Showing posts from December, 2014

Attaining Peace of Mind : 3.

Unfortunately, that is not so. The judge is involved in the very circumstance of judging. A judgment is an organic action. It is not an individual's predilection, or thinking as one would like. The judiciary is an organism which includes the judge, the lawyers and the people who are connected with the case. They are not isolated units scattered out in a disabled manner, but they form a complete whole. If the judge knows that the whole atmosphere of judiciary functioning is a complete whole, the judgment also is a complete whole without any kind of partisanship.

This is a psychology that is applicable to every kind of experience in your life, every duty that you perform, every work with which you are acquainted. It is not possible to have peace unless you know the source of peace. The source of peace is the balance that has to be struck in your own mind. The balance is disturbed on account of the mind working as the medium of the sense organs, which move towards objects outside. T…

Attaining Peace of Mind : 2.

So, the world is not the source of your distraction and suffering. The reactions that you set up in respect of the atmosphere outside are the causes of what you are, basically. I have been telling you many a time that you must regard the whole universe as a single organism.

When it is said that the universe is an organism, a living, single unit, complete in itself, it goes without saying, simultaneously, that everything connected with this total organism also is an organism. Little organisms make large organisms, but nevertheless even the little ones are organisms only; they are not dead fractions.

Your self is a complete organism. The society outside also is an organism by itself. The governmental setup itself is an organism. Everything is to be viewed in the sense of a totality and a completeness in itself.

Thus we have a series of organisms, or forms of completeness, until we reach the completeness of creation as a whole. The peace that you are speaking of, or want to have, is the…

Attaining Peace of Mind : 1.

During these days I have practically told you everything that you are required to know. I have left nothing unsaid, and perhaps I spoke from every point of view of human life. We are now moving toward the conclusion of this course in the Academy.
It also is necessary to tell you that everyone should know the art of having peace of mind.

A person with no peace of mind does not actually live, but just exists. Living is different from just existing. First and foremost the purpose of life has to be understood – why you want to be alive at all. Do you want to continue living in this world with distorted feelings, insecurity from all sides, fear that is gnawing into your vitals and dissatisfaction everywhere? Would you like to live such a life?

Every person has a common complaint that things are not as one would like them to be. This complaint is without foundation because things are exactly, even now, as they ought to be. You are not actually as you ought to be. The complaint, therefore, …

Re-Educating the Mind :9. ( Last Part )

Most people cannot succeed in meditation because a satisfactory answer cannot be given to this question. Why should we reject something when the mind feels that there is a great point in thinking about it? Unless there is some meaning in it, why should we think of it? It sees something; some meaning, some significance, some purpose, some wish-fulfilment is practicable, and we are doing contrary work by saying, "It should not be thought. It is not good. It is untraditional, unreligious." Merely making a statement of this kind is not going to be acceptable to the mind, because the mind cannot be terrified by orders of this nature. It is a very terrible thing by itself, and so it requires a gradual training from inside, rather than an order issued from outside.

The mind is intelligent; it is not a corpse which can be dragged as we like, in the direction we please. As it is difficult to control anything that is intelligent, merely because it is intelligent, we have to apply int…

Re-Educating the Mind :8.

It is a peculiar repulsive feature that makes itself felt in the mind at the time of concentration of mind, which is what I mean by saying the double activity that is going on in the mind. We have resentment towards certain features which we regard as irrelevant for the purpose, and so there is a tension in the beginning. It is not an easy thing; we struggle hard, we sweat and then feel fatigue, exhaustion. The reason for feeling exhaustion in meditation is that there is a kind of struggle going on inside, and there is not a spontaneous movement of the mind towards the given object. That is not possible, because the very attempt to concentrate the mind on a given concept is a simultaneous attempt to get rid of certain other thoughts which are unsympathetic with this ideal; and this is the tension. There is always a simultaneous activity going on in the mind – one pulling the other in this direction and that direction. This subtle tension is the cause of exhaustion, and we tire of med…

Re-Educating the Mind : 7.

