Religion, surely, is the uncovering of reality. Religion is not belief. Religion is not the search for truth. The search for truth is merely the fulfillment of belief. Religion is the understanding of the thinker; for what the thinker is, that he creates. Without understanding the process of the thinker and the thought, merely to be caught in a dogma is surely not the uncovering of the beauty of life, of existence, of truth. If you seek truth, then you already know truth. If you go out seeking something, the implication is that you have lost it, which means you already know what it is. What you do know is belief, and belief is not truth. – JKrishnamurti, On Self Knowledge
For me, revolution is synonymous with religion. I do not mean by the word ‘revolution’ immediate economic or social change: I mean a revolution in consciousness itself. All other forms of revolution, whether Communist, Capitalist or what you will, are merely reactionary. A revolution in the mind, which means the complete destruction of what has been, so that the mind is capable of seeing what is true without distortion, without illusion- that is the way of religion. I think the real, the true religious mind does exist, can exist. I think if one has gone into it very deeply, one can discover such a mind for oneself. A mind that has broken down, destroyed, all the barriers, all the lies which society, religion, dogma. belief have imposed upon it, and gone beyond to discover what is true, is the true religious mind. – JKrishnamurti, from: Meeting Life
Prayer elevates, inspires, redeems. Through prayer divine grace and divine light descend. Prayer is spiritual food for the soul. Prayer is a spiritual tonic. Prayer is a master-key to open the realms of Elysian bliss. Prayer helps the devotee to be in tune with the infinite. Prayer should come from the inner recesses of the heart – then it will be heard at once.
Prayer works wonders. Its power is ineffable. Through prayer the devotee sits by the side of the Lord. Prayer expands and purifies the heart. Prayer is a strong spiritual injection. It fills the heart with immense power and strength.
Every religion has its own prayer. Pray in the early morning – it is more effective. Let prayer become habitual pray at all times. Pray not for wealth, position, wife and children, success in lotteries or horse racing – ask for darsan (vision) of the Lord. Pray for devotion and communion.
Recite the beautiful Upanishadic prayer morning and night: “Asatoma sat gamaya, tamasoma jyotir gamaya, mrtyorma amrtam gamaya” – “Lead me on from the unreal to the real, from darkness to light, from mortality to immortality. ”
During mass prayer a huge spiritual current is generated.
Gayatri japa is a prayer – the devotee asks for illumination of the intellect, so that he can know his real, essential, divine nature. This is an unselfish prayer Mrityunjaya mantra also is a prayer. It is a prayer to the Lord Siva. The devotee asks: “Free me from bondage and death make me immortal”.
Om bhur bhuvah svah tat savitur varenyam
bhargo devasya dhimahi dhiyo yo nah pracodayat (Gayatri Mantra)
“Let us meditate on the glory of Isvara, who has created this universe, who is fit to be worshipped, who is the remover of all sins and ignorance. May He enlighten our intellect”.
Om tryambakam yajamahe sugandhim pustivardhanam
urvarukamiva bandhanan mrtyor muksiya mamrtat (Mrityunjaya Mantra)
“We worship the three eyed one (Lord Siva), who is fragrant and who nourishes well all beings. May He liberate us from death for the sake of immortality, even as the cucumber is severed from its bondage (to the creeper).”
- Swami Sivananda
What is the ‘self’?
It is the self that says ‘not I’, for if it says ‘I’ then it is the unreal self.
The real self is selfless and has no thought either of or for itself.
It is the self that has now forgotten itself, because somehow, It can visualize itself only in others
It is the self that love selflessly, because pure love is selfless action.
It is the self that seeks the truth with selfless determination, because truth is selfless wisdom.
It is the self that is quiet, because in silence less cessation from all worldliness.
It is the self in wordless meditation, because workless meditation is the conquest of the mind through union with the Divine.
It is the self that does not judge but evaluates.
It does not compare, seek security or even see itself.
It is the self that has completely absorbed itself and yet, in a strange and mystical fashion it is more itself, more complete and more real than it has ever been. This is the real self.
- Explained by : Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in Sathyam, Sivam, Suntharam : Part IV of 1981 edition; page: 132, and compiled by Sri S Gnanasegaram, under the title: from ignorance to bliss.
Conflicts swing and swerve the mind. The result is that either the mind tends to melt, or it remains extremely rigid. Both are not auspicious. The right response will be to understand the conflicts and assimilate their impact. Allow the mind to look at the world for what it is, not for what it should be.
Let all persons, places and events strike the mind with their respective forces. Have love, and express it when the mind is moved by that sentiment. Feel sympathy, and express it too as much as you can, by words, actions and sacrifices. Help, if that is possible. Otherwise, express your helplessness. Even if such a confession is not verbally made, feelings to that effect should emerge from the mind.
