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Lao Tzu

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Success is as dangerous as failure.
Hope is as hollow as fear.

What does it mean that success is a dangerous as failure?
Whether you go up the ladder or down it,
you position is shaky.
When you stand with your two feet on the ground,
you will always keep your balance.

What does it mean that hope is as hollow as fear?
Hope and fear are both phantoms
that arise from thinking of the self.
When we don't see the self as self,
what do we have to fear?

See the world as your self.
Have faith in the way things are.
Love the world as your self;
then you can care for all things.


— Tao Te Ching

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Bhagavad Gita

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Those who understand
see themselves in all,
and all, in themselves.

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Йога Васиштха

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Рама спросил:
Когда человек осознает высшую истину, кем он становится?

Васиштха ответил:
Для него даже камни становятся друзьями и деревья в лесу родственниками; даже когда он живет посреди леса, животные становятся его знакомыми и родными. Королевство ему кажется пустым, страдания становятся везением, и даже когда он живет в королевстве, он наслаждается (празднует) свои невезения. Отсутствие гармонии становится гармонией, печаль – великой радостью и даже погруженный в интенсивную деятельность, он ощущает внутреннее молчание. Он видит совершенное бездействие в действии. Пробужденный, он находится в глубоком сне; живой, он также хорош, как и мертвый. Он делает все и ничего. Он наслаждается, не пробуя удовольствия. Он – лучший друг любого. Он свободен от жалости к другим, но полон сочувствия. Свободный от стремлений, он кажется желающим чего-то. Он только интересуется должным исполнением своих действий.

Он кажется счастливым или несчастным в соответствующих ситуациях. Он не оставляет то, что естественно и играет свою соответствующую роль в этой драме жизни. Он симпатизирует печалящимся и радуется со счастливыми, и ни то, ни другое не загрязняет его сердца.

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Mooji

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There is no need to transcend
what has no meaning
or interest for you.

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Plato

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Mark Twain

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I was educated once, it took me years to get over it.

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Нисаргадатта Махарадж

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В: Вы можете посоветовать мне какое‑то специальное место, где мне лучше заняться духовной практикой?

М: Единственное правильное место находится внутри. Внешний мир не может ни помочь, ни помешать. Никакая система, никакая структура действий не приведёт вас к вашей цели. Перестаньте работать на будущее, сконцентрируйтесь тотально на сейчас , обращайте внимание только на свою реакцию на каждое движение жизни, как она происходит.

В: В чём причина стремления странствовать?

М: Причины нет. Вам просто снится, что вы странствуете. Через несколько лет ваши скитания по Индии покажутся вам сном. В то время вам будет сниться какой‑то другой сон. Осознайте, что это не вы движетесь ото сна ко сну, а сны текут перед вами, вы неизменный свидетель. Ничто происходящее не влияет на ваше истинное бытие – это абсолютная истина.

В: Можно путешествовать физически и оставаться неизменным внутри?

М: Можно, но какой в этом толк? Если в вас есть устремлённость, вам в конце концов надоест скитаться и вы пожалеете о такой потере энергии и времени. Чтобы найти себя, вам не нужно делать ни единого шага.

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Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

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While doing the work Sri Bhagavan had a way of teaching the highest wisdom through homely, casual remarks.
One night, when a vegetable grown in England was being cut, a worker remarked, 'How nice it would be if this vegetable could be grown in our ashram garden!'
At once Sri Bhagavan retorted, saying, 'Where do you think it was grown? That was also our garden. Otherwise how could we get it? Indeed, all the gardens in the world are our ashram gardens.'

One morning, at around 3 a.m., we were all with Sri Bhagavan in the grinding room. I was called away and told that some people were waiting for me near he hall. I found that they were a party of women and children from Nayudupet. They were starting to go round the hill and wanted Sri Bhagavan's darshan and blessings. I curtly told them that it was impossible to see Sri Bhagavan at that hour, and I went back into the kitchen. Sri Bhagavan asked me who had called me away.

