Maya: Buffer, Shocker and Self!

In the eleventh canto of Srimad Bhagvatam, Lord Krishna tells his friend and disciple Uddhava about the true nature of bondage and liberation. He tells that there is one Self alone and it’s because of difference among various mental tendencies –we observe so many beings. There exists neither bondage nor liberation. The imagination of bondage as well as liberation is because of Maya(Kundalini). Avidya(illusory potency) and Vidya(liberating potency) are both forms of Kundalini or Shakti.

Until there’s lack of ripeness the Self considers itself to be a limited being. The force which ensures this sleep is called Avidya. The prefix ‘A’ before Vidya suggests that the word is exactly opposite of Vidya. Vidya is the knowledge or force which liberates one from suffering, hence Avidya is the false knowledge which keeps one in bondage.

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The humor lies in realizing that both Vidya and Avidya are AVIDYA because they’re parts of the dream. After awakening there is neither bondage nor liberation. They’re like dreams seen last night. It doesn’t matter whether you were running after materialistic pursuits or after some very peaceful heavenly state in your dream. Once dream is over you know that it never was reality. All the attempts to wake-up were in the dream therefore they were also as illusory as the things which kept you sleeping. It might seem paradoxical–because we think our attempts to wake up were really necessary to wake up. Actually we are always awakened–completely enlightened. The belief that we are not is what leads us towards spiritual pursuits and austerity. The tapas merely burns away the notion that we are bound. How dramatic that Vidya which is also AVIDYA has to first come in to make you believe that you are in bondage. Before Vidya comes into play you firmly believe that you need various forms to be at peace. You don’t even imagine that unity exists. But once Vidya starts functioning you start imagining a state which is free from duality and struggle of running after pleasure. Then it makes you so sensitive that you shun all material pleasures as false. Vidya burns away the notion of any separation from peace. Only after realization you firmly get established into the eternal state. It’s your ever present peace behind all movements. Vidya turns extraverted mind inwards. As it becomes introverted and one pointed the stillness increases and gradually becomes firmly established. Continue reading “Maya: Buffer, Shocker and Self!”

Ramakrishna Paramhamsa’s Birth Chart!

Ranakrishna is one of the most influential sages since late 19th century. His horoscope has attributes of a great personality. There are two aspects to be observed in the personalities of liberated sages–one is degree of realization and second is strength of personality. These two aspects remain inversely related with each other. Deeper realization means weaker personality and stronger personality means weaker realization. Do exercise caution here in understanding that this is applicable only in case of self-realized sages and not in ordinary charts. You might come across many weak and timid characters which are not self-realized and you might also come across some charismatic personalities which are not liberated. Only in case of sages–the stronger personality means the work done by it is great and affects world more visibly. Weaker personalities in such cases suggest that sage affects society only subtly and mostly remains unknown.

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To take an example: Ramakrishna and Gandhi had strong personalities. Their effect has been very visible. Ramana Maharshi had comparatively weaker personality but a great depth of realization. It doesn’t mean that there haven’t been sages with personalities weaker than that of Ramana. Ramana indeed had a strong personality and he did affect masses. But when we compare his personality with Ramakrishna and Gandhi it’s weaker. Some people in southern India did consider Ramana as an avatara of Kartikeya but many more considered Ramakrishna to be an avatara. Avatara has a stronger personality and hence work done by it is more. More power means more energy and hence more work. Krishna, for example had a great personality–one of the most charismatic and also great realization, he not only delivered Vedic wisdom in form of Arjuna/Uddhava Geeta but also greatly changed course of history in the world, therefore he’s considered to be an avatara by a great number of people. Many movements still worship Krishna and find salvation through him. Jesus, Buddha and Muhammad also had great personalities which affected great religious movements. Continue reading “Ramakrishna Paramhamsa’s Birth Chart!”

Why did lord Rama shoot a deer during his stay in forest?

“Why did lord Rama shoot a deer during his stay in forests? Was he a non-vegetarian? I hate non-vegetarians.”

Yesterday, a kid asked me this. I answered “I don’t know.” I have translated the question into English from Hindi.

The conversation ended there. The reason why such a question was put before me is because some kids consider me knowledgeable. I certainly don’t consider myself capable of answering each and every question. I feel it’s better to pass over those you don’t know or don’t want to belabor with rather than trying half-heartedly. The question was asked online therefore there wasn’t enough time to answer it properly. I also doubted if the questioner would understand me and hence I decided to remain silent.

Now, as I have some time to kill I have decided to elaborate on it. Continue reading “Why did lord Rama shoot a deer during his stay in forest?”

Profile Pictures, Makeup and Detachment!

Facebook has a tradition-people tend to like profile pictures more than anything else you share. I have experimented with sharing jokes, videos, maxims, news natural sceneries and trivia. But whenever I share my selfie-which is relatively rarer compared to most of my Facebook friends–I get a lot of likes. It’s not just me–whenever other friends share their selfies–more people tend to like it than anything else. Religious idols, messages of patriotism, kindness and shocking truths get lesser likes than selfies. “Why is it so?” I asked myself.

