Sunday, March 31, 2013

From ‘In Search of the Miraculous’ by Osho

The mind has a faculty ……. to dream, to create illusions, to project. That is why it is good to proceed in meditation completely unaware of kundalini, of chakras. If you stumble upon them, then it is good…….. do not make any intellectual effort to understand beforehand; no pre-notion is needed. Not only is it not needed, but it is positively harmful.

….it is not necessary to pass through chakras…… one can just bypass them. It is also not necessary that you will feel kundalini before enlightenment. …… kundalini is only felt if you do not have a very clear passage. If the passage is completely clear-cut, then the energy flows but you cannot feel it….. So the person who feels more kundalini is really blocked: there are many blocks in the passage.

Buddha never talked about kundalini…..he never felt it. Mahavira never talked about kundalini.

The space where the life force is stored is like a kunda, a pool near the sex center; that is why the energy is known as kundalini … looks like a snake coiled and sleeping.

…with the upward rise of this energy, many things will happen. Please see that you don’t get scared when they happen, because new experiences are frightening.

Look at the trees and the clouds and the seas; they don’t give rise to any thoughts in you.

…if during meditation your body begins to twist and turn in a particular way and you try to prevent it, you will damage the inner state of meditation, and then it cannot make any headway.

If possible, have a separate room for meditation, and use it exclusively for meditation …… It may be a small room, but keep it under lock and key. If any members of your family want to join you, allow them on the condition that they meditate with you and not do anything else….. a separate room for meditation will have many advantages….. it will be charged with meditative energy. And whenever you enter it you will find that it is not an ordinary space.

We continually radiate our energy all around us; we send out rays of our mental energy all around us. And the space around us, even inside a room, absorbs this energy. That is the reason that some places remain holy for thousands of years. If a man like Mahavira, Buddha or Krishna sits in a particular place, it takes on their extraordinary vibe, their unearthly impact, which can last for thousands of years. From such a place one’s entry into the other world, the spiritual world, becomes much easier.

….the kundalini will awaken. And with its awakening, extraordinary experiences will begin to happen, because all the experiences of all your past lives are associated with the kundalini.

Now if the kundalini, as you are breathing and asking “Who am I?” reaches the spot where your experiences as a tree are located, you will suddenly come to know exactly what this tree experienced when it was raining. You will really feel that it is raining. And then you will be frightened, very frightened…… And only then you will understand why sometimes you feel like an ocean and sometimes like the winds …. As a result, your aesthetic capacity – and many other capacities, of which you had no idea whatsoever – will begin to unfold.

……ways of hammering the kundalini….the way of shaktipat, or transmission of energy. ….it needs a medium…. The other person does not have to do anything, just his presence is enough. He becomes a vehicle, a catalytic agent.

Shaktipat works like a flash of lightning. A flash of lightning does not light your path….it only gives you a flash, a glimpse of the road ahead and its surroundings. But this single glimpse is very precious; now your feet are firm, now your will is strong, now your resolve to reach your destination is hardened. You have seen the road and you know it is there, and that you are not wandering aimlessly…… So the effect of shaktipat is indirect, and therefore you need it again and again

For shaktipat to happen, it is essential that the seeker is in the right state to receive it, and that the medium is a right medium….this is a matter of technique.

Grace comes uninvited….. You cannot ask for it, you cannot order it. …. It is an event that happens once in a great while, and happens on its own.

Firstly, I will say only as much publicly as can be recorded without any risk…. And what needs to be treated and preserved as secret teachings will never be disclosed to the public. I will transmit them to deserving individuals who will keep them in their memory.

There are techniques which awaken the energy instantly and suddenly; they are called the techniques of sudden enlightenment. And there is always some inherent danger in practicing such techniques, because the onrush of energy may be too much for you to bear; you may not be prepared for it.

….two kinds of religions evolved throughout the world – one based on meditation and the other based on prayer. Religions committed to prayer are those that experience God to be above, in the skies….. On the other hand, there are religions which believe that we have to raise something up from within ourselves, that there is something asleep at our roots, and it can be raised only if we do something about it…… over time, religions of prayer have been losing ground and dying out. There is no future for them….. And religions of meditation are growing daily, they have an enormous future ahead.

Oxygen is a great help in awakening the kundalini. This is why we have always given such great importance to morning meditation. The reason is that in the morning, even a small breath carries a large amount of oxygen with it. The earth happens to be in a very unique and extraordinary state for a full hour after sunrise, and to take advantage of this situation, morning has been chosen all over the world as the finest time for meditation.

The more you hammer the kundalini with your fast and intense breathing, the more quickly it will awaken.

