Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Who is God ?


The  Gita  revisited.
Who is  God  ?

                       God  is the  creator  and  the world  is  the  created. . This  is  only the  relative  relationship  between them . A seeker  would always  want  to know  God's  Absolute  nature  and  who He  really  is .The  three  laws  of creation  are :  every effect  has a  cause. the  world  is an effect  ,it must have  a cause. . The  presence  of the effect  shows  that there  is a  cause  . Second law  is  :the  effect  is  nothing  but  cause  in another  form. . God  created  the  world  out of Himself.  Hence  ,you will  find  in India,we  worship  everything  in nature  as God. . The    third law states  that  when  the  cause  has been  removed  from the  effect  ,then  nothing remains. . Remove gold  from ornaments,  remove  clay  from  pots  , nothing  remains. . The  ornaments  , the different  pots  are  only  names  and  forms  given  to gold  , to clay. . Remove  God  from the  world  ,nothing remains. 

                  God  is  self-evident  and  is  the  nature  of  Consciousness.  It  is  because  of  God that   the  sun, the  moon and  fire   exist, function  and  illumine   all else.  The  sun is  the presiding  deity  of  the  eyes ,representing  the  five  sense  organ  of perception , the  moon  that  of  the  mind  ,which represents  the   inner  equipment  of  mind ,intellect  memory  and ego. ,  fire  of  speech  represents  the  5 organs  of actions  ,  God  cannot  be perceived  by  the  eyes,  conceived  by the  thoughts   nor  described  by speech. . God  is  that because  of which  only the eyes  see, the  mind  thinks, and  speech  describes. . God  is  the very Self  of the  seeker  and  is of the  nature  of  Existence, Consciousness  and  Bliss. 

Monday, 28 September 2015

How to reach the goal ?


The  Gita  revisited.
How  to reach  the goal ?

                       The  Lord  says  that  only those  who have  given up  their  pride  and  delusion, , who have  ended  their  attachments  and  whose  minds  dwell  in the  Self  ,whose  minds are  free  from the  pairs  of opposites  , only  such  seekers , who  are undeluded , reach  the  goal  of  seeking  the  Divine   in themselves.  Pride  is  an over  exaggerated  estimation  of   oneself  and  delusion  is  an error  in  the  judgement   regarding  the  world  of objects  and  beings , it  means  that  one  gives  a false  value  to the  world  of objects  and  beings. . Both have  to be given up .

                   Secondly  ,the  evils  of attachments  have  to be  given up.  One  gets  attached  to the  pleasures  he derives  from  contact with  the sense objects  and  attachment  keeps  one  away  from having  any higher goal in life. . Attachments  to  worldly  objects  and  beings   to be  successfully  given  away  , should  be replaced  by  attachment   to  something  nobler. Thirdly,  Sri Krishna  says  that   the seeker's mind should always   dwell   in the  Self .

              Fourthly, all   finite  desires  should  be given up, says  the Lord. . It  is true that  it is only desires  that propel a person  to perform actions  . He  is  not  asked  to give  up desires  but  the  obsessions  with desires . The  intellect  must  be trained  not  to desire  finite  and  ephemeral things. . Lastly  ,the  seeker must be free  from   getting  affected  by the pairs  of opposites like  pain and  pleasure.  It  is  the  mind   that  experiences  the pain and pleasure .. The  mind  should become  free  from  dwandwas . 

           So   only  the  undeluded  reaches  the  goal    He  understands  that  Consciousness  expresses   Itself  through  the  matter  vehicles  and  he realises  this  Consciousness  as  his  own  true  Self. 

Saturday, 26 September 2015

The tree of life.


The  Gita  revisited.
The  tree  of life.

                          Continuing  the  description  of  the  tree  of  life,  the ashwattha  tree  ,the  Geetacharya  says  that  the branches  spread upwards  and downwards   ,meaning,  sometimes man lives  a higher way of life  ,sometimes     ,he  falls to his lower  animalistic  nature .. These  urges  are  pushed  by his predominant  gunas  . In  the  tree are buds  ,which are sense  objects  ever  tempting  man to fulfill  the  demands  of  the   body and  mind. 

