Why Swami Vivekananda still matters…

swami_vivekananda_st_091215114752

He taught us how to realise the universal consciousness beyond the limitations of time and space within our own minds and hearts…

Modern India rests upon the inspiration that Swami Vivekananda awakened over a hundred years ago. His life and teachings became the spirit that infused the country’s independence movement and proclamation of self-rule, not only at a political level but at intellectual and spiritual levels as well.

The modern yoga movement began globally with Vivekananda, who brought India’s ancient yogic heritage to the entire world, and soon made yoga into a common word and practice in every continent. Vivekananda helped revive yoga in India, taking it from a specialised practice for a few select renunciates, and turning it into a universal science of consciousness that everyone can explore and benefit from.

While the great scientist Albert Einstein discovered the law of relativity, showing us the limitations of a time-space view of reality, Swami Vivekananda taught us how to realise the universal consciousness beyond the limitations of time and space within our own minds and hearts. Vivekananda was not just an intellectual genius but a spiritual visionary.

Yet a hundred years after Einstein and Vivekananda, humanity is still caught in the same divisions and conflicts in time-space reality, which these great teachers taught us how to overcome.

The meaning of September 11

Swami Vivekananda on September 11, 1893 at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago spoke to all people as brothers and sisters. He pleaded to his audience to reject the many divisions and barriers created between people, particularly those erected in the name of religion, which can permanently separate people into hostile camps. He invoked the yogic spirit of oneness as the solution to our individual and collective problems. He encouraged humanity to enter a new era of unity consciousness and let these regressive divisions disappear forever.

The young Swami from distant India was able to awaken his foreign American audience to a new vision of a universal life and single humanity. That spark set in motion forces of spiritual transformation that have since taken many forms.

Unfortunately, now September 11 has another meaning, which is the beginning of the era of terrorism and unexpected catastrophic attacks on innocent people throughout the world. Terrorism is based upon a rejection of the message of Swamiji that humanity constitutes of a single organism and reflects a single self, which is the essence of all religion and all deeper thought.

Terrorism is the ultimate expression of the divisive mind that places belief and ideology over life and feeling. It reflects an outer view of reality that wants to control the minds of people rather than let them be free to discover who they really are.

The challenge today

Yet terrorism is not an isolated phenomenon but is connected to many other world problems born of lack of human unity and a failure to honor the sacred nature of all life.

Today we are exploring the realm of information but have not understood the greater importance of consciousness. Information does not always unite us. It can reinforce separate identities. We are similarly looking to the outer mass media, rather than to our inner connection with the cosmic mind. Mass media, used incorrectly, can make us more intolerant, rather than more compassionate. Our world has not yet rejected the artificial divisions of nation and creed that marked the era before global communication and which can be reinforced by wrong use of the new technology.

Swamiji did not just teach ideas but emphasised the building of character, making the soul and spirit powerful, so that we are no longer the slaves of desire, opinions and impulses from the outer world. It is not just what we know or what we own but who we are that truly matters.

Swamiji’s message was the lion’s roar of Vedanta, the great upanishadic teaching that each individual is the self of the entire universe. He taught that you are not merely this small physical body, this mere brain, or even this complex mind. In the core of your being, you are one with the universal consciousness and all of its powers. Once we know this, even the thought of harming another person cannot arise.

Humanity cannot discover its true unity merely at an outer level of technology and communication, however helpful these may be. It cannot erect that unity based upon upholding the divided identities of an earlier era. It is a unity of heart and consciousness that is required. Yoga can show us the way.

– DR DAVID FRAWLEY

Source: http://www.dailyo.in/lifestyle/swami-vivekananda-world-parliament-of-religions-9-11-terrorism-consciousness-vedanta-social-media/story/1/6204.html

Advertisements

The Guru – Your Private Tutor

Quote

The most important thing a spiritual Master does for his spiritual children is to make them consciously aware of something vast and infinite within themselves, which is nothing other than God Himself.