The whole of the Srimad Bhagavata, to give only one concrete example, is filled with thousands of ideas expressed in various ways. Though these ideas are many, they are kindred, essentially. Therefore, the chaotic movement of the mind is brought to an end, and the first step is taken in bringing the mind under control by allowing it to think of sympathetic thoughts, though they may be variegated in their structure. There are several members in a family. Each person is different from the other – one is tall, one is short, one is very active, another is idle, one is working outside, one is working inside, one is a man, and another is a woman. There are all sorts of persons in a family, but yet they are kindred spirits – there is a sympathy of character among them. This is the reason why we call them a family, though they are individuals of different natures altogether. Likewise is any type of organisation – it may be an institution; it may be a parliament; it may be a government or it …

Re-Educating the Mind : 6.

As I mentioned, the main point to be remembered here is that while concentrating on any object, no external thought should be allowed, because the thought of an external object is the distraction which prevents concentration. The mind cannot be wholly present in the given object if there is another thing side by side or along with it. This is then vyabhicharini bhakti or divided devotion, as they call it. When we think of two things at the same time because of the presence of another thing outside that given object, the devotion is split.

The force of the mind gets diminished on account of a channelisation of the mental energy in two directions. In the beginning, the mind will refuse to concentrate like this because it is fed by diverse food. So what is essential in the beginning is to diminish the directions in which the mind moves to the minimum possible. Though it is not possible to bring the mind to a single point, we can bring it to the minimum possible or conceivable number of …

Re-Educating the Mind : 5.

It is possible to concentrate the mind on an object merely on the surface level, though at the bottom there may be a feeling of irreconcilability. That will not lead to success. We may be praying to God through an image in a temple, and yet have a suspicion in the mind that we are praying only to an idol made of stone. This suspicion will spoil all our devotion. "After all, I am praying to a small wooden image. How will this bring fulfilment of my wish or the satisfaction of my desires? I want to be a king, an emperor, and for that purpose I am praying to an idol which is unconscious, which cannot listen to anything that I say." This suspicion will shake the very foundation of devotion, and religion will become merely a pharisaical ritual.

This is what is happening, mostly – our religion, our practice, our devotion becomes a kind of dead routine which has no life in it, and all the efforts of life seem then to bring nothing fruitful. We are neither scientific in our attitud…

Re-Educating the Mind : 4.

It is not true that our inward life is the same as our outward life. They are two different things altogether, and this is perhaps the case in 99.9% of people. For various reasons, psychological as well as social, it becomes difficult for the individual to express his real nature outwardly. Whatever the reason behind it, the fact is there – the outward relationships and inward characters do not coincide with each other; therefore there is irreconcilability, obviously.

So, there is no friendship. Friendship is not a matter of writing a letter or speaking a word, but a matter of feeling. This feeling is impossible unless there is the capacity to appreciate the condition or circumstance of the person or the object with whom we are related, or with which we are related, and finally, to enter into the very feeling of that very person and the being of that object – which is alone, ultimately speaking, real fraternity of feeling or friendship.

We have a subtle distractedness in our mind on …

Re-Educating the Mind : 3.

We have a wrong notion that our secret feelings are not known to others, and that we can dupe people by showing an external form of friendship, though inwardly there may not be that friendship. It is not true that we love all people, but yet we show that we are fraternal in our attitude. This is called political relationship, or social etiquette, etc., which will not succeed always, because things of the world have a peculiar sense, and this sense is ingrained even in inanimate objects.

There is nothing absolutely senseless in this world. Everything has a sense, and that sense is peculiar to its own structure. The vibrations produced by things are the senses which these things possess, and any kind of disharmonious vibration that emanates from ourselves, in respect of those things or persons outside, would be an expression of an unfriendly attitude. This has nothing to do with what we speak with our mouths or the gestures that we make with our hands. We may shake hands or we may have…

Re-Educating the Mind : 2.

