Student of Commerce,
I would like to share my inputs on the topic ‘Tyaga’ as an offering to the Lotus Feet of Pujya Guruji. This article is more a contemplation than an anecdote or a personal experience.
It is my humble submission that, what we as humankind generally perceive as virtues, like tyaga, vairagya and such innumerable ‘qualities’, are engrained and constituted most naturally as basic ingredients in the realm of existential reality. This is dramatically demonstrated in the dynamics of both the living forms and inanimate phenomena as can be clearly seen from the following examples.
On the rotting vegetation of a forest floor nature produces microscopic organism like slime moulds, which in a normal state is a colony of large number of independent individuals that devour on the vegetation on which it grows. They multiply and spread out, eating everything in their path, and when the food supply gets exhausted, a new behavioural pattern is set in motion when the individual elements congregate and transform themselves as a single multi-cellular organism. This slug-like organism, at a suitable location on the forest floor, develops a long stalk and a head of spores which eventually shoot out on the forest floor aided by the wind currents, and each of the individual spores form the slime mould. In this way, the cycle continues.
What is to be noted significantly is that what started as individual elements GIVE UP (TYAGA?) their individuality and behave like a single organism when faced with food shortage, and the holistic behaviour is enfolded within the individual and likewise individual is unfolded across the whole. This behavioural pattern is not exclusive to slime moulds (which of course is demonstrative and encompasses varieties of features of cooperative existence) but is exhibited by other species like ants, bees and all other species of beings and life forms.
This phenomenon of individual-whole relationship can be observed even in inanimate objects like a metal, where within the atomic structure is an electron cloud which behaves like individual particles, but whose behaviour is instantly transformed when a slight energy is added (for example - heat) and the electron cloud starts to vibrate like a ‘whole’ which is called PLASMA vibrations, which precisely is the feature of superconducting materials. This also is precisely the phenomenon of LASER where ordinary light assumes extraordinary features when energised. (I am reminded of the discourse ‘From ordinary life to extraordinary life’ by Pujya Guruji).
In this context, reference should also be made to wave-particle duality of light as founded in Quantum Physics, and this is analogous to global-individual nature, which is an inherent characteristic of created manifestation. (One is reminded of the great musical saint Kanaka Dasa’s song ‘Nee mayeyolago ninnolu mayeyo’, which means ‘You are in illusion, and illusion is within you as well.’)
Therefore, what is to be noted is that what we humans refer to as virtues is commonplace in the universe. Universal Order or the Mother Creation is only virtues and nothing but virtues, which are the most natural order of creation. Vices are human made and are a mental construct generated by absolutely inadequate understanding of reality. Absolute reality cannot of course be put in a mental framework and has to be felt deeply within from the likes of examples as given above. (More descriptive understanding can be had from the book “Synchronicity – The Bridge between matter and mind” by F. David Peat, a Bantam publication).
I write this with an extreme sense of reverence and gratitude to Parama Pujya Guruji, without whose guidance I would not have been able to grapple with even an extremely limited understanding of connectivity between Spirituality and the matters of existential Reality.
Offering once again at the Lotus Feet of Pujya Guruji my prostrations,
Chetana Divya Vasudev,
Student of Journalism,
THE JOURNEY – LOVE, LIFE AND GOD
I walk through the maze of buses in Banashankari and get into 501. I feel relieved; I've come on time to secure myself a seat. Even as the driver is to come, a six-year-old boy with oversized, patched, torn and soiled clothes sits down beside me. He holds out his hand with his eyes pleading for money. Selfishness overcomes my desire for seeing his expectation fulfilled and I shrug my shoulders and shake my head as if to say that I have none. His face falls, his eyes reflect disappointment and he digs his pockets for an assorted collection of stones, thread and groundnuts. He picks out the groundnuts, breaks the shell and is about to eat. He suddenly remembers me and holds out his hand – this time meaning to give – and I, meaning to be more generous, again shake my head. He persists with indescribable zest. As I pretend to eat some, I see his eyes dancing with delight, a sight to make this incident more memorable and touching. I turn away to hide my tears.
At last, realization has dawned on me. Like the sun, it has taken all night, fifteen years of my life, to come, but it has truck me harder than anything has ever done in my entire life. People talk about beauty and the God of Love, but this young boy, so pure at heart, seems to me the manifestation of both.
I slowly begin to realise so many things, the absence of which has left me feeling unsettled for so long. Pure and unconditional love is the basis of this caring and sharing. Several things begin to flash through my mind – whatever I have read or heard earlier, however remotely they are connected to this occurrence. As the doubt – "Does God exist?" resurfaces within me, I recollect the SMS that my sister has recently read out to me. "Deep down in the hearts of all humans, there is a hunger for the love of God. It may perhaps be unrealized and unsatisfied, but it is there. This longing itself is the proof that God exists."
