Friday, December 8, 2017

Musings Of A Mystical Yogi : Lust, Asceticism, Karma, Death, God, Self Realization, Cosmic Consciousness And Liberation by Rohit Anand India


Musings Of a Mystical Yogi Part II

What is the best method to check the advance of lust?

Answer:    Lust is but a natural tendency of the mind. The best method to check the impulse is the way of intense and deep Vairagya by a study of religious books, by constant Satsang with Mahatmas (noble souls), by self-enquiry or "Who am I?" enquiry, by close observance of the ways of the world, and by an understanding of the diseases and the spiritual degradation that result from over-indulgence. Remember the saying of the Lord in the Gita:

Trividham Narakasyedam Dvaram Nasanmatmanah
Kamah Krodastata Lobhas Tasmat Etat Trayam Tyajet (Ch. XVI-21)

Practice the chief Asans and Pranayam as detailed in the books "Yoga Asanas" and "Science of Pranayama". Do intense Japa to the point of self-forgetfulness. Treat womankind as the manifestation of the Devi, the adorable Mother Divine. Maintain Matru Bhav in your dealings with the other sex. Give up looking at the face of a woman, but look at her feet to avoid room for evil thoughts to crop up or indiscriminate deeds to arise. Take cold water bath always. Contro1 the tongue. To give leniency to the tongue means to allow free access to lust to trouble the being. Always engage yourself in pure and noble thoughts. Realize the glory of Brahmacharya by studying the lives of Hanuman, Ramdas, etc. Check yourself as per the details given in the book, "How to Get Vairagya". Reduce wants and desires. In proportion to the reduction of the egoistic self, all negative tendencies will disappear.

 Are the senses meant to be starved and destroyed? The ascetic ideal says so.

Answer: The Greek ideal, however, is moderate enjoyment of life. Most of the Western thinkers of the rationalistic type accept this.Modern psychologists assert that by denying or refusing the needs of the body such as food and sex and suppressing emotions like attachment and love, people generally create mental problems for themselves. Is there any substance in this?

No; the senses have not been given only to be starved or killed. Neither are they given for being indulged in and fattened. In truth, the senses are not given for any earthly purpose whatsoever. That is the highest view that the sages uphold for spiritual aspirants. The senses are given for being utilized consciously and deliberately for the attainment of something altogether above and beyond the farthest reach of the senses. To understand the right import and significance of self-restraint, one must take a more comprehensive view of the question.

In the human beings, these sense organs have the superior, directive faculty of intelligence with its aspects such as discrimination, selection, etc. The senses are to operate under its wise supervision. The aim is not the ultimate denial of the senses, but the achievement through restraint, of a pleasure a million fold greater than that achieved through gratification. When one realizes this fact, he will understand, how, with the Yogic aspirant, this self-restraint is not a matter of bitterness or reluctant, unwilling repression at all. Understood in its correct light, it is a joyous, voluntary discipline undertaken for the acquisition of an infinitely greater and more blissful experience. Does the angler ever grudge the loss of the worm cast for catching a big fish?

Moreover, the rationale of asceticism is not rightly understood by most people. The ideal of asceticism and penance is not based upon repression. Conservation and sublimation are the principles underlying asceticism rightly practiced. The true ascetic withholds, diverts, canalizes and finally transmutes his natural propensities. The untoward repercussions of forced repression such as complex, neurosis, etc., have no place here. No doubt, modern psychologists are correct in their view about repression, but one must know that it does not apply to religious asceticism, wherein the process is sublimation and not just repression; and it must always be remembered that asceticism is a part of Yoga which provides such a marvelous system of mental training and culture that most effectively counteracts and wards off any possibility of neurotic complexes or obsessions.

It is, however, true that asceticism is very much misunderstood by the majority of persons, and unfortunately by the ascetics themselves, as a result of which we hardly come across a real ascetic in the aspirant world.

