Monthly eMagazine of the International Vedanta Mission Year 17
In This Issue
Atma Bodha - Shloka-39
Inference & Presumption
No Cause of Grief
The Banyan Seed
Mission / Ashram Progs
From Poojya Guruji
Vedanta Sandesh Spreading Love & Light
Monthly eMagazine of the International Vedanta Mission Sharing the message of Vedanta and Sanatan Dharma
Feb 2012 On the Net since 1995
Poojya Guruji Sri Swami Atmanandaji
Vedanta Ashram E/2948-50, Sudama Nagar Indore-452 009, India
Hari om! Come January, India celebrates its Republic Day with great fanfare and joy. There is the traditional display of our military might and cultural variety & richness in the capital. On 26th Jan 1950 a new republic was born on the stage of the world. The sub-continent gave a very big price of this creation. Lakhs were displaced, even looted or killed. Many had to start life from scratch once again. While India appears to have progressed in various fields, yet the fruits of true independence appear to be very far off. Few things which drastically lack here are: Absence of a common vision which inspires all the countrymen. A vision which unites, inspires and brings about our identity and self-respect. Something truly Indian, which stands apart from the entire world and gives us a unique identity for which we live & die for. Alas today our youngsters know not of any such thing. The absence of this alone is responsible for the present jungle raj, where everyone has to just take care of their personal needs - by hook or by crook. There is indeed survival of the fittest here. This country is somehow condemned to be looted, first by invaders, and now by our own people. Absence of any cohesive vision or values alone magnifies the petty & personal factors of caste, religion, upwards, backwards etc. There are some selfish ones whose bread & butter lies only in such magnification & continued fragmentation. A True leader is one who goes into the problem of the whole country and helps one & all holistically. Where are such leaders & visionaries? We remember the prophetic words of Churchill, when he had cast apprehensions about Indian Independence, and said that India is not yet ready for it. There are so many petty divisions which matter that they will divide and will make the country go to dogs. It was true indeed. Look at the election scenario, look at the points in their manifesto's, very rarely we find people who can think beyond their petty self-interest. We need to start exploring the past as well as the present wisdom - for the best and highest, and aspire to make our country that heaven. There is something here in this country which the world desperately needs - a vision of universal unity & love. Something which transcends all religion, yet which is the cherished goal of all religions. Something which Advaita Vedanta has been talking about from time immemorial. Something which the modern day saints like Swami Vivekananda talked about. Something which our Sufi saints have been singing about. It is this unity alone which is explored by modern day scientist & philosophers too. We need to bring to light such vision. True nationalism is not born out of reading history books and shouting slogans, but by knowing what India truly stands for. Nationalism without knowing the universal truth will be responsible for yet another kind of fragmentation and division, leading to all the pains & grief which historians time & again reveal. The country needs the basis and inspiration of Vedanta. May that alone inspire, enthuse and enliven all our countrymen. Love & om,
Atma Bodha - Shloka 39 Vedanta Section
See all as your Self In the previous sloka the Acharya discussed about savikalpa samadhi and nirvikalpa samadhi. In the following sloka it is explained that if the objectifiable universe is concieved as real and distinct from the Supreme how is it possible to realize the oneness with the Supreme Self. All the knowledge of the world that is acquired is objectifiable where as the Self and the knowledge of the Self cannot be gained as an object by the senses. How then is it possible to see this one non-dual nature of the Self? This is explained in the following sloka.
