Wisdom of East     132 posts


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Q. Would you call a person a Buddhist who has merely been born of Buddhist parents?

A. Certainly not. A Buddhist is one who not only professes belief in the Buddha as the noblest of Teachers, in the Doctrine preached by Him, and in the brotherhood of Arhats, but practices his Precepts in daily life.
Q. What is Karma?

A. A causation operating on the moral, as well as physical and other planes. Buddhists say there is no miracle in human affairs: what a man sows that he must still reap.
Q. What other good words have been used to express the essence of Buddhism?
A. Self-culture and universal love.

Concerning the Four sights and how they impacted the Buddha:
26. Q: Why should these sights, so familiar to everybody, have caused him to go into the jungle?
A. We often see such signs. He had not; and they made a deep impression on his mind.
27. Q: Why had he not also seen them?
A: The astrologers had foretold at his birth that he would one day resign his kingdom and become a Buddha. The King, his father, not wishing to lose his son, had carefully prevented his seeing any sights that might suggest to him human misery and death. No one was allowed even to speak of such things to the Prince. He was almost like a prisoner in his lovely palaces and flower gardens. They were surrounded with high walls; and inside everything was made as beautiful as possible, so that he might not want to go and see the sorrow and distress that are in the world.
28. Q: Was he so kind-hearted that his father feared he might really want to sacrifice himself for the world’s sake?
A: Yes; he seems to have felt for all being so strong a pity and love as that.

55. Q. Why does ignorance cause suffering?
A. Because it makes us prize what is not worth prizing, grieve for that we should not grieve for, consider real what is not real but only illusory, and pass our lives in the pursuit of worthless objects, neglecting what is in reality most valuable.
56. Q. And what is that which is most valuable?
A. To know the whole secret of man’s existence and destiny, so that we may estimate at no more than their actual value and this life and its relations; so that we may live in a way to insure the greatest happiness and the least suffering for our fellow-men and ourselves

~ Henry Steel Olcott's "Buddhist Catechism", 1881

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By seeing Chidambaram, by being born in Tiruvarur, by dying in Kasi, or by merely thinking of Arunachala, one will surely attain Liberation.

~ Arunachala Mahatmyam

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You cannot win the fight you are in, not because you are not powerful, but because you are fighting with something that doesn't exist.

There is no question of winning here because you have already lost in the very choice you made to fight. Even if you win, it is irrelevant. Unless you can answer what have you won against, it doesn't really answer.
There is no fight in existence. That's why existence is mystical. Science cannot be mystical because science questions. Science seeks reason. Anything that has a reason is ordinary. It cannot come close to the realms of that which has no causation or reason to it.

You are not a mystic because there is yet fight in you. You cannot be without the fight. Even the non violence people are in fight because they constantly fighting against fight.

A mystic is someone who just wonders and does not demand an answer. A mystic says "how vast is the universe!" And a scientific person also asks "how vast is the universe?"

The only difference is that the mystic's question ends with a ! And the ordinary scientist's question has a ?

The whole existence is mystical and you remain aloof with the mind. Because the mind questions, the mind creates fight. With a no mind you become existence and hence you also become a mystic.

A mystic wouldn't have a problem calling himself and you also a mystic because he knows that you are indeed a mystic too...

When the whole existence is bathing in mysticism, how can you be not a mystic but you are just standing aside for a while.. Not willing to bath. It's ok... So he can declare you too as a mystic... Because he knows.

but you would have problems with someone calling himself a mystic and obviously you wouldn't believe him calling you a mystic too... and that's the fight that I was refering to. That's the fight you have within yourself. It is your problem.

These questions hanker you and cloud the mystic behind it. It doesn't just stop you from seeing the mystic in me but It also stops you from seeing the mystic within yourself.

Trascend all the resistance in you. Turn the ohm into aum. Ohm creates resistance. Aum creates acceptance.

Acceptance makes you a mystic. Acceptance of yourself. Acceptance of others. Acceptance of everything around. Acceptance of the peace. Acceptance of the fight too.

When you accept the seemingly polar opposite truths, they basically loose their control over you. They cannot choose you anymore. Only you choose them.

When for the first time you can choose, a mystic is born.

~ Chanshi Acmo

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However deep your
Knowledge of the scriptures,
It is no more than a strand of hair
In the vastness of space;
However important appears
Your worldly experience,
It is but a drop of water in a deep ravine.

~ Tokusan

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"What a shame to have been born a human being and to spend your whole life worrying. You should reach the point where you can be happy to have been born a human."

