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Thread: Feeling tainted?

  1. #1
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    Feeling tainted?

    Namaste everyone,

    I realise it's been quite some time since I've visited HDF, but hopefully you will not think me a stranger for my absence of a few months. I have an issue I feel I would like to bring before the rest of you, especially those of you for whom I have developed a very deep respect and friendship over the years that I have watched and benefitted from these forums. I'm happy to say that nearly 3 or 4 years after I have decided to become Hindu, I am still content with my spiritual choice and the teachings I have come to know within Sanatana Dharma. I've never felt more appreciative of my worth as a jiva, as a soul incarnated in this human life, and my love for God and by extension every other being in the universe. I have had such fulfilment in my life from it, even though I cannot boast that I have understood, read or even acquainted myself with half the things I could ever learn from this sacred path. Meeting my beloved teacher over a year ago has confirmed for me that this is my true spiritual calling, and I am so grateful I have been given the chance to renew my understanding of what this universe is, what it all means, why we're here before I gave way like so many others in this increasingly secular and cruel world and became agnostic or atheist.

    While I have long abandoned my narrow-minded Christian beliefs, I can't help but feel for better or worse I have accumulated certain samskaras that have embedded themselves quite firmly in my psyche. These range from relatively minor ones, to ones that could potentially harm me and others around me. It's been a while since I've been spiritually active (japa mantra, puja, even prayer), and I feel this has only troubled me even more especially when I read some topics on this board that say some souls treat God as a parent, and only go to them when they need help and forget them in times of comfort. I really hope I can say this is not the case with me.

    Recently, I have felt "tainted". It's a horrible word, and a horrible idea. I feel like I'm living in the old mindset I'd had when I was Christian - that I'm a sinner, that I'm no good, I was born bad and impure, that I'm doing wrong and God's watching me and judging me. Things and circumstances in my life have changed recently to make me know it's not just my imagination. I've met knew people, have had to deal with some hardships and have had some deterioration of close relationships which has made things difficult to set aside time to sit down and pray. The result is that I've come to question my behaviour recently and I feel confused and shamed. It's silly, I know. My philosophy within Hinduism tends toward the advaitic view, so I know God is not as I had perceived Him when I was younger (i.e. external, monotheistic entity living up in the clouds with emotions and desires seperate from us). And yet I feel my upbringing clouds my spiritual sense of peace, sometimes.

    Has anyone any advice they could give me to combat these impressions I've been raised with? It really has made me become spiritually unhappy sometimes, and makes me question my worth as a good Hindu and spiritual aspirant. My problem is that on a secular level I feel good, but that sometimes I feel like I've spiritually taken a downturn. I don't know what to do sometimes. I pray to Sri Ganesha as a start to help remove the obstacles I need to get me back to feeling at peace with myself and not see myself blackened for the things that have happened. I feel what I'm going through has made me question my ability to follow dharma as I ought, and if maybe this pressure to conform to it has strengthened this idea of me being tainted in character. Any constructive thoughts are welcome.

    Om namah Shivaya
    "Watch your thoughts, they become words.
    Watch your words, they become actions.
    Watch your actions, they become habits.
    Watch your habits, they become your character.
    Watch your character, it becomes your destiny."

    ॐ गं गणपतये नमः
    Om Gam Ganapataye namah

    लोकाः समस्ताः सुखिनो भवन्तु ।
    Lokaah SamastaaH Sukhino Bhavantu

  2. #2
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    Re: Feeling tainted?

    Vannakkam Sunyata: I've always appreciated your openness and honesty. You seem incredibly self-reflective, and can see your own 'failings' or weaknesses better than most.

    From the Tirukkurral: "One of man's greatest follies is to see the temporal as permanent." The problem here may be how long can the temporal go on until it becomes permanent. From the deeper POV, it could be as long as several lifetimes. For the current POV, that's too long! You need to keep some sanity in this lifetime, as do we all.

    I quit completely for maybe 10 years. Fortunately it stayed there in the back of my mind, and my Guru rehooked me, reeled me in for a second time. So it's not all that uncommon. We all have our own unique sets of karma.

