The Book of Quotes: A Colorful Collection of Spiritual Quotes

This book is a colorful collection of spiritual quotes from Tripura Rahasya, verses of Rumi, quotes of Osho and other mystics, verses from Bible and Gita and my own comments and interpretations. The text is very less in this book, as the book is indeed a collection of pictures with quotes in it. So,each page covers one deep spiritual quote. These quotes are powerful pointers of the truth. This is not only a colorful book that is worth decorating your bookshelf but it is also a perfect gift for a spiritual friend.

To order, visit this page: https://www.amazon.com/dp/168971266X

Kshetra Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga (Bhagavad Gita: 13.2) – With Animated Yin Yang Images

You are going to read my commentary on a very important verse from Bhagavad Gita. If you have read my book, you may recall that I have talked about the discrimination between subject and object. The other terms for this include Purusha and Prakriti, Kshetrajna and Kshetra, Brahman and Maya, Shiva and Shakthi, Vishnu and Lakshmi, witness and the witnessed etc.  Rig Veda says that the truth is one in spite of being called by many names by wise people (ekam sat viprah bahuda vadanti). You can apply it here. Even the concept of Yin and Yang of Taoism roughly translates to these two concepts. All these names that I just said point to two apparent realities that you see from the actual One reality. 

May be the last sentence requires further explanation. We can actually divide the reality into two: the subject or the witness and the object or the witnessed. Witness is just the pure awareness and the witnessed is the contents of consciousness, including the perception of the external world. But this doesn’t mean that there are two realities. There is only one. Witness is like a screen; the witnessed is like the contents of the screen. The contents of the screen do not have any reality separate from the screen. In other words, the contents of the screen is also screen. The contents are not real but the screen is real.

From this, we can derive three statements:

  1. The screen is real.
  2. The contents of the screen are unreal.
  3.  The contents of the screen is also the screen.

Adhi Shankara made the same statements but used different terminology.

  1. Brahman is real
  2. The world (contents) is unreal.
  3. The world is Brahman.

Let us now move on to the actual sloka in Gita (13.2):

(I am quoting from https://www.holy-bhagavad-gita.org/chapter/13/verse/2 for the transliteration and translation)

श्रीभगवानुवाच |
इदं शरीरं कौन्तेय क्षेत्रमित्यभिधीयते |
एतद्यो वेत्ति तं प्राहु: क्षेत्रज्ञ इति तद्विद: || 2||
śhrī-bhagavān uvācha
idaṁ śharīraṁ kaunteya kṣhetram ity abhidhīyate
etad yo vetti taṁ prāhuḥ kṣhetra-jña iti tad-vidaḥ

śhrī-bhagavān uvācha—the Supreme Divine Lord said; idam—this; śharīram—body; kaunteya—Arjun, the son of Kunti; kṣhetram—the field of activities; iti—thus; abhidhīyate—is termed as; etat—this; yaḥ—one who; vetti—knows; tam—that person; prāhuḥ—is called; kṣhetra-jñaḥ—the knower of the field; iti—thus; tat-vidaḥ—those who discern the truth
The Supreme Divine Lord said: O Arjun, this body is termed as kṣhetra (the field of activities), and the one who knows this body is called kṣhetrajña (the knower of the field) by the sages who discern the truth about both.

In Gita, the Brahman,  (including the aspect of Maya, the witnessed), is personified as Lord Krishna. Krishna is talking to Arjuna in the battlefield. Here the words kshetra and kshetrajna are used instead of the subject and the object. It is very important to note that Kshetrajna is not only the knower of the body but the knower of everything. No, it doesn’t mean kshetrajna is omniscient!.. It simply means kshetrajna is the knower of everything that happens in the field of consciousness: five sense perceptions, organs of the body and the body, your likes and dislikes, your thoughts, memory and intellect.

There is another word called sarvajna. It is usually understood as omniscient. But sarvajna means all knower; this actually means that it is the all knower of the content of consciousness. One who is established as a witness or the one who has realized his true nature is also called as sarvajna.

The discrimination between kshetra and kshetrajna, or the subject and object is very important in the spiritual path. You may recall my previous posts regarding this topic:

Ramana Maharshi and the Cinema Screen Analogy

Witnessing Meditation by Osho – A Technique of Everyday Mindfulness

I used the tools that technology has provided to make things colorful and appealing. I have been already trying to explain certain subtle things using images, infographics, comics etc. Such a variety will help you  to focus easily and remember about certain important things. This time I am trying my hands on some animated gifs. I was playing with an app today and it was really helpful for making these animations.

