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Sádhaná (Tantrics only)

Discussion in 'Mysticism DIR' started by Marcion, Nov 20, 2018.

  1. Marcion

    Marcion Neohumanism Tantra-Yoga

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    I would like to give some personal comments on a talk on the subject of Sádhaná which Shrii Shrii Anandamurti gave on Vaeshákhii Púrnimá* 1958 during Dharma Maha Cakra in Ranchi, Bihar, India (published in Subhásita Samgraha Part 7 & in Discourses on Tantra Part II).

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    SÁDHANÁ
    Today I would like to discuss mata and patha [opinions regarding the Supreme, and paths to the Supreme]. Mata means a certain style of thought, so we have to see where the action of thinking originates, develops, and culminates; and we have to see on what the action of thinking depends. When someone says, "It's my opinion, my personal view", where does the action of thinking lie and how does it take place? Thinking depends on the unit mind; it originates in the unit mind and is maintained in the unit mind.
    In the absolute sense what is the unit mind? The Cosmic Mind reaches a state of maximum crudification through saincara [the phase of extroversial movement], and thereafter starts returning to Its original abode through pratisaincara [the phase of introversial movement]. The small "I" feeling that gradually develops within crude matter is called the unit mind. Although the Macrocosmic Mind is the Supreme Controller of everything in this universe, It does delegate a certain degree of control to unit minds as they increase in complexity in the phase of pratisaincara. Therefore the unit mind can be called a primary sub-centre in a physical structure within the Macrocosmic Mind. Unit minds have to act within the periphery of time, place, and person, as created by the Macrocosm, and their different styles of action are called mata [opinions]. Just as the unit mind is dependent on time, place and person for its creation, maintenance and annihilation, each of its expressions also depends on a particular time, place and person.This is why opinion carries its highest value in a particular time, place, or indvidual, and loses its value, or becomes altogether non-existent, when any of these three relative factors changes. Opinions do have some value in both individual


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    and collective life. But when one is dealing with the Absolute Entity, who transcends the boundaries of time, place and person, does one's opinion have any value?

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    * a special full moon, I don't know in which month

    It seems a bit of a surprising start to the talk to start speaking about 'opinion'.

    The DMC-talks were special talks given by the preceptor of Ananda Marga on certain occasions such as New Years Day.
    A Dharma Cakra is a spiritual gathering in Ananda Marga with some bhajana singing, kiirtana (spiritual dance while mantra singing) and a collective meditation, but the so-called Dharma Maha Cakras ("Great" Dharma Cakras) were Dharma Cakras in which the Guru was present and would give an intellectual type of spiritual discourse in English mostly followed by the Varabhaya Mudra, a very special mudra (gesture of the hands after a lengthy mantra) giving spiritual blessing to all present (many would experience a blissful samadhi following the mudra which could last for hours depending on the person).

    The DMC-talks are relatively philosophical (more technical sounding) compared to many other talks.
    He uses certain standard central terms, such as 'Macrocosmic Mind', 'Supreme Consciousness', 'unit mind', 'spiritual aspirant' that recur often in his talks. It seems he wants to avoid equivalent terms that are more often used by others in more religious contexts and which are often linked to religious mythologies (upon which he does not seem to depend or lean). He will not avoid them altogether, but uses them only in special contexts that are less explicitly philosophical, such as e.g. in discussing the history of spiritual culture.

    Perhaps that is somewhat similar to what the Buddha did in his own way.
     
    #1 Marcion, Nov 20, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
  2. Marcion

    Marcion Neohumanism Tantra-Yoga

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    Opinions do have some value in both individual and

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    collective life. But when one is dealing with the Absolute Entity, who transcends the boundaries of time, place and person, does one's opinion have any value? No, in this case an individual opinion has no value whatsoever. Thus the statement Yata mata, tata patha* is not logically tenable. An opinion held by a particular individual or group regarding the social sphere, the economic sphere, or the political sphere does have some value, but to attempt to express an opinion concerning the absolute sphere would be simply ludicrous.
    An opinion is a psychic object. An opinion of a particular person is, in effect, an object of the object of the Cognitive Faculty [the objects of the Cognitive Faculty are minds and the objects of minds are opinions]. So how can an opinion become the subject of the Supreme Subjectivity? How can it know the Knower of the known? One's opinion in this regard has no value - for anyone to have an independent opinion about Parama Purusha as its object is meaningless.
    Regarding Parama Purusha the unit mind can do only one thing: become one with Him as the Supreme Subject. The unit mind must accept Parama Purusha as its object, and run towards Him. Even this proposition is illogical in the absolute sense. Rather it should be said that the unit mind will have to return to its own subject. This should be the only movement, movement towards the Paramágati [literally, the "Supreme Terminus where the movement, or journey, of finite entities culminates"].
    Thus a unit mind may hold many opinions about the mundane world, but no opinion regarding the spiritual

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    world. The path which leads to supreme bliss is a singular one; there is no second path. The path is one, and only one.

    * "There are as many spiritual paths as there are opinions" - or "Every opinion or personal view about a spiritual path does in fact reflect a valid spiritual path." - Eds.


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    It is quite popular to state that the goal is one, but many paths lead to that goal. Here the opposite is argued. Regarding the spiritual goal in life there is but one path and opinions have no say in it because the goal cannot be considered as an object and the Subject is only one.
     
