Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev never ceases to surprise us – with his extraordinary words of wisdom - simple, but straight to the heart.
I have already covered some of his words of wisdom in some of my earlier Posts.
I wish to continue the same – with the following few :
(i) When you start thinking nobody in this world is OK, that is the first step to madness
(ii) Our lives become beautiful if we include everybody around us as a part of our dream of wellbeing.
(iii) If you are doing something willingly, no matter what it is, you enjoy it. If you are doing it unwillingly, then you suffer it.
(iv) Every human being is equally capable of knowing the source and nature of his existence.
(v) Just talking spirituality, acting spiritual is no good. Transformation must happen.
(vi) The question about the purpose of life arises only if you experience life as meaningless. If it was an ecstatic experience, you would not ask why.
(vii) In reality there is only NOW. If you know how to handle this moment, you know how to handle the whole eternity.
(viii) If you start believing something which is not yet in your experience, you will lose touch of reality.
(ix) If you do not choose to become steady source of blissfulness for yourself and everything around you, you will remain an immature life.
(x) Optimists will hallucinate, pessimists will get depressed. Both will not get anywhere. You have to be willing to see everything the way it is.
(xi) Human beings are capable of suffering just about anything. You send them to heaven; they will suffer - because they will miss hell.
These are obviously – not mere quotable quotes.
They represent the eternal, essential truths of Life.
We need to read, study, contemplate and meditate on them – to understand and appreciate the precious gift to us – which is , our LIFE itself.
But then as Sadhguru says – transformation must happen.
Meet you again – with some more, some time.
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Saturday, June 26, 2010
OF HUMAN GOALS
What are Human Goals?
Are there common goals for all of us in the Human society? Are we not different from each other in our wants, needs and Goals?
These are questions examined by social scientists in every Society. In a previous post, we have examined Abraham Maslow’s classification of Human needs. He calls the five layers of human needs as Physiological needs, Safety needs, Love/belonging needs, Esteem needs and self Actualization needs. That classification is applicable, by and large for all human beings, with some exceptions of human beings and some exceptions of circumstances. Subsequent authors added a few more needs.
In another post, we have also seen how the five human quotients, namely, physical, Intellectual, emotional, Social and spiritual, drive us to seek satisfaction of each of their innate needs. We have also seen how little each of us knows about our own five quotients – which is very astonishing to us, on close examination.
We have also seen the difference between our wants and needs. Our wants are UNLIMITED and as each want is satisfied, another want takes its place. But, our needs are comparatively LIMITED. Between the unlimited wants and the limited needs come some where the HUMAN GOALS. They do encompass the human needs, but not all of human wants, which by their nature are unlimited. Unlike wants and needs, Goals create a wonderful focus for human life.
In ancient India, human Goals were classified into 4 categories, namely - (1) Artha (2) Kaama (3) Dharma and (4) Moksha. The four categories together are called the “FOURFOLD GOALS OF MAN.” In Sanskrit, these are called Chathur Vidha Purushaartha.
All the four goals are wholesomely integrated goals of every one’s life and each person is expected to strive to achieve all the four goals in a wholesome manner.
For each of the goals, there is an underlying science, called a “Saasthra” in Sanskrit. The ancient sages had propounded their own ideas, the ideas of their venerable ancestors and their Gurus in these Saasthraas. A Saasthra does not consist of a single book by a single sage. There can be many texts by many sages. But, today, very few of the ancient Saasthraas are available. There are too many, large, historic gaps and too few authentic records. Yet, the substantive content of the Saasthraas can be gleaned to some extent from available texts. These are explained below in respect of the four human goals:
This Introduction helps us to understand that each human goal is backed by a science on the nature of the goal, its importance to man, how, when, where and how much of the goal is to be attained and the goal becomes irrelevant!
WEALTH (OR) ARTHA
This is the first Goal. Artha can be loosely translated as Wealth. Wealth accumulation has been a common goal in east and west in all ages. But, ARTHA is much more than Wealth. Various types of wealth are detailed in many ancient texts. While wealth is a goal, wealth is needed to satisfy various wants and needs. Some are needed to mitigate different types of pain, sorrow, suffering and fear and some are for satisfaction of other physiological, psychological, emotional and safety needs.
