Prasanna

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  1. you are not your body

    This game of life is an illusion because there is no Reality in it. Reality is defined as that which doesn't change in all three periods of time called Present, past and future. There is nothing permanent and change is the only permanent constant in this world and life. Even if you consider our body to be our real personality, still the constant identity of 'I'ness and 'My'ness is illusory because all the cells in our body keeps dying and the older cells are replaced by new ones. since we don't recognize this we believe that we are this seemingly immaculate body and the resultant non changing identity 'I'. The 'I' or our ego does not exist at all except for our self imagination. You can verify this scriptural truth by your own personal experience.
  2. you are not your body

    The scriptures say that this individual existence itself is false, only God or Supreme Self within is the truth and that alone exists. Everything else is our interpretation of the world by our material layers.
  3. you are not your body

    Roger, You are absolutely right. In fact you have said the same important aspect of life what I studied for three years and still working on in the name of Vedanta Philosophy. The difference between worldly people and spiritual people is their identification. All worldly people from the worst of sinners to the best of seekers will consciously or unconsciously believe wrongly that they are this material limitations of Body, Mind, Intellect and Ego. The spiritual people put efforts and work their way to dissociate their wrong identification with the material aspects of Body, Mind, Intellect and Ego and merge one with the Supreme self or God within the subtlest core of their personality. This identification with the Supreme Self, the Divine, the WHOLE, the entirety without the second is what makes the spiritual aspirants different from the worldly people. Know Thy (Supreme) SELF. "Thou Art God" is the glorious and gracious claim of the Scriptures, whether it be Abrahamic or Vedic.
  4. the bottom line as I see it

