Sunday, 27 November 2016

Ways to develop vairagya .

Ways  to develop vairagya. 
            Viveka  and  vairagya  are  two  wings  a  seeker  uses  to  fly  and  reach  the  Truth. Today, we  shall see  how  vairagya  can  be  developed.  Sastras  advice  us  to  take  up  some  spiritual  sadhanas  like  observing mauna  vritam  or  fasting  on a  regular  basis. ,  so  that  we  learn  to  abstain  from  what  we  like   and  also  to  keep  our  balance  of  mind  when  we  do  have  to  do  things  or  eat  a  particular  food  that  we  dislike. . This  helps  us  to  be  without  things  we  like   and  also  accept things  we  donot  like. . To  develop  dispassion,  vairagya  ,  we  start  by  giving  up  small  things  we  like  ,and  do  small  actions  we  do  not  like  to  do. Our  mind  becomes  slowly  balanced  to  be  free  from  likes  and  dislikes. . Vairagya  does  not  at  all  mean  ,we  give  up  all  our  pleasures  ,and  leave  the  family  and  friends  and  take  to  sannyasa  and  live  in  the  forest  . . When  we  develop  vairagya  , we  stop  expecting  permanent  happiness  from  the  fleeting  things  of  this  world  even  if  we  are  in the  midst  of  people,  relations  and  objects.  

         Karma  yoga  helps  us  to  become  dispassionate  about  the  fruits  of  our  actions. . When  we  perform  selfless  actions  ,with  the  attitude  of  devotion  and surrender  to  a  Higher  Ideal / God  , our  mind  automatically  gives  up  its  anxiety  for  the  fruits  of  our  actions. . We  then  start  accepting  whatever  results  that  come  to  us  as  Iswara  Prasada .  With  these  twin  attitudes  of  Iswara  Arpana  bhavana  and  prasada  buddhi  ,  we  can  become  dispassionate  about  the  things  that  come  to  us,  about  the  things  that  go  away  from  us  . When  we  develop  the  viveka  sakti  in  us,  it  also  increases  our  vairagya  ,  which  in  turn  helps  to  strengthen  our  viveka  sakti. 

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Ways to develop the viveka sakti

Ways  to develop the  viveka  sakti 

               A  sincere  seeker  would  want  to  know  what  are  the  ways  in which  he  can  develop  his  viveka  sakti   and  vairagya  . Today,  we  shall  see  how  we  can  develop  our  viveka  sakti. . We  never  nourish  our  intellect   and  we  never  try  to  develop  our  intellectual  capacity. . So  it  becomes  gross just  as  when  we  eat  junk  food  which  is  gross,  our  body  does  not  get  any  nourishment  from  such  food. . Proper  nourishment  for  the  intellect  is  to  think  logically   and  increase  its  capacity  to  discriminate   and  make  the  right  choices  in  life. . When  we  study  scientific  and  spiritual  literature  ,  our  thinking  becomes  deeper. . The  best  time  to  take  up  the  study  of  spiritual  texts  is  between  4. am  and  6  am. . This  helps  in  making  our  intellect  sharp  ,thereby  developing  the  discriminative  powers. 

          As  the  quest  for  knowledge  comes  in the  mind  of  a  seeker, he  should  keep  on  asking  at  every  step in his  life  ,whether  whatever  he  is  doing  is  right  or  wrong. .  Is  this  world  of  plurality  that  he  deals  with  everyday  , is  it  satyam  and  how  much  true  is  this  world  of  objects ?. When  he  starts  studying  the  spiritual  texts  ,  he  comes  to  understand  at  least  theoritically   , that  Brahman  alone  is  satyam  and  the  world  of  plurality  is  mithya. . It  appears  real,  The  world  cannot  be  discarded  as  unreal  , because,  the  world  is  very  much  experienced  by everyone. . It  cannot  be  called  real  , because  the  very  definition  of  satyam  is  that  which  exists  in all  the  three  periods  of  time,  the  past,  present  and  future. . This  world  is  available  to  us  only  in our  waking  state   . In  the  dream  state,  a  world  of  our  own  is  projected  . In  the  deep  sleep  state  ,  the  world  disappears  . So  this  world  which  is  not  available  in all  the  three  avastas  , cannot  be  called  satyam. . So  what  we  can  say  about  this  world  is  , it  is  seemingly  real ,  it  is  mithya. . So  the  quest  for  knowledge  leading  to  a  serious  study  of  the  scriptural  texts  , will  help  the  seeker  ask  questions about  each  and  everything  in this  world  and  arrive  at  a  logical answer. . This  questioning  mind  helps  him  to  increase  his  viveka  sakti. 