                        The  main roots  of  the  tree  of life  is  in the  Absolute  Reality  ,while  the secondary  roots  are  spread everywhere ,compelling  man  to  do actions  . They are  the vasanas ,which propel man  to fall into  the vicious  cycle   of  desires- action -fruits  of action -desires -action  . This  cycle  goes  on and  on  for  many  lives. . This  tree  of life  cannot  be  perceived  . It stands  for  man's entire  field  of  experiences   through  his  perceptions, emotions  and  thoughts  

                     This  tree  of life springs  from   avidya  and  ends  on the  realisation  of  the  Self  (  vidya ).  This  tree  of samsara  can be cut  by the  strong axe  of  detachment  . Having  cut  it with detachment  ,the  seeker  then has to withdraw  his  mind  more and  more  from  its  own  perceptions, emotions  and  thoughts  and  contemplate  on Him  ,the  Highest  Purusha  , and on reaching Him ,  he  does  not  return  . The  mind  has to retire  from external pursuits  and  the intellect  has  to be turned  to  the  Purusha  , the  Self  within  . The  seeker  should  seek  the Divine  in him. 

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

The Ashwattha tree.


The  Gita  revisited. 
The  Ashwattha tree.

                       The  fifteenth chapter opens  with the  description  of  the ashwattha  tree . The  Lord  has said  earlier  in the tenth chapter  ,that  this  peepal tree is  His  special  glory. . This  tree  is  the  symbolic  tree  of  life,which  has  its  roots  above  and  branches  below , whose  leaves  are the  Vedas  and  the one  who knows it is a   Veda  knower. .   Adi  Sankaracharya  says  this  tree represents  the world  because  the word  'ashwattha  ' means  that  which   will not remain the  same  tomorrow. . The  world  keeps  changing  from moment  to moment  . Samsara  is  compared  to a tree  ,a  vriksha  ,which  means'  that  which can be   cut down. This  tree  of samsara  can  be  cut down  with  the  strong axe of  detachment. . This  tree   of  samsara  has its  roots  UP   in the  Divine  Consciousness  . 

                  The  tree gets  nourished  by the  roots  ,which means  ,the  experiences  of  the  changes  and  the experiencer  of   them are all established  in  the  Infinite  and  get nourished  by the  Infinite. . For  this  tree  of  life , the Vedas   themselves  are  the  leaves. . Leaves  help the  roots  to draw  nourishment  from the  earth,  if leaves  are cut  the tree's  growth gets  stunted . Vedas  mean  knowledge  and  knowledge  brings  dynamism  of  life  into the  world.. He  who  knows  it  is a knower of the  Vedas. . Vedas  stand  for  One  Eternal Principle  ,from  which  all realms  of  experience   spring  forth. . The  pursuit  of  knowledge  in the  field  of   science  cannot give  perfect knowledge  , it  is  limited. . Knowledge  is perfect   when we have  the knowledge  of the  finite  and  the infinite, the  created  and  the creator. . A man  of realisation  is  the knower  of  both  the perishable  ad  the imperishable   and  that  which  is beyond both.  He  is then  the  knower  of the  Vedas. 

Sunday, 20 September 2015

The Purushottama yoga


The Gita revisited.
The Purushottama yoga.
                      The  Bhagavad Gita  is  one of our greatest scriptures about which every  Hindu could be really proud of and  the  fifteenth chapter   by itself  is a complete  scripture  as it  is  the summary  of the whole Gita. . No wonder then that  from ancient times  to the present times, this  chapter is  recited , before  taking food , as a form of prayer. . In this  chapter the  Lord speaks  about  the relative  and  absolute nature  of the  individual,, the  world  of plurality  where he  lives in  and   God  ,the creator  of  both. . The  Lord  describes  why man   comes to live in  bondage  , the  path  to free himself  from this  bondage  , the goal of life, , how  to attain  liberation -the Supreme Bliss.  Pujya  Gurudev Swami  Chinmayananda  says  ,"  this  chapter is one  of the rarest pieces  of literature  available  in the  world ,that  so directly  indicates  the Infinite "

                In  the  thirteenth  chapter , the  world  of matter  and  the realm of Spirit  ,were  described  . The  ever changing  finite world  is only a projection on the  Infinite and  all our sufferings  are  only due to our mis-apprehension  of Reality.   And  the  Kshetra  , the field of experience  , and  Kshetrajna  , the Knower  of the field , were clearly   explained  and we also came to understand  that   the Knower   of the field  minus  the  field of experience is  the Pure Consciousness. , which is  Infinite  and Eternal.  

               The  fifteenth chapter  discusses  the nature  of Spirit . The  world  of  the known   is the  manifested  objects  of Perceptions, Emotions  and  Thoughts . . We  all know  that an effect cannot be without a cause and  all effects   sustain in themselves  their own material cause.  for  example  : without cotton  ( cause  )  no  cloth  (  effect  ) could  exist. and  wherever cloth  (  effect  ) exists  ,it is sustained  by  cotton (  cause ). ,which  is its material cause.  The Spirit is defined  in this chapter as the Imperishable  , Infinite  , Changeless  Reality  , which is  the substratum   for this ever changing world of plurality.  The  Supreme Being ( Purushottama  ) is beyond  the  kshara  and akshara . 


