Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Chapter 2 Verse 14

Chapter 2, Verse 14

"From the world of the senses, Arjuna,
Come heat and cold,
And pleasure and pain.
They come and they go.
Bear them patiently, strong soul,
With firmness of mind.”

Swami Shivananda:

"The more you are able to identify yourself with the immortal Self, the less will you be affected by the pairs of opposites. Titiksha, or the power of endurance, develops will-power. Calm endurance in pleasure and pain is one of the qualifications of a student on the path of Buddhi Yoga, the Yoga of discernment."

Ram Dass:

Practices of purification are essentially techniques for putting ourselves in a position where we become prepared to directly merge into the Self. They do that by creating a structure through which we can draw back from the things that keep trapping us, the things that keep creating Karma for us all the time. Until the practices cool us out, we will be constantly preoccupied with the dramas we create every day. With the practices, we can start to refocus, and deepen our meditation. And then, with the deepening meditation will come the higher wisdom. That's the principle behind the practices.

In a way, purification is a hype. You take your body as is, and your mind as is, and your feeling/nature as is, and right here, right now, in this very place, lies the Self, the state of absolute freedom. It's not in India or Tibet. It's not in this book or that book. It's right here, and you are it, right now. Okay, then, so what's the point of purification practices, if we are already the Self? The point of the practices is to get rid of whatever it is in us that prevents us from experiencing who we really are at this moment and in this place. From a practical point of view, this is the paradox. On one level of our intellectual understanding, we know that we already have all the riches. We know that we are the Atman, the Self, the Buddha. We know, on this level, that we're free. But when we look inside, we notice that although we know that we're free, somehow, we don't deep down really KNOW it. The practices like Karma Yoga and Buddhi Yoga, like worship and Mantra, are designed to get around that roadblock between our intellectual knowing and that deep down KNOWING."

Daniel Clark:

“I like Ram Dass's comments. He makes a distinction between intellect and experience. It isn't enough to have knowledge of the philosophy of the Gita. We want to directly experience the state Krishna is talking about. So we have to go beyond knowing into doing - doing the yoga practice. From that doing comes realization, or the direct experience. Very nice.”

[One of the dangers in studying any scripture is to get lost in the words and take them for the truth, where in actuality they are only signposts. You can’t eat a menu and get nourishment.


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