~ KODO SAWAKI ROSHI

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You are worried about death?
Do not worry - you will die for sure.

Kodo Sawaki

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A session of twenty-four minutes is a good starting interval; for most people, it is neither too short nor too long ... and this is the session duration that the eighth-century Indian Buddhist contemplative Kamalashila recommended for begining meditators.
(Minding Closely: The Four Applications of Mindfulness By B. Alan Wallace p.33)

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ŚLOKA 40
Jñāna is divine wisdom emanating from an enlightened being, a soul in its maturity, immersed in Śivaness, the blessed realization of God, while living out earthly karma. Jñāna is the fruition of yoga tapas. Aum Namaḥ Śivāya.
BHĀSHYA
The instinctive mind in the young soul is firm and well-knit together. The intellectual mind in the adolescent soul is complicated, and he sees the physical world as his only reality. The subsuperconscious mind in the mys­tically inclined soul well perfected in kriyā longs for realization of Śiva’s two perfections, Satchidānanda and Para­śiva. Through yoga he bursts in­to the super­con­scious mind, experiencing bliss, all-knowingness and perfect silence. It is when the yogī’s in­tellect is shattered that he soars into Paraśiva and comes out a jñānī. Each time he enters that unspeakable nirvi­kalpa samādhi, he returns to consciousness more and more the knower. He is the liberated one, the jīvanmukta, the epitome of kaivalya—perfect freedom—farseeing, filled with light, filled with love. One does not become a jñānī simply by reading and understanding philosophy. The state of jñāna lies in the realm of intuition, beyond the intellect. The Vedas say, “Having realized the Self, the ṛishis, perfected souls, satisfied with their knowledge, passion-free, tranquil—those wise beings, having attained the omnipresent on all sides—enter into the All itself.” Aum Namaḥ Śivāya.

~ Dancing with Śiva, by Sivaya Subramuniyaswami c~

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“What form His devotees desire, that form itself the Lord takes;
What name His devotees desire, that name itself the Lord takes;
In what manner the devotees desire Him
And stand thinking of Him with unwinking eyes,
In that manner itself does the Lord of the Discus present Himself.”

~ Poihai

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“A clue to the secret nature of the nectar: we produce it in the inner still of the pineal gland, but only when the mind is in stillness. Our organisms are designed to manufacture endogenously the entheogenic decoction that brings about the realization of immortality, if we give the right commands to the higher centers of our brain. This involves engaging seriously in the yogic processes of tapasya (which refers to the fire of yoga—the heating of the brain fluids through concentration and meditation, and the consequent morphing of our brain chemistry into molecular substrates of ecstasy), tyaga (which means both sacrifice and secretion—of endorphins and entheogens that maintain our lived reality of blissful presence), and swatantriya (freedom of the will—fearless transcendence of ordinary levels of consciousness that enable the letting go of all resistances to the shift from mortal mind to immortality).”

~ Shunyamurti

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“Love and Shivam, there exist two things, say the fools.
Love is Shivam, that nobody understands.
When everybody realize that Love is Shivam,
they sit in love as Shivam.”

-Thirumoolar

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"Through Yoga he bursts into the superconscious mind, experiencing bliss, all-knowingness and perfect silence. It is when the yogi's intellect is shattered that he soars into Parashiva and comes out a Jnani. Each time he enters that unspeakable nirvikalpa samadhi, he returns to consciousness more and more the knower. He is the liberated one, the Jivanmukta, the epitome of kaivalya-perfect freedom-far-seeing, filled with light, filled with love. One does not become a Jnani simply by reading and understanding philosophy. The state of jnana lies in the realm of intuition, beyond the intellect. The Vedas say, "Having realized the Self, the Rishis, perfected souls, satisfied with their knowledge, passion-free, tranquil-those wise beings, having attained the omnipresent on all sides-enter into the All itself."

~ From Himalayan Academy archives

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Be attached to Him, who is without attachment.
Hold on to that attachment.
Then only will you be able to leave other attachments.

~ Saint Thirvalluvar

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The human frame is mere earthenware,
Bake it with the flame of Yoga-fire.

~ Gheranda Samhita

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Ode to Sri Ramana Maharshi:

Eternity has worn a human face,
Contracted to a little human span,
Lo, the immortal has become a man,
A self-imprisoned thing in time and space.

