Spiritualsalvation’s Blog

Shravano means listening — the art of divine listening.
And that’s what meditation is. If one can learn how to listen rightly, one has learned the deepest secret of meditation. People hear but they don’t listen. Hearing is one thing — listening, altogether different; they are worlds apart. Hearing is a physical phenomenon; you hear because you have ears. Listening is a spiritual phenomenon. You listen when you have attention, when your inner being joins with your ears.
And once you have learned how to join your inner being with your ears, you can join it with any sense. It can be joined with the eyes or with the nose or with the sense of touch or taste, and slowly slowly you can join it with all your senses simultaneously. In that moment, God is available. But it is easier to start with the ears… particularly for you it will be easier.

So start on a journey of divine listening.

Listen to the sounds of the birds, the wind passing through the trees, the river in flood, the ocean roaring and the clouds, the people, the far-away train passing by, the cars on the road — each sound has to be used. And listen without any imposition on what you listen to — don’t judge; the moment you judge, listening stops. If you say ‘good’ or ‘bad’, ‘I like it,’ ‘I don’t like it,’ you are no more listening; you have taken an attitude, and whenever one takes an attitude attention disappears.
Attention lives only when you have not made a conclusion.
The really attentive person remains without conclusions; he never concludes about anything. Because life is a process — nothing ever ends. Non attentive persons can conclude; the attentive will hesitate to make conclusions. Conclusion is possible only when everything has come to an end, and nothing ever comes to an end: it goes on and on forever.

So listen without conclusion.
Just listen — alert, silent, open and receptive.

Just be there, totally with the sound that surrounds you.

And you will be surprised: one day suddenly the sound is there, you are listening, and yet there is silence. It is true silence that happens through sound. Escaping to the mountains is of no help; that silence is false. The real silence has to happen in a crowded place, surrounded by all kinds of sounds and yet silent within, utterly silent.

This silence then becomes the door to God.

Meditation is nothing but withdrawing all the barriers — thoughts, emotions, sentiments — which create a wall between you and existence. The moment they drop, you suddenly find yourself in tune with the whole; not only in tune, you really find you are the whole.
When a dewdrop slips from a lotus leaf into the ocean it does not find that it is part of the ocean, it finds it is the ocean. And to find it is the ultimate goal, the ultimate realization. There is nothing beyond it.
Buddha, dropped all rituals, and single-pointedly insisted on meditation.
Nobody should stand between the individual and existence. No prayer, no priest; like you alone are enough to face the sunrise, you don’t need somebody to interpret for you what a beautiful sunrise it is.

You are here, every individual is here, the whole existence is available.

All that you need is just to be silent and listen to existence.

The word meditation makes it look heavier. It is better to call it just a simple, innocent silence and existence opens all its beauties to you.
And as it goes on growing, you go on growing, and there comes a moment when you have reached the very peak of your potentiality — you can call it Buddhahood, Enlightenment, Godliness, whatever — it has no name.

Advertisements

I asked God to take away my habit. God said, No.
It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up.

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole. God said, No.
His spirit is whole, his body is only temporary

I asked God to grant me patience. God said, No.
Patience comes from the trials of life;
it isn’t granted, it is learned.

I asked God to give me happiness. God said, No.
I give you blessings; Happiness is up to you.

I asked God to spare me pain. God said, No.
Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares
and brings you closer to me.

I asked God to make my spirit grow. God said, No.
You must grow on your own! ,
but if you are sincere I will guide you in your growth.

I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life. God said, No.
I will give you life, so that you may enjoy all things.

I asked God to help me LOVE others, as much as He loves me.
God said…Ahhhh, finally you have the idea.

Let us focus our attention on anger and its management in modern day. 

Musical and unmusical notes both arise from the same strings, although they appear to be absolutely contradictory and the results of both of them are contrary. One of them leads you into a state of bliss and the other one leads you into a state of sorrow, but the strings and the instrument are the same.
Anger arises in man’s heart if it is not balanced, systematic and organized. If the same heart becomes balanced then the energies which appear as anger start appearing as forgiveness. Forgiveness is a transformation of anger.

