Parables and Teachings
1. Every Minute Zen
Zen Students are with their masters at least ten years before they presume to teach others. Nan-in, a Zen Master, was visited by Tenno, who, having passed his apprenticeship, had become a teacher. The day happened to be rainy, so Tenno wore wooden clogs and carried an umbrella. After greeting him, Nan-in remarked: "I suppose you left your wooden clogs in the vestibule. I want to know if your umbrella is on the right or left side of the clogs."
Tenno, confused, had no instant answer. He realized that he was unable to carry his Zen every minute. He became Nan-in's pupil, and he studied six more years to accomplish his every minute Zen.
Paul Reps, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, p. 34.
Master Gasan instructed his adherents one day: "Those who speak against killing and who desire to spare the lives of conscious beings are right. It is good to protect all creatures--even animals and insects. But what about those who kill time? What about those who destroy wealth? What about those who destroy political economy? Should we overlook them? Furthermore, what about those who preach without enlightenment? Are they not killing the Path of the Buddha, the Way to Enlightenment?" Paul Reps, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, p. 56 Paul Reps
3. Saint and Sultan
During the Middle Ages, Pope Innocent III started the Fourth Crusade (1202-1204) for the ostensible purpose of recapturing Jerusalem from Muslim control. For political and financial reasons, however, the crusade was diverted into a sack of the most famous Christian city of the world, Constantinople, where the European Crusaders turned on their fellow Christians. They slaughtered them by the thousands, and then pillaged, vandalized, looted, and raped the population, after which they desecrated Christian churches and Muslim mosques. The Crusaders placed a prostitute on the high altar of the most famous Christian cathedral of the world, the Hagia Sophia, and plied her with wine for three days while they carried out their senseless rampage. Constantinople was burnt to the ground. A total of 80,000 soldiers were killed, along with countless civilians being tortured and murdered. The indirect result of this brutal crusade was that the region converted to Islam almost immediately after the Christian army withdrew, such was the loathing for Christians and Christianity among the populace.
Shaken but undeterred by this turn of events, Pope Innocent III declared another crusade, the Fifth Crusade (1217-1221), again for the ostensible purpose of retaking the Holy Land. The Christian plan was to take the strategic port of Damietta in Egypt, where Muslim forces were lodged, thus preventing Crusader forces access to Jerusalem. Once Egypt had been conquered, the Crusaders thought, they would be able to retake both the Holy Land and Jerusalem.
Before the siege of Damietta, Saint Francis of Assisi was sent by the Christian forces to try to negotiate a truce with the Muslims. Though he did not know it, Francis was being used as ploy by his superior, the cunning Cardinal Pelagius, who hoped that Francis would be slain by the Muslims, thus further motivating the Christian army “to totally annihilate the infidels for killing an innocent friar” (Wikipedia).
When the Sultan of Egypt, Al Kamil, received Francis at Damietta, he recognized Francis as a simple, god-fearing man. Francis was safe from any assassination attempt, and Cardinal Pelagius' plot was foiled.
Al Kamil offered peace to the invading Crusaders several times, but to no avail, for the Christian force under Cardinal Pelagius held out, wanting "total victory."
Meanwhile, Francis began to have doubts about trying to convert Al Kamil to Christianity. He observed how faithfully the Muslim men, women, and children of the city prayed five times a day—unlike his Christian counterparts, who resisted Francis’ efforts to turn their thoughts to prayer. As a result of his visit to Al Kamil and his encounter with a practicing Muslim community, Francis altered his view of Islam, gave up his efforts of conversion, and later incorporated the Islamic practice of praying five times a day into his Rule Book. The converter had become converted.
With this interfaith encounter between Francis and Al Kamil in the background, the Christian forces pressed on and savagely attacked Damietta, almost bringing it to its knees. But Al Kamil resisted, soon received reinforcements, and then repelled the Christian attack.
Al Kamil then achieved a strategic victory at Damietta by flooding his Christian opponents with the waters of the Nile. Completely at his mercy, and against the wishes for revenge by his subordinates, Al Kamil, following Muhammed's injunction to show mercy to defeated opponents, ordered his troops to feed the helpless Christians. It is recorded that Muslim soldiers supplied Christian soldiers with 1000 loaves of bread a day and 1100 bushels of barley a day for their horses. The Muslims fed their enemies this way for several days. The Christian forces were so humbled by this act of kindness that they slowly came to their senses, called off their Crusade, and sailed crestfallen back to their separate homes. The Latin scholar, Oliverus Scholasticus, wrote of Al Kamil: "Who could doubt that such goodness, friendship, and charity came from God? Muslim men, whose parents, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, had died in agony at our Christian hands, whose lands we took, and whom we drove naked from their homes, revived us with their own food when we were dying of hunger and showered us with kindness, even when we were in their power."
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they are the children of God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they are the children of God.
Jesus of Nazareth (Mt 5.9)
Jesus of Nazareth (Mt 5.9)
4. Coffee Dope
In our work, we often recommend that our patients refrain from drinking coffee. Many ask us to explain this more fully. This attempts to fulfill that request.
Chinese medicine classifies coffee, whether caffeinated or decaffeinated, as a bitter, pungent, cold medicine. It has the power to transform kidney essence into chi that moves upward and outward throughout the body, resulting in an experience of heightened energy.
Because coffee is cold energetically, it tends to chill the stomach and spleen. It also adversely affects the center and lower sections of the Triple Warmer, which regulates heat in the entire body. Because it stimulates the kidney to produce an "energy jolt," coffee effectively steals essential and irreplaceable stored energy from the kidney.
The kidney is the home of our ancestral energy. When we are born, we come into the world with a certain amount and quality of this essence. We are like an oak or willow tree--with differing amounts of this energy. While we can't get more of this ancestral energy, as it only gets bestowed upon us at birth, we can, through careful eating, healthy lifestyle, and pure water and air, enhance and guard this storehouse.
Using coffee as an energy booster is like continually dipping into one's saving account on the expectation that someone else will somehow cover the shortfall later. Coffee is one of the foremost ways in which we deplete our ancestral kidney energy.
When coffee was first introduced into Europe, it was recognized as a powerful drug. There were movements to prohibit its importation and use, and laws were passed to do so. Additionally, in some native cultures, coffee was used in annual rituals equivalent in strength to those once celebrated with peyote. It is ironic that we think of coffee in our culture today as a daily ritual.
Women especially do well to avoid coffee, because it damages the Central Pathway (Chong Mai), which connects the kidneys to the heart. This effect then causes accumulations in the breasts and pelvis.
For people with any kind of heart condition, blood or skin disorders, ulcers, arthritis, bowel dysfunction, PMS, depression, stomach or other digestive ailments, emotional swings, and low energy, coffee should definitely be eliminated. For everyone else, coffee should simply be avoided because it adversely effects the basic health and strength of the body.
Coffee is one the very few foods that we unequivocally ask all of our patients to avoid. For further information, consult Arisal of the Clear: A Simple Guide of Healthy Eating According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (Bob Flaw).
Diane Macchiavelli, Licensed Acupuncturist, Brighton Pathways to Health
5. Lost Cabin
A student wanted to learn Kung Fu. He was told that a Master lived in a mountain cabin that lay beyond a sharp bend in the road. The student walked for several hours until he saw a bend in the road, beyond which he saw a cabin.
He approached the cabin and knocked on the door. The student begged for admission and was refused after he inquired if he might learn Kung Fu. "No, go away" he was told. "You are not ready." He knocked on the door two more times, asking each time, after which he was accepted.
The student was put to work chopping wood and cleaning the cabin. He ate meals of thin soup. Anxious to start his Kung Fu training, he asked the Master after a few days how long it would be before he could start his lessons. The Master placed a large bowl of water before him and told him to hit the water gently with a glancing blow. The student thought this was stupid but complied for want of anything better to do.
This went on day after day. The student, furious at his treatment, abruptly left the cabin one night. The Master watched him leave sadly.
The student went home and told his family how he had been taken advantage of by the Kung Fu Master. As he was speaking, he brought his hand down on the table for emphasis. The table collapsed.
The student, realizing at that instant that the Master had indeed taught him Kung Fu, set out to return to the Master's cabin to resume his training. He hastened up the mountain road and came to the bend in the road. The cabin was gone.
6. The Student's Work
Student. I have so many weaknesses. How can I teach dharma until I have achieved self-realization? I am not ready yet.
Master. By the time you reach self-realization, many will have died. Do you want to teach ghosts?
Student. I don't know what to say. I am confused.
Master. You are much better than the common mass. Do your work, and you will be able to help. You know, what you can get in a whole life's meditation, I can give you in five minutes. I have come here to establish dharma. I need some medium to implement it. Do the work, and you will see that everything will be set right, as if you were just a medium to implement it. Go and do, and you will see it will be possible.
Remember one thing. Costly things are not available cheap. If you give a very valuable thing to somebody at a cheap price, they will fail to respect it. And if you give a very costly thing to someone who does not deserve it, they will not maintain it.
Now, tell me what I said. Shrii Shrii Anandamurti (The Jamalpur Years, 269)
7. Greatest Wealth of a Human Being
The greatest wealth of a human being is his or her intellect. One should not drink. Why? Because drinking destroys the intellect. In the natural state, one thinks many thoughts in his or her unconscious mind. Knowledge is stored in the unconscious mind. One thinks in the unconscious mind and controls one's actions through the conscious mind.
Suppose there is a beggar in Nagpur city. He imagines that he is the Emperor of Delhi. But since his conscious mind says, “No, you are not the emperor of Delhi, you are the beggar of Nagpur,” he does not say it openly. But if he drinks wine, his conscious mind stops functioning. Due to lack of control over his conscious mind, walking along the road he will say aloud, “I am the Emperor of Delhi.”
Intellect controls every action of a person, but drinking destroys it. That is why wine is a bad thing.
8. Shiva's Seven Secrets of Success
Once Parvatii, the spouse of Shiva, asked Him, “O Lord, what are the secrets of success?” In your life, in different strata of life, you want success, and everybody wants success; but they do not know what the secrets of success are. So Parvatii asked Shiva, “O Lord, what are the secrets of success?”
Shiva's reply was
Phalisyatiiti vishvasah siddherprathama laksanam;
Dvitiiyam shraddhaya yuktam trtiiyam gurupujanam.
Caturtho samatabhavo paincamendriyanigrahah;
Sasthainca pramitaharo saptamam naeva vidyate.
from Shiva Samhita
There are seven requirements for success in any mission. The first is firm determination: “I must succeed.” The second is reverence. The third is guru puja?, or constant remembrance of ones spiritual master. The fourth is equanimity of mind. The fifth is control of the senses. The sixth is a balanced diet. The seventh? ... There is no seventh requirement.
1. Phalisyatiiti vishvasah siddherprathama laksanam – “I must be successful in my mission.” This firm determination is the first secret of success. That is, the aspirant must develop firm determination. “I must be successful.”
2. Dvitiiyam shraddhaya yuktam – “the second requisite factor is that the aspirant must have shraddha.” What is shraddha? There is, in fact, no corresponding term in English; that term is peculiar to the Sanskrit language. Shrat means the entity, the Desideratum, that has been accepted by the aspirant as the supreme truth. The Desideratum that has no alternative is called shrat. Here shrat means the supreme truth, the absolute truth, the Desideratum that has no alternative. Shrat + dha = shraddha. Shrat Satyam tasmin dhiiyate iti shraddha – “Whenever one accepts this Desideratum as the only truth and only goal of life, as the only resort, [that mentality of being goaded] by an ideological flow is shraddha.” You cannot find any proper word for it in English. Dvitiiyam shraddhaya yuktam.
So the spiritual aspirant, an aspirant in any sphere of life, must develop shraddha. (So the first requisite factor is the firm determination, “I must be successful”; and the second is that one must have shraddha.) Without shraddha nothing can be done. Shraddhavan labhate jinanam [“One with shraddha attains self-knowledge”]. Without shraddha one cannot acquire anything, either in the sphere of karma or in the sphere of jinana. Bhakti or Devotion itself is another name for shraddha. So dvitiiyam shraddhaya yuktam– “the second requisite factor is shraddha.”
3. Trtiiyam gurupujanam – “the third thing is gurupujanam.” What is gurupujanam? Withdrawing all your psychic propensities from the different external and internal pabula of the mind and then guiding those withdrawn propensities collectively unto the object of adoration, is called pu?janam in Sanskrit.
And what is guru? Gu means “darkness” and ru means “dispeller”. Now, all human beings, until they are on the path of spirituality, are surrounded by cimmerian darkness. They cannot see anything properly. And this stage of life is called the shura stage; they are shudras.
Janmana jayate shudrah samskarat dvija ucyate;
Vedapathat bhavet viprah Brahma janati brahmanah.
By birth, everybody is a shudra, i.e., with an animal-like mentality. Going through a renewal ceremony, the person becomes a dvija, i.e., expresses the desire to become human. By studying scriptures, a person next becomes a vipra, an intellectual. And finally, when the person realizes Brahma (through psycho-spiritual initiation), he or she becomes a brahmana.
By birth, everybody is a shudra, because they cannot see anything properly. Shudra means “[one] living in darkness”.
Samskarat dvija ucyate [“going through a renewal according to one's mental reactive momenta, one becomes a dvija”]. And when the sense is created in their minds that they are not ordinary living beings, but are glorious human beings, who have a mission to perform, then that propulsion is called samskara. One becomes a dvija because life takes a new turn. Dvija means “second birth”.
Then when one acquires spiritual knowledge, one becomes an intellectual and is known as a vipra. And when the vipra, by dint of his or her Tantric sadhana?, attains Brahma-hood, he or she is called a brahmana. Brahma janati Brahmanah [“when a person realizes Brahma, he or she becomes a brahmana”].
