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Paul Brunton’s “A Search In Secret India” May 5, 2009

Posted by eods in The Journey.
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Paul Brunton was a British who arrived in India in search of Yogis which he had heard to posses some mystical powers. He was more interested in finding Yogis who could break the laws of science. From the Holy Beacon of Arunachala to the hotels of Bombay. From the Sage who never Speaks to Shankaracharya he met them all and conversed with them all eventually finding something totally different than he had expected. His discoveries are well documented in his book “A search in secret India” written in 1930+.

Bruton at every opportunity he gets rediculous Indian people’s trait to get emotiona for every reason and beyond limits. Thus for every deciple his seer is the greatest who can do anything and eveyrthing. His contempt for brown skin is visible everywhere. Also he thansk every now and than his education system that helped him to think with logic. I must say that while he holds contempt for brown skin and is blunt at most times. He doesnt seem to be prejudiced and is much open to question his own thinking.

This book takes us into the world of Seers and Yogis not known to us otherwise. It tells us about many things which we would find unbelievable today.

Roles of these Yogis in Indian society has always been very significant. We today say and hear about Baba Ramdev, a person devoted to the spread of Yoga and community service. While he himself is poor, wears nothing but a orange Robe, he yields massive influence on common people. These are one kid of seers and there are others.

Buddhist Monks who fled India to reach tibet carried away with them the ancient knowledge of Universities in Nalanda, Takshashila which otherwise would have got destroyed by Islamic invaders. During the China wars the same monks and sadhus hid compasses in their robes and puja equipments and helped india to create Maps of that complicated terrain.

Austerity, aloofness of these people have often been a mystery to modern society, which also views them as lunatics. Most of them are indeed lunatics. But the real Yogis I would say are difficult to find. They are not seen in the public any more.

What provokes people to give up all pleasures of life ? Does a life of this nature has any meaning and goal? It is certain that that life is not for all, but then what makes those very few people different from other?

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Traditions and Customs May 5, 2009

Posted by eods in Dialogs, The Journey.
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Like any other youth, I always had/have a tenancy to question the established customs and traditions. My parents often focused on performing a ritual exactly the way their forefathers did, and I honestly didn’t like it. Why is it necessary? Do rituals have any significance in reaching God?

My question was later accidentally answered by a person I had deep respect for. He himself had spent his life performing various rituals. He asked me, “Do you really think your parents are doing things exactly the way their parents did ?” My answer was “No”. They have modified several customs for convenience and to suite the modern times. I answered faithfully.Then he drew my attention to the fact that the rituals which we say are thousand years old may not have been preserved and practiced exactly the way they were done 50 years ago. Over the generations they have some times refined, sometimes polluted, sometimes complicated, sometimes simplified. Whether they are worth doing or not is a question that possibly can not be answered with a sharp logic. It will depend on the Sanskara’s that are embodied in your genes which you have inherited from your last so many generations he said.

He told me that this continuous change in rituals and traditions probably shows man’s desperate search to find that door or that path that takes him to the divine. Following a tradition gives a sense of permanence to that legacy while constant change ensures that there are new ideas added and it does not stagnate.

Hinduism Primer May 4, 2009

Posted by eods in Reviews and Readings.
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A debate continues within the Hinduism itself of the character of the religion. Hinduism is not simply a living thing, it is also a lively thing, a wide variety of beliefs and practices co-exist within it. After almost 40 centuries Hinduism is still in the making. No single version of it has completely dictated Hindu doctrine and values. Perhaps most remarkable of all, is the continuous religious tradition has survived and adapted over this long period. It is one of the oldest religion in the world. Despite the stresses and strains it has endured , nearly one billion individuals , in one way or another identify themsevels as Hindus.

This is how the five part documentary on Hinduism concludes. 50 minutes is hardly a time to explain anything in much depth but I must say that its a very good job done. The background music just takes you deep into trans. Unlike very few commentators on Hinduism, this documentary has brilliantly captured Gandhi’s influence on Hinduism and vice versa. A must watch for all students of comparative religion who want to begin exploring Hinduism.

The ultimate truth May 3, 2009

Posted by eods in The Journey.
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What is the ultimate truth of life?

Many say it death some say its love. I think the ultimate truth in human life is the pain and sorrows. What provoked Muhammad or Gautama Buddha to search that eternal truth? It is something that everyone has to go through. A king who has the power to get everything, a destitute who has nothing to lose, or anyone between these to extremes is equally sad and has sorrows of equal magnitude.

