Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Sri Ramakrishna on Bound Soul, Renunciation and way to achieve Liberation

"The bound creatures, entangled in worldliness, will not come to their senses at all. They suffer so much misery and agony, they face so many dangers, and yet they will not wake up.

"The camel loves to eat thorny bushes. The more it eats the thorns, the more the blood gushes from its mouth. Still it must eat thorny plants and will never give them up. The man of worldly nature suffers so much sorrow and affliction, but he forgets it all in a few days and begins his old life over again. Suppose a man has lost his wife or she has turned unfaithful. Lo! He marries again.

"Or take the instance of a mother: her son dies and she suffers bitter grief; but after a few days she forgets all about it. The mother, so overwhelmed with sorrow a few days before, now attends to her toilet and puts on her jewelry. A father becomes bankrupt through the marriage of his daughters, yet he goes on having children year after year. People are ruined by litigation, yet they go to court all the same. There are men who cannot feed the children they have, who cannot clothe them or provide decent shelter for them; yet they have more children every year.

"Again, the worldly man is like a snake trying to swallow a mole. The snake can neither swallow the mole nor give it up. The bound soul may have realized that there is no substance to the world — that the world is like a hog plum, only stone and skin — but still he cannot give it up and turn his mind to God.

"I once met a relative of Keshab Sen, fifty years old. He was playing cards. As if the time had not yet come for him to think of God!

"There is another characteristic of the bound soul. If you remove him from his worldly surroundings to a spiritual environment, he will pine awav. The worm that grows in filth feels very happy there. It thrives in filth. It will die if you put it in a pot of rice."

All remained silent.

Vijay: "What must the bound soul's condition of mind be in order to achieve liberation?"

Sri Ramakrishna: "He can free himself from attachment to 'woman and gold' if, by the grace of God, he cultivates a spirit of strong renunciation. What is this strong renunciation? One who has only a mild spirit of renunciation says, 'Well, all will happen in the course of time; let me now simply repeat the name of God.' But a man possessed of a strong spirit of renunciation feels restless for God, as the mother feels for her own child. A man of strong renunciation seeks nothing but God. He regards the world as a deep well and feels as if he were going to be drowned in it. He looks on his relatives as venomous snakes; he wants to fly away from them. And he does go away. He never thinks, 'Let me first make some arrangement for my family and then I shall think of God.' He has great inward resolution.

"Let me tell you a story about strong renunciation. At one time there was a drought in a certain part of the country. The farmers began to cut long channels to bring water to their fields. One farmer was stubbornly determined. He took a vow that he would not stop digging until the channel connected his field with the river. He set to work. The time came for his bath, and his wife sent their daughter to him with oil. 'Father,' said the girl, 'it is already late. Rub your body with oil and take your bath.' 'Go away!' thundered the farmer. 'I have too much to do now.' It was past midday, and the farmer was still at work in his field. He didn't even think of his bath. Then his wife came and said: 'Why haven't you taken your bath? The food is getting cold. You overdo everything. You can finish the rest tomorrow or even today after dinner.' The farmer scolded her furiously and ran at her, spade in hand, crying: 'What? Have you no sense? There's no rain. The crops are dying. What will the children eat? You'll all starve to death. I have taken a vow not to think of bath and food today before I bring water to my field.' The wife saw his state of mind and ran away in fear. Through a whole day's back-breaking labour the farmer managed by evening to connect his field with the river. Then he sat down and watched the water flowing into his field with a murmuring sound. His mind was filled with peace and joy. He went home, called his wife, and said to her, 'Now give me some oil and prepare me a smoke.' With serene mind he finished his bath and meal, and retired to bed, where he snored to his heart's content. The determination he showed is an example of strong renunciation.

"Now, there was another farmer who was also digging a channel to bring water to his field. His wife, too, came to the field and said to him: 'It's very late. Come home. It isn't necessary to overdo things.' The farmer didn't protest much, but put aside his spade and said to his wife, 'Well, I'll go home since you ask me to.' (All laugh.) That man never succeeded in irrigating his field. This is a case of mild renunciation.

"As without strong determination the farmer cannot bring water to his field, so also without intense yearning a man cannot realize God.

Source: Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

Four Classes of Human Beings

"It is said that there are four classes of human beings: the bound, those aspiring after liberation, the liberated, and the ever-perfect.

