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nirotu
13 May 2007, 08:38 AM
Perhaps if you are interested in engaging in this conversation, we can take a look at un-cluttering this most simple SELF.
Dear Yajvan:

Thank you for bringing up this excellent point for discussion. I would venture to add few of my own thoughts. In fact, this is a good place to summarize all my previous discussions on this.


One can realize the SELF, and it is pointed out that the SELF realizes it SELF by its SELF.
It is a beautiful conception in theory and it is the ultimate truth also. Without taking away anything from what you have so beautifully said, I would like to add that in creation the duality of nature has come into being. Of this, one being the “lower self” and the other being the “higher self”. Many are of the opinion that the “self” is purest in nature but in creation the sensory web has clouded the pure-self.

Devoid of such material impositions the self not just realizes but knows its true nature. Such is the state in which many Sages, Buddha, Krishna and Jesus Christ lived because they were capable of destroying the “ego” to become selfless. While for us, self abnegation leads to self-realization, they lived in that state all the time.

While this has been the goal for every one, one cannot deny the sensory web that has clouded the pure-self (higher-self) and, therefore, in any discussion we should be aware and be careful in addressing that part, which makes the goal so elusive. For an inflated ego, Vedanta merely acts as an opium, so the best thing to do would be killing the ego that is masking the pure-self before realizing the true-self.

In creation, because of this duality, two processes that I consider are important:

1. The abnegation of the “lower self”: The process of self-abnegation that destroys or annihilates the lower-self.

2. The realization of the higher-self: The process to awaken the soul to realize its true nature, which is the ultimate goal.

I can safely assume that is the condition of large mass of people (including myself) where it is a constant struggle to reach that elusive goal. In view of this, a very practical question always remains for every one who is in this realm and that is: Can the “self” (I mean lower self) abnegate itself?

Many in the past, while discussing with me on this, have alluded to various paths – jnana, yoga, self-purification etc, as a first step. I consider them as crutches that mind holds on to like a drunken monkey aimlessly wondering in the wilderness holding on to branches. I consider such efforts are very hard if not futile. No one has elaborated on this more than sage Ramana. According to Sri Ramana, giving a branch to a mind to discover it’s self is like dressing a thief in policeman’s clothing and asking him to catch the thief. Will the thief ever catch himself?

Instead of providing with crutches of various concepts (Jnana, karma, yoga, self-purification etc), which only goes against self-abnegation, I do believe in a basic organic turning or surrendering to the “grace” as a first-step, which you have so beautifully described, “It is said that the SELF can be realized via prapatti (complete surrender) to Isvara “ as pointed in Patanjali.

Given the tenacious hold of the ego, one of the most efficient step I have been discussing in the past is about the complete child-like surrender to grace which then leads one to jnana or realization of the higher-self. Because, only with the assurance and holding of grace, our journey to reach that goal becomes ever so realistic.

Blessings,

atanu
13 May 2007, 12:08 PM
Dear Yajvan:

-------For an inflated ego, Vedanta merely acts as an opium, so the best thing to do would be killing the ego that is masking the pure-self before realizing the true-self.

--------



Namaste Nirotu,

Vedanta will not be revealed to an inflated ego. Inflated egos will be directed to various Lokas or to christianity.

I am just trying to match you Nirotu.

Nama Shivaya

sm78
14 May 2007, 02:11 AM
Instead of providing with crutches of various concepts (Jnana, karma, yoga, self-purification etc), which only goes against self-abnegation, I do believe in a basic organic turning or surrendering to the “grace” as a first-step, which you have so beautifully described...
Blessings,...

Various things are suitable for various souls at various stages of evolution.

You talk of ego of and then, and in the language of sanatana dharma (though not in the essence).

What do make of your constant battering of self-inquiry, which I am sure u never practiced, and which many people here practice and have made progress there of. What is this? Ego perhaves? Or worse, moha and false belief ??

As have been pointed 1000 times in other threads that surrender, grace of God are an integral part of Sandana Dharma, so is jnana, yoga, self-purification. They are always complimentary and you have to be in presence of a jnani to see his love and bhakti for God and in presence of a true Bhakta to get a feel of his knowledge. I must say I have witnessed some of it personally.

Those who practice none have no right to comment on the topics. Period.

Like science the proof of sanatana dharma comes from practice and results there of, not by creating arguments of the EGO.

I try not to reply to your post which are wrapped up in self-indulgence, moha and ego; Which makes you think that by just knowing a few terms and having some conceptual ideas of sanatana dharma books gives you the ability to show the faults with it ~ a Christian syndrome.

Please look back on your posts, EGO you are so scared of has been with you more than most of the others.

If you want to preach Christianity, please do so from your own standpoint, the Bible and the belief you associate with it. This camouflage you put on is highly irritating and against Truth. I don't know about forum rules, but if preaching Christianity is your motive (which I am sure is) please do so honestly. That would be refreshing and save the posters here from wasting the precious vak on ashes.

sm78
14 May 2007, 02:14 AM
Namaste Nirotu,

Vedanta will not be revealed to an inflated ego. Inflated egos will be directed to various Lokas or to christianity.

I am just trying to match you Nirotu.

Nama Shivaya

You are so much better with usage of Vak ;)

satay
14 May 2007, 02:36 AM
namaste all,
Here is someone with an inflated ego. Not sure if such a person existed to begin with or if the jew exactly said this but the John's quote has made him responsible for the murder of millions.

John 14.6
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Amazing...

satay
14 May 2007, 02:39 AM
namaste Nirotu,

So, is God's grace available by surrendring to Jesus only?

saidevo
14 May 2007, 03:01 AM
John 14.6
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.


In the same (or earlier?) breath Jesus also says this, which is self explanatory of his real nature:

(St. Luke)
18:19 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.

sm78
14 May 2007, 03:21 AM
Namaste,

Can we move the post from Nirotu onwards to the Abrahamic religions forum so that interested people of Sanatana Dharma can have useful discussion on the SELF as intended by the OP.

Thanks for the efforts of the moderator.

nirotu
14 May 2007, 05:36 PM
Dear Satay, Sm78, Atanu and Saidevo:

Friends, you have made some pointed criticisms but I would like to clarify them. Finding faults with Sanatana Dharma has never been my goal neither has been proselytizing. I have been repeatedly emphasizing that I am more interested in practical undertaking of spiritual journey of a man. When the goal has been “spirituality” all along, I just cannot understand why you are asserting religion in all this. In fact, there is not a hint of Christianity brought in my response to Yajavan! “Spiritual” by its very nature transcends all religions and rises above man made labels. You have to come out of that mindset of labeling(namarupa) for any meaningful discussions to occur.

I would urge you, instead of reacting strongly to some terms and labels used to make a point, if you would calmly and deeply read and see the content of my post and see what I am saying then you would have a better appreciation. My response to Atanu and Yajavan has been the same. In simple terms, do not give any crutch to an ego in searching for the self! It is nothing but the eternal truth preached by all sages irrespective of cast, creed and religion. In this world that is full of deceit, telling truth like this or even discussing it should be considered not just revolutionary but a noble act!

I am once again urging all to sit back and reread from a spiritual journey standpoint rather than reacting. Then, may be we can continue.


Atanu:


Vedanta will not be revealed to an inflated ego. Inflated egos will be directed to various Lokas or to christianity.

You seem to again and again help make my point! Yes, Vedanta will not be revealed to an inflated ego! That is why ego has to be deflated first! That can only happen through surrender and what I call the first step!

Atanu, all I am trying to say is that the start of the journey is very crucial because of the tenacious hold of the ego. I am merely emphasizing the need for vigilance at that point and beware of the crutches. This is purely at a spiritual level that is far removed from any religion. Why you and others think any other way boggles my mind!

Saidevo:


Luke 18:19 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.

Saidevo, that is not what it means at all. In fact, Jesus is asserting His deity by asking them to confirm what they are saying. Because, they knew correctly of what they were saying.

Satay:

So, is God's grace available by surrendring to Jesus only?

Reread my previous posts. When you understand the definition of “grace” you will see the truth in what I am saying. The “grace” is an unmerited favor of God and as such, any one can avail of it where no qualifications required! It is there for the asking! No where in the Bible does it say “you have grace only through Jesus”.

It is a sad commentary that Jesus Christ was crucified only once but in these days many Christians and Non-Chrsitians crucify Him daily with a corrupt understanding of His message!

Blessings,

Znanna
14 May 2007, 08:33 PM
Twin said:


Being one with The Christ is being one with the Creator.
The definition of a Christ is, a soul who knows they are one with the Creator.
The teaching of the Essene is anathema to all whose intention is power.
The teaching of the Essene is alive ,and after 1500 years of suppression is about to become the knowing of all who have chosen to manefest in this timeline.
The Law of Manifestation is the ground of being of the Universe.
When you know that your intention is the source of all that manifests in your experience,you too will be known as a Christ.
The act of reincarnation is intentional and on purpose.


I don't know from the Essene, myself, so please don't ask me for elaboration!

FWIW (for what it's worth)


ZN

sm78
15 May 2007, 01:24 AM
Dear Satay, Sm78, Atanu and Saidevo:

Friends, you have made some pointed criticisms but I would like to clarify them. Finding faults with Sanatana Dharma has never been my goal neither has been proselytizing. I have been repeatedly emphasizing that I am more interested in practical undertaking of spiritual journey of a man. When the goal has been “spirituality” all along

Namaste Nirotu,

If practical spiritual journey is what you r interested in like most of us, then the answer lies in practice.

It is over ally agreed that various souls in various stages of evaluation need various means to progress to the path of self-realization.

Great Gods of Sanatana Dharma have revealed many tools for these very purpose...they are not egoistic concepts of human mind but true revelations from God. One has to follow a path of sadhana, and Grace is always there.

If a child like devotion is what you think is most practical for you, so it is. I am sure it brings out the grace of god most quickly (as per Hindu Shastras only).

But do understand that the grace of God is also very much present for the person who spends his life in inquiry of his true self and truth.

God is not bound by human ego and emotions. He is father to some & friend to others. It is only our Ego and mis-conceptions that we want to paint him in our limitations.