  3. Marcion

    Marcion Neohumanism Tantra-Yoga

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    Thus a unit mind may hold many opinions about the mundane world, but no opinion regarding the spiritual

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    world. The path which leads to supreme bliss is a singular one; there is no second path. The path is one, and only one.
    If this universe is considered as a circle, its nucleus is the blissful Purushottama to which every point on the circumference is connected. If any microcosm located on any point on the circumference wants to reach the Nucleus, he or she will have to move with Cosmic ideation, floating on the divine waves of bliss. From no matter what point on the circumference one measures the distance to the Nucleus, that radius will always be the same. This radius is termed the ánanda márga [the path of bliss]. So the ánanda márga is the only márga. The spiritual path has nothing to do with the opinions of any particular indvidual or any group of individuals, because Paramátmá cannot be attained by opinions.

    The Three Stages of Sádhaná
    In Ananda Marga there are three particular stages of sádhaná which can be fused into one, or can remain separate: Shákta, Vaeshnaviiya, and Shaeva. True spiritual practice is a happy combination of these three stages. In endeavouring to reach the Nucleus of the Cosmic Cycle from any point on the circumference, one must develop each stage, for each has an equal importance. To understand Ananda Marga one has to understand the significance of the three stages.
    Who is a Shákta? A Shákta is one who is determined to awaken his or her cognitive faculty and fight against the negative influence of the static principle. Such a person struggles ceaselessly against psychic impurities and physical ailments in individual life, and against social evils and economic disparity in collective life. A Shákta is not afraid

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    of the crushing load of unhappiness in life, and never surrenders to pessimism, but fights against the miseries of life with revolutionary zeal. This is the criterion of a Shákta.


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    Although the Ananda Marga Pracaraka Samgha founded by Sarkar is a particular organisation, by the ánanda márga he means that path of spiritual movement towards the Nucleus of the Cosmic Cycle in general, which could take place within or without any movement that teaches a system of spiritual practices.
     
    #3 Marcion, Nov 22, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2018
  4. Marcion

    Marcion Neohumanism Tantra-Yoga

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    A Shákta is not afraid

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    of the crushing load of unhappiness in life, and never surrenders to pessimism, but fights against the miseries of life with revolutionary zeal. This is the criterion of a Shákta. Such dauntless fighting spirit wins the laurels of victory for a Shákta one day, a victory which is never possible through coaxing and cajoling. Of course, as a war strategy, there can be a temporary truce, but nothing more than that.
    In Indian mythology there is a story about the Shákta, Vaeshnava (or Vaeshnaviiya) and Shaeva mentalities.* Perhaps you have heard that Shiva was first married to Sati, or Dakshayani. Shiva was at that stage of the story like a soul in bondage. When Sati heard from Narada that King Dakasha, her father, was staging a grand sacrificial ritual, she became determined to attend it. Shiva objected to her going and tried all He could to dissuade her, but in vain. Sati went to her father's house. Up to here in the story, Prakrti has been dominant, and Purusha dormant, as is the case with a microcosm in bondage.
    Then next, Shiva's latent valour awakened. Totally absorbed in His own self, He placed the dead body of Sati on his shoulder and began to move throughout the universe. Everyone saw that the inert Prakrti had found her place on the shoulder of Purusha. This was the sádhaná of Shiva. Shiva at this stage was the perfect Shákta, performing

    * In this chapter the author's focus is psychological: the author discusses the different mentalities characteristic of Sháktas, of Vaeshnavas and of Shaevas. From a philosophical point of view, the different recognized schools of the Hindu tradition - five in all, known as the Paincapásaná - are distinguished on the basis of their different deities, or objects of meditation. In Shaevácára (Shiva Cult) one's object of meditation is Shiva. In Sháktácára it is one of the representations of Shakti, or Prakrti. In Vaeshnavácára it is Vishnu. In Saorácára it is Súrya (the sun or the sun god), and in Gánápatyácára it is Ganapati (Ganesha). In all the cults, the more subtle practitioners understand their particular deity is a representation of the infinite Brahma - Eds.

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    sádhaná to attain victory over Prakrti.* This is the first stage of sádhaná - Shakti sádhaná, to establish one's supremacy over Shakti, or Prakrti.

    * The story goes that King Daksha's main purpose in staging the sacrificial ritual was to humiliate Shiva, for he never forgave Shiva for marrying Sati against his wishes. When Sati realized this, and saw that her pleas to stop the harsh vilification of Shiva were falling on deaf ears, she threw herself into the fire. Shiva received immediate news and rushed to the spot to try to save her from being totally consumed by the flames. - Eds.

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    The author gives the talk in a philosophical framework and projects the religious or mythological representations as a secondary element and never the other way round.
     
