tad ejati tan naijati
tad dure tad v antike
tad antar asya sarvasya
tad u sarvasyasya bahyatah
TRANSLATION by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
The Supreme Lord walks and does not walk. He is far away, but He is very near as well. He is within everything, and yet He is outside of everything.
Lecture by Patita Pavana das (V. Ruzov), the disciple of H.H. Indradyumna Swami
How can we feel that the Absolute Truth is somewhere near? The Absolute Truth is eternity, so it’s very easy to feel it’s presence through the fear of death. If you approach the balcony railings and look down, you’ll get that feeling of fear. It is the reflection of the fact that we want eternity, but we see that there may be an end, that something ends. We want continuation. This is the first evident sign of Truth. The second feature is knowledge. Everyone aspires after knowledge, has anxiety for knowledge. There isn’t any person who wants to know nothing – at least, he/she wants to know where his/her money is. So, when we have thirst for knowledge, this is also the evidence for the existence of Truth. Otherwise, why would we need knowledge? And the third feature is bliss. We are all craving bliss. Bliss is a very unusual thing. It’s not that we just eat to repletion and are happy, or get enough sleep and are fully happy. We want something more. We are looking for relationships, always sorting out our relationships. We seek friendship and love. The three given features are always there. Maybe we don’t give thought to it — then this is another question. At least, there’s plenty of food for thought. Sometimes we get so much used to stereotyped patterns of behavior and thinking that we stop realizing the reality, and this is called maya, the state in which we forget that the Truth is very close to us, so close we may feel it with every step. Pessimism also originates from the Absolute Truth. Everything emanates from the Absolute Truth, all types of emotions, and the first emotion we encounter with on the path towards Truth is pessimism. It becomes a revelation to us that there is old age and death, and they are not far off; yet because our eyes are opened thanks to receiving knowledge about the Truth, alongside this, we get the solution to a problem, and feel enthusiasm, accordingly. That is, real enthusiasm can be based only on pessimism, on a disappointment from the previous path. If we are not disappointed in our efforts in life, we won’t be able to get on the path of development. Why? We would think we have no time and there are so many things that need to be done. So these two seemingly contradictory qualities – pessimism and enthusiasm — are perfectly reconciled on this path. This is called the carrot and stick approach – a well-known phenomenon. To actively do something, we need “a carrot”, but we also can’t do without “a stick”. Simultaneous disappointment in lower taste and presence of higher taste make our progress active and quick. Therefore, as you see, a wide range of contrary emotions get reconciled in the Absolute Truth. The Absolute contains everything, so even the most contradictory emotions find a perfect reconciliation and are no longer opposed to each other as contraries. If we are not on the path towards Truth, these two emotions won’t get reconciled – they would tear our consciousness apart and we’d go nuts. But if we are on the path towards Truth, they are harmoniously reconciled, so all is well.
On the face of it, the statements in the given verse seem contradictory, but in fact, they throw light on the inconceivable potencies of the Absolute Truth. Inconceivability is a sign of power and might. Think of the ocean, for example. It remains an impenetrable mystery to this day, which makes it better not to joke with its power. A human is no match for the ocean. We can’t even be friends, let alone conquer it. We love to associate with it when it’s peaceful and tranquil, but God forbid that we stay one-on-one with the ocean during a raging storm.
On the whole, contrariety is a feature of a person. Consistency is a feature of a logical robot. A person is always faced with a variety of tasks that need to be solved in a way that would make everyone happy. But for the sake of our own progress, problems that come into our lives are not so easy to solve in this way. A robot will just make an optimal decision and act according to the principle of getting the most benefit while disturbing all others. A robotic approach is: the end justifies the means. A person can’t behave like that – a person will always try to come up with such solutions that won’t make him/her feel the pangs of remorse later on. What does it mean? We begin to hear the voice of conscience when we make insufficient efforts to leave others happy as we deal with complex situations. Our conscience stabs us when we sacrifice someone’s peace or even their happiness to fulfill our own plans.
