Questions & Answers
Select a question below or scroll down to find your question. Note: you can check the Update Info section (at the top of the Table of Contents page) to see which questions (if any) have been recently added.
Question: For whom have you written this webpage?
This Webpage is written for all human beings, regardless of creed, culture, religious background, nationality, etc. Of course, it is intended for those who have a youthful outlook, who are energetic, dynamic, and have a universal perspective of themselves and the life around them.
Question: If those are not my qualities, does that mean this Webpage is not for me?
Those ARE your true qualities! If you have forgotten them, then this Webpage will help you to regain the awareness of your true qualities.
Question: Who are you to tell me what my true qualities are?
I am nobody, and you are nobody --- that is, we are NOT bodies, we are souls.
This soul has been motivated to communicate with your soul. If through this Webpage we can come closer to the Soul of our souls, then this effort will have been worthwhile.
Question: What is your religion, and is this a religious Webpage?
Our religion is Vedic. We believe in the universal truths enshrined in the hearts of all human beings. We do not believe in dogma, and we do not believe in that which divides and separates. We believe in That which has been revealed to the Truth Seekers throughout the history of the universe, and will continue to be revealed to the Truth Seekers of Today and Tomorrow. In other words, our religion is the religion of Humanity.
Whether you are a Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, Jew, or any other religionist, it does not matter. What matters is "are you a human being?" If you are truly human, then it follows that you must be humane. If your religion teaches you to be humane, then that is good and conducive to the happiness of all.
We believe in that which teaches human beings to be more humane. There are truths enshrined in all religions, and all of these truths should be embraced by all, regardless of their religious background. Likewise, certain un-truths have found their way into the different religions; these untruths should, of course, be shunned.
In order to distinguish Truth from Untruth, we require experience. "The wise learn from others' mistakes, the fools don't even learn from their own." We hope that this Webpage can become a forum by which we may all learn from one another's experiences, and that it will inspire each of us to examine him/herself more closely, so that each of us can learn from our own mistakes and not repeat those mistakes in the future.
Thus, this Webpage is really 'food for thought', and not just another religious or cultural sounding board. Our aim is NOT to spread any particular religion or culture. Our aim is to spread happiness, true happiness; and this can only be done by removing unhappiness and untruthfulness from our lives. If each of us searches deeply enough, we can discover for ourselves the causes of our unhappiness. When we remove those actions and thinking patterns that cause unhappiness, then we experience happiness. This is something we can do together.
Question: How can I avoid causing myself so much pain in my life?
It is a well known fact that the best cure or remedy for any illness is PREVENTION. If we truly desire to be free from pain and suffering, then we must deliberately PREVENT ourselves from acting selfishly. Likewise, if we truly desire to help others become free from their own pain and suffering, then we must encourage them to give up their selfish ways.
Question: What is selfish?
That is selfish which is done without regard for others. In other words, that is selfish which is done to satisfy oneself without taking into consideration the well-being of all. Our own well-being lies in the well-being of all. This does NOT mean that if the MAJORITY is behaving in a way that is contrary to Truth that we should follow the majority. What is average is not necessarily normal or healthful.
Question: What is Truth?
Truth is Truth --- it does not require any interpretation or explanation. The Truth can only be known in Truth. That is, those who are Truthful know the Truth. But those who are hiding behind the mask of ego, who are insincere, imagine that Truth is a personal perspective. The untruthful think that Truth is made-up in the minds of human beings. The untruthful reject the Truth because they are absorbed in their personalities, and they are so attached to their personalities that they are unable to perceive the universal reality -- TRUTH.
Question: How can I help others?
All of us feel the desire to help others. In fact, this feeling is often felt very strongly in our youth. But translating this feeling into effective results is too often accomplished only in our dreams. Also, many times we desire to help others, and though our intention is noble, we may do greater harm than good (to ourselves and others).
To truly help others we must also help ourselves, and to help ourselves we must help others. The effective help is the help that encourages another to help him or her self. In other words, the help that teaches 'self help' is the truly effective help. If we want to help others we have to stop hurting ourselves, we have to give up our selfish habits.
If we are harming ourselves then we cannot effectively help others, even though we might be the head of a large humanitarian organization, or the head of a large religious organization. What is most important is that others learn by our example. But if our example is only for show, then there will be no practitioners, there will only be spectators.
So, we should stop worrying about what others are thinking about us, and we should stop performing for the sake of personal attention and recognition. Instead, we should live simple, wholesome, pure, and peaceful lives. We should inspire ourselves and others with noble thoughts, and we should cooperate with one another in the performance of noble actions. By uniting our energies we shall also succeed in effecting global change.
We are born into this world to perform actions. We are born into this world as a result of our previous actions. In other words, our present life and circumstances are the outcome of actions performed in previous lives. Where did it all begin? The cycle of action and reaction (i.e., the cycle of karma) has no beginning, although individual actions and reactions do of course have a beginning and ending.
