Discourse on 28th Aug – Part III

August 31, 2005 at 11:45 am

Sloka 19:

Brahman is seen in so many forms. How do you see through these forms? This is to be seen through the purified mind.

For example, babies have a pure mind. If you ask a 3-yr old to look at the board, then the kid will look at the board with 100% concentration. Because it doesn’t know any other way of doing it. But as the kid grows up, its concentration waivers. Many distractions enter its mind. Whatever took 5 minutes to teach the kid in the Second class, will take 15 minutes in the Third class and so on. The kid’s pure mind has been spoilt by the material nature of the World.

The mind should be free from useless attachments and desire. The mind must be only concentrating on realising the “Atman”. Sri Ramanuja likens meditation to the flow of pouring oil from vessel to vessel. Water flow has a drop-like form to it, but not oil. Oil flows in a continuous form. From the “Brahman” to the “Atman”, there is a flow like the flow of oil.

The mind that meditates must be so purified. It must have a one-pointedness of knowing the “Brahman”. It is such a mind that is being referred to here. The energy of mind should be harnesses.

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa would hold a towel in front of his eyes and ask his devotees if they could see him. All of them would reply that they cannot since there is a towel that is hiding his face. This towel, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa says, is similar to the curtain the mind creates in pursuit of the Ultimate Truth. The Ultimate Truth is the infinite Life, Happiness and Knowledge. In other words, it’s the “Atman”. The “Atman” is infinite Life, Happiness and knowledge.

Tomorrow: Sloka 19 (Continued)

Divine discourse

August 30, 2005 at 12:30 pm

[via Arujuna_speaks] An excerpt from the divine discourse:

How to know the sacredness of this nature?

Here is an example for this. There is the inner self – Atma Tatwa – in the physical bodies, matter and forms. There is an ocean. In this infinite, deep ocean, there are infinite number of waves. The forms of waves vary though the ocean is one. Are the waves separate from the ocean? Though they appear to be different, the coolness, that which makes it wet and the white color are the same in the waves of the ocean.

Similarly, divinity is present at the individual level and in the world. Prior to this universe there is Brahman. That which is present now is Brahman. Brahman will be there even after total annihilation of the universe. All these times, past, present and future, that which is permanent, that which is truth is Brahman.

How is it? A foolish person looking at the rope mistakes it to be a snake and shouts. A wise man will come and say it is not a snake, it is just a rope and allays his fear. He looks at the rope clearly after his fear has gone. Then it is the rope. The rope existed when he mistook it to be a snake and shouted. The rope continued to exist after the fear was gone. In all the three times, it was only the rope that existed. It was only delusion that made him mistake the rope for a snake. There is Brahman prior to this universe. That which is universe is Brahman. Brahman remains after annihilation. It is silver prior to this tumbler was made. There is silver in this form of tumbler. Silver remains when it is melted.

The forms and names differ though the silver remains the same in all the three stages.

Discourse on 28th August 2005, Part – II

August 30, 2005 at 11:20 am

Sloka 18 :
(Continued)

We need to keep both our mind and body in good shape. Like we exercise our body, we need to provide some exercise for our mind also. Otherwise our mind will fall asleep. Exercise for the mind is contemplation.

The Brahman though is ancient is still new. The new never loses its newness.

The statement of Ultimate truth is “The primordial thing from which we all exist is our consciousness”. We begin from God, we live in God, we return to God. God is consciousness, consciousness is God.

In terms of name and form, One appears as many. For example, consider the plates and cups made out of clay. The real matter in the plates and cups is the same – Clay. It appears as many.
Lets look at another example, this one was used frequently by Swami Vivekananda. Wave is a form of the sea. Can you seperate the waves from the sea? It’s impossible. Waves are a different name and form of the sea.

The realised person comes to the conclusion that it’s the non-changing, ever-new Brahman from where everything has come. He is the cause of the Universe.

You should pierce through this veil of name and form to see & feel the omni-present Brahman.

Tomorrow: Sloka 19

Initialising the team of teams

August 30, 2005 at 11:00 am

There was an interesting question from one of my fellow-bloggers to my post on team of teams.

His question was, “What is an ecosystem?”. Interesting because of the context in which the word was being used.

ecosystem n : a system formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their physical environment
(Source: www.dictionary.com )

This is in the biological sense of the word. Nowadays it’s being increasingly used in the business context too.

