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Nonduality




Tuesday
August 29, 2000


THE NONDUAL DAILY NUGGET

August 29: Kiss of God, by Marshall Stewart Ball, introduction by Metta Zetty

August 28: The Birdhouse, by Wayne Austin
August 25: The Only Practice, by Joyce Short
August 24: From Black Holes to You, by Dave/Manchine
August 23: Thine Own Self: Part Three, by Madhava K. Turumella
August 22: Thine Own Self: Part Two, by Madhava K. Turumella
August 21: Thine Own Self: Part One, by Madhava K. Turumella

NUGGET archives


Marshall thinks love will take us to God. Would you go?

August 29
Kiss of God
by Marshall Stewart Ball
Introduction by Metta Zetty

This article first appeared in Awakening into Awareness Ezine, August, 2000. It is reprinted with permission.

Marshall Stewart Ball is a brilliant child who touches people's hearts through a veil of silence. Although he can neither speak nor walk and depends on others for physical help, he is a constant source of inspiration and guidance for people in matters of the mind and of the heart. Having been evaluated in public school at a twelfth-grade reading comprehension level at age nine, his capacity to think and feel constantly amazes his teachers, friends and family. Marshall knows the meaning and spelling of words with which even his family and teachers are not familiar. Even more amazing is the powerful impact he has on everyone he meets.

Marshall's parents realized early on that he did not think like an average child. He constantly wrote of love, knowledge, freedom and God on his alphabet board. Since 1992 (when Marshall was 6 years old), he has completed hundreds of pages of writings. _Kiss of God_ is a collection of selected works, including letters written to friends and family, answers to questions people have asked him, and several writings he composed for the sole purpose of teaching.

Marshall often writes about love and listening. His writing style is unique and at times quite unpredictable, but it will touch you deeply and open your eyes to the simple truths of life. He refers to himself as a teacher, and wrote: "Questions want good answers. With the help of my family and dear friends, I have been able to answer thoughts concerning old beliefs about questions regarding why people are not happy. Answers come when we are listening to beautiful poetry. When good thoughts patiently come, questions are answered."

When I wrote to Marshall to request permission to quote from his new book, he graciously replied:
"Good Marshall thanks you for giving that
Marshall Love to all.
That Marshall is caring grandly about you.
Marshall gives that sweet good love to you."

"That Marshall is giving you the good Kiss.
Would you give the teaching Kiss to others?
That Marshall thinks love will take us to God.
Would you go?"

Marshall's book, _Kiss of God_ may be ordered online through his website, and he may be contacted at: Marshall Stewart Ball P.O. Box 340045 Austin TX 78734

--Metta Zetty

The Poetry

Remember Rooms Rest
Inspired by the music of Bach; written at the age of 6.

"The wind changes direction.
There is lovely music that feels soft.
Marshall is there thinking
lornfully gorgeous thoughts.
I, listening marvelously
juxtaposed in wonderment
finding solitude near!
Sweeter moments are surrendered to their just rooms,
like some sweet lornful friends.
My pleasure is finding, beauty will have swoonfully
cear sovereignty.
Soul might rest listening nicely!"

My Harmony Prevails to Free

"Even though my individuality finds sweet knowing perfection,
I listen for the answers to wishes from above. I listen to
good thoughts like something cloudy over mountain tops.
Fine messages clearly govern my thinking. Feelings grow
harmoniously making Love possible. Harmony might justify
every marvelous idea given to Love. The seeing Marshall
hopes to free the hopeless. Dear harmony needs progress
governing fine thinking that I feel. I see harmony as
the final known answer."

Righteous Thoughts

"Real thoughts are good to share. I write words to you
because pleasant feelings can change the righteous
person's thoughts. Listening, sometimes there is progress
made when thoughts find their home. Fine thinking reveals
marvelous freedom from the righteous person's sorrow."

Choices Are Yours

"The now I give to a good thinker.
Go to feelings that give good to others.
You make the choice to think good or bad.
Real true thoughts go to happy givers.
Begin now to make good choices."