Yoga tells us to do a proper use of the tremendous faculties of undissipated senses for higher purposes of inner culture, social welfare, inventions, scientific progress, and finally, intuition. The senses are to be sublimated through restraint applied through reason and intelligent judgment. Their unlimited potentialities are to be harnessed for the greater good and not allowed to be most shamelessly dissipated for a momentary pleasure, unintelligent and animalistic. Viewed from this angle, the aspirant is asked not to starve and destroy the senses, but really to strengthen them and utilize them for his good. Dissipation, on the contrary, actually causes destruction of the senses.

The Greek ideal was enunciated as a general philosophy of life for the average humanity. Asceticism, as understood by the sages, is a distinctive discipline specially incumbent upon that class which would walk the spiritual way, the aspirant class dedicated to the goal of Self-realization. This class is vividly aware that the conception of "moderate enjoyment of life" is a conception alone and is well-nigh impossible to put into actual practice. For, the very nature of enjoyment is such that it tends to progressively increase in force each time the senses are indulged in. The habit gets man in its grip and draws him down. This has been the uniform experience of the sages. Therefore, at one stage or the other, a rigid religious self-control and denial becomes imperative in the march to spiritual progress.

The rank materialist may not care for it, but the seeker does. The seeker is marked out for a special achievement. You know how an ultra-modern acrobat, a ballet dancer or an expert boxer willingly imposes a rigid regimen upon himself to keep perfectly trim and healthy for his professional success. Mark the denials and restrictions during the training period of any serious candidate trying for a championship in athletics! His keen zest and enthusiasm serve to keep his mind in a high mood of inspiration and anticipation. What, then, should be the interest and aspiration in true asceticism undertaken as a part of the training for an infinitely greater achievement in the spiritual path?

 How to free ourselves from Karma?

Answer:  Feel, as you do your daily duties, that you are only a witness of all that goes on around you, of even your own actions. This is called Sakshi Bhav. You should inwardly realize that you are different from the active principle in you. This is the method of Vedanta.

There is the other-- easier, but equally potent  method of Nimitta Bhav. Feel that the Lord alone is the real doer of all actions and that you are an instrument in His hands. Your actions will be transformed into worship of the Lord, and you will not be bound to them. Work without expectation of any reward and without egoism. Root out the idea of agency; feel, "I am not the doer". You will be freed from the shackles of Karma. You will not accumulate new Karma. Allow your Prarabdha Karma to work out; and you will attain liberation.

Please explain to me what is meant by Cosmic Consciousness.

Answer:    It is a state of consciousness in which you are aware that God is all that there is, and what is more, that He is the link that connects all individuals. God is the Consciousness that illumines the entire creation. Realization of this Consciousness or God liberates one from bondage to passing phenomena, from the illusion of names and forms. This is the state of God-realization or Self-realization.

After God-realization, the individual is completely merged in the Cosmic Consciousness or God. It is like the rivers entering into the ocean; they lose their identity and you can no more distinguish the waters of the Ganges from the waters of the Godavari. The appearance of the world vanishes in the Reality of God, just as when the lamp is brought, the snake which appeared to be vanishes in the rope that exists.

I have often come across this word 'Kala' in the Indian scriptures. What exactly is meant by it?

Answer: It is the Great Time personified. It is the destroyer of name and form. In the Hindu pantheon, there are various gods and goddesses who are members of the divine hierarchy. Just as we have our government here composed of various ministers and officers, the celestials who rule the world, too, have their own deities who control the various aspects of creation, preservation and destruction of this world. Some are in charge of the various elements like air, fire and water; some are in charge of birth, death, preservation of life and disease. Kala or Yama or Dharmaraja is the Lord of Death. The entire universe is under his control in a way; for, when the time comes, he brings about the end of the earthly sojourn of all beings. It is only the man of Self-realization who transcends this Kala and realizes his own Self. All Sadhana is meant to help us transcend this Kala, to conquer death, to go beyond time.

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