Monday, September 30, 2013

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thursday Quote

"It's too easy to blame the past for the present. We don't have to be victims of our conditioning. We just have to be willing to do the work of reprogramming ourselves. Only when I started answering questions [the therapist] carefully posed could I see what disaster there was in my wake -- and also how I was cooperating with the disaster, recreating it every day of my life without any idea how to change. That seems to me what each of us must learn: how to let go of our habitual ways of being and give birth to our entelechy - our realized potential."

-Ellen Burstyn

Monday, September 23, 2013

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thursday Quote(s)

Nisargadatta Maharaj: You can have for the asking all the peace you want.
Questioner: I am asking.
Nisargadatta: You must ask with an undivided heart and live an integrated life.
Questioner: How?
Nisargadatta: Detach yourself from all that makes your mind restless. Renounce all that disturbs its peace. If you want peace, deserve it.
Questioner: Surely everybody deserves peace
Nisargadatta: Those only deserve it, who don't disturb it.
Questioner: In what way do I disturb peace?
Nisargadatta: By being a slave to your desires and fears.
Questioner: Even when they are justified?
Nisargadatta: Emotional reactions, born of ignorance or inadvertance, are never justified.
Seek a clear mind and a clean heart. All you need is to keep quietly alert, inquiring into the real nature of yourself. This is the only way to peace.
All these sufferings are man-made and it is within man's power to put an end to them.
God helps by facing man with the results of his actions and demanding that the balance be restored. Karma is the law that works for righteousness; it is the healing hand of God.
Use your mind. Remember. Observe.
You are not different from others. Most of their experiences are valid for you too.
Think clearly and deeply, go into the structure of your desires and their ramifications. They are a most important part of your mental and emotional make-up and powerfully affect your actions.
Remember, you cannot abandon what you do not know. To go beyond yourself, you must know yourself.
Purify yourself by a well-ordered and useful life. Watch over your thoughts, feelings, words and actions. This will clear your vision.

* * * 21.

Questioner: Well, you told me that I am the Supreme Reality. I believe you. What next is there for me to do?
Nisargadatta: I told you already. Discover all that you are not. Body, feelings, thoughts, ideas, time, space, being and not-being, this or that - nothing concrete or abstract you can point out to is you. A mere verbal statement will not do - you may repeat a formula endlessly without any result whatsoever.

You must watch yourself continuously - particularly your mind - moment by moment, missing nothing. This witnessing is essential for the separation of the Self from the not-self.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday Music

appearing Friday night at Millennium Park with violinists Dr. L. Subramaniam and Ambi Subramaniam.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thursday Quote


Once some very learned Sanskrit scholars were sitting in the old hall discussing portions of the Upanishads and other scriptural texts with Bhagavan [Ramana Maharshi]. Bhagavan was giving them proper explanations and it was a sight to remember and adore!

At the same time, I felt genuinely in my heart, ‘Oh, how great these people are and how fortunate they are to be so learned and to have such deep understanding and be able to discuss with our Bhagavan. Compared with them, what am I, a zero in scriptural learning?’ I felt miserable. After the pundits had taken leave Bhagavan turned to me and said, “What?”, looking into my eyes and studying my thoughts. Then, without even giving me an opportunity to explain, he continued, “This is only the husk! All this book learning and capacity to repeat the scriptures by memory is absolutely no use. To know the Truth, you need not undergo all this torture of learning. Not by reading do you get the Truth. BE QUIET, that is Truth, BE STILL, that is God”.

"Then very graciously he turned to me again and there was an immediate change in his tone and attitude. He asked me, “Do you shave yourself?”

Bewildered by this sudden change, I answered, trembling, that I did.

“Ah, for shaving you use a mirror, don’t you? You look into the mirror and then shave your face; you don’t shave the image in the mirror. Similarly all the scriptures are meant only to show you the way to realization. They are meant for practise and attainment. Mere book learning and discussions are comparable to a man shaving the image in the mirror”.

From that day onwards the sense of inferiority that I had been feeling vanished once and for all.

-A. R. Natarajan

Monday, September 09, 2013

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Thursday Quote

"Desire is the cause of action, because it urges one to action.

"Those who have obtained the fruit of all their desires are free from desires; therefore they are established in the Self and cannot feel any urge to action. When one cherishes the desire for the Self, all one's desires are fulfilled. The Self is Brahman.... the knower of Brahman attains the Supreme Goal. Therefore when, after cessation of ignorance, a person dwells in the Self, he realizes the Supreme Goal. For the scriptures say: 'When a man [knows the Self] he has then obtained fearlessness.' 'He... attains the Self which consists of bliss.'"

-Adi Shankaracharya (introduction to the Taittiriya Upanishad)

Monday, September 02, 2013

Monday Music

Navaratri (the nine nights of the goddess) is October 5-13