Saturday, 28 February 2015

Types of liberation.

HARI OM 

Practical steps to spirituality- section 7 part 45
The Gita revisited
Types of liberation. 

                      Scriptures  say that  the  only mission in life  is  to attain  Self -Realisation  thus putting an end to the cycle of birth and death  , end  samsara  , which  Yama the  Lord of death   says in the Kathopanishad  to the  young boy  Nachiketas.'  is  putting an end  to travelling from death  to death. '. Scriptures  talk of three  types  of liberation :  jivan mukti, videha mukti  and  krama  mukti. 

                Jivan  mukti  is  getting  liberation even  while  living  . When  a person realises  God as  his own  infinite  nature even while  living here on earth   in  his  body, ,he is  believed  by Vedanta  to have  got  liberated  . Videha  mukti  is getting  liberation  only  after shedding this  body. . So  some  schools  believe   only  in videha  mukti  and  not   in  jivan  mukti for  according to these believers  , it  is  only when  a person sheds  his physical  body  that  he  finally gets  liberated. . This  person  whom  they are  talking about  is  one  who  is  though  totally free  from  the  identifications  with the  body-mind- intellect   and  has shed  his  ego  , yet  from the  worldly  standpoint  ,he  is  believed  to be  attaining  liberation  only  on shedding his  mortal  body. . This  school  also  believes  that  the  one  who  realises  God  or  the  devotee  who remembers  God  at the  time  of death  attains  videha  mukti. 

            The  third  type  of liberation  talked about in the  scriptures  is  krama  mukti- sequential  liberation. . This  school  of thought  which  advocates  krama  mukti ,  believes  that  the sincere seeker  who  does  the  subtlest  of  upasanas  while  living  , after  death  ,reaches  the  Brahma  loka  , the  abode of Brahma  . They believe  that before   the end of  Brahmaji's  life span  ,Brahmaji    gives  Self- knowledge  to the  qualified  seeker    who then  gets  liberated  from  the cycle  of  birth and death. 

            What  is  important  for  us  , seekers  on this  spiritual  journey  is  that  there  is  hope  us  to get  liberated  from the  bondages  , right in the  here  and now  and  become  a  jivan mukta .  All  we  have  to  do  is  to become  fit  (  qualified  )  following  the  four  Ds   , namely  :  Detachment  , Discrimination  , Disciplines  of  sama,  dama,  uparama  , titiksha,  shraddha  and  samadana  , all  together  are called  samadi satka  sampatti   and  finally  Desire  for  moksha  . After  gaining  these qualifications  to a certain extent  , we should approach  a  competent  Guru  , who  is  a  shrothreeya  brahma  nishta  . The  Guru  thereafter  guides  us  in the  path  of  knowledge  by taking us  through sravana, manana  and  nidhidhyasana   and  we  in the  final  meditation  come  to experience  ourselves   as   none other  than  Brahman  . Thereafter  we  will  live  as a realised  master   working only  for the  welfare  of the  world. This  is  not a dream  . It  is  in our  own hands  to  make  this  happen . 

to be  continued......

          

Sunday, 22 February 2015

The final meditation.

HARI OM 

Practical steps to spirituality- section 7 part -44
The Gita revisited
The final meditation

              Meditation is to withdraw the mind from the external stimuli and  absorb it within. . Whatever path one takes to  whether  the path of knowledge , or the path of karma yoga, or the path of devotion, or the path of hatha yoga , the four paths look different  in the  initial stages  but  all  of them meet  at   one and the  same point  called  pratyahara  , the  mental capacity to withdraw  the  mind from  the  external  objects  and  to apply such a  mind on a  single  thought. . Thereafter  all  the  seekers  in all  the  paths  walk together   in the  spiritual disciplines  of  dharana(  concentration)  dhyana  (  meditation  )   and  samadhi  (  the  final  realisation ).  Scriptures  say that  if a  seeker  has been  a sincere  practitioner  of  meditation , his  regular  practice  will  help  him to meditate  even  at  the  time  of death. 

             Generally  , practitioners  of  meditation take  to  using  the  sacred  sound symbol  OM .  OM  is  a  combination  of  a u m  - representing  the  three  states of  consciousness  - the  waking state , the  dream state and  the  deep sleep  state respectively.  . Between  the  two  OMs  there  is  silence  which represents  the  fourth state  - the  turiya. . The  exercise of chanting  OM   loud  and long  then  slowly gets  shifted  to the  silence  in between  two  OMs . The  silence  becomes  longer  and  the  mind learns  to remain in that  silence  . This  is  the  state  of  thoughtlessness  , complete desirelessness  - the  state  of  Self- Realisation. 

