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Old 04-20-2017, 04:46 PM   #41
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I find there is like a split second when you first wake-up, before you become "you" and the parade starts.

I love the image of the dancing Nataraj and the eastern idea of life as a play, a dance or a performance. Even the western existentialists came to a similar conclusion - with Nietzsche saying that great people's lives are such a riveting performance that they'd be willing to play them over and over again, eternally. An eternal re-run that wouldn't get nauseatingly boring. Nietzsche hated religion because he felt that, due to devaluing life, it led to a kind of nihilism similar to the Nothing you mentioned. Sartre famously said, "existence precedes essence" so... there's nobody underneath our masks - no "real" you. We become who we are in the process of making our life's performance and it is up to us to know if that performance is really worthwhile or not. We are kind of improv dancing. So might as well go all out by living up to our deepest desires and values! Expressing all of our internal powers and all that. Or make it a comedy and be the fool of the tarot...lol. Or a great love story. Or a heroes journey. In any case, according to them, we're doomed to choose, and we're drowning in the abyss anyway.

Then there is the eastern notion of Brahman - the eternal, unchanging ground of being. If our activities, masks and personas are the spokes of a great wheel, Brahman seems like the unmoving hub.

I do believe the existentialist insights, as far as I understand them, correspond to the ego or Atman and it's activities, whereas the notion of the Brahman corresponds to a more mysterious, but fundamental, underlying basis of consciousness itself.

But yes, I think it's all as ultimately meaningless as any song or dance or dream ultimately is. As spiritual seekers, it seems we are dreaming that we are seeking to wake up from a dream.

Sorry if these ideas seem a little disconnected and rambling...
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:04 PM   #42
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I find there is like a split second when you first wake-up, before you become "you" and the parade starts.

I love the image of the dancing Nataraj and the eastern idea of life as a play, a dance or a performance. Even the western existentialists came to a similar conclusion - with Nietzsche saying that great people's lives are such a riveting performance that they'd be willing to play them over and over again, eternally. An eternal re-run that wouldn't get nauseatingly boring. Nietzsche hated religion because he felt that, due to devaluing life, it led to a kind of nihilism similar to the Nothing you mentioned. Sartre famously said, "existence precedes essence" so... there's nobody underneath our masks - no "real" you. We become who we are in the process of making our life's performance and it is up to us to know if that performance is really worthwhile or not. We are kind of improv dancing. So might as well go all out by living up to our deepest desires and values! Expressing all of our internal powers and all that. Or make it a comedy and be the fool of the tarot...lol. Or a great love story. Or a heroes journey. In any case, according to them, we're doomed to choose, and we're drowning in the abyss anyway.

Then there is the eastern notion of Brahman - the eternal, unchanging ground of being. If our activities, masks and personas are the spokes of a great wheel, Brahman seems like the unmoving hub.

I do believe the existentialist insights, as far as I understand them, correspond to the ego or Atman and it's activities, whereas the notion of the Brahman corresponds to a more mysterious, but fundamental, underlying basis of consciousness itself.

But yes, I think it's all as ultimately meaningless as any song or dance or dream ultimately is. As spiritual seekers, it seems we are dreaming that we are seeking to wake up from a dream.

Sorry if these ideas seem a little disconnected and rambling...
I don't think that's what Sartre meant, nor the whole school of existentialism / phenomenology. I think he's more referring to the notion that we work towards concepts like essence, ontologically, post factum as it were, after the fundamental experience of existing - in other words, existence, the act of living in the moment, our actual experiencing, is where our rubber hits the road experientially, and essence is arrived at later.

But it is only a short time later that concepts like essence become simply derived concepts with no authentic reference in the existing reality.

In many ways Master and his whole school of thought put all the emphasis on experiencing, tho' his breadth of what is 'experiencable' is infinitely greater than the western philosophers could entertain.

We define ourselves by our act of existing, and the way we exist. Essence is always going to be extrapolated later, ontologically. I think they are correct of course. Western philosophy has got caught up in dead and closed systems by looking behind and 'pretending' to see the hidden.

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Old 04-20-2017, 06:34 PM   #43
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An Indian saint was asked (sorry, cannot recall the name presently), Why creation? Answer: Love

So, creation came about because of love. Very simple. Why are we here? Love.
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:55 PM   #44
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Oh my, such excellent, well thought advice! Thank you All so very much from the center of my heart. Several things you each said hit home and I am grateful, already calmer, and a bit clearer. Will reply in detail tomorrow, but did not want the day to end without a big 'thank you'!

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Old 04-21-2017, 02:14 AM   #45
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"The insect, which appears in the rainy season, rushes towards a flame and would rather die in the flame than return to darkness. Similarly, the devotee hastens to where holy men live and converse about God. He keeps himself aloof from the worthless attractions of the world and spends his time in devotional exercises.

Parvati once asked Mahadeva: "O Lord, what is the clue to the Knowledge of God?" Mahadeva replied: "Faith is the only clue to it”. You cannot know God, unless you have implicit and firm faith in the teaching of your spiritual guide (guru).

