Hinduism is the Only Dharma

Hinduism is the Only Dharma in this multiverse comprising of Science & Quantum Physics.

Josh Schrei helped me understand G-O-D (Generator-Operator-Destroyer) concept of the divine that is so pervasive in the Vedic tradition/experience. Quantum Theology by Diarmuid O'Murchu and Josh Schrei article compliments the spiritual implications of the new physics. Thanks so much Josh Schrei.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Chapter 2: Beyond Death

🌷 *Katha Upanishad (Katopanishad) by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar* 🌷
(Day - 8)

*Chapter 2: Beyond Death*

_Fire is present in piece of wood. But it is not manifest_. For fire to manifest, you need another piece of wood to rub against it. That is how they would make fire in the ancient days. From a long, long time, knowledge has been flowing between the Master and the disciple. The Master is one wood, the disciple is another – one is answering and the other is questioning, and together they produce this fire – the question and answer. Their sincerity gives rise to spiritual fire, which consumes the wood, which consumes life.

After having heard from his father, “I give you to death,” Nachiketa moves to the door of death without any fear. Often children don’t know any fear. They are very curious; very scientific in their approach. They are logical. At the same time their emotions are alive, they are not dry or dead. For a seeker this is essential – the mind is alert and awake, at the same time, emotion is alive also.

There are three types of disciples. First is the one who does what is needed even before he is asked. He understands the mind of the Master and does it. The second type of disciple is the one who does after he is asked. The third is the one, who is asked to do several times and still doesn’t do it, doesn’t follow any instructions. Nachiketa thinks, “I want to be the first or the second kind, not the third kind of disciple. Since father has given me to death, I am going to go there.” He goes to the door of death and waits there for three days.

When a pure heart, a sincere heart moves in any action, even death bows to them. A seeker with wisdom is supreme. Death bows in front of them. Patience is another quality of a disciple, infinite patience! In fact, whole learning is testing one’s patience, that’s all. Teacher used to be very tough in testing patience – how soon will you lose it, how long can you sustain your calmness, beat all the adversities. Yama tested Nachiketa for three days. “Let us see how patient he is; is he worth giving further instruction?” He found this boy very calm and serene, with no trace of complaint – with serenity and innocence. “He has the patience to wait”, Yama thinks, so he says, “I grant you three boons. Ask.”

The first boon Nachiketa asked was, "Let my father’s temper get cooled down. Let him receive me with love when I return back home.” Lord Yama said, “Ok, that’s done.” That shows innocence – how in spite of father’s anger, the son didn’t get angry at the father. He wished good for his father. He wanted his father to enjoy the merits of the yagna he was doing. So he requested, “Let my father receive me with love.”

To be continued.....

🌷 *Katha Upanishad (Katopanishad) by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar* 🌷
(Day - 9)

*Chapter 2: Beyond Death*

स्वर्गे लोके न भयं किञ्चनास्ति
न तत्र त्वं न जरया बिभेति ।
उभे तीर्त्वाऽशनायापिपासे
शोकातिगो मोदते स्वर्गलोके ॥

स त्वमग्निँ स्वर्ग्यमध्येषि मृत्यो
प्रब्रूहि त्वँ श्रद्धधानाय मह्यम् ।
स्वर्गलोका अमृतत्वं भजन्त
एतद् द्वितीयेन वृणे वरेण ॥

The natural desire of every life is to have comfort, to get into a place where there is no misery, no sorrow. The goal of human life is to move towards heaven. Heaven means a place where there is no death, no destruction, no old age, where there is no suffering. Where is this place? Is it somewhere up in the heaven? How to get there? What you should do to get to a state where there is only bliss? This was the second boon. The Lord of Death taught Nachiketa how to attain heaven, where there is no misery.

