More And More Of Less And Less

Off The Cuff Utterances

Sat
(truth)
When you see the skies as just skies, trees as just trees, people as just people and life as just life, perhaps you have comprehended a bit of Truth already. In a language used in our daily lives, it can also mean integrity or fidelity. Seeing or saying without distortion. When Truth is distorted, it is called as maya, merely corroborative details, intended to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise vulnerable and unconvincing truthful lies. Truth is generally understood as a subjective reality where you claim something as truth just because you believe so. For example, you believe that 'rain falls'. So falling rain is true. But the gravity of earth pulls rain water to it. Nevertheless, the severely narrowed perspective of 'falling' rain can still remain as truth to a mind in ignorance. In a spiritual sense, Truth has a little more easier yet complex meaning and understanding. Truth is that which is present in three periods of time, namely past, present and future, though the Truth (consciousness) is not within the purview of time.

Let us get little closer. Sat or Truth(consciousness, God, Atman) has following paradoxical characteristics...

1, has no birth, hence no death too (immortal)
2, has no beginning and the end as well (all pervading)
3, ever present but cannot be sensed (omnipresent)
4, support all happening but itself does not do anything(witnessing consciousness)
5, Unmoving but is the source of all movement (causation)

That's cutting a big list somewhat sizably small. Though the word Truth does not refer to
property of propositions, it has to be conveyed in a word.

5+5=10 is true,
is merely supplementing truth by word. But the spiritual Truth reads
somewhat like this
5+5=10.
(Just full stop, without any supplementing of the truth).

Really speaking, there is nothing which is untrue, because everything stem from one singular source. It would be a blasphemous attempt to claim the tree as false and the seed of the tree alone is Truth. Mystifying truth as a objective reality hiding beyond the skies or heavens has somehow made truth look absurd. While the seed of a tree is Truth, so is the tree with its branches and leaves. Perhaps what is not true is when you fail to see the tree just as tree but
see a 'beautiful' tree. Sometimes the tree appears as a 'useful' tree because it provided shade
from the sunshine and prevented you from strokes.

Try this, who knows you might catch the trail of this mysteriously hidden Truth right inside your living room.

step 1, shut up
step 2, sit down
step 3, stop trying (everything)
step 4, see whatever comes to your attention
step 5, listen to your mind, whatever it comments
step 6, drop whatever your mind prattled
step 7, the remaining is purely Truth.

Once 'smelt' and 'tasted' the Truth this incogitant manner, slowly it springs on you that even the interpretations of Truth are just parts of the same Truth. It would dawn on you that there is no antonym to this Truth and is without polarity. Simplest yet the most confusing, Truth is all pervading, simply because it can fit every one's fancy so well and wonderfully.

Srishti
(creation)
'God created the world' is a wrong statement. But world got created by itself in the god's presence can be somewhat a right statement. Crazy as it may sound, but the truth is just that. Think about it, its somewhat like saying, the child was created by the parents. It may appear true on the surface, but the fact is both mother and father does nothing extra ordinary to fix the hands and legs to the baby. Just the mother's womb is fertile, the father's sperm count is good, then bingo, baby is born. The mom-dad creators of the baby do not even know if its going to be a boy or gal, unless they scanned secretly. They cant tell if the baby can talk walk look normally or will be like micheal jackson. They are pleasantly surprised, only by the second month of the baby... that the baby is actually made. Till then they were ignorant. The baby got created by itself and mom-dad creators did nothing except slept together and made sexual contact. At least some effort is involved in the creation of a baby. They indeed make efforts for a normal delivery but they did nothing to actually to create a baby, like designing and shading or structuring the baby.


But when it comes to creation of the universe, God did NOTHING too. Howdah? Let's grasp some basics here. If you have to create a painting, then two things are required. 1. efficient cause (you, the painter) 2. material cause (the brush, paint, canvas etc) . The efficient cause always is the brain work. The Vincent Van Gogh was a brilliant painter but did not have money to buy the paint brush. So he did not paint for awhile. No creation happened. Later he decided to use the paste directly on the canvas without brush, because he got bugged with waiting for the brush. Then the creation of his paintings happened. Most of the things in this world happen this way. All the cities, town, parks, buildings, roads were created like this. The man made creations had these two aspects intact always, namely, the efficient cause and material cause.








But god 'made' creation is quite different. Like the stars, sun, moon, rivers, mountains, valleys, oceans and animals, plants and importantly us, the humans. In this entire list, only man can create something and brag a lot about it. Birds don't put their names in front of their nest. They don't even know that they have this extraordinary ability to create a nest. But since man believes he creates, he also thinks god as a creator of this universe. Some people even believe god created this world in six days and on seventh day he relaxed, since it was a sunday.

