In this way, Arjuna is gradually made to realise that behind his apparent words of rationality and logic, there was really the weakness of silly sentiment, not any great knowledge much less wisdom. He is made to come to his senses and recognise his inadequacy. Consequently, he begins to ask questions which are more rational and sane, more appropriate and suitable. And then Krishna takes a real interest in leading him on to an increasingly higher awareness of knowledge. Until that, Krishna brushes aside all his queries. Krishna tells him: “You are ignorant, yet speaking seemingly high words of wisdom.”
Write about what makes you angry.
– Po Bronson via Tim Ferriss
Scratch your own itch. Write the book/make the product you want or couldn’t find. Then at least you will have a market of one.
– Tim Ferriss
When I was serving my Guru, Swami Chidananda, successor of Swami Sivananda, and people came with various problems or issues for his advice, I often thought it was very clear what he should tell them. Often he would not be direct in this way, but give them support in their path. I realized that he was wise enough to understand that people need to find their own way, and our “higher” perspective may not be what they need. The most loving thing we can do is to give encouragement and support when it’s clear they must make the mistakes necessary, follow their own parabdha karma, and from that, learn and grow spiritually. I also know there are things I had to go through and learn from for my own spiritual unfolding. It is only in hindsight that we may see a greater, more expanded perspective gained. Love is wisdom.
Swami Bodhichitananda Saraswati
Bhagavan was most tender with people who thought themselves for some reason or other to be miserable sinners and who went to him torn by repentance. During summer evenings we used to sit in the open space near the well. We would collect in the dining hall for dinner and come back to the well. Suddenly, one day, a visitor started weeping bitterly, “I am a horrible sinner. For a long time I have been coming to your feet, but there is no change in me. Can I become pure at last? How long am I to wait? When I am here near you I am good for a time, but when I leave this place I become a beast again. You cannot imagine how bad I can be – hardly a human being. Am I to remain a sinner forever?”
Bhagavan answered: “Why do you come to me? What have I to do with you? What is there between us that you should come here and weep and cry in front of me?”
The man started moaning and crying even more, as if his heart were breaking. “All my hopes of salvation are gone. You were my last refuge and you say you have nothing to do with me! To whom shall I turn now? What am I to do? To whom am I to go?”
Bhagavan watched him for some time and said, “Am I your guru that I should be responsible for your salvation? Have I ever said that I am your master?”
“If you are not my master, then who is? And who are you, if not my master? You are my guru, you are my guardian angel, you will pity me and release me from my sins!” He started sobbing and crying again. We all sat silent, overcome with pity. Only Bhagavan looked alert and matter-of-fact.
Bh: “If I am your guru, what are my fees? Surely you should pay me for my services.”
D: “But you won’t take anything,” cried the visitor. “What can I give you?”
Bh: “Did I ever say that I don’t take anything? And did you ever ask me what you can give me?”
D: “If you would take, then ask me. There is nothing I would not give you.”
Bh: “All right. Now I am asking. Give me. What will you give me ?”
D: “Take anything, all is yours.”
Bh: “Then give me all the good you have done in this world.”
D: “What good could I have done? I have not a single virtue to my credit.”
Bh: “You have promised to give. Now give. Don’t talk of your credit. Just give away all the good you have done in your past.”
D: “Yes, I shall give. But how does one give? Tell me how the giving is done and I shall give.”
Bh: “Say like this: ‘All the good I have done in the past I am giving away entirely to my guru. Henceforth I have no merit from it nor have I any concern with it.’ Say it with your whole heart.”
D: “All right, Swami, I am giving away to you all the good I have done so far, if I have done any, and all its good effects. I am giving it to you gladly, for you are my master and you are asking me to give it all away to you.”
Bh: “But this is not enough,” said Bhagavan sternly.
D: “I gave you all I have and all you asked me to give. I have nothing more to give.”
Bh: “No, you have. Give me all your sins.”
D: The man looked wildly at Bhagavan, terror stricken. “You do not know, Swami, what you are asking for. If you knew, you would not ask me. If you take over my sins, your body will rot and burn. You do not know me, you do not know my sins. Please do not ask me for my sins.” And he wept bitterly.
Bh: “I shall look after myself, don’t you worry about me,” said Bhagavan. “All I want from you is your sins.” For a long time the bargain would not go through. The man refused to part with his sins. But Bhagavan was adamant.
Bh: “Either give me your sins along with your merits, or keep both and don’t think of me as your master.”
In the end the visitor’s scruples broke down and he declared: “Whatever sins I have done, they are no longer mine. All of them and their results, too, belong to Ramana.”
Bhagavan seemed to be satisfied. “From now on there is no good nor bad in you. You are just pure. Go and do nothing, neither good nor bad. Remain yourself, remain what you are.”
A great peace fell over the man and over us all. No one knows what happened to the fortunate visitor; he was never seen in the Ashrama again. He might have been in no further need of coming.
[Comment on website: I have aTamil friend who recently read in a Tamil book that this devotee died soon after.]
There is a trite but very wise saying: “To rest is to rust.” Action is like honing something to keep it sharp, incisive. Knowledge blooms forth into experience only when it is transferred into action, when it is practised. Knowledge is meant to be practised. And, therefore, if you are not to get caught in the circle of action and reaction, then action is as necessary for knowledge as knowledge is necessary for right action. Being in the midst of activity, if you do not want to be bound by activity, knowledge is the only way. It is the key.
Just had some more thoughts about gravity. There was a guru called Sri Chinmoy who took up weightlifting in his 70s. Before attempting to lift the weight he would look at it and become it. So he would recognise that the seer and seen are the same and not opposed to each other. Thus he wasn’t fighting gravity, but was dancing with himself.
And that reminded me of another guru I know who was about to have five women come and stay with him for a week. He is an elderly lifelong monk so I asked jokingly how he would cope and he said he would become like them.
And that reminded me of JD’s speed reading course in which he says if you get stuck on letters that hanging below the line (like j p q y etc) or above the line then read and look just for them.
And that reminded me of a quote I saw that said something like, “If there is a sound you don’t like, then listen to it.”
So after all that I have decided to become the traits that oppose me.