Sunday, November 19, 2017

20 November

Discipline of the Senses
Control the indriyas (senses) through introspection. Destroy the thirst for objects and sense-enjoyments then you will be established in supreme peace. Speak the truth and talk little. Observe silence for two hours daily. Speak only sweet, loving, soft words. Do not go to cinemas; do not look at ladies with a lustful look. When you move in the street look at the tip of the nose; do not look hither and thither. This is discipline of the eye, the organ of sight.
Do not attend dancing parties and do not listen to vulgar music. Give up musical entertainments and listening to worldly conversation. This is the discipline of the ear, the organ of hearing. Do not use scents. This is the discipline of the nose, the organ of smell. Give up salt and sugar for a week. Live on simple food. Fast on ekadashi (eleventh day of the lunar fortnight) or live on milk. This is the discipline of the tongue, the organ of taste.
Observe brahmacharya. Sleep on a hard mat. Walk barefooted. Do not use umbrellas. This is the discipline of the skin, the organ of touch.
To check the wandering mind and to develop concentration, fix your mind on your ishta devata (ideal). Bring the mind back again when it wanders and fix it on the image.
You may think or falsely conjecture that the senses are under your control. You may be duped. All of a sudden you will become their victim. You must have supreme control of all the senses. The senses may become turbulent at any time. Reaction may set in. Beware!
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Master the senses, the mind and the intellect ruthlessly. Do this through enquiry, discrimination, dispassion, devotion and meditation. Anger is born of rajas (restlessness). When desire is not gratified, then anger manifests itself. Anger is a form of desire only. Slay this anger through vichara (enquiry), discrimination, patience, love, meditation, and identification with the ever serene Atman.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

19 December

Your Real Enemy
The senses are your real foes. They draw you out and disturb your peace of mind. Do not keep company with them. Subdue them. Restrain them. Curb them just as you would curb your enemies on the battlefield. This is not the work of a day. It wants patient and protracted sadhana (practice) for a very long time. Control of the senses is really control of the mind. All the ten senses must be controlled. Starve them to death. Do not give them what they want. Then they will obey your orders implicitly. All worldly-minded persons are slaves of their senses, though they are educated, though they possess immense wealth, though they hold judicial and executive powers. If you are a slave of meat-eating, for instance, you will begin to exercise control of your tongue the moment you give up the meat-eating habit entirely for six months. You will consciously feel that you have gained a little supremacy over this troublesome sense of taste which began to revolt against you sometime ago.
Worldly pleasures intensify the desire for enjoying greater pleasures. Hence the minds of worldlings are very restless. There is no satisfaction, and mental peace is absent. The mind can never be satisfied, whatever amount of pleasure you may store up for it. The more it enjoys the pleasures, the more it wants them. So people are exceedingly troubled and vexed by their own minds. They are tired of their minds. Hence, in order to remove these botherations and troubles, the rishis (sages) thought it best to deprive the mind of all sensual pleasures. When the mind has been concentrated or made extinct, it cannot force one to seek for further pleasure, and all botherations and troubles are removed for ever and the person attains real peace.
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The mind can do nothing without the help of the senses. And the senses cannot do anything without the help of the mind. Desire moves the mind and the senses and makes it outgoing. Abandon desires and control the mind. Thinking means externalisation or objectification. Thinking is samsara. Thinking causes identification with the body, with 'I-ness', 'mine-ness', time and space.
Stop this thinking through vairagya (dispassion) and abhyasa (practice). Merge yourself in pure consciousness where there is no thinking. This is the absolution; this is jivanmukta (liberation).

Friday, November 17, 2017

18 November

Dama - Sense Control
Dama is self-restraint. It is control of the senses. It is a vedantic sadhana (practice). It comes after the practice of sama (restraint of mind). It is one of the sad-sampat (six-fold wealth). It does not allow the senses to run outwards. It gives strength, peace and concentration. It develops will-power. It helps you to disconnect or shut off the mind from the senses, and the senses from the objects. It corresponds to pratyahara (sense-withdrawal) of raja yoga. An objector says, "Why should there be practice of dama when the mind is controlled by sama?" It is a double attack on the mind. The mind operates in conjunction with the senses; the mind will be subdued easily and effectively if you practise dama also. It weakens or thins out the mind.
There is also a deliberate order here. Without viveka (wisdom), vairagya (dispassion) is not powerful. It is viveka that weans the mind from sensual objects and directs it towards the Absolute. So viveka comes first. If there is dawn of viveka, vairagya, serenity (sama) will come by itself. It is easy to control the mind if the senses are also controlled. So dama comes after sama. If you practise dama, uparati (satiety) follows - you are disgusted with sensual objects. Serenity and restraint of the indriyas are increased if you have titiksha or power of endurance. When you possess the above qualifications naturally you will have faith (shraddha) and a balanced inner life (samadana). If you are endowed with viveka, vairagya and six wealths, a burning yearning for liberation (mumukshutva) will automatically follow.
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Sensual pleasure is the womb of pain. The cause for pain is the pursuit of pleasure. Sensual pleasure is imaginary, illusory, fleeting and tantalising. Abandon pleasure and rejoice in the eternal bliss of the Atman. He who has destroyed desire is really a harmonised, peaceful and happy man.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

17 November

Your Real Name
Do you know who you are? I shall tell you. Hear me. You are the master of the body and the senses and the mind. You are the master of your life. All power is within you. You have to know this and manifest it.
How can the mind torment you? How can despair overcome you? Despair is a quality of the mind and the mind is your servant. You are all bliss, all light, all strength, all knowledge. You are divinity. You are above and beyond both body and mind. You are immortal - satchidananda (existence - knowledge - bliss absolute).
The important thing to know clearly is that you are not the slave of the mind and the senses. You have got into the habit of thinking that their craving is your craving. Now get out of this habit, by constantly reminding yourself that you have nothing to do with the mischievous mind and senses.
Remember constantly that you are not this perishable body. You are not this perishable, changing mind. You are the all-pervading consciousness. You are the eternal seer. You are the eternal witness. Therefore be ever free and blissful.
Intensify your spiritual life. Seek the light of vedanta. Be a flame of the light of the Upanishads. Ever meditate on: "I am the immortal, all-pervading Brahman." Om is the bow, the soul is the arrow and Brahman is the target.
When you realise the effulgent Supreme Being you shake off all evil and attain the supreme stainless unity. Devote yourself to the holy quest of truth. Devote yourself to the discovery of the ultimate spiritual essence that is all-pervading and interpenetrating.
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Withdraw the senses. Look within and search your heart. Dive deep into the recesses of your heart, through deep meditation on the innermost self, the inner ruler. You will doubtless realise your identity with Brahman and get to the heart of the infinite - the heart of infinite joy and bliss.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

