The Buddha was delivering a discourse, which was attended by the wisest of the wise monks and nuns. He said that he had taught the dharma using skillful means in order that the beings of the world might overcome attachment. Continue reading
In Hinduism what does the snake signify? The snake represents ahamkara (ego). What happens when we prod a snake, it spreads its hood and attempts to attack us. Similarly, our ego is also affronted when someone is rude to us or says something unpleasant to us. Continue reading
What happens when we have a Guru? S/He creates a situation, where one is free to confront the different aspects of life. If one can go through these phases, then the sun will continue to shine on one. The Guru creates a net of maya (illusions). Continue reading
We idolize our mentors and think of them as God. They are human and have come in the form of man. I had a conversation with Rishi Sukadev and he pointed out to me that even a murderer had a soul and there was goodness within him. I had said that I could never talk to a murderer or a rapist. After he said this, I thought deeply about it. Continue reading
“At all times, in all conditions, in all places, with all one’s heart, in perfect devotion, let the Lord be worshipped quietly, serenely, and with a composed mind by those who have given up all worries and anxieties”. Bhakti Sutra, (VIII, 2:79) Continue reading
…as described in Devi Gita.
The Goddess explains the first kind of vedic worship to her devotees. Continue reading
How do we become capable of love? Osho explains it very beautifully. Love is spontaneous. It cannot be controlled. We cannot make love; we cannot do anything about it. And the more we do, the more we will miss it. We have to allow it to happen. We are not needed for it. We cannot absent ourselves and therefore, we have become incapable of love. Continue reading
What is superimposition?
How do you discriminate between your true self and what you belief to be your self. Learn the vedic method of ‘Neti-Neti’. Don’t identify with your body. Why did Arjuna choose Krishna instead of getting a big army in the battle? Arjuna struggels when he sees who he is supposed to fight against. He gets unhappy, doesn’t want to fight. This is our situation: We are unhappy and are searching a fundamental method to get happy in life. Perception from senses is unreal. We need to restrain our senses, to see the reality. Pot-clay comparison. What changes, doesn’t exist. The ‘I’ doesn’t change, everthing that changes – emotions, personality, job – are names and forms. They appear to be real. But names and forms aren’t real. All we know is a product of a word and an appearance. They are passing. They don’t exist. You are unaffected by everything in this dream. All ideas are in your mind, just like in the dream. The only reality in the dream is the consciousness that we call ‘I’. Here is only consciousness, not mine, not you. Consciousness can’t be heard, touched. But it is self-illuminate. You know it exists. You’ll become more tolerant and less pulled by thoughts and objects. Listen to the sprinkling talk of Chandra Cohen for beginners. With humour and convincing arguments.
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In the satsang we create a sattvic atmosphere that makes it easier
to focus on the knowledge. It is important to keep the knowledge
active when the mind is rajasic or tamasic. When the values are
assimilated the mind stays sattvic and the knowledge stays active.
A change in your lifestyle may be necessary to make the mind
sattvic enough. Deliberate thinking is observing the mind, step
back and think about it before you act. If necessary pause, collect
your thoughts, you can edit your thoughts as they come up. Pay
attention that the information is appropriate, kind, timely and
credible. Impulsive thinking has the need to react immediately. 11.
Dispassion towards sense objects, for example music, food, sex. No
obsession, except obsession for Vedanta. Assimilating these values,
starting with an intellectual understanding brings you a lot of
experiential and emotional satisfaction. 12. Renunciation and
Austerity. Eagerness to get rid of things and to live simply. Do not
accumulate stuff. 13. Absence of egoism. It’s about a simple
recognition about the difference between my (real) Self and the ego
(reflected self). Sadhana: Whenever you say the ‘I’ in the day-to-day
activities ask yourself which ‘I’ is meant. This helps to
discriminate. Keep track of your speech. Keep a short leash on your
ego and let it walk in front of you. 14. Appreciation of time. Don’t
waste time and go on with self-inquiry. 15. Absence of ownership. Is
it your body or your children? Everything comes from isvara.