Friday, 18 September 2015

Gunatita lakshana


The  Gita  revisited.
Gunatita lakshana .

                             We  have seen  that an average man lives by his moods ,swayed by  his changing moods,and  a discriminative  man tries  to hold  on to  certain good  moods . A Realised  Master  on the other hand has no desire  to bring in ,  maintain  or  remove  any thought or  mood . Thoughts  do come into his mind  ,but  they  are used  for  fulfilling  his  activities  for loka sangraha. . He  lives  as the infinite Self  beyond  his  mind  and  the sway of moods. 

                              The  average  man's mind   becomes  sattvik, rajasik, or tamasik in response  to external situations,whereas  a Realised  Master does not get carried away by them . He  is a silent  witness  of the play of the  world ,the mind  and its  gunas. . He  remains beyond them as  he is ever seated in perfection. , seated  in his  natural state. . While  the  ordinary man lives  identifying with his  body-mind-intellect equipments  ,he is always  ill at ease  with  himself. . The  Realised  Master  is called  a gunatita  by the Lord . He  is seated  in the  infinite Self  and  sees  the  infinite Self in all and  so  his behaviour towards  everyone  is  the same  under all circumstances . He  is always  in equipoise. 

                   Lord  Krishna ,while  concluding  this chapter says  that if   the tuning the mind and    transcending the mind are  difficult   for a seeker ,   he  can walk the path of devotion  , of  unswerving and  unconditional love for  God,which   is a sure way to reach  Him. So  the Lord  advises  us  to take refuge in Him.  

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Transcending the mind.


The  Gita revisited .
Transcending  the mind. 

              Transcending  the mind  is the third step the seeker has  to take   for managing his mind. . While  the jiva lives in this  world  ,it comes  into contact  with  objects  and beings of the world. ,which are also made up of the  three gunas. . When  the seeker's mind comes in contact with them ,his mind  also gets  affected  by their gunas. . The  mind  develops  attachment  to things  and beings of the world,thereby  creating  a bondage. .  The  mind also  has a tendency  to change  its moods  constantly, hence  it never stays on in sattva  state. It  is  the identification  with  the  mind  and its qualities  that creates  the sense  of ownership  of ' me'  and  'mine'  that binds  him. 

              Through  the enquiry  into the  nature  of the  Self  ,the  seeker  can  come  to know  whether  he  is  the  knower  of  his  mind  or  just  the  known mind  only. . When he realises  that  he is the  knower  ,the  Witness  Consciousness , different  from  his  body-mind- intellect  equipments  ,then  he transcends  his  mind  .and  then  the  various  moods do not affect him anymore.  It  is the gunas  born of prakriti  that  do all the  actions  . The  Self  is the  Witness  that illumines  all his  perceptions ,feelings  and thoughts. 

              So  a  Realised  Master , knowing  that he  is  the infinite immortal  Self  ,watches  the play  of prakriti  and  its gunas  and  remains  unaffected  by them,  for  he has transcended  his  mind  and  he abides  in the  Self. He  is called  a gunatita  by the  Lord. . He  has no more  likes  and dislikes  ,prejudices  or mood changes  . He  responds  to situations  appropriately  as  the situation demands .   

Tuning the mind.


The  Gita revisited.
Tuning the mind. 

                  In  the three  steps  to  managing  the mind, tuning  the mind  is the second step  after  one knows  the mind. . The  strings  of  the mind should  be  neither  too loose  (  tamasic )  nor  too tight  (  rajasic  )but just  right  (sattva  predominant  ). . The  seeker  can tune  his mind in the  following ways .. He  should become aware  of the  play of gunas   on his  mind  and  to be aware  is to accept  what he  is without   justifying  or denying  . . He  has to be intellectually alert  . The  second positive   step  is  to objectively  analyse  how  and  why the  gunas  get aggravated  and trouble him. . He  should  recognise  his weaknesses  and  drop them. 