39 Atmanyeva Akhilam Drusyam Pravilaapya Dhiya Sudheeh Bhavayet Ekam Aatmaanam Nirmala Akaasavat Sadaa. Atmanyeva: In Atma itself; akhilam drishyam: the enitre visible universe; pravilaapya: having dissolved; dhiya: by intelligence; sudheeh: the wise man; bhavayet: should contemplate upon; ekam atmanam: the one atmanam; nirmala akashvat : like the pure sky; sada: always. The wise man should by his intelligence dissolve the entire objectifiable universe within the atman itself and incessantly contemplate on that one Atman which is like the pure sky; ever pure. Atmanyeva Akhilam Drishyam: The journey to Self Realization is a journey inwards tracing the indepth layers of the personality. I, the Atma, is the Drik, the seer, the ever permanent and never changing one, everything else that can be objectified and seen seperately from me is the drishya, the ‘Seen’. This journey is undertaken by seeing the unreal nature of the objective world and coming to realize that even the imaginary existence of all that can be objectified is born of the Self, is sustained in the Self and dissolves back into the Self. This is best explained by the example of our dream world. A dream although appears to be real, it has no real existence. It is an imagination who’s existence is born of the dreamer, is sustained in the dreamer and disolves back into the dreamer. It appears to be real as long as one identifies with himself as the dreamer. The moment one wakes up there is no existence of the imaginary world. Similarly Masters who have realized the truth of the wakVedanta Sandesh - Feb 2012
ing world, too say that all that can be seen and experienced as seperate from the Self is a creation of the experiencer, of the Self. Through discrimination one can see the imaginary existence of the objective world and can trace its existence from the Self. The Acharya therefore says atmani eva akhilam drishyam. It implies that nothing in the world has an independant existence by itself. It comes into being only when the Self, the Seer lends its existence to it. The ‘seen’ exists because of the ‘Seer’. If the Seer were not to give any importance to the object, the object would cease to exisit. If I am deeply asleep and a procession passes by, it may disturb another person, but it does not exist for me because I as an experiencer does not give it any exisitence. This is a pointer to say that to realize the truth one needs to turn the focus on the Seer, the experiencer who is the cause, the substratum of all existence. This thought and its process of tracing the cause is continued in the next half of this line.
Pravilaapya Dhiya Sudheeh: A wise man with his intelligence must dissolve all that is objectifiable in the atman. To dissolve means to see the root cause and negate the unreality of the effect. For example in the case of a mud pot. What is the pot? It is just a modification of the mud. It is a particular form which has been given a particular name and only has some worldly purpose. The mud is the cause and the pot is the effect. The reality of the pot is that the it cannot exist without the mud. One cannot say to another person that you please keep the pot and I will keep the mud. There is no pot without the mud. This process of tracing the cause from the level of the effect is dissolving the effect into the cause. Through this understanding one also comes to realize that ultimately the cause and effect are in essence one, though they appear different. Brahman is the cause of the universe just as the imposition of the snake in the rope, when we are not clearly able to see the reality of the rope. The snake as though appears to be the effect of the rope but truly there is no real exitence of a snake. Rope alone is. This is a mental discrimination and does not require the physical absence of things. This mental discrimination at the spiritual level is done by seeing that everything in the world comes into existence because the Self- ‘I’ give it existence. If I do not give importance to something it does not exist for me. This kind of understanding of the truth is lib-
erating. We come to realise that any kind of happiness, sorrow, bondage, comes to me as long as I give it existence and value. Otherwise by itself the world is inert and imaginary. This knowledge alone is thundered by the Vedantic philosophers. Bhavayed ekam atmanam: Retain an undisturbed, strong awareness of the one non-dual Self. The Atman is one Supreme Reality, of the nature of Advaita, one without a second. It is only when we impose a sense of reality on the names and forms that the differences of color, shape, sex, place, good-bad, etc come into existence. If the various forms of the world of mud hold a sense of reality for me then I will surely suffer the joys and sorrows of the modifications of mud. The changes and destruction of the forms will be the cause of happiness and pain for me. Thus contemplate on this nature of the Self and come to see the one non dual Self and retain an unperturbed awareness of this Self. Nirmala akashvat sadaa: The Self is much like the pure, all pervading sky. The pureness and all pervading nature of my Self is akin to the pureness and all pervading nature of the sky, which as though I can see. In reality – even the sky is invisible. I assume that the blue colour I see everywhere is the sky. It too is limitless. In this manner the Acharya says contemplate on this oneness of the Self, the pure Atma with a constant, single thought. This is Atma Dhyanam.
