Deus non alligatur. God is not bound. Nibbanam paramam sukham. Unbinding is the Highest Happiness. The Heart is Divinity. God is the primal radiance of Divinity. Nature is the primal manifestation of Divinity. The Buddha is the primal realization of Divinity. La ilaha il Allah. Allah is Complete Wholeness.

29 January 2007

The One and the All

Stick To One Guru

From a doctor, you get a prescription. From two doctors, you get consultation. From three doctors, you get your own cremation. Even so, if you have many Gurus, you will be bewildered. You will be at a loss to know what to do. One Guru will tell you: “Do Soham Japa.” Another will tell you: “Do Japa of Sri Ram.” A third Guru will tell you: “Hear Anahata sounds.” You will be puzzled. Stick to one Guru and follow his instructions.

Listen to all, but follow one. Respect all, but adore one. Gather knowledge from all, but adopt the teachings of one Master. Then you will have rapid spiritual progress.

28 January 2007

Easy Yoga

Etymologically, the Sanskrit "yoga" is related to the English "yoke". The English "to yoke" means "to unite". The Sanskrit "yoga" includes the meaning of "unite", as well as other meanings, like "method", "way", and "work". The way of the Heart can thus be named "Hridaya-Yoga"; the method of the Buddha, "Buddha-Yoga". (Or, when speaking of the universal Way or Method common to all Beings, we may simply say "Yoga", and one who practices this Method or walks this Way, a "Yogi".) When Jesus talks about His own form of "yoga", the word He uses is usually translated as "yoke". Since the English "yoke" lacks the depth of meanings associated with its genetic relative "yoga", it might be insightful to take a Sanskritic view of Jesus' statement. Thus, we may modify Matthew 11:28-30 (KJV):

28Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29Take my yoga upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

30For my yoga is easy, and my burden is light.

26 January 2007

Jai Jesus!

If we assume that sounds are not arbitrary, that human speech especially forms a link to an inherent meaning, that the elements of language actually possess innate transformative potential, what would that mean for understanding our different spiritualities, our different religions?

For instance, take Sanskrit and English. Does the Sanskrit "je" sound , and the meanings associated in Sanskrit with that sound, have anything to tell us about English words containing the "je" sound?

What about the word "Jesus"? What does Sanskritic syllabic meaning say about "Jesus"? (I sound out vowels such as "e" as the ancient Latins did, as a short "eh" [e.g., the "e" in "fell"] or as a long "eh" [e.g., the "a" in "fate"]. Some English speakers pronounce the "je" in "Jesus" like the "jay" in "blue-jay", so "je" can be seen to form a part of "Jesus".)

There's a Sanskrit verb root "ji" (rhymes with "she"). One form of this verb is "jés·as". The dot after the first "s" should actually be below the "s"; and the final "a" would probably be pronounced like "uh" as in the "u" in "up"; making "jés·as" sound very much like how the word "Jesus" is pronounced.

"Jés·as", then, comes out of "ji". And the infinitive form of "ji" carries several meanings, "to conquer, to win, to defeat, to excel, to vanquish, to overcome any hardship or difficulty". From "ji" thus comes "Jai!" or "Jaya!", both meaning "Victory!", as in "Jai Ma!", "Glory to the Divine Mother!", or "Jai Dev!", "Glory to God!" When Christians, or anyone else, then, shouts "Jesus!", they are shouting for victory, for overcoming any hardship, for besting any suffering -- even in the very midst of loss, hardship, and suffering. To shout "Jesus!" is to throw your hat into the ring, with the intent to win, even if you have to lose.

23 January 2007

The Golden Rule

Sutrakritanga: Book I: Lecture 11: 33:

Indifferent to worldly objects, a man should wander about treating all creatures in the world so as he himself would be treated.

(Also found in: Jaina Sutras. Translated from Prakrit by Hermann Jacobi. 2 Volumes. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1968. Vol. 2: 314.)

The Golden Rule of Christianity ("Do unto others as you would have them do unto you") expresses the basic idea also found in the Jain-Hindu-Buddhist concept of "ahimsa", or "non-harming".

21 January 2007

Yamas & Niyamas

The Ten Yamas:

1. Ahimsa
2. Satya
3. Asteya
4. Brahmacharya
5. Kshama
6. Dhriti
7. Daya
8. Arjava
9. Mitahara
10. Shaucha

The Ten Niyamas:

1. Hri
2. Santosha
3. Dana
4. Astikya
5. Ishvara-Pujana
6. Siddhanta Shravana
7. Mati
8. Vrata
9. Japa
10. Tapas

In the coming days, I'll explore what these yamas and niyamas have to say to modern men and women.