In the beginning stages, for the purpose of novitiates absolutely unfamiliar with this subject, what is prescribed is a conceptual form of the ideal that one would regard as the highest possible, and this is the philosophy behind the worship of the gods of religions. It is not the worship of many gods, but the worship of any aspect of the one God, which can be taken as the means to the realisation of that all-inclusive background of these various manifestations called 'gods'. Sometimes, especially in the field of pure psychic science and occultism, any object is taken for the purpose of concentration, provided the will is strong enough. The object of meditation or concentration need not necessarily be a deity in the sense of a divine being – it can be anything. It can be even a candlestick, or even a fountain pen or a pencil; the only condition is that we should not think of anything else except that pencil in front of us.

But the nature of the mind is such, the mind is made …

Re-Educating the Mind : 1.

The removal of the impediments to the practice of yoga is said to be possible by meditation on reality, to give an ultimate solution to the problem. This is finally the only solution to all difficulties. There can be tentative solutions, but a final solution is not possible unless one resorts to the ultimate cause of all things, from which everything proceeds and of which everything is an effect. But, as we observed, the generals that are behind particulars – the universals that are at the back of all visible objects – are incapable of human comprehension. And, inasmuch as it is these universals that are the realities, a proper attention to the nature of these mysterious principles would be not an easy matter for the mind, which is used to perception of external things.

The one reality  can be interpreted to be any kind of object, for the matter of that, provided that there is no other object attracting our attention. Though, in a way, the universal is that which is inclusive of all …

1: The Arduous Task of Self-Analysis 8

In such a world you have to summon God, the great succour of mankind. This is your sadhana, and this is the week for gathering your thoughts and ideas for considering the possibility of living a life spiritual, which means to say a life in the Almighty in this world of realities. Can you bring down the ideal of the omnipresent Almighty to this real world of tensions, problems, difficulties, sickness and death? If this could be possible, spirituality would be possible in this world. Otherwise, you have to bid goodbye to it forever.
But you have concluded that it is possible and it should be possible; otherwise, you would not be here today in this hall.

Something or someone tells you that it is somehow practicable, and if it is not practicable it has to be made practicable, for which purpose you are here to conduct an analysis and a deliberation with the cooperation of other seekers and friends. If it could be possible, what is the way out? This way out is the so-called sadhana which y…

1: The Arduous Task of Self-Analysis : 7.

Thus we are here in a world of realities which are more than the physical appearance of the phenomena of life, and we are seeking God in this world. We try to live a life of religion and spirituality in a world of this nature. We want to offer a worship to God the Almighty in the battlefield of the Mahabharata where each one is putting on armour and is wielding a weapon which is fatal and lethal.

In this world we are trying to perform a worship of God. Is it possible? Can we contemplate and enter into a state of deep meditation on the creator of the cosmos in this field of ruthless violence, of battle, warfare and incompatibility of individuals? In this world of these hard facts, can we be a religious person? Can we live a life of the spirit? Can we believe that God exists in this terrific atmosphere of irreconcilabilities, conflicts, selfishness, and a wolfish attitude of individuals in respect of others? Is there a God at all? Does He really exist?

Can we believe from the bottom of…

1: The Arduous Task of Self-Analysis 6

Your grief is a conflict, an irreconcilability, an incapacity of adjustment, and an inability on your part to acquiesce in the conditions prevailing in the world, so it is wholly a psychological world in which you are living which is tormenting you. This shall go with you wherever you go because your psyche is your property, and if you go to the other world, you carry your own psyche with you, not this body. When you leave this world and go to another world, the body is not taken with you; your subtle psychological essence goes with you. You are verily that.

Hence, we come to the point of self-analysis, which is world analysis, wherein you start with what you call religion or spirituality, or whatever it is. We have intense hunger, intense thirst, we feel heat, we feel cold, and we are unable to resist the temptation of sleep. And we have what is called the element of self-respect. We cannot get over even that. Even the poorest man and humblest of creatures has self-respect.

You woul…

1: The Arduous Task of Self-Analysis : 5.

