Birth and Death

Relationship between one individual and another individual(s) is the driving force behind actions and reactions – cause and effect in this material world. This is the cause of continuous material existence.

This world is full of false compromises in relationships – one trying to please the other but in the end neither is pleased. It is the individual’s ego that dominates situations. Compromises happen only during the time when one individual anticipates a favour from the other. At that time, the other individual’s ego is hidden for the time being under the surface only to raise its ugly face again in the expectation of a favour for favour done.

There is absolutely no true love in any relationship. It is only the sense of false inter dependence that is driving any relationship.

Is there any relationship that exist without any mutual expectations – rewards and punishments in this material world?

Does this kind of relationships fulfill the individual’s needs – mind, heart and soul for life?

On one uncertain day, the life particle lodged in this body has to separate from it – at that time where does all these relationships destined to go?

If one doesn’t relinquish all the reactions – the effects because of causes – will it not bind him to this material world and enter into cycle of birth and death again?

Okay, all said and done – What is the solution? –  It is the basic realization to re-think about the process of birth and death.

What are our possessions at the time of birth?

What are the sense organs and organs of action that were in a developed state during that time?

The only developed sense at that time that is of some purpose to the infant was to seek out its mother through smell and the knowledge of how to suckle the breast milk. The infant is not aware of anything else that is happening because it cannot perceive anything and even though it may perceive pain, it just cannot do anything about it. Also, the people around him doesn’t feel the agony the child is undergoing.

This is the reason no one talks about the pain of birth which is actually much much higher than the pain experienced at death.

Let’s think about death. Everyone dreads it. What will happen to us and our possessions? Where will we go after death?

Again, the fear of death is induced because of lack of awareness. Even with our so called advanced scientific improvements as the mundane scientists working day and night with the limited power of their senses and their equipment, they are neither able to ascertain the cause of death nor give a reasonable explanation about the origin of life. It is useless to look out for solutions from them because it is beyond anyone’s sense perceptions. All they can do is to prolong our life and let us face further pain and suffering in an invalid body and face death in a more agonizing way.

Time and again it has been said in our scriptures that the life particle or soul doesn’t have birth or death, unborn and indivisible. It has to take a body again and again because of its association with the material senses and mind. Our ancient seers have long realized this and handed to us this knowledge in the form of Vedas, Ithihaasas, Puranas and Upanishads.

The question is why are we blind to these timeless wisdom when it is readily available and look for knowledge from materialistic sources that are unable to answer the basic questions of life? In the midst of our purposeless life seeking family honour, insignificant wealth, mundane education etc. why can’t we spend some time trying to realize the absolute truth to learn the real purpose of life instead of fervently indulge in pursuits that are for nought – that do not either serve any purpose in this life or the next? –What it will be like to acquire the knowledge to overcome the perpetual cycle of birth and death and implement the same in our life?

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A resolve for 2018

Things shape up in everyone’s life according to the plans of God for them. Otherwise how it is possible for Him to create a unique path for an individual during the course of his life. But indeed, it is His real mercy if he shows the path of total detachment and also disassociation from such people who are destined to face their karma and not to get entangled with them.

This awakening, even though causes a temporary setback will bring about a very clear understanding on this material world, its impermanence and the destination beyond shedding our mortal coils.

This will bring a focus on our flickering life to achieve the real purpose and utilise our vital energy towards this rather than dissipate it for a purpose that is going to neither serve our individual soul nor the objects of our attention.

The process of creation is initiated to create any life form to be compose of two components – the gross body and the subtle body.

The gross body consists of five material elements – Air, Water, Fire, Earth and Ether (or the all-pervading sky) and three subtle elements – the intelligence, mind and false ego.

It is this component “false ego” that is providing a strong sense of attachment to the material body and its accumulations thereof and is responsible for creating a sense of self-identification. In other words, it is the false ego that provides every living entity a false sense of I and mine and that is primarily responsible for our existence in this world. It is also the link between the soul, the life particle that pervade through our body as long as we are “alive”.

When this attachment is forcibly cut off the soul no longer has the inclination to be part of this present physical body. However, having been attached associated to these eight elements during the course of this present life, it is forced to take a new body because of the actions performed by these elements. This is what is being referred to as “birth”. This has been going on since time immemorial. As I have been mentioning in my previous entries, it is the possibility only for a human birth with his consciousness to break away from this shackles of birth and death in this ever-distressing material world.

First, we have to identify that this material world is a place of distress and it is a prison where we are forced to take insignificant rewards but a greater source of punishment for being perpetually caught up in the cycle of birth and death.

