Showing posts from April, 2015

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals :Ch-3. Part - 3.

Chapter-3. Rama – The Apotheosis of Human Perfection ( Sri Ramanavami )


In the majestic words of Valmiki with which the epic commences, we are given a description of what this perfection of humanity is, as an answer given by Sage Narada to a question put by Sage Valmiki as to who is the ideal of human nature.

"Who do you think, O Sage, is the perfect embodiment of humanity in this world, and can you give me an example of such perfection?" was the question put by Valmiki to Narada.

And then, Narada commences a dignified description of a personality whom today we know and adore as Sri Rama.

That majestic feature of bodily personality, the ideal perfection of physiological structure, the profundity and beauty of understanding, dignity of behaviour, exemplary nature of conduct – to put it in one word, 'perfection' as conceived or as conceivable by the human understanding – this is what comes forth as an answer from the great Sage Narada.

We have two epics, the R…

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals :Ch-3. Part - 2.

Chapter-3. Rama – The Apotheosis of Human Perfection ( Sri Ramanavami )


Surprising though it may appear, this master poet who composed the Ramayana was an illiterate brute in his earlier life, but suddenly transformed into a Master whose genius is today regarded as incomparable in the history of Sanskrit literature.

This total transformation by a magical touch, as it were, was given to Valmiki by another genius, Sage Narada.

One genius created another genius, and this genius has written an epic, stirring the soul of man, on a genius of human perfection,

Sri Rama Himself. And so, even today a contemplation on these aspects of holiness and perfection brings us into contact with a unique feature, namely humanity as it ought to be properly understood and brought to bear on practical life.

The whole of the Ramayana is an epic of humanity.

Humanity does not mean mankind, but that which particularly characterises human nature.

It is in this sense that Sri Rama is oftentimes called t…

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals :Ch-3. Part - 1.

Chapter-3. Rama – The Apotheosis of Human Perfection ( Sri Ramanavami )


Let us observe this auspicious occasion of Sri Ramanavami as a moment of contemplation on a special spark of Divinity that made its advent on the earth.

Popularly speaking, in ancient historical times, to emphasise the historical advent of this great Divinity on earth has been the exoteric side of the epics as people generally understand it.

This popular emphasis on the incarnations of God on earth has taken the form of epics like the Ramayana.

We are told in the Ramayana of Sage Valmiki, in the earliest of these documents, that it was a history par excellence, a history of a chronological procession of divine exploits which is what we generally mean by a divine epic.

It is believed that the earliest record of the history of Rama, the Ramayana of Valmiki, was written during the lifetime of Rama Himself.

It was not a biography written later on, after several years.

It was composed then and there by a conte…

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals :Ch-2. Part - 28.

Ch-2.  Siva – The Mystic Night ( Sivaratri)


Sivaratri is a blessed occasion for all to practise self-restraint, self-control, contemplation, Svadhyaya, Japa and meditation, as much as possible within our capacity.

We have the whole of the night at our disposal.

We can do Japa or we can do the chanting of the Mantra, 'Om Namah Sivaya'.

We can also meditate.

It is a period of Sadhana.

Functions like Mahasivaratri, Ramanavami, Janmashtami, Navaratri are not functions in the sense of festoons and celebrations for the satisfaction of the human mind.

They are functions of the Spirit; they are celebrations of the Spirit.

In as much as we are unable to think of God throughout the day, for all the 365 days of the year, such occasions are created so that at least periodically we may recall to our memory our original destiny, our Divine Abode.

The glory of God is displayed before us in the form of these spiritual occasions..

Chapter-2. Siva – The Mystic Night ( Sivaratri). Ends…

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals :Ch-2. Part - 27.

Ch-2.  Siva – The Mystic Night ( Sivaratri)


On Maha Sivaratri, therefore, you are supposed to contemplate God as the creator of the world, as the Supreme Being unknown to the Creative Will, in that primordial condition of non-objectivity which is the darkness of Siva.

In the Bhagavadgita there is a similar slokam which has some sort of a resemblance to this situation.

"Ya nisa sarvabhutanam tasyam jagarti samyami; yasyam jagrati bhutani sa nisa pasyato muneh"  :-

meaning : That which is night to the ignorant, is day to the wise; and that which is day to the wise, is night to the ignorant.

The ignorant feel the world as daylight and a brightly illumined objective something; and that does not exist for a wise person.

The wise see God in all His effulgence; and that does not exist for the ignorant.

While the wise see God, the ignorant do not see Him; and while the ignorant see the world, the wise do not see it. "

That is the meaning of this slokam in the second c…

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals :Ch-2. Part - 26.

Ch-2.  Siva – The Mystic Night ( Sivaratri)


This is the essence of the whole matter.

So you are seeing God.

I am right in saying that.

What you see in front of you is God only.

It is not a building.

There is no such thing as a building.

But you call it a building due to an error of perception, due to ignorance and due to not being able to analyse the situation in which you are involved.

We are caught up in a mess, in a paradox, in a confusion; and the confusion has entered us, entered into the bones, as it were, into the very fibre of our being and made us the fools that we are today.

It is to awaken ourselves from this ignorance and to come to a state of that supreme blessedness of the recognition of God in this very world, that we practise Sadhana.

The highest of Sadhanas is meditation on God.

Swami Krishnananda

To be continued  ...

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals :Ch-2. Part - 25.

Ch-2.  Siva – The Mystic Night ( Sivaratri)


To come back to the analogy of dream again, the mountain that you saw in dream was not a mountain; it was only consciousness.
There was no mountain.

