It’s the Teaching and not the teacher that is important to a seeker of the Truth.

useThough Truth itself has no form, the means through which people may perceive the Truth have names and forms. All names and forms are limited by time, place, culture and language. Forms are like the tools or instruments, and tools and instruments cannot be called good or bad without context. People judge the tool believing that the form is more important than the Truth. They then do not find the truth, but remain with the form.

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Ashtavakra Geeta

Ego is a contagious disease. All our methods of education, our society, our family, our culture, give birth to this one disease and all go on strengthening it. Ego means mixing one’s consciousness with something else. It’s the identification of consciousness with some other thing. As long as one identifies with something, ego will arise. Ego is misery. Ego is hell.

The whole meaning of religion is to drop the ego that has been given to us by others and whatever we imagine ourselves to be other than consciousness. Besides ego there are no burdens in one’s life, no fetters, nor chains.

Sage Ashtavakra’s Gita speaks of the real medicine for this disease.  If the meaning of real Ashtavakrareligion is to set us free from misery, bondage and bring us happiness then surely it is this. This prescription is very potent, it is anti society, anti culture, anti religion, anti everything that gives birth to ego. Ashtavakra says the sooner than one drops all identification and realizes one’s nature as consciousness, as awareness, the moment of liberation is very close.

Understanding this, grasping it, getting acquainted with it and then moving happily. This existence is ultimate bliss. This existence doesn’t know unhappiness. Unhappiness is the ego’s creation/imagination.

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To define Love is to defile it!

 

A life without love is of no value. Love has no labels, no definitions.
We are each created different and unique. No two people are alike. If Creation wanted everyone to be the same, it would have been so. Therefore, disrespecting differences and imposing one’s ideas on others, tantamount to disrespecting the Holy scheme.
When we love the variety and differences in nature, how come we fail to appreciate the differences in humans!
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Soorya – the Sun God

Lord Krishna advised his son Samba that there could be no other deity like Soorya (Sun), since he is easily sighted on the sky.

He said: “pratyaksham devata suryo jagatchhaykshu divakarah |
tasmaadabhayadhika kaachiddevata naasti shaashvati |
yasmaadidam jagajjaatam layam yaasyati yatracha ||”

Lord Soorya is readily available to the eyes, to all in the whole Universe, beyond whom could be no other deity. The entire ‘Jagat’ (world) has emerged from and also merges in him. Time measurement is facilitated by Him. He is the unique cause for the presence of Grahas (Planets), Nakshatras (Stars), Yogas, Karanaas, Rashis, Aditya, Vasu, Rudra, Vayu, Agni, Ashvani Kumaras, Indra, Prajapati, Dishas, Bhuh, Bhuvah, and Swah. He is the permanent ‘Saakshi’ (evidence/witness) of the mountains, rivers, samudra (sea) and all other ‘charaachara’ or stationary and mobile beings. The world wakes up with him and sleeps due to him.

Vedas and shastras (scriptures) praise Him as Paramatma (Supreme being) and Antaratma (Self of all). He is present everywhere. He is eternal and all-knowing.

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Vishnu Sahasranama

The ‘Vishnu Sahasranama’ is the 149th adhyaya of the Anushasana parva of the epic, Mahabharata. Tradition holds it that it was composed by Sanaka and was given to Bhishma. Bhishma, in turn, recited it to the Pandavas in the presence of Bhagavan Shri Krishna. At the end of the war, Yudhisthira, the eldest son of the Pandavas approached Bhishma who was lying on his death bed and asked him, ‘who is the supreme Lord of all, who is the refuge of  all and by worshipping whom will one gain all that is good and also the ultimate end?

In answer to this question Bhishma gave the Vishnu Sahasranama. This is how the Mahabharata introduces the advent of the thousand names of the Lord.

The Lord or Ishvara is everything and everything constitutes the various forms of Ishvara.  If all forms are Ishvara and all forms are countless then the names for all these forms are also countless. Thus Ishvara has infinite names though only a thousand are mentioned here. These are some special words that reveal the essential nature of Ishvara like satya, etc, some which reveal Ishvara as the cause of the world and some that indicate the manifest form as even the form of an ‘Avatara’.