"This world is like a fishing net. Men are the fish, and God, whose maya has created this world, is the fisherman. When the fish are entangled in the net, some of them try to tear through its meshes in order to get their liberation. They are like the men striving after liberation. But by no means all of them escape. Only a few jump out of the net with a loud splash, and then people say, 'Ah! There goes a big one!' In like manner, three or four men attain liberation. Again, some fish are so careful by nature that they are never caught in the net; some beings of the ever-perfect class, like Narada, are never entangled in the meshes of worldliness. Most of the fish are trapped; but they are not conscious of the net and of their imminent death. No sooner are they entangled than they run headlong, net and all, trying to hide themselves in the mud. They don't make the least effort to get free. On the contrary, they go deeper and deeper into the mud. These fish are like the bound men. They are still inside the net, but they think they are quite safe there. A bound creature is immersed in worldliness, in 'woman and gold', having gone deep into the mire of degradation. But still he believes he is quite happy and secure. The liberated, and the seekers after liberation, look on the world as a deep well. They do not enjoy it. Therefore, after the attainment of Knowledge, the realization of God, some give up their bodies. But such a thing is rare indeed.

Source: Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

Sri Ramakrishna on Suicide

A devotee: "I am frightened to hear of the suicide."

Sri Ramakrishna: "Suicide is a heinous sin, undoubtedly. A man who kills himself must return again and again to this world and suffer its agony.

"But I don't call it suicide if a person leaves his body after having the vision of God. There is no harm in giving up one's body that way. After attaining Knowledge some people give up their bodies. After the gold image has been cast in the clay mould, you may either preserve the mould or break it.

"Many years ago a young man of about twenty used to come to the temple garden from Baranagore: his name was Gopal Sen. In my presence he used to experience such intense ecstasy that Hridav had to support him for fear he might fall to the ground and break his limbs. That young man touched my feet one day and said: 'Sir. I shall not be able to see you any more. Let me bid you good-bye.' A few days later I learnt that he had given up his body.

Source: Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

Monday, January 5, 2015

Guru Gita - Gurus to be avoided

|| Sri Gurubhyo Namah ||

|| श्री गुरुभ्यो नमः ॥

Guru Gita extols Guru as parabrahman with whose power the trinity works. Guru is very holy to us and is often equated with ISvara (God). Some thugs or immature disciples take undue advantage of the reverence that our society shows to the true guru. In this process, both Guru and disciple are bound to perish. Guru Gita gives us the characteristics which should be absent in the Guru you believe. Translations are given in Hindi, Gujarati and English along with moola sloka-s. Please find the verses below:

(Note: Online version of Guru Gita published by HariOM Group is not full version. Some verses are missing. Translation adapted from Shri Nandalal Dashora's Hindi translation, published by Randhir Prakashan)

ज्ञानहीनो गुरुत्याज्यो मिथ्यावादी विडंबकः |
स्वविश्रान्ति न जानाति परशान्तिं करोति किम् || १०४ ||

ज्ञानरहित, मिथ्या बोलनेवाले और दिखावट करनेवाले गुरु का त्याग कर देना चाहिए, क्योंकि जो अपनी ही शांति पाना नहीं जानता वह दूसरों को क्या शांति दे सकेगा | (१०४)

જ્ઞાનરહિત, મિથ્યા ઉપદેશ આપવાવાળા અને દેખાવ કરવાવાળ ગુરુનો ત્યાગ કરવો જોઈએ કારણકે જે પોતાના મટે શાન્તિ મેળવવાની વિદ્યા નહીં જાણનર બિજાને ક્યાથી શાન્તિ (પામવાનું જ્ઞાન) આવી શકે. (૧૦૪)

The Guru devoid of Knowledge, who indulges in falsehood and who is full of vanity should be abandoned. Because when he is not able to find peace for himself, how is he to bestow peace on others? (104)

शिलायाः किं परं ज्ञानं शिलासंघप्रतारणे |
स्वयं तर्तुं न जानाति परं निसतारेयेत्कथम् || १०५ ||

पत्थरों के समूह को तैराने का ज्ञान पत्थर में कहाँ से हो सकता है ? जो खुद तैरना नहीं जानता वह दूसरों को क्या तैरायेगा | (१०५)