When god is made to behave like a man who waited for the weekend, we also attributed that god gets tired, god is on the job, god will punish, reward, listen to prayers (if you send it in MP3 format, more prayers possible), god is watching you, is unfair to you, owes you rewards and boons, performs miracles, god needs security, gets married(sometimes more than once), gets angry, laughs at you(this one is quite possible) and so on. Not just in India, but just about everywhere, human mind is the same, went on creating as many gods to fit its fancy. But if you are walking under the hot indian summer noon of the day, if you feel the heat and thirst, don't blame the sunlight. The sun does not even know that you are being toasted like bread in a brand new oven. You feel the 'heat' only when you come under sun. So the heat is created by sun or by you? Just like the fungus growing on vegetables, in the refrigerator in your house, you had forgotten to remove, from a time credibly immemorial. The fungus was not 'created' by anyone but it was born and it grew in an atmoshpere simply conducive. The universe got created by itself at an most opportune moment, highly conducive for its birth. Call it the BIG BANG.
According to current scientific understanding, matter collected into clouds that began to condense and rotate, forming the forerunners of galaxies. Within galaxies, including our own milky way galaxy, changes in pressure caused gas and dust to form distinct clouds. In some of these clouds, where there was sufficient mass and the right forces, gravitational attraction caused the cloud to collapse. If the mass of material in the cloud was sufficiently compressed, nuclear reactions began and a star was born. The star is never created as an activity but is born due to certain conduciveness. You facilitate the growth of a plant in a pot. You don't create it. You add water, earth, provide space, light and with the air that comes to it, the seeds in the pot sprout. It would be an ignorant statement, had if you said you created that plant in the pot. It just got created. You just happened to be there. Sametime, the amazonian jungles needed no human help but created and thrived on their own.

While we figure the 'helping hand' in the creation of a plant, it is difficult to figure who helped
the creation of universe to happen. We can presupposedly call it as GOD. It would get us going ahead in life. But then world was not created by god with capital G, but got created by itself, perhaps with a unseen force making it conducive. A unseen force which does not interpret life the way humans do. Hence it did not an make an official announcement about creation and claim itself to be the boss for its creation.

Why Creation? The most useless question to ask ! Because no one will tell you why. You make it sound as if god derived special fun in creating this world and you, then put you in this world to get married to that particular woman or man, make you suffer while he enjoyed watching you from distance. Thats an interesting idea though, there is actually no reason why creation happened. There is no reason why suddenly the flowers bloom in a tree. No reason why moon and earth revolve around each other for millions of years. Why the earth suddenly shook and quaked and killed a few thousand peope? Its just like that. No answers. The universe is moving in a certain indescribable manner. As if the existence itself is ignorant and is just exploring into some unknown space of god and other superior beings, as you and I witness the marvel of life, taking shape in and through us.

Here follows a poem from a certain tribe that live in the appalachian mountains..

I know not if the voice of man can reach to the sky;
I know not if the mighty one will hear as I pray;
I know not if the gifts I askwill all granted be;
I know not if the world of oldwe truly can hear;
I know not what will come to passin our future days;
I hope that only good will come,my children, to you....


Kosha
(wrapper)
You are made up of some layers of wrappers. About five of them to be precise. Five layers of wrappings that cover your consciousness or inner self. Wrapped neatly, the content is hidden far away from vicinity to the naked eyes. Like a well made gift with some fascinating wrappers, it appears, you seem to be content with the wrappers and not wanting to open and see the content of the gift inside. The pancha koshas ( five layers) wrap up the content in such intrinsic style, that always the content appear missing. What are these wrappers and whats the content ?




Wrappers

1. BodyWrapper
(annamaya kosha) - This is the outermost wrapper. All flesh and bones and blood and lots of indescribable tubes and wires making plenty of circuits all over the body. No body can tell why man was designed the way he appears. No body bother to ask too. It is better that way, because no one knows why ! This body is the most real thing for many people. Solid, you can use all the senses(see,smell,touch,taste,feel) only on this wrapper. This is named as annamaya(made of food) kosha appropriately, because it is made of food eaten by parents, sustained by food, eventually die and barbecued, if they burn it. If they bury, then it become like a casket of rotten cheese, eaten by all creatures, crawling under and above earth. Except for the skin texture and shade, all human bodies contain same. The body structure too remain the same, except some can be bigger and some can be taller than the rest. Spiritual practices involving the body wrapper can be called as Yoga postures.


2. Breath Wrapper
(pranamaya kosha) - Just immediate wrapper next to the body. Your intake of food, digest them properly, transform the digested food as blood and other fluids, circulate them around the body through millions of blood channels, evacuate the remaining waste, all taken care by this wrapper. In short the breath keeps the body alive and kicking too. This wrapper can be felt and smelt and sometimes heard. Cannot be seen, tasted. This wrapper too has similar function for all humans, sharing oxygen in the atmoshpere. The practices employed in spirituality for this wrapper is popularly known as pranayama(breathing exercises) or kriya yoga.