In a word, if you feel the pangs of remorse, you’ve stepped on someone’s head.
Yes, we can’t make everyone happy, but we should make every effort to do so. Every care should be taken to solve problems in this way.
Are We Able to Think?
Why do we find it hard to think of unlimited and inconceivable? There’s a tight limit to our mind’s capacity. The Absolute Truth has absolute power and absolute potencies. Infinity transcends our infinitesimal capacity of apprehension. Just imagine an ant that tries to understand a man standing over the anthill thinking whether his money will suffice for a new car.
Science can’t be based on the opinion of the majority. Truth can’t be established based on voting. One great scientist said that when decisions in science would be accepted by overwhelming majority, this would mark the end of science. How so? If many fools come together, they won’t be able to make a sensible decision. As soon as you see that somewhere, decisions are made by voting, run away: it’s dangerous to stay in that place.
For example, one is accustomed to think, “This is my truth, and that is his truth. Everyone has their own truth.” “Tolerance” is a catchword for the phenomenon. Everyone is proud of their tolerance. But the point here is that the Absolute Truth doesn’t belong to us – we belong to Him. One thinks: this is my God, and that is their God. But God is not ours – we are His children. Why do we think God is ours? Why is there such a turnaround in our perception? We are selfish controllers who used to think in selfish terms “I” and “mine”.
A wealthy Muslim once came to the mosque immediately after visiting guests, and of course, he had to take off his expensive shoes and leave them at the entrance. When he came out after the prayer, he saw no shoes. “How could I be so negligent”, he said to a friend. “It was so stupid of me to come to the mosque in such expensive shoes. I caused some poor man to take them and decide that he had stolen. I would have willingly given these shoes to him, but instead, I’m responsible for making a thief. ”
The Absolute Truth, as we found out, looks contradictory to us. He is simultaneously one and different. All energies and qualities are simultaneously present in Him. Logic, however, takes advantage of contrariety to prove the absence of the Absolute Truth. Such smarty pants would ask, “Can God create a stone so heavy that He can’t lift it?” and would joyfully laugh thinking that they seized on a basic flaw in the argumentation. No, they revealed a basic flaw in themselves, by making parade of their small-mindedness and inability to understand anything. God will easily create such a stone, and then will lift it with the same ease…
This mind trap is called “projection”. We project our bodily concept to the form and potency of the Absolute Truth. We think He should be like us: good or bad, black or white but by no means dark-blue. But the Absolute Truth is Absolute, and so He can be of any color.
When He assumes the golden color, He is called Gauranga.
Blue in color, He is called Rudra.
The Absolute Truth black in color is called Govinda.
Truth the color of fresh green grass is called Ramachandra.
When He is white in color, He is called Balarama.
When He is red in color, He is called Varaha.
How to Conceive the Inconceivable Potency of the Absolute Truth?
Even though the statement says, “How to Conceive the Inconceivable”, we are in fact capable of it if we take our consciousness to the spiritual, anti-material level, as inconceivable as the Absolute Truth Himself. The tool – consciousness – should correspond to what it is directed at. Hence, if we want to comprehend the Truth, we should raise our consciousness to the level of Truth, rather than drag the Absolute Truth down to our level. We should not just try to comprehend the Truth, but strive to change our consciousness. Spiritual traditions give an even more profound explanation: we should not try to see God, but rather, act in such a way that God will want to see us.
The most common method of transformation of consciousness is called “tapasya”. Usually, we go out of our way to enjoy our flesh, please it, indulge in its desires, and this is a sign of material consciousness. Therefore, any voluntary restrictions we place on ourselves facilitate the transition to higher levels of consciousness. They cut and polish the stones of our hearts until they become beautiful diamonds. Thus, abiding by voluntary and sensible restrictions makes a soul beautiful like smooth facets of a gemstone.