Ying Yang animatedYing Yang animated

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A Bonus:

I have created a three level meditation by combining the concepts of classical conditioning, meditations in Vajrayana Buddhism and Dhyna, a yogic meditation. You can read the full instructions here: A Shamatha Meditation Based on Symbolism, Visualization, Mnemonics and Classical Conditioning. 

There is an image which is needed as a visual meditation aid for this meditation. I have included several copies of that image in the page itself. But I am including an animated one here. You can download and see it in your phone:

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By the way, do you mind if include a picture of mine? As I was playing with the app, I also tried editing one of my pictures and it was fun. This pic is just for my friends (for you, I mean ). I just wanted to say a ‘hi’ with a smile, standing before the falling waterfalls and moving clouds.

Shanmugam P

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy – A Therapy based on Eastern Spiritual Concepts

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

This pic belongs to a group for Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT) in FB. ACT is a modern day therapy based on Eastern spiritual techniques like mindfulness, and is used to treat depression, anxiety disorders and many other psychological issues. I have mentioned ACT in my book as it actually helps to bridge science and spirituality, which is also one of my visions.

In my book, I have talked about several psychological concepts like hedonic treadmill, self concept, cognitive dissonance, cognitive biases, operant conditioning, brain and it’s functions, especially the left brain interpreter etc, in an attempt to show an empirical validity for certain spiritual concepts which I found to be true iny experience.

For people who want to explore ACT, I recommend reading the books of author Russ Harris; his latest book covers in depth about ACT. This therapy has a very good future and potential. Dr.Russ Harris is also one of my friends in FB now and he wished all the best for my book. I have quoted him in my book too. So I thank him for accepting my friend request and welcome him to our friends club.

From his bio:

Russ Harris is an internationally acclaimed acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) trainer and author of the best-selling ACT-based self-help book The Happiness Trap, which has sold over 600,000 copies and been published in thirty languages. He is widely renowned for his ability to teach ACT in a way that is simple, clear, and fun–yet extremely practical.

I have stressed the importance of witnessing meditation enough in my blog and book. But when I came across a quote by Sigmund Freud in an ACT group, I was pretty surprised that even he was aware of the power of witnessing. Witnessing is not about just noticing one’s thoughts. It stands on a firm spiritual understanding of the three marks of existence and the discrimination between the subject and the object. So witnessing meditation may seem to be too simple to ignore but it is very subtle and understanding it is very tricky. Here is the quote from Freud:

Sigmund Freud quotes

Zorba, The Buddha – The New Man Defined By Osho

During and before the time of Buddha, the journey to self-realization was a torture. The early ascetics  fasted for days, never cut their hairs and nails, most of them roamed naked, did hard penance in scorching heat and freezing cold and tortured themselves in numerous ways. There was also no streamlined method that someone can be guided with. It was Buddha who came up with the middle way. He said that it was a wrong idea to put oneself to torture; only few people succeeded that way. His middle way condemned severe fasting, being naked and all kinds of tortures that people were putting themselves through. These wandering ascetics were called as Sramanas.

But Buddha still said that a complete renunciation of one’s properties is essential to reach liberation. A person who wants to be liberated from the psychological suffering and unsatisfactoriness should become a monk, own only a begging bowl, survive by begging and should keep moving from village to village. Wealth was a taboo for anyone who wants to walk on the spiritual path.

On the other hand, early Vedic religion before the dawn of Upanishads didn’t accept the theories like spiritual liberation, karma, rebirth and renunciation. Early vedic religion, when the rituals were popular and endorsed by kings, insisted that the way of the householder is the best way. A householder’s duty is to conduct daily rituals with sacred fire for five times and should acquire wealth and progeny; only then he would reach the heaven and live with their ancestors forever. They had three goals for life in the early days – dharma (ethics, the natural order and many other things), artha (wealth) and kama (pleasure). On the other hand, Sramanas had just two goals, which are dharma and moksha or spiritual liberation.

After a lot of debates, disagreements, condemnations etc, Brahmana (Vedic) tradition absorbed Moksha as one of the goals of life. Then their goals (Purusharthas) became four: dharma, artha, kama and moksha. Readers can read ‘The Greater Magadha’ by Johannes Bronkhorst for plenty of evidences for what I have said above.

