Monday, September 19, 2011

From ‘The Maharshi and his Message’ by Paul Brunton

“How do you know that no progress has been made? It is not easy to perceive one’s progress in the spiritual realm.”

“Why should you trouble yourself about the future?” demands the Sage. “You do not even properly know about the present! Take care of the present; the future will then take care of itself.”

“As you are, so is the world. Without understanding yourself, what is the use of trying to understand the world? This is a question that seekers after truth need not consider. People waste their energies over all such questions. First, find out the truth behind yourself; then you will be in a better position to understand the truth behind the world, of which yourself is a part.”

The face of the pagoda is lined with profuse carvings and quaint little statues. The subjects have been drawn from sacred myth and legend. They represent a queer jumble. One perceives the solitary forms of Hindu divinities entranced into devout meditation, or observes their intertwined shapes engaged in amorous embraces, and one wonders. It reminds one that there is something in Hinduism for all tastes, such is the all-inclusive nature of this creed.

“The first and foremost of all thoughts, the primeval thought in the mind of every man, is the thought ‘I’. It is only after the birth of this thought that any other thoughts can arise at all. It is only after the first personal pronoun ‘I’ has arisen in the mind that the personal pronoun ‘you’ can make it's appearance. If you could mentally follow the ‘I’ thread until it leads you back to it's source, you would discover that, just as it is the first thought to appear, so is it the last to disappear. This is a matter which can be experienced.”

Cremation is the usual custom of the Hindus in disposing of their dead, but it is prohibited in the case of a yogi who is believed to have made the highest attainment, because it is also believed that the vital breath or unseen life-current remains in his body for thousands of years and renders the flesh exempt from corruption. In such a case the yogi’s body is bathed and anointed and then placed in a tomb in a sitting posture with crossed legs, as though he was still plunged in meditation. The entrance to the tomb is sealed with a heavy stone and then cemented over.

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