~ Harindranath Chattopadhyaya

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ON HINDUISM

“Hinduism has proven much more open than any other religion to new ideas, scientific thought, and social experimentation. Many concepts like reincarnation, meditation, yoga and others have found worldwide acceptance. It would not be surprising to find Hinduism the dominant religion of the twenty-first century. It would be a religion that doctrinally is less clear-cut than mainstream Christianity, politically less determined than Islam, ethically less heroic than Buddhism, but it would offer something to everybody. It will appear idealistic to those who look for idealism, pragmatic to the pragmatists, spiritual to the seekers, sensual to the here-and-now generation. Hinduism, by virtue of its lack of an ideology and its reliance on intuition, will appear to be more plausible than those religions whose doctrinal positions petrified a thousand years ago.”

~ Klaus L. Klostermaier

“India has come to preserve spiritual traditions which many ancient cultures and countries have lost. Today Hinduism represents not only India but the ancient wisdom of humanity. In Hinduism many ancient countries can still rediscover their religious past, their old Gods and their old spiritual
traditions.”

~ Ram Swarup

“It is, indeed, a remarkable circumstance that when Western civilization discovers Relativity it applies it to the manufacture of atom-bombs, whereas this Oriental civilization applies it to the development of new states of consciousness.”

~ Alan Watts

“Jesus Christ knew he was God. So wake up and find out eventually who you really are. In Western culture, of course, they’ll say you’re crazy and you’re blasphemous, and they’ll either put you in jail or in a nut house. However if you wake up in India and tell your friends and relations, ‘My goodness, I’ve just discovered that I’m God,’ they’ll laugh and say, ‘Oh, congratulations, at last you found out.”

~ Alan W. Watts

“It is already becoming clear that a chapter which had a Western beginning will have to have an Indian ending if it is not to end in self-destruction of the human race. At this supremely dangerous moment in human history , the only way of salvation is the ancient Hindu way. Here we have the attitude and spirit that can make it possible for the human race to grow together in to a single family.”

~ Arnold J. Toynbee

“The Hindu has an extraordinary power of combining dogma and free thought, uniformity, and variety. Utmost latitude of interpretation is allowed. In all ages Hindus have been passionately devoted to speculation. It is also to point out that from the Upanishads down to the writings of Tagore in the present day literature from time to time enunciates the idea that the whole universe is the manifestation of some exuberant force giving expression to itself in joyous movement.”

~ Sir Charles Eliot

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If you realize the Atman, you will get eternal satisfaction. Therefore search within your own atma and then you will attain eternal bliss. There is no pleasure in objects, it is all imagination. Sense pleasure is tantalizing, but the moment you obtain a desired object, it loses its attraction, almost instantaneously! Have Satsanga. Practice "Who am I" enquiry. DO japa, meditation, study vedantic literature and observe silence at least an hour every day. Nothing in this impermanent world can give supreme , lasting bliss. The pleasure of this world is only in the womb of pain and it is yet another name for pain. Remember that he who is removed from sensual contacts, he who abides in the bliss of his own Self by the practice of meditation attains eternal bliss.

Practice meditation and reach the goal, even with faltering steps. You may fall down a hundred times but try to stand up again. Plod on, march forward, again and again practice vichara. Reflect, discriminate and enquire. There may be many obstacles because you have to fight against old samskaras. The fight is long and protracted. It may last till the end of your life. Be a dheera, an adyatmic hero, for to carry on this adhyatmic battle you must have patience, the patience of a bird, which wanted to empty the ocean with its beak, or the patience of that man who wished "to empty the ocean with a blade of grass." You will have to pay a heavy price because the fruit is immortality and eternal bliss!

- From " The Voice of Babaji : A Trilogy on Kriya Yoga " page 439

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Truth is One, although men call it variously. The secret of success lies in starting the day aright. Leave the bed with a sublime thought, a noble feeling in your heart. You will go to bed that night with the satisfaction of a day well utilized. Only he who starts his day in the spiritual way knows success, joy, prosperity, progress and good health.

- From " The Voice of Babaji : A Trilogy on Kriya Yoga " page 452

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Sitting meditation means formal seated Zen meditation. Everybody understands what that is. But we must always keep a very wide view of meditation. If you keep a mind that is clear like space, then everything is meditation. There is walking meditation, chanting meditation, eating meditation. When your mind is clear like space, then your mind is not moving as situations constantly change. At that point, when you see, when you hear, when you smell, when you taste, when you touch, and when you think, everything is meditation, because everything is clearly reflected in your not-moving mind, just as it is.

- The Compass of Zen, by
Zen Master Seung Sahn, page 269

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With the infinite universes as our home, everything is a single family. Everything is equal and everything is perfect and complete.