If you think about it, you can see that there is a life negative aspect in Sramana traditions and life-positive elements in Vedic tradition. Vedic tradition was also right in its own argument: progeny is important for people to survive. In fact, if everyone in the world had followed what Buddha said, mankind would have been dead already. But this is not to put Buddha down. It is to make you understand that spiritual science was in a much early stage in Buddha and it developed a lot later. So, a merger of Sramana and Brahmana tradition was a need of the hour, a requirement of the time; and it happened exactly the way it was supposed to happen.

Bhagavad Gita played an important role in uniting the concepts of Brahmanic and Sramanic traditions. Arjuna, who want to renounce the world is reminded by Krishna to continue his way of life and participate in the war for a number of reasons. Krishna was shown to be mainly concerned about the  defame and disgrace that Arjuna’s escape from the war could cause to Arjuna himself. But Bhagavad Gita beautifully merges the concepts of both traditions.

As centuries passed by, a strong consensus was born among the wiseman that no one has to renounce the world to reach liberation They can simply live their usual life, get married, give birth to kids, enjoy what life gives and also attain liberation by meditations and other things that we know about. In fact, the point of having four Purusharthas that I mentioned earlier is exactly this.

But sadly, this is still not understood by a lot of people. But Osho came up with the concept of Zorba, the Buddha; this meme is about the merger of the life negative and the life positive aspects of the tradition, done clearly for the second time and explained very clearly by Osho. So this post is mainly to share some quotes of Osho regarding this, from the book ‘The Rebel’ which is a transcription of his talks that were recorded in the beginning of 1987.

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Just want to end with a quote from Yajur Veda regarding universal friendship. I made this pic today:

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If I Speak in the Tongues of Men or of Angels – A Commentary on I Corinthians 13 and Bible’s Connection with Advaita Vedanta

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Hi people! Is there anything that is greater than love? Can there be anything ever that is greater than Love itself? No! I don’t think so! Love is the only thing that connects us… No matter which part of the world you are from… You need to understand that we belong to the same family! I am your relative no matter where you are from… This whole earth is one family and our family!

Let us all unite together, be happy and treat everyone as our own family members. I love you guys… We as humans have to stand up for a global unity and peace.

We CAN make this world a better place to live..

I don’t see any difference between John 14: 19-21 and Bhagavad Gita 9:29. I have no idea why people are fighting…
 
Gita 9:29:
I am equal to all living beings; I don’t have anyone that I hate or anyone who I told dearer than the others. But whoever worships me with devotion, they are in me and I am in them
 
John 14:19 -21:
Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

What we call as God is beyond time and space; but we understand him or imagine him as a person. This is because human mind always detects an agent for everything; this agent deduction in the human mind imagines God in human form or an invisible personality that has human psychology. But this is due to our limitation, not God’s! God is not a person but a personification that points to a direct experience and presence beyond time and space.

Also, most of the scriptures got distorted because of later interpolation, poor translation, lost verses, edited verses and testimony from people who are not direct eyewitnesses. Even the testimonies of eyewitnesses can be biased and memory can be biased too! But regardless of all that, the essence of the scriptures have been realized by millions of sages before us and their teachings can guide us to salvation.

Here is a riddle for you: 

He sees through the eyes of every being, knows through the awareness of every manifest organism and walks using the legs of every piece of life.

As an Octopus he has eight legs; as the son of Man, he has two legs; as the son of God, he is the inner light of every little thing that eats, procreates and decomposes!

He is beyond time and space.

He exists as the love of every mother, as the care of every father, as the company of every brother, as the support of every sister, as the closeness of every wife and as the convenience of every servant.

