Question 41: What is Contentment and who gets it?

spirial galaxyA popular perception of contentment is that contentment is an emotional state of satisfaction that can be seen as a mental state, maybe drawn from being at ease in one’s situation, body and mind. Perhaps, even, settling for a little bit less is a milder and more tentative form of happiness. It is a pity these definitions exist, for they do not speak of the mind, desire, nor discontentment. What is contentment in relation to purushartha, the goal of life?

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Question 40: What should we think of?

coiled ropeIn this world of duality, of shape and form, of light and dark, of heat and cold, what is real, what is unreal? How do we discern the unreal from the real? What should we think and make reference to in our journey through life? Dharmam moolam jagat, the Universe rests on eternal order. How do we know this path of eternal order? How do you tell the snake from the rope?

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Question 37: What is Contemplation and when is it developed?

ContemplatioContemplation and concentration deal with attention and where our attention might go – especially where spiritual pursuits are concerned. It seems that contemplation has a shakti of its own, which enables us to examine and discard the cacophony, the useless, the sheer noise of this world of illusion, and to refine our vision, our attention, our concentration on that which matters: the Soul itself.

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Question 35: How to control the mind?

pathwayRamji asks a question that – probably – does not occur to many: control of the mind. Most humans – embodiments of the Divine – are not aware that they are not the body, not the senses, not the mind. For many, the mind takes over subtly, and they are caught in the noose of attraction and aversion, of pain and pleasure, satisfaction and suffering. Religious principles have to be practised in daily life and their validity experienced. This how we learn we are not the mind.

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Question 34: What is the true form of this Universe?

Extreme Deep FieldThere are those who posit the Universe is real and God is not, viz.; “there is no such thing as a soul”, blah, blah, blah. Such persons are firmly centred on their experience, that is, the experience delivered by the senses, the karmendriyas. See, hear, touch, taste, smell, like this. They are ignorant of the other senses, the jnanendriyas, the internal senses of knowledge. There is much to be known, by which, all else is known, as Vasishtha hints.

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Question 29: When the mind is at rest

Question 29: When the mind is at restWhen the mind is at rest – quiescence – we have the capacity to experience who we truly are. When the mind is at rest, we might say ‘neti, neti‘(not this, not this) to all that phenomena that threatens to impinge upon us from the exterior. When the mind is at rest, and the time is ripe, that which is may emerge and reveal our true selves.

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Question 25: Concentration and Spiritual Practice

leading to concentrationIt is true to say there are as many forms of spirituality as there are people; each and every person’s spiritual practice and interior discipline is different. Here, the Sage advises Rama to make friends with four elements of interior discipline and exterior associations. All spiritual progress is the fruit of concentration.

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Question 18: Good and Bad

good and badMany declare that the new-born child is tabula rasa, a blank slate, conditioned and shaped by family, friends and culture. The environment that newborn grows up in is purported to have significant influence in shaping the person and character. Here, Sage Vasishtha clarifies that good and bad tendencies are carried over with the mind from a previous birth.

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Question 15: What is daiva (destiny)?

cloudsWhen we are born, we bring our destiny with us. Some in the sciences say we are born a blank slate tabula rasa in the mind, the intellect, the skills and capacity. The enquiries, the discoveries of the sages and saints teach otherwise, as Sage Vasishtha teaches the young Rama. There is much to reflect upon, and belief must be unshaken if we are to have victory.

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