Now when the darkness of the mind is dispelled, one can see and one can know what is what and which is which, but the dispelling entity cannot be a mundane one, because the secrets of Parama Purusa are known to Parama Purusa alone and to nobody else. So then who is the guru? In Ananda Sutram, it is said, Brahmaeva gururekah naparah [“Only Brahma is the guru, no one else”]. His secrets are known to Him alone, and so He is the guru, He is the jagatguru [guru of the universe], He is the supreme guru. No second entity can be the guru, can play the role of guru.
Now, He wants His entire creation – all His children – to know Him. And as they come to know Him, they will become one with Him, they will attain salvation. This is His play, this is His liila?. He creates the crude world, then He creates so many animate entities, and finally He wants those animate entities to try to know Him, try to learn Him. This is what is known as sadhana?. So His children should do sadhana? and should finally again be one with Him. This is His Brahma Cakra [Cosmic Cycle], this is His Liila? Cakra. He is playing with His own children, a play of pain and pleasure. His is the liila? of pain and pleasure. So spiritual aspirants must not be afraid of pain, and must not lose their balance when in pleasure.
So He is the Guru. Now what happens? He creates spirituality, and He creates the code of anushasanam [discipline], and everybody will have to move according to that code. But due to constant reflection and [re]fraction (you know that each and every movement, even the movement of spirituality in the realm of the psychic and physical world, undergoes certain changes due to constant reflection and refraction), a time comes when those movements lose their speed, their acceleration, and get retarded. And under such circumstances that Jagatguru is forced to come] in a physical body (quinquelemental structure. And in our philosophy we call Him Mahasambhuti, the Mahasambhuti of Taraka Brahma [Liberating Brahma]. He comes, and again and again, He plays the role of guru in the realm of physicality, and this has been happening again and again since time immemorial. We got Lord Shiva and we got Lord Krsn?a. So The Supreme Entity, Taka Brahma, is the only guru. There cannot be a second guru.
Gurupujanam – that is, the pujanam of the guru. What is the meaning of pujanam? Just now I explained that one should move towards the spiritual desideratum without any hesitation, without any fear, without being goaded by any other of our propensities. That is the human way, that is the way of shreya [the path of supreme well-being]. Hence Lord Shiva says, “The third requisite factor is gurupujanam.”
4. Caturtho samatabhavo [“The fourth is equanimity of mind”]. But you know, due to certain defects in our socio-economico-politico-cultural life, certain people suffer from inferiority complexes and certain people suffer from superiority complexes. If a poor man suffers from an inferiority complex before a rich man, he will use the term huzur a thousand times in a sentence. And before a poor man, a rich man will suffer from a superiority complex. He will not address the poor man with the word a?p, he will use the word tum,(4) as if the poor man has no sense of prestige. Is it not a fact? A spiritual aspirant must not suffer from any of these complexes. One should not have any inferiority complex or any superiority complex. And not only that, one should not suffer from any fear complex or complex of hopelessness or helplessness.
A person must not suffer from an inferiority complex, because that person and his or her friends and siblings are all the progeny of the same Progenitor. They come from the same origin [as all]; they are of the same Father. So why should a person suffer from any inferiority complex? Again, you should not suffer from a superiority complex, because all are your brothers and sisters. All are the glorious children of that Supreme Father. No, you must not develop any superiority complex.
5. Paincamendriyanigrahah [“the fifth is control of the senses”]. There are two entities within you; two belligerent entities are within you. One is Ravana. Ravana means the evil force, the evil giant, within your mind, that functions in all the ten directions. It is not something external; it is the evil force working within your mind. [And the second entity is Rama, symbolizing the good force.] Let there be a fight between these two entities.
You should establish your restraint over all the sensory and motor organs, including the eleventh organ, the mind.
6. Sasthainca pramitaharo [“the sixth is a balanced diet”]. What is pramitahara? Pra – ma? + [kta + ahara] = pramitahara. That is, the food that helps you in your spiritual and mental development and which is also good for your physical body is called pramitahara. It must be sattvika food, because sattvika food will help you in your spiritual development and in your mental development. And it must be balanced food, because balanced food will help you in your physical progress and physical development, and in maintaining a good physical body. Sasthainca pramitaharo.
7. After listing these six factors, Lord Shiva said, “O Parvatii, there is no seventh factor. These are the six requisite factors which each and every spiritual aspirant should always remember.”
9. The Subtlest Propensity
a. In the shástras [scriptures] it is once said,
Manaeva manushyanam karanam bandhamoksayoh;
Bandhastu visayasaungii mukto nirvisayam tatha.
[The mind is the cause of both the bondage and the liberation of human beings. One in bondage craves for material objects, but a liberated soul does not.]
This human mind is a peculiar entity. It is the cause of all our sorrows and predicaments, and it is the cause of our supreme bliss. It is the cause of bondage, and it is the cause of liberation.” Now this mind, working within human framework, requires some pabulum for its maintenance. In the human mind there are fifty such pabula. And these are the human propensities, vrttis.
The existence of these propensities or pabula is essential for maintaining the mind, the mental [stuff]. Because the mind’s position is just between spirit and matter, and that’s why it has been said that the mind is a tatastha shakti. Tata means, you know, the line where the water touches the land; that point is called tata. If you move towards the water, the next moment where will you be? Underwater. Or if you go upwards, you will reach the dry land. Similarly, if the mind moves upwards, it will be transmuted into spirit; and if it goes towards matter it will be metamorphosed into matter, it will become jada. So it has a connection both with matter and with spirit.
The mind’s connection, the mind’s ties, with matter are represented by forty-nine propensities, and the mind’s connection with the spirit is represented by one propensity. Those forty-nine propensities are mundane propensities, and they can function only with the help of interior or exterior organs. And the singular propensity that connects the mind with the spirit is parashakti. It is beyond the campus of the organs.
If a person is always encouraging those forty-nine propensities, naturally from human being he or she will be converted into animal, and from animal into crude matter. What is the spiritual aspirant to do? He or she is to encourage that singular entity, that parashakti; and that parashakti will convert his or her mind into spirit. When that person becomes one with the Lord, then what happens? He or she becomes “mindless”, because his or her mental stamina is converted into intuitional stamina.
Now the question is whether such a thing is possible for a bad person or a depraved person. You know, the majority – I won’t say the majority, but a good percentage amongst the general public – think, “We are depraved persons, we are ordinary persons; is it possible for us to transmute our mind into spirit? No, no, that is for mahatmas [elevated souls], not for us.” They think like this.
But such a mode of thinking is defective, because all these fifty propensities are present in each and every human mind, in each and every microcosm. In a mahatma those fifty propensities are there; in a duratma [wicked person] also those fifty propensities are there. So by regular practice, by implicit faith, and by zealous pursuit, an ordinary man, a depraved person, may also attain that supreme stance. It is not at all an impossibility. One is to withdraw one’s mind from baser propensities and guide the mind towards that singular propensity, parashakti. Psychologically, you know, mental repression and mental suppression both are defective.
You shouldn’t check the flow. You may check the flow to check the flood, but you are to divert that water through different canals. Here also you are to check the flow of your baser propensities and divert it unto that singular propensity, towards the Supreme Self. Sa no buddhya shubhaya samyunaktu [“Let Him connect our minds with righteousness”]. The mind is moving towards so many ashubha [unrighteous] activities. Withdraw those activities and guide it towards the singular shubha [righteous] Entity.
So this mind is the cause of bondage if those forty-nine propensities are encouraged. This mind is the cause of liberation if that singular propensity is encouraged. In the shastra it has been said,
Api cet suduracaro bhajate mamananyabhak;
Sopi papavinirmuktah mucyate bhavabandhanát.
“If even a suduracarii – ”you know, duracarii means “depraved person”, “encouraging avidya shakti”. And suduracarii – one who is treated as a duracarii even in the society of duracariis is a suduracarii. Api cet suduracaro bhajate mamananyabhak – “If even a very, very depraved person – ”bhajate mamananyabhak – “ideates on me” – ananyabhak – “withdrawing his or her mind from all other, baser, propensities” – “If even a bad person, a brute in animal structure, ideates on me by withdrawing his or her mind from all other baser propensities (that is, from all those forty-nine propensities) –”
What are those forty-nine propensities? Do you know?
The terranean plexus, or múládhára cakra:
dharma [psycho-spiritual longing]
artha [psychic longing]
kama [physical longing]
moksa [spiritual longing]
b, The fluidal plexus, or svadhisthana cakra:
murccha [psychic stupor, lack of common sense]
avishvasa [lack of confidence]
sarvanasha [thought of sure annihilation]
c. The igneous plexus, or manipura cakra:
pishunata [sadistic tendency]
susupti [staticity, sleepiness]
trsna [yearning for acquisition]
ghrna [hatred, revulsion]
d. The anaahata cakra:
mamata [mine-ness, love]
viveka [conscience, discrimination]
vikalata [mental numbness due to fear]
vitarka [argumentativeness to point of wild exaggeration]
e. The vishuddha cakra:
sadaja [sound of peacock]
rsbha [sound of ox]
gándhára [sound of goat]
madhyama [sound of deer]
paiṋcama [sound of cuckoo]
dhaevata [sound of donkey]
nisada [sound of elephant]
oṋm [acoustic root of creation, preservation, dissolution]
hummm [sound of arousing kulakuńd́alinii]
phat [practication, i.e., putting a theory into practice)]
vaosat [expression of mundane knowledge]
vasat [welfare in the subtler sphere]
svaha [performing noble actions]
namah [surrender to the Supreme]
visa [repulsive expression]
amrta [sweet expression]
The lunar plexus, or ajiṋá cakra:
apara [mundane knowledge]
These are the forty-nine.
And the last one--number 2 of the ajiṋa cakra--is the singular subtle propensity, is para [spiritual knowledge.]
So, pi papavinirmukto – “he or she is freed from papa. I liberate that person, I free that person from the bondage of papa.” And what is papa? Vyásadeva said,
Out of the eighteen Puranas, two sayings of Vyasa are of the essence: punya (virtue) means doing good to others, and papa (sin) means doing harm to others.
“If you go against the collective interest you are committing some papa, and if you encourage the collective interest you are doing some punya.”
So, pi papavinirmuktah – “this papa is the worst bondage; I liberate a person from the bondage of papa.”
Mucyate bhavabandhanat – “and he or she is liberated from all other mundane bondages, that is, he or she attains that supreme beatitude.”
So you are all sadhakas. You must remember that you are to discourage those forty-nine propensities, and you are to encourage that subtlest propensity. To encourage that subtlest propensity is your spiritual sadhana.
10. The Characteristics of Dharma
In the realms of both manifestation and of non-manifestation, there are certain characteristics borne by each and every object. In the realm of non-manifestation, those characteristics remain hidden within the object itself and are not known to any other entity. But in the stratum of manifestation, objects are known to other entities by their characteristics. These characteristics may be in the form of prognosis or diagnosis or premonition or after-effects. But they must be present, because their presence denotes the existence of that entity. Such entities may be physical entities, may be physical objectivities, may be psychic entities, or may be psychic pabula. Dharma is also such an entity. Dharma is the highest and greatest and sweetest psychic pabulum. So dharma should also have certain characteristics of its own.
What are these characteristics? Are they prognosis or diagnosis or premonition or after-effects? The reply is that dharma's manifestations, dharma's characteristics, exist in each and every stratum. A dha?rmika--someone who follows dharma--may be treated as a prognosis of something coming, a diagnosis of something already come, a premonition of something evil, or an after-effect of something good. Regarding the laksana, the characteristics of dharma, it has been said:
Dhrti ksama damo steyam shaocamindriyanigrahah;
Dhiirvidya satyamakrodhah dashaka dharmalaksanam.
What is the first laksan of dharma? It is dhrti, which has several meanings in Samskrta, the most important one being "patience." A dharmika should have patience. Dharma and patience are inseparable. Suppose an evil force says, “I, the lord of a certain country, will destroy Ananda Marga from the very root.” A dharmika should maintain patience, should be patient, because the day is soon to come when that evil force is going to be destroyed. Its weapon will serve as a boomerang for its own death. And this happened in the near past, as you all know.
The second laksana is ksama, that is, forgiveness or pardon. Ksama should be properly explained to spiritual aspirants. In your personal life you have the right to forgive anybody and everybody, but in your collective life you have not got such a right. You have to consult the collective body before you forgive an enemy of the collective body. And in your individual life, although you have the right to excuse somebody, you should remember that pardon should not be extended to persons who have not rectified their conduct or their habits. If you pardon such persons, it means you are encouraging their bad habits. You should not do that. It is against the principles of dharma.
The third is dama. “Dama” means “control” – to bring under control. In Samskrta, there are two similar terms, “shamanam” and “damanam,” “Shamanam” means bringing external enemies under control, and “damanam” means bringing internal enemies under control. In the mythological story, Pluto was the God of Death, known as Yamaraja in Samskrta. He is also known as Shamana, because he controls others. And a sa?dhu or dha?rmika, to control him or herself, is to do damanam. One should have full control over the internal enemies, which are the demons residing in your mind. This is dharma.
In the Vedas there is a story that once upon a time a big luminous body appeared on the horizon. Many people went near that luminous body, but no one could approach it directly. Then to some of the people who came near it, that luminous body uttered the sound “da” and nothing more. Some people interpreted that sound “da” as “danam kuru” (donate) and were regarded by society as Asuras or Danavas. A second group interpreted the sound “da” as “dayam kuru” (show mercy) and they were treated as Manavas. And the third group interpreted “da” as “damanam kuru” (control your internal enemies) and were known as Devatas. The story says that in this way the differentiation was created among Asura (lower beings), Manava (human beings), and Devata (divine beings).