16 November

God is Found in Silence
Still the mind. Listen. Enter the silence. In silence one becomes aware of his soul-consciousness. Silence is a prerequisite for the apprehension of the reality. Enter the silence, realise the reality.
Silence the tongue; silence the desires; silence the thoughts. You will now enjoy the bliss of the eternal. Love silence. Live in silence. Grow in silence. Spend your life in silence. The truths of the Upanishads are revealed through the grace of God.
In silence there is God-realisation. Silence is the peace that passes understanding - samadhi (the super-conscious state).
Train yourself to enter a state of ceaseless meditation. Strive diligently, patiently and with genuine humility to attain wisdom. Earnest aspiration and sincerity of purpose are the most precious assets to the seeker after truth. Silence conserves energy and gives peace and strength. You can amass inexhaustible spiritual wealth in silence.
The aspirant should possess tranquility, self-control and compassion. An aspirant should avoid dainty dishes as they induce him to be voluptuous. An aspirant should not indulge in hearing worldly talk as it leaves worldly impressions on the mind and these stand in the way of fixing the mind on God. If you are freed from attachment, you have attained salvation indeed. He who has strong vairagya (dispassion), utter distaste for all pleasures of earth and heaven is first to pursue the path of jnana (wisdom).
He who has not developed strong dispassion, but is attached to the pleasures of this world, must tread the path of karma yoga. He who is neither intensely attached to the world nor completely detached from it must take up the path of devotion (bhakti). The delusion of birth and death will only haunt those persons who have passions and darkness. Persons of powerful, pure tendency will be ever free from the fear of birth. Real austerity consists of the control of the senses and the mind, not mortification of the body. The middle path between extreme asceticism and self-indulgence is beneficial. Fasting is external austerity; repentance and meditation are internal austerity.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

15 November

Rise Above the Two Moods
In vedanta there are only two kinds of moods - joy, exultation or exhilaration and grief or depression. Now there is joy and five minutes later there is depression - the currents alternate. They belong to the shad-urmis (six waves, i.e. grief, delusion, hunger, thirst, decay and death). People of gloomy moods attract gloomy thoughts from others and from the akashic (etheric) records in the psychic ether. Persons with hope, cheerfulness and confidence attract similar thoughts from others - they are always successful in their attempts. People with negative moods of depression, anger and hatred do positive harm to others - and great damage in the thought world.
Try to eradicate depression through prayer, meditation, counter-thoughts of joy, chanting Om, self-enquiry and singing divine songs. There are various causes for depression - cloudy day, associating with evil persons, indigestion, influence of astral spirits and revival of old impressions of depression. When you get into a talking mood - practise mouna (silence) at once. When you are in a mood of hatred, develop the opposite virtue, love, and the mood will pass quickly. When you feel selfishness arise, do selfless work. When you are in the mood of separateness, mix with others - through service, love, kindness and forgiveness. If you feel lazy, do some active work.
A liberated being is free from all moods - he has become their master. In Atman (self) there are no moods, there is only pure consciousness. Identify with Atman and you will easily destroy all moods. However, there is one good mood - the meditative mood. When this manifests, immediately give up reading, writing, talking etc., and begin to meditate. Watch for this kind of mood - when meditation comes by itself, without effort.
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Laugh and smile. How can a mind that is dull and gloomy think of God? Try to be happy always. Happiness is your very nature. The spirit of cheerfulness must be cultivated by all aspirants.
With the growth of the mind, the pains will increase. But with its extinction there will be great bliss. Having mastery over the mind, free yourself from the world of perceptions in order that you may be of the nature of jnana or wisdom. Though surrounded by pleasurable or painful objects which disturb the equilibrium of your mind, remain rock-like, and receive all things with equanimity.

Monday, November 13, 2017

14 November

Uphill Task
True freedom results from the disenthralment of the mind. He is a real potentate and ruler who has conquered the mind. He who has conquered desires, passions and the mind is the richest man. If the mind is under control, it matters little whether you stay in a palace or a cave in the Himalayas; whether you engage yourself in worldly activity or sit in silence. The mind can be controlled by untiring perseverance and great patience, equal to that of one engaged in emptying the ocean, drop by drop, with the tip of a blade of grass. To tame a lion or a tiger is far more easy than taming one's own mind. Tame your own mind first. Then you can tame the minds of others quite easily.
Constantly think of God. You can very easily control the mind. Constant thinking of God thins out the mind. The mind can very easily think of worldly objects. It is its nature. The mental force can easily flow in the old grooves and avenues of mundane thoughts. It finds it extremely hard to think of God and dwell on lofty thoughts.
The difficulty in weaning the mind from objects and fixing it on God is the same as in making the river Ganges flow uphill towards its source instead of its natural flow towards the ocean. Still, through strenuous efforts and renunciation, the mind must be trained to flow towards God, much against its will, if you want to free yourself from birth and death. There is no other way if you want to escape from worldly miseries and tribulations.
Introspect and always have an inner life. Let a portion of the mind and the hands do their work mechanically. A girl acrobat, while exhibiting her performances, has her attention riveted on the water-pot she bears on her head, although, all the time, she is dancing to various tunes. So does the truly pious man attend to all his business concerns, but has his mind's eye fixed upon the blissful feet of the Lord. This is balance and will lead to integral development.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

13 November

Conquer the World Within
He who has controlled his mind is really happy and free. Physical freedom is no freedom at all. If you are easily carried away by surging emotions and impulses, if you are under the grip of moods and cravings, how can you be really happy, O sweet beloved child? You are like a rudderless boat. You are tossed about hither and thither like a piece of straw in the vast expanse of ocean. You laugh for five minutes and weep for five hours. What can wife, son, friends, money, fame and power do for you when you are under the sway of the impulse of your mind?
He is a true hero who has controlled his mind. There is an adage: "He who has controlled his mind has controlled the world". True victory is victory over the mind. That is real freedom. A thorough, rigorous discipline and self-imposed restrictions will eventually eradicate all desires, thoughts, impulses, cravings and passions. Only then and not until then can you expect to be free from the thraldom of the mind.
You should not give any leniency to the mind. The mind is a mischievous imp. Curb it by drastic measures. Become a perfect yogi. Money cannot give you freedom. Freedom is not a commodity that can be purchased. It is a rare, hidden treasure guarded by a five-hooded serpent. Unless you kill or tame this serpent, you cannot have access to this treasure. That treasure is spiritual wealth; that is freedom; that is bliss. The serpent is your mind. The five hoods are the five senses through which the mind-serpent hisses.
The rajasic (restless) mind always wants new things. It wants variety. It gets disgusted with monotony. It wants change of place, change of food, change, in short, of everything. But you should train the mind to stick to one thing. You should not complain of monotony. You should have patience, adamantine will and undaunted persistence. Then only can you succeed in yoga. He who wants something new every now and then is quite unfit for yoga. You should stick to one place, one spiritual preceptor, one method of yoga and one institution. That is the way to positive success.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