Aum Namah Jivantayah

"Jivanta" means "that which is alive, and that which is living". From the Heart and the Beloved comes forth Jivanta, all that is alive: the light, the atoms, the molecules, the stars, the seas, the land, the sky, the plants, the animals, the men, and the women. The presence of men and women then makes possible the appearance of the Buddha, who then points directly back to the Heart and the Beloved.

Aum namah Jivantayah: I venerate all living beings.

Aum Namah Buddhayah

According to classical Buddhism, the "Buddha" is the one who has most fully realized and manifested wisdom and compassion.

If we take the most basic meaning of "Buddha" as "one who is Awake and Aware", then the number of Buddhas we have known becomes potentially endless. I'll just name a few Buddhas I've known:

Siddhartha Gautama
Guru Nanak

Aum namah Buddhayah: I venerate the Buddha in us all.

Active Presence

The Heart is the Infinite Essence, the Merciful, the Compassionate, the Mother. The Heart gives birth to the Beloved, the Creator, the Lord, the Father. Taking refuge in one means taking refuge in the other.

To take refuge means to keep the relationship growing, to keep communications open. One gradually renounces all that diminishes the relationship, and steadily cultivates all that supports the relationship. The Heart and the Beloved are ever-present. Whether they are actively-present depends upon you, your faith, your listening, and your doing.

20 January 2007

Vallabham Saranam Gacchami

Vallabha means Beloved. Unlike Sri Sankara, Sri Vallabhacharya posited that only God is real, and rejected the notion of maya (or the "illusory power of God"), since to assume the existence of maya would violate God's utter sole reality.

Vallabham saranam gacchami: I take refuge with the Beloved.

16 January 2007

Hridayam Saranam Gacchami

The Buddhist practice of Refuge takes the not-yet-Buddhist into the realm of the Buddhas. By having taken Refuge, the newly-born-Buddhist has placed his or her ultimate trust in the Buddha (the Realizer), the Dharma (the Revelation), and the Sangha (the Community).

Buddham saranam gacchami: I take refuge in the Buddha.
Dharmam saranam gacchami: I take refuge in the Dharma.
Sangham saranam gacchami: I take refuge in the Sangha.

The Buddha is one who has realized the Heart (Sanskrit, "Hridayam").

Hridayam saranam gacchami: I take refuge in the Heart.

04 January 2007

Science and Wisdom

Parable Of Four Learned Scholars

Once four learned scholars-an Ayurvedic doctor, an astrologer, a musician and a logician-had to spend a day at a village; and each was highly learned in his own science, a very great authority in his own subject but empty of wisdom concerning life.

Now they went about collecting articles for their food, and the Ayurvedic doctor went to buy some vegetables. But he soon walked back home with empty hands, for his medical knowledge concerning the food-value of vegetables would not allow him to choose any. The potato was harmful as it would cause wind, while onion was too Tamasic and so did all other vegetables prove defective. And none was suitable for food.

The astrologer climbed a coconut tree to fetch a coconut for cooking. While he was climbing down, a donkey from a nearby house brayed, and lo, the astrologer stood on half-way down the tree, deciding at once to work out the astrological consequences of this donkey's braying! And he thus stood on... ,

The musician's history was yet more pathetic and ridiculous. He was watching the pot in which the rice was being cooked; the water was boiling, and soon a rhythmic sound emanated from the boiling-pot. The musician, true and loyal to his knowledge of music, at once began marking time; but would the sound of the boiling-pot conform to the known laws of music? Soon the musician was beside himself in a fit of anger and broke the pot with the ladle, and lo the rice fell over the ground and was lost.

The logician was none the better for his erudition. He was returning with a cup full of ghee and en route, it struck his logic-loving mind to test and verify whether the cup supported the ghee or the ghee did the cup. He at once turned the cup upside down, and lo, the ghee fell on the ground, and was soon lost. Grief-stricken at the loss, yet the logician congratulated himself at the findings concerning the cup and the ghee and walked back home lost in thoughts of logic.

Be ye not merely learned, but become ye truly wise. For more learning will not bestow on you an iota of real happiness. Wisdom is bliss. Book-learning is lifeless knowledge; experience and true wisdom should be acquired through service of a Guru, studying under him and following his instructions in their true spirit.

01 January 2007

So What?

God Exists, So What?

"Yes, I believe God exists," you say: "What should I do about it?" Endeavour to realise Him.
He must be more real to you than all the objects of the world.
For that you must serve humanity and love God. Meditate on Him in Brahmamuhurta.
Sing Kirtan.
Do Japa.
Lead a virtuous life, for He is the witness of all your thoughts, words and deeds.
Be truthful; cheat not anybody.
Love all; harm not anybody.
Be kind to all; for God dwells in all. And, thus realise Him here and now.
May God bless you!