When he heard my story he said, 'Poor people! Why should they go away disappointed? Tell them to come to the back door and I shall meet them there.'
I informed them and they ran there. Sri Bhagavan stood on the doorstep, with no attendant in the way. The whole party fell at his feet, kissed them and bathed them with their tears. In short, they seemed to loot and plunder his grace while he looked on, beaming with benignity. I envied the good luck of the party and realized the full force of calling Sri Bhagavan karuna purna sudhabdhi [the nectarous ocean of grace].

Sri Bhagavan would mostly refuse when people asked if they could offer their services in be kitchen or in other areas where it was possible to have personal contact with him, so we knew how lucky we were to be allowed to work with him in the kitchen. A few days later Rao Bahadur A. S. Krishna Rao, a veteran lawyer and statesman of Nellore, came for Sri Bhagavan's darshan. After relating all the details of his career, he said that his one remaining desire was to do service at the feet of great souls like Maharshi and to attain salvation. He prayed for Sri Bhagavan's advice and guidance.

Sri Bhagavan told him, 'What service can you do at your age? You need not go out and do anything. Just cling steadfastly to the thought, "I must attain salvation", and that itself will lead you to salvation.'

— The Power of the Presence, III, p. 149 ff
G.V. SUBBARAMAYYA,
part 35

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Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

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SELF-REMEMBRANCE

Remembering the Self, one’s real nature, without faltering even slightly, is the eminent victory of true jnana.

With your consciousness hold fast to and never abandon the substratum, your real nature, the Supreme that can neither be held nor relinquished.

Is the Self something far away that you have to touch? The higher Self exists as one but it is only your thoughts that make you feel it is not.

You can neither think about it nor forget it.

Other than the thought of the Self, any other thought you may associate with is a mere mental construct, foreign to that Self.

Thinking of the Self is to abide as that tranquil consciousness. Padam, the true swarupa, can neither be remembered nor forgotten.

The Self is self-luminous without darkness and light and is the reality which is self-manifest. Therefore, one should not think of it as this or that.

All such thoughts would only end in bondage. The purport of meditation on the Self is to make the mind take the ‘form’ of the Self. In the middle of the heart-cave is the pure Brahman directly manifest as the Self in the form of ‘I-I’. Can there be greater ignorance than to think of It in manifold ways, without knowing it as aforementioned?

— Padamalai

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Osho

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If you are authentic about your joy, your tears, your dance, sooner or later there will be people who will start understanding you, who may start joining your Caravan. I myself had started alone on the path, and then people went on coming and it became a worldwide Caravan! And I have not invited anybody; I have simply done whatever I felt was coming from my heart.

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Swami Vivekananda

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Do not wait for anybody or anything. Do whatever you can. Build your hope on none.

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Papaji

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You must get rid of this idea that you are a sinner because it is just an idea that gives you trouble. I don’t say that you are a sinner. I know who you really are. You are me, and you are free. The whole world is affected like this. It is in the blood of each generation, and it goes on indefinitely. But it is all imagination. It is a pile of straw that you can destroy with a single match. But you have been so trained to think about sin and good and evil, you even think that setting fire to this pile of straw might also be a sin. It is all these ideas about good and bad, right and wrong, that stop you from striking the match. Your impediments can all go in a bonfire that is lit by a single match. That fire is freedom. Burn everything with this fire of freedom.

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Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

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ANNAMALAI SWAMI REMEMBERED
Ashram Food, part 5

Echammal

Bhagavan had an ulterior motive in trying to prevent Echammal from bringing food. Although she was a good devotee, she was a very bad cook. Her standard offering of rice and dhal would always be under-cooked, and more often than not it would be permeated with rancid ghee [clarified butter]. Each day she would present this rather unappetizing mixture to Bhagavan in the form of a compressed ball. It was usually so under-cooked that Bhagavan often had difficulty in breaking it down into pieces that were small enough to swallow. About an hour after eating this food Bhagavan would have digestion problems. He would rub his stomach and make loud groaning noises.

If anyone asked him what the trouble was he would say, 'It is my destiny to suffer like this'.

The attendants tried many times to persuade Echammal to cook her food properly, and to use fresh instead of rancid ghee, but she never paid any attention. Bhagavan himself asked her on several occasions to stop bringing this food but she was a stubborn woman who rarely listened to anyone. 'If you force me to stop,' she told Bhagavan, 'I will commit suicide. Then my death will be your responsibility.'