      Advaita Vedanta  believes  that  this  state  can  be  attained  even  while  living  . The  jnani  who  attains  this  state  even  while  living  is  called  a  jivan mukta  . He  is  called  by different  names  in the  Gita   as  shita  prajya  , mukta purusha  and  so  on. . This  realised  master  is  one  with the  world  and  he  sees  the  Self in all and all in the  Self. 

to be  continued.....






Tuesday, 17 February 2015

creation is anadi

HARI  OM 

Practical steps to spirituality- section 7 part 43
The  Gita revisited 
Creation  is  anadi 

             Everything in creation is cyclic. All the  planets, the  galaxies  ,the  sun ,the  moon  all  move about in an  cyclical orbit. . This  is  not  the  first  creation ,neither is it going to be the  last. Pujya  Gurudev  Swami  Chinmayananda  says that  in Vedanta  we  do not  believe  that  creation started  at any particular point  of time . Time  expresses  itself  only  in a mind that experiences  , while  in deep sleep state  there  are no experiences ,hence  no experience  of time. 

       If  we  say  that the  world was created  at a particular point of time  , it  just  means that  the world was not there before time . This is a fallacious  argument  because  time itself is a   created concept. . Gurudev   goes on to explain  that   it would   also   be meaningless  to say  that  creation started  at  0 second  0 minute  0 date 0 week  and 0 year  because  time  is the  space between  two experiences  and  hence the  concept of time  starts  only after   the  second experience  ,which  means  that  creation has   happened in the  first  experience which is   before  time  . Hence  we say creation is  anadi  - before time. . Hence  it follows  logically  that there can  be  no first creation. 

      Creation comes  and  goes again and  again. Even  as  we  go  back  from our waking state  to the  deep sleep state  and  get back again to the  waking state  all  through our life  , similarly  ,the  world  comes  to manifest condition  from an unmanifest state and  goes back  to unmanifest  state  and this process  goes on and on  endlessly  . The  individual  takes  birth  and  meets  death  and  this  process  of birth and death  goes on and on for the  individual jiva through many  life times .  A few  of those  who get  tired  of this  coming and  going , try to put an  end  to  this  cycle  by first  developing  dispassion  for the  ephemeral  joys  of this  world  and  then  seek  that which  gives  permanent  happiness  To  reach  this  state  of  permanent  bliss  is  to know  God  as  one's   own  infinite  Self  , knowing which  one does  not  return  to  samsara, the  cycle  of birth and  death. 

to be  continued..... 

      

       

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

The last thoughts

HARI  OM 

Practical steps to spirituality- section 7 part  42
The Gita revisited
The last thoughts 

           Rebirth theory forms a core Hindu belief which  follows  from the  law of karma.  . According  to the  Rebirth  theory  which  is generally  referred  to as  the  theory  of  Reincarnation  , this  present  birth  of  ours  is not our  first  nor the  last  birth .. We  will  be  born   again and  again until  we  exhaust  all  our desires  and  get  liberated. Hinduism  believes  in three  types  of  karmas -  sanchita, prarabda  and  agami  . Out  of this  baggage  of  karmas  , the  net  fructifying  results  of  our  thoughts  and  actions  (  vasanas  )  ,decide  the  form  and  place  we  will  be  born  in  .When  our praradba  karma  gets  exhausted  ,the  jiva  leaves  the  body  (  dies )  and  takes  on a new  body  (reborn  ). . It  need not  always  follow  that  having  taken a  human  body  ,one  will  be  born  only  in that  form  . The  last  thought  at  the  time  of death will  decide  the  form  and  place we   will take and    go. The  last  thoughts  are  always  governed  by  what  thoughts  we had  encouraged  all  through our present  life  .

          The  Lord  says  that we  are reborn  according  to the  most  intense  and  strong  thoughts that  surface  at the  time  of death. . Noble  thoughts  at the  time  of death  take  us to a noble  form and  place  and  ignoble  thoughts  entertained  at the  time  of death ,will  take  us  to  ignoble  forms  and  places   in the  next  life.  If we  remember  God  at  the  time  of death, we   will  reach  Him  and  get  liberated  from the  cycle  of  birth and  death. . It  is  our  thoughts and  our  net  fructifying  actions  that  decide the  form and  place  our  soul  reaches  . If  only  worldly  thoughts  have  dominated  our life  ,only  such thoughts  will  surface  at the  time  of death and  incidentally  guide  our  next  birth. 