Greetings to all our readers on the pious occassion of Maha Shivaratri Vande Devam Umaa Pathim Suragurum Vande Jagat Kaaranam Vande Pannaga Bhooshanam Mruga Dharam Vande Pashoonam Patim Vande Soorya Shashanka Vahni Nayanam Vande Mukunda Priyam Vande Bhakta Jana Ashrayam Cha Varadam Vande Shivam Shankaram• Meaning: Lord Shiva is the consort of Uma (Parvati). Shiva is the divine Guru, the source of the universe. Lord Shiva is decked with snake and wears tiger skin. He is the Lord of all creatures. The three eyes of the lord represent the Sun, Moon and Fire. Shiva is near to Lord Vishnu. Lord Shiva protects all of his devotees. He is the benefactor of boons. We surrender ourselves again and again to Lord Shiva. Om Namah Shivaya
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The Three Dolls Priya was the cynosure of everyoneâ€™s eyes. Her parents favourite and her grandmothers special. Everyone loved Priya, her relatives, her teachers, the shopkeepers, the maid servant, everyone. The only thing that was the cause of uneasiness for her parents was her her speech. Priya could talk to just about anyone at length, she would talk about the sun and the moon, the stars and the sky. She could talk for hours unending. One day her mother got really outraged with her. Broken from within, she asked her grandmother, Why is mama so annoyed with me? I do not mean to hurt her, yet she is so cross with me. Grandma brought out 3 dolls and gave it to Priya. She asked her to pass a thread through the ears of the dolls. Priya actioned it right away. To her surprise the thread passed through and through the ears of the first doll. This is the type of person who listens from one ear and lets it pass from the other. Now try the next one said grandma. The thread went through the ear and curled outside the mouth. This is the type of person that speaks whatever he heard. Priya was anxious to know what happened to the last doll. Curiosity bounced back in her face because the thread just did not come out from the doll. This is the type of person that only listens and seldom speaks. Then what kind of person is the best human being asked perplexed Priya? Grandma brought out a fourth doll. Priya forced in the thread though the ear, it popped out from the other. Try again said grandma. Priya inserted the thread through the ear again, it came out form the mouth. Once more said grandma, so Priya shipped the thread through the ear and it did not come out at all. This is the best kind of a person said grandma. One who knows when to hear, when to talk and when to keep silent. Grandma starred at Priya and there was a moment of silence. Priyaâ€™s eyes twinkled as she got the message her grandmother was trying to tell her.
Vedanta Sandesh - Feb 2012
Letter of the Month
Knowledge is all about being aware of the truth of what Ais,r while t h aYoga p a and t t i Bhakti (P r e s uaim m ptot i o n ) change the mind for cannot be clubbed the better, so together with technically they fall Ainntheucategory m a nofa karma, working to (Inference), it is an change something. independent & For knowledge even a sankalpa tovalid distinct change anything is means of an impediment, knowledge having because then our change itspriorities own identity. from knowing what - Poojya Guruji is to working for what should be. - Poojya Guruji
Arthapatti & Anumana Que: 'Presumption' (Arthapatti Pramana) appears to be very similar to 'Inference' (Anumana Pramana). In both we come to a definite conclusion about an unseen object on seeing some of its visible aspect. Cant we club both of these Pramana's under Inference itself? ______________________________________________ Hari om ! No, Arthapatti (Presumption) cannot be clubbed together with Anumana (Inference), it is an independent & distinct means of knowledge having its own identity. There may be some apparent similarities between the two but they are not. Some schools of philosophy, viz Samkhya and Naivayikas do club both these together under Anumana, but that is not the contention of Vedantins and Mimansakas. In Inference there is a definite knowledge about an unseen object on the basis of an invariable conconmittance (vyapti) between its two aspects - like fire & smoke. In such an inferential conclusion we have a definitive prior knowledge of the relationship between these two aspects of the object. So whenever there is smoke we can safely infer about the presence of fire. However, in Presumption there is no such vyapti gyana. It is basically an assumption which is so definitive that it is a non-negatable, valid knowledge. Let us imagine a fat person who doesnt eat in the morning, yet keeps gaining weight. Assuming that he is otherwise a healthy person, we can safely â€˜presumeâ€™ that the person obviously prefers to have lavish dinners in the night. This is presumption. Lets take another example. We know where ever there is smoke there is fire (anvaya-vyapti), but can you also say that where there is no smoke there is no fire (vyatireka-vyapti). Well, in a way we can, but for this we have to first assume the connection between the anvaya-vyapti and the vyatireka-vyapti - and this assumption is arthapatti. So both are definitely class apart. Love & om Guruji