But until now we have lived with the illusion that feelings like these are contradictory and if we destroy one then the other will develop. This is absolutely wrong. There can be no teaching more dangerous than this. It is not psychological. It is very unintelligent. Forgiveness does not arise through the destruction of anger; it is attained through the transformation of anger. Forgiveness is not destruction of anger, it is anger becoming tuned and musical.

Flowers will certainly blossom with fertilizer, but not by just piling it around the house. The fertilizer has to undergo a change. It must enter the plants through the roots and then one day the foul smell of the fertilizer will turn into the fragrance of flowers. But if somebody simply piles fertilizer around his house he will become mad with the stink, and if he throws the fertilizer away, his flowers will become lifeless and pale.

The transformation of the fertilizer can change a foul smell into fragrance.
This very chemistry, is called yoga, religion. The art of transforming whatever is futile in life into something significant is religion. But we are committing suicide in the name of religion, we are not transforming our consciousness. We teach children to discard certain qualities, and the only result of discarding these qualities will be that the child will suppress whatever we call bad, he will suppress it in himself. A suppressed heart will be weak and its strings will not be rightly tuned.
And this suppression will happen in the brain. When you tell children that anger is bad, this teaching will not reach the heart. The heart has no ears to listen with, no words to think with. This teaching will go into the brain and the brain cannot change the heart — so now a problem is created.

The brain centre then thinks that anger is wrong, but the heart centre doesn’t. It has no connection with the brain. So, every day you become angry, and every day you regret it and decide not to be angry again. But the next morning you wake up and again you get angry. You are surprised because you have decided so many times not to get angry, yet it still happens!
You don’t know that the centre which feels angry is different from the brain centre. The centre which decides, ‘I will not be angry’, is absolutely different from the centre which becomes angry. They are two totally different centres. So decisions and repentance do not have any effect on your anger. You go on being angry and you go on regretting it and you go on feeling upset about it. You do not understand that these two centres are so separate, that the decision taken by one does not reach the other at all.

The heart centre works in certain ways and needs certain things to develop. If the mind interferes in that centre then it will become disturbed, chaotic.

The first thing certainly is that anger should be transformed — but it should not be destroyed.

 

Does one need to develop anger?

One has certainly to develop anger — because anger can one day be transformed and become forgiveness. Otherwise forgiveness can never arise.

Energies are always neutral; there is only a change of directions.

If there is a lot of energy already it can flow in any other direction, but if there is no energy there is nothing to go anywhere! What will go?
All the energies should develop rightly. The very idea of moral teaching has turned man into a very miserable and impotent being.

 

A very famous Lama has written in his autobiography, “When I was five years old, I was sent to a university to study. At that time I was just five years old. In the evening my father told me that the next morning I would be sent to the university. And he said, ‘Neither I nor your mother will be there to say goodbye to you.

Your mother will not be there because there will be tears in her eyes, and if you see her crying then you will go on looking back at her and there has never been a man in our family who looks back. I also will not be there because after getting on the horse if you look back even once, then you will be my son no longer, then the doors of this house will be closed to you forever. The servants will say farewell to you tomorrow morning. Remember, do not look back after getting on the horse. There has never been a person in our family who has looked back.'”
Such an expectation from a child of five years old! The five-year child was woken up at four o’clock in the morning and put on a horse. The servants bade him farewell. As he left even a servant said, “My child! Be careful! You can be seen until the crossroad, your father is watching from upstairs. Do not look back before the crossroad. All the children in this house have departed this way but no one has looked back.” And the servant also told him, “The place where you are being sent is not an ordinary university. The greatest men of the country have studied at that university. There will be a very difficult entrance examination. So, whatever happens, try in every way to pass the entrance examinations, because if you fail there will be no place for you in this house.”
Such harshness with a five year old child! He sat on the horse.

