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Thread: Questions from a well worn path

  1. #1
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    Questions from a well worn path

    Namaste


    I expect this is a well worn path, but I will post my concerns and anxieties because I hope to find some answers to them/support.


    As with any new follower/practitioner/Hindu (what would be the correct term?) I am a little overwhelmed. I am however, slowly navigating my way through. I am quite literally entering another world.


    Before typing too much more I must state the main concern is “getting it right”. I am incredibly self-conscious of my efforts. I am waiting to encounter “the expert”. Most likely a non-Hindu who has a far greater depth of reading in the area who would take one look at me and go: “Well actshully…..<insert pedantry here>”.


    And I say non-Hindu because from my limited exposure thus far, I can see that there are so many facets and avenues to Sanatana Dharma that a “one true way-ism” is a bit of a red herring. Maybe. And that the users here would probably say exactly that: “Well, it depends on the person”. That is something to be proud of, it’s not a criticism.


    So I already undermine my own anxieties by stating there is no one true way to getting it right. But now it needs to go from being known to being felt. It’s making that mental switch from something that felt concrete to a situation that is far more nuanced than I had realised. And being a lone individual, the “it depends” has me slowly navigating this foreign land with no map.


    So, getting it right. That is the first bit.


    The second would be “where do I go from here?!” Start off small they said. Yamas and Niyamas, puja, meditation, keep studying, eat sattvic, read everything, get involved with a temple, community.


    Yeah, that bit. The “bitten off more than he can chew” feeling. It actually helps to study and read and try and understand the 4 major denominations (Himalaya Academy there). This is informing me on their positions on scripture and how I can relate to The Divine through these path ways. But then there might be something I am not 100% on. Which leads me down the mental process of “If you’re not doing it ‘that way’ then it is likely to be incorrect and invalid, even if there is probably a minor sect out there doing their own thing just like you would.”


    Which then leads to the fear of the pedant, that feeling of inauthenticity and “getting it wrong”. Because what do I know in comparison to several thousand years of practice and application by a billion or more other people?


    On the upside, I am certainly feeling comfortable with the Shaktism. But certain things have repeatedly popped up relating to Shaktism that appear almost too frequent and apparent to be chance. It is almost as though someone is trying to tell me something. Again with the contradictions.

    So, “getting it right” and “moving forward” and support. Not asking much is he? I’m just going with it as it feels right at the moment. I am slowly getting my temple together. I an discovering different mantras (and falling over the pronunciations!). I am trying to do the right thing each day, but I am not always sure it is the right thing.


    Just throwing it out there.

  2. #2
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    Re: Questions from a well worn path

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~
    namasté cyril,


    I was in hopes someone would offer an idea or two on your question... that not being the case let me offer a POV for your consideration.

    You want to do things right. This is a noble and admirable position to take. Yet it is by excessive doing we as humans end up in the place we are at:
    concerns and anxieties, and a little overwhelmed
    ...you have just stated the condition of most in the West. Most to many try to boil the ocean, a monumental task indeed. Our job is to just take a cup or two to boil, and leave the rest for another day.

    Consider two things:
    • “I am incredibly self-conscious” - this is self-conscious with a small ‘s’elf. make this Self conscious ( Capital ‘S’ ) and all will be well. There you will be guided properly with the least effort. To 'get' this notion I would recommend one book to begin with... it will set the proper angle of entry. Please consider Be As You Are - the teachings of rāmaṇa mahaṛṣi ( see my footnote1 for the book on Amazon)


    • If you can do one thing , just one thing to practice today , consider ahiṁsā अहिंसा , we know as non-injury. Some call this non-violence. This infers to all beings ( even ourselves). At the ultimate level this ahiṁsā when in full bloom brings no harm in thought, deed, word or action. This observance is substantial -to bring no harm to any being. What of swatting a fly? Or a mosquito? Some even argue , what of bacteria, or the insect world so small that when you walk or drive one brings death to these creatures. It seems to be easier not to bring violence to another person, as it's more overt. Yet the notion here is to do the least harm while on this earth. A more in depth discussion on HDF ( this forum) is here: http://hindudharmaforums.com/showthr...-or-non-injury


    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ

    1. Be As You Are -
    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_s...=1M5VPG8LAWS4Z
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  3. #3
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    Re: Questions from a well worn path

    Namaste cyril...

