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Summary of ‘Good & Pleasant’

In General use, we may have used the terms ‘Good’ and ‘pleasant’ in the same sense. But, philosophically, they have got a huge difference. Let’s check this out.

good

Vedas and Upanishads are considered as a very important part of the Hindu religion. Vedas consists of Hymns and Mantras. Upanishads is defined as a series of Hindu sacred treatises written in Sanskrit c 800-200 BC. Upanishads are also called as ‘Vedanta’ or ‘end of Vedas’.

According to Katha Upanishad(II), “Good is Shreyas and pleasant is preys”. Virtues, strength and self-denial are qualities of Shreyas; prosperity, pleasure and power are qualities of Preyas.

Arjun in Mahabharata has given up the Preyas guna and chosen the Shreyas guna. So, this makes us clear the higher status of Shreyas Gunas.

My motto is to make you aware of the Shreyas and Preyas Gunas and also to clear the connection between Shreyas quality and Yoga.

karma yoga

What is yoga? It is called as Brahma Vidya or self-knowledge. We should make yoga shastra an integral part of our lives.  In the 18 chapters of Bhagavad Gita, 18 types of yoga are defined. These 18 types are reduced to four types and i.e., The Karma Yoga, The Bhakti Yoga, The Raja Yoga and The Jnana Yoga. We all know that yoga is very important for a healthy mind and body. I would like to state in brief the four types of yoga:

  1. Karma Yoga or Yoga of Action-  Karma means ‘to act selflessly’. Ignite your hidden potential by adding the karma yoga in your daily routine. To a karma yogi, a selfless work is considered as a form of prayer. A yogi should be well aware of his dharma or duties without being attached to the fruits of action or consequences.
  2. Bhakti Yoga or Yoga of Devotion- It is one of the paths for spiritual practices and self-awareness.  It is limitless love and devotion towards God. It is kind of making a connection with God. It is attachment, love, willingness and a way of emotional development.
  3. Raja Yoga or Yoga of Meditation- It is a path of self- discipline and practice. Raja Yoga or royal yoga is also called as Ashtanga yoga or “eightfold path” that leads to spiritual liberation. To develop a strong will and attain unity with mind-body-spirit, one should practice Raja Yoga.
  4. Jnana Yoga or Yoga of wisdom- In this yoga, a mind is trained to receive the knowledge of Brahman and atman. According to Bhagavad Gita, it is a means to attain liberation. For practising this yoga, one needs to have an extremely strong will-power and intellect.

Why we are supposed to accept yoga in our life? How beneficial it is? How could we achieve over-all health and wellness? Why Yoga is considered as Shreyas? All such questions would be clarified if you go through the above mentioned texts. Shreyas or goodness are relatable to Yoga-shastra, and so it makes sense to identify the difference between good & pleasant and choose good over pleasant.

The journey of ‘Self’ in Various stages of Consciousness

Have you ever wondered how many stages our consciousness or self passes through? If you will say; you don’t have any idea or you know somewhat. Then, here I clear all for you.

Consciousness

Our consciousness passes through four stages and i.e., ‘Jagrat’ or when you are a knower, ‘Svapna’ when you turn into a dreamer, ‘Susupti’ when you know nothing of yourself, and ‘Turiya’ is a blissful state, the ultimate destination of self. It’s possible for us to travel through the three stages stated above, and we are doing it regularly. I will tell you how? But, one thing you should keep in mind that you cannot be in three stages simultaneously, you need to travel one at a time.

Level of consciousness

Suppose you buy an ice-cream and this is because ice-cream is your favourite and you love eating it. Conclusively, you are eating an ice-cream because it’s your choice and you are doing by your free-will. In short, nobody has interfered with you. Now you went to your friend and tease him by saying that you had an expensive ice-cream. This is your ahankaar, the attitude, the arrogance about your doings or karmas.

The soul which knows its presence and doings are said to be in waking state or Jagrat. This Atman or Jiva is also known as ‘Vishwa’ or doer or gross body.

