Destiny- Never Blame God

Nobody is lucky here, God says.

Everything we gain here is nothing but the fruits of our actions( Karma phala) of this life or the previous lives, i.e. Karma through our Thoughts, Speech and Actions.

Although we have no control over the karmic fruits, we are given the choice to choose our actions. Every moment in life is a choice and we are allowed to make a decision. Then, how can anybody be responsible for the consequences? Most of us make the decision based on our past alone. When each of us is given an opportunity to exercise free will then why should we repeat the same pattern over and over again.

Know that they are your actions and God is not to be blamed. He is not directing your life but has given you the freedom to both write and direct your own life. Gita strongly denies his involvement clearly in Chapter 5, shlok 14 and 15. He states while the Tri-Gunas are doing their job according to their nature, you out of ignorance choose to identify with their work and thus get stuck with the sense of doer-ship. He asserts firmly that both virtuous deeds or otherwise do not involve him.

Na kartṛitvaṁ na karmāṇi lokasya sṛijati prabhuḥ
Na karma phala saṅyogaṁ svabhāvas tu pravartate

Nādatte kasyachit pāpaṁ na chaiva sukṛitaṁ vibhuḥ
Ajñānenāvṛitaṁ jñānaṁ tena muhyanti jantavaḥ

This, of course, does not mean that we keep indulging in all activities without bringing any change in our behaviours and then debate that they are nothing but the Gunas in action. Spirituality is about purifying and transcending one’s mind and we should not fool ourselves in the process

And, Self-realization is hard to attain and definitely not a mockery. Now THE MIND has a biased stance towards the body. Until the MIND understands, acknowledges and identifies with the truth after conducting sufficient inquiry into the laws governing the human life, will ‘IT’ attain stability.

Image: On the way to Baba Mandir

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Atman Diaries- The Nyagrodha Tree

The conversation between father Uddalaka and son Svetaketu, as narrated in Chandogya Upanisad.

As was the customary in those days, Svetaketu was sent to an ashram for his education and when he returned after the completion, Uddalaka asked him, “What did you learn while in the Ashram, my son?”

“I learned everything that can be known, father,” Svetaketu answered .

When Uddalaka heard this, he became silent and thought, “What pride! Such conceit is born only out of ignorance. My son has not yet grasped the essence of the supreme knowledge of Atman which brings humility.”

He asked Svetaketu to fetch a fruit of  the Nyagrodha tree.  Shvetketu picked a fruit from the tree and brought it to his father.

“Break it, son, and look inside,” suggested Uddalaka.

“What do you see?” Uddalaka questioned.

“These extremely fine seeds, father,” replied Svetaketu.

“Of these, please break one and what you see inside?” asked Uddalaka.

“No! There is nothing there” responded Svetaketu.

seed
Nyagrodha Seed

Then Uddalaka said to his son, “My dear, that subtle essence which you do not perceive, from that very essence this great Nyagrodha tree exists. That, Svetaketu, is the Atman, that subtle essence, this whole world has for its self. That is the truth. The Atman pervades the universe, and, my son, you are a part of that universe.”

Uddalaka explains how the world which has the name and form arises from Pure Being which is subtle and doesn’t possess name and form .

Image Source: Web

 

Knowing My Self

Someone who read my posts asked me a question, thought it would be interesting to blog it. I was asked if I had ever experienced a marred self-image and if meditation helped me recover?

So what is self-image? It is simply how I see my self.
Actually, we all have a clear sense of self, a sense of ‘I’ but when we are asked to pinpoint and describe ‘I’ then it gets difficult. Many times we do not know how to heal our selves as we are unsure what to work on. Think of it, when asked to better our selves, we work on our career or body image or relationships thinking this is where our self lies. In reality, they belong to us but can they be us?

Many ancient Hindu philosophers and scriptures claim that we are living a life of mistaken identity, a pseudo self which is transient and impermanent.
At times, Body = I Mind = I
They state the ‘I’ present during the dream, waking and deep sleep states is called ‘Atman’ which is distinct from the mind and body. And, until the above identifications with the inner & outer body stop, we cannot be at peace. So, their advice is to know our real self and avoid any emotional scars which can damage our self-image.