Just let me why do you think God will only graceful to the one who believes like a child and turn a blind eye to one who is seeking him as a friend ?? God is an Egotist or what ? He can't consider himself equal to his bhaktas ?

saidevo
15 May 2007, 10:42 AM
It is said that the SELF can be realized via prapatti (complete surrender) to Isvara - this is pointed out in the Yoga sutras of Patanjali-muni. - Chapt 2, on practice, Isvara-pranidhana.

One can realize the SELF, and it is pointed out that the SELF realizes it SELF by its SELF - Katha and Mundaka Upanishad


Nirotu has gone gaga over the quote from Yajvan above and has started harping on his favourite subject of 'child-like surrender', reviling at the same time the paths of yoga and jnAna, calling them crutches.

Let us have a look at the context wherein Patanjali mentions devotion to Ishvara and understand his purpose in using the term.

The target verse in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras is as follows:

2:1 tapaH svAdhyAyeshvara prANidhAnani kriyAyogaH

Tapas (self-discipline), svAdhyAya (japa and study of the scriptures), and Ishvara prANidhAna (offering all actions to Ishvara and renunciation of the fruits of action) are Kriya Yoga (yoga of action).

Tapas

This is a rite done by mortification of the physical body in order to pass the duality of pleasure and pain. This physical body is what is seen externally. The mind is the subtle body which is not seen. It is necessary to gradually get released from the triguNa Prakriti (the manifest universe of three properties) by disciplining this life that is lived for the love of the body, so that it is possible to return to the Purusha, who is the real nature of the Self. Since we and the world around us are only those Prakritis that have combined with the Purushas, it is necessary to renounce the likes and dislikes about our worldly concerns. The likes and dislikes on our body are also to be renounced gradually.

In practice, however, since the worldly pleasures and comforts enslave us, we need to control the body and make it renounce those plesures and comforts.

Tapas becomes important in this context: 1) to discipline the senses that have got accumstomed to enjoyment over long periords of time and so pester us causing desires and necessities; 2) to stop generating further vAsanAs (impressions); and 3) to deactivate the existing vAsanAs.

Tapas is that which controls the body from its external expressions through its five senses.

The eyes look at beautiful scenes that give mental pleasure. Since it raises vRuttis in the mind that harm yoga, the act of pulling away the eyes from such scenes, breaking their tenacity, becomes Tapas.

In this way, the sAdhanAs (practices) done to control the eyes from not seeing what they should not see, the ears from not hearing what they should not hear, the tongue from tasting what it should not taste and the body from the tactile pleasures it should not experience, are also part of Tapas, since those sAdhanAs mortify the body.

If one has the desire to listen to good music, one should resist it with the realization that after all it is all sound, so one can remain without it.

One should give up tasty food and practice eating satva (spiritually conducive) food and remain happy with the realization that taste after all is only up to the tongue.

One should keep one's poise over the smells of fragrance and foulness.

When the body seeks the softness of bed, one should learn stretching it out on the rough surface of the floor; when shivering with cold, immerse the body in more cold water; when the body seeks coolness, make it adjust to the hot atmosphere around.

The prescriptions given above are the Tapas performed to take control of the body and mind. In addition, fasting would increase the supportive power of the body and the resilience of the mind.

When desires arise, one should keep away from them. When fear crops up, one should learn to remain in that atmosphere with the realization that things will happen only according to one's prArapta karma (karma that fructifies in this life). When in anger, one should increase the strength of tolerence by the realization that we are the reason for what happens to us. These practices, that help us to get past the duality and escape the vAsanAs are part of the Tapas.

Buddha has criticised extreme mortification of the body with such acts as lying on the bed of nails, growing fire in a circle and doing meditation sitting at the centre, doing meditation by standing on one leg, and so on.

Sri Krishna says in chapter six of the Bhagavad Gita:

6:16. Yoga is not possible for him who eats too much, nor for him who does not eat at all, nor for him who is addicted to too much sleep, nor for him who is (ever) wakeful, O Arjuna.

Tapas brings in vairAgya (dispassion). If the body is to withstand the practice of yoga, the laziness should go and both mind and body must be strengthened. For this reason, Tapas is mentioned first in this verse, in order to get into the activity of the rajas guNa from the inertia and ignorance of the tamas guNa.

svAdhyAya

This term generally refers to reading the shAstras (scriptures). To do pArAyaNa (reading through) of stotras (hymns), recite Vedas, study philosophical books and do mantra japa (mantra chanting) of praNava (the Aum mantra) and other mantras--all come under the svAdhyAya.

These reading and reciting efforts are for knowing the Self, the Purusha in us. Since the Atma jnAna (spiritual) texts are about Purusha, studying them becomes studying the Self. In its present state, since Jiva considers itself as a union of Purusha and Prakriti, reading about the world that is born out of the same union also helps knowing the Self. Thus, the study of Shastras and the recital of Vedas becomes svAdhyAya.

The AumkAra japam that denotes God, paves a way to know the Purusha in us and acts as a tool to get away from the Prakriti, it becomes svAdhyAya. The other japas that act as a staircase to reach the Purusha is also talked of as svAdhyAya. These japas help to cultivate the Ishvara prANidhAna, which is mentioned as the third acivity of Kriya Yoga.

The effort of Self introspection that involves critically looking at oneself, one's thoughts, acts and words is also svAdhyAya.

Ishvara prANidhAna

The term prANidhAna is from pra-ni-dha to place in front. In the yoga of meditation it means placing the mental figurations or pictures of lofty spiritual and intellectual themes in front and then meditating on them.

Unlike the Sankhya philosophy, the Yoga philosophy admits Ishvara as the Purusha behind the Jivas. When Ishavara is placed in front as the object of meditation, the yogi finds it easier to go on and the fruits of meditation reach him more quickly, which he needs to surrender to Ishvara himself in order to obtain samAdhi.

Patanjali Maharshi uses the term Ishvara prANidhAna in three places in his Yoga Sutra:



In Samadhi Pada, verse 23:
1:23 Ishvara prANidhAnadvA

Or due to Ishvara prANidhAnadvA (special devotion of offering all actions to Ishvara and renunciation of the fruits of action).


After talking about the different kinds of samAdhi and the varied approaches to it, here Patanjali Maharshi mentions Ishvara prANidhAna as the quickest way to it.



In Sadhana Pada, verse 1:
2:1 tapaH svAdhyAyeshvara prANidhAnani kriyAyogaH (2:1)

Tapas (self-discipline), svAdhyAya (japa and study of the scriptures), and Ishvara prANidhAna (offering all actions to Ishvara and renunciation of the fruits of action) are Kriya Yoga (yoga of action).


The surrender to Ishvara with devotion, mentioned in the Samadhi Pada is the highest state a yogi can wish for. Here the practice to reach that state is mentioned.

The yogi should first practice the sAdhanA of Tapas and obtain vairAgya (dispassion). He should get Atma jnAna by his svAdhyAya. Finally, he should surrender the fruits obtained by these acts to Ishvara and continue to do his Kriya Yoga with devotion to Ishvara, in order to reach the highest state and the quickest way to samAdhi mentioned in verse 1:23 of the Samadhi Pada.

By this, the yogi lets go his ego--the 'I' and 'my'--and realizes that everything is due to the acts of Ishvara. He gets the ability to move away from Prakriti and notice the Purusha in him. Since it is Ishvara who controls the union of Prakriti and Purusha based on one's karma, He is realized to be special and the yogi learns to surrender the fruits of his karmas to Ishvara himself and obtain samAdhi more quickly by His grace.

The Kriya Yoga mentioned here is the Karma Yoga that Sri Krishna mentions in Bhagvad Gita.

It is only the Prakriti that acts in yoga. The Purusha who is united to it is under the false impression that he is the doer. Surrendering the fruits helps him purify his chittA and get the maturity necessary for meditation and samAdhi.

Ishvara prANidhAna is placed as the third part of Kriya Yoga in order to emphasize that the Tapas and the svAdhyAya should be done keeping Ishavara in front in the yogi's mind.

Tapas should not be done for the worldly life or to harm and destroy the other people. Purunas have tales that the Asuras undertook such Tapas.

svAdhyAya should not be done just for the pleasure of knowing and using the nuances of the texts for gratification of the ego, which is the common practice of seekers today.

The fruits of yoga will be obtained only if the Japa is done to renounce the body, the world and the impressions and to know that Ishvara is the be-ness and doer of everything.

Finally, to cross the barrier of the ahamkAra (ego), it becomes necessary to submit to Ishvara who is the Almighty.



In the same Sadhana Pada, verse 45:
2:45 samAdhi siddhi Ishvara prANidhAnAt

From Ishvara prANidhAna, there is attainment of samAdhi.


This is what Vaishvam terms as the Prapatti, which can also serve as the one sure way to samAdhi as mentioned in the Samadhi Pada.

Prapatti is easy; at the same time difficult. Generally Bhakti Yoga is considered to be the easiest path; even more easy is Prapatti, by letting go one's efforts and surrendering to Ishvara, which is done only once, and thereafter the responsibility lies with Ishavara.

According to Sri Ramakrishna, it is safer that God holds our hands rather than we hold His.

Conclusion

So, where are we now, in the context of Patanjali Maharshi's recommendations about Ishvara prANidhAna?

In the Yoga Sutra, Ishvara prANidhAna is mentioned as the final stage of sAdhanA. Since his whole work is about the philosophy of Yoga, Patanjali Maharshi discusses the various ways of sAdhAna and the kinds of samAdhi they lead to, and emphasizes the necessity to keep Ishvara in front of all efforts and learn to surrender the fruits of actions of Him.

Thus, it is not a case of childlike surrender with blissful ignorance and continued inaction. The seeker should do his homework through Yama, Niyama and Yoga Sadhana, keeping Ishvara as the object of his efforts, before he can obtain the fruits and learn to surrender even them to Ishvara for the final samAdhi.