12 November

True Dispassion
Vairagya (dispassion) does not mean abandoning social duties and the responsibilities of life. It does not mean detachment from the world, or a life in a solitary cave of the Himalayas or in the cremation ground. It does not mean living on Neem leaves, the wearing of matted hair and carrying a water-pot made of gourd or coconut-shell in the hand. It does not mean shaving of the head and discarding one's clothes. Vairagya is mental detachment from all connections of the world.
A man may remain in the world and discharge all the duties of his order and stage of life with detachment. He may be a householder. He may live with family and children. But at the same time, he may have perfect mental detachment from everything. He can perform his spiritual practice systematically. That man who has perfect mental detachment while remaining in the world is a hero, indeed. He is much better than a holy man who is living in a cave of the Himalayas, because the former has to face innumerable temptations at every moment of his life.
Wherever a man may go, he carries with him his fickle, restless mind, his desires and subconscious impressions. Even if he lives in solitude in the Himalayas, still he is the same worldly man if he is engaged in building castles in the air and in thinking of the objects of the world. In that case even the cave becomes a big city for him. If the mind remains quiet, if it is free from attachments, one can be perfectly dispassionate even while living in a mansion in the busiest part of a city like Calcutta. Such a mansion will be converted into a dense forest by him. Vairagya is purely a mental state.
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Vairagya is a means for attaining wisdom of the self. It is not the goal itself. A realised sage has neither desire nor dispassion. If you give him a little dry bread, he is quite satisfied and will not grumble. If you give him the best sweets, milk and fruits, he will not refuse, but he will not be elated by good food. He has equanimity of mind and is above likes and dislikes. He always delights in his own Self only, but not in external objects.

Friday, November 10, 2017

11 November

Freedom from Attachment
Attachment produces infatuation and causes entanglement. Fear exists on account of attachment and desire. Infatuation or delusion is a stigma on pure love. Attachment to the objects of the world is due to ignorance of their true nature. Nothing but the Atman (Self) really exists. Objects are illusion. Attachment is indicative of the feeling that the objective possession brings happiness. This idea has to be removed from the mind.
Happiness is not in the objects but in one's own Atman. Attachment is the impure vasana (feeling) of love or hate that is entertained by the mind for the diverse objects of this world. If you remain unaffected by joy, envy and sorrow, you have relinquished all attachments. If, without rejoicing in joy, or pining under pain, you do not subject yourself to the trammels of desire, then you can be said to have rid yourself of attachment.
If you can be content with whatever you get, then you have cast off attachment. Through attachment, desire for material objects arises. Renunciation of attachment is said to be moksha (release). Through its destruction, all rebirth ceases. Destroy the association of the mind with the objects and attain the state of the jivanmukta (liberated soul).
Pleasure does not lie in the objects but in the condition of the mind. The mind goes out in search of pleasure. At the same time there is pain as the mind is straying away from the truth. When the object is attained, the mind ceases to function and rests on the Atman, the substratum. Then it unconsciously tastes the bliss of the Atman.
Sublimate your inward longings through discrimination, dispassion, enquiry and meditation. You will attain supreme bliss.
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Develop vairagya (dispassion). Sharpen the intellect. Give up kutarka and viparita bhavana (distorted and perverted thinking). Identify yourself with the pure Atman. You will soon attain knowledge of the self.
If you are careless and non-vigilant, if you are irregular in meditation, if your dispassion wanes, if you yield even a bit to sense pleasures, the mind will continue to go downward. Maya (illusion) closes in even upon a wise man if he stops his sadhana (practice) and meditation even for a short time.
Be careful. Be alert. Be regular in your meditation.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

10 November

Where is Real Love?
The desire to attain knowledge of the Self will dawn only in the person who is free from desires, who has a pure mind, and who is quite disgusted with this worldly life. Such a man only is competent to hear, meditate and attain Brahman, jnana or knowledge of Brahman. When the knowledge of the Self dawns, ignorance, which is the seed for bondage and the cause of karma, is totally eradicated and the aspirant attains immortality and eternal bliss.
Do not depend upon anybody. Rely on your own self. Be centred in the Atman only. The sweet wife deserts her husband when he is on the roll of unemployment and marries another young man. The rich husband divorces his wife when she loses her beauty on account of protracted illness and marries another woman. Even Lord Jesus and Buddha were forsaken by all their friends, followers and disciples. This is a strange world. Mysterious is maya (illusion)!
Real affection can be found in God and sages only. Worldly affection is only showy, hypocritical, illusory and changing. Just see whether your relatives, even your friends, your brothers and sisters show affection to you when you are unemployed, when you are suffering from a chronic, incurable disease and are without any money in your hands.
Saints and prophets who have realised God are shouting at the tops of their voices that the Lord is dwelling in the hearts of beings, and yet no one is earnestly attempting to make a vigorous search in his own heart. Is this not lamentable? God is above below, within, without and all around. Thirst for his darshan (vision). Look within, practise introvision. Try earnestly to attain the immortal being. In Him, you can find eternal peace. Enter His kingdom right now in this very second. Stand firm on the rock of truth or Brahman. Have a firm grip of your reality, the self-­luminous, immortal Atman or soul. Look upon this universe as your all-full form. Only when knowledge of the Self dawns in your heart can you free yourself from rebirth and become identical with the Supreme Self. Equip yourself with the four means. Hear the shrutis (scriptures), reflect, meditate and realise. May you become a sage!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

9 November

Abandon Body-Consciousness
The physical body appears only in the present. A thing which has neither past nor future must be considered as non-­existent in the present also. If you think over deeply, with pure intelligence, you will find atyanta abhava (complete non-­existence) for the world.
This body which is full of impurities, urine, pus and faecal matter etc., is perishable. It is like froth or bubble or mirage. It is despised by its enemies. It remains like a useless log of wood on the ground when prana (life) leaves it. It is the cause of pain and suffering. It is your enemy. You should treat this body with contempt, as dung. Why should you cling to it and worship it with scents, powders and flowers? Do not be silly and foolish in adorning it with fine silks and ornaments. It is dire ignorance only.
"Nothing on this earth belongs to me; this body is not mine" ­ this is wisdom. "He is my son; she is my daughter; she is my wife; that bungalow is mine; that garden is mine; I am a brahmana; I am lean; I am fat" ­ this is foolishness of a superior order. This physical body is the property of fishes, jackals and vultures. How can you call this yours?
Application of soap to the body, oil to the hair, powder to the face, looking in the mirror very often, wearing rings on the fingers ­ all these will intensify moha (attachment) for the body. Therefore give up these things ruthlessly.
Will your son or daughter or friend or relative help you when you are about to die? Have you got one sincere, unselfish friend in this world? All are selfish. There is no pure love. But that Lord, your real friend of friends, father of fathers, who dwells in your heart, will never forsake you though you forsake him. Adore in silence that God of gods, Divinity of divinities, Highest of the highest. May He bless us with His love, wisdom, power and peace. Om!
Narayana Upanishad says: "In the beginning these two roads were laid, the roads through karma (action) and sanyasa (renunciation). The latter consists in the renunciation of three­fold desire ­ of son, wealth and fame. Of these, the road through sanyasa is preferable." The Taittiriya Upanishad also says: "Renunciation, tyaga, is certainly to be preferred." 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