“Damanam” is the highest order. “Damanam” means killing internal enemies. One who has controlled the external enemies is known as “shanta.” In Samskrta “sham” + “ta” = “shanta.” The person who has defeated his or her internal enemies is danta (“dam” + “ta”).
The fourth is asteya. "Asteya” means “non-stealing” – not stealing physically or mentally, not cheating physically or mentally.
The fifth is shoaca. “Shaoca” means keeping both the physical body and the mental body neat and clean. It is easy to keep the physical body neat and clean, but it is very difficult to keep the mind neat and clean. For this purpose, the mind must be initiated in Tantrikii diiksa and not in Vaedikii diiksa?. Vaedikii diiksa teaches the mind how to pray for higher life, and Tantrikii diiksa teaches one how to move forward.
The sixth is indriyanigraha. One must have complete control over one's sensory organs (eyes, ears, tongue, skin, and nose) as well as one's motor organs (voice, hands, feet, genital organs, and anus). Lord Buddha said,
Caksuna samvaro sadhu sadhu sotena samvaro
Ghanena samvaro sadhu sadhu jibbhaya samvaro,
Kayena samvaro sadhu sadhu vacaya samvaro
Manasa samvaro sadhu sadhu sabbattha samvaro.
Let there be complete self-restraint. A person who has established him or herself in this kind of self-restraint is known as a “Sadhu.”
The seventh is dhii. “Dhii” means “intellect." You may say, “What about people who are illiterate attaining dharma? Are they not dharmika? Each and every person cannot have intellect.” Yes, each and every person has intellect. The dharmika interpretation of intellect is intellect free from all baseness, all impurities, and all degenerative propensities. This is the intellect a dha?rmika will possess.
The eighth is vidya. “Vidya” means “true knowledge.” Vidya is divided into two sections: vidya and avidya. Avidya is mundane knowledge and includes material science. Vidya means spiritual science. One must know this spiritual science. You may say, "How can an illiterate person, a less educated person, acquire vidya?" Here vidya does not mean the self-realization that you get through books. “Vidya” means the movement of the mind towards Parama Purusa, the Supreme Consciousness.
The ninth is satyam. “Satyam.” What is satyam? The movement towards Sat is satyam. What is Sat? “Sat” means “that which undergoes no metamorphosis.” What is the object that undergoes no metamorphosis? The Cosmic Cognitive Principle undergoes no metamorphosis; hence it is the Sat entity. That entity is also known as “Sat Cit A?nandam," and the mental movement towards that Sat entity is “Satyam.”
The tenth is akrodha. "Akrodha” means “free from anger.” It is an art of fighting. Suppose A and B are two belligerent parties, and A has got control over krodha (anger), but B has no control. What will happen? B s body will tremble, and in that fight B will have no control over his or her nerves, and A, who is fully established in akrodha, will just give a push, and B will be defeated. So this is an art of fighting. For a dha?rmika, this art of fighting should always be remembered. A dharmika should always remember that by following akrodha he or she will always be victorious.
These ten items are the characteristics of dharma. So although each and every entity has its own dharma, dharma has these ten characteristics as its own dharma.
2 December 1978, Madras, Shrii Shrii Ananadamurti, Ananda Vacanamritam 6.
11. The Thief Who Became a Disciple
One evening as Shichiri Kojun was reciting sutras, a thief with a sharp edged sword entered, demanding either his money or his life.
Shichiri told him: "Do not disturb me. You can find the money in that drawer." Then he resumed his recitation.
A little while afterwards, he stopped and called: "Don't take it all. I need some to pay taxes with tomorrow."
The intruder gathered up most of the money and started to leave. "Thank a person when you receive a gift," Shichiri added. The man thanked him and made off.
A few days afterwards, the fellow was caught and confessed his offenses--among others, his offense against Shichiri. When Shichiri was called as a witness, he said, "This man is not thief, at least as far as I am concerned. I gave him the money, and he thanked me for it."
After he had finished his prison term, the man went to Shichiri and became his disciple.
Paul Reps, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, p. 41
12. Make Your Mind Light
According to the standard of intellect, microcosms can be divided into three broad categories: brutes, humans, and devatas [gods]. In our human society also, we find brutes in human structure, we find humans in human structure, and we find devatas in human structure.
What is our sadhana? What is our intuitional practice? Sadhana is a march from the stratum of brutality to the stratum of humanity, and from the stratum of humanity to the stratum of divinity. And finally, this divine person, this divine entity, becomes one with the Supreme Lord. That particular point where the devata merges with the Supreme Lord is the terminating point of all the marches in one's life. So it is a march. It is something dynamic. In human life, one must not support, one must not encourage, the static principle. Dynamicity is the law and the order of human life.
You know, in ancient times, there was a great pandit (scholar). His name was Rohita. He was well-versed in all the shastras (scriptures).
What is the meaning of shastra? Shas means 'to control," to do shasana; and tra means 'liberator." That which liberates you by controlling all your activities -- 'Don't do this, do that" -- through this sort of control -- is shastra. It liberates you by auto-suggestion. Auto-suggestion means mantra, incantation. Mananat trayet yastu sah mantrah parikiirtitah. ["A mantra is that collection of sounds which, when meditated upon, leads to liberation"].
So that Rohita was well-versed in all the shastras. And after returning from his gurugrha [the master's house], when his biological father asked him to do worldly duties, he said, "Oh, I went through so many shastras, and I have come to the conclusion that there is no necessity of doing any work. We shouldn't do any work. We should always be engaged in jinanacara (cultivation of spiritual knowledge]."
Then his father said, "Oh Rohita, he who moves forward, he who has developed the dynamic force in his body and mind, is really blessed. And the sweating body of that industrious person is the most beautiful body. That perspiring body has world-attracting charm, and Indra, the lord of the devatas,always tries to make friendship with that person, with that industrious person. So, Rohita, move forward, move forward, move forward. Life is a dynamic force. "
'If someone does not do anything, any work; if someone is afraid of work, then his fortune is sleeping. If someone is intellectually and physically sleeping, then his or her fate is also sleeping. But if someone wants to do something, then his or her fate also wants to move forward. If someone is standing, then his or her fate is also standing. If someone moves forward, then his or her fate also moves forward. So Rohita, do something, do something, do something. "
'When you are sleeping in the slumber of ignorance, there is Kali Yuga in your life. If someone feels that he should do something, there is Dvapara Yuga in his or her life. And if someone becomes ready to do something, there is Treta Yuga in his life. If someone has started doing something, doing sadhana, there is Satya Yuga in his or her life. So Rohita, do something, do something. Life is a constant effort to restore an unstable equilibrium. Life is a fight. Life is moving forward. Life is a dynamic force."
So this human life is a movement from the stage of brute to the stage of humanity, from the stage of humanity to the stage of divinity, and from the stage of divinity to merger with the Supreme Lord. This is life. This is your intuitional practice. This is your sadhana.
But you know, when you are to move fast, your mind should be light. If the mind is heavy, it will not be able to move fast. What makes the mind heavy? So many impurities of thought. Lord Buddha said:
Sinca bhikkhu imam nabam sitta te lahu messati.
Muinca re muinca pacchata majjhe muinca bhabassa
Remove all the water from the boat of your body. Being free from water, it will become very light.
Give up everything that lies ahead, everything that lies behind, and everything that lies in the middle, and go to the other side of the world.
You should make your mind light. You should give up all worldly thoughts, all base thoughts, all depraving thoughts, and make yourself light." To make oneself light means to free oneself from impurities. A magnet can easily attract a piece of iron, but if that piece of iron is full of impurities, that very magnet may not be able to attract that iron. So the Supreme Self, the Supreme Lord, is always attracting you, but because of your heaviness, due to worldly impurities, you are not being attracted by the Lord.
Now how does one free the mind, how does one make the mind light, how does one free the mind from worldly impurities? By rendering selfless service to suffering humanity without any restriction of caste, creed, religion, or sex. So, as sadhakas [spiritual aspirants], you must remember that the dharma of your life is to move forward from matter to abstract, from abstract to soul, and from soul to the Supreme Soul. This is the dharma of your life, and, while performing this dharma, you are to render selfless service to all humanity. You must not forget this fact. If you are successful in rendering selfless service to the world, certainly you will make progress in your spiritual life.
Shubhamastu ["May everything be auspicious for you"].
Shrii Shrii Ananadamurti, Ananda Vacanamritam.
13. Three Days More
Suiwo, the disciple of Hakuin, was a good teacher. During one seclusion period, a pupil came to him from a southern island of Japan.
Suiwo gave him the problem: "Hear the sound of one hand."
The pupil remained three years, but he could not pass the test. One night he came in tears to Suiwo. "I must return home in shame and embarrassment," he said, "for I cannot solve my problem."
"Wait one more week and meditate constantly,"advised Suiwo.
Still no enlightenment came to the pupil. "Try for another week," advised Suiwo. The pupil obeyed, but in vain.
The pupil stayed for still another week. Yet this was of no avail. In despair, the student begged to be released, but Suiwo requested that he meditate for five more days. They were without result. Then Suiwo said, "Meditate for three days longer. Then, if you fail to attain enlightenment, you had better kill yourself."
On the second day, the pupil was enlightened.
Paul Reps, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, p. 28.
14. I Am the Way
The best way to understand Buddha’s teachings--the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path--is to understand his life. This is what Buddha meant when he said “I am the Way.“ His life is the pattern of successful discipleship. This pattern contains eight challenges, all of which must be completed for spiritual attainment. What is more, the beginning stages are just as difficult as the ending stages.
Stage 1: Birth. The person whom we call Buddha, a word that means "enlightened," was born about 563 BCE in Lumbini, a small village on the border of India and Nepal. Since he was born to the Shakya warrior clan, he was called Sakyamuni (muni means “sage" in Sanskrit). Five days after his birth, he was given the name Siddhartha, a name that means "one who accomplishes his goal” (siddhi in Sanskrit means “attainment,” and artha means “wealth or “goal”). Buddhist teachers claim that Siddhartha had lived through thousands of prior incarnations before his present birth, the one in which he would find ultimate fulfillment (siddhi).
1. Does the theory of reincarnation--that Siddhartha had lived thousands of previous lives before he took his final birth--change the shape of his story? Why or why not?
2. Does the theory of reincarnation change the shape of our story? Why or why not?
3. What secrets of the Seven Secrets of Success are implied in this stage of Siddhartha’s life?
Stage 2. Caged. Siddhartha was born to a royal family. His mother died seven days after his birth. The court astrologers advised the king that Siddhartha would become either a World Ruler or a Spiritual Master. Frightened that he would lose his son and the kingdom that he had so assiduously built, Siddhartha’s father thought of a plan that would thwart the astrologer's predictions. He commanded that his son be placed in a Pleasure Palace where every imaginable luxury would be provided for him--food, clothes, recreation, music, dance, beautiful women, handsome companions, easy instruction, and few challenges. The king thought that his son would be held captive by this never-ending stream of pleasure. The palace had three walls around it, protecting his son from outside influences and making escape almost impossible. The king was assured that his plan would prevent Siddhartha from ever leaving him, the royal family, the kingdom, and his inheritance, since Siddhartha was given everything he could ever want or wish for. When he was sixteen years old, he was introduced to a beautiful young woman, Yasodhara, whose name means “giver” (dhara) of “glory” (yasas). After proving his strength and prowess in many contests, Siddhartha was able to win Yasodara for his bride. They married and soon had a son whom they named Rahula--a name that means “chain" or "fetter”--since his son now bound Siddhartha to his wife, to the king, to the palace, and to his worldly responsibilities. The king made sure that Siddhartha was kept amused. But the king’s plan failed when Siddhartha passed by an unguarded window and happened to see four sights, one after another, that upset him profoundly--a decrepit man, a sick man, a corpse, and a monk. He slowly realized that the life he was leading was rigged. What was on the outside was completely different from what was on the inside. It was not long before he understood that he had to abandon his Palace of Pleasure to be free if he were to understand Life on its own terms.
4. What do the four sights that perturbed Siddhartha all have in common?
5. What are Siddhartha’s first realizations, and how do they apply to all of us?
6. If a person cannot start the Path, what does that say about his or her life?
7. "In the shadow of the person lies in the shadow of the child." Explain.
8. Comment on the tactical thinking of Sidhartha's father. How prevalent is this kind of thinking?
9. What secrets of the Seven Secrets of Success are implied in this stage of Siddhartha’s life?
Stage 3. Escape. Siddhartha knew that the only way he could get out of his prison was to leave at the most opportune moment. Well after midnight, he put his plan into action. Looking sorrowfully at his wife and child for the last time, he jumped the palace walls. He fled quickly to a local ashram (school), where the resident Brahmins (teachers) accepted him as a disciple. Siddhartha shaved his head and adopted the name of Gautama, which means “learned person.” He applied himself diligently to learning scriptures and the way of the Brahmins. But it was not long before he felt dissatisfied with his studies as well as with his level of understanding. What was he doing? What had he attained? Nothing. He left the ashram to look for other teachers. Eventually he found one who recommended the path of asceticism. This path taught that the spirit grows stronger when the body is subdued through self-denial. Siddhartha began this path of self-denail, thinking that it would helped him become more spiritual. When he did not achieve the results that he wanted, he become even more extreme than his teacher. Accompanied by five other disciples, he left this teacher and went to the wilderness. Here he tried to subsist by eating 1 leaf or 1 nut per day. When, after a few days of this wilderness experiment, he fell into the river and nearly drowned because he was so weak, he realized that the ascetic path was wrong. It then occurred to him that the Middle Way--avoiding the extremes of too much and too little--was a better way.
