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 saw how father Uddalaka traces the origin of all material things to three basic components – Satva, Rajas and Tamas. Various combinations of these three basic constituents result in various material forms that we see around us. Our worldly science seems to say that material things are everything. But Upanishads disagree.
Quick links Pause As I said earlier, worldly science tries to deal with the diverse things that exist in this world around us. In contrast, spiritual science tries to see the unified view of this apparently diverse world. The main contribution of the Upanishads is to declare that the apparent diversity is only superficial. Underneath this diversity, there is unity. So the story we have been discussing, namely the story of father Uddalaka and son Swetaketu, starts off with the fundamental question of “how did this world come into existence?”
Quick links Pause In the last book talk I talked about my book “How does the Mind work?”. That was about our current scientific understanding of the Mind. Interest in this most complex and intriguing entity namely the Mind, is not something new. Thousands of years ago the Greek philosophers and their counterparts in India researched this wonderful subject albeit with almost no gadgets that we have today. Though many modern researchers would like to dismiss their finds as mere speculations, anyone who has studied their contributions probably would think twice before arriving at such hasty conclusions.
Quick links Pause There was this great sage Uddalaka who had a son by name Swetaketu. Probably this boy was a bit too much pampered. So unlike other boys who normally went to school, this boy did not, even when he reached an age of 12 years. In ancient India, a Brahmin boy was supposed to join the school at an early age of say 5 to 8. If he did not, he was ridiculed as ‘Brahma bandhu’ - someone who merely calls himself as Brahmin, but not actually so.
Quick links Pause We often use the word ‘science’ to mean a discipline that predominantly emphasizes on objectivity, verifiability, and precision. These three aspects are the corner stones of all our scientific endeavor. Look at closely what we do in science. We try to differentiate things from one another, understand each of them distinctly, and use that knowledge to better interact with the world around, live a better life and so on. Ultimately, science aims at making our lives more secure and comfortable. I call it worldly science.
Quick links Pause We started our story with Maitreyi asking her husband Yajnyavalkya about the way one can get eternal peace. Yajnyavalkya first explained how our individual identities are only transient. These identities are given by our body and Mind. Mistaking the body/Mind as we is the root cause of our problems. It is the body/Mind that masks the real We.
Quick links Pause In the previous episode, the sage Yajnyavalkya was saying that the different things we see around, are all one in reality. The differences are only superficial. If we look deep, we see that everything is one. Yajnyavalkya gives couple of examples to explain what he is saying. He says
Quick links Pause In today’s book talk I am going to discuss about my book “How does the Mind work?”. Let me start with an interesting story about some well known incident that happened way back in 1950s. That incident totally revolutionized the way we understand our Mind.
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?