We, the countless souls, are immortal. We are eternal, which means we have no beginning and no ending. The nature of the Atman (the individual soul) is similar to Param Atman (the Supreme Soul, or Oversoul). As it is the nature of God (the Supreme Soul) to perform actions (to create, sustain, and dissolve this universe, in an unending cycle), similarly, it is our nature to perform actions: to be born (embodied), to live, and to die (to leave the body). If you ask, "Why is it Gods nature to create, sustain, and dissolve the universe, and why is it our nature to perform actions?", then our reply is simply, that is Gods nature, and that is our nature. You can accept that the nature of fire is that it is hot, or the nature of pain is that it is painful, or the nature of a rock is that it is hard. Everything, every entity has a particular nature. Naturally, that which is eternal will have an eternal nature. Gods nature is that He is Good, Wise, Compassionate, Omnipresent, Omnipotent, and Omniscient. Being eternal, it follows that His qualities or characteristics i.e., His nature, is also eternal. God is eternally good and never wicked or evilin fact, what to talk of wicked or evil, God never makes any mistakes, never harms anyone, directly or indirectly. God is ever-awake, ever conscious, and never unconscious or ignorant. How could the One who is all-knowing (Omniscient) ever be ignorant? How could the One who is present everywhere all the time (Omnipresent) ever be born? If you say He can do anything because He is all-powerful (Omnipotent) then you have not understood correctly. All of His qualities are in consonance with one another. (This resonance is manifested as OM.) He is all-powerful to do all-good, to be all-merciful, to remain ever-awake, to be ever present, to create, sustain, and dissolve the universe, eternally, forever.
This Universe is not a dream. It is real. It is created by God (Brahma, the Absolute). It is sustained by Him, and it is dissolved by Him.
Our life is not a dream. It is real. We are responsible for whatever state of mind/body/spirit we are in. If we are confused, it is not God who causes our confusion. We cause ourselves pain and frustration by holding on to our ego, which is our creation, not Gods creation. We create our own ego, our own self-identity, and in the process we lose our real identity, our real self.
If God created us ignorant, then we could blame Him for our ignorance. But God is not the author of ignorance. Ignorance is created in the mind, and our mind is what we make it, according to our actions. We are not perfect beings, we are human beings, and as human beings we are fallible. Even as pure souls (egoless beings) we are still not God. We will always be what we have always been, what we always arethe soul. Self-realization means to realize our own essence. Our essencethe souls essenceis none other than the Supreme Soul, which is all-pervading. This state of awareness, this experience of our essence, is called MOKSHA or Liberation (Salvation, Nirvana, etc.). It is the Highest Experience, the Highest Wisdom, the Highest Love, the Highest Happiness (Bliss). It is the ultimate aim of every soul, to experience its own essence.
Enlightenment is not bestowed at random, or by chance, or according to some whim of the Creator. Self-realization is the result of hard workthat is, it is the outcome of solid practices, commitment, earnestness, and uninterrupted devotion. Liberation (Moksha) is never realized through blind faith, theorizing, or intellectualizing. The harder one practices, the faster one reaches the goal. (The single most important practice is to give up our ego. This practice takes many forms, such as unselfishly serving our families, working without any thought of appreciation or reward, seeing what needs to be done and doing it.)
Our mother and father brought us into the world, but we cannot blame them if we are unhappy. If we are unhappy, it is because of our own wrong practices. In the same way, this life is a gift of God. He has given us this human life, and given us wisdom to live our life in such a way that we can realize our real nature. But He has not made us puppets, robots, or slaves. God is not responsible for what we do with our life. If we act irresponsibly, it is we who must be held responsible for what we do (or neglect to do).
You see, to accept the fact that God exists, has always existed, and will always exist, and to accept the fact we exist, have always existed, and will always exist, and that this universe (or actually PRAKRITI, primordial matter, nature) exists, has always existed and will always exist. . . . the acceptance of this reality makes us very humble (truly humble, not superficially humble). It also makes us keenly aware that we are responsible for our own karma (cycle of actions and reactions). It makes us grateful for this life, because we need to live (to do good actions and think high thoughts) in order to realize our essence, our highest state of consciousness, our Supreme Love, our unsurpassable Happiness. We realize that we are not alone, that there are countless other souls just like us, with similar aspirations, hopes, desires, and goals. We realize that in this universal family of souls there are some who have worked harder, who have practiced more, who have learned more than ourselves, and that we can learn from them and benefit tremendously from their company. We also realize that the Supreme Essence, that Supreme Being, is One without a Second, that there are no substitutes for that ultimate Realization, the Supreme Goal. Though we can never become perfectwe can never become GODyet we must strive for perfection, because it is our nature to do so. No one can remain content in his or her lethargy, selfishness, and ignorancebecause it is unnatural, it is against our nature (the nature of the soul).
