The Master’s Favorite

Once upon a time, there lived a great sage named Angirasa. He had many disciples and all of them were considerably benefitted by his wisdom. There were, however, some pious souls, who learned everything faster than the others, and followed his words more closely. They also received respect from other disciples for their pious nature.

Some disciples, however, were dull-witted, and developed jealousy towards those pious ones. They forgot the fact that they alone were at fault for their slow rate of absorption of the Master’s teachings. Instead, they began doubting the Master’s impartiality. They felt that the Master was imparting special knowledge to the pious ones secretly.

So, one day, when the master was alone, they went to him and said, “Oh Master! We feel that you are being unfair to us. We think that you are giving the full benefit of your wisdom to a few chosen ones. Why can’t you extend similar special privileges to us also?”

The Master was slightly taken aback by these words, but calmly replied, “I have treated all of you alike and have never shown any special favors to anyone. If some of you progress fast, it is only due to your own feelings of closeness to my words. Who prevented you from taking more initiative?”

But the disciples were not convinced. Hence after some thought, the master said: “ All right! I will give those of you who complain the special attention you want. But I do have one condition! I will give you a small and simple test – and you must pass it. The test is that you should go to the nearby village, which you often visit, and bring me one good fellow. That’s all!”

The grumbling ones were overjoyed at the fact that the test was so simple, while its reward would be so immense. They selected one among them, who immediately started their search with much enthusiasm, feeling very sure of catching a good fellow. But to his misfortune, wherever he went, and whomever he met, everyone seemed to have some sin or crime to their credit.

After a long and fruitless search, and being completely disappointed, they returned to the Master. Out of frustration, he returned to the group and said, “Oh Master, We are sorry to inform you that there is not a single good person in the whole village. Everyone has committed a bad deed, crime, or sin. The village is full of bad people.”

“Oh, is it so?” said the Master, with mock sorrow. “Now let me see. We will send one of those people that you hold a grouse against.” He then called for one of the pious ones, and said, “Can you go to the village nearby, and find me a bad fellow? Be sure to go to the same village that the others have already visited.”

“I will try with your blessings, Oh Master!” said the pious one, and away he went.

The grumbling disciples were again taken by surprise and said, “Oh Master! This time also you have been unfair to us. The other fellow will surely bring dozens of bad people as the village overflows with them!”

The Master counseled patience. In due course, the pious one returned empty-handed, much to the delight of the grumbling ones. He made obeisance to the Master and said, “Oh Master! I am sorry to disappoint you but I was unable to find a single bad fellow in the entire village.”

The grumbling ones roared in laughter at this statement. The pious one continued, “Everyone seemed to have done one good deed or another. I could not get even a single person who had not done any good deed. Pardon me for my failure.” Saying so, he left the place with permission of the Master.

The Master turned to the shocked and surprised grumbling disciples and said, “My dear disciples! This is where discretion moves between good and evil, right and wrong, positive and negative. Your wisdom blossoms when you find a spark of virtue in everything. The world is a mixture of joy and grief, and your wisdom depends on what you choose to take out of it. People who adopt a positive attitude in life progress fast. But those who adopt a negative attitude can only proceed slowly, if at all.”

“For the Master, everyone is dear and near. It is only the disciple’s fault if he feels distant from him. The closer you feel to an enlightened Master, the greater is your evolution. Let all your actions conform to this basic understanding.”

This story reveals how one should face life and its problems. It also shows, how total surrender to an enlightened spiritual Master helps an individual overcome life’s problems more easily.

– Adapted from More Light on Less Known by Acharya Ratnananda, Volume II, 2000

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“Miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary to what we know about nature.”

~ Saint Augustine

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What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

Yoga Vashishtha: Part VII

Utpati (Origin)

All things are equally indwelt by intelligence, so at all times in every way the uncreated is all, the self of all. We use the expression ‘all things’: it is only a figure of speech, for only the infinite consciousness exists. Just as there is no division between a bracelet and gold, no division between waves and water, there is no division between universe and the infinite consciousness. The later alone is the universe; the universe as such is not the infinite consciousness, just as bracelet is made up of gold but gold is not made up of bracelet. In that infinite consciousness there is inherent non-recognition of its infinite nature. That appears to manifest as “I” and “the world”. Just as there is an image in a marble slab, even if it has not been carved, even so the notion of “I” and “World” exists in infinite consciousness. Even as in a calm sea the waves exist in their potential state, the world exists in its potential state in the infinite consciousness: and that is known as its creation. The word ‘creation’ has no other connotation. No creation takes place in Supreme Being or the infinite consciousness; and the infinite consciousness is not involved in creation. They do not stand in a divided relationship to each other.