Physical strength, children and Spouse also comes under ARTHA. Wife is considered the embodiment of the Goddess of Wealth (named, Lakshmi) and it was ordained that where Women weep, there gods do not send rains. Apart from Wealth, Wealth earning skills and Possessions are all considered as WEALTH.
But, acquisition of wealth is not considered as the goal in itself.
It is well understood that there is no way any wealth can give happiness. Except to a miser. The real joy of wealth accrues when it is spent in exquisitely designed ways that satisfy some of our very best emotional, social and spiritual needs.
Every spending therefore occurred in community. Even the family Unit was a single large, combined family. People derived maximum happiness from each wealth spending activity and the elaborate procedures surrounding them. If there was one country which derived maximum joy from wealth, it was ANCIENT INDIA.
Artha Sasthra (the Science of Wealth) was taught in the ancient residential schools called Gurukulams. Artha Sasthra written by Chanakya (the famous minister and Guru of the Magadh Empire) brings together some of the teachings on the subject available already. Parts of it can be found in what Bheesma taught to Yudhistir in Maha Bharat. Every Guru taught these sciences to all of their students. But, with the gradual disappearance of most Gurukulams, and the apathy of the ruling clans, many of these sciences (or, Sasthras) have disappeared from public knowledge.
(ENTERTAINMENT - LOVE – PLEASURE SEEKING)
The second goal is Kaama. Kaama means - Desire, entertainment and any pleasure seeking activity like Love(including man-woman physical relationships).
India had well developed sciences for satisfaction of human desires. Dress, ornaments, buildings, festivities, dances, singing, love (including sex) and all that goes in the name of entertainment and pleasure existed in those days – in a much more enjoyable and scientific form than today.
64 different arts and skills were specifically mentioned, developed and practiced, but there were many others too. Some of these arts and skills were for wealth acquisition, but many were for entertainment, love, pleasure and happiness, not always requiring any support of wealth.
Extraordinary skills existed – for enjoying the pleasures of life.
Some say that the first goal of Artha was mainly for DUHKHA NIVRITTHI (Removal of sorrows, pains, ensuring basic needs etc), While Kaama was mainly for SUKHA PRAPTHI (for attaining pleasure and luxury of all types, comfort etc). But, the two were never water tight compartments.
Kaama Sasthra, the science of fulfilling various desires and pleasures was highly developed. Bharatha Muni had written a treatise on the famous dance form Bharatha Natyam. The scientific principles governing physical relationships of man and woman were compiled by Sage Vaathsyayana as Kaama Sutras which, because of their nature and wider usage, is very popular across the world. Charaka and other great doctors had found herbal medicines which had extraordinary properties to satisfy human desires of various kinds. Some People knew the art of travelling to distant places without any mechanical assistance. This was the art of Kaama Gamana. Disbelief about some of them will stalk our mind today, since, we have lost most of them. But, even Patanjali mentions a few such powers, in his Yoga Sutras, which he says are easily attainable through the processes of Samyama. Today, almost no one tries to go beyond Meditation into dharana, samyama etc. These are not called extraordinary powers – but are quite ordinary for the one who goes through the training meticulously.
It is difficult to find an English equivalent for the Sanskrit word “Dharma” , which is the third human goal. There are 2 meanings for the word.
In the first meaning, DHARMA tells us what are the appropriate actions one can indulge in on each occasion of one’s life. Not merely wealth getting or wealth spending or entertainment activities but many other activities. Dharma lays heavy stress on Just means for achieving the goals of human life. In this meaning – most of the time, Dharma is placed before Artha and Kaama – to signify the importance of means – to achieve the goals of Artha and Kaama. Artha and Kaama are the ENDS, but Dharma is the means ( in this meaning). No just occupation is considered inferior by Dharma.
In the second connotation, DHARMA defines good and unselfish deeds which must be performed by all individuals on a daily basis and the result of such deeds. On the negative side, it also lays down the list of bad deeds and their result.
This meaning of Dharma closely follows the principle of Cause and Effect inherent in the theory of Karma. It in fact says that there are always two results for every good and bad deed.
One is the Visible, Direct and Immediate Result – on the doer of the deed and on the beneficiary/receiver of the deed.