Teaching Clouds

"Inside some clear, swift, gorgeous,
gentle, giving clouds
is some incredible true love.
Lovely, dear, golden,
good fine clouds emerge
from God's excellent teaching thought.
That gentle Love finds
there is true freedom in free clouds."

further selections

"I see myself as a teacher that knows about God.
Good thoughts come to me and they teach."

"Marshall has been here for millions of lifetimes."

"You are the thoughts of God.
Go to a good thought and you will know God."

"The growing thought learns to listen to God."

"Answers come when we are in our right place."

"Real comes when we love."

"That good thoughtful lovely person
grows love to make freedom reign."

"To judge another is to judge God."

"Destruction is the need to find being in matter."

"Poetry is the magnificent kindness of the heart."

"Understanding takes a dear good listening thinker."

"Kindness generates happiness."

"The hour needs your love.
Time takes us to a good thought.
Make time now to help others.
Giving good will make you happy.
Make a time to love all things.
The hour needs your love."

"Love pours, freeing me."

www.marshallball.com

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God forbid that you would build a birdhouse or a life that doesn't look like someone else.

August 28
The Birdhouse
by Wayne Austin

Ya know, I think spiritual texts and "How to....", books have a lot in common. They all hold out the promise if you do it right and follow the instructions the outcome will make you proud. Whether it be how to build a birdhouse or how to become saved they both follow a similar set of instructions.

First off you have to buy the book. Of course you can try it on your own but it is generally acknowledged that a fool who attempts to build a birdhouse without expert help won't be waking up any time too soon with the sound of sweet chickadees in his ears, just the same as any fool knows that without expert instruction in the salvation department he might find himself heading south when his goal was north.

So you set out to learn how to get to your final goal with the help of your book. Right off the bat you know you need help or you wouldn't have bought the book. God forbid that you would build a birdhouse or a life that doesn't look like someone else.

The book advises you to "gather materials" so you hikes yourself off to the hardware store for wood, nails and glue, or if you're trying to build a better life you do a mental inventory to see how many people you've hurt that you want to forgive and how you've generally made a mess of trying to be like god.

With materials gathered it is now time to assemble them so you read the first sentence in the chapter on assembly: "Be sure you have all the materials needed or your birdhouse will not welcome our feathered friends." So you once again take inventory and find that you forgot to forgive old Uncle Teabert for the time he said he didn't think you'd ever amount to anything.

With that done you buckle down to work. The book advises to only do so much at a time and to remember, "Rome wasn't built in a day", and the longer and more care you put into your birdhouse (salvation) the better the results will be. If you pay attention you won't find yourself with a bird house with its roof on the floor or stuck in purgatory hoping like hell someone is praying to get you out.

Finally the day arrives, the end of the book and tangible results that you've been making progress. The birdhouse looks pretty good and if you were a bird you'd certainly live there. You've been feeling better spiritually too because you've finished the lessons and forgave a lot more people then you thought you were mad at when you started. You sit there admiring your handiwork and turn to the final chapter which says: "If your birdhouse, (life), seems to have something missing or if it doesn't look as good as the one Jesus the Great Birdhouse Builder, built, turn to the first chapter and do it again. Practice makes perfect." And so with a sigh, you start all over again, determined that next time will be the last.

Like I say, birdhouses and salvation have a lot in common.......birds don't need a birdhouse and your soul needs no saving unless, that is, you have nuthin' better to do with your time.

Wayne Austin Website

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By practicing effortless contemplation you will develop the realization that the self is empty of any inherent existence

August 25
The Only Practice
by Joyce Short
contributed by Victor Torrico

This was an email I received about a year ago from Joyce Short a Canadian Dzogchen practitioner. --VT

Get comfortable and let mind and body really relax - no need to sit in any strict meditation position - relaxed in a comfy chair is fine. - Locate awareness in space and then put attention on the breath flowing in and out quite naturally.

After a few minutes, cease to focus on any particular object and practice "choiceless awareness", simply observing whatever objects arise and pass in Awareness. Notice the following about each object:

It is impermanent It has no existence apart from Awareness, Itself. Being a form of Awareness, it is transparent to it.

1. Without fixing attention on anything, just consider:

is there awareness of sights? is there awareness of sounds? is there awareness of sensations? Is there awareness of thoughts? is there awareness of feelings? Tastes? Etc.