The cave is used because it provides many kinds of protection to the seeker. It not only protects him from the din and bustle of the outside world; it also protects him from various vibrations that are harmful to yoga. A cave of a particular kind of stone is very significant. Particular stones, like marble, prevent many vibrations from entering the cave. That is why marble has been widely used in the construction of temples…. There are stones which absorb special kinds of vibrations, preventing them entering the temples. Othe stones deflect or repel these vibrations. And there are stones that attract vibrations conducive to spiritual discipline.

If a number of seekers have used a particular cave for their sadhana, that cave acquires extraordinary significance, and new seekers can benefit a lot from it. So some caves have been used continuously for thousands of years.

In Tibet, dead bodies of great bodhisattvas, highly advanced souls, some of which are thousands of years old, have been preserved in very deep and secret caves.

As you go deeper into meditation your breathing becomes slower and slower; as if it has rarefied. It is because you don’t need any oxygen at that depth of meditation. …. As long as the kundalini is not awake, you will have to use the key of breathing with all your strength. But as soon as it is awakened, breathing becomes unnecessary.

For Samadhi, breath has no meaning …… Samadhi is where everything comes to a stop.

So when a seeker enters deeper states of meditation, every precaution and care should be taken to keep him alive. Many people are needed to help him through that critical hour, otherwise he may disappear, he may be lost in that immensity known as Samadhi. … Ramakrishna often reached this state. For days he used to be in Samadhi …. and it became difficult for him to come back to life.

There are ancient temples and caves which have hardly any doors and windows, they have no ventilation at all……This is because those who lived in them did not need much air. In fact, they did not want much air to enter their sanctuaries, because the vibrations of the outside world carried in the air could have destroyed the astral vibrations of the cave…..

And once in a great while, in a state of extreme weightlessness, the body actually levitates.

When your mind senses imminent danger and panics, be aware that it is the most decisive and precious moment of meditation – the moment of fulfillment ….. It is precisely the moment when you have to bring all your energy into action. If you miss that moment you may miss for years.

So if by chance a person suddenly happens to be in a state in which grace can suddenly descend on him or a sudden situation is created in which shaktipat happens to him without a medium, then there is every possibility of his going crazy or becoming insane.

In the case of shaktipat the chances of an accident are very few, almost nil, because there is a person who is functioning as a medium …. Passing through a medium the energy becomes gentle and mild, and the medium can also regulate the intensity of the energy.

So it has happened time and time again that many people like Ramakrishna left this world without giving their message. They could not. It is a very rare combination for a person to know and be able to convey. When this rare combination takes place we call such a person a tirthankara, an avatar, a prophet. It does not mean that there have not been any other such people; there have been, but they could not communicate.

…the significance of solitude is to relax your ego and help it to let go. It is for this reason that you are more at ease near a tree than in the company of another person.

This is why, in countries where tensions between people are becoming greater, they tend to live with pets. It is easier to live with animals than with men, because they have no “I”.

Gradually man tries to break his relationship with others and establish relationships with objects because they are easier to handle. So the mass of objects is increasing day by day. There are more articles in the house than people ….objects give no trouble. ….The presence of trees, rivers, and mountains is no trouble, so we feel at peace near them. The reason is simply that the “I” is not standing in full strength before us, so we feel relaxed.

The greater the crowd, the harder and more condensed your ego is. Therefore, it has long been a practice to get out of the crowd and try to drop the ego in solitude. But man is strange: if he stays under a tree for long he will begin to talk to it and address it as “you.”

When you approach a plant in anger, its psychic state changes, and when you approach it in love then again it changes. So it will not be out of place if we discover in the next fifty years that we can also talk to plants – but this will be a gradual development.

The custom of cremation was also the idea of psychic people, because they believed that the soul had difficulty in taking a new birth if the body of the previous life still remained: it then hovered around the old body. If the body is burned to ashes the soul will be rid of this encumbrance – because once it sees the body turning to ashes, in the next body it will perhaps realize that what is considered to be its own was after all only a destructible object.

…..words that produced beautiful vibrations…… Words are thoughts that are manifested. However, unmanifested words also carry a resonance and we call them thoughts. When you think about something, a particular kind of resonance is created around you, a particular kind of vibration surrounds you. This is why you find sometimes that when you go near a particular person you feel sad for no apparent reason …. All around you there are thought waves, and the whole twenty-four hours they keep on entering you.

Our thought waves touch matter and transform it …. The waves are so subtle that it takes them millions of years to be discharged from the object. This is why graves and samadhis came to be constructed.

….in India we have the custom of burning our dead but not our dead sannyasins. An ordinary man’s body is burned so that his soul does not go on hovering around him. But the sannyasin is not cremated because his soul had already stopped hovering around his body while he was still alive. …. We wish to conserve his body, because the body of a man who has spent years experiencing the divine will diffuse the same thought waves for thousands of years. His burial spot will be meaningful; it will yield results…

…this country has made many more discoveries in the spiritual field than other countries, because in other countries the seeker was all alone. ….this country had at one time employed thousands of its geniuses and intellectuals, in the science of the soul.

