Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Aum Tat Sat - The End

The discourse ends with Krishna asking
Arjuna if he has listened intently enough to what Krishna has been telling him
to have removed his ignorance borne of the delusion that envelopes the world
once and for all. Arjuna responds that through God’s grace he has regained the
memory of his soul and all his doubt has vanished. His delusion in gone and he
intends to act accordingly. Arjuna will be devoted to God, constantly keeping
Him in mind. He will renounce his own ego-attachment to the results of his
activities and resign himself to God’s will in all things. In that way, by
taking refuge in God, he will find prosperity, victory, happiness and sound
judgment. Ultimately, Arjuna is destined to realize his oneness with God and
come to a place that is beyond sin and guilt where there is no grief or
suffering. That is God’s promise to us all.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

As the story in the Bhagavad Gita comes
to a close, Krishna explains to Arjuna how he (and all spiritual seekers) can
benefit from the wisdom contained in their dialog. Anyone who can set aside
their pre-conceived biases and skepticism about these teachings and applies the
principles with dedicated effort will free themselves from bad habits and wrong
inclinations. That person will work through their bad karma from past actions
and begin building a storehouse of good karma that will take them to a virtuous
place. The very act of studying and learning this valuable knowledge is
equivalent to worshiping God. Once learned, the most priceless service you can
offer to God is to teach this kind of wisdom to others. But you should be
careful not to try to convince anyone of its value, especially if they do not
believe in God or are not inclined to want to serve others. You should refrain
from trying to teach others about this if they appear to be someone who lacks
self-control or even if they just don’t want to hear about it.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The image of God is present in the soul
of all human beings. The desire to return to Him is lodged in the hearts of
everybody. If you take refuge in meditating on that part of yourself that is
the image of God and you perform all your actions in service to others, by His
grace you will realize a profound peace of mind and find eternal shelter in His
abode. Because you can do as you wish, the cosmic illusion that is cast by the
way creation appears to operate can compel you to stay bound to this world as
if you were tied to a stone gristmill going around and around in circles. For
the sake of your spiritual growth, listen to the wisdom in this teaching and
keep your devotion steady and strong. It is up to you to apply these principles
and see for yourself what the results are. One path leads to liberation and the
other to bondage.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

If you decide you do not believe anything about God and His image within and, therefore, think that you do not have to fight this spiritual battle, you will find that eventually your inner instincts will compel you to do so. Even if your current identification with your ego and its physical body is so strong that you make no effort to further your spiritual evolution in this lifetime, the process goes on. The universal laws under which creation operates do not cease just because you make no conscious effort to find God. The truth does not need your approval in order to exist. As long as you continue to equate happiness with the satisfaction of your desires and the pleasure of your senses you will be denying yourself the long-term joy of satisfying your soul. Because you are bound to act in particular ways by your past actions (your karma) and your own innate nature (the influence of the three qualities of everything in creation), you must do what you are compelled to do, but you can learn to do those things without attachment to their results. You can do whatever you think will make you happy, but the result is not under your control, so you are fighting the spiritual fight whether you want to or not.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

To reach that state of complete devotion you must have your mind always fixed on God.
You must make identifying with the image of God within you your highest goal.
You must learn to discriminate between reality and the illusion that the world creates.
Then you will find yourself completely absorbed in God and all your actions will be dedicated to
Him. By doing so, you open yourself up to His grace and thereby overcome all
obstacles, but if you do not heed this message because you are still clinging
to your ego, you will find life full of difficulties.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

You are not this mortal body

When you have reached a state of being where you are completely and unwaveringly devoted to God and other people you will become calm and serene all the way down to your soul. You will no longer be subject to sorrow or anxiety because you will not be craving the satisfaction of your personal desires nor will you lament the absence of certain pleasures. You will see the equality in all beings and will have the same regard for everyone. Through that kind of devotion and God’s grace you will come to understand who and what He truly is. At that point, you will know immediately that you are really a part of God’s eternal Spirit and not this mortal body.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The way to realize your oneness with God and everyone else

It has been stated in various ways throughout the Bhagavad Gita that the culmination of all wisdom and the path to absolute freedom lies in keeping your consciousness identified with your inner soul-self, which is the image of God, rather than your ego-self by eliminating your personal desires and any attachment you have to the results of your actions. By resolving to persevere in your efforts to renounce the attractions and repulsions of your body and its senses, thereby avoiding the entanglement of your mind with the fluctuations that result, you can go about the task of refining your understanding of the absolute truth and reality. It helps to be in a relatively sequestered place where you can eat lightly and where things like controlling your body, speech and mind are encouraged. In such a place it is easier to be peaceful and be less concerned about power, vanity, lust, anger and the acquisition of possessions. Then, by continuously engaging in meditation and practicing non-attachment, one becomes free of the ego’s sense of separateness and no longer suffers from the possessive attitude of “me” and “mine.” Regardless of where or how you get there, once you have removed that sense of egoism, you will be prepared to realize your oneness with God.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Improve your inner nature by encouraging positive qualities