This very Awareness which is right here now, IS that eternal, self luminous Reality that you have been striving to realize all along. Since this Awareness is already here, your striving is unnecessary.

2. Abandon all concepts about experience and simply observe.

See how appearances arise in Awareness. Since whatever appears is already present, how can it be avoided?

See how appearances pass in Awareness. Since whatever has passed is no longer present, how can it be grasped?

See how everything appears in Awareness without the least obstruction. Since nothing obstructs appearances, there are no obstacles to be removed.

See how everything passes in Awareness without the least hindrance. Since everything is self-liberating, there is nothing to be set free.

Relax into this effortless contemplation of how things actually are.

3. Without making any adjustments, continue to observe:

Although you say, "forms arise in Awareness," can you really separate Awareness from its forms? is not Awareness like an ocean and forms its waves?

Because Awareness and forms are ultimately inseparable, duality never existed. How then can it be transcended?

Although you say, "I am aware of such and such object," can you truly distinguish between yourself and the object? Where does 'self" end and "object" begin?

Because subject and object are, in reality, indistinguishable, delusion never originated. How then can it be dispelled?

4. Look! reality is staring you in the face:

You say you cannot eliminate your 'self' but there is no self to eliminate.

You say you have not attained "Enlightenment" but there is not the slightest thing to attain.

you say, "I am ignorant of my true identity." but how can this be? What else is there besides this infinite, eternal, non dual field of Awareness-and -form which is alreadty present, right here and now....and now...and now.....

Therefore, surrender all desire for attainment and just be what you are" Awareness, Itself!

Do not grasp anything, do not reject anything...be whatever is. "Enlightement" is not a place in which to settle, nor is 'Gnosis' a state that needs to be maintained. All experiences, all feelings, all states-whether mundane or sacred are by their very nature transient and ephemeral. Without maing an attempt to either hold on or push them
away, simple remain identified with awareness, Itself and continue to practice effortlessly.

By practicing effortless contemplation you will develop the realization that the self is empty of any inherent existence. Thus, while objects continue to appear in Awareness, the delusion that they are being experienced by some'one' will subside. This state of profound selflessness or Awarenesss-without-a-subject is often a prelude to full awakening. What is missing is the complimentary realization that not only does the 'self' lack any inherent existence, but so do objects. Consequently, as long as objects seem to exist in their own right there is no Gnosis. However, if you remain in the state of Awareness-without-a-subject then as Awareness-without-an-object finally dawns, you will realize that the now vanished objects were, in themselves, only imaginary projections of this objectless Awareness. Furthermore, you will realize that your own Awareness-without-a-subject is, in fact, indistinguishable from (and thus identical to) Awareness-without-an-object. In other words, you will directly and simultaneously apprehend not only the True nature of your "self" but the true Nature of all 'objects" and 'worlds' - which is to say, Awareness-without-an-object-and-without-a subject. This is the end of the Path.

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Be permissive with your attention, and know the intent of its presence. Have absolute faith that the intent is rooted in the joy of Its own well being, Compassionate in discovery through creation in you. Just go with it, what else is there?

August 24
From Black Holes to You
by Dave (Manchine)

A prelude from Stephen Hawking's book, "Black Holes and
Baby Universes":

"In my teens, I built model airplanes and boats. My aim was to always produce working models that I could control. This was also a part of a drive that led me to invent a very complicated series of games. There was a manufacturing game, in which units of different colors where made, roads and railways on which they were carried and a stock market. There was a war game, played on a board of 4000 squares and even a feudal game in which each player was a whole dynasty. I think these games came from an urge to know how things worked, and to control them. Since I began my Ph.D this need has been met by my research into cosmology. If you understand how the universe operates, you can control it in a way.

"I was sure that nearly everybody was interested in how the universe operates, but most people can't follow mathematical equations. I don't have an intuitive feeling for equations, instead I think in pictorial terms, and the aim in my book was to explain these mental images.

