The ignorance of the rope makes it appear as a snake

These are the words of Shri Shankara (“Five Couplets on the Atman” 2.): “The ignorance of the rope makes it appear as a snake. The erroneous knowledge of Atman makes  jivahood appear as an illusion in it.” Atman is Sacchidananda but Atman’s nature is erroneously known. You cannot say “not known” for it is ever-known. …

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Warukuchi from the English Heart of Tradition

It is difficult to translate the Japanese word warukuchi into English; as often in translation, there is no exact equivalent. The dictionary gives various words: abuse, slander, calumny, defamation, scandal, backbiting. But no single one of them is exactly right. Abuse has the sense of shouting, coarse language, and insult. But warukuchi is not necessarily …

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North-South-East-West from the English Heart of Tradition

In the British Broadcasting Corporation weather forecasts, the English phrase ‘here and there’ comes often. For instance, a forecast may say: “The snow which fell in the north of England yesterday has now mostly melted, though there are still some patches of snow here and there.” When this is translated into Japanese, ‘here and there’ …

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Social Conventions and Surprises from the English Heart of Tradition

Social conventions, which we learn as little children, have no surprises for us. In fact, they fade away to the fringe of consciousness, because we do not have to think about them consciously. For instance, Japanese people and British people say Thank You’ a great deal; Americans say it less, and Spaniards do not like …

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The attributes of Atman are given in the Shvetashvatara Upanishad

The following four attributes are the attributes of Atman given in the Upanishad (“Shvetashvatara Upanishad” 6.11) (1) It is sakshi, witness (2) it is cheta, conscious (3) it is kevala, one only; there is nothing besides it (4) it is nirguna, without any. Neither Plato nor Aristotle knew Atman; they discoursed only on buddhi. We …

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There are two states that the mind undergoes and notices all the time

There are two states that the mind undergoes and notices all the time. The mind creates a dream, and in the dream it creates the dream-mind and observes and notices the dream. In every dream, the mind creates the personality of the dreamer which he sees acting in it; there is no dream without it. …

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To know the Self, Atman, as the essence and substratum of the universe

“Ashtavakra Gita”, Chapter 2 verses 1-16: To know the Self, Atman, as the essence and substratum of the universe, including the mind individual and cosmic, two methods are recommended as preliminary ones. The first is: Control the mind, and prevent it from going towards tamas and rajas. To control the mind means to prevent the …

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When the mind is active, it should rest on the personal God

When the mind is active, it should rest on the personal God, Saguna Brahman. It should meditate on Vishnu, Jesus, Krishna, Rama; these are highest conceptions by meditating on which the mind slowly begins to lose its activity. If you imagine Jesus teaching on the Mount of Olives in His divine glory, and rest your …

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Man should turn his back on sense-pleasures and apply himself to tranquillity and simplicity and purity.

Prakriti is constant becoming. It is an evolute. The mind also is becoming. Rajas is giving prakriti motion all the time. The mind also is active all the time. But the witness of the mind, the Self, is free from being and becoming. The Self is gunatita, beyond the three gunas. Then doing anything, let …

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In Atman there is neither bondage nor deliverance

In Atman there is neither bondage nor deliverance, as in the sun there is neither night nor day. Atman is chaitanya, pure consciousness, but the dull-witted ones conceive the attributes of the intellect in Atman. Dull-witted ones. Why are they dull-witted and why are others not? Owing to their karma. Those who perform good deeds, …

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