    From your posts, I think its pretty obvious to most of us that you're a mature soul, speaking wisdom and honesty far beyond what most of us are capable of ... not quoting scripture so much but just your own intuition.

    Last fall we met with many people we knew from a long time ago, but with my longer period of being out, it was like meeting them anew. One lady in particular, who I didn't know that well, but seemed just like a rock, confessed to my wife and I that she had just had a really really difficult ten years. That was actually a relief for me. A light went on, "It happens to everyone." Her confession, I took as a boon to us, and a incredibly kind thing to do. I think a lot of people put on fronts, a protective mechanism.

    I don't really have any specific suggestions. For me personally, total breaks actually helped ... as did walks in nature. Sometimes we just need holidays from ourselves, once we start studying ourselves via this thing called Sanatana Dharma.

    Another factor here is sort of 'ignorance is bliss'. I think that often sensitive souls (like you, me, and many others) struggle more with these kinds of things because we don't have thick skin like the people around us.

    Best wishes, sincerely,

    Aum Namasivaya
    Last edited by Eastern Mind; 27 February 2012 at 09:08 PM.

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    Re: Feeling tainted?

    Beloved Sunyata, there is never any time in this realm where you are very far from Beloved, today tomorrow or ten years from now. It's all in the twinkling of an eye to Beloved, who is timeless...beyond entropy.

    Go to Him all the time, once a day, one minute a week...one hour in a year...and no matter the time, Beloved is always there to Love You<3

    Life...and Karma is a lot like labor. We ride on the crest of calm times...and then suddenly we feel the noose tighten around us...and we hunker down for the big blow. Bam...and learning occurs. Just as those moments in labor, of tremendous pain bring about a wonderful thing, so too...this pain of learning...of growing...does bring about wonderful things.

    I do not think such a beautiful, wonderful Beloved Portion such as yourself could ever do anything which could taint you. It's just one of those "hunker" down moments...it will pass<3

    My suggestion is to find kindred kind, avoid those others who would hurt you.

    Also, Beloved Beloved....please...do not be so hard upon yourself...even the most beautiful flower has times of ugly hunkering down during winter....only to bloom again and become so full of beauty once again when the sun return<3

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    Re: Feeling tainted?

    Namaste Sunyata,

    We all missed you while you kept away and I was worried if you were OK. Welcome back to the forums !

    Quote Originally Posted by sunyata07 View Post
    It's been a while since I've been spiritually active (japa mantra, puja, even prayer), and I feel this has only troubled me even more especially when I read some topics on this board that say some souls treat God as a parent, and only go to them when they need help and forget them in times of comfort. I really hope I can say this is not the case with me.
    Does it bother you, Sunyata ? If it does, it is a good sign. There is something in you which is trying to keep you on the right path. I think many of us become so obsessed with our mundane life that we fail to practise dharma as we should. However, that doesn't make you a bad Hindu or tainted. God in Hindu Dharma doesn't get angry if you leave praying. It won't punish you if you have stopped your japa.

    Let's be very clear about it all this once for all. We are not doing any favour to God by doing japa, prayers etc. You are also not committing any sin if you stop going to temples, stop praying or reading scriptures etc. etc. There are two things : One is Prakriti and the other is God if we talk in simple dualistic terms ... this is required as we are talking in the relative frame of existence. Prakriti or Nature has some rules ... very strict rules. When you commit sin ... like you cheat someone, hurt someone, act in a selfish way, indulge too much in sensual gratification, act against the laws of nature ... you will be punished as per the rules of Nature. Similarly, when you do something good, e.g. helping someone, respecting the laws of nature, be moderate in sensual enjoyments etc., you are rewarded. This all is like embedded program which is running. That is the rule of Karmas.