    #4 Marcion, Nov 22, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2018
  5. Marcion

    Marcion Neohumanism Tantra-Yoga

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    This was the sádhaná of Shiva. Shiva at this stage was the perfect Shákta, performing

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    sádhaná to attain victory over Prakrti.* This is the first stage of sádhaná - Shakti sádhaná, to establish one's supremacy over Shakti, or Prakrti.
    Then Prakrti undertook the practice of sádhaná in order to make Herself subservient to Shiva. Prakrti wanted Purusha to be Her Lord. Or as the mythological story goes, Sati took rebirth as the daughter of Himalaya and Menaka and was called Parvati; she then underwent tremendous penance to get Shiva to be her husband, while Shiva refused to even look at her. So Prakrti suffered immense hardship to attain Purusha, but Purusha remained totally indifferent. At this stage Shiva was the perfect Vaeshnava [Vaishnavite], for he had no concern at all for Prakrti.
    Then finally Parvati, with the help of the gods, got her wish to be Shiva's consort. Prakrti became sheltered in Purusha. But since Shiva meanwhile did not give up His original non-attributional stance, He was the ultimate Shaeva [Shaivite].
    This beautiful allegory has immense educational value. To recapitulate: In the first stage of sádhaná one has to become a Shákta in order to acquire adequate shakti [power]. In the second stage Prakrti is willing to take the shelter of Purusha, but the sádhaka is indifferent, and remains absorbed in the flow of the Cosmic bliss - so this is the Vaeshnava sádhaná, the endeavor to throw oneself into the current of Cosmic bliss and float towards the supreme goal. [And in the last stage one practises Shaeva sádhaná.]

    * The story goes that King Daksha's main purpose in staging the sacrificial ritual was to humiliate Shiva, for he never forgave Shiva for marrying Sati against his wishes. When Sati realized this, and saw that her pleas to stop the harsh vilification of Shiva were falling on deaf ears, she threw herself into the fire. Shiva received immediate news and rushed to the spot to try to save her from being totally consumed by the flames. - Eds.


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    I'm still pondering about what one actually does or not during these three described different stages. What actually happens in real (individual) life when 'Prakrti is willing to take the shelter of Purusha? How am I to see this practically? Perhaps in the Vaeshnava stage one is not yet prepared to give up the enjoyment of bliss and merge one's individual consciousness fully into the Cosmic Consciousness, which happens only in the last stage during Shaeva sádhaná?
     
  6. Marcion

    Marcion Neohumanism Tantra-Yoga

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    In the Vaeshnava stage sádhakas remain totally unconcerned as to who is Purusha and who is Prakrti. Their only desire is to become one with Brahma in the flow of bliss. They do not make a hair-splitting analysis regarding fight or non-fight, for they know they will remain absorbed in the Cosmic flow of bliss for eternity. This is the true spirit of Vaeshnava sádhaná. "Vishnu" means "all-pervading", "expansive" - so the proper etymological meaning of "Vaeshnava" is "universalist".
    Vaishnavite bháva [spiritual stance] can be divided into two stages: liilábháva and nityabháva. When a sádhaka's mind oscillates [among different experiences] along the paths of the saincara and pratisaincara of Brahma and becomes inextricably merged with Its panoramic expressions, that condition is called liilábháva, and the sádhaka's blissful feeling is called liilánanda. In liilábháva the sádhakas' entire existences become vibrated with the vibrations of the Cosmic dance, causing them to burst out in dance, laughter, tears and song. But in nityánanda there is no such expression as this. Purushotttama [the Nucleus Consciousness] is the supreme source of the countless forms and flows that emanate during liilábháva, but His own stance is nityabháva [eternal and unchangeable]. So the ánanda which sádhakas experience when united with Him in His unchangeable, eternal stance is called nityánanda.
    The difference between the unsullied Shaivite Shaeva bháva and the Vaishnavite nityánanda is very little. In fact nityánanda can also be experienced in Nirguna Brahma bháva [the Shaeva bháva, here denoted the "non-attributional" bháva] The difference between the Vaishnavite nityánanda and the Shaivite nirvikalpa samádhi [trance of indeterminate absorption] is not more than the differences between the original bháva of Purushottama and that of

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    Nirguna Brahma.* The attainment of the eternal stance at the altar of Nirguna Brahma is Shaevavasthá [the highest Shaivite stage of realization]. In Ananda Marga there has been a unique blending of the Shákta, Shaeva and Vaeshnava systems of spiritual practice.


    * I.e., the two experiences, nityánanda and nirvakalpa samádhi, are no more dfferent from each other than are the two bhávas, or stances, from which the two experiences respectivly come. - Eds.

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    I have sometimes witnessed people go into liilabháva during spiritual gatherings and they did express some of the behaviours described here.
     
  7. Marcion

    Marcion Neohumanism Tantra-Yoga

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    The difference between the Vaishnavite nityánanda and the Shaivite nirvikalpa samádhi [trance of indeterminate absorption] is not more than the differences between the original bháva of Purushottama and that of

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    Nirguna Brahma.* The attainment of the eternal stance at the altar of Nirguna Brahma is Shaevavasthá [the highest Shaivite stage of realization]. In Ananda Marga there has been a unique blending of the Shákta, Shaeva and Vaeshnava systems of spiritual practice.

    The Course of Physical and Psychic Development

    The more that unit beings advance towards the Supreme Being, the more their physical and pychic bodies (which are made of Macrocosmic stuff) advance from crude to subtle. In the first phase of Macrocosmic imagination, the Cognitive Faculty moves from subtle to crude. One atom or particle comes in closer proximity to another atom or particle. The name of this process is saincara. And when these particles begin to drift away from each other or become powdered down, thus going beyond the scope of sense perception, it is called the process of pratisaincara. When an object becomes more condensed it should be understood that the Macrocosmic mind-stuff is decreasing its inter-molecular gaps. This causes an object to gradually come within the periphery of sense perception. When there comes to be a high degree of diversity in the structure of the condensed object, it requires a self-activated psychic factor for its preservation, maintenance and destruction. This psychic entity (the mind) is created as a result of clash due to inter-molecular proximity. Thus it can be said that mind emerges as a result of clash with the material structure. But it must not be forgotten that matter is nothing but a

    * I.e., the two experiences, nityánanda and nirvakalpa samádhi, are no more dfferent from each other than are the two bhávas, or stances, from which the two experiences respectivly come. - Eds.


