Sea Of Cold
What is it that makes plants grow? We know that plants are rooted in the earth. It is the rain that provides nourishment. Plants grow towards the sunlight or the source. One droplet of water is enough to show us krishna. We are able to see the Tao in this droplet of water. In that one waterdroplet we can find an entire abode as vast as the Tao. What we see in a waterdroplet on a leaf in the sunlight after a rain is as much of a path to our grasp of Krishna as the ocean.
The sight of the stars at night over the horizon is in fact a looking glass into the Tao. Each sun is a source of light or a center of a moving force of elements. As the earth is moving all of the time as is the universe. Even in our material realm the elements are representative of Krishna or the source. For a plant the source is the sun or the sunlight, the rain being an element needed for the plant to grow. Just as the earth is a platform for the plant it is a plain for mankind. As a plant grows towards the sun it is our nature to be drawn towards Krishna or the eternal Tao.
For us to be swallowed up or absorbed to Krishna or the Tao we must first follow the right path. Our mindset has to be true. We must see life as it is. Our thoughts have to be as pure as the droplet of water.
The same as we cultivate a plant we must root our character traits in order for our thoughts to grow. As our thoughts grow we gain wisdom and our insight gets to be as deep as the ocean. The concepts we were never able to fathom end up in our grasp.
Once we are mindful of the Tao we will find our focus. Our spiritual progress is rooted in how we percieve the world or the universe around us. Once we realize that our source be it Krishna or the Tao is the same as the droplet of water on the leaf of a plant we will find true knowledge. Then in fact we know we are on the right path.
‘the cosmic mist’
…our thoughts spring from a larger source
…seeds grow into seedlings
…seedlings grow into plants
…our work begins as a seedling does then grows into larger ideas
…our energies or life force is eternal
…the light glows like a beacon on a mountain of mist
…the light is so bright even in the fog it is in plain sight as far out on the horizon or in the surrounding foothills as someone can see
…the cosmic element of the sun is the potent source of our energies
…Radha the one who makes Krishna potent
…the source of all of his energies
…the sweet nectar that springs from the lotus petals of Radha
…staring out into the cosmos one night the mind showed me its magic the horizon in full sight
…I saw the world in motion with atoms in plain sight
…as I watched the wind drifting in all directions around me as the moonlight made the earth bright I realized the material world is an illusion seeing into the cosmic creation of a universe of light
…it made me think of Krishna he who paints the night
…in the ocean of Vishnu the most surreal creatures reside
…out of this world of an age of the past
…out of his lotus petals came a world so vast
…creation is his aftermath
…a world so real
…a world so vast
Socrates is mentioned in the writings of the Indian spiritual master Srila Prabhupada. One of his disciples asks the question of what the goal of life is for Socrates. It is to rise through the means of the intellect to attain realization of the absolute good. Can one consider Socrates to be a jnana yogi?
Srila Prabhupada answered that Socrates was a great thinker also stating that such a great soul is one of a kind. The disciple asks if someone like Socrates who is a jnanavan or wise man will in the end surrender to Krishna? For Socrates Zues was the king of gods. The concept is the same. It is certain Socrates had a similar resolve to his idea of the source of all creation.
Aristotle begins in Nicomachean Ethics mentioning the overall good. Taking action can be or is in his terms a good attribute for a man. Action contributes to the overall good if it is done in a productive way. For example, building a boat or tending to farm feilds. Building a boat adds another ship to the fleet. Tending to farm feilds provides produce for the well being of the townspeople. There is a cost for the produce. It must be paid for. The farmer must be rewarded for his work. People are discouraged from stealing. This does not make reference to work ethic. Someone who is active or contributing in some way to others is held at a high level of virtue. When meeting an end, the means for that end, can be weighed based on the action that was taken for oneself of for ones nation. Aristotle said it was finer to meet ones end in service of the state, rather than for ones own personal ambition. The overall well being of mankind is something greater and more complete. Acting in accordance with rational principle knowledge is in some sense doing the right thing in given situations. The question that arises is, how is rational defined? Some men are consumed by their senses, thinking about their well being alone, or thinking about whatever makes them feel good. Those of higher intellect seek out political thought or live a contemplative life. Aristotle does stress the value of knowledge as a measure of a man. A good can be an accomplishment or the completion of a project. Winning a battle is an accomplishment. The work that goes into the construction of a building can be viewed as the good that completed it. The good in that case being the time the builders put into the work.
There is a correlation between the comments of Prabhupada regarding Socrates and how Aristotle makes reference to the overall good. The well being of mankind and the transcendence of the soul are linked. From the perspective that we assume the spirit soul is real, we link what man does on this Earth to the well being of the soul. From a material standpoint we can observe the actions we as men take in relation to what happens around us. In plain terms good karma is good work. That tells us to take action in some good form whenever possible.
Nicomachean Ethics breaks the world down to what it is. It does not claim to be an explanation of how things should be. The book in some aspects describes the chaos the world of men is in. Aristotle makes suggestions, except each suggestion is weighed against the opposite. Perhaps the death of Socrates effected Aristotles pen. ‘quotes’… “virtuous actions are noble and done for the sake of the noble”… also “the liberal man like other virtuous men, will give for the sake of the noble” Aristotle.