Life is heavy when you recognize that there is misery. Whenever you recognize misery, you want to get rid of it; otherwise it is not called misery. Happiness is something which you cannot reject. What is the definition of happiness? That which you cannot renounce is happiness. That which you cannot hold on to, or desire to be in. The place where you never want to go to is hell. The place where you always want to be in is heaven. It is but natural for every human being to want to be in heaven. How? Death teaches you. Death is not cruel, death is very compassionate. The Lord of Death teaches Nachiketa what death is all about. It doesn’t take away life, it enhances life. Knowledge of death makes life very rich.

In California, in the early 90’s when we were teaching courses in the bay area, with the group of people, who were HIV positive and had cancer, one of them shared, “From the moment I realized that I have AIDS, I lived every moment. My life has become much more precious. All those years, I was not living at all. I just existed. I never cared about my life. *Now that I know I am going to die, I have suddenly become so alive. This disease has brought life into my life. I feel grateful.* He looked so uplifted.” There was such glow on their faces; nobody could say that they were sick. The knowledge that “I am going to die” had somehow kindled the light.

I felt that was interesting. How I wish people were aware that we are going to die, even without disease! My job would be done. If everyone understood that they are going to die, why would they be angry or greedy? Why would they be worried? All this negativity that they are reeling in day and night would simply disappear. Life would become much simpler. People should understand it is so simple. It is a matter of time, only a few years. _What differences does it make how many years or months? You all are going to be finished one day. This walking, talking body will become silent. This awareness of death can make you much more alive._ *It can take the slumber out of you and it brings heaven right here.*

All that you are worried about from morning till evening is pleasure and comfort. For that you do everything possible, destroying your own self, your own mind. Neither that pleasure nor comfort is going to be with you forever, and definitely not in the last moment. It is not so pleasurable.

We do all wrong things for comfort and pleasure. You get pleasure in many ways – physical pleasure, pleasure that you can gain from people’s attention and recognition. All this comes under the category of pleasure.

To be continued....

🌷 *Katha Upanishad (Katopanishad) by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar* 🌷
(Day - 9)

*Chapter 2: Beyond Death*

स्वर्गे लोके न भयं किञ्चनास्ति
न तत्र त्वं न जरया बिभेति ।
उभे तीर्त्वाऽशनायापिपासे
शोकातिगो मोदते स्वर्गलोके ॥

स त्वमग्निँ स्वर्ग्यमध्येषि मृत्यो
प्रब्रूहि त्वँ श्रद्धधानाय मह्यम् ।
स्वर्गलोका अमृतत्वं भजन्त
एतद् द्वितीयेन वृणे वरेण ॥

The natural desire of every life is to have comfort, to get into a place where there is no misery, no sorrow. The goal of human life is to move towards heaven. Heaven means a place where there is no death, no destruction, no old age, where there is no suffering. Where is this place? Is it somewhere up in the heaven? How to get there? What you should do to get to a state where there is only bliss? This was the second boon. The Lord of Death taught Nachiketa how to attain heaven, where there is no misery.

Life is heavy when you recognize that there is misery. Whenever you recognize misery, you want to get rid of it; otherwise it is not called misery. Happiness is something which you cannot reject. What is the definition of happiness? That which you cannot renounce is happiness. That which you cannot hold on to, or desire to be in. The place where you never want to go to is hell. The place where you always want to be in is heaven. It is but natural for every human being to want to be in heaven. How? Death teaches you. Death is not cruel, death is very compassionate. The Lord of Death teaches Nachiketa what death is all about. It doesn’t take away life, it enhances life. Knowledge of death makes life very rich.

In California, in the early 90’s when we were teaching courses in the bay area, with the group of people, who were HIV positive and had cancer, one of them shared, “From the moment I realized that I have AIDS, I lived every moment. My life has become much more precious. All those years, I was not living at all. I just existed. I never cared about my life. *Now that I know I am going to die, I have suddenly become so alive. This disease has brought life into my life. I feel grateful.* He looked so uplifted.” There was such glow on their faces; nobody could say that they were sick. The knowledge that “I am going to die” had somehow kindled the light.

