Faith Fear Guru and God

Why is there a fear to unbound ourselves and break away from things that conduce to ruin and sorrow? Even when it hurts and are condemned by the wise yet we force ourselves to live bounded. It is not that we are devoid of choices but we are afraid to challenge the blind faith.

Some religious institutions and Gurus demand blind faith from their adherents. A faith which is devoid of knowledge and which defies all logic. A faith which is not a choice and that which does not agree with common sense. Should our beliefs be built on those which cannot be reasoned? That brings us to the question why we don’t reason them? Is it the fear or greed that stops us from the reasoning process?

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Object of Faith is important

In the name of faith, we kill people, abuse animals and nature alike. We are the same set of people who spend lakhs of rupees to adorn the God we believe in but are not ready to give a penny more to the needy. Despite proclaiming that service to Humanity is Service to God yet we never get to demonstrate this belief.

Perhaps we strongly believe that Gods respond to the barter system. That we can offer something to God, and he would respond in helping us to make our lives better here. God isn’t really waiting for us to finance his work 😛. He doesn’t lack anything! Instead of building a relationship with him, we think we can entice him with our offers. Really, which God has asked us to do so? Yeah, you are right, it is not God but the wrong mediators who connect us to God are responsible for growing this blind faith.

The questions now facing us: Should we seek out a Guru? If YES, then who should choose our Spiritual Guru?

We have a right to seek guidance. But honestly, do we even get to choose a teacher before surrendering our mind? If we see the multitude, we clearly understand someone chooses them for us. That can be our friends, relatives, neighbours or our family. Despite the fact that we all are different, we still do the same mistake of letting others choose the Guru for us. When the experience does not turn right, it can lead to spiritual struggle and even loss of faith😐.

Then, what are the qualities of a spiritual master?

Guru Gita describes real Guru to be a true saint whose only intention is the spiritual welfare of his disciple. The guru is someone who brings his disciples from darkness to light. He never proclaims himself to be God but teaches his disciples to be humble and to pray for the welfare of all. A Sadhguru never gives his opinion to understand the divine but he takes a bona fide spiritual text and transmits them exactly as they were spoken.

“What is the role of a Sadhguru in One’s spiritual search?” you may ask.

Sadhguru and a True-Disciple always work together. There is no denying the fact that a right Teacher can guide us, but we ourselves are responsible for our purification. The teacher cannot wash away the impurities of others. As the saying goes, you can lead the horse to the water, but you cannot make it drink.  A Guru can try to explain how contented he felt when he quenched his thirst and how the water alone has helped him achieve it. However much he describes the experience through words it will always fall short of the reality. But he can instruct us in making us understand the importance of water and drinking water will only suffice the thirst. Similarly, a Sadhguru can impart us with the knowledge of the Brahman but we ourselves have to experience that oneness with the Brahman.

We can take refuge in the teacher but we need not sacrifice our freedom of thought. We can with the help of a Sadhguru make a journey towards the unconditioned mind. That alone will allow us to experience the uninterrupted flow of bliss and would conduce to the well-being and happiness.

 

 

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Salutations to the GOD who resides in All

The God in Me, Salutes the God in You

Then,
Who is GOD?
Where is GOD?
How do we reach out to him?

Aham atma gudakesa
sarva-bhutasaya-sthitah
aham adis ca madhyam ca
bhutanam anta eva ca
                                                          Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 10, Shlk 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.

Sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisto
mattah smrtir jnanam apohanam ca
vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyo
vedanta-krd veda-vid eva caham
                                                                  Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 15, Shlk 15

I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas am I to be known; indeed I am the compiler of Vedānta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.

 

Mattah parataram nanyat
kincid asti dhananjaya
mayi sarvam idam protam
sutre mani-gana iva
                                                            Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 7, Shlk 7

O conquerer of wealth,Arjuna , there is no Truth superior to Me. Everything that exists in this universe rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread. I am in everything that you see/smell/hear/taste/touch…

 

Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaisyasi satyam te
pratijane priyo ‘si me
                                                              Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 18, Shlk 65   

Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.

Image: Ravi,Suryodayam; Instagram

Being in the Company of Good is a Concomitant of growing Wise

Wise Sayings:

We can choose to be in the company of Adhama(Inferior), Madhyama(Intermediary) or Uthama(Superior). Our personality will reflect the company we keep.