3. Mind Wrapper
(manomaya kosha) - Getting even more lighter. Mind cannot be seen, tasted, touched, but can be felt as emotions, can be heard as thoughts. Most important wrapper, difficult to uncover, because it slips. It keeps you busy and takes your attention away from itself, by stirring up more and more emotions all the time. The bhagavad gita says, mind can be your friend and can be your enemy too. As the mind, so the man is. Bestowed with more features and functions, mind plays the most tremendous role in shaping the your personality. Despite your package comes with body and breath and other wrappers, you mostly choose the mind to identify as 'you'.A personal space built with dreams, desires, passion, anger and a lit bit of all emotions. For some, it is a comfort zone, an intimate kingdom, where one self is the king and for others,it can be a torturing cauldron, with regrets, sad memories and unfulfilled dreams. Cant be seen, smelt, touched. Can be felt and some say, they even hear their minds screaming. In the common parlance, mind is also described as heart. Which essentially means the emotional mind. Popular exercises meant for this wrapper is to sustain itself is, prayers, counting rosaries, chanting hymns and scores of other rituals.


3. Intellect Wrapper
(vignana maya kosha) - the ones who managed to open till this wrapper usually are considered as intellectuals. If the body of a car is your body, the breath like the air inside the tyres to keep the car running, petrol and oil like your blood, mind is like the programming of various controls in the dashboard, then intellect is like the steering wheel. The car can never turn or over take, reverse or reach a destination, unless there is a steering wheel. Intellect has been your virtual guiding force, right from your childhood when you started 'standing' on your own feet. It guides
you to get bound in the world or guides to find liberation. Both are possible by the same intellect. It plays always a perfect foil to your spicy mind. They are the brothers in arms. Sometimes they conflict each other too. Every time you bump in to a charitable situation, your mind will say YES
and your intellect will say NO. In common parlance, if mind is described as heart, the intellect is described as head. It means a analytical, logical intellect. Cannot be seen, felt, tasted, touched or even heard. It almost functions like a big boss who is inside his room always 'in the meeting'. The exercises meant for this wrapper in the spiritual context are, reflection, contemplation, meditation etc.

4. Bliss Wrapper
(ananda maya kosha)- The last of the wrappers. Which means you have come pretty close to the gift. That reflects in this wrapper very much. In fact all the happiness you experience at various levels of wrappers, happens here as reflected happiness. if not the actual happiness, the residue of the happiness as bliss happens here. While the opposites of joy and sorrow are ripples like emotions in your mind, the joy leaves the residue which reaches the bliss wrapper. The sorrow makes the mind muddy and fail to reflect in the bliss wrapper. the muddy mind stir up more dust everytime a sorrwful thought sail across the mind. If your body gets a good shower and perfumed and clothed in the best, the happiness felt is not felt in the body, but in this bliss wrapper. It is reflected here. When it reflects in bliss sheath, it is only a residual happiness and not the actual happiness. In bliss sheath, joy and sorrow have no place as they are. Bliss is not joy but much more unconditional and non reasonable. The reason why you close your eyes, especially when you enjoy something, is only because you are experiencing the bliss deep inside, in this wrapper. In fact and deed, all things can be enjoyed only with eyes closed. The eye closing is only an indication of yourself drawn closer to this wrapper. This wrapper of your personality does not contain bliss but it reflects bliss. Because of its proximity to the Self or Consciousness, the bliss wrapper appears to contain bliss but it only reflects the bliss of consciousness. Just like movie trailers shown before the actual movie, the bliss wrapper give you a sense of what is in store ahead. Clearly beyond the five senses, it only brings a sense of reflected fulfillment. This wrapper gets triggered, every time your other wrappers indulge in 'happy' moments.


Disciple : Once i found the gift, can i throw the wrappers away?
Master : No,you will need them. Keep them safely!
Disicple : Why the wrappers, when i found the gift?
Master : The gift is so precious, you need to keep them always wrapped !






Just like these dolls, you are wrapped in layers, one inside the other, as if protecting your self.
But due to false and derisory occlusions, you forgot to recognize the gift kept locked inside this 'safe' and happy with holding the key till someday you unwrapped and found the gift.
The godsent gift.


Chit
(awareness)
Perhaps the most sacred word for a seeker or a spiritualist. But the heaps of wrong notions that cloud the theoretical understanding of awareness takes the seeker away from the truth or consciousness. But awareness is a simple experience that can happen to anyone anywhere. Because you already aware of many things in life. Awareness is always happening to you, only it is not happening at one place and you may not be 'aware' of it totally.

Let us suppose a typical situation now. You are watching tv in the morning, suddenly there is a call on your hand phone, which you come to know, just by hearing the sound. In fact you can even almost guess who is calling and for what. Knowing that the phone is ringing is called as awareness. As you are talking, suddenly the buzzer at the door goes, some visitor. You become 'aware' of that too. You cut short the talk on the phone and move to the door. As the visitor keeps you busy with some talking, you become 'aware' that you are hungry, you also become 'aware' that time is ticking very fast. But amidst all these, you become 'aware' several times, in the form of memory, that it is a holiday and you need not rush but take it easy.

