Articles

On Anger and Hatred – From Swami Dharmamegha Aranya’s sermon

Let us discuss what Acharya Swamiji has said about anger and hatred. Anger and hatred are the biggest causes of disturbance in our mind. Anger makes us lose our balance and fall from our ideals, hence anger and hatred are a part of avidya or nescience. Nescience is discussed at length in Indian philosophy. It is the antonym of true or spiritual knowledge.

What happens when one is angry or jealous? Why is hatred referred to as nescience? In this context Acharya Swamiji’s statement is infallible: “Although hatred and jealousy cause suffering, people consider them favourable, acceptable and desirable” (Bhasvati 2/5). Continue reading “On Anger and Hatred – From Swami Dharmamegha Aranya’s sermon”

Purifying our mind – From Swami Dharmamegha Aranya’s sermon

आहारशुद्धौ सत्त्वशुद्धिः सत्त्वशुद्धौ ध्रुवा स्मृतिः
स्मृतिलम्भे सर्वग्रन्थीनां विप्रमोक्षस्तस्मै ॥ ७.२६.२॥

The mind remains pure if what it receives is also pure. If the mind is pure the recollection of the Self becomes steady. If the recollection becomes steady, one is released from all the ties of the world. (7/26/2) Chandogya Updanishad.

Everyday we chant the aforementioned prayer. Our two most ancient Updanishads are Vrihadaranyaka and Chandogya. This quotation has been taken from Chandogya. The first line of the quotation  is “The mind remains pure if what it receives is also pure.” (7/26/2). Again, if the mind is purified then it can concentrate on the desired goal. Here the word ahara does not mean food which we take in with the mouth but it includes whatever stimuli we receive through our sense organs. What we see with the eyes and what we hear with the ears are all a part of it. Continue reading “Purifying our mind – From Swami Dharmamegha Aranya’s sermon”

What is the nature of the mind?

The mind is said to have two parts, one is called Citta and the other Manas. The inner faculty which is directly related to the sense-organs and the organs of voluntary and involuntary action and rules just like a master does over his servants (bhupavat prakritinam) is Manas. The Indriyas cannot perform their respective functions without the aid of Manas. That is why we cannot cognise any object nor can we do any work if we become inattentive. Continue reading “What is the nature of the mind?”

How can infinite Absolute Knowers (Purusa) exist not limited by one another?

Q: If the number of Purushas (Atmas) be infinite they must be limited by one another. If a room is filled by ten articles of equal size then each article is one-tenth the size of the room, each being bounded in space by the others. The same must be the case with Purushas?

A: Had Purusha been a spatial object then it would have been so. The rule that when there are more objects than one, they are limited by one another (bahutve sasimatvam) is applicable only to objects occupying space and not to those that do not occupy space, such as mental images. If ten people standing side by side see an object, will everyone see one-tenth of it? Continue reading “How can infinite Absolute Knowers (Purusa) exist not limited by one another?”

Why the Absolute Knower (Purusha or Atman) are many according to Samkhya?

Per Samkhya Karika (18) Purushas are many because birth, death and actions are specific to individuals, because many simultaneous tendencies or modifications are impossible in one individual and because modifications arising from the three gunas are various.

Birth and death are corporeal properties. The body suffers bhoga (i.e. experiences pleasure and pain), the bhokta (one who experiences) of which must be a single entity for bhoga arising from one particular body. Since there are many bodies or experiential beings, each must have a distinct bhokta. Therefore bhokta Purushas are many. Continue reading “Why the Absolute Knower (Purusha or Atman) are many according to Samkhya?”

Yoga – What it is and what it is not

The ability to stop at will the fluctuations or modifications of the mind which is acquired through constant practice in a spirit of renunciation is called Yoga. True Yoga is practised with a view to attaining salvation. The stoppage of the fluctuations of the mind or its modifications implies the art of keeping only one idea before the mind’s eye and shutting out all other ideas or thoughts. In an advanced state of practice, it is possible to Continue reading “Yoga – What it is and what it is not”

The Twenty-five Tattvas of Samkhya

Q: What are the twenty-five Tattvas of Samkhya?

A: The principles or Tattvas are twenty-five in number. They are five gross elements (Bhutas), viz.
(1) Ksiti, (2) Ap, (3) Tejas, (4) Vayu, and (5) Akasa characterized respectively by smell, taste, visual form, thermal sensation and sound;
the five subtle monads (Tanmatras), viz.
(6) smell (Gandha), (7) taste (Rasa), (8) light (Rupa), (9) thermal (Sparsa) and (10) sound (Sabda); Continue reading “The Twenty-five Tattvas of Samkhya”

Summary of Samkhya teachings

Q: What in brief are the main propositions of the Samkhya Philosophy?

A: Samkhya teachings may be summed up as follows: Everything that exists, which one can either perceive through one’s senses or conceive of, is constituted by the twenty five principles of Tattvas. Objects, subtle and gross, constituted by the Tattvas are of two kinds, the sentient beings and the insentient manifestations. Continue reading “Summary of Samkhya teachings”

Samkhya is not atheistic

Q: Samkhya, propounds the view that the universe was created by Lord Hiranyagarbha. How is it reconciled with the commonly held notion that Samkhya does not accept the existence of Isvara?

A: Samkhyaites hold the view with supportive reason that the universe is created and maintained by an omniscient and omnipotent Lord whom they call “Isvara with attributes.” Continue reading “Samkhya is not atheistic”