Ishopanishad – mantra 4 (by V Ruzov )

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We embark on the study of special Vedic treatises the purpose of which is to change human consciousness. They are called ‘apauruseya’, which indicates they are not delivered by any mundane person. They were given by living entities that don’t belong to this material world. Everyone wonders what alien visitors want to communicate to us, but they already said so much that the whole life won’t be enough to study even a small amount of this wealth of knowledge. The given treatise is also classified among extraterrestrial sources of information meant to transform human consciousness. It is characterized by eloquence of style. Eloquence is essential truth spoken concisely, and this treatise contains 18 such truths.

They all reveal the most important thing: we are all needy. Some of us think they are poverty-stricken, some of us consider themselves wealthy, but it makes no difference. We are all needy because we lost a priceless treasure. By the way, it happened such a long time ago that we already forgot about it. This is called destitution – a state of poverty, in which you don’t even remember that once you were fabulously wealthy. What kind of wealth is that? It is selfless, endless love.

[8/30/15, 3:42:26 AM] Kate Lapitskaya: anejad ekam manaso javiyo
nainad deva apnuvan purvam arsat
tad dhavato ‘nyan atyeti tisthat
tasminn apo matarisva dadhati

TRANSLATION by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Although fixed in His abode, the Personality of Godhead is swifter than the mind and can overcome all others running. The powerful demigods cannot approach Him. Although in one place, He controls those who supply the air and rain. He surpasses all in excellence.

Lecture by Patita Pavana das (V. Ruzov), the disciple of H.H. Indradyumna Swami

Two Methods of Approaching the Absolute Truth
[8/30/15, 3:42:41 AM] Kate Lapitskaya:
There are two methods one can use in one’s attempts to approach and apprehend the Absolute Truth. The first one is called philosophical or mental speculation. Do you think we use this method in our lectures? No, we don’t. Because the mind is the product of material world, with the help of mind it’s possible to understand only that part of Truth which is manifest in the world of matter. This includes the beauty of nature, the laws of karma, etc. With the help of matter, it’s possible to comprehend only matter. However proud one may be of one’s intelligence, it is also material, capable of perceiving only 2% of reality, as confirmed by psychologists. However, our capabilities become truly revealed when we begin to study the anti-material world. Extraterrestrial sources of information contain the knowledge that can fully engage the remaining 98% of our consciousness.

When something is logical, it is material and limited. Logic represents the bounds of our material thinking oriented towards search for food, money and opposite sex. There are things higher than logic. One of the thinkers used to say, “If economics could be learnt from books, all librarians would be millionaires.”

A Joke

A visitor to a library tells a librarian, “I took a book ‘’How to make a million”, but it has half the pages torn out.
“Well then? Half a million is also not too bad.”

To explore the world of anti-matter, one needs another method that is illogical and immaterial. What is it? Love. Love that brings us closer to the opposite sex is called lust, whereas love that brings us closer to the Absolute Truth is called devotion. People who inquire into the Absolute Truth with such love are accordingly called “devotees” of the Absolute Truth.

We use this particular method in our quest for truth. Why is it the most suitable one? This is easy to understand. The Truth is infinite while we are infinitesimal, but love is so attractive that an object of love always shows interest in those who love him. I think you would also be interested if, for example, someone from Africa saw your picture in the paper, and the whole village fell in love with you and wanted to invite you to express their love and gratitude….

In Brahma-samhita, which is another extramundane source of information, it is stated that even if a non-devotee philosopher travels through space at the speed of the wind or the mind for hundreds of millions of years, he will still find that the Absolute Truth is far, far away from him. Sounds rigid, but sobering. If we take science, for example, for the whole time of its existence it didn’t manage to solve its conceptual problems. Here is a short list of top puzzles facing scientists, according to the data published in Science Journal. Even now, these puzzles and questions remain unresolved.
[8/30/15, 3:42:55 AM] Kate Lapitskaya:
1. What is the universe made of?
2. What is the biological basis of consciousness?
3. Why do humans have so few genes?
4. To what extent are genetic variation and personal health linked?
5. Can the laws of physics be unified?
6. How much can human life span be extended?
7. What controls organ regeneration?
8. How can a skin cell become a nerve cell?
9. How does a single somatic cell become a whole plant?
10. How does Earth’s interior work?
11. Are we alone in the universe?
12. How and where did life on Earth arise?
13. What determines species diversity?
14. What genetic changes made us uniquely human?
15. How are memories stored and retrieved?
16. How did cooperative behavior evolve?
17. How will big pictures emerge from a sea of biological data?
18. How far can we push chemical self-assembly?
19. What are the limits of conventional computing?
20. Can we selectively shut off immune responses?
21. Do deeper principles underlie quantum uncertainty and nonlocality?
22. Is an effective HIV vaccine feasible?
23. How hot will the greenhouse world be?
24. What can replace oil – and when?
25. Population growth and resource scarcity: can the current standards of living be sustained without devastating the planet?