To solve lifes mysteries, to find the answers to all our questions, to resolve all our doubts, is not that difficult, but it must begin with an understanding of ourselves. "If we start out with a wrong premise, we will end up in a wrong place." It is better if we do not presume to know anything. Let us begin with a clean slate, with a clear mind and conscience, without any preconceived notions or religious/cultural bias, and then we will come to an understanding very quickly. But that is not easy to do, because our minds have been preconditioned by our environment, our upbringing, and by the society in which we live. Thinking and feeling habits are even more difficult to change than gross physical habits. Again, it all boils down to practice (i.e., actions, karma, what we are doing with our mind and body). When our good practices are prolonged indefinitely, when we are unconditionally committed to realizing the Absolute Truth, then everything that is unreal (inside of us, in the form of false feelings, attachments, thoughts, misgivings, etc.) will evaporate, and only the pure soul will remain, established in union with the Supreme Self, GOD, the Abosolute.
There is no need to convert to any religion. First of all, what or who is converted? The eternal ATMAN, soul, is changeless, ever-REAL, and can never be converted into something else. The ATMAN (which is what you really are) is not a commodity or currency that can be converted from one denomination to another. Your true self can never leave GOD. It is only your mind that wanders about and leaves the path of Truth. The mind needs to be commanded to follow the ways of the wise. The only conversion that is necessary is to convert our inspiration into determination, then (and only then) will we realize our full potential. If we get bogged down with religious images and dogma, we will never realize our liberated state--the natural state of the soul. Again, all that is necessary is to purify the mind. Presumably, religious practices are for this purpose, but in reality it is seldom the case, as the mind usually becomes clogged with images and is unable to become a clear channel.
For more insights about conversion, refer to the following article in the table of the contents:
The sound of OM is the vibration of GOD, the Absolute. It is the resonance of Unity in diversity. There is an underlying unity in the Universe, which is the manifestation of the all-pervading Divine Spirit (Essence). That unity, or Oneness, manifests as the sound of OM. As this unity exists on all levels, so does this vibration of OM exists on all levels: physical, mental, and spiritual.
One enunciates the sound of OM with the vocal chords; one hears the sound of OM in the wind, in the waves of the ocean, in the humming of a motor, etc. These are all manifestations of OM on the physical level.
Mentally one can repeat the sound of OM within ones mind. Usually it is helpful to begin by repeating vocally, and then one repeats OM softer, and softer, and softer, until only the sound of silence remainsthis is the peculiar high-pitched ringing sound that can be heard at any time, anywhere, even in a busy mall or train stationbut typically only if one is quiet inside ones mind. (Sometimes, quite unexpectedly, one hears a 'ping' appearing as if out of nowhere, and capturing this vibration it is elongated into the peculiar high-pitched ringing sound, i.e., the 'sound of silence'.)
Listening to this sound of silence while mentally repeating the sound of OM (or by just listening to the sound of silence itself without any mental repetition of OM) one eventually gets tuned to the Cosmic Sound of OMwhich is the manifestation of OM on the spiritual level. One uses this technique to connect to the Absolute in the state of Samadhi.
[Note: the 'sound of silence' is itself a manifestation of the vibration of OM on the subtle physical level.]
Question: I want to make my life a gift and offer it to God [but] my mind is not at peace, it keeps pondering over bad things that happenned in my life and always makes me unhappy. I just go married a couple of months ago and I am happy with my husband, but I am scared to be happy. I feel my happiness will come to an end the moment I feel that I am totally happy. I want to control my mind and attain total freedom. How do I do it? Where do I start?
This is a very noble thought, and desire, to make a gift of your life and give it to God. No doubt, you are a high soul, so why is your mind not at peace? Your mind is filled with many, many different experiences that you have had over many yearswhat to say of many yearsyou have experiences that you have accumulated over countless lifetimes.
First, you need to realize (or remember) that everything is in your MIND only. These various experiences have accumulated in the MIND only (and not in YOU, the soul). Some (of these impressions, SAMSKARAS) are favorable, some unfavorable, and some neutral in nature. As you have said, "it [MIND] keeps pondering" over these things. Again, it is the mind that is THINKING.
With your intelligence (Budhhi) you observe that your mind is thinking and is disturbed. Now you need to step back further (go deeper). Watch yourself (the Intelligence, or Budhhi) watching the mind. Now you are conscious that you are not the mind, nor are you even the intellect.
But still you are not satisfied. This self-consciousness is the EGO. How is this unhappy little ego removed? This small self is removed with WISDOM, because wisdom reveals our real nature. Wisdom and devotion go hand in hand. Both are PRACTICED, and they cannot just be intellectualized. If we just intellectualize them, we are still trapped in our mind and intellect, and we are simply fanning the flames of our own little ego.
The first step in practicing wisdom is to LISTEN with an open mind and heart. The wisdom then becomes rooted in our mind and intelligence. The truth becomes clear to us. We become more and more confident in our Higher Nature. Soon, we become free from our own mortality (a superimposition of the mind) and we attain the state of DEATHLESSNESS. That is, our self-knowing, our experience of reality as Eternal, our love of the Supreme, our knowledge of ourselves as immortal souls does not go away or fluctuate in any way.
I hope this has answered your question. In essence, practice wisdom and wisdom will clarify (purify) the mind, enabling the mind to reflect your real naturewhich is very happy, peaceful, content, fearless, and free of doubt.