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Incense

Almost all religions and spiritual schools use incense in one form or other. Fragrant sticks, flowers, spices, perfumes and various other methods have been used for thousands of years in ritual worship and meditation sanctuaries. What role incense plays in spirituality and religion?

Continue reading “Incense”

Live To Eat or Eat To Live?

Live to Eat

Some people eat to live, while others live to eat. What about you? How far would you travel for the best meal of your life?

I neither eat to live nor live to eat. I eat so that I can meditate. I prefer eating things which are helpful for meditation. I was born in a vegetarian family but I also chose to be a vegetarian. Sages have recommended harmonious diet and I try to follow their advice on it. Gross part of food creates your body whereas subtle portions make your mind. Food which is light and moderate in quantity is conducive to meditation. An adept in meditation might eat anything but someone willing to advance must be cautious about diet else chances of advancement will remain tenuous no matter how hard you work!

Food which is spicy and has too much oil in it leads to diseases. Food which has not been cooked more than three hours before consumption promotes good health. Stale food increases sloth and inertia whereas spicy food increases passion in you. It makes your immune system weak. Taking multiple meals with moderate quantities preferable to taking just one or two heavy meals. Drinking a lot of water is good for health. Instead of taking food at regular intervals it’s wiser to listen to your body earnestly and eat when you feel hungry.

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I feel whatever I get to eat(despite my preferences for certain things mentioned in the paragraph above!) is the best meal. I do like a few things more than others but acceptance is part of Sadhana and it means being content with any meal you could get. I accept whatever is given by life humbly and feel grateful for it. Therefore, I don’t think I need to travel to get my best meal.

Why Meditate Everyday?

I feel it’s kind of obvious to most of us, then why this discussion? This is to reinforce what you already know. Positive reinforcement is a must. Classical yogic texts call it Satsang(holy company.) You meet up with like-minded positive people and you discuss things which matter.You are not worried about repeating things which are vital because as you keep discussing them you are making the programming inside subconscious stronger for the positivity!

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Sleep And Meditation!

Sleep is essential for good health and well-being of our organisms. I have read that some meditation masters don’t need much sleep. They transcend sleep. I have also read that some experts believe that your meditation is not effective enough unless it can give you nourishment like sleep does. Well, I have not been able to find as much relaxation in meditation as in sleep so far. I feel no matter how many hours of meditation I practice I still need sleep. But sometimes I observe certain things which suggest that meditation has its own role.

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Gratitude and Pity?

As I was reading this lovely and kind post Where Did That Christmas Spirit Go? by Calen on her blog Impromptu Promptings  I found something which was profound. She asked readers to find out a line which strikes in this otherwise beautiful song(lyrics below!) I could easily find out the line and before I could tell her about it in the comments I saw that she had highlighted it already. I feel this is worthy of being discussed. We all do this in one way or the other. Either we compare ourself with our past selves or with others. You might have seen people saying to you or to friends(even in the self-help books you find such quotes!) that they are better off than many people in the world so they should be thankful. While it’s being grateful to God for your good condition it’s also feeling that some people are miserable and worse off than you are and not in an empathetic way. Schadenfreude? Not exactly but yes there is something which makes you feel that there is a need of comparison in everyday affairs–even in case of most spiritual things you do that without knowing about it!

It’s Christmas time; there’s no need to be afraid
At Christmas time, we let in light and we banish shade
And in our world of plenty we can spread a smile of joy
Throw your arms around the world at Christmas time
But say a prayer to pray for the other ones
At Christmas time
It’s hard, but when you’re having fun
There’s a world outside your window
And it’s a world of dread and fear
Where the only water flowing is the bitter sting of tears
And the Christmas bells that ring there
Are the clanging chimes of doom
Well tonight thank God it’s them instead of you
And there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmas time
The greatest gift they’ll get this year is life
Crop-yield-trends-insufficient-to-feed-the-world-in-2050-Study_strict_xxlOh, where nothing ever grows, no rain or rivers flow

Giving Selflessly!

Unless you’ve firm faith in the unity of everything you can’t give selflessly. You think you’re a person limited in space and time. This definition of yourself makes you act selfishly. You feel you are limited, isolated and this is a market where every-man-for-himself is the rule. You work hard to arrange possessions, entitlements and luxuries for yourself in hope of becoming happier but all you ever meet are illusory march posts on the way which tell you that happiness is just around the corner and you need to plod a bit more, strive a bit more. Your limited definition of self makes you work hard for limited self but it just increases your misery. Some of us think that the immediate family is part of our self and making it happy is what makes us happy. Family which is limited and related to us by blood takes precedence in everything. Now, you think, you are not selfish because you provide for family. But you provide for family and do favors only because you think they provide for you as well and they will be there for you when you need them. This is also limited self.

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