Even under conflict, be sympathetic to the needs and sufferings of others. Try to mitigate others’ pain to the extent you can. But realize your limitations and, within your own mind, come to a harmony with the situation.
Assess your personality with its worth and qualities. Do not negate or condemn any emotion or other human traits. Instead, understand them judiciously. Any emotion is a mental urge. Like breath, it has to express itself. Following it by words, physical actions or otherwise, do whatever you can, and stop the process at that. But do not allow the emotions to haunt or assault you. Assimilate the conflict. Be in harmony with it.
Body has its traits, the mind too. Let the intelligence understand and evaluate the situation comprehensively. It is like taking a boat across a river, which has its different levels, currents and waves. The boat has to go forward whatever the levels, currents and waves are.
The ability of the mind to host conflicts, and yet continue to perform the tasks ahead, to steer the complex life from stage to stage, situation to situation, is the real psychological stability, spiritual and religious strength, the most effective form of harmony.
What is greatness of mind? Is it merely to avoid unpleasantness and misfortune, and to have a smooth, unhindered course? Or is it the enrichment, expansion and depth, by virtue of which the mind is able to course through any difficult, unpleasant situation? To seek a life of mental and moral greatness and excellence is to have the readiness to welcome any kind of conflict.
In fact, conflicts are inherent in the very existence itself. To find conflicts is to be aware of the worldly varieties. To understand conflicts is the first symptom of mind’s growth and expansion. Then, to discover a greater and subtler harmony in assimilating them by rising to a higher level of emotion and wisdom, is the fruition of the human mind. At no time should a seeker or Knower of Truth feel that there is a situation, which he cannot contain and be in tune with!
- Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha
[This is an extract from the article that appeared in the March 2007 issue of the Ashram's monthly journal Vicharasetu.]
(c) Narayanashrama Tapovanam, 2010
Meditation, along that quiet and deserted road came like a soft rain over the hills; it came as easily and naturally as the coming night. There was no effort of any kind and no control with its concentrations and distractions; there was no order and pursuit; no denial or acceptance nor any continuity of memory in meditation. The brain was aware of its environment but quiet without response, uninfluenced but recognizing without responding. It was very quiet and words had faded with thought. There was that strange energy, call it by any other name, it has no importance whatsoever, deeply active, without object and purpose; it was creation, without the canvas and the marble, and destructive; it was not the thing of human brain, of expression and decay. It was not approachable, to be classified and analysed, and thought and feeling are not the instruments of its comprehension. It was completely unrelated to everything and totally alone in its vastness and immensity. And walking along that darkening road, there was the ecstasy of the impossible, not of achievement, arriving, success and all those immature demands and responses, but the aloneness of the impossible. The possible is mechanical and the impossible can be envisaged, tried and perhaps achieved which in turn becomes mechanical. But the ecstasy had no cause, no reason. It was simply there, not as an experience but as a fact, not to be accepted or denied, to be argued over and dissected. It was not a thing to be sought after for there is no path to it. Everything has to die for it to be, death, destruction which is love. A poor, worn-out labourer, in torn dirty clothes, was returning home with his bone-thin cow. – Krishnamurti s Notebook Part 6 Madras 3rd Public Talk 29th December 1979
Bhagavan, indeed, discouraged preoccupation with such questions since they merely distract one from the real task of realising the Self here and now.
Devotee (D).: They say that we have the choice of enjoying merit or demerit after our death, that it depends on our choice which comes. Is that so?
Bhagawan Sri Ramana Maharshi (B): Why raise questions of what happens after death? Why ask whether you were born, whether you are reaping the fruits of your past karma, and so on? You will not raise such questions in a little while when you fall asleep. Why? Are you a different person now from the one you are when asleep? No, you are not. Find out why such questions do not occur to you when you are asleep.
On occasion, however, Bhagavan did admit of a lower, contingent point of view for those who could not hold to the doctrine of pure non-dualism.
In the Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna first says to Arjuna in Chapter II, that no one was born and then in Chapter IV, ‘there have been numerous incarnations both of you and me. I know them but you do not.’ Which of these two statements is true? The teaching varies according to the understanding of the listener. When Arjuna said that he would not fight against his relatives and elders in order to kill them and gain the kingdom, Sri Krishna said: ‘Not that these, you or I, were not before, are not now, nor will be hereafter. None was born, none has died, nor will it be so hereafter’. He further developed this theme, saying that he had given instructions to the Sun and through him to Ikshvaku; and Arjuna queried how that could be, since he had been born only a few years back, while they lived ages ago. Then Sri Krishna saw his point of view and said: ‘Yes, there
have been many incarnations of me and you. I know them all but you do not.’
