Thursday, April 28, 2011

Are we free ? Are we the automated machine ? George Gurdjieef

We must strive for freedom if we strive for self-knowledge. The task of self-knowledge and of further self-development is of such importance and seriousness, it demands such intensity of effort, that to attempt it any old way and amongst other things is impossible. The person who undertakes this task must put it first in his life, which is not so long that he can afford to squander it on trifles.
What can allow a man to spend his time profitably in his search, if not freedom from every kind of attachment?
Freedom and seriousness. Not the kind of seriousness which looks out from under knitted brows with pursed lips, carefully restrained gestures and words filtered through the teeth, but the kind of seriousness that means determination and persistence in the search, intensity and constancy in it, so that a man, even when resting, continues with his main task. 

Ask yourselves—are you free? Many are inclined to answer "yes," if they are relatively secure in a material sense and do not have to worry about the morrow, if they depend on no one for their livelihood or in the choice of their conditions of life. But is this freedom? Is it only a question of external conditions? 
                       You have plenty of money, let us say. You live in luxury and enjoy general respect and esteem. The people who run your well-organized business are absolutely honest and devoted to you. In a word, you have a very good life. Perhaps you think so yourself and consider yourself wholly free, for after all your time is your own. You are a patron of the arts, you settle world problems over a cup of coffee and you may even be interested in the development of hidden spiritual powers. Problems of the spirit are not foreign to you and you are at home among philosophical ideas. You are educated and well read. Having some erudition in many fields, you are known as a clever man, for you find your way easily in all sorts of pursuits; you are an example of a cultured man. In short, you are to be envied. 

In the morning you wake up under the influence of an un- pleasant dream. The slightly depressed mood disappeared but has left its trace in a kind of lassitude and uncertainty of movement. You go to the mirror to brush your hair and by ac- cident drop your hairbrush. You pick it up and just as you have dusted it off, you drop it again. This time you pick it up with a shade of impatience and because of that you drop it a third time. You try to grab it in midair but instead, it flies at the mirror. In vain you jump to catch it. Smash! ... a star- shaped cluster of cracks appears in the antique mirror you were so proud of. Hell! The records of discontent begin to turn. You need to vent your annoyance on someone. Finding that your servant has forgotten to put the newspaper beside your morning coffee, your cup of patience overflows and you decide you can no longer stand the wretched man in the house. 

Now it is time for you to go out. Taking advantage of the fine day, your destination not being far away, you decide to walk while your car follows slowly behind. The bright sun somewhat mollifies you. Your attention is attracted to a crowd that has gathered around a man lying unconscious on the pavement. With the help of the onlookers the porter puts him into a cab and he is driven off to the hospital. Notice how the strangely familiar face of the driver is connected in your associations and reminds you of the accident you had last year. You were returning home from a gay birthday party. What a delicious cake they had there! This servant of yours who for- got your morning paper ruined your breakfast. Why not make up for it now? After all, cake and coffee are extremely important! Here is the fashionable cafe you sometimes go to with your friends. But why have you remembered about the accident? You had surely almost forgotten about the morning's unpleasantness. . . . And now, do your cake and coffee really taste so good?

                                               You see the two ladies at the next table. What a charming blonde! She glances at you and whispers to her companion, "That's the sort of man I like." 

Surely none of your troubles are worth wasting time on or getting upset about. Need one point out how your mood changed from the moment you met the blonde and how it lasted while you were with her? You return home humming a gay tune and even the broken mirror only provokes a smile. But what about the business you went out for in the morning? You have only just remembered it ... that's clever! Still, it
does not matter. You can telephone. You lift the receiver and the operator gives you the wrong number. You ring again and get the same number. Some man says sharply that he is sick of you—you say it is not your fault, an altercation follows and you are surprised to learn that you are a fool and an idiot, and that if you call again . . . The rumpled carpet under your foot irritates you, and you should hear the tone of voice in which you reprove the servant who is handing you a letter. The letter is from a man you respect and whose good opinion you value. The contents of the letter are so flattering to you that your irritation gradually dies down and is replaced by the pleasantly embarrassed feeling that flattery arouses. You finish reading it in a most amiable mood.
I could continue this picture of your day—you free man. Perhaps you think I have been exaggerating. No, this is a true scenario taken from life.