He is born to no purpose, who, having the rare privilege of being born a man, is unable to realise God in this life."

~ Sri Ramakrishna
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Old 04-21-2017, 03:40 AM   #46
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quote: You cannot know God, unless you have implicit and firm faith in the teaching of your spiritual guide (guru).

He is born to no purpose, who, having the rare privilege of being born a man, is unable to realise God in this life.": unquote

Wow, Khitomer!

Maybe, Delsol, (although, my apologies, as you may have had enough posts by now!) one gets these 'meditation blues' before having to make a deep spiritual decision.

I think I recognize a fellow fearful lion when I see one! (wizard of oz)
Your fears are quite legitimate, Delsol. And I understand the need to ground yourself and feel your toes on the sand.
The 'nothingness' syndrome is a way the ego protects itself from taking the next step, which can be quite daunting.


Good luck Delsol, good luck all!
Some of you sound so advanced already it's quite scary! I felt so guilty when I got my Kriya initiation, I was surrounded by all these old souls and here was I , a young soul! The cheek of it! Unheard of! So, after the ceremony I sheepishly went up to the kind monk, and confessed that I felt that I had cheated the system. Rather than say, 'nonsense!', he consolingly said he knew how I felt and that I still had a long journey ahead! 'Phew'!
You're not in the same situation, Delsol, but the moral is, sometimes we think we have an enormous step to take, but in fact, it's just the beginning of another long journey!!

The rest of my text is just repetitions about nothingness which you don't have to read for they have already been explained far better above - it's for my own therapy!:

Delusion delights in helping man misinterpret wise men's words. So, to sum up, Buddha came to put right the misinterpretation of Hinduism and 'caste' and to reinstate the notion of equality and social justice...he sent this pulsing through the ether until it began seeping into man's mind and heart (and yet, man still has far to go...)
Shankara came to put right the misinterpretation of Buddha's words: that it's nothingness that awaits us. Yogananda who is of Shankara's lineage tells us that it's not nothingness but ever new joy. (and yet, man has still far to go before this truly seeps in!)
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Old 04-21-2017, 07:26 AM   #47
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Good morning!

Another 'thank you'. The posts are appreciated, almost everything offered is useful. I have a new sliver of light and direction, am grabbing it, cradling it. A beautiful gift!

Also, please, please do not doubt sharing personal experiences or insights that come to mind as I am sure they are helpful to many. I also wish to thank those of you who have been present and helpful during this last year and a half and who occassionally bore witness from afar as my little tangible (and inner) life completely deconstructed. If one has not experienced such yet, what fun may be in store for you! (Or not - ha ha!) You will not recognize yourself, nor others. You may question everything you ever thought you knew about life, Love, the journey. From the outside, it isn't pretty! Others may think you ignorant, or imbalanced - certainly confused, and the truth is you are all of these things, EVEN with all the teachings and support from a loving Guru. Your strong mind can no longer be trusted, and even your intuition may suddenly seem a trickster, your true North temporarily off the map. It seems to me many of us spend the first half of our lives sussing out what is 'truth' and building our foundations based upon that 'wisdom', only to realize in the second half of life that the foundation was actually built upon coping mechanisms we crafted for survival, likely due to childhood trauma or other pivotal events in our spiritual history. Those mechanisms, like fortress walls, serve us very well for a time - help us to achieve and manifest incredible things in life - but there comes a moment when we realize we've built not a fortress but a prison, and must break through if we are to keep growing. Easier said than done because this 'realization' isn't something you see coming in your mental brain. It comes by way of unexpected or dramatic life events, or maybe a slow boil - like the frog in a pot, or sometimes even an epiphany you were not quite prepared to receive. Comprehension expanding. Mind blown! Pick up the pieces, begin again. And again. And again. You have to look at the destruction then sift through the mess, try to sort what was of value or truth and what was not (e.g. Oh! I was certain Love was THIS! Ah, no, that was co-dependency. Oh! Surely self worth was THIS! Ah, no, that was actually insecurity. Oh! But beyond doubt I am surrounded by loving friends and family who I've attracted through my loving vibration! Ah, no - that was a tribe of toxic narcissists attracted to your overly empathetic nature, you need to balance that out, etc). Ha ha. All of this and more flew through my little incarnation in recent times. 'Despondency' is the perfect word. In my case, I think it has been even more dramatic - had to be - because I was so very content, comfortable and (yes!) attached to who I was, what I was doing, the characters in my play - my ever evolving relationship with the Gurus, etc, etc, etc. Anyway, most of these inner changes are things we must experience alone (with Master, of course) for no one can fully understand another person's inner life, but I decided about a year ago to play with 'vulnerability'. To speak. Speak! Not share every little fear or ask others to wallow with you in doubt, no - of course not, that is not productive. Take most of the time for silence, always, but when one is stuck and all the normal mechanisms are not helping, there is no shame is sharing where we are at because 1) God may be waiting to tell us something through someone else - especially if our direct communication line is 'blocked' and 2) humanity is beautifully vulnerable. It is part of His gift to us. Art, beauty, growth, loyalty, Love - all of these stem from vulnerability, which is actually strength in disguise. Why suppress it? Ignore it? Better to work through it.