He shakes hands with you through every friend you see and he pays your wages as every boss you work for. He is the one who eats and he is the one who gets eaten, yet he neither eats; nor gets eaten. He is the essence of every word, every sound, every sentence, every contradiction, every confusion, everything that is good and bad; NOT EVEN AN ATOM MOVES WITHOUT HIS WILL…

He is the one who robs, which gets robbed and the act of robbing; yet he neither robs nor gets robbed. He is beyond the limits of human intellect even though intellect itself is a manifestation of him; he is beyond the power of human vision, even though human vision itself is one of his manifestations!. He is beyond the power of human ears and yet he is everything that you hear…

He is She; She is it, and it is You!  … His kingdom is within you and He is closer than the mane behind your neck! All praise ultimately goes to him and no one else.. He is the good shepherd and the sheep, he is the Gopalan and the Gomata; he is the Pashu and he is the Pathi! He is the Kartha, the doer; every biochemical living piece on planet earth is just a puppet; this puppet show is going on for aeons as a holy game of God…. you suffer, you laugh, you enjoy, you grow, you sin and someday you may even become a saint.. but you know, it is all in the game… in the eyes of God, there is no discrimination!

He is the sweetness of the milk and the sourness of the toddy; He is the intoxication and he is the clarity.. everything happens to according to His will and His will alone.. He is both the uppercase and the lower case letters and the one who is beyond, before, beneath, below and in the middle of all the letters.. He is the first and he is the last, yet He has no beginning and no end!

He expands through and from you in all directions and pervades everything, including every single stone pillar on earth, every single speck of dust and every heart that beats…

He is every mistake and he is every correction … He is… Only He is… He is the one truth which is known, spoken, and understood by various means, forms, names and practices by wise people…

He is not a person but a personification!

Who is He?

Clue: The answer is inside you, within you and lies very close to you; close your eyes and keep looking until you find it…

When you find it, your expression certainly will be, ‘Oh My God!’….

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Some Wonderful lyrics of Tamil Poet Vairamuthu Regarding Spirituality

Generally, I prefer movies which show reality as it is, like a mirror. A lot of Indian movies are usually anti-reality, but things are getting better. There are a few Tamil lyrics written by Tamil poet Vairamuthu, who is currently the top lyricist in Tamil Movie Industry.

Let us start with a wonderful movie ‘Anbe Sivam’ (2003). The movie itself comes with a strong spiritual message and seems to be inspired by the Hollywood movie ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles ‘. You can compare the stills, they look alike:

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Now, let us see a song in the movie with its English translation:

vairamuthu -anbe shivam.png

“யார் யார் சிவம்? நீ, நான், சிவம்!
வாழ்வே தவம்! அன்பே சிவம்!
ஆத்திகம் பேசும் அடியார்க்கெல்லாம் சிவமே அன்பாகும்!
நாத்திகம் பேசும் நல்லவருக்கோ அன்பே சிவமாகும்!
அன்பே சிவம்! அன்பே சிவம்! என்றும்,
அன்பே சிவம்! அன்பே சிவம்! எங்கும்,
அன்பின் பாதை சேர்ந்தவனுக்கு முடிவே இல்லையடா!
மனதின் நீளம் எதுவோ, அதுவே வாழ்வின் நீளமடா!

  • கவிப்பேரரசு வைரமுத்து

Who is Shiva? You and I are (essentially) Shiva!
Life is a penance; Love is Shiva!
For theists who surrender to the Almighty, Shiva is love!
For atheists who are good at heart, Love is Shiva!
Love is Shiva, Love is Shiva forever!
Love is Shiva, Love is Shiva everywhere!
If you walk on the path of life, there is no end for you..
The length of your mind (heart) is the length of your life!

  • Vairamuthu, The Great King of Poets

(If you do a search, you may be able to watch the movie online with English subtitles. I recommend watching both ”Planes, Trains and Automobiles ‘ and ‘Anbe Shivam‘ if you are interested in both movies and spirituality.

Then there is another song from the movie Padayappa (1999). Here is just a part of that song, which I like very much:

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தங்கத்தை பூட்டி வைத்தாய் வைரத்தை பூட்டி வைத்தாய்
உயிரை பூட்ட ஏது பூட்டு?
குழந்தை ஞானி இந்த இருவர் தவிர இங்கே
சுகமாய் இருப்பவர் யார் காட்டு!
“ஜீவன் இருக்கும் மட்டும் வாழ்கை நமது மட்டும்”
இது தான் ஞான சித்தர் பாட்டு!
இந்த பூமி சமம் நமக்கு;
நம் தெருவுக்குள் மத சண்டை ஜாதி சண்டை வம்பெதுக்கு?

  • கவிப்பேரரசு வைரமுத்து

You can lock the gold, you can lock the diamond,
but you cannot lock your life inside a body!
Is there anyone who is blissful except a child and a Jnani (self-realized person)?
Only as long as life is in the body, you can say that life belongs to only me.
This is the song of the Jnana Siddha!
Everyone has equal rights on the earth (like a family)..
Why should there be quarrels in our street based on religious and caste discrimination?