I felt that was interesting. How I wish people were aware that we are going to die, even without disease! My job would be done. If everyone understood that they are going to die, why would they be angry or greedy? Why would they be worried? All this negativity that they are reeling in day and night would simply disappear. Life would become much simpler. People should understand it is so simple. It is a matter of time, only a few years. _What differences does it make how many years or months? You all are going to be finished one day. This walking, talking body will become silent. This awareness of death can make you much more alive._ *It can take the slumber out of you and it brings heaven right here.*

All that you are worried about from morning till evening is pleasure and comfort. For that you do everything possible, destroying your own self, your own mind. Neither that pleasure nor comfort is going to be with you forever, and definitely not in the last moment. It is not so pleasurable.

We do all wrong things for comfort and pleasure. You get pleasure in many ways – physical pleasure, pleasure that you can gain from people’s attention and recognition. All this comes under the category of pleasure.

To be continued....

🌷 *Katha Upanishad (Katopanishad) by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar* 🌷
(Day - 10)

*Chapter 2: Beyond Death*

प्र ते ब्रवीमि तदु मे निबोध
स्वर्ग्यमग्निं नचिकेतः प्रजानन् ।
अनन्तलोकाप्तिमथो प्रतिष्ठां विद्धि
त्वमेतंनिहितं गृहायाम् ॥

लोकादिमग्निं तमुवाच तस्मै
या इष्टका यावतीर्वा यथा वा ।
स चापि तत्प्रत्यवदद्यथोक्तं
अथास्य मृत्युः पुनरेवाह तुष्टः ॥

Nachiketa was instructed to climb the steps of heaven. What are those steps? He was taught how to bring together 720 bricks, how to organize them. This is a secret. Think, what is this 720? Nachiketa learnt all this. When the disciple learns fast, it is the pride of the teacher. The Lord of Death got very pleased, “You learnt this with such sincerity, honesty and with such sharp attention; I will give you one more gift.” He gave Nachiketa a necklace.

तमब्रवीत् प्रीयमाणो महात्मा
वरं तवेहाद्य ददामि भूयः ।
तवैव नाम्ना भविताऽयमग्निः
सृङ्कां चेमामनेकरूपां गृहाण ॥

It was a most amazing piece of necklace, which would also make sounds that were very pleasing. He gave him a necklace of red, blue, white and green colours which could make melodious music. This is a koan that you have to look into (Koan - a story, a dialogue, a question or a statement, which is used in Zen practice to provoke "the great doubt" and test the student's progress in Zen practice). What are those 720 bricks that Nachiketa learnt to gather? Pleased by his clarity if mind, sharpness of intellect, his ability to grasp and understand, he gave a gift as an extra boon. What was the beautiful gift that the Lord of Death gave Nachiketa?

येयं प्रेते विचिकित्सा मनुष्ये –
ऽस्तीत्येके न्यायमस्तीति चैके ।
एतद्विद्यामनुशिष्टस्त्वयाऽहं
वराणामेष वरस्तृतीयः ॥

Nachiketa said, “This is my third boon.” When someone dies, some say they still exist, some say they don’t. Who else can teach me this other than the Lord of Death. You know the truth. I want to know what happens when a person dies.

Very few people are curious about it. We take life for granted, we take death for granted. We never question what happens after life? What is death? How it happens? Where do we go after we die? We live here as though we have been here forever. In one way it is correct. Your spirit has been here even before the stones and trees. Your spirit is so old. It is not the way we think – that the body comes first and then spirit. The spirit comes first and then the body gets formed. That’s what happens in the womb. If the spirit is not there, the body will not be formed. Spirit first and then matter. Even before anything existed on this planet, you were there, I was there. We have been here many times. This is not first time. I know it. I only wish you remember a little bit at least. We have been here so many times. We have forgotten that. The inquisitiveness is dead, it is gone. What is death? What is life? They are two sides of the same coin. If you know life thoroughly, you know what death is. If you know death, you know what life is. This young boy said, “I want to know.”