Not quite what I meant to talk about, but there it is. Yoga Girl, you may be right. As I have shared before, I could have accepted the Kriya initiation a decade ago but never did. I balked at the oath and did not trust my own ability to be a perfect yogini, which seemed a big deal as I was always a perfectionist and could not bring myself to make a promise I wasn't sure I could keep. Day by day, this seems sillier and sillier, another chunk of my ego falling on the floor! I mean, really! Ha ha. At the same time, I respect that perhaps I had to live through every little thing I've lived through in exactly the way it unfurled so that I could come to a point of greater acceptance and understanding - to really value the gift. I wonder if I should go to convocation this year, or at least receive initiation remotely. Maybe THAT is what this is really all about.
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Old 04-21-2017, 01:18 PM   #48
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Delsol,
Leggo of that inferiority-complexed ego and strive for perfection as He intended for you (and each of us). Fear of failing to be perfect is what holds us back from doing our best and achieving greatness (whatever "it" is). If you believe in reincarnation as repeated tries at perfection, then you have all the time in world and in eternity to practice perfection. So why stop yourself with such ego-driven fear, right? No shame (inwardly or outwardly) in holding yourself to the highest, perfection level. Repeated failures and stumbles is not the point. The point is to keep trying to achieve perfection, no matter your less-than-perfect track record. After all, you are a child of God and He is perfect!
As Bro. Achalananda told the class of Kriyabans of which I partook, the initiation is just the beginning. It suddenly does set everyone's bar seemingly impossibly high, doesn't it?
Go for it! It's up to you how fast and far you go, once you start the Race.
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Old 04-21-2017, 01:48 PM   #49
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Delsol,
Leggo of that inferiority-complexed ego and strive for perfection as He intended for you (and each of us). Fear of failing to be perfect is what holds us back from doing our best and achieving greatness (whatever "it" is). If you believe in reincarnation as repeated tries at perfection, then you have all the time in world and in eternity to practice perfection. So why stop yourself with such ego-driven fear, right? No shame (inwardly or outwardly) in holding yourself to the highest, perfection level. Repeated failures and stumbles is not the point. The point is to keep trying to achieve perfection, no matter your less-than-perfect track record. After all, you are a child of God and He is perfect!
As Bro. Achalananda told the class of Kriyabans of which I partook, the initiation is just the beginning. It suddenly does set everyone's bar seemingly impossibly high, doesn't it?
Go for it! It's up to you how fast and far you go, once you start the Race.
While that approach might work for many people, I think for some people, triguybos, the 'striving for perfection' can have negative consequences. It can result in 'perfectionism'. For some, a better approach might be one based on surrender notwithstanding our imperfections. Just my feelings..... I spent many years working and striving, and I feel more soul peace now that I've taken my foot off the pedal.

I am not questioning the wisdom of what you're suggesting, just that's we come at these things through slightly different channels sometimes.
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Old 04-21-2017, 03:12 PM   #50
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Delsol, first of all, thanks for creating/maintaining this site. And secondly, I admit I didn't read through both of your longish posts, lol, skimmed

I felt inspired to post, not because of any great wisdom I possess, but wanted to before I fade into the shadows. Like I said, skimmed but "despondency" caught my eye. Sri Gyanmata said that despondency was the greatest obstacle on the spiritual path, so it's one of the main weapons of Maya...even a great master like Arjuna had to overcome despondency.

As far as not taking Kriya yet, we all do things in our own time. Me, I had the Lessons, well, the first 36 anyway, stored under my bed for 14 years before I got serious. I was a hard case. In fact I even heard the "we've done everything we can BUT" line from the doctor (after 9 months of chemo hell)...but Master had other plans, 2 weeks later there was no sign (of cancer). But it has been anything but easy lol.

Taking Kriya is serious business. You are signing up for eternity, so once you take that vow, Master IS your Guru eternally. But it sounds like, as Master said, "you head is already in the tiger's jaws" ...Jai Guru
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Old 04-21-2017, 11:25 PM   #51
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A friend just sent me this:


"Short story from Sw. Krishanandaji.

Somewhere in 1998 – 99, Sw. Bhavanandji and I were having breakfast in the dining hall in Ranchi when we heard a meow. We wondered from where the meow came and found out that a cat and kittens were hiding in a pipe in the kitchen. The more we tried to draw them out the more they refused to come. So we gave up. But after some time Sw. Bhavanandji’s love spilled over and he took a bowl of milk and placed it before the pipe. Very soon the mother cat came out and started to drink the milk and soon the kittens followed. In a matter of months the kittens were climbing all over me and demanding give me this, give me that. Then I said to Sw. Bhavanandji one day that the kittens are now obstructing our meditations and so we must get rid of them. Sw. Bhavanandji agreed. We asked Sw. Hiteshanandji to put them in a cage and leave them far away. Soon a big cage was built for them, but as soon as they saw the cage, intuitively they knew it was for them and again went into hiding. Somehow we managed to get the mother cat and put her in the cage and after that it was easy to get the kittens also. Sw. Hiteshanandji wrapped the cage in a cloth, put the cage in the backside of the van and left them in a far off place. I asked Sw. Hiteshanandji where did you leave them and he named some village which I knew was quiet far. But somehow I had the hunch that one or few of the kittens would return.