The energy always flows from the male to the female. …the male body is …..not receptive; it is always aggressive … The female is receptive. She can take but she cannot give….

…since the female is receptive she can never become the giver of shaktipat; shaktipat cannot take place through her. This is the reason why there are so few female masters in the world, nor are there any female gurus of the stature of Buddha and Mahavira. …. not a single woman of the stature of Krishna was ever born. …..Therefore, though it is man who is the herald of religion it is woman who always protects and preserves it; it is woman who saves religion on earth. Men only pioneer religion.

…shaktipat is also difficult from man to man because the male meditator is not receptive…. There are cults in which a man performs his spiritual practice taking himself to be a woman. This is a method of making him receptive….. A woman….is already surrendered; it is in her nature…. She is very receptive. Therefore, shaktipat from a man takes place easily within her. From man to man it is very difficult and from woman to man nearly impossible. From man to man, thought difficult, it is possible. If there is a powerful man he can reduce the other man to a near female condition. Shaktipat through a woman is practically impossible, because in the moment of transmission she tends to absorb the vital energy herself.

….the use of wooden platforms for meditation had no other purpose than the fact that they were nonconductors. Deerskins and leopard skins were used for the same reason; so that the energy that is released through meditation should not give a shock. … A man can be killed by this electric shock. Therefore, the meditator put on wooden sandals and slept on a wooden platform.

…the body has its own magnetic force. If it can be properly aligned with the magnetic force of the earth, it is very beneficial…..So if you are in a particular state seated in a particular posture at a certain special moment, a particular star will cause your body to become especially magnetized.

…..if everything in the room were coloured red, the blood pressure of all of you sitting here would rise ……..The colour blue causes the blood pressure to fall….The water in the blue bottle will remain fresh for days whereas the water in the yellow bottle will turn foul immediately. The yellow color is the color of death and it brings about disintegration.

If a person dies after his fourth body is activated he is born on the plane of the devas, the gods …..If the fourth body is merely activated and one is not conscious we call it the plane of the pretas, evil spirits; if it is activated as well as fully conscious we call it the plane of the devas, godly spirits …..the preta can cause a great deal of harm both to itself and to others with the activity of its fourth body; because unconsciousness can only bring harm……. He whose fifth body becomes active goes beyond the existence of devas. The fifth is the spiritual body. …..The preta has to return in order to break its unawareness, because for this a human form is absolutely essential. The devas have to return, because in their existence there is no suffering whatsoever…. When there is no suffering there is no thought of transformation or of attainment….. In the lives of Mahavira and Buddha there are descriptions of devas coming to them in order to be taught, but these are very exceptional happenings. It is strange that devas should come to human beings because it is an existence above the human existence. It seems strange but it is not, because the existence in heaven is a static existence from where there is no growth. If you wish to go ahead then just as you take a step back before you jump you have to step back into the human condition and then take a jump….. The realm of the devas is very peaceful, there is no disturbance of any sort. So ultimately the return from the realm of the devas can only be out of boredom….. This is why it is said in the Puranas, the ancient texts, that the gods yearn to be born as human beings…. Human existence is at the crossroads; all journeys are possible from it.

From the viewpoint of Yoga, when inner intercourse becomes possible the instinct for outer intercourse immediately disappears. The reason is that this inner union is completely satisfying and fulfilling. The images of coitus depicted on temple walls are indications in this direction.

…..many surprising methods have been developed in Tantra…… For instance, when there is intercourse between a complete man and a complete woman there will be no loss of energy; there cannot be, because each forms a complete circuit within his or her own self….

The pleasure experienced in the physical intercourse at the time of orgasm is invariably followed by the experience of pain. The gloom, the anguish, the fatigue, the remorse that follows the loss of energy is inevitable. The pleasure passes in a moment but the loss of energy takes twenty-four to forty-eight hours or more to be regained……

If intercourse without ejaculation is possible….Tantra has worked very courageously in this direction, with amazing results….It becomes difficult to talk about tantric practices openly and directly, because our moral beliefs have made this very difficult.

….there are methods and systems for prolonging intercourse. If intercourse exceeds half an hour the electrical circuit can be seen encircling the couple. ….. The more tension-ridden the mind, the more momentary the intercourse

……As soon as the circuit is formed the couple engaged in intercourse is no longer two separate entities. They become a flow of one energy, one power…… Depending on the intensity of this circuit, the desire for intercourse will lessen and its interval will increase. It can happen that once the circuit is formed, for one full year there may not be any desire for repetition, because such fulfillment has happened.

