Religion Divides, Love Unites: By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar
Posted: 19 Jul 2010 08:01 AM PDT
Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Taoism, Christianity, and other religions and spiritual traditions use different words and concepts to describe the ultimate nature of Reality. Sometimes, the scholars and preachers from these faiths argue with each other over who is right and who is wrong. There are even strong disagreements within the same religion and spiritual tradition about the nature of God or Salvation or Heaven, etc.
Even within Hinduism and the Shiva-Shakti traditions, there are great debates about the nature of the highest state. These differences in description of the highest reality and knowledge are only in the words that come through the conditional mind and not in the experience and understanding of great Sages.
My teacher Chitrabhanu-ji used to say that in Buddhism when they say that the ultimate state is empty it does not mean that it is “nothingness”. It means that it is No-thing-ness.
This is the experience of the Self-Realized sages. The highest state is empty of all things, concepts, images. It is the end of imagination and all experiences find their resting place in the Self. It is noteworthy that while most orthodox and traditional scholars of Hinduism reject Buddhism, Sri Ramana spoke favorably of Buddha.
There are no good words to fully indicate the ultimate state. The Self, which the ancient sages said is Sat-Chit-Ananda (Existence-Consciousness-Bliss) is the very nature of Fullness. This underlying unity is recognized when the mind with its fascination with concepts, things, and experiences has subsided.
Even the notion of no-self and self or Self are concepts only. In order to communicate, words have to be used to indicate the experience and nature of Reality that sits in the center of our Heart, our existence. What ever term one uses to describe THAT, It is what It Is.
When Moses asked God about his nature, God could only say, “I Am That I Am”. What else could God say? The nature of God cannot be comprehended by the mind. The mind has to surrender and dissolve itself into the Lord of the Heart for the Reality to reveal It Self.
So, religions use different names to describe the ultimate state. We can call it the Absolute, God, God Consciousness, or the Self, or the no-self or Shunya, etc. What difference can it make? If we understand this deeply through experience of God in our Heart, and see that it is the same God in every Heart, then we stop fighting and arguing over religion and spirituality.
Bhagavan Ramana used to say, “Ahimsa Param Dharma”. It means essentially that kindness, compassion, nonviolence, and love is the supreme religion. Love is the highest state. As Bhagavan has said, “Love is the actual form of God.”
[Sri Ramana with Lakshmi and her Calf]
Soul Moments: By Aparna Sharma
Posted: 19 Jul 2010 05:25 AM PDT
Who says God will come to you?? For ‘will come’ implies a distance in space and time. The Guru, the Master the Supreme Being or the ‘SELF’ is always there- shrill, in his silence…. It is only when we tune in to that presence, even for a moment that he quickly draws us in- in form of a poem that opens up something inside, or words, or a thousand hued monsoon sky, or a vision, a scenery, a fragrance, a note—ANYTHING that touches you for a moment and unravels so many parts of you.
Every now and then, there will be a word, said or unsaid that will touch a thousand strings of the being and music bursts forth—thousands of notes you haven’t even heard for centuries or for lifetimes… (for who can fathom how many strings you’ve acquired over how many lifetimes?) And once you have experienced that ‘opening up’ within- A moment when all the constructions of the ego and mind and petty emotions fall apart, it kind of becomes addictive, you want to go back there again and again, for the soul has experienced what it truly IS in that moment.
What we have constructed over the years , all our mental constructions of ego and mind and the irascible being inside masquerading as heart- all these constructions stifling the soul- fall apart. The façade falls apart for a moment and you stand in your bare nakedness, in your TRUTH. These are what I call ‘soul moments’- the only ones we have truly lived. We have all known those moments of pure transparency triggered by a thing of beauty, or a sunlit sky, or even deep scathing pain- anything that breaks open the shell, when a real ‘I’ has emerged in us out of these thousands of hours of nonexistence. A point where the whole being gathers together in a great poignant intensity and something is rent.
The soul stands in its utter nakedness confronting (or experiencing) its own hour of truth.
The way is not to acquire something or become something, but to give up and non-become. “the child suppressed in the secret cavern” says the Rig Veda (V.2.1), “he that is awake in those who sleep” (Katha Upanishad, V.8.)- to be in that Center
“.. .the sunlit space where all is for ever known” (Sri Aurobindo ‘Savitri’
If we have felt this Sun within, this flame, this living life even for one second in a lifetime, everything is changed; everything else pales before that moment of truth. And if we are faithful to this call (the addiction) to be there again and again, it will grow like a living flame inside our being, like an untiring need, getting more and more poignant, undeniable- like something unable to burst open:
A terrible sensation that something prevents you from seeing and going through; you try to go through, but you find yourself before a wall. So you bang and bang on it but you can’t go through, says The Mother. The pressure becomes so great, the intensity of the question so strong that something tips over in the consciousness. Instead of being outside trying to see inside, you are inside’ and the moment you are inside, absolutely everything changes, and changes completely. All that appeared to you to be true, natural, normal, real tangible, at once appears highly grotesque, comical, unreal and absurd. You have touched something supremely true and eternally beautiful; and this you never lose again.
Only a matter of gathering enough ‘soul moments’ …. Gathering enough drops of sun, before true life opens up as though we had never seen sunlight before. :-)
You are neither behind the point of perfection nor are you advancing toward it. You are at the point of perfection and it is from there you must understand your self from.
Namaste The Divinity in me greets the Divinity in you.