Saturday, October 29, 2011

On Arcane Philosophy of Vedanta and Meditation

In all oriental religions, meditation is an inseparable part of spirituality. Meditation in broad terms means to focus your mind on a single point. It can be tip of your nose, a mental image, or a material object that makes you calm and composed. With regular practice one attains higher state of consciousness where the atman or soul becomes one with the eternal soul or God. This state of being is called as moksha (liberation of soul from earthly bondage and union with God) in Hinduism and nibbana in Buddhism. 
In the highest state of meditation known as super-conscious state, a practitioner loses consciousness of his body and external reality and experiences a state of extreme pleasure and pure bliss. 
All the enthusiasts of spirituality, especially the youth, should know that it's a one way  ticket to heaven. It is much easier to distort the perception of reality, but very difficult to see it again as all healthy normal human beings see it.   
A man who practices meditation regularly, would soon lose all interest in the external world. He would prefer to live alone and avoid all kinds of company. The world would start losing its charm and meaning. Instead, he would see suffering, pain and misery all around. Whenever, he would be affected by external reality or a painful stimuli, he would want to go in to deep hypnosis and lose all consciousness of external world. Ultimately one would gains perfect control over his body and mind. He would be able to delve at different levels of consciousnesses. He can dive from a lower state of calm and serenity to a deeper state of hypnotic sleep. In advanced stages, he would gain the power to severe all bondage from his body and brain i.e to end his life, when ever he chooses to do so. Of course it would be nothing but voluntary suicide, but a  painless and quick one. The practitioner would die in a state of extreme bliss and happiness, and death would be the ultimate experience. There would be no nervousness, fear, depression or anxiety, but only happiness and pleasure. It would be truly a pain less suicide. 
A page lost in the History of America

In 1893, a Hindu monk and ascetic represented India as a delegate in the parliament of world religion in Chicago. He introduced most ancient tradition of ascetics who followed vedic principles of love, compassion, tolerance and universal acceptance.  
The New York Critique wrote, "He is an orator by divine right, and his strong, intelligent face in its picturesque setting of yellow and orange was hardly less interesting than those earnest words, and the rich, rhythmical utterance he gave them."
The New York Herald wrote, "Vivekananda is undoubtedly the             greatest figure in the Parliament of Religions. After hearing him we feel how foolish it is to send missionaries to this learned nation."

The American newspapers reported
Swami Vivekananda
as "the greatest figure in the parliament of religions" and "the most popular and influential man in the parliament".

"I do not come", said Swamiji on one occasion in America, "to convert you to a new belief. I want you to keep your own belief; I want to make the Methodist a better Methodist; the Presbyterian a better Presbyterian; the Unitarian a better Unitarian. I want to teach you to live the truth, to reveal the light within your own soul." 

Swami ji had predicted that he would depart this world before he turns forty. In fact he had pre-planned his death. It is said that a few days before his death he was seen studying almanac. On the day he took maha samadhi, that is departure from this world for ever, he spent his day just as any other day and followed the daily routine of looking after the Belur Math and teaching his disciples. 

Vivekananda died at 9.10 PM on July 4, 1902 while he was meditating. The real cause of his death could not be found. 

The Philosophy of Vedanta

Swami Vivekananda was a master yogi and a philosopher who preached the doctrine of Vedanta also known as non dualism aspect of God, meaning that nothing is separate or mutually exclusive from God. Every thing whether living or dead is God. A piece of rock is God, a plant is God, an insect is God, a dog is God, heavenly bodies are God, the book you are reading is God, your computer, laptop, desk, coffee mug, pen, and even your feces is God. 

The external reality that we perceive is considered as an illusion or maya. It is the transient, ephemeral, and dynamic part of God. Where as the permanent, stable and eternal part of God is considered as the ultimate reality. A yogi by meditation tries to connect with that permanent, unchanging part of God. The realization of  God is the highest aim of a yogi. 

Every year thousands of Americans come to India to seek spiritual solace, to find meaning of life, and if possible— realize God. It is interesting to note that Steve Job, before he became famous as founder of Apple co., came to India in search of spirituality.

The first reaction of Americans who come to India to seek spirituality, is that of confusion. It is because Hinduism is made up of numerous gods and goddesses laced with rich mythologies, and all kinds of philosophies.  

Thus it's difficult for them to make head or tail of Hinduism . Many Americans soon get frustrated and shift toward Buddhism, which is much easier to understand and follow. It can be explained in few lines. 
For monks:
Desires and passions are the source of all pain and suffering, thus extinction of all desires would lead to freedom form all kinds of suffering.
For ordinary people:
Do not shun this society or pleasures of life altogether, but practice moderation in everything, which would lead to a happy and harmonious life.
In the end, all the religions have something to offer, and they have their own advantages and disadvantages. 

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