Sex is not such a problem for a female seeker as for a male seeker ….The reason is that a woman’s sex is passive. Once it is awakened it becomes a problem; if it is not awakened she can go through a lifetime and never feel that there is any problem.

When the kundalini awakens within, the body will have to assume all kinds of unusual positions to make way for the energy. The spine will bend itself in various ways to allow the energy to ascend… The body assumes such postures as have never been adopted before.

………..entering the gurudwara or mosque with the head covered. …. It has its uses. When the energy awakens there is a possibility of the head becoming very heavy. If you have covered your head with a cloth, this energy is not likely to flow out……If you meditate with your head covered you will feel the difference at once. Then what can be accomplished in fifteen days can be accomplished in five.

From ‘The Spiral Staircase. A Memoir’ by Karen Armstrong

I made some startling discoveries. A disturbing number of eminent scholars agreed that Jesus had no intention of founding a new religion. He had preached only to his fellow-Jews and there was nothing strikingly original aboiut his teaching, which was in line with other strands of first-century Judaism …..the early Christians still regarded themselves as forming an exclusively Jewish sect. It was St Paul, who had never known the historical Jesus, who had first marketed the faith for the non-Jewish world of the Roman empire. ….It was St Paul, not Jesus, who was the founder of Christianity…..I….discovered that Paul’s epistles are the earliest extant Christian documents and that the gospels, all written years after Paul’s own death, were penned by men who had adopted Paul’s version of Christianity. … The only Jesus we knew was the Jesus bequeathed to us by Paul. …. Some of the most misogynist passages…..were almost certainly written by Christians some sixty years after Paul’s death.

Hyam Mccoby …told me that in most traditions, faith was not about belief but about practice. Religion … about doing things that change you. …..purpose is to compel us to act in such a way that we reveal our own heroic potential.

As a very early Buddhist poem puts it: ‘May our loving thoughts fill the whole world; above, below, across – without limit; a boundless goodwill towards the whole world, unrestricted, free of hatred and enimity’…. We are liberated from personal likes and dislikes that limit our vision, and we are able to go beyond ourselves.

In most traditions – certainly in Judaism and Islam – religion is not about accepting a complicated belief system, but about doing things that change you. ….The Koran is very skeptical …about theology, which it calls zanna: self-indulgent guesswork

Saturday, March 23, 2013

From ‘Synchro Destiny. Harnessing the infinite power of coincidence to create miracles’ by Deepak Chopra

So the physical world, the world of objects and matter, is made up of nothing but information contained in energy vibrating at different frequencies. The reason we don’t see the world as a huge web of energy is that it is vibrating far too fast. Our senses, because they function so slowly are able to register only chunks of this energy and activity, and these clusters of information become “the chair,” “my body,” “water” and every other physical object in the visible universe……..

At the quantum level, the various chunks of energy fields vibrating at different frequencies that we perceive as solid objects are all part of a collective energy field. If we were capable of perceiving everything that was happening at the quantum level, we would see that we are all part of a great “energy soup,” and everything – each one of us and all the objects in the physical domain – is just a cluster of energy floating in this energy soup. At any given moment your energy field will come into contact with and affect everyone else’s energy field, and each of us responds in some way to that experience

At a deeper level, there is really no boundary between our selves and everything else in the world. When you touch an object, it feels solid, as though there was a distinct boundary between it and you. Physicists would say that we experience that boundary as solid because everything is made up of atoms, and the solidity is the sense of atoms bumping against atoms. .... An atom has a little nucleus with a large cloud of electrons around it. There is no rigid outer shell, just an electron cloud…… When we touch an object, we perceive solidity when the cloulds of electrons meet. This is our interpretation of solidity, given the sensitivity (or relative insensitivity) of our senses. Our eyes are programmed to see objects as three-dimensional and solid. Our nerve endings are programmed to feel objects as three-dimensional and solid. In the reality of the quantum domain, however, there is no solidity….. when you touch another object. Your energy fields (and electron clouds) meet, small portions meld. Although you perceive yourself to be whole, you have lost a bit of your energy field to the object, and have gained a bit of its energy field in return….. we can see how connected we are to everything else in the physical world….. all of us, at this quantum level ….are all connected. We are all correlated with one another.

All living cells have a cellular consciousness and are able to communicate with other cells of the same or another species even when they are a distance apart. Moreover, this communication is instantaneous.

….Upanishads declare, “You are what your deepest desire is. As is your desire, so is your intention. As is your intention, so is your will. As is your will, so is your deed. As is your deed, so is your destiny.” Our destiny ultimately comes from the deepest level of desire and also from the deepest level of intention.