I had my own encounters with emotions, felt helpless, the more I talked about it to others, those impressions seemed to get stronger. If I wasn’t seeking help outside then the thoughts that I wished to avoid kept coming back with vengeance. I felt my inside was that of a battlefield and I turned hostile.

That is when I started paying attention to my thoughts, till then I barely knew what crossed my mind.  My mind was troubled by its own thoughts just as the silkworm bound by its own thread. I started observing my thoughts, the more my mind entertained those negative thoughts the more they surfaced. When sublimated, they took another form, but still existed.

Say someone knocks at your door and you do not respond to it then what happens? Whoever it is, have to go back after trying to get your attention, isn’t it? If we do not give the thought a thought, it has to go back. But it will return and knock again many a time, simply stop giving it any more power. Eventually, it will die down. Trust me, any such experiences in life will only leave you empowered with a better understanding of the mind.

Meditation may not be possible for someone with a low esteem. We need to fix that first. Learn to forgive you. To err is human, so learn from the experience and move on. Try giving; start taking responsibility your emotional needs and that will breed confidence.

Contemplating on any object is meditation but if you wish to understand and meditate upon the SELF then you have to approach a teacher. Spiritual books can gain a lifetime of knowledge but you may still miss the deeper meaning. He/she will help you put the principles into practice. For example, ‘Live in the present moment’, isn’t as simple as it may sound and nothing will change overnight. Be patient and practice until it gets hard-wired.

Though you are already That TRUTH/God(whatever you wish to call), ignorance will stop you from being that.  So, you should consciously trash your old knowledge and instill new ones and allow them to seep in. This sure is an investment of your time and energy but you deserve to know who you really are 🙂

Who Am I? Who Are You?

Aham atma gudakesa sarva-bhutasaya-sthitah
Aham adis ca madhyam ca bhutanam anta eva ca //
                                                                               Bhagavad Gita 10.20

I am the Self, O Guḍākeśa, seated in the hearts of all creatures. I am the beginning, the middle and the end of all beings.

According to Bhagavad Gita, the one who asserts itself as ‘I’ in every Body is a part of One Cosmic Being, Atman.

It is our choice to think of SELF as either a conditioned Finite Being or an Infinite One. Whatever we choose will pave way for our experience here, bitter or better.

What surprises me the most is the fact that we identify our self with everything we have or to everything we do, that can be our body, profession, societal status, family name etc but our identity with SELF.

Could I be the Atman that the Scriptures and Seers speak of?

If you really ask yourself this question, which already for some may sound bizarre yet if you continue to entertain this thought, you will realise that we are all connected. What makes us think we are different from others are our Individual behaviours. And they spring from different beliefs and thoughts. If not for our choice of thoughts we could easily identify our self to be ONE in many bodies.

Regardless of gender, religion or status, for a human being, it is the intangible assets that shape reality. The friends we keep and the thoughts we harbour will together define our personality. Otherwise, deep down we all are the same.

Although thoughts define us, we are independent of thoughts because we create them. Examine your thoughts closely, you can entertain or curtail a thought that arises in your mind. Think of it, you have the capacity to build a thought, to make it as complex as you wish and your body will respond to it.

We entertain all kinds of thoughts, can we not build this one? Growth should happen in all spheres, physical, emotional and spiritual. If building this thought can bring growth emotionally and spiritually then why not?

So, it is never too late to observe our thoughts and make a conscious effort to build new ones until we believe in them.

Image: http://www.rapeutation.com/prisonersanjose.1f.gif

Creator or His Creation

My friend and I had been debating over who is to be known-Is the creator or his creation?

All through the discussion, I felt the creator is best understood through his creation. And everything that we experience is nothing but his creation. The Creator is in the creation, isn’t it. Every fabric of his creation has the creator in it. Say, if the creation is a cake. Then, why would I ask for a piece of it when I have the whole cake for myself. So, if we appreciate his creation then we understand him, was my argument 🙂

Understand the Prakruti to understand the Purusha.

The knowledge gained of the Purusha would be incomplete without his Prakruti[B.G.13.3]. You can never worship the creator until you know his creation.

Why can’t we know the creator without interpreting his creation?
All sensory and mental faculties that we are endowed with can only apprehend the external world. The creator can never be comprehended through the faculties[B.G.2.18 APRAMEYASYA].