The infinite consciousness regards its own intelligence in its own heart, as it were, though it is non-different from it even as wind is non-different from its own movement. At that very moment, when there is an unreal division, there arises in that consciousness the notion of space, which, on account of power of consciousness, appears as the element known as space or ether. That itself later believes itself to be air and then fire. From this notion there arises the appearance of fire and light. That itself further entertains the notion of water with its inherent faculty of taste; and that itself believes itself to be the Earth with its inherent faculty of smell and also its characteristic of solidity. Thus do the water and earth elements appear to have manifested themselves. The same infinite consciousness held in itself the notion of unit of time equal to one millionth of the twinkling of an eye: and from this evolve the time-scale right up to an epoch consisting of several revolution of four ages, which is the life span of one cosmic creation. The infinite consciousness itself is uninvolved in these: for it is devoid of rising and setting and it is devoid of a beginning, middle and the end.

The infinite consciousness alone is the reality, ever awake and enlightened: and with the creation also it is the same. That infinite consciousness alone is the unenlightened appearance of this creation: and even after this creation it is same as always. It is ever the same. When one realizes in the self, by the self that consciousness is the absolute Brahman, then he experiences it all – even as one energy dwelling in all his limbs.

The shakti (power or energy) of the infinite consciousness, which is in motion all the time; that alone is the reality of all inevitable futuristic events, for it penetrates all the epochs in time. It is by that power that nature of every object in the universe is ordained. The power is also known as “Mahasatta (The great existence)”, “Mahaciti (The great intelligence)” , “Mahashakti (The great power)” , “Mahadrsti (The great vision)”, “MahaKriya (The great doer)”, “Mahodbhava(The great becoming)” and “Mahaspanda (The great vibration)”. It is this power that endows everything with its characteristic quality. This power is not independent of or different from the supreme consciousness. The infinite consciousness becomes aware of its inherent power, even as one becomes aware of the limbs of his body: such awareness is known as niyati (the power of the absolute that determines nature). It is also known as “Daiva” or “Divine dispensation” .

The terrible goblin known as “Jeeva” arises as a reflected reality in the mind of the ignorant alone. No one, not even man of wisdom or sages can definitely say what it is: because it is devoid of any indications of its nature. In the mirror of infinite consciousness countless reflections are seen which constitute the appearance of the world. These are the “Jeeva” (Individual soul). Jeeva is like unto just a little agitation on the surface of the ocean of consciousness. When, in that slight agitation the infinitude of the infinite consciousness is veiled, limitation of consciousness appears to arise.  And that limitation of consciousness is known as the “Jeeva”.

Just as when a spark from flame comes in contact with flammable substance, it burst into an independent flame, even so this limitation of consciousness, when it is fed by latent tendencies and memories, condenses into egotism – “I-ness”. This “I-ness” is not solid reality but “jeeva” sees it as real. When the egotism begins to entertain its own notions, it gives rise to mind-stuff, the concept of an independent and separate Jeeva, mind, cosmic illusion, cosmic nature, etc.

The one never became many. When many candles are kindled from another, it is the same flame that burns in all the candles; similarly the one consciousness appears to be in many. When one contemplates the unreality of this diversity, he is free from sorrow.

“Jeeva” is nothing more than the limitation of consciousness; when the limitation goes, there is peace – even as for one who wears shoes the whole world is paved with leather. What is this world ? Nothing but an appearance. Even as drunken sees trees moving, an ignorant one sees movement in this world. When the mind drops the perception of duality, there is neither duality nor unity. When one is firmly established in the oneness of the infinite consciousness, whether he is quiet or actively engaged in work, then he is considered to be at peace with himself. Someone is free from this in one lifetime and someone is freed in thousand births. When there is movement of thought one does not see truth and there is feeling of “I am”. The world appearance is waking state of consciousness; egotism is the dreaming state; the mind stuff is the deep sleeping state and pure consciousness is the fourth or an uncontradicted truth. Even beyond this fourth state there is absolute purity of consciousness. One who is established in it goes beyond sorrow.