In the business context, ecosystem means a group of companies who are facing the market with a single combined front.

Discourse on 28th August 2005, Part – I

August 29, 2005 at 10:45 am

After a brief recap of the last lecture, Swamiji started on the next sloka.

Sloka 18:

Those people who know the Brahman, know that the power of the “Atman”. The sense organs can function only with the power of the “Atman”. Where there is “Atman” there is Life. The vital forces exist because of the “Atman”.

For example, when we see something move in a zig-zag fashion at a distance, we assume it’s a snake. We infer that since it’s a snake, we need to be at a safe distance from it. Also, when we see dark clouds, our immediate reaction is that it’s going to rain. Well, whether it rains in Chennai or in Vishakapatnam, it rains.

We are able to see the invisible from what’s visible. The snake was invisible, but we did visualize it as a snake and take the necessary precautions. Even the rain was invisible, but we did see it even before it came, right? How?

The ability to infer the invisible from the visible comes from our senses. The power driving the senses is the power of the “Atman”. The people who have realized the “Atman” look beyond the senses.

Beyond the smile of a child is the “Atman”. Beyond the cry of a child is the “Atman”. Beyond the beauty of any face is the “Atman”. Beyond the ugliness of any face is the “Atman”.

Eyes cannot see, it’s the “Atman” that sees. The power behind the eye is the “Atman”. Eye of the eye is the “Atman”. The power behind the senses – Life of the Life, the power behind the ear – ear of the ear, the power behind the mind – mind of the mind, is the Soul. “Atman”.

Mind is also matter. The person who has realized the “Atman” sees that it is the “Atman” that controls the mind. “Atman” generates the wave of thought which manifests itself in the mind.

Those people who see the real organ behind the organs, have determined correctly that the organ of all organs is the “Atman”. We operate our mind, we think, we eat, we speak, we do so many things – who does all this? It’s the “Atman”. The realized being sees the “Atman” behind everything.

The goal of the “Atman” is infinite Life, infinite knowledge and infinite joy. The “Atman” is all this. It is in our nature. We need to discover this.

Swami Vivekananda said, “All happiness and good things are the efforts and struggle of the Soul to manifest itself”.

Swamiji was very elaborate on this Sloka. Let’s continue learning this tomorrow.

Another article to be posted today is on: Initialising the team of teams

Team of teams

August 28, 2005 at 4:00 pm

Rajesh Jain writes about his learnings of being an entrepreneur. There are various important points in it for budding entrepreneurs like me. More importantly, if many budding Indian entrepreneurs read this it will be great for us. We need more Indian entrepreneurs. Important points to learn from Rajesh:

  1. Don’t go by what you want to do. Go by what the market needs.
  2. Unfortunately, if you face a failure, then don’t get disheartened and go back to being an employee. Analyse your mistakes and make sure you avoid them the next time round.
  3. Analyse your own strengths and weaknesses. Build a team complementing these attributes.
  4. Build an ecosystem, if possible, around the central idea. This will help in sharing of resources and increase chances of success.
  5. Always, believe in yourself. Like Rajesh believes, the next Google-like company is possible from India.

Building an ecosystem is the most important business aspect of these learnings. Many of us venture out to build companies. Individual companies might take us to a certain point. Beyond which there may (more often than not, will) be a need to depend on another company for expertise in a certain field or it could be anything.

Having an ecosystem is like building a team. It’s always better to have a team with you than go at it alone. That’s the bottomline. Having a team of companies is an obviously better strategy.

Let’s discuss in the coming days on how we can go about doing it.

Tomorrow:

  1. Initialising the team of teams
  2. The discourse at Ramakrishna Ashram (continued)

INDIA – The Blessed Punya-Bhumi Part – II

August 27, 2005 at 10:00 pm

(An excerpt from the book “I am a Voice without a form”)

I was asked by an English friend on the eve of my departure, “Swami, how do you like now your motherland after four years’ experience of the luxurious, glorius, powerful West?”

I could only answer, “India I loved before I came away. Now the very dust of India has become holy to me, the very air is now to me holy; it is now the holy land, the place of pilgrimage, the Tirtha.”