Even at organizational level, potential successors for critical jobs are mentored and monitored closely by nobody less than the CEO. If you have to be like them, you got to think like them- is the objective of a good succession planning

Likewise,if we wish to live above the mediocrity then we need to seek Uthama Sanga. How do we do it? Seekers of such, needs to develop Satsangam. The power of Discrimination and the Freedom from Delusion only comes with Satsangam.

Sat–Truth   Sangam–Union

See how beautifully has Shakaracharya exalted the value of this association in his Bhajagovindam! (See the diagram below) 

 

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Satsangatvey Nissangatvam; Nissangatvey Nirmohatvam; Nirmohatvey Nischalatatvam; Nischalatatvey Jivanmukti  

Our intellect would evolve further upon reflections and interactions with the wise. Also, we would start living like a Karma Yogi, the merits earned by living such a life will remove any possible roadblocks to the Ultimate.

Bhagavad  Gita says the same in Chapter 10, Shlk 10

Karma yogi, who performs his/her work with Love, not only be Intellect evolved but also progresses on the path of self-realization to the Ultimate.

Prayer

Tvam adi-devah purusah puranas
Tvam asya visvasya param nidhanam
Vettasi vedyam ca param ca dhama
Tvaya tatam visvam ananta-rupa

                                                                                            Gita, chapter 11, shl 38

You are the original Personality, the Godhead. You are the only sanctuary of this manifested cosmic world. You know everything, and You are all that is knowable. You are above the material modes. O limitless form! This whole cosmic manifestation is pervaded by You………

A Mindful Journey

Human weakness starts with the thought involving our incapacity in changing ourselves. The thought that ‘Nothing is in my hands. I cannot do it’ stops us from even trying.

But if we look into Gita, it states that everything is in our hands. Gita says: uddharet atmana atmanam na atmanam avasadayet.

Only and only we can change our future. If we are incapacitated and unable to make a future then we wouldn’t be allowed to choose our actions.

Bhagavad Gita in chapter 6, shl 26 says:

yato yato niscalati
             manas cancalam asthiram
       tatas tato niyamyaitad
          atmany eva vasam nayet

Suppression isn’t what we are referring. The more we suppress our thoughts, the more strength they gain. Keeping the thoughts to the present is what we have to do. As soon as you watch the thought building up, either to the past or to the future, slowly bring it to the present. Keep it there.

Instead of looking at ways to be mindful, we are breeding the weakness by giving in to our senses. We all know belief structures determine our behaviours. They are formed through repetitions and reinforcements. And, Behaviours become more automatic with repetitions.

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To break that we need to teach ourself to replace an old response with a new response. Let that new response be ‘Mindfulness’. The objective is to change behaviours. Though beliefs are hidden, they will eventually change. Repeatedly practising will turn that to a habit. A habit which will do us good.

So, next time, when the mind takes you on a mindless tour. No matter how nice it feels at times, do not embark that journey. Do not entertain it. Consciously withdraw from that. You may have to do that repeatedly many times till it starts to live in the Here and Now. Being Mindful will only allow us to plan for our future with what we have in the present. It will not allow us to be tangled in those fantasies that are far fetched and loom in the disappointments.

In my last blog entry, I was pointing in to what Bhagavat Gitas’ daivic qualities are. It will be easy to inculcate those with mindfulness. Clearing the clutter will make room for more meaningful ones. Because mindfulness is all about acceptance, appreciation and gratitude towards oneself and life in general.

Remember there is nobody to take responsibility for our actions. The same ONE who has acted has to live the consequences of his actions. Now actions can be through our thoughts, speech or deed ( mano-vak-kaya karma).

We have a choice to live a happy or a hopeless life. The choice is ours. If we succeed to break free from the shackles of our weaknesses, we will LIVE else will just Exist.

 

 

 

 

 

Shiva living the life of Shava

Morning walk not only rejuvenates my body and prepares it for the day but also a good time to contemplate on the fugacious nature of life. On the way back home today, I crossed a Shiva Temple with Morning prayers filling the air. An amalgamation of sounds: of Counch shell, temple bells and drums. Chanting do have the power to break us free from thoughts. We have to experience it to understand :))

Did you ever mull over the significance of prayers. Be it any religion, prayers are made indispensable. What do they signify? Do they have any importance in shaping our lives? Have heard a lot of people say that, they are trying to awaken or put God to sleep through prayers. Where is this God? Is the God within or without us?

