False Assumptions About the Atman #96
Just as coming to know of the difference between the physical body and the spiritual soul is a hallmark of early spiritual awakening, so too is recognizing the distinction between the mind and the Atman, the Supreme Self, an obvious sign of advanced spiritual practice. Amazingly, even at high intellectual levels of understanding, beings with substantial philosophical knowledge and devout reli gious understanding are constantly superimposing a host of characteristics over the Transcendent Self. The tendency of living beings assuming forms in all the worlds to put what they know and love the most in place of the Atman is the reason why Nonduality, or Full Enlightenment is rarely obtained. Such subtlemost matters we must leave in the hands of beings like Gaudapada and Swami Vivekananda to explain.
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Occult Powers & the Raincloud of Virtues #107
As the superlative world teacher, Swami Vivekananda, has declared, the spiritual seeker must reject the occult powers when and if they suggest themselves to him during his sadhana stage of life. Otherwise, he will get waylayed, fall off of the true and intended path, and come to inferior modes of living — even to evil doings. It was Sri Krishna who stated, “You will not be able to realize God if you have even one of the eight occult powers.” Considering the declarations of these two luminaries, the wise aspirant will avoid all that smacks of the occult, and rush towards the healing waters of the raincloud of virtues
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Pratibha — Power of Intelligence #8
Few beings alive really know the power of Intelligence, what to speak of its origin within the Mother of Wisdom. The intellect is its vessel, but is only fit to hold its rarified levels if it gets purified by Jnana Yoga. When awakened and flowing, intelligence forms streams of wisdom particles that can destroy obstacles, wake the soul up from maya, and transport the mind into those blissful and inexplicable flights of transcendence called samadhi.
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The Divisions of Atman from the Sri Rama Hrydayam #94
The indivisibility of Divine Reality, Brahman/Atman, is a famous principle in Vedanta, and so is the description of its apparent separations and coverings. This is how nondual Awareness takes on twoness, manifoldness, expansiveness, multiplicity, and duality, all the while remaining unchanged. With Its own maya it covers Itself, like a manta ray burying itself in deep sands on the ocean floor while still remaining the same. And who better to explain such subtle mayic machinations than the Treta Yuga Avatar, Sir Ramachandra, pictured here elucidating these fine philosophical distinctions to Sita and Lakshmana.
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The Evolutes, Characteristics, and Limiting Factors of Maya #110
The Great Master, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, has cautioned spiritual seekers, and all who would remain free of undue attractions and distractions, to study Maya from a distance. For, looking at it up close, the observer is bound to fall into it, like a fascinated creature into quicksand. Another helpful metaphor cites a man camping overnight in a valley that is covered by a fogbank. He imagines all manner of threats and ills all night, but when the sun rises and burns the fog away, he realizes that they were all unreal. Such is the world-bewitching Maya something to keep at arm’s length, as the list of its evolutes and limiting factors on this dharma art wisdom chart reveals.
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The Four Descending Steps of Negligence of Brahman #43
Though mankind’s nature is perfect, or “divine,” living beings do not know and experience It until they have purified the body, mind, and senses and realized the Atman. This can only be accomplished by spiritual practices. Along the way of this overall discipline, forgetfulness of the underlying “Ground of Existence” must be guarded against until remembrance of this inner perfection comes to the fore and becomes natural once again.
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The Four States of Consciousness & Seven Attributes of Turiya #34
The nature of the waking, dreaming, and deep sleep states of humanity has been studied by Indian seers for millennia. They have not just examined it from the waking state, like with wires and machines, but from within dreams and deep sleep, and in meditation of the fourth state beyond these three as well. The result has been the discovery of mankind’s inner nature from wherein all the physical universe has sprung — as projection of mind rather than creation by God. In short, the entire Kingdom of Heaven lies within us (svapna and sushupti), and only a very small and ever changing portion of it lies outside (jagrat).
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The True Meaning of Siddha — Perfection #109
The Sanskrit word, Siddhi, has several meanings, and these have confused the unenlightened ones who as yet uninitiated into the secrets of spiritual life. Some may take it as something to be physically imbibed, like an intoxicant. Others, of metaphysical leanings, may interpret it as meaning occult powers that can bring unusual forces under the control of the seeker of power. But adepts and luminaries know that Siddhi is absolute perfection. This artistic wis dom chart poses two choices, side by side, for the consideration of discerning aspirants everywhere, and in every religion. For much of religion’s downfall can be traced to preoccupation with the occult, with miracles, and with sensationism. There is a better choice, as the teachings of Sankhya Yoga and Vedanta reveal on this dharma chart
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The Two Main Forms of Desire #113
Most novices along the spiritual path — meaning all those who have not attained discrimination between Reality and relativity and renounced that latter — do not yet know that, one, their desires are keeping them from making any substantial progress, and two, that there are desires that are not harmful to spiritual advancement. Reading testaments by great souls, studying the scriptures, and listening to authentic dharma teachers will inform them of this, and also allow them to clarify in their minds which desires are to be fulfilled, and which are to be dissolved via sadhana.
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