Sat Chit Ananda

 

Defining the Moola Mantra with stunning visuals and the mesmerizing voice of Deva Premal.

You have come from God, you are a spark of His Glory; you are a wave on the Ocean of Bliss; you will have peace only when you again merge in Him. ~Sathya Sai Baba
 

I’ve been thinking about God recently.  I’ll  tell you what I think God is all about. The  Indian mystics all tell us, “A God defined is a God confined.” “What can’t be said, can’t be said and it can’t be sung about either.”  They also say, “God is impersonal.”  “I am without form, without limit, beyond time, beyond space. I am in everything. Everything is in me. I am the bliss of the universe. Everywhere I am. I am sat, chit, ananda, absolute existence, absolute knowledge, absolute wisdom.” ~  No messing about with their sacred ideas of God and what He is all about. They are straight as an arrow about it.

Jesus Christ says “He that is born of the flesh is flesh and he that is born of the spirit is spirit.”  Then he says, “Least ye be born again you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.” also Jesus says, “I and my father are one.”  then Jesus says this,  “He that loveth mother and father, child, more than me cannot follow me.” What exactly is He telling us?

He is simply telling us just how things are. He’s talking about higher consciousness; He’s telling us who we really are. He is telling us what it means when we start on the journey  to be born again, when we suddenly start to have faith in another possibility than the one we have now. Now what is that called, what is the other possibility? It’s just a vibrational rate. It’s like you’re born with a pre-fixed setting on your television set to channel eighteen and you never even knew there was a channel eighteen, channel four, three, two. So when someone comes along and says, “Were you tuned into channel seven last night?” You look at them with a wee smile, “Don’t they know there’s only  channel eighteen? Then something suddenly happens, something touches a place in your heart that’s been there all the time. It’s just like you have suddenly awakened for a moment from a long sleep and say, “Oh! Wow! So that’s how it is! I was asleep for a long time. But now you are awake and tuning in to channel eighteen and you like what you are seeing.

Just saying

Flower Wisdom – Sathya Sai Baba

 

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A few word to my fellow Word Press  bloggers. I am so sorry not to be around to read your blogs. I have had a sprained wrist for awhile now which is still painful. I have also developed Repetitive strain injury too.

At the moment, I am using an ipad instead to help rest my wrist/arm from getting any worse. I must admit to finding an ipad almost impossible to use. For the moment I am not doing the usual of blogging rounds. Again most sorry. Eve   

 

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Darshans were a wonderful experience, especially in those early days in the ashram. The vitality and energy that flowed from Baba seemed to permeate the entire surrounding area and the village. Whatever that energy was it seemed to wash our souls. Reactions differed depending on  people and their character. Some people were joyous and radiant, while others acted excitable and even anxious.  Others seem to get rather cantankerous. Yet, others cried. I am sure whatever  and wherever His energy reached, there would be a short charge to the “chakra system”, if only temporary. I remember one American lady described her darshan as an  “extreme close embrace,” might add she was not alone in her interpretation. Whatever the person’s mood, it seemed to surface during darshan and afterwards for many hours. Another distinct feature of darshan, was a need to sleep afterwards or to be alone and silent. Baba, himself, shone from the inside out. There was never a time when he did not appear extremely beautiful. Often He seemed to glide rather than walk across the darshan sands. On several occasions during darshan when it rained, He just turned his palm upward and the rain stopped. Of course it  began again the moment He stepped inside the temple’s veranda. Eve

 

 

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Once an individual moves away from the worldly desires, all dharmas are one and the same. God resides in all living beings. He is in everything.  One should not peal of the outer skin of the wound before it is healed. Once dry the dead skin falls off by itself. If the skin is forcibly pulled, the wound bleeds and the healing has to continue.  In the same way, it is impossible for man to understand nishkaamakarma (actions without expectation of its fruits) before he realizes his true nature. To perceive this truth, is mans primary purpose. His varnaashrana dharma (The duties of man as per his level of consciousness); his gruhasta dharma (the duites of a householder) facilitate in unraveling this mystic secret. Once these dharmas are conquered, every thing becomes one and the same. -Baba  From Sathya Sai Sath Sambhashana

 

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Meetings With Ramana Maharshi – Inspirational

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 “Wanting to reform the world without discovering one’s true self is like trying to cover the world with leather to avoid the pain of walking on stones and thorns. It is much simpler to wear shoes.”  ~Ramana Maharshi
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After spending about twelve years in personal attendance on Bhagavan, I began to feel an urge to devote myself entirely to sadhana . However, I could not easily reconcile myself to giving up my personal service to Bhagavan. I had been debating the matter for some days when the answer came in a strange way.