    I'll echo yajvan's suggestion to not try to boil the ocean. As one who did not grow up Hindu to learn traditions, beliefs and customs, and who grew up in the western over-culture, I know how easy it is to be overwhelmed and try to take in everything at once. You can wind up drowing and getting lost. You could start with a small shrine for Devi in any of her forms that appeal to you. You could do a simple puja consisting of some some prayers to her after invoking Lord Ganesha's blessings for a smooth puja; lighting a small oil lamp, incense, offering fruit and/or flowers as available. If you find prayers in Sanskrit with the meanings (no sense parroting something you don't understand), use them. It may take time but you'll get to pronounce them better, and fall into the rhythm of chanting them. Otherwise, pray in your own words in your own language. Mantras however, should be in Sanskrit, to the best of my knowledge. But I don't know enough to give advice there. Continue trying to live a dharmic life of non-injury, to the best of your ability. For me, for example, trying to control my temper and angry thoughts is a big challenge.
    śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ

  4. #4
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    Re: Questions from a well worn path

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~
    namasté

    I wrote above,

    “I am incredibly self-conscious” - this is self-conscious with a small ‘s’elf. make this Self conscious ( Capital ‘S’ ) and all will be well.

    This small self is the field of differentiated awareness1 full of limitations, boundaries, full of 'i' and 'mine' - full of things that are conditioned and limited, yet we think this is a ~ normal~ state of affairs.

    This large Self is the field of undifferentiated awareness , without boundaries. The wise call it akhaṇḍākara or akhaṇḍa + ākara

    • akhaṇḍa – whole, entire, not fragmented
    • ākara =plenty, a rich source of

    Hence it is a source of wholeness and unfragmented fullness of Being.

    Why mention this? Where can I go get this ? One need not go get thi
    s akhaṇḍākarsa as it is not for sale , nor is it something that can be attained, or pocketed. It is one's own foundation. If I asked you 'go get human', where would you go? You would say, what is there to get? I am human already. So it is for Self ( Being). No one could wake up today without it. In essence is existence itself ; its ~nature~ is awareness. Who can say they do not exist? How is that even possible to say it without existing to begin with. Like that, Self is there all the time, yet we have gotten all caught up with 's'elf, of limits.

    Śrī nisargadatta maharāj said, to know the world you forget the Self, to know the Self you forget the world. So, many left their homes and went to a cave to 'forget the world'. Yet this was not the wisdom offered. If you go to the cave and you still are filled with differentiated thoughts, what have you left? You have brought the city, and the noise with you.
    His wisdom is to leave the world of fractured awareness, full of limits. Submit to the Self ( which is you -
    svarūpāvasthāna​) in a quiet state of wholeness. This quiet is even-ness, pure awareness. This is the ~path~ if there is one at all.


    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ

    1. differentiated awareness is the field of anyathāgrahaṇa i.e (anyathā) inaccurately , untruly , falsely , erroneously + (grahaṇa) – seizing holding;
    Holding a false view of one’s own nature (svarūpāvasthāna); I am big, I am bill, I am happy I am sad; I am eager I am lazy, I am happy. I am fat, tall, limited, late for work, I am this and that; I am lame in one leg, I am slow in running I am _____(fill in the blank). What then is one’s real nature?---> akhaṇḍākara.

    Last edited by yajvan; 10 May 2017 at 07:03 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  5. #5
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    Re: Questions from a well worn path

    Hari Om

    Namaste Cyril,

    If do not provide answer, hope give you support.

    From what you share, think you are doing well, quite. You are "normal".

    In non linear sense, take piece by piece, not one bite. Step by step. You are climbing the mountain in good manner. Sometimes a path well worn seems to not lead you to the top but it does. Maybe less elevation gained but needed part of the journey. Sometimes a path not treaded upon seemingly leads you upwards but in reality it leads you to an impasse, but still an important part of the journey.


    To beautiful ambiguity!

    Om Namah Shivaya

    Friend From the West

  6. #6
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    Re: Questions from a well worn path

    Namaste

    Thank you for the replies. Since posting I have travelled all over the place (metaphorically). The learning curve and quite steep at times, but I keep going.

    It is also difficult to know what to post or where to comment but I am slowly gaining a sense of things. It may not be 100% correct but it is a sense and it leads me to continued exploration.

    Ohm namah Shivaya

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