomes  the  doer  of  more  actions  again  . . This  chain  of  desire-  action -  result  - impressions  (  vasanas )  - desire   is  called  the  bondage  of  action  

                 The  Bhagavad  Gita  tells  us  to  perform  all  our  actions  with  karma  yoga  attitude  so  that  the  existing   vasanas  get  exhausted  and  no  new  vasanas  get   created and  then  the  mind  becomes  fit   for  the  higher  pursuits  . This  is  called  'yoga  karmasu  kausalam  ' -  dexterity  in  action  is  yoga  '. 
 to  be  continued.....

Thursday, 9 January 2014

the attitude counts


Practical  steps  to  spirituality- section 6  part  61 

The  Gita  revisited  

Attitude  counts  

                        While  doing  an  action  , we  are  asked  to  focus  on  the  present  action  and  not  on  the  results  of  our  action  ,which  is  uncertain  ,which  is  not  in  our  hands  ,which  will  happen  always  in  the  future  in  this  present  life  or  in  some  future  lives,  or  which  may  not  be  available  for  us  to  enjoy  in  this   life. So  why   become  anxious  about  the  results  of  our  actions  . The  attitude  counts  while  we  do  the  actions  . It  prepares  us  for  the  highest  Truth  .We    should  carry  the  right  attitude  towards  our  obligatory  duties  which  are  to  be  done  unconditionally  and  cheerfully   according  to  the  station  ,stature  and  position  we  hold  in  life  

                         Even  a  little  of  a  selfless  action  brings  its  own  rewards  , sometimes  directly  or  indirectly   and  we  may  not  even  become  aware   immediately of  the  benefits  it  brings.  .for  instance   ,today  I  have  helped  pay  the   school  fees  of  a  poor  student   and at  the  end  of  the  month to  my  surprise   ,I  may      receive  a  letter  from  my  boss  about  an  unexpected  pay rise  . It  is  the  law  of  life  that  when  we  do  some  good  action  selflessly  ,it  definitely  brings  its  own  rewards  . Nobody  knows  when  and  in  what  form  it  will  come 

                   Even  if  we  fail  in  our  sincere  attempts  to  help  others  , yet  it  is  our  attitude that  we  carry  to  help  others  that  matters  . If. in the  case  of  a  fire  we  try  our  best  to  save  as  many  lives  as  possible  but  do  not  succeed  in  saving  anyone  , even  then  we  would  be  praised  for  our  sincere  attempt  because  it  is   the attitude  that  counts.. The  attitude  concentrates  the  mind  . If  I  have  a  genuine  attitude  towards  getting  up  at  4 AM    everyday  , my  only  thought  while  going  to  bed   would  be  to  wake up  early  in  the  morning  and  there  would  be  no  other  thought  in  the  mind.  and  that  helps  me  to  wake  at  that  hour  . So  in  all  that  we  do  it  is  our  attitude  that  counts  

to  be  continued......

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

right attitude in action


Practical  steps  to  spirituality-  section  6  part  60

The  Gita  revisited

The  right  attitude  in  action  

                              Lord  Krishna  in  verse  47  of  chapter  2   says   we  have  a  choice  only  in  action  . Choice  is  a  unique  privilege   given    only   to man,  while  animals  are  pre-programmed  to  act  only  in  a  certain  manner  with  no  choice   to  act  differently  . Only  human  beings  are  given  the  choice  to  do  or  not  to  do  or   do  otherwise  . The  Lord  says  we  have  the  choice  only  in  the  action  and  not  in  its  results  . The  results  of  an  action  are  determined   by  the  laws  of  action  -  nature  and  God  . For  example  :  I  have  a  choice  in  pulling  the  trigger   and  there  ends  my  choice  . Thereafter   whether  the  bullet will  hit  the  target  or  not  depends  on  other  factors   which   are  not  any  more  in  my  hands  