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    condensed state of Macrocosmic mind-stuff. What we call matter is not crude matter as such, but a metamorphosed form of Consciousness.


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    The universe is in this view nothing but a Cosmic thought projection of the Macrocosmic mind-stuff. Quark particle or atoms are in this view made up of billions of microvita, which form a kind of bridge between pure consciousness and matter. Matter can be compared to consciousness as ice to water.
     
  8. Marcion

    Marcion Neohumanism Tantra-Yoga

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    Thus it can be said that mind emerges as a result of clash with the material structure. But it must not be forgotten that matter is nothing but a

    * I.e., the two experiences, nityánanda and nirvakalpa samádhi, are no more dfferent from each other than are the two bhávas, or stances, from which the two experiences respectivly come. - Eds.


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    condensed state of Macrocosmic mind-stuff. What we call matter is not crude matter as such, but a metamorphosed form of Consciousness.
    The unit mind finds its expression through clash. This process of clash causes the psychic atoms to get powdered down and expanded to such a degree that the mind expands into the universe, transcending the limits of the small "I". This continuous unfoldment and expansion of the mind through constant clash and cohesion is brought about mainly by Prakrti. The unit mind finds natural problems which it must solve, such as procuring food, finding accomodation, and rearing children - not to mention simply staying alive. The more difficult these obstacles are, the more scope the mind gets to unfold. The struggle to overcome obstacles is the primary factor in the development of the mind.
    But there is also a secondary factor, and that is the influence of a more-developed mind on a less-developed mind. Domestic animals such as dogs and cats get ample scope for accelerated development due to their contact with the human mind. The company of human beings often accelerates their progress more than do the natural forces which present them with obstacles to overcome. So if a dog's mind can develop into a monkey's mind, and a monkey's mind into a human mind, in the normal course of evolution, then a dog that is in constant contact with a human being may experience a tremendous intellectual growth and be reborn as a human being, bypassing the stage of a monkey. Such galloping changes do take place in the process of animate evolution; and comparatively undeveloped creatures, if advantaged with human contact, can etablish themselves in human form in a shorter period than can comparatively developed creatures deprived of human contact.
    When a microcosm reaches a stage of expanded con-

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    sciousness, having made coniderable psychic progress due to natural clashes or due to contact with more-developed minds, and is able to control the psychic propensities as opposed to being subservient to them, it is called manusya [human being]. The term manusya, means "mind-preponderant being".


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    This also explains why it helps in Tantra to associate yourself closely with your spiritual master (guru). This helps because the mind of the master is very much more expanded than your own (ideally it is one with Brahma). A Tantric master will give you advise on how to follow the path including the provision of extra clash allowing you to progress much faster than otherwise. That is also why Yeshua says in Q-lite that he did not come to bring peace but rather fire and a sword (the symbols of struggle leading to spiritual progress). Real peace (not static peace) comes only at the end, when the Self becomes fully realized.
     
  9. Marcion

    Marcion Neohumanism Tantra-Yoga

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    When a microcosm reaches a stage of expanded con-

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    sciousness, having made considerable psychic progress due to natural clashes or due to contact with more-developed minds, and is able to control the psychic propensities as opposed to being subservient to them, it is called manusya [human being]. The term manusya, means "mind-preponderant being".
    With the development of the mind, the physical structure becomes more complex. It can be put in another way: the physical structure grows in complexity in order to serve as a proper vehicle for the expression of a developed mind. When the psychic activities are channelized in different directions or engaged in combatting various obstacles, the brain, the medium of the mind, is bound to become more complex.
    Similarly, undeveloped human beings can make rapid psychic progress due to natural clashes or due to contact with great personalities. The greater the application of psychic energy to a unit being, the more its physical stuff is transformed into mind-stuff. This helps it attain greater psychic expansion, and consequently the greater reflection of Cosmic Consciousness on the unit mental plate.
    Unit beings have attained a human body after evolving from the stage of animality through structures of ever-increasing complexity. So human beings have imbibed experiences from animal lives and not from divine lives.
    Humans' psychic development keeps pace with the growing complexity of their physical bodies. Moreover, various new diseases come into existence as destructive forces of that complex physical body.
    In human society there are many people whose mentality is somewhere between that of forest primates and that of humans. Some have just evolved from animal life to that point, in the process of pratisaincara; while others have

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    reverted to that point from a more developed human level, due to their mean thoughts. If they continue to allow mean thoughts to dominate their minds, they will degenerate to the even cruder stage of innert matter, becoming bricks, stone or wood.


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    I wonder what state folk like Hitler, Stalin and Goebels are now in.
    I always love the systematic discussions of spiritual subjects by Anandamurti in which he uses straight-forward basic concepts and never seems to want to escape into religious vagueness. Even the more elevated presentations are often (but not always) easy to follow for someone less intellectually developed like myself, although it took some time to get used to the structure of his manner of speech.
     
