Sri Bimal Mohanty
PRASTHANATRAYAM – THEIR IMPORTANCE IN SANATAN PHILOSOPHY.- Part 3
QUESTIONS FROM READERS
QUESTION 1 FROM Sri VARUN JOSHI
Intolerance in the name of religion seems to be getting out of control in our society. Is there no solution?
ANSWER: Yes it does appear so because of the increased media reach and the sensational news value attached to it. But there is also a growing silent aversion to that, which is also building up in the society. Many sensible minds keep spreading sanity in their own way. Their time shall come.
It is worth repeating what we discussed in the pages of AHWAN some years back.
When do I express intolerance and spread hatred about another faith?- another view point?
----- when my confidence in my own faith is tottering. When I see weakness in my own self and am unable to find reasoning in my own actions and thoughts, I often express aggressiveness and offence. Any faith evolved out of ultimate truth is beyond vilification. It does not get devalued. Those who show intolerance - no matter to which faith they belong- need sympathy and our prayer so that The almighty may help them to see light.
Even many of the younger generation (not excluding the elders) today are introspecting and questioning? The vibrations they send out are powerful enough and touches many.
QUESTION 2 FROM Dr VIPIN SARNA
Sir, we often hear words like ‘wrath of God’, ‘eternal death’, ‘judgement day’, ‘sin against God’ etc. Do they have any spiritual significance?
ANSWER: Not really. In vedantic or sanatan philosophy they have no significance. On the other hand they confuse the mind about the true nature of what we are.
“Wrath of God” – The very concept of God is that of a benevolent, compassionate loving entity. Wrath can not be His nature. His constant endevour is to see us raise ourselves from the pit of ignorance and misery to the existence of gnosis and bliss. The apparent misfortunes that we face in life are the fires in which he helps us to burn our imperfections. We are all amrtasya putrah – children of the immortal. Is a parent ever wrathful of his own children? That is illogical.
“Eternal Death”- This is another misconception. If anything, the sanatan philosophy is definite about “eternal deathlessness” of the soul. No one dies. The soul only changes external states of existence and moves up to be eventually one with its source, the ever-immortal Brahman.
“Judgement day” –We are all part of the process, the cosmic mahayajna where every soul is continuously going through the process of self-purification and self-perfection. The final destination of every soul is the absolute perfect satchidananda- the truth, its realization and the ensuing bliss. That is without doubt, the promise of our existence. A final day of judgement pre-supposes either condonation or condemnation. It negates the continuous progressive movement of the soul. Through Yoga we judge ourselves every moment and correct ourselves and take the next step ahead. That is a very positive approach.
“Sin against God” – The process of mahayajna is a process of continuous development, a continuous journey from darkness to light, from unreality to reality. In our ignorance we commit mistakes but no ‘sins’. With every mistake, comes realization and we correct ourselves. There comes another opportunity and the progress continues. The concept of sin weakens you. The final destination is never denied to any soul, no matter how long, how many lives it takes. All along the journey the Lord holds our hand, helping us with love and care.
QUESTION 3 FROM SRI HARI MOTWANI
(Question reconstructed) Knowledgeable men propagating own view points create different paths / faiths. I feel the common TRUTH should appear as the rays of the same ONE ALMIGHTY BRAHMAN.
ANSWER: You are absolutely right in your thinking here. As a matter of fact the basic truth declared by sanatan philosophy is ‘satyamekam viprAh vahudha vadanti’- there is but one truth, wise men explain it in different ways. If you please refer to the question answer section of AHWAN July 06 issue, it was said that no developed religion, sect or philosophy disputes over the existence of one single reality that is at the center of everything. The debate is only about the descriptive attributes of that entity. That is because the attributes of Brahman (or whatever name you call Him by) are endless- not confined to limitations of whatever kind. Therefore, as they see Him so they say. They are all wisemen – viprahs.
One should not be harsh on them by saying that these are verbal jugglery. Here is a story that may illustrate the point. A group of men went to see the Royal museum. The emperor’s limitless wealth is housed in a gigantic mansion with hundreds of windows for visitors’ viewing. The men stood in front of a window each and saw wonder struck the emperor’s opulence, each from his own vantage point.
They returned and gathered together each recounting what he saw. Each saw things that were not visible from another’s viewing angle. When each one listened to the others, every one’s knowledge only increased manifold. They did not quarrel. They listened and felt happier and happier.
Truly wise men do not quarrel. They pick out new facets of truth from the other which has escaped his angle of vision. All add up to greater understanding to a logical and receptive mind.
Fools (mudhas) waste time quarrelling.
QUESTION 4 FROM SRI SHASHANK DAVE
Sir Why our politicians and administrators can not adopt a spiritual approach to life which can raise our country to its old glory?
ANSWER:Indeed why not? If politics and governance is all about the human existence in all its dimensions, then it can not ignore the spiritual dimension.
All other dimensions are ‘survival’ oriented while the spiritual dimension is ‘development and evolution’ oriented- to raise the human existence into a state of ‘higher being’.
Until and unless spirituality grips and dictates every thought and action of ours, politics and governance will always remain the sport of inferior minds
QUESTION 5 FROM Ms BHANUMATHI
Respected Sir; I have been following your instructions in AHWAN and must say that derived a lot of benefits. But I can not see having achieved anything concrete spiritually yet. Is there any crash programme that one can follow to take a quantum leap?
ANSWER: The answer is a firm ‘NO’. To have the restlessness for God consciousness is good. But to be obsessed with the idea of quick results is bad.
Patience is an essential requirement of sadhana.
A tree bears fruit when it is ready through proper nourishment. To force it to bear fruit early through so called scientific manipulations, produces abnormalities.
Surrender to Divine wisdom and ways. Remain in Yoga and let the nature take its course.
Few people appreciate the greatness of the divine system.
(Please follow diligently the four part article ‘Preparations for Sadhana’ in June to October 2002 issues of AHWAN)