Monday, July 24, 2017

Summary Of Bhagavad Gita Chapter 11 - Part I

(Below is the summary of the first day's discourse on the 11th Chapter of Bhagavad Gita by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on the 13th August 2016 at the Bangalore Ashram)
A deluded mind cannot come out of delusion on its own, it can happen only through grace; it needs a holding hand. Someone who is drowning in the water, cannot jump out of the water because he is drowning. If he could swim, he would have swam. Since he cannot swim, he is drowning and he needs some help.
"Mad-anugrahaya paramam guhyam adhyatma-samjnitam. Yat tvayoktam vacas tena moho 'yam vigato mama" (11.1)
"Bhavapyayau hi bhutanam srutau vistaraso maya. Tvattah kamala-patraksa mahatmyam api cavyayam" (11 .2)
Arjuna says, "I was drowning in this Samsara, in this world, deluded, and you gave me a helping hand and took me out of this. I am so grateful. Your grace has saved me. You have taught me the secrets of spirituality. I cannot thank you enough. You have told me about your qualities. How you are everywhere. How you are not just the body. You have explained to me in many ways that you are the eternal spirit"
"Evam etad yathattha tvam atmanam paramesvara. Drastum icchami te rupam aisvaram purusottama" (11.3)
The more knowledge you gain, the more inquisitiveness arises in you. This is the sign of a good seeker. See the dichotomy here. One is contentment; I am so thankful, grateful to you that I have come out of delusion. There is a certain contentment. Yet, there is a spirit of enquiry: "I want to see your multiple forms. I want to see you more. I want to see your divine form. You have told me about your form, but you have not shown me your divine form. I want to see that divine form".
"Manyase yadi tac chakyam maya drastum iti prabho. Yogesvara tato me tvam darsayatmanam avyayam" (11.4)
What Arjuna says in the next verse is very interesting. He says, "Only if you feel that I am fit to know, then you tell me. Show me your form if you feel that I am fit for it, if you feel that I am capable of beholding your form, only then show it to me."
This indicates that spiritual knowledge has brought contentment, but has also kept the spirit of enquiry alive, and a total confidence in the teacher.
"Pasya me partha rupani sataso 'tha sahasrasah. Nana-vidhani divyani nana-varnakrtini ca" (11.5)
The formless is now talking and it is bridging the gap between the form and the formless. The formless is one and the forms are many hundreds and thousands in number. In this dichotomy of the one formless and the millions of forms, one needs a special angle or eye to see that, to perceive this and to comprehend.
Krishna says, "Though I am formless, I am in all the forms. My forms are not one, but many millions of them. In all shapes, in all forms, I am there. See me everywhere. This is Vishwa Roopa".
"Pasyadityan vasun rudran asvinau marutas tatha. Bahuny adrsta-purvani pasyascaryani bharata" (11.6)
"Ihaika-stham jagat krtsnam pasyadya sa-caracaram. Mama dehe gudakesa yac canyad drastum icchasi" (11.7)
"Na tu mam sakyase drastum anenaiva sva-caksusa. Divyam dadami te caksuh pasya me yogam aisvaram" (11.8)
He says, "Look here. Look at me. The Suns (adityas), all the Devas and all the Bhutas, everything is in me. In the Universe there are objects which are moving, objects which are stationary. Those that are conscious, those that are not conscious. So the conscious, unconscious, moving, and immovable, all these forms and shapes, everything is in me. To see this you need a special eye. You cannot see this with the normal eye. I am going to give you the eye to see this".
"Evam uktva tato rajan maha-yogesvaro harih. Darsayam asa parthaya paramam rupam aisvaram" (11.9)
Sanjay is the commentator. He is seeing from his third eye as well. Sanjay is sitting in the palace, so far away from the battlefield and he is giving commentary to the king of what he has seen. This is the narration of Sanjay, who is sitting in a palace, narrating what's happening in Kurukshetra, a few hundred kilometers away from Hastinapur.