                  Thirdly  ,by taking a sattvik diet  ,his  sattvik guna  will increase  . The  sattvik diet  that is spoken of here  is not  only  about the  food he eats, it also refers  to all the sensory  impulses  that  enter  his mind through all his  sense organs.. He should  keep a watch  on all that he  sees, hears, talks,  reads, thinks  and so on. .  Fourthly, he can correct  himself   by observing  others  and  their  behaviour  for  instance  ,when  he  finds a man  always  boasting about himself  ,he  should  also check whether  he does  the same  

                 Fifthly, he  can also  sequentially  conquer  the gunas. . A tamasic person  cannot  be motivated  to do  selfless  actions. Hence  ,he  should  be motivated  to do  actions,  even if they are selfish actions,to get him out of his  laziness  and   inertia. . Later  on as  he gets out of his  laziness  and becomes  active, he   could be asked  to do one  selfless  action  once a week. . As  he continues  to do that  ,he gets a taste  of the joy in doing   selfless  actions  . So  he comes  to do more and more of selfless  actions  ,which  thereby increase  his sattva  guna.  As the  sattva  increases  he will   no more  be disturbed  by  rajasic and  tamasic  tendencies  . . So  the sequence  is  to travel  from  tamas to rajas to sattva  and  finally  to  pure sattva  state. . 

            Lastly, spiritual  practices  like  puja,   japa,  tapa ,  pranayama  ,swadhyaya  , parayana  ,meditation     all help  him   in increasing  the sattva  in him  and in tuning  the  mind. 

Thursday, 10 September 2015

knowing the mind, the discussion continues .


The  Gita  revisited. 
knowing the mind, the discussion continues. 

                     Continuing  the discussions  on the mind  ,we come to know  that  the quality  of our perceptions  makes  the  senses  sattvik rajasik  or  tamasic. . When  our perceptions  are  keen, sensitive and  focused  ,our senses  are said to be sattvik.  ,when  our perceptions  are unfocused  or confused ,they are  rajasik. and  when our perceptions  are slow and dull,they are said to be tamasic. 

                      The  gunas also affect  the life style  we adopt. . A sattvik person's  life style  is simple  living and high thinking  . Sattvik life style  makes  a person cheerful and friendly  .. The  life style  of a rajasik person  is  quite  an artificial  one and  here only selfish thinking guides him through all his actions. His  life style  is complicated  , selfish and  indulgent . A tamasik  life style  can turn out  to be  self destructive  , it is  ignoble  and  filled with  laziness  and  lethargy. 

                       Even the degree  of  awareness  one  has depends  on the  predominant gunas he has. . A sattvik person is aware  of himself  and sensitive  to his surroundings  and  has a general love  for  his  relationships  with the  entire  universe  and  God. . He  is called  a man-man,as his actions  are sattvik. . A rajasik person   is aware  only of  his own needs ,and  does not bother  much about others . Eat-drink-and  be merry will be  his attitude to life. . He  is  called  an animal man. . A tamasik person  is  unaware  of himself  and  others. He  cares  only about his  own immediate needs  and  is  called  a plant  or stone man.

                  The  aim of  man , in this journey called  life , should  be,  to raise  himself  from  his  tamasik state  to a rajasik  state  and  then  gradually  lift  himself  from  even  rajasik  lifestyles, to become  predominantly  sattvik, so  that  he  comes  to understand  the  importance  of attaining  the goal of realising  his  own true nature   .

Saturday, 5 September 2015

More on the three gunas of the mind.


The  Gita  revisited.
More  on the three  gunas  of the mind. 

                 All  gunas  are essential for us , sattva  for knowing anything  ,rajas  for   doing any  activity and  tamas  for  rest or  sleep. . Sattva  by itself  is pure and  reflects  our  Sat-Cit -Anand swarupa , but when it combines with rajas  and tamas ,it creates   in us  attachments  for subtler  pleasures  like,joy in learning or knowing. Since  they give us joy, we fail to even recognise  that they are  binding.  Sastra  vasana  -the love  for learning  the scriptures  is also  an over attachment  to learning and knowing. Scriptures advise  us  to give up   seeking  even  the  peaceful state  of meditation as  that becomes   an obstacle   for us  to experience  our own true  nature  of  absolute   Bliss. 

              Rajo guna  ,on its part, creates  desires  and  so compels  a man  to indulge  in endless activities  . When  desires  are fulfilled  ,they create greed   for  more, when desires are not fulfilled  ,they create  anger   and frustration . Rajo guna  manifests  as likes and dislikes  , anger, greed  and tension  ,all of which  create  grief  for  the  mind.  But  when rajo guna is  directed  towards  selfless  activities  ,it helps in cultivating  good virtues. 