"TICKETS!!!" The shrill voice of the conductor interrupts my train of thoughts. I become aware that the bus is moving. Buying the tickets, continue to muse. I feel that God is just not an idol in the temple, an image in the church or an unidentifiable energy in the mosque. Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa and several other great souls who help people, performing selfless service, were considered God by many. That's it, I think. When someone helps you, he or she is God to you. God is a feeling, often, that you feel towards someone or a part of creation.
On the other hand, Meera Bai comes into my mind, and my friend to whom God is her best friend, orphans standing in front of different deities, images and forms of God and envisioning their parents. I can now see pictures as in a slide show – single mothers to whom their darling and only child, all that they live for, is God; only children to whom he or she is their sibling. Oh! Your personal God in whom rests all your faith can take any form and that is so marvelous.
When I'm surrounded by so much positive energy bubbling around me, isn't it time to throw away my greed, squash my guilt and bring out the best in me? I'm sure that is also God's work. As Michael Angelo has said – "I saw an angel in a stone and I stopped not till I carved it."
Artists often say – "Art, like beauty, is in the eyes of the beholder." Isn't it true for life too? This strikes the chords of my memory and I go back to the time when my cousin and my closest playmate had asked me, an eight-year-old girl then, to read "GODISNOWHERE", and I read it as 'GOD IS NOWHERE". He had been quick enough to retort that it could also be read as "GOD IS NOW HERE", and this very moment, I can feel that omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient energy more than ever.
I stand up to make my way towards the door. My Guru Shri Shri Nimishananda's resonating voice, quoting a well-known scripture, the Narada Bhakti Sutras, ring in my ears – "What starts off as a small ripple in a pond gathers momentum and energy, becomes as large as a wave of an ocean and engulfs our whole lives."
Life is, to me, an expression of energy inherent in every human being and takes the form of ideas, thoughts or emotions and actions or activities. I have started on the first part. I sincerely hope that this transformation, the one and only good change in my life yet, will encompass my entire life. If this ending journey is compared to my life, I pray that all my ideas can be put into action by this stage.
I wonder weather my life will be long enough. Drawing inspiration from the words of my teacher – "Life is an opportunity. If you live it well, once is enough," I am overpowered by the feeling that as long as life is lived well, it does not matter how long it is lived. Having reached my destination, I step down onto the stone pavement.
I walk up to the nearest shop, beckoning the young boy, my redeemer, to accompany me. I pick out a handful of jellies and chocolates and place them in his hands.
So LIFE, as it is often said, is "Love Invited For Ever."
Offering this article at the Lotus Feet of Parama Pujya Shri Shri Nimishananda Guruji, the source of all, with love and reverence,
JAI GURU NIMISHANANDA!
Advisor and Consultant,
The power within oneself to live a life of fulfilment with the Guidance of a "GURU"
The Power within oneself to live a life of fulfilment......possible with the guidance of a "GURU".
When we analyse our lives, we find that to live a life of fulfilment there must be two basic abilities:-
One is involvemental in nature. We have to go ahead with life, getting involved in whatever is necessary from time to time. For this, we must have the necessary attitude, inspiration, compulsion and many other things. The net result of all this is an involvemental phase. We must be ready to take up whatever we are expected to do and get involved in it with full dedication and sincerity.
The other is the ability and readiness to withdraw from any involvement and remain peaceful and quiet. Whatever comes or goes, the march of life cannot stop. So, to keep the stability and peace, often the mind will require withdrawal. We must be able to do both, easily and harmoniously. Then alone, we may hope to live a life of fulfilment and peace. And such a life will be beneficial to the world at large.
And particularly for those who are quite young have a long life ahead. To live a good and effective life, you will need clear direction and guidance from time to time. Whenever in doubt, look into your own heart. The word "heart" is being used to distinguish it from "mind". It is the mind that produces confusions and doubts. Look into a level much deeper than the so-called mind. Look deep within and from there seek or demand whatever direction or clarity you want.
“I am not able to do the task; but I must do it. I am not having the necessary inspiration or motivation; but I must have it. Yes, I will have it. May I have it.” – Use any language you like, but say it in a very earnest and humble manner.
Similarly, we will have to withdraw from many things whenever needed. If our concern and anxiety cannot serve any purpose, if our involvement is only going to trouble our mind, the mind must be able to withdraw itself and remain restful. This restfulness is also possible. Tell yourself: “Why am I not able to withdraw my mind from this? Why can't I forget the situation? Why is this haunting me? I must win over this entanglement.”