The child raises itself from the sitting position to standing and then toddling by its own efforts by holding on to objects it can find, learning the process by trial and error and with an elated mind. It never knows that its mother will give a finger to hold on to for standing and walking, though the mother is always around, watching its every movement, every moment. Once it is serious and sincere in its efforts of standing up and walking, its mother readily gives a finger and guides the child on its path. Thus, even the childlike surrender is not without efforts on the path of the child that we the seekers are.

Source:
Patanjali Yoga Sutram, a Bhasyam (in Tamil) by "Swami" (N.R. Sampat), a disciple who obtained mantra diksa from the Ramakrishna MaTham.

Glossary:
pArAyaNa - going over, reading through, persuing, studying
praNidhAna- laying on, applying, employment, endeavour, effect; consideration, attention or submission to; meditation, devotion.
prapatti - pious resignation or devotion
shAstram - order, rule, sacred or religious, scriptpure, science
stotra - praise, eulogium, a hymn of praise, ode

vRtti - urning, rolling; being, existence, livelihood, maintenance; mode of being or acting, conduct, behaviour, esp. good conduct or respectful behaviour towards; usage, practice, rule; nature, character, style; action, activity.

sm78
15 May 2007, 10:53 AM
Nirotu has gone gaga over the quote from Yajvan above and has started harping on his favourite subject of 'child-like surrender', reviling at the same time the paths of yoga and jnAna, calling them crutches.

He doesn't get that, in reality, becoming a "child" from the corrupted "grow-ups" we are, just how much penance, self-purification, yoga and the else that we speak of is necessary.

Thanks for discussion on the Yog Sutras, saidevo, really appreciated.

nirotu
15 May 2007, 05:28 PM
If practical spiritual journey is what you r interested in like most of us, then the answer lies in practice.

It is over ally agreed that various souls in various stages of evaluation need various means to progress to the path of self-realization.

Great Gods of Sanatana Dharma have revealed many tools for these very purpose...they are not egoistic concepts of human mind but true revelations from God. One has to follow a path of sadhana, and Grace is always there.

If a child like devotion is what you think is most practical for you, so it is. I am sure it brings out the grace of god most quickly (as per Hindu Shastras only).

But do understand that the grace of God is also very much present for the person who spends his life in inquiry of his true self and truth.

God is not bound by human ego and emotions. He is father to some & friend to others. It is only our Ego and mis-conceptions that we want to paint him in our limitations.

Just let me why do you think God will only graceful to the one who believes like a child and turn a blind eye to one who is seeking him as a friend ?? God is an Egotist or what ? He can't consider himself equal to his bhaktas ?
Well said, sm78!
Let me clarify some thoughts here. It is not God who is egotistic or not, but for sure man is! I am sure you will agree with this! Let me consider that as my starting point.

Therefore, when a starting point of our journey being emphasized, it is not about Grace turning a blind eye or not but it is more about the inability of the strong ego to use the tools with discernment. In fact, at this delicate stage of the journey that same thing happening is what Sage Ramana has warned about (Thief dressing up in policeman’s garb to catch himself!).

Perhaps, this simple analogy will help you understand it better.

If you place a knife in the hands of a 2 year old child, there is a danger that the child will misuse it (possibly hurt himself!) because of non-awareness of the tool. The same child when enters 12th grade, he will actually be presented with the same knife where he will skillfully use it to perform dissection or cooking or something useful. The point is he will know what to do with it. The same 12th grader when becomes a surgeon, the same knife in his hands possibly will save many lives.

So my friend, in this simple analogy there are three stages of this child’s development representing three crucial time points in child’s life, which are the same three time points in our spiritual journey and that is all I am cautioning about. I am not criticizing the tool (knife) but only pointing out the time point where they become valuable. When in our journey do we use Jnana, Bhakti, Self-purification is the point of my emphasis.

Look carefully all my posts starting from my joining date, you will find my emphasis all along has been turning to grace as a starting point. With the grace as a starting point, the hold of the ego is lessened and all practices will ensue. These practices of jnana, yoga etc will follow at a later time but if used prematurely, you might be giving ego-child the knife too soon.

Blessings,

nirotu
15 May 2007, 05:37 PM
The child raises itself from the sitting position to standing and then toddling by its own efforts by holding on to objects it can find, learning the process by trial and error and with an elated mind. It never knows that its mother will give a finger to hold on to for standing and walking, though the mother is always around, watching its every movement, every moment. Once it is serious and sincere in its efforts of standing up and walking, its mother readily gives a finger and guides the child on its path. Thus, even the childlike surrender is not without efforts on the path of the child that we the seekers are.

Dear Saidevo:
While I do thank you for your elaboration on Patanjali, I did notice your conclusion which helps make my point. I hope you are able realize that so. I am just using a part of it.

The child’s analogy that you so beautifully describe actually makes my point as well. I am not saying there is no effort at all. In this analogy the child simply stands and holds the hand of the mother, which I like to call grace. The child did not have to think or analyze through meditation, yoga or any other crutches but simply, instinctively, knows there is chair to hold on to or there is mother to hold on to! That instinctive knowingness is what I have been emphasizing. The effort in child is still there but the knowing ness did not require knowledge as a tool! That instinctive turning to mother is what we call turning to grace. This is in fact a beautiful example where you can see, before mind jumps in or before thinking machine is turned on, there is instinctive desire in that child to stand.


No where, have I criticized the tools such as Jnana, Bhakti, Yoga etc. But the premature use of it can only work against us, as ego's hold is strong in man's life. The catalyst to all these practices is that simple initial child-like turning to grace. Read my response to sm78!

Frankly, this has been the hallmark of many Sages as well as Jesus Christ where without any heavy preaching, they have showed child-like grabbing of the hand of grace before implementing all other practices. That is the simplicity that eludes man!

Blessings,

saidevo
15 May 2007, 09:32 PM
Namaste Nirotu,



...in creation the duality of nature has come into being. Of this, one being the “lower self” and the other being the “higher self”. Many are of the opinion that the “self” is purest in nature but in creation the sensory web has clouded the pure-self.


Here is a useful explanation of the Self and the ego:


Self Theosophical literature distinguishes between self and ego: self is a purely spiritual unit, divine in essence, the same in every being, expressed as "I am"; egos are many, different in different beings, and expressed as "I am I." Egos are indirect or reflected consciousnesses, seeing themselves as apart from other egos, each having its own individualized characteristics. But the self or atman is the purest and strongest intuition of being as a universal principle and as the summit of the hierarchy called man. It is pure consciousness, the essential principle which gives to every person knowledge of selfhood. As it has no egoic consciousness, it seems to our reason to be unconsciousness. To become self-conscious, a vehicle is needed, so that the self may see itself reflected as in a mirror.

In humans what is called the personal self is a compound, in which the true selfhood or atmic ray shines dimly through many screens. This causes our various mental states to be regarded as pertaining to our own individuality, though they are actually influences which flow into and out of the mind, and to which we attribute a false sense of ownership, as when we say, "I am angry," instead of "I am experiencing anger." The path of liberation frees us progressively from these false selves; we abandon the heresy of separateness, and at last see the true self within us as being identical with that self in all beings.

Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary:
http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/etgloss/sed-sez.htm


Here is an elaborate illustration of how Atman, which is a spark from the Paramatman, manifests as different egos in the human constitution.


Ego (Latin) The personal pronoun "I"; in philosophy and theosophy, the ego is the center of 'I-am-ship' or egoity in the human being. There are two such centers: the spiritual and impersonal, commonly called the individuality; and the personal, often called the soul or the personality. The former ego is unconditionally immortal, the latter ego is conditionally immortal, but in most cases mortal because of its lack of binding aspirations with its higher Over-self, the individuality.

The ego is that which says "I am I"; it is indirect or reflected consciousness, consciousness recognizing its own mayavi existence as a separate entity. It is not the permanent self or the atma-buddhi-manas considered as an indissoluble triad; for all egos in the human constitution are reflections of the permanent spiritual selfhood. This means that there are innumerable egos of the same kind -- "myself" and other similar myselves -- also that there are egos of different kinds.

If we consider the hierarchy of the human constitution to grow from the immanent or permanent self, regarding this as the very seed of essential egoity, then a mayavi ego will be formed on each of the planes of matter and therefore on all the planes or layers of the human constitution; the seed of egoity manifesting itself in each successive vehicle and thus producing there an ego, permanent or impermanent according to its distance from the permanent self.

169

Thus we have: atman, the divine monad, giving birth to the divine ego, which latter evolves forth the monadic envelope or divine soul. Jiva, the spiritual monad, has its child, which is the spiritual ego, and this in turn evolves forth the spiritual soul or individual; and the combination of these two, considered as a unit, generally speaking, is atma-buddhi; bhutatman, the human ego -- the higher human soul, including the lower buddhi and higher manas; pranatman, the personal ego -- the ordinary human soul or person -- including manas, kama, and prana; and finally the beast or animal ego -- the vital-astral soul: kama and prana

Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary:
http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/etgloss/ea-el.htm




Devoid of such material impositions the self not just realizes but knows its true nature.


Knowing and knowledge comes before realizing and realization, which is the ultimate form as applied/experienced knowledge.

Remain blessed, rather than blessing.

saidevo
15 May 2007, 11:56 PM
For an inflated ego, Vedanta merely acts as an opium, so the best thing to do would be killing the ego that is masking the pure-self before realizing the true-self.


Karl Marx said religion is opium to the people. Your saying that Vedanta acts as an opium is like saying that Vedas are opium. Where is your prapatti, bhakti or even your Jesus' teachings without Vedas?

Here is an illustration of how prapatti is intimately connected to Vedas, here the Sama Veda:

Sama Veda, as you know, is the Veda of Music, and teaches Nadhopasana (worship through music) as a path to Brahman. Priests, known as Udgatri Priests, at Vedic rituals sing the Sama Veda mantras. That singing is known as Udgita. The Chandogya Upanishad in Sama Veda refers to the Pranavam (the Aum mantra) as the the imperishable Udgita (song).

(Chandogya Upanishad)
I-i-1: One should meditate on the syllable Om; the Udgitha, for one sings the Udgitha, beginning with Om. Of this, the explanation follows.