    So, shall we say that God is not required ? Where does God fit in here if everything is due to the game of Karma ? Why should we pray to God if He doesn't decide anything on whatever happens to me ? We should not forget that Hindus' ultimate goal is liberation from the cycles of births and deaths and not getting into heaven or avoiding hell. The game of Karma is extremely complex and no one knows how the Karmas would work and take us in what direction. There are very real dangers and the desires are too powerful. Here God's grace becomes necessary. He can make our task easier. He can guide us through our thoughts, through our friends, parents, circumstances so that we don't fall into painful births again and again. So, we need to pray ... we need to do japa, go to temples, meet religious minded pure souls ... this makes our journey less troublesome. By being away from japa, dhyAn etc. we are delaying our spiritual progress, that is all ... we will reach Home late. If you decide so, God waits ... like Mother waiting for the child to come back home after the play is over.

    Recently, I have felt "tainted". It's a horrible word, and a horrible idea. I feel like I'm living in the old mindset I'd had when I was Christian - that I'm a sinner, that I'm no good, I was born bad and impure, that I'm doing wrong and God's watching me and judging me. Things and circumstances in my life have changed recently to make me know it's not just my imagination. I've met knew people, have had to deal with some hardships and have had some deterioration of close relationships which has made things difficult to set aside time to sit down and pray. The result is that I've come to question my behaviour recently and I feel confused and shamed. It's silly, I know.
    Our thoughts are our biggest enemies. You become tainted by your own thoughts. You must replace these thoughts with spiritual thoughts ... you are Untainted Atman ... You are ever pure ... nothing can taint you ever for God. If the child gets mired in mud, does he become any less lovable to Mother ? Yes, he does need a thorough cleaning ... that is all.

    Keeping control on thoughts is the key to spiritual success. All our spiritual efforts like japa, dhyAn, meeting spiritual people, reading scriptures, doing yoga, singing bhajans, reciting mantras .... have a common goal ... to wipe out the dangerous worldly thoughts and replace them with the thoughts of God, with the love of God, with the love and compassion towards one and all.

    Please remember what Patanjali said, "Yogaschittavritti nirodhah" ===> Yoga is gaining control on mind-waves (thoughts). Never allow negative thoughts to rule your mind. The thoughts decide our direction of spiritual progress. Swami VivekAnanda said, "To call a human being a sinner is the greatest sin. It is an insult to the True Nature that he/she is. You are not the body, you are not the mind ... you are ever pure untainted Atman".

    If you wanted to lead a disciplined life ... you tried and failed ... sit down with God in mind ... tell him/her to forgive you as you did try but failed ... your soul and mind wanted but your body was weak. God is the Ocean of compassion. Meerabai said, "Lord please don't keep my faults in your mind. The Iron as knife is used for cutting fruits during Pooja and it is also used for cutting the throats of innocent goats by the butcher. However, the PArasmaNi (magical stone which turns iron into gold by touching ) doesn't differentiate between the two ... it makes both of them pure gold without making any distinction". God is like PArasmaNi .... how can He discriminate ?

    My dear friend, Only those people fail who Try and never those who don't ... and we all know that Only those who try will succeed. Keep trying ... we all are trying ... we all fall sometimes but clean ourselves and start the journey again ! Have firm belief : One day you shall have the grace of God and after that you won't fall ... and get back Home happily in the blissful lap of God.

    OM
    Last edited by devotee; 26 February 2012 at 09:02 PM.
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

  5. #5
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    Re: Feeling tainted?

    [QUOTE=sunyata07;79382]Namaste everyone,
    Recently, I have felt "tainted". It's a horrible word, and a horrible idea. I feel like I'm living in the old mindset I'd had when I was Christian - that I'm a sinner, that I'm no good, I was born bad and impure, that I'm doing wrong and God's watching me and judging me.
    become spiritually unhappy sometimes, and makes me question my worth as a good Hindu and spiritual aspirant.
    Namaste Sunyata,welcome back to HDF.I was wondering regarding your absence but thought may be some exam related business has occupied you.
    Its sad that some testing time rather low time has gripped you and your free flow of your consciousness upward.

    But I can only see the positiveness in your current thinking.This is the clear sign that your Kundalini has already awaken.
    This is not a unique status for you.this is regular and daily affairs of any true spiritual seeker,particularly whose Kundalini has already awaken.Once this Shakti at our kundalin arise,its final destination will be siva Sahasrara. Anything that is hindering the free and natural ascendency of this kundalini will cause such mental turmoil,confusion,uneasiness,un-worthiness on part of the individual.