  • Vairamuthu, The Great King of Poets

 

Controversies on Vairamuthu

People, especially politicians in Tamil Nadu have been trying to malign and defame Vairamuthu because of an absurd reason. Vairamuthu wrote a research article about a Tamil saint Andal, completely praising her Tamil poetry.  He also quoted a researcher who said that Andal was a Devadasi who lived and died in Sri Rangam temple in Tamil Nadu. Devadasi literally means, a slave to God! A huge community called Devadasi community existed in South India and the women who belonged to this community were brought up in temples right from the young age and were taught fine arts. Women are usually good at fine arts like dancing, singing, painting etc. You can check out Sreeja Renganath from Quora for example: https://www.quora.com/profile/Sreeja-Renganath. For me, she seems to be the living manifestation of Goddess Saraswathi, the Goddess of wisdom. I am not being polite, I am being brutally honest. Read this answer of hers, you will know what I mean: https://qr.ae/TUhfF0 (an English name which represents wisdom is ‘Sophia’. This can be said like the English concept of Sarasvathi.)

Devadasis were wonderful women. Usually, they grew up to be extraordinarily devoted and consider God as the master and themselves as slaves. This is called Dasa Bhavana, the attitude that Hanuman is shown to have towards Rama in Indian epic Ramayana. These girls saw the Almighty as their husband. But later on, some people who were in charge of some temples started enslaving these Devadasis, took advantage of them and used them for prostitution. People who are so attached to the forms of deities (without realizing that all forms represent one truth), who claim that their ‘God’ can be insulted, should first realize that this tragedy that happened to Devadasi community was the actual insult to Goddess Saraswathi. Over the years, the word ‘Devadasi’ earned a bad connotation. The word ‘Devadasi’ can be very easily misunderstood nowadays as a synonym for prostitute. So, thousands of people who didn’t even read Vairamuthu’s essay started to verbally abuse him, threatened to kill him, forced him to apologize to Andal by coming to Andal’s temple in Srivilliputtur and made his life difficult after that for no reason. Vairamuthu didn’t do anything wrong in this regard!

Recently, he also has been accused of sexual harassment by a singer Chinmayi in Tamil Nadu, via the METOO campaign. Chinmayi made an allegation on him and the poet denied it.  Chinmayi says that it was something that happened more than a decade before. I have no idea who is saying the truth! But the impression that singer Chinmayi has made in general among the people of Tamil Nadu is not good. I sense a dominative character in Chinmayi and I suspect that she can lie or at least exaggerate something and make a mountain out of the molehill. Generally, after looking at the METOO issue, everyone gets this question: ‘Is this campaign really helping common men and women or is it only targetting celebrities? Because I know very well that most of these common people in India do not use Twitter or have never heard about it. Also, what makes these people to think that a person is exactly the same as how he was more than a decade ago?’

People change… But forgiveness, which seems to be the backbone of all the world religions is becoming an out of date concept these days!

The truth will win one day! No matter what the truth is, it will win! I just wrote this post to help people see and focus the positive side of poet Vairamuthu. He is a legend..

For the sake of the argument, let us say that Vairamuthi was indeed guilty of things that he is accused of. We need to still realize the fact that every saint was once a sinner and every sinner has the potential to become a saint. A human being is not a static entity, it is a process! Even Valmiki, who wrote Ramayana is said to be a robber before he became a saint!

This post is an expression of gratitude to Andal herself. The month of Marghazhi (16 Dec 2018 – 13 Jan 2019) which is considered to be special for Andal is also approaching. The name Andal reminds me of my English teacher at Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal Golden Jubilee Matriculation higher secondary school, Sankarnagar, Tirunelveli -627357. My English teacher in my seventh standard was a teacher named Andal. Whenever someone says my English is good, please understand the whole credit goes to her. Folded Hands on EmojiOne

These are the letters  that she wrote to me many years before:

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Wow, the first one is dated on 24th of  November, 1997. I didn’t realize that the anniversary of this letter was over just a couple of days before until I began to write this paragraph… (I have already mentioned about this letter and a few other letters in my Quora answer here: https://qr.ae/TUhfPb )

Satyameva Jayate!