"Aneka-vaktra-nayanam anekadbhuta-darsanam. Aneka-divyabharanam divyanekodyatayudham" (11.10)
"Divya-malyambara-dharam divya-gandhanulepanam. Sarvascarya-mayam devam anantam visvato-mukham" (11.11)
Sanjay says, "Arjuna sees that divinity now with many forms. He is not seeing Krishna in Krishna's form. He is seeing all the forms at once".
Krishna has just become like a TV box. In the TV tube, you see everything. In the same way, the body has become transparent now. But in the body, he is seeing many forms. All the things he wanted to see, he had imagined, or he had not imagined, all those things started appearing.
"Pasyami devams tava deva dehe sarvams tatha bhuta-visesa-sanghan brahmanam isam kamalasana-stham rsims ca sarvan uragams ca divyan" (11.15)
Arjuna says, "Now I see all the divine forms in you. The Rishis are in you. All the Sages of the Universe, I see them all. And I see no beginning, no end, or no middle. Every form in the Universe is your form."
This is something very subtle to comprehend. It is a very subtle thing. You need to comprehend with full attention. The world is Divinity. The Divinity and the world are not two separate things now. It is one. There is no beginning, no end, and there.
"Aneka-bahudara-vaktra-netram pasyami tvam sarvato 'nanta-rupam nantam na madhyam na punas tavadim pasyami visvesvara visva-rupa" (11.16)
Arjuna says, "I see so many hands and so many eyes. I get so many visions. It is creating goose bumps in me. All these forms, the entire Universe is nothing but you, in you." That is why it is Vishwa Roopa -- The world is my form. And see Me in the world and see the world in Me -- then you have seen the Vishwa Roopa, you have seen the Universal Form.
"Kiritinam gadinam cakrinam ca tejo-rasim sarvato diptimantam pasyami tvam durniriksyam samantad diptanalarka-dyutim aprameyam" (11.17)
When an experience of that intensity happens, it becomes hard to handle. And this is what is happening to Arjuna. Arjuna says, "I cannot look. It is too grand for me. I cannot see. I am disappearing. Something is happening. I am dissolving. I cannot see any more. It is too much to take. You are the imperishable. That which is worth knowing. If you have not known this, there is nothing else worth knowing. You are the holder of everything, that is imperishable. The space in which everything is, is imperishable. That is what you are. My Goodness! I never knew this before."
"Tvam aksaram paramam veditavyam tvam asya visvasya param nidhanam tvam avyayah sasvata-dharma-gopta sanatanas tvam puruso mato me" (11.18)
Arjuna says, "In your form, I see the formless. You are eternal. You are the Being."

Friday, July 21, 2017

How To Create A Life Of True Fulfilment

The seed becomes a tree and then the tree becomes a seed. So the fulfillment of the seed is in becoming a seed again. Unless the seed becomes a tree, and tree bears fruit, the seed is not complete and the cycle is not complete. From a seed to a seed is the whole journey. It starts with one and becomes many seeds. In the same way, the human life finds its fulfillment when it realizes the vast nature of its being; when it realizes that 'I am not just the body, I am more than the body. I am not just an individual, I am much more than that'. This alone can bring fulfillment. Till this awareness comes, there is restless inside.
The way to get this fulfillment is through three things:
1. Awareness (Bodh)
2. Unity (Yog)
3. Love (Prem)
These are the three ways for the seed to realize its total potential.
Awareness means being aware that everything is a dream. Wake up and see the dream nature of everything. 'I am nothing', 'I don't need anything', 'I belong to everyone', 'I am everybody' - that is Bodh.
Union (Yog) is that which cannot be expressed in words. It is only realized in the experience. Realizing that everything is one and I am That is Yog. Love again cannot be tied to words. It is our true form. It is not a feeling. We often think that love is a feeling, this is wrong. This is why people always get entangled in it.
