MOTHER S UNIVERSE IS IT REAL?

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1 MOTHER S UNIVERSE IS IT REAL? Br. Shankara Vedanta Center of Atlanta September 24, 2017 CHANT SONG WELCOME TOPIC September is a month for study of Bhakti Yoga. As a bhakti yogi (bhakta), you establish a devotional relationship with God through study, prayer, ritual, and worship. You practice giving every action, thought, emotion, perception and tendency a Godward turn. All of your energies and attributes, both positive and negative, are offered to the Divine Presence. Your constant prayer is for complete self-surrender, in ecstatic union with your Belovèd. Mother s Universe Is It Real? SWami VK: "You see, I cannot but believe that there is somewhere a great Power that thinks of Herself as feminine, and called Kali and Mother... From the Shaktas: Brahma said: By you this universe is borne, by you this world is created. By you it is protected, O Devi and you always consume it at the end. O you who are (always) of the form of the whole world, at the time of creation you are of the form of the creative force, at the time of sustentation you are of the form of the protective power, and at the time of the dissolution of the world, you are of the form of the destructive power. MOTHER S UNIVERSE IS IT REAL? 9/24/17 Page! 1 of 8!

2 You are the supreme knowledge as well as the great nescience, the great intellect and contemplation, as also the great delusion, the great devi as also the great asuri. You are the primordial cause of everything, bringing into force the three (gunas). You are the dark night of periodic dissolution. You are the great night of final dissolution, and the terrible night of delusion. You are indeed the supreme Isvari, beyond the high and low. And whatever of wherever a thing exists, conscient (real) or non-conscient (unreal), whatever power all that possesses is yourself. O you who are the soul of everything, how can I extol you (more than this)? Who is here capable of extolling you? Who is capable of praising you, who have made all of us Vishnu, myself and Shiva take our embodied forms? EOQ CHANDI SO: Is the universe you perceive, in YOUR embodied form, really out there at your fingertips, so to speak? Is it a reality made of Mother s matter and energy, that your five senses grasp and correctly interpret? Or is it a projection you ve learned to construct, based on sensory and super-sensory stimulation, memory, and other information? MOTHER S UNIVERSE IS IT REAL? 9/24/17 Page! 2 of 8!

3 For thousands of years, yogis have taught that the second explanation is much closer to the truth: You continuously and interactively create the particular universe in which you live. In the last century, many neuroscientists students of human perception found reasons to agree. And some quantum physicists also read their findings as proof that all being arises from consciousness. Sir James Hopwood Jeans, a a 20th C. British physicist, astronomer and mathematician, wrote: Today there is a wide measure of agreement, which on the physical side of science approaches almost to unanimity, that the stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears as an accidental intruder into the realm of matter; we are beginning to suspect that we ought rather to hail it as a creator and governor of the realm of matter " Scientists who hold these beliefs think that your continuity of experience, especially your sense of self as bound, is a conditioned response a learned behavior, a choice among possibilities. Implications for you as a spiritual seeker are huge: What you have learned, you can unlearn. You can, with practice, replace what you believe today with an ever-greater and more accurate experience of MOTHER S UNIVERSE IS IT REAL? 9/24/17 Page! 3 of 8!

4 reality. You can move, as Swami Vivekananda said, from lesser truth to the highest truth. This morning we will explore and compare the yogic and scientific explanations for self-awareness, and review what Vivekananda taught about how you can realize your True Original Nature, or God. First, the yogi s understanding: We ll use SVK s commentary on Patanjali s 2 nd Yoga Sutra (from his book Raja Yoga) Explain the term Yoga, then BEGIN VK QUOTE Yoga is restraining the mind-stuff (Chitta) from taking various forms (Vrittis). A good deal of explanation is necessary here. We have to understand what Chitta is, and what the Vrittis are. I have eyes. Eyes do not see. Take away the brain centre which is in the head, the eyes will still be there, the retinae complete, as also the pictures of objects on them and yet the eyes will not see. So the eyes are only a secondary instrument, not the organ of vision. The organ of vision is in a nerve centre of the brain The light is there and the picture is there, but (another) thing is necessary the mind must be joined to the organ. The eye is the external instrument; we need also the brain centre and the agency of the mind. EOQ VK MOTHER S UNIVERSE IS IT REAL? 9/24/17 Page! 4 of 8!