This spontaneous exercise of becoming aware of many things, go on throughout the day and night except when you sleep. In this kind of awareness, Chit is present too, but not so fully. To become aware of a telephone ring is to tell that the telephone ring and you are separate from each other, that you awareness about the ring just happened. The telephone or the ring tone does not contain any awareness. Your body by itself does not contain awareness anywhere. But awareness happens somewhere deeper in the mind. The hunger in the stomach is never known to the body, but only your mind can comprehend that. This kind of awareness of external objects is common with everyone. Only that some people are more aware than the rest. Some people can hear what people are gossipping even from the next room while some cant hear even when you shout on their face. One can be aware of a situation just by watching people's body language.

Some typical situations where the awareness may be missing at times,
1. After leaving the house or car, wondering if you locked it well.
(The awareness of locking it or not locking, is missing.)
2. After searching and reaching a place, wondering what exactly you came looking for?
(opening a shelf and going through the many tiny contents, you ask "what do i want?")
3. Wanting to play music, then realize that music is already playing.

A lot more can be said in that fashion. But most of the times, you are aware of things around you. The interesting twist comes in your life when you began your pursuit of spirituality.
The awareness levels grow and you would start to get awareness about your breath.
When you become aware of breath, then you start to breathe more fluently and in a more
complete manner. Imbalanced behaviour of your body like being restless or getting fidgety for nothing gets stopped when the cycle of breath is complete. When breathing is erratic, your seeing ability can be blurred a bit. Your speech can get affected too. Indigestion, lack of appetite, constantly sweating etc can be unpleasant results of imbalanced breathing.

Intense meditation makes one aware of mind. You will be surprised to witness your mind like never before. That's an indication of certain spiritual growth, though not certainly the ultimate.
You will know your fears, insecure feelings, desires, the strength and short comings of your mind quite directly. To such a person, the scathing anger can strike, but he would simply be aware of it as it passes by with its red hot contents. He can quell lust and passion a will.
But then still he has not attained the true state awareness. Even at this point you are only a part time spiritual seeker. You have not got into it big time. Many times you would slip and get lost in to the vagaries of mundane life without awareness.

But however, you are truly spiritual only when you cross even that mind in awareness.
When the mind become aware of the inner Self hidden behind the mind.
Awareness of outside objects can create lot of rupture in the mind as thoughts. Awareness of breath can result in peace of mind, graceful activity etc. Awareness of mind can make you experience detachment, dispassion, non- emotional and more. But awareness of the inner Self(consciousness, godlyness, Atman) leads to enlightenment. When you begin to get the inner
Self- awareness, you would be more contemplative, reflective and experience a lot of silence within. What begin as a brief glimpses of Self awareness, slowly begin to grow more intense.
Self awareness tunes you to the existence fully. total attunement of Self brings with it a state of contentment and a deep sense of being fulfilled.

The difference between awareness of objects outside and the awareness of Self is, mind gets more consolidated with the external awareness, but mind gets liquefied with the Self-awareness. Nothing can be as holy and sacred as Self-awareness. The real purpose of meditation is to find this Self-Awareness only.

Disciple: Can I become aware of my Inner Self?
Master : Certainly, YES !
Disciple : What is the effort i should make for that?
Master : The only effort is, STOP making all the efforts and just BE !
Disciple : Am i not wasting my life if I stop the efforts?
Master: In fact you would start to 'live' only after that..


Most times it is scary to hear this 'stopping efforts' to be spiritual. But if you understand clearly
that YOU STOP MAKING EFFORTS ONLY DURING MEDITATION and not in your life.
If you spent a little bit time being in meditation effortlessly, it helps you make the best and right efforts in life after the meditation.


Vishwa
(world)
Usually you will visualize the entire solar system, when the term world is mentioned to you. But the world in spiritual terms is only that much of the world that you interact, in your everyday living. This Vishwa or the world is of two different kinds.

1. The physical world which you experience through your five senses. Seeing, Smelling, Tasting, Touching, Hearing.
2. The mental world that exists inside your mind. Your physical world and the mental world can be easily identified, based on this very simple list of things to check.

The physical world
1. The people - All the people you have met in person, read in books, seen in movies and tv, heard from others. The person you have never seen, read or heard about, does not constitute your world, even if he is just living in the next door.
2. The places - All the places you have seen or heard in all your life, till now in person or in the picture books, in movies, on tv, etc. The narrow street that runs close to your home, which you have never seen or heard about can not be included in this.
3. The objects - Everything you saw, felt, used. Like the car, tv, refrigerator, pencil, eraser, computer and so on. This list will be probably the longest than the other two. Perhaps the homogeneous propellant mixture and the pile driver which are used in the present day rocket technology is never heard or seen by you till now. Then it does not make up your world.

The world is not only existing outside but inside you also as emotions, ideas, etc. Infact, the real world exist only in the mind because nothing from outside comes and tells you how valuable it is
only you give value to them based on your own understanding.

The mental world (a few samples from a very long list)
1. The Emotions - Anger, frustration, excitement, joy, lust, sorrow, etc . Presence or absence of someone can make you either happy or sad. What you got and did not get, what someone said or did not say, etc.
2. The Ideas - You are good and others are bad, you are more spiritual than the rest, this world is at its worst like never before, we were so humble and productive unlike the present generation, spiritual person should not eat meat and should not watch movies, only men can meditate and women can only cook or gossip, etc.
3. The Desires and fantasies - You as richer, smarter, sweeter, stronger, powerful in the near future and more.