Look back in your own life, do you have an experience of your own birth? Do you remember? No! At the age of two or three you suddenly started realizing some things in this world, I won't say everything. Then by the age of four years, you start realizing your identity. But if you are asked, "Were you really born?" You don't know! We were there, that we all know. It's a really abstract thing but it's really very concrete.
Let me give you an example. You make a pot out of a ball of mud. When you make the pot, the space inside the pot is born. But can you say that the space was born? Can you say that space inside the pot was created? What was created? The boundary of the pot was created, but was the space created? No!
Now what has value? The mud has value or the space inside the pot has the value? Nobody buys space and neither does anyone buy a ball of mud ball. What you buy is the space within the mud. That has some value.
Now, the same is with human life. It has ability to expresses the infinity. The infinity is anyways there, but it has no value. Life is also there on earth but it has not same as human life. It is human life which expresses infinity that brings total satisfaction.
How to do you express infinity which is anyways there? Through Awareness, unconditional love and union. When the small mind realizes I am united with infinity, that is called Yoga. Not just doing exercises. When the small mind realizes that 'I am no longer the small mind, I am part of the big mind '.
You know in uniting also it appears that there are two things that you are trying to unite. This is a recognition that I am part of the something big. This is a step towards Aham Brahmasmi.One step before that is 'I am part of it'.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Being Impartial

In the golden ages the king was a judge, an administrator and also a servant. He played all these roles. So, a king was very impartial. Politician, judge, administrator -- all these roles were played by the king. But when values started deteriorating, the impartiality of the king was questioned and the judiciary had to be created as a separate entity.
So, a separate judiciary system was created because the quality of impartial judgment fell down, and judiciary became a separate entity and the king became separate.
When values further deteriorated, the king and the administration became separate. So the politicians, bureaucracy, and judiciary -- these three roles which were played by one person in the beginning when everything was very harmonious, fell through and three different departments had to be created. This is basically a trust deficit.
Above politics is judiciary, so if judiciary is affected by corruption and clogged by bias and favoritism then that indicates the dark ages. So at any cost, in every country, in every continent, one must protect the purity of judiciary. If judiciary is in place, then people don't have to fear.
Today, good people are afraid of judiciary, and those who don't follow the laws, the judiciary don't care about it. What do you call these people? Scofflaw - people who do not obey any rules or care for the rule. So when criminals are not afraid of laws but the good people are afraid of laws, then that does not indicate good days.
It is of utmost importance that the judiciary of every country help the people, because when injustices happen in the society, whether through society or by government, the only recourse people have is judiciary. And if judiciary does not give justice to people, or people are afraid of judiciary, this does not indicate a healthy society.
I remember one of the chief justice of Supreme Court in India said, "God alone can help this country".
Another chief justice said something similar. And another chief justice broke down and said, "I don’t know what I can do. It is not just in one country, I think everywhere this issue is cropping up where the judiciary's impartiality is coming under question".
Now how can someone be impartial without a spiritual wisdom. If you’re impartial, you are a yogi and you are spiritual. If you don’t have impartiality then you cannot just take a position of a judge.
So, in the ancient days, when King used to give the judgment, on top of the king was a Raj Guru. If the king makes any mistake, there was a Guru of the king who would come and tell him, "Look, your judgment is not correct. You have to do this again".
I think today we need wise people almost everywhere to advise those who are
administrating the society. the lawmakers, the administrators and the judiciary -- this is the need of the hour. What do you think? How many of you feel the need of the hour? (Many in the audience raise their hands).
The need of the hour is to protect the impartiality of judiciary. People go to court and they’re so afraid of going to court because it may take them so many years to get justice. There is a saying, "Justice delayed is justice denied". And this keeps happening over and over again.
Today, in America, the issue is between people who are hopeless and people who are helpless. One community feels hopeless and another community feels helpless. It’s a swing between hopelessness and helplessness. The minority community feels hopeless, they don’t see any hope, and the majority community feels helpless, and so the division keeps expanding. Only spiritual knowledge can bridge the gap and bring people together, instill confidence and remove insecurity.