But we cannot always plant ourselves in these feelings which sometimes rise in us under these circumstances which are forced into us due to the events that take place outside, because these events will not always be taking place. Every day somebody will not be telling us something good. Every day there will not be a kirtan or bhajan, and every moment of time we will not be witnessing a solemn divine worship in a temple or a sermon being delivered to us. We will be mostly in the midst of hard staring realities of life where we have to sweat in the hot sun and be agonised inside due to a frustrated feeling injected into us due to some reason or the other – a family circumstance, a tension in the office, peculiar difficulties, physical ill-health, and harassments of all kinds. These are our realities, and not religion and spirituality.

In this world we have to live. This is a terrific world indeed. That is why it is often said that we are living in a world similar to the field of the Ma…

1: The Arduous Task of Self-Analysis : 4.

So when we think we are religious seekers, spiritual aspirants, disciples of Gurus, we have to be very realistic in our approach and be able to recognise facts in their face, not camouflaging them with the veneer of an idealism which bears no real connection with the experiences through which we pass and to which we are subjected willy-nilly. We do not live in a world of spirituality today. This is something to be accepted by every one of us. We do not see spirituality anywhere. We see only quarrelsome people and shrewd politicians, selfish businessmen, and we do not see anything else anywhere. Yet we are aspiring for a life in the spirit and hope to live a life of religion, and expect to be devotees of God if possible – a noble endeavour, a noble intention, and a very praiseworthy ideal before us indeed. But we are living in a world which looks like a wilderness rather than a temple of God. There are thorns and thistles and viperous elements threatening us from all corners. We do no…

1: The Arduous Task of Self-Analysis : 3.

The whole of man’s life happens to be, unfortunately, a series of inward adjustments that he makes for outward collaboration and coordination with people around for struggling to exist. And, as I mentioned to you a few minutes before, the winds of the world carry us in the direction they blow, not caring for our private fancies. To the extent we affirm our personalities and individualities and keep our eyes closed to the direction in which the winds of the world blow, we shall live a helpless life of subjection and slavery to circumstances.

Spiritual life, the so-called religious aspiration, is a gradual tending of one’s soul to the freedom of the spirit. Religion is freedom; spirituality is that. But we are not free in any sense of the term. We are not free either physically, physiologically or psychologically. Physiologically we are utter subjects to the workings of the heart, the brain, the nervous system, the circulatory organs, etc., over which functions we have absolutely no co…

1: The Arduous Task of Self-Analysis : 2.

Man has not succeeded in demonstrating his humanity in his outward life, because inwardly he has not been a human being. Anthropologically and sociologically he has been a human being, no doubt, but psychologically he has been a cutthroat at the root. When a man is cornered from all sides and is not allowed any avenue of self-expression, when he has blocked all channels of action and thinking from every side, he demonstrates his essential nature, which is not humanity but brutality. He chose the beast that he is while proclaiming to be a humanitarian genius, a religious devotee, a spiritual hero. It all goes to dust and wind in one second when he is tested with the touchstone of the trouble through which the world passes and to which he himself is subject.

Let each man touch his own heart and look within himself. Is he a religious man? Is he a devotee of God? Is he a lover of his own brother in his own family, really speaking? Can each member of the family say that he is really a fri…

1: The Arduous Task of Self-Analysis : 1.

During these days of Sadhana Week we are here especially to reinforce into our minds the ideas and values which are supposed to help us in living the life that we are expected to live in this world. The world blows like a wind, as a strong cyclone caring not for what it sweeps away by cutting the very ground from under people’s feet. That persons and things in the world are like wisps of straw driven by the power of the winds of the world is a truth which will not always occur to our mind as we get accustomed to be driven in this manner. A perpetual slave will not be aware that he is a slave, because he is used to that kind of living. We as human beings actually live the life of puppets, but inasmuch as we are used to this way of living right from our childhood, we may mistake this utter slavery to the subjection to the powers of nature for a sort of independence in our own selves. Hence, it becomes necessary that we take stock of our achievements and the expectations that we may hop…

