Thursday, June 03, 2004

Conflict - Call it The Paradox of Life ...

The question of who is the greater - one who renounces everything or one who struggles through the worldly affairs bearing all the pain as a result of attachments.
I feel taking up either with total sincerity is a tough proposition - the mind tends to waver at times in times of crisis and mental anxiety.

There are three levels of satisfaction and comfort that are possible
- One is physical comfort and satisfaction of the senses
- The next is intellectual comfort and satisfaction (for the mind)
- and the third is spiritual contemplation and growth ...

Now depending on the person, one of the above holds sway and either the Sattvic, Rajasic or Tamasic tendencies take precedence and mould the nature of man.

For a person it may so happen that a job/work/profession satisfies all physical needs but not the intellectual, thus causing a mental agony and misery that he is not using the intellect and letting it rust ...

But spiritual growth can happen simultaneously as one of the swamis at The Ramakrishna Mission was telling me. Normal day to day life and spiritual growth are not contradictory and in conflict but can smoothly go hand in hand given that the spiritual aspirant has the right focus and is keen to lead a pure life.

But I hold on to view that the one who gives up everything is far superior than the one who prefers to struggle in the quagmire of this world remaining in the loop of life and death longer. Since the one principal goal of life is to become one with that absolute - the Sat Chit Ananda - its all a part of the cycle - life and death and life again as the vicious loop continues.

Breaking out of this loop - that is true freedom !


Garden City - IT Capital - Silicon City - Those sobriquets are dying and dying fast ...
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  1. I believe all these philosophical theories exist because we fear death. The thought of not being part of this world any more is simply frightening. To comfort the mind that it's current existence is not the last and to keep the mind focussed on it's current have all these karmic theories. I don't want to believe what philosophers have said about life. After all they were people like us. They could be wrong. I want to find out myself.

  2. The previous comment on karmic theories was by me. Forgot to leave my name.

  3. And how may I know, do you plan to find this out ?
    If you reject all precedences then you need to discover new ones - there are certain insights that we as the most evolved beings have found through the ancient times with the wisdom of sages and rishis ...
    Can you falsify the facts that they have discovered since ages just like that; without even bothering to give it a try ?
    I would first like to try out/practice and only then accept or reject.

  4. That's a valid point. I did read some books by chinmayananda some years back. Then, probably I was too immature to understand. Have to revisit them now. But what do you say about the first part of my comment?

  5. No I do not see it as the fear of death - I find the fact intriguing that such an evolved mind and body capable of so many thoughts, feelings, perspectives, and actions (human or animal) can just die out and become dust just like that - basically the idea seems totally unjustifiable and absurd. You do whatever you want in life and just escape because you die and then what do you become soil and ash and natural elements ? then what justifies good or evil actions? The impressive yet stunning philosophical concept is that the body is just like a vessel for the mind and its thoughts and karmas that it accumulates - it is this concept of the soul(atman) that carries the accumulated karma forward and gets reborn in the most appropriate womb available ... Dont you think its worth a thought. It has to get explained in the most plausible way. Mind and matter are just two sides of the same coin - even the quantum theory proves that "Kabhi packet/particle(matter) lagta hai, kabhi wave(mind waves) lagta hai". Life and death is an interplay of mind and matter with both being the mirrors of that same whole or Brahman; until you become so pure that you merge with it - is what I have understood; of course through reading books and practice involves many things.
    Have you ever tried meditation ?

  6. I agree that it's not the fear of death, but the absurdity of the whole process of life-death...that leads one to seek an explanation. The concept of soul and accumulated karma is good..but I see one gap. Why is it that I can't remember the incidents in my previous lives(assuming the theory to be correct)? I have heard some stories of people remembering...but there is no way to verify it. Don't you think that if people did remember, then there would be less evil on this planet.


  7. Do we remember every event of our present life ?
    Something that is very interesting is the fact that mental images or feelings can be stored in matter - you capture what you see or feel and it remains in some form in the brain and you may or may not recall it; but it is always there in the finest of forms.

    The brain is destroyed and a new one created right ? That may be the reason why we do not remember things.
    Some people as you said may remember events, also I have read that intense meditation can lead someone to gain insights into past life.
    There is another fact, the rate at which someone acquires knowledge varies from person to person meaning there are certain knowledge base already from previous lives got through experience that makes one acquire faster.
    A new born immediately seeks protection from the mother - why this fear ? this is not instinct but the degraded will or in other words results of past action.

    Also logically we cannot blame someone else for all our failures and this fate thing is nothing but the stored up karma from past lives.

  8. people live in bangalore and curse it, and then they move out to places like Delhi and Mumbai and realize that its the best place they stayed in. So, relax and enjoy it!