In his autobiography he wrote that as he sat on the horse, “tears started flowing from my eyes, but how could I look back to the house, to my father? I was leaving for the unknown. I was so small, but I could not look back, because nobody in my house had ever looked back. If my father should see it then I would be banned from my house for ever. So I controlled myself and looked forward. I never looked back.”
Something is being created in this child. Some will power, some life-energy, is being awakened in this child which can strengthen his navel system. This father is not hard; this father is very loving. And all the mothers and fathers who seem to be loving are wrong, they are weakening all the inner centres. No strength, no determination is being created within.
The child reached the school. He was a five-year-old child — it could not be known what his capacities would be. The principal of the school said, “The entrance test here is difficult. Sit near the door with your eyes closed and do not open them until I come back — whatever happens. This is your entrance test. If you open your eyes then we will send you back, because one who does not have even this much strength in himself to sit with his eyes closed for a while cannot learn anything. The door to learning has closed. Then you are not worthy. Go and do something else.” All this to a small child of five years.

He sat near the entrance with his eyes closed. Flies started disturbing him, but he knew that he must not open his eyes because once he opened his eyes the matter would be over. The other children were coming in and out of the school, somebody started pushing him, somebody started disturbing him, but he was determined not to open his eyes, else the whole thing would be spoiled. And he remembered his servants telling him that if he failed the entrance test then his father’s house was closed to him forever.
One hour passed, two hours passed — he sat with closed eyes afraid that even by mistake he might open them. There were many temptations to open his eyes: the road was busy, children were running around, flies were harassing him, some children were pushing him and throwing pebbles at him. He wanted to open his eyes to see if his master had come. One hour passed, two hours passed, three hours, four hours — he sat there for six hours!
After six hours the master came and said, “My child, your entrance test is over. Come in, you will become a youth of strong will. You have the determination within you to do whatsoever you want. To sit for five to six hours with closed eyes at this age is a big thing!” The master hugged him and said, “Don’t be worried, those children were told to harass you. They were told to disturb you a little so that you would be tempted to open your eyes!”
The Lama wrote, “At that time I thought I was being treated very harshly, but now at the end of my life I am full of gratefulness towards those people who were hard on me.

They awakened something in me, some dormant strength became active.”

Man has always lived in war – which in this day and age has taken on a new face – Terrorism.

Out of three thousand years, only seven hundred years were not of war — and not in one stretch. Sometimes for one day there was no war on the earth, sometimes for a few days; otherwise the war has continued. War is the greatest thing that man has remained involved with. Destruction seems to be very very attractive; killing and murder seems to be the goal of the human mind. In three thousand years, man has fought five thousand wars. It is not something that is happening today, it has been always there – because man is ill. The war is not the disease itself. Peace is missing in the heart — hence the war or terrorism exists.

The new war mongers are not at all religious, in fact they are murderers in disguise, living out their sick fantasies. Cowards who enjoy killing and use religion or politics as an excuse. The only place for them in society is beneath the ground, on a funeral pyre or in a prison. Spaces that are reserved for the dead or criminals. Where is courage when defenceless innocents are slaughtered.

Which God supports such actions?

Freedom frighters have a great deal of courage and they don’t kill women and children. Punjab’s (India) Shaheed Bhagat Singh and Maharashtra’s Chhatrapati Shivaji come easily to mind. Jerusalem has been called the heart of the world, apparently, because it is claimed that it is the source where Divine energy flows from heaven to earth. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all consider Jerusalem to be on an elevated spiritual level. To some, however, Jerusalem has come to take on a symbolic significance representing all that is wrong in the world.

To me it seems to represent indifference to fellow human beings in the name of religion. This battle now being fought in many parts of the world where, almost always, the victims of this battle have nothing to do with Judaism, Christianity or Islam. Religions that have claimed to be so great and peaceful have not stopped fighting each other since the crusades.

‘Greatness’ is a futile claim if after centuries they cannot even live in peace and be able to treat the next person as an equal. Are we really that unequal in God’s eyes? I feel that this situation is a human creation helped by religion. We have created a society with a mad rush for wealth, power, politics; we go on supporting – wealth, power, politics – and then we ask why there is no peace? Where there is ambition, corruption and greed are two of the logical consequences. The whole basic structure that encourages this behaviour needs to be examined. The greed that influences unnecessary excesses needs to be checked.