8 November

Real Dispassion
The world is as unreal as a shadow, bubble or froth. Why do you run after the toys of name and fame? How uncertain is sensual life in this illusory world! How transitory is sensual pleasure! Mark how many thousands of people were carried away in the recent earthquake! How many houses were destroyed! Yet people want to build seaside cottages and attain immortality there. How foolish they are! Self­-deluded souls! Pitiable is their lot! I pray for them. They are earthworms only, as they revel in filth. May God bestow on them vairagya (dispassion), viveka (wisdom) and bhakti (devotion).
The vairagya that comes momentarily after such incidents as the loss of some dearly beloved relative, or wealth, is known as karana vairagya. It will not help much in one's spiritual progress. The mind will be simply waiting to catch hold of the sensual objects when an opportunity comes.
Vairagya, born of discrimination, is the premonitory symptom of spiritual development. It will help the aspirant in his spiritual upliftment. If you develop vairagya, if you subdue your indriyas and shun the enjoyments and pleasures of this world ­ as dung, as poison, as they are mixed with pain, sin, fear, craving, miseries, disease, old age and death ­ nothing can tempt you in this world. You will have eternal peace and infinite bliss. You will have no attraction for women and other earthly objects. Lust cannot take hold of you.
The body is the source of great miseries. It is full of impurities. It brings disrespect, censure, etc. It is subject to diseases, decay and old age. It passes away without a moment's notice.
Give up moha (attachment) for the body. Think of the Atman (Self) which is eternal, pure and all-pervading. The things that used to afford you delight before, give you displeasure now. That is the sign of vairagya. The shadow of clouds, the friendship with a fool, the beauty of youth, wealth ­ all last only for a short time. Vairagya (dispassion, indifference, non­attachment) is of two kinds: karana vairagya on account of some miseries and viveka purvak vairagya on account of discrimination between real and unreal. The mind of the former type of man is simply waiting for the opportunity to get back the things that were given up. But the other man who gave up the objects on account of viveka will have spiritual advancement. He will not have a downfall.

Monday, November 6, 2017

7 November

Vairagya
There is a way to the immortal abode and supreme happiness. There is a way to the fourth dimension. That way is vairagya. Follow the way. Vairagya is dispassion, desirelessness or non­-attachment. It is indifference to sensual objects herein and hereafter. It is born of and sustained by right discrimination.
Vairagya is the opposite of attachment which binds a man to the wheel of births and deaths; vairagya liberates a man from bondage. Vairagya purifies the sensual mind and turns it inward. It is the most important qualification for a spiritual aspirant. Without it, no spiritual life is possible.
The two currents of the mind -­ attraction and repulsion -­ really constitute the world of births and deaths. A worldly man is a slave of these two mighty currents and is tossed about hither and thither like a piece of straw. He smiles when experiencing pleasure; he weeps when in pain. He clings to pleasant objects and runs away from those which cause pain.
Wherever there is sensation of pleasure, the mind gets glued, as it were, to the object that gives pleasure. This is what is called attachment and brings only bondage and pain. When the object is withdrawn, or when it perishes, the mind suffers unspeakable pain. Attraction is the root­-cause for human suffering.
A dispassionate man has a different training and has different experience altogether. He is a past-master in the art or science of separating himself from the impermanent, perishable objects. He has absolutely no attraction for them and constantly dwells in the eternal. He stands adamantine as a peak amidst a turbulent storm, as a spectator of this wonderful world­-show. A dispassionate man has no attraction for pleasant objects and no repulsion for painful ones. Nor is he afraid of pain. He knows well that pain helps considerably in his progress and evolution, in his journey towards the goal. He is convinced that pain is the best teacher.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

6 November

Be Firm in Wisdom
Viveka (wisdom) gives inner strength and mental peace. A viveki (wise one) gets no troubles. He is always on the alert. He never gets entangled in anything. He has far­sightedness. He knows the true value of the objects of this universe. He is fully aware of the worthlessness of these shallow toys. Nothing, nothing can tempt him. Maya (illusion) cannot approach him now.
Associations with mahatmas (holy ones) and study of vedantic literature will infuse viveka in man. Viveka should be developed to the maximum degree; one should be well established in it; viveka should not be an ephemeral or occasional mood in an aspirant. It should not fail him when he is in trouble, when any difficulty stares him in the face. It must indeed become part and parcel of his nature. He should exercise it at all times without any effort. If one is careless in the beginning, viveka may come and go. So the aspirant should live in the company of sages for a long time till viveka burns in him like a big steady flame.
Maya is very powerful. She tries her extreme level best to lead the aspirant astray. She throws many temptations and obstacles on the path of young inexperienced aspirants. Therefore the company of sages and mahatmas is like an impenetrable fortress for the neophyte. Now no temptations can assail him. He will undoubtedly develop true and lasting viveka. He will then have permanent and spontaneous viveka.
Then only he is truly and perfectly safe. The dangerous zone is past. Only a true viveki can claim to be the richest, happiest and most powerful man in the world. He is a rare spiritual gem. He is a beacon­light and torch­bearer. If viveka is developed, all other qualifications will come by themselves. From viveka is born vairagya (dispassion).
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Discrimination is the faculty which distinguishes between the real and the unreal. The whole world outside and the universe that is inside, are unreal. Earth, water, wind, fire, the sky, the ocean, our bodies and the vital force animating them, our minds, our consciousness of ourselves ­ all are but airy nothingness. The only real thing is the Atman (Self) or Brahman, the Absolute.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

