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Some Thoughts on Religion
From JR Group, Mar 4, 2010, by Vinay Jha

Real religion is always highly personal. Geetaa differentiates between Gyaan and Vigyaan, the former being proper knowledge attained through education, and the latter being direct (practical) encounter with Truth about oneself and about the world/worlds.

Reality thus encountered is beyond words and arguments, but mortals have no other tools to describe their experiences. To realize this indescribable is religion, and to communicate it is art. Institutionalization of religion and art kills both. Yet we need institutions to preserve ourselves among an unruly multitude.

A purified (enlightened) mind gets only the messages sent from divinities : Sw + apn = swapn = to get or receive the good (messages or things) . These good messages may be about coming mishaps too, yet they are good because they are true and help us. A bad mind gets or invents false dreams.

Five Karmendriya and five Gyaanendriya plus mind are eleven Rudra which make us weep (rud-) by going after sensory objects and desires, but when all these eleven Rudra combine, the mind becomes Shiv. Personal Ego fades away. during these transformation of the mind, Sushupt (deep sleep) is destroyed and Swapn is followed with Tureeya stage of Samaadhi. Swapn, therefore, is the bridge between the ultimate noumenal Reality attained in Samaadhi and the phenomenal existence known as Jaagrat. This ultimate Reality is Real Consciousness, and Jaagrat is False Consciousness because it is neither con- nor -scious, because it is individualistic and not collective and lacks con-, because it cannot see into the depth of things and is without -scious. In Jaagrat Avasthaa (state), we see only surfaces of phenomena.

Yog Vaashishth describes four stages of human existence : Jaagrat, Swapn, Sushupt, and Tureeya. Jaagrat Avasthaa is of two kinds : Conscious with or without real Self-Knowledge. A person attaining real Self-Knowledge skips Sushupt and enters into Tureeya Avasthaa which is another name for Yoga Nidraa. Normal Nidraa is one of the five cardinal sins (Klisht Vritti of Chitta) which cannot be discarded without lifelong excruciating Tapasyaa. Literally, Nidraa means Ni + draa, ie looking downwards, ie looking towards physical and material and not towards the spiritual or divine. Constant Jap and meditation helps in diluting the hold of Nidraa. At this stage of dilution, dreams of flying come. But when one sinks down towards lower levels of consciousness then dreams of drowning come. Instead of wasting time over interpreting dreams, one should try to overcome sleep and dreams.

According to Upanishadas, there are four types of mundane existence of Soul. First three are (1) I am nothing, everything is God, (2) I am God, (3) I am a point or Bindu in the Ocean Which is God, ie I am a part of God, and the fourth is (4) I am body. If a person dreams of himself as a physical body, he is bound to be reborn in this Mrityu Lok. But if he retains self-knowledge in any of the first three forms, then he is destined for Moksh (provided this higher state of consciousness is retained till death).

"I am a Bindu of Consciousness in a boundless Sindhu of Collective Consciousness or God" belongs to Vishisht A-Dwait Darshan. But "I am Brahm" and "I am nothing and Everything is Brahm" are different manifestations of A-Dwait Darshan. "I am nothing and Everything is Brahm" is the preceding stage of final A-Dwait. "I am Brahm", because "I am nothing" is for the Ego (Aham) and "Everything is Brahm" includes the real Self. But these words will do no good unless and until Kriyaa Yog is practiced for sufficient duration.
Truth does not hurt anyone, although fools wedded to falsehood may imagine so. Truth (Sat) is not a matter of discussion, but a matter of first hand and direct encounter with one's real Existence. A single grain of untruth in one's own life at any level prevents the real Knowledge of Self. Many people have read Yog Sootra and have learnt how to deliver attractive lectures about it. But there are some Yogee who have attained some or more measure of Self Realization without any bookish knowledge of Patanjali or Kapil Muni's. Sincere effort is needed rather than bookish scholarship.

Persons dreaming of flying body want to escape from worldliness but cannot because of lack of proper spiritual knowledge. Proper spiritual knowledge cannot be attained by mere reading of spiritual books, although it may help in clarifying doubts. Read Paatanjala-Yog Pradip by Swami Omananda Teerth (Gita Press Gorakhpur, Rs 75). It will help you in clearing a lot of doubts and will also show you the practical way out.

Logic is incapable of apprehending Reality, but I repeat that most of the mortals have no other tool. My Guruji once rebuked me because I used too much of logic. My reply : those who have crossed the Vaitaranee need logic no more, those who do not want to cross the Vaitaranee no not respect Logic, but those (like me) who are mid-stream need Logic otherwise they will fail to differentiate between both banks of Vaitarnee. Preaching does not elevate anyone, as Sage Vashishth said in Yog Vashishth.


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Created by Sushma Gupta on 5/9/09
Updated on 06/09/11