When this outside, inside worlds are favorable to you,(a decent family, a good job, successful business, bright children, good friends or any one of them at least) then you are most likely to get hooked to this world and start to live in them full fledged. Busy expanding yourself in the world. Its more like a 'conquest' of the world. (buying more properties, investing more money, cultivating more contacts and widening the circle of friends, getting membership from more new clubs, traveling to many new countries, driving only imported cars, etc) . The world has become only a place for grabs as much possible. Consume this world even if it is at the cost of depriving others of some decent living. All in the name of competition, conquest and success. Making desperate attempts to get the nobel peace price at a war footing.

When the world is NOT favorable to you, you want to 'quit' this world,(not a good job, no promotions, business is dull, loans are eating you alive, children or the spouse is a terror or useless, members of family misbehaving, unstable job or lifestlye, threat from competitors etc)then quit permanently or temporarily. Permanent quitting is committing suicide. Temporary quitting is to go on a looong leave, quit the job, shift the house, borrow lots of loans, get into self destructive habits of drinking and drugs. End up in bitter blame game and derive cheap pleasure at watching others loose or suffer. Keep predicting the dooms day and develop a penchant for talking about end of the world or kaliyuga.

In both above situations, the 'world' is the deciding factor to conquerors and the quitters alike. One wants to stay and the other wants to quit. In both cases, the world has become the focal point. One is enjoying the sojourn and the other is tired and feeling suffocated and wants to leave badly.

Both are bound by this world. Because, despite enjoying the stay, the 'conqueror' cannot find fulfillment in the world. The quitter can never go away from this world, because wherever the quitter may escape to, the world will continue there too. The mistake both have done is to give a undue value to this world.

Both types tend to become spiritual for various reasons. The conqueror type thinks spirituality is to provide some special powers to conquer the whole world. The suicidal quitter type would become spiritual to seek solace and security.

Both will fail spiritually because, they both do not understand how to deal with the world.
They should know that the world remains the same for everyone. The purpose of living in this world is neither to conquer it nor to quit it. The conquering and the quitting can never get you spiritually enlightened.

Disciple: I want to quit this world and come to you !
Master : Why so ?
Disciple : Nothing works for me in life. I seek some solace and peace from you !
Master : If it did not work there, be assured, it will not work here too. Stay where you are !


(after few days)

Disciple: I want to come to you !
Master: Why so ?
Disciple : I want to conquer this world. I seek your blessings and guidance !
Master : You are a threat to this monastery ! Stay where you are !

(after few days)

Disciple: I want to come to you !
Master : why so ?
Disciple: I want to master myself !
Master : There you are ! I'm waiting for you ! Come soon !


True spirituality is to master one's own self. Because the world has become a focal point to conquer or quit only because of some mindset you carry always. The Upanishads have a classic example. This world is like a big ocean. You are like a small sail boat in it. You can neither conquer this world nor escape but only can sail in it. You can sail only if the ocean(world) keeps the boat(you) afloat and does not enter into boat(you). The same ocean can help you to sail and the same ocean can drown you to death. It all depends how well you have learnt to sail the boat.
Upon mastering the self, you continue to live in the world, belong to this world, but not bound by this world, hands on whenever required, hands off whenever not required. People around you may brand you as good or bad, big or small, successful or failure, sometimes a smooth ride and yet other times, very rough tide, you would still remain steady and unruffled, to sail through this world and reach the destination eventually.
Buddhi
(Intellect)
When you observe the traffic on the road, many different vehicles. your mind keeps telling you, 'this is a car', this is a bus', 'this is a cab'. That part of your mind which told you that this is a car and not a truck is called as intellect.
While mind ask the question, Intellect finds an answer. Mind can only ask, doubt, suspect. Intellect answers, confirms, concludes. Yet there is no difference between mind and intellect except the mode of operation. Just like the cooler and heater in the car. Push the knob to one end it cools, the other end it heats up. so also the mind. Let see in a situation how both function.

Imagine you are standing in front of your wardrobe. Your mind and intellect are busy choosing your apparel for the day !

Mind: Oops ! So many shirts? which one to wear ?
Intellect : Oh boy, as usual you are confused !
Mind : yeah but can you help? Can i wear that blue one?
Intellect : Nope ! only three days before you wore that.
Mind: OK ! How about the brown with checks ?
Intellect : Well, it may not go with the blue trouser. Drop it.
Mind: What should i do ?
Intellect: Let me do the shortlisting of shirts, then you can choose !
Mind : Oh, thank you ! please...
Intellect : The denim blue and the white with small checks are two shortlisted.
Mind : Ah, I'm still confused, which one? I like both !
Intellect : Never 'mind'. Pick up the denim blue. It fits well and match the trouser.
Mind: Yes, indeed. Thank you. Don't know why i trouble you like this.
Intellect: Its OK ! I'm used to this now.

