Conversation 065 – Detachment, Surrender and Liberation

This conversation is between a middle-aged person and his mother discussing about detachment, surrender and on achieving liberation from this material existence.

Seeker 2: Even if people knows about their problems very well, they do not make an attempt to fix it but do something else to get diverted away from it temporarily, will the problem go away by itself?

Seeker 2: I was just lying in a sofa without doing anything for two hours pondering about my issues and now only getting a bit fresh and you came to meet me.

Seeker 2: I understand that Krishna is doing everything for a reason and hence I have no regrets. Only the external mind is undergoing everything and affecting the soul that is foolishly attached to the mind.

Seeker 1: Hmm. I am thinking of how I was at the age of 35 to 45.

Seeker 2: I say don’t think about it because it will only give you pain considering the facilities for learning available now and available then and still people not making use of it!

Seeker 2: No use talking and praising about self-achievements. Does that change the present situation? Only by understanding the reality and endeavour to come out of these situations every time and learning from the experiences to face new situations can one survive in this present hostile world.

Seeker 2: You always say this situation will change and yes it will and it does. It may change for the better or for the worse but one should be equipoised in both the situations because we should understand that certain things are beyond our control.

Seeker 1: Yes!

Seeker 2: Krishna says to Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita: wise people do not lament either for the living or for the dead. Arjuna (Nara) is a human incarnation of Lord Vishnu / Lord Krishna (Naaraayanaa) but still has to undergo these kinds of situations, what are we compared to him?

Seeker 2: Srimad Bhagavatham mentions how Vidura was overtaken by grief because of his brother and his sons who acted without virtue throughout their life and how Uddhava was unable to handle the separation of Krishna but both Vidura and Uddhava were equipoised despite their difficult situations because both of them knew the science of God.

Seeker 1: Yes, the wheel of time is always spinning. It is not always at the bottom; it has to come to the top.

Seeker 2: If you do not find people with like disposition, for few moments negative thoughts always come up but only Krishna can give the intelligence to come out of these situations. There is no use worrying about anyone or anything. Everyone is destined to face their situations and they have to ultimately come out of it by their own endeavours.

Seeker 2: Knowing this if you still get depressed then what do we learn from our past experiences? Trying to get out of these relationships and live impartially is the only means to attain liberation. Realising birth and death process is a biggest pain and getting away from it is the biggest knowledge, everything else is useless!

Seeker 1: What to do, I am an ordinary human being?

Seeker 2: Everybody is ordinary only. Going beyond and realising these facts is what makes humans different from animals!

Seeker 1: Yes, that is too hard. Blood is thicker than water.

Seeker 2: Tell me how did your mother live? Have you seen her getting attached to anyone or anything? Tell me this and your answer will tell if she is a good candidate for liberation.

Seeker 1: How shall I tell this? She was hard of hearing and that was somewhat advantageous to her, but she was very intelligent.

Seeker 2: Yes. Still she was also a human being like us with emotions, relationships, eyes that can see all the nonsense happening around and understand what is going on. Right?  Tell me based on this!

Seeker 1: She always use to say I have to leave this world when everyone of you is in a good position. That was her prayer all the time.

Seeker 2: There is nothing special in this. Everyone wishes that only. Being in a good position is only a relative concept. If people around you are greedy and envious, every situation is bad and unfortunate. Most people are not contented with how much ever they have got or how much ever they have achieved in their life.

Seeker 1: Yes. She has never gotten angry with anyone or anything anytime, never acting with emotions, always treating everyone equally, revering her husband for whatever he may have done. Always getting up very early and doing her duties wholeheartedly and without any grudge, not getting envy or jealous of anyone, not lazy any time, always very good and works really hard to full satisfaction of everyone – all these characteristics were there.

Seeker 2: All these are certainly divine characteristics of godly people. All our characteristics are certainly determined and tested at the time of death for sure, only based on that one gets a next birth or not in this material universe. If one has leftover desires even subtle, still there is no escape from next birth!

Seeker 2: One should not desire next birth at any cost. This is the biggest blunder because what one gets as the next birth is determined by what one did so far and is not according to one’s own whims and fancies. So somehow one has got to get detached from this material world, though extremely difficult but not impossible.

Seeker 2: That is why maam ekam saranam vraja is the biggest secret, often mentioned by learned authorities as secret of all secrets!

Seeker 1: Yes, I will try my level best.

Seeker 2: Yes, all of us should yearn and strive for that. Performing fruitive activities, going to temple yearning for material rewards or accomplishments etc are useless activities aimed at degradation of the soul. They are all to be considered as mere rituals and hence only leads to bondage. Unless one renounce everything from the bottom of the heart, liberation cannot be attained.

Seeker 1: mam ekam saranam vraja.

Seeker 2: Hare Krishna!

Conversation 034: Argument Vs Debate

Seeker 2: All are doing what they think is best and doing what others are doing…in other words, all are falling into the same ditch!

Seeker 1: I heard in a discourse that the duty of a true husband is to show a right path of learning and unlearning to his spouse and vice versa.