But we find that none of the known words can really reveal Ishvara. Ishvara being the very nature of consciousness. In the very consciousness there is no knower, no knowing nor any object to be known. There is only one without a second.

 

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Guru Purnima

Today, the full moon day (Purnima) of Ashadh (July) is celebrated as Guru Purnima and we pay respects to our Gurus. But many don’t know that Guru Purnima coincides with the birthday of  Sage Veda Vyaasa.

Every scripture of Indian culture begins with adoring salutations to Bhagavan Sri Veda Vyāsa.  The very name invokes such reverential sentiment and stirs widespread awe. A great Guru, seer, is considered as   incarnation of Lord Vishnu, is considered as one of the seven Chiranjeevis (immortals) who lives for the welfare of the world. He exemplifies righteousness and perfection.

Veda Vyāsa is an ocean of knowledge and is considered the origin and the source all our scriptures.  He divided and arranged the single Veda into four Vedas. He authored the eighteen Puranas. He is the author of the great epic Mahabharata, which contains the Bhagavad Gita, the crown jewel of Hindu scriptures and the most chanted Vishnu Sahasranama.

Veda Vyaasa, son of Paraashara, grandson of Sage Shakti, great-grandson of Sage Vasishtha.

 A shloka that commemorates all of them:

व्यासं  वसिष्टनप्तारं  शक्तेः पौत्रमकल्मषं  पराशरात्मजं  वन्दे शुकतातं  तपोनिधिम् ||

Vyaasam Vasishtanaptaaram Shakteh pautramakalmasham,  Paraasharaatmajam vande Shukataatam taponidhim ||

“I salute Sage Vyasa, the great grandson of Sage Vasishtha, the grandson of sage Shakti, the son of sage Parashar and the father of Sage Shuka and who is (by Himself) an abode of “tapas” and who is blemishless.”

व्यासाय विष्णुरूपाय व्यास  रूपाय  विष्णवे  नमोवै  ब्रह्म  निधये  वासिष्ठाय  नमो  नमः ||

Vyaasaaya Vishnu roopaaya Vyaasa roopaaya Vishnave, namovai Brahma nidhaye Vaasishthaya namo namah ||

“I bow to Vyaasa, who is the treasure house of Brahma Jnana, who is verily one with Vishnu, who is in the form of Vishnu and to Vishnu who is in the form of Vyaasa. Salutations to him again and again, who is an abode of the Vedas and who is of the lineage of Vasistha.”

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Uddhava Gita

The Uddhava Gita contains teachings given by Shri Krishna to His beloved devotee and follower, Uddhava, shortly before His departure from this world. This forms the main part of the eleventh canto of the Shrimad Bhagavatham. Various instructions are given, but in and through all, the necessity of seeing the Lord in everything, living a life of self-surrender and non-attachment are emphasized. Ramkrishna Paramhamsa said that the Bhagavatham is fried in the butter of knowledge and soaked in the syrup of love. The study of such a book is of great help to a seeker after Truth.

किं भद्रं किमभद्रं वा द्वतस्यावस्तुनः कियत् | वाचोदितं तदनृतं मनसा ध्यातमेव ||    परस्वभावकर्माणि यः प्रशन्सति निन्दति | स आशु भ्रश्यते स्वार्थादसत्यभिनि वेषतः ||                   आत्मैव तदिदं विश्वं सृज्यते सृजति प्रभुः | त्रायते त्राति विश्वात्मा ह्रियते हर्तीश्वरः || एतद्विद्वान्मुदितं ज्ञानविज्ञाननै पुणम् | न निन्दति न च स्तौति लोके चरति सूर्यवत् ||

The Lord, Brahman, the Self, Atman of the universe, projects this universe and as is projected, maintains it and as is maintained, dissolves it and is dissolved. He who knows this quintessence of knowledge and realisation that Krishna speaks of, neither praises nor criticises anybody. He who praises and criticises other’s natures and actions quickly slips away from his well-being for having set his heart on what is unreal. Good or bad and to what extent is uttered by the tongue and conceived by the mind, is in duality, which is unreal. He who comes to this understanding moves in the world like the Sun illumining all coming its way without any distinction.

