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Rare Quotes from a Rare Master
by Swami Krishnananda

2. Inspiring Thoughts to Ponder

Among experiences in the world, there are what are known as shocks which bring about a sudden change in one's person, more rapidly than any other events regarded mostly as 'normal'. The speciality of a shock is that it is always unexpected and comes as a bolt from the blue, tearing the mind and ravaging the emotions. It affects the nerves and makes them shrink, slowing down their function. It impairs the physiological system and can upset the liver and the stomach. The reason is that the personality is unfamiliar with many truths which the world holds within its bosom and which get released into action only when the time has come. The world does not care whether we want to understand it or not. It shall pound us under its unceasing wheels.

One is born alone, and one dies alone. Hence one should live also alone. This art of living alone is Yoga. Life is the process of the flight of the 'alone' to the 'Alone'.

Narayana and Nara meditate together and are inseparables; which means that God and man coalesce in every action and form a union in which Karma becomes Karma Yoga, and that spiritual meditation is not merely a human effort but involves Divine interference. Though we may lift our arms to touch a magnetic field, when once we raise it near it is pulled by the force of the field and here our effort ceases and we are under the influence of another power altogether.

The more does one become fit for the practice of Advaita Vedanta, the less is the consciousness of body and world around. Advaita and body-consciousness do not go together.

All that we read and think does not get assimilated into the feeling of the heart. That is why a postgraduate scholar who is dead is not reborn with the same amount of knowledge. That which has gone deep into the heart becomes a part of our life. The rest is only a wind that blows over the surface of our mind.

Evil sets in the moment we forget the Presence of God everywhere. This is the beginning of the real Kaliyuga, and Kritayuga reigns when the consciousness of His Presence is vigilantly maintained.

There are no five Koshas covering the Atman like five boxes inverted one over the other hiding a flame within. The Koshas are not compartmentalised boxes but the graded density in which the desires of the mind obscure the vision spiritual.

If omnipresence, omniscience and omnipotence are to be pressed into one being and this being is to be focussed into a jet of action, what will be the result? This is what happened when Sri Krishna lived as a Person in this world. This is also the difficulty which people feel in writing a biography of Krishna, for, to be all-comprehensive is a difficult thing for the mind to think.

You are alone with your God, and there is no one around you. This is the truth. Rest your mind on this, and attain peace.

That God helps those who look to Him for help is a fact that is not only incontrovertible but is visible before our eyes every day as the sole reality and solace of our life. It is said that this divine help comes even when it is not summoned, for, naturally, the eternal law shall operate whether one is conscious of it or not. However, conscious meditation on the omnipresent God does necessarily manifest tangible results which bring a joy the mind cannot contain.

The being of man extends from the earth right up to the Absolute. Thus man touches all levels of manifestation in the Universe. But his eyes are shut to certain realities and open only to some. He is conscious only of the earth-plane and oblivious of the other aspects of reality. This happens due to the restrictive operations of the senses and the intellect which are always confined to the shackles of space and time. This is Samsara and the bondage of consciousness as Jiva.

God's Grace is a powerful tonic which can correct the heart, lungs, stomach and the general condition of the body. This Divine Grace is drawn through meditation on God.

Human understanding is a handmaid of sensory judgments and the social customs or human ethical values which are mostly the standards with which life is interpreted are based on such understanding. Just as a judge who is himself involved in the case he is supposed to examine cannot be expected to pass a correct judgment of the case, the human understanding, with all its boasts of science and rationality, being a party in the case set up in world-experience, cannot interpret this experience rightly, for it cannot stand apart from the object of judgment as an impartial witness or judge.

The universe is a graded series of vibrations which appear to be grouped into configurations of matter in a spatio-temporal relation. When these relations vanish the whole cosmos gets suffused into a unity of structure and being, a spiritual radiance which is inseparable from the One Self.

The thought of an object intensely entertained causes a proportionate stimulation in the body of the object by means of a certain affection of its psychic substance. There is, thus, a reciprocal action set up by the generation of any sustained thought of the object. The various things thought in various incarnations create a network of experiences which is called Samsara.

Rama was born in Uttarayana, Krishna in Dakshinayana; Rama was born in Shukla Paksha, Krishna in Krishna Paksha; Rama was born at midday, Krishna at midnight; Rama belonged to Surya Vamsha, Krishna to Chandra Vamsha; Rama was born in Punarvesu Star which is Sattvika, Krishna in Rohini Star which is Rajasa; Rama was Maryada-Purushottama, Krishna was Lila-Purushottama.

As the path of the birds in the sky or of fish in water is not easily traceable, the way of the sage of wisdom is unintelligible to the human intellect. Outer conduct is no sign of the nature of the inner illumination.

Many a time sufferings come not because man has done some visible or reasonable wrong but because he is placed under awkward conditions where he finds himself often 'between the devil and the deep sea'. These sufferings may look most irrational and may threaten to prove the non-existence of any such ruling power as God. But this is only proof that man cannot understand what is beneath his own skin and that there are 'more things in heaven and on earth, which our philosophies cannot dream of'.

Whether man is different from God, a part of God, or one with God can be known from the relation of the dreaming individual to the waking individual. The relation is similar.

The rivers do not flow for their own benefits; trees do not eat their own fruits; cows part with their milk for others' good; the life of a saint is not for himself alone.

If the ocean were to get thirsty, no amount of rainwater falling upon it can quench its longing. Likewise no object of the world in all its totality can quench the thirst of the Infinite in man.

Desires are like electric shocks which influence the whole body at once though it is only a part of the body that touches a live wire. A particular sense comes in contact with an object of desires and stirs the whole system in such a way that for the time being the entire person gets unified with the desireful thought. The hand which receives a shock feels a heaviness due to no weighty object but due only to the thrill of the current passing through the body. Likewise, the stimulated condition of the mind due to desire beholds beauty and value in things, though these are not really there.

The obsession of there being persons outside with whom we have to deal constantly does not leave us easily. The mind cannot believe or take in the idea that it is with God Himself that we have to deal everyday. His many forms stare at us, smile at us, tempt us and often threaten us. This is the divine play man cannot hope to grasp through the intellect.