Then you may ask, why do we go looking for the Creator/Purusha?
We look for him because we fail to read his creation the way he created. You read a poem and say you like it. Can you tell me without a doubt that you understood precisely what the poet wanted to convey? If that was the case, the great epic poems like ‘Ramayana’ would not have multiple interpretations, isn’t it?

Then, how should we understand his Prakruti?
While we eat the cake, we experience the taste of it in every bite. Likewise, we have to love every bit of his creation without shunning it if we were to experience the Purusha.

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 13, Shl 27 and 35

Yavat sanjayate kincit sattvam sthavara-jangamam
Ksetra-ksetrajna-samyogat tad viddhi bharatarsabha //

O chief of the Bhāratas, whatever you see in existence, both moving and unmoving, is only the combination of the Field of Activities(Body or Prakriti) and the Knower of the Field(SOUL or Purusha).

Ksetra-ksetrajnayor evam antaram jnana-caksusa
Bhuta-prakrti-moksam ca ye vidur yanti te param //

They who, through the eye of knowledge, perceive the distinction between the Field (Prakriti) and its Knower(SOUL), and also the liberation from the Nature of being, they go to the Supreme.

Deep-Seated Subconscious Patterns- VASANAS

Have you ever wondered why two people interpret the same event in a different way?

Scientists say that every individual lives in his or her own perceived world, which is, in some ways, quite different from the real world. Now who would know the real world, even if there is one. It would be like one blind person asking another one about the real world, is it not?

Okay, let’s go back to our previous question on interpreting the same event differently. Science has some answers , so do the Scriptures.

From the Bhagavad-Gita, I understand the process to be the below,

Sensory Faculties get the information to the MIND. Mind receives the information and interprets according to its Vasanas. This information is forwarded to the next in authority, which is the BUDDHI. Buddhi approves or disapproves of the information. Upon the approval of the Intellect, BODY acts. These ACTIONS again strengthen the Vasanas.

samsara.png

If that is the process, then lot happens at the mind level depending upon the vasanas we carry. That makes two people look at the same object/person/event in a different or in their own unique way. Meaning OBJECTS/PEOPLE/EVENTS does not really have the power to disturb us. They do not make us anxious. Our IDENTIFICATION with them does the job.

When we associate with an object through thoughts, we successfully create a new subconscious pattern, VASANA which will drag our mind and we will have no control thereafter.

So that means Nothing in this world can bring us Happiness or Sorrow but our Identification with them.

Our individual mind creates, sustains and projects what it fancies in congruence with the mental impressions. With the same power, we can engage the mind-intellect in the contemplation of the SELF.

For the Intellect(Buddhi) to withdraw its identifications with the lower faculties, the senses, it needs to focus inwards-towards something which is more constant, unchanging, and omnipresent. This process is also called by our Seers as YOGA DHARANAM.

Swami Chinmayanada once said on the above-mentioned subject,
Pure awareness, poured into the moulds of Vasanas, when frozen with Ignorance becomes the multiple worlds of Name and Form-recognized, craved for and fought over to acquire and to possess-Everywhere by Everyone.

Ignorance will give place for knowledge only when we first pay attention to everything that is changing, evolving and disappearing before us. Inward-looking then would be a cakewalk 😉

The Cycle Of Samsara-Subtle Body

Sariram yad avapnoti yac capy utkramatisvarah
Grhitvaitani samyati vayur gandhan ivasayat
Srotram caksuh sparsanam ca rasanam ghranam eva ca
Adhisthaya manas cayam visayan upasevate
                                                                                 Bhagavad Gita. 15.8-9

The living entity in the material world carries his different conceptions of life from one body to another as the air carries aromas.The living entity, thus taking another gross body, obtains a certain type of ear, tongue, and nose and sense of touch, which are grouped around the mind. He thus enjoys a particular set of sense objects.

 

samsara.png

  • Mind is a bundle of SAMSKARAS (Mental Impressions).
  • Samskaras cause VASANAS (Nature of the Subconscious)
  • Vasanas direct our TRISHNA (Desires). The less aware we are, the more likely our body will act according to our vasanas.
  • Desire lead to SANGHA(Attachment)
  • Attachment motivates the DEHAM to put the EFFORT
  • That experience will lead to either RAGA or DVESHAM (Likes or Dislikes)
  • The powerful duo puts us back into the SAMSARA