A Joke

After many years, an economist decided to visit the university where he studied. He was curious to know what questions professors asked students in exams. How surprised he was to learn that questions remained the same as 10 years ago!
“Questions are the same, the answers have changed,” explained an old professor.

The Truth is Somewhere Near

Being the seekers of truth, we need to understand the following point, which is also explained in the Brahma-samhita. The treatise imparts secret information that the Absolute Truth has headquarters in a place called Goloka. Astronomers are unfamiliar with this part of creation – they can’t even decide on the status of Pluto. But because the Absolute Truth is after all, Absolute, He is capable of being present in every part of His creation at the same time.
Energies of the Absolute Truth are compared to heat and light that emanate from a fire. Although situated in one place, a fire can distribute its light and heat for quite a distance; similarly, the Absolute Truth, although present in His favorite abode, can diffuse His energies everywhere. If you understand this, your intelligence has pushed the limits of logic and is ready to proceed to studying anti-matter.

Three Energies of the Absolute Truth

The Absolute Truth is the source of everything. Everything is made up of energies. Although the energies of the Absolute Truth are innumerable, they can be divided into three principal categories: the internal potency, the marginal potency and the external potency. There are millions of subheadings to each of these categories.

Devas (demigods), the ministers of this world who are empowered to control and administer the natural phenomena, are classified among the marginal potency of the Absolute Person. We humans also belong to the marginal potency, and although we don’t have such powers as demigods, we still hanker to control something from time to time.

Come and Get It

The James Randi Educational Foundation established by a renowned magician and illusionist James Randi offers a prize of US $1, 000, 000 to any person who can demonstrate any psychic, supernatural, or paranormal ability under proper observing conditions. The money is real. But has anyone ever passed a preliminary test? No. It even seems to me that this fund was organized by devas themselves to put the chill on overweening people…

The material world is the creation of the external potency, and the spiritual sky, or the anti-material world, where the abode of the Absolute Truth is situated, is the manifestation of His internal potency. Thus, we can see that the world is filled with various energies of the Absolute Truth, but although the Absolute Truth and His energies are non-different, we should not mistake these energies for the Absolute Truth. Yes, a bullet is discharged from a gun, but the bullet is not the gun. A child is delivered by the mother, but a child is not a mother. Although, the interrelation between these phenomena is quite obvious.

Nor should we wrongly consider that the Absolute Truth is distributed everywhere impersonally or that He loses His personal existence. No such thing. We are made in His image and likeness. Since we are neither the mist nor the light nor the informational space, we cannot expect the Absolute Truth to be nothing more that the infinite informational space, the endless mist or the unlimited light.

For our thoughts to be understandable, they must be clearly formulated. Love relationships need to be formalized – then they become marriage. Light must take some kind of shape – then there’s a rainbow, a sunrise or a sunset. To begin to comprehend something, we try to form a definite worldview. Thus, everything requires some form or shape. Accordingly, the Absolute Truth also has a form which is all-perfect, and thus, harmonious and beautiful. To know this is a real accomplishment. An accomplished person must finally understand that the Truth is not formless. Otherwise, if the Truth is formless, why do we get our ideas into shape?

This fourth mantra of Sri Isopanisad very clearly suggests that the Absolute Truth is ultimately the Absolute Person who has all the personal features. It means we can associate with Him personally which is certainly very much interesting.

Then who are we? We are individual parts and parcels of the Absolute Truth, individual atmas, souls (the word “atom” derives therefrom) who have all the symptoms of the Absolute Truth but limited spheres of activity. The parts and parcels are never equal to the whole; therefore, we cannot appreciate the full potency of the Absolute Truth. And yet, a piece of cake has all the tastiness of a whole cake.