10. How could Gautama, an apparently intelligent person, not understand the importance of moderation?
11. What are the spheres in your life where you both understand--and do not understand--the truth of moderation?
12. Compare and contrast your life with this phase of Gautama’s life.
13. What secrets of the Seven Secrets of Success are implied in this stage of Gautama’s life?
Stage 4. Search. Gautama slowly regained his strength and began to search for another teacher who could show him the Way. He found such a person--a Yogi who taught him how to make his mind still, how to reach Samadhi. For a while he was happy. But then his dissatisfaction returned. What was he doing? What had he attained? Not as much as he wanted. He was still dissatisfied, for he felt empty. Something was missing. One day, as he was walking down the road, he met a little known teacher who understood Gautama’s plight. Gautama instantly realized that this little-known teacher, who kept himself out of the public eye, was his real teacher. He prostrated himself immediately at the feet of this man and asked him to teach him what he sought. His teacher consented and initiated Gautama into a special kind of meditation (dhyana)--the missing puzzle that Gautama was looking for. "Perservere in this practice," said his teacher, "and you will find what you are looking for." Gautama felt that he was finally on the right path. He realized that he was nearing his goal. But the more he practiced, the more he realized that he was still far from what he sought. The deeper his mind became, the further away the goal seemed to be.
14. Compare and contrast your life with this phase of Gautama’s life.
15. What secrets of the Seven Secrets of Success are implied in this stage of Gautama’s life?
Stage 5. Attainment. Gautama realized that the only way he could attain the Truth was to put all of his awareness and energy into attaining the Way. He vowed that he would sit and meditate under a Bo tree for as long as it took to reach enlightenment. He sat under this tree for 49 days and attained partial enlightenment. He arose, ate and walked about for a while, strengthening his body, and then sat three days more to attain full enlightenment. At this time, Gautama became Buddha, the enlightened one. He spent another seven days in meditation, realizing all the truths of life and encoding them into the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path.. He stayed by the tree for another four weeks, wondering if he should try to share his wisdom with the rest of the world--a world that he knew was governed by ignorance, greed, and hatred. Or he could exit now, while he was in absolute peace--an appealing option. But then he thought of his own journey, how long it had taken him to find the path, how long it had taken him to find a real teacher, and how long it had taken him to attain the goal. He also thought of the unfortunate plight of thousands of others who were bound by the coils of karma. Why not try to help, even though some--perhaps many--would reject what he had to offer? He decided to remain in this world to help, taking what is known as the Bodhisattva vow--to constantly return to the world of sorrow and ignorance, life after life, until every bound sentient being had been liberated.
16. Does Gautama violate the Middle Way when he takes his vow? Assess the pros and cons of this vow.
17. Would you be willing to teach people who would just as soon revile you as listen to you?
18. Compare and contrast your life with this phase of Gautama’s life.
19. What secrets of the Seven Secrets of Success are implied in this stage of Buddha’s life?
Stage 6. Sharing. At this stage, Gautama’s body was effused with a radiant light. He immediately attracted followers and taught them the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. Soon women asked to be his disciples as well. After a period of deliberation, considering the risks involved, he accepted them into his community as well. But many parents were angry with Buddha, for they felt that he had kidnapped their children, leaving them without their support to run their farms and businesses. Buddha received many insults and threats. Three attempts were made on his life. In spite of all these obstacles, Buddha walked the dusty roads of India for the remaining forty five years of his life, extending compassion to all those he met and teaching all who would listen.
20. What are the pros and cons of sharing what you know?
21. What do you actually know that you are willing to share? What are you sharing that you should not be sharing?
22. Compare and contrast your life with this phase of Buddha’s life.
23. What secrets of the Seven Secrets of Success are implied in this stage of Buddha’s life?
Stage 7. End. Buddha sensed his end was immanent and reminded his disciples that life was transitory and that his teachings were in no way new--they were simply a codification of the Tantric tradition that he had been taught, especially from his last teacher. His final words to his disciples were as follows: “After me, nothing.“ By this he meant that his disciples were not to invent another teaching in his name. They were charged simply to transmit the teaching.
24. Who are other teachers who claimed that they were merely transmitting ancient teachings that had been lost or misunderstood?
25. Compare and contrast your life with this phase of Buddha’s life.
26. What secrets of the Seven Secrets of Success are implied in this stage of Buddha’s life?
Stage 8. Reversal. Five minutes after Buddha died, his disciples proclaimed the new religion of Buddhism.
27. What is your attitude about death? about the death of your teacher?
28. How true is Buddha’s claim that his life and the Path are the same? Are the messenger and the message the same?
29. Explain: Essentially, you are in the same position as Siddhartha when he began his quest.
30. What secrets of the Seven Secrets of Success should Buddha’s first disciples have followed?
Lars Charles Mazzola
(summarized from Wikipedia,
Houston Smith's The Religions of Man,
Shrii Shrii Anandamurti's Discourses,
The Life of Buddha, Web)
15. The Four Noble Truths of Buddha
First Truth: Reality of Dukkha
The first noble truth is the reality of dukkha. The Pali term dukkha (Sanskrit: duhkha) is typically translated as "suffering", but the term dukkha has a much broader meaning than the typical use of the word "suffering." Dukkha suggests a basic unsatisfactoriness pervading all forms of life, due to the fact that all forms of life are impermanent and constantly changing. Dukkha indicates a lack of satisfaction, a sense that things never measure up to our expectations or standards." It is also a term that refers to wheels that are off-center or bones that are out of joint" (Smith, The Religions of Man). A second century text elucidates as follows:
The emphasis on dukkha is not intended to be pessimistic, but rather to identify the nature of dukkha, in order that dukkha things may be overcome. The Buddha acknowledged that there is both happiness and sorrow in the world, but he taught that even when we have some kind of happiness, it is not permanent; it is subject to change. And due to this unstable, impermanent nature of all things, everything we experience is said to have the quality of dukkha or unsatisfactoriness. Therefore unless we can gain insight into that truth, and understand what is really able to give us happiness, and what is unable to provide happiness, the experience of dissatisfaction will persist.
Traleg Kyabgon explains:
Normally we think our happiness is contingent upon external circumstances and situations, rather than upon our own inner attitude toward things, or toward life in general. The Buddha was saying that dissatisfaction is part of life, even if we are seeking happiness and even if we manage to find temporary happiness. The very fact that it is temporary means that sooner or later the happiness is going to pass. So the Buddha said that unless we understand this and see how pervasive dissatisfaction or duhkha is, it is impossible for us to start looking for real happiness.
Second Truth: origin of Dukkha
The second noble truth is the truth of the origin of dukkha. Within the context of the four noble truths, the origin (Pali: samudaya) of dukkha is commonly explained as craving (Pali: tanha) conditioned by ignorance (Pali: avijja). This craving runs on three channels:
1. Craving for sense-pleasures (kama-tanha): this is craving for sense objects which provide pleasant feeling, or craving for sensory pleasures.
2. Craving to be (bhava-tanha): this is craving to be something, to unite with an experience. This includes craving to be solid and ongoing, to be a being that has a past and a future, and craving to prevail and dominate over others.
3. Craving not to be (vibhava-tanha): this is craving to not experience the world, and to be nothing; a wish to be separated from painful feelings.
Ignorance can be defined as ignorance of the meaning and implication of the four noble truths. On a deeper level, it refers to a misunderstanding of the nature of the self and reality.
Another common explanation presents the cause of dukkha as disturbing emotions (Sanskrit: kleshas) rooted in ignorance. In this context, it is common to identify three root disturbing emotions, called the three poisons as the root cause of suffering. These three poisons are
1. Ignorance (Sanskrit: moha): misunderstanding of the nature of reality; bewilderment.
2. Attachment (Sanskrit: raga): attachment to pleasurable experiences.
3. Aversion (Sanskrit: dvesha): a fear of getting what we don't want, or not getting what we do want.
Third Truth: cessation of Dukkha
The third Noble Truth is the truth of the cessation of dukkha. Cessation (Pali: nirodha) refers to the cessation of suffering and the causes of suffering. It isthe cessation of all the unsatisfactory experiences and their causes in such a way that they can no longer occur again. It's the removal, the final absence, the cessation of those things, their non-arising."
Cessation is the goal of one's spiritual practice in the Buddhist tradition. According to the Buddhist point of view, once we have developed a genuine understanding of the causes of suffering, such as craving and ignorance, then we can completely eradicate these causes and thus be free from suffering.
Cessation is often equated with nirvana (Sanskrit; Pali nibbana), which can be described as the state of being in cessation or the event or process of the cessation. A temporary state of nirvana can be said to occur whenever the causes of suffering (e.g. craving) have ceased in our mind.
Ajahn Bussadasa, a well-known Thai master of the last century, said that when village people in India were cooking rice and waiting for it to cool, they might remark, "Wait a little for the rice to become nibbana". So here, nibbana means the cool state of mind, free from the fires of the defilements. As Ajahn Buddhadasa remarked, "The cooler the mind, the more nibbana in that moment". We can notice for ourselves relative states of coolness in our own minds as we go through the day.
Fourth Truth: path to the cessation of Dukkha
The fourth noble truth is the path to the cessation of dukkha. This path is called the Eighfold Path, and it is considered to be the essence of Buddhist practice. The eightfold path consists of Proper Understanding, Proper Determination, Proper Control, Proper Occupation, Proper Exercise, Proper Completion, Proper Memory, and Proper Suspension.
While the first three truths are primarily concerned with understanding the nature of dukkha (suffering, anxiety, stress) and its causes, the fourth truth presents a practical method for overcoming dukkha. The path consists of a set of eight interconnected factors or conditions, that when developed together, lead to the cessation of dukkha. Ajahn Sucitto describes the path as "a mandala of interconnected factors that support and moderate each other."
Thus, the eight items of the path are not to be understood as stages, in which each stage is completed before moving on to the next. Rather, they are to be understood as eight significant dimensions of one's behavior—mental, spoken, and bodily—that operate in dependence on one another; taken together, they define a complete path, or way of living.
In the Buddhist tradition, the four noble truths, and Buddhist philosophy in general, are understood to be based on the personal experience of the Buddha. This understanding is implied in the term "noble truths," which is a translation of the Pali terms ariya sacca (Sanskrit: arya satya). The Pali term sacca means "truth" and "real" or "actual thing." In this context, contemporary Buddhist scholar Rupert Gethin explains that the four noble truths are not asserted as propositional truths or creeds; rather, they are understood as "true things" or "realities" that the Buddha experienced and that we all experience.
Contemporary Buddhist teacher Thanissaro Bhikkhu emphasizes the same point, noting that the Four Noble Truths are best understood as categories of experience, rather than as beliefs. He writes:
These four truths are best understood, not as beliefs, but as categories of experience. They offer an alternative to the ordinary way we categorize what we can know and describe–[we ordinarily categorize things] in terms of me/not me, and being/not being. These ordinary categories create trouble, for the attempt to maintain full being for one's sense of "me" is a stressful effort doomed to failure, in that all of the components of that "me" are inconstant, stressful, and thus not worthy of identifying as "me" or "mine". The study of the four noble truths is aimed first at understanding these four categories, and then at applying them to experience so that one may act properly toward each of the categories and thus attain the highest, most total happiness possible.
The Tibetan Buddhist lama Chogyam Trungpa emphasizes that cessation is a personal experience. He explains:
The truth of cessation is a personal discovery. It is not mystical and does not have any connotations of religion or psychology. It is simply your experience... It is like experiencing instantaneous good health: you have no cold, no flu, no aches, and no pains in your body. You feel perfectly well, absolutely refreshed and wakeful! Such an experience is possible.
Illness, diagnosis, and cure
In the Buddhist tradition, the Buddha is often compared to a great physician, and his teachings are compared to medicine. The teachings on the four noble truths in particular are related to a medical diagnosis, as follows:
The truth of dukkha: is recognizing that there is an illness
The truth of origin: is identifying the cause of the illness (the diagnosis)
The truth of cessation: is identifying a cure of the illness (the prognosis)
The truth of the path: is recommending a treatment for the illness that can bring about a cure (the prescription)
This analogy is said emphasize the compassion of the Buddha—that he was motivated by the desire to relieve the suffering of beings. It also emphasizes that the Buddha was presented as physician, or healer of the spirit, rather than as a meta-physician or someone who spoke of supernatural powers. For example, Pico Iyer says that the Buddha generally presented himself as more physician than metaphysician: if an arrow is sticking out of your side, he famously said, don’t argue about where it came from or who made it; just pull it out. You make your way to happiness not by fretting about it or trafficking in New Age affirmations, but simply by finding the cause of your suffering, and then attending to it, as any doctor (of mind or body) might do."
Contemporary Buddhist teacher Tamara Engel also emphasizes the Buddha's reluctance to comment on metaphysical matters:
The brilliance of this medical model is that the Buddha offers a complete spiritual path that does not depend on metaphysical speculation or belief—no speculation or belief about God. No leap of faith is required. The illness the Buddha refers to is a particular kind of suffering, and there is nothing metaphysical about it. We all experience it. In fact, it is said that the Buddha would never enter into a metaphysical discussion. He stated, “I teach one thing and one thing only. Suffering and the end of suffering.”