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Sadhana chatushtaya sampatti .

Sadhana  chatushtaya  sampatti .

               Attaining  Self -knowledge  requires  that  a  seeker  is  a  sadana  chatushtaya  sampannaha. . He  should  be  having  preparatory  disciplines  ,so  that  he  is  fit  to  conduct  the  Self- enquiry. . Sadhana  chatushtaya  sampatti  is  a  fourfold  preparatory  discipline   consisting  of  viveka-  discrimination,  , vairagya-  dispassion,  mumukshutvam  -  desire  for  moksha,  and  shatka  sampatti  -sixfold  disciplines. 

              Viveka  is  the  understanding  of  what  is  nityam  and  anithyam  ,  the  permanent ,the  real  and  the  impermanent  ,  the  unreal. . The  capacity  to  discriminate  between  the  two  is  viveka. . The  world  is  perishable,  and  hence  cannot  give  us  permanent  happiness  and  peace. . To  expect  permanent  happiness  and  peace  from  an  impermanent  thing  is  foolishness. . So  the  seeker  turns  towards  nitya  vastu  ,  to  the  Real  ,which  is  the  changeless  substratum  ,  the  eternal  factor  called  Brahman   for  securing  lasting  and  permanent  peace  and  happiness. . This  understanding  is  called  nitya  -anitya  vastu  viveka. 

           Vairagya  is  called  dispassion  .  Passion  is  clinging  to  the  world  for  happiness. . The  absence  of  desire  for  enjoyments  for  the  fruits  of  one's  actions  in  this  world  and  in  heaven is  called  vairagya. . It  does  not  consist  in  running  away  from  the  world.. It  is  having  the  strength  to  give  up  the  sorrow  giving  impermanent  and  joyless  objects  mentally  or  physically  .  With  total  dispassion  ,one  does  not  even  desire  the  subtlest  pleasures  of  heaven. . A  man  develops  dispassion  only  after  having  a  certain  amount  of  discrimination  between  nitya  and  anitya  vastu  . Dispassion  purifies  the  mind  and  makes  it  fit  for  subtler  discrimination. . Dispassion  increases  when  likes  and  dislikes  are  given  up   and  when  one  surrenders  to  the  Lord's  Will.   One  with dispassion  becomes  fearless  because  he  now  does  not  depend  on the  world  for  his  happiness. . So  the  two  ,  viveka  and  vairagya  are  the  two  wings  with  which  the  seeker  flies  in search  of  Truth. 

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Are the paths mutually exclusive ? part 3

Are  the paths  mutually  exclusive ? part 3

              Lord  Krishna  , in the  Geeta,  has integrated  all the  three  sadhanas of  karma,  bhakti  and  jnanam. . A  seeker  has  to  pursue  disciplines  at  the  body  level  in order  to control  his  mind  and  turn  it  towards  a  higher  ideal. . And  this  is  karma  yoga. . He  then  has  to  channelise  all  his  emotions  in  order  to  discipline  the  mind,  so  that   he  can  contemplate  on  God. . This  is  bhakti  yoga. . And  then  he  undergoes  a  rigorous  exercise  of  sravanam  ,  mananam  and  nidhidhysanam  .... of  study  and  reflection   and  meditate  on  the  Absolute  Truth. .  This  is  done   at  the  intellectual  level  ,so  that  finally  he  comes  to  experience  the  Infinite. . This  is  jnana  yoga. . So  it  is  a  total  transformation  of  the  personality  at  the  body,  mind,  intellect  level. .  The  seeker  as  a  perceiver,  feeler  and  thinker  gets  transformed  to  realise  '  I  am  Brahmasmi. ' 

           A  true  seeker  of  the  Higher  life  ,must  seek  solitude,  live  a  life  of  temperance, ,  control  his  speech,  body  and  mind  ,  develop  enough  vairagya  to  become  dispassionate  towards  worldly  things, and  viveka  sakti  to  discriminate  the  nitya  from  the  anitya  vastu., . He  gives  up  the  notion  of  Me  and  Mine   and  surrenders  to  the  Lord  within  . The  Lord  says  '  he  who  has  completely  fixed  his  thoughts  upon  Me  will  cross  all  difficulties  by  My  Grace. '.  Such  a  seeker  constantly  does  his  obligatory  duties  towards  himself,  his  family  and  to  the  society.  and  mentally  renounces  all  actions  unto  the  Lord  . By  approaching  a  guru  , he  does  sravanam,  mananam  and  contemplation   to  attain  the  knowledge  of  the  Self   and  this  knowledge  alone  will  open  the  gates  for  him  to  experience  his  true  nature,  his  Self  . He  attains  Moksha  in  the  here  and  now   and  Moksha  is  not  a  place  or  state  to  be  attained  after  death. Moksha  is  realising  peace  and  happiness   and  contentment  in the  here  and  now. 