Question: I have bent my principles to please my ego many times, which has caused me immeasurable misery. But after marriage I have realized that my husband has always led a righteous life. Why are some people selected over others to do mistakes that they latter on repent for? Aren't all of us equal in front of GOD? Then, why this disparity?
Nobody is "selected over others to do mistakes that they latter on repent for." If you really think you are 'selected' to make mistakes, then in that case you would not be responsible for having made them, so why would you repent about them? But of course, you do regret your mistakes, because they are, afterall, your mistakes, and have not been imposed upon you by GOD or some other unseen force. Nobody forces you to make mistakes. We make mistakes when we listen to our ego.
Everyone is certainly equal in front of GOD and there is absolutely no disparity in reality; there is only disparity in self-delusion. That is, when the mind is deluded it creates disparity. The mind is deluded when ego is in control, and ego is is control when ignorance is prevalent. Ignorance prevails only when the power of discernment is not exercised.
For further clarification, refer to article: What Are We?
Devali marks the day when Prince Ramachandra returned to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana, who had kidnapped Sita. The citizens decorated the city with lights, and the practice continues today to mark that special moment.
It is a common practice to attach special significance to the moments in the life of a saintly person. What to say of saintly persons--it is a common practice to attach special significance to various moments in the lives of even ordinary people (by those who are attached to those persons).
Attachment to the good and noble persons is certainly conducive to one's spiritual growth. When we think of a good human being we immediatly think of their goodness and we are inspired to imbibe that goodness ourselves. The more our thoughts are 'good', the more good actions we will do (and the more good actions we do the more good thoughts we will have).
It is good to remember the life of Lord Raam and other great souls and try to emulate their behavior in our own lives.
Lord Raam was a liberated soul. He is called 'Lord' in the sense that he was the master of his life. Like 'Lord' Krishna, Raam was a Raja Yogi. He was the ruler of his own mind. These great souls (and others like them) are worthy of our highest respect because they have gone beyond the pettiness and shallowness of the small self. Their lives demonstrated that it is certainly possible to live a productive and meaningful life without ego and self-involvment.
Of course, Raam and Krishna were very unique. Many people would object to referring to Raam and Krishna as High Souls, or liberated souls. In the minds of most people, Raam and Krishna hold a status greater than that of any saint or sage, and are often taken to be God Himself.
But this is not the view of the Arya (a noble and wise human being). The Arya sees all embodied beings as souls and holds only the Supreme Being, the Absolute, Paramatma, as One Without a Second. This does not mean that there is 'another' Lord Ram or Lord Krishna. It only means that the state attained by Ram and Krishna can also be attained by others (like you and I). Attaining the state of Godhood consciousness is something everyone can do.
In the case of Raam and Krishna, it is generally held that they did not 'attain' the state of God-consciousness exhibited in their lives, but already possessed the same at the time of birth and prior to birth. If this is the case, then it can certainly be argued that the term 'liberated soul' does not apply. For example, just as the term 'ex-con' only refers to someone who has just recently been released from prison, and not to someone who has never been in prison, in the same way the term liberated-soul can only refer to someone who was previously in the non-liberated, or 'bound' state.
However, we can also establish the fact that the essence of every being is ever-free and never bound in any way. The Real is ever Real, and the Eternal is ever Eternal, and THAT Essence is our own Real Self. In this case, the state of 'Ram-consciousness' or 'Krishna-consciousness' already exists as our own Real Self, and there is nothing to attain so long as we stay out of our ego (false identification).
But in our case, as in the case of most people, we do have an ego and that ego is not always in check. We are Karma Yogis but we have not attained the state of Yogeshwara. The Karma Yogi strives to perfect his nature by maintaining his balance in this world of imbalance. In due course, he realizes the whole universe is within himself and ultimately dissolves everything within himself. Finally, he percieves the Self in the Self by the Self, and then there is nothing else to be attained.
There have been many great souls who have, through the practice of Yoga, expanded their consciousness and blessed the lives of those who have come in their contact (by the influence of their wisdom and good example). Such a great soul was Maharishi Dayananda, the founder of the Arya Samaj. That great soul left his mortal coil on Deepvali Day, and those who are inspired by the life of Maharishi Swami Dayananda attach special signifcance to this day. On this day (Deepvali), we are reminded of the courage, strength, and compassion of that high soul who resigned himself to God's will (not just at the time of death, but throughout his enlightening life). Maharishi Dayananda's life is still inspiring us to learn, live, and speak the Truth, and we are extremely grateful. OM
Soul is Atman. Atman as 'Purush' is called 'spirit.' The Spirit-Self (or simply, the spirit, or Pursush) is Atman projecting its inherent life-force, PRANA.
Meditation is the process of consciously silencing the mind. During deep dreamless sleep the mind is naturally silent, however this occurs unconsciously. To consciously make the mind still, one needs to first focus the mind. The process of focusing the mind is called concentration (DHARANA).
Once the mind is focused (concentrated), it is in the state of meditation. In the state of meditation, one applies the focused mind to a particular object. How deep the meditation can go (that is, how silent the mind can become) depends on the object one has in mind.