There are many examples both in the original scriptures and in traditional and contemporary commentaries that compare the Buddha to a physician.
excerpted from Wikipedia
16. Ideological Flow and the Eight-fold Path
So many times I said that human existence is an ideological flow. You know, plants, animals and humans all are living beings, but there are certain differences amongst them. Plants cannot move, cannot walk, and certainly they are underdeveloped – they have underdeveloped intellect. They have got intellect, but less development. And in the case of animals, they can move, they have got a bit developed intellect. In the case of animal life, life means physical pleasure – eating, sleeping, dying. But in the case of humans, life is an ideological flow. That is, a human can desert anything and everything for the sake of his or her ideology. A human can die for the sake of his or her ideology. But animals have got no such ideology, no goal of life. It is a goal-less movement. Animals’ movement is a goal-less movement, moving only to get food.
You are all human beings. The old Vaesnavas said (vaesnava means “universalist,” Visnu means “Universal Lord,” and vaesnava means “universalist”):
Krsna bhajibar tare samsare ainu
Miche Mayay baddha haye vrksasama hainu.
I came to the world to worship Lord Krsna, but I have become bound by illusion and have become like a tree.
Krsna. Krsna is the ideological goal for each and every human being. Human life is for – what? Moving towards that Supreme Nucleus. One boy told me that his name is Krsna Dasa, that is, “serving Krsna.” It is a very good name. A person comes for what purpose? To do according to the desire of the Supreme Lord, to do according to the desire of God, the Supreme Desideratum of human beings. But due to distractions, due to deviations, some people live like ordinary animals. If a person does not move towards his or her ideological goal, he or she is just like an animal. But in my opinion, that person is not just like an animal. That person is worse than an animal. Because animals are deficient in intellect. They do not know what to do, how to do, why to do. But humans know, so, if they do not serve God, they are worse than animals. So I say, Miche Mayay baddha haye vrksadhama hainu. I have become bound by illusion and have become worse than a tree. In Sanskrit vrksa means “plant,” “tree.” Now, human life is an ideological flow, and ideological flow means moving towards the Nucleus of this Cosmological system, of this entire universe. You know about “nucleus.” In the case of our ethereal system, the earth is the nucleus, and the moon moves around the earth. In the case of our solar system, the sun is the nucleus, and so many planets and satellites are moving around the sun, knowingly or unknowingly. Similarly, for the entire Cosmos, Parama Purusa is the nucleus, and everybody is moving around Him, knowingly or unknowingly. This is the ideological flow.
Now while moving towards that Supreme Krsna, the Supreme Nucleus of the Cosmos, one is to remember Eight Points.
Lord Buddha said these Eight Points are as follows. The first important point is samyak darshana. Darshana means “philosophy.” A person should have – should be guided by – proper philosophy. The philosophy is the guideline, and a person is to move as per the philosophy-- what to do, what not to do, what are the do's of a perfect human, and what are the don’ts? Samyak darshana. So a person must have a proper philosophy. Unless and until a person knows the proper philosophy, how is he or she to do the right thing? If you are to go to, say, Rangoon, you will move accordingly, but if you don’t know where to go, how can you move? So a proper philosophy of life, a proper darshana, is a primordial necessity.
But can a philosophy guide a person if the person is sleeping? If his or her potentiality is in latent form or dormant form, it cannot. A human moves, a human can move, by what? By his or her propulsive propensity. There must be a propensity guiding us – a propulsive propensity in order to move. So for this a person requires a strong determination – “I must move. I must move.” And then do it. There must not be any negative thought in the mind. “Will it be possible for me to do?” – such a question must not arise in the mind, and whenever there is such a question, it means you will not be successful in your mission. Your thinking should always be positive: “Yes, I must be successful.” There must not be any question regarding your success. Lord Shiva said, Phalisyatiiti vishvasah siddherprathama laksanam – “The first factor for attaining success is the firm determination that ‘I must be successful." And Lord Buddha said the second factor is samyak samkalpa, that is, proper determination. (Here the word is samyak. In Sanskrit samyak means “proper.” Samyak samkalpa.) One may say, “I will be the greatest thief.” That is not proper samkalpa [laughter]. But samkalpa should be proper – proper determination, firm determination. “I must be an asset to human society” – this type of determination.
Then the third thing is samyak vak. You know, human beings have got two types of organs, that is, five afferent and five efferent – karmendriya and jinanendriya in Sanskrit. Now the collection of karmendriyas is known as vak – doing something, thinking something, saying something – that is, wherever there is external expression. That is called karmendriya. And wherever there is internal movement, taking something from the outside world, it is called jinanendriya. Samyak vak – that is, whatever you are to do, whatever you are to speak, whatever you are to touch, it should be of proper order. It is the third direction for a person who moves along the ideological flow. Samyak vak.
The fourth point is samyak ajiiva. Ajiiva has two meanings. Ajiiva means – the actual meaning of the word -- is “occupation.” But occupation may be of two types – physical occupation, earning money, and psychic occupation, that is, the object of thinking. So one must have a clean occupation, that is, one must not do anything antisocial, one must not encourage anything antisocial, anything that goes against collective interest. That is samyak ajiiva in the physical sphere. One may earn money by selling wine. One may earn money by stealing. These are not samyak ajiiva. Your occupation should be neat and clean – not going against the interest of the society. And the second ajiiva is psychic ajiiva, psychic occupation. For “psychic occupation” there is a special term in Sanskrit. It is abhoga. In English, you may say “psychic pabulum.” (English or Latin? Latin.) That is, suppose one’s object of thought is a thief, what will happen? What is the psychic process? When you think something, your mind is then and there divided into two parts. One is the subjective part, and the other is the objective counterpart. And when you are thinking of a bad man, or a thief, what will happen? The objective counterpart of your mind will take the form of that thief, will take the form of that bad man, and slowly what will happen? Your subjective counterpart of the mind, that is, seer portion of the mind--one portion is the seer, and the other portion is seeing--will be slowly converted into that bad man, and slowly you will become a bad man. So a bad man must not be your object of ideation, should not be your object of meditation. If you think of a bad man, you will become a bad man. You know, there is a particular insect in India. It is called peshaskrt. It kills cockroaches. You know the cockroach, that red insect? Yes. And cockroaches are very much afraid of that insect. So when a cockroach sees that insect, that insect becomes its object of ideation. That is, its objective counterpart of the mind becomes, takes the form of – what? The peshaskrt. And what happens? Slowly the body of the cockroach is converted into the body of that peshaskrt. That is, the cockroach itself is converted into the form of its killer. So your psychic ajiiva should also be very pure. And what is the best psychic ajiiva? The Supreme Consciousness, Parama Purusa, Krsn?a, is the best ajiiva. And if Parama Purusa becomes the objective counterpart of your mind, then slowly what will happen? Your very existence will be converted into Parama Purusa. So the fourth instruction was samyak ajiiva. Ajiiva means occupation. (Jiivika in modern Sanskrit.)
Then the fifth instruction was samyak vyayam. Vyayam, you know? Vyayam means “exercise.” Physical exercise, you know? And there are also instrumental exercises and so many exercises… But here, just as with physical exercises, you should undergo psychic exercises to strengthen your mind. So you must have, you must practise, what? Psychic exercise also. Physical exercise will make you strong, strong like a rhinoceros, strong like an elephant, but not strong in mind, strong in spirit. A human cannot be stronger than an elephant or rhinoceros in physical strength; it is not possible. So you must practice psychic exercise – in Sanskrit manasik vyayam. “Psychic” is manasik in Sanskrit, manasik vyaya?m. And what is manasik vyayam? You have to learn it from your spiritual teacher, your acarya. You have to learn the process of your manasik vyayam, that is, psychic exercise, from your acarya. How do you do it? Samyak vyaya?m.
Then sixth-- samyak karmanta. I will not say in many people, but in certain people, I find a particular defect, and that defect is that the person starts some work, but then he or she leaves the work unfinished. This is very bad. Whenever you start any work, you should complete it in proper order. That is, the finishing touch should be of proper order. This is called karmanta in Sanskrit. Buddha said, samyak karmanta. Whatever you are to do or whatever you are doing, finish it in proper style. Samyak karmanta.
And the seventh instruction is samyak smrti. In Sanskrit, smrti means “memory.” What is smrti? Anubhuta visaya sampramosah smrtih [“Memory is the re-creation of things already perceived”]. Suppose you are seeing an elephant. What is the Sanskrit term for “elephant”, Ravi? [Ravi replies, Hastii.] Hastii. Gaja. Varana. Aeravata. Karii. Ahh. So many names. Suppose you are seeing an elephant. What will happen? The objective counterpart of your mind will take the form of the elephant. The objective portion of your mind will be converted into the elephant when you are actually seeing it. But when the elephant is not present, but by dint of your psychic power you are again creating that elephant in your objective portion of mind, that second creation, rather re-creation (not “recreation”, “re-creation”) of the elephant, is called memory. Now I think there are so many graduates amongst you, and doctors – if you are asked to appear for the examination, the medical final, will you be able to pass just now? No. You have forgotten everything. Your smrti, that is, your memory, will not help you. The smrti has become – what? Very dilute, very faint, due to constant waning. What should be the best smrti? I think your acaryas [spiritual teachers] told you that you should repeat and recite your Ista mantra whenever possible. I think this was the instruction of your acaryas, was it not? Internally, Ista mantra and guru mantra. But you forget it. Because your smrti is very dilute. So the best object of smrti is Parama Purusa. Never forget Him. Always take His name, as per the advice of your acarya. This is samyak smrti, that is, proper memory. The person who is established, the spiritual aspirant who is established, in samyak smrti, that is, who never forgets the Lord, is called – that particular state of mind is called dharmamegha samadhi, that is, the person is established in proper smrti. That bliss enjoyed by the spiritual aspirant is called dharmamegha samadhi.
And the last instruction, the eighth one, is samyak samadhi. Suppose one concentrates one’s mind on a particular flower. In this phase or process of concentration, first of all the figure of that flower will disappear. In the second phase, the color of the flower will disappear. And finally, the existence of the seer will merge into the existence, into the theoretical existence, of that flower. This suspension of mind into its object is known as samadhi. Now when the object of mind is Saguna Brahma, that is, the Attributional Consciousness, the samadhi enjoyed by the aspirant is called savikalpa samadhi. And when the goal is Nirgun?a Brahma, the Non-Attributional Entity, the samadhi enjoyed by the aspirant is called nirvikalpa samadhi – it is the highest stage of samadhi. One attains nirvikalpa by practising dhyana [meditation in which the psyche is directed towards Consciousness]. What’s the Pali term for dhyana? Do you know Pali, any of you? The Pali term is jhan. The Japanese term is “zen.” Hmm? Mmm. One boy [looking towards someone in the audience] says Yes, Yes, Yes. By dint of – what? By practising dhyana, by practising jhan, by practising “zen.”
So this is the eight-fold approach as prescribed by Lord Buddha, and this advice is the best advice for a spiritual aspirant. One must strictly adhere to these fundamental principles.
Shrii Shrii Ananadamurti, Ananda Vacanamritam, 10 August 1979 evening, Bangkok.
17. The Giver Should Be Thankful
When Seisetsu was the master of Engaku in Kamakura, he required larger quarters, since those in which he was teaching were overcrowded. Umezu Seibei. a merchant of Edo, decided to donate five hundred pieces of gold toward the construction of a more comodius school. This money he brought to the teacher.
Seisetsu said, "All right, I will take it."
Umezu gave Seistsu the sack of gold. But he was dissatisfied with the attitude of the teacher. One might live a whole year on three pieces of gold, but the merchant had not even been thanked for five hundred.
"In that sack are five hundred pieces of gold," hinted Umezu.
"You told me that before," replied Seisetsu.
"Even for a wealthy merchant, five hundred pieces of gold is a lot of money," replied Umezu.
"Do you want me to thank you for it?" asked Seisetsu.
"You ought to," replied Umezu.
"Why should I?" inquired Seisetsu. "The giver should be thankful."
Paul Reps, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, p. 28.
18. Nityam Shuddham
There is a shloka of Tantra,Nityam shuddham nirabhaam nirakaram nirainjanam;
Nityabodham cidanandam Gurubrahma namamyaham.
Nityam means “unchangeable”, that which is permanent, which does not undergo any change. That which is nitya is also known as deva [divinity, god]. Deva is the expression of Parama?tman [the Supreme Soul] which is “Sarvadyotanatmakah akhanda cidaekarasah”, that is, “which vibrates everything, living or non-living, in the entire creation”. (Akhanda means “that which cannot be divided into pieces”. Cidaekarasah means “one who is cognition personified and who has the same flow from ana?di [beginninglessness] to ananta [endlessness]”) This is the meaning of nityam.
“Shuddham”. An object as it should be, in a condition or form as it should be, and remaining in that form or condition, is called shuddha. This word Shuddha is a relative word. Suppose pure ghee is prepared with all the necessary precautions. But will that pure ghee remain pure after ten years? No. So one cannot call that ghee pure, because it does not remains as it was. Even if there is no adulteration, it does not remain as pure as it was when originally prepared. It undergoes changes due to changes in time. So we can say that no object of this physical world can be called shuddha, or pure. Parama?tman does not undergo any change and cannot be touched by impurity, so He alone can be called pure, or shuddha. He is pure for all time, and nothing else can be like that.
“Nirabhasam”. Abhasa has two meanings. One meaning is that, due to reflection, or refraction, something appears to be bent or misshapen. So, according to this interpretation, nirabhasa will mean “that which does not undergo any reflection or refraction”. The second meaning is that which does not have any abhasa, any semblance, in other things or in other objects; that which cannot be conceptualized. This second meaning becomes more pertinent. As Parama Purus?a has the characteristic of reflection, His reflections on unit beings are the unit selves, or jiivatmas. There may not appear to be reflection, but reflection is there.
