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Archive | inspiration

The Unitive State

In the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad we get a most illumining description of the immortal Self and its primordial state of complete union with the all-pervading Divine consciousness.

In the Unitive state there is no suffering and pleasure, there is no birth and death; there is only a state of being.

At times the Self may incarnate in a certain body and have a dream like experience in and through this particular body. However whatever may befall this particular body, it is like a mere passing experience which leaves no lasting mark on the state of being.

Thus, when we feel I am hungry or I am in pain, what we really mean is that this particular body is hungry, this body has taken on the experience of pain. In ordinary life we perceive ourselves to be in a body, with a thinking mind and human emotion. But, this is not the real Self. At this point, the immortal words of the Bhagavad Gita throw light on the difference between the material world of impermanence and the Self’s reality of absolute permanence

"Even as man discards old clothes for the new ones, so the dweller in the body, the soul, leaving aside the worn-out bodies, enters into new bodies. The soul migrates from body to body. Weapons cannot cleave it, nor fire consume it, nor water drench it, nor wind dry it." [1]

Furthermore, the Upanishads reveal that the nature of the Unitive state is beyond sex; it is neither male nor female, but contains the essence of both polarities in perfect harmony. Within the Self there is no concept of man made morality, good and evil do no exist. The Unitive state is in all; everything is but a dream of God, the all-pervading consciousness. To an un-illumined seeker, these concepts may be hard to grasp, for if we live in the world of duality, it is not possible to avoid such concepts. Yet, the Upanishads do not shrink from unveiling the supreme mystery of life, which is: what is the nature of God, my real Self?

"In that Unitive state one sees without seeing, for there is nothing separate from him; smells without smelling, for there is nothing separate from him; speaks without speaking, for there is nothing separate from him; knows without knowing for there is nothing separate from him." [2]

In the Unitive state negative emotions of anger, hate, jealousy and anxieties cannot occur. How can we be jealous of our own Self? How is it possible to hate the Self which offers only unconditional love. How is it possible to be anxious when nothing can affect the intense delight of being?

Furthermore other Upanishads tell us that the essence of this unitive state is infinite and unalloyed bliss.

"From Delight we came into existence.

In Delight we grow.

At the end of our journey’s close,

Into Delight we retire.

[3]

The intense inner ecstasy of this state of being can never be described in words. But, when we gain a glimpse of this consciousness we will never feel desire for the pleasures of this world.

[1] Sri Chinmoy on Death

[2] Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

[3] Upanishads

Brahman of the Upanishads

Some interesting recent blog entries

Sometimes it can be hard to find purely uplifting blog entries in the middle of the introspective maelstrom that is the blogosphere, but here are a couple of gems that have shone out recently:

  • Freedom: a moment of clarity through running a marathon. Posted on Spirit Flower’s blog at Zaadz.
  • The most exotic animal: Serial Guiness-record-breaker Ashrita Furman describes his recent record-breaking exploits in Mongolia! Ashrita’s records often have a very playful aspect to them, and this blog entry is great fun to read!
  • Jellyfish concentration: A mother tries to teach her son how to concentrate, but ends up getting a lesson herself. A post from the Sri Chinmoy Inspiration Group.
  • The world’s oldest sub-3 marathoner: A short blog article about Ed Whitlock, who ran a 2:54 marathon at age 73

Books that change lives

Many people who are on a journey of self-discovery were introduced to the possibility through reading a book which opened their eyes and made them realise there was something deeper to life than what we see on the surface.

For many people, reading these books marked the starting of their inner quest in earnest, and set off a chain of events which might even have led to them pursuing an altogether different path than the one suggested in the book; nevertheless reading the book was a crucial stepping-stone that helped them to become aware that there was more to life than what just lay on the surface.

The term ‘life-changing book’ is all to often little more than publisher’s blurb nowadays, but there are a few books for whom this claim has held true over the years:

  • The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • The Alchemist – Paolo Coelho

These two books have a very childlike feel to them, but this childlike form lends itself for use as an allegory for bigger and deeper questions. Most memorable quote from the Little Prince: "It is only with the hear that one can see properly. What is essential is invisible to the eye."