And our original buddha nature makes us replete with perfect wisdom and virtue. It would hardly do justice even if everything throughout the universes joined in a single voice to sing praise at the sight of this loftiness and magnificence.

The twinkling stars in the sky and the rolling waves on the clear blue sea are all our siblings. There isn't a soaring bird or crawling bug, ferocious beast or gentle creature that isn't family. Tiny mice and crafty cats, slithering snakes and frolicking frogs all live in the same home as single family, and it is a scene that is magnificent to behold.

One of the great historical heroes of the West, Napoleon wound up alone in a distant sea; and Chin Shi Huangdi, the builder of the first Great Wall of China who was determined
to rule forever, soon wound up as nothing more than a flickering candle.

To those of you who foolishly run about with dreams of great
riches and power, open the eye of the heart and take a look at your original buddha nature.

The Buddha is Confucius father, and Confucius is the Buddha’s father. You can find Jesus in Lao Tzu and Lao Tzu in Jesus. They are all a harmonious family in which there is no room for bickering and arguing.

Ven.Tong Songchol (1912~1993), also SeongCheol, one of the great Zen masters in the last century was also called the ‘Living Buddha of Korea’

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Holika, the sister of Hiranyakashipu, was blessed in that she could not be hurt by fire. Hiranyakashipu puts Prahlāda on the lap of Holika as she sits on a pyre. Prahlāda prays to Vishnu to keep him safe. Holika then burns to death as Prahlāda is left unscathed. This event is celebrated as the Hindu festival of Holi

The story of Prahlāda teaches that:

Faith in God is paramount.

God will always prevail.

God saves his devotees.

Devotion can be practiced at any time. Age does not matter.

Evil will be punished.

God is omnipresent.

Prahlāda eventually becomes king of the daityas and attains a place in the abode of
Vishnu (Vaikuntha) after his death.

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“Renunciation is not giving up the things of this world, but accepting that they go away.”

~Shunryu Suzuki

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' Dedication of Merit '

by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo

Perfect in renunciation and realization, peaceful, the Dharmadhatu;
Radiant with the major and minor marks, blissful, the Sambhogakaya;
Conforming to the disposition of disciples, Nirmanakaya;
To the ocean of Guides, the Three Buddha Bodies, we pray.
The fourth lamp of this fortunate era, crown of the Shakyas;
Undefeated Manjughosha, Lord of Mysteries,
Avalokiteshvara, Padmavajra, and others;
To the Victors and their Sons we pray.
The Sixteen Elders, the Seven Hierarchs,
The Six Ornaments, the Three Teachers, the Eight Wisdom-holders,
The Eighty-four Lords of Yoga and others:
To the panditas and siddhas of the exalted country of India we pray.
The Nyingmapa introduced the teaching to Tibet,
The Sakyapa spread these perfect teachings,
The Kadampa were a source of ten million upholders of the teachings:
To them and their lineage of spiritual beings we pray.
The Kagyudpa possessed the secret path of incomparable attainment,
Buton and Dolpopa were masters of the profound and extensive tantras,
Tsongkhapa, the sun of the Dharma, was Manjughosha:
To them and their disciples upholding their lineages we pray.
Furthermore we pray to those great upholders of the teachings
Of scripture and realization who rely upon the explication and attainment
Based on such lineages as: Pramana, Vinaya,
Abhidharma, Prajnaparamita, Madhyamaka, and Pacification/Cutting.
In particular we pray to our Root Lamas,
Who combine in their excellent bodies
The wisdom of all the lamas of the lineage who have come in succession
From the excellent Teacher, the Buddha, until the present time.
Similarly by the power of our having prayed with steadfast devotion,
Bless us to engage in the actions of the Buddha's Sons:
Turning from the world; not being attached to peace and comfort;
Cultivating loving-kindness, compassion, and the two aspects of Bodhicitta.
Bless us to perfect moral behavior, study, reflection, and meditation,
To mature the mind through initiations; to purify the pledges;
And to give birth to the wisdom of the union
Of learning and no further learning arising from the two stages.