One day as we sat for breakfast, we heard a meow and Sw. Bhavanandji said, “That’s your favorite one, she has come back.” And sure enough, my favorite kitten had returned. We wondered how on earth did that little kitten find her way, and return home. Then we thought it is probably Guruji’s wish and let it remain.

The One who designed the cat’s brain and gave it the secret to find its way home, must have done the same for us also. When some kids were visiting Ranchi, I told them the story and asked them if they could explain how the kitten could find its way back. I was surprised to see that though the kids gave differing answers some of them answered – It was love that brought the kittens back.

Here kriya is the key of love that will bring us back to God. When the urge becomes strong that I must go home, then God sends the Guru and the Guru says – Get into the spine, I can help you better. What does this mean? We can’t physically get into our spine. (In the womb, the brain and the spine system is formed first and the soul gets encased there.) Mind, prana, breath, sex force – the devotee is asked to control one or two or all of these. Kriya is the most powerful as it helps in controlling all four – mind, prana, breath and sex."
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Old 04-22-2017, 04:57 AM   #52
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All that said, if nothing is real, and we are nothing but extension's of God's vibration entertaining itself through endless contrasts, why not satisfy our earthly whims and desires all the time? Why not smoke cigarettes, drink wine - laugh, have casual sexual affairs - make tons of money, stick it in our ears and wallow in the Ego if one chooses to, if ultimately it is all just a huge recycling of interconnected light/dark energy anyway? Why spend a lifetime meditating in our bedrooms or in groups to comprehend 'God', wallowing in bliss, walking around with our feet off the ground if we come from Him and are part of Him always, anyway?
Shannon, It is easy to answer this question (which is not answering what you really think of course but the thoughts randomly rising in your mind in specific occasions, I'm aware of that).

Some of the earthly whims you mention, like cigarettes, sex affairs, wine, excesses, are really kids' stuff. No one who has reached an even minimal level of practical understanding will ever try and find satisfaction by such means.
Money, that's more serious but not really a big issue, since I cannot decide: 'I'm going to make loads of money and use it to satisfy my whims'. Welcome to the war for money. People are killing themselves for that and only a few are succesfull, and only a few of the succesfull ones retain physical and mental health. And at a certain age, we have simply no choice but to keep trudging along with our present job, thanking our good karma that we still retain a job. Besides, some of the richest men in the world lead a secluded, disciplined life. excess money does not necessarily mean self-indulgence.

Also, the meditation issue is not so simple. It is not automatic that we meditate and perceive bliss. Too often it is the opposite, we meditate and perceive nothing.

But medical scinece presently extols the health advantages of a disciplined and moderate life, healthy and moderate eating, no smoke no booze, no casual sex, exercise, sleep and meditation and a sense of life purpose.
Sometimes I think I'm almost listening to the teachings a Yoga Master is giving to the disciples and am thankful to Yogananda and SRF who allowed me to start such a path of healthy and purposeful discipline and meditation since I was a boy.

So, the initial 'why not' musings, are more the hallmark of a very childish mind (not yours, LOL !!) or of demonic suggestions.

It is so evident that lack of discipline or despondency or negativity is not the solution to whatsoever existential questions or problems we might incur.
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Old 04-23-2017, 07:45 PM   #53
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So many excellent replies, so much food for thought - again, thank you, thank you. Not a good moment for me to type out all of the personal acknowledgements and validations because it would take hours, but please know everything expressed was received and heard - deeply personally - your time and energy has not been in vain. And yes, I am recently wordy, but do listen, too. This mouth runneth over, repercussion of having been in hermit mode and solitude since almost two years. Forgive me. I laugh at myself - used to be so purposefully pithy! Chose words carefully. Today, you receive my subconscious stream of thought, unfiltered. It is raw, for You, for Us. I dare to be ridiculous and possibly judged, embarrassed. Je m'en fous plus.

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Old 04-24-2017, 02:01 PM   #54
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We're here to help a sister out as well as each other.