To completely silence the mind--to make the mind perfectly still--is only possible when the object of meditation is greater than the mind itself. When the 'object of meditation' is eternal and infinite, the mind becomes absorbed in that, and this is the ultimate aim of meditation, the state called Samadhi.
In Samadhi, the mind has become absorbed in Eternity and is completely silent.
Neo-vedantic means new-fangled knowledge, and a neo-vedantic scholar, teacher, or follower is one whose knowledge is based on the premise that Advaita (non-dualism, or more correctly: neo-nondualism, or neo-advaita) is the culmination (final point) of all Knowledge (the Vedas).
In truth, Vedanta is the realization of the Oneness* of Atman and Prakriti (Atman here signifies both the individual Soul and the Supreme Soul). The culmination of the Vedas (all Knowledge), which is called Vedanta, is the realization that the distinction between secular life and religious life is simply academic and has no basis in reality, because Reality is beyond the duality of the mind.
The true Vedanta, the original and only Vedanta, is the realization that Supreme Consciousness is always and forever Supreme and All-Pervading, and that which is pervaded by the All-Pervading is always and forever pervaded. We (the countless souls), and Nature (the eternal unconscious noumenon), remain forever pervaded by the All-Pervading. All are ONE but not the same. Paramatman, Atman, and Prakriti are ONE but not the same. This is Advaita, this is non-duality. The realization of this eternal, unchangeable ONENESS is the end result of all knowledge. One who lives his or her life with this understanding is a true Vedantist and ultimately reaches the Supreme State known as Moksa, or Liberation (Salvation, Enlightenment, Nirvana, Heaven, etc.).
That Supreme State is the ultimate destination of the journey of life, and those who know how to read the maps and travel guides in the form of the teachings of the Wise (including, and especially, the teaching of the Wisest of the Wise, i.e., the Vedas-the revealed wisdom of the Absolute), will undoubtedly attain the Highest Goal. But those who start out with a wrong premise will definitely end up in a wrong place, unless they see their error before it is too late.
*This 'Oneness,' as explained in the following paragraph, means the inseparability of God (Paramatman), the countless souls (Atman), and nature (Prakriti).
Yes, because vegetarianism is one of the most basic practices of non-violence (Ahimsa), which is the foundation of Yoga (which is just another name for the 'realization of GOD).
I am not against religion; I am against violence in the name of religion.
Any practice or belief, whether secular or religious, should be rejected if it violates our true nature. There are many things that people do which are inhumane. Any action that is inhumane, and any thought that promotes inhumanity, is violent by nature.
Our real nature is non-violent, and to betray our real nature is to be untruthful to ourselves and others. Anyone who is living a life of lies can never be truly happy. Unless one is truly happy it will be impossible to share happiness with others. When we do not have anything good to share with others we will tend to becomes 'takers' instead of givers.
'Takers' are those who take without giving, and one who takes without giving is a thief. This too is an act of violence---it is a violation of the law of our being to rob ourselves of divine wisdom by blindly following a so-called religion. The truth is, there is only one religion, and that is the disciplined practice of adhering to the path of Truth, the way of the Wise.
I am a follower of the Truth. One who follows the Truth is called Arya. The word, Arya, means a noble person, a good human being. A good human being is one who lives his (or her) life according to one's True Nature.
By True Nature we mean the Real Nature or Higher Nature of every living being. Our Higher Nature is our essence. Our Higher Nature is the nature of our Soul (ATMAN), which is higher (or beyond, or more subtle) than the nature of our ego, mind, and body. The nature of our ego, mind, and body is called our lower nature, or the gross nature.
The term, nature, connotes qualities or characteristics. Thus, our True Nature means the qualities or characteristics of our Soul (ATMAN), and the lower nature means the qualities or characteristics of ego, mind and body.
In essence, the nature of a thing is not different from the thing itself. The essence of ATMAN, or Soul, is that which pervades it. ATMAN is pervaded by the Supreme Self, or PARAMATMAN. Similarly, the ego, mind, and body are pervaded by ATMAN (the meaning of ATMAN is that which pervades). The state of ATMAN pervading the ego, mind and body is called Jivatman, or living soul.
The characteristics or nature of an eternal entity are also eternal. ATMAN is an eternal entity and the nature of ATMAN, our Real Nature, is changeless and eternal. The same can be said of the Supreme Self (PARAMATMAN) and PRAKRTI (the inert substance out of which all things, living and non-living are formed). Thus, our Real Nature, and the Supreme Nature, and Nature itself are all eternal and changeless. Nature, and everything associated with it (ego, mind, body, and all the things of this manifest world) are always changing. This ever-changing quality of Nature is changeless. This ever-changing quality of Nature is the expression of the Ever-New, Ever-Fresh, Imageless nature (quality) of ATMAN and PARAMATMAN.
This distinction between ATMAN and PARAMATMAN is purely intellectual, because ATMAN, devoid of ego, mind, and body, experiences only its Essence, and that Essence is the Supreme Self, One Without a Second.
