Master happened to be at Stanford University during his recent visit of US, in September 2014. He talked about Walk of Hope and Leadership.

Here are videos (courtesy Anuj Pandey on Youtube):

 

 

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sri m

It is in that calm, mirror-like, pure mind that the ultimate, absolute, blissful Reality, the Brahman is reflected.

This is what the Kenopanishad means when it says: “That which even the mind cannot reach but because of which the mind acquires the faculty to comprehend; That, O seeker! is the true Brahman, nothing that you worship here.”

M: But, doesn’t the mind become inert like that of an idiot by ceasing to think and reason?

Master: How can the mind which reflects the very seed and source of intelligence ever become inert? Such a mind is ever active, ever engaged in doing what has been ordained as its duty. Such a mind, blessed by an abundant rush of energy, as it is linked to the very fountainhead of the tremendous energy that operates the entire universe, is not ruffled by obstacles or failures. It gets neither dejected by failure nor overjoyed by success. It is a mind that works steadily without the distractions that the ordinary person has. It is only such a mind that can be truly said to function, charged as it is with the energy from the Universal Generator. The rest are all inert because they have not discovered the secret of work.

The only experience or state of being whose content cannot be subrated (subrate–a mental process whereby one disvalues some previously appraised object or content of consciousness because of its being contradicted by  new experience) in fact and in principle by any other experience—which no other experience can conceivably contradict—is the experience of pure Spiritual Identity; the experience wherein the separation of self and non-self, of ego and world, is transcended.

Let us look at the minds of some great persons who were not merely thinkers but doers. Adi Shankara was one of the foremost exponents of Advaita Vedanta—I shall go into it later—and he was a sannyasin par excellence. In a short span of 32 years, he did what ordinary people would have taken a hundred years or more to accomplished, or perhaps, would not even have accomplished in quite a few lifetimes. He travelled on foot through the length and breadth of this vast country, wrote voluminous commentaries on the scriptural texts, engaged numerous scholars of the day in debates, and renovated temples wherever he went. And he was successful in everything, for he had understood the secret of work.

Take a more recent example, the great Vedantist, Swami Vivekananda. One cannot but be overawed by the stupendous work that the Swamiji did. What a towering personality and what a tireless worker for the good of humanity! You yourself can think of many examples like these.

Most of us have cell phones. Many also have cordless phones in our homes and offices (cell and cordless phones function the same way).

Although some of us are aware of the risks involved with the constant presence of these microwave radios, none of us are about to toss our cells. And we don’t have to.

Here are nine easy ways you can modify your cell use and reduce your exposure to radiation:

1. Use your phone on speaker whenever feasible.

The distance between your body and your phone makes all the difference–and even a little distance helps. When you can’t go on speaker, avoid resting the phone against your head; hold it even slightly away, especially when you are speaking (radiation is higher when transmitting than when receiving). The cell manual, recommends holding the phone an inch away from your head. Four inches reduces the exposure to radiation 1000 times.

2. Use a headset.
Preferably one with a ferrite bead to absorb the radiation, or get one with a hollow tube (the sound is carried through the air instead of radio waves). Using bluetooth? Switch sides and take it off when you’re not talking; it emits radiation even when not in use, albeit at a lower rate.

3. Hold the phone at arm’s length when you answer it.
When you answer your phone, it emits a burst of radiation.

4. Avoid carrying your phone on your body.
Keep it in a purse, briefcase, or even your outer coat pocket rather than your pants or shirt pocket. This is particularly important when moving quickly, such as on a train, because the phone is sending bursts of radiation to establish connection with a tower more frequently.

5. When you carry your phone, do so in different pockets.
This is particularly true for young men carrying their phones near the family jewels; you may not be thinking of parenthood at the moment, but let’s keep the option of a healthy next generation open. Know which side of your phone broadcasts the most radiation (usually the back), and keep that side facing away from you.

6. Use the phone only for emergencies when you don’t have good reception.
When the bars are low, the cell is pumping higher levels of radiation as it attempts to connect with a tower.