Friday, 11 November 2016

Are these paths mutually exclusive ?part 2

Are  these paths  mutually  exclusive ?part2

                  A  seeker  starts  doing  karma  ,  to  get  rid  of his  tamasic  nature.  and  he  then  graduates  to  doing  selfless  actions  ,dedicating  them  to  the  Lord. And  this  helps  him  to  purify  his  mind  . In  the  first  stage  of  ethical  discipline  ,  he  does  his  obligatory  duties   and   then  in  the  second  stage  ,  he  stops  craving  for  the  fruits  of  his  actions.  and  hence  he  develops  the  most  important  quality  of  vairagya. . He  then  develops  bhakti  and  shraddha  in  the  Lord  of  his  worship.  He  at  first  prays  for  himself  and  his  family  members  and  then  graduates  to  a  stage  wherein  ,he  no  longer  worships  God  with  any  selfish  motives  . He  comes  to  pray  for  the  welfare  of  the  world.    He  works  and  prays  for  loka  kshema. 

            Adi  Sankara  maintains  that  it  is  gnanam  alone  that  can  give  moksha.  'Gnanam  eva  moksham '.. He  maintains  that  there  is  no  alternative  to   gnanam.  . He  gave  prime  importance  to  gnanam  ,while  keeping  the  other  disciplines  like  karma  and  bhakti  as  secondary  disciplines  meant  only  for  purification  of  the  mind  and  developing  citta  ekagrata. .  Just  as  darkness  can  be  removed  only  by  light  and  no  other  methods,  similarly  ,ignorance  of  the Self  can  be  removed  only  by  knowledge. . Samsara  is  due  to  ignorance  of  the  Self  .The non-  apprehension  of  the  Reality  has  given  place  to  mis-apprehension  of  the  Reality. .  So a  correct  apprehension  of  the  Reality can  take  place  only  through  gnanam. 

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Are the paths mutually exclusive ?

Are  the  three  yogas  mutually  exclusive ?

                 Life  presents  itself  with many  problems. and  it  is  the  business  of  philosophy  to  find  solutions  to  our  problems . . So  philosophy  seeks  the  knowledge  of  the  Truth  ,which  alone  can  give  lasting  solutions  to  our  life's  problems. . The  attainment  of  the  knowledge  of  the  Self  , which  is  our  true  nature  ,becomes  the  basis  for  all  our  endeavors . So  with  this  end  in  view  , Sri  Krishna  presents  different  paths  to  Arjuna  ,so  that  he  attains  his  goal  ,that  of  Self- Realisation.  Sri  Krishna  synthesizes  all  aspects  of  the  spiritual  life  -path  of  work  ,devotion,  meditation  and  gnanam. ,  whether  we we are  asked  to  calm  our  minds  ,  or tosurrender  ourselves  to  God   or  work  without  attachment  ,  or  whether  we  are  asked  to    analyse  our  thoughts  ,  Sri  Krishna  says  that  what  is  important  is  the  elimination  of  the  ego  in  us  , . When  we  shift  our  mind  from  the  lower  self,  ,  from  the  ego  in  us  ,to  the  higher,  we  then  go  beyond  all  dualities.  Whatever  path  one  chooses  , it  first  brings  purity  of  mind  and  citta  ekagrata    and  makes  him  fit  to  walk  the  path  of  knowledge.
            We  shall  see  more  of  this  in  the  next  page. 

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Bhakti yoga-continued...

Bhakti  yoga  -continued

                Pujya  Gurudev  says  that  selfless  love  seeking  a  fulfillment  in itself ,  when  directed  towards the  Divine  with  a  firm  faith  and  an  all  out  belief  is  called  bhakti.  While  , Sankaracharya  describes  bhakti  as  the  identification  of  the  ego  with its  Real  Nature. . The Lord  says  in the  Geeta  that  a  seeker  who  has  identified  himself  with  the  Infinite  'ME'  alone  is  a  true  bhakta  . 