Bhagavan accepted defeat. 'What can I do?' he asked. 'It must be my destiny to eat this food.'

Although Bhagavan requested Echammal to stop bringing food on several occasions, he was not in favor of issuing a formal ban.

When Chinnaswami once forbade her from bringing food, in the interests of Bhagavan's health, Bhagavan refused to enter the dining room when the bell for the midday meal was rung. He never gave any reason but the devotees soon surmised that he was protesting against the ban on Echammal. Echammal by this time had gone back to town, so a delegation of devotees was despatched to fetch her. At first, she was unwilling to come, since she was still angry with the ashram management, but when it was pointed out to her that Bhagavan would probably starve unless she came in person, she agreed to come and break the impasse. When she requested Bhagavan to go to the dining room and eat, he got up and went for his meal. No one in the previous hour had managed to persuade him to move from the old hall. After this incident, Echamma's serving rights were never challenged again.

Echammal continued to serve food but Bhagavan would always look at her in a very disapproving way whenever she approached him in the dining room.

- Living by the words of Bhagavan, p. 74

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Cicero

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Annamalai Swami

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CONVERSATIONS WITH ANNAMALAI SWAMI

Q: I went to Skandashram yesterday. As I sat there, for no reason at all, tears started to come. I cried and cried. I am a little puzzled by this. Why should something like this happen?
AS: A similar thing happened to me once. When I was very young I went to the town and the temple where Siva first appeared to Manikkavachagar. When I sat in the temple tears flowed down my face.
Tears like this are often a sign of grace. When your tears are for God rather than for worldly things, the mind and the heart are purified. If you want God so much that you cry when you call on Him, He will surely come to you. When a baby cries, its mother comes to feed it. When a devotee cries because he is hungry for grace. God sends the grace to nourish him.

— Living by the words of Bhagavan, p. 291

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Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

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CONFIDENCE WILL COME WITH EXPERIENCE

Question: When I meet a European with some education and talk to him about a guru and his teachings, his reaction is: 'the man must be mad to teach such nonsense'. What am I to tell him?

Maharaj: Take him to himself. Show him, how little he knows himself, how he takes the most absurd statements about himself for holy truth.

He is told that he is the body, was born, will die, has parents, duties; learns to like what others like and fear what others fear. Totally a creature of heredity and society, he lives by memory and acts by habits. Ignorant of himself and his true interests, he pursues false aims and is always frustrated. His life and death are meaningless and painful, and there seems to be no way.

Then tell him, there is a way out within his easy reach, not a conversion to another set of ideas, but a liberation from all ideas and patterns of living. Don't tell him about gurus and disciples—this way of thinking is not for him.

His is an inner path, he is moved by an inner urge and guided by an inner light. Invite him to rebel and he will respond. Do not try to impress on him that so-and-so is a realized man and can be accepted as a guru. As long as he does not trust himself, he cannot trust another. And confidence will come with experience.

- I AM THAT, ch. 84

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Sri Samartha Siddharameshwar Maharaj

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The Self is totally formless. That which is most subtle and most powerful knows all, yet, all the five elements do not know Him. The Self knows all. He is the knower. The Self is self-existent, and is not supported by anything.

— Master of Self-Realization - Discourse 22

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Fortune Cookie

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Rumi, 13th century Sufi poet and Mystic

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Don't move the way fear makes you move.
Move the way Love makes you move.

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Meister Eckhart

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Spirituality is not to be learned by flight from the world, or by running away from things, or by turning solitary and going apart from the world. Rather, we must learn an inner solitude wherever or with whomsoever we may be. We must learn to penetrate things and find God there.

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Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

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TOTALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR ONESELF
29th December 1971

Q: You were telling us that there are many self-styled gurus, but a real guru is very rare. There are many jnanis who imagine themselves realized, but all they have is book knowledge and a high opinion of themselves. Sometimes they impress, even fascinate, attract disciples and make them waste their time in useless practices. After some years, when the disciple takes stock of himself, he finds no change. When he complains to his teacher, he gets the usual rebuke that he did not try hard enough. The blame is on the lack of faith and love in the heart of the disciple, while in reality, the blame is on the guru, who had no business in accepting disciples and raising hopes. How to protect oneself against such 'gurus'?