You can improve on all aspects of your inner nature by cultivating various qualities within yourself. By meditating on the image of God within and having faith in the eternal hereafter you can elevate your spiritual state and you will naturally have more of a tendency toward serenity, even-mindedness, self-control, honesty and forgiveness. You can increase your leadership abilities by persevering in the face of obstacles and abandoning your fears in favor of courage, resourcefulness, vigor, being resolute and applying all of these with the necessary endurance. Even if you find yourself unable to muster any of these spiritual or leadership skills you can always do whatever work you are inclined to do with an attitude of service toward others and always acting in a way that benefits those around you. When you do your work in that way you are really worshiping the omnipresent creator of all beings and will, therefore, reap the benefits of all those other qualities. Remember, it is better to do the work that comes naturally to you, however imperfectly, than it is to try to be someone you are not, even if you get praised for it. You will not suffer inner conflict if you do work that is your natural calling.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Be the best "you" you can be

No one is completely free from the influence of the three qualities of nature as
long as they are still in their mortal body. People become different in their
mental tendencies based on the various combinations of the three qualities and
as a result of their own choice of good or bad actions in the past. It is
important to fulfill the societal duties that result from those tendencies
that, combined, become one’s own true nature. Some people will be “destined,”
so to speak, by those tendencies to become spiritual seekers and serve society
by becoming priests or even monks and nuns. Others will see the wisdom in
avoiding over-indulgence in sensual pleasures and will have the inner strength
to naturally lead people by their example. Those who have a more intellectual
understanding of things will serve society best by jobs that require mental
effort. Those who tend to think that only the things they see in this material
existence are real will often be the ones who perform physical labor. While
there are many combinations and permutations of these broad categories of
people, what is important is that you choose a path that is in harmony with
your own inner nature. Don’t try to be someone you are not. Work within your temperament
to better yourself by making good choices and benefiting others with whatever
you do.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sensual pleasures are like poisoned candy

Sensual pleasures are like poisoned candies; sweet at first, but if you indulge too much they will make you sick, perhaps to death. The activities that lead to lasting joy are often a little bitter at first, but become sweet as time goes on. They are born of the ability to clearly perceive what is really in your best interest. Most pleasures involve satisfying sensual desires and ultimately lead to suffering if they are not done with restraint. Finding pleasure in laziness or intoxication is a result of misunderstanding what pleasure really is and arises in a mind that has been deluded. That kind of pleasure-seeking is self-destructive both in the beginning and at the end.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Your energy goes where your mind directs it

If you are resolutely consistent in your practice of meditation you will find that your mind and senses gradually come under your control. When you calm the fluctuations of the mind and stop being a slave to indulging your senses you will conserve energy and have more inner strength to exert a strong will. But if your will is strengthened only to be used to fulfill your personal desire for wealth or longing for the fruits of your other efforts it will keep you bound to the inclinations of your individual ego. Will power that is used to cling to bad habits like overeating and oversleeping or that can result in dwelling on fear, grief, depression or conceit is misplaced. What you focus your mind on determines where your energy goes. Always be careful not to dwell on things that are negative.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A person who performs all of his or her
actions without attachment to the results is acting in a way that does not
involve the ego. When you can act without ego and still do everything to the
best of your ability, with courage and enthusiasm, you will not be affected by
the impact of success or failure. When you act ruthlessly and with greed in an effort
to get what you want, you will easily become overly jubilant with success or
depressed with failure. To act dishonestly with malice or deceit sets in motion
a series of consequences that will lead to disturbing fluctuations of both body
and mind. Similarly, if you become lazy and procrastinate you will find
yourself easily dejected and unhappy with the life you have created for

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

An enlightened person knows that behind
everything that can be perceived is the one undivided indestructible light of
God. Most people only see the differences in people and their thoughts and
actions. They are quick to criticize others for their actions or attitudes, but
they cannot see that their own bad habits or negative opinions are the result of
the same thing, i.e. just another attitude or belief. Worse yet, some people
see one bad trait in someone else and decide the whole person is bad. They
never consider the other person’s motive or the possible reasons that compel
their actions. They just thoughtlessly see the trivial differences while
justifying all their own personal convictions and inclinations. Such thinking
ignores the truth about the real condition of humankind.