ATMAN is always devoid of ego, mind and body. ATMAN by its very nature is egoless, mindless, and bodiless. The Jivatman, or living self, appears to be the Real Self, but only when the living self (Jiva) completely sacrifices all motives, thoughts, and actions to the Supreme Self, only then does the Real Self stand clear in all its pristine, untarnished, eternal glory.
Following our Dharma means to live our life according to Truth. It means to harmonize our life with our True Nature. A true follower of the Arya Samaj is one who adheres to Dharma.
Asking me if I know God is like asking me if I know my wife, or my son, daughter, mother, or father.
God is not 'something' or 'someone' or 'somebody' to be known. Knowing and unknowing are both qualities of the mind. Knowing and unknowing are aspects of duality, and belief in duality is self-delusion. The one who tells you he knows God, knows not, because God cannot be known by the mind. The knowing and unknowing of God in the mind is just a big act; it is just a drama of mind and ego.
The question of whether or not one knows God comes from the mind. The mind expects an answer, and if the answer is what it expects the mind says, "now I know." This is ego. The ego-I is not the Real Self. The Real Self knows but does not have to think "I know". This thinking 'I know' is a compulsive behavior of ego. Ego is acted-out in the mind; the mind is the playground of ego--and sometimes the battleground too. The best way to remove the ego from the mind is to say, "I do not know." Realizing that we do not know will bring us closer to realizing our True Self.
Well, your problem is not a new one, and it is certainly one with which I too am familiar (first hand experience!).
To get freedom from financial worries we need to step back and see the larger picture, and put everything in perspective. Our perspective has to be soul-based and not ego-based. Our perspective becomes soul-based (Atamic) when our mind is inundated with Wisdom and we have trained the mind to put that wisdom into practice. It does not require a lot of analysis, but it does require deep introspection.
Soul-searching makes us detached (dispassionate). When we are detached (from our ego), we work hard but don't over-think. We become true Karma Yogis and live and work in this world without getting stuck in our images and ego.
All worries and frustration are born out of ego and images. There will always be challenges of one sort or another (financial, physical, emotional, etc.). It is all part of the game of Life. In the end, our financial status is of no consequence, but how we live our life (how we play the Game) is what really matters.
Don't be too hard on yourself. From the first moment of your life until the last moment, much of what happens, happens according to plan. All we need to do is stay out of our ego. This does not mean everything is pre-determined. There is always the element of 'chance' in every game. We should depend neither on the 'odds' or our 'luck,' but should do our utmost every moment to improve on all levels. Again, it is our attitude that counts the most. "Our good attitude will make us, and our poor attitude will break us."
We want to make ourselves peaceful, vibrant, loving, energetic, and courageous human beings. In essence, that is what we really are. To make the mind believe it we have to feed the mind the right thoughts and follow it up with right actions. If we do this, our success is assured.
We are successful when we rise above our shallow mentality and false ego perception. We might not become millionaires, but we will become the ruler of our own mind. The one who has conquered his own mind has conquered the whole world.
With the death of one's ego, one gains the realization of one's Essence. The realization of one's Essence is the meaning or purpose of life.
The ego does NOT die with the death of the body; it only dies when our images are dissolved. Our images are dissolved when our self-delusion is removed with Divine Wisdom.
The purpose of living is to become wise by learning wisdom and putting it into practice. When wisdom is applied, ignorance is removed. Life is the Yajna, or sacrifice, of the Self through the acquisition and application of the Wisdom of Consciousness. By practicing wisdom we become fully conscious. We become totally aware of our real nature.
Eventually we realize it is our nature to be totally free. Realizing this, we give up our small self ego (the superimposition of separate identity), and revel in our own eternal Essence--our own Self, and the Self of our Self (the Supreme Self). This union of the Self and Supreme Self is YOGA. This Yoga is MOKSHA (Liberation, Salvation). This Total Freedom is the Undying Love of Atman (Soul) and Paramatman (the Supreme Being). It is ANANDA. It is Supreme Bliss. It is the Conqueror of Death and the Fulfiller of Life.
The best resources are the Wisdom of the Wise, the Vedic Teachings, and your own earnest research (inner search). 'Vaidik Dharma' means the 'universal wisdom that defines our Real Nature.'
The definition is found in the practice of honesty. In other words, when we are truthful with ourselves we gain insights into the nature of Reality. These insights remove our doubts. Things become clear and we become more certain of ourselves. This 'certainty' born of spiritual practice is called Atam-Vishwas, or soul-confidence, which is in contrast to ordinary self-confidence born out of ego-assertion and ego-validation.
Ego-confidence can be gained by a superficial study and memorization of spiritual writings and discourses; but this small-self confidence has nothing to do with True-Self confidence. True self-confidence arises in the mind when the mind is aligned with the Pure Truth. The mind becomes aligned with the pure truth when one's images and misconceptions are removed. These can only be removed in conjunction with the eradication of false ego.
