Collection of Thoughts from Hindu Mystics - Part I
Sri Aurobindo & Mother
It is by a constant inner growth that one can find a constant newness and unfailing interest in life. There is no other satisfying way.
Self attainment is the secret; self knowledge and an increasing consciousness are two means and the process.
Everything turns around the consciousness. And it is only the true consciousness that one can attain perfect expression of oneself.
True consciousness is divine consciousness and true transformation is transformation of consciousness. If an individual is separated from divine consciousness that is the cause of all its miseries.
Never take the attitude of hoping for support, help, comfort from anyone except the divine.
When you act, your only object is to serve, that is, instead of acting for your personal good, you act with the feeling of serving, of receiving Divine Force, not from outside , but from within you.
Nothing can be taught to the mind which is already concealed as potential knowledge in the unfolding
Live in solitude, be alone, and control your mind and self. Be free from cravings. Do not own anything.
If you make a search of "Whom am I", the real "I" extends a helping hand and takes you inwards. Then whatever you do is the work of athma.
If you try to know "Whom I am", the false "I" vanishes and the true "I" remains.
Investigation of self is superior to devotion.
Your duty is continuous practice of self enquiry. Self enquiry is to seek the source of ego. As the ego vanishes, everything appears as Athma.
The cause of all misery is ignorance; and that is perfectly true when applied to social or spiritual. It is ignorance that makes us hate each other. It is through ignorance that we do not know and do not love each other. As soon as we come to know each other, love comes, must come.
Look upon every man, woman, and every one as God. You cannot help anyone. You can only serve; serve the children of the Lord, serve the Lord himself, if you have the privilege.
Bring all light into the world. Light bring light. Bring light to the poor, and bring more light to the rich, for they require it more than the poor. Bring light to the ignorant, and more light to the educated, for they require more than the ignorant.
To work, you have the right and not the fruits thereof. Let not your work produce results for you (personal gains) and at the same time may you never be without work.
Soul is divine, only held in the bondage of matter. Perfection is reached when the bondage is broken and when this happens it is "Mukthi" or freedom. Freedom from misery.
To become perfect, to become divine, to reach God, constitutes the religion of Hindus. The Hindus have associated the ideas of holiness, purity, truth, Omni presence, with different images and forms. Hindus use external symbols (idols) when worship. It helps to keep the mind fixed on the being to whom he prays. Hindus knows as well you do that the images is not God. If a person can realize divine with help of an image (idol), it is not a sin. At a second stage of self realization, the person may not need an image. Praying to idols is an attempt of many Hindus during 1st phase of self realization. Many may remain at this stage of worship for self realization and some may move up in the process of self realization without images or idols.
One should work like a master and not as a slave. Work is necessary, but do not do slave's work. Ninety nine percent of mankind work as slaves and the result is misery because it is all selfish work. Work through freedom and love.
Karma yoga is attaining unselfish work. Selfish work is immoral and unselfish work is moral. The goal of all nature is attaining freedom through unselfish work. Karma yoga is a system ethics and religion intended to attain freedom through unselfishness and by good work.
The one man that carried the teachings of Karma yoga into practice was Buddha. The greater philosopher, preaching the highest philosophy. He is the ideal karma-yogi. He is the first great reformer the world has seen. The man represents the very highest ideal of karma yoga.
Bhakti is defined it as extreme love for God. God is goal of life. We can never conceive anything higher than God, because God is perfection. Love between people is bondage whereas love for God is attaining freedom and perfection. Attaining freedom through utmost love for God is Bhakti-Yoga.
Bhakti is divided into two parts. The first part is called "Vaidhi Bhakti" or the lower phase of worship. These include prayers, ceremonies and other forms. Some may be helped by the images. Some may not. Some require images outside, others require inside their mind. The second part of Bhakti is called "Mukhya Bhakti" or abstract understanding of realization. From Vaidhi to Mukhya Bhakti is a step by step process.
The final idea is that my religion cannot be yours and yours cannot be mine. Although the goal and aim are the same namely reaching God or self realization. It cannot be that one is true and the rest are not. The choosing of one's own road is called in the language of Bhakta is "Ishta," the chosen way.
Religion is based on faith and belief. The various religions of the world are divided into two classes. Those with a book and those without a book. Those with book are strongest and have the largest following. Those without book were mostly died out. The truths they teach are the result of experiences of a particular person. Christ in case of Christianity, Buddha in case of Buddhism, Rishis or sages declared their experiences in sacred scriptures called Vedas in Hinduism. Mohammed in case of Islam.
It is absolutely necessary to worship God as man and blessed are those people which have "God-Man" to worship. Christians have such a God-man in Christ; therefore never give up Christ. The great limitation Christians have is they do not heed other manifestations of God besides Christ. He was manifestation of God so as Buddha, so were some others. "Whenever virtue subsides and immorality prevails, then I come to help mankind," says Lord Krishna, the God-Man for Hindus. Krishna also says "Fools not knowing that I, the omnipotent and omnipresent God of the universe have taken the human form.
Raja-Yoga proposes to put before humanity a practical and scientifically worked out method of reaching the truth. There is only one way of reaching the truth is through concentration of mind. The power of mind is turning inward through concentration. Raja yoga teaches how to concentrate mind and how to discover the innermost recesses of our own mind.
He who realizes Atman in his own nature, he who comes face to face with God, sees God alone in everything has become, a Rishi.
Ceremonies are the lowest form, next God external and after that God internal. It would be the height of folly to say to everyone "you must pass through Karma and Bhakti before you can reach Jnana." Stick to your reason until you reach something higher.
Hold your money merely as a custodian for what is God's. Hence no attachment to it.
All relatives and friends are but "old dry well." We fall into them and get dreams of duty and bondage and then there is no end.
Vivekananda on Lord Buddha and Why Buddhism failed in India
The type of working without a motive is most highly developed in Buddhism. Buddha got disgusted with cumbrous rituals and the caste system. He was also against priestcraft. He preached a religion in which there was no motive, power and was perfectly agnostic on theories about God. When asked if there was a God, and he answered that he did not know. On his deathbed Buddha said "none can help you," "help yourself and workout your own salvation."
Buddha is the name of infinite knowledge. He did not want to go to heaven, did not want money, he gave up his throne, preaching for good of men and animals. He was only man who was ready to give up his life to stop animal sacrifices.
To many the path becomes easier if they believe in God. But the life of Buddha shows that even a man who does not believe in God, belong to no sect, and who does not attend any church, temple and still attained the highest perfection, for others come only by Bhakti or Jnana yoga. Perfection does not come by faith or belief but come through work without a motive.
Buddha was viewed as God incarnate on earth. A true karma yogi. His principles were not well understood by his followers (monks). Buddha came to preach nothing new apart from Hinduism. He came to fulfill the spiritual aspect of Hinduism. He was against the ritualistic aspect of Hinduism. Buddha's followers also called monks kept Brahmin intellects out of the crusade; consequently, they were stonewalled and got crushed under Brahmanic Vedic sect. Therefore, the main message of Buddha which is karma yoga; salvation through unselfish work was marginalized by ritualistic segment of the Hinduism. As a result, Buddhism had to die a natural death in India. The reforming zeal of Buddha was lost and Hindus lost forever the reforming zeal within Hinduism.