The Second is the Invisible, Futuristic and Indirect result that arises from the GOODNESS / BADNESS implicit in the deed. The motive behind the deed also counts heavily in deciding the indirect, future result that should accrue to each party. For example, when thief steals money, the direct result is, he gets the money or the goods which he steals. But, a definite, futuristic, invisible result now follows him and makes him pay for his unfair deed at some time, in ways decided by the Dharma. There is no escape from this result awarded by the Dharma.
The invisible fruits of the GOODNESS / BADNESS are finally reaped by us in a VISIBLE FORM – either in this life in future , or in some cases, in a future life. It is of course difficult for us to connect the original GOOD/BAD deed with the invisible result which accompanies us and which fructifies on some future date in a VISIBLE FORM.
This implies that, in the current life, we are mostly, reaping the effects of THE GOODNESS/BADNESS of our deeds of the past in this birth or those of a past birth. The invisible effect of Good deeds is called PUNYAM and the invisible effect of the BAD DEEDS is called PAPAM (Or Sin).
Our stock of PUNYAM and PAPAM which remains unspent in current birth will definitely accompany us to our next birth. All other things which we accumulate in life through good and bad deeds can never accompany any of us after death. We all know that. It is also said that our Punyam and Papam will determine the course of our future in current birth and in our future births.
We may or may not believe in Next Birth or karma theory etc – But logic tells us that – for every action, there must be an equivalent and opposite reaction. If that be the nature’s law – how can there be NO BAD EFFECT on you for your BAD DEEDS? How can nature allow you to get away with the enjoyment of things stolen by you, without compensating for the suffering inflicted by you on others in the process?
We can cheat the judicial systems, law enforcement systems and everybody else – but the Nature’s infallible and inviolable Law of Karma is always with us. It calculates and gives you what you deserve on the basis of your deeds – not necessarily what you want or need and not necessarily when you want or need.
Dharma is laid down in various Dharma Sasthras. There were many of them, but very few have survived. Manu Dharma Saasthra compiled by a famous king called Manu is available in bits and pieces, but, is widely misunderstood. Lord Krishna speaks of Karma theory in detail in Bhagavad Gita. Dharma prescribed in Vedas is considered more authentic, but Social systems and practices have moved far away from Vedic days. Yet, the Dharma Saasthra when examined in depth, appear highly relevant today, than at any time.
LAW OF ATTRACTION : We all talk of the Law of Attraction. It is a popular law now and largely it is true. But, You are not attracting and getting some thing merely because you want it badly. It comes to you –because you have done some thing - either known to you or unknown to you – to deserve it. Sow the seed – and get the appropriate fruit at appropriate time. Sow the seed of Love- you get the fruits of LOVE. Sow Dharma – and your needs of Artha and Kaama are fulfilled.
In the absence of Dharma, even the money, food, house etc you get – will give you suffering and not joy. Let us understand that – Dharma is – as much a need as Artha and Kaama. You carry Dharma – the invisible result of your deeds always with you. If you are peaceful and joyful today – it is the invisible result of your own earlier deed fructifying today! If you are not – that too is the result of your own deeds.
However much we may earn the ARTHA and KAAMA – WE have to leave them behind on earth when DEATH comes. All relationships also end with death. But, our Dharma is the only wealth which accompanies us. Spirituality emphasizes this in many ways. You need this invisible baggage of DHARMA in your next birth. Likewise, the PAPAM or SIN that we do, also accompanies us to the next birth and gives different types of adverse effects. This third goal thus lays down that means are of great importance for earning and spending the first two goals of artha and Kaama.
Most people are aware of and are working for these 3 goals only.
But, do these three goals satisfy us in sufficient measure?
This is the question which comes up before every human being all through his life. Human wants are unlimited. As each want is satisfied, another want takes its place. So, we are in a vicious circle of wants, efforts and ends. Even DHARMA deos not really free us from this vicious circle.
Also, all the three Goals examined above and all the five types of needs of Abraham Maslow suffer from some serious limitations. Some of these LIMITATIONS of our goals were examined by the ancient Indian Gurus as below :
(i) PAIN : The very act of seeking the three goals involves inherent suffering and pain. The very desire itself, the efforts made to satisfy it, the efforts to be made to retain the achieved goal all involve pain. There is always the fear of losing what is achieved. Most of the desired objects come into our life, stay with us for some time and then, go away from us. You must acquire them again. This unending pursuit of human wants involves pain. In many cases, the pain is much more than the pleasure that we get. Pain is longer and pleasure is shorter.