What are we instructed to do? Are we to awaken the GOD within or the idol at the place of worship? Bhagavad Gita says the body is the Kshetram and kshetrajna, the Jiva is inside this Kshetram.  This is to remind us of the Shiva who is living the life of a Shava. These are to prepare us to face the Shakti, which is the Prakriti. We identify not to the Shiva but unfortunately to Shava that Shiva is in.

While the Mother, Shakti bombards us with sensuous things throughout the day. Only Shiva within this body can face her to retract her energy in developing the wisdom. Shakti without Shiva is nothing but cognitive dissonance. But we are living as Shava and aren’t sentinel to our thoughts. Thereby involving with the thought and becoming the thought itself.

Those who came before us understood this quite well. So, they devised these prayers and taught us to chant. The combination of sound waves of a particular frequency is said to enliven the Intellect. You may ask, when shall we stop. They ask us to continue:

  • Till we delve into the meaning of these prayers.
  • Till we start interacting with the world as Shiva.
  • Till we find a meaning to our lives.

I was reading an article named, ‘Abnormal is the new normal’. We tend to live an abnormal life because we do not have the knowledge of living a normal one. We have to question the necessity to move from the conditioned state that we are in?

Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharyas Bhaja Govindam takes us through the journey of a conditioned mind. Okay, why don’t we list a few drawbacks to our identification with the body/Mind?

  • Our bodies are never perfect. We might learn to live with our imperfections but there is a lot of evidence around that shows that we strive for perfection. Statista claims the revenue of the U.S. cosmetic industry is estimated to go up to 62.46 billion U.S. dollars in 2016, is one such example.
  • Old age will draw us of the energy that we have but the mind will still crave for pleasures.
  • Fear of death, losing power, possessions and people around is something we dread each day.
  • Lack of control over the minds makes us vulnerable to uncertainties.
  • Our endless pursuit to seeking happiness from things which we have no control on.

The wisdom of former generation is incomparable. They are communicating to us through these rituals. Let us not pollute it and rob the spirit. They are trying to awaken our spiritual consciousness and reminding us to disown the body consciousness. Become the Shiva which Shivoham (Shiva Aham) is referring to. Whenever we wake up to the world of stimuli, our real identity should be established. And any such interactions will always be fruitful and selfless. We shall then be a True Altruist.

Desires makes Man Mystique and drives him to Mysticism

What is Man? Is he not a bundle of Desires.

If DESIRE maketh the man. Then, what is this desire?

If we look into Upanishads they say desire springs from our vasanas, our deep-seated mental impressions that are carried forward with rebirths.Psychoanalysis says with drive born of desire gives birth to arousal and actions.

Have you ever wondered why does this make the most evolved species on this planet mystique? It is because our desires, thought or actions are different, considering we being equipped with the same mental faculties.

We as humans are constantly learning from our surroundings, experiences and society. These propel our desires too other than our inbuilt mental impressions. They sometimes can end up riveting in diametrically opposite desires (coming in conflict with each other) which creates conflict. Not many understand their mental faculties which lead them into physiological and psychological problems

Can we fulfil all our desires? Not all desires are fulfilled for reasons like they being innate depravity of our nature or against societal norms. Such are either sublimated or repressed which can lead to tension, anxiety and even depression.

Though born of the same blood, each perceives a situation/thing in more than one way (in his or her own way). Not even identical twins think alike. As we perceive the world so we act which makes us different from other species. Perhaps the development of the Prefrontal Cortex explains this. Also, this makes the concept of right and wrong foreign.

Now old scriptures do have an answer to this mystery and science second the same. They ask us to be detached from our thoughts and that help us make an unbiased decision.

Now the word detachment frightens us and many have interpreted this word in zillion ways, making it a Yogins right. Battling the internal and external conflicts few decide not live a compromised life and continue on their journey to self-knowledge, choosing Mysticism.

I marvel at such strong desire to go beyond the intellect to understand the meaning of life. It might sound to many like a wild goose chase but simple small steps can take us to the less travelled side of life. It shall equip us with the strength to lead a more positive life.