    Roger, very interesting topic and a beautiful explanation of the topic by you in your first comment. My Guru says that it does not matter as to what stage of life one is, but it matters as to what is one aspiring for at present. For you it is very clear that you are working for salvation, the ultimate of ideals that humans can aspire for. For an individual to be successful in life, the first and foremost necessity is the ideal and you have set the supreme most of supreme ideal. The more lofty the ideals, it is easy for us to achieve real success. Selfish people live selfishly and die with selfishness. Being humans, it is our prerogative to think, to think for the welfare and benefit of human society. When we turn to spiritual pursuits, we know that we have to give up our wrong desires, selfishness and egoism. We also know that we have to seek the supreme Self or God within us to become one with it one day. This spiritual ideal of seeking the supreme Self is the highest of selflessness. Thereafter a sincere seeker should never have result orientation about the final salvation. My Guru says there is one sure way for salvation: "Kaaryam Karma Karothi yah, Sa sanyasi cha Yogi cha". This quote for Srimad Bhagavad Gita simply means that "the One who keeps performing duties and selfless service, he is a sanyasi (true renunciate) and he alone is a Yogi (Man of perfection)". Here selfless service and performance of duties implies that they need to be devoid of result orientation. For sincere and dedicated seekers of truth, having set the ideal of Self Realization is as good as achieving Self Realization rather than wasting time on worries and anxieties about the actual Self Realization.
  5. Though absolute forgiveness is avoiding revenge or offensive activities in retaliation and not punishing, there are situations for some people where punishing the offender or the one who committed the wrong is itself forgiveness. This is because not all are saints and sages to forgive even the highest of crime. There are other type of personalities like warriors, businessmen, teacher who need to punish the wrong doer. For great spiritual personalities like Jesus Christ or Budhdha the term forgiveness itself doesn't exist because they have crossed over their selfish ego and desires which are the cause for either revenge or forgiveness. They take things as they are without any personal bias. Jesus Christ says, "Hate the sin, not the sinner" which implies that there are no sinners but only people who are innocently ignorant. Let us take the background of the great Mahabharatha war and Bhagavad Gita. Arjuna, the Pandava brother who was the main person to seek a war with the wicked Kauravas for their unrighteousness, suddenly tells Lord krishna in the middle of the battle field that he doesn't want to fight the war. The great warrior suddenly stooped down to cowardice due to his complacency. He turned despondent when he spoke the words of wisdom of a renunciate when he was actually nowhere nearer to that maturity or mental perfection. Arjuna dropped his arms, bows and arrows and started walking away from the battle field. Arjuna said he doesn't want to enjoy the kingdom by killing his cousins. He further said that he is taking to renunciation (Sanyas) instantly. Lord Krishna who is the wisest of the wise knew what was behind Arjuna's deplorable despondency. All the while Arjuna was talking in terms of doing his duty as a warrior and fighting unrighteousness, injustice and corruption. Now suddenly he backed up from the war because he was to fight his own cousins and close relatives. The selfishness and egoism in Arjuna played pranks and made him forget the supreme ideal of fighting unrighteousness, injustice and corruption which is the duty of a warrior. Arjuna cheap selfish mentality was exposed when he gave up his ideal of fighting unrighteousness when it came to matters of himself and his own family. Lord Krishna had to recite the full eighteen (18) chapters of Bhagavad Gita to make Arjuna do his duty as a warrior. Forgiveness in this context is Arjuna fighting for the cause of righteousness, not foregoing the evil Kauravas who would have caused extreme harm to the society by way of corruption and malpractices. Even if Arjuna had falsely forgiven at that instant by withdrawing himself from battle, it is very evident that in no time he would be forced again to fight the war because Arjuna's real nature was that of of a warrior and not of a saint who can renounce everything. We have to forgive in a way that it is beneficial for our spiritual growth and beneficial for the society or humanity.
  6. What you must do with a trauma that you encountered in the past very much depends on the kind of trauma and the real reason behind the trauma. If you encountered a trauma because you accidentally did something wrong without intention, then most probably you can forget and win over it. But, on the contrary if you had done some serious offence that will not heal with time, then you got to perform selfless service oriented action and sacrificial actions combined with overflowing love for our fellow beings to overcome the trauma. One has to rise above trauma by one's choice of action and subtle sensible attitude. Anybody would only like to overcome the trauma and not experience pain and suffering unnecessarily unless they are freaks.
  7. I don't know whether you are talking about individual choice or a group choice. I would like to give importance to individual choice since it is the basic unit of group choice. How do we know whether a choice is made by destiny or free will? If a person continues to be egocentric and selfish, he is bound to make a choice by the influence of destiny. Selfish people lack free will to the extent they are selfish and egocentric. As an individual grows spiritually, meaning turns more selfless, sacrificial, service oriented, compassionate, kind, friendly, engenders unconditioned, impartial love free from personal attachments, discriminates between the real and the ephemeral, then such an individual will possess free will to make choices, not otherwise.
  8. Enlightenment or Spiritual awakening, both the terms mean the same Self Realization. May be we can say that there are different stages in spiritual awakening, but enlightenment means the ultimate state of Self Realization. When somebody turns from mundane worldly pursuits to spiritual pursuit, there is an awakening in the personality towards the truth and Realities of life. While in the spiritual path, as we progress, we are into different stages of spiritual awakening. Like, when we pursue Self Realization, the Self which was mere witness before we turned to spirituality, now helps us in our pursuit as a friend. This is one stage of awakening. As we grow up more in the spiritual pursuit, the Self becomes an enjoyer from a friend in the previous stage. This is another stage of awakening. Then, as we achieve total awakening, the individual himself becomes the Self known as Maheshwara who has perfect control over himself and his world. This is the last stage of awakening. Perfect control over the world doesn't mean authoritarian or dictatorship, but means minimal dependency on the world or absolute self sufficiency and self reliance.
  9. Beautiful topic worth discussing. Actually the list of masters you quoted are all saints and sages. Yes they all agree on one thing that Ego and desires of the Mind are the cause of pain and suffering in humans. They all agree that worldly pursuits are futile since they cannot give the absolute happiness that we are unconsciously craving for through our experiences in life. But, there is one more thing I would like to add. The list of enlightened souls that you have provided is not comprehensive. Even in our scriptures, there are instances which describe that the list of enlightened souls are not confined to saints and sages but people from all walks of life. King Janaka, Lord Rama, Lord Krishna, Bhaktha Prahladha, Bhaktha Dhruva, etc. are good examples of enlightened souls who were not sages but people involved in worldly affairs. You might have heard about the story of Jabali who is a butcher by profession, but an enlightened soul.
  10. Let us see what are the factors that can influence our decision making and what factors among them can take us to our evolution. You are in crossroads because you have done something extremely good that you are made to pause for a while to make the right move in life. Not many get that chance. Twenty one (21) years back I too was in the same crossroads that you have described here in your post. I had taken admission in an Engineering college to do my Masters in Computer applications. I didn't have a clue whether I had the right mindset to do the course before i joined. I was in utter confusion since I could not study properly from the beginning. I started thinking about my future and got worried since nothing seemed to be certain or seemed to be favourable for my future. Just then there was a lecture by my present Guru (Swami. Parthasarathy) on Vedanta philosophy, on Bhagavad Gita at the Town hall. It was December 25th 1995 I attended the lecture and continued to attend it for the next four days till the completion of the lectures. One of the days during the lecture I decided that I should take up the course on Vedanta philosophy full time so that I learn what is life before I venture into my life. My advice would be to learn the art of right contact with the world before you venture into living your life. Vedanta philosophy helped me. We have to know very well about what we are and what the world is in reality so that we make the right decisions. Vedanta philosphy taught me objectivity and self sufficiency necessary for leading a purposeful life.
  11. Every aspect of life is spiritual, but when we specifically take to spiritual pursuit as opposed to worldly pursuits then there is no place for creativity unless it is the inherent nature of the individual. For all purpose we can conclude that the main ideal of spirituality is just the opposite of creativity. In my opinion,creativity can be a stepping stone for achieving the ultimate enlightenment or Self Realization, but not the part of actual enlightenment. Enlightenment or Self Realization is transcending every aspect of the world to gain oneness with the supreme being which is beyond definitions.
  12. Responsibility, forgiveness and traumas?

    From the absolute point, there is no forgiveness since there is no difference like I or you or others. We are relatively existing in this limitation of Body, mind, Intellect and Ego. But it is very difficult to rise to that absolute level. Yet we all can practice forgiveness to the extent we can so that we don't carry anymore sins but earn grace and virtue. Can you imagine how heavy a heart that does not know to forgive is? It is ridden with confusions and agitation which obscure it of the Reality or Supreme bliss. One quote says that "Forgiveness is the fragrance that a violet releases as the foot crushes it". Forgiveness should be so spontaneous and instantaneous. ...and we need not even carry the excess burden of that egoistic stance that 'I' have forgiven.
  13. Responsibility, forgiveness and traumas?

    >>> p.s. What other person?... <<< Good question. Isn't that feeling of non identification with others the real cause of responsibility, forgiveness and traumas in first place?
  14. Realize vs Experience of SELF

    Very true, We are the all pervading God or Supreme Self within indeed, not this limited existence of physical, emotional and intellectual experiences alone. We should not mistake a part for the whole.