See, to be impartial one needs that ethical background. People say, "No, I want to do what I want to do, Why should I be impartial?" Why should someone be impartial? Why should one do the right thing? It is because everyone is part of you. When you see that the people of both sides (of a dispute) are part of you, you can't but be impartial. Do you see what I am saying?
If you see only the people on one side as close to you, the other as alien, then you can’t give justice, you can’t be a judge. A judge is one who is impartial. And why should he be impartial? So that he delivers justice. And how can one give justice when he does not feel equally connected with both the parties? Is it possible for him or her to give justice? No! So, who can be impartial? One who is a yogi can be impartial. Someone who is centered can be impartial, because he finds everyone equal. Whether someone gives him compliments or derogatory remarks, he remains impartial.
When can you be impartial?
1. When you have nothing to gain and nothing to lose you are impartial.
2. When you feel equally connected with everyone, then you’re impartial.
3. When you think about the welfare of everybody, and are looking at the larger good, then you’re impartial.
4. When you are spiritual, you’re impartial.
Does compassion makes you impartial? Compassion is always towards the weak. Towards weaker people you feel compassion. But if the weaker one goes wrong, then your judgment will go wrong. Then you will do injustice to the stronger one.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Wisdom Is Key To Freedom

(Below is the continuation of the post Putting Wisdom To Work)
You have done all that you wanted to do; you have achieved. You got everything, and whatever you want also, you are getting, then what next? This is a question that sometimes comes up. If it comes up then you are still alive. If this question, 'What next' doesn't arise, that means somewhere you are sleeping. If this question arises, th¥en starts the path towards freedom, towards liberation. And liberation comes only with the light (Guru).
Everyone wants freedom to some extent or the other. Freedom from everything is liberation. Now, don't ask me, "What is everything? Is it also freedom from love, from knowledge, from joy or bliss?" Come on, all of these don't bind you at all. Knowledge doesn't bind you.
Knowledge along with love, in the beginning, appears to bind you, but really it is setting you free. It is to free you from small things that it is binding.
You can ask, "Is the love for the Guru not binding?" I say, "Yes, it is binding, so that you can be free from everything else". So one can be free from everything, all these small little irritants in life, and you will be free from all that, so you can get that freedom. So to get these aspects in life, one has to have the Guru Principle (the guiding light) and that is why Guru Purnima is celebrated.
We don't know from how long this is being celebrated. From ages people have been celebrating Guru Purnima.
Many of you might have watched what I spoke yesterday -- that Guru Purnima is an Oxymoron. Purnima means that which belongs to the Moon, and Moon signifies emotions, while the Guru means wisdom. Life is as such a combination of wisdom and refinement. and fullness of emotion. Emotion that is incomplete binds you, but emotion which is complete, which is full, like a full moon brings freedom. Knowledge and wisdom bring freedom.
If we sit and analyze things like this, we can see some new knowledge appear every day. There is no end to knowledge.
There was a great saint in India some 5200 to 5300 years ago, maybe even more. We don't know the exact dates. He organized knowledge. See knowledge has been there at all times. When we organize that into a Happiness Program, into course points, then you learn the essence of hollow and empty (taught in The Art of Silence Program). So when you organize knowledge, you are able to integrate that in life.
Similarly, knowledge was there but Ved Vyasa was a Rishi who organized it, and his organization was so fantastic.
There is a story that is said about this saint. Ved Vyasa went to the creator and asked God to give him knowledge. The creative energy showed him a huge mountain of knowledge saying, "This is knowledge, you wanted knowledge, take it".