It is a process. It takes time. It takes practice. It takes humility, earnestness, persistence, commitment, and untiring love of Truth. The 'love of Truth' is the search for perfection; it is the practice of self-purification through self-sacrifice: the giving up one's false ego. We learn this by living and studying in the company of the Wise.
'When the student is ready, the Master will appear.' This simply means we need to make ourselves ready by remaining humble, earnest, and watchful (alert). We need to guard against complacency and also need to be careful not to short change ourselves. Many seekers fall for false prophets and half-truths and stop changing for the better. They might become better than what they were in the past, but they fail to become the best: they fail to achieve their full potential.
Keep studying, working, practicing, meditating, and searching deeper within your Self. While on the inner journey you will come in contact with your Real Nature and will discover the Truth directly.
Try looking at it from a different angle: if someone insists on believing God is embodied, don't try to fight their belief. You cannot fight an emotional belief with a factual explanation. Instead, let's talk 'actuality.'
Actually, God is at all times embodied: GOD is embodied in the Truth. The Truth is GOD is Omnipresent, Omnipotent, and Omniscient Reality (Being). This is the simplest and most universally accepted 'definition' of the nature of GOD. This omnipresence, omnipotence, and omniscience is spiritual and not physical.
Now, if GOD where a physical being (physical reality), then God's physical body would have to stretch in all directions to infinity. Since infinity has no end, it means there could be no beginning, middle, or end to GOD's body. If this is the case, how big is God's arm as compared to GOD's leg; and how big is the eye as compared to the mouth or the foot? If GOD's body is infinite (unlimited) there can be no parts to it, because a 'part' is by definition limited. In other words, if GOD's body is infinite it has to be indivisible, which means it cannot be divided into parts. So, there can be NO physical eye, mouth, arms, legs, etc.
So, GOD is NOT created in the image of our physical body. It is only in the minds of the ignorant that GOD is made to have a physical body. GOD's being is ALWAYS omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. God's nature never changes.
As human beings, we are used to seeing things in our own limited manner, and so we even see GOD in a limited way. However, our mental superimpositions do not and cannot change the Nature of God. God's nature remains unchangeable: that is, GOD is unchangeably Omnipresent, Omnipotent, and Omniscient. It is only we, as embodied beings (Jivatmans), that undergo change from ignorant to wise, from unknowing to knowing, from selfish to unselfish, from bound to free.
However, in essence, we too (as Atman) are without a body. Yet, our nature is not the same as GOD. God is the Supreme Self (Supreme Being) and is One Without a Second. Similarly, we (as Atman) are each one-of-a-kind, that is, each of us is also eternally unique (one without a second), but individually none of us is GOD, and yet all of us (as One) are GOD, in the sense that all of us are pervaded by the Omnipresent GOD who is Indivisible and Unchangeable. [Because GOD is indivisible, GOD is 100% present in each and every one of us.] We manifest GOD to the degree that we are unselfish and wise.
Now, GOD is NOT a person, place, or thing. Supreme Consciousness is not a person, place, or thing. It is only the mind and intellect (in conjunction with the ego) that conceive of GOD as a person, place, or thing. [An 'idea' is also a thing.]
The idea that GOD is embodied as a person, is only an 'idea' formed in the human mind. The problem with this idea is that it is very limiting. It limits the scope of our 'worship' and adoration and prevents us from fully grasping the magnitude of GOD's presence within ourselves and all around. To feel that Presence (to evoke that total Ecstasy), we must invoke that Presence by harnessing the power of our own mind and perfecting our own nature.
When the mind is transformed with divine wisdom, it perceives the nature of Reality and no longer imagines GOD is a person. In other words, when we become wise, we stop creating images (mental superimpositions).
Ahimsa means non-violence. Question: is it non-violent to let someone perpetrate or perpetuate violence? No, it is not. On the contrary, it is an act of non-violence to put an end to violence.
A violent criminal who (or, a violent nation which) refuses to change for the better and is determined to commit violent acts against others must be stopped.
Although I am farily knowledgeable of the contents of Vedas, I still sometimes find myself doubting that these Vedas are manifested from Ishwar Himself. I still find myself thinking. . . "what if these Vedas are made by man and we are fooled into believing that they are from Ishwar." Of course to learned persons this may seem a very stupid doubt, but if at all you could help me quell this doubt Iwould be very much grateful.
The Vedas means God's Knowledge. It is the Wisdom of Consciousness in capsule form. The Vedas are Eternal and inherent in the Creator; they are manifested from the Creator at the beginning of Creation.
This is not the first Creation, nor is it the last. It is one Creation in an infinite series of Creations. This World is created again and again. The sun, moon, and the stars, and universes after universes after universes are created again and again. It is never the exact same Earth planet, but is always the 'Earth' planet (and there are countless Earth planets strewn throughout the Multiverse). The original rishis who receive the Vedas (sometime after the Creation becomes inhabitable by human beings), are extremely pure and wise (meaning their minds have been purified through the purification of innumerable previous births in previous Creations), and thus are fit to channel this divine wisdom into the world.