5 NEUROSCIENCE: VK wrote this in 1890s. Now, all this is absolutely proven: brain scans, studies of meditators, experiments with how we perceive, etc. VK AGAIN, MOVING INWARD FROM THE OUTER: Carriages roll down a street, and you do not hear them. Why? Because your mind has not attached itself to the organ of hearing. First, there is the instrument, then there is the organ, and third, the mind attached to these two. The mind takes the impression farther in, and presents it to the determinative faculty Buddhi which reacts (sees, hears, etc). Then this mixture of action and reaction is presented to the Purusha, the real Soul, who perceives an object in this mixture. (Yet, our sense of egoism immediately responds with, I saw that; that is mine; I want that! ) EOQ VK This is one of the moments in our process of awareness, where relearning can have great effect. VK s DEFINITIONS: The organs (Indriyas), together with the mind (Manas), the determinative faculty (Buddhi), and egoism (Ahamkara), form the group called the Antahkarana (the internal instrument). (These) are but various processes in the mind-stuff, called Chitta. EOQ VK WHAT QUANTUM PHYSICISTS SAY ABOUT THESE PROCESSES : MOTHER S UNIVERSE IS IT REAL? 9/24/17 Page! 5 of 8!

6 There is no material world out there, only a quantum soup of possibility in the form of vibration. As a personality, a human being, we actively select among those possibilities. Our basis for selection is a learned conditioned response: (A) Reflection in the mirror of memory quantum physicist Amit Goswami, PhD, calls it. This produces an illusory sense of continuity the world continues to be the same for me; For example, I am the same person I was when I went to sleep last night, etc. During a child s early development, it s parents mainly the Mother and others who spend a lot of time with the child before the age of three share with the child their sense of reality. SWAMIJI S YOGA EXPLANATION: The waves of thought in the Chitta are called Vrittis (literally "whirlpool"). What is thought? Thought is a force, as is gravitation or repulsion. From the infinite storehouse of force in nature (that quantum soup of infinite possibilities), the instrument called Chitta takes hold of some (of that force), absorbs it and sends it out as thought So we see that the mind is not intelligent; yet it appears to be intelligent. Why? Because the intelligent soul is behind it. You are the only MOTHER S UNIVERSE IS IT REAL? 9/24/17 Page! 6 of 8!

7 sentient being; mind is only the instrument through which you catch the external world. Take this book; as a book it does not exist outside, what exists outside is unknown and unknowable. (Imagine handing a book to one of the tribespeople in So. America who have never seen such a thing. What will she or he make of it?) The unknowable furnishes the suggestion that gives a blow to the mind, and the mind gives out the reaction in the form of a book (Your) real universe is the occasion of the reaction of the mind. A book form, or an elephant form, or a man form, is not outside; all that we know is our mental reaction from the outer suggestion (that reflection in the mirror of memory, as Amit Goswami calls it). "Matter is the permanent possibility of sensations," said John Stuart Mill. It is only the suggestion that is outside. Take an oyster for example. You know how pearls are made. A (grain of sand) gets inside the shell and causes irritation, and the oyster throws a sort of enamelling round it, and this makes the pearl. The universe of experience is our own enamel, so to say, and the real universe is the (grain of sand) serving as nucleus. Now we understand what is meant by these Vrittis. The real (human being) is behind the mind; the mind is the instrument in his hands; it is his intelligence MOTHER S UNIVERSE IS IT REAL? 9/24/17 Page! 7 of 8!

8 that is percolating through the mind. It is only when YOU stand behind the mind that it becomes intelligent. When man gives it up (in samadhi or death), it falls to pieces and is nothing. Thus you understand what is meant by Chitta. It is the mind-stuff, and Vrittis are the waves and ripples rising in it when external causes impinge on it. These Vrittis are our universe. Those external causes are the same phenomenon that the physicist calls infinite quantum possibilities, and that the Shakta calls Mother! VK AGAIN: The bottom of a lake we cannot see, because its surface is covered with ripples. It is only possible for us to catch a glimpse of the bottom, when the ripples have subsided, and the water is calm. If the water is muddy or is agitated all the time, the bottom will not be seen. If it is clear, and there are no waves, we shall see the bottom. The bottom of the lake is our own true Self; the lake is the Chitta and the waves the Vrittis. The Chitta is always trying to get back to its natural pure state, but the organs draw it out. To restrain it, to check this outward tendency, and to start it on the return journey to the essence of intelligence is the first step in Yoga DISCUSSION AND COMMENTS Regular Closing prayer MOTHER S UNIVERSE IS IT REAL? 9/24/17 Page! 8 of 8!

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