Sunday, 29 March 2015

God and the creation - dissolution cycle

Practical steps to spirituality- section 7 part 50 
The Gita revisited .
God and creation - dissolution cycle

                            The scriptures speak  of four types of creation and dissolution. . First  is  the  creation and dissolution  that  happens everyday. . Changes  happen moment to moment   like the waves on the  ocean  ,one wave replacing another. . Forms get destroyed  and new ones get created. Change is the  only  constant factor everywhere. . At the  individual level, we create our own world  of likes and dislikes and dissolve all of them in sleep. 

                          The  second  is  partial creation and dissolution  . The  world folds up and unfolds  at the end   and  beginning  of each day of Brahmaji, the creator  . There are four kalpas  and four yugas make one kalpa . 1000 kalpas  make  one day of  Brahmaji  . Third  is  the total creation and  dissolution  . Brahmaji 's  life span  is 100 years  (  remember  ,his  one day  is equal to 1000 kalpas ! and  each kalpa  consists  of four yugas  consisting  of  1.2lakh million years  ). The entire universe goes into  its  cosmic unmanifest  form  at  the end of  Bramaji's life span of 100 years  and manifests at the  beginning  of  the new brahmaji's life  span. 

                       The  fourth  is  the  final  dissolution that scriptures talk about. . The individual soul, the jiva, is  born  and  dies again and again in different forms  in different places  life after life. . When  the jiva  realises  his true  nature  , the  jiva  puts an end  to this  cycle  of birth and death. . When  the  jiva  attains  Self- Realisation  , the  world ceases  to exist  for  him. , only the  Self  alone exists  . . So  the  truth  about  creation and  dissolution  , about   the  world  manifesting and  unmanifesting   is  that  they are only appearances  and not real after all!!!

to be  continued.....

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Self- knowledge - the birth right of all


Practical steps to spirituality- section 7 part 49 
The Gita revisited 
Self -knowledge- the birth right of all.

                        Self-knowledge is considered as the king of all  knowledges. and is the foundation of all other knowledges  . Knowledge takes place  as thoughts in the  mind . It is the Self that illumines  the  thoughts that arise in the  mind. . Self- knowledge is the  substratum of all  knowledge .. Knowledge about the  world  can help us  only to get along in the  world, and   getting  qualified with a degree  from any university  could at best  help us get a job and build up our career .It is  Self knowledge alone that can put an end to all our sorrows  , sufferings  and  fears  and  attain  Supreme  Bliss. .

                   Self -knowledge  is  considered as secret  not because  it should  be protected  from all  the people from  knowing it  nor  is it  the  exclusive  privilege of  the  upper  class  but  because  it is a  subtle  subject  and hence  difficult  to  be understood  by the  layman  without  the  help of  a  Guru. Hence  this  knowledge is called  secret. Pujya  Gurudev  Swami Chinmayananda  says  that  this  knowledge  is the  birth right  of all.  This  knowledge  is  given  only  to a  fit  seeker  who  seeks it  from a  Guru. 

                   This  knowledge  can be realised  directly   as  ' I  am the  infinite  Self'.. In the  case  of  Self- knowledge  , the knower  , the knowledge  and the  known  all  become  one. . This knowledge  integrates  the  whole  personality  of the  seeker. . There  are four distinct entities  in each  individual and they  are the physical, mental  , the intellectual  and  the spiritual. It  is  only  when  these  four  are  integrated  , harmonised  , developed and  kept under  control  that  the  individual  comes to enjoy  joy and peace  . Having attained  Self -knowledge  ,the  individual gets  a  total integrated personality  .

                 The  seeker  on attaining Self- knowledge  becomes a realised  master   and  he sees the  Self in all  and   all in the  Self. This  knowledge  once gained  stays   on  with him  forever   effortlessly   under all  circumstances  . With regard to  other  knowledges  ,one  may  forget them  and may not be able  to recall  what  knowledge he has gained  but this is  not so with Self- knowledge. This knowledge is eternal.   Why  not  we , seekers , walk this path of  jnana  yoga  and surrender  to our Guru  and  take  the  guidance  of the  Guru  and  attain  Self- knowledge  in this  very  life time ?   Introspect . 

to be continued......

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

God and His creation.


Practical steps to spirituality- section 7 part 48
The Gita revisited
God and His creation.

                  In the  9th chapter of the Gita  , Lord Krishna shows His relationship with creation in four different statements  . 1. I pervade  this entire world in My unmanifest form . 2. The whole  world and  all  beings are in Me  .3.  I  am not in them and 4. They are not in Me. .The  above four statements  of the  Lord  make us understand God's relationless  relationship  with His creation. He  is the  ultimate cause  of this creation. . The  world is an effect  and the effect exists in the  cause. but the  cause is not located in the effect,in the  sense  that the  cause is independent  of the  effect  and is unaffected by the  effect.  

               In the cause  there is no effect  ,for example  ,in gold  there are no ornaments  and  gold does not depend  on the  ornaments  for its  existence  but gold ornaments exist in gold . The  waking mind  pervades  the entire dream world   and the dream world  is located  in the  waking mind  but  the  waking mind  is not in the dream world. The  waking mind  exists  independent  of the  dream world. God pervades  His creation as  Existence. . The  entire world exists  in God  , is dependent on God but  God  is not located  in or  dependent  on the  world. In God  there is  no world. 