    #9 Marcion, Nov 27, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
  10. Marcion

    Marcion Neohumanism Tantra-Yoga

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    In human society there are many people whose mentality is somewhere between that of forest primates and that of humans. Some have just evolved from animal life to that point, in the process of pratisaincara; while others have

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    reverted to that point from a more developed human level, due to their mean thoughts. If they continue to allow mean thoughts to dominate their minds, they will degenerate to the even cruder stage of innert matter, becoming bricks, stone or wood. Just as animals have no scope to elevate their thoughts or practise spirituality, similarly human beings who make their minds animal-like through animalistic thinking are unable to pursue spiritual practices. even after receiving spiritual initiation or receiving an education, they behave like ignorant fools. But those who are by mentality underdeveloped human beings, but not animals, will if they receive initiation carry on spiritual practices, and will if they receive education behave like intelligent people.
    Spiritual initiation and education will bring about mental upliftment in those who have degenerated to the level of animality, but it will be next to impossible for them to develop spiritually. We must pay more attention to those people who are undeveloped but who have not entirely lost their human sense. If we fail to elevate them, our social system will be futile - all our education, culture and civilization will be futile.
    All beings are made of the same consciousness. So although we may find ourselves at different stages of psychic elevation, a Bráhmana and a Ksattriya, an Indian and an Englishman, a sweeper and a scavenger, a Zulu and a Maori, and even a tiny ant, are all linked by the bonds of fraternity. If we remember this fact, if we work for the well-being of all, then undeveloped human beings will be able to develop their spiritual potentiality when they come in contact with us. Even cows, dogs, tigers and bears who come in close contact with us will develop psychic wealth and gradually acquire treasures.
    In the most developed minds, an infinite thirst becomes

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    awakened. By attaining the supreme rank of Brahma - bliss personified - that infinite thirst can be quenched. The sustained effort to attain that blissful state is called dharma sádhaná.


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    On social media you see a lot of short movies of people cuddling or playing with dogs, cats, cows, pigs or birds which always makes me wonder how these animals feel towards those humans (other humans are obviously capable of the greatest cruelty) and what it will do to the minds of those animals in the long run.
    Prosetilizing is often frowned upon, but meeting certain spiritually uplifted people can bring great progress in some people's lives after they discover and start practising the spiritual lifestyle.
     
    #10 Marcion, Nov 27, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
  11. Marcion

    Marcion Neohumanism Tantra-Yoga

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    In the most developed minds, an infinite thirst becomes

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    awakened. By attaining the supreme rank of Brahma - bliss personified - that infinite thirst can be quenched. The sustained effort to attain that blissful state is called dharma sádhaná. But if human beings do not find the proper way to satisfy their thirst, they go astray. That is, those who do not follow the spiritual path may perform harmful actions at any time. Even those whom society respects as intelligent or learned may, in reality, be no better than "polished satans", or what scriptures call "demons". Our modern society is full of such people. They talk about universalism like parrots. They have no defined ideology in their individual and collective lives, and merely dedicate themselves to the deception of the human race as they strive to serve their petty self-interests by any means, fair or foul. We cannot expect any beneficial contribution from them.

    Surrendering Actions to Brahma
    The existence of microcosm is bound up in action. Microcosm will have to act and to move; life is a dynamic process from beginning to end. No one has come to this world to remain static; staticity is contrary to living existence. Even the physical body changes every moment, even the body maintains dynamic movement.
    Human beings peform two types of action: pratyayamúlaka [original actions] and samskáramúlaka [reactive actions - actions prompted or goaded by samskáras]. Original actions are performed under one's own initiative, and thus one is fully responsible for them. Every original action is a new action. It may represent an extension of the experience of the past, but it is not a reaction. And the actions which human beings are compelled to perform as reactions to their previous actions are

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    called reactive actions. In othe words, original actions constitute efforts, and reactive actions constitute the resultants [of the original actions].


    =========

    So dharma sádhaná is not something that is exclusive to Hindu culture or so-called Hindu religion but it is found everyhere where people listen to the call or to the attraction of the Supreme and make an effort to attain It. It is however almost absent in ritualistic or fundamentalist religious paths where people do not practise spirituality in a systematic introspective way.
     
  12. Marcion

    Marcion Neohumanism Tantra-Yoga

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    Every original action is a new action. It may represent an extension of the experience of the past, but it is not a reaction. And the actions which human beings are compelled to perform as reactions to their previous actions are

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    called reactive actions. In other words, original actions constitute efforts, and reactive actions constitute the resultants [of the original actions].
    Suppose you have to go to Dhanbad but do not know the way. Stopping someone on the street you ask politely, "Excuse me, could you please tell me how to get to Dhanbad?" In reply the man retorts angrily, "What do you think I am, a traffic policeman who gives directions to any Tom, Dick or Harry?" You will certainly feel hurt. But you should remember that this was destined to happen to you as a reaction to one of your previous bad actions. So even though you asked that man politely, you had to undergo psychic pain. Your action of asking the man is a reactive action.
    When people rob others, or indulge in hypocricy, or cheat people, or indulge in tall talk day after day, they are committing original actions. When a dishonest government employee accepts a bribe it is an original action, and when his son gets sick and has to be rushed to the doctor it is the reactive action (the reaction to the original action). When his son dies he laments, "I haven't knowingly done anything wrong. Oh, Lord, why have you given me such severe punishment." But God did not give him any punishment. - the deep sorrow he felt at the death of his child was the result of his past original actions.
    The moment sádhakas start spiritual practice they must surrender all their original actions to Brahma so that they do not have to endure the reactions. This surrender is the most important aspect of spiritual practice.