7. Place your phone away from your bed at night, especially if it is charging.
Put it at least three feet away from you. Six feet is even better. Yes, this may mean investing in an alarm clock.

8. Avoid using your cell in an elevator.
It emits more radiation trying to get a signal, and you’re in a metal box that bounces the radiation and affects not only you, but everyone you’re riding with, especially the children.

9. Speaking of children–no cells for them.
Cell phones are being marketed to toddlers; it is up to us to protect children’s developing brains.

It took decades for science to document the damage smoking causes. We don’t need to wait for the science to protect ourselves and our families from cell phone radiation. Young generation is more vulnerable, not only because their bodies are still growing, but also because they have years of cell phone use ahead of them, resulting in much higher lifetime radiation exposure.

sri m

M: If knowledge refers only to memory, what is it that can know Brahman?

Master: To understand it even conceptually, we may have to go into different kinds of knowledge. At the lowest end is ajnana, knowledge about the world obtained through our sense organs. Higher than ajnana is jnana or knowledge of the Self and other things acquired through the reasoning intellect, buddhi, and from scriptures and teachers. Still higher is vijnana, discriminative knowledge, that is able to differentiate the real from the apparent or relative.

One who has reached the level of vijnana can hone it to perfection by trying to remain constantly on that level. If this is done, the intellectual understanding of jnana and the passion-arousing ajnana and even the earlier stage of the discriminative capability, vijnana, are overcome or transcended, thereby attaining the intuitive and unitive experience of Brahman.

In this context, even the word ‘experience’ is  a misnomer, a wrong term, because it implies an experience and, therefore, an object of experience. All that can b said about such a state is that it is a mental/spiritual enlightenment where nothing but an all-pervasive knowledge exists without the duality of the knower and the known.

M: Am I then to understand that knowledge, as we generally understand the term, is useless?

Master: No, certainly not. The capacity for knowledge, whatever its level fo perfection, is the highest faculty of man. Each level in the hierarchy of knowledge I talked about has its proper place. Without experience derived through our senses, however unreliable or unreal they may be, we cannot apprehend our immediate world of living. They may lead to passions, attachments, and so on, to cause misery or fleeting pleasure. Yet, it is the same misery or pleasure that often moves one towards jnana or reasoning intellect to assess and evaluate the condition we are in. Reason, then, leads to vijnana through an intellectual appreciation of a higher Reality. However, reason itself can show that reason is often unreliable, coloured as it is by our subjective prejudices. When reason is aided by intuition from a source unknown and unknowable, one reaches the level of vijnana, and the Ultimate Reality becomes no more an intellectual concept but a potentially and presently experiential one.

Constantly remaining in that state, one attains Brahman, the Ultimate Reality. In other words, Brahman is beyond ajnana, jnana and the early stages of vijnana and is realised in deep meditation when the mind, which is nothing more than a collection of thoughts, is transcended. Knowledge, which is memory, a thing of the past, comprehends fully how finite it is, and therefore, how it cannot reach out to the infinite from which intelligence itself proceeds. Giving up all reasoning, arguments and doubts, it then lets go of th echain of thoughts and becomes as still and placid as an infinite expanse of clear water without a single ripple in it.

yogananda

Every one of us is going to die someday, so there is no use in being afraid of death. You don’t feel miserable at the prospect of losing consciousness of your body in sleep; you accept sleep as a state of freedom to look forward to. So is death; it is a state of rest, a pension from this life. There is nothing to fear. When death comes, laugh at it. Death is only an experience through which you are meant to learn a great lesson: you cannot die.

******

Our real self, the soul, is immortal. We may sleep for a little while in that change called death, but we can never be destroyed. We exist, and that existence is eternal. The wave comes to the shore, and then goes back to the sea; it is not lost. It becomes one with the ocean, or returns again in the form of another wave. This body has come, and it will vanish; but the soul essence within it will never cease to exist. Nothing can terminate that eternal consciousness.