As I entered the hall one day I heard Bhagavan explaining to others who were there that real service to him did not mean attending to his physical needs but following the essence of his teaching: that is concentrating on realizing the Self. Needless to say, that automatically cleared my doubts.

I therefore gave up my Ashrama duties, but I then found it hard to decide how, in fact, I should spend the entire day in search of Realization. I referred the matter to Bhagavan and he advised me to make Self-enquiry my final aim but to practise Self-enquiry, meditation, japa and recitation of scripture turn by turn, changing over from one to another as and when I found the one I was doing irksome or difficult. In course of time, he said, the sadhana would become stabilized in Self-enquiry or pure Consciousness or Realization.

Before recommending any path to an aspirant Bhagavan would first find out from him what aspect or form or path he was naturally drawn to and then recommend the person to follow it. He would sometimes endorse the traditional stages of sadhana , advancing from worship ( puja ) to incantation ( japa), then to meditation
( dhyana ), and finally to Self-enquiry ( vichara ). However, he also use to say that continuous and rigorous practice of any one of these methods was adequate in itself to lead to Realization.

– Kunju Swami
“As I Saw Him”

 

 

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The Arrow Parable From The Buddha – Myth and Legend

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Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant with the weak and wrong. Sometime in your life, you will have been all of these.”  – Gautama Buddha

BUDDHA’S PARABLE OF THE ARROW

“Imagine a man that has been pierced by an arrow well soaked in poison, and his relatives and friends go at once to fetch a physician or a surgeon. Imagine now that this man says:

“I will not have this arrow pulled out until I know the name of the man who shot it, and the name of his family, and whether he is tall or short or of medium height; until I know whether he is black or dark or yellow; until I know his village or town. I will not have the arrow pulled out until I know about the bow that shot it, whether it was a long bow or a cross bow.

I will not have this arrow pulled out until I know about the bow-string, and the arrow, and the feathers of the arrow, whether they are feathers of a vulture, or kite or peacock.

I will not have the arrow pulled out until I know whether the tendon which binds it is of ox, or deer, or monkey.

I will not have this arrow pulled out until I know whether it is an arrow, or the edge of a knife, or a splinter, or the tooth of a calf, or the head of a javelin.”

Well, that man would die, but he would die without having found out all these things.

In the same way, any one who would say: ‘I will not follow the holy life of Buddha until he tells me whether the world is eternal or not; whether the life and the body are two things, or one thing; whether the one who has reached the Goal is beyond death or not; whether he is both beyond death and not beyond death; whether he is neither beyond death nor is not beyond death.”

Well, that man would die, but he would die without Buddha having told these things.

Because I am one who says: Whether the world is eternal or not, there is birth, and death, and suffering, and woe, and lamentation, and despair. And what I do teach is the means that lead to the destruction of these things.

Remember therefore that what I have said, I have said; and that what I have not said, I have not said. And why have I not given an answer to these questions? Because these questions are not profitable, they are not a principle of the holy life, they lead not to peace, to supreme wisdom, to Nirvana.”

– Majjhima Nikaya

A Level Of Commitment – The Value Of Kindness

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Image: Harris Rosen with young girl in Tangelo Park.

The purpose of our human life is to help others as best we can.  Research indicates that those who consistently help other people experience less stress, enjoy higher levels of mental health, feel more connected to your spirit, feel more grateful for what you have and less invested in the ‘rat race’ that causes stress for so many of us. Religion begins with an obliging nature. Happiness begins from the moment we do something for others. I cannot see why on earth we are born if not to help others. Okay, there are times when we can’t always do our best, but when we do, it is like a light going on.

I remember a sweet story from Sathya Sai Baba that dealt with this very topic. The story goes like this: A married couple asked him what was the most important piece of advice he could offer. He replied. “To serve. It does not matter what your station is in life, as long as you help others. It does not matter what career you have, what house you live in, large or small, none of these material gifts matter. All that matters is how much you have loved and how much you have shared.”

There are many times  when people need our kindness and at other times we need kindness from others. To withdraw kindness from another person is like turning off the light.”


I read in the Dalai Lama’s book – Ancient Wisdom, Modern World, (1999) the following: “On a recent visit to New York, a friend told me that the number of billionaires in America had increased from seventeen just a few years ago to more than 350 today.  So clearly the number of rich people in the world is growing. Yet, at the same time, the poor remain poor and in some cases are becoming poorer. This I consider to be completely immoral. It is also potentially a source of problems. Whilst millions do not even have the basic necessities of life – adequate food, shelter, education and medical facilities – the inequity of wealth distribution is a scandal. If we were the case that everyone had sufficient for their needs and more, then perhaps a luxurious lifestyle would be tenable. If that was what the individual really wanted, it would be difficult to argue that they need refrain from exercising their right o live as they see fit. Yet things are not like that. In this one world of ours, there are areas where people throw food away while others – our fellow humans, innocent children among them, are reduced to scavenging among rubbish  and starvation.