  • Autobiography of A Yogi: Paramhansa Yogananda

This book is one of the most widely-read accounts of Eastern philosophy available. In this book, the author describes his childhood spiritual experiences and remerkable spiritual figures that he has met. In particular, the chapters where he describes the guidance he recieved from his teacher, Sri Yukteshwar, is one of the best accounts of the meditation teacher-student relationship available.

  • Siddhartha – Herman Hesse

A reworking of the tale of how the young prince Siddhartha Gautama became the Buddha, or the enlightened one. After embracing the extremes of austerity and luxury, the prince attains enlightenment throuth the middle path. Multiple Guinness record holder and long-time meditator Ashrita Furman first became interested in Eastern philosophy after reading this book, beginning a journey which was soon to lead him to his teacher, Sri Chinmoy .

Famous speeches of Thomas Jefferson

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Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence, wrote some tremendously inspiring speeches which shaped the course of history. Jefferson was not a good public speaker and he preferred communicating through writing instead, but in this field he was probably one of the most eloquent correspondents ever.

The preamble to the Declaration of Independence is possibly the most famous of Jefferson’s writings, and to this day it evokes the original spirit of the American nation:

‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness….’

The Declaration of Independence then goes on to cite a list of grievances against the British crown. among them, Jefferson wanted to include the following denunciation of slavery:

‘He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither…’

In the end, this clause had to be dropped to ensure the acceptance of the declaration by some of the Southern states.

After the war, Jefferson served in the legislature of his home state of Virginia. He sponsored many pieces of legislation, the most famous of which was the Statute of Religious Freedom, which was passed in 1785. Up until then, people holding different religious views from the majority could be stripped of public office and imprisoned. Jefferson’s bill begins with a passionate argument against compulsory religion:

‘Whereas Almighty God hath created the mind free; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy author of our religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as it was in his Almighty power to do….our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry…..’

Jefferson considered this bill one of his three finest achievements, along with the Declaration of Independence and the founding of the University of Virginia. It became the inspiration for the first amendment to the United States Constitution, which guaranteed freedom of speech and religion for all.

In 1800, Jefferson became president after an extremely close election. The election deepened a great rift between federalists, who wanted stronger power for the fledgling United States government, and republicans like Jefferson, who viewed centralised government as a necessary evil that must be contained and not allowed to overshadow states’ rights. Despite his views, he used his inaugural address to reach out to his defeated opponents and call for unity:

‘Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things. And let us reflect that, having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled and suffered, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of as bitter and bloody persecutions….’

Secrets of Happiness

The Secrets of Happiness by Jogyata Dallas

The quest for lasting happiness lies at the very heart of all human purpose and experience, though this much desired attainment is sought in many different ways. Among the ways that have proven successful a number of recurring themes are evident.

The perennial philosophies of our spiritual teachers urge self-perfecting, the inner way, while most of mankind is searching in the outer world ? right person, right possessions, right place.

Here are a few pointers that work:

Start Within

A huge wealth of highly credible literature and teachings concur that happiness is first of all an inner accomplishment, not just a series of circumstances. Prayer, contemplation, quiet time, simply sitting with peaceful music, the practice of inner stillness, all help in developing understanding, balance, an inner harmony and poise. Happiness arises out of these practices like the fragrance of a flower.

Visualise Your Day

Take five minutes at the start of each day to visualize what you intend to accomplish ? prepare the mind, your life energy, and burst into your day with vigour, intensity, calm resolve and joy. Every day we create our world with our mind ? our moods, emotions, attitudes and consciousness. Train the mind and fill it with inspiration and positive energies, self-faith, the bright colours of your heart and soul.

Be Healthy

Try to achieve excellent and enduring physical health through regular cardiovascular exercise and reasonable diet. The well-being of the body creates the foundations of a lasting happiness. Body, mind, heart, soul interconnect and impact on each other ? happiness is helped by physical well-being as well as by stress free living, simplicity, spiritual awakening. The body is the temple, the soul is the shrine, happiness the fragrance.

Compassion and Kindness

Practice kindness and acts of self-giving. When we use our good qualities to serve others, our good qualities multiply. When we neglect these and live only for ourselves, they wither. This is karma yoga, spirituality in action ? the ego is erased, the heart widens, our oneness with others expands and deepens. Happiness blossoms when we see and serve the divinity in everything around us.