                           This was a day in the life of a man well known both at home and abroad, a day reconstructed and described by him that same evening as a vivid example of associative thinking and feeling. Tell me where is the freedom when people and things possess a man to such an extent that he forgets his mood, his business and himself? In a man who is subject to such variation can there be any serious attitude toward his search?
You understand better now that a man need not necessarily be what he appears to be, that the question is not one of exter- nal circumstances and facts but of the inner structure of a man and of his attitude toward these facts. But perhaps this is only true for his associations; with regard to things he "knows" about, perhaps the situation is different.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Everything that is happening at Isha Ashram

Sadhguru inaugarates Isha Kreeda with the throw of the frisbee
We have always had cultural and sporting events at the ashram, but now it is being stepped up in an even bigger way. One committee we have set up is Isha Kalachara for culture and festivals, and the other is Isha Kreeda for sports. In front of the Linga Bhairavi Temple every night, you will see either a dance class taking place, or a chanting class or drumming. And we have always had evening games at the ashram, but now we will also be offering Kalari, intense Hatha Yoga, monthly treks, and within the month, we will open a swimming pool. The danger that people on the spiritual path have is that they tend to become dead serious, and once they become like that, there will be no spiritual process for them. They will only be doing spiritual exercise. So it is very important that you loosen your body and mind.  The psychological and physiological structures have to be loosened, and this can be done by just playing a game, singing a song or dancing.
Residents play games at Isha Yoga Centre daily

Regardless of whether you are here at the Isha Yoga Center or somewhere else, at least two days in a week you must either be on the playground or be singing and dancing. It is good for you physically, mentally and spiritually. If you say you are not good at playing, then dance. If you cannot dance, do Kalari. If you cannot do Kalari, swim. If you cannot swim, you may walk upon water or sing. And if you say you cannot even sing, it does not matter. You don’t have to have a great voice, you don’t even have to have any music sense. You just have to open your mouth and make a sound, that is how Sounds of Isha started. You see how far they have come.
The new swimming pool is under construction

It is in the name of spiritual process that you don’t become lifeless. This is an opportunity; please make use of it. All residents at the ashram must be able to make a few more sounds than the Kaka Pranayam.
Tomorrow is election day, could be momentous for the state of Tamil Nadu, and I am off for an Inner Engineering program in Mysore, my hometown, for the first time. That could be something.

Love and Grace,

Monday, April 25, 2011

My adventures with my wife

                                Today, it just happened that I was experiencing some back pain.  My wife's weight is almost the double the weight, of what I am.  So, I thought that i will make a good use of it.  I asked my wife to sit on my back, while I lay on the bed, so that I could get some relief from pain.  While she was sitting on my back, she asked me that "Don't you think that I have losed some weight ?"  There was hardly any kind of voice I could make out of my body.  My wife concluded my silence has the approval of what she had said.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Malladihalli Swami’s search for vision of God – “I forgot where I was”

Sadhguru's Yoga Teacher Sri Sri Raghavendra Rao, popularly known as "Malladihalli Swamiji"

                                  I had returned from school, one Saturday to Barkur. On the very same day, I was acquainted to Sri Nityanand Swamiji who blessed me with Tarakayoga (ShaktipathaYoga). After this rare incident, my mind was entirely bent upon spiritualism. From that day onwards, an inner urge developed in me to have the vision of God and to be one with God and to have the rare experience of Samadhi.
Sri Sri Nithyanadji Swamiji

 I sat meditating in lonely places like forest, hillock and the ruins of old temples. But I would be greatly worried when I neither had the vision of God, nor could get Samadhi. I would beg and implore whoever saint, or bairagi, or babaor religious master I used to meet—"Have you seen God? Would you please show me God? None of them could show me God—how could they show me any God when they had never seen one? At last, somehow I completed my examination and wrote to my house—"It is my grave intention to have the vision of God. So, I am leaving for the purpose. Do not try to trace me out. Please take away my bag and baggage left in my room". Thus I left‐Where to?
The turmoil I had undergone during this wandering is inexplicable. True, for my innermost soul was indicating the fact, that unless I would undergo these turmoil, I could never reach my goal. It was an unexpected surprise for me to come across many a cheat in the guise of an ascetic. A few of them were opium eaters; a few others, heavy drunkards; a few more, great debauchers. Thus amid these, my journey continued, without food and drink, unclad, seeking the whereabouts of Almighty. I went on foot, from place to place. It was my greatest woe that I could not find God till then; it would make me shed tears alone not for my mendicancy, but for my inability to witness God.
My feet were bleeding, due to my incessant walk; my body was emaciated in the heat of the Sun. But I would solace my self—"This is a kind of test by the Almighty. The harder the test, greater would be my inner power." I shed tears —not for woman, neither for land, nor for money but only for a vision of God; this purpose of tears would make me quite glad. 

