Sunday, June 18, 2017

Fitness for Wisdom ~ Swami Sivananda

Fitness for Wisdom  
- Essence of Vedanta

One who is fit for receiving Wisdom of the Self shall receive it 'in due time.' Self-effort and passage of time work simultaneously and one cannot be distinguished from the other, for Providence and Personal exertion cannot be separated as they both work simultaneously and are interdependent. Rather, these are only two names for one and the same force of action.

Sri Sankaracharya had already exhorted that one has to undergo the disciplinary stages of Viveka, Vairagra, Sama, Dama, Uparati, Titiksha, Sraddha, Samadhana, and Mumukshutva before getting initiated into the mystery of Existence.  (Read more about the qualifications of an aspirant of Advaita Vedanta at the end of this essay)
 
One should not be initiated into the Truth of the Absolute unless he is found well developed in all these qualities. Nowadays generally we find that aspirants do not have a strong desire for Liberation. They may have a ray of Viveka (discerment) and Vairagra (dispassion) of a mild variety. But it is very difficult to find an aspirant who cares for nothing but final Emancipation, who treats the whole world and its contents as mere straw, who meditates incessantly upon how to attain Salvation from embodied existence. It is not easy to understand the meaning of Liberation. How can it be possible for raw men of the world to realise the nullity of earthly existence and of worldly activities? Even advanced aspirants sometimes have got a strong desire for doing something wonderful in this world, something which none has done before. Such people cannot have a real desire for liberation. And such people are unfit for receiving Brahma Vidya (The knowledge of Brahman, the Science of the Self)
 
It is only the best qualified (Uttama-Adhikari), who cares for nothing, who is totally indifferent to the ways of the world, who is ever silent and serene due to the dawn of proper knowledge, who is ever the same among the diverse men of the world, who is undisturbed by the distracted activity of the world, who is calm and peaceful, who has withdrawn himself from the bustle of life, who cares not for either death or life, who is unmindful of what is happening in the world, who is careless towards either this or that, that is really fit to receive the Ultimate wisdom of the Absolute! 
 
Even if there is the slightest desire lurking inside other than for the Realisation of the Absolute, that man will not be able to comprehend the true import of the Vedantic instructions by the Spiritual Teacher (Preceptor). He will have thousand doubts and distractions in the mind which will entirely pull him down from Vedantic Meditation. A person should desire for nothing else, than the Realisation of Brahman. There should be no other thought throughout the day than of the way of attaining Self-realisation. Every thought, every speech, every action, nay, every breath of the person should illustrate the method of realising the Absolute. Such a person is fit to receive Vedantic Wisdom.
 
NOTE
 
Sadhana Chatushtaya or the fourfold means for salvation or the four kinds of spiritual practices, is a pre-requisite to the aspirantj in the path of Jnana Yoga (Vedanta), or, for that matter, in any system of evolution towards Godhead. The four means are: 
 
 1. Viveka-discrimination between Sat (real) and Asat (unreal).

2. Vairagya-dispassion or indifference to sensual enjoyments herein and hereafter.

3. Shad Sampat (6 virtues):
(a) Sama-peace of mind through eradication of Vasanas.
(b) Dana-control of sense organs.
(c) Uparati-satiety, renunciation of all works (Sannyasa).
(d) Titiksha - forbearance.
(e) Sraddha-faith in scriptures and the Guru's words.
(f) Samadhana-concentration of mind, balance of mind.

4. Mumukshutva-Intense longing for liberation.
 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The ego-created sense of lack or incompleteness, of not being whole of Eckhart Tolle

The ego-created sense of lack or incompleteness, of not being whole

Extract of the book The Power of Now of Eckhart Tolle

Another aspect of the emotional pain that is an intrinsic part of the egoic mind is a deep-seated sense of lack or incompleteness, of not being whole. In some people, this is conscious, in others unconscious. If it is conscious, it manifests as the unsettling and constant feeling of not being worthy or good enough. If it is unconscious, it will only be felt indirectly as an intense craving, wanting and needing. In either case, people will often enter into a compulsive pursuit of ego gratification and things to identify with in order to fill this hole they feel within. So they strive* after possessions, money, success, power, recognition, or a special relationship, basically so that they can feel better about themselves, feel more complete. But even when they attain all these things, they soon find that the hole is still there, that it is bottomless. Then they are really in trouble, because they cannot delude themselves anymore. Well, they can and do, but it gets more
difficult.

As long as the egoic mind is running your life, you cannot truly be at ease; you cannot be at peace or fulfilled except for brief intervals when you obtained what you wanted, when a craving has just been fulfilled. Since the ego is a derived sense of self, it needs to identify with external things. It needs to be both defended and fed constantly. The most common ego identifications have to do with possessions, the work you do, social status and recognition, knowledge and education, physical appearance, special abilities, relationships, personal and family history, belief systems, and often also political, nationalistic, racial, religious, and other collective identifications. None of these is you.

COMMENT by Atman Nityananda

they strive* after possessions, money, success, power, recognition, or a special relationship:
I will add also pleasures. According my own experience the ego causes this sense of lack, that something is missing here and now in order to drive us find something pleasurable to fill the hole. Desire for pleasure is what generates this sense of lack in order to drive us to seek some pleasurable experience. Moreover  desire end ego are one and the same thing. I am talking about the vital rajasotamasic ego which what makes us identify with the body, the mental and emotional formations and the sense objects and situations. The essential nature of this vital ego is lust and desire.

Read about the vital ego:

 THE VITAL EGO IS THE GREATEST OBSTACLE OF SELF-TRANSFORMATION ~ Atman Nityananda

Our true Self (Consciousness), is beyond the lower and the higher ego ~ Atman Nityananda