Always God, I get you. There are infinite "how's" to get to "who" we are; that's the entertaining beauty of this world. It's kinda of like seeing the countless different faces when you're jammed in the middle of the marathon starting line or in the NYC subway trains. Each face is a different world and it's interesting to see and even enticing to want to get to know their "how" and who they are. Constant striving for perfection can invariably lead to being an obsessive perfectionist, which paradoxically makes one far from perfect and the joke's on the perfectionist. I guess what I was trying to say is to never give up, no matter how despondent one feels. For me, "perfection" means union with God, rather any ideal of this world, e.g., love, success, health, happiness, etc., which I'm learning is a mayic illusion. For instance, I used to be a little OCD, but now after having come on the Path, I find it amusing that seeing an object out of place would have made the old me obsessed about putting it in its proper place. Amusing in that I'd direct my consciousness towards "correcting" it, when it really didn't matter that that book on the shelf was out of place. Not a productive use of consciousness. Now I let it go, whether I can correct it or not. I'm currently learning to leggo of my ego when I'm trying in vain to feed my 2-year old all of the 4 food groups so that she has all the nutrients she needs to grow healthily, yet she stubbornly decides that she only wants pasta, juice and sweets. Perhaps some of you guys appreciate how amusing this can be. I certainly appreciate the 10 lbs I've gained from eating her often untouched leftovers.

We're here in this world as practicing yogis to practice meditation and right living, regardless of our circumstances and in all our flaw-filled glory, to get There. This drive towards the Divine is the Spirit within each of us propelling us back Home, and That is what is in our interest to remind ourselves of whenever we feel "too mixed up in this world", as Master said, be it people, places or problems around us or the physical and mental dispositions within us. Let's face it... if we were There, we wouldn't be here. So why not enjoy the journey in spite of its ups and downs, twists and turns? Yea, for some of us, our flaws and karma can be quite a doozy, relatively speaking, but that doesn't mean we should surrender to them. Master also said "a saint is a sinner who never gave up." Surrender to Him and Guru's guidance, yes. But to our sins? Hell no; we're in hell because of our sins. Our "sins" are what's keeping us from being with Him. So I pray to Him constantly to help me change myself through practicing self-control and applying Master's voluminous tips and teachings, even after I've screwed up in the particular moment again and again in the process.

Anyway, I appreciate your raw thoughts that generated this thread, Delsol. It brought out perspective of the Big Picture.
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Old 04-24-2017, 02:25 PM   #55
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Great post, triguybos. Captures many aspects of the kaleidoscope.
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Old 04-27-2017, 10:09 PM   #56
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"The insect, which appears in the rainy season, rushes towards a flame and would rather die in the flame than return to darkness. Similarly, the devotee hastens to where holy men live and converse about God. He keeps himself aloof from the worthless attractions of the world and spends his time in devotional exercises.

Parvati once asked Mahadeva: "O Lord, what is the clue to the Knowledge of God?" Mahadeva replied: "Faith is the only clue to it”. You cannot know God, unless you have implicit and firm faith in the teaching of your spiritual guide (guru).

He is born to no purpose, who, having the rare privilege of being born a man, is unable to realise God in this life."

~ Sri Ramakrishna

He is born to no purpose, who, having the rare privilege of being born a man, is unable to realise God in this life."

I've always wondered about that "rare privilege" of human birth. How rare is rare, lol? There are 7.5 billion of us on this planet alone and probably millions or billions of other planets with humanoid type creatures on them?! The rare part would seem to be being drawn to a true guru who can help us make the highest use of our human spines and brains.
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Old 04-28-2017, 02:27 AM   #57
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He is born to no purpose, who, having the rare privilege of being born a man, is unable to realise God in this life."

I've always wondered about that "rare privilege" of human birth. How rare is rare, lol? There are 7.5 billion of us on this planet alone and probably millions or billions of other planets with humanoid type creatures on them?! The rare part would seem to be being drawn to a true guru who can help us make the highest use of our human spines and brains.
Maybe the 'rare' adjective refers to the ratio: human beings/total sentient beings, where sentient, according to Yoga, includes human beings, all animals including insects, all germs and bacteria, all plants, including the simplest cellular structures, all mineral. In this context, being born human rather than a a minuscule being with a very limited lifespan may be conceptually regarded as exceptionally rare.

Of course, such rare privilege is not random but has been gained.

So it would appear mor ean issue of wasted opportunity.

The above citation though disregards all difficulties and hindrances on the path to elinghtenment, as if it were a simple issue of personal choice: I decide to realize God, I turn the switch on, OK, realized, I took advantage of my rare privilege.

Really wish it were like that!
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Old 04-28-2017, 03:12 AM   #58
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McCoy: I decide to realize God, I turn the switch on, OK, realized, I took advantage of my rare privilege.

Indeed ! I suppose and according to Yogananda and others who are liberated, the reward will be that much sweeeter when the goal is reached, considering the journey of blood, sweat and tears it took through many incarnations.

And all this is happening simutaneously according to them. We are being liberated right now in the eternal now.
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Old 04-28-2017, 10:27 AM   #59
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Maybe the 'rare' adjective refers to the ratio: human beings/total sentient beings, where sentient, according to Yoga, includes human beings, all animals including insects, all germs and bacteria, all plants, including the simplest cellular structures, all mineral. In this context, being born human rather than a a minuscule being with a very limited lifespan may be conceptually regarded as exceptionally rare.

Of course, such rare privilege is not random but has been gained.