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Now suppose I am your friend whom you lured with an ice-cream. I had a dream that I am eating that costly ice-cream described by you. This is my personal world & my personal experience; even you aren’t aware of the fact that I am having an ice-cream. Of course, it’s not reality but somehow I am satisfactorily enjoying my own state, my own consciousness as a dreamer. Actually one would see the unaccomplished tasks or Vasnas in a dream state. This is called a Tejas or subtle body.

Deep sleep

The next level of consciousness is susupti. From a long day’s work, you often fall in such a deep sleep that you don’t even realise that you were sleeping. This stage is a night of dreamless sleep. You don’t have any dream you are in the third state of consciousness. This is also called as deep sleep or causal body.

The fourth stage of consciousness is a little hard to understand. This is called the meditative stage. It is the sleepless sleep. It is also called caturiya, chaturtha. It is pure consciousness. In this state, any experience is indescribable and infinite. In this state, the knowledge, the knower and the known becomes one. A person reach a liberated state.

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Advaita Philosophy describes the four states of consciousness.

Hindu philosophy believes in four stages of consciousness, it’s our journey towards an ultimate destination- the liberation. We could also say it’s our journey from known to unknown. It’s the revelation of ultimate truth. And we should always seek such truth.

Guardians of Galaxy

What is the most interesting fact about our universe? You may say it is vast, dark, mysterious, hidden, or well ordered. The arrangements & systematic rotation of our whole solar system is a proof of its harmonious order. I will not dwell in science, but I will be taking you in past around thousands of years ago.

Galaxy

In Indian Philosophy, Our Vedas has revealed some deep facts about stars and planets which our scientists of today are researching upon. There are some ‘Rta’ & ‘Rna’ on which our whole universe is based upon. ‘Rta’ is said to be the cosmic order and ‘Rna is said to be our moral duties and obligations. In the Vedas, we mostly hear a lot about God or Goddess. Let’s catch some of them.

Varuna

You have got, your father, mother, brother, sister, guardians, the whole family. Like the same way our universe has its father as ‘Brahma’ and mother as ‘Prakriti’. Brahama is our creator and Prakriti feeds & nourishes us. God ‘Varuna’ is the custodian or guardian of universal law & order. The universal law could be compared to the one described by Plato in his ‘theory of universe’. Mitra is companion of Varuna. While Mitra looks after day’s work, Varuna manages the night tasks. This was the simple concept of ‘Rta’. We are living harmoniously and completely, all thanks to our ‘Guardians of Galaxy’ God Varuna & Mitra for keeping us safe.

Mother Earth

Now moving to ‘Rna’- to say it simply, it is our moral duties. We have been taught about our duties to society since we are very young. In the same way, Vedas has fixed some duties or ‘debts’ (as described in the Vedas) on us that we must repay.

1.Pitri Rna (debts towards our ancestors)– We should settle in our life, get married and have kids. We must pass on the knowledge and blessings received from our ancestors to the next generation. In short, the flow of life should be continuous.

Embryo

2. Guru Rna(debts towards our mentors)-We should pass on the subject knowledge we have learnt from our teachers to another pupil. As we always know sharing is caring.

3. Dev Rna(debts to God) – We should pray to God, do Yajnas( spiritual fire ceremony) and make offerings to please and thanks them for their kindness and love.

This is the way Rta and Rna are defined in our Vedas. To know Indian Philosophy better, we must possess the basic knowledge of these concepts. For more such interesting & relevant facts, keep track.

Valentine’s Day Secret

Undeniably, February is the most awaited & very special month of year 2019. You might be going crazy as there are days arranged chronologically for rose day, propose day, chocolate day, teddy day, a lot more & the ultimate valentine’s day.

Why this most celebrated Western culture has been accepted & embraced in Eastern region? Why all over the world location like US, Canada, Australia, France, South Korea, China & India, people are geared up for this sweet celebration?

Ofcourse, there is celebration of love, fertility, victory, togetherness, bravery, courtesy, emotions and happiness. And, what else?

Curiosity was turning me restless. Therefore, I searched this secrets in depth and found the relevance of this day. But, this is no longer a secret as I am revealing it by here only. So hold on wherever you are, you will be amazed, alarmed, concerned, horrified but ultimately you will feel happy & high spirited.