Despite the fact that we are limited, we sometimes try to conjecture about the transcendental position of the Absolute Truth. Sri Isopanisad warns of the futility of such attempts, that is, of trying to understand the Absolute by mental speculation. The only method that works is to listen what He says about Himself. You probably have experienced or witnessed situations where someone imparted information about another person, and this information was totally inaccurate. I always come up against such situations when someone approaches me and says “Is it true what they say about you?” In most cases, the gossip is absolute nonsense.

Because we are parts and parcels of the Absolute Truth endowed with some part of His energy, our duty is to act according to His will. And the Absolute Truth wants everyone to be happy. When we forget our duty, we are in a state called “maya” or illusion. It means we got it all wrong about our true calling. Remember: it is we who should forgo our comforts for the sake of happiness of others, not vice versa.

A Trap of Pleasant Deliberations

Sometimes when we are down in the dumps, upset or irritated, we are given advice to think pleasant thoughts, slip into a positive frame of mind. And it seems quite reasonable; however, a more serious approach to a problem shows that it is precisely in a negative state of consciousness that we are practically unable to up and change the negative thought into a positive one. And yet, we so often tell one another, “Just don’t think about it. Think of something good.”

When we find ourselves in the grip of an impossible situation, we should live through it, learn the lesson and draw the necessary conclusions. If we allow ourselves to be lulled into complacency and get distracted from an exam, this will only aggravate the problem. We may fail our exams in this way which means we’ll have to resit them. Moreover, the desire to change a negative mood into a positive one in times of stress leads to a completely opposite result: it only increases stress levels. It’s too late to giggle when you happen to take the examination card with the question whose answer you don’t know.

So What’s to Be Done?

Remember: you can’t change your mood and solve a problem that brought you into this mood at the same time. First, you have to solve a problem — then, the mood will also change. And it’s not at all bad that some situation made us serious.

It’s possible to improve a negative state of consciousness through association with those who love, value and understand you. In the atmosphere of mutual understanding, feelings bounce back from stress, and we come up with simple and clear solutions to grim problems. We begin to realize that even in the face of many difficulties, we have someone to turn to, someone to talk to. Come what may, we have good relationships.

And to help others in situations of crisis, just show as much warmth, kindness, understanding and compassion as you can. Let a person know that you’ll always be near: you’ll be there for him/her at any moment. There’s no need to give advice straight away – what needs to be given is a feeling of shelteredness and empathy.

We should understand that we can live a life fulfilling and unmatched each day. For that, we should live each day as if it’s our last. It only seems to be a negative perception: once we begin to practice such consciousness, it will suddenly flash upon us that each and every moment of our lives can make us endlessly happy and our lives amazingly profound. Sometimes it seems to me that today’s morning was a week ago… By developing such an understanding, during one day we can experience as much as we used to experience during the whole year! The main thing is not the duration of life, but its saturation. Milk is tasty when it’s not diluted. Imagine that you diluted a glass of milk in a bath of water. That’s the way our life is: too much diluted. Time has come to make it concentrated…Spiritual life is concentrated life.

What does it mean to live each day as your last? It means we become very attentive in our relationships with others because life consists of relationships.

This is exactly what is recommended in the Vedic scriptures. This advice comes straight from the Absolute Truth. No one in this world can contrive a real system of happiness because as we found out, happiness is beyond the bounds of material intelligence. We can’t just invent a happiness-producing technique ourselves. Take, for example, something more simple, such as a diet. We want everything fast and easy, without applying much effort. But even new diets should be approached with great caution. For example, the low-carb Kremlin diet plan (with the principle similar to Atkins diet) is one of the most popular options of weight loss existing in Russia. Its seeming simplicity and effectiveness attracts numerous followers. Meanwhile, nutrition experts warn that no other diet has produced such terrible side effects as a popular Kremlin diet.

Sri Isopanisad warns us to be very careful to play the part designated for us by the Absolute Truth. The Absolute Truth can be known only by one who has adopted such a submissive service attitude. Perfect knowledge means knowing the Absolute Truth in all His features. He reveals Himself when we develop love for Him. These matters are described in the Bhagavat-Gita, the essence of all the Upanisads.

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