Guru is a Sanskrit word which means “he who illumines.” The one who offers illumination is called a Guru. According to my own inner realisation I wish to say that there is only one real Guru, and that is the Supreme. No human being is the real Guru. But although the Supreme alone is the real Guru, here on earth we value time. If we Find someone who can help . us on our journey towards illumination, we take his help, and we may call him our Guru.

A spiritual Master or Guru is like the eldest child in the family, and the seekers are like his younger spiritual brothers and sisters. Spiritual Masters tell and show their younger brothers and sisters where their Father, the Absolute Guru, is.

The real Guru is not in the vast blue skies. He is inside the very depth of our heart. You may ask, “If He is inside our heart, then why is it necessary for us to take help from somebody else to find Him?” Although this invaluable treasure is inside our heart, we cannot see it or feel it, so we need help. A friend of ours, who we call our Guru or spiritual teacher, comes to us and teaches us how to find our own treasure.

It is not obligatory to have a living Guru, but it is certainly advisable. You know that there is a goal, and you want to reach that goal. If you are wise, you will accept help from someone who can show you the easiest, safest and most effective path to the goal. If you want to take hundreds and thousands of years to realise God, having a spiritual Master is not necessary. But if you want to reach the goal as soon as possible, then certainly it is a necessity.

If you have a Master, it facilitates your inner spiritual progress. A spiritual Master is your private tutor in the spiritual life. There is a big difference between a private tutor and an ordinary teacher. An ordinary teacher will look at a student’s paper and then give him a mark. He will examine the student and then pass him or fail him. But the private tutor personally encourages and inspires the student at home so that he can pass his examination. At every moment in life’s journey, ignorance tries to examine you, but your private tutor will teach you how to pass the examination easily. It is the business of the spiritual teacher to inspire the seeker and increase his aspiration so that he can realise the Highest as soon as possible.

In order to learn anything in this world you need a teacher in the beginning. To learn mathematics you need a teacher. To learn history you need a teacher. It is absurd to feel that for everything else in life you need a teacher, but not for meditation. Why do people go to the university when they can study at home? It is because they feel that they will get expert instruction from people who know the subject well. There have been a few, but very few, real men of knowledge who did not go to any university. Yes, there are exceptions; every rule admits of exceptions. God is in everybody, and if a seeker feels that he does not need human help, he is most welcome to try his capacity alone. But if someone is wise and wants to run toward his goal instead of stumbling or merely walking, then certainly the help of a Guru will be immeasurable.

Right now, perhaps, I am in London. I know that New York exists and that I have to go back there. What do I need to get me there? An airplane and a pilot. In spite of the fact that I know that the plane can take me to New York, I cannot get there without the help of the pilot. Similarly, you know that God exists. You want to reach God through meditation, but someone has to take you there. As the pilot takes me to New York, someone has to take you to the consciousness of God which is deep within you. Someone has to show you how to enter into your own divinity through meditation.

A spiritual Master comes to you with a boat. He says, “Come. If you want to go to the Golden Shore, I will take you. Moreover, once you get into my boat, you can sing on the boat, you can dance, you can even sleep; but I will bring you safely to the Shore.” If you say that you do not need anybody’s help, if you want to swim across the sea of ignorance alone, then it is up to you. But how many years, or how many incarnations will it take you? And again, after swimming for some time you may become totally exhausted and then you may drown.

Without a Guru, your progress will be very slow and uncertain. You may get high, elevating experiences and not give them adequate significance. Or doubt may enter your mind, and you may think, “I am just an ordinary person, so how can I have that kind of experience? Perhaps I am deluding myself.” Or you will tell your friends about your experiences, and they will say, “It is all a mental hallucination!” But if there is someone who knows what the inner reality is, he will be able to assure you that the experiences which you have are absolutely real. The Master encourages the seeker and inspires him. And if the seeker is doing something wrong in his meditation, the Master is in a position to correct him.

Once you complete a course, you no longer need a teacher. If you want to learn how to sing, you go to a singer and learn from him. If you want to be a dancer, you go to a dancer. Once you become a good singer or dancer, you don’t have to go to the teacher anymore. In the spiritual life it is the same. You need help in the beginning, but once you become extremely advanced, you will not need anybody’s help.

