Saturday, July 26, 2014

What role does ‘maya’ play in preventing us from realizing God?

God is the un-manifest, nameless, formless, part less infinite Self. God assumes the role of creator and through his creative power (maya) creates this entire world of things and beings.

The manifest world by ‘maya’ is very evident and appears solid and real. It is our field of work and livelihood from which we reap joys and sorrows. Many therefore forget the infinite and un-manifest substratum and consider the manifest world itself as their God. Further it is through the body, senses and mind that we interact with the world and being so closely associated with them we consider the manifested instruments alone as ourselves and completely ignore the infinite God because of whom they function. 

‘Worshiping finite deities for desire fulfillment prevents us from knowing God.’ Explain.

Deities are finite and are designed by the God itself, to boost the mechanism of desires. Human being full of lust of different desires went to different deities for fulfillment of their desires and they meet their desires and again remain tied with the all three virtues of ‘maya’. Not realizing that God is the main source of power, we worship deity as the God and consider that deity alone is our wish-fulfiller. But desires and fulfillment of desires are poison for a spiritual seeker. Because desires, actually enrich the ignorance. Fulfillment of one desire comes with lust of so many desires and one never can come out of world of desires and chapter of GOD realization would never start. 

Divine Vision

The whole world is pervaded by God. God is in all beings. Vision of looking infinite Self or divinity or God everywhere and in all is called as divine vision. Man of realization sees God in all. So he naturally reveres, loves and serves all. There are example of so many saints in Indian Scripture who were have a divine vision – Sant Eknath, Goswami Tulsidas.

Friday, January 3, 2014

What is the difference between Jiva and Isvara?

  • Following are the differences between Jiva and the Isvara:-

  •   Jiva possesses the limited knowledge; Isvara possesses the boundless knowledge.
  •   Jiva is limited by the time and space; Isvara is beyond the all time frames and is all pervading and is eternal.
  •  Jiva is controlled by Isvara; the all powerful lord.
  •  Jiva is controlled and deluded by the ‘maya’; the ignorance principle and is ignorant of his own real nature as ‘sat-chit-ananda’ whereas Isvara wields and controls maya and is aware of his real nature as ‘sat-chit-ananda’.
  • The ‘jiva’ is bound by ‘maya’, strives for liberation and on the other hand Isvara who is not in ignorance but is controlling the ignorance principle is out of the limits of the ‘maya’ so question of liberation doesn’t arise. 
  • Isvara dispenses the fruits of the Jiva’s actions through ‘maya’ and it seems that Isvara is also doing actions but this is not true because he is ever detached as he knows his real nature.
  • Jiva is in ‘karma-bandha’ while Isvara is independent.
  • Jiva knows him as oneself whereas Isvara is different from oneself and he realized. 

How is japa a very powerful method of attaining both chitta-suddhi (purity of mind) and chitta-ekagrata (single-pointedness of the mind)?

In practice of ‘japa’ the seeker continuously and consciously repeats the name of one’s Ista-devta like Rama, Krishna, Jesus, Allah O Akbar and so on. The principle behind the practice of japa is that by continuous and conscious repetition of a word or words the mind become single-pointed.
Mind is a stream of continuous thoughts. If there are so many thoughts in mind than it called as agitated mind and when thoughts reduced to very minimum, state of single-pointedness is attained. So,  with ‘japa’ one is trying to give a single thought to one’s mind.
In ‘japa’ one chants God’s name or concentrates on the qualities of God. So, when one chant the Lord’s name the Lord’s divine form and qualities will come to the mind and the mind naturally gets filled with devotion and purity because the psychological dictum is : ‘as we think, so we become.
Thus japa becomes and effective technique to purify one’s mind as well as to lasting concentration. The spiritual practice of japa is accorded a very high position in all religions because it bestows the twofold results of chita-ekagrata and chitta-suddhi.    

What is Meditation?

Meditation is the art of maintaining the mind focused on a single thought. Why single thought; because mind is flow of thoughts only and by giving it a single thought one is actually destroying the realm of mind. When mind is constant chanting a mantra it is tried to give it a single thought and at the same time avoiding the all other thoughts. It is said to be a single-pointed meditation; same is applicable in case of ‘trataka’ and focusing of awareness at the point between two eye-brows. By doing meditation we are not only sublimating our mind but also integrating subjective mind and objective minds.

On the path of evolution, meditation is the final gateway through which every seeker must pass to gain the ultimate experience of the absolute Reality.

Actually there are two terms - 'Self' and a 'not-self'. 'Not-self' exists due to ignorance and it exists unless one break the realm of mind. Because beyond mind there is 'Self' and due to ignorance or 'maya' one thinks on the thoughts of 'not-self'.

With meditation one is continuously diluting the layers of mind and finally the mind get deleted and at that right moment one simultaneously realizes the 'Self'.

What is Vedanta ??

Vedanta stands out as most significant native philosophy of India. It answers both the demands of metaphysics and the requirements of a sound religion. Vedanta is a clear and comprehensive summary of the perennial philosophy and hence it’s enduring value for all humankind. The system of Vedanta derives its doctrines from the ‘prasthana-traya’ which comprises the three great text books, namely the ‘Upanisads’, the ‘Bhagavad-geeta’ and the ‘Brahma-sutras’.

There are six schools of Philosophy and Vedanta belongs to sixth school of yoga. It falls under category; ‘Theistic Theism’. Hinduism does not owe its origin and excellence to any particular personality or book. From time immemorial, in India, spiritual scientists have spent their lives in contemplation and meditation in the divine environment of nature. The valleys and forests of the great Himalayas and the sacred Ganges kindled and stimulated in their hearts a hunger to know the mysteries of the ‘Power’ that enlivens inert matter into sentient beings. The revelations and reflections of these perfect Masters are the scriptures.

Their prophetic declarations, their spiritual discoveries were communicated by word of mouth from the teacher to the taught. Earlier these spiritual discoveries were communicated only through ‘Guru-Sisya parampara’. It was the ancient poet-sage Vyasa who first compiled and codified the entire scriptural literature and teaching into four texts entitled the Rig-veda, Yajur-veda, Sama-veda, and Atharva-veda. The Vedas were not written by any one individual, but they were the inspired declarations of several spiritual scientists (Seers) over many generations, given from the height of their intuitive experience. Absorbed in transcendental experience, they had gone beyond the realm of the egocentric attitudes of ‘I’ and ‘mine’. This is why even the names of such spiritual scientists are not seen appended to these holy texts.

Now Upanishads constitute the concluding portion of the Vedas, which is also called ‘Vedanta. ‘Anta’ means end and ‘veda’ means knowledge.

The bulk of the declarations of the Vedas are found in two distinct portions ‘Purva-mimansa’ and ‘uttara-mimansa’. Vedanta is also called as ‘uttara-mimansa’ part of Vedas. Here ‘uttra’ means lateral and ‘mimansa’ means a ‘sequence of logical thinking’. This lateral portion is non-dualistic in nature. It proclaims the absolute oneness or non-duality of the Truth.

This portion of vedanata; ‘uttaramimansa’ had fallen into obscurity until ‘Shankaracharya’ revived it and gave it prominence as Advaita-Vedanta.

Besides this the final stage in the development of the human intellect was the Age of Contemplation. At this stage human beings began to inquire into the very Cause of the universe and tried to identify the omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient Truth—God. This great search for Reality forms the subject matter of the Upanisads which is also called Vedanta.