To be continued.....


🌷 *Katha Upanishad (Katopanishad) by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar* 🌷
(Day - 11)

*Chapter 2: Beyond Death*

देवैरत्रापि विचिकित्सितं पुरा
न हि सुविग्येयमणुरेष धर्मः ।
अन्यं वरं नचिकेतो वृणीष्व
मा मोपरोत्सीरति मा सृजैनम् ॥

Yama said, “Don’t ask me this. Please release me from this promise. This doubt has haunted so many people. They haven’t known it. Please ask for anything else. I will give you any other boon, but don’t ask me the secret of death.” There are five great secrets. The secret of death and the secret of birth are among them. The Lord of Death said, “Ask anything else. Ask for pleasure, ask for lovely women. Whatever is your desire – you want a kingdom, I will grant it to you. Leave me with this. Since I have promised, I have to fulfill my promise. But please don’t ask me the secret of death.”

श्वोभावा मर्त्यस्य यदन्तकैतत्
सर्वेन्द्रियाणां जरयन्ति तेजः ।
अपि सर्वं जीवितमल्पमेव
तवैव वाहास्तव नृत्यगीते ॥

न वित्तेन तर्पणीयो मनुष्यो
लप्स्यामहे वित्तमद्राक्ष्म चेत्तवा ।
जीविष्यामो ञअवदीशिष्यसि त्वं
रस्तु मे वरणीयः स एव ॥

Nachiketa said, “When I see death, it is imminent in life. It is unavoidable in life. What do I do with all that you are offering? You keep your chariot; you keep your horses, your beautiful women for yourself. When you (death) are staring at my face, how can I enjoy all this? What use is it? They are there for a moment and then they are not there; so momentary. They wear out vital powers of life.” There is difference between bliss and pleasure. Bliss energises you, pleasure depletes you. Pleasure is momentary and drain prana; energy goes out. The capacity of the five senses is limited. However tasty the food is, you can’t take more than what your system can take. You can’t enjoy sex more than your body can respond to. You cannot listen to music forever. You can enjoy only to some degree. The five senses have limited capacity but the mind has unlimited desires. There is an imbalance between the desire to enjoy and capability of the senses to enjoy. Then conflict arises. You feel miserable. He is not saying it is wrong to enjoy the five senses, to enjoy pleasures of life. There is nothing wrong, but giving it more importance than life itself is disastrous.

देवैरत्रापि विचिकित्सितं पुरा
न हि सुविग्येयमणुरेष धर्मः ।
अन्यं वरं नचिकेतो वृणीष्व
मा मोपरोत्सीरति मा सृजैनम् ॥

There has always been this conflict in the world. The believers say there is life beyond death. Non-believers say there is nothing. It is all made up of chemistry, just combination of matter, which gives life. Once the matter dies, everything dies, there is nothing; no life after this. This is what atheists say. Atheists are not new to the planet. They are there from the time of inception of this mankind. They have been there from the beginning. Real seekers want to know, what the truth is. They don’t dismiss the believer and they don’t dismiss the atheists as well. The beauty of spirituality is: you don’t condemn the atheists, nor do you condemn the believer. It is people in extremes who keep condemning each other. Believers condemn the non-believers and non-believers condemn the believers. Spiritually elevated persons are very scientific in their temper and Upanishads are utterly scientific. There is nothing that refutes logic in any of the Upanishads. That is the greatness and beauty of it. It doesn’t limit itself to reason, nor does it condemn reason. It walks the steps of reason to reach the Ultimate truth. This is fantastic. That’s why when Albert Einstein read the Upanishads he said, “My life has changed. My whole perception has changed.”

Nachiketa, as a true seeker, said, “Some people say that nobody exists after death and some say there is life after death. But who else can tell me other than the Lord of Death himself.” Experience is the best educator. When you are encountering death, what else can be more powerful than death itself educating you?

To be continued....


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