    This obstacle may arise either out of our some sin/materialistic diversion ,or because of Past karma/samskar.Its the latter which is more common reason for this periodic slumps in our life.The need of time is to keep your sanity maintain/keeping the direction of boat right.This thing will continue till self realization.

    [QUOTE]
    My problem is that on a secular level I feel good, but that sometimes I feel like I've spiritually taken a downturn.
    because You have already crossed this level of consciousness long back. Once you started living a high,wealthy life,you can"t lead a meagre life any more.

    Its like a alcohol/drug/substance user"s conditioning. He can"t live comfortably in a lower state any more.This leads to his addiction .

    But Spiritual elevation,you will need more and more with each passing days.This is the real addiction.so many devotional/spiritual songs are sang by such addicted saint...hari nama is greatest addiction.

    So a secular level ,there is no way you will be satisfied long enough.You know LOVE HAS NO PEAK/HIGHEST ATTAINMENT? Because the very definition of love is" THIS LOVE IS EVER INCREASING..." .even SriRadha"s love is much more intense than what it was in dwapara.
    I mentioned this to just explain that the path a seeker choosen is unidirectional and ever indulging till it"s culmination with god.

    So you have nothing to worry about and its funny that you are feeling unworthy and less spiritual.You are a very very noble,honest and intelligent soul who must a darling of God.Just keep your direction right by keeping you occupy with SATSANG,STUDY scriptures(those sults you at the moment).
    Soon you will be an inspiration to us and others again.

    God bless you.all our well wishes.
    Last edited by anirvan; 27 February 2012 at 02:46 AM. Reason: correction
    Man-naathah Shri Jagan-nathah Mat-guru-shri jagad-guruhu.
    Mad-atma sarva-bhutatma tasmai Shri Gurave Namah.


    My Lord is the Lord of Universe; My teacher is the teacher of the
    entire universe; and my Self is the Self of all. My salutations at the lotus-feet
    of such a Guru, who has revealed such knowledge to me.

  6. #6
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    Re: Feeling tainted?

    Namast, dear Sunyata.

    Joy flows with such effortless purity in the beginning, when each day is marked with the child-like delight of new discovery, and glimpses of beauty never before conceived. It is easy to slip away from the world and into this magical realm, where the Devas are new friends and it is simplicity itself to sit at their feet to learn.

    But over time, there is study and worry overlaid onto surrender and wonder, and the easy innocence of that initial step onto the path is not so easy anymore. The concerns of daily existence cannot be ignored forever, and the worldly pleasures, which seemed so weak and impotent before, begin to creep back in. The initial heady promise of spirituality is no longer a perfect guard against illness, weariness, sadness, and worst of all, apathy. And instead of counting how many mantras chanted for the day, the higher count is the number of days since chanting at all. One may feel defeated and corrupted, the longer this all continues.

    I do not know your other life-events and patterns that led to such feelings of despair and sadness - but for the decline in spiritual activities that you mentioned, at least do not let this waning hurt your heart. This 'break' does happen; other commenters above agree with this, and it has happened to me as well. This is not to say be kind to yourself, for we are all pathetic together, but instead a gentle reminder that even the Devas have struggled to defeat demons.

    Regarding your feeling of taintedness, please consider that time is not a static, straight-forward line, and that you are different every single moment you are alive. In the same way that a broken bone heals to be stronger than before, by the time you realise a mistake and feel sadness for it, it is because you have been improved by the error and the lesson.

    So when you pile the past onto your shoulders like heavy weights, this is not the purpose of time and the mind, to hoard memories and bury yourself under them. Time and remembrance can be powerful attachments, accumulated as a pile of mental clutter, the brain's equivalent of a house full of rich objects. Allow yourself to discard this unneeded mess.