When you are thus tormented, look into your own heart and get the necessary redress. Whether you put it in the manner of a prayer or submission, or you think in terms of a resolution or demand – it makes little difference. The result is the same. If you believe in God, you can pray: “Oh God, give me the necessary inspiration. Let my mind withdraw.” But if you don't like to pray or you don't believe in God, you can as well believe in your own mind or its master, maker and ruler.
So, look into your heart, the deeper level of your mind, and from there bring forth whatever you want. “When the summer becomes very severe, sometimes the well goes dry. What do we do? We deepen the well and get little more water.” Similarly, you have to dig out a deeper and loftier dimension from your mind. Understand that the mind has got enormous dimensions. Never feel defeated. Never be subdued by fear.
Always have confidence. Even when no help is forthcoming from anywhere outside, and you feel deserted, some invisible help will come, deliver the redress and disappear in the same manner as it appeared! AND THAT'S INDEED THE POWER OF GURU- TO SHOWER THE GRACE WHEN ONE DESPERATELY IN NEED OF THE GRACE.
You may wonder as to how this happens. Is not the entire world like this? The entire visible universe has come from nowhere and nothing. From nowhere and nothing all these things have manifested. So, within that, when the necessity arises, an invisible process can result in a visible help and it can also disappear. Understand this very well.
The mind has got great power. Mind is the instrument by which you access the invisible Supreme Reality. You cannot access it with your eyes or your body. With the mind alone you can commune with the invisible, because the mind itself is resting on the invisible Self.
Do not be unduly assailed by doubt. Whenever doubt comes, give it back to the doubt-maker and He will resolve it. Whenever you lack inspiration or direction, look into your own heart and seek, or demand. You will find your redress.
Whether you are praying with humility or demanding with confidence, it makes no difference. Whatever tune or tone suits your personality, you may adopt. But you have to be sincere and earnest. Your yearning must have the intensity. Then you will always find that the direction and the strength do come........................from "GURU"- Never lose heart. Never lose confidence in life.
Life is always dear – whether you are surrounded with pleasant things or with unpleasant ones. There is a lot of dearness in life. If nothing, the mind can produce any degree of contentment and peace. It may not give you other things, but it will give you joy and contentment. It can also give you peace and 'quietitude'. To generate and bestow these, the mind needs no other help- but from a GURU.
You carry such an infinitely potent mind. Never fail to recognise this great potency of the mind. We call it mind, but actually it is a projection or expression of the Self, the Supreme Reality, which has created and which is preserving this great endless Universe. It is not a small thing. Man is great, because he has such a greatly potent mind and must strictly follow the divine words of his GURU.
Advisor and Consultant,
TAT TVAM ASI
It is quite essential to understand the fact that the statement, "tat tvam asi"is one of the four prominent Mahavakyas. Though there are many mahavakyas in the Upanishads the following four are considered to be the prominent ones. They are:
Praj~nanam brahma (Consciousness is Brahman) in the Aitareya Upanishad of the Rig-Veda,
Aham brahmasmi (I am Brahman) in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad of the Yajur-Veda,
Tat tvam asi (That thou art) in the Chandogya Upanishad of the Sama Veda
Ayam Atma brahma (this Atman is Brahman) in the Mandukya Upanishad of the Atharva Veda.
The first statement, Consciousness is Brahman, explains the true nature of Brahman. The second statement is the self assessment from the seeker when one recognises one's true divine nature. In the third statement, the realised teacher(Guru) informs (asserts) – "You are that Supreme Brahman." The last is the statement of practice or formula for the seeker to discover the Oneness of Atman and the Brahman.
The mahavakyas are considered the quintessence of the Vedas. The Vedic scriptures insist that these mahavakyas can only be fully understood by those seekers through a Guru. To get the understanding beyond the literal meaning , the seeker should have undergone the detailed sadhana (practices) explained through sdhana chatuShtaya from a Guru. The four qualities are the following:
1. viveka (discrimination of Real from unreal).
2. vairagya (detachment or dispassion from sense objects)
3. shamadi Shatka sampatti (a collective group of six behaviour traits or virtues )
4. mumukShutva (intense desire to achieve permanent bliss).
The sadhaka (seeker) after completing the mind purification process (sadhana) becomes qualified to understand meaning of the mahavakyas, while engaging himself/herself the whole time in deep reflection and profound meditation. Only after contemplation, is the seeker able to grasp the implied meaning of the mahavakya.
"tat tvam asi" -That art thou: To grasp the true meaning of "tat tvam asi," we should begin with the context of this statement in Chandogya Upanishad.
[The Chandogya is one of the twelve major Upanishads.
(Aitareya and the Kauhsitaki from Rig Veda;
Chandogya and Kena from Samaveda;
Taittiriya, Katha, Shvetashvatara, Brihadaranyaka and Isha from Yajur Veda;
Prashna, Mundaka and Mandukya from Atharvaveda).]