Still another meaning is that one may have some kind of idea of Him, even a very faint or minute semblance of Him, yet no one can claim himself to be another, or smaller, or duplicate, Parama Purus?a. So the word nira?bha?sam has been used here in this sense also.
“Nirakaram”. An object is created by the effect of the three gunas, sentient, mutative and static. What we see or feel, that which is perceivable, is known as matter, dravya. “Tava dravyam Jagatguro Tubhyameva samarpaye.” Suppose we talk of the Himalayas. Though they are very vast, they have a limit. In other words, that which comes under the bondage of limitation has a shape or size. It is dravya, or matter. Dravya is that which has taken form. But the entity which is under no bondage of limitation, either of time, person or space, cannot be under any bondage of shape or size, so He is called nirakaram."
Nirainjanam”. Ain?jana means black spot. So that entity which is spotless, or which has no black spots, is Nirainjana.
“Nityabodham”. Bodha means experience supported by the intellect. Suppose you saw something wonderful – that was an experience for you. However, no idea of yours is connected to that experience which you had. So this is not bodha, or knowing. For example, someone sees a rainbow. That is a case of perception. The person, however, has no concept about the seven colors – therefore it is not a case of bodha. If a technician sees a machine, he can have bodha of the machine, but a layman who is not an engineer cannot form any mental conception of the machine. Budh + ghain = bodha. The entity who knows fully about each and every object, each and every mind, each and every jiivatma, about everything in this creation, is Nityabodham. Nothing can be done which is secret from Him.
“Cidanandam”. Parama Purus?a is chiefly known as Satyam or Aparinamii – unchangeable or undergoing no metamorphosis. Cit means “cognition” – Shiva is known as Citi Shakti and the other Shakti is known as the Creative Principle. So Cidananda is also the Cognitive Faculty or He who is always in bliss. He need not go anywhere in search of happiness from some other source. His [very] existence is bliss. Ananda is cognitive bliss.
This is the quality of Parama Purus?a, that He has created the jiivas [unit entities], and it is a sort of conspiracy or drama of His to keep the jiivas in bondage. A playwright gives a particular role to a particular person. In such a way this Great Director of the Great Drama has involved everyone in his or her own way. In doing so He finds happiness, so that is what He does. He also does this to make things more interesting.
Actually, Parama Purusa never means any harm by involving someone in a particular role. Say He has involved everyone in one or other role, and has picked a special role for Himself. In the drama He withdraws the bondage from a particular jiiva?tma? and liberates him or her. To place one in bondage and again release him or her is His liila? [inexplicable divine play or sport]. And He is absorbed in this liila?.
So no one should feel disconcerted about anything. All should know that He is concerned about their welfare. Just as parents are concerned for their child, so is He even more concerned for each of His children. Therefore, do not be afraid or perplexed under any circumstances. I have told you that you are never alone in this world – the Entity that guides the stars guides you also.
Shrii Shrii Ananadamurti, Ananda Vacanamritam, 15 October 1978, Patna
19. Microvitum, the Mysterious Emanation of Cosmic Factor
The discourse is on “Microvitum, the Mysterious Emanation of Cosmic Factor.” It is one of the human wonts that whatever we do not know, in order to conceal our limitations or hide our imperfections, we either say that it is non-existent, or in a more intelligent style, we will say it is an abstract. In this universe of ours, whatever comes within the scope of our senses or within the periphery of our perception, we say, “It is,” and whatever is beyond the arena of the senses or the jurisdiction of perception, we cannot say anything. Hence, our world functions within the limitations of our senses and perceptions. We know in the realm of Cosmic introvert or extrovert that in the first phase – that is, in the phase of extrovert – “subtle” is transmuted into “crude”, and in the returning phase of introvert, “crude” is metamorphosed into “subtle”. In this progress, rather in this semicircular approach, there may be subtler objects in the scope of matter – many objects subtler than electrons or protons, neutrons, or positrons – but we find no alternative but to say that they are either electron or proton or positron or neutron. And similarly, in the psychic sphere, there may be entities subtler than ectoplasm or its extra-psychic coverage, endoplasm.There are entities which come within the realm of both physicality and psychic expressions which are smaller or subtler than atoms, electrons or protons, and in the psychic realm may be subtler than ectoplasm. For such objects or for such entities I use the term “microvitum”. This microvitum, or in plural microvita, are not of protoplasmic order, and as such they have got little to do with carbon molecules or carbon atoms, which are treated as the initial points or initial stage of life in this universe. So far as physicality is concerned, the position of these microvita is just between ectoplasm and electron, but they are neither ectoplasm nor electron. It is a human wont that whatever we know regarding any subject or any object, when we know that it exists but its characteristics or other particulars are not known to us, we say it is “mysterious”. So regarding these microvita, we may say it is mysterious. That is why I used the term “microvitum, the mysterious emanation of cosmic factor”. They are not of protoplasmic order, and hence the question of their protozoic structure or metazoic structure does not arise. They are something mysterious. Now, these microvita are not of the same density or the same subtlety. Some of them may come within the range of a highly developed microscope. Some of them may not come within the range of a microscope, but by their actional expression or through their actional faculty or as a result of their actional vibrations, they may come within the scope of our perception. They are of subtler order. There may be still more subtle forms of microvita which may not come directly within the scope of our perception but may come within the scope of a special type of perception which is actually the reflection of conception within the range of perception in a limited sphere.So these microvita may be broadly divided into three categories – first, those coming within the scope of a microscope; secondly, those not coming within the scope of a microscope but coming within the scope of perception as a result of their expression, as a result of their actional vibration; and thirdly, those not coming within the scope of common perception but coming within the scope of a special type of perception which is actually the reflection of conception within the periphery of perception. Such perception – that special type of perception – may be felt or realized by persons having highly developed minds, having spiritually oriented minds. Regarding these microvita of crude order which may come within the scope of a microscope, people give them the name “virus”. They say, “This disease is of virus origin.” But virus is a vague term. The better term will be microvitum, not virus.
Now, these microvita move throughout the entire universe, from one celestial body to another. They move everywhere, crossing the boundaries of nebulae, piercing through milky ways, galaxies, stars, satellites, planets and meteors. They move unbarred, without caring for the atmospheric conditions or barometric readings. How do they move? Everybody requires some media for movement. Mobility means movement through a medium or media. There may be more than one medium, that is, there may be many media at a time in the same movement. These microvita also move through several media. They move through sound. The so-called virus of a diseased person may move through his or her sound. They may move through tactuality. They may move through forms or figures. In the case of some of the diseases, the disease spreads through the smell of the disease, and in the case of subtler metavita [microvita], they may move through ideas. A particular idea may get accelerated speed in a particular planet with the help of a few conceptually developed minds. That is, a great man with a great conceptually developed mind may spread his ideas with the help of these microvita throughout that planet, or even throughout this universe in different celestial bodies.
Now, what is the root cause of this universe? Which is the starting point of life or vitality? These microvita are the carriers of life in different stars, planets and satellites – not carbon atoms or carbon molecules. These living creatures with their mysterious movement create minds and bodies, living bodies in different celestial bodies, and they also destroy minds and physical bodies, or developed or undeveloped corpor, in any corner of this universe. So the root cause of life is not the unicellular protozoa or unit protoplasmic cell, but this unit microvitum. Now, there should be extensive research work regarding this microvitum or these microvita. Our task is gigantic and we are to start our research work regarding these microvita immediately without any further delay. Otherwise many problems in modern society will not be solved in a nice way. As Prama [equilibrium and equipoise] is an essentiality in the field of intellectuality or intellectual pursuit, similarly in the higher intellectual realm research work on these microvita is extremely necessary. Here we should again remember the fact that these microvita are a creation in the internal phase, rather in the returning phase of cosmic expression. We are human beings with developed intellect. I think, rather I hope, rather I am sure that the day is sure to come when human beings will have proper control over these microvita. In ancient times, regarding the singular or collective structures of these microvita, the ancient rsis [sages] said that they are of seven types, of seven species, and gave them the names: yaksa, gandharva, vidyadhara, kinnara, siddha, prakrtiliina and videhaliina according to the nature of their subtlety or the nature of their crudeness. I think, by dint of our spiritual sadhana?, rather our physico-psycho-spiritual sadhana, our minds will develop in all their strata, and the power of conception, the power of conceiving, will also develop, and with that developed conceiving power, we will know all the secrets of these microvita.
Shrii Shrii Ananadamurti, Ananda Vacanamritam, 31 December 1986 RU, Calcutta
20. Crude and Subtle Microvita
Microvitum is a very subtle being. Of the three types of microvita, the crude type are instrumental in emanating life throughout the cosmos. They create a stir within a physical structure. In the subsequent stages, through clash and cohesion, enormous changes take place in the physical structure. This process led to the emergence of the dinosaurs, mammals, and finally intelligent human beings. Subtle microvita, which are too subtle to come within the scope of a highly developed microscope, are divided into two categories. One category functions within the world of perception through inferences such as sound, touch, form, taste and smell, and the other category functions directly within the subtler realm – that is, within the human mind.
Those microvita which do not come within the scope of a microscope but come within the scope of inferences are known by their collective form and are called “Yaksas”. As they are perceived through inferential vibrations, their field of action is the human mind. They are instrumental in arousing the propensity to accumulate more and more wealth. Although this propensity has some spatial and personal necessity, it is mostly a psychic ailment. In most cases, this psychic ailment aroused by yaksas is more fatal than the diseases called “yaksma” (such as tuberculosis or consumption). It has produced extremely fissiparous tendencies in human society, and has led to the exploitation of one group of human beings by another group who feel elated to hear the lamentations of others. The overwhelming urge to acquire wealth – the urge for capitalism and the capitalist structure – is based on this psychic ailment. It gives rise to the all-consuming and insatiable greed of capitalists. The collective name of the microvita which produce this disease in the human mind, in the human psyche, is called “yaksa”. When a person devoid of any ideology becomes engrossed in the thought of accumulating wealth, yaksas begin their frenetic dance in his or her mind. These yaksas are one of the seven types of devayonis. The others are gandharva, kinnara, vidyadhara, videhaliina, prakrtiliina and siddha, which are the collective names of different categories of microvita.
Gandharva microvita are the collective name of those microvita which arouse love for the fine arts in the human mind. They inspire people to cultivate the fine arts. They intoxicate the human mind and keep it absorbed in the rhythm and ideation of music and dance so that the thought of the external world gets suspended in the world of subtle ideation. The fine arts are known as “gandharva vidya”. When the human mind is exclusively preoccupied with ideating on music and dance, it means that the mind stuff has been totally captivated by these gandharvas. They connect the material world with the world of subtle ideation. This category of microvita functioning within the human mind are mostly of a friendly nature. They convey messages of the subtle world to human ears in this physical world, and by removing the darkness of crude ignorance, illuminate the human mind with a flood of divine effulgence.
Kinnara microvita is that category of microvita which creates a thirst for beauty – a strong desire for beautification and decoration. The word kinnara means “receptacle of beauty” or “a beautiful and graceful structure”. This category of microvita creates a tendency in the human mind to make the human body as beautiful as the many forms and figures it observes in the external world. This tendency or propensity is called “kinnari vrtti”. If the kinnaras direct the mind towards crude matter instead of leading it towards the subtler layers, they are considered to be enemy microvita or negative microvita. And if the same microvita lead the mind towards purity and beautification, and then help merge the refined mind in the Supreme Entity, they are considered to be friend microvita or positive microvita.
Next is Vidyadhara microvita, the collective name of those microvita which create a deep urge in the human mind to attain good qualities. Due to their internal urge and inspiration, human beings are able to acquire a vast wealth of accumulated qualities. If this urge is directed towards performing noble deeds and praising the divine qualities of Parama Purusa, then these microvita become instrumental in promoting human welfare and may be considered as friend microvita. If the same microvita create a tendency in the human mind to seek material gain such as name, fame, etc., they are considered as enemy microvita.
The collective name of the category of microvita which causes human beings to rush headlong towards the crude pleasures of life is known as “Prakrtiliina”. If human beings do not keep company with virtuous people or study elevating books, and if their minds are not saturated with love for the Supreme Entity, then this category of enemy microvita will infest their minds. Ultimately, the structure of those minds will be crudified, and through dogma they reach the nadir point of crudification.
There is yet another category of microvita whose collective name is called “Videhaliina microvita”. These microvita cause the human mind to rush from one place to another, and they finally lead it away from Parama Purusa. They keep the human mind oblivious to the supreme purpose of life. Due to their inner thirst for material gain, they force the human mind to go around in circles, like bullocks trudging endlessly around an oil mill. They make the human mind restless, and by misdirecting it, throw it into utter confusion.
The seventh and last type of microvita is known as “Siddha”. Siddha is the collective name of those microvita which help in the domain of spirituality. These microvita enable the human mind to rise above the physical and psychic strata, and they guide it to the world of cognition. Those who already have an urge to develop the cognitive faculty are helped by these microvita to increase their urge more and more. Those who who have a desire to embrace the life of a renunciate are inspired greatly by these microvita. Finally they develop such an intense desire for that life that they leave their homes. Those who crave mystic realizations ultimately become enlightened beings. These siddha microvita convey the clarion call of the vast ocean of Supreme Consciousness deep into the minds of ordinary human beings who gaze at their tiny plots of land, and lead them towards the Supreme Entity.