Don’t stand by my grave and weep,
For I am not there.
I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamonds glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn’s rain.
In the soft hush of the morning light
I am the swift bird in flight
Don’t stand by my grave and cry,
I am not there,
I did not die

- Unknown Native American author

From ‘Be As You Are. The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi.’ Edited by David Godman

…..the peace of mind which permeates the saint’s atmosphere is the only means by which the seeker understands the greatness of the saint.

His words or actions or appearance are no indication of his greatness, for they are ordinarily beyond the comprehension of common people.

Worshipping the formless reality by unknown thought is the best kind of worship. But when one is not fit for such formless worship of God, worship of form alone is suitable.

Q: What are the marks of a real teacher [sadguru]?

A: Steady abidance in the Self, looking at all with an equal eye unshakeable courage at all times, in all places and circumstances

This flow of power from the Guru can be received by anyone whose attention is focused on the Self or on the form of the Guru; distance is no impediment to its efficacy. This attention is often called sat-sanga, which literally means ‘association with being’. Sri Ramana wholeheartedly encouraged this practice and frequently said that it was the most efficient way of bringing about a direct experience of the Self. …..He said that the most important element in sat-sanga was the mental connection with the Guru; sat-sanga takes place not only in his presence but whenever and wherever one thinks of him.

Q: How can silence be so powerful?

A: A realized one sends out waves of spiritual influence which draw many people towards him. Yet he may sit in a cave and maintain complete silence. We may listen to lectures upon truth and come away with hardly any grasp of the subject, but to come into contact with a realized one, though he speaks nothing, will give much more grasp of the subject. He never needs to go out among the public.

Meditation is sticking to one thought. That single thought keeps away other thoughts. Distraction of mind is a sign of its weakness. By constant meditation it gains strength, that is to say, the weakness of fugitive thought gives place to the enduring background free from thought. This expense devoid of thought is the Self. Mind in purity is the Self.

He did ….speak highly of the practice of nama-japa (the continuous repetition of God’s name) and he often advocated it as a useful aid for those who were following the path of surrender…… In its early stages the repetition of the name of God is only an exercise in concentration and meditation, but with continued practice a stage is reached in which the repetition proceeds effortlessly, automatically and continuously. This stage is not reached by concentration alone but only by completely surrendering to the deity whose name is being repeated.

The only physical changes he ever sanctioned were dietary. He accepted the prevailing Hindu theory of diet which claimed that the type of food consumed affected the quantity and quality of one’s thoughts and he recommended a moderate intake of vegetarian food as the most useful aid to spiritual practice.

If a man has a strong desire for the higher life then the sex tendency will subside.

…..accustom yourself to sattvic foods. However, once you have attained illumination it will make less difference what you eat, as, on a great fire, it is immaterial what fuel is added.

Q: Even plants have life.

A: So too the slabs you sit on!

…..tobacco is a poison……also not good for meditation practice.

Sri Ramana never advised his devotees to practice kundalini yoga since he regarded it as being both potentially dangerous and unnecessary. He accepted the existence of the kundalini power and the chakras but he said that even if the kundalini reached the sahasrara it would not result in realization. For final realization, he said, the kundalini must go beyond the sahasrara, down another nadi (psychic nerve) he called amritanadi (also called the paranadi or jivanadi) and into the Heart-centre on the right-hand side of the chest. Since he maintained that self-enquiry would automatically send the kundalini to the Heart-centre, he taught that separate yoga exercises were unnecessary.

Sri Ramana tended to play down the importance of most spiritual experiences and if they were reported to him he would usually stress that it was more important to be aware of the experiencer than to indulge in or analyse the experience.

….sleep only moderately. To prevent too much sleep, we must try and have not thoughts or chalana [movement of the mind], we must eat only sattvic food and that only in moderate measure, and not indulge in too much physical activity. The more we control thought, activity and food the more we shall be able to control sleep …. Sleep is the first obstacle, as explained in all books, for all sadhaks.

Q: ….signs….of…progress towards Self-Realisation?

A: The degree of freedom from unwanted thoughts and the degree of concentration on a single thought are the measures to gauge the progress.

Q: Is the individual capable of spiritual progress in an animal body?

A: Not impossible, though it is exceedingly rare. It is not true that birth as a man is necessarily the highest, and that one must attain realization only from being a man. Even an animal can attain Self-Realisation.

…following classification which was used by Sri Ramana is common to many Hindu schools of thought:

1 Sanchita karma The store of karmic debts accumulated from previous births

2 Prarabdha karma That part of one’s sanchita karma which must be worked out in the present life. Because the law of karma implies determinism in human activities, prarabdha is often translated as destiny.