Sri Sri Shivananda Swamiji
It was at this juncture, that I came across a piece of news in a Marathi daily, that a great soul, Sri Sri Swami Shivananda would visit Pandarapur, to deliver his holy preaching. I immediately changed my course and with great difficulty, I arrived at Pandarapur. But to my misfortune, I learnt that the Swamiji just left for Poona. I straightly went again to Poona. It was herculean task to trace out the whereabouts of Swamiji, in a great city like Poona. After walking about a long distance, for two or three weeks, I was able to find the great soul at last; I was very successful in winning over his heart in my favor and stayed with him. But Swamiji would never stay in a single place. I stayed with him for three to four years, and continued Yoga, learnt from Sri Palini Swamiji.
On one of these days, there was a speech by Swamiji in Kolaba. It was a scholarly discourse on spirituality, a piece of his evergreen scholarship. The audience was spell‐bound to give it a hearing. After this lecture, I was completely overtaken by my ever longing desire of having a vision of God. I was shedding tears, not caring about my food. The Swamiji approached me with great love and enquired me about my grief. I could not help sobbing—"Swamiji, I have been with you in this Ashram, just to have a vision of God, with your kind blessings. But till now, you have not kept your word. Especially after hearing your speech this day, I am unable to control my longing to see God. Kindly show him—I beg you"—so saying I fell down at his feet.

The Swamiji who was listening to me, took me up and solaced me —"Karnataki (this was how he used to address me). Our meditation should be according to the environment. Have you cared to notice the surrounding society? Crores of children living in this holy motherland are starving, ill‐clad, hungry and ailing—now, have you understood the pain of their innermost personalities? Are you not moved with pity, to see your own brethren thus suffering? And you are shedding tears to see God.“These ailing beings are nothing but God Himself. You must find your God in these people —Feel that their sufferings are your own—you should try to wipe out the tears, in the eyes of these; If, in case, you do a lot of penance and have the vision of God, it would help you alone—but not to the suffering million. Mother India has sent you with a mission to put an end to the grief of these people. You should not be selfish—now, you should render selfless service and have the blessings of the Almighty"—thus, spoke the Swamiji for two hours, in detail—he was successful in bringing about a metamorphosis in my very personality. At last, he interrogated me whether I should see God, or render selfless service to humanity. I forgot where I was. There was a thorough change in me. I touched his holy feet and took an oath to follow his advice to the core.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A feel of events after the earthquake in Japan - A letter from a survivor from Sendai, Japan.

Hello My Lovely Family and Friends,

First I want to thank you so very much for your concern for me. I am very touched. I also wish to apologize for a generic message to you all. But it seems the best way at the moment to get my message to you.

Things here in Sendai have been rather surreal. But I am very blessed to have wonderful friends who are helping me a lot. Since my shack is even more worthy of that name, I am now staying at a friend's home. We share supplies like water, food and a kerosene heater. We sleep lined up in one room, eat by candlelight, share stories. It is warm, friendly, and beautiful.

During the day we help each other clean up the mess in our homes. People sit in their cars, looking at news on their navigation screens, or line up to get drinking water when a source is open. If someone has water running in their home, they put out sign so people can come to fill up their jugs and buckets.

Utterly amazingly where I am there has been no looting, no pushing in lines. People leave their front door open, as it is safer when an earthquake strikes. People keep saying, "Oh, this is how it used to be in the old days when everyone helped one another."

Quakes keep coming. Last night they struck about every 15 minutes. Sirens are constant and helicopters pass overhead often.

We got water for a few hours in our homes last night, and now it is for half a day. Electricity came on this afternoon. Gas has not yet come on. But all of this is by area. Some people have these things, others do not.

No one has washed for several days. We feel grubby, but there are so much more important concerns than that for us now. I love this peeling away of non-essentials. Living fully on the level of instinct, of intuition, of caring, of what is needed for survival, not just of me, but of the entire group.

There are strange parallel universes happening. Houses a mess in some places, yet then a house with futons or laundry out drying in the sun.People lining up for water and food, and yet a few people out walking their dogs. All happening at the same time.