So it would appear more an issue of wasted opportunity.
Yeah, in a CD I listened to yesterday, the Brother mentioned it takes 8 million lifetimes in lower forms before you have the "rare" privilege to incarnate in human form.

Brother also made reference to "countless" lifetimes as a human being before one wakes up enough to draw an enlightened guru...like the Supertramp song says - It's a Long Way Home.

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McCoy: I decide to realize God, I turn the switch on, OK, realized, I took advantage of my rare privilege.

Indeed ! I suppose and according to Yogananda and others who are liberated, the reward will be that much sweeter when the goal is reached, considering the journey of blood, sweat and tears it took through many incarnations.
I like to read Tara Mata booklet (A Forerunner Of The New Race), when she went into her 2 month long samadhi, she says, to quote:

"The sublime splendor and joy of this discovery were so vast that he felt that centuries, millenniums, countless eons of suffering were as nothing, as less than nothing, if by such means this bliss could be obtained."

But countless eons of suffering is thankfully for the most part behind us. As Brother Anandamoy said, you find Kriya at the end of your spiritual search, so in the analogy of travelling from New York to LA we are in Glendale (suburb outside of LA)

But, as Brotherji also said, Glendale is still part of "hell" lol, keep on.
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Old 04-29-2017, 04:13 AM   #60
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He is born to no purpose, who, having the rare privilege of being born a man, is unable to realise God in this life."

I've always wondered about that "rare privilege" of human birth. How rare is rare, lol? There are 7.5 billion of us on this planet alone and probably millions or billions of other planets with humanoid type creatures on them?! The rare part would seem to be being drawn to a true guru who can help us make the highest use of our human spines and brains.

It is all dependent on His grace, but that grace is drawn to oneself like a magnet through lifetimes of struggle to realize Him. That is why the actual lifetime when liberation happens is so rare among earth's population at any given time. Just as the Lord tells us in the Gita: "Out of one thousand, perhaps one seeks Me, and out of one thousand true seekers, perhaps one perceives Me as I truly am."

But Guruji has said in one of his talks, the ratio among kriyabans of SRF/YSS is actually much higher in terms of those who find God through their sadhana and dedication to the path. That probably has to do with the fact that we are now in a higher yuga and that kriya has been revealed again to so many.
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Old 04-29-2017, 04:19 AM   #61
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McCoy: I decide to realize God, I turn the switch on, OK, realized, I took advantage of my rare privilege.

Indeed ! I suppose and according to Yogananda and others who are liberated, the reward will be that much sweeeter when the goal is reached, considering the journey of blood, sweat and tears it took through many incarnations.

And all this is happening simutaneously according to them. We are being liberated right now in the eternal now.

“Be not afraid, child of the Eternal Lightning! March on with unperturbed steady steps, elbowing your way through a million darknesses. Why, what is the body? What is this passing show? They are soon gone, but the candles that you are lighting and burning in your Father’s house will show you your path, here and hereafter. Stand by God and His servant, and you will see His hand working through all things.”

~ Master

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Old 04-29-2017, 04:30 AM   #62
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"Do not abandon your soul to temptation, says the Holy Spirit, because the joy of the heart is the life of the soul, it is an inexaustible treasure of sanctity; while sadness is the slow death of the soul and it is of no use to anyone."

~ St. Padre Pio
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Old 04-30-2017, 09:25 AM   #63
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I mentioned this years ago. I was told by an advanced SRF yogi back in the 90's that those of us who are serious on the path, i.e. Practicing Kriya and the teachings sincerely, that we would have had to have had samadhis in past lives to have this motivation to practice in this clime and time.

We are in a lower age and the beginning of one at that, in a rough and tumble Kali Yuga universe at present. But this yogi also related to me that Savikalpa samadhi is a long journey in itself to get to Nirvikalpa, which he had not yet reached. So the jump from one to the other is not a quick one, assuming you had not already achieved that before in a past life. We work out those pesky karmic desires and fruits of many lives in the various stages of samadhis.

Savikalpa then is where the heavy lifting goes on, as far as that final push towards liberation from the physical plane, from what he related to me.
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Old 04-30-2017, 12:05 PM   #64
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Dear Delsol, I used to think that I had to get out of moods to meditate well.
We all feel sometimes sadness, despair, fear, demotivation, depression, nighmares etc.

I don't know if it would work for others but I discovered for myself that they are feeling and emotions of the "false self" that need to be transmuted. They are ok, even divine in essence when they have been transmuted.

So my advice is sit in meditation posture, then immerge in this existential blues and bring it in the here and now.
Don't avoid it, don't fight, be there in this blues.
When you are there, concentrate at the Christ center, call Master and ask him to transmute it.
Then, still immerged in this blues, practice Kriya, keeping both of them in your consciousness.
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Old 04-30-2017, 12:16 PM   #65
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"Give it all to God", moods and all.
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Old 04-30-2017, 09:37 PM   #66
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I mentioned this years ago. I was told by an advanced SRF yogi back in the 90's that those of us who are serious on the path, i.e. Practicing Kriya and the teachings sincerely, that we would have had to have had samadhis in past lives to have this motivation to practice in this clime and time.