Such statements appear contradictory, but they are true according to the viewpoint of the questioner. Christ also said “Before Abraham was, I am.”
Just as in dreams, you wake up after several new experiences, so after death another body is found.
Just as rivers lose their individuality when they discharge their waters into the ocean, and yet the waters evaporate and return as rain on the hills and back again through the rivers to the ocean, so also individuals lose their individuality when they go to sleep but return again according to their previous innate tendencies. Similarly, in death also, being is not lost.
D.: How can that be?
B.: See how a tree grows again when its branches are cut off. So long as the life source is not destroyed, it will grow. Similarly, latent potentialities withdraw into the heart at death but do not perish. That is how beings are re-born.
Nevertheless, from the higher viewpoint he would say:
In truth there is neither seed nor tree, there is only Being.
- Source: Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi in his own words by Arthur Osborne, Chapter Three, From: Isn’t our personality beginningless?
Disease is not a condition that ought to frighten you. It is not brought about by agencies outside yourself. Disease is the result of the kickings of life. Health alone exists. It is life alone that makes a man live. Disease is only a sign of health. It is the reaction of life to the entry of foreign matter into the system.
Life’s cleansing process is called disease. There is only one disease and that is disease, or no-ease. This means it is the struggle of life to get rid of foreign matter. This disease ought not to be suppressed with toxic drugs. Leave nature to get rid of it in her own way.
The first and foremost aid is fasting. Digestion of food is one of the greatest charges on the vital economy. If you put food into the stomach during disease, the vital power – which is in the process of cleansing the system of foreign matter – is diverted from its function and is made to digest the food!
The only result is a worsening of the condition.
Food does not maintain life. Life eats the food and produces the energy necessary for its digestion and elimination. That is all. Life lives by itself. Food is necessary only for life to build and repair the body.
Satvic (pure) food such as fruits, vegetables, whole cereals, nuts, green leafy vegetables and milk, nourishes the body and helps life. It does not need to be eaten with appetisers, which act as aeroplanes to carry the food to the stomach, since such food is not demanded by the life-fire within.
This life-fire is God Himself. Man should wait for the appearance of this God within and only then offer Him some food. But nowadays people mistake the cravings of the palate for hunger. Perhaps hunger is a joy they have never experienced.
Real hunger, as it is in the form of the Lord Himself, is indescribable in its nature, even as God Himself is. To know this one has to experience it. One cannot be told by another. – Swami Sivananda
Ramana Maharshi Does Not Tolerate If Any Special Attention Is Shown To Him While Eating
Servers in the kitchen usually devote special attention to Bhagavan by serving him something more than they serve to others. He notes such undue discrimination and tries to dissuade them.
Once post master Raja Iyer did so and Bhagavan looked at him disapprovingly but did not say anything at that time; and so Raja Iyer was continuing the practice off and on.
One night palpayasam (milk pudding) was prepared and Chinnaswami finding it particularly delicious, appeared to have hinted to Raja to serve a little more than usual to Bhagavan. So Raja served a little more. Bhagavan could not tolerate it and burst out, “There! Again the same nonsense.
The same monkey tricks. Why do you serve me more than what you serve others? When it comes to serving Bhagavan,the ladle is immersed fully while it is immersed only half when it is served to others. How often have I told you not to do so? No one listens to my words.
When the ladle is in his hands the server thinks he is as powerful as the District Collector and thinks he can do anything without fear. He is the one who serves and we are the people to eat whatever he serves. His hand is above and ours is below.
We must act as he pleases and eat as he decides and then lie low.” And Bhagavan went on talking in that strain, severely rebuking all the people concerned.
Source: Letters from Sri Ramanasramam VOLUMES I, II & Letters from and Recollections of Sri Ramanasramam By SURI NAGAMMA Translated by D. S. SASTRI
To be in self-contradiction is to live in conflict and sorrow. The self, in its very structure, is contradictory; it is made up of many entities with different masks, each in opposition to the other. The whole fabric of the self is the result of contradictory interests and values, of many varying desires at different levels of its being; and these desires all beget their own opposites. The self, the “me,” is a network of complex desires, each desire having its own impetus and aim, often in opposition to other hopes and pursuits. These masks are taken on according to stimulating circumstances and sensations; so within the structure of the self, contradiction is inevitable. This contradiction within us breeds illusion and pain, and to escape from it we resort to all manner of self-deceptions which only increase our conflict and misery. – JKrishnamurti, from:Commentaries on Living Series I Chapter 43