In fact, this type of microvita helps spiritual aspirants in various ways. Those who have come in contact with the siddhas and understand them say that the so-called Sudharsan Cakra (the cosmic disc of the mythological god Visnu) is nothing but the symbolic name of siddha microvita. Suppose a growing young man is playing cricket somewhere. In the middle of the game he has a sudden realization which causes a tremendous stir in his mind. He decides to renounce everything and goes out in search of something as yet unknown to him. This is the work of siddha microvita. A prince living in the midst of luxury suddenly adopts the life of a renunciate and searches for the cause of human misery. A small boy of eight or ten suddenly becomes restless for the acquisition of knowledge and decides to leave his family and move towards an unknown and as yet unrealized destination. These are all the result of the ceaseless activities of siddha microvita. Judging from the nature of these microvita, it is clear that they are not the creation of human beings. Nor is it possible for human beings to release them into the vast cosmos. Supermen cannot create these microvita, what to speak of ordinary human beings. Obviously, these microvita are emanations from the Supreme Entity.
Shrii Shrii Ananadamurti, Ananda Vacanamritam, 22 February 1987, Calcutta
21. Microvita and Their Influence on Micropsychic and Macropsychic Corporal Structures
The subject of today’s discourse is “Microvita and their Influence on Micropsychic and Macropsychic Corporal Structures.” As you know, this universe is a mesh of waves of so many lengths, and along these wavelengths so many positive and negative microvita move in so many directions in the entire universe. Microvita are mainly of two types: the positive and the negative ones, each having their peculiar influences on different animate or inanimate structures; that is, they have influence on both animation and inanimation. And in living structures also, where there is a flow of vitality, they function in their own ways, creating either static or sentient influences in different portions of the human body, mind, glands and sub-glands. Except for the pineal gland and the upper layers of the pituitary gland, they influence almost each and every atom of the human structure; only the negative microvita cannot influence any portion of the body above the pituitary gland. The positive microvita may function above it but cannot touch the pineal gland.
Amongst the different plexi of the body, or the different nerve centres, microvita function directly on nerve centres and indirectly on other portions and other sub-glands of the body. They greatly influence the solar plexus and the sidereal plexus. In the solar plexus they influence the vocal, ocular and auricular capacities of the human structure, either in pro-materialistic order or pro-spiritualistic order. But above the igneous plexus the negative microvita cannot function properly; that is, above the igneous plexus the role of positive microvita is prominent, and the role of negative microvita is insignificant, far less than that of positive microvita. Similarly, in the igneous structure and below, the influence of negative microvita is prominent, and that of positive microvita is insignificant.
So regarding the igneous plexus or other plexi, human beings should be well equipped with spiritual strength to resist the influence of negative microvita. In the sidereal plexus, if positive microvita are allowed to function properly, accelerated by spiritualistic mobility or stamina, people become sanguine in each and every activity of welfare and service; that is, they will be assets to human civilization and human society. But if those positive microvita are not properly helped, their speed will not be accelerated. Rather, the influence of negative microvita will go on increasing and all the person’s thought-waves will be goaded unto the materialistic sphere, which may be detrimental to the cause of the all-round development of human society. The next important influence of positive microvita on the sidereal structures is the propensity of endeavour, the propensity to do something concrete. If not properly directed, this sentient solar psycho-panoramic maximitis may be converted into static solar panoramic minimitis by negative microvita.
Someone is energetic in doing something good, and someone else is very energetic in doing something bad. If properly directed and accelerated by the influence of positive microvita, such people may do a lot, but if not properly directed they will move towards nihilism, towards cynicism, and destroy all the assets of human society.
Another propensity, psycho-physical attachment in good sense, is also created by positive microvita when they influence the sidereal plexus. The reverse is true if negative microvita are allowed to function. If there is no spiritual pursuit, certainly the influence of negative microvita will go on increasing.
Conscience – what is conscience? Conscience is the spirit of differentiation between good and bad, merit or demerit. This also depends on the influence of positive microvita on a sub-gland of the sidereal plexus; otherwise this conscience will die a premature death. Psycho-physical inertia is also created if negative microvita are allowed to function in the sidereal plexus; otherwise the positive microvita will crush the influence of negative microvita in creating psycho-physical inertia. Greediness is also encouraged if there is want of spiritual practice or spiritual pursuit; that is, in that case, negative microvita will increase greediness in human minds. Hypocrisy in the human mind is also increased as a result of the influence of negative microvita on the sidereal plexus. The psychology of feeling repentant is also created by positive microvita as a result of its influence on the sidereal plexus. But as I have already said, above the igneous plexus all plexi are influenced more by positive microvita than by negative microvita; regarding the solar plexus, I said that it directly influences vocality, ocular expression, and auricular potentialities. These potentialities can do something concrete in uplifting the entire living society of the world; but if negative microvita are allowed to function, if there is no spiritual practice, naturally the reverse will be the case.
Similarly, in the case of the igneous plexus, where the influence of negative microvita is more than that of positive ones, the result is the static physico-panoramic maximitis of negative microvita. But if there is spiritual practice and spiritual longings, the reverse may be the case; that is, this static physico-panoramic minimitis may be transmuted into sentient psycho-panoramic maximitis of positive microvita. So one should develop the psychology of doing spiritual practice. Similarly, in the pneumatic plexus [at the anahata cakra] also, inertia regarding worldly affairs is converted into inertia regarding something bad, something worsening.
I said that the influence of positive microvita on the human body creates sentient propensities, and that of negative microvita creates static propensities. I did not say anything regarding mutative faculties or mutative propensities because the mutative factor is not at all an attribute or wont or qualification; it is just a transitory phase moving from sentient to static or from static to sentient. The igneous plexus that maintains the balance of the physical structure and also the symmetry of the psycho-physical and psycho-spiritual orders is the controlling point. Hence it is the hub of the body, the nave of the body. Similarly, in the case of our social structure, a collection of two or more than two persons is called a society. As in the case with micropsychic order, the same is the case with macropsychic order also, and the collective body, as a result of the influence of positive microvita or negative microvita – the entire social body, the entire social structure – undergoes degradation or elevation. I hope that you will not allow any degradation to take place in the human order, in the human system, and so you should encourage others on the path of righteousness and spirituality, so that negative microvita will not get any scope to function on micropsychic corporal structures or Macropsychic corporal structures.
Human beings are social beings, and so in our social life, microvita must not be allowed to function. One of the important expressions of negative microvita on the human mind or human society is dogma. If you want to encourage positive microvita, if you want to encourage spirituality, you must fight dogma in different spheres and levels and arenas and strata of our society. This never-ending fight against dogma will help you a great deal in establishing a society of spiritualistic order, and in maintaining a balance amongst the three layers of human existence, the physical, the psychic and the spiritual.
Shrii Shrii Ananadamurti, Ananda Vacanamritam, 31 December 1988 RU, Anandanagar
22. Guru Pranama
I think all of you are well acquainted with one shloka. It is a shloka for Guru Prana ma, but its import was never explained. It is;
Let me explain line by line.
“Nitya’nandam”. What is nitya’nandam’ Parama Purus’a is nitya’nandam.
Jiivas enjoy nitya’nandam and vis’ya’nandam. When one acquires something worldly, something mundane, one feels a sort of happiness which is known as “vis’ya’nandam”, and when, by dint of one’s spiritual practices and the grace of the Supreme, one enjoys spiritual happiness, it is known as “nitya’nandam”.
But for what reason is Parama Purus’a creating the world’ Why is He doing so much for created beings’ Certainly for a’nandam. And He Himself is also a’nandam. So His a’nandam is created within, merged within, enjoyed within.
For Parama Purus’a there are two kinds of a’nandam: nitya’nandam and liila’nandam. What is nitya’nandam’ Nitya’nandam is His self-satisfaction. The bliss that He enjoys from Himself is nitya’nandam. He was in nitya’nandam, He is in Nitya’nandam, and He will be in nitya’nandam. When there was no world, at that time also there was nitya’nandam. And when, in theory, there will be no creation, He will still be in nitya’nandam.
And what is liila’nandam’ When Sagun’a – Attributional Consciousness or Attributed Consciousness – was created, He wanted liila’nandam. He wanted to enjoy liila’nandam. And what is liila’nandam’ He creates so many things, so many animate and inanimate objects, so many sons and daughters. And while playing with His sons and daughters, He gets a sort of pleasure. That pleasure is His liila’nandam.
And spiritual aspirants who are intelligent know this fact. They know that everything in this world is His liila’nandam. He is playing for liila’nandam, so there should not be any worries and anxieties in this world – all things are different phases of His liila’nandam.
In this shloka the first word is “nitya’nandam”. “O Lord, who art always in nitya’nandam.” “Nitya” means “of permanent nature”. Therefore, a’nandam which is of permanent nature is nitya’nandam.
The next word is “paramasukhadam”. The happiness that a created being enjoys from mundane objects is called “sukham”, and all this sukham comes from that Nitya’nandam Entity, so He is Paramasukhadam for the Jiivas. Here the word is not “sukhadam”, the word is “paramasukhadam”, that is, sukha of the maximum degree, sukha to the zenith of its efficiency.
“Kevalam’ jin’a’namurttim”. What is the meaning of “kevalam”‘ “Kevalam” means “the only entity”, the “non-dualistic entity”. That is, in His realm, in His jurisdiction, there is no second, external entity. There is no scope for any Satan to be there, that is, there is no Satan. He is everything. He plays with His vidya’ma’ya’ and avidya’ma’ya’. That is kevalam. Kevalam means “the only entity”, “the only existence”. And when one becomes one with Him, one is said to be ensconced in “kaevalya”. Kaevalya means “nirvikalpa sama’dhi”. That is when one acquires kevala-hood, that is kaevalya.
You should remember that the conception of Satan is against the non-dualistic philosophy. If we recognize a Satan, we are indirectly recognizing two Parama Purus’as – one a good Parama Purus’a and the other a very bad Parama Purus’a – which is absurd. So there is no Satan. There are only the misdeeds done by avidya’ma’ya’. And that Satan, as avidya’ma’ya’, is part of ma’ya’, the left hand of ma’ya’.
That’s why Lord Krs’n’a said,
Daevii hyes’a’ gun’amayii mama Ma’ya’ duratyaya’;
Ma’meva ye prapadyante Ma’ya’meta’m’ taranti te.
“This divine force, Ma’ya’, is My Ma’ya’, is my power – ‘Shaktih Sa’ Shivasya shaktih.’ And those who have taken My shelter will easily surmount this Ma’ya’.” Without divine help or divine aid, this ma’ya’ remains insurmountable. So in order to cross this ma’ya’, one will have to take the shelter of Krs’n’a, that is, Parama Purus’a.
“Kevalam’ jin’a’namu’rttim.” “Jin’a’namu’rttim” means “Cognitive Faculty personified”, “personified Cognition”.
“Tattvamasi” + “adi” + “laksyam”.
“Vishva’tiitam”. What’s the meaning of “vishva’tiitam”‘ When, as the objective counterpart of the Supreme Consciousness, something concrete is created, something under the strict supervision and bondage and fetters of the static principle, then that created being is called “vishva”. So vishva is His objective counterpart. And because vishva is His counterpart, He is above the jurisdiction of vishva – He is vishva’tiitam. And just as there cannot be any spatial demarcation in the sky, so there cannot be any spatial demarcation within the Macrocosm. That’s why it has been said, “Gaganasadrsham.”
“Tattvamasi”. Now, when a spiritual aspirant contacts Parama Purus’a and asks Him, “Who am I, who am I’” – when this eternal question is placed before Him, His reply is, “Tattvamasi”, “Thou art That,” that is, “Thou art the Supreme Entity.” As I have said so many times, human sadhana is a movement from electronic imperfection to nuclear perfection. The nuclear perfection is That, and this electronic imperfection is you. You are That. The stage of “are” is your spiritual practice. Your are That, you – That – are. This “are” is the gap to be bridged by sa’dhana’. So you are That. The Guru’s words, the Guru’s secret instruction, or gospel, or text, or sermon, is, “O my little boy, O my little girl, thou art That.”
“Tattvamasya’dilaks’yam”. Now the entity who always reminds you, “O my little boy, O my little girl, thou art That,” is the Guru. I think you understand.
Shrii Shrii Ananadamurti, Ananda Vacanamritam, 10 October 1978, Patna
23. Sadgurum Tam Namam
Today the remaining portion of yesterday’s discourse will be completed.
Ekam’ nityam’ vimalam acalam’ sarvadhiisa’ks’iibhu’tam;
Bha’va’tiitam’ trigun’arahitam’ Sadgurum’ Tam’ nama’mi.
“Ekam’ nityam.” Regarding any supra-psychic entity, any Cosmic entity, either attributional or non-attributional, we cannot say whether it is one or more than one, because that entity is beyond the scope of any sort of demonstration. We cannot say this or that regarding any Cosmic entity, so it is futile to say “one”, “two”, “three” or “four”. But when one wants to ensconce oneself in Him, one is to get one’s mind pointed, one’s mind pinnacled. And that’s why, when there should be one-pointedness, the only numeral, adjective or article that can be used for Him is “One”. And so in this shloka it has been said, “Ekam’ nityam.” It is a singular Entity. “Ekam” does not mean “singular Entity”; “ekam” means that when one is to come in contact with Him, one’s mind is to be brought to a point.
“Nityam”. In this universe, within the universe and without the universe, wherever there is any flow (and actually, everywhere there is flow), and when that flow concerns Macrocosm or microcosm, it is something expressed. And when it does not concern any microcosm or Macrocosm, in that case it is not expressed, but the flow is still there. When the flow is there but the flow doesn’t come within the periphery of microcosm or Macrocosm, that entity is called “nityam”. So not only Sagun’a Brahma, or Ta’raka Brahma, but also Nirgun’a, is nityam. In common language we may use the word “non-metamorphic” for “nityam”; that is, “nityam” means “that which undergoes no change”. Anything undergoing no change is “nityam” – it was, it is, and it will be. And “anityam” means undergoing change according to changes in time, space and person. The Supreme Entity who teaches the world the secrets of spirituality is One and nityam.