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' Aspiration for Rebirth into the Pure Realms of Great Bliss '

Prostrations to the holy lamas who possess great compassion!
Prostrations to the bliss realm which was praised as the most
exalted of the Buddha's pure realms,
By the King of the Shakyas,
The perfectly enlightened Buddha of this world,
To his ocean-like assembly of disciples.
Prostrations to Amitabha, the exalted teacher of gods and humans,
Seated in the center of that pure realm under the precious royal tree,
Dignified as a red lotus mountain,
Adorned by millions of light rays.
Prostrations to him who transmits the exalted vehicle
To an assembly of disciples, through the melodies of Brahma.
Even arhats, intoxicated by samadhi,
Discard inferior motivation and apply their minds to excellent
enlightenment.
Prostrations to him whose activities are inconceivable,
Who bestows immerasurable benefit and happiness
to protectorless beings in numberless realms
Through a multitude of actions,
And in infinite incarnations from moment to moment.
Prostrations to him who is surrounded
By an assembly of Buddhas filling space,
Along with Bodhisattvas Avalokiteshvara, Vajrapani, and the rest,
And a Shravaka assembly equal in number to the atoms in the ocean.
Prostrations to Mahasiddha, and to the great compassionate Sakyapa.
And to the oceans of lineage lamas,
Who were born miraculously into that realm
Through the power of pure aspiration and infinite virtue.
By the power of the ocean-like resolve of Amitabha,
By the blessings and kindness of the root and lineage lamas,
By the virtues accumulated by myself and others throughout
the three times,
When this life's perception diminish, may I and all sentient beings
wandering in the ocean of existence,
Take birth in that pure realm which is praised by all the Buddhas.
As soon as we behold the excellent face of Amitabha,
May we hear the teachings of the great vehicle which are vast and
profound from the ocean-like melody of his speech.
May our minds be filled with good qualities like faith, wisdom,
dharanyi, and samadhi.
By emanating bodies as numberless as atoms,
And travelling to all the realms of the ten directions in a single instant,
With vast clouds of offerings like Samantabhadra,
May I worship all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas without exception.
May I venerate the protector of that pure realm
And the assembly of exalted lamas, the rescuers.
Having obtained the profound Dharma of the Mahayana,
May I accomplish all the deeds of enlightenment.
Through compassion, may I satisfy all beings in impure realms
According to their individual needs.
Demostrating the three vehicles as suited to each,
May I accomplish all the deeds of enlightenment.
At the time of actualizing the supreme state,
May I gather them as an assembly and manifest the exalted teaching.
Lead them to the stage of a Bodhisattva's deeds,
And reveal the Buddha's exalted wisdom.
May they attain the noble realm,
Which has the purity of container and contained,
According to the aspiration of the Bikkshu Dharmakara,
Who attends the Buddha Lokeshvara.
May I and all sentient beings
Swiftly accomplish the Aspiration to Noble Deeds,
And the aspirations of the Bodhisattvas,
Who dwell on the stage of complete bliss.

This was written by the fully ordained Shakya monk, Sonam Senge, at Thubten Nampar
Gyalwa monastery, of the purpose of attaining that place to which we aspire.
Translated into English by Lama Kalsang Gyaltsen and Victoria Huckenpahler at Sakya
Phuntsok Ling during the auspicious time of the Tibetan New Year, 1997.

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'One instant is eternity'

by Wu Men (Hui-k'ai)


"One instant is eternity;
eternity is the now.
When you see through this one instant,
you see through the one who sees."

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A human being is composed of a body and a mind. A body without a mind is just a dead corpse. A mind without a body is just pure spirit. Someone who, although endowed with both body and a mind, only knows the body but not the mind is called a sentient being. In general, a sentient being is understood as any being possessing conscious life. Birds flying in the sky, animals walking on the ground, fish swimming in the water, as well as the tiniest organisms, are all sentient beings.

Human beings are said to be superior to all other creatures. But how can a human being be considered superior if he knows his body but is ignorant of the nature of his mind? One who knows the body but not the mind is an incomplete person. However, if a human being searches for the mind and awakens to it, he will realize completeness; for at that time he will know both the body and the mind.

The purpose of practicing Zen meditation is to awaken to the mind. What is the mind? What you are searching for can be called by many different names; mind, spirit, soul, true nature, and so forth. But such designations are merely labels. You should put aside all of these names and reflect on the fact that the true master of the body is more than just a label "mind." The master of the body is not the Buddha, for it is not yet awakened. Nor is it anything material, because it cannot be physically given away or received. Nor is it simply empty space, for empty space cannot pose questions or have knowledge of good and evil.

Hence there is a master who rules this body who is neither the label "mind," the Buddha, a material thing nor empty space. Having negated these four possibilities, a question will arise as to what this master really is. If you continue inquiring in this way, the question will become more intense. Finally, when the mass of questioning enlarges to a critical point, it will suddenly burst. The entire universe will be shattered and only your original nature will appear before you. In this way you will awaken.

Master Su San Sunim
The Way of Korean Zen

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