(ii) DISSATISFACTION : Every thing that we acquire may give us some satisfaction. But, it also gives us some dissatisfaction. Either we want more of it, or, we want some thing better than what we got. There is nothing that gives us complete satisfaction and only satisfaction. Always some dissatisfaction comes along. It creates seeking of some other or some more of the same – to avoid or to take away the dis-satisfaction. There is never a time that we get complete satisfaction and only satisfaction.
(iii) DEPENDENCE : whatever we seek or achieve, creates some dependence of us on it. We depend on the house, the spouse, the money, the friends and any thing that we acquire because of our efforts. This dependence also causes Pain and dis-satisfaction.
(iv) TEMPORARY : All want satisfying things are temporary and have no permanence. The most beautiful wife ages soon. So will you too. The cleanest house becomes dirty and dilapidated. We are constantly reminded of their temporariness – even while they are with us.
Thus, all the goals we achieve suffer from these limitations. Do we not need a goal which is free from all these limitations? That is our fourth goal – called Moksha or liberation.
The goal of Moksha is elaborately dealt with in all Upanisads. Moksha or Liberation is – liberation from all the limitations of the aforesaid three Goals. All struggles, wants, dissatisfactions, pains, bondages and all fears must end. How does that happen?
Liberation is said to happen when you know YOUR true self or true nature. The body-mind complex that you possess comprises of the five universal elements of space, air, fire, water and earth.
Be it your beautiful wife or husband or a great meal, or a house, or any other thing that satisfies your want, it comprises of these five elements in some proportion. The five elements within you are seeking union with the five elements outside you. You want more and more of them – but this wanting never ends. The wealthiest man is just as much dissatisfied and unhappy as the one on the roads -as this wanting never ends.
Now, the fourth goal of Moksha liberates you from this seeking by giving you your real nature back. Your real nature comprises of three dimensions. First – the real you have no birth, no death, no illnesses, no growing old or young, no decaying and no pains. This dimension of YOU is called SATH. The second dimension is called CHITH - that you are actually the CONSCIOUSNESS pervading your body and mind (and every where else in the Universe) and not the body and mind. The body and mind are given to you in this birth for certain purposes. The third dimension is, AANANDA – or joy. It is not that you are merely joyful – but you are joy itself.
“YOU are the consciousness, which has no birth, death or suffering and is pure joy”.
All meditation is contemplation on this real you. Can you meditate on this?
It doesn’t matter, if this is confusing and you can’t agree with this because of your presently-held belief systems. The experience of this dimension of truth is not easy – for most people. The body-mind complex looks and feels so much like the real you.
But, this meditation (contemplation) has significant other tangible benefits for you. From a purely worldly life point of view – You will experience a calmness, a joy – which you can’t experience in any other worldly activity. You become much more joyful than you are today and reduce your sorrows and sufferings drastically, through simple means. This is a gradual progression towards liberation.
Liberation is not, repeat, NOT, some thing which happens after death. Liberation is said to occur instantly on realization of the truth.
Do you want to be more joyful – and less suffering? You do! Try this contemplation and meditation. Go to a competent Guru to teach you this. You lose thing – except, your tensions and suffering.
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Thursday, June 24, 2010
India has produced several great thinkers and experimenters on Yoga, meditation and Samadhi etc.
In recent years, Osho has been one such GREAT THINKER AND EXPERIMENTER. It is almost impossible not to become awe-struck when we start listening to his talks on any one of these subjects.
Well. His “copyleft and private policy” – which I have reproduced here – is itself a beauty of clarity.
You will find here some excerpts on meditation, from his talks – which are of great interest and value to any Meditator.
"Things can be copyrighted, thoughts cannot be copyrighted, and certainly meditations cannot be copyrighted. They are not things of the marketplace. Nobody can monopolize anything. But perhaps the West cannot understand the difference between an objective commodity and an inner experience. For ten thousand years the East has been meditating and nobody has put trademarks upon meditations.” = Osho
"Meditation is a single lesson of awareness, of no-thought, of spontaneity, of being total in your action, alert, aware. It is not a technique, it is a knack. Either you get it or you don't." = Osho
Will meditation help me to be happy?