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Thus, although I cannot say that the life of luxury led by the rich is wrong of itself, assuming they are using their own money and have not acquired it dishonestly, I do say that it is unworthy, that it spoils us. Moreover, it strikes me that the lifestyles of the rich are often absurdly and pointlessly complicated. One friend of mine, who stayed with an extremely wealthy family, told me that every time he went swimming, he was handed a bathing robe to wear! This would then be changed for a fresh one each time he used the pool, even if he did so several times in one day. Extraordinary! Ridiculous even. So complicated! It is not as if living like this adds anything to one’s comfort. As human beings we only have one stomach. There is a limit to the amount we can eat. Similarly, we have only eight fingers and two thumbs. We cannot wear a hundred rings. Whatever extra we have is to no purpose in the moment when we are actually wearing a ring. The rest lie useless in their boxes. The appropriate use of wealth, as I explained to the members of one very prosperous Indian Family who came to see me long ago, is found in philanthropic giving. In this particular case, I suggested, since they asked, that spending on education is perhaps of most use. The future of the world is in our children’s hands.Therefore, if we wish to bring about a more compassionate, and fairer society, it is essential that we educate our children to be responsible, caring human beings. When a person is born rich, or acquires wealth by some other means, they have a tremendous opportunity to benefit others. What a waste it is when that opportunity is squandered on self-indulgence.”

 

Harris Rosen: “Tangelo Park does not have to be an exception, it is possible to help communities all over America. “

“I” Or “Me” Or “Mine” – Spirituality

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The undisciplined mind is like an elephant so have suggested that, if we are to be genuinely happy, inner restraint is indispensable. We cannot stop at restraint, however. Though it may prevent us from performing any grossly negative misdeeds, mere restraint is insufficient if we are to attain that happiness which is characterized by inner peace.” ~ Dalai Lama quotation from Ancient Wisdom, Modern World

I am not ashamed of my very human responses to the painful and difficult things of life. I get angry, hurt, and despondent just like anyone. I do things that greatly embarrass me at times. I have plenty of shadow stuff to work on, just like anyone. But I have learned that *whatever* arises in my thought, and heart, is something that needs my attention, something that I need to look into, with curiosity, compassion, and loving-kindness.

It doesn’t really help to think, “I shouldn’t be thinking such thoughts or having such feelings.” It’s too late. You already did! These feelings or thoughts, which arise due to causes and conditions, we identify as “I” or “me’ or “mine.” And it does not help to deny it or to suppress the arising. Yes, sure, it’s a red flag, maybe even a neon sign flashing for immediate attention! The arising thought or feeling may point to some serious stuff. Our moral sense of the wrongness of something is *essential* to a healthy being. Never try to suppress or ignore your moral nigglings and alarms! But the first step to freedom is being honest enough with ourselves to admit the “truth” of what has shown up for our attention. And the “truth,” in this sense, is simply *what is* — yes, I am feeling this, yes, I felt that, yes, I am thinking this, yes, I thought that, yes I am doing this, yes, I did that. Just the facts, ma’am!

I find that genuine regret and remorse only arise when I am unmindful of some painful arising of feeling as “I” or “me” or “mine” and don’t give it what Buddhism calls “appropriate attention.” Some thoughts and feelings can be looked into and quickly dismissed; others may require deep self-investigation and courageous path-finding. If you really listen to your heart, you will know what to do.

But don’t ever be ashamed of being human and for having your human feelings. You can’t control the thoughts and feeling that arise as “I” or “me” or mine.” They come unbidden, whether we want them or not. And they tell us all about ourselves, sometimes more than we want, or even sometimes can bear. That’s OK! The good news is that what we can always own, and should own, is our *response* to what arises as “I” or “me” or “mine.” Let that response be mindful, attentive, curious, wise, patient, and compassionate.

Sometimes, we may think we are our own worst enemy, and I suppose in a certain sense that’s true, in that we cannot escape the effects of our own unskillful, selfish, ignorant thoughts and actions. But we are also our own very best friend, for everything we think and do tells us something about us we need to understand and know. If we will only get to know ourselves and investigate ourselves, we will indeed find we are our own very best friend. As we learn this, we become, as the Buddha once said, lamps unto ourselves, and the light in our hearts will take us all the way home.

Eve in Collusion with Steven G.

There’s No Free Lunch! – Philosophy

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I found this short article by accident and being drawn by the beautiful image, I paused to read. The words  opposite of love is power  really made me sit up and  think.  I’d thought the opposite of love was fear, now a new adjective – (power-ful). This reminds me of the quote from The Master of Sacred Knowledge by Allan Rufus, who says:  “Note and Quote to Self – What you think, say and do! Your life mainly consists of 3 things!