Other unexpected touches of beauty are first, the silence at night. No cars. No one out on the streets. And the heavens at night are scattered with stars. I usually can see about two, but now the whole sky is filled.

The mountains are Sendai are solid and with the crisp air we can see them silhouetted against the sky magnificently.

And the Japanese themselves are so wonderful. I come back to my shack to check on it each day, now to send this e-mail since the electricity is on, and I find food and water left in my entrance-way. I have no idea from whom, but it is there. Old men in green hats go from door to door checking to see if everyone is OK. People talk to complete strangers asking if they need help. I see no signs of fear. Resignation, yes, but fear or panic, no.

They tell us we can expect aftershocks, and even other major quakes, for another month or more. And we are getting constant tremors, rolls, shaking, rumbling. I am blessed in that I live in a part of Sendai that is a bit elevated, a bit more solid than other parts. So, so far this area is better off than others. Last night my friend's husband came in from the country, bringing food and water. Blessed again.

Somehow at this time I realize from direct experience that there is indeed an enormous cosmic evolutionary step that is occurring all over the world right at this moment. And somehow as I experience the events happening now in Japan, I can feel my heart opening very wide. My brother asked me if I felt so small because of all that is happening. I don't. Rather, I feel as part of something happening that much larger than myself. This wave of birthing (worldwide) is hard, and yet magnificent.

Thank you again for your care and Love of me,

With Love in return, to you all,

Friday, April 8, 2011

Sadhguru's message on anti-corruption bill


"If we allow Anna Hazare’s demise, it is a clear case of murdering Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy of integrity. After all, all that he is asking for is cleanliness in public life, which is something every concerned Indian wants."
– Sadhguru.

People of all walks of life gathered every night since Anna Hazare announced his fast against corruption in India. On Friday (April 8, 2011), meditators from New Delhi came together at the epi-center of Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption agitation – Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. In a show of support, Isha’s volunteers marched from Jantar Mantar to India Gate on Friday night, displaying banners making a call for integrity and honesty in the Government, and in public life.

One of our meditators shares…

"When I first reached the place, a huge crowd had already gathered there, holding all kinds of signs supporting Anna Hazare's cause. The next thing I know, I am holding one of Isha’s banners, walking on the streets, and shouting with everybody ‘hum tumhare saath hein!’
The whole atmosphere was fully loaded. It was so overwhelming to see the people's enthusiasm and passion to make some change, but in a non-violent way. This is a scene which I have not seen in Lebanon – my country, where weapons are considered the only way to get our right, but here, not even one person was throwing a stone cursing, or using an abusive word.   -- Harien Baroud.

small way, this band of Isha meditators contributed to the success of Hazare’s determined offensive against corruption which has resulted in the Government conceding his demands on Saturday, April 9.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

When reason fails, only intuition can work - Osho talks on Madame Curie

When reason fails, only intuition can work.  And all the great scientists have become aware of it: that all their great discoveries are made not by reason but by intuition.

                     Madame Curie was working on a certain mathematical problem for three years continuously and the more she tried, the farther and farther away the solution seemed. She tried every possible way, but nothing was working, nothing was happening. And there was somewhere a deep, tacit feeling that "The solution exists. I am not struggling with something absurd." This tacit feeling continued all the time as an undercurrent; hence she could not drop the effort either. She was getting tired -- three years wasted for a single problem. But deep down within herself somebody was saying, "The solution IS possible. This exercise is not futile. Go on." And she went on stubbornly, she persisted. She dropped all other projects, she forced herself totally into the one problem. But the more she tried, the more impossible it became.

One night it happened, almost as it happened to Gautama the Buddha; of course, the problems were different, but the process was the same. Buddha had struggled for six years to attain enlightenment and he had attained nothing. Then one night he dropped the whole effort, went to sleep, and, by the morning when the last star was setting, he became enlightened.

That night Madame Curie dropped the idea, the whole project -- she closed the chapter. "Enough is enough! Three years wasted is too much for one problem." There were other problems which were waiting to be solved. It was finished in her mind, although the tacit understanding was still there just like a constant murmur. But she had followed it long enough, it was time. One has only a limited time; three years is too much for one problem. Deliberately she dropped the idea. As far as she was concerned she closed the whole project. She went to sleep never to be bothered by that problem again.

