Sunday, August 27, 2017
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August is a month for the study of Jnana Yoga, a path to realization that requires analysis, discrimination, reason, and constant devotion to your goal. As a jnana yogi, your aim is liberation, freedom from all limitation.
Vedanta’s scriptures and teachers tell us that life’s misery — its pain, anxiety, and sense of imprisonment — is caused by seeing inaccurately, due to “maya.” As a jnani, you may set aside that framework of delusion and see only Pure Consciousness — Brahman — everywhere, in everything and everyone, including yourself. This is realization, liberation!
Sri Ramakrishna showed us a way to realize the highest Truth, while still living in the world. He said, “Once Rama asked Hanuman, ‘How do you look on Me?’ And Hanuman replied: ‘O Rama, as long as I have the feeling of “I”, I see that Thou art the whole and I am a part; Thou art the Master and I am Thy servant. But when, O Rama, I have the knowledge of Truth, then I realize that Thou art I and I am Thou.’
“The relationship of master and servant is the proper one. Since this ‘I’ must remain, let the rascal be God’s servant …”
A devotee asked: “Does this ‘I’ of the devotee never disappear altogether?”
Master: “Yes, it disappears at times. Then one attains the Knowledge of Brahman and goes into samādhi. I too lose it, but not for all the time. In the musical scale there are seven notes: sa, re, ga, ma, pa, dha, and ni. But one cannot keep one’s voice on ‘ni’ a long time. One must bring it down again to the lower notes …
“Live in the world like a maidservant in a rich man’s house. She performs all the household duties, brings up her master’s child, and speaks of him as ‘my Hari’. But in her heart she knows quite well that neither the house nor the child belongs to her … Likewise, do your worldly duties but fix your mind on God. And know that house, family, and son do not belong to you; they are God’s. You are only His servant.”
Sri Krishna and Jesus Christ also taught us how to be in, but not of the world. In this talk, we “unpack” Hanuman’s reply to Lord Rama, and discuss how it can apply, moment to moment, to your daily life.
Note: Quotes above are from the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Chapters 3, 25 & 29