            Scriptures  give  three  different  definitions  of  God  depending  on the  maturity  of  the  seeker. . For  a  beginner  , scriptures  define  God  as jagat  karta  Iswara  . - God  as  the  creator  of  the  world. . So  the  seeker  comes  to  believe  that  God  is  located  in  some  place  like  Vaikunta  or  Kailash  . and  a  personal  God  as  Sri  Rama,  Sri  Krishna  or  Shiva  is  worshipped. . This  is  called  Eka  Rupa  Iswara. .  As  a  seeker  advances  spiritually  ,  scriptures  present  him  with  a  Vishva  Rupa  Iswara  ,  God  as  the  material  cause  of  the  world. . He  is  the  jagat  karana  Iswara. ,  He  alone  becomes  the  universe. . In  the  first  stage  ,we  say  ,He   created  the  world   and  in the  second  stage  we  say  He  becomes  the  world. 

           In   the  third  stages  , the  seeker  is  presented  with  the  concept  of  jagat  adhishtanam  Iswara  -  God  as  the  substratum  of  the  world. .  God  appears  as the  world  with  different  names  and  forms. . He  is the  substratum  of   all  the  forms   or  the  entire  creation. . Since  He  transcends  all  forms,  He  is  now  seen  as  the  formless  One. . He  is  the  arupa  Iswara or  Brahman  to  be  precise. . The  first  form  of  bhakti  is  called  'eka  rupa  bhakti,  the  second  as  aneka  rupa  bhakti   and  the  third  is  arupa  bhakti. . The  one  who  has  come  to  the  third  stage  does  not  stop  praying  to  a  personal  God.  Sankaracharya  the  greatest    proponent  of   Advaita  Vedanta  continued  to  worship  gods  and  goddesses   and  He  composed  great   stotras   for  the  benefit  of  all  those  who  were  still  in  their  early  stages  of  bhakti. 

           When  the  devotee  reaches  this  final  stage  of  bhakti  ,  he  comes  to  identify himself  with  that  formless  One   and  at  the  same  time  he  comes  to  see  this  Infinite  Truth  in  all  beings  ,  he  sees  Divinity  everywhere. .  He  is  the  uttama  bhakta  . 

Bhakti yoga

Bhakti  yoga .
              Bhakti  can  be  understood  as  devotion  to  God. . Whenever  love  is  directed  to a  higher  principle , it  is  called  devotion. . Scriptures  point  out  that  all  forms  of  love  that  a human  being  entertains  is  directed  towards  three  things. -love  towards  the  goal,  love  towards  the  means   and  love  towards  oneself. . And  love  towards  oneself  is  the  highest  in  intensity. . When  we  say  we  love  God  ,what  will  be  the  intensity  of  love  towards  God ?. Majority  of  people  look  upon  God  as  a  means  for  achieving  worldly  goals. . This  is  called  manda  bhakti. . There  are  some  who  look  upon  God  not  as  a  means  but as  their  goal  of  life because  for  them  God  provides  them  peace,  security  and  happiness. . This  is  called  madhyama  bhakti. . The  uttama  bhakti  is  that  where  one  does  not  look  at  God  as  a means  or  an  end  but  as  oneself  ,and  very  few  would  be  having  this  kind  of  intense  bhakti.

        Bhakti can also  be taken as a discipline  to achieve  a  spiritual  goal -the  goal  of  Self- Realisation. . So  when it  becomes  a  spiritual  goal  ,it  becomes  bhakti  yoga. . It  is  the  name  given  to  a set  of  disciplines  consisting  of  all  the  three  yogas  of  karma,  upasana  and  jnana. ,because  without  bhakti  they  cannot  be  pursued  or  practiced . . In  karma  yoga  ,the  seeker  does  all  actions  with  Iswara  arpana  buddhi  and  receives  the  results  as  the  Lord's  prasada. . In  upasana  , all  kinds  of  meditations  on  the  Lord  for developing   chitta  ekagrata  ,  manasa puja,  japa   are  all  done  with  bhakti  alone  invoking  the  Grace  of  the  Lord.   Jnana  yoga  also  involves  bhakti . We  start  our  studies  with  an  invocation  and  also  end  our  studies  with  a  prayer. . In  jnana  yoga,  we  are  enquiring  into  our  real  nature   that  of  our  identity  with  the  Lord . This  involves  bhakti.