5 November

Meditate on These for Wisdom
The aspirant should separate himself also from the sad­urmis (six waves in the ocean of samsara (worldly life), viz., birth and death, hunger and thirst, exhilaration and grief). Birth and death belong to the physical body; hunger and thirst belong to the prana (life); exhilaration and grief are the attributes of the mind. The soul is unattached. The six waves cannot touch the Atman (Self) which is subtle like the all­-pervading ether. He should also separate himself from the indriyas (senses). He should not take upon himself the functions of the indriyas. He should stand as a spectator and witness of the activities of the mind, prana and the indriyas. The indriyas and the mind are like iron pieces in contact with a magnet. They function by borrowing the light and power from the source the eternal Atman.
Meditation on the following slokas (verses) of the Gita and on the special formulae of Sri Shankara will pave a way in the development of your viveka (wisdom) and in separating yourself from the illusory vehicles, viz. indriyas prana, mind and the five sheaths.
The formulae of Sri Shankaracharya are, "Brahman (the eternal) alone is truth ­ this world is unreal; the jiva (soul) is identical with Brahman". The Gita says, "The unreal hath no being; the real never ceaseth to be; the truth about both hath been perceived by the seers of the essence of things." (Chapter II ­ Verse 16). Reflection on this sloka will infuse viveka.
"I do not do anything" ­ so should the harmonised one think, who knoweth the essence of things. Seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, moving, sleeping, breathing, speaking, giving, grasping, opening and closing the eyes, he knows that the senses move among the objects of the senses." (Chapter V ­ Verses 8, 9). You can separate yourself from the indriyas by meditating upon the meaning of these slokas.
"All actions are wrought by the qualities of nature only. The self, deluded by egoism, thinketh, 'I am the doer'. But he, who knoweth the essence of the divisions of the qualities and functions holding that 'the qualities' move amid the qualities, is not attached." By meditating upon these two slokas you can separate yourself from the three gunas (qualities of nature). "He who seeth that prakrti (nature) verily performeth all actions and that the Self is actionless, he seeth." (Chapter XIII ­ Verse 2).

Friday, November 3, 2017

4 November

Viveka
Viveka is discrimination between the real and the unreal, permanent and impermanent, Self and the not­-Self. Viveka dawns in a man on account of the grace of God. The grace can come only when one has done incessant selfless service in countless births with the feeling of Ishvararpana (offering unto God). The door of the higher mind is flung open when there is awakening of discrimination. There is an unchanging permanent principle amidst the ever-changing phenomena of the universe and the fleeting movements and oscillation of mind.
The five sheaths are floating in the universal consciousness like straw on water. The five changing koshas (sheaths) are mixed up with the eternal Atman (Self). There is childhood, boyhood, adolescence and old age for this physical body. But there is an unchanging background for this ever-changing body and mind, like the blackboard or screen in a cinema which manifests various forms and figures. The witness or the silent spectator of these changes of the body and mind is permanent and unchanging. He is like the all-pervading space. He pervades, permeates and interpenetrates all these changing forms like the thread in a garland of flowers. This eternal essence of Atman is present everywhere and in everything ­ atoms, electrons, mustard, nay in ants and mountains. He dwells in the chambers of your own heart. He is the soul of this tree, stone, flower, goat, dog, cat, man, saint or devata (God). He is the common property of all, be he a saint or a sinner, a king or a peasant, a beggar or a baron, a scavenger or a cobbler. He is the very source for life and thought.
The aspirant should learn to discriminate between the eternal and unchanging substratum of all objects and the ever-changing names and forms. He should seriously engage himself at all times to separate the eternal unchanging self. He should try to separate himself from the changing, impermanent five sheaths, from the passions, emotions, feelings, thoughts, sentiments, nay from the oscillating mind itself. He should distinguish between the mind and the witness who moves and illumines the mind, between ordinary sensation, feelings and sentiments and perfect awareness of pure consciousness which remains unaffected and unattached, between personality and individuality. He must also separate himself from the adventitious false superimpositions of the body, viz., position, rank, avocation, birth, caste, stage, and order of life. These are all accidental appendages of the false personality.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

3 November

Time is a Trick
Time is the mode of the mind. It is a mental creation. Time is a trick of the mind. It is an illusion. Brahman is beyond time. It is eternity. Go beyond time and rest in the timeless, eternal, imperishable Brahman.
'Up and down', 'within and without', 'high and low', 'big and small', 'thin and stout', 'virtue and vice', 'good and bad', 'pleasure and pain', 'here and there', are all relative terms. They are mental creations only. Up will become down and down will become up. This stick is small when compared to that big stick, but that big stick will become small when compared with an even bigger stick! Within will become without and without will become within.
What is good at one time is bad at another time. What is good for one man is bad for another man. What is dharma for one is adharma for another and, what is dharma at one time is not dharma at another time.
Brahman is neither thin nor stout, neither big nor small. In Brahman there is neither within nor without, neither virtue nor vice, neither pleasure nor pain, good nor bad. It is a homogeneous essence of bliss and knowledge where there is no play of the mind, neither time nor space, east nor west, past nor future, Thursday nor Friday.
Tomorrow becomes today and today becomes yesterday. Future becomes present and present becomes the past. What is all this? This is a creation or trick of the mind only. In God, everything is in the present only; it is here only.
There is neither night nor day, yesterday nor tomorrow in the sun. It is the mind that has created time and space. When you are happy, time passes quickly. When you are unhappy, time hangs heavily. All this is only a relative world.
- - -
Life is not a question of creeds but of deeds well done. No life is free from difficulties ­ it is a series of conflicts. Face them boldly through the grace of the Lord and the power of his name. Change is the law of life. Truth is the law of life. Love is the fulfilling of the law of life. Death is the gate to another life. Life is endless.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

2 November

Satchidananda
Brahman is satchidananda. Sat is truth -­ that which exists in the past, the present and the future -­ which has no beginning, middle or end ­ which is self­-existent, self­-created ­ which never changes. In truth the world abides, from the truth the world comes forth and in truth the world dissolves. Truth is the only substance that underlies and pervades this world of beings. Truth is, and gives immortality and fearlessness.
Chit is self-knowledge. There are no indriyas (senses) in chit. It is self­-luminous and imparts light to the mind, intellect, senses and the skin of the body, the sun, moon, stars, fire, lightning and all objects.
Ananda is bliss itself. There is no enjoyer in ananda. It is enjoyment itself.
When you are in the company of women, say: "There is satchidananda Atman in all these names and forms. Names and forms are false. They have no independent existence. Their support is the one satchidananda Atman." Lust will vanish; sex ideas will disappear. Practise, feel and realise this truth. One grain of practice is better than a ton of theory. Practice is better than precept.
The snake in the rope vanishes when you bring a lamp. So also the illusion of the body and the world disappears with the advent of the sun of wisdom. All fears, miseries, and troubles melt away. You have regained your original pristine glory.
- - -
Pure consciousness is Brahman or the Absolute ­ it is always the witnessing subject. It can never become the object of perception ­ it is always the knower. Mind can only know the external objects. How can mind, effect, know the cause, Brahman? How can the finite know the infinite? How can mind know the knower? You cannot jump on your shoulders. Fire cannot burn itself. If Atman becomes the object of perception, it will become a finite object. The denier of the pure consciousness does always exist (sat) ­ he is just like the man who denies or doubts his tongue when he is talking. This proves Brahman always exists. Existence is pure consciousness (chit). Pure consciousness is also immortal bliss (ananda).

