Thursday, 30 July 2015

Guru Purnima


Guru purnima  

              Today  is Guru Purnima  and  is also called  Vyasa  Purnima  as  Bhagavan Veda Vyasa  was  born on this day.  The importance  of  this day lies  in the fact  that  shishyas  all over the world  pay their reverence  and respects  to the  Guru parampara   ,which started  with Lord Sadashiva   and  down  to  Adi Sankaracharya   to Pujya  Gurudev  Swami Chinmayananda   finally  to our own Guru  who removes  the veil of ignorance  from  our mind  to attain Self knowledge  Guru purnima  usually  falls  on a full moon  day in July  (  aashada  month  in the Hindu  calendar .)

             Bhagavan  Veda  Vyasa  was  instrumental  in compiling  the  Vedas  in to four  -Yajur  , Rig , Sama  and Atharva  . He  wrote the Mahabharata  , the eighteen Puranas  , the Brahma  Sutras , The Bhagavatam  , The  Adyatma  Ramayana  and  many more  texts  . He  accomplished  so much   during his  lifetime   that it is said  that  all the  knowledge  that is available  in the world  is only a fraction  of what  Vyasa  knew.  Coming down  to  Adi Sankaracharya  , we find  that within a short span of life  of only 32 years in his physical form , he  wrote  bhasyas  on 10 Upanishads  , the   Brahma Sutras   and  the  Bhagavad  Gita  and   composed  the  Vivekachoodamani   and  also   many hymns  in praise  of  goddesses  . He  established  four  matts   in the  four different  parts  of the country  to rejuvenate  Hinduism  from the  decadent  state  it had fallen  at that time 

         Coming  down  to Pujya  Gurudev  Swami  Chinmayananda , we  find  that  instead  of seeking his own  salvation  sitting at  the feet  of his  Guru  Tapovanji  Maharaj  in the Himalayas , he came down  for our sake  to pass  on the  knowledge,  that he had gained ,  to us  in the simple language we could understand  . But for him  , the scriptures  would have  ever remained    a 'secret '  to us  but  only available  to the priestly class . He  made it easy for us to  understand and  know  the Upanishads  , The  Geeta   and  apply  the knowledge  so gained  in our daily lives. . The  Chinmaya  mission, which  was formed  by  a group  of  his devotees  is now spread all  over the world. 

         Coming down  to my own gurus  to whom  I  owe  all the knowledge   that I have  gained , I extend  my salutations  and prostrations   to  Sri  Sunil  Ramamurthy   and  his  wife  Pramila  madam  under whom I studied   Vedanta and  the Geeta   for 5 years  . and  to  my present  Guru , Nidhi  Chaitanya  , a monk  of the Chinmaya mission  and who has  dedicated  her life  to spreading  the knowledge of the scriptures   and  under  her guidance  I am getting  to understand  the Upanishads  and  getting  all my doubts on the  scriptures  dispelled  . I realise  the  great part my gurus  have  played  and  are playing right now   in my life  , my whole  vision  of life  has changed  from  being  a very small petty selfish minded person  to  now extending  my heart to include   the whole  of humanity  in  all  my thoughts , words  and actions. My salutations  to the  Guru parampara  and I seek their blessings  and Grace  on this very auspicious  day. . 

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Who am I ?...continued


The Gita  revisited .
Who am I ? .....continued 

                        Ramana  Maharishi  used  to ask the  devotees that came to him,to enquire  into the basic question  " Who am I "  ?. An answer  to this question helps you rid yourself of  the ignorance you are  trapped in ,you get freed from all your anxieties, fear, sorrows and sufferings  and   you put an end  to samsara  . It  is believed  that  Adi  Sankara  left  his home  at   the age of eight or so  in search  of a  guru   and  he came  upon  Guru  Govinda Bhagavadpada   and  prostrated  to him.  The  Guru asked  him  ,"  who are you "?   In answer  to this  question , the little Sankara composed  the Atma  Satakam  , consisting  of  6 verses 

                      The  first verse negates  the mind, intellect  ,ego memory  ,space  , earth fire or wind  and  affirms  my  form is  Consciousness  and  Bliss  . He  says  Shiva  I am  , Shiva  I am. The  affirmations  are repeated  at the end  of  each verse. . In the  next verse he says  I am neither the life force  nor its five divisions  nor  the seven constituents  of the body , nor the five sheaths  ,nor speech  , hands legs nor the organs of reproduction   In the  third  verse  , he says  hatred, attachments ,greed delusion  do not touch him nor is he tainted  by pride  or envy  . He says  he does not  have  to pursue  the four purusharthas  of dharma, artha ,kama  and  moksha  . Continuing  his negations  ,in the  fourth verse he says  no  virtues nor sins  get attached to him ,nor pleasure nor grief. . He says he does not need  mantras nor pilgrimages  nor knowledge  nor the sacrificial yajnas  and  that he  is neither the  experiencer  nor the experienced  nor the  experience. 