Ambition even becomes manifest around a so-called saint. He will incite you to ambition in terms of comparison; he will say, “Become better than others. Be good so that you will go to heaven and be the beloved of the divine while others will be tortured in the fires of hell.” The poison of ambition can easily be used in an attempt to make a person good. Do not define yourself by those who are behind, because no one is behind; or by those who are ahead, because no one is ahead.

Do not compare yourself with anybody.

You are alone.

Only you are like you; no one else is like you.

Just be what you are.

That doesn’t mean not to be active. Be active, but only because of yourself, not in comparison to others. Flower by yourself, not in comparison to others. With this attitude, when the mind is completely unmoving, something of the divine will lure you. Perhaps then we can look towards peace. I do feel ‘changed’ religions of today and some of their methods to ‘convert’ others is one reason for this disparity in peace. Why do we feel the need to either ‘convert’ or even encourage religious membership, sometimes forcefully or sometimes by exploiting the needs of others. Under the guise of spreading the name of God, the custodians of religions have acted out their personal ambitions. Very few traces of Spirituality remain in today’s religions. The two ought to walk hand in hand but unfortunately the creature known as man has had a lot of time to ensure that there is complete confusion over the two.

To me Religion and Spirituality denote two different concepts. Religion is composed of rituals, customs and dogmas surviving on the basis of fear and blind faith. Established in the name of God, a religion is an institution that requires a growing numbers of followers for its expansion.

A religion discriminates against human beings who do not belong to it and condemns their way of living and being.

Spirituality does not discriminate against anyone; it leads a human being beyond the realms of man-made, institutionalised dictums. Instead of creating fear of God, it helps us to find God in our hearts, not in an anthropomorphic form, but as the absolute and Universal one in whom all beings and all things can reside in perfect harmony.

Religion may inspire one to build a fragile, mortal home for God;  Our so called temples,mosques and churches…..

Spirituality helps one to recognise the immortal shrine in our heart.

All the great religions of the world have evolved out of the inner experiences of sages. The truths discovered by the sages were passed down and teachings written in scriptures. Then the manipulative man added his own agenda to the scriptures and twisted the truth. In my opinion, a religion is not a religion if it asserts its superiority over other faiths and deems other faiths inferior. In fact we should only practice those aspects of any religion which help you grow without hurting others. Today world religions have been divided into numerous sects and cults. The branches of these religions have become extremely rigid and have separated themselves from one another. Spirituality is that which leads humanity towards self-fulfilment. It is the invisible force that helps individuals resolve their differences and binds them together. Today we desperately need a religion that imparts equal importance to all human beings, regardless of race, creed or colour.

We need a religion that can guide humanity to achieve peace and happiness now and for the future. Such a religion would qualify to be a religion for all of us. That religion would help Hindus, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and Jews alike. Religion must meet its prime goal of loving all and excluding none. Certainly, religion must allow no room for hatred and jealousy. Religion must lead humanity from diversity to unity; it should remove inequality. Our society has been shattered into pieces and religion is to be blamed. If the custodians of religion were enlightened, the whole of humanity would have been enlightened by now. Almost every human being subscribes to some belief or follows some religion yet, the public at large is suffering from ignorance, inequality and injustice. The custodians of religions have not allowed qualitative changes to take place in society. Because of ego, narrow-mindedness and selfishness, they have propagated their own beliefs. They teach scriptures in their own personal language and from their own prospective. They exploit the ignorance of their followers. The followers are forced to believe that the clergy are representatives of God, that their wishes are the wishes of God. 

 They have taken peace out of everyday living.

They have taken spirituality out of religion.

They have made us unequal in God’s eyes……

Become more loving and more silent.

It is a difficult task. Be loving to others, and when you are alone, be silent.

Start sitting in silence. Whenever you have time just sit silently with closed eyes, doing nothing. It is going to be a difficult task, but if you start, one day you will be able to manage it.

These two things are of great importance:

the gift of Love for others and the gift of silence for yourself.

It will bring great joy to you and one day it will bring God to your door.