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

1 November

Self-Realisation
There is no other duty for man except meditation on the self. Dismissing all else, one should establish oneself in the Self. There remains nothing to be done or attained when the Self is experienced. For, that Brahman the immortal is before, behind, to the right and to the left and stretched forth above and below.
Brahman is all this. The real alone is an enduring being, and this real is experienced through meditation coupled with knowledge. Whatever a man of purified mind makes clear in his mind, and whatever desires he desires, that he gets and that he fulfils. One should therefore have pure and perfect resolves. 
The Supreme Self is experienced in the fourth state of consciousness. It is neither this nor that ­ it has no quality in particular, and yet it is everything. It is peaceful, blessed and non-dual. It is the cessation of all phenomena. It is the Atman that should be known and realised. That is the purpose of life. The liberated sage experiences that he is everything ­ the tree, the mountain, the sun. He is the food and the eater of the food. He is the knower, the knowledge and the known, in one. He is the whole universe in himself.
Bliss is the ultimate nature of reality ­ from bliss all this comes forth. All the bliss of the world is only a shadow of Self-­bliss. The Self is the source of all bliss ­ it is everything ­ all knowledge and all bliss. All this is based on consciousness and is guided by consciousness. Consciousness is Brahman. I am Brahman. That thou art. This Self is Brahman. Only the infinite is bliss. There, one sees nothing else, hears nothing else, understands nothing else. That is the infinite fullness.
The Self is an ocean without a shore and a surface. It is merely existence, consciousness and bliss. When there is duality one can speak to the other, but when everything is but one's own Self, then who can speak to whom? Who can see whom?
- - -
Atman is pure consciousness ­ it is the unchanging witness. It is realised within your heart as existence, knowledge, bliss absolute. Realise this Atman within the temple of your own heart and enjoy immortal bliss.

Monday, October 30, 2017

31 October

Atman
The Atman (Self) is most ancient, hard to perceive and abides secretly in the innermost cave of the heart or intellect. This Atman or supreme soul fills all with his radiance. This Atman is incorporeal, pure, invulnerable. He is untouched by evil. The Atman is the supreme seer and thinker, immanent and transcendental. This Atman is the immortal spirit, the common, unifying entity present in all. You live, because the supreme Atman is. You understand, because the Atman is intelligence. You enjoy, because the Atman is bliss.
Atman is the reality itself - it is of the nature of pure consciousness. It is undifferentiated, pure awareness and pure experience. Atman is secondless; it alone is; all else which appears to be is not. Atman is the one which appears divided; the changeless as full of change; the timeless as temporal; the infinite as extended and fragmented in space.
Atman is one. It is the root, the reality itself. Atman is pure consciousness, calm and infinite like the waveless ocean. That Atman which is impersonal, changeless, like unto space, by nature purity itself - verily, verily, that am I. The one who is the eternal, the Atman, exists. He is all in all. This Atman is so mysterious that it cannot easily be grasped. This Atman can easily be grasped when the science of the Self (brahma-vidya) is taught by a guru who has attained Self-realisation.
This Atman is subtler than the subtlest and so is not attained by arguments. Like butter hidden in milk, this mysterious Atman is hidden in every being. Realise this Atman by the churning of meditation. The Atman is unborn, ageless, immortal, deathless and fearless. He who knows this Atman becomes Brahman, the fearless.
Atman is Brahman - absolute, infinite, the Supreme Being. It is existence-absolute, knowledge-absolute, bliss-absolute. It is self-delight and self-knowledge. It is bodiless, formless and without gunas, all-pervading, all-full, imperishable. It has neither beginning nor end. It exists in past, present and future. It is self-existent, the source for body, mind, senses, prana, the vedas and the universe itself. No one can deny it; it is the inner Self of all beings.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

30 October

Brahman
Whatever has a beginning or an end is unreal. That which exists in the past, the present and the future is real. Only Brahman exists in these three periods of time. Hence Brahman alone is real. The reality underlying all names and forms, the primal one from which everything originates is Brahman, the Absolute. Brahman is the soul of all joy, all bliss. Brahman transcends phenomena. Production and destruction are only phenomena, the jugglery of the mind or maya (illusion).
Brahman is infinite, eternal, immortal. Infinity is one ­- only that which is unchanging, indivisible, non­dual, beginningless, endless, timeless, spaceless, causeless, can be infinite. There can be no parts, no differences, no distinctions in Brahman.
Brahman is self-­luminous, self­-existent, self­-contained, self­-established, self-­revealed. Brahman illumines itself by itself; by its nature it is ever illumined. Individual souls and the world are unreal ­ nothing save Brahman is eternal.
Immortality, knowledge, bliss purity, independence, perfection, etc., constitute the very nature of Brahman. He resides in your heart. He witnesses the activity of the buddhi (intellect). Word, speech, mouth, may not approach Brahman. Mind also cannot go there. Supreme Brahman is impersonal, formless, all­-pervading and subtle ­ but He can be reached through meditation, through the eye of intuition, by one who has purified himself and who is endowed with the four means of salvation.
God cannot be seen with the physical eyes ­ but He reveals himself to His devotees. He is one though called by countless names. Realise the reality of the one existence, the one life that throbs in all atoms, in all beings ­ the one power that creates, sustains and dissolves this universe.
When the heart of the devotee is united in the Lord, no difference between them remains.
- - -
Before saturating the mind with thoughts of Brahman you will have to assimilate divine ideas first.
Remember this triplet always: 
   Assimilation ­ Saturation ­ Realisation.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

29 October

Brahman and Maya
Like the pot and clay, waves and the sea, ornaments of silver and gold, the universe is non-different from Brahman. The cause does not lose its being by appearing as the effect. The world is not an illusion, but it is non­-different from Brahman. Like heat is inseparable from fire and identical with it, so the universe which is of the nature of Brahman is identical with it.
The world is dependent on Brahman and independently the world is nothing. The play of chit (consciousness) alone shines as this universe. The universe was, is and always will be. There is no beginning or end to creation.
Behind the impermanent material world there is the invisible source of all things, pure, unchanging spirit or Atman. In the presence of God, maya (illusion) creates the world, even as in the presence of the superior officer, the subordinates do their work. Just as a carpenter cannot work without the instruments, and the instruments themselves also cannot do any work without the carpenter, so also, Ishvara (God) cannot create the world without maya, nor can maya create the world without Ishvara.
This world is an overflow of the love of God. This is the view of a bhakta (devotee). This world is an overflow of the bliss of Brahman. This is the view of a vedantin or sage. Love and bliss are one; God and Brahman are one. This world is nothing but the expression of God's love for Himself. This world is an expression or manifestation of God. It is the outcome of the spontaneous play of love and joy. God expands Himself and manifests as the world.
Atmic sankalpa (the will of the self) makes this universe shine and constitutes it. Every object is surcharged with divine significance. Everything in this world has got a spiritual message to convey. Learn from everything. All is Brahman. When this truth is intellectually recognised and intuitively realised, then all feelings of differences end forever.