******

Ever a particle of matter or a wave of energy is indestructible, as science has proved; the soul or spiritual essence of man is also indestructible. Matter undergoes change; the soul undergoes changing experiences. Radical changes are termed death, but death or a change in form does not change or destroy the spiritual essence.

******

The body is only a garment. How many times you have changed your clothing in this life, yet because of this you would not say that you have changed. Similarly, when you give up this bodily dress at death you do not change. You are just the same, an immortal soul, a child of God.

sri m

Master: Now, be alert son. To be alert is not to strain but to relax and let the teachings sink deep so that you’ll have no more doubts. Listen carefully, and after that, as k me further questions if you have any. We’ll discuss matters as two close friends discuss their intimate problems. Let’s have complete frankness and love between us.

Yes, many have been perplexed by the apparently contradictory statements of the Upanishads. But, if you examine them carefully, there are no contradictions.

“They who worship ignorance enter into darkness.” Isn’t that quite clear? Ignorance, avidya, is lack of knowledge, nescience. It is by acquiring knowledge, jnana, that ignorance is destroyed. Nowhere does the Upanishad say: “Don’t acquire knowledge”, for knowledge is the only instrument that can dispel ignorance. Everything that we learn is knowledge, including what you are hearing from me now. Then, how can knowledge lead to darkness?

Listen carefully. The Upanishad doesn’t say that knowledge leads to darkness. All it says is that those who ‘worship knowledge’ enter into greater darkness. This is to be examined closely.

Let us say that you have walked into a field full of thistles and you have quite a few thorns lodged in the feet. You did not know—you were ignorant—that it was thorny terrain. You try to pull them out with your bare hands, but to no avail; they are in too deep for that. So, you find a sharper, longer, sturdier thorn to remove them. Similarly, you remove the thorns of ignorance and pain with the thorn of knowledge. Tell me, will you, after getting rid of the painful thorns, stick the larger thorn into your feet? No, you won’t; you will throw it away. So is it with the thorn of knowledge used for removing the thorn of ignorance. Both of them are discarded by the yogi, the seeker, whose aim is liberation.

Before we go further, let us see what knowledge itself is. You understand a thing or an event and say, “I’ve acquired knowledge of that.” This means that you have stored all the information or as much as you can get regarding that thing or event in your memory, so that you can refer back to it, recognise and react to it, in the future. All knowledge is like that—that which is stored in one’s memory. Can you think of any other? The moment you have listened to my words, they have vanished from the present and have become things of the past. They constitute memory, and memory is a thing of the past. Knowledge, as we know it is then something that you remember, whether it is from the recent past, a split second ago, or years ago. That is, it is memory. All knowledge is, therefore, memory—a thing of the past.

On the other hand, Brahman, the Ultimate Reality, is never a memory, never a thing of the past. It is the living present, the eternal, immediate present and , therefore, can never be comprehended by knowledge, which has only the past as reference.

yogananda

Though the ordinary man looks upon death with dread and sadness, those who have gone before know it as a wondrous experience of peace and freedom.

******

Perhaps we wonder most of all about those we love. Where are they? Why are they spirited away from us? A brief good-by, and then they disappear behind the veil of death. We feel so helpless and sad, and there is nothing we can do about it….When someone is dying, though he cannot speak, a desire is expressed in his consciousness. He is thinking, “I am leaving my loved ones, will I ever see them again?” And those whom he is leaving behind also think, “I am losing him. Will he remember me? Will we meet again?”….When I lost my mother in this life, I promised myself that I would never again be attached to anyone. I gave my love to God. That first experience with death was very serious for me. But through it I learned much. I searched undaunted for months and years until I found the answer to the mystery of life and death….What I tell you, I have experienced.

******

At death, you forget all the limitations of the physical body and realize how free you are. For the first few seconds there is a sense of fear—fear of the unknown, of something unfamiliar to the consciousness. But after that comes a great realization: the soul feels a joyous sense of relief and freedom. You know that you exist apart from the mortal body.