પત્થરોનાં સમૂહને તારવાનુ જ્ઞાન પત્થરમાં ક્યાથી હોઈ શકે? જે પોતે તરવાનુ નથીં જાણતો તે બિજાને ક્યાથી તારવી શકે? (૧૦૫)

What special knowledge has a stone in saving other stones from drowning? If it cannot swim across the river by itself; how can it help other stones to swim across? (105)

न वन्दनीयास्ते कष्टं दर्शनाद् भ्रान्तिकारकः |
वर्जयेतान् गुरुन् दूरे धीरानेव समाश्रयेत् || १०६ ||

जो गुरु अपने दर्शन से (दिखावे से) शिष्य को भ्रान्ति में ड़ालता है ऐसे गुरु को प्रणाम नहीं करना चाहिए | इतना ही नहीं दूर से ही उसका त्याग करना चाहिए | ऐसी स्थिति में धैर्यवान् गुरु का ही आश्रय लेना चाहिए | (१०६)

જે ગુરુ પોતાના (ખોટા) દેખાડથી શિષ્યને બ્રાન્તિમાં નાખે છે, એવા ગુરુને પ્રણામ નહી કરવા જોઈએ. એટલુજ નહી, તેમનો ત્યાગ કરવO જોઇએ. એ સ્થિતિમાં ધૈર્યવાન ગુરુનો જ આશ્રય લેવો જોઇએ. (૧૦૬)

They (such Gurus) are not at all fit to be worshiped whose reasoning creates painful delusion. Such Gurus should be abandoned from a distance. One should take refuge only in the Self-realized ones. (106)

पाखण्डिनः पापरता नास्तिका भेदबुद्धयः |
स्त्रीलम्पटा दुराचाराः कृतघ्ना बकवृतयः || १०७ ||

कर्मभ्रष्टाः क्षमानष्टाः निन्द्यतर्कैश्च वादिनः |
कामिनः क्रोधिनश्चैव हिंस्राश्चंड़ाः शठस्तथा || १०८ ||

ज्ञानलुप्ता न कर्तव्या महापापास्तथा प्रिये |
एभ्यो भिन्नो गुरुः सेव्य एकभक्त्या विचार्य च || १०९ ||

हे प्रिये! पाखण्डी, पाप में रत, नास्तिक, भेदबुद्धि उत्पन्न करनेवाले, स्त्रीलम्पट, दुराचारी, नमकहराम, बगुलों की तरह ठगनेवाले, क्षमा रहित निन्दनीय तर्कों से वितंडावाद करनेवाले, कामी क्रोधी, हिंसक, उग्र, शठ तथा अज्ञानी और महापापी पुरुष को गुरु नहीं करना चाहिए | ऐसा विचार करके ऊपर दिये लक्षणों से भिन्न लक्षणोंवाले गुरु की एकनिष्ठ भक्ति से सेवा करनी चाहिए | (१०७, १०८, १०९)


હે પ્રિયે! પાખણડી, પાપમાં રત, નાસ્તિક, ભેદ બુદ્ધિ ઉત્્પન્ન કરવાવાળુ, સ્ત્રી લમ્પટ, દુરાચારી, નમક હરામ (કપટી), બગલાની જેમ ઠગવાવાળા કર્મ બ્રષ્ટ, ક્ષમા રહિત, નિન્દનીય તર્કોથી વિતંડવાદ કરવાવાળા, કામી, ક્રોધી, હિંસક, ઉગ્ર, શઠ (rascal, લુચ્ચો, હરામખોર, બદમાશ, નીચ, દુષ્ટ મનુષ્ય, દુર્જન ), તથા અજ્ઞાની અને મહાપાપી પુરુષ ને ગુરુ નહીં (સ્વીકારવા) જોઇએ. એવો વિચાર કરીને ઉપર (આગળ) કહેલા લક્ષણો વાળા ગુરુ ની એકનિષ્ઠ ભક્તિ કરવી જોઇએ. (૧૦૭, ૧૦૮, ૧૦૯)

O Parvati, imposters, habitual sinners, atheists, those who are of the different temperament, slaves of woman, evil-doers, ungrateful, rougish, those fallen from Karma Marga, cruel, who indulge in vain discussions, sensualists, those who are angry, violent, unyielding to reasoning, devoid of knowledge, great sinners, crooks, fools, such Gurus should be avoided; and one should only take refuge in the Self-realized Guru with single-minded devotion and discrimination. (107, 108, 109)