Sadhana: Pay attention to the word ‘mine’. 16. Absence of
excessive attachment to loved ones. Serve the people in your field
with love but don’t get excessively attached. 17. Sameness of mind
under all circumstances. Cultivate the value of a quiet mind and for
sattva. Read the book Yoga of the three energies. Importance of
the management of the gunas. You can remove most of the
physical pain with guna management. Most of the daily pains are
caused by blocked prana or tamasic energy. 18. Non-dual devotion
to God. 19. Love of solitude. You can hear the silence speaking.
Gradually work to it if you have a busy life. 20. Absence of craving
for company. People can be in your life but you should have no
need for it. 21. Constant practice of self-knowledge. 22. Value for
completing or resolving things. Too much agitation prevents you
from finishing projects and brings to starting new ones. Karma yoga
reduces your karmic load. The degree to what you reduce your
karmic load is the degree to what your mind is peaceful. Tamasic
people don’t want to complete things. Rajasic people want to
complete things but they are too busy to do the completion.
Consequence is that they are always agitated. 23. Precaution,
deliberation and restraint. Think ahead and make a plan before you
judge. Value for holding back. Rajasic people want to do things
immediately. If you can’t hold on you find yourself doing a lot of
things you don’t have to do. 65. Offering all activities to the Lord,
one should direct negative feelings – desire, anger and pride – to
Him. 66. Transcending the gunas, the devotee should act only out
of pure love of God and remain perpetually in the relationship of a
servant to his master or a lover serving her beloved. 67. Among the
Lord’s devotees, the greatest are those who are dedicated solely as
intimate servants. Sakhya bhava and further bhavas. Secret love
affair with God behind the back of your husband. What is your
dominant way to express your love? Love with understanding is
better than only emotional love, for example sakhya bhava. 68.
Conversing among one another with throats choked, hair
standing on end and tears flowing, the Lord’s intimate servants
purify their own followers and the whole world. 69-83. 84. Anyone
who has faith in these auspicious teachings will attain non-dual
devotion. Indeed he or she will attain unconditional love.
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These values are qualifications for moksha. When you are
spiritually stuck it’s probably because one or more spiritual values
are only partially assimilated. When you are not up to the mark,
pick a value and work on it for 1-2 months. It’s a constant practice.
When you find a consistent pattern of frustration, anger or
depression there is some value that needs work. Apply the opposite
value. If you are a selfish person then learn how to be generous.
Value management is extremely important. 8. Jealousy and Envy:
Rajas is the problem. Don’t compare yourself to others. If you don’t
know who you are the bad values are obstacles and the good
values are helpful. Pay attention with comparisons that make you
feel inferior. Nobody is trying to make you feel inferior. You have to
make yourself feel inferior or superior. Comparison leads to
competition and competition leads to violence, anger and
sometimes destruction. Jealousy and Envy are transformed anger
and they usually lead to depression. You are never jealous of a
whole person only of an aspect. In other words, jealousy is a
projection that masks an insufficient appreciation of my own nature
and the abundance of good qualities that spring from it. A self-realized
person is never jealous, because she is mindful of her
fullness. The Bible’s statement that God is “a jealous God” means
that when you know God you cannot love anything else. Shiva
means what is always good at any place and time, that’s me the
self. Ask yourself: ‘Why do I feel guilty?’. Without following dharma you
won’t get enlightened. When I feel jealousy I should apply the
opposite thought. If you realise that you are greedy try to be
generous. Give 5 or 10 Euros to a beggar. When you break one of
isvaras rules you should feel guilty. 9. A consistent effort to achieve
a stated goal is required for self-knowledge because self-knowledge
is not partial knowledge like worldly disciplines. Tapas with
steadiness and devotion over a long period of time is necessary for
self-realization. As the gunas are constantly changing the tapas
should take guna management into account. 10. Mastery of mind:
4 types of thinking. Impulsive, mechanical, deliberate thinking and
spontaneous thinking. Idea of instant gratification is a problem.
Fast food: I want my food immediately. The mantra of impulsive
people is: If it feels good do it. Better mantra: if it feels good think
about it before you do it. You are bored to death doing and thinking
the same things. Then you need entertainment, for example
different food every day: You live to eat. If your mind is mechanical
or impulsive it is not under your control. Convert these types of
thinking to deliberate thinking with the help of Vedanta. Applying
the opposite thought or always thinking from a non-dual
perspective. Intuition is normally impulsive thinking. Learn to think
like god from a perspective of love. Learn to think useful thoughts
and avoid useless thoughts. Channeling. Value of visions. Meaning
of angels and demons. Being separated from god is painful.