I-i-2: The essence of all these beings is the earth. The essence of the earth is water. The essence of water is vegetation. The essence of vegetation is man. The essence of man is speech. The essence of speech is Rik. The essence of Rik is Saman. The essence of Saman is Udgitha.

I-v-1: Now, that which is Udgitha is verily Pranava and that which is Pranava is Udgitha. The yonder sun is Udgitha and also Pranava, for he moves along pronouncing ‘Om’.

Aum as the PraNava is the state of Brahman before its manifestation as SaguNa Brahman, so it is verily Brahman himself. Aum is the essence, the undercurrent of all mantras and music, which are integral parts of worship through bhakti or devotion, where Prapatti plays a major role.

Saint Thygaraja, one of the best examples of Prapatti, totally surrendered to Sri Rama through his songs and became a Jivan Mukta. In his Saramati Raga Kriti (song), Thygaraja expatiates on the origin of Nada from Aum: Nada is born of the interaction of PraNaa and Agni. The seven Svaras and Nada originated from the Aumkara described by the Udgita of the Upanishads.

In the Hindola RagA Kriti, Thygaraja brilliantly brings out the intimate connection between Sama Veda, Sapta Svaras and Pranavam and praises Sri Krishna as their form:

"Sama Nigamaja Sudhamaya Gana Vichakshana Vedasiromatruja Saptasvara Nadaachala Deepa"

"O Lord Krishna shining like a beacon of light on the mountain of Nada based on the seven Svaras born of Pranavam, which is the source of all Vedanta! O Lord adept in the nectar-like music born of Sama Veda! O celebrated Lord, who transcends Time! Please protect me."

In his andholika raga kriti, "RagaSudhaRasa", the Saint reveals that great souls, who have the knowledge of the Svarasthanas, Nada and Aumkara are Jivan Muktas. At the end of the same kriti he says that Nada, Svara and PraNava are the very form of Sadasiva Himself. In his Chittaranjani song, "Nada Tanumanusam", the saint states that Siva is verily Nada and particularly the quintessence of Sama Veda, the best among the Vedas. Here he states that the Seven Svaras originated from the 5 faces of Sadasiva.

For more details, check http://www.ibiblio.org/sripedia/cgi-bin/kbase/Nadhopasana

You should thus understand that Prapatti is not inaction or just worldly actions with God in the consciousness; it is essentially meditation keeping God in the front (Ishvara prANidhAna), and thus is intimately connected to the paths of Yoga and Jnana advocated in the Vedanta.

satay
16 May 2007, 01:46 AM
So, is God's grace available by surrendring to Jesus only?




Reread my previous posts. When you understand the definition of “grace” you will see the truth in what I am saying. The “grace” is an unmerited favor of God and as such, any one can avail of it where no qualifications required! It is there for the asking! No where in the Bible does it say “you have grace only through Jesus”.


WHAT!!
My dear friend nirotu, I don’t know if you are serious or are you pulling my leg. If you are pulling my leg, okay, I admit that you got me!

It is you who has the wrong understanding of ‘grace’ even per Christian understanding. Grace is a ‘favour’ yes (according to Christian understanding) but don’t forget what Paul says!

“so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign…to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”

Try to understand the Christian meaning behind the creation. Why did God create the universe? Why did he spend thousands of years preparing for Christ? Why was there an incarnation and death and then resurrection of Jesus?

And don't overlook...

Colossians 1:16

“All things are through him and for him”

The triumphant reign of grace unto eternal life is “through Jesus Christ our Lord” !!

This is the Christian understanding according to New Testament.

When I invited you on HDF I was looking forward to a Christian perspective and a dialogue, however, I have to say that I am very disappointed in your behaviour on HDF.

As a Christian you are not sincere in presenting the gospel properly, you are in as they say, trying to build ‘in roads’ by hook and crook and by saying anything and everything twisting the message of Christ to get accepted among us as a ‘sob story’. I am truly very disappointed.

Once again, I think that all members here would appreciate your honesty not only with us but to yourself. You owe it to yourself. Please forget about twisting the message and building inroads with gentiles and first try to understand the message and importance of Christ from Christian perspective.

Pope St. Leo had this to say, “The Law through Moses, Grace through Jesus”

By removing Jesus from the equation you have made God’s plan and his son’s sacrifice useless.

God’s grace is ONLY available through Jesus Christ is the Christian understanding. If you don’t hold this view anymore, I don’t think that you are presenting the Christian view point here on HDF.



It is a sad commentary that Jesus Christ was crucified only once but in these days many Christians and Non-Chrsitians crucify Him daily with a corrupt understanding of His message!


Yes, Indeed!

Read Romans properly, especially chapters 1 to 5.


Oh and by the way, Gyana, Bhakti, Yoga and Meditation might be useless crutches to you and your fellow brethern, however, they remain valid paths to moksha or salvation according to our scriptures.

As Singhi has already explained very nicely, if 'grace' works for you that is all well and good. Please do not shove the concept of 'grace' down other people's throats.

And I have quoted so much of the malecha scripture here that I need to recharge myself mentally so I have to end with a verse from the song of the lord.

At the end of Gita, Arjuna says in adhaya 18 shloka 73

nasto mohah smrtir labdha
tvat-prasadan mayacyuta
sthito 'smi gata-sandehah
karisye vacanam tava

"By your grace my delusion is destroyed, I have gained self knowledge, my confusion with regard to body and spirit is dispelled and I shall obey your command"

note to self: move these posts to christian forums...

note to nirotu: this post has been reviewed by AgniDeva a member with several years of experience in moderation on another forum. I have edited it accordingly to remove lines that could have been considered as personal attacks indirectly.

Personal attacks (direct or indirect) were never my intention. Members on HDF only want you to be honest in presenting the christian point of view or provide explanation of your personal assertions that seem to be based on the bible.

Especially, I will be waiting for your explanation on the remark below, which is clearly contrary to the central message of jesus. I have provided some quotes from your scripture to support my remarks that your statement below is against the teachings of Jesus. Note that I am only a student of your scriptures and lack the indepth understanding that you may.

Havind said that though I must stand by my understanding that 'salvation and grace come through jesus alone' otherwise he, his sacrifice and god's little plan are useless even to christians!



No where in the Bible does it say “you have grace only through Jesus”.

sm78
16 May 2007, 02:25 AM
Perhaps, this simple analogy will help you understand it better.

If you place a knife in the hands of a 2 year old child, there is a danger that the child will misuse it (possibly hurt himself!) .......


My dear friend everyone is not a year old child. A child must grow up one day ... sure you will too ....

atanu
16 May 2007, 02:46 PM
Dear Satay, Sm78, Atanu and Saidevo:

-----

Atanu:

You seem to again and again help make my point! Yes, Vedanta will not be revealed to an inflated ego! That is why ego has to be deflated first! That can only happen through surrender and what I call the first step!

Atanu, all I am trying to say is that the start of the journey is very crucial because of the tenacious hold of the ego. ------,


Namaste Nirotu,

On the contrary.

As before, I will request you to be truthful. Please obtain clarifications of your thoughts from yourself and then write. You had written "For an inflated ego, Vedanta merely acts as an opium,----" This is very different from "Yes, Vedanta will not be revealed to an inflated ego!".

When an inflated ego has no chance to reach Vedanta then how can Vedanta ever become opium to an inflated ego?


Nirotu, it is simply not surrender where one is more concerned about other paths and their deficiencies rather than one's own path.


Although, I once more request you to be truthful to yourself and decide first as to what you really want to convey, I know that my request is futile since time and again you have betrayed brash attitude towards different paths of sanatana dharma.


Om Namah Shivaya

nirotu
17 May 2007, 12:01 PM
. Your saying that Vedanta acts as an opium is like saying that Vedas are opium. Where is your prapatti, bhakti or even your Jesus' teachings without Vedas?
Dear Saidevo:

Please, Saidevo!! Why are you so determined to twist my words and miss-interpret? Does that what my statement says or is it your interpretation? Please, look at the operative words used in the sentence. “For an inflated ego, Vedanta merely acts as opium” Notice the focus of the statement is in the subject: “inflated ego” and, not in the object “Veda”.

To a drunken man the world appears upside down. Does that mean world truly is upside down? To a man wearing red glasses the surrounding world appears only as red where as a man with blue glasses it appears only in blue. Does that mean this unchanging world suddenly becomes an object of their vision at the whims of these people? You seem to focus more on the object and not on the changing nature of the subject. The reference here is to the changing nature of man that is “inflated ego” not the unchanging truths of Vedas. We are talking about ego and not sacred Vedas here!

To a person with a very bloated ego the same Sacred Vedanta acts as opium. Perhaps, I should qualify it further. To a bloated ego any scripture (Hindu or Christian or Islam) acts as opium. I don’t have to look far. Every Sunday I see this in Churches in many parts of the world (through TV of course!) where the ego is in full command of the scripture! If such a statement offends you, I am sorry! Once again, I was making a point regarding bloated ego in a man and not criticizing Vedas!

. You should thus understand that Prapatti is not inaction or just worldly actions with God in the consciousness; it is essentially meditation keeping God in the front (Ishvara prANidhAna), and thus is intimately connected to the paths of Yoga and Jnana advocated in the Vedanta.
Yes, I agree but before you even begin to engage in any actions how do you get into that mode or consciousness without the hand of grace, when ego is nicely thriving? That’s been my main point.

Finally, let me ask you this with a sincere heart. Here is honest post by Yajavan asking others to participate giving their opinion. I considered mine as an appropriate response (post #3) to him within the context of his question. I have tried to use terms like Self, Yoga, Jnana, Bhakti etc (basic to Hindu Philosophy), which are very foreign to Christianity. How can any one even remotely connect my response to Christianity? Especially, when I use term like surrender to grace or prapatti, which I have exclusively borrowed from Ramanuja’s Philosophy, why there is so much knee-jerk reaction? Why do you get so upset when I interject Dvaita, VA or even Christian thoughts in meaningful way to make an argument? Why does it have to end up in personal attacks?