"There were two concepts in particular that I felt I had to include. One was the so called sum over histories. This is the idea that there is not just a single history for the universe, rather, there is a collection of every possible history for the universe, and all these histories are equally real. The other idea, which is necessary to make mathematical sense of the sum over histories, is "imaginary time". Finally it is not neccesary to understand exactly what "imaginary time" is, just that it is different from what we call real time."

In a Time Magazine review: "He has written this book about the biggest question of all: Where did we come from and where are we going? The answer that Hawking proposes is that the universe is neither created nor destroyed: It just IS. In order to formulate this idea, Hawking introduces the concept of imaginary time. Still, if Hawking is right, and we do find a complete unified theory, we shall really know the mind of God."
OK, now it's me speaking:

I made the scientific approach, much as did Stephen (just not as famous :-) I used to take things apart, turn doll buggies upside down and spin the wheels, fix the mixmaster (and efficiently re-assembling it, using even less components than the origin construction). I was an inventor at age 10, the electric toothbrush was actually invented in 1959, I just wasn't sure how to take out a patent! I invented an electric bolt tosser, I could make a bolt stick into the wall from 2 1/2 feet. Had to go reset the curcuit breaker every time that I plugged the firing coil into the wall socket. My mother didn't like the black oxide marks on the wall sockets either!

Later, for about 8 years, I had my own company as an inventor and inventor's consultant. Creation was a marvel, seeing something come out of nothing. My company had a logo, that hid a secret.

It was a single star... Well, you know my secret. Even then I knew, but I really didn't understand. That star to me now is more than I can ever imagine, yet I'm as certain as I've ever been that the mystery and awe will never end.

The "image" of that star is so misleading, because it can only be an image from outside. A single point, surrounded by nothing. Such a point cannot have dimension, as you "approach", it remains the same, seemingly unreachable. As you "recede", it remains the same you cannot evade it. There comes a moment when you have to face the only incongruity, that "I" am not outside it. Being inside of it looks like THIS here all around us. The same rules hold for moving within a dimensionless "object". You can neither approach nor recede "your bounds" at least physically.

If something moves me, or if I learn to move (in a non-physical manner) I can become fixed in another viewpoint, within which I seem physically mobile, but in fact it is much akin to the first scenario where I cannot approach or recede from the star, sort of like a three dimensional parallel domain. "I" am one of those fixed views, you are another one of those views. Sort of like what Stephen Hawking was saying with his "sum over histories".

Where were we, "inventing", "something out of nothing". There is just so much truth to that. Making something, some physical thing, out of nothing is like what magicians do. When it's done, abracadabra, 1.2.3. then it's magic. When it's done using an elaborated procedure, then well it's more real. Inventing television was done using an elaborated procedure. Sure, if some guy came from the year 1810 and you sat him down in front of a TV and clicked your remote control, he'd faint when you brought him to the flushing toilet to change his pants! But to us, no big deal.

Now the scientists are using long elaborated procedures to explain what we already know. Unified theory, humph, that's peanuts! Nonduality, now there's the ticket!

Creation, taking things apart, discovery, seeking, how ever you do it, it's all part of THIS.

I liked what (a writer said on NDS list) today,
"I find there is that work of vigilance, attentional work, and at the same time complete trust in 'the universe' or 'source'. It has to do its thing. That's part of the attentional work, attending not only to the pockets of denser energy, but to their source.... When the attentional work becomes seamless, then perhaps it could be said one is 'pocketless'."
All that I said previously was very visual and hyperfocused, more as a warm-up exercise, but I feel those exercizes sharpen the attention, keep it alert and sensitive. Be permissive with your attention, and know the intent of its presence. Have absolute faith that the intent is rooted in the joy of Its own well being, Compassionate in discovery through creation in you. Just go with it, what else is there?

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Once upon a time a poor man was living in a village. One day he saw a very rich man going on an elephant. This poor man desired that kind of power. He wanted to become rich and he wanted to earn money.

August 23
Thy Own Self, Part Three of Three
by Madhava K Turumella

[Author's Note: My teacher Swamini Saradapriyananda-ji used to write "Thy own self" before signing off the any letter. You want to find that signature please search for her name in this Advaitin archives. As you may remember, before she attained Mahasamadhi on April 17th she participated in this list for a short period of time.

