Confused by Thoughts

confused-ideas

” Confused by thoughts,
we experience duality in life.
Unencumbered by ideas,
the enlightened see the one Reality.”

- Hui – Neng

VOYAGE – Chidananda Burke

In open casket dark and gleaming

richly draped in mourning velvet,

I turn into the setting sun,

my final journey now begun.

So calmly swift this polished boat,

so calm and bright the golden sea;

and just ahead, the bright horizon;

and just beyond, the splendor free.

Forgotten all those clumsy dreams

rising up in dark of mind;

earthly beauty left behind.

Now I touch, I drink the sun!

This I, once thick with form and flesh,

slowly rising

through dense atmospheres of life,

now pulses with light –

a glowing awareness

without center or source,

a luminous stillness

in the calm luminous stillness,

the endless course.

                                                      - CHIDANANDA BURKE
 

Photo by Kedar

Shankaracharya Gets Illumination from a Butcher

In India, there is a popular story of how the great scholar, Vedentin and Sage Shankaracharya gained illumination from a lesson where he learned to see God in every person. Sri Chinmoy writes of this illumining tale.

shiva

Lord Shiva

“…India’s Shankaracharya is by far the greatest Vedantin that our Mother-Earth has ever produced. At the dawn of his spiritual journey, before he had attained to the Consciousness of the Absolute Brahman, a certain feeling of differentiation plagued his mind. Hard was it for him to believe that everything in the universe was Brahman. One day as Shankara was returning home after having completed his bath in the Ganges, he chanced to meet a butcher—an untouchable. The butcher, who was carrying a load of meat, accidentally touched Shankara in passing. Shankara flew into a rage. His eyes blazed like two balls of fire. His piercing glance was about to turn the butcher into a heap of ashes. The poor butcher, trembling from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head, said, “Venerable Sir, please tell me the reason of your anger. I am at your service. I am at your command.” Shankara blurted out, “How dare you touch my body which has just been sanctified in the holiest river? Am I to remind you that you are a butcher?” “Venerable Sir,” replied the butcher, “who has touched whom? The Self is not the body. You are not the body. Neither am I. You are the Self. So am I.” The Knowledge of the One Absolute dawned on poor Shankara. People nowadays in India claim that the butcher was no other than Lord Shiva who wanted Shankara to practise what he was preaching. But, according to many, Shankara himself was an incarnation of Lord Shiva…”

Excerpt from : Seventy Three Years Ago Sri Chinmoy, My Ivy League Leaves, Agni Press, 1972.

Today in India, this story in different forms is sometimes re-enacted in Theyyam worship. – A wide ranging type of ritual worship where often the lower castes are given prominent roles in the performance.

Related

The Nature of Love

crocus

“The very nature of human love is to stick only to one person and to reject everyone else: accept and reject, accept and reject. But in divine love, which is unlimited and infinite, the question of acceptance and rejection does not arise at all. In divine love there is no possession – only a feeling of oneness.”

- Sri Chinmoy [1. What is Love?]

Related

Hilda Charlton – a tribute

(Hilda Charlton was a spiritual teacher who taught meditation in New York City from 1965 to 1988. In her teachings Hilda stressed the importance of a life of giving and forgiving, unconditional love and remembrance of God. She Hilda Charltonuplifted the lives of thousands of people who sought her spiritual guidance. She was born in London and moved to United States along with her parents and two elder brothers when she was four years old. As a young student she learnt classical ballet dancing and from the age of eighteen for the next two decades she performed and taught dancing in the San Francisco area. But right from her childhood her real quest was spiritual. From 1947 to 1950, Hilda toured India and Ceylon as a dancer. After that she lived in India and Ceylon for fifteen more years, pursuing her studies of Eastern mysticism and meditation under the guidance of many great spiritual masters.

This story of Hilda is based on her autobiography, ‘Hell bent for Heaven’. All phrases and sentences in quotes are Hilda’s own words unless otherwise mentioned.)

Hilda was direct, simple and filled with life1. The then president of Gold Mountain Entertainment, Danny Goldberg said of Hilda, “When Hilda talked about saints, she began with a gushing enthusiasm I would normally associate with a teenage girl contemplating her latest heartthrob. Almost imperceptibly her tone altered from one of girlishness to a solemnity manifesting the holiness of the saints’ lives to the jocular familiarity of a next door neighbour. Only gradually, subtly, and with the utmost concentration did it dawn on me that she herself was one of them.”

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Your song

sunrise

Your song caresses

the depths of loneliness,

high mountain bird

                                 – Matsuo Basho

Photo: Unmesh.

Our Birth is but a Sleep and a Forgetting

red sunset

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!

- William Wordsworth (excerpt from Odes On Intimation of Immortality)