We are in a lower age and the beginning of one at that, in a rough and tumble Kali Yuga universe at present. But this yogi also related to me that Savikalpa samadhi is a long journey in itself to get to Nirvikalpa, which he had not yet reached. So the jump from one to the other is not a quick one, assuming you had not already achieved that before in a past life. We work out those pesky karmic desires and fruits of many lives in the various stages of samadhis.

Savikalpa then is where the heavy lifting goes on, as far as that final push towards liberation from the physical plane, from what he related to me.
Was this an SRF monastic that told you this? I have heard (read) several including Sri Mirilina Mataji, that most (all?) current SRF devotees have been Master's disciples in past lives, but I've never heard (read) that we all have had samadhi before.

In any case, what counts is what you are doing now. Though in the beginning, as Brother Anandamoyji says, I received some "candy", for the most part any "results" are mainly subtle and usually manifest later, after meditation- calmness, peace, even joy.

But, who knows. As Brother Lawrence said, if you persevere in knocking, God will answer and grant all at once what He has withheld all the many years...so, as Master says, keep on.

I know Brother Achalanandaji says he had a 40 year dry spell. So perseverance and patience are certainly qualities we devotees get multiple opportunities to develop
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Old 04-30-2017, 10:05 PM   #67
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Dear Delsol, I used to think that I had to get out of moods to meditate well.
We all feel sometimes sadness, despair, fear, demotivation, depression, nighmares etc.

I don't know if it would work for others but I discovered for myself that they are feeling and emotions of the "false self" that need to be transmuted. They are ok, even divine in essence when they have been transmuted.

So my advice is sit in meditation posture, then immerge in this existential blues and bring it in the here and now.
Don't avoid it, don't fight, be there in this blues.
When you are there, concentrate at the Christ center, call Master and ask him to transmute it.
Then, still immerged in this blues, practice Kriya, keeping both of them in your consciousness.
Wonderful answer..."change my darkness to thy light Lord, and my evil into good"...
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Old 05-01-2017, 05:10 PM   #68
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Mike1: The yogi I am speaking of was the late SRF Yogacharya: Gene Bardwell. He appears briefly in the SRF Yogananda documentary from years ago. Not the current one: "Awake"
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Old 05-02-2017, 06:37 AM   #69
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I wanted to add that Mr. Bardwell was a great inspiration to me in the 90's and still is. I remember his wise and humorous counsel he gave to myself and others. He was very humble and yet possessed a rare spiritual magnetism not seen often in this world. And that he was a householder yogi, with business and family responsibilities, was even more impressive to my younger mind in those days.

A few personal rembrances to share: I was at a gathering at the SRF Greenfield retreat sometime around 1994 and he asked me how long I had been on the path. I told him only a short time and he said I was "doing just fine". That meant a lot to me. His meditation counsel was always just what I needed at the time.

He related a technique that I found practical when driving a vehicle. He said that when driving visualize the environment coming to you as if you are stationary and that the environment is coming to you like a tunnel. This helps to keep the concious less restless and the attention can be focused easier at the spiritual eye. I tried it and it works.

He advocated often, the frequent practice of Hong Sau technique during any spare time or free moments, wherever you are.

Once in a group meditation, I was sitting at the back and he asked us to feel the currents in the spine as part of a guided meditation. I was very new on the path and had never felt anything in my spine. I was watching him with half closed eyes and suddenly, I felt the currents in my spine. After the meditation was over, I just knew it was him who helped me, along with Guru's blessings, to feel those currents.

He told a story once of his meeting with Daya Mata. He said he had some physical ailment and she healed him of it during a meeting with her. He had other meetings with her through the years, and also his wife as well when she was still living. Their children were and are very spiritually inclined and devotional. I would call them a pioneering American yogic family.

Some have said he looks like he could have been Lahiri Mahasaya's son. I can say this is very true, even before I heard someone mention this. When meditating with him I did indeed feel the presence, and noticed a resemblance of Lahiri when I would glance at him while he was in meditation. I did think to myself more than once, that he reminds me of Lahiri Mahasya in some way I could not pinpoint. This is not to say of course that I thought he was Lahiri Mahasaya, but just that he could have been a son of his.
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Old 05-02-2017, 06:31 PM   #70
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Interesting...kind of blows my theory that it's a linear path lol. You know, get samadhi, and progress upwards.

But, we all have had samadhi before? The vibes of this yuga must be very harsh if that is so....maybe so, I did recently read the Bro. T saying: "We have just come out of the darkest of all dark ages."

I use to think that I was a fallen yogi, and finally made it back to Guruji in this lifetime(after several lives of not so much fun).