3 Agami karma New karma accumulated in the present lifetime which is carried forward into future lives

Sri Ramana accepted the validity of the laws of karma but said that they were only applicable as long as a person imagined that he was separate from the Self. ….He occasionally even said that every act and experience in a person’s life is determined at birth and that the only freedom one has to realize that there is no one acting and no one experiencing. However, once one realizes the Self there is no one left to experience the consequences of actions and so the whole structure of karmic laws then becomes redundant

Whatever this body is to do and whatever experiences it is to pass through was already decided when it came into existence.

From ‘Einstein's God. Conversations about science and the human spirit’ by Krista Tippett

…..opening line of Reinhold Niebuhr’s twentieth-century theological classic The Nature and Destiny of Man: “Man has always been his own most vexing problem.” ….Einstein’s dismayed observation, as chemists and physicists became eager purveyors of mid-twentieth-century weaponry, that technology in his generation was like a razor blade in the hands of a three-year-old…. Einstein came to understand his contemporary, Mahatma Gandhi, and other figures such as Jesus, Moses, St. Francis of Assissi, and Buddha, as “spiritual geniuses” – “geniuses in the art of living ….more necessary to the sustenance of global human dignity, security and joy than the discovers of objective knowledge.”

….. St. Augustine …..the reverence for the human physical experience…..

Men go forth to wonder at the heights of
mountains, the huge waves of the sea,
the broad flow of the rivers, the vast
compass of the ocean, the courses of the
stars: and they pass by themselves
without wondering.

…….concise description by Einstein of his quintessential “faith”:

A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty – it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute the truly religious attitude; in this sense, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man I cannot conceive of a god who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the type of which we are conscious in ourselves …. Enough for me the mystery of the eternity of life, and the inkling of the marvelous structure of reality, together with the single-hearted endeavor to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the reason that manifests itself in nature.

…quote….attributed to Philo of Alexandria ….. “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.”

….Darwin…. quote of Francis Bacon that he put opposite the title page of The Origin of Species:

Let no man …think or maintain that a man can search too far or be too well studied in the book of God’s word, or in the book of God’s works …. but rather let men endeavor an endless progress or proficience in both.

Einstein said this funny thing, that only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity. And then he said, “I’m not so sure about the universe.”

Jane Kenyon: “We try a new drug, a new combination of drugs, and suddenly I fall into my life again.”

Sir John Polkinghorne …..Genesis stories … he points out that these are lyrical, theological writings. There were not composed as scientific texts. The early Christians, he says, knew this, and only in the later medieval and Reformation times did people begin to insist on literal interpretation. To read a work of poetry as a work of prose, he analogizes, is to miss the point.

….a passage in Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Letters and Papers from Prison where he’s reflecting on that in the mid-twentieth century. He writes that if God is consigned to the unknowable and we’re learning more and more, then God is always being pushed further and further out of human experience.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

From ‘Motiba's Tattoos. A Granddaughter's journey into her indian family's past’ by Mira Kamdar

To be an exile is to endure the unstoppable pain of separation from a land to which one is forbidden to return. To be the descendant of exiles is to be even more completely severed from “home.” With the passing of generations, the homeland becomes a mythic place outside real time or place, the abode of unknown ancestors longed for, yet fundamentally unknowable. Nothing remains of the ancestors’ world or, worse, faint traces, tantalizing hints, uninterpretable signs that point in vague directions as tracks half effaced in the sand that double back on themselves. The children of exiles are the trustees of a home they can never know.

Lo, soul, seest thou not
God’s purpose from the first?
The earth to be spann’d,
connected by network,
The races, neighbours, to marry
and be given in marriage,
The oceans to be cross’d,
the distant brought near,
The lands to be welded together
- Walt Whitman

Kali Yuga ......
Property alone will confer rank; wealth will be the only source of devotion; passion will be the sole bond of union between the sexes; falsehood will be the only means of success in litigation; and woman will be objects merely of sensual gratification. Earth will be venerated but for its mineral treasures, dishonesty will be a universal means of subsistence, presumption will be substituted for learning …. Thus in the Kali age shall decay constantly proceed, until the human race approaches its annihilation

- Vishnu Purana

From ‘The Anti Guru. A Selection of his Greatest Talks’ by U. G. Krishnamurti

The thymus, one of the endocrine glands, is located under the breast bone. When you come into your natural state, sensations are felt there. …. They are just a thud. If there is a movement outside of you in your field of vision, that movement is also felt in the thymus.