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No Cause For Grief
All of us feel sorrowful at some time or the other. In such times a person may either try to escape the pangs of pain by adhering to various escape measures or one my try to look for a solution to eradicate the problem. A wise man will try to root out the problem lock, stock and barrel. In any painful situation the immediate cause may be some challenging situation due to which we experience pain, anxiety, nervousness, lack of thoughtfullness, dejection etc. Often we try to overcome these challenges and its painful pangs in some way or the other, but these are actually symptoms of some deeper malaise and not the real disease. A true doctor will try to remove the disease not by giving a symptomatic treatment but by rooting out the cause of the disease. Ignorance & Misapprehension is the nature of the disease: Sorrow or grief is an ego-centric reaction of not knowing the reality of the Self and imposing a misconception of a limited being on a divine and fulfilled entity. Ups and downs, birth & death and changes at any level are an inevitable part of life. All that comes must go through change, decay and death. The presence of such adversities is never a problem. Wrong notions about the Self and the world and the consequent false expectations from them alone leads to hurt and pain. The understanding that I am conditioned by the body, mind and intellect brings about a sense of limitation , seeking and attachment. Grief and dejection are the price that a man of delusion must pay as long as he ventures into this world. Hence it is of utmost importance to diagnose the problem correctly. Correct analyses alone will invoke a correct solution. Ignorance & misconception of the Self is the biggest disease of mankind. The funny thing is that even though this problem is there it is just a projection of the mind. Ignorance and its consequences do not truly exist. It is just like a rope mistaken for a snake by an imaginary mind. The illegitimate, projected snake and the fear one experiences on seeing it cannot be removed by beating the snake or by throwing a stone or by clapping or praying. The snake and the fright caused by it will go away only when one comes to know that in fact there is no snake. So too our sense of limitation that I am a small, empty being who needs to fill his beaker from outside worldly pleasures is imaginary. And just like the fear of the snake goes by simply seeing that the snake is imaginary and it is actually a rope so too our sense of limitation will not go by acquiring great worldly experiences, but by right knowledge. Since it is a problem of the mind it cannot be solved by performances of action and its achievements. Consequences of Ignorance: Not knowing the real problem, the solution too gets mistaken. We look into the outside world for answers and most of the time the result is like a blind following a blind. Very rarely people give a serious thought about such matters, but prefer to remain a blind follower. The resultant scene is: We think it is money, pleasures, property, gadgets, relationships, family etc will do the trick, but the journey of endless seeking carries on &
VedantaSandesh Sandesh- -Feb April2012 2009 Vedanta
