вторник, 19 сентября 2017 г.

What is the Guru’s Grace?

Pandit Sundaresha Iyer: What is the Guru’s Grace? Well, this is exactly the word that awakens us from this dream life of ours, to which we cling so hard until the tiger of death pounces on us and proves that it is ephemeral, unreal. What is this wonderful power the True Guru holds?

Man is accustomed to dope himself in sorrow with more and more palliatives; so he finds the more he tries to escape from the quagmire, the deeper into it he is drawn. Out of sheer despair, he goes to some Enlightened Man and asks for help. The Master says: “You feel unhappy because you do not know your Self ”. “How strange!” thinks the bewildered soul. “Do I not know myself? Here I am, and yet I am in sorrow!” “But sorrow and wandering is not your real nature,” the Illuminate replies, “really you are Being and Blissfulness.” “How so?” asks the yet more bewildered soul. With one meaningful look the Master sees deep into the soul of the enquirer.

And lo! What a trance of joy, what  a  blissful  existence,  and  what  a  calm  this  is!  The agitated  soul  is  stilled,  silent;  he  sits  and  sits  and  sits. Gazing  at  the  Master  before  him  the  minutes  and  hours are  hardly  noticed  gliding  softly  away.  In  this  way  days and months are condensed into a few moments of blissful life. The wanderer has found his harbour; he is all new life and light, so he swears, “For eternity I shall not part from my  Master,  who  is  my  All!”

Well, for a time he keeps to his resolve. But then the “I”  followed  by  the  thought  of  “mine”,  the  remnants  of his  petty  being,  the  past  accumulation  of  tendencies (vasanas),  all  pull  him  back  with  all  their  force  and  tear him  from  his  Master’s  bosom.

He slides back again into the very dream of life which he had come to abhor. Now he is neither of the world, nor of eternity. Being entrapped by the world’s forces, yet unable to  be  in  harmony  with  them  he  returns  to  his  Master  for proper guidance in his conduct of worldly affairs. The Master is only too pleased to give him all the help he needs in order to  free  himself  from  the  meshes  that  have  once  again entangled  him.  The  poor  man  finds  that  he  has  to  fondle and  hug  once  again  the  very  dolls  he  formerly  abhorred.

But  the  more  he  does  so,  the  more  they  burn  him,  make him  a  prisoner;  he  can  neither  give  them  up,  nor  escape from their clutches. It is like the proverbial monkey with a cobra in its hand, or the ant between two fires. He is only waiting  for  the  least  opportunity  to  wind  up  his  business here and slip away into oblivion, so that he may once and for  ever  return  to  the  calm  of  his  Master’s  presence.

He has indeed come there; but now he finds himself utterly unfit to receive that soothing solace from the Master which  was  formerly  his.  The  mind  and  the  senses,  by their recent association in the things of the world, have so completely  exteriorised  him  that  ‘diving  in’  has  become for  him  a  matter  of  the  past,  he  can  do  it  no  more.  So much is this so, that he has now to sell himself, so that in the  proximity  of  the  Divine  and  through  It’s  Grace,  the rebellious and discordant elements of his being may all be harmonised, life that was formerly so dear to him becoming worthless  if  not  for  surrender  to  the  Master  in  absolute self-abnegation.

Now the Master speaks: “People think the Master is confined in a human frame, but it is not so; His existence and presence are universal, cosmic, because He is the True Guru  (sad-guru)  and  Truth  (sat)  as  such  is  not  a  newly discoverable  entity.  He  has  always  been  there  with  you even while you were undergoing all the pangs of existence. In  fact,  I  am  the  ‘I’  in  you;  you  and  I  have  never  been apart, nor ever can be. But you, with your separate ‘I’ and its  exclusive  and  warring  interests,  could  not  know  Me, much less feel Me. Now that that ‘I’ in you has dropped away, I alone live in you.” This is the meaning of  Tattvamasi (“That thou art”), and this is the meaning and the function of the Guru’s Grace.

воскресенье, 10 сентября 2017 г.

Little importance to outward activities

On being questioned by some brothers-in-faith about the propriety or impropriety of a man’s activities, Thakur [Bijoy Krishna Goswami] said—Those who have developed an insight into the human heart attach very little improtance to outward activities. They look straight into the heart. It is really difficult to make out what action will do good to some particular person. Many sick persons have been cured of serious ailments even after taking definitely improper diets.

