Insights

Insights On The Short Path

Intuition knows earthly truth without the intervention of reasoning, while insight knows divine truth in the same direct way. (20-4-151) When the mystery of it all is solved, not merely intellectually but in experience, not only in the person himself but in transcending it, not only in the depth of meditation but in the world of activity; when this answer is richly felt as Presence and God, clearly known as Meaning and Mind, then, if he were to speak he would exclaim: “Thus It Is!” But this is not the beginner’s glimpse: it is the sage’s settled insight. (25-2-24) We need to know the truth, the wisdom-knowledge, but it is not enough. We need to have the living mystic experience,…

Bewildered Ignorance

At first, for bewildered beings Awareness did not arise on the ground. That obscurity of unconsciousness Is the cause of bewildered ignorance. The Dzogchen view is that deluded beings arise because of the failure to see the awareness of the original ground. The awareness, which did not arise on the ground, is the awareness of spontaneous insight, vipashyana, superior insight. This does not mean that rigpa is absent in the beginning. It is very much present. However, when we fail to recognize it, when it fails to recognize itself, the illusion begins. The whole of samsara manifests from that very moment of nonrecognition. In a way, it is very simple. We search so much for the beginning of samsara. However,…

Self-Observation

The only way someone can be of help to you is in challenging your ideas. If you’re ready to listen and if you’re ready to be challenged, there’s one thing that you can do, but no one can help you. What is this most important thing of all? It’s called self-observation. No one can help you there. No one can give you a method. No one can show you a technique. The moment you pick up a technique, you’re programmed again. But self-observation—watching yourself—is important. It is not the same as self-absorption. Self-absorption is self-preoccupation, where you’re concerned about yourself, worried about yourself. I’m talking about self-observation. What’s that? It means to watch everything in you and around you as…

Get In, Get In

Narrated by N. V. Gunaji When there is a sincere desire on the part of a devotee to see Bhagavan and a determination to do so, Bhagavan helps him miraculously and meets him halfway. From the moment I decided to see Bhagavan, everything helped me. I wanted to know more about Bhagavan and his Ashram. So, I went in search of Mr. Sakhdev, who had lent me some Ashram books, at Madhavpur-Vadgaon near Belgaum and there enquired of a man who was tending cattle, about Mr. Sakhdev. Imagine my surprise when the man told me that he himself was Sakhdev! He gave me all the information I needed and confirmed me in my determination. Next, I went to Messrs. Karguppi…

Lieh-Tzu

Taoist Stories for Practical Living Lieh-tzu lived during the Eastern Ch’ou dynasty (770-476 BCE). It is said that he studied under Wen-tzu, who was a student of Lao-tzu. The book the Lieh-tzu contains materials that were written over a period of six hundred years. There were twenty sections which were condensed into the eight sections we have today. Because it contained more stories than formal philosophical discussion, the book was dismissed as a minor work. If it weren’t for the efforts of a scholar of the Eastern Chin (317-420 CE) who edited and wrote a commentary on it, the Lieh-tzu would have probably disappeared into oblivion. Lieh-tzu was a natural hermit. From the scanty information we have about him, we…

I Am Not Going Away. Where Could I Go?

Sri Ramana Maharshi, just before his death when the devotees were grieving over his imminent departure, reassured them with the above statement. What is the meaning of these immortal words? We have the idea that upon death, we are going somewhere; we are departing from this earth, from this world. It is necessary and, I think, very fruitful to thoroughly investigate this situation for oneself. In the first place, what really is “here” and is one ever going anywhere? Also, what is “now” and what is the future? Are not these terms always a function of body-mind-sense activity? In the waking state, I can assert that I find myself “here” (or at such and such a place) in the present….

Zen Stories

Concentration A young and rather boastful champion challenged a Zen master who was renowned for his skill as an archer. The young man demonstrated remarkable technical proficiency when he hit a distant bull’s eye on his first try, and then split that arrow with his second shot. “There,” he said to the old man, “see if you can match that!” Undisturbed, the master did not draw his bow, but rather motioned for the young archer to follow him up the mountain. Curious about the old fellow’s intentions, the champion followed him high into the mountain until they reached a deep chasm spanned by a rather flimsy and shaky log. Calmly stepping out onto the middle of the unsteady and certainly…

Wisdom of the Sufi’s

Desire An emperor was coming out of his palace for his morning walk when he met a beggar. He asked the beggar, “What do you want?” The beggar laughed and said, “You are asking me as though you can fulfill my desire!” The king was offended. He said, “Of course I can fulfill your desire. What is it? Just tell me.” And the beggar said, “Think twice before you promise anything.” The beggar was no ordinary beggar; he was the emperor’s past life master. He had promised in that life, “I will come and try to wake you in your next life. This life you have missed, but I will come again.” But the king had forgotten completely—who remembers past…

Wisdom from Around the World

True Wealth One day a very wealthy family took their son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing him how very poor people live. They spent a day and a night on the farm of a very poor family. When they got back from their trip the father asked his son, “How was the trip?” “Very good, Dad! “Did you see how poor people can be?” the father asked. “Yeah!” “And what did you learn?” The son answered, “I saw that we have a dog at home, and they have four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of the garden, they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lamps…

True Solitude

In early 1972, the French Benedictine monk Abhishiktananda (Father La Saux) lived in India as a mendicant, spending time in solitude at the sacred hill Arunachala, in South India, and alone in the Himalayas. This is a letter to Marc (his student), who wanted to experience the heart of solitude for himself. Abhishiktananda sent him to Arunachala to learn that true solitude is everywhere. Your pilgrimage must not be interrupted, unless you are compelled to do so by unavoidable outward circumstances. It is part of your spiritual practice. The espresso bar on the corner of the ghats [steps leading to a common bathing area] is no less “brahmic” [sacred] than the arati or the ecstatic Mass. This is precisely what…

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