A liberal man spends on the right things. In some sense that tells us that a liberal man will make the right moves, speak to the right people, or all in all do the right thing. In some aspect or another most men are flawed to some extent. A man who claims what is in accordance with his merits is respected for it. Those who make false claims are denied respect. In the commercial fishing business it is crucial to catch the largest number of fish possible, right? For a farmer it is important to get a high yeild out of a crop. Lobtermen set gear near structure where lobster like to hide. Lets assume merit is based on the mean of the average number of lobster caught, compared to what is brought in. How does moderate success gain more merit than outstanding success? Is moderate harvest of fish wiser, so to speak than seeking to take too much at one time. Can the resource be overfished? What Aristotle is talking about is character.
Pride is something that is based on a mans veiw of his own status. A proud man of the highest status must be good in order to maintain his place in life. Aristotle stresses moderation in wealth, power, level of pride, and in fact ambition as well. Aristotle explains how a proud man who avoids danger most of the time will face great dangers. Courage in the face of danger is what sets men apart. There must be a balance of how one takes shelter with the number of risks taken. The moderate or more temperate man understands, and takes the middle road. Philosophical thought has few boundries. How is it certain people are rewarded for their work when at the same time there are those who are exploited? Does the person who gets exploited work as well as the person who is rewarded in a fair sense? How can we sure that the exploited worker is held to the same standard as the satisfied worker? How are ethics upheld? It is important to fight for what is right. First we need to figure out what right is. Who is to tell us what to look upon as negative or what to get excited about. In order to do this we must use common sense.
Knowledge is learned over time. Aristotle seems to tell the reader to step back from material attachments as does Srila Prabhupada in his purports. Free from attachments man can attain a higher level of thought. Socrates was mentioned as being a modest man who had a good understanding of things
It is our action that counts
Revisions of Srila Prabhupada quotes out of the writings of Satsvarupa dasa Gosvami about his travels…
The idea is to point out some of the most intriguing things Srila Prabhupada said then shed some light on his concepts.
One thing swamiji pointed out is “It is our action that counts, we each have a free will, we can choose to follow our spiritual master or not…” It is best to relate to his teachings or writings to guide us on the right path. A true Guru Maharaj replies as a humble servant to his deciple when given the right level of respect in reciprocation to his student.
Some devotees just fade out so Srila Prabhupada often said “come back to the temple, all problems aside, we will take care of things just come back or else…”
Satsvarupa once said “this means more important of all, that I have to keep more than ever unto death the strict practice of Krishna conscious principles and following Srila Prabhupada and preaching in ISKCON”
Srila Prabhupada said “this is the best part of the morning for spiritual life…” on his morning walk on Waikiki Beach before the sun was up. The surfers were in the water. Prabhupada remarked that it was almost suffering for the surfers to get out in the water at that time of the morning. For me on mornings when I got out in the surf I found great contentment. If we feel as though we are one with the ocean or the elements we will struggle through whatever it takes to get out there. Sometimes it means we have to fight through breakers to get out far enough to find our center or just sort of chill out on the board until the right wave comes along. I doubt there is a better thrill than surfing out of a crest as the sun is rising over the horizon. Sometimes it even felt great to just paddle along in light waves at sun up. Srila Prabupada is right it is almost suffering at times if the water is cold. It is out there in the surf where we find our zen so whatever we go through to get it we will.
Srila Prabhupada said similar things to John Lennon as he did in his talks with Allen Ginsberg…
“Hare Krishna” said George
swamiji smiled “this is Krishna’s blessing”
“Hare Krishna,” George replied again
Prabhupada said “whatever leading persons act, people in general will follow them”
When swamiji asked John Lennon what philosophical veiws he was following, Lennon responded “following?” we still have to keep sifting through, like sifting through sand…”
Allen Ginsberg commented that Bhaktivedanta seemed to have no friends in America, that he was alone, and gone, somewhat like a lone hippie to the nearest refuge, the place where it was cheap enough to rent. There were several people gathering around sitting in lotus on the floor. Allen described them as Lower East Side hippies who had wandered in off the street being somewhat curious also full of inquisitiveness, and respect for spiritual presentation of some kind. Ginsberg said the hippies looked like street sadhus in India who were refugees the from middle class. Allen liked the idea that in his words “Swami Bhaktivedanta had chosen the Lower East Side of New York for his pracitice. He had gone to lower depths. He had gone to a spot more like the side streets of Calcutta.”
“I was astounded that he came with the chanting, because it seemed like a reinforcement from India.” said Allen about the kirtana…
Satsvarupa said Prabhupada quoted a passage from the Bhagavad Gita where Krishna said that whatever a great man does, others will follow, requesting Allen to continue chanting Hare Krishna so that others would follow his example. Allen said he did not take Swami Bhaktivedanta for granted questioning his own level of respect mentioning that his teaching was good to make him question that.