God Bless

Detachment is not about external things. We have to remove ourselves completely from worldly beliefs and opinions, and focus silently upon our ideal state. It is the effortless-effort which causes us to flow towards that which we realize without conflict. Detachment does not mean that we give up what few earthly possessions we may have. It means that we must give up possessiveness in ourselves. In fact, as is so often the case with the big issues of spiritual life, detachment involves a paradox. It’s true that those without a lot of clutter in their lives have more time for inner practice. But in the long run, disengaging ourselves from family, possessions, political activism, friendships, and career pursuits can actually drain our inner lives. Engagement with people and places, skills and ideas, money and possessions is what grounds inner practice in reality. Without these external relationships, and the pressure they create, it’s hard to learn compassion; to whittle away at anger, pride, and hardness of heart; to is hard to put spiritual insights into action. We should not use detachment as an excuse not to deal with fundamental issues such as livelihood, power, self-esteem, and relationships with other people. Nor can we make detachment an excuse for indifference, or carelessness, or being passive. Instead, we should practice detachment as a skill. Attach yourself just enough so as not to make detachment difficult. The Bhagavad Gita, deals in great length with the practice of detachment. ‘Krishna’ tells ‘Arjuna’ that acting with detachment means doing the right thing for its own sake, because it needs to be done, without worrying about success or failure. (T.S. Eliot paraphrased Krishna’s advice when he wrote, “For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.”) At the same time, ‘Krishna’ repeatedly reminds ‘Arjuna’ not to cop out of doing his best in the role his destiny demands of him. In a sense, the Bhagavad Gita is one long teaching on how to act with maximum grace while under maximum pressure. The Gita actually addresses many of the questions that we have about detachment, showing, for example, that we are really not supposed to give up our families or our capacity for enjoyment but the tendency to identify with our issues. Detachment is an inner state of calmness and means being uninvolved on the emotional and mental planes. It is definitely not indifference. People who are indifferent do not care about anything, and are not active and initiative. On the other hand, people who possess emotional and mental detachment can be very active and caring, though they accept calmly whatever happens. Such people accept the good and the bad equally, because they enjoy inner balance and peace. If they cannot do or change something, it does not disturb their peace of mind. If they are convinced of the importance of some action, they will pursue it whole-heartedly, and can ignore distractions easily. If they succeed with what they do, that is fine, and if they don’t, they will either try again or forget the matter and move to something else. How many times have you got emotionally involved in something against your will and better judgment? How many times have you got angry, frustrated or disappointed? How many times have your moods swung high and low? Each time you tell yourself that next time you will stay cool and calm, and yet each time you forget what you said. When it comes to personal affairs, it is hard to stay emotionally uninvolved. You get involved, and this is quite natural. Involvement makes life interesting and active. Yet, it is advisable to develop at least some detachment. When you realise that you cannot change the course or sequence of events, accept what is going to happen. You have no control over it anyway. Repetitive thoughts about it will only increase the pain and fuel the feelings of despondency. Detachment is important in daily life, in the pursuit of ambitions and on the spiritual path. In meditation, thoughts will keep coming into your mind. If you get emotionally involved with your thoughts and follow them, you will forget about your meditation and concentration. If you practice detachment it will be easier to ignore the disturbing thoughts. Detachment helps you to stay collected and concentrated. What happens when somebody says to you something that you do not like? You get angry, unhappy or feel insulted. Why? Because you value the other person’s words and opinions more than you value your own thoughts and opinions. You let other’s person’s words and actions influence your happiness, actions and reactions. What happens then? Your happiness and actions become dependant on them. The course of your life is governed by someone else and they may have their own selfish agenda. On the other hand, if you are able to stay detached, you will not be disturbed. You will stay calm. You might even benefit from what they say and you will not have wasted hours thinking about their words. Have you ever thought how much time and energy is wasted every day brooding on useless thoughts and feelings because of the lack of detachment? Much of this anger, frustration, unhappiness, disappointments and fights are due to lack of detachment. One of the ways to develop detachment is through meditation. It is a gradual and automatic process. In meditation one endeavours not to follow the thoughts and feelings that rise. It is a time of a mental and emotional vacation. Meditating day after day develops the habit of staying cool and calm, not only during meditation, but also in all daily life. If you practice any kind of meditation, sooner or later you will start to experience detachment. You will find that you feel and behave in a different way under circumstances that previously raised anger or agitation. You will find that you handle your daily affairs of life in a calm and relaxed way. Real detachment means inner strength, and the ability to function calmly and with full inner control under all circumstances. A detached person is not harassed and hurried, and can do everything with concentration and attention, thus insuring a successful outcome of his actions.