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on. So then what is it that can truly give us satisfaction and permanent freedom from the rollercoast of pain and pleasure, security and insecurity. A person who is sincere about his life and wishes to direct it on the right track will question his own understanding. Do grief and happiness truly have any objective existence? Or is there a need to question my very definitions and convictions regarding joys and sorrows and the understanding of the self? Once such questions shake up an individual then there is a turning point on the road to Right knowledge. Re-discover the Self: As discussed ignorance of the Self is the main disease that an individual suffers. Therefore knowing the truth of the fundamental ‘I’ the central being who sees the entire world should be the goal of human life. Who is this ‘I’? In everyday life we come to identify ourselves in many different ways. At sometime I am a father, for someone I am a Boss, somewhere a husband, a brother a friend, a speaker, a listener etc. These are the various identities I adorn at different times. But is this the Real ‘I’, because when I am a father I am not a husband, when I am a listener I am not a speaker, If I am a Man I am not a woman and so on and so forth. I am truly that who is distinct from the different roles that I play, because to play one role I have to give up the other. I am distinct form the body, the sense organs, the mind & the intellect. I am someone who is aware of my body, my senses, my emotions, my ignorance, my experiences. I am essentially awareness, who is ever present and everything else comes and goes. I am awareness which is not limited by object, time & space. I am basically blissfull by nature and do not need any experience for fulfillment & joy. This is my true nature. In the Gita lord Krishna says-”Ashochyananvashochastvam-You are grieving over those things that do not deserve grief”. Any sorrow that we identify with as real is baseless, because basically I am fulfilled, blissful and limitless. Remember the Dream James Ingram You have a choice Your heart will know You gotta look back sometime To know where to go
Don't ever say You just don't care the chances you take Will take you as far as you dar
You have a voice Long as you live It's never too small Whatever you got to give
Don't be afraid Hold your head high There's strength in your soul You never know till you try
When your life is low (hold on) When your life is low (hold on) And you want to let go (be strong - hold on) And you want to let go (be strong -- hold on) And keep it alive with you each day. Remember the dream we had When there was nothing else Remember the light that shines And find it in yourself Remember the dream is yours So let it guide your way And keep it alive with you each day
You're not alone .. somebody cares (Hold on ...be strong) When you're walkin' the road With those who been there (You're not alone) Remember the dream is yours So let it guide your way
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Just One One song can spark a moment, One flower can wake the dream One tree can start a forest, One bird can herald spring. One smile begins a friendship, One handclasp lifts a soul. One star can guide a ship at sea, One word can frame the goal One vote can change a nation, One sunbeam lights a room One candle wipes out darkness, One laugh will conquer gloom. One step must start each journey. One word must start each prayer. One hope will raise our spirits, One touch can show you care. One voice can speak with wisdom, One heart can know what's true, One life can make a difference, You see, it's up to you!
Vedanta Sandesh - Feb 2012
Stories by Sages
on p u e Onc me ... a ti
The Banyan Seed There was once a cobbler who lived a simple and honest life. He was a poor man and had to work hard to support his wife and children, but whatever little extra he had he devoted to the worship of Vishnu, the lord of creation. He lived beside a huge banyan tree. Like all banyan trees its central trunk was massive, surrounded by smaller trunks which hung down from the branches to put out fresh roots. The tree was very old and was just like a small forest. One day, as he worked in the shade of the banyan tree, the great teacher Narada came to visit him. Narada is famous among all Hindus as the personal messenger and friend of Vishnu. The cobbler was very happy to receive so honoured a guest. After welcoming him with proper respect he ventured to ask if he had recently seen Vishnu. "Yes," replied Narada, "I have just been with Him and He has sent me to see you." The cobbler was amazed to hear that Vishnu had sent Narada to him. No one important ever came to see him - he was only a shoemaker. What possible interest could Vishnu have in him? After some time his curiosity overcame his shyness. "Why did Vishnu want you to see me?" "He thought you might have some questions." "Questions?" The cobbler was taken unawares. Narada himself had come to answer his questions! Of course, he did have questions from time to time, but now, with this unique opportunity, his mind went blank! In confusion he racked his brain for something to ask. Suddenly