Children of India, I am here to speak to you today about practical things, and my object in reminding you about the glories of the past is simply this. Many times have I been told that looking into the past only degenerates and leads to nothing, and that we should look to the future. Look back, therefore, as far as you can, drink deep of the eternal fountains that are behind, and after that look forward, march forward and make India brighter, greater, much higher than she ever was. Our ancestors were great. We must firts recall that. We must learn the elements of our being, the blood that courses in our veins; we must have faith in that blood and what it did in the past; and out of that faith and consciousness of past greatness, we must build an India yet greater than what she has been.

There have been periods of decay and degradation. I do not attach much importance to them; we all know that. Such periods have been necessary. A mighty tree produces a beautiful ripe fruit. The fruit falls on the ground, it decays and rots, and out of that decay springs the root and the future tree, perhaps mightier than the first one. The period of decay through which we have passed was all the more necessary. Out of this deay is coming the India of the future; it is sprouting, its first leaves are already out; and a mighty, gigantic tree, the Urdhvamula, is here, already beginning to appear; and it is about that I am going to speak to you.

-Swami Vivekananda
Tomorrow: Team of teams

INDIA – The Blessed Punya-Bhumi, Part I

August 26, 2005 at 9:40 am

If there is any land on this earth that can lay claim to be the blessed Punya Bhumi, to be the land to which all souls on this earth must come to account for Karma, the land to which every soul that is wending its way Godward must come to attain its last home, the land where humanity has attained its highest towards gentleness, towards generosity, towards purity, towards calmness, above all, the land of introspection and of spirituality – it is India. Hence have started the founders of religions from the most ancient times, deluging the earth again and again with the pure and perennial waters of spiritual truth. Hence have proceeded the tidal waves of philosophy that have covered the earth, East or West, North or South, and hence again must start the wave which is going to spiritualise the material civilization of the world. Here is the life-giving water which must be quenched the burning fire of materialism which is burning the core of the hearts of millions in other lands. Believe me, my friends, this is going to be.

  • Swami Vivekananda

(This is an excerpt from the book “I am a Voice without a Form”)

Tomorrow: INDIA – The Blessed Punya-Bhumi, Part – II

My juniors – My Alma Mater

August 25, 2005 at 4:30 pm

My juniors from BIM won two international business plan competitions beating institutes from all over the world. A truly commendable acheivement.

There has been massive coverage by the media of this event. Today’s Hindu carried an article on this. ET has always been stingy giving footage to BIM for some strange reason. And they follow their miserliness here again.

It’s good that the institute you studied in is making news. There was a time when there was no news from BIM. During this age of PR, no news is bad news!

In this age of dollar salaries and big pay packets for MBAs, it’s indeed refreshing to have management students thinking about improving the Rural areas. There is definitely no big bucks involved, only hardwork. And these guys are actually implementing this one. All the best! And anything anytime for this, try me out!

Discourse – Part III

August 25, 2005 at 10:00 am

Sloka 17:

In this infinite Brahman which is beyond time, five types of souls reside. They are

  1. Gandharvas: Celestial Singers
  2. Pitrs: People who have departed from this World.
  3. Devatas: Constitutional and law abiding souls like Indra, Brahma
  4. Rakshasas: Unconstitutional
  5. Asuras: Unconstitutional like the Rakshasas. For eg. Ravana and Indrajit.

The infinite space is also resting in the Atman. The Atman supports the sky (representing the five elements) and all the jivas of the Universe.

The Rishi who has realized the Brahman is the Soul. The Soul and the Brahman are one and the same. The point of contact with the Brahman is inside us – our Atma. All our Atmas are connected to the Brahman. Sage Yagnavalkya (who is the originator of this Sloka) says, “I am considering myself as the immortal Brahman”.

When we know the immortal Brahman we become the Brahman. This is the difference between knowing material and knowing Self. On knowing the Self we become the enlightened Soul. Youngsters believe in the Atman. That’s why they say I can do everything.

Knowing Brahman is becoming Brahman. Sage says, when you meditate on God, you will get the nature of God. You will get Divine nature. When you meditate on God, you find yourself improving because you are God yourself. When we realise God, we become God.

This was Swami Vivekananda’s philosophy too. He said, “Every soul is potentially Divine”.

Tomorrow: An excerpt from “I am a Voice without a Form”