Jesus says, ‘Judge ye not.’ His statement is absolute, with no qualifications. It is categorical. He does not say, ‘Don’t judge wrongly,’ he simply says, ‘Judge ye not.’

Don’t judge at all. He makes no distinction between right judgement and wrong judgement. His statement declares that all judgement is wrong. Judgement as such is wrong.
This is a tremendously powerful statement — and the same is the attitude of Sufism about life. A real man of God has no judgement. He can’t judge. It is impossible for him to judge. Firstly, to judge you need to be an egoist. The ego is a must. Judgement is possible only if you are standing egocentrically. If you have no ego left, who is going to judge? And how? And in comparison to what?

The judgement won’t allow your ego to disappear, it will keep feeding it, will keep strengthening it. So those who judge become very, very egoistic.

We have a certain pattern, a certain idea, transferred to us by our history, by our race, religion, religious texts, our books, our experiences and then with that idea we are prejudiced, with that idea we think we have a PRIORI knowledge of what should be the case. Then we can judge.

Judging takes it for granted that man exists for the rules. That is putting things upside down, that is putting things into complete disorder. Man does not exist for the morals, the morals exist for man. Man is not the means, man is the end. But the moralist always thinks that the rule is more important than the man. The man can be sacrificed for the rule but the rule cannot be sacrificed for the man. The rule becomes more important. This is a very sorry state of affairs. The rule cannot be more important than the man.

‘Judge ye not.’ This statement by Jesus is not only concerned about others. A few people start thinking, ‘Okay, we will not judge others. If somebody is passing and doing something we will say, “We are not concerned. This is his business. Who am I to judge?”‘ Yes, it is possible not to judge others, but if you go on judging yourself it is the same game being played on another plane. First you were judging others, now you start judging yourself — ‘I have done this wrong. I should not have done this. Tomorrow I will improve upon myself. I have to evolve and become spiritual….’ and this and that. You have ideals and you think you have to fulfil them. So you may not judge others but you starting judging  yourself. It is the same. Now you are destructive to yourself.
‘Judge ye not’ simply means ‘judge ye not’ — neither the other nor oneself. Judgement has to disappear. Be without judgement and see what great joy comes to you, what great joy comes to humanity.

 

A part of a Sufi story

 

‘ONE DAY I WAS STANDING ON THE BANK OF THE RIVER WHEN I SAW A MAN SITTING THERE. BESIDE HIM WAS A WOMAN AND BEFORE THEM WAS A WINE-FLASK.
‘I THOUGHT, “IF ONLY I COULD REFORM THIS MAN AND MAKE HIM LIKE I AM INSTEAD OF THE DEGENERATE CREATURE WHICH HE IS.”

 

‘Don’t judge from appearances. Appearance is not the reality. Don’t be deceived by appearances.’
The meaning that is being portrayed by the story above is that whenever you see somebody, what you see is only the outer core, the behaviour. You never see the inner man. Please don’t judge. The inner man may be totally different. Never judge a man by his behaviour. You only see the behaviour.


Hasan of Basra, sees this man (Khijra) sitting with a woman. In Mohammedan countries the faces of the women are covered, so it is very difficult to see whether the woman is old, young, beautiful, ugly. It is difficult. Whether the woman is a woman, that too is difficult.

Then Khijra throws the cloth away from the woman’s face and says, ‘Look, this is my mother. But just by seeing me sitting alone on this bank with a woman, the idea flashed into your mind that I am womanising. And look, this flask has only water in it. The flask gave you the idea that there must be wine in it — “What is this man doing here? Whose woman has he got? What kind of debauchee is he?” A drunkard, a womaniser… all kinds of ideas flashed into your mind. Just seeing something from the outside — is this the way to judge?’


And this is what you are like.

Never judge, because all that you can see is only the appearance.

You only see the surface, the inner man remains hidden.

Unless you are capable of seeing the inner man, don’t judge.