                            The  Gita  says  if  the  results  are  not  in  your  hands  , why  worry  about  it  ?  One  could  instead  focus  on  doing  the  action  perfectly  well. . At  the  same  time  we  should  not  get  attached  to  inaction and   give  up  action. Success  needs  hard  work  . Swami  Chinmayananda  always  said   that  success  is  1% inspiration  and  99  %  perspiration  also Thinking  in  the  right  way  ,and  followed  by  action  alone  gives  the  desired  result .  One  should  not  get  attached  to  results   too. , But  this  does  not  mean  that  one  does  not  plan  for the  future  . It  is  desire  which  alone  prompts   all  our  actions  . What  is  to  be  given  up  is  the  anxiety  and  worry  over  the  results  even  while  doing  the  action  

                                  The  Gita  advises  us  to  give  up  desire  prompted  actions  because  a  selfish  attitude in   action   takes  away  the  joy  from  doing  the  action   and  makes  us  anxious  about  the  results  . We  often  talk  about  our  rights  but  never  about  our  duties  . The  Gita  emphasizes  that  our  right  is  only  to  act   and  choicelessly   and  unconditionally  do  our  duties  according  to  our  position   and  stage  in  life  . The  majority  of  us  are  qualified  only to  walk  the  path  of  action  (  karma  yoga  )   because     our  minds are  filled  with  desires  and  attachments  and  so  our  minds  cannot  abide  in  Self  knowledge  . Hence  following  the  path  of  karma  yoga  we  can  become  fit  for  receiving  the  highest  Truth. . Till  then we  need  to  focus  in  doing  selfless  actions  without  anxiety  over  its  results  

to  be  continued....

Thursday, 2 January 2014

'do not grieve ' as seen from many different perspectives


Practical  steps  to  spirituality-  section  6  part  59  

The  Gita  revisited  

' Do not  grieve  '  from   different  perspectives

  Lord  Krishna  says  that  the  soul  is  immortal  and  that  it  is  only  the  body  that  dies   and  so  long  as  one  lives  , one   should do  his  duty. . He  says  that  which  is  born  shall  perish  and  that  which  perishes  shall  be  born  again  .. This  is  the  law  of  nature  and  so  why  should  one  grieve  over  the  death  of  the  body  ?  

                  It  is  the  mind  that  grieves  and  it  is  our  thoughts  that  make  us  grieve  .Knowing  that  the  thoughts  too  shall  pass  away  ,we  must  endure  the  sorrow  while  it  lasts  . For  the  sake  of  attaining  the  higher  ,we  should  endure  the  pinpricks  of  life  both  at  the  physical  and  mental  levels. .The  Real  never  perishes  and  the  unreal  never  is  . The  fact  that  joys  and  sorrows  come  and  go  ,shows  that  the  unreal  is  not  real.  and  then  why  should  the  unreal  make  us  unhappy  . 
              The  Lord  says  that  even  from  the  perspective  of  dharma  ,it  was  Arjuna's  duty  as  a  kshatriya   to  fight  this  righteous  war  If  Arjuna  decided  not  to  fight  this  war  , then  it  would  amount  to  adharma  .  Even  when  we  see  from  the  worldly  perspective  , he  was  expected  to  do  his  duty  , that  of  fighting  this  war.  escaping  from  his  duties  would   bring  about  shame  on  him   and  earn  him  a  very  bad  name  . Seen  from  the  material  perspective  , fighting  and  winning  the  war  would  bring  him  worldly  pleasures  and  kingdom  ,while  dying  on the  battlefield  would  gain  him  heavenly  pleasures. 

                  The  Gita  says  that ' the  righteous  actions  , which  are  our  duties   and  have  come  unasked  and  are  in  line  with  our  natural  disposition  , are  gateways  to  lasting  joy  and  prosperity.' .  The   Lord  advises  Arjuna  not  to  grieve  for  those  who did not  deserve  to  be  grieved  over.    Bhishma  and  Drona  had  gone  against  their  dharmas  by  supporting  Duryodana and  his  unrighteous  cause  and  hence  they  deserved  to  be  killed  .It  is  our  attachments  and  identification  with  them  that  causes  grief  and  not  their  death.  So  the  solution  to  grief  is  to  give  up  all  attachments   Hence  the  message  of  the  Gita  is  do  not  grieve  .

to  be  continued....