During the years 1986-87 when I approached her for the first time in my life, I asked her once about the meaning behind writing "Thy own self". Later I went to live in the ashram to learn what it means at her lotus feet. Consider the above subjected article is a humble attempt to understand the great reality behind the signature of the omnipotent "Thy own self". Please do not hesitate to comment or correct.]


"tat padaM darSitaM yEna tasmai Sree guravE namaH"

My teacher told me "God is a circle which has got center everywhere but circumference nowhere!" Then who is this GOD! As a child, I am told by my parents that GOD is very powerful! He can do anything. He will punish if you do bad, and he rewards if you do good. Then I wondered, "what is power? How do you define the power which GOD has possess? How do you define the Good and the Bad? How do you know which is Sin and which is not?..." Not that I came to know the answers now, but I am satisfied... I am satisfied knowing that the "I" --- which has lived in every human --- who walked in this presumed universe since time immemorial, has set up the rules, has defined what is power, has defined what is called as the original sin, has defined what is good and has defined what is bad. The "I" which has lived long back is also living now, and will live for ever. The "I" in my great-great-grand-father kindled the "I" in my great-grand-father. The "I" in my great-grand-father has kindled the "I" in my grand father, and my grand-father to my father and my father to me, myself to my siblings... It is the life which is kindled. The life that lives for ever... Then where is the beginning of this "I"? Upanishads answer that "He wanted to become many"... (tadaikshata bahusyAM prajAyEyEti)...

The science of vedanta is always considered as the Royal Science (Raja vidya), as aptly named in Bhagawad Gita. Because it talks about the The King, the "I" the first person singular, the most powerful in his own kingdom! Though everybody knows about the existence of this "I" in them, nobody talks about it, because nobody would like to face the harsh reality of existence. Though everybody is blessed with a philosophical intuition, nobody talks about it and keep it as a great secret! Something is considered as secret as long as it remains in the heart of its creator, the moment it goes out of the creator's lips, it is no more a secret but a gossip.

In deed, I know about my own weaknesses, better than anybody else does! But do I dare talking to everybody about my weaknesses? I am afraid what will happen to *my* image after I reveal about my weaknesses! I read somewhere "Do not tell people how bad you are, they may presume that you are too bad and revealing only a little bad about yourself! AND do not tell good about yourself because people may mistake that you are boasting..." Any attempt which you make to reveal about yourself will get repercussions, that is why nobody would dare talk. Neither I, nor anybody would dare talk... That is a royal secret (Raja guhyam), as aptly named in Bhagawad Gita.

Everybody maintains their royal secrets, most of the people keep secrets which they carry to their graves, they dare not tell even to their own wives... Why is this situation? It is because of the image which the "I" creates and maintains! Sometimes this image turns out to be absolute pretense. I know people who pretended that they are very rich and committed suicide when they knew that their reality is going to be busted! I would call them masked humans, it is an iron mask clamped by the order of the royal "I".

There was a mad man who lived in a small village. He went in to the village and told to all the children that a rich merchant, who is living in that village, is distributing sweets. All children ran in anticipation of eating sweets. The madman also ran along with them. The children finally reached the merchants place to find that there are no sweets being distributed. It was an absolute lie. Then they asked the madman "why did you come with us though you know that it is a lie!". For that the madman replied "after listening to your excitement I also felt that sweets are really being distributed". Everyone like this madman creates a desire, and run along thinking that it is going to be satisfied. Did you ever wonder what is desire and how it gets satisfied! Anyway, the harsh reality is that a human can not live with out an image. How ever false it may be, there should be an image.

The "I" having covered itself in the image, falsely thinks like the madman... It never realizes that it has created the image! I have seen people who claim themselves posing some powers, in reality they are not, they know at least some people living in this world would know the truth. But these some people are quite rare and these rare people don't care what that pretending person is doing... Hence, the sham of that fellow continues. Actually, we have to look at the "I" behind the pretending human. It is an "I" hiding in the false image of a guru posing powers. Here I am trying to point out that everybody will maintain the image. The sad thing is by creating a devil called image, they get caught and they live in it for quite long, till they get bored with that image.