For a productive spiritual discussion, I do believe one has to go beyond dogmatic assertions and present real arguments. We can debate on arguments, as long as it does not lead into personal confrontation of any kind. I have, at least in my view, tried to do that by separating “spirituality” from “religion” but without any recognition of that effort. It seems I am spending more time defending my position on “proselytizing” than any other thing that is useful.

It is not clear to me if we are engaged in defending our faith in God or defending our ideas about God! While it is acceptable to argue on each other’s ideas of God but many have gone as far as to attack the person presenting it and his character and possibly his motive. It is unfortunate that some (not you!) have made it their primary goal to make it difficult for me to discuss a simple argument by resorting to religion. They are bent on hanging the messenger rather than focusing on the point of the message. With this kind of attitude it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to continue with a meaningful exchange. Once again, I do think this forum can serve as a valuable platform if, instead of reacting to labels and terms, we can find this exchange to further our own spiritual journey.

In that regard, I have always admired and very much respected many of your views that were very spiritual in nature. I do appreciate your time spent with me and very insightful and different points of view you have provided.


Blessings,

nirotu
17 May 2007, 01:17 PM
My dear friend everyone is not a year old child. A child must grow up one day ... sure you will too ....
Dear sm78:

You may not be a child now but at least you must have grown from being a child! I bet my bottom dollar, you were born some day before growing in to an adult. I guess, I have lots of growing up to do. Yes, every thing applies to me as well. I am not above any of these! What you become of as an adult now surely tells me the choices you made as a child. Those choices are initial steps are crucial in your later development that shaped life of you and me. That initial step I call turning to grace.

You seem to miss my point. Metaphorically speaking, just as child’s mind cannot fully comprehend the proper use of knife, the ego of the mind is also not fully able to comprehend the tools at hand. While tools that you describe so well are necessary but developing a discerning mind is also equally necessary to utilize them properly.

To what extent the knowledge dawns in that child depends on early upbringing of that child. Similarly, to what extent you use all tools at your disposal depends on the action you take as a first-step. All I am saying is that the first-step is turning to grace! I believe that these are the sayings of Sage Ramanuja!

Blessings,

nirotu
17 May 2007, 01:32 PM
When an inflated ego has no chance to reach Vedanta then how can Vedanta ever become opium to an inflated ego?
I am afraid I have once again confounded you!

Because the Truth of Vedanta cannot be revealed to an inflated-ego in its purest form, it becomes (acts as) an opium. If truth of Vedanta gets revealed why would it be called opium at all? Because the truth of Vedas do not get revealed to an inflated-ego that is why it becomes opium.

Fact is that the truth of the Vedas cannot be revealed in its “purest form” to an inflated ego (notice operative word: purest form)! Therefore, an inflated-ego uses Vedantic message as a crutch to cling to and convinces itself it knows the truth. That is what I call opium. It is when you actually don’t know, you have lulled yourself into thinking that you know!

This has been my simple point to beware of how an inflated ego can prematurely handle Vedas. As Ramana Maharishi so beautifully elaborates, “when the thief dressed in policeman’s clothes and catches the thief, he may think he has caught a thief but he still is a thief!” Perhaps, you should shift your focus from the unchanging nature of the object (Vedas) to the changing nature of the subject (inflated-ego) and then you will grasp the intended meaning of that statement in that context!

Any way, if such statements offend you, you have my sincere apologies. Because, with you “clarity always comes at the expense of charity”.

Although, I once more request you to be truthful to yourself and decide first as to what you really want to convey, I know that my request is futile since time and again you have betrayed brash attitude towards different paths of sanatana dharma
My dear friend, I wish you had not made such statements. I sincerely feel these statements are not warranted. You are making me reluctantly answer your baseless allegations. This topic started by Yajavan was simply asking others to express their opinion. Whether one agrees with other’s opinion should be a matter of discussion not turning into religious war. You have taken every one of my statement to construe with Christianity. I call that a poor judgment (should I say brash attitude) on your part. Perhaps, look in to a mirror and this is what you might see!

- When I expressed my opinion about Upanishad being presented in double voice, and asked for the true nature of the parent gospel, you almost immediately jumped to conclusion that I am blaspheming sacred scripture. You did not even spend a minute trying to understand from an intellectual/rational perspective!

- When I expressed my opinion about incoherent nature of some of the terms in Sage Shankara’s Vedanta, you immediately jumped the gun and proclaimed I am blaspheming Shankara!

- When the topic was about Mystical experience that had nothing to do with any religion but mystical experience you immediately accused me of bringing Christian doctrine!

- Even with the topic at hand, I tried to use terms like “Prapatti “ that is; “surrender to Grace” , which was strictly from Ramanuja’s philosophy, you immediately concluded there is an undercurrent of Christianity. Heck, another member (sm78) goes as far as requesting moderator to move it to a Christian board!

How can I make any rational conversation with you when you are so hung up on labels and terms? When a topic is of such a subtle spiritual nature why do you inject religion and corrupt and derail other’s thoughts?

Notwithstanding above remarks, I still admire your intellect in Advaita! You have great understanding and insight of Advaita philosophy we all envy. But, that should not in anyway be used to negate or discard other thoughts outside of Advaita. You seem to live in a fortress with heavy walls and as soon as you detect any thought contrary to Advaita, especially coming from me, to you immediately it becomes Blasphemy.

You remind me of Pharisees living at the time of Jesus Christ! Rather than understand and intellectually argue with Jesus Christ as to why He healed the sick during the Sabbath, they immediately jumped to conclusion that Jesus was Blaspheming Sabbath! They were more interested in keeping up with the tradition than a sick man being healed! Notice their focus and your focus! I believe, that is exactly what you and others are doing with the statement I made, “For an Inflated ego, Vedanta merely acts as opium”.

The contrary views should be welcome in a debate or discussions of this sort that is why it is called debate. Contrary views must be handled rationally in an intelligent way and not by crying foul in the name of another religion.

Blessings,

saidevo
17 May 2007, 02:19 PM
Namaste Nirotu.

1. "For an inflated ego, Vedanta merely acts as an opium."
2. "To a person with a very bloated ego the same Sacred Vedanta acts as opium."

I have never had a formal course in the nuances of English grammar. I learnt the English alphabets only when in my fifth grade and could not write a sentence of my own until I came out of the school! Any grammatical correctness that happens to be found in my English is only instinctive.

That said, do you honestly think that the two sentences from you convey the same meaning to the reader in unambiguous terms? If you knew that Vedanta is 'sacred' why not say it in the first place and avoid all unnecessary analysis of your prose?

Nirotu, the gap between thoughts and words is wide; and tricky. And the key color of thoughts would reflect on the words, howevermuch you try to filter or soften it.

The first sentence of yours may easily lead to these derivatives, while the second may not:

-- What acts as an opium for an inflated ego?
-- Vedanta.

-- Vedanta acts as what?
-- Opium.

-- To what Vedanta is like opium?
-- Inflated ego.

-- What is an inflated ego?
-- An embodied soul.

-- So every human is an inflated ego?
-- Yes, except those who surrender to God.

-- Inflated egos that don't surrender, can't progress with Vedanta?
-- Yes.

-- Why?
-- Because it is like opium to them.

-- What is your point of view here, Vendata or inflated egos?
-- Inflated egos, of course.

-- I am an inflated ego who does not easily surrender to God. So according to your POV, Vedanta is opium to me?
-- Yes from my POV, not towards you, but an inflated ego.

-- Do you consider yourself an inflated ego?
-- Probably not, because I surrender to God.

-- Assuming that you have some scope for inflation of ego, do you think Vedanta would benefit your spiritual progress, or would it be an opium?
-- If I am an inflated ego, yes, Vedata would be opium to me.

-- If you are not an inflated ego, since you surrender to God, how do you know that Vedanta would be like opium? Did you try it and know or is it merely a conjecture?
-- I have no faith in Vedantic methods, so I don't think I will try them.

-- So, in your opinion, those who try Vedanta instead of just surrendering to God, would become more and more intoxicated because Vedanta would act as opium?
-- To an inflated ego, yes.

-- If you are not an inflated ego, if you have not tried Vedanta or don't want to try it, on what authority you make your statement that Vedanta will be like opium to an inflated ego?

I take exception even to the way to you present Vedanta in the second sentence. The exception is to the word 'opium'.

Opium is a gross herbal substance that intoxicates with psychedelic states that has no connection with spirituality or spiritual progress. How ignorant should a person be to compare Vedanta, that has the loftiest knowledge in the human and divine realms with opium? How can a person with such ignorance and obstinacy hope to be childlike and surrender to God?

Do you know that Vedas/Vedanta have existed since the time of Creation in Hinduism, which was 155.521972 trillion years ago?

Now, don't try to be apologetic. You profess to have high regard for the Hindu scriptures and the Hindu dharma, but in your discussions you cleverly (should I say craftily?) interject a word or phrase and seek to demean other points of view.

To demean and be crafty is the job of the missionaries. We know that you have faith in Jesus, we don't mind your considering him as your sole/soul saviour, we don't even mind your supporting the evangelists and presenting your points in appropriate forums here in HDF (that is what Satay has invited you for), but try to be intelletually honest.

It is not settling scores; not winning or losing a debate; and certainly not shoving POVs down other throats. It is only sharing of spiritual knowledge, experiences and POVs.

I shall reply to your other observations in a separate post.

nirotu
17 May 2007, 04:03 PM
Well, Saidevo:

I am not sure if you read my last post correctly. I have already addressed and clarified my point of view regarding this statement. No one has denied the loftiness of Vedas. In fact, I also have high regard for its content. It is the nature of ego that makes crutch of anything. It is the ego that is susceptible in man at that stage of the journey. That is all we are cautioning about.

More over, I have sincerely apologized for mis-understanding caused in that offensive statement. I just don’t understand why you are continuing to emphasize a moot point!

Blessings,

saidevo
18 May 2007, 12:22 AM
Namaste Nirotu.



To a bloated ego any scripture (Hindu or Christian or Islam) acts as opium. I don’t have to look far. Every Sunday I see this in Churches in many parts of the world (through TV of course!) where the ego is in full command of the scripture!