In Gita, Shri Krishna says that often a person develops a desire, that desire when not fulfilled causes anger, anger makes him lose his capability for rational thinking which eventually make him do things which he should not be doing and causes sorrows.What if he fulfills the desire? Then I guess there are more desires, of still higher incentives which are still difficult to fulfill and the chain continues which we call greed.

Then one argues, that the scriptures tell us to be happy with what we have do not aspire for more. Isnt that life dening we are asked. Shouldnt we work to make this world a better place, to do the best of our abilites, think and dream big? Einstein’s research and contribution to field of science has been massive, if he had believed in those scripture he probably would have done all that ?

The feeling of desire is more complex. It is a state where in the person attaches an undue importance to the “destination” and doesnt bother about the path he takes. Most of the people in life has a sole aim of making money, there is nothing wrong in having this sort of objective but, they dont bother about how they will earn it. They dont bother about provind value to the world and then getting money in return. They dont bother to improve the service they provide and earn more money. They will cheat, they will take bribe and earn more money. That is because they “just want money” which is their desire and when they dont get money they get angry. A government servant refuses to do you work and gets angry if you refuse to give him a bribe.

Einstein never worked to invent E=mc2. He merely worked to demystify the relationship between mass and energy. He would not have got angry if he had not reached any conclusion, he would have become restless at the most and worked still harder.  That is what Krishna means when he says dont bother about consequences but do your “Karma”.  He never said that dont dream big, in fact salvation is the highest possible dream that one can have and he stressed on it, everything else is it’s sub set.

There are many philophies which claim to have found answer to the problem of human sorrows and pain. Christianity says that bow before the God, pray for mercy and he is merciful to everyone and will mitigate your sins and make your sorrows dissapear. Islam says that believe in Allah Subhanawatalah and he will take care of you. Buddha had much complex answer about the pain and sorrows and he also denied the concept of god but the four noble truths he professed are not really different from the advice of Krishna

“that suffering is an inherent part of existence; that the origin of suffering is ignorance and the main symptoms of that ignorance are attachment and craving; that attachment and craving can be ceased; and that following the Noble Eightfold Path will lead to the cessation of attachment and craving and therefore suffering.”–Buddha (Taken from Wikipedia)

I think when we think about suffering, we should first analyze if there is any desire at the root cause. Our mind might tell us that the desire is inevitable. If a father is feeling the sorrow of the death of his young son, isnt the desire in his mind that his son should have been with him a just one ? Why should he just drop that desire?

I dont know? I have not yet studied the scriptures in that depth. But I will one day, may be from the personal experiences I will find an answer to the caueses of sorrows and pain!

Darkness Within April 12, 2009

Posted by eods in The Journey.
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Christian theology believes that the muman spirit is by birth and by default is impure. One has to make it pure by seeking mercy with that only God. Hindusm is little different, it belives that the soul is always pure no matter what, its the being who is not aware of its purity, and life is nothing but a search within to get familier with that soul.

I too don’t believe that the soul is dark, its just not illuminated. It like we cant see the sun in night not because of darkness but our positions with respect to sun is wrong, there is a huge mass of earth that comes in between and we perceive it as darkness of night.

So when I say my soul is dark, do I really mean it ? NO! Absolutely not. That darkness is my relative position. It is in my thoughts. My soul in its real form is as pure as anything. Assume that the earth stops rotating. It will mean that one side of earth will always have night and other side will always have light. And a man who lives on that half might think that the whole earth is dark. Imagine you are that person and you are the only one left on earth.

Now its upto you to believe if there is any illumination, on the other side. Even whether any other side exists is a matter of belief. But then imagine you walking in a direction in that darkness of night, to find the light. One fine day (there will not be any concept of day hence let us call it a moment), that moment you will see a ray, a ray that originates at the horizon, which tells you that, “That other side” exists and indeed there lies illumination behind it.

This is my journey! I have to walk there alone. I am in the dillema, same like that Arjun in the middle of the battlefield. Or like Radha when the Krishna departed, Or like a Karn when Parshuram asked him his Varn, or like Ekalavya when refused admission to Drona’s ashram.

But like all of them I will prove that what matters is the conviction to pass through every trouble. To have a deep faith that the other side exists and I will find the illumination, I call it enlightment.