Tag Archives: ignorance

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Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

If you vanquish ego-clinging today, tonight you will be enlightened. If you vanquish it tomorrow, you will be enlightened tomorrow night. But if you never vanquish it, you will never be enlightened. Yet ” I ” is just a thought. Thoughts and feelings have no intrinsic solidity, form, shape, or color. When a thought of anger arises in the mind with such force that you feel aggressive and destructive, is anger brandishing a weapon? Is it at the head of an army?

Can it burn things like fire, crush them like a rock, or carry them away like a violent river? No. Anger, like any other thought or feeling, has no true existence—- not even a definitive location in your body, speech, or mind. It is just like wind roaring in empty space.

Instead of allowing wild thoughts to enslave you, realize their essential emptiness. If you subdue the hatred within, you will discover that there is not a single enemy left outside. Otherwise, even if you could overpower everyone in the whole world, your hatred will only grow stronger. Indulging it will never make it subside. The only truly intolerable enemy is hatred itself.

Examine the nature of hatred; you will find that it is no more than a thought.

When you see it as it is, it will dissolve like a cloud in the sky.

— Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

(image source: unknown)

When you see thoughts as they are, they will dissolve like clouds in the sky

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Swami Vivekananda

Meditation has been laid stress upon by all religions. The meditative state of mind is declared by the Yogis to be the highest state in which the mind exists. When the mind is studying the external object, it gets identified with it, loses itself. To use the simile of the old Indian philosopher: the soul of man is like a piece of crystal, but it takes the colour of whatever is near it. Whatever the soul touches … it has to take its colour. That is the difficulty. That constitutes the bondage. The colour is so strong, the crystal forgets itself and identifies itself with the colour. Suppose a red flower is near the crystal and the crystal takes the colour and forgets itself, thinks it is red. We have taken the colour of the body and have forgotten what we are. All the difficulties that follow come from that one dead body. All our fears, all worries, anxieties, troubles, mistakes, weakness, evil, are from that one great blunder — that we are bodies. This is the ordinary person. It is the person taking the colour of the flower near to it. We are no more bodies than the crystal is the red flower.

The practice of meditation is pursued. The crystal knows what it is, takes its own colour. It is meditation that brings us nearer to truth than anything else.

— Swami Vivekananda – Washington Hall, San Francisco, April 3, 1900

Meditation

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Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

Truth is one; only It is called by different names. All people are seeking the same Truth; the variance is due to climate, temperament, and name. A lake has many ghats. From one ghat the Hindus take water in jars and call it “jal”. From another ghat the Mussalmāns take water in leather bags and call it “pāni”. From a third the Christians take the same thing and call it “water”. Suppose someone says that the thing is not “jal” but “pāni”, or that it is not “pāni” but “water”, or that it is not “water” but “jal”, It would indeed be ridiculous. But this very thing is at the root of the friction among sects, their misunderstandings and quarrels. This is why people injure and kill one another, and shed blood, in the name of religion. But this is not good. Everyone is going toward God. They will all realize Him if they have sincerity and longing of heart.

— Ramakrishna – The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna – p. 423

The different names of Truth

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Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī

Oh you who have devoted yourself to strife,
you have not discerned yourself from others!
Whenever you come upon a form,
you stop and say, “I am this.”
By God, you are not that! . . .
How can you be that?
You are that unique one, happy, beautiful,
and intoxicated with yourself.
You are your own bird, prey, and snare,
your  own seat of honor, carpet, and roof.
“Substance” subsists in itself,
those things that derive from it are accidents.
If you are born of Adam,
sit like him and behold his progeny within yourself.
What does the vat contain that is not in the river?
What does the room encompass that is not in the city?
This world is the vat, and the heart the running stream,
this world the room, and the heart the city of wonders.

— Jalalud’din Rumi – Mathnawi IV: 803-811 – “The Sufi Path of Love” (transl. William C. Chittick)

(image source: rumibook.info)

By God, you are not that!

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Sri Siddharameshwar Maharaj

In the waking state, the husband, the wife, the king, and queen, are all as false as in a dream. The one who understands this well, is the Incarnation of the Incarnation. He himself is God. The Scriptures, the Vedas, you, I, all are only a myth. This world is a dream. One who awakens from this dream, is truly awakened. In this world appearance, we really own nothing. We say that we should not die and we have to be careful accordingly. That is not how it is in the game of chess. In chess, the man who is defeated is not hanged, nor does the one who wins gets any kingdom. This Illusion is like a game of chess. When a game of chess is over, the players go away with only what they brought with them to the game. What kingdom or spoils can they take away? In short, this world is a game of chess. What is visible is Brahman, but I ask you, what is beyond this appearance? It is Parabrahman. I ask you, “What and how is it?” “That” is Shiva. “That” is Brahman, which is the Truth. There is no horse, house, or man. There is only One, nothing else. However, “That” has no name, no shape. It “is,” that’s all. There is no asking what “It” is, or how “It” is. The dictates of the Vedas are all like a dream. Bondage and freedom are false. One who understands this and lives a natural life has no insistence that some thing should be done, or should not be done. To do, or not to do, is the thought belonging to the “body-consciousness.” Many were able to be completely and perpetually free by withdrawing from the worldly life, but they also kept the sense that they were “somebody.” Even when they attained victory, to be immovable or movable, are factors belonging to the body. Such a one valued himself, or conceived of himself, in relation to the body only. Such conceptual delusion should not be there. Really we are nothing and at the same time, we are all things. Not one, not two, not even zero. Elephant, dog, horse, we are all these, we are everything.

— Sri Siddharameshwar Maharaj – Master of Selfrealization – Talk 04/11/1935

The Game of Chess

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Eckhart Tolle

Identification with your mind creates an opaque screen of concepts, labels, images, words, judgments, and definitions that blocks all true relationship. It comes between you and yourself, between you and your fellow man and woman, between you and nature, between you and God. It is this screen of thought that creates the illusion of separateness, the illusion that there is you and a totally separate “other.” You then forget the essential fact that, underneath the level of physical appearances and separate forms, you are one with all that is.

— Eckhart Tolle – The Power of Now

(image source: belovingawareness.wordpress.com)

The illusion of separatedness

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Nisargadatta Maharaj

All your going and coming, seeking pleasure, loving and hating – all this shows that you struggle against limitations, self-imposed or accepted. In your ignorance, you make mistakes and cause pain to yourself and others, but the urge is there and shall not be denied. The same urge that seeks birth, happiness and death, shall seek understanding and liberation. It is like a spark of fire in a cargo of cotton. You may no know about it, but sooner or later the ship will burst in flames. Liberation is a natural process and, in the long run, inevitable. But it is within your power to bring it into the now.

— Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj – I Am That – Chapter 91

(Photo by Jozef Nauwelaerts)

Liberation is an inevitable natural process