Unless and until we are attached to matter, we won’t love the Absolute Truth. We will fight for pieces of atoms called money, food or belongings. Matter requires that you fight for it, with all your might and main, become a “superperson”, cross all lines, go beyond the pale, considering faith, cleanliness and injunctions to be the lot of the weak and narrow-minded ones.
Just look at the modern business. It looks like a rassle for life or death. What should be printed on currency notes are not the images of cities, but photos of murdered billionaires and those who threw themselves out of skyscraper windows in times of crises. For instance, there’s a practice of putting shocking pictures of destroyed body organs on cigarette packs. Do you know by the way, that a cowboy who played a Marlboro man and appeared in Marlboro ads died of lung cancer?
Absence of attachment to matter doesn’t mean that we refuse to use it or begin to struggle against it. It means that our happiness no longer depends on how many kilos of matter we manage to buy with our salaries, put on shelves or eat for dinner.
The main psychological complex that has found lodgment in the core of our hearts is called “insufficiency complex”. We constantly think that we lack something to be happy. We think we should buy another brick to lay into the wall of our life. But we wall ourselves off from our own happiness. Remember: you don’t need anything to embark on a spiritual quest.
Even self-imposed restrictions can result in sense gratification. One may relish even going without food, slimming, or lifting heavy weights. One becomes proud of oneself even when he/she becomes a monk. Tapasya can easily turn into sport, and then there is a desire to get a gold medal: become the best of the best ascetics…
The only safe way to change one’s own consciousness is to associate with those who have already changed it. Sublime, purified consciousness is like a mirror: it reflects our low-level consciousness, and we suddenly see who we are. It has a sobering influence on us and sets direction for our development at the same time.
We can understand who we are only in comparison with others. If we compare ourselves with those who are lower than us, we are devolving; if we compare ourselves with those who are higher than us, we are developing. We can’t put ourselves in our proper places – we need outside help for that. Then we will develop an ardent desire to become better. Without receiving help, we would think there is nothing the matter with us at all. “How is it going?” “OK.”
If we see a philosopher’s stone, we’ll realize that all our wealth is dust as compared with it. But a great saint Sanatana Goswami kept a philosopher’s stone with garbage. Isn’t it suspicious? It’s not difficult to understand that he must have had something even more valuable. And that was his love for the Absolute Truth. It’s much more valuable, because with the help of philosopher’s stone, you can turn metal into gold, but with the help of consciousness who loves the Absolute Truth, it’s possible to change someone else’s consciousness. Anyone who comes in touch with the consciousness that loves the Absolute Truth, also begins to love the Absolute Truth. This is a real philosopher’s stone.
[9/6/15, 6:59:20 AM] Kate Lapitskaya:
We are concerned with physical and psychological defense techniques. Material nature beats our material bodies and minds, but instead of elevating our consciousness, we are building barricades. Such walls are called “false ego”. One surrounds oneself with a defense wall (preferably, several of them), a ditch, barbed wire with electric current that flows through it, air defense and watchtowers with spotlights. If you approach a stranger in the street, he/she will scowl at you with these spotlights, bare the teeth of a defense wall and give you an electric shock with his/her words.
What does modern psychology teach us? How to erect new strong walls. It’s a science of self-defense, nothing more. One may choose to buy a bulletproof jacket, install a vault door like a bank’s, or one may opt for psychological defense techniques. It’s just another self-defense system— psychology of fighting. Like all fighting techniques, it can be of contact and non-contact style. The first one teaches how to “win friends” and denude them of their money, and the second one teaches how not to give away anything and not to let anyone conquer you…
The “Mirror” of a Sadhu
The only way to get rid of such thinking is to join the society of those who have given up on violence, taken off their bulletproof jackets and disembosomed themselves to the Absolute Truth. It’s time to get disarmed! Cold war is going on not only between countries, but between the souls of close/dear ones. In the company of materialistic people, we see the distorted reflections of ourselves, see ourselves reflected in false mirrors. We look ugly. We need a mirror that can reflect our hidden nature, that of love, kindness, compassion and happiness. Such a mirror is called “sadhu”. We should look for such mirrors everywhere because our salvation is in association with such personalities. They see the difference between the soul and the body and can show this difference to us. Do you remember mama saying, “You’re a good boy, how could you do such a bad thing?”