                In the  famous  snake-rope  illusion  analogy, the  snake  vision is  located  in the  rope  but the  rope is not located in the  snake vision  nor the  rope  is  in anyway  affected  by the snake  seen  on it. . In the  rope  there is no snake  or snake  vision. and  the  snake  is only an appearance  . When one   sees  the  rope in bright light  ,then  the  snake  disappears  and what is left is only  the rope and nothing but the rope. . When  the  individual attains knowledge  of Brahman  , he  no longer  sees  the  world, the world disappears  from his  vision.  The  world then becomes a mere  appearance. 

               It  is  with  God's power  of Maya  ,that  He makes  the impossible  look  possible  and  even  though everything  exists  because of Him,yet nothing  exists  in Him ,in the sense  that  He  is  totally independent  of all  that there is. The  Lord  advises  us seekers  to see  His true  Sat- Chit- Ananda  nature  in and  through the  appearance  in creation.   

to be  continued..... 

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Moha - delusion

Practical steps to spirituality- section 7 part 47
The Gita revisited
Moha -delusion.

                       There are three pairs of afflictions  we humans suffer from  and  they are janma and mrithyu   , birth and death at the  physical level, ashanaya  and  pipase  , hunger and thirst   at the  prana  level and  thirdly  , soka  and moha  , sorrow  and  delusion at the  mental level. Let us today  see  how  moha  , delusion, expresses   itself   in our  lives .

                    By  living in false  hopes  ,we delude ourselves  . We  expect  people  to behave  differently  to suit our  convenience  . We  expect  lasting happiness  from  changing  things , people  and  circumstances  . We  also  carry  false  hopes  that  more money  will  make us  happier, getting  married  would bring  more  happiness  in to our lives . Some  of us drain  our energies  indulging in wasteful activities  hoping  to get some  excitement  out of such activities  . Actions  by their nature are prompted by desires  but they  are meant  to  exhaust  our vasanas , make  us  peaceful ,calm and pure  . But  when  we  indulge in  unproductive, destructive  or immoral activities  ,we waste  our whole lives  in the  pursuit  of unhealthy  goals  and  we then continue to remain in delusion. 

           Knowledge  , in the real sense  of the  term  ,should free  us  from fear, grief and delusion. . Sometimes when we seek knowledge  that is useless  for our spiritual evolution , such a knowledge  creates  anxiety, fear  , loss  of faith and  make us remain  in delusion. . All our actions  are influenced  by our  thoughts  . Wrong thinking  deludes  us  because  of which  we come to believe  the wrong as right  and  the  right as wrong. . Our  wrong thinking  that  "  I am  my body, mind and  intellect  " has  kept  us  in ignorance  of  our  true  nature  and  so we wallow  in samsara  going through  sorrow  ,suffering  and delusion.  
           Hence  we  should  carefully  note  that  our  false hopes  prompt wasteful actions which strengthen useless  knowledge and which in turn creates wrong thinking and  vice versa  . All  of these strengthen  our delusion and  make us live  indulgent and  criminal  lives forgetting our higher nature  and  forgetting  the  real purpose  of our lives, that  of realising  our true  nature  . 

to be continued.....

Friday, 6 March 2015

The two margams


Practical steps to spirituality- section 7 part 46 
The Gita revisited
The two margams . 

                  The  Bhagavad Gita talks  about two  routes  that  people  may take  after their death  , the first  is the Dakshinayana path to  chandraloka  and the  Uttarayana  path to Brahmaloka. . It  is  believed  that  the one who goes to chandraloka   comes  back  to this  world  after  his punya gets  exhausted ., while  the one who  reaches  Brahmaloka  attains  Krama mukti  - sequential  liberation and does not return to the cycle of birth and death.. Scriptures describe the  routes the individual takes to these lokas and  the presiding deities guiding the individual to his destination.      

                  These  paths  could  also  refer  to  the  two  paths  people  choose  even  while  living  here  in the  world. These  are the two margams  of  shreyas  and  preyas. Preyas  is the  materialistic path to gain sensual pleasures  ,which are  but  ephemeral  and  shreyas  is the  spiritualistic  path of dharma  and  values  to  attain  ever lasting results. Lord  Yama  tells  Nachiketas  in the  Kathopanishad  that both  shreyas ,the path of good and  preyas the  path of pleasant ,though having different objectives,  blind a  man .The  wise man chooses  the good, while the ignorant chooses the pleasant for the sake  of this  body through greed  and attachment. 

                 Seen  from a different point of view  ,we can also   understand  the two paths  to mean  the  two  ways  in which people depart from the  world. . A few are  fully  conscious  , their intellect active and bright  and mind peaceful at  the time of death  and mind  fully  aware  of  their departure  while there are  many  others   whose  minds are  full  of agitations and worries  and  attachments  and  their intellect dull  when they are departing  not  knowing  that they have come to the end of their journey   in this  bodily form. The destinations  of both  would  definitely be different   and  needless  to say  that  the destination  of the  former  would be brighter  than that  of the  latter. 

to be  continued...