Conversation 004: Delusion, Duality and Absolute Truth

Along with Shrimad Bhagavatam, I also use to do a WhatsApp Broadcast from Shrimad Bhagavat Gita daily.

This conversation revolves with a seeker on the verse from Gita: Chapter 7 – Knowledge of the Absolute, Text 27 (https://asitis.com/7/27.html)

TRANSLATION

O scion of Bharata [Arjuna], O conqueror of the foe, all living entities are born into delusion, overcome by the dualities of desire and hate.

Seeker 1: It is good to read Gita but difficult to follow. I don’t know why?

Seeker 2: It must be realised that Gita is not like any ordinary literature. It is a transcendental literature. It has to be read in full faith, repeatedly. Also, one has to attend Satsang’s (where group of likeminded devotees converge to hear the description of Gita by an acharya or a respected individual following a disciplic line of succession) or at least have discussions and debates with like-minded individuals to understand each other.

Seeker 1: You mean to say it has to come in Sadhana or continuous practice?

Seeker 2: Yes, continuous practice with devotion and keen desire to find and understand the absolute truth is required.

Seeker 1: Okay, can you explain in brief, in layman terms what does this verse conveys?

Seeker 2: The knowledge of the Absolute truth is attained not just by being born in an aristocratic family or in a pious family. Realisation of the absolute has to come by understanding the constitution of the material universe, the living entity (individual soul) and Paramatma (the Supreme Soul) by putting sincere efforts with faith and devotion. The individual soul has to utilise the resources provided – the intelligence, the mind, the senses and the body to seek and understand this absolute truth. Unless this real knowledge is obtained, the living entity contacting with the mode of material nature (goodness, passion and ignorance) treats and lives a life in terms of opposites – good vs bad, pain vs pleasure, joy vs suffering etc. By living in the concepts of duality, the living entity gets deluded (gets lost) and falls into the trap of continuous births and rebirths.

Conversation 003: Daily Schedule

Seeker 1: What is the analogy of the timesheet we prepare during office for work activities to the time we spend in our day-to-day activities?

Seeker 2: This is a very interesting question because it connects to the spiritual aspect of our life with our day-to-day aspect for practicing our livelihood. Since we are accountable to our employer/management, it is a known practice that we prepare our daily/weekly/timely sheets and send it to our immediate supervisor that is utilised for various purposes like billing, identifying bottlenecks, performance evaluation etc. We are fully accountable for the time spent at work because we are utilising the work premises and various resources owned/under custody of the employer. We sign the agreement during our offer confirming this fact to utilize it for “official purposes” only.

But little did we realise that the Lord is the supreme employer who has created 8.4 million species of life (according to Padma Purana) through his “employee” Lord Brahma according to their Karma!

Our scriptures are unsigned agreement because the Lord loves us so much that He has given us enough freedom to utilise the resources He has created for us leaving it our own judgment.

Another aspect is that we do not have to prepare our timesheets here because it is already being prepared with due diligence by Sri Chitragupta, the assistant of Lord Yama, the son of Sun God.

Chitagupta utilises the resources of various witnesses like the sun, fire, sky, air, demigods, moon, evening, day, night, directions, water, land and Supersoul (Paramatman) Himself who resides in the heart of the living entity.  (Reference: Srimad Bhagavatam: Canto 6 – Chapter 1 – Verse 42: https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/6/1/42/ )

Lord Yama has been given the authority by the Supreme Lord to award rewards or punishments to individual souls based on the report submitted by Chitragupta!.

For official purposes, the immediate superior or the “boss” usually has the authority to prepare this report. But looking at this myriad list of witnesses or authorities, we human beings have to realise that we indeed have been endowed with a huge responsibility to live our life in a manner that pleases all these witnesses for any real benefit after death!

The beauty of our scriptures is in its simplicity. It says that if we just please the Paramatman or Supersoul residing in our own heart, the rest of the witnesses are automatically pacified.

Conversation 002: Destination after Death

Seeker 1: Why is it that talking on spiritual topics always brings peace and real knowledge to those who are inclined? It is like having a special relationship with God. It also increases our tolerance levels. We easily come to the conclusion that we can’t change others and let them live in their own way according to their own karma.
Seeker 2: Yes, In this present world, whoever earns huge amount of money is considered great and these people claim such recognition from this world. But spiritual seekers do not require this kind of recognition. They realise the impermenance of this life and constantly strive to develop the mind to think peacefully at all circumstances. After all, everything is material in this world including the mind. What a person is what is his diet and his approach and attitude towards food. That is the primary factor that determines one’s character.

Seeker 1: But that realisation can’t come easily!
Seeker 2: Yes, I agree. What are the thoughts that will weigh on a person’s mind at the point of death is what matters! If we still worry about others and things that is not going to come with us after death, that only results leads to a continuation to satisfy that in the next birth. We are so fortunate to be born as human beings the only species where the faculty of attaining self-realisation exists! If we don’t make use of it it is said we are killing our own soul…and that the killer of a soul is in deep misery either in this life or the next with no solution.