Let us discuss this observation of yours. Be assured that I have rightly understood that your motive is spiritual, and that only childlike surrender to God is required; the scriptures are all like opium that bloat the already bloated ego further.

Every child knows about God only through the parents, mostly from the mother.
Every child knows about God only through the religion of its parents, usually the father's.

Ignoring the cases of atheist parents, whatever the religion, interaction with God is introduced to the child first by simple prayers (and mantras in Hinduism). And God is introduced by a personal name: Krishna, Rama, Narayana, Shiva, Ganesh, Jesus, or any other.

In an orthodox family, the child is also taught some scriptures and taken to the temple or church in order to foster a community feeling of its religion. Thereafter, the child learns to visualize the God in its mind and interact with Him on its own. Religion is thus a familial as well as a communal culture.

A parent of the child might have taught it about surrendering to God's grace, but the child never understands it fully, until it has made its own efforts and found out by its personal experiences. The parent might try to spoon-feed surrender and grace, and the child might appear to take it, relish it, and grow with it, but the assimilation of these spiritual concepts is only by experience born out of acts and efforts. To a child, its thinking of God is meditation and the what it learns by it is jnAna (knowledge).

A Hindu is not required to go to the temples regularly by the religion. He is encouraged to worship God, not just every Sunday, but daily in his puja room in a personal form. When it comes to a personal form of God, no other religion excels in the concept, as Hinduism. A Christian might invite Jesus to come to him/her through the Holy Spirit, but to a Hindu a personal God always resides in him/her in the form of an ishta devata ever since his/her birth.

A Christian is required/encouraged to regularly attend the Sunday masses in his/her church, seek the counsel of the priest for spiritual guidance to invite and entertain Jesus in his daily life through the Holy Ghost or Spirit. The Christian dogmas do not allow a Christian to seek Jesus or His Father in a personal way, only through the hierarchy of priest-Spirit-Jesus-God.

Unlike the many Christians (known by their names) in HDF who have indicated their religion as Sanatana Dharma (perhaps they seek to strengthen their own faith in Christianity through the comforting concepts of Sanatana Dharma), you have not indicated your religion as Sanatana Dharma in your profile in HDF, so I take it to be Christianity. If that be so, I am surprised at your disparaging remarks about churches "where the ego is in full command of the scriptures"! Did the Apostles who wrote the Bible have ego? To what extent did it command/color the Christian scriptures? If they did not have ego, and everyone of them displayed a childlike surrender to Jesus (remember, one of them betrayed Jesus), why do their versions differ, specially when it is supposed to be Jesus' words to them and God's words to Jesus? Did the Apostles read each other's version? Is it not the expression of their egos that has resulted in differing versions? If it is, in what way are the Gospels the Truth about God and God's own words?

If ego commands scriptures and they in turn act as opium to a seeker, why do you quote frequently from the Bible? The discussions about Christianity in this thread are the offshoots of your quotes and remarks. Do you think you can surrender to God, childlike, without having the knowledge of any religion or scriptures or a label for God like Jesus, Krishna, etc? Even God is a label!

The wisemen will understand that Prapatti is the connection, Bhakti is the communication, Jnana is the contents and Vedas are the field of our interaction with God, any god, personal or impersonal, of any religion.

saidevo
18 May 2007, 01:36 AM
Namaste Nirotu,



Finally, let me ask you this with a sincere heart. Here is honest post by Yajavan asking others to participate giving their opinion. I considered mine as an appropriate response (post #3) to him within the context of his question.


Hope you will consider my posts #14 (that places Prapatti as used by Patanjali Maharshi in proper context), #18 and #19 as also relevant within the context of the OP! Many thanks to you, if you do so.



I have tried to use terms like Self, Yoga, Jnana, Bhakti etc (basic to Hindu Philosophy), which are very foreign to Christianity. How can any one even remotely connect my response to Christianity?

Especially, when I use term like surrender to grace or prapatti, which I have exclusively borrowed from Ramanuja’s Philosophy, why there is so much knee-jerk reaction? Why do you get so upset when I interject Dvaita, VA or even Christian thoughts in meaningful way to make an argument? Why does it have to end up in personal attacks?


Jesus might be the only Saviour to you and the Bible your only tool of communication with Him, but you should understand that to most Hindus and in a Hindu Forum like the HDF, Jesus is nothing more than artifice for agression and Bible is anathema, mainly because either of them does not believe in peaceful co-existence with other faiths.

When you discuss either of them in a Hindu Forum, you are welcome to make a honest presentation of them as they are, without trying to extrapolate or discover hidden and metaphorical meanings in them that honest, enlightened Christian scholars and other Christians have not done.

You should also understand that Sanatana Dharma is an ocean where many rivers discharge their currents. There are many paths to salvation in Hinduism. We have multitudinous sects and gods and gurus and ways, but they never revile one another or shove one's POV down another's throat.

We may discuss that only Vishnu or Shiva or Krishna or Shakti is the supreme God and try to prove that it is so, but we never say that all Hindus should worship only one of them for salvation. Personally, I am an Advaitin but I worship all Hindu Gods, revere all Hindu Gurus and their teachings, though my own personal views differ. It is this freedom in Hinduism that makes it a Sanatana Dharma.

And, most importantly, our sects are all Vedas-based. If you say that Vedas are like opium, even qualifying them with the adjective 'sacred', then it is either reviling and shoving down your POV or displaying your (feigned) ignorance which is what is resented by the HDF members. There is no point in saying such things first and then being apologetic after the milk is spilled.

This is not to say that one has no intellectual freedom to discuss religious concepts, intra as well as inter; only that the freedom should not be abused.

saidevo
18 May 2007, 02:58 AM
Namaste Nirotu,

You seem to be fond of the quotes from Ramana Maharshi where he compares the mind to a monkey and a thief in the guise of a policeman. By these quotes you try to give an impression that Bhagavan Ramana supported childlike surrender to obtain God's grace.

Here is what the sage says about the role of God's grace and surrender in Self-Realization:



"Leave God's job to God. You are to do what is in your hands. When the time is ripe, God's grace which is always operating, would be felt by you also. Grace would work automatically."

Bhagavan advised that three things should be kept in mind --
i) individual effort,
ii) the appropriate time,
iii) God's grace

He graciously observed:
"Keep at your practice. There is no need to remind God about his business, which is to keep an eye always on our welfare. The mistake one is prone to make is to abandon effort under the mistaken impression that God's grace is absent. But one should not slacken, for God's grace is bound to operate at the ripe time."

-- Sishtla Subba Rao on Bhagavan. UY p121.
http://end-to-suffering.blogspot.com/2007/03/god-grace.html

The conversation turned upon the question as to whether Iswara
Prasad (Divine Grace) is necessary for the attaining of samrajya (universal dominion) or whether a jiva's honest and strenuous efforts to attain it cannot of themselves lead him to That from whence is no return to life and death.

The Maharshi with an ineffable smile which lit up His Holy Face and which was all-pervasive, shining upon the coterie around him, replied in tones of certainty and with the ring of truth; "Divine Grace is essential for Realisation. It leads one to God-realisation. But such Grace is vouchsafed only to him who is a true devotee or a yogin, who has striven hard and ceaselessly on the path towards freedom."

D.: It is said that Divine Grace is necessary to attain successful undistracted mind (samadhi). Is that so?

Maharshi: We are God (Iswara). Iswara Drishti (i.e., seeing ourselves as God)
is itself Divine Grace. So we need Divine Grace to get God's Grace. Maharshi smiles and all devotees laugh together.

D.: There is also Divine Favour (Iswara anugraham) as distinct from Divine Grace (Iswara prasadam). Is that so?

Maharshi: The thought of God is Divine Favour! He is by nature Grace (prasad or arul). It is by God's Grace that you think of God.

D.: Is not the Master's Grace the result of God's Grace?

Maharshi: Why distinguish between the two? The Master is the same as God and not different from him.
http://talks-with-ramana-maharshi.blogspot.com/2007/04/talk-29.html

A person begins with dissatisfaction. Not content with the world he seeks satisfaction of desires by prayers to God; his mind is purified; he longs to know God more than to satisfy his carnal desires. Then God's Grace begins to manifest. God takes the form of a Guru and appears to the devotee; teaches him the Truth; purifies the mind by his teachings and contact; the mind gains strength, is able to turn inward; with meditation it is purified yet further, and eventually remains still without the least ripple. That stillness is the Self. The Guru is both exterior and interior. From the exterior he gives a push to the mind to turn inward; from the interior he pulls the mind towards the Self and helps the mind to achieve quietness. That is Grace.Hence there is no difference between God, Guru and Self.

(Source: Talks with Ramana Maharshi, vol. 1 published by Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai, Tamilnadu.

Question: How is a Guru found?

Sri Ramana Maharshi: God, who is immanent, in His grace takes pity on the loving devotee and manifests himself according to the devotee's development. The devotee thinks that he is a man and expects a relationship between two physical bodies. But the Guru, who is a God or the Self incarnate works from within, helps the man to see the error of his ways and guides him on the right path until he realises the Self within.

Question: What is the significance of Guru's grace in the attainment of liberation?

Sri Ramana Maharshi: Liberation is not anywhere outside you. It is only within. If a man is anxious for deliverance, the internal Guru pulls him in and the external Guru pushes him into the Self. This is the grace of the Guru.