Ved Vyasa went and grabbed two handfuls, put it in his pocket and then took two handfuls more. That's all that he could grab from all that was there. And then he organized the knowledge that he took into four Vedas. This is what it is! Knowledge is infinite, but from that Rishi Ved Vyasa organized it into four Vedas, and then all the Upanishads. The whole Vedic knowledge and Vedic literature was organized by him, including the Mahabharata (the grand Epic of India was also written by him). The eighteen Puranas were also written by him. So it is said, anything in the world, whatever you see, Ved Vyasa has already tasted and tested it. There is nothing that is left without his touch. He has touched on every aspect, every field of human existence -- logic, music, dance, Ayurveda, archery, architecture, meteorology, political science, economic science, Earth science -- you name it and it all has had touch of Ved Vyasa. So he organized it categorically. So Guru Purnima is also called Vyasa Purnima, and is celebrated in his memory because he made it easier for people to learn the spiritual and the unknown aspects of life, and rejoice in the benefits of human life.
Today, we did Guru Puja (a form of thanksgiving) to all the Masters from time immemorial. We start from Narayana (the very beginning of human life). Narayana begins with the first human existence on the planet around 19 billion years ago. That's why they say this knowledge is timeless.
Then Padmabhavam, and then Vashistha, a great Rishi. It's said, Vashistha is born in every creation, in every planet to bring knowledge to the human race. What Vashistha had said several years ago is what scientists are talking about today. He had spoken about Dark Matter and Dark Energy. He had spoken about the three spaces -- inner space, outer space and the causal space. Science today is coming very close to what Vashistha had said and there is also a thought that Vashistha is almost like a degree or a position more than a person. Like you have a judge or a doctor, like that people say Vashistha is a position.
Same is said for Rishi Ved Vyasa. Whenever a Rishi, or anyone is giving a talk or a discourse sitting on a seat, this is called the Seat of Vyasa. It's called a Vyasapith. When a teacher teaches, the seat of the teacher is called the Seat of Vyasa. So every Guru sits on a Vyasapith.There are many teachers here, when you are sitting and giving some knowledge, that seat is called the Seat of Vyasa. You are sitting there and giving knowledge without any selfish motive, with a pure heart; with one intention to bring benefit to all, then that is Vyasapith.Not every school teacher's seat is called the Seat of Vyasa, no! Many school teachers are teaching because they are getting some benefit out of that. I wouldn't call that VyasapithVyasapith or Seat of Vyasa is that seat from where selflessly you are giving knowledge or being a channel for knowledge to flow through.
Today, we remember and show our gratefulness to this ancient tradition of Masters from time immemorial -- Vyasa, Vashistha, Shakti and Parashara (ancient Masters).
Parashara was a great author of astronomy and astrology. Just imagine, some 7000 to 8000 thousand years ago, they said that there are many moons to Jupiter. Even today, the Parashara Hora Shastra (foundational compilation of Indian Astrology) is correct to the fraction of seconds. It gives the exact timing of Sunset, Lunar Eclipse, Solar Eclipse, and the transiting of the planets. All the calculations are done and are accurate.
The concept of zero came from Padmabhava. and then Vashistha, then Shakti and then Parashara. Many of the knowledge books are not available now. They were lost in the late 16th century when India came under different rulers. At that time, people just burnt libraries and so many of those scriptures were lost. But Parashara's knowledge of astrology and astronomy is in use even today in use.
So like that, the whole tradition has brought immense benefit to mankind and this has been protected and saved and brought to present day.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Putting Wisdom To Work

Life is a combination of simplicity and complexity. On one side life is very simple, on the other side, it's very complex. While complexity makes life interesting and aids for the growth, simplicity gives it breathing space. And it is both at the same time. How? You eat some food and you feel the food is digested, correct? But if you look into the process of digestion, it is a very complex thing. First the carbohydrates gets converted in the saliva, then it goes to the stomach and mixes with the gastric juices, then it takes some time there and gets digested. Then it goes through the duodenum and then it gets absorbed in the intestine and then some goes out, some goes up. The essence of it goes in the blood. So, in life also, darkness goes and light comes; wisdom dawns and ignorance fades away - this is a simultaneous process. You are washing a cloth, you are putting soap on it, the dirt is going away and the brightness is coming up simultaneously.
In life, when knowledge is to come up and ignorance is to go, you need a Guru; you need the Guru principle. So knowledge and then movement in life (meaning progress). It's not just enough to have wisdom; wisdom also has to come into action. It has to be useful.