Seeker 2: This comes in Srimad Bhagavatham, King Rishabhadeva’s teachings to his sons and the general public…

Seeker 2: “One who cannot deliver another person by instructing him in devotional service should not become a spiritual master, father, mother, demigod or husband.” – https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/5/5/18/

Seeker 2: “Everyone should be very responsible and take charge of his dependents just as a spiritual master takes charge of his disciple or a father takes charge of his son. All these responsibilities cannot be discharged honestly unless one can save the dependent from repeated birth and death.” – Srimad Bhagavatham 5.5.18 Purport.

Seeker 1: I cannot be satisfied with evading and nibbling replies. It is very hard for me to get convinced without full satisfaction.

Seeker 2: Yes. I know that. It is very difficult to debate with you…

Seeker 2: Look at the choice of words. I said debate…not argue…both have totally different connotations and purpose…just keep on writing…only that makes one choose the right words for the right circumstances. It’s all the efforts one puts in to learn. It can be clearly shown by the way one interacts and also the upbringing…

Seeker 1: First we have to listen, read, observe all nonsenses and senses to learn and unlearn.

Seeker 1: Debate and argument may mean one thing when argument is to provoke complete outpouring of ignorance and mental imbalances. One of the traits of a teacher is to provoke a good student to come up with his full understanding of the subject.

Seeker 2: Argument does not lead to conclusions or agreements while debates leads to…argument is adamancy while debate is acceptance…

Seeker 1: Krishna Premi Anna says, “If one shouts more, then it is not that he is correct.  If another man comes and shouts more than him, then the first person will be neutralised and defeated!”

Seeker 1: Best methodology is the question and answer sessions as in all Vedic methods of teaching. There, the purpose of both listeners and teachers are only to seek enlightenment. The language used itself is divine with lots of obedience and reverence.

Seeker 1: Unfortunately it is not the case with all because of complexes of minds and personalities. One to speak and the other to simply listen and accept, that attitude never yields any fruits in knowledge seeking!

Conversation 026 – Modes of material nature (and beyond)

Seeker 1: Suggest me something…if we are feeling something hatred towards someone because they have done wrong to us so should we tell them?

Seeker 1: Or not?

Seeker 1: Because someone has done something wrong to us.

Seeker 2: if we think the other person has the sense to understand, reconcile and admit the wrongdoing and willing to be good to us, we can make an attempt.

Seeker 2: Otherwise it is better to ignore them…if we are forced to transact business with them…we have to be with them only while transacting the business and nothing beyond that.

Seeker 1: What does Gita has to say on this?

Seeker 2: All Gita says is there are three natures of people identified by their symptoms and we will have to deal with them accordingly.

Seeker 2: we have to use our sense to identify the category of people based on their symptoms and behaviour.

Seeker 2: The three categories of people are predominantly in these modes…goodness passion and ignorance.

Seeker 2: Their characteristics are mentioned in great detail.

Seeker 2: How they will act to scenarios is based on their modes they are in.

Seeker 2: it is beautifully described in the 14th and 17th chapter of Bhagavad Gita.

Seeker 2: Gita says to use our sense to act. It is a broad guidance.

Seeker 2: You know life is a complex scenario. Each of us react differently even to the same situations.

Seeker 1: Yes I agree.

Seeker 2: it’s all based on the predominance of the three modes that we cultivate during the course of our life.

Seeker 2: It will be good if you check these two chapters. You will be able to understand why people are behaving their own way.

Seeker 2: “Material nature consists of the three modes-goodness, passion and ignorance. When the living entity comes in contact with nature, he becomes conditioned by these modes.” – Bhagavad Gita 14.5 (https://asitis.com/14/5.html)

Seeker 2: This is the key.

Seeker 2: Just check this for the summary of this chapter – https://asitis.com/14 and also the 17th chapter – https://asitis.com/17.

Seeker 2: Everything, even the food we eat etc. have an impact on our nature.

Foods in the mode of goodness increase the duration of life, purify one’s existence and give strength, health, happiness and satisfaction. Such nourishing foods are sweet, juicy, fattening and palatable. Foods that are too bitter, too sour, salty, pungent, dry and hot, are liked by people in the modes of passion. Such foods cause pain, distress, and disease. Food cooked more than three hours before being eaten, which is tasteless, stale, putrid, decomposed and unclean, is food liked by people in the mode of ignorance.” – Bhagavad Gita 17.8-10 (https://asitis.com/17/8-10.html)

Seeker 2: A more detail of the modes is also described in the 18th chapter.

Seeker 2: By studying these you will be able to “adjust” your actions accordingly and also will develop the traits required to achieve the mode of goodness.

Seeker 2: However, it’s just not enough if one just achieves the mode of material goodness. One has to transcend the material modes and attain the transcendental mode of goodness if one aspire to live with the Lord. How to do that is the main subject matter of the 18th chapter of Bhagavad Gita and is summarised in the most confidential verse:

TEXT 66

sarva-dharman parityajya
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah

TRANSLATION

“Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.”

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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