A spiritually minded man thinks that God is all pervading and takes God for his Guru. Later, God brings him in contact with a personal Guru and the man recognises him as all in all. Lastly the same man is made by the grace of the master to feel that his Self is the reality and nothing else. Thus he finds that the Self is the master.
http://www.kundalinisupport.com/guru.htm

God's grace is the beginning, the middle, and the end. When you pray for God's grace, you are like someone standing neck-deep in water and yet crying for water. It is like saying that someone neck-deep in water feels thirsty, or that a fish in water feels thirsty, or that water feels thirsty.
http://web.ionsys.com/~remedy/MAHARSHI,%20Sri%20Ramana.htm

Take the case of bhakti. I approach Isvara and pray to be absorbed in Him. I then surrender myself in faith and by concentration. What remains afterwards? In the place of the original 'I' perfect self-surrender leaves a residium of God in which the 'I' is lost. This is the highest form of parabhakti (supreme bhakti), prapti (surrender) or the height of vairagya.
http://www.murugan.org/bhaktas/maharshi.htm


The bottom line: Understand that the concept of Prapatti in Hinduism does not act as the concept of grace in Christianity: do nothing but just invite Jesus by the Holy Spirit, surrender childlike to Jesus, and continue with your worldly life of sin (for everyman is a sinner), and Jeus on the Judgment Day will recommend your case to God, take any sins that you have accumulated and influence God to grant you eternal heaven.

As you are aware, Ramana had no guru except Shiva as the Lord of Arunachala, who made him realize that the Self was not the body that dies and set him on the path of Self Inquiry. Thereafter, Ramana did intense Tapas for months together in the true Vedic fashion, became a Maharshi, a Bhagavan and a Jivan Mukta. You might (in your ignorance) think of him as just a sage, a Self-Realized soul and a teacher of the Truth, but to many, including a large number of Westerners, Bhagavan Ramana is verily the Bhagavan, the Lord of Arunachala Himself, who is not just an electric bulb but an inner, spiritual sun which that has the kOti sUrya prakAsha of the ordinary suns like Jesus, who is touted as the only Son of God.

satay
18 May 2007, 10:34 AM
namaste all,
based on Agni's review of my post #20, I have edited it accordingly.

Nirotu, I have also added more remarks to the post. These remarks are the same that I also sent to you in my reply to your personal email.

I will wait and look for your posts explaining the background of your remark on God's grace being available to all without Christ.

Till then at least for me there is no point in discussing this topic any longer.

atanu
18 May 2007, 01:27 PM
I am afraid I have once again confounded you!

Because the Truth of Vedanta cannot be revealed to an inflated-ego in its purest form, it becomes (acts as) an opium. -------



Yes Nirotu you confound all of us again and again with impunity. You know how truthful you are. Don't you? Why do you alter the sentences and their meanings as if as an after thought?





You remind me of Pharisees living at the time of Jesus Christ! Rather than understand and intellectually argue with Jesus Christ as to why He healed the sick during the Sabbath, they immediately jumped to conclusion that Jesus was Blaspheming Sabbath! ------.

-------
Blessings,

Intellectual argument and Nirotu are very greatly apart. It is definitely dangerous to argue with you.

And I am not as far sighted as you are so as to compare you with christian murderers. But you definitely remind me of Anil Antony.


No one here has objected to child like surrender. What I personally find obnoxious is that a fully surrendered devotee will have no business to point finger at faith of others. First you achieve full surrender then preach and bless.

Regarding your (and Anil Antony's) fake and malicious citation of Ramana Maharshi, very appropriate answers have been given by Saidevoji. I will add that full surrender is not possible without the Jnana that the EGO itself is fake. So, one comes back to the beginning of Shankara: "DISCRIMINATION". And Ramana Maharshi, whom you are fond of quoting endorses Shankara and Enquiry into the Self.

nirotu
18 May 2007, 05:59 PM
Dear Saidevo and Atanu:

Despite my attempts misunderstanding continues. Your comments contradict the very essence of spiritual journey. If any of us were truly undertaking the spiritual journey (practically) we would be showing lot more detachment from our own views and would come across lot less reactive to labels and messengers.

In fact, you are all demonstrating the very point I am making. At a premature stage how attached once ego is getting to their own ideas. At the beginning stage of the journey a fragile ego (restless monkey) looks for any crutch to cling to. If I may point out, see how viciously the ego is clinging to the forum as a branch thereby preventing evolution into the next stage of the journey. When you are so viciously attached to your ideas you are negating the very essence of the whole journey. Out of this mess only the hand of grace can lift one!

I suggest we take a break from this discussion and take a deep breath and more importantly take time to contemplate deeply about our own attachments and reactions!



Good buy and have a great weekend!

Blessings,

atanu
19 May 2007, 02:34 AM
---------

You remind me of Pharisees living at the time of Jesus Christ! ------
Blessings,


Namaskar Nirotu,

If I remind you of Pharisees do you want me to remember you as Jesus?


Please realise the enormity of your statements.


Om Namah Shivaya

atanu
19 May 2007, 05:46 AM
Dear Saidevo and Atanu:

Despite my attempts misunderstanding continues. ------,

In fact your very eager attempts is the obstacle -- for you and not for others.

The surrender message of Shri Krishna comes last in the 18th Chapter of Gita and the Karma, devotion, and Jnana before that. Through selfless karma, through devotional worship, and through discriminative knowledge one attains the child like ego less quality. Else, the reformer attitude, which is another name of inflated ego, prevails.

It is accepted that Atanu is not ego free. But Nirotu you are requested to please examine your own status rather than pointing out flaws in others and everything will be OK. All your posts aver that you alone have surrendered fully while others are travelling on wrong paths.

Please examine your statements earnestly.

Shri Krishna and other sanatana dharma preceptors have not taught Karma, Bhakti, and Jnana as crutches but as practical aids, which are essential.

Do not insult Sanatana dharma preceptors. And come out honestly as the real you: Anil ------, a christian reformer. We will respect you for honesty.


Blessings,

Om Namah Shivaya

nirotu
31 May 2007, 05:46 PM
Dear Saidevo:

It never ceases to amaze me! A simple discussion led by Yajavan has been turned into a religion based discussion. Your responses are spread out in multiple posts and let me answer a few as best as I possibly can.

A Christian is required/encouraged to regularly attend the Sunday masses in his/her church, seek the counsel of the priest for spiritual guidance to invite and entertain Jesus in his daily life through the Holy Ghost or Spirit. The Christian dogmas do not allow a Christian to seek Jesus or His Father in a personal way, only through the hierarchy of priest-Spirit-Jesus-God.Is this your interpretation of Christian living? Where does it say in the Bible that going to Sunday mass is required to make you a Christian much less a better Christian? Frankly, going to Church on Sundays does not make you a Christian any more than going to McDonalds makes you a hamburger!!!!

I sense that you have known the Bible only from what you have seen in your surroundings. Just as Hindus personalize God, every true Christian believes in a personal relationship with God. For them it is not a religion but a relationship, personal one at that.

Those who assert that the Holy Spirit is accessible only by believing in Christ betray their allegiance to a corrupt text! Those people seem to overlook the correct interpretation that comes from Luke 11: 11"Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" (KJV: Bold for emphasis)


Unlike the many Christians (known by their names) in HDF who have indicated their religion as Sanatana Dharma (perhaps they seek to strengthen their own faith in Christianity through the comforting concepts of Sanatana Dharma), you have not indicated your religion as Sanatana Dharma in your profile in HDF, so I take it to be Christianity. You seem to be hung up on what religious platform one comes from. Such labeling leads one to very pre-conceived ideas, which inevitably leads to prejudice. As I have said repeatedly in the past that no one should label people based on cast, creed, religion, which inevitably moves the spirit of discussion into confrontation! When my topic is based purely on spirituality I like to continue with the same flavor!

Far and above that, this kind of emphasis on labeling and attention to “namarupa” is the very antithesis of true spirituality. The goal of true spirituality is to get liberated from the web that the mind spins as names and labels. So, emphasizing that, you are running counter to the very goal of such spiritual discussions. Hence, I would urge you to try and keep the focus on a little bit loftier emphasis.


If that be so, I am surprised at your disparaging remarks about churches "where the ego is in full command of the scriptures"! I do not believe in institutional preaching, although, some are very honest in their presentation of the truth. Many adopt scare tactics to lure people into their fold. I do believe that a person’s allegiance to faith should be based on her/his sincere desire to seek truth and not based on personal emotional attachment to culture and tradition. And thus, when we continue to emphasize namarupa and labels, we remain caught in that very loop that we want to transcend!


Did the Apostles who wrote the Bible have ego? To what extent did it command/color the Christian scriptures? If they did not have ego, and everyone of them displayed a childlike surrender to Jesus (remember, one of them betrayed Jesus), why do their versions differ, specially when it is supposed to be Jesus' words to them and God's words to Jesus? Did the Apostles read each other's version? Is it not the expression of their egos that has resulted in differing versions? If it is, in what way are the Gospels the Truth about God and God's own words?First of all, I consider the scripture as inspired by the Holy Spirit. As such, the Holy Spirit inspired their mind and not their pen! The different versions are written strictly for different audiences. The Ramayana written by Valmiki is different than the one written by Tulsidas at least in some textual areas. Although, I consider both have been inspired by the Holy Spirit they are projected to different audience.


The discussions about Christianity in this thread are the offshoots of your quotes and remarks. Do you think you can surrender to God, childlike, without having the knowledge of any religion or scriptures or a label for God like Jesus, Krishna, etc? Even God is a label!Hmmm! I would tread carefully! Lets look at the OP by Yajvan one more time and also my immediate response before all of you gave it a different spin! I have taken extreme care not to discuss Christianity while discussing a general spiritual topic. Go back and look each of my Ops. Those who sought deliberately to instill confrontation have snuck that in! I have quoted all Sages, Jesus Christ to make a point in our discussion. But, many have given their own spin to bring religious front! This should be painfully obvious to you!!!


The wisemen will understand that Prapatti is the connection, Bhakti is the communication, Jnana is the contents and Vedas are the field of our interaction with God, any god, personal or impersonal, of any religion.Very interesting indeed!! Let me use this to make my point. The brilliance of a light bulb cannot be known until it is connected to the source of electricity. Now, using your analogy of Prapatti as a connection, without that connection (Prapatti) nothing you or I do will lead you to the right end! Various modes that you describe viz, Jnana, Bhakti etc are like light bulbs of various voltages. For some Jnana is of higher voltage and for others it is Bhakti that forms a primary vehicle. But, in and of itself, they have no brilliance to demonstrate unless that connection to the source of energy is made!!