Now, I don't really speculate on such matters - it's just more "stuff" that distracts you...I surely don't want to know about past lives, samadhi or not. This one is hard enough, and it might be a bit depressing to think of how hard the spiritual path really is....so, I'll keep plodding along...one day,

EDIT: Actually, regarding my first line, maybe we are progressing upwards (from samadhi in a previous lifetime). I do know that some of Master's highly advanced disciples like Sri Daya Mataji have said that you can't judge your own (or others') spiritual progress, only God & guru can do that... keep on.
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Old 05-03-2017, 12:37 AM   #71
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I remember Sister Subrata saying the spiritual path is often 2 steps forward one step back. I can definitely say that has been the case in my sadhana this life so far. I always remember though stories of those who had a very unusual life on the path, or a very dry one only, to find the bliss or even goal at the end.

One monastic (not sure of his name), reported he was never able to go deep at the end of his life during an illness. At the end he reported to a monastic ( I believe it was Brother Anadamoy), that he had seen " The living God ". He was radiant by the monastics account.

In another case, there was a disciple that Master said would be liberated in this life. But even Master, was surprised about it. But, he said Divine Mother told him this was so. This person, by all accounts, was not a likely candidate !

I'm sure you and many who read this have heard all these stories before. It's nice to write them out anyway for myself.

That's a great point and reminder. Only the Guru and God really know the full scope of our life, and past lives, and where we're going with it all.
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Old 05-03-2017, 10:29 AM   #72
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I already knew that the path wasn't a straight line to the top, was just kidding. Like Bro. Anandamoy said, if it were like that we would develop spiritual pride, and not much compassion.

Seems for me anyway, all the beatings of the world are to convince us that this world isn't our home, and to humble us. I remember reading a quote by a Catholic woman saint where she said that she used to wonder why all the humiliations, but then she understood it was to remove all worldly hopes of finding happiness here (material plane).

I like hearing those stories again and again. As Krishna, Guruji and others have said, perseverance is the key.

I remember seeing Bro. Achalanadaji at Convo one year. His talk that year was very fiery, all about the battle between evil and good - you could feel Brother's will power; in fact I think he may even have banged on the podium once.

The next year, he radiated joy, and you could feel that too! In his talk that year, he even talked of how he had had an "experience" in India after he had meditated 4 hours, samadhi (though he didn't use that term). And last time I saw Brother was at Lake Shrine a few years ago, he still radiates joy.

A devotee in our group once told me that Bro A ^^ had said he had gone through a 40 year dry spell!! So, as Master says, keep on keeping on...some day.
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Old 05-03-2017, 08:40 PM   #73
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Great stories as well. Very inspiring. I wanted to add that sometimes my one step back has seemed like a BIG step.... Waaaay back.
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Old 05-04-2017, 10:35 AM   #74
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Yes, I can identify


Divine realization requires unceasing faith, in spite of every reverse. The nearer we approach toward God, the greater the tests may be. Paramahansaji said: `The trials seemingly appear very severe; but the one who steadily believes, and thus deserves God's direct action and help, will find some magic wand dissolving all menacing mountains of testing tribulations.'
(Dr. Lewis, Self-Realization magazine)

Since complaining doesn't help, we can either wait or throw ourselves at Guruji's feet and tell him, "help me get out of here sir!"
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Old 05-04-2017, 10:46 AM   #75
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Don't mean to fill the pages with quotes, but I like them if they inspire me to keep going, so here's one more

The time will come when we shall realize that all we have paid has been nothing at all by comparison with the greatness of our prize.
(St. Teresa of Avila)
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Old 05-04-2017, 03:35 PM   #76
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Thank you for all of the excellent advice, suggestions, quotes and stories. This thread has evolved into something quite beautiful. Pheonix from ashes!

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Old 05-04-2017, 08:32 PM   #77
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Your welcome. I agree it has turned into a very positive thread and has really helped me in fact. Writing out those past experiences is very good for me, as I have never been one to write my thoughts out often.

I guess I could say this board has been a think pad and therapist simultaneously for me.
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Old 05-04-2017, 09:06 PM   #78
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If we read the Lessons...(do you read the Lessons? I AM scrutinizing you!--that is supposed to be a joke) we find that Master is always trying to get us to practice the techniques.

Doing the techniques, I feel like a caveman rubbing two schticks together to start a fire; and I barely get smoke.

But saints like Brother Bhaktanandaji and Daya Mataji are ablaze.

We just need to keep on. It might take more than one life, but so what. The goal, the result, the destination is Bliss-consciousness that is a million times better than anything else we can imagine, and it never goes away, and it never gets stale or boring.

And compassionately we will want others to have the same God-consciousness too.

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Old 05-09-2017, 08:56 PM   #79
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Just wanted to add: been listening to a CD, Keep On Keeping On Taking God with You, believe it was a closing Convo talk by Br. Achalanandaji. (came with Fall '13 Self-Realization) Very good, part way through it.

Brother talks about dry spells, and does talk about a 5 1/2 year dry spell, but not anything about 40 yr dry spell, so maybe I wasn't correct about that (did seem rather harsh)....Brother does mention what Br. Anandamoyji told him when he complained about meditation just being work (after experiencing a dry spell of 1 1/2 years right after entering ashram) - "are you meditating for God or God's consolations?"

As Brother says, keep on.
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