    Brahmárpanam Brahmahavirbrahmágnao Brahmanáhutam;
    Brahmaeva tena gantavyam Brahmakarmasamádhiná.

    [The action of offering is Brahma, the ghee offered into the
    sacrificial fire is Brahma, the fire is Brahma, and the person
    who offers is also Brahma. Those who will maintain this spirit in
    every action will finely merge in Brahma.]

    ========

    This idea of karma, of having to undergo reactions to past actions which had not not been surrendered, is a universal (Tantric) idea in different so-called religions and also present in the original teachings of Yeshua in Q-lite (but quite neglected as an important teaching by most Christians).
     
    #12 Marcion, Nov 29, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
  13. Marcion

    Marcion Neohumanism Tantra-Yoga

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    The moment sádhakas start spiritual practice they must surrender all their original actions to Brahma so that they do not have to endure the reactions. This surrender is the most important aspect of spiritual practice.

    Brahmárpanam Brahmahavirbrahmágnao Brahmanáhutam;
    Brahmaeva tena gantavyam Brahmakarmasamádhiná.

    [The action of offering is Brahma, the ghee offered into the
    sacrificial fire is Brahma, the fire is Brahma, and the person
    who offers is also Brahma. Those who will maintain this spirit in
    every action will finally merge in Brahma.]


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    Reactions in requital to past actions normally occur more in a spiritual aspirant's life than in an ordinary person's life. The reason is that when all original actions are surrendered to Brahma, there remain only the reactive actions. The reactions may be good or bad [according to whether they are resultants of good or bad original actions]. But think about how many of the deeds you performed before coming to the path of sádhaná were good and how many were bad. To tell the unpleasant truth, ninety-nine percent of your deeds were bad. Hence it is often the case that sádhakás have to suffer much more from bad reactive momenta than get to enjoy good ones. It can even be said that the more one suffers from reactions, the more one is progressing along the path of sádhaná.
    Of course, the requital of the reactive momenta may possibly be pleasurable instead of painful; it all depends upon the nature of one's actions. In either case, the more one surrenders one's actions to Brahma, the shorter will be the period of requital caused by the reactions. In this case the intensity of the requital will be greater than normal; but this is a good sign, because intense requital means the exhaustion of the requital within a short period.
    Suppose you have incurred a loan of a thousand rupees. If you repay the loan in monthly installments of one rupee it will take you a thousand months to clear the loan. One rupee being such a small amount, this will hardly cause any suffering at all. But if you want to free yourself from the debt quickly, you will have to pay a larger amount every

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    month, which will obviously cause more suffering. Likewise, if one does not feel the need to be freed of one's reactive momenta quickly, one can undergo less affliction, but then one may have to wait ten or twenty lives to exhaust all the reactive momenta. Moreover, within those ten or twenty lives one will probably undergo psychic degeneration, and due to one's mean actions imbibe new reactive momenta.


    =========

    What would personally worry me more, is if you would get the chance in a next life to have the same motivation to do sádhaná. How much momentum to do that would you need at the time of death to increase that chance enough?
     
  14. Marcion

    Marcion Neohumanism Tantra-Yoga

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    Suppose you have incurred a loan of a thousand rupees. If you repay the loan in monthly installments of one rupee it will take you a thousand months to clear the loan. One rupee being such a small amount, this will hardly cause any suffering at all. But if you want to free yourself from the debt quickly, you will have to pay a larger amount every

    Page 16
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    month, which will obviously cause more suffering. Likewise, if one does not feel the need to be freed of one's reactive momenta quickly, one can undergo less affliction, but then one may have to wait ten or twenty lives to exhaust all the reactive momenta. Moreover, within those ten or twenty lives one will probably undergo psychic degeneration, and due to one's mean actions imbibe new reactive momenta.
    Hence genuine sádhakas always strive to be relieved of their acquired samskáras as early as possible, therefore they surrender completely to Brahma. the consummation of self-surrender precipitates the requital of samskáras, and this requital may take place in the Shákta, Vaeshnava or Shaeva stages, but in the Shaeva stage the requitals are not felt so keenly, and therefore may be considered not to be requitals in the true sense of the term. The requital of reactive momenta is felt most acutely in the Shákta stage, because this stage involves a tremendous fight against Prakrti.
    The Shákta stage is dominated by jinána and karma, not by bhakti.* Wherever there is struggle, action is bound to become predominant; likewise one will have to acquire knowledge - the knowledge of how to struggle. Through knowledge, Shákta sádhakas become fully aware that all their sorrows and afflictions are the results of their past original actions. In order to be relieved of their affliction they do not cry pitifully to Parama Purusha, but, displaying the spirit of valour, say, "O Parama Purusha, give me strength to continue to struggle. I do not want to escape from affliction and suffering, I want to attain You in joyful struggle against the affliction and suffering." The great poet

    ------------

    * Jinána, karma and bhakti are forms of spiritual practice which emphasize, respectively, discrimination, selfless action, and devotion. - Eds.

    Page 17
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    Rabindranath Tagore said in this regard,

    Vipade more raksha kara e nahe mor prárthaná,
    Vipade yena ná kari kabhu bhay;
    Dukha tápe vyathita cite nái bá dile sántvaná
    Dukhe yena karite pári jay.

