Ceases to Agitate

February 14, 2017

The moment the object that is conceived by the mind is identified with the Cosmic Body, the object ceases to agitate the mind any more.

Swami Krishnananda

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Desire

February 10, 2017

“Where there is fire, there is smoke. Where there is desire there is sorrow.”

~Amma


Duality

February 4, 2017

Anekāntavāda (Sanskrit: अनेकान्तवाद, “many-sidedness”) refers to the principles of pluralism and multiplicity of viewpoints, or vantage points, the notion that reality is perceived differently from diverse points of view, and that no single point of view is the complete truth, yet taken together they comprise the complete truth. It is one of the most important and fundamental doctrines of Jainism.

The Sanskrit compound an-eka-anta-vāda literally means “doctrine of uncertainty” (an- “not”, ekānta “certainty” or “single-natured”, vāda (“school of thought” or “thesis”); it is roughly translated into English as “non-absolutism”.

The doctrines of anekāntavāda and syādavāda are often criticised on the grounds that they engender a degree of hesitancy and uncertainty, and may compound problems rather than solve them. It is also pointed out that Jain epistemology asserts its own doctrines, but at the cost of being unable to deny contradictory doctrines. Furthermore, it is also argued that this doctrine could be self-defeating. It is argued that if reality is so complex that no single doctrine can describe it adequately, then anekāntavāda itself, being a single doctrine, must be inadequate. This criticism seems to have been anticipated by Ācārya Samantabhadra who said: “From the point of view of pramana (means of knowledge) it is anekānta (multi-sided), but from a point of view of naya (partial view) it is ekanta (one-sided).”

In defense of the doctrine, Jains point out that anekāntavāda seeks to reconcile apparently opposing viewpoints rather than refuting them.

Anekāntavāda received much criticism from the Vedantists, notably Adi Sankarācārya (9th century C.E.). Sankara argued against some tenets of Jainism in his bhasya on Brahmasutra (2:2:33–36). His main arguments centre on anekāntavāda:

It is impossible that contradictory attributes such as being and non-being should at the same time belong to one and the same thing; just as observation teaches us that a thing cannot be hot and cold at the same moment. The third alternative expressed in the words — they either are such or not such — results in cognition of indefinite nature, which is no more a source of true knowledge than doubt is. Thus the means of knowledge, the object of knowledge, the knowing subject, and the act of knowledge become all alike indefinite. How can his followers act on a doctrine, the matter of which is altogether indeterminate? The result of your efforts is perfect knowledge and is not perfect knowledge. Observation shows that, only when a course of action is known to have a definite result, people set about it without hesitation. Hence a man who proclaims a doctrine of altogether indefinite contents does not deserve to be listened any more than a drunken or a mad man.

— Adi Sankarācārya, Brahmasutra, 2.2:33–36


Swami Chidananda and Friends

February 2, 2017

My realization is higher than the sky,
But my observance of karma is finer than grains of flour.

~ Guru Rinpoche

The proud will never be pleased.
The jealous will never be happy.
The greedy will never be satisfied.
The hateful never be reconciled.
The stingy will never have enough.
The ignorant will never accomplish.

~ Patrul Rinpoche

As long as this inner universe has not also been converted into a benign, friendly environment, you will be opposing yourself, delaying that great day, that wonderful day. Subha samskaras (auspicious, good mental impressions) have to be invoked, subha vasanas (auspicious desires) encouraged, cultivated, strengthened, activated, and constantly indulged in, and in every way sattva (harmony) is to be made to prevail. And the further the “I” recedes away from the horizon of our inner vision and awareness, the more friendly becomes the inner environment for our self-unfoldment.

Swami Chidananda

We live in a friendly outer world, we live in a friendly inner world. Prakriti (Nature) becomes our real mother and our antahkarana (inner being) becomes our real best friend. It becomes our greatest asset, our supreme help in transcending the human consciousness and emerging into the glorious state of Divine-consciousness, God-consciousness, which is our reality, which in truth we ever are—jivo-brahmaiva (jiva is verily Brahman).

Swami Chidananda

Whatever you are, whatever the manner in which you are living, be based in spiritual Sadhana. Connect yourself with the Divine, so that you open up a spiritual channel between you and the Supreme Reality.

Swami Chidananda