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The Difficulties of the Spiritual Seeker : 1.

The Teachings of the Bhagavadgita 

Spiritual life is the greatest of adventures. In that way we can compare it to a battle. It involves careful preparation, as in a war. And, when you engage yourself in a war you do not go there merely to get defeated and thrown out; the intention is to win victory. So the practice of yoga, which is the greatest project that a person can embark upon in life, is in a way comparable to a battle or an encounter, for the purpose of which one has to make an almost infinite set of preparations – for days and months and years perhaps – as a culmination of one's existence here, as the fruit of the tree of one's whole life in this world. Hence, great care and caution has to be exercised. In a hurry, in a bustle and in a state of emotional enthusiasm, we are not supposed to enter into this field called 'life spiritual'. It is not an entering into a new way of life; rather it is an embracing of all life together in your own life. You are not going to live an isolated, queer type of cave life psychologically, but you are going to broaden your outlook and your vision of things, so that all life is included in your own life and your life becomes commensurate with every other kind of living.

You have heard that yoga is a union with something. It is a union no doubt, but with what? There are endless answers to this question. With what are you going to unite yourself in that you call yoga? The difficulty in answering this question arises due to a misrepresentation of facts by our senses, which indoctrinate us into the belief that we are independent contents of this world – each person is independent and perhaps one has nothing to do with the other, finally. I have touched upon this theme to some extent yesterday. But the truth is that you are not so independent as you imagine yourself to be. You have a freedom which is constrained by the operation of a universal law. A kind of violation of this universal principle is perpetrated every day in our life when we cling to things as externals, either in love or in hatred. Whether you like a thing or dislike a thing, your attitude towards the thing is almost identical from the point of view of pure psychology. Like and dislike are two aspects of a single attitude which is totally erroneous. Life is a continuity and is not constituted of bits or shreds, with no connection with one another. It is impossible to define life, because it is itself a definition of itself. There are certain things which cannot be defined in words other than the ones we use to designate them or indicate them – 'life', 'consciousness', even 'mind' are indefinable peculiarities.

Swami Krishnananda
To be continued ...

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The Scriptures :

1. The Srutis : g)-2

g ).The Vedangas-2.

Vyakarana is Sanskrit grammar. Panini’s books are most famous. Without knowledge of Vyakarana, you cannot understand the Vedas.

Chhandas is metre dealing with prosody.

Nirukta is philology or etymology.

Jyotisha is astronomy and astrology. It deals with the movements of the heavenly bodies, planets, etc., and their influence in human affairs.

Kalpa is the method of ritual.

The Srauta Sutras which explain the ritual of sacrifices belong to Kalpa.

The sulba Sutras, which treat of the measurements which are necessary for laying out the sacrificial areas, also belong to Kalpa.

The Grihya Sutras which concern domestic life, and the Dharma Sutras which deal with ethics, customs and laws, also belong to Kalpa.

Swami Sivananda
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All About Bharatiya Sanatana Dharmam otherwise known as Hinduism : Ch-4.5.



5. Ethical Codes In Hinduism :

Hindu ethics is superb. Hinduism lays great emphasis on ethical discipline.

Yama (self-restraint) and Niyama (religious observances or canons) are the foundations of Yoga and Vedanta.

Undeveloped persons cannot think for themselves.

Hence rules of conduct have been laid down by great sages or seers like Manu and Sage Yajnavalkya.

Lord Krishna says in the Gita: “Let the scriptures be thy authority in determining what ought to be done or what ought not to be done.

Knowing what hath been declared by the ordinances of the scriptures, thou oughtest to work in this world” (Ch. XVI-24).

The Smritis written by Yajnavalkya, Manu and other sages distinctly prescribe the rules of conduct.

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Swami Sivananda
To be continued ..

All About Bharatiya Sanatana Dharmam otherwise known as Hinduism : Ch-3.15-4.3.


15. The Law of Spiritual Economics-4.2.

4. Use and Abuse of the Caste System -3.

At the present moment, the Varnasrama system exists in name only.

It has to be rebuilt properly.

Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and Sudras, who have fallen from their ideals and who are not doing their respective duties, must do their respective duties properly.

They must be educated on right lines.

They must raise themselves to their original lofty level.

The sectarian spirit must die.

They should develop a new understanding heart of love and devotion, with a spirit of co-operation, sacrifice and service.

Next : 5. The Four Asramas

Swami Sivananda
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