Svetaketu was the grandson of Aruna, and the son of Uddalaka. It seems that the boy Svetaketu did not focus his mind on the study of Vedas. His father sent him to the Gurukula (an ashrama, situated in the forest, whose purpose was to teach the Vedas to children at a young age). His family had a long tradition of studying the Vedas and Shastras to get acquainted with the knowledge of the Scriptures).
The Gurukula study is similar to the modern boarding-school arrangement, but the ancient one provided home- cooked meals with love and affection. Normally the student spent 12 to 14 years study of Vedas with guidance from the Guru. During the Vedic times the entire study, including boarding and lodging, was free and the student pledged to become a teacher like his/her Guru. This is how the knowledge of the Vedas was passed on from one generation to the next.
Svetaketu went to the forest-retreat at the age of twelve, and studied the Vedas, scriptures, science, grammar, etc. at the feet of the Guru for twelve years, and then returned home. He was very proud of his knowledge and scholarship and thought that he had finished studying everything. On seeing this attitude of his son, his father called him and thoughtfully asked a question:
"O my son! Have you studied that thing knowing which everything becomes known?" Svetaketu was shocked and he couldn't grasp this question clearly. He was eager to know `that by knowing by which everything else becomes known.' He also realised that he still had not learnt the most essential things of the universe and, with humility, he requested his father: "Father! May I request you please to teach me that most essential thing by which everything else becomes known?"
On hearing this reply from his son, the father (Uddalaka) slowly explained to him using simple examples: "Son! Have you not seen the clay in front of the potter's house? It becomes a pot in the hands of the potter. If the clay is known, then all things made of clay are known! Similarly if you know gold, things made of gold like ornaments are known. If you know iron, all things made of iron are known. In the same way, if you know "Brahman" then all the things (the entire universe) that cannot exist without Him are also known." He continued his teaching and concluded with the statement,"tat tvam asi".
In very simple terms, "tat" represents brahman and "tvam" identifies the divine soul (Atman) that resides ‘within’ the jIva. "asi" is an affirmation equating Brahman and Atman. In very subtle terms, Uddalaka tells us that by knowing the SELF (Self-realisation) we will be able to recognise the entire Universe because of the fact that the Universe cannot exist without the presence of Brahman. It is just like saying there will not be a pot without clay and there will be no more golden ring without the gold!
Sri Adi Shankara interprets "tat tvam asi" to mean "The jIva and brahman are identical so that there is no difference between the Atman of jIva and Brahman. Sri Adi Shankara correctly assumes the "svarupa aikyam" that is the absolute identity between the jIvatman and the paramatman (brahman).................................and it is possible........................ "ONLY WITH THE HELP AND GUIDANCE OF A SATGURU"
I submit my self at the Divine and Lotus Feet of my Parama Pujya Guruji Sri Sri Nimishandaji and submit this article.
Advisor and Consultant,
Thoughts on God and Guru
"Aum Jai Gurudeva"
"Aum Guruve Saranam"
None of us have seen God. We have not touched Him nor smelt Him. We have only heard about Him. At best we can imagine or infer about God. Thus God is an unseen entity. For most God is still a concept of the mind. Scriptures tell us that God is all-pure, noble, sublime etc.
Let us conceive of a human being in whom we find manifestations of purity, sublimity, nobility, loftiness of conduct, character, nature, thought ,feeling, and action. These qualities , the scriptures tell us, are associated with God. When we can find an individual possessing such qualities we can say that there is Godliness in him. In the Vedic tradition such a being is the "GURU" who is the "PRATYAKSHA DEVA" or "VISIBLE GOD". And it's a "VEDIC TRUTH".
God reveals Himself through Guru. The Guru becomes the linking factor between the individual soul(jivatama) and its source, the Universal Soul. If we create a channel between ourselves and our Guru, that channel will become the means for receiving not only the Guru Kripa(Grace of the Guru) from the Guru but all that the Guru stands for . Such a channel is called the Guru-Bhakti. The Svetasvatara Upanishad declares,
"Yasya Deve Para Bhakthih Yatha Deve Thatha Gurau,
Tasyaithe Kathitha Hyarthah Prakasante Mahatmanah".
It means,if you have supreme devotion to God and the same kind of Devotion to your Guru, then the essence and subtle truths of scriptures become revealed. Guru-Bhakti is thus the effective channel which enables the Guru to share with the disciple what the Guru has been endowed with from God.- Such is the "GREATNESS OF GURU".
Sumbitting myself and dedicate this writing at the Lotus and divine Feet of My Parama Pujya Guruji- Sri. Sri. Nimishanandaji.
"Aum Namo Nimishambaye Namaha"
"Aum Namo Nimishanandaye Namah."