Maharaj: Why be so concerned with others? Whoever may be the guru, if he is pure of heart and acts in good faith, he will do his disciples no harm. If there is no progress, the fault lies with the disciples, their laziness, and lack of self-control. On the other hand, if the disciple is earnest and applies himself intelligently and with zest to his sadhana, he is bound to meet a more qualified teacher, who will take him further.

Your question flows from three false assumptions: that one needs to concern oneself with others; that one can evaluate another and that the progress of the disciple is the task and responsibility of his guru. In reality, the guru's role is only to instruct and encourage; the disciple is totally responsible for himself.

— I AM THAT ch. 84

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Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

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REALIZATION IS NOT CONCEPTUAL
Q.: It is possible that I have unwittingly already Realized, but do not realize that fact, so to speak?
Bhagavan: Impossible.
Q.: What does the practice of vichara feel like whilst one is actually engaged in it?
B.: Go on seeing, "What is this 'me'?'. But doing it intellectually is not the right way.
Q.: All mental activity does involve the intellect.
B.: Yes. This is cessation of mental activity. Realization is not 'you' attaining to some exalted state. Realization is the irreversible death of 'you'.
Q.: You mean death of the ego: for I am the Self, and cannot die.
B.: It is precisely this wretched misunderstanding that causes so many sadhakas to go astray.
Q.: I don't understand.
B.: You are the ego until the ego has been destroyed. What is the use of intellectually denying the existence of the ego while still remaining as it? Why falsely arrogate yourself to the status of being the Heart? Is it the Heart who is talking to me now?
Q.: Am I not the Self?
B.: Whose self are you?
Q.: I am the Self of myself.
B.: Is there, or is there not, in you an intermediary entity subsisting on thought forms?
Q.: Yes. Thoughts come. But they are not apart from the Self: that is what I tell myself.
B.: No, that is not the way.
Q.: What am I doing wrong? Please tell me.
B.: You are still operating on the plane of the intellect.
Q.: Tell me how I can get past it.
B.: 'I' cannot get past it. 'I' is 'it'.
Q.: So I should learn to overcome myself?
B.: No. Learn to subside into the actual Self.
Q.: But how?
B.: Resign yourself to pure Subjective Consciousness.
Q.: Effort is needed to remain in that state. There is the one that makes the effort, his presence is unavoidable.
B.: Yes; the aham-vritti can only be further and further attenuated, but can never be completely destroyed by effort because the one making that effort still remains.
However, when a certain critical radius of introversion is reached, the Heart reaches over and pulls you inside, finishing the job. In order for this to happen, however, the aham-vritti should be reduced into a single, infinitesimal, dimension-bereft point. The aham-vritti can finally be torpefied into this point-like form only by means of deploying a Sadhana in which the one making the effort is the same as that in relation to which the effort is made. There is only one such Sadhana: Who am I?.
'I' is not merely a thought. It is a deeply entrenched idea, which thus requires a deep incision to uproot. Therefore, the wisest thing for one to do is to catch hold of this foundational thought, the 'I'-thought, and vivisect it - what is this "me"? - giving thereby no chance to other thoughts to distract one. There lies the true value of the vichara and its efficacy in getting rid of the mind.

— Aham Sphurana

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Рамана Махарши

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Вопрос: Подразумевает ли Само-реализация также и оккультные силы?
Махарши: Атман - это наиболее сокровенное и вечное Бытие, тогда как сиддхи являются посторонними. Одно требует усилия для обретения, а другое - нет.

Силы ищет ум, который должен сохраняться живым, проворным, в то время как Атман осознаётся, когда ум разрушен. Эго заставляет вас воспринимать других, а в его отсутствие других уже не видно. Атман находится за пределами эго и осознаётся после того, как эго уничтожено. Уничтожение эго заставляет человека не воспринимать других. Как может возникнуть вопрос о других и какова польза от оккультных сил для Существа, достигшего Само-реализации?

Самореализация может сопровождаться оккультными силами или может приходить без них. Если человек искал такие силы до Реализации, то он может получить их после Реализации. Есть и другие, которые не ищут оккультных сил и стремятся только к Само-реализации. Они не проявляют таких сил.