Gratitude

Try not to feel burdened by life or see yourself as frail and vulnerable. See every trial and challenge as an opportunity to learn, grow, triumph, and see yourself as having much undiscovered strength and capacity. Feel gratitude for your life ? for what you have and what you do not have, who you are and who you are not. Feel your life perfection and your own blossoming perfection. You are the soul and your talents and capacities are boundless ? it?s really true.

Simplicity

Simplicity is the shedding of everything that prevents our enlightenment. Our world dazzles us with endless enchantments ? we will be happy if we have more, if we acquire this, that. But simplicity brings a happiness that comes through having less, achieving desirelessness. For desires do not diminish through fulfillment but deepen and multiply. The more we get, the more we want. Simplicity is an inner achievement ? ?simplicity is an advanced course? as Sri Chinmoy succinctly says.

“Desire is a cord that binds us to the world ? simplicity severs the cord and brings detachment and freedom. According to the spiritual masters, the ultimate simplicity is the surrender of one?s self-determination to God.”

Heart Not Mind

The mind plays a dominant role in our modern life and slowly fills up with the ambitions, ideas, hopes and expectations that eventually shape our lives. We superimpose upon the flowing stream of our life all the limiting impositions and plans of the mind, but often at the expense of our happiness. Learn to ?feel? your life?s direction rather than plan and change it; listen to the wisdom of the spiritual heart, not the cautious deliberations of the mind; and ?see? your way forward with intuition and instinct rather than create it with the mind?s limited intent. ?Living in the heart?, a gift earned through spiritual practice and simplicity, recognises our life?s deeper purpose and gives us the courage to follow this. The heart knows how to be happy.

Have a Sense of Humour

Although our strong sense of ?I? and ?me? makes each of us the epicentre of our universe, six billion other ?I?s? and ?mes? are also out there at the centre of their universe, all playing the leading role in their own private drama-comedy. A sense of humour gives us a light touch and reminds us that, like characters in a play, our role will be over very soon, the curtain will fall and we?ll go back to the changing room (the soul?s world) to prepare for another part. Like Groundhog Day, we wake up every day of our life (and every life in our many incarnations) and confront the same personal reality and unresolved issues until we at last get it right ? and what ?getting it right? really means is something you have to discover for yourself. Smiling about all this both unburdens us and gives us inner calm ? helpful benefits in the torrid battlefield of life.

Try Meditation

I?m serious. One day, probably too late, you?ll wake up and realise that your lifelong pursuit of material things and nest building isn?t really working ? you?ve had some fun, done pretty well, but you?re feeling unfulfilled and a bit empty inside. That?s because this isn?t really what it?s all about and real happiness, permanent happiness, is instead about personal enlightenment, freedom from suffering and egotism, discarding the ignorance that hides our true nature. So life will keep hitting you hard until you realise this ultimately liberating truth. Meditation will awaken this inner knowledge, reconnect you with your essential spiritual nature, show you a ?way out? of the discontent of your life. If you are ready and sincerely willing to try, your inner progress will be your life?s true accomplishment and finally the measure of it?s real worth.

Test these guidelines in your own life – see for yourself if they work. But make a start, for as the Latin proverb goes – Aut tunc, aut nunquam – it was then or never?.

More articles on Self Improvement and Happiness

Seven Steps to Inner Peace at Sri Chinmoy Inspiration

Jogyata Dallas.

Jogyata Dallas is a meditation Student of Sri Chinmoy and lives in Auckland New Zealand, where he gives free meditation classes on behalf of the Sri Chinmoy Centre

 Poems on Happiness at Sri Chinmoy Poetry

Start your day with Love

 

poem

Quotes from Swami Atmachaithanya

 

Start your day with love
Spend your day with love
Love everyone you meet
Show love and compassion to all
Love is the sole purpose of your being
And is the key to the inner vision of God.

God is always with us
But we are not always with God
That is why we suffer.

 

 

By: Swami Atmachaithanya

From: Atmachaithanya.org

Via: Inspirations and Creative Thoughts – blog of Sadiq

Photo by Pranlobha Sri Chinmoy Centre Galleries

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