Many people come to me and they say they are unhappy, and they want me to give them some meditation. I say: First, the basic thing is to understand why you are unhappy. And if you don't remove those basic causes of your unhappiness, I can give you a meditation, but that is not going to help very much -- because the basic causes remain there.=OSHO
Unless you find your spontaneity, unless you find your element, you cannot be happy. And if you cannot be happy, you cannot be meditative.=OSHO
Why did this idea arise in people's minds? that meditation brings happiness. In fact, wherever they found a happy person they always found a meditative mind -- both things got associated. Whenever they found the beautiful, meditative milieu surrounding a man, they always found he was tremendously happy -- vibrant with bliss, radiant. They became associated. They thought: Happiness comes when you are meditative. It was just the other way round: meditation comes when you are happy. But to be happy is difficult and to learn meditation is easy. To be happy means a drastic change in your way of life, an abrupt change -- because there is no time to lose. A sudden change -- a sudden clash of thunder -- a discontinuity. =OSHO
This is the most important thing about life-problems to understand: they are created by your unclarity of vision. So it is not that first you see them clearly, then you find the solution, and then you try to apply the solution. No, the process is not that long; the process is very simple and short. …..But the question is only about life-problems. For example, you are feeling jealous, angry, you are feeling a kind of meaninglessness. You are dragging yourself somehow. You don't feel that life is juicy anymore. These are life-problems and they arise out of your unclarity of mind. Because unclarity is the source of their arising, clarity becomes their dissolution. If you are clear, if you can see clearly, the problem will disappear.=OSHO
You have not to do anything other than that. Just seeing, just watching its whole process: how the problem arises, how it takes possession of you, how you become completely clouded by it, blinded by it; and how you start acting madly, for which you repent later on, about which you realize later on that it was sheer insanity, that "I did it in spite of myself. I never wanted to do it, still I did it. And even when I was doing it I knew that I didn't want to do it." But it was as if you were possessed.... =OSHO
Is meditation also useful for younger people?"
"In India people say that meditation is only for the old. Once they are on the verge of death then they can meditate, it is not for young people. Meditation is the last thing on the list; do it when you have done everything else. "But remember that the time never comes when you have done everything, when you are too old to do anything else, when all your energy has been wasted, when it is time to meditate. When you are incapable of doing anything how can you meditate? Meditation needs energy, the purest, most vital -- meditation needs energy overflowing." = OSHO
Can older people also meditate?
"The whole point is how to go back to the source from where you have come. And that's all meditation is about: to return, to come back to the source and fall into it again. You are Buddhas, you have been Buddhas, you will remain Buddhas -- but Buddhahood has three stages. One, before you have lost it, the childhood of a Buddha. Then, you search for it, the youth of a Buddha; then, you attain it, the old age.
"Every child is a Buddha, every young man a seeker, and every old man should be, if things were right, one who has attained. That's why we respect and honor old people so much in the East. If everything goes well, a wise man means one who has come back to the source." =OSHO
You are asking, "Is it possible to meditate without any technique?" It is not only possible, it is the only possibility. No technique is needed at all -- as far as meditation is concerned. But what are you going to do with your mind? Your mind will create a thousand and one difficulties. Those techniques are needed to remove the mind from the way, to create a space in which the mind becomes quiet, silent, almost absent. Then meditation happens on its own accord.=OSHO
Meditation is simply awareness without any effort, an effortless alertness; it does not need any technique. But your mind is so full of thoughts, so full of dreams, so much of the past, so much of the future -- it is not herenow, and awareness has to be herenow. The techniques are needed to help you to cut your roots from the past, to cut your dreams from the future, and to keep you in this moment as if only this moment exists. Then there is no need of any technique. =OSHO
But the basic fundamental is, whatsoever the meditation, it has to fill this requirement: that the body, mind, consciousness, all three should function in unity. Then suddenly one day the fourth has arrived: the witnessing. Or if you want to, call it God; call it God or nirvana or Tao or whatsoever you will.= OSHO
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