Let’s begin. So, there was a prisoner named valentine who use to love a jailers daughter and would send her greetings with a note ‘From your valentine’ at the end. One day this person was caught and punished harshly. This was distressing. From that era to this, any cold aftermath of true love would sometimes bring tears to our eyes.

The other story reveals that there was a priest named valentine who will unite young boys & girls and secretly do their marriages. This is ultimate bravery I guess. During that period, emperor Claudius II Gothicus would believe that he will lose army strength when his people would turn into a lover and would marry. So he was against marriage, as a result, he discovered saint valentine’s secret wedding mission and furiously announced him death sentence.

Again a tragic end. But people are always smart and they know the right & wrong. Conclusively, they honoured Saint valentine doings and declared him a martyr. On his death anniversary, they started celebrating love or romance by sharing gifts, writing poetry or shayri, arranging perfect date, and expressing their best feelings to loved ones.

Some says this two persons are no different but two different life event of Saint valentine. Whatever it may be, both story dedicates love, bravery and truly inspires us.

You will be surprised to know that the month of February is Mass wedding season in Philippines. You can’t imagine hundreds of people gathering at one place to tie knots and get married.

I would be glad if young ones are taught about this valentine’s day & its historical significance in schools. This 14th century festival of Christianity is popular among all regions. Moreover, love God ‘cupid’ is used so many times in drama, fiction, fairy tales and our daily talks.

Everyone loves celebration, unity, laughter, gossips and fun. What’s wrong with people who separates the lover and involve in crimes of assault, rape, bashing, beating,hatred,murder & honour killings? Why we can’t accept the things as it is?

I really appreciate the bold steps people take & face the world- every type of love is special; no matter if it is gay love, lesbian,transgender, differently abled or difference in age. Love is the universal right and no one should be excluded or forbidden.

One should remember this always, ‘whoever doesn’t love, doesn’t know God, for God is love.’

Enlightenment- a critical thinking

Enlightenment is a word closely connected to Buddhism. Bodhi, in Sanskrit & Pali means enlightenment. The true meaning of ‘Bodhi’ is to attain perfect wisdom of four noble truths to end ‘dukha’ or sufferings so as to attain ‘nirvana’ and to ultimately become ‘arhat’ or liberated soul. Mahayana Buddhism classifies Bodhi as ‘perfection of wisdom.’

Buddha

‘To attain supreme wisdom by understanding the divine truth of life is Enlightenment’- Buddha

Suzuki, a well known Japanese scholar who is also known as Rinzai Zen Monk gave the term ‘ Satori’. The exact meaning of Satori is ‘to know’. To explain it more, enlightenment is to experience insight into true nature of reality. It is to know more about reality.

Zen also says enlightenment as a ‘permanent state’.

Vajrayana, a tantric practicioner which comes under Mahayana calls enlightenment as a transformative state.

It is like letting yourself enter in some other world or experiencing something new . But, Zen says it’s not actually going in some other world but realising self as being the part of that permanent world or to attain a permanent state or a permanent bliss.

Now looking forward the meaning of Enlightenment in 17th & 18th centuries which is also called as ‘An Age of Enlightenment’.

This era is called as a philosophical movement which highlighted science & reason over myth & superstition.

In modern age, what does enlightenment means? For me, it’s freedom of communication, elaboration of self opinion, expansion of thoughts, true vision of dreams, creating your own circumstances & living in your own reality.

In Buddha era, Enlightenment may be called as learning, wisdom, perfection of truth & acquisition of knowledge.

But, Kant a German philosopher of late 18th century defined enlightenment differently. ‘Enlightenment, according to kant, is the act of leaving behind the condition of immaturity, in which a person’s intelligence must be guided by another.’

Throughout history, we could see people as being the slave of others thought. Humanity is directed by thinking & opinions of either political leaders, spiritual gurus, paternalistic views, bossy manager and authority of old books.

Kant claimed that to have courage & energy to be self directing in one’ thinking, to think for oneself is an art of enlightenment.

In other words, to be enlightened, one shouldn’t contradict what others considered as a truth or reality. To be enlightened is to weave one’s own path by being a critical & creative thinker, and write one’s own destiny.

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