                    In the fifth verse ,he says  he has no fear of death and is beyond all differentiations   of  caste  and  that he has no father, mother   nor  birth   nor  any relationships  nor guru nor  disciple  . He  concludes  the sixth verse by  affirming  that being free  from differences  ,he is formless  , all pervading  ,present in the senses  , ever established  in equanimity  and  is beyond  liberation and bondage  . The verse  like all other verses  ends  in affirming  that  he  is  the infinite  Consciousness  ,Bliss  , Shiva am I , Shive am I . Cidananda  rupa  shivoham shivoham  shivoham  shivoham 

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Who am I ?


The  Gita  revisited 
Who am I ?

                      The  world over ,there are millions  of people  who never stop to ask this basic question about themselves   (  who am I ? )because  they are wallowing in ignorance  and lying in a tamasic state of existence . They think  they are their bodies  because  they have identified themselves with their own bodies  and what ever happens  to the bodies ,they think is   happening to them only. 

                      We  have seen in the last page  that  I know  my body  therefore  I am the knower ,since  I know my body ,I cannot  be my body which is known to me. . I have  three  bodies  -the gross  consists  of various parts  and limbs  , the  subtle  consists  of  5 organs  of perception,5 organs  of action, the 5 pranas  ,and  the 4 thought modifications  such as  mind, intellect, memory and ego. .The    unmanifest  causal  body  consists  of  ignorance  and impressions  ( vasanas )which get expressed  as the gross  and subtle body. . Each  of these bodies  is known to me  , so  I am not  any of these bodies. . The  total gross, subtle  and causal bodies  are known to  the  Infinite Knower. 

                  Then  the question arises  " Who am  I ?'. I am not  the total of the  three bodies  put together , neither am I life  or the individual knower . The  individual in me  is  only a reflection of consciousness  ( cidabhasa )and  life  as its expression. . So  there is  only one  Infinite  knower  in all bodies  and  that  Consciousness  is  my own essential  nature  . 

Friday, 24 July 2015

The knower and the known.


The Gita revisited.
The knower and the known .

           The  13th  chapter  opens  with  Arjuna  expressing a desire  to know  about  prakriti and purusa,  the field of activity and  the knower of  the field,   knowledge  and  that  which is  to be known . The  discrimination  between  the knower and known  is important  as it helps  us to realise  our oneness  with  the Supreme. . The  knower is only  one  but  the  known  are many. . The  knower is  different from the  known. I know  my car  and  I am different  from my car. . And  the most important  difference  between the  knower and known  is  that  the  knower is a sentient  being  while  the known  is  inert. . I know  my body  ,hence  it is  different from me  as  whatever  is known is different  from the knower. . The  known is  the field  of activity   and  the  body is a field  used  to do actions. 

          There  is  only one  knower  in all bodies  and  that  knower  is God-  Consciousness  or Self  in us. God  is the Citanya  in all of us  . Just as there is only one sun which  illumines  all  and  gets reflected  in all  water bodies  , similarly, God reflects in each of us as  the individual knower  -cidabhasa  , conditioned  by our own  body-mind-intellect .   The  individual knowers appear  to be many  but  Consciousness  which  lends  sentiency   and  existence  to them is  only  one  When  the  individual knower  comes  to recognise  God as the knower  ,he realises  his oneness  with Him.

          When  this knowledge  comes  to a seeker  that he is the knower  then  everything  other than him ,including his body mind intellect  become the known  .He  then  will stop identifying  with  these equipments  . All the sorrows and  sufferings  that  man undergoes  is  due  to his ignorance  that he is  the knower  and  these three equipments  are just  the  known  hence  different from him.   

Thursday, 23 July 2015

My devotee is very dear to Me says the Lord

The Gita revisited .
My  devotee is very dear  to Me says the Lord.

                 In  the last page  ,we saw the characteristics  of a perfect devotee. . We saw that a perfect devotee  hates none  but  has  love  for all and  hence is always filled  with peace  ,contentment  and happiness. It is also a fact of life  that  when he loves all  ,he  receives  more love  in return. and for sure,he grows  faster  in the spiritual field when  his heart is filled  with love and compassion  for all. 

                 The  Lord  concludes  chapter 12 on bhakti yoga  by saying  that He  loves  His  devotees. and that  His devotee  is very dear to Him. There  are two kinds of devotees  -those  who have  realised  God  as their own Self   and  there are those  who are  still walking  the path  and  striving hard to reach Him. . The  Lord  has earlier said  that the  Man of Realisation  is  'My own  Self  ' and  is united  with 'ME ' in single minded devotion.  The  Lord  concludes  this chapter by saying  that  He  loves  the devotee  more  ,who is  still  striving  hard  to reach Him . The  Lord  says  that the devotee  who walks  this path  doing  sincere devotional  service  to the  Lord  and  who is  struggling  on this  path inspite  of many obstacles  on his way   but  having only  the Lord  as  the Supreme  goal,is His beloved  and  hence is very dear to Him. 