Friday, October 27, 2017

28 October

Am I The 'I'?
You say, "This is my body" ­ this indicates that you are different from the body and the body is your instrument. You are holding it just as you hold a walking stick in your hand.
In sleep you exist independent of the walking stick in your hand (body). In dreams you operate through the astral body without having any concern for the fleshy body. Through ignorance you have identified yourself with the physical body and mistaken it for the real 'I' which is ever­-pure, all­-pervading, self­-existent, self-­luminous and self­-contained, which has neither beginning nor end, which is changeless, beyond time, space and causation, and which exists in the past the present and the future.
Prana (vital force) is not 'I'. It is the effect of rajas (energy). It is inert. It cannot welcome a man while you are asleep, though it is flowing. It increases and decreases. You say, "My prana" ­ this shows you are different from prana. It is your instrument only. You can control the breath by pranayama. The controller is different from the controlled (prana). Prana is not 'I'.
Mind also is not 'I'. It gropes in darkness. It borrows light from a higher power. It gets puzzled and confused. During shock and fear it becomes insentient. It is the effect of satva. It is your instrument. You say, "my mind" ­ therefore mind is different from 'I'. It is full of changing ideas. It has a beginning and an end. You can control the mind and the thoughts ­ the controller is different from the controlled (mind). It is as much your property, and outside of you, as your limbs etc., or dress, chair, etc.  In sleep there is no mind, yet you wake up with a feeling of continuity of consciousness. There is no mind in delirium or coma, yet 'I' remains. Mind is a bundle of thoughts and all thoughts are centred around the false egoistic little 'I'. The root thought of all these thoughts is the 'I' that is full of vanities.
Talking of myself, I always speak of 'I'. The sheaths in which I am happy, old, black, a sanyasi (monk), etc., are incidents in the continuity of the 'I'. They are ever changing and varying but the 'I' remains the same -­ unchanging amid the changing.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

27 October

Body is Not 'I'
This is a world of diversity. Intellects are different; faces are different; sounds are different; religions are different; faiths are different. Colours are different; faculties are different tastes and temperaments are different. But one thing is common to all ­ every one of us wants nitya sukha (eternal happiness), infinite knowledge, immortality, independence and freedom. These things can be attained by knowledge of the Self alone.
Everybody wants happiness that is not mixed with sorrow and pain, but he does not know where he can get this supreme bliss. The best means to acquire this knowledge is by the enquiry, "Who am I?". This has the potentiality of producing the quiescence of mind which will enable it to wade through this ocean of samsara (cycle of birth and death). It demands a sharp, subtle, pure intellect, bold understanding and gigantic will. The commonplace 'I' that everyone is glibly talking about and relishing acutely every moment of his life, from the babbling baby to the garrulous old man, must be clearly understood.
The physical body is not the 'I', it is the product of food ­ it lives on food and dies without food. It is a bundle of skin, flesh, fat, bones, marrow, blood and a lot of other filthy things. It does not exist before birth or after death. It lasts for a short intervening period. It is transient. It undergoes changes such as childhood, youth and old age. It has six changes ­ existence, birth, growth, modification, decay and death. It is not of one homogeneous essence; it is manifold, insentient, inert. It is an object of perception, like a chair or a table. You continue to live even when hands and legs have gone.
How can the body be the self­-existent, eternally pure Atman, the knower, the silent witness of the changes that take place in the body and in all things, the inner ruler of all?
- - -
You have learned that body and mind are not 'I'.
You have learned that prana is not 'I'.
The world is unreal, this thou hast understood.
Thou hast understood that Brahman alone is real.
Now meditate on the formula 'I am Brahman' 
Lose thyself, unite with him.
Rest there peacefully, joyfully.      
This is the proper place, the abode of the pure.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

26 October

Ignorance
The mind is a creation of avidya! (ignorance) and it is the effect of avidya. The mind is filled with delusion ­ this is why it tempts you and makes you go astray. If you can destroy the cause of the mind by getting knowledge of the Supreme Self, the mind is nowhere; it dwindles into an airy nothing.
The whole experience of duality, made up of perceiver and perceived, is pure imagination. There is no ignorance apart from the mind. On the destruction of the mind, all is destroyed. The mind's activity is the cause of all appearance. On account of illusion you think that the outside objects are separate from you and real.
As long as there is mind there are all these distinctions ­- big and small, high and low, superior and inferior, good and bad, etc. -­ but the highest truth is that there is no relativity. If you can transcend the mind by constant and profound meditation on Atman you will be able to attain a state beyond the pairs of opposites wherein lies supreme peace and highest knowledge.
The first thought is the 'I-­thought'. As this 'I-thought' is the base of all other thoughts, egoism is the seed for the mind. The idea of 'I' brings in its train the idea of time, space and other potencies. With these environments, the name 'jiva' (soul) accrues to it. And contemporaneously with it there arise buddhi (intellect), memory and manas (mind) which is the seed of the tree of desire.
You cannot realise God if you have the slightest trace of egoism, or attachment to name and form, or the least tinge of worldly desire in the mind. Try to minimise egoism little by little. Root it out by self­-sacrifice, by karma yoga, by self­-surrender, or by vedantic self­-enquiry. Whenever egoism asserts itself, raise the question within yourself: "What is the source of this little 'I'?" Again and again ask this question and, as you remove layer after layer, the onion dwindles to nothing. Analyse the little 'I' and it becomes a non­-entity.
- - -
The ego is the Lord for whose entertainment the dance is performed and the objects of the senses are his companions. The intellect is the dancing girl and the senses are the persons who play on the instruments which accompany the dance. The sakshi (witnessing soul) is the lamp which illumines the scene. Just as the lamp, without moving from its place, furnishes light to all parts ­ so too, the sakshi from its unchangeable position illumines everything situated inside or outside.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