But by practicing not blinking one will not arrive in this state, one will only strain the eyes. Once you are in your natural state, by some luck or some strange chance, all this happens in its own way.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

From ‘Mahatma Gandhi. Essays and Reflections’ by Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

John Haynes Holmes …….
Gandhi’s pre-eminence in this age is nothing that is ordinarily accounted genius or glory. He commands no armies and conquers no territory. He is not a statesman in high office, ruling the destinies of nations. He is not a philosopher or sage – has written no great books or poems. He does not even possess those elements of conspicuous and dominant personality which make a man outwardly at least an impressive leader. His genius lies where he would have it – in the realm of the spirit. It is his “soul-force” which has raised him to a position of unparalleled influence and leadership, and achieved things beyond the reach and range of all but a few of the greatest characters of history.

Ayam nijo paro veti ganana laghucetasam
Udaracaritanam tu vasudhaiva kutumbakam,
“Only base minds reckon whether one be kin or stranger. Men of noble conduct take the whole world for their home.”

Dil-i-shah larza girad zi gada-i-be-niaze.
“The heart of a King trembles at the sight of a begger who begs not.”

“Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.”

From ‘UG Krishnamurti a life’ by Mahesh Bhatt

‘A real guru, if there is one, frees you from himself.’

‘When you know nothing you say a lot, when you know something there is nothing to say.’

I had heard intriguing stories about U.G.’s walks with king cobras …..U.G. replied: The cobra would only strike if it sensed fear. A frightened being emits odours …..

In the year 1961, U.G. landed in London, alone and penniless. ‘There was no will to do anything. I was like a leaf blown here, there and everywhere.’ His friends saw him going headlong on a downhill course. But, according to U.G. all that he did at that time seemed perfectly natural to him. The mystic phrase, ‘the dark night of the soul’ has been used to describe those years of U.G.’s wanderings. U.G. disagrees. In his view, ‘There was no heroic struggle with temptation and worldliness, no soul-wrestling urges, no poetic climaxes but just a simple withering away of the will.’

Then one day, he had a very strange experience in the meditation room.

… my mind there was nothing – there was only blankness – when I felt something very strange: there was some kind of movement inside my body. Some energy was coming up from the penis and out through the head, as if there was a hole. It was moving in circles in a clockwise direction and then in a counterclockwise direction…….I was a finished man. Somebody was feeding me, somebody was taking care of me, there was no thought of the morrow. ….

‘The search must come to an end before anything can happen’

The question disappeared. The whole thing was finished for me and that was all. From then on, never did I say to myself, ‘Now I have the answer to all those questions.’ …. The question disappeared, finished. It is not emptiness; it is not blankness; it is not the void; it is not any of those things; the question disappeared suddenly and that’s all.

Everything in the head had tightened …. These vasanas (past impressions) or whatever you call them, they do try to show their head sometimes, but then the brain cells are so ‘tight’ that the vasanas have no opportunity to fool around there any more.

…..following the ‘explosion’…. The changes began. For seven days, every day a change occurred. U.G. discovered that his skin had become extremely soft, the blinking of his eyes had stopped and his senses of taste, smell and hearing had undergone a change.

He says he no longer spends his time in reverie, worry, conceptualization and other kinds of thinking that most people do when they are alone. His mind is only engaged when it is needed…. When it is not needed, there is no mind there, there is no thought. There is only life.

‘The uniqueness of the individual cannot express itself because of the stranglehold of the experiences of others.’

U.G. explains that thought had controlled his body to such an extent that when that control loosened, the whole metabolism went agog….. Certain hormonal changes started occurring in his body. Now he didn’t know whether he was a man or a woman. Suddenly there was a breast growing on the left side of his chest. It took three years for this body to finally fall into a new rhythm of its own.

Since there is nobody here who uses thought as a self-protective mechanism, thought burns itself up. It undergoes combustion, ionization. Thought is, after all, a vibration. So, when this ionization of thought takes place, it throws out, and sometimes it covers the whole body with, an ash-like substance…. There is tremendous heat in the body as a result of this.

The incredible physiological changes continued to occur for years. U.G. was so bewildered by what had happened to him that he did not speak for a year after the ‘calamity.’ He had to practically learn to think and talk all over again, so complete was his mutation. After a year or so, he regained most of his communicative powers. …..This thing happened without my volition and despite my religious background. And that is a miracle. It cannot be used as a model and duplicated by others.

….the problem lies in our psyche. We function in our thought-sphere and not in our biology. The separative thought structure, which is the totality of man’s thoughts, feelings, experiences and so on ….is creating the disturbance. That is what is responsible for our misery; that’s what continues the battle that is going on there…..This interloper, the thought sphere, has created your entire value system. The body is not in the least interested in values, much less a value system. It is only concerned with intelligent moment-to-moment survival, and nothing else. Spiritual ‘values’ have no meaning to it. When through some miracle or chance you are freed from the hold of thought and culture, you are left with the body’s natural functions and nothing else. It then functions without the interference of thought.