All this can happen in a jiffy. In a few moments. That why the intellect is considered as a built in guru and the mind is the usual disciple. But interestingly, the buddhi need not always make the right decision. It can make terrible decisions too. Whatever the intellect of an individual does is only based on the kind of a education it received and the kind of a social and economical background it grew with. But it certainly intellect is the boss always.

What else the intellect does?

1. Probing ( who he hell is this? -the unidentified caller on your phone )
2. Analysing (going through shades of paint suitable to your bedroom)
3. Deciding (skip home made lunch and must go to the nearest Chinese restaurant)
4. Discriminating (this guy looks decent so let me ask for the directions)
5. Contemplating ( gosh I'm growing old ! what this life is really about ? )
6. Reflecting ( I think, now i figure what he really meant !!!)
7. Concluding ( I know what for you have come ! )
8. Judging (she is smiling, then she must be happy !)

Same intellect plays a major role in spirituality. In fact, the progress on the slippery spiritual path is entirely dependent on the individual seeker. A sharp, subtle, intricate intellect is required for comprehending the subtler nuances, concepts and ideas in spirituality. To discriminate between the truth and false, for ex., sun never rise and set but its stationery, only earth is revolving. Finding out the hidden truth from the apparently seen falsehood.

Intellect applies logic and rationality for its functioning. Mind applies emotions and sentiments
for its part. Both can create problems. While intellectual lifestyle can be dry and lifeless, the emotional life can be dramatic and at times traumatic too. Here follows a dialog between emotional wife and a logical husband, while watching TV. (an old joke!)

wife: Dear! Its 25 years today, since we are married, we should do something about it !
husband : OK. you keep the TV remote control today !

The intellectual person is certainly closer to consciousness, compared to the emotional person,
but still can be bound. While the intellect helps the body and mind to work better, its own self
many times can get lost in ruthless logic and analysis. Mainly because, the intellect does not have anyone to guide from above. Like no one can tell a CEO of a company, how to run the company on a daily basis, because he is right at the top. As much intellect can lead you to reach your own inner self, that much it can also obstruct. That's the reason why many intellectual people, after many years on the spiritual path, know every spiritual concept but would lack the personal experience. Intellect is also the seat of ego. The sense of 'I' begin from intellect.

Body = zero ego
mind = 50 % ego
intellect = 100 % ego


Your body does not know who you are. The mind knows a little(because its always confused)
the intellect is sure about oneself. The play of ego will be very high while seeking the truth.
But when the intellect understood, that there is a 'bigger boss' sitting quietly within accessible distance and vicinity, then intellect surrenders. when intellect surrender to the big boss(consciousness) it does not die but only get enhanced and begin to function quite differently than earlier times. intellect is the bridge between man and god. Intellect is very close to god but not exactly god. Minister knows the king well but cannot be the king.

Upon knowing and experiencing the consciousness, the intellect still would continue to do the same job but with a whole new flavor and an entirely different dimension. Only, the intellect has to come to grips with the truth that there is something more powerful and more superior
in whom, the intellect needs to anchor for its own personal survival and better functioning.


atman
CONSCIOUSNESS

Something ever present, the bigger than the biggest, deeper than the deepest, subtler than the subtlest. You can add many such superlative adjectives to this. But this is also the least bothered topic. Mainly because, it is quite difficult to figure what exactly it is. While everything is known to your mind, Atman is unknown to it. The understanding fails, since mind can understand only things in front of it and not beyond it.

Despite the fact that your mind is multi-dimensional in its knowing, it somehow fails to recognize the presence of Atman which is placed so close to it, right behind its back. Somewhat like you, who can see objects only in front of you and not at your back. Only because your eyes are structurally placed in such a way to see only the front, unless you are james bond who can shoot a hoodlum at his back, while wining and dining, without turning his head even an inch. You can only do a bit of guess work about whats at your back.

Similarly, your mind is trained to see only to the front always. But Atman is placed, very unfortunately, a little deeper than the mind. Just as how you need to turn around to see the objects behind you, the mind also needs to turn around to see the presence of this Atman (consciousness). But turning around seem such a big challenge presently. Only because the mind is busy chasing the objects in the front.

Vaguely speaking, Atman is like the sky. The clouds beneath are like many thoughts that passes by, what we call as mind. The earth is like your body and the atmoshpheric air is your breath. Just like sky, your Atman is quiet. Does not do anything. Almost jobless like. Though sky has provided space to accommodate, the earth, air and the clouds, it somehow does not claim so.

Just as how every planet and every star has occupied some space of this endless sky, in a similar manner, all living beings, animals, plants, you and I, occupy the individual Atman. Though sky is the same, still divided by different countries differently, as Indian skies, European skies etc, Consciousness is divided by living beings individually, called as Atman. The same Atman of all beings put together, as a collective consciousness, it is called as Brahman. Like the skies of all the nations put together is called as international skies or world space.