And in the morning when she got up she was surprised. On a piece of paper on her table, the solution was there, written in her own handwriting. She could not believe her eyes. Who had done it? The servant could not have done it -- he knew nothing of mathematics, and if Madame Curie had not been able to do it in three years, how could the servant have done it? And there was nobody else in the house. And the servant had not entered in the night -- the doors were locked from inside. She looked closely and the handwriting resembled hers.
Then suddenly she remembered a dream. In the dream she had seen that she had got up, gone to the table, written something.... Slowly slowly, the dream became clear. Slowly slowly, she remembered that she had done it in the night. It was not a dream, she had actually done it. And this was the solution! For three years she had been struggling hard and nothing was happening -- and the night she dropped the project, it happened. What happened? She became relaxed.

Once you have dropped the effort you become relaxed, you become restful, you become soft, you become wide, you become open. It was there inside her, it surfaced. Finding the mind no longer tense, it surfaced.

                      She had come to the conclusion from some other door which was not reason.  It was intuition.  But first the reason had to be exhausted.  Intuition functions only when reason is exhausted.  Intuition has no process; it simply jumps from the problem to the conclusion.  It is a shortcut.  It is a flash.

                We have corrupted intuition.  Man’s intuition is almost absolutely corrupted.  Woman’s intuition is not corrupted as much – that’s why women have something called a “hunch”.  A hunch is just a fragment of intuition.  It cannot be proved.  You are going to take a flight and your woman simply says that she is not going and she will not allow you to go either.  She feels as if something is going to happen.  Now this is nonsense.  You have much work to do, everything is planned, and you have to go – but your woman won’t allow it.  And the next day you read in the newspaper that the aeroplane was hijacked, or it crashed and all the passengers died.

                    Now the woman cannot say how she knows.  There is no way.  It is just a hunch, just a feeling in the guts.  But that too is very corrupted, that’s why it is just a flash.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Do we have a social responsibility towards people who have dedicated their lives towards alleviating the suffering of the whole human mankind, whereby leaving their own kins and family vulnerable to the uncertainty of life ?

Questioner : Pranams to Sadhguru. I am Dr.Mahadevan and I work at Coimbatore Medical College. I have treated more than 5,000 HIV patients so far. My problem is, whenever my patient dies it takes 2-3
days for me to recover from that shock. I am burdened by these deaths.How to come out of it this burden? My second question is: Can we do anything for them to have a spiritually glorified death?

Sadhguru:  Just now somebody was talking about hospitals and doctors refusing to treat HIV patients even at the time of delivery and situations like that. So, we certainly need Mahadevas like you.  It is extremely important that doctors, social workers or an HIV patient who has taken the responsibility of leading the associations or people who are doing good work in the society are taken care of well. This is something that as a nation we have neglected.  A few years ago someone came up to me and asked: “You have taken up all this work. You are making young people stand up and do the same. What is the use? Do you know what happened to Mahatma Gandhi? Even his own children could not go to school.
                                              If Mahatma Gandhi’s children did not go to school, it is not a shame for Mahatma Gandhi. It is a shame for all of us as a nation that we did not take care of the children of a man who gave his life for the nation. We did not even take care of his children, by sending them to school and nourishing them as necessary.  It is extremely important that you remain in good condition so that you could work much more efficiently. However deep your involvement may be, still you have to go to the next person lying there.  So it is extremely important that you remain in good condition. For this I would like to invite you to take a program at the Yoga Center which will definitely empower you to go through these situations without being either burdened or callous. Please come and go through the program.To be involved and not entangled is something that is essential for people to be effective in life. Because people are afraid of entanglement, they talk about detachment. If you are detached you will not know life. Only in involvement you know life. People are afraid of involvement because they do not know how to be involved but not entangled. So bringing a huge sense of involvement within everybody without entanglement is something that needs to happen. This involvement without entanglement needs to happen not just to a doctor, a socialworker or to an infected person. It has to happen to everybody in the world. That is the basic essence of my work.

                                        When there is no fear of entanglement you will throw yourself into anything without hesitation. This hesitation is the cruelest thing on the planet. We definitely don’t want you to suffer from that.  Now, about bringing a spiritual dimension to somebody who is in the process of dying, as a doctor you have seen people dying various ways, of various diseases, old age or whatever. Almost 90% of the people in this world die with some disturbance, suffering and struggle. Very few people die peacefully and even fewer people die joyfully and extremely few people die blissfully.Even if we cannot create blissfulness, creating peacefulness is definitely possible. But it may not be possible to create that at the last moment. When the person is a little more conscious and capable, we can bring a simple yogic process into his life,we could teach him something and that would be best.
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