              We  can  increase  our love  for God through  sincere devotional service  and love  and prayers and  constant remembrance  of Him amidst  all  our life's  activities    and  let us  start  counting all the abundance  we have received  by His Grace  and  be ever  grateful  for all  the blessings  that come our way  and  thank Him  not only for all  that we receive from Him  but also  for all those  things He has denied  us.  Let us learn to surrender  completely  to  God  's  Will.  

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Characteristics of a perfect devotee


The  Gita  revisited . 
Characteristics  of a perfect devotee. 

                        Lord Krishna  enumerates  a list  of characteristics  that a  seeker should have, to call himself a perfect devotee. . Among all qualities, the Lord says, advaishta  , loving and not hating  anyone   is the most important  quality  because  hatred  burns  up a person's heart. and also the heart of the person who is shown hatred .and  so hatred  turns into poison  to destroy  two people   at the same time. . Hatred can have no place  where there is love for all  . The  fact is when we truly love God, we can have no hatred  for  anyone  in the world.  and  so in loving God ,we truly love  all  and hate none. 

                The second quality  of a devotee  is  maitrah ,and  karuna ,friendliness  and compassion. . A perfect devotee  revels  in the welfare  of all. He always  thinks about the welfare of others  and  contributes  his best  for their welfare. Thirdly, he  is  forgiving  of others' faults  because he loves all and hates none. . It is  said that  forgiveness  is the ornament  of the  strong(  kshama  veerasya bhusanam)  . It is  not enough  if  the attitude of forgiveness  is there,,he  should  also  forget all the hurt that was caused to him by others  at some point of time 
              He  remains  free from  mental agitations and  he is also  incapable  of creating agitations in others minds. by his  words  or actions. He is also pure and clean  and  keeps himself  clean and  the external surroundings too clean. He  is always  fulfilled  and  content. . When he realises  God  ,he too becomes  full and  fulfilled  and is always  in total contentment. The  above  are only  a few  in the list of qualities the Lord   enumerates. and  these  qualities  a perfect devotee  is expected  to have    and exhibit them in his life. 

Friday, 10 July 2015

Renounce the results

The Gita revisited
Renounce the results 

             Scriptures  advise  us  to keep our mind absorbed in God ,even as we carry  on with our worldly  duties. and  we are also asked  to renounce  the  sense  of enjoyership of  the  results  of  our actions. . Every action  produces  a result   just as  when  the  arrow is  shot  from one's bow, one cannot  stop it from reaching its target  , similarly  every action produces an effect  ,whether  we like  the result or  not. 

           Renouncing results means  not insisting  on gaining a particular result  of your choice , but  it means  renouncing  your anxieties  for  the kind  of results  that you have  to face for your action.  and to accept   cheerfully whatever good or bad  that comes to you  as a result  . In every field of life  , whether, personal, material, financial, religious  or spiritual  , you are always filled  with  anxiety, attachment  ,and your own expectations  of the outcome of your actions . These  becomes  obstacles  in your spiritual growth  and  most  importantly  ,you  fail to enjoy  the  action itself when your mind is focussed  on only the outcome of your action. 

             It is  said  that even in the spiritual field  , when you sit  to meditate  ,you  are  unnecessarily  occupied  with  the results of your meditation  . Instead ,you are  advised  to sit  in meditation  on Self/ God  and  you must learn to let go of  all your anxieties  , attachments and worries  and  just keep enjoying  the process  of meditating  . All the spiritual practices  are  only  means  and  not  goals in themselves  and this  fact should always be  kept in mind 

Saturday, 4 July 2015

How to fix the mind in God ?


The Gita  revisited .
How to fix the mind in God ?

                      Lord Krishna  recommends  certain  practices  to the seeker   towards  helping him to fix his mind in God. For  the extroverted, Krishna  gives the prescription of  practice   as  practice makes on perfect. . To feel  for and  be with  God  ,one needs  regular and sincere practice  of meditation. . For those of us who are  very  much  extroverted   and cannot even sit still  for sometime  , the Lord  prescribes  the practice  of karma yoga . Karma yoga   lies in doing  one's duties  with the attitude of dedication  to a higher cause  or  as an offering unto the Lord.  and   accepting the results  of actions  as a gift from God. In short  ,karma yoga =  Iswara Arpana  buddhi  +  Prasada  buddhi. . This  helps in neutralising   one's likes and dislikes   and  one then  gives up the sense of doership  in action  and  enjoyership  in the results   of action.

                When one reduces  the notion of doership  , the notion of enjoyership too  will reduce. . Lord  Krishna  advises  the seeker to first  start  renouncing  the notion of  doership  which is grosser. . Then, He says  , this will  in time lead  one to lessen  his ego  and extrovertedness  and make him fit  for meditation  . . The  devotee  will then  be able  to keep his mind fixed effortlessly in God  . Such  a devotee   does not  worry   about the results  of actions   and he comes to accept   cheerfully  all that  comes  in his life .He then becomes less  selfish  and  more caring about others  as  he starts  believing  that  everything  belongs to God  and  everything happens  by His Will  alone.