    [My prayer to You is not "Save me from danger", but "Bless
    me so that I can overcome danger." You need not console me
    in my suffering, but bless me so that I can overcome my suffering.]

    This is the underlying spirit of a Shákta.

    ============

    Obviously it is best to develop all those three stages in spiritual practice but I'm not sure if you have to start at one end or at all three at once (or whether the latter is at all possible if you have not first mastered the previous stages).
     
  15. Marcion

    Marcion Neohumanism Tantra-Yoga

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    The great poet

    Page 17
    ====

    Rabindranath Tagore said in this regard,

    Vipade more raksha kara e nahe mor prárthaná,
    Vipade yena ná kari kabhu bhay;
    Dukha tápe vyathita cite nái bá dile sántvaná
    Dukhe yena karite pári jay.

    [My prayer to You is not "Save me from danger", but "Bless
    me so that I can overcome danger." You need not console me
    in my suffering, but bless me so that I can overcome my suffering.]


    This is the underlying spirit of a Shákta.
    The underlying spirit of Vaishnavite sádhaná is somewhat different. The mundane obstacles, the friends and foes, merge in the Vaishnavite sádhakas' world of blissful ideation. With whom will they fight? They feel that the entire universe is an unbroken divine play composed of Rádhá and Krshna. In this stage there is a clear dominance of action and devotion. Vaishnavite sádhaná is a blissful flow indeed. Such sádhakas are like points on the circumference of the Cosmic Circle, moving towards the Nucleus, Purushottama, along the radius, which is their sádhaná. And the expanse through which they move towards Him along the radius is the rúpaságar [ocean of beauteous forms], the rasámrtasindhu [ocean of bliss]. Such sádhakas reap only, through reactive actions, the consequences of their past actions. Jinána is not dominant in this Vaishnavite stage, Vaishnavite sádhakas say that Purushottama is enacting His liilá [divine game] through this expressed universe. They say, "O Lord, You are both wisdom and ignorance, happiness and sorrow. Some people You place on golden thrones as kings, others You throw into the street to beg from door to door with outstretched begging bowls. You are my joy, You are my sorrow. Do whatever You like with me." Such sádhakas

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    would never say, "O Lord, save me from danger", but

    Sudháraseo bhásáo yakhan
    Dhyana Hari dhyana Hari;
    Vyathá diye kándáo yakhan
    Dhyana Hari dhyana Hari.


    =========

    So the Vaishnavite approach is to see in everything the divine play of God without any distinction between pleasant or nasty experiences, not something that comes natural to just anyone I would think.
     
    #15 Marcion, Dec 2, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
  16. Marcion

    Marcion Neohumanism Tantra-Yoga

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    Such sádhakas

    Page 18
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    would never say, "O Lord, save me from danger", but

    Sudháraseo bhásáo yakhan
    Dhyana Hari dhyana Hari;
    Vyathá diye kándáo yakhan
    Dhyana Hari dhyana Hari.

    "When You float me on the waves of bliss, O Lord, You are really gracious, and when You make me cry in pain, You are equally gracious. In happiness I feel Your sweet touch, and burst into laughter, exhilerated by Your divine sport. In sorrow I also feel Your sweet touch, and burst into tears, overwhelmed by Your divine sport. How strange You are! How wonderful! I have nothing to complain about."

    In the final stage of Vaishnavite sádhaná, the unit mind becomes one with the Cosmic Mind. The moment before the final merger, sádhakas realise that the Entity who has come in the form of happiness is their dearest Lord, and the Entity who has come in the form of sorrow is also their dearest Lord. They feel the divine joy of the Cosmic play. They never retreat, for having passed through the Shákta stage they have acquired immense courage and valour. One who has not been an ideal Shákta cannot be an ideal Vaeshnava. In the final stage of the Vaeshnava cult, sádhakas offer their greatest of treasures - their mind - to Brahma, and in exchange for this supreme gift expect nothing in return. In the absence of mind they cannot enjoy the sweetness of the divine play any longer. At that supreme stage of surrender liilánanda is transformed into nityánanda. When sádhakas become ensconced in nityánanda they are said to have attained the Shaeva stage. Shaivites have no minds of their own, for they have already surrendered their minds to their dear Lord. This is the supreme surrender, this is the

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    supreme attainment.

    Ratnákarastava grham grhinii ca padmá;
    Deyam kimapi bhavate Purushottamáya.
    Ábhiiravámanayanápahrtamánasáya;
    Dattam mana yadupate tvamidam grhána.


    [Your abode is brimming over with gems and jewels. The
    goddess of fortune is Your housekeeper. What can I offer to
    You, O Lord? Oh yes, there is one thing You lack, as it has been
    stolen by Your devotees; it is Your mind. I therefore offer my
    mind to You. Please accept it.]


    The Stages of Pratyáhára Yoga
    As I mentioned previously, Ananda Marga has harmoniously blended the Shákta, Vaeshnava and Shaeva sádhanás. Of the three, the Shákta sádhaná is the most important, because it is the initial stage of the microcosm's jouney toward the Macrocosm. Progress on this journey is made through pratyáhára yoga. As all spiritual aspirants are aware, the goal of pratyáhára, dháraná, and dhyána is the attainment of samádhi.* Pratyáhára is the conscious endeavour to withdraw the mind from mundane qualities and attractions - easier said than done! The process of varnárghyádán** is in most cases very difficult to perform properly.
    Pratyáhára has four stages: yatamána, vyátireka, ekendriya and vashiikára. Yatamána is a conscious effort to transcend the negative influence of the propensities. Sup-

    -----------
    * Pratyáhára, dháraná, dhyána and samádhi are the last four limbs of astamga [eight-limbed] yoga. - Eds.
    ** Offering of mental colours to the Lord, also known as Guru pújá. - Eds.