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1. Pride, Vanity, Conceit, Self-Glorification: Any form of hurt is due
to pride, an inflated ego, one that is excessively attached to what
it thinks it knows, believes, possesses or how it looks. When you
expect other people to make you feel good you are going to be
hurt because they do those things that make them feel good.
Often they waste time and energy trying to save face or plotting
revenge. Solution to these problems is inquiry into isvara. Where
did your special qualities come from. 2. Pretension, Affectation:
Claiming something that has no basis in fact. Creating fake
identies brings a lot of stress. Problem of judging your value in
comparison to other people. 3. Non-Injury: Mutual expectation of
non injury. It may be injury if vegetarians hurt the feelings of non
vegetarians. A bad thought doesn’t go to the other person. It stays
in your mind and hurts yourself. You should think the opposite
thought. Think before you speak or act. Only help people when
they ask you for help. 4. Accommodation, Commodiousness:
Making room for people in your life, being not too busy to pay
attention to other people. People want to be heard. At least you
can spend enough time to find out what others want from you.
Accomodation to the needs of others is a sign for a sense of nonduality.
If you are aiming for sainthood, non-injury and
accommodation are the minimum requirements. Wisdom and
scriptural knowledge are not necessary, only these values. 5.
Straightforwardness, Truthfulness. Your actions should be in line
with your thoughts. Diplomacy and manners are helpful to
communicate unpleasant information successfully. 6. Service to
the Teacher. By keeping your mind on the Self, doing your karma
yoga. The teacher has nothing to gain. Teacher wants to share the
love of god with you. 7. Cleanliness: Outer cleanliness. A mind with
no secrets. Transparency. Being natural. The bad stuff was given
to you by isvara too. It is not your fault. When you acknowledge
your vulnerability and your selfishness you are over it.
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The supreme person. Experiencing or being the self? Two orders of reality. You are never not experiencing yourself. Duality and Non-duality are not opposites. You can be and experience yourself at the same time. It is not necessary to get rid of the ego to become the self. Parinama, substance, name and form. Not two. The self is no object but it is always present and always experienced. Unfortunately it is not always known. Claiming the self as your primary identity. Your identy as a person doesn’t go away. Dvaita bhakti is an intelligent use of my free will. Samsara problem is: transacting with something other than you. Vedanta solves the problem of experience and knowledge. The knowledge gives you the permanent appreciation of your self as love. There is only one love. A non-dual bhakta is still a person. Just being and knowing your are the self doesn’t change the life as a person. If you want to create something in the mithya dimension you have to do the work there. Non-dual love is understanding that satya and mithya are in different dimensions. Superimposing the perfection of the self onto the jiva. But the jiva never becomes perfect. There is no connection between the self and the world. You know you are free as the self although duality is happening in you. Verse 23: You look at people in terms of what they can do for you. Selfish relationships develop. The heart that gives gathers. The needs of the Lord come first. He who eats the remnants of the sacrifice incurs no skin. The joy of offering your self as a service. The joy of doing the right thing is more important than getting any object. Course in miracles and Vedanta. Rama is taking his joy from following dharma, doing the right thing. By acting with selfishness you inhibit your growth.
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Story about Swami Satchidanandendra and Kirtan. The concept of avidyā / ignorance. Best source is adhyāsa bhāṣya: Introduction to the commentary of Shankaracharya
on the Brahma Sutras. 2 notions of ignorance: Shankaracharyas notion of mithyā jñāna and Padmapādas notion of mithyā ajñāna. Avidyā and māyā. Waking ego, dream ego and the witness. Vedānta is no dogma. Ego is kṣetra. Every quality is an object to the witness. Sadhana: act to get rid of tamas. Do your duty with no desire for the fruit of your action to overcome rajas. Sadhana to become free from actions (naiṣkarmya): no attachment to saṅkalpa, karma, karma phala. Freedom from the gunas. Jñānaniṣṭha. Jñāni. Bhagavad Gītā ch. 18, 66.