“Vimalam acalam”. “Acalam” means “strong”, “erect”, “mountain-like”. “Vimalam” means “spotless”. So a lofty, mountain-like, spotless personality is vimalam acalam. The comparison is with “acalam”, because [[just as in this world of relativity it appears that the mountains do not move, similarly the cardinal spiritual principles do not move.]] And the entity representing those cardinal spiritual principles is treated as if it were a mountain, not moved, not moving, not shaking, not deviating from its principles.
“Sarvadhiisa’ks’iibhu’tam”. Now in the phase of Pratisain’cara, the introversive phase, what happens’ Crude entities get powdered down, and thus from matter we get citta, from citta we get aham’ka’ra, and from aham’ka’ra we get mahattattva. And that is the full development of mind, the complete development of mind, or microcosm.
Now, even in so-called crude matter there is mind in sleeping form, there is mind in dormant form, and because of its being in dormant form, we do not recognize it because we do not feel its existence. That does not mean that mind is not there – certainly it is there – but we fail to recognize it. The imperfection is in us, not in these forms of matter. So wherever there is mind, in developed form or undeveloped form, the reflection of Pratyaga’tma’ is certainly there. And that reflection is the jiiva’tma’. Now, where the jiiva’tma’ has not developed, or has not taken its proper form, what happens’ Pratyaga’tma’ directly performs the functions of the jiiva’tma’. And where the jiiva’tma’ has developed to some extent, the functions of the jiiva’tma’ are performed directly by the jiiva’tma’ and indirectly by Pratyaga’tma’. And this is the case with human beings also.
In human beings the jiiva’tma’ is far more developed that in any other creature, because the mind if far more developed than in any other creature. That is why human beings are called “manu’sya” or “ma’nava”. “Mana” + “u” + “sna” = “ma’nava”, the entity where mind dominates, and not matter.
“Sarvadhiisa’ks’iibhu’tam”. He is the Witnessing Entity of all minds, developed, undeveloped or underdeveloped. And whatever any mind does, crude or subtle, developed, underdeveloped or undeveloped, He knows it. He is the Witnessing Entity. So whether something be crude, inanimate, undeveloped (like trees, bushes, herbs, plants), underdeveloped (like a cow, a monkey or a dog), or developed (like a human being), whatever its mind does is known to Him. Nobody can do anything secretly; and nothing done by anybody remains coveted or secret.
He is sarvadhiisa’ks’iibhu’tam, and because He is sarvadhiisa’ks’iibhu’tam, people have one advantage and one disadvantage. The disadvantage is that you cannot do anything secretly – whatever you do or think is known to Him. Nothing remains secret. This is a disadvantage because He knows whatever you do and whatever you think. And what is the advantage’ As He sees everything, He is always with you. You are never alone. This is the advantage.
Shuddhasattvavishes’a’d va’ premasu’rya’m’shusa’myabhak,
Rucibhishcittama’srn’ya krdasao bha’va uccyate.
Bha’va has something to do with two entities – one, the sentimental flow of the microcosm, and the other, the perennial flow of spirituality. (In English you should not say “spiritualism” for “adhya’tmikata’”. You should say “spirituality” because “spiritualism” means something to do with ghosts, etc. – “pretatattva”. The correct term is “spirituality”.) The parallelism between the sentimental flow of the microcosm and the perennial flow of spirituality is what is called “bha’va”.
Shuddhasattvavishes’a’d va’ premasu’rya’m’shusa’myabha’k
Rucibhishcittama’srn’ya krdasao bha’va uccyate.
“Bha’va’tiitam”. Beyond the arena of bha’va is his position. He Himself is above the position of bha’va. That is why here it has been said, “bha’va’tiitam”. Bha’va can come up to Him and knock at the door, but cannot enter the palace, that’s the thing. Just knock at the door, but cannot go within.
“Bha’va’tiitam’ trigun’arahitam.” You know that in the triangle of forces, where equipoise is maintained before creation, there is no manifestation. As long as the equipoise is maintained, as long as the equilibrium is maintained among the three binding principles – sentient, mutative and static – there cannot be any manifestation. The Noumenal Cause remains as it is. But when that equipoise is lost, the flow of Ma’ya’ comes out of one of the vertices, and creation starts. So Paramashiva, the Sadguru and Ta’raka Brahma are beyond the scope of the gun’atrikon’a, that is, the triangle of forces. In their cases the gun’atrikon’a maintains its equipoise and equilibrium. Hence He is trigun’arahitam.
“O Lord, Thou are the controller of everything, but there is nobody to control You. Your gun’as are beyond the scope of counting. Nobody can count how many gun’as there are.”
I told you that once many disciples of the Lord assembled at a particular place and requested Kavi Padmadanta to write a poem on the gun’as of the Lord, to say what the Lord is like. “Please compose a poem,” they asked. Kavi Padmadanta said:
Asitagirisamam’ sya’t kajjalam’ sindhupa’tre
Surataruvarasha’kha lekhanii patramurbii,
Likhati yadi grhiitva’ sa’rada’ sarvaka’lam’
Tatha’pi tava gun’a’n’a’miishapa’ram’ na ya’ti.
Kavi said (by the way, “kavi” doesn’t mean “poet”; in Sam’skrta, “kavi” means “satyadras’t’a”, “seer of truth”): “To write about His gun’as in a proper style, what are the minimum requirements’ You know the ink tablet you get in the market’ If that ink tablet is just like the mighty Himalayas – so big – and so many oceans become the ink-pot, and if a branch of the heavenly Pa’rijata tree is used as a pen, and if this vast lithosphere, that is, the earth, is used as paper, and the Goddess of Learning, Sarasvatii, writes and writes for an infinite period, even then the gun’as of the Lord cannot be written.”
“Gun’ahiinamaheshagan’a’bharan’am.” Now you see, each and every devii and devata’ has so many ornaments: ear-rings, necklaces, cur’is, crowns. But our Lord, Parama Purus’a, has only one ornament: His disciples.
“Bha’va’tiitam’ trigun’arahitam’ Sadgurum’ Tam’ nama’mi.” What is the Sadguru’ “Guru”, you know, means “dispeller of darkness”. “Gu” means “darkness” and “ru” means “dispeller”. The man who taught “alif, be, pe, te”, or “a, a’, ka, kha”) was also a guru. The man who taught you how to fight was also a guru. The man who taught you how to cook was also a guru. So many gurus. The man who initiates you in Vaedikii diiks’a’ was also a guru.
Vaedikii diiks’a’ means this: In ancient India there were two types of diiks’a’. First a boy used to get Vaedikii diiks’a’. Vaedikii diiks’a’ is to request God, request the Lord, to show one the right path. And after a long time, when the Lord is satisfied, He arranges for Ta’ntrikii diiks’a’. Ananda Marga diiks’a’ is Ta’ntrikii diiks’a’.
Now those who initiate in Vaedika’ca’ra – Vaedikii diiks’a’ – are also gurus. So what is the Sadguru’ The word “sat” means “that which undergoes no change”. In modern Sam’skrta, “sat” means “good” and “asat” means “bad”, but in Vaedika Sam’skrta, “sat” means “that which undergoes no change”.
Na’sada’siinno sada’siittada’niim’ na’siidrajo no vyoma’ paro yat;
Kima’variivah kuha kasya sharmannambhah kima’siidagahanam’ gabhiiram.
“Sat”. Now, the entity by whose grace one comes into contact with sat (sat, the non-changeable entity, the non-changeable stance, the non-changeable nuclear entity around which so many electrons move) – that entity, or rather, that framework through which Parama Purus’a is working or Ta’raka Brahma is functioning, is the Sadguru, “Sadgurum’ tvam’ nama’mi” – “I do my namah before you, at your altar.”
Shrii Shrii Ananadamurti, Ananda Vacanamritam, 11 October 1978, Patna
24. Ayurvedic Remedy for Dyspepsia
Symptoms: Belching with a bad smell, watering of the mouth, distension of the stomach, loss of appetite, aversion to food, offensive internal gas, physical weakness, fretful temper, constipation or loose stool containing food particles.
Causes: When we take food it is converted into a juicy mass with the help of digestive fluids, then it is transformed into blood. Blood is the most important substance in the body. Fruits, roots, leafy green vegetables and other alkaline-type foods, after being digested, preserve the vitality of the blood by increasing its alkaline portion, whereas fatty and carbohydrate-type foods increase the acidity of the blood. If there occurs a disproportionate increase in the acidity of the blood, then the spleen, liver, heart, kidneys, etc., which are our blood-purifying organs, come under too much pressure. As a result, these organs, being over-worked in purifying the blood, become gradually so weak that they ultimately fail to do their task properly.
Since the different kinds of juicy fruits can be sufficiently digested in their own fluids, the liver bile does not have to make much effort to digest them. But in order to digest starches and carbohydrates, the saliva of the mouth must help at the preliminary stage. Chewing food brings an adequate quantity of saliva into the mouth. No sooner does the food mixed with saliva enter the stomach than the liver and the pancreas are enabled to start secreting their bile and digestive fluids. So unless food is chewed well, the liver can never function properly.
If the quantity of non-vegetarian food is large, then the internal organs will ultimately become weak due to the increasing acidity of the blood. Then when the food from the stomach, having already been partially digested by fluid from the liver, enters the duodenal canal, the weak pancreas will be incapable of secreting enough of its digestive fluid. As a result, the partially digested food does not become completely converted into rasa (chyle). In consequence, the partially digested food gradually decomposes inside the duodenum and thereby partially blocks the intestine. This spoiled food creates a poisonous gas in the body which the respiratory system fails to purify. It also increases the acidic contents of the blood to an excessive degree. This state of health is called “indigestion” or “dyspepsia.”
Although dyspepsia is not itself fatal, it can be the cause of several fatal diseases. And in social life, dyspepsia aggravates peoples' acrimonious tendencies and makes them extremely irritable. Stomach, intestinal and rectal ulcers, constipation and serious dysentery may arise from dyspepsia.
Morning – Utkśepa Mudra, Mayúrásana, Padahastásana, Utkat́a Vajrásana, Ágneyii Mudrá and Ágneyii Práńáyáma.
Evening – (With constipation) Agnisára Mudrá, Diirgha Prańáma, Yogásana or Yogamudrá, and Bhújauṋgásana.
(With loose movement) Agnisára Mudrá, Sarváuṋgásana, Ágneyii Mudrá and Ágneyii Práńáyáma.
Diet: Boiled old rice (grains a few years old), soup of green vegetables; in case of loose motion, curd (yogurt); in case of constipation, curd made from buffalo's milk, mixed in water and taken with a little sugar. Remember that curd water is particularly beneficial for dyspepsia patients.
Drink milk at the end of the day,
Drink water at dawn,
Drink curd-water after the noon meal,
Then what need for a doctor?
Dos and don'ts: Dyspepsia originates from unbalanced food habits. Eating when one is not hungry or only half hungry is harmful in this disease. So is eating rich food for days together, using intoxicants, eating tasty food out of greed alone, not taking rest after the meal before running off to the office, or taking a bellyful of food (according to the scriptures, it is desirable to fill the stomach halfway with food, one quarter with water, and to keep one quarter empty for free movement of air); refraining from doing physical labour and, over and above this, doing strenuous mental work or indulging in sex, is also harmful in this disease.
It is better not to eat breakfast or any afternoon snack till the disease is fully cured. However, if one feels hungry, one can have some sweet or sour juicy fruit, particularly of sub-acid type, such as mango, pineapple, jám, any kind of citrus fruit (though citrus fruits belong to the acidic group, their action on the body is alkaline), or, in case of constipation, papaya. It is important to remember that acidic foods such as lemon and curd (yogurt) should be taken with a little water and salt.
All non-vegetarian types of food except for small fish, are harmful for dyspepsia patients. Meat and eggs are poison. All intoxicants aggravate constipation, hence they are not to be taken either.
With dyspepsia it is very essential to take a walk in the fresh air and to do a little physical labour every day. Sleeping in the daytime and staying awake at night are forbidden. It is better to take the evening meal before 8 PM, and a short walk thereafter is very helpful.
Pulses are alkaline food but rich, so they are not to be eaten in cases of dyspepsia.
It is desirable to take food or to defecate when the main flow of breath is through the right nostril. Even after food, it is desirable if the flow of breath mainly through the right nostril continues for some time. Because that is the time when the digestive glands start secreting a sufficient quantity of fluids to help digestion.
Observing fast on Ekádashii and regulation of the diet at night on Púrńimá and Amávasyá (i.e. taking just a little milk, fruit and dry things on those two nights) is desirable.
1. Take 1/16 tola [.7 grams] asafoetida (Ferula foetida Regel), fried in ghee and mixed with an equal quantity of rock-salt, before meals.
2. Take shredded dry coconut or the flesh of mature coconut along with a prepared betel (Piper betle Linn.) leaf or with aniseed.
3. Take jámir lime sprinkled with salt.
4. Take 1/16 tola [.7 grams] (nor more than that) of ash of a cowrie, wrapped in a betel leaf, after the evening meal every day.
5. For a few days take some myrobalan powder, mixed and ground with an equal quantity of aniseed powder and double the quantity of Kashii sugar (sugar refined by hand equipment and hence a reddish color). Do not used myrobalan seeds which, if dropped in water, float rather than sink.
Shrii Shrii Anandamurti, Yogic Treatments and Natural Remedies (1958).