The hungry dog chews on a lean, dry bone; and doing so hurts his gums and they bleed. The poor dog imagines that the blood that he’s savouring comes from the bone and not from himself … Whatever you experience is created by you; and these experiences, however intense and great they may be, do not last.

‘I go to the Master, not to hear him speak, but to watch him tie his shoelaces,’ said a Zen pupil.

‘You think when you don’t want to do anything. Thinking is a poor alternative to acting. Your thinking is consuming all your energy. Act, don’t think!’

The body handles all your despair, all your frustrations in its own way. It doesn’t need any help from your intellect. There is no pain or pleasure that can take permanent root in this body. Your pleasures and pains have a permanent existence only in that thing called the experiencing structure, which is your intellect.

I begin to discover that I am, and will always be, a stranger in the story of my life.

From ‘Stopped in our Tracks. Stories of U.G. in India’ by K. Chandrasekhar (from the notebooks of)

….. U. G. who says, “If a thought enters my head, it has to take effect,” …..

“On whomsoever I bestow my grace, him I shall rob of all that he has,” ……

There is no moksha, no jivanmukti, and no Atman. And there is no such thing as self realization. Those are all lies. There is only the ‘natural state’. I don’t like to use your terms such as enlightenment, jivanmukti, nirvana or moksha to refer to this state. Those terms suggest some other meanings. They sound weird to me. When I talk about the ‘natural state’, it is not the state of someone who has attained self realization or God realization. It is not something created through self effort. This natural state is always living and spontaneous. This happens to one in a billion, accidentally. It does not result from your effort. It is acausal. And why this natural state happens to that one and not anyone else, I don’t know.”

Q: When did this happen to you?

U.G. In my forty ninth year.

Once the barriers within your consciousness are broken – not because of any act of will or volition on your part – once the flood gates are open, everything will be washed away, all experiences – good and bad, sacred and profane, divine or demonic ….. After that your past will never stick to you, or bother you, and that will be the end of you.

As a matter of fact, all these questions are others’ questions, not your own. If there is a question that you can call your own, it won’t let you rest for one minute. There is no question apart from the questioner. The two are the same. If the question goes, the questioner goes with it. Because you don’t want to come to an end, you hang on to your question forever. That’s why you cannot stop the question even if you know there is no answer to it.

When U. G. talked about the Calamity that happened to him, and told us about the irreversible chemical changes that occurred in his body during the following six days, describing the colours that surfaced on his skin in the places where there are ductless glands [inside the body] ….. There is no spiritual or metaphysical content in this. This is purely biological and physical.”

“If the endlessly continuing thought process is cut off even once, even for a thousandth of a second, then thoughts can never be linked again. That break will create tremors throughout the body like a terrible earthquake…. it will shake, move and burn every nerve and blood cell in the body. With that the thinker is gone. The senses start functioning independently of each other. From then on all bodily processes are carried on automatically, like a machine. Only the ‘you’ who you think runs the machine is not there.”

….he admonished me not to open my eyes during the headstand.

The truth that U. G. finally realized from his own experience was that Yoga does more harm than good to the body. U. G. says that the movements the body goes through spontaneously as it is coming out of the state of ‘death’ are closer to Tai Chi movements than to the postures of Yoga. Also, U.G. says that it’s a mistake to perform the ‘Corpse Posture’ (Savasana) at the end of the Yoga practice. He insists that it should come at the beginning.

When I saw him walking with shoes even inside the house, I thought it must be a habit he had acquired in the West. I was surprised when he said it was not the case, but that if he put his bare feet on the ground, he would be bothered by the electromagnetic energy transmitted from the ground.

“To satisfy my curiosity, U.G. showed me the colours that appeared on his skin at the base of his neck, on his chest and around his navel. The common opinion is that the energy centres called Nadi Chakras, which Kundalini Yoga talks about, are merely psychological ….. U.G. explained that at precisely the same locations as the Nadi centres there are some ductless glands, and that when and if the mechanism of thought comes to a stop, all the energies that are dormant in those glands become active and bring about biological and chemical changes, and that the result was indeed the Natural State.

I felt that Kalyani must have had some extrasensory powers. U.G. says that they are commonly found in crazy people.

“This Ajna Chakra plays a major role in the functioning of the body. The yogis call it the Ajna Chakra, but I say it is the pineal gland. That gland which is beyond the forehead between the eyebrows becomes very active in the Natural State. It controls all the functions that the body performs. That is why they call it the Ajna [command] Chakra,” says U.G.

“…If someone blames me, I too am pained just like you. But as soon as there is a division in the awareness saying, ‘This is pain’, that feeling burns itself out. The pain does not continue. Its existence is for that moment only. There is no thinking about it. There is no reaction in me. There is only the response.”