he thought of one. It wasn't very profound, but at least it was a question. "What was Vishnu doing when you saw Him, asked the cobbler?" Now Vishnu knew that the cobbler, although simple-hearted, was really a very special person, and He knew what would happen when Narada suddenly appeared in front of him. Because he knows everything, he knew the cobbler would ask this exact question. Wanting to teach Narada a lesson, he had already told him what his answer should be. "He was threading an elephant through the eye of a needle," Narada replied mysteriously. "Threading an elephant through the eye of a needle?" the cobbler was surprised. He hadn't expected that Vishnu would be doing this. "Well, one thing's for sure," he laughed, "Only Vishnu could do that!" "Surely you don't believe me," smiled Narada, amused at the cobbler's simplicity. He had given this answer merely to test the cobbler and didn't expect him to believe it. "I don't think even Vishnu could really do that - it's impossible." "Why can't Vishnu do that?" responded the cobbler, a little taken aback at Narada's lack of faith. "Nothing's impossible for Vishnu. This world is full of His miracles. He makes the sun rise each day. He makes the wind blow. He makes the rivers run and the trees and flowers grow." The cobbler warmed to his subject. "Look at this," he went on as he bent to the ground and picked up a seed from beneath the banyan tree, "Inside this seed is a banyan tree as big as the one above us. It's just waiting to come out. If Vishnu can squeeze a whole banyan tree into such a tiny seed, surely he can thread an elephant through the eye of a needle!" Hearing the wisdom of the cobbler's words Narada had to admit that what he said was true. He realised that this man was not the simpleton he had taken him for but was very wise because he could see in everything the hand of God.
Vedanta Sandesh - April 2009
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Janâ€™12 VM / VA Programs
Vedanta Mission / Ashram Programs
Vedanta Sandesh - Feb 2012
Check out the detailed Photo Albums of the various functions on VM News Blog at : http://vmissionews.blogspot.com/
Janâ€™12 VM / VA Programs
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Quotes "Be the change you want to see in the world." -Mahatma Gandhi "The key to change is to let go of fear."-Rosanne Cash "Life can either be accepted or changed. If it is not accepted, it must be changed. If it cannot be changed, then it must be accepted." -Sir Winston Churchill "Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be."-John Wooden "Change your thoughts and you change your world." -Norman Vincent Peale "If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we aren't really living." -Gail Sheehy "No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world." -Robin Williams "When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves."-Viktor E. Frankl
Vedanta Sandesh - Feb 2012
Sadhana Camp-2, Indore: A Sadhana Camp prior to Mahashivratri will be organized at Vedanta Ashram, Indore from 15th to 19th Feb 2012. The campers should arrive by 14th and leave after Mahashivratri celebrations on 21st Feb. This will be basically an â€˜Atma Bodha Study Campâ€™.
Mahashivratri Celebrations, Indore: This year the Mahashivratri is on 20th Feb. With the new giant Shivlinga the celebration will indeed be special & grand. As earlier there will be three Rudrabhisheka during the day, and one in the night.
Gita Gyana Yagna, Lucknow: A week long Gita Gyana Yagna of Poojya Guruji will be organized at Hari om Mandir, Lucknow from 13th to 20th Mar 2012. The subject matter of the discourses will be Kathopanishad 1-3 and Gita Chapter 3.
Gita Gyana Yagna, Mumbai: A Gita Gyana Yagna of Poojya Guruji will be organized in Mumbai from 30th April to 6th May 2012. The subject matter of the discourse series will be Kathopanishad 2-2, and Gita Chapter 6.
Sadhana Camp, Rishikesh: A Sadhana Camp will be organized at Sw Dayananda Ashram at Rishikesh from 11th to 16th June by Poojya Guruji and Poojya Swamini Amitanandaji. The subject matter of the discourses will be Drg-Dryshya Viveka and Gita Chapter 5. Campers to arrive by 10th evening and leave by 17th morning.
Guru Poornima, Indore: This year the Guru Poornima is on 3rd July. Disciples and devotees can plan their trip accordingly.
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International Vedanta Mission Om Tat Sat
Feb 2012 issue of Vedanta Sandesh, the English monthly eMagazine of International Vedanta Mission, containing inspiring and enlightening art...