Scientists accept that there are fundamental elements which are the building blocks of the universe. The fundamental elements are indestructible, however, they are imperceptible prior to the Creation (Sristi). Similarly, the Vedas are eternal and constitute the fundamental knowledge with which this Creation is Generated, Operates, and is eventually Dissolved.
The Universe exhibits the quality of intricate design and unimaginable ingenuity. Something that is designed always has a designer. The designer exists before the design, and the Creator exists before the creation comes into existence. The knowledge with which the Creator has designed this Universe is called the Vedas, and this knowledge is inherent in the Creator and is therefore eternal (just as the Creator is eternal).
Who is the Creator? Each and every one of us is a Creator, and each and every one of us possesses the Vedic knowledge in the core of our being (Atman). However, this knowledge remains dormant until we are awakened. Each of us must awaken to the reality that we are eternal, indestructible, immaculate, immortal conscious beings (Atman). This 'awakening' simply means the 'purification of the mind.' It is the mind that sleeps (in Ignorance) and awakens (in Enlightenment); it is the mind that is bound and is the mind that becomes free from bondage.
In essence, each and every one of us is self-created (Swayambhu), meaning simply that each and every one of us has willingly assumed the mind and body for the sake of playing the Game of Life. We have willingly accepted the veil of Ignorance (Avidya), and must now exercise our power of discernment and live our lives intelligently and thoughtfully. This is the Drama. This is the Sport. This is the Art of Existence, and each of us is the Artist.
There is One Who is Greater than each of us and greater than all of us, and that One is the Supreme Creator (Parabramha). Paramatma does not become Jivatma; only Atma plays the role of Jivatma. Atma is not forced by Paramatma to play the Game of Life. On the contrary, when we step on to the field of life (when Purush is 'joined' with Prakriti), we do so because it is our nature to do so (it is our nature to choose to play the Game of Life again, even after having attained Moksha-after all, the attainment of Moksha is itself just a drama-the Self, Atman is ever-free).
The realization (actualization) of this knowledge is impossible with the touch (influence and guidance) of the Wise. This too is part of the drama, or Game of Life; and one cannot successfully win the Game unless one plays by the rules.
The only necessity is to keep one's own ego in check until it is eventually checkmated. Then the game is over. After some time, one will play again.
I have a small query: in the article 'Grasping the Meaning of Vedas', you wrote that Vedas remain til dissolution and that it is revealed at start of every creation. Is there evidence for this, within Vedas or elsewhere?
The answer to your question can be found in the last 2 paragraphs below, but first there is some additional information provided for clarification.
This Creation is one in an infinite series of Creations. It would be illogical to conceive of this Creation as the one and only, or as the first of many, or the last of many, because this would beg the question: “what came before, and what will come after?” On the other hand, if one assumes this is the only Creation, and that it has neither beginning nor end, this would also be an unscientific assertion since we observe the cyclical nature of all things, including the expansion and contraction of the Universe.
Everywhere in this Creation we observe intelligent design. Everything is interconnected and purposeful. ‘Purposefulness’ can only be asserted by an observer. Observation is a characteristic of a conscious being (even machines which are created to ‘observe’ require a conscious being for their design and implementation).
Materialists assert that consciousness somehow springs from matter during the later stages of the process of Creation (for example, within the last few million years).. This is as absurd as asserting that the designer of the Taj Mahal was born after the Taj Mahal was built. Naturally, any structure that is intelligently designed must have an intelligent designer. Clearly, everything from the smallest particle to the largest objects, including the Universe (or Multiverse) itself exhibit the quality of intelligent design. Anyone who holds that everything is just a random occurrence is surely steeped in ignorance. Even a simple object like an ordinary light bulb or lamp requires an intelligent designer---one could wait for billions of years for the atoms to randomly form into a light bulb, and one would still be waiting---what to say of the intelligence required for the complex design of a human being, bird, cow, cat or other creature.
Some may assert that ‘intelligence’ is inherent in Matter. We assert that intelligence is infused in Matter (Purush is ‘joined’ with Prakriti) at the outset of the Creation. However, even if it is asserted that intelligence is inherent in matter, this statement is not contrary to the truth of the matter, which is that intelligence (Consciousness) is concomitant with matter and is not the product of matter.
Consciousness is the Essence. Consciousness is our essence. The principles with which and by which Consciousness designs and creates the Creation are collectively termed the Vedas. The principles of Consciousness (the Vedas) are inherent in Consciousness. Since Consciousness is eternal (even as Matter, or Prakrti is eternal), clearly the principles inherent in Consciousness must also be eternal. Since even from a material point of view one must accept the reality of Eternity, one should also accept (as a matter of principle) the eternity of Consciousness (by which the observable Creation is clearly intelligently designed), and one should accept the eternity of the principles of Consciousness, called the Vedas.
Now, for direct reference in the Vedas, refer to the Agamarshana Mantra which describes the cyclical nature of the Universe and asserts that this occurs according to eternal principles (which is a reference to the Vedas). Also, see the following mantra from Rig Veda X.37.2, included in Maharishi Dayanand’s Aaryabhivinaya
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