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Рамана Махарши

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Очень давно, когда в Ашраме было не так много людей, один из служителей Бхагавана обычно ждал, пока Бхагаван закончит еду, а затем сам ел с листа Бхагавана. Постепенно ашрамиты и давние преданные начали просить этот лист. До тех пор пока конкуренция в притязаниях на лист не приняла серьёзную фор- му, Бхагаван не уделял этому много внимания. Перед листом должны были также ставить тарелку для мытья его рук после еды. Как только, помыв руки, он уходил, воду также обычно за- бирали словно тиртху (святую воду). Со временем эти две прак- тики ашрамитов вышли за пределы территории Ашрама и рас- пространились также на Рамана Нагар [жилой район неподалёку от Шри Раманашрама]. Однажды мать одного довольно состоятельного преданного пришла в столовую Ашрама в обеденное время и встала рядом с Бхагаваном. Увидев её, Бхагаван спросил: “Почему вы не сади- тесь поесть?” Она не села. Бхагаван понял цель её прихода, но сохранял спокойствие, как если бы ничего не знал. С другой стороны от него стояла, с игрушкой в руке, внучка другого пре- данного, лет восьми. Заметив также и её, Бхагаван сказал: “По- чему ты тоже стоишь? Садись и кушай”. “Нет”, — ответила она. “Тогда почему ты пришла? А для чего эта неваляшка у тебя?” — спросил Бхагаван. В конце концов, она была наивным ребёнком и поэтому, не зная, что выдаёт секрет, сказала: “Бабушка посла- ла меня принести святую воду”. Бхагаван уже не мог сдерживать гнев и поэтому произнёс: “Я понимаю. Тут очень важное дело. Этот ребёнок ждёт святую воду, а та женщина — лист; это так, не правда ли?” Когда он спросил внушительным тоном, кто-то из находящихся поблизости ответил: “Да”. “Я уже некоторое
время замечаю эту бессмыслицу, — сказал он. — Они думают, что Свами сидит в Холле с закрытыми глазами и не обращает внимания на эти вещи. Все эти дни я не хотел вмешиваться в такие дела, но им, кажется, не будет предела. Люди стоят в оче- реди за остатками пищи и воды! Имейте в виду! С этого момен- та я не собираюсь после еды мыть руки в поставленной тарелке и нигде поблизости. Я не буду, уходя, оставлять здесь лист, на котором ел. Я сам унесу его и выброшу. Вы поняли? Вы все со- бираетесь вместе и делаете эти вещи. Сказанное — только на- казание”. Произнеся это и повторив несколько других требований, Бхагаван после еды согнул свой лист, а затем поднялся с исполь- зованным листом в руке. Как ни просили его многие, он никому из них этот лист не отдал, а поднялся на Гору и, завернув за угол, выбросил его и потом вымыл там руки. В конце концов, ашрами- ты взмолились и заверили его, что оставят эти предосудительные действия. Он сказал: “Когда каждый удаляет свой использованный лист и выбрасывает его, почему мне следует оставлять свой?” До 1943 года каждый, после еды, забирал свой лист и выбрасывал его. Эта практика была изменена только после этого инцидента. После того, как все ашрамиты поклялись, что будут сами удалять листы и выбрасывать их вместе с листом Бхагавана, он неохотно начал оставлять в столовой и свой лист. Но даже до сегодняшнего дня он после еды моет руки вовне, около ступенек, ведущих в Холл. Если кто-нибудь просит его помыть руки в какой-нибудь тарелке, он обычно говорит: “А вы обеспечили всех этих людей тарелками? Если все остальные их не имеют, то по- чему я должен требовать одну?” Что мы можем ему ответить?

Письма из Шри Раманашрама

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Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

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WITNESSING IS NOT VICHARA - VICHARA IS THE FINAL DOOR

Q.: So, as respects Bhagavan's method of remaining as Subjective Consciousness, I am supposed to witness without entertaining the notion that I am witnessing - is that right?

B.: Who is that one who remains as Subjective Consciousness? Is Subjective Consciousness proclaiming that he is going to remain as Subjective Consciousness? You see the absurdity of it.