But it looked like a hard something in front of you, against which you could hit your dream head.

You see buildings in dream.

It was consciousness that projected itself into the hard substance of bricks and buildings, mountains and rivers, persons and animals, etc., in dream.

The world of dream does not exist.

You know it very well, and yet it appears.

What is it that appears?

The consciousness itself projects itself outwardly, in space and time created by itself, and then you call it a world.

Likewise, in the waking state also the Cosmic Consciousness has projected itself into this world.

The world is Cosmic Consciousness.

The Supreme Divinity Himself is revealed here in the form of this world.

As the dream world is nothing but consciousness, the waking world also is nothing but consc…

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals :Ch-2. Part - 24.

Ch-2.  Siva – The Mystic Night ( Sivaratri)


As a matter of fact, we are seeing God even now.

But we are not able to recognise Him.

The world that we see before us is God Himself.

There is no such thing as the world.

The world does not exist.

It is only a name that we have given to the Supreme Being.

Call the dog a bad name and then hang it.

Who asked you to call it a world?

Why do you give such a name?

You yourself have given it a name and say, "Oh, this is the world!"

You can call it by another name.

You are free to give any name to it.

Really there is no such thing as a world.

It does not exist.

The world is only a name that you give to a distortion created in the perception of your consciousness due to its isolation into the subject and the object.

Swami Krishnananda

To be continued  ...

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals :Ch-2. Part - 23.

Ch-2.  Siva – The Mystic Night ( Sivaratri)


The Supreme Absolute, which is indeterminable, when it is associated with the Creative Will with a tendency to create the Cosmos, is Isvara in Vedantic parlance, and Siva in Puranic terminology.

This is the very precise condition described in the Nasadiya Sukta of the Veda as Tamas or darkness.

This is, to repeat again, darkness due to the excess of the Light of the divine Absolute.

If you look at God, what will you see?

You will see nothing.

The eyes cannot see Him because He is such dazzling light.

When the frequency of light gets intensified to a very high level, light will not be seen by the eyes.

When the frequency is lowered and comes down to the level of the structure of the retina of the eye, only then you can see light.

There are various kinds of lights, various intensities or frequencies, and the higher frequencies are incapable of cognisance by the senses on account of their structural deformity.

So if you see God, you w…

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals :Ch-2. Part - 22.

Ch-2.  Siva – The Mystic Night ( Sivaratri)


Let us come back to the subject of Sivaratri, the night of Siva. When you perceive an object, you call it waking. When you do not perceive it, it is darkness. Now in the waking condition – the so-called waking world – you see present before you a world of objects, as you are intelligent. In dream also there is a sort of intelligence.

But in deep sleep there is no intelligence. What happens? The senses and the intellect withdraw themselves into their source. There is no perceptional activity, and so the absence of perception is equated to the presence of darkness. The cosmic Primeval condition of the creative will of God, before creation – a state appearing like darkness, or night – is what we call the condition of Siva.

It is very important to remember that the state of Siva is the primordial condition of the creative will of God, where there is no externality of perception, there being nothing outside God; and so, for us, it is li…

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals :Ch-2. Part - 21.

Ch-2.  Siva – The Mystic Night ( Sivaratri)


The comparison between the dream and the waking world is responsible for our judgement of the unreality of the dream world. But with what will you compare the waking world? There is at present nothing to compare it with, and therefore you are in a condition which is self-sufficient, self-complacent and incapable of rectification.

When you feel that you are perfectly right, nobody can teach you. Nobody can set you right, because you think that you are right. The question of teaching arises only when you feel that you are ignorant and you need teaching. The waking world is only an indication as to what could be happening or what is perhaps happening.

You cannot know what is happening actually, unless you transcend this condition, which you have not done yet. But, by the conclusion that you can draw from an analysis of the dream condition, you can conclude to some extent that in the waking state also you are in a fool's paradise. …

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals :Ch-2. Part - 20.

Ch-2.  Siva – The Mystic Night ( Sivaratri)


Now you are able to understand this situation in dream on account of the comparison that you make between waking and dream.
When you wake up, you do not see the dream objects, and then you begin to analyse the condition in which you were when you were dreaming.

You say, when you are awake, that you are in a world of reality, whereas in dream you were in a world of unreality.

How do you know that the world of dream was a world of unreality?

It is merely because you compare it with the waking condition which you consider as real.

How do you know that the world of waking is real?

You cannot say anything about this, because there is nothing with which you can compare it, as you did in the case of the dream.

If you can know another standard of reference, higher than the waking condition, you would have been able to make a judgement of it – whether the waking condition is real or unreal, good or bad and so on.

When you are dreaming, you …

Spiritual Import of Religious Festivals :Ch-2. Part - 19.

Ch-2.  Siva – The Mystic Night ( Sivaratri)


What happens in dream is that there is an alienation of the mind into the objects of perception; and the mind itself becomes the mountain there.

There is tension created due to the separation of a part of the mind into the object and a part of it existing as the perceiving subject.
That is why we are restless in dream.

We cannot be happy.

It is neither waking nor it is sleep.

It is very difficult to be happy in this condition because a tense situation of consciousness is created.

What happened in dream, the same happens to us in the waking condition also.

Just as the mind in dream divided itself into two sections – the perceiving subject and the object that was seen – in the waking state also, it divides itself into the subject and object.

It is like a divided personality.

It is as if your own personality has been cut into two halves, of which one half is the 'seer' and the other half is the 'seen'. It is as if one …