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Life begins at the end of your comfort zone 🙂

~ Explore the unknown and I promise you wouldn’t be disappointed ~

Emotions & Sensations

Do you get angry? Where do you feel it? In the head?

When you are fearful; where do you feel the fear? In your heart or chest region?

And where do you feel anxiety? In your stomach?

What happens on a roller coaster ride? Have you ever thought why everyone feels it in the stomach? Intensities are different for different people, but why in the same body part that sensation is experienced?

See the similarity.

But most of us attribute our misery, our emotions to an event or to another person. Understand it is all inside you, not outside.

There is one person that irritates you a lot, just by the sight, he/she doesn’t even have to talk to you or interact with you, but just a mere thought about that person irritates you. That person is not even aware of this effect on you.

If you observe closely, you will observe that every emotion has got a sensation on the physiology. Certain part of the body resonates with definite emotion.

Just observing the sensations, emotions disappear and dissolve. When you observe the sensation, you see that emotions and events are separate. As you move on with the observation, you realize body and consciousness are separate.

Wisdom is to de-link the event with the emotion and de-link emotion with the sensation.

Ignorance is to link the emotion with the event outside. This leads to misery. And the circle continues.

Be Mindful.

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If I only knew who in fact I am, I should cease to behave as what I think I am; and if I stopped behaving as what I think I am, I should know who I am 🙂

What in fact I am, if only I think I am would allow me to know it, is the reconciliation of yes and no lived out in total acceptance and the blessed experience of Not-Two.

Yoga Vashishtha: Part VI

Utpati (Origin)
It is impossible for one who is rooted in the idea that he is the physical body to pass through as a subtle whole. It is the innermost conviction “I am the body” that manifest as obstruction. The infinite consciousness is also the individual consciousness “The Mind” and “The Cosmic Space” and therefore the ethereal body can enter anything anywhere and it goes where the wish of heart leads. Just as water remains water forever and flows down, similarly consciousness remains consciousness forever but he who has not experience this subtlety of true nature as is his understanding so is his the mind. Everyone’s consciousness is of this nature and power; and in everyone’s consciousness there is a different idea of the world. Death and other experiences are like cosmic dissolution. The night of cosmic consciousness when that comes to an end everyone wakes up to one’s own mental creation, which is materialization of one’s own ideas – notions and delusions. Even as cosmic being creates universe after cosmic dissolution; individual creates his own world after his death. To an immature and childish person who is confined in his conviction that this world is real it continues to be real. This universe is but a long dream. The ego sense and also the fantasy that others are as real as dream objects. The so-reality is an infinite consciousness which is omnipresent and pure. It’s very body and being is absolute consciousness. Whatever vision arises within oneself is immediately experienced. Consciousness itself becomes object of knowledge, when in consciousness the image of world arises, at that very instant it becomes so. Time – Space – Objectivity do not arise from matter for them they would become material. What is reflected in one’s consciousness shines outside also; what is regarded as real objective world. Experience during waking state is no more real than the one experienced in dream state. During sleep the world does not exist – the dream does not exist even so death contradicts life. While living; Death is nonexistent and while death; Life is nonexistent. The universe exists in the infinite consciousness only as a word and idea. It is neither real nor unreal.

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Perhaps the most important thing we bring to another person is the silence in us, not the sort of silence that is filled with unspoken criticism or hard withdrawal. The sort of silence that is a place of refuge, of rest, of acceptance of someone as they are. We are all hungry for this other silence. It is hard to find. In its presence we can remember something beyond the moment, a strength on which to build a life. Silence is a place of great power and healing.
~ Rachel Naomi Remen

Linga Mudra (Mudra of Heat)

Method:

Interlock the fingers of both the hands and keep the thumb of the left hand vertically straight and encircle it with the thumb and the index finger of the right hand.

Specialty:

It generates heat in our body. Supplement milk, ghee, more water and fruit juices to your diet, in addition to practice of this mudra for adding benefits.

Time Duration:

Practice it any time you want. But don’t practice it a lot as it produces heat in the body. It can cause sweating even in winter if you practice it longer.

Benefits:

It stops production of phlegm and gives power to lungs.

It cures severe cold and bronchial infection.

It invigorates the body.

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