What you think,

What you say and

What you do!”

 

and remember thoughts are powerful too.

 

 


 

“As we see more deeply into our inner drives and defenses, we discover that the choices we are faced with aren’t all black and white. Life teaches us that our decisions aren’t necessarily based on “this” or “that.” We come to understand the truth of “both/and.”

The assumption that things are either good or bad, true or false, that I’m either happy or miserable, lovable or hateful, has been replaced by astonishing new facts: I both want to be good but my efforts can have bad effects; there’s falsehood mixed in with my truth; I want and don’t want whatever is my current desire; and I can both love and hate another person at the same time.

What about the two primary human drives, love and power? I used to think the opposite of love was hate. But life experience tells me that’s not true. Hate is so tinged with other emotions, including love! No. In my understanding, the opposite of love is power-ful. Love accepts and embraces. Power refuses and crushes opposition. Love is kind and knows how to forgive.”

—Patty De Llosa, “Power and Love.” Parabola Magazine, Spring 2011

 

Patty de Llosa, author of The Practice of Presence: Five Paths for Daily Life and Taming Your Inner Tyrant: A path to healing through dialogues with oneself, is a Tai Chi and Alexander teacher who lives and practices in New York City. She has studied many spiritual teachings while she made her living as a mainstream journalist at Time, Leisure and Fortune and raised a family.

 

Also by Patty De Llosa,

 

Happiness or Wisdom?

We all want to be happy. Is that wise? Perhaps it only works the other way around: those who become wise find happiness. The Buddha explained that what makes us feel miserable is the hankering and dejection to which we are continually subject. We hanker after what we desire, and become dejected because life doesn’t offer up what we want.

Does it take a lifetime to find the wisdom to accept what we’ve got? Not necessarily. The minute some of what we had is taken away we begin to appreciate it! Then, oh then, how we remember the Good Old Days!

Then there’s the opposite message, the folk wisdom that your reach should exceed your grasp. How to bring these opposites together? In my opinion, the solution lies in practice and, above all, work. If you aim both body and mind at what you want and work hard for it, your feet tend to stay on the ground and, hopefully, your head this side of the clouds. So inner and outer work are part of real wisdom, expressed in Madison Avenue’s adage that there’s no free lunch.

Nisargadatta Maharaj Speaks On Wisdom – Faith

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Nisargadatta  Maharaj once said:

“Wisdom tells me I am nothing. Love tells me I am everything. Between these two, my life flows.” ‘I am nothing’ does not mean there  is a void or a wasteland within. What it means is that with constant awareness we open to a clear, unimpeded space, without centre or boundaries, there is nothing separate.  Being nothing in this way, we are also, inevitably, everything there is. “Everything” does not mean self- importance or the egotistical idea that self-aggrandisement is everything,  but a decisive recognition of interconnection; we are not separate. Both the clear open space of ‘nothing’ and the interconnectedness of ‘everything;’ awakens us to our true nature.”

 

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Here is a story about a powerful emperor who found that owning nothing gave him more happiness that owning everything.

Ashoka was an emperor in northern India who lived around two hundred years after the time of the Buddha. In the early years of his reign, he was a bloody tyrant. He wanted everything for himself. Land, riches, gems, jewels, he was greedy for them all. Ashoka might have been emperor but inside he was a very unhappy man. A man who could not find happiness even though he had conquered all the lands.

One day, after a particularly terrible battle that he had launched in order to acquire more land and wealth, he walked on to the battlefield amid the appalling spectacle of corpses of men and animals strewn everywhere, already rotting in the warmth of the sun. He watched as the carrion-eating birds devoured the bodies. Ashoka was aghast at the carnage he had reaped. He sat down and cried.

Just then a Buddhist monk came walking across the battlefield. The monk did not say a word, but his being was quite radiant with peace and happiness. Seeing the monk, Ashoka thought, “Why is it that I, having everything in the world, feel so miserable? Whereas the monk has nothing to call his own, other than the robes he wears and the bowl he carries,  looks so serene and happy, even in this terrible place?”

Ashoka made a momentous decision on that day. He pursued the monk and asked him, “Are you happy? If so, how did this come to be? How can you be happy with nothing?” In response, the monk who had nothing, introduced the emperor, who had everything, to the Buddha’s teachings. The consequence of this chance meeting, was Ashoka changed from that day onward. Ashoka devoted himself to the practice and study of Buddhism and changed the entire nature of his reign. He stopped waging wars. He fed the poor and gave them homes.  He transformed himself from a terrible tyrant into one of history’s most respected rulers, acclaimed for thousands of years after as just and benevolent.