Therefore, our resolve should be:

  • To always keep in the back of my mind to keep the timeless and everlasting wisdom of the immortal scriptures like Shrimad Bhagavatam and Shrimad Bhagavat Gita.
  • To refrain from associating with anyone in a personal or intimate manner too much and to associate only for the transactions necessary for keeping the body and soul together.
  • To associate the Lord residing in the heart Lord Shri Krishna as our spiritual master and dedicate all the thoughts, deeds and actions as performed through the body to Him and His satisfaction. Only through that means, that inner light of ours will enlighten our soul which will turn will enlighten our consciousness and that in turn will keep the mind under control. Controlling the mind will control the 5 organs of senses – eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin and the 5 organs of action – hands, feet, mouth, rectum and genitals. Mind is the sitting place of lust that covers the real knowledge of the living entity and bewilders him.
  • To pursue attaining that real knowledge as the goal of life and to never swerve away from the path of righteousness at any time and at any situation and in the end surrendering even that knowledge to Him acquired of His mercy to absolve of any karma that would have gotten associated due to them either voluntarily or involuntarily.
  • Having said this let’s offer our total surrender to Lord Krishna for only He can protect us and give us the strength and resolve to face this hostile world that has lost all morality. Let’s beg Him to direct our fickle mind to be our friend and not become a foe to succumb to Maya – that arises out of passion, greed and attachment to worldly gains that serves no purpose in this life or the life after.

कायेन वाचा मनसेन्द्रियैर्वा
बुद्ध्यात्मना वा प्रकृतेः स्वभावात् ।
करोमि यद्यद् सकलं परस्मै
नारायणायेति समर्पयामि ॥

Kayena Vacha Mana-Sendriyair Va
Budhyaatmana Va Prakruteh Swabhavath
Karoami Yadyad Sakalam Parasmai
Narayana Yeti Samarpayami

Meaning:
1: (Whatever I do) with my Body, Speech, Mind or Sense Organs,
2: (Whatever I do) using my Intellect, Feelings of Heart or (unconsciously) through the natural tendencies of my Mind,
3: Whatever I do, I do all for others (i.e. without the sense of attachment to the results),
4: (And) I Surrender them all at the Lotus Feet of Lord Shriman Narayana.

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/11/2/36

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Laying the groundwork

“After many, many births and deaths one achieves the rare human form of life, which, although temporary, affords one the opportunity to attain the highest perfection. Thus a sober human being should quickly endeavour for the ultimate perfection of life as long as his body, which is always subject to death, has not fallen down and died. After all, sense gratification is available even in the most abominable species of life, whereas Self-realization is possible only for a human being.”  –   Srimad Bhagavatam 11.9.29

First thing is to realise is that this human birth is achieved only after the soul passes through millions of births and deaths in various life forms. It is to be understood that the soul is a life particle, the body on which it dwells can be the body of any life form. Every living organism has a soul – not just the human beings (or homo sapiens) alone. Another thing is that even the inhabitants of Satya-yuga and other ages are aspiring to take birth as human beings in the Kali age (Srimad Bhagavatam 11.5.38).

Although Kali age is considered fallen due to a lot of negative qualities and the opportunities of achieving self-realisation is extremely limited, it is not difficult if one makes a sincere attempt. The means to achieve it is comparatively very easy (Hearing and chanting the names of the Lord) compared to the other three ages – Satya (prolonged meditation), Treta (performing great sacrifices) and Dvapara (Worship Lord in the temple).

Regular prayers and chanting of the names of the Lord and pondering over the attributes and its meanings surely gives one a head start. The inquisitive mind naturally follows the glorious scriptures to find answers to the questions that arise constantly. Like-minded individuals gather naturally for discussions and for further inquiry. An Acharya or a Guru who is already self-realised suddenly manifests to a true seeker. For the unlucky ones who cannot find such a suitable Guru, the realisation that the Supreme Lord is already in one’s heart happens, one starts looking at the inner self to seek guidance from the supreme self. Events in life happens automatically leading the seeker to find solutions through one’s own life experiences. If the aspiration is strong enough to seek a self-realised Guru that also gets fulfilled.

Just like a small spark is enough to light a huge forest, there is no stopping if this thought of achieving the purpose of life is at the back of the mind all the time.

Let’s slowly see in future posts, how the knowledge that the person gains by constant inquiry and study coupled with constant prayers, chanting and meditation impacts the attitude towards material possessions, work, one’s own body and self, one’s relations, fellow human beings and other life forms in general. Finally it has to result in completely understanding the most confidential secret of Bhagavad Gita 18.66 – Seek Complete surrender to Lord Krishna and He will give protection no matter what. The ultimate perfection will be reached only then!

Thanks,

Rajini

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Knowledge is already there, why start again?

It’s our personal experience that the first step is the most difficult step to take and the most difficult decision to make in all our undertakings. But that little step may be the beginning of a great journey! Once that conscious step is taken, the universe conspires to make things work for us! (remembering Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist).

I was pondering as to how to write my next post, having laid lofty ideals in my introductory post.

Strange are the ways of the universe and how it has its own plans! I was suggesting my friend Rajesh to give his feedback on the introductory post. He is part of my life for 25+ years with whom I discuss a lot on these topics. He quickly pointed out I was more focused on the agenda than the purpose and the real purpose might not get served.

