Shanmugam

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About Shanmugam

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  1. @Toby I am not really a good story writer but I just tried.. Good to know that it sucks.
  2. Are you referring to this?: "Just lay yourself at God’s feet. There is no time like the present to surrender yourself unto Him....Use all the strength of your soul to find God....The smoke-screen of delusion has come between us and Him, and He is sorry that we have lost sight of Him. He is not happy seeing His children suffer so much — dying from falling bombs, terrible diseases, and wrong habits of living. He regrets it, for He loves us and wants us back. If only you would make the effort at night to meditate and be with Him! He thinks of you so much. You are not forsaken. It is you who have forsaken your Self.... God is never indifferent to you.... The sole purpose of creation is to compel you to solve its mystery and perceive God behind all. He wants you to forget everything else and to seek Him alone. Once you have found refuge in the Lord, there is no consciousness of life and death as realities. You will then see all dualities like dreams during sleep, coming and going in the eternal existence of God. Forget not this sermon, a sermon He is expressing to you through my voice. Forget not! He is saying: “I am just as helpless as you, for I, as your soul, am tied in the body with you. Unless you redeem your Self, I am caged with you. Dally no more, groveling in the mud of suffering and ignorance. Come! bathe in My light.” - from http://www.yogananda-srf.org/HowtoLive/Inner_Security_in_an_Uncertain_World.aspx#.WinX0lWWaM8 It sounds completely metaphorical, like a text version of a poetry.
  3. What would an enlightened person feel or think when he overhears two unenlightened people gossiping about enlightened people and their behavior? The same way how an adult