It's not just enough to have wisdom; wisdom also has to come into action. It has to be useful.
If a great scientist says, "I have all the knowledge", what is the use of having all that knowledge? Did you use it in practical life? Someone knows all about organic farming, but if they have not done any farming, what is the use? You can have the knowledge and you can die with your knowledge. Have you made use of the knowledge? Did it get utilized in the society, in the world? It's one thing to get knowledge, another thing to be able to transmit it to others and utilize it.
Movement of knowledge is an important aspect as well. Okay, you use your knowledge, but what is the result if there is no result. What is the end product? How much benefit has it produced? You had the knowledge of organic farming and you did so much work, but later on, nothing came out of it.
I want to share one incident with you. Long time ago in the late 80's in the Bangalore Ashram, a gentlemen came from England. He said, "I want to do horticulture, plant lots of trees", and I said, "Okay". With all enthusiasm he bought pots and we got him the seeds. Whatever he wanted we gave him everything. So he brought the seeds and he put the seeds but his education was not for tropical climate, his education was for the arctic climate. So in the pots he put all the seeds, he put all the nutrition it needed, everything. Seeds were sown, water was being given every day, and finally we found there was not one sprout. Not one of those 100 odd pots became a sapling. So the achievement was zero.
A villager who was around that place, we just gave him a quarter of the resource which were given to the educated person, and he sowed some seeds and grew many tomatoes and many other things as well. So often 
we think that people have knowledge and they use their knowledge, but achievement happens with something else. Usually we brand it as luck and leave it.
Achievement is possible with that unseen law, with that unseen force that is called Sattva. Sattva means wisdom, harmony and a sharp intellect.
Two gentlemen open shops next to each other. One shop is flourishing and the other shop goes down. In such a situation what do we usually say? It is luck. They are both doing the same business. Hasn't this been the experience? How many of you agree with me? Especially in Toronto. You will see that there are people opening similar types of restaurants, and one's is flourishing and another's is going down. You don't understand why this happens. This is where your eyes open to something beyond logic because we are programmed to think only in a logical way.
Logic means what, connecting to what you already know. Linking the known to what is not known, but it need not be. The truth need not bend to that logic. If you say you will come by road to Canada all the way from India, you will never make it. Somewhere you will have to take a ship or a plane.
If you say I want to go by road to Australia, forget about it. Can you go to Australia by road if you don't take a ship? Isn't it an Island? Yes, confirmed. So logic is like saying, "I will go only by road. I won't take ship because it's one planet earth". Come on wake up, some places you have to go on a ferry. You have to use the ferry. Ferry is the faith that one has to use beyond logic, beyond the shores --
 that which takes you across the shores is a ferry.
Achievement is possible with that unseen law, with that unseen force that is called Sattva. So it is said, "Kriyasiddhi satve bhavati mahatam nopakarane". 
Any action finds fructification not just by means, but by Sattva. You may have many means to achieve something, but it doesn't happen. Why? Sattva was lacking, and Sattva means wisdom, harmony and a sharp intellect.
What we know as intellect is that which is within logic, but is there an intellect which is a step beyond logic.? Yes, that is the Guru principle.
Guru represents that exalted intellect. An intellect from the other side. Do you see what I am saying? An intellect which is beyond logic. What we know as intellect is that which is within logic, but is there an intellect which is a step beyond logic? Is there an intelligence beyond logic? Yes, that is the Guru principle. So achievement and success happens by that energy called Sattva, which means the Guru principle.
In the words of devotees, you will say grace, or 'Guru's grace'. If you are scientific you say, some unseen force, some other power makes things work. 
That's why a very advanced scientist always is in wonderment. He admits that he know less -- and what he does not know is only growing more and more.
The more you know, what you don't know grows more. So spiritual science, spiritual knowledge belongs to that realm of the unknown and unseen. And for that you definitely need a guide from that realm. Yes!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Why Confidence Is So Important

07/15/2016 Boone, United States