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Shri Rama Gita

“यदन्यदन्यत्र  विभाव्यते भ्रमादध्यासमित्याहुरमुं विपश्चितः  |  असर्पभुते  हिविभावनं यथा रज्ज्वादिके तद्वदपीश्वरे जगत्  ||”   (श्रीरामगीता – ३७ )   

“To perceive a thing to be something other than itself and to recognize that thing to be only what you perceive it to be is called by the wise the phenomenon of superimposition. Just as in the rope we see the serpent only, so too we see the world of plurality (superimposed) upon the Lord.” (Shri Rama Gita – 37)
In Vedaanta-shastra, the example of  delusory vision of the serpent on the rope is often quoted. When a thing without losing its own essential nature, provides for experiences other than itself, it is called ‘Vivarta’ theory. Just as in a lonely, dimly lit place a long rope is perceived as a crawling snake ready to bite. The snake is the ‘vivarta’ of the rope. In the non apprehension of the rope, we entertain the misapprehension of the snake.
Shri Rama cites this classic example while imparting the knowledge of the Self to his dear brother Lakshmana.  Explaining to him that upon Brahman (Atman, Lord, Self, Reality) which has none of the qualities of the finite world of plurality, people through an act of superimposition (adhyasa)  recognise the ever changing world of names and forms. The world of plurality is the ‘vivarta’ of Brahman. In truth, nothing but Brahman (Self) exists, One without a second, blissful and perfect. Yet in its non apprehension, we entertain a delusory vision of a world riddled with sorrow and imperfections, which is the misapprehension.
Only knowledge can wipe out ignorance. A student when reaches the understanding that the snake is only a superimposition, he recognizes the rope and there is nothing else for him to throw away. Similarly, on awakening to the Self or Brahman, there is, in fact no world to be rejected. All the names and forms projected by ignorance suddenly disappear to become one, all consuming experience of the Self. Brahman is all inclusive. Vedanta rejects nothing, accepts everything, but keeps nothing.
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Gratitude to the Guru

स्वाराज्य साम्राज्य विभुतिरेषा भवत्कृपा श्रिमहिमप्रसादात  | 

प्राप्ता मया श्रीगुरवे महात्मने नमो नमस्तेSस्तु पुनर्नमोSस्तु ||

“By the supreme majesty of your Grace, I have gained the grandeur of the sovereignty of Self-effulgence.  O noble Teacher, salutations to thee, again and again.”
   
Sovereignty within one’s own Self is called स्वाराज्य  (swaraajya)  in Vedanta.  साम्राज्य (Saamraajya) is mastery over the external world of objects.  The glory of mastery over one’s Self and that over the world around has been gained by the Grace of the Teacher. By the sheer brilliance of his Grace, the student has gained the glory of Swaraajya and Saamraajya. These are words of adoration, expressions of a student’s gratitude to the Teacher who initiated her into the science of Reality.

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The World – Consciousness manifest

स्रुष्टिर्नाम  ब्रह्मरूपे  सच्चिदानन्दवस्तुनि | अब्धौ  फ़ेनादिवत्  सर्वनामरुपप्रसारणा ||

(द्र्ग् द्र्ष्य विवेकः १४)        

srishtirnaamrupa brahmarupe sacchdanandavastuni |

abdhau fenadivat sarvanaamrupaprasarana || (Drig-drishya  Viveka-14)  

Creation is the manifestation of names and forms in the Reality which is Existence-Consciousness-Bliss like foam, etc in the ocean.

The world is but a name and form. A name depends upon a form and the form constitutes the substance of which it is made. The ocean appears to consist of innumerable waves, bubbles, foam, etc. These are all names given to particular forms made up of the same oceanic water. The names and forms of the ocean are superimposed on the essential water. Water pervades all the names and forms. Just as in perceiving gold ornaments, the names and forms of the ornaments like necklace, bangle, ring, etc are multiple manifestations of the essential gold substance.

Likewise, Existence-Consciousness alone pervades all names and forms. The world is nothing but Existence perceived in multiple forms.                                           

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