We had an interesting discussion on this and i clarified him. I realized this discussion should be known to everyone as it would give a vivid explanation.

Rajesh: reading ..Trying to understand the post..Need some quite time to read this post

Rajini: Take your time. It’s not rocket science 🙂

Rajesh: Your statement : Can achieving material success through one’s pursuits alone gives satisfaction? Are there anything else to be attained for real satisfaction? What are the answers to fundamental questions of life that we are still seeking?

Rajesh: I say what ever they do if they add divinity then only they will get satisfaction.. Else even if they achieve whatever they want they will not get satisfaction.

Rajesh: It’s there in Bhagvatgita also..

Rajesh: You know the answer to it..but why you are writing as if you don’t know about it?

Rajini: What if I know or not…why am I still undergoing things that causes suffering do I know that?

Rajini: Is knowing enough…are we following everything we know?

Rajini: What if I know or not, do everyone of us know?

Rajini: One way to receive knowledge is by counter questioning..to know various perspectives and analyzing and validating them..

Rajini: You would know that is the philosophy behind the Upanishads and that’s why they are timeless..

Rajini: Bhagavat Gita is one of such Upanishads

Rajini: A question and answer session between a seeker and seer leading to ultimate realisation

Rajini: In our age all of us are seekers to some extent all of us are seers as well

Rajini: All of us don’t know everything all of us don’t know nothing as well

Rajini: That’s why the current situation..

Rajini: Let’s say some one writes a blog on Asp.Net (It’s a software development platform). It’s because he knows something about asp.net…right? It’s like asking why is he writing it if he knows about it? Could it be that he wants others to know about it? Could it also be that he is updating himself from those who are more knowledgeable than him by their feedback?

Rajesh: Hmm

Rajesh: U right !

Rajini: This is a known subject matter created by entity like Microsoft for which enough material is already provided by them! Anyone can even go to their web site to know that static knowledge.

Rajini: But what about the realistic topic like this that is the subject matter of discussion now. It is important to all of us and there are no direct answers!

Rajini: That is capable of inviting attraction from people of all ages and everyone has something to say!

Rajini: That we are seeking and learning through our life experiences?

Rajini: What if someone is able to get something from all of us that helps in changing their quality of life?

Rajini: Your questions are beautiful that this conversation can be the subject matter of the next blog entry to continue the momentum!

 We all know that this is not a fixed topic and the knowledge is vast. I am sure divinity will lead us to our destination as long as the pursuit continues.

I end the post with the sloka from Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4 Verse 3

sa evāyaṁ mayā te ’dya
yogaḥ proktaḥ purātanaḥ
bhakto ’si me sakhā ceti
rahasyaṁ hy etad uttamam

That very ancient science of the relationship with the Supreme is today told by Me (Lord Shri Krishna) to you (Arjuna) because you are My devotee as well as My friend and can therefore understand the transcendental mystery of this science.

This verse is very significant because it is from this point the knowledge transfer (KT😊) starts.

The only difference between the KT in Bhagavad Gita is that it is one-way (one to one relationship) but our KT should be ideally many-many because of contributions from all the participants to make it enlivening.

Thanks,

 

Rajini

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My first post

All of us in this planet are here to make their impression felt. However, the target differs. It may be confined to oneself, to one’s family and friends, to one’s community and can also extend to make a mark on the whole world! It all depends wholly on one’s aspirations, ideas and its acceptability.

Anyone who has made a mark is able to identify one’s expertise and with perseverance achieve the pinnacle of success. But what is going on the background as they progress towards achieving their goal? This is a world of extreme uncertainties. What force keeps them going. Surely, they are making continuous effort but is this alone the cause of their success? Is there any unseen force that is guiding them as they are making conscious effort? Is it because they are harnessing that force? But how is it that so many people put in as much effort and are still not able to reach the goal they want to? Are they considered as failures?

Can achieving material success through one’s pursuits alone gives satisfaction? Are there anything else to be attained for real satisfaction? What are the answers to fundamental questions of life that we are still seeking – Who am I? Why and How did we come here? What am I supposed to do here? Where do we go from here? What is our constitutional position? How do we remain ourselves unaffected in a world of opposites – Pleasure and Pain, Joy and Sorrow, Success and Failure, Wealth and Poverty, Friends and Enemies, most of all Birth and Death!

Every one of us surely wants to seek an answer to these enigmatic questions because we have that sense that sets us apart from other species of life. However, everything is based on priority and degree. This is fully applicable in this case as well. I wanted to start this blog who consider this a reasonable priority, guide me and mutually enrich ourselves in finding answers for improving our quality of this life and the next!

Disclaimer: I am practicing Sanatana Dharma (also called as “Hinduism” in modern times) and the topics under discussion is likely to be under this philosophy. There will be no intention to talk anything negative about any faith or do any comparison. I strongly believe anyone practicing their faith with full faith truly respects each other  Also, each faith ultimately teaches us to love and respect not just humanity but all life forms.

Thanks

Rajini

 

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