Seeker 1: Whether rebirth is there or not, by following this, the rest of this present life will be peaceful and without any problems.
Seeker 2: Yes, the main thing here is when people advice or say anything, we should not counteract. We should stick to our own path that our Paramatman or inner self is guiding us. We have to identify that.We should just think they are like that because their life is conditioned that way. Hence, there is no need to argue. Another truth is no one can stop what is happening currently or what will happen in the future. Everything depends on the mindset as to how we take it.

Conversation 001: All activities culminates in Bhakti-yoga for Salvation

I use to send a daily quote from Shrimad Bhagavatam as WhatsApp Broadcast to select contacts.

I start our series of conversation with this verse from Shrimad Bhagavatam:

Canto 11: General History, Chapter 29: Bhakti-yoga, Verse 21-22:

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/11/29/

“In a dangerous situation an ordinary person cries, becomes fearful and laments, although such useless emotions do not change the situation. But activities offered to Sri Krishna without personal motivation, even if they are externally useless, amount to the actual process of religion. This process is the supreme intelligence of the intelligent and the cleverness of the most clever, for by following it one can in this very life make use of the temporary and unreal to achieve Sri Krishna, the eternal reality.”:

Seeker 1: My understanding of this verse is we are indeed ordinary persons leading ordinary life. But what we must do to maintain our calmness during crisis situations?

Seeker 2: We should try to refine our mind so that it doesn’t get influenced by unscrupulous people living around us.

Seeker 1: Yes

Seeker 2: We should never get in the direction of these misdirected people. Don’t we turn our face the other side when we see garbage in the road? or do we go close to it and check why it is smelling bad?

Seeker 1: Exactly

Seeker 2: When you know you can’t change the nature of the garbage you don’t try to focus on it. People become garbage because of their bad habits and bad thinking. No one can do anything about it. Animals doesn’t know where is the restroom to evacuate. If humans also behave like it what is the difference humans and animals. It is said that everyone suffers or enjoys because of their actions only and not how others act.

Seeker 1: Yes, I agree.

Seeker 2: He goes alone to the darkest regions of hell after quitting the present body, and the money he acquired by envying other living entities is the passage money with which he leaves this world. https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/3/30/31/

What did Vidura do when his own clan was going to ruins? Finally…he just left the bow on the door side and went away never to come back for 36 years…after everything is destroyed. Vidura is so powerful. He is an incarnation of Lord Yama. If he had fought for Dhritharashtra even pandavas could not win. But he didn’t side with both Pandavas and Kauravas and went away on a pilgrimage. What are the lessons from Mahatma Vidura for us then? Having seen that a person cannot change anyone, one has to totally neglect him. Vidura was least affected by his surrounding because of innate pure nature.

Seeker 1: Exactly. Is it like continuous melting of Gold resulting in its purification?

Seeker 2: Actually, Gold is always pure. Fire only eliminates the surrounding impurities. Gold exists in nature as pure metal.

Similarly, Soul is always a pure spiritual particle but when it comes in contact with material nature it appears to be contaminated. It is knowledge that release it from the contamination.

Seeker 1: To make ornamental design, the goldsmith is doing that.

Seeker 2: Yes. In Gita, Lord Sri Krishna Says to Arjuna: “Burn your ignorance with the fire of knowledge”

To conclude, it is vidyā or valid knowledge that has emanated from Vedas (Gyana Yoga or Samkhya Yoga) that teach in esoteric terms to perform work by doing sacrifices (Karma Yoga). Performing Karma yoga in Krishna Consciousness automatically leads to Bhakti-yoga, an ecstatic state is attained and even the concept of liberation is considered inferior. The individual soul has already reached self-realized state and is always in a state of bliss whether it is in any of the three realms of the material world (The Heavens, The Earths, The Underworlds) or in the spiritual world (Vaikuntha)!


Conversations on Spirituality – An Introduction

I am happy to mention that I have crossed a small milestone in this maiden blog venture thanks to all your encouragement and acknowledgment.

The total number of posts has touched double digit!

I see from the blog statistics – 628 hits in total so far!

My intention on writing this blog is to have active discussion in this topic but I believe it is not serving its purpose because of the number of comments so far (16).

I could sense it is more of one-sided inputs from my side and hence the topics being written looks like more of theory and guidelines rather than being written in the mode of expecting any active discussion.

In our Upanishadic tradition the quest for knowledge begins when a question is raised by the seeker (Student) to the felicitator (Guru or an experienced person). The Guru does not give the answer immediately. Instead he puts a relevant counter question to enable the seeker to seek the solution by his own effort. This process continues until both the seeker and the Guru mutually agrees to a conclusion. It becomes a mutual dialogue and both the Guru and the Seeker learn together that aids in culmination of the absolute truth.

We are all seekers struggling in this material world striving to find answers to these basic questions on spirituality:

  • Where did we come from?
  • Who am “I”?
  • What is this “I”?
  • Why are we subject to the four-fold miseries – birth, death, old age and disease perpetually?
  • What is the destination on quitting this material body”

I would like to share my conversations in social media with fellow seekers over the past few years on these topics. In this way, it is my earnest endeavour that it will be possible for me to convey things that can be discussed and debated and knowledge can thus be shared.

For the purpose of mentioning the conversation details,

Seeker 1” refers to the person initiating the conversation and

Seeker 2” is “Humbly yours”.

This guideline will be followed in the coming posts.

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