In the peaceful, amicable state of consciousness, we can begin to establish our relationships with the Absolute Truth. As we have learned from this verse, He is both far away and very near. It means if we are aggressive, He is far, far away and cannot be approached, but if we want love and peace, He can descend before us within less that a second.
Secrets of Alpha Brain Waves
This state is called the brain’s alpha rhythms, or the state of full relaxation. Only when we are completely relaxed do both hemispheres of the brain work together, and we can integrate unintegratable: logical left hemisphere and intuitive right hemisphere. This is our microcosm, by understanding which we can comprehend the macrocosm, consisting of the same contradiction.
Under what circumstances can we fully relax? If we don’t need anything and have no fear.
Otherwise, it makes no sense to appear in front of our contaminated minds. The Absolute Truth may appear in front of us personally, but we’ll be on the high ropes. Some people who come to listen to us don’t come back after the first lecture. Why? They’ve looked down on the Truth. “I know it myself,” thinks the mind, taking this knowledge to be a mere philosophizing.
The Absolute Truth comes to us for us to love Him. But we say: “Who do you think you are for me to love you? Prove that you love me. ” We want Him to make us healthy, wealthy and successful first, and then we’ll decide whether to condescend to Him or not. People study esotery, psychology or even follow religion, but not for the purpose of loving the Truth, but for the purpose of getting something from Him.
In the Bhagavat-Gita it is said that the attitude of the Absolute Truth towards the seeker depends on the depth of his/her love and degree of surrender. The Truth reserves the right not to reveal Himself to anyone and everyone but to show Himself only to those who surrender to Him fully and devote their whole lives to the search of Truth. For such pure souls, He is always within reach, whereas for those who want to get something from Him, He is far away.
In the Brahma-samhita it is said that the Absolute Truth is present everywhere. He enters the universe as well as all the atoms of the universe. He is outside, and He is within everything. He witnesses everything that is going on, and He awards us with the results of our actions. We ourselves may forget what we have done in previous lives, but because the Absolute Truth witnesses our actions, the results of our actions are always there, and we have to undergo reactions nonetheless. The fact is that there is nothing but the Absolute Truth within and without. Everything we see is a manifestation of His different energies.
The Trap of Autogenic Training
In modern psychology and esoterics, methods of self-praise, self-encouragement, self-laudation are very popular. It is thought that they give strength, enthusiasm and boost self-esteem. “What a good guy I am! I’m best of all! I have no faults or shortcomings – my faults are my peculiarities!” This is meant to improve our mood amid drab existence.
However, such an auto-training can help bolster self-esteem only when the situation one is in is not quite serious.
So What Is to Be Done?
Self-esteem really becomes positive when one really works on one’s own character and notices changes in one’s own heart. And it ensues not from dubious self-deceptiveness, “All is well despite the fact that all is bad,” but from real association with those who spur our advancement.
No independent mood-improvement techniques are healthy or long-term. They are nothing but various forms of drug and alcohol addiction. One takes some booze, and it peps him up… Remember: auto-training is psychological alcoholism.
The most important thing is to remember that we can’t please everyone so we should strive to please our teachers, maters and mentors. They understand our nature and see the true value of our achievements. When I see the look of pleasure on a face of my spiritual master once a year, it gives me enough strength not to pay attention to envy and criticism of thousands of people during the whole next year. What is this all for? All in all, to please the Absolute Truth is the very meaning of human life.
original http://www.ruzov.ru/article.aspx?mid=1&id=123&rid=9, MP3