Just as how the clouds are busy crisscrossing and showering rains around the earth and not much bothered about the sky above, the mind also is busy catering to the body and its needs always and is not aware of the Atman(Inner self, Consciousness). But if you think that because of this indifferent attitude by others, Atman is angry with all, then you are so damn wrong. Atman is just not bothered what goes on anywhere. It only provides space to accommodate everything. You too are accommodated a bit in that. Just like how you occupy space, which is both outside you and also inside you, this Atman too is both outside and inside you. Everyone takes up a bit of this outside and inside. Inside it is called as Atman(individual consciousness), outside you it is called as Brahman(Total Consciousness).


Disciple : Do i have a Atman ?
Master : Do you have a tongue?
Disciple : Oh sure ! Otherwise
I cant be asking this question !
Master : Similarly, without Atman
you cannot be even talking,
leave alone questioning !

One thing you need to be very clear is, though Atman or Consciousness does not create anything by a plan, this whole universe got created in the presence of Consciousness. Just like sun, which does not 'send' rays to the plants to keep them alive. It is just standing there. But the plants 'derive' the rays of the sun and make a living out of it.

Sun is least bothered whether your clothes are dried or not. Only you find the right place and time to dry your clothes under sun. In fact the sun may not even know that clouds have covered your city and did not allow its rays to enter, as a result your clothes got wet in the rain. Sun will not fight those clouds away. Because even the clouds have taken the help of same sunlight to take birth. Without sun, even the rains don't exist.

Lets take another step further. Even the nonchalant and 'I don't care' sun took birth deriving from this all pervading Consciousness only. The existence of this sun may not be even known to the Consciousness. Just like you know who james bond is and what he is capable of, but he need not know you at all. Don't feel bad about this. You cant say ' why should i know someone, when that someone does not know me?' You will be at loss and not Consciousness. In spiritual terms, not knowing this hidden presence of Consciousness is known as ignorance(avidya).

So what should be done now ? Simple !!! Your mind needs to make a U turn and cultivate acquaintance with its source called Consciousness. This U turn is what meditation is all about. Brief period of time when you shut everything the mind already knows and explore the unknown deeper inside. Easier said than done. But with a proper theoretical understanding, the practical meditation is as easy as yawning before sleep. The only purpose of meditation is to bring your mind united with the inner self (Consciousness) and the rest, getting rich, getting good job, finding suitable partner for marriage is all a plain hogwash.

What happens if your mind met Mr. Consciousness? You will not hit the jackpot in las vegas. But you would find a sense of fulfillment which no casino around the world can give. It would not then matter to you, whether you are rich or poor, big or small. Just because it does not matter to you anymore, the best of things might just begin to happen in your life.
____________________________________________________
Ishwara
(god)
Ishwara is a post or position. Some kind of status or state of mind. In Upanishads, gods are treated as powerful but helpless beings. Helpless because even the gods have limitations somewhere down the line. They are not the ultimate beings, but only the finer expressions of the ultimate. Gods are much refined and superior human beings. The fact Krishna, Buddha and Jesus who ate, slept and lived on earth like you and I, eventually have been elevated to the position of god tells, that even you and I have a chance to reach up there. While god is a serious topic of discussion in the west, in India and other most asian countries, there is no fuss about gods. In the sense that, people readily accept and worship anyone as bhagwan(godlike) and include him/her as one more object of worship in their long list of gods. In the east(particularly in india) even film stars, sportsmen and politicians will be treated godlike. Because they have begun to influence the lives of individuals in many ways on a daily basis.


Technically speaking, being a god is just a subtler state of mind. Because the mind exists even for the god. Perhaps not a gross mind stuffed with confusions, fears and desperation. The god's mind is more lightweight and more fluid like. While a limited mind identify with handful of people as mine, a small geographical area as mine, the godly mind identifies with all the people, seen and unseen, known and unknown. While the limited mind is happy to settle with joys and sorrows of ones self and concerned only with the welfare of its immediate family members, the not so limited mind expands from that limited circle of life. God's mind is a well expanded mind. In other words, if your mind expands, not by rejecting the immediate family, but expanding beyond the family, then you have also become godlike. But that's where the real trouble starts.


To be godlike is not enviable. Now that your mind is expanded, you will have many other people and their personal lives involved in it. As much you influence their lives, that much they would influence your life in turn. Only difference is, while they remain volatile in their moods, you would be stable and serene always, despite their influence. That would make you some one special. Some one godlike. There can be no god in fact, but only godlike. As we often say, he roared like a thunder, his patience is like earth, she glittered like stars, shine like a moon etc.
God cannot be a individual person with hands,legs and heads, because when we see god as a person, then all that belonged to a individual also can be attributed to god. But godhood is like a natural element. Like space. Let me explain how it works based on various natural elements with reference to the particular mindset.

