Let us THINK : By Dr.King (Author of books on Yoga,Spirituality,Gardening...)
Summary: This is a regular weekly podcast on topics relating to Yoga, Meditation,Spirituality and many stimulating thoughts.
Quick links Pause In the previous episode, we started with the story of Yajnyavalkya and his scholarly wife Maitreyi. Though Yajnyavalkya wanted to part with all his wealth and give it to his two wives, one of them namely Maitreyi was not interested in wealth. She asked him a profound question.
Quick links Pause Of course you do. All of us love our husband, wife, children, parents and so on. Whatever we do is ultimately for their sake. But did you notice something? We love our spouse, our son, our daughter, our friend, our mate, and so on and so forth. In all these relations what do we have in common? What else, it is we! We love someone because that someone is related to us in some way. Not only related, but there is something that we get from them. That is the reason why we all love someone. Or else we won’t. So it is for our own sake that we love someone else.
Pause We started this Upanishadic story of Nachiketa with a question namely “what happens when someone dies?”. That is how even Nachiketa started. That was just a curiosity question. But Nachiketa did not stop there. He kept asking questions, kept pondering. He rejected all that that may not lead him to the answers he was keen on getting. He rejected all worldly pleasures for the sake of the answer to his question. He listened to Yama, the Lord of death who told him the real “story” behind death and the secret behind immortality. Nachiketa finally attained the ultimate reality.
Quick links Pause Many religions promise better life after you die. But this Upanishadic story that we have been discussing in the past several weeks says that it is possible to attain the ultimate realization in this life itself! Interestingly, it says even the spirits or angels cannot do that which you and only you can do it as a human being. So it advises you not to miss this great opportunity.
Pause In today’s book talk I am going to discuss about my recent audio book “Mysterious experiences : A peek beyond the confines of the Mind”. Swami Vivekananda once mentioned some mysterious experience he used to have in his younger days, I.e, before he became a Sanyasi. Whenever he closed his eyes before he slept, he could see a bright light in front of him. But swamiji never felt that that was something unusual. He thought everyone else experiences the same way!
Quick links Pause We were talking about the endless cycle of births and deaths that a soul goes through and the emphasis in all ancient schools of Indian thought on the liberation from that cycle. But the birth does give us an opportunity to enjoy this world!. In that case, why were these schools against enjoyment?
Quick links Pause In the previous episode we saw how ancient Indians were not against enjoyment completely. They only counseled for a guarded indulgence. They forbade promiscuity that can be a nuisance to the society in addition to harming the individual. In that case, why not an individual keep taking births after birth, enjoying the world, of course in a well disciplined way? Why should one bother about ultimate realization and emancipation?
Pause In the previous episode we were talking about the “Chariot allegory” that is used by the Upanishadic story that we have been discussing. The allegory says that our body is the chariot and our soul is the rider who uses this chariot. It also says that death is the event of this soul disembarking the chariot. Now the question is “what happens when this rider disembarks?”. Obviously, the body gradually disintegrates. But what happens to the rider who has stepped down? Does he also perish?
Pause In the previous episode we were talking about the chariot allegory. Allegories are visual depiction of some abstract ideas. The Nachiketa’s story we have been discussing for the last few weeks uses a chariot allegory to explain what we actually are and what relation we have with our body. It says that our body is like a chariot.
Pause Many of us equate ‘us’ to our body. ‘We’ means ‘our body’. That is exactly the way even the modern science sees it. But ancient Indians did not think that way. Ancient Indian Sankhya philosophers for example, put forth an elaborate reasoning to show why this view is meaningless. They did not expect you to blindly accept their view. But they gave reasons using which you too can logically arrive at the same conclusion.
Pause The Upanishadic story of boy Nachiketa that we started with, opened up a fundamental question, namely “what happens when we die?”. Actually, that was only a pretext. The main aim of this story, like all stories in the Upanishads, is to talk about ultimate truth and ways to attain that truth. But let us move systematically to that end, as the Upanishad does.
Pause Many of us are so busy that we hardly have any time to die ;-) But death and tax spare none. Though it is difficult to prove that death is inevitable, that happens to be one of the truths all of us seem to accept. We all die one day. What happens when that inevitable thing finally comes about? Have you ever wondered?
Pause In the previous episode, we started with the story of Nachiketa. This boy marched to abode of death just to keep his father’s word.
Pause After spending several months with the herd of cattle, our boy Satyakama finally returned to his teacher. What happened then? Did the teacher teach him at least then?
Pause In the previous post, I described how various creatures – bull, fire, swan and a waterbird – all came one after the other and tried to teach Satyakama something. But what exactly were they trying to convey?