Once upon a time a poor man was living in a village. One day he saw a very rich man going on an elephant. This poor man desired that kind of power. He wanted to become rich and he wanted to earn money. He tells the guru that he wanted to become a very rich man. Guru blesses him and this fellow becomes a rich man... Look behind this story. What this tells us? There is an "I" which has looked at its own image and compared itself with the image of an "I" which is considered rich! The "I" in the poor man *desired* that he should get the rich image that "I". Both the rich man and the poor man never recognizes their own self, but they recognize their outside image. They never look inside... They never look at the "I" which is surrounded by the image, rather they look at the image only.

Very few people realize this pretense. They try to go beyond the image, which is nothing but the outbound vision of the "I". Instead, they try to look behind the image, they turn their vision entirely inwards. "AvRUtta chakshuH, amRUtatatva miccan" --- desiring liberation they turn their vision inwards. They find the root, they find that it is "I". They moment they realize that "I" which is hidden behind an image, they also realize that the very same "I" is hidden in every being in this world. That is called "samadRUsti" and that is the real yoga.

sarva bhootasthamAtmAnaM sarva bhootAni cAtmani eekshatE yOga yuktAtmA sarvatra samadaRSanaH || Gita 6-29 || With the mind harmonised by YOGA he sees the Self abiding in all beings, and all beings in the Self; he sees the same everywhere. Such a realized person alone will enjoy the fruits of yoga. He alone can enjoy the bliss which such a wonderful state of equilibrium can bring! Indeed, it is the duty of every human to know their own self!

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'I' can witness 'I' as the world, only when 'I' is devoid of events

August 22
Thy Own Self, Part Two of Three
by Madhava K Turumella

"tatpadaM darSitaM yEna tasmai Sree guravE namaH"

The jeevabhava the Royal "I" in every human is deeply involved in a pastime. This is a pastime of life and death. Every birth is a new game and every death is a goal. Game played again and again, leads the life to the perfection --- the life which is perfectly divine! Each life is an event between birth and death. The moment you open your eyes it is birth, and the moment you close your eyes it is death.

Life is a bridging gap between birth and death... Each life teaches a great lesson. The "I" creates the life and he learns from it... Strange... isn't it? The creator himself is learning from the created. Man creates the events in his life, he learns from the experience. Just like a spider creates all the ropes from it's own belly, in order to design the web where it can live, the royal "I" creates all events where it can perfectly dwell in. It creates an event called friendship where it invites friends in to its fold. It creates an event called marriage where it invites certain individual to live next to it for the life. Each event in turn leads into another event, which in turn makes the "I" busy... "I" becomes so busy that it does not even realize that it is creating all this... Instead, it starts playing along with the events, haplessly getting dragged by them --- it cries for help.... Help which is nowhere to be seen. Who can help a spider, if it gets caught in its own web! He who has designed it only knows how to withdraw from it. Unfortunately, we never understand that every "I" the king, is the creator of all these events, he can very well unlock the mystery if he wanted to...

Imagine you are looking in to the mirror, who can make your mirror image real to you? The simple answer is you. As long as you stand in front of the mirror, the mirror shows your image. The world that you perceive is the mirror reality of the witnessing "I". As long the "I" wishes to remain in front of the world, it witnesses all the events... Now you may question, why can't "I" witness the "I" in the world, if the world is nothing but the mirror image? the answer is that "I" is again nothing but the events hence you see the events and you can't see "I" which is hopelessly lost in it's own events...

When you stand in front of the mirror fully dressed, you can't expect the mirror to show the naked "You". It can't because it is not designed such a way. Here is the folly: The "I", having created a life full of events and got hopelessly entangled in to it, thinks that the world is looking plural! Get rid of those events, like getting rid of clothes, you can see the real you... "I" can witness "I" as the world, only when "I" is devoid of events. When you listen to the great Seers who proclaim that "You are that", you naturally tend to get excited, in that excitement you go home. Next day morning you start meditating but you can not find anything... You may question, is that real? Is the Nondual state real? How do I know? Your question is genuine but the answer you can't expect, because simply the question you are putting is also an event... The "I" has to be intelligently dichotomized from the events it has created.