I do believe that the Prapatti is the catalyst for all other modes to bloom in man!! This is what I have been saying all along, which unfortunately has been misinterpreted and spun out of control! The initial step in every spiritual journey has been the “surrender” to grace or the connection so to speak! All other activities such as Jnana, Bhakti are necessary but will not evolve unless the surrender takes place!

Perhaps, I should back this up with my scriptural understanding:

In Mahabharata Arjuna had all the knowledge, bhakti and the strength to take on the entire army of Kaurava single handed. Yet, he was not able to see the “vishvarupa” of God at least not until he bowed down to the Grace in complete humility and surrender! See how we remember Arjuna from scriptures.

In Ramayana, Ravana is equally revered for his Jnana, Bhakti and knowledge. But, because his ego dominated over all these qualities, he did not bow down to the Lord (Rama). Now see how we remember Ravana from scriptures.

Therefore, I agree that Prapatti (the connection) is the key to everything else! Otherwise, ego may dominate!


And, most importantly, our sects are all Vedas-based. If you say that Vedas are like opium, even qualifying them with the adjective 'sacred', then it is either reviling and shoving down your POV or displaying your (feigned) ignorance which is what is resented by the HDF members. There is no point in saying such things first and then being apologetic after the milk is spilled.Coming back to my very first response, I will admit that “opium” was a poor choice of word to go along with Veda. I have since reasoned with you and when that didn’t convince you, I apologized. But, your determined will has put a strong hold on to your ideas that is ignoring any reasonable view from the other side, which is evident in posts that are very judgmental in nature. Because, such judgments and conclusions seldom leave room for alternate possibilities. While I appreciate your passion for your own ideas, which is good because it keeps you going, but at the same time preventing you from seeing the other person’s point of view.


When you discuss either of them in a Hindu Forum, you are welcome to make a honest presentation of them as they are, without trying to extrapolate or discover hidden and metaphorical meanings in them that honest, enlightened Christian scholars and other Christians have not done.In any discussion whenever someone presents his/her vision of reality, he/she is merely highlighting pros of that viewpoint. That does not mean they are out to denigrate other people’s viewpoint but highlighting their own viewpoint. The highlight of my vision has always been the timing of the spiritual journey which has nothing to do with any religion at all! Just as how a make up of a person is dependent on early steps of child’s upbringing, the direction in which one evolves spiritually is greatly dependent on that first-step taken in his/her spiritual journey. Because, if I may add to what I said in earlier posts, giving that child a knife (at that beginning state of child’s development) could also invite danger on account of missing skills in that child. What is there to extrapolate here?

Such judgmental attitudes coming from any are not conducive to a lively discussion. I do that too sometimes but only in response to accusations and I sincerely apologize for that. Perhaps, I like this best illustration by Mother Teresa on judging others with preconceived notion. Mother Teresa said, “If you judge people, you don’t have time to love them. If we are quick to pass judgment on others, we forget that they, like us, are human beings. As we seldom know what roads people have traveled before a shared encounter or why they have come into our lives, we should always give those we meet the gift of an open heart. Doing so allows us to replace fear-based criticism with appreciation because we can then focus wholeheartedly on the spark of good that burns in all human souls". (From Mother Teresa).

Finally,

You seem to be fond of the quotes from Ramana Maharshi where he compares the mind to a monkey and a thief in the guise of a policeman. By these quotes you try to give an impression that Bhagavan Ramana supported childlike surrender to obtain God's grace.


Here is what the sage says about the role of God's grace and surrender in Self-Realization:With all due respect, Sree Ramana Maharishi’s quotes and sayings are actually addressing a seeker who is far along the journey where Grace can now be taken for granted. It is like a fairly grown up child now having the knowledge of security of his parents as opposed to a baby who needs to see visually his father and mother to feel secured.
Once again, we have been addressing a seeker much at the beginning of his journey where we have emphasized more of a free-will turning to grace instead of getting caught in the rate race of life what I call 5 sensory realities. Again, please notice the “when in the journey” has been my emphasis all along!

BTW, just know that it won’t come as a shock to me if points I made here are taken completely out of context to bring religious front!

Blessings,

atanu
01 June 2007, 03:10 PM
The Self:
According to the ancient sages of India, the Self is neither the body, thoughts, feelings, nor intellect, but rather all pervasive Being/Consciousness manifesting as the Heart in all beings, from which emanates the awareness of "I" and Knowledge of the Self, which includes the realization that all knowledge is in and from the subject-"I", the seer, not the object.



Katha Upanishad

"That in which the sun rises and in which it sets, that which is the source of all the powers of nature and of the senses, that which nothing can transcend - that is the immortal Self"

"The Self-Existent made the senses turn outward. Accordingly, man looks toward what is without, and sees not what is within. Rare is he, longing for immortality, shuts his eyes to what is without and beholds the Self."

nirotu
01 June 2007, 04:30 PM
The Self:
According to the ancient sages of India, the Self is neither the body, thoughts, feelings, nor intellect, but rather all pervasive Being/Consciousness manifesting as the Heart in all beings, from which emanates the awareness of "I" and Knowledge of the Self, which includes the realization that all knowledge is in and from the subject-"I", the seer, not the object.



Katha Upanishad


"That in which the sun rises and in which it sets, that which is the source of all the powers of nature and of the senses, that which nothing can transcend - that is the immortal Self"
"The Self-Existent made the senses turn outward. Accordingly, man looks toward what is without, and sees not what is within. Rare is he, longing for immortality, shuts his eyes to what is without and beholds the Self."


Dear Atanu:



That is beautiful Atanu! I could not have said it any better myself! While it is nice to be reminded of the vary nature of “self” in the manifest creation, the question still remains - how does one un-complicate the “self”?



For all the beauty in poems that describes the “higher-self” and its simplicity, yet while in creation the question remains not so much about the beauty of the “self” but more about getting to this “self” from the baseline level of material self! And, that brings back in full circle about the practical nature of our journey, the role of Grace, and the starting point of our journey etc.



I can sit in my living room and admire the beauty of Hawaii all I want but that will not get me there. Seeing beauty of a flower blooming can give one a moment of pleasure but it will not make the higher self bloom in one! While I can stop for a moment and enjoy the beauty in all poetry that sings about “self” but it is only undertaking practical journey that will get one there. My struggle in all this is to find the best possible way to reach there. With all my self-efforts of its own, which seem to take me no where above the base line, I find only the hand of grace leading my effort to take me there.



I hope I am not condescending with my remarks but only expressing personal strive in my own journey and highlighting the goal and purpose of an exchange like ours!



Blessings,

Znanna
01 June 2007, 06:16 PM
Seeing beauty of a flower blooming can give one a moment of pleasure but it will not make the higher self bloom in one!


*Be* the flower, recognize that 'flower' also is Self, and see who asks what happens?

:P

ZN
/just sayin'

saidevo
01 June 2007, 10:29 PM
Namaste Nirotu,

Nice to see you discussing again.



A Christian is required/encouraged to regularly attend the Sunday masses in his/her church, seek the counsel of the priest for spiritual guidance to invite and entertain Jesus in his daily life through the Holy Ghost or Spirit. The Christian dogmas do not allow a Christian to seek Jesus or His Father in a personal way, only through the hierarchy of priest-Spirit-Jesus-God.




Is this your interpretation of Christian living? Where does it say in the Bible that going to Sunday mass is required to make you a Christian much less a better Christian? Frankly, going to Church on Sundays does not make you a Christian any more than going to McDonalds makes you a hamburger!!!!

I sense that you have known the Bible only from what you have seen in your surroundings. Just as Hindus personalize God, every true Christian believes in a personal relationship with God. For them it is not a religion but a relationship, personal one at that.


Yes, just as an ordinary non-Hindu (that's not you) knows about Vedas only from their rituals such as the fire ceremonies performed by brahmin priests, an ordinary non-Christian (that includes me), knows the Bible only from what he/she sees around.

I am glad to hear from you that a true Christian believes in a personal relationship with God and that he/she considers Christianity as a personal relationship with God, not as a religion. I hope that such personal relationship does not give room for scoffing at other beliefs and practices, though the Bible has such passages, and generally preaches exclusivity of the Christian religion.

I thank you for your other comments/observations/suggestions et al. I trust you are well past the first stage of your spiritual journey, having received God's grace. As for myself, I am still struggling with the trinity of our yoga paths, making little use of God's grace given to me as sunshine, perhaps due to my ego.

A seed that falls into the womb of the earth germinates, fed by the elements and the grace of cosmic consciousness packed inside it. Once it becomes a plant, it finds that the sunshine of God's grace is all around, night and day, but can make little use of it, until it undergoes its own rigours of growth, making use of the elements around and spreading its branches and leaves in supplication. At the ripe time, the sunshine brings out the flowers, and thereafter the progress to the bliss of fruition is quick and the plant realizes its goal of life in the manifest creation. Once it bears fruit, it continues to serve mankind, in true advaitic altruistic love, until its final days, remaining as a jivanmukta.

atanu
02 June 2007, 12:07 AM
Namaste Nirotu,

-------
A seed that falls into the womb of the earth germinates, fed by the elements and the grace of cosmic consciousness packed inside it. Once it becomes a plant, it finds that the sunshine of God's grace is all around, night and day, but can make little use of it, until it undergoes its own rigours of growth, making use of the elements around and spreading its branches and leaves in supplication. At the ripe time, the sunshine brings out the flowers, and thereafter the progress to the bliss of fruition is quick and the plant realizes its goal of life in the manifest creation. Once it bears fruit, it continues to serve mankind, in true advaitic altruistic love, until its final days, remaining as a jivanmukta.


We are certainly blessed by your presence here. Humble yet sharp as the razor blade.

Regards


Om Namah Shivaya

atanu
02 June 2007, 12:13 AM
*Be* the flower, recognize that 'flower' also is Self, and see who asks what happens?

:P

ZN
/just sayin'

Again my regards for this brevity and beauty.

Once, I saw a halo of light. I was lucky to remember (grace?) that I should enquire as to who was seeing the light. And, it was that queer indescribable thing. The light was seeing the light.

It lasted just a moment. But enough to goad me on.

Om Namah Shivaya