Monday, January 23, 2012

People knew about the subconscious mind long before Sig Freud

People who lack this knowledge of the five elements that impact every action of thought, word and deed lack the ability to discern the influence of the subconscious effect of their karma. As a result, those without this discriminating wisdom egotistically believe that they are choosing all their actions and are responsible for the results. They just don’t understand how things really work. They don’t realize that their choices are a result of the influence of the three qualities of purity, dynamic energy and inertia as well as the impact of their past actions which imparts a kind of destiny to the final results. Though it may appear like you have free will, your choices are heavily influenced by thing outside of your immediate control. You do have the choice to perform those actions without desire or attachment, thus removing the cause of karma and encouraging proper choices in the future.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

How karma affects your life and what to do about it

On a deeper, long-term level, performing your actions properly (i.e. without desire or attachment) will free you from their residual consequences (your karma). All of your actions have five elements that bring them about; your individual ego-based personality that performs the action, the thought that generates the action, the various instruments of thought and knowledge such as your brain and senses, the actual function performed by your body’s arms, legs, mouth, etc., and one’s self-created destiny (from your karma) that acts like a presiding director over the choices you make. By performing your actions without desire or attachment you will eventually be released from the influence of that destiny and you will be free to choose the actions that are truly in your own best interest. As it turns out, those actions that are in your best interest are those which also benefits others, so performing all your actions properly will cause your evolution to spiral upward toward eventual union with God and absolute freedom.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Even if it were possible to avoid performing any actions at all it would not be right to abandon appropriate actions that you should do to fulfill your role in life and your duty to society. Avoiding those duties because they might be difficult or because you are afraid you might not get the results you want is not true renunciation. That kind of nonattachment does not do you any good.carry out all your responsibilities solely because they should be done while forsaking the outcome.perform all your actions with the intent to benefit everyone,do your best and let go of any desire you have to get the results you want. By doing so you will be free from fear and doubt with a calm understanding that you can remain unaffected by either pleasant or unpleasant activities.

Friday, January 20, 2012

While the argument can be made that every action is at least partially tainted by deep-rooted desire and attachment, we cannot stop all our actions. Some go to the extreme of trying to limit their actions to performing religious rituals, philanthropy and self-discipline, but even these essentially pure activities can have elements of selfish desire and the expectation that their results will lead to a favorable outcome. The only sure way to do anything and still avoid any possible negative consequences is to do them without regard for whatever results ensues.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ch. 18: Union with God through Freedom and Renunciation

Renunciation and non-attachment are at the heart of the message of the Bhagavad Gita and constitute the secret to becoming free from all of life’s difficulties. Basically, renunciation refers to giving up any selfishly motivated actions. Non-attachment means letting go of your desire to have your actions yield the results you want them to achieve. By combining the two, you will be completely free from the disappointments, frustrations anxiety and fears that life brings to most people.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

In the Hindu religion, all spiritual practices are started by uttering the word “AUM” (OM). Those who are sincere about seeking absolute freedom will also concentrate on the meaning of the word “TAT” (pure existence) when performing various religious rites or austerities so that no thought of personal gain enters their minds. The absolute reality behind all creation is known as “SAT” and it designates pure goodness. That word is uttered to remind the devotee that all his or her actions have their basis in the ultimate supreme divine and should be done to serve God. AUM-TAT-SAT is considered to be the designation for everything that is. Any actions undertaken without this in mind are considered worthless because they are ASAT (untrue).

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Anything you want to do can be done with a combination of motives that reflect the influence of the three qualities of nature. Actions can be performed purely for the sake of doing the right thing, or for selfish motives, or for inappropriate reasons. When you do something simply because it needs to be done, with no strings attached, and it is done under the right circumstances involving the right people it is a pure action. If you do something reluctantly or with the thought of gaining merit or getting something in return, it is an action that is motivated by the selfish desires of your ego and mind. Doing anything rudely or contemptuously at an improper time or place to the wrong person is performing an action from a state of ignorance or dullness. Strive to perform all your actions willingly for the benefit of everyone around you, without thought of reward or honor and you will not generate any negative karma going forward.

Monday, January 16, 2012

There are many kinds of austerities one can practice to further his or her spiritual development, but the intention behind their practice largely determines the benefit. For example, worshiping God, serving your spiritual teachers, honoring those who have been born-again into a spirtiual life and respecting the wisdom of sages are all worthy spiritual disciplines if they are done with real enthusiasm and sincerity.  Other disciplines like always being truthful, speaking pleasantly and kindly with words that do not aggitate others, or studying the scriptures can be done purely because they are the right things to do or for selfish reasons like wanting to gain honor or respect for your wisdom or because you want to be admired for being able to put on a show of piety. The results of that kind of self-discipline are not reliable. Even otherwise good and beneficial mental disciplines like developing calmness and contentment through meditation, observing silence or other kinds of self-control can be done just to be obstinant in order to defy someone else and create difficulty in their lives. Some people practice austerities to the point that they become self-torture and mistakenly believe that it is somehow spiritually beneficial. That kind of practice is based on delusion and ignorance.