The Double Activity in Mental Cognition :6.( Last Part )

The mind usurps the status of a perceiver, or a knower of an object, by the egoism to which it is attached, due to the asmita from which it is inseparable. And then, for all practical purposes, it appears that the mind is the cogniser of the object and the mind is the knower of things. “I am the knower of an object,” is the statement that generally is made. When we say, “I know the object”, we are mixing up various factors. The ‘I’ is the individual perceiver, and the individuality of the perceiver is due to the interference of the mind in the act of perception, whereas the knowledge aspect of the perception is the purusha present. So there is a double activity in mental cognition: the light of the purusha passing through the mind, and the conditioning of the perception of the object due to the limitations imposed upon the mind itself by the factors of space, time and cause.

This is an interesting analysis coming from a study of a few of the sutras which try to show the true characte…

The Double Activity in Mental Cognition :5.

The purusha,who is supreme and absolute, is the knower of even the vrittis of the mind; therefore, the purusha is all-knowing, while the minds of the individuals are not all-knowing. The minds are limited to the particular vrittis which they are undergoing at different times and, therefore, they have only conditioned knowledge of things limited to the capacity of their own vrittis. But the purusha has omniscience because the purusha is unconditioned. The purusha’s knowledge is not a knowledge through the vrittis or psychoses of the mind.

There is no mind in the purusha. The difference between the individual jiva, or the ordinary mind that cognises things, and the purusha who is aware of all things is that while the purusha is a transcendent being, independent of mental operation, the minds require the help of the purusha in being aware of objects. The light of the purusha is reflected through the minds of individuals, and the reason behind their perception of an object – what we cal…

The Double Activity in Mental Cognition :4.

What is the outcome of this analysis? The outcome is that the objects have a status of their own. As I mentioned, in our Indian technical Vedanta phraseology this existence of the object in its own status is referred to as what is called Ishvara sristhi – God’s creation. God creates the world, and the world that is created by God, or Ishvara, is the real nature of the world. But the way in which it is presented to the minds is a little different. That manner in which the object of the world, Ishvara sristhi, is presented to the minds of individuals is called jiva sristhi, or the individual’s creation. It is not that we perceive the world in the same way as God perceives things. I perceive a table, and God also perceives it. But there is a difference in the conception and the perception on account of the position of the perceiver. The Supreme Perceiver, who is God, is cosmical and, therefore, his reaction to things is quite different from the individualistic reactions of persons like …

The Double Activity in Mental Cognition :3.

In every mental cognition there is a twofold activity that takes place simultaneously. In India, in the schools of Vedanta, for example, this subject has been thrashed out threadbare, and such Vedantic works as the Panchadasi, for instance, have devoted an entire chapter to the discussion of this subject. It has been concluded by these teachers of philosophy that every object is transcendentally ideal and empirically real. It has a real character as well as an ideal character. Empirically it is real, but transcendentally it is ideal. The point is that every object is contained both in the cosmic set-up of things as well as in the empirical realm. Or we may say, the heads of people are in heaven and their feet are planted on the earth, so that we belong to both realms – heaven as well as earth. The perception of an object, both in its psychological character as well as its philosophical nature, is difficult to explain, and this is the entire problem of philosophy.

There is no philosop…

The Double Activity in Mental Cognition :2.

Patanjali tells us that it does not mean that the mind which is aware of an object creates the object. The object is not manufactured or produced by the mind; it is only aware of the presence of the object in a particular manner, and the manner has been described. What is the manner in which the object makes an impression upon the mind? Here is a great point in philosophy – namely, the relationship of the object to the mind, and vice versa. Entire schools of philosophical thought may be said to be labouring on the solution of this one question: what is the relation of the mind to the object, or the relation of the object to the mind? Who is the determining factor of what? Does the mind passively receive any impression that is made upon it by the object, and the mind has nothing to contribute to the nature of the object? Is it only a featureless and passive receiver of the impressions made upon it by the object? Is it the case? Or is it true that the mind has something to contribute t…