              Tamo guna  binds  by attachment  to inaction and  non-thinking. . A person with a predominant  tamo guna is  happy being  lazy, indolent  and  forgetful ,  so  he  forgets  all his  essential duties   and   what to say  about  his forgetting  totally  his divine  nature. . Sometimes ,tamo  guna is  good  as it helps  to forget our  past  wrongs   or  the  wrongs  done  by others  to us. 

Welcome home Krishna today.


The Gita  revisited.
Welcome  home Krishna   today.

                              Today is  Krishna  Janmashtami.  As  seekers  of Truth, let  us enquire  about  the significance  of  the birth of  Lord  Krishna.. He  takes  an avatara  to establish  dharma  on earth, to protect the  virtuous  and destroy  the  unrightuous  ,as  He  Himself  says in the  Gita. .The  Lord  was born in a prison ,signifying  that  we  too  are   born from our mother's womb ,which  is compared to  a prison. . Rebirth  in  different  yonis  (  mother's wombs )  signifies  the  continuation of bondage .

                           The  Lord  ,through  His  life  and  teachings  in the  Bhagavad Gita  , showed us  that  we can put an end  to  this bondage  through  following  the paths  of  karma, bhakti  and jnana  yoga and  attain  total freedom from rebirth. . In  the Kurukshetra  war  , being  unarmed  Sri,Krishna  was more  exposed  to the  enemy's  attacks  than even  Arjuna  ,who was  behind  Sri Krishna, but remember, Arjuna  was fully  armed  to protect himself. . Yet  the Lord  remained a  'mere  witness' ,to all that  was happening  around  Him, thereby  teaching  us  the art  of  detachment   and  developing  the  sakshi bhava  ,so that  we can give  up our  attachments, desires, likes and dislikes .

                        The  birth  of  the  Lord  will happen within us  only  when we perform unselfish work in a spirit of dedication and  surrender . Only  such a mind  ,when free from  all impurities  can become  the fertile  ground  for  the  birth of  Krishna, the Eternal Godhood  in us. . To  us,  Sri Krishna  is  the  son of  Devaki  , the darling  of the  Gopis ,  the friend  and  charioteer  of  Arjuna   and  that  He  has   a  definite  date  of  birth. .In  truth ,  He  is  that  Pure  Consciousness  , Existence  and  Bliss  , the  ultimate  Truth  that  we all have  to realise  in the here and  now.

                When  we , by constant  contemplation  , understand the Divine  birth and  the activities  of the  Lord  ,we put an end  to our limitations   and  reach  Godhood  .  and  we have  to  experience  subjectively  how  and  when  the  Supreme  Paramatma  (  Krishna  )  takes  its Avatara   ( birth ) in us.  We  do live  all our lives  as finite and mortal beings  going through  endless sorrow  and sufferings  but  when  at times  we  come  to exhibit  pure  selfless desires, have  we not  experienced  a divine  spark , though  momentarily  , manifest  in our  heart?   On  this happy  Krishna janmashtami   day, let us welcome  home  Sri Krishna  into our  hearts  with a pure  and loving heart  ,free  from all impurities. 

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Knowing the mind -continued....


The  Gita  revisited .
Knowing  the mind -continued ....

                        Prakriti  expresses  itself in the  mind  through its  qualities-  the avarana  sakti,the veiling power. ,, the  projecting power, the viksepa sakti and  the discriminative power, the viveka sakti . Tamo guna  veils  and  blocks  our thinking capacity  ,making the  mind lose its discriminative power  or  it makes  the mind  think in the  wrong direction. . Tamas  make a man stay in inertia  and  hence court  laziness, dullness  and so on. 

                           Next  ,rajo guna  which has  the power  to project  (  viksepa sakti  )  , create, act and  so on ,  can create   an  illusion . When tamo guna  has done its work of veiling the  Truth  , rajoguna  projects  a world  of its own  and  we in our ignorance  come  to accept  the  illusory world  that has been  projected  by our own  viksepa sakti  , as real  . Hence  we come  to have  likes and dislikes , desires  and so on. and  come  to believe  that  the world of objects  gives us  happiness  . So we run after  the objects  and beings  to  derive  happiness  

                          Sattva  guna  exhibits  the  discriminative power, the viveka sakti  by  helping  us   to discriminate  the real from the  unreal. . Sattva  helps  to see  the Truth  , to see   ourselves  and   the world  as it is   without any projections  . It  is this  viveka sakti  that helps us  to discriminate  between  the real and  the unreal  and  to  give up the pursuit of the unreal  and  choose  the real. . The  discriminating power in us  helps us to detach ourselves  from the  false identification   with the  body, mind, intellect   and  to realise  the Truth.