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31 July 2008

"brahmacharya ashrama is a phase
of learning and not about celibating"

Part -1

Literally speaking, this phase of human life is usually the first 20 years when the young novice is set upon seeking ways to know his essential self. Though labeled as 'soul searching', the brahmacharya is about learning a lot of material sciences too. Young children who were initiated in to the studies of the self, had lot more to learn about their world, than just about one's Self.

Disciple : That's quite early to search for the soul ?
Master : Yes, but only when you start early, you
may end up finding it before you get too old !
Disciple : usually I have seen people planning their
bit of soul searching, at much later stages in life !
Master : True, it may happen any age or stage.
The learning indeed goes on all the time !

A brahmachari learns all that which may guide him to find out the nature his own self. Of the many sciences taught, there were prominent ones such as, Dharma Shastra - Moral science, Arta Shastras - Material sciences, Samkhya Shastra - Intellectualism, Shastra Shastra - Science of Weaponry, Neeti Shastra - Jurisprudence, Shilpa Shastra - Iconography, Vaastu Shastra - Science of Spaces, Nyaya Shastra - Science of Logic.

Disciple : That's awe inspiring list of wisdom for
the children to learn, so early in their lives !
Master : Quite rightly so. All the learning were
tailored to put the child on track of existential truth !

As part of their initiation in their studies, they are taught how to live a life of dedication and determination. Symbolically they tonsured the head of the child, who entered the school of wisdom, leaving just one portion of hair as tuft. Traditionally speaking that small tuft of hair indicates the singlepointedness of the child in learning. They may not focus on anything else but just the learning.

Disciple : I thought the tuft was meant for the guru to
catch the erring student, especially if he runs away ?
Master : Yes sometimes, it must have worked that way too !
Disciple : But why these days such disciplined phase of
life is not made available to children ?
Master : The format must have been changed, but even today
the child has all the facilities to learn everything under sun
within their stipulated 20 years or even more !

Even if the education is generally made available to the child in the modern days, still the dedication and determination of a student in schools of wisdom during the days of yore, has been always unmatchable even today. Mainly because of the spiritual intonations of the teachings imparted to the children.

28 July 2008

" Vedas divide your your life in to phases
and then it unifies you as one whole "

Part- 2

The four ashramas classified by vedas are not independent of each other. They are very closely woven together that they cant be separated. While the grosser understanding of ashramas is classifying the span of one's life, it also subtly conveys that the ashramas are just various states of mind that you may pass through within a day several times.

Disciple : This is news for me. Are you saying the
all the four ashramas can be lived within one day ?
Master : Not even one full day, but within minutes !
Disciple : That's heartening to hear, because I am not
sure if I'm going to live for 80 years to complete all
the four ashramas properly without leftovers !
Master : Precisely for the same reason, the vedas
inculde the various periods of time in a day
encompassing different ashramas !

Its also important to understand that you will not renounce the earlier ashrama, as you enter the new ashrama. Instead, the proper understanding will be, that you set yourself upon a particular ashrama, suitable to a particular mode of mind, demanded by the present situation at that time.

Disciple : Do you meant to say the ashramas
are just human psychological divisions ?
Master : Yes, primarily it is that way, but in a
much grosser sense, it is divided in the total
span of life time of an individual !

Psychologically speaking, the mind undergoes various modifications within moments endlessly. Every psychological predisposition can be attributed to any one of the ashrama at any given point of time. A thorough understanding of the various ashrama and their individual characteristics is vital in capturing them playing in your own psyche.

Disciple : Now this seem to be getting interesting.
Some kind of mind game for me to perform ?
Master : You need not perform any mind game
because they are going on already. You just need
to recognize them when it is at play !

The brahmacharya, grihasta, vanaprasta, sanyasa are the milestones in the journey of life. Only difference is perhaps this journey of life does not go in a straight line but in a circles. In the sense that there is no beginning or end to this cycle.

Disciple : Sounds quite intriguing, wish to
explore this one at the earliest !
Master : Yes you will, As you explore you
should be able to incorporate your findings
in your every day living in small ways at least !

22 July 2008

" life is a nonstop flow, but the seeker's
life is phased conveniently without
disturbing the fabric of his worldliness "

a s h r a m a
Part - 1

Consciousness is undivided by itself. But every thing that envelops it seem to have defined divisions. Like the many seasons that return year after year, like the different age groups people classify their lives into, like the trees have many stages of springing, flowering and falling, like the animals having various seasons for various reasons, human life too has been phased well and compartmentalized.

The Vedic scriptures have a knack of dealing with lives of seekers in a more practical way. In fact vedas have elaborated every human aspect to such finest detail, that the magnitude of vedas had become bulky and enormous and appears very exhaustive today. Among its various proposals to humanity, vedas suggest to phase out one's life in such manner, that there is a organized way of living and seeking.

Disciple : You said vedas 'propose', why is that ?
Master : Yes, they dont dictate or declare or
even command but makes plain proposals !
Disciple : What happens if they command ?
Master : The commandments may not liberate
but can enslave. Commandments are for slaves !

However, vedas too emphasise the need to organize one's life, in order to make it a wholesome affair, especially when it comes to 'self realization' resonating with every day living. It has divided human life in to four stages such as brahmacharya ashrama (learning phase), grihasta ashrama (implementing phase), vanaprastha ashrama (withdrawal phase), sanyas ashrama (renunciation phase).