I learned from my teacher that the "I" the king rules his kingdom establishing 4 circles. You can view the chart at the following link:
http://www.egroups.com/files/advaitin/ichart.jpg

Carefully view the chart. The "I" which is in the center is having his family in the first circle. In circle 2 he got friends. And in circle 3 he got his enemies. Circle 4 is very big, it encompasses the whole world! Let me give you an analogy... Please keep looking at the chart and imagine...

[Story begins:]

Imagine that "I" have a Son. He is very dear to me, "I" am too possessive that "I" would never allow anybody to touch him. "I" am feeling very happy that he is growing up very good. "I" felt happy that he is the sports champion in the college. "I" felt very happy the day his photo appeared in the paper saying that he is the best Athlete in the county... "I" am proud that "I" am his father... "I" felt very happy He finished his graduation. Life is going on and "I" am very much comfortable with the life. "I" am happy that "I" have achieved a lot of wealth. "I" am happy about my family, about my fame, about my job, about my surroundings. One day a disaster struck... My son called up from his work place and said "Daddy! I would like to speak to you, can I have some private time in the evening". "I" was happy that he wanted to meet me and talk to me. "I" agreed to meet him, unknowing what kind of terrible thing is in store for me...

In the evening "I" was sitting in the lawn. My son came and sat. He started telling that he loved a girl and he wanted to marry her. "I" felt shocked. Because "I" wanted my son to marry my childhood friend's daughter. "I" gave my word to my friend (he is in the 3rd circle in the chart). Anyway, "I" wanted to know this girl's whereabouts! I enquired. But "I" was horrified to know that she is the daughter of that wretched fellow, whom I hate so much that "I" never wanted to face him in my life. He was my classmate while I was doing my graduation. We were friends then.. (he was in the 2nd circle!), but he insulted me saying that I am born in a low-class family. That time onwards "I" started hating him. Oh God! I hated him so much but never expected that my son will fall in love with that miserable dirt! "I" decided and told my son that "I" can't allow him to marry her... (Obviously, you know that she is in the 3rd circle along with her blessed father)

My son was very upset to know that "I" am against his decision. He replied thus: "father, "I" don't care whether you like her father or not, "I" am in love with her and "I" shall marry her. If you wish you could come and bless us. Otherwise - GOODBYE".

That very moment, "I" started hating my son too... After all these years, "I" spent my days and nights to bring him up. "I" spent my own leisure time, in order to work extra hours, in order to cover his medical expenses, his athlete gear... Finally is this what "I" get as a result of my affection. I HATED MY SON and "I" vowed that "I" shall never see him again. (He is instantly transferred from my 1st circle, where my family stays, in to the 3rd circle where my enemies are...)

That done. Days, weeks, years passed by.... Time has taken its toll on me. "I" have become too old. One day my family doctor finally gave the notice to me. He said that my days are numbered. "I" may die any time... "I" felt quite sad... quite miserable. "I" started remembering GOD... I started reading Bhagawad Gita... I started thinking of all the good days I spent in my life... I wanted to see all my children. OH GOD! "I" started missing my dear son, who left me for that wretched... wait a minute... why should "I" hate her? After all, she is not responsible for her father's mistake. "I" realized what a fool "I" am. Actually, why did "I" hate even her father? I started wondering...

I asked my wife to give a call to them. But even before the call is initiated, I could see that my son has arrived knowing my situation. He came to know that I am not going to live for long... I saw my grand children, I saw my daughter-in-law, I saw her father --- who is my enemy. And "I" embarrassed them all... I whole heartedly accepted them all in to my inner circle. (Immediately, all the people so far living in my 3rd circle have been transferred in to my 1st circle)

AND "I" DIED, ONE DAY FEELING VERY HAPPY THAT EVERYBODY IS SURROUNDED ME.... End of story.

Look at the chart
http://www.egroups.com/files/advaitin/ichart.jpg again! There is an "I" attached to all characters in this story. Imagine the "I" in everybody. You can clearly see the relationship that the "I" maintains with the world.

Part Three appears here tomorrow

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Each meditation is a game, removing all obstacles you reach the edge... and you bounce back... It is like a water pond, you are a ripple trying to reach your source, you hit the source you bounce back...