If someone becomes a true disciple of a Master, he does not feel that he and his Guru are two totally different beings. He does not feel that his Guru is at the top of the tree and he is at the foot of the tree. No! He feels that the Guru is his own highest part. He feels that he and the Guru are one, that the Guru is his own highest and most developed part. Therefore, a true disciple does not find any difficulty in surrendering his lowest part to his highest part. It is not beneath his dignity to be a devoted disciple, because he knows that both the highest and the lowest are his very own.

He who inspires you is your real teacher He who loves you is your real teacher. He who forces you is your real teacher. He who perfects you is your real teacher. He who treasures you is your real teacher.

Sri Chinmoy, The Guru

The Inner Cry…

Quote

Aspiration is the mounting cry, the climbing cry inside our heart. We can enter into the divine consciousness through our inner cry. This cry is not for name and fame. This cry is our total, unconditional, unreserved oneness with God, who is the Inner Pilot of our life-boat.

We have to make God a living reality in our day-to-day lives. We have to feel that God’s presence is of paramount importance. If we do not eat every day, we starve our body. Similarly, we have to feel that if we do not pray and meditate every day, then we are starving our spiritual body. When we aspire with our heart’s tears, we see that God is coming down to us, descending from above. It is just like two persons meeting; one is on the first floor and the other is on third floor. We go up to the second floor. There we meet and fulfill each other.

The stairway to the second floor is created by our heart’s cry. This is the cry of aspiration; it is not like shedding tears when you do the wrong thing. The heart is crying and yearning like a mounting flame burning upward, always rising. God descends with His Grace, like a river running downward. When aspiration and Grace meet together, we come to experience the divine fulfillment of union with God.

Sri Chinmoy, The Wings of Joy

What is the spiritual life?

Here we are all seekers, seekers of the infinite Light and the eternal Truth. What does this mean? It means that we have accepted the spiritual life soulfully and consciously.

The paramount question is, “What is the spiritual life?” The spiritual life is something that is natural and normal. It is always natural and it is always normal, unlike other things that we come across in our day-to-day multifarious activities. The spiritual life is normal and natural precisely because it knows its Source. Its Source is God the infinite Light and God the eternal Truth.

When we follow the spiritual life, we come to feel that a life of peace need not always remain a far cry. We come to feel that a life of love, the love that expands, need not always remain a far cry. Everything that fulfils us divinely and supremely, we can achieve and claim as our very own if we follow the spiritual life. Right now Peace, Light and Bliss in abundant measure we do not have at our disposal. But when we practise spirituality, when our inner cry, which we call aspiration, climbs up high, higher, highest, at that time Peace, Light and Bliss we get not only in abundant measure but in infinite measure. And we can achieve and treasure these divine qualities in the inmost recesses of our hearts. When we practise the spiritual life soulfully, devotedly and unconditionally, we try to bring to the fore the divinity that we all have. And this divinity is nothing short of our perfection.

Here we are all seekers. Each seeker represents the ideal and the real. The ideal is self-transcendence and the real is God’s all-pervading Consciousness.

If we want to grow into the real and the ideal in us, we have to clean our mind thoroughly of the undivine thoughts that are constantly assailing us. And we have to empty our heart and fill it with infinite Light and Delight. Then God the Real and God the Ideal will be able to sing and dance in our aspiring being.

Here we are all seekers. We are all chosen instruments of the Supreme, our Beloved Supreme, the Eternal Pilot. We can prove this soulful statement of ours, not by words but by deeds, by our serving love and loving service.

Loving service. Our loving service can prove to the world at large that we are the chosen instruments of the Supreme, for the Supreme. When we love the Supreme soulfully, devotedly and unconditionally in our aspiring mind, we heighten our God-Height; and when we serve the Supreme soulfully, devotedly and unconditionally in our aspiring mind, we deepen our God-Depth.

