Continuous remembrance of God is the highest use of memory

Learning how to use the memory creatively is one of the most valuable techniques of Yoga. Memory plays a large part in our lives. When we carry on a conversation, we remember the language that is being spoken, the companion with whom we are conversing, and a host of past associations which render intelligible the …

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The jnani is subject to the fruit of karma willingly, while the ignorant is so unwillingly

In the real sense, meditation means to withdraw the mind from the objects of the five senses and also from the internal commotion of ambitions, pride, egoity, etc., and to focus it on itself. The words are said to have a great force, but the meaning has a greater force even than the words. Words …

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Vritti has two purposes which are related to sansara, and spiritual realisation.

What is the purpose of vritti? Vritti has two purposes which are related to (1) sansara, and (2) spiritual realisation. In sansara, practical achievement is the purpose of vritti – for instance, education, learning, knowing grammar, travelling, acquiring legitimate pleasure and wealth; these are all results of vritti. In the spiritual world, vritti has a …

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What is that state which the worshippers of God aspire to

Those who have made a firm determination to know Brahman as their Atman and to end the cycle of birth and death have the following courses open to them: (1) They should worship the Absolute state of God, without any attributes, limitations, about which nothing positive can be said, and to identify that principle with …

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Unless roots of spiritual conviction have been put down, the whole structure is hollow and falls to pieces

INTERLACED BRANCHES When there is a grove of trees growing closely together, their branches can get interlaced, so that they seem to support one another. Because they are so close, their individual roots are often very shallow, but the whole thing looks like a stable structure, a sort of table with many legs. But when …

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Judo Experience – Zen & More Stories

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The pure essence of mind was often represented by the full moon

The Moon in the Water Truth is presented variously, because the aim is to stimulate a pupil to realize something in himself, not to parrot phrases like a man in a snowstorm desperately mumbling to himself “fire”. Teaching in an India where logical exposition was prized, Shankara explains the classic analogy of the sun reflected …

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The Post-Beatles Generation and English quality of life

The middle-aged in Britain at present complain about the lack of respect for authority and the lack of consideration for others. The middle-aged have always done this. In 423 B.C. Aristophanes in Greece was  putting on comedies which showed how young people were questioning the authority of their parents. In one of his plays a …

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Looking back over Victorian Times and English quality of life

It’s a hard Life It is an interesting fact that most British people think of the Victorians as rather ‘heavy’ people, very staid and without zest. One reason is that the photographs we have of our grandparents are all from the early era of photography, when the person being photographed had to keep absolutely still …

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The Ideal of Balance and English quality of life

The gentleman-ideal is not an exclusive English thing. The elements have come from many sources, and though it has been developed in Britain, it must be developed further. The valuable elements which have developed so far have included, in my opinion, these: (1). The concept of life as a sport, undertaken very seriously under strict …

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English Quality of Life and ways in which British people think and act

In the famous “Thinker” of Rodin, a Frenchman. The pose, with one elbow on the opposite knee, is a most uncomfortable one, though the sculptor’s skill makes it seem calm. Foreigners remark sarcastically that it shows how the French twist themselves into knots when they think, and there is a saying, “Every Frenchman is a …

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How Dr. Hari Prasad Shastri prepared to set out on his momentous spiritual mission

Those who are familiar with Dr Hari Prasad Shastri’s writings will know that there were three dominant spiritual figures who inspired and guided his steps in his early life. First and foremost, of course, there was, Shri Dada. But hardly less influential were those two other great spiritual luminaries, Paramahansa Swami Rama Tirtha and Swami …

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We named it and now it’s known and is correspondingly supposed to be understood

There is a mediaeval Japanese story about learning which is quite revealing. A man turns up at a mediaeval court, supposed to be about 13th century, and it is noteworthy that the local lords are, in the cheerful, democratic, traditional Japanese way, often presented as  fools. Anyway, the local lord is there and the man turns up …

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A great verse on reincarnation comes at the beginning of the teachings

As the wearer casts off worn-out clothes and puts on himself others which are new, Even so, casting off worn-out bodies, the body-wearer passes on to new ones. Bhagavad Gita II.22 This great verse on reincarnation comes at the beginning of the teachings, and it refers to the great Self which takes on itself the …

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Bhagavad Gita Chapter 18 is said by some commentators to be a summary of the teachings

Like Chapter II, the Bhagavad Gita Chapter XVIII Conclusion is said by some commentators to be a summary of the teachings of the Gītā. It begins by recalling the familiar distinction between: (1) physically giving up (saṃnyāsa) actions, except for a few semi-automatic ones which preserve the body, and (2) energetically performing the actions proper to one’s …

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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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