25 October

World is the Body of God
The universe is a mirror in which is reflected the being and beauty of God. God's universe is ruled by his eternal laws. In the East, the law of cause and effect is called the law of karma. In the New Testament it is expressed in the words: "Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap." What is written is written and no man can change the eternal plan. That which is decreed by God's will occurs on this earth. There is system, method, order, regularity everywhere in this universe because the universe is, ultimately governed by God.
This world is the body of the Lord. This world, though it really is not, appears to be. Know that it is nothing but a reflection. When you know the rope, the snake-­knowledge disappears. Even so, the world does not really exist and yet appears to be existing through ignorance. It disappears with the knowledge of the Atman on which the illusion of the world is superimposed. In Brahman or the Absolute, this world shines falsely, owing to ignorance. It is not true, even as dreams under the influence of sleep. It is because of illusory superimposition on the part of the individual that the empirical names and forms appear to be real. When, by the power of meditation, the effect (world) is negated as unreal, the cause (Brahman) also ceases to be a cause. The certitude or conviction that the universe is not the supreme Brahman is itself avidya (ignorance). Hence the certitude that, "The universe is Brahman alone", is emancipation.
The world is a spirit manifested in space and time. When you look at the Absolute, through the senses, it appears as the universe. The puryastaka (body) is composed of the eight ­ that is mind, egoism, intellect and the five objects of the senses (sound, sight etc.). All these, composed of the five elements, are appearances only. So also is time through right discrimination. In this mortal world, everything perishes, but the ideas and the ideals do not perish. Ideas are more enduring than objects, which are perishable, but Atman, the immortal soul endures forever. Just as the universe appears dark to the blind, and shining to those who have eyes to see, so it appears blissful to the sages and painful to the ignorant.

Monday, October 23, 2017

24 October

Maya
There is no duality in reality. All modification is illusory; multiplicity is an illusion.
Maya (the illusory power of the Lord) projects multiplicity. Maya creates division ­ division between the individual soul and the supreme soul.
Maya is a tremendous, delusive power of God. Maya is the material stuff of this world. Maya is the source of the physical universe. This world of names and forms is a false show kept up by the jugglery of maya. Just as a stick burning at one end, when waved round quickly, produces an illusion of a circle of fire, so is it with the multiplicity of the world. Maya deludes us. Maya creates havoc in the mind. The things that we perceive all round us are only mind in form or substance. The world is a product of the mind. The whole World is an expansion of the mind. The entire universe arises and exists in the mind. Nothing of the world is outside the mind. Earth, mountains and rivers ­ all are fragments of the mind, appearing as it were, to exist outside. The world does not exist by itself. It is not seen without the aid of the mind. It disappears when the mind ceases to function, as in deep sleep.
It is imagination alone that assumes the forms of time, space and motion. Space and time have no independent status apart from Brahman or the self, which is pure awareness. There is no space without time, and there is no time without space. Space and time go together. Space and time are interdependent. They are both unreal. Time and space are mental projections, as unreal as dreams. However real they may seem to be, they are not ultimately real. Timeless, spaceless Brahman is the only reality.
Brahman alone is. It is Brahman alone that shines as the world of variegated objects, like water differentiated by the waves into many kinds of foam, bubbles, etc. Brahman appears as the world when cognised through the mind and the senses.
- - -
Maya conceals the truth and presents an error ­ it veils the reality and shows the world. Mistaking the body for Atman or the Self is called maya. Maya screens the knowledge of Atman and therefore man mistakes one for the other. This is the cause of bondage ­ we have the erroneous consciousness that we are objective beings, that our actions are objective expressions projected in time and space.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

23 October

Words of Wisdom
One's individual ego, preconceived notions, pet ideas prejudices and selfish interests should be given up. All these stand in the way of spiritual progress. Lord's grace begins to work only when you learn to discipline yourself, subordinate your selfishness and surrender fully to Him.
Why dost thou try to find thy God in deities and temples when thou has kept thy visible gods standing outside, hungry and naked? Regarding Him as manifest everywhere thou shouldst serve all creatures with intense bhava if thou wishest to attain the highest perfection. Indeed, thy love towards the Lord should engender love for the whole universe ­ for thou must see Him in all.
Kindle the light of love in thy heart for love is the immediate way to the kingdom of God, the vast domain of perennial peace and joy. Where there is love there is peace. Where there is peace there is love. Life and death are the two scenes in the drama of life. All is passing; all is sorrow; all is pain; all is unreal.
This world is merely a play of colours and sounds. Hence, O man, seek the permanent, the all-­blissful, the real, which is ever­-shining in the chambers of thy heart, which is self­-luminous, infinite, unchanging and eternal. Moksha (liberation) means nothing but the destruction of the impurities of the mind. The mind becomes pure when all desires and fears are annihilated. Lead the divine life. Light the lamp of divine life everywhere.
Thy aim should be to maintain an unshakeable sweetness of disposition, to be pure and gentle and to be happy in all circumstances. To be always conscious of the divine, always to feel the divine presence, to live always in the awareness of the supreme being in the chambers of your heart and everywhere around you is verily to live a life of fullness and divine perfection, even whilst on earth.
- - -
This body is a lamp. The heart is the wick. The oil is your love for the Lord. You can build a temple in your heart by the absence of anger, by the practice of humility, compassion, forgiveness, faith, devotion, meditation, prayer and recitation of the Lord's name.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

22 October

The Sadhana That Hardens
(A letter was on Siva's table: a great European yogi had written to Siva requesting him to invite him to India. This was needed to obtain a passport.)
What a big show of themselves do these so­-called saints make. Flying from this country to that country: everywhere they go, parties, receptions and farewell parties, again. It is not?
Some of them should be received with a unique honour. Instead of flags and festoons adorning the reception entrance, people should hang old shoes and broomsticks.
We should not wait for the thing to happen actually. We should train ourselves. I have done so. I have beaten myself with shoes severely. This I used to do especially on birthdays ­ just after returning to my kutir after the meetings where people will praise me, glorify me, deify me, I will go into my kutir and beat myself nicely with a pair of shoes: "What are you? You wretched flesh­-blood­-excreta made body? Do you want garlands? Can you not wear torn clothes? Do you think that you are great? Do you want to be prostrated to? Now, take these garlands."
Suka Deva was tested by Janaka like this. He was a great jnani. When he went to Janaka for instruction, he was made to wait outside the palace uncared for, without food, without shelter and without any honour. Then he was attended upon by the ladies of the court and the Maharanis. In these ways Janaka tested Suka Deva's tranquility of mind. Suka was above all these things. He had preserved his equanimity all through. Such should be a sadhaka.
I have heard this said of St. Francis of Assisi also. He used to call his body 'Mr. Ass'. What a tremendous vairagya they all had.
Even this occasional shoe­-beating is not enough for me. I should give this body a dose of this hardening-medicine at least once a week.