If your mind is

like Earth = The disturbances are strong and dense like earth. They remain stagnant, limited in scope. The world appears like a never ending big problem. People with such mindset think, to have 'strong' mind is a virtue to attain.

like Water = More fluid and disturbances are less intense and running. Still defined and limited. The problems appear to vanish at times but still keep coming. So is happiness etc. This mindset people think a 'steady' mind is a virtue to reach.

like Fire = Disturbances are inherent and not always showing, but can burn up at times. Much better state of mind but the hidden fear and anger and other disturbances can show up anytime. Problems don't pose a threat. Mostly fine but at times makes you wonder 'what the hell is happening'? This mindset glorifies a 'stay cool' mind as a virtue to achieve.

like Air = Much quieter, rough to gentle, but cant be seen, much subtler disturbances inside. Not so well defined disturbances, but occasional gusty blows which settle down soon. More pervasive. A ' broad' mind is a goal for this mindset to accomplish.

like Space = Unruffled, very pervasive, problems does not exist for itself, but this mindset
still can identify problems of others and can even provide solutions. Most small and big time educational, financial, spiritual etc gurus belong here. They can also slip up and down the ladder of various mindsets at various times. Many reach here but few remain.

The godlike personality happen with the space like mind. Not tainted by itself, but deals with all messy things in it. As if it is cut, shared, sold and bought, in the world by people, but the space remains undivided. So is this godlike personality with space like mind, remains undivided
despite the messy situations it has to deal with. You reach there too, occasionally, till some one called you on the phone, then dropped down to earth.

Just next to this space is where the mind itself begin to vanish. Rather mind loses its individual identity. This is the famous mindlessness or 'shunya' state. This also technically called as self, consciousness, atman, brahman, etc. When, during proper meditation, the mind is capable of moving from the dense earthly mindset to pervasive space like mindset.
Many rapid changes would have happened to your personality during that journey. From being a distraught manlike to pervasive godlike, without moving even your fingers.

Disciple : If everything contained in space, then space is the greatest?
Master : whatever contains the space is the greatest !
Disciple : wow ! whats that thing ?
Master : No Thing !


Eventually, space is the last mindset possible and beyond that its a ever spreading, ever lasting, eternally present, mindless mindset, where there are no more problems and no more solutions.
No joy and no sorrow, no bondage, no enlightenment, no devotee and no god. No Thing exists !



Ekaantam
(Solitude)

Solitude has a great appeal to anyone. Young or old, poor or rich. Mostly sought after by people who seek solace in isolation, especially after a tirade of stressful situations haunted their lives for a sustained stretch of time. But as usual, a misunderstood term, slightly twisted to suit one's convenience. It is popularly considered as the 'left alone' situation. Some kind of self imposed exile to heal the hurts of the heart and soul. This ekaantam certainly is not a 'please-leave-me-alone' situation or walking and singing across jungles, mountains and meadows, by the hero alone by himself in the mushy mushy indian movies, after everyone cheated him despite his honesty.

The word solitude in english is the most vague translation for ekaantam.Surely, the solitude helps to provide some solution to heal but cannot dissolve the problem. Nevertheless, what begins as isolation, should slowly dawn on the seeker's mind that to cut off from the world and to remain in isolation is not the way to spiritual fulfillment.

Traditionally, the seeker of truth and self awareness is left alone to contemplate in a ashram or a monastery. But strange enough, he never is left alone despite his physical isolation. Though one physically retreated from life and people, in the name of solitude, still he would come face to face with the mental constructions of the world, people and various situations. Never it is possible for one to keep the mind totally independent of thoughts about the disturbing people or nagging situations.

Disciple : Can I find truth in being alone without anyone?
Master : Yes, till someone comes to meet you !
Disciple : What can I call that experience in being aloof?
Master : Escape !!!


But the solitude that provides a brief relief from grief and from being physically faced with the stressful circumstances is not real ekaantam. If one is settled just for this relief, then the more real ekaantam will be missed out.

Eka = One
Antam = Conclude
Ekaantam = Conclusively One

Ekaantam in the spiritual sense is Aloneness. Its neither isolation nor loneliness. Aloneness here means feeling alone while being surrounded by the world. Again its not being indifferent to the people around but feeling a sense of Oneness with everything you see around you.Only two makes a company and three makes a crowd, but One remains always alone. This Oneness can also be called as advaita(one without a second). This Oneness makes you feel alone even while you deal with life all the time. alone with everyone.To find solitude in a solitary place is not great, but to find it in a crowded shopping mall is in deed and experience, truly great !

But how can one see aloneness everywhere? That's whats spirituality is all about. If you see the physical bodies of human beings, then you will see many many of them. Then either you have company or alone. If you see the mind 0f human beings as mind, still you will be lost in the crowd of many different minds. But if you see the inherent collective consciousness of people everywhere, then you would begin to get the taste of aloneness.

Disciple: I want to be left alone !
Master : Sure, then go to the market and buy vegetables now !
Disciple : That, for god's sake, is not being alone !
Master : If you cannot see All those people in the market as One then you are not going to be alone at all.
Disciple: Please explain !
Master : All + One = Alone !

Solitude experienced while being surrounded by people alone is truly solitude. But that does not mean you cannot choose to stay away from the crowds and still remain in the truth.