It may be that some persons are gieatly benefited by the performance of even such acts as are generally considered abominable. It is not very easy to anticipate the effects of all actions. One has simply to keep oneself steady in one’s path of duty and remain a passive observer of others' ativities. Finding fault with others is definitely harmful

четверг, 17 августа 2017 г.

Most important qualification

Dattatreya speaks to Parashurama (from Tripura Rahasya 35-45):

tatrādyaṃ sarvamūlaṃ syānmumukṣutvaṃ na cetarat |
mumukṣāmantarā yattu śravaṇaṃ mananādikam || 35 ||
na mukhyaphalasaṃyuktaṃ kevalaṃ śilpavad bhavet |
na śilpajñānamātreṇa prāpyate paramaṃ padam || 36 ||
mumukṣāmantarā yaistu śrutaṃ samyag vicāritam |
śavālaṅkāravat sarvaṃ teṣāṃ vyarthaṃ bhavet khalu || 37 ||

The most important, the root of the qualifications is the desire for liberation, mumuksutva. Nothing can be achieved without it. Study of philosophy and discussion on the subject with others are thoroughly useless, being no better than the study of arts. For the matter of that, one might as well hope for salvation by a study of sculpture and the practice of that art. The study of philosophy in the absence of a longing for salvation, is like decorating a corpse.

vyarthā sāpi bhavenmandā mumukṣā rāma sarvathā |
yathā phalaśrutericchā sāmānyā na phalāvahā || 38 |
phalaśrutyuttarodbhūtā necchā karmaphalāvahā |
phalaśrutyā kasya nāma na syāt sā jīvadharmiṇaḥ || 39 || 

Again, o Parashurama, a casual desire for liberation is also vain. Such desire often manifests on learning of the magnificence of the liberated state. It is common to all but never brings about any abiding results. Therefore a passing desire is worthless.

tasmādāpātarūpāyā mumukṣāyā na vai phalam |
yathā mumukṣā tīvrā syāttathā tasyā'ciraṃ phalam || 40 ||

The desire must be strong and abiding, in order that it may bear fruit. The effects are in proportion to the intensity and duration of the desire.

mumukṣā yā mukhyatamā sā sādhanagaṇeṣvalam |
pravṛttimutpādayed vai sā hi tatparatocyate || 41 ||
yathā sudagdhasarvāṅgo na śītānyadapekṣate |
tathā yadā vimuktyanyannāpekṣeta hi sarvathā || 42 ||
sā mumukṣā bhavettīvrā samarthā phalasādhane |
eṣā vimukteranyatra doṣadṛṣṭyaiva jāyate || 43 ||

The desire must be accompanied by efforts for the accomplishment of the purpose. Then only will there be concerted effort. Just as a man scalded by fire runs immediately in search of soothing unguents and does not waste his time in other pursuits, so also must the aspirant run after emancipation to the exclusion of all other pursuits. Such an effort is fruitful and is preceded by indifference to all other attainments.

tīvravairāgyamukhataḥ krameṇa tīvratāmiyāt |
doṣadṛṣṭyā hi vairāgyaṃ viṣayaprītināśanam || 44 ||
vairāgyeṇa mumukṣutvaṃ tīvraṃ tatparatodayam |
tatparatvaṃ sādhaneṣu pravṛttiratitīvrataḥ || 45 ||
atitīvaraprakṛtyaiva drutaṃ phalamavāpnuyāt |

Starting by discarding pleasures as being impediments to progress he develops dispassion and then the desire for liberation, which grows in strength. This makes a man engage in the right efforts in which he becomes thoroughly engrossed. After these stages are passed, the most unique consummation takes place.

Bhakti brings vairagya

vāsudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ |
janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ jñānaṁ ca yad ahaitukam ||

[bhā.pu. 1.2.7]

(from the Saints of Bengal):

Krishna Sundara Raya took initiation from Sri Vaikuntha Goswami, a descendant of Advaita Acharya and began to do bhajana. His bhajana consisted mainly of Nama-kirtana and lila kirtana. He became siddha through kirtana. 

During his kirtana his only son Syamasundara used to play on mridanga. Syamasundara died suddenly. Raya Prabhu shed no tears on his death. On returning from the cremation ground after cremation, he sat down to  perform kirtana, playing himself on mridanga. When people came for condolence, they were suprised to see him playing on mridanga, They stood aghast and did not know what to say. Raya Prabhu said casually, "Mahaprabhu had given me a mridanga player. He has taken him away. What can I do?"