So, your task is not to remain as Subjective Consciousness; your task is to keep yourself out of the way so that Subjective Consciousness remains merely as Itself without getting impeded by you.

As for witnessing, there is nothing to witness. IT IS. Simple Being.

When ideas create modifications in consciousness, which is the essence or substance of the mind, another idea made of the same substance is used as a tool with which to crush (annihilate) all other ideas; finally, this tool is also destroyed. That is why the example of the stick used to stir the burning funeral pyre is furnished.

Q.: So merely watching (observing) consciousness with a placid, thought-free mind is not a sadhana that suffices to destroy the mind and bestow Realization?

B.: If the aspirant is unremittingly sincere in its pursuit, the practice that you mention will in due course by itself cause sufficient introversion of mind to empower (facilitate) the mind to become ready for successfully investigating 'Who am I?'. However, it is erroneous to imagine that the two practices are one and the same, or even similar.

Q.: But they both aim at ensuring that the sadhaka remains attending to mere consciousness; how can they be distinct from each other?

B.: The act of attending to pure Subjective Consciousness alone still involves that one who undertakes such Sadhana. WHO IS HE?

Q.: But there is also that one who investigates 'Who am I?'.

B.: He is both the subject and object of his investigation.
That is why in the end, everybody must come only through this gate before reaching the citadel of the Heart. Who am I? is the only Sadhana which is such that the one making it is the same as the one in relation to whom it is made.

The snake must bite its own tail. Otherwise, he will not die. Neophytes who complain that 'Who am I?' is not working are given the suggestion that they should watch the thought 'I', or that they should remain attending to Subjective Consciousness alone. Still less mature souls are told to repeat 'I', 'I' mentally, together with simultaneously concentrating on the sense of personality associated with 'I', that is to say with the mental concept of 'myself'. Those who are not able to do even this should do pranayama, japa, moorthy-dhyana, or hatha-yoga. None of these practices, however, could possibly serve as a substitute for vichara, nor is it meaningful to confuse any of them with vichara or to imagine any of them to be the same as vichara.

Vichara is the final door. The 'I' attends to himself, not to his Self. The ego attends to the ego and to nothing else; that is vichara. Attending to Subjective Consciousness, while it is a method having its beneficial use, is certainly NOT the same as vichara.

- Aham Sphurana

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Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

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G.V. SUBBARAMAYYA,
part 15

During Christmas, when I again visited the ashram, I asked Sri Bhagavan what he had thought on reading my telegram. He merely said, 'Yes, I read your message and also noted that the clock was then striking seven'.
I persisted, asking, 'Bhagavan, did you not think that you must do something to save the child?'

Sri Bhagavan's reply was immediate and direct: 'Even the thought to save the child is a sankalpa [an act of will or intention] and one who has any sankalpa is no jnani. In fact, such thinking is unnecessary. The moment a jnani's eye falls upon a thing, there starts a 'divine, automatic action, which itself leads to the highest good.'
The conversation was all in Telugu except the phrase 'divine, automatic action' which Sri Bhagavan himself uttered in English. The morning before I left, Dr Syed, philosophy professor of Allahabad University, put a question:
'Bhagavan, what is the purpose of creation?'

Usually, Bhagavan gave his replies in Telugu, Tamil or Malayalam and then got them interpreted. This time Sri Bhagavan spoke directly in English.
He put a counter question: 'Can the eye see itself?'
Dr Syed replied, 'Of course not. It can see everything else, but not itself.'
Then Sri Bhagavan asked, 'But what if it wants to see itself?' Dr Syed paused and thought for a while before answering, 'It can see itself only if it is reflected in a mirror'.

Sri Bhagavan seized the answer and commented. 'That is it! Creation is the mirror for the eye to see itself.'

I intervened at this point and asked whether Bhagavan meant e-y-e or 'I'. Sri Bhagavan said that we could take it figuratively as e-y-e and literally as 'I'.
Several years later, when a visitor asked the same question:
'What is the purpose of creation?' - Sri Bhagavan replied, 'To know the inquirer is the purpose. The different theories of creation are due to the different stages of mind of their authors.'

- The Power of the Presence, III

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