Disciple : Now this sounds too contradicting !
Master : How come ?
Disciple : You went on saying that realization
happens just in the moment, when someone
lived without any division. But this ashrama
concept sounds as if one has to divide all over again ?
Master : Precisely, you divide your life till that moment
of realization comes, then you divide no more !

Scriptures, religions, gurus play just their bit to organize the seeker's life, in order to get him to that moment of realization. The concept of ashramas in one's life is capable of giving certain discipline, as the seeker approaches truth without any unwanted hangups nagging him secretly. A proper and complete understanding of the dynamics of ashramas is a must before one start to follow them.

Disciple : What are the age groups alloted to each ashrama ?
Master : Roughly speaking every 20 years, the individual gets
promoted to the next ashrama, assuming that the average life span
of human being stands at 80. These days it could be less too !
Disciple : Which means I already missed out one ashrama ?
Master : You need not lose your heart, because the ashramas
are so flexible, that they function efficiently in multi dimesions !
Disciple : May I know how is that ?
Master : One need not wait for 80 years to complete
all the ashramas, but within the span of a day all the
ashramas can be effectively explored.

08 July 2008

" meditation is not meant for finding peace and calmness
but to stir yourself enough to wake up to your true self "

d h y n a m
Part - 43

Ironically, we want to consider meditation or spirituality meant to provide soothing effects. Perhaps relaxing to the nerves which are stressed, like listening to some pleasant music or reading some heart warming story. Either a promise thrown in that all problems will be solved when you wake up in the morning or some hope is thrusted where things would change real soon.

Disciple : So to be spiritual is essentially
living with the problems is what you say ?
Master : not really ! I mean the problems you
have are not of any significance is what I say !
Disciple : But when the mind attains calmness,
it can experience self all the more better ?
Master : Not really, one can go to sleep too !
Disciple : Seeking peace of mind is not spirituality ?
Master : Absolutely not. But if you understand that
you have to otherwise seek noise and disturbance will
be again immaturity and jumping to extremes in life !

If you found peace of mind every time you meditated, then you should know that your meditation is not complete. The soothing effect will make your mind dull and will only put you to sleep. While it is harmless to sleep as you meditate, in the long run it may not serve you the true purpose.

Disciple : So what exactly I should do in meditation
instead of searching for peace of mind or calmness ?
Master : If the mind remain awake then it can explore
and realize the self. But a sleepy mind due to the
soothing effect may not be able to comprehend the self !
Disciple : Then why the peace of mind is glorified so much ?
Master : Because of the lack of knowledge about the self !
Disciple : What does it mean by self here ?
Master : The Consciousness or
Atman is called as self here !

Meditation is not against the idea of a peaceful mind, but certainly it is not the end result one should attain from it. One should not rest in the peace found during meditation but must make use of it to proceed further towards the awareness of the self in its unmanifest, original state.

04 July 2008

" greatest revelation during meditation is
to know that you cant decide your life but can
only follow what is decided by the existence "

d h y a n a m
Part- 42

Its a strange and weird behaviour of the mind to believe that life is a decisive process, even though every moment is screaming loud of impermanence. The freedom to decide and then to execute towards success seem to be the hidden agenda among many seekers. The consciousness is 'Non-Decisive' and will always be so. If the consciousness is Non-Decisive, then its expressions would be the same too.

Disciple : I did not understand everything you said
but i know you are making an important point there !
Master : I said there is nothing concrete about this life !
Disciple : True, I agree and also experience that always !
Master : Then what makes you think you can live a decisive
life, in this non decisive world of happenings all around you ?
Disciple : I got the point now. But somehow it does not sink in !
Master : The meditation is meant just for that purpose indeed !

But for all strange reasons, meditation is practiced among many seekers in order to decode some secret formula, by which they can decide their own course of lives. This freedom to chart the course of one's own life is result of the stunning ignorance of mind. Meditation is a process where this ignorance will be exposed and the truth of the life is experienced directly.

Disciple : It is difficult to accept such a knowledge
that I cannot decide the course of my own life !
Master : Why whats the problem in that ? After all
you need not break your head always about decisions !
Disciple : I may feel somewhat teeth less or spineless
or perhaps worthless with such a knowledge !
Master : This is what the self help, new age schools
of wisdom have done to most people these days !
Disciple : Is it wrong to believe in oneself ?
Master : Where is the need to believe in oneself
when you experienced the self itself as you ?

Authentic meditation is meant to experience yourself than believing in your self. You believe in something which is other than yourself. But there is absolutely no need to believe in your own self. Because believing your self to be successful or peaceful can bring relief, but does not settle other issues which will keep troubling you from time to time.

Disciple : How does the experience of the self help me ?
Master : It will bring clarity to your clouded mind about
the crucial decision making in your life !
Disciple : I never thought they are both connected !
Master : True. I know you never thought that way !
Disciple : Can you please elaborate ?
Master : Belief in the self brings only the pressure to make
right decision and avoid wrong decisions in life !
Disciple : I understood that part. But does it mean the
experience of the self prevents me from decision making ?
Master : In fact it will only tell you that you don't decide
anything in your life, but simply confirm or don't confirm
to the various situations which appears like decision making !