    I offer this idea, in hopes that it may help you to do this: Each time a thought of guilt, sad memory, or overwhelmedness surfaces, think of your Beloved, in whatever blessed Form. Visualise your unhappy thought itself as an actual tangible thing, forming into your palm as a bittersweet offering. A pomegranate seed, for instance, or a neem leaf. I imagine a small datura flower blossoming in my hand. Mentally offer this to your Beloved's feet. Do this again and again with each thought, and thus your moments of worst grief may be times of remembrance and worship as well. Instead of allowing a feeling of degradation to rule you, transform it.

    Indraneela
    ===
    Oṁ Indrāya Namaḥ.
    Oṁ Namaḥ Śivāya.

  7. #7
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    Re: Feeling tainted?

    Quote Originally Posted by Indraneela;

    [QUOTE
    Joy flows with such effortless purity in the beginning, when each day is marked with the child-like delight of new discovery, and glimpses of beauty never before conceived. It is easy to slip away from the world and into this magical realm, where the Devas are new friends and it is simplicity itself to sit at their feet to learn.
    the easy innocence of that initial step onto the path is not so easy anymore. The concerns of daily existence cannot be ignored forever, and the worldly pleasures, which seemed so weak and impotent before, begin to creep back in. The initial heady promise of spirituality is no longer a perfect guard against illness, weariness, sadness, and worst of all, apathy
    .

    Very well said,and very nice observation of thyself.Thanks for reminding the experience to me.
    Last edited by anirvan; 27 February 2012 at 05:49 AM. Reason: add
    Man-naathah Shri Jagan-nathah Mat-guru-shri jagad-guruhu.
    Mad-atma sarva-bhutatma tasmai Shri Gurave Namah.


    My Lord is the Lord of Universe; My teacher is the teacher of the
    entire universe; and my Self is the Self of all. My salutations at the lotus-feet
    of such a Guru, who has revealed such knowledge to me.

  8. #8

    Re: Feeling tainted?

    Namaste Sunyata,

    How lovely it is to see you again, some very wise and wonderful words have already been spoken here, in which the regard and high estimate of your presence is clear; I shall add just a few words in the hope that they may serve you in some small way.

    I have slowly learnt that the shifts in perception that come about as we bob about on in and over life's path, samskara happen really as they are intended, it is by observing this motion that we feel and find the things that we need, to cross over this life; like the helmsman we guide the ship through both rough and smooth waters. With time we learn to avoid the storms and remain in calm waters.

    You are young and wise, a most beneficial combination indeed; you have your whole life ahead of you, to learn. Equipped with self awareness you will learn from every change in the weather until life's navigation becomes intuitive.

    The thoughts, driven by these feelings, are exactly that. By observing the feelings rather than being directed by them, we can learn of what they speak. We find that they tell us all sorts of things about our environment. You are already doing this, which is a very positive thing.

    With time we become more steadfast in our perception, it is the little jolts that occur when we forget, that are there to remind us. To my mind it is that which you are feeling. Anything which your intellect ascribes to this feeling is purely circumstantial and not to be taken literally.

    All my love and very best wishes; So nice to have you back.


    praNAma

    mana

  9. #9
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    Re: Feeling tainted?

    Life is not supposed to be spiritual all the time.

    Understand this material turn as a call to material conquest.

    Sometimes the divine exchange places in life, we go to the temple and we feel nothing, but with another action that we can deem profane by a moral judgement can give you true spiritual pleasure.

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    Re: Feeling tainted?

    Namaste,

    It may add an incremental value to all the advice already given,

    If I was in such a predicament, I would ask myself if any of the things I am doing/practicing are a result of natural flow or am I forcing something upon myself against what my heart desires. Does my chosen path, and the way I practice/observe it complement my personal disposition? If the answer is yes, then there is nothing wrong with a brief lull in the sadhana. If however, any of it feels like an imposition, then something needs to be tweaked to set the course right. So, it is a matter of self evaluation, contemplation and making adjustments.

    Spiritual advancement is not a marathon to be completed in one go, but a slow and steady jog/walk lasting a lifetime. As such, it may require periods of rest and rejuvenation.

    Pranam.
    Last edited by Believer; 27 February 2012 at 09:02 PM.

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