Allen said “The main thing, above all of our differences, was an aroma of sweetness that he had, a personal selfless sweetness like total devotion, and that was what conquered me, whatever intellectual questions of doubts I had, in his presence there was a kind of personal charm, coming from dedication, that conquered all our conflicts.”
the spiritual light
The spiritual light the Buddhists perceive is similar to those who look to Krishna or Brahma, the meditation process is similar also.
Brahma is the source of the cosmic explosion at the beginning of the universe…his energies were first.
If we believe there is a spiritual correlation to the scientific outlook of the universe, we know Krishna is real so perhaps there is even some sort of spiritual plain on Jupiter or Saturn even though science has no grasp of it.
Siddhartha or the Buddha are also said to be forms of Krishna or one of the devas in the outlook of Buddhists. The founder of Tibetan Buddhism was an East Indian monk.
In the Bhagavad-Gita Arjuna said “what is this absolute freedom Krishna? What is the nature of beings and of the gods?”
Krishna said “freedom is union with the deathless, the self is the essence of all things, its creative power called action causes the whole world to be.”
In the First and Last Freedom on contradiction J. Krishnamurti said “we see contradiction in us and about us, because we are in contradiction, there is a lack of peace in us and therefore outside us. There is a constant state of denial and assertion, what we want to be and what we are. The state of contradiction creates conflict and this conflict does not bring about peace which is a simple obvious fact.”
In the chapter on actualizing special insight in Stages of Meditation one of the Dali Lama books on how a Bodhisattva cultivates wisdom is a quote “after realizing calm abiding, meditate on special insight, thinking as follows: all teachings of the Buddha are perfect teachings…” the quote goes on, “just as darkness is dispelled when light appears mere calm abiding meditation cannot make pristine awareness more pure, nor can it eliminate the darkness of the things we find obscure… Therefore, engaging in calm abiding meditation I shall search for suchness with wisdom, and I shall not remain content with calm abiding alone.
“That first being became afraid; therefore, one becomes afraid when one is alone. Then he thought to himself: Of what should I be afraid, when there is no one but me? So his fear left him, for what was he going to be afraid of? One is, after all, afraid of another.” Upanisads 1.4.3
INTO THE DARKNESS THEN OUT OF THE LIGHT
THE FIRE OF THE SUN
THE ECHO OF THE WORLDS
THE LIFEBREATH OF THE MIND
THE CORE OF THE EARTH
THE CENTER OF THE SOUL
ONE WHO CONQUERS THE WORLDS
THE MAKER OF EVIL
THE SPRING OF THE OCEAN
THE WAVE OF THE LIGHTNING
THE VAPOR IN THE CLOUDS
ONCE ALONE IN FEAR
ONE WHO RESIDES ALONE
THE ONE THAT SET FREE CREATION
The Great Spring of Shiva
The Image of Shiva was found in the ruins of the Indus River civilization. The parallel of worship of Shiva is the worship of shakti or the power of the active forces of the universe. The source of the power known as shakti is thought of as Shiva. The power of Shiva is something that flows out of his consort Durga or Kali as Radha is the source of Krishnas potencies. The prakrtis or potencies are of Krishna who is the sarva-drk, the overseer and also the upadrasta the great advisor. Shiva is adored among the devas. It is said that Shiva can take on the form of Brahma or Vishnu. Also of his forms are tortoise, fish or conchs. The coral of the ocean floor is also an outcropping of Shiva.
The focus on Vishnu was an offshoot of Shiva. Vishnu is often noticed as Krishna or Rama. The devotees of Krishna or Rama are in fact working for Vishnu. Vishnu can lift one up out of the sea of the world.
Brahma is known as the source that sprang from the waters of the cosmic ocean. In the principle of creation Vishnu is the element of preservation where Shiva is that of destruction. The great waters or the source of Brahma are the highest of all. It is for certain that Shiva is also a god of preservation as well. Krishna as the Buddha is also one of the creations of Vishnu in the Hindu outlook on the devas. Ganesa often traveling with Shiva is the master who removes great obstacles.
The devotees of Shiva are often the most opulent in material aspects. The devotees of Vishnu sometimes are said to sometimes lack material gain. Shiva who dwells at the base of a tree in the mountains makes those who fall at his feet rich where as the devotees of Vishnu or Krishna the devas who reside in an infinite abode tend to be poor. One who has the main focus of Vishnu-tattva has the greatest spiritual gain. How is it that one who serves Shiva has fewer to gain in spirit if there is a contrast to the concept? A devotee of Shiva must must be granted spiritual energies as high up as someone who is a devotee of Vishnu. In order to get to the higher planets one must go through Vishnu. The planets of Krishnaloka are the highest level of the spiritual plain. The devotees of Vishnu are looking to attain niaskarma when ones actions are free of material effect. Durga or Kali represent all material energies. Shiva is the master of the material plain. Brahma or Shiva are known to ask their devotees to adhere or hold to certain qualities.
Shiva is the absolute bearing the mark of the crescent moon with his consort Durga or Kali the sacred mother of the earth, he is the thief of the soul, the one who brings meaning, and the light that shines forever.