Since we are the chosen instruments of the Supreme, our immediate necessity is God-realisation and our absolute duty is God-manifestation. In the fulfilment of our immediate necessity, we can become the torch-bearers of infinite Truth and the harbingers of God-Vision within us and without. In the fulfilment of our absolute duty, we discover that we are God-seeds and God-fruits. Let us offer our God-seed to the Supreme; let us place it at His Feet, so it may grow into a divine tree that can lift humanity to the highest transcendental Height. Let us also offer to the Supreme our God-fruit. Let us place our God-fruit at His Feet for His Manifestation, His total and complete Manifestation here on earth.

– Sri Chinmoy, Spirituality

We are all seekers…

Quote

We are all seekers, and our goal is the same: to achieve inner peace, light, and joy, to become inseparably one with our Source, and to lead lives full of true satisfaction.

disover yourself

To live in joy is to live the inner life. This is the life that leads to self-realisation. Self-realisation is God-realisation, for God is nothing other than the Divinity that is deep inside each one of us, waiting to be discovered and revealed. We may also refer to God as the Inner Pilot or the Supreme. But no matter which term we use, we mean the Highest within us, that which is the ultimate goal of our spiritual quest.

A spiritual person should be a normal person, a sound person. In order to reach God, a spiritual person has to be divinely practical in his day-to-day activities. In divine practicality, we share our inner wealth. We feel the divine motivation behind each action and share the result with others. Spirituality does not negate the outer life. The outer life should be the manifestation of the divine life within us.

Sri Chinmoy, The Wings of Joy

Our Path… Love and Acceptance…

How how can we bring the Truth out of its prison cell? Again, I have to say it is through love. Love for whom? Love for God. And who is God? God is the highest illumined part in us. God is nothing and nobody else. I have a head and two feet. Let us say that my head represents the highest in me and my feet represent the lowest in me, my ignorance. I know that the highest and the lowest are both mine. The lowest has to enter into the highest in order to be transformed, liberated and fulfilled. The highest has to enter into the lowest in order to be revealed and manifested.

In our path, the sense of identification is absolutely necessary. The highest has to feel its total oneness with the lowest. The lowest has to feel its total oneness with the highest. Needless to say, the highest always feels its oneness with the lowest. It is the lowest that finds it extremely difficult to be one with the highest because of its fear, doubt, jealousy and so forth.

What kind of commitment is necessary to follow our path? It is not the kind of commitment that you have to make in other spiritual or cultural organisations. For these organisations, you may have to give a regular fee. But when I ask you to make a commitment, it is different. I say that if you see something in me, if you see or feel light inside me, then if you want to follow our path, you can. There will be no monetary demands. You do not have to give me five dollars or ten dollars or anything like that. No! Here it is a matter of your own aspiration-how sincere and regular you can be in your spiritual life. If you are not sincere, then you will not be able to run fast. But if you are sincere and dedicated, then you will run very fast. The commitment I ask for in our path is regularity in your meditation and aspiration, a sincere inner cry. I ask nothing else from any student.

Our path, the path of the heart, is also the path of acceptance. We have to accept the world. If we enter into a Himalayan cave or sit on a mountain top and cry for our personal achievement and satisfaction, then we are not going to do anything for the world. It will be like this: I shall eat food to my heart’s content and let my brothers remain unfed and starving. That is not good. If I am a real human being, I have to see that my brothers also eat along with me. If we eat together, then only we shall get real satisfaction.

Similarly, in the spiritual life, real spiritual Masters feel that it is their bounden duty to eat in front of humanity and share the spiritual food with humanity. Now, if humanity as a whole does not want to eat as it should, if many are still sleeping and have not yet felt the spiritual hunger, then what can the spiritual Master do? But if there are a few sincerely hungry seekers, the spiritual Master tells them, “The meal is ready. Let us eat together.”

In our path of acceptance, we have to know that the earth is far from perfection. But unless we accept the earth consciousness, how are we going to perfect it? If someone has some pain, I have to massage him. Then only his pain will go. Similarly, if the earth is imperfect at a particular place, I have to touch it with my aspiration and concern. Then only can I transform it. As long as the earth consciousness is not fully realised, I will try to remain on earth to be of service to mankind with my inner consciousness.

– Sri Chinmoy, The Master and The Disciple