         The  Lord  advises  us  to remember  Him always  even  as we   go about  doing  our  duties  . It  may  be  possible  that  even  if  we  had  remembered  God  all  our  lives  , the  circumstances  surrounding  our  death  could  make  us  forget  God at  the  time  of  our death. . But  the  Lord  assures  us in the  Gita  that  He  takes  the  responsibility  of  bringing  His  thoughts  to our  mind   at  the  time of  death,  if  we  had  indeed  remembered  Him all  through  our  life. 

to  be  continued....

Saturday, 7 February 2015

the cycle of birth and death

HARI OM 

Practical steps to spirituality- section 7 part 41
The Gita revisited 
The cycle of birth and death 

               Birth and death  are two sides of the same coin . There can be no death without birth , no  birth without death. . They  bring about change  . So  the  question  arises  as  to what happens  when a person dies  ?. When  a person dies  , his gross  body , which  is made up of matter , perishes  and  merges  with  earth. . According  to the  law  of conservation  of energy  , matter  is  indestructible  . The  subtle  body too  is made up of  matter     and  the same law applies  here also  . The  subtle body's energy  at the time  of the death of the  physical body  cannot  vanish  into  nothing  , so  it is  carried  forward  into the  next  life  of the  jiva. 

              When  we  view  life  as a whole  , we find  that  life  is  but a  series  of  experiences   and  the  desires  a  person  comes  to  have  drive  him  from  one  experience  to  another.  and  one  experience  is  dead  and  another  is  born at every  moment.  Thus  desires  drive a person  through  a  continuous  procession  of  birth and  and  death   and  this  procession  will  continue  until  all  desires  are  eradicated  from the  mind. . Thus  we  find  that  desires  are  the  causes  and  the  experiences  in life  are  its  effects  

         At  the  time  of death  of a  person  , his  desires  have  not been  exhausted  and  these  desires , that  were  entertained  while  the person was  alive  ,cannot  disappear  into  nothing  . These  desires  are  carried  forward  in to the  future  lives  of  that  person. . If  desires  are  the  cause  for  the  continuity  of  life  , how  can  a person take  birth  in an  environment  or   go  through  circumstances  not  to  his  liking  ?  Though  one's  desires  no doubt  decide  the  course  of  one's  future  lives  , yet  it  is  not  one  particular  desire  but  a  compound  of  all  our  desires  that  decide  the  course  of  future  lives  . The  total effect  of your desires  decide  the  future  births  of  the  individual. . Until  all  desires  are  completely  exhausted  , the  cycle  of birth and  death  will  continue  for  that  individual.

           The  second section, valli six, verses 14 of  the  Kathopanishad  say  that  when all desires  that dwell  in the  heart are destroyed  , then the  mortal  becomes  immortal and  he  attains  Brahman  , the  infinite  substratum  , even here. . The  state of desirelessness  is the  state  of kaivalya  ,liberation.

             

to  be  continued....


Sunday, 1 February 2015

The law of karma ( continued)..

HARI OM  

Practical steps to spirituality -section 7 part 40 
The Gita revisited 
The  law of karma  continued...

                       According  to the law of karma  ,every action gives  its own  results  in its  own time  -today, tomorrow  or many lifetimes  later. . There  can be  no effect  without a  cause  . Whatever  one reaps in this  life  in the  present  is  because  of some  action done  in the  past. It  follows  then  that  if  you perform  good actions  ,you come  to reap  good  results  and  if you perform  bad actions  , you come  to reap  bad results. It then  logically  follows  that  the  doer (  karta )  alone  becomes  the  enjoyer  (  bhoktha  )  of  the  results  . . One  comes  to reap  the  results  of  only  one's  own actions   and  not  of  anybody  else's  karma  . The  results  are  not transferable  to anyone  else. If  you sow a  mango seed  ,you can expect to get  only a  mango tree  and  not  an  apple  or any other tree. As  you sow  ,so you reap. 

                  You reap  the  results  accordingly  for  all  your  actions  ,whether  good or bad. No one can  escape  from  this  law. . Even  if a person  is  extremely  good in this  life  , if  he had  committed  bad actions  in the  past  , he  is  sure  to  go through  the  results  of his  bad actions  . So  the present  good actions  do not  cancel out  the  results  of  our past  bad actions. . Similarly  ,the  bad actions   of the present  do not cancel out  the  results  of  past  good actions. . Both  have  to be  gone  through  in this  very life. However  ,nature  helps  a  person  face  the  results  of  his  bad actions  with  dignity and  courage  if  that  individual now does  good actions  . Scriptures  hence  advise  the  seeker  to  move  forward  in life  by  doing  good actions  ,no matter  what kind of  suffering  or sorrow  he  has to endure  in this  life. . The  responsibility  of our life  lies  in our own  hands  . We  get  only  what we deserve  . God  does not make  any mistake  in giving  us the results  of our own actions. 

to be continued...