    =========

    Which makes me wonder, if Ananda Marga or rather Shrii Shrii Anandamurti saw the need to blend those three practices into one integrated system, then how do people manage who do not blend those three approaches? Perhaps they go through those stages in different parts of their life or even in different lives as sádhakas?
     
    #16 Marcion, Dec 4, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
  17. Marcion

    Marcion Neohumanism Tantra-Yoga

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    The Stages of Pratyáhára Yoga

    As I mentioned previously, Ananda Marga has harmoniously blended the Shákta, Vaeshnava and Shaeva sádhanás. Of the three, the Shákta sádhaná is the most important, because it is the initial stage of the microcosm's jouney toward the Macrocosm. Progress on this journey is made through pratyáhára yoga. As all spiritual aspirants are aware, the goal of pratyáhára, dháraná, and dhyána is the attainment of samádhi.* Pratyáhára is the conscious endeavour to withdraw the mind from mundane qualities and attractions - easier said than done! The process of varnárghyádán** is in most cases very difficult to perform properly.
    Pratyáhára has four stages: yatamána, vyátireka, ekendriya and vashiikára. Yatamána is a conscious effort to transcend the negative influence of the propensities. Sup-

    -------------
    * Pratyáhára, dháraná, dhyána and samádhi are the last four limbs of astamga [eight-limbed] yoga. - Eds.
    ** Offering of mental colours to the Lord, also known as Guru pújá. - Eds.

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    pose you see one of your colleagues taking a bribe, and think, "Had I not been an Ananda Margi I could have also earned some extra money in this way." This shows that your propensity for greed is not fully controlled, but as you are keen to control it, you have adopted the Ananda Marga way of life. For this conscious effort on your part, you deserve the appellation yatamána.
    In vyátireka, the second stage, some propensities may be controlled at one time, but uncontrolled at another time. Or a person may control physical desire, but suffer from an increase in anger; or may become free from greed for money but will develop a strong desire for name and fame. After delivering an eloquent lecture he or she will say, "All the credit goes to Brahma. It is only by His grace that I could deliver such a lecture", but in his or her heart will think, "What an excellent speech I gave today". This is called vyátireka.
    In the ekendriya stage, the propensities are brought under control, no doubt, but not permanently. In order to exhaust the reactive momenta the propensities sometimes stongly assert themselves, causing one to repent as a result. (Ask yourself whether or not you have experienced this sort of mental torture.) Hence this stage does not represent complete pratyáhára either, because the páshas and ripus [fetters and enemies of the mind] are not fully controlled.
    The páshas and ripus assert themselves through the medium of the mind and the indriyas.* If even one indriya remains uncontrolled, it should be concluded that there is still a worm in the flower of the mind; and a worm-eaten flower cannot be offered to the Lord. Only when all the

    * An indriya is a sensory or motor organ, together with its respective nerves, nerve fluid, and site in the brain. - Eds.

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    indriyas are fully controlled can it be said that the mind is under the complete control of the átman [unit consciousness].

    =========

    Quite a way to go yet. :D
     
  18. Marcion

    Marcion Neohumanism Tantra-Yoga

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    If even one indriya remains uncontrolled, it should be concluded that there is still a worm in the flower of the mind; and a worm-eaten flower cannot be offered to the Lord. Only when all the

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    indriyas are fully controlled can it be said that the mind is under the complete control of the átman [unit consciousness]. This is the real pratyáhára, or vashiikára siddhi, for it means Prakrti has merged into the Supreme Cognitive Principle. This is called Krshnasharana [taking the shelter of Krishna] in devotional psychology.
    The importance of pratyáhára sádhaná is immense, because it involves a harmonious blending of knowledge, devotion and action. In this sádhaná, the Shákta bháva finds its consummation, and the latent devotion starts sprouting. This sprout ultimately develops into the highest Vaeshnava bháva. Shaeva bháva is the path of knowledge. So in social life there is a great need for Sháktas and Vaeshnavas. The pratyáhára yoga with which a Shákta starts rendering service to the world reaches its consummation in the perfect and total service of the Vaeshnava. Pratyáhára begins with vigorous action and culminates in selfless devotion.
    Vashiikára siddhi is only attained by devotees. Even Shankaracharya [the great protagonist of jinána] admitted, Mokshakárana samagryám bhaktireva gariyasii - "Of all the ways to attain salvation the way of bhakti or devotion is the greatest."
    If knowledge is likened to the elder brother of a family, devotion is his younger sister, happily holding her brother's hand as she walks beside him. The little sister cannot walk alone, nor would it be safe for her to do so, but when she walks merrily along with her brother, people look lovingly at her and speak sweet words to her. They will probably ask that elder brother, "Is she your little sister?"

    Vaeshákhii Púrnimá 1958, Ranchi
    Subhásita Samgraha Part 7

    ==========

    I will have to read that whole talk again in one go to let it sink in better.
     
    #18 Marcion, Dec 7, 2018 at 6:33 AM
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018 at 6:41 AM
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