August 21
Thy Own Self, Part One of Three
by Madhava K Turumella

"tatpadaM darSitaM yEna tasmaiSree guravEnamaH"

Every human is a king of his own inner kingdom! The thing that we call as human is an abstract being. When we deal with any human, we are subtly dealing with the individual self --- the Ego! In sanskrit this is called as Ahamkara, also called as JeevabhAva.

I wonder whether you ever peeled an onion! When you start peeling an onion, taking off every sheath, one after the other, finally nothing remains in your hand, because all the onion consists is an array of sheaths. Same way, human also consists of sheaths visible/invisible! That is the reason why I said human is an abstract being. The Physical body which consists five sense organs and five organs of work; The mental body and the casual body all these are sheaths of human.

A person may look dark at his physical body level due to his skin complexion. If anybody, who deals with this dark skinned fellow, discriminates him saying he got dark complexion then that person could be identified as dealing with the Physical sheath of human! A person may be a great writer, he may have written wonderful stories, which are quite enchanting. Imagine any fan of him, they are all in adoration towards the storywriter's mental body. A writer is another abstract being, called human, who is imagining things at his mental body level and writing. Same way a scientist might get name and fame due to his intellectual prowess, still when somebody deals with him, is really dealing with his mental body. This is how we involve ourselves with the world.

I question "do you know me"? If your answer is "Yes of course! You are Madhava" then you are wrong! If you answer is "Yes you are so and so, born so and so, working as so and so., husband of so and so, father of so and so." then also you are wrong. Perhaps, my question could never be answered, "Do you know me?". Then I wonder "Do I know you?", if I presume that you are all so and so, then I am wrong. Perhaps, this question can not be answered now... "Who are you?". Neither I know myself, nor I know you. Neither you know me, nor you know about yourself. We all identify each other with the help of the sheaths. The funny thing is that I identify myself with my sheaths and act in the world. If I don't identify then I can't act. I identify myself as a computer professional and I work. I identify myself as a husband, as a father, as a son, as a brother and I act accordingly. But then "who am I" who is putting on such wonderful act! I should be an actor then, yes I am, and the world is my stage, all fellow humans are my co-artists. Everybody has his or her role to play, and I have my own!

During the times of deep meditations we get rid of all other sheaths, or forms of identifications, and reach to a state where we confront our own Ego. We don't know how to transcend it, we stop there and get amazed with the play that the Ego is putting on with the world. We stop to marvel at the power of the Ego, which is the commander-in-chief, the Ego the king. We fall in trap with the Ego and fall back. This is exactly where we come ut of meditation. Did you ever wonder what forces you out of meditation? Imagine you sat for meditation, after some time the alarm goes off, you get up and attend your ablutions. Is that the alarm, which has forced you out of meditation? NO! It is the Ego, which forced you out of meditation. It says "Hey! You can't sit in meditation for long because you got to do so and so work, you got to go for a walk, you got to fetch the milk." The "I" keeps certain tasks at hand in order to go into meditation and gets out of the meditation recalling all those tasks. Imagine if you have nothing to do and then you went to meditation, then you can stay there comfortably for some more time, yet you will come out of it because then your Ego forces you out in order to perform the bodily functions, hunger, thirst etc.

Did you ever wonder about the color of the Ego? Yes, there is a color to the Ego, it is Gold, pure Gold. An attractive Yellow color, reaching which you are forced back from meditations. It is rare that one can encounter ones own ego in meditations, but it is possible. But the moment you reach that state you start crying, you go in to ecstasy. You are like a tennis ball and It is like reaching a wall, hitting which you bounce back. Each meditation is a game, removing all obstacles you reach the edge... and you bounce back... It is like a water pond, you are a ripple trying to reach your source, you hit the source you bounce back...

All our great seers have cried to transcend this Ego. They begged for the help of their most dearly deity so that they could get out of it. For example in our Esopanishad the Seer requests the SunGod to remove the veil, which is in golden color, which is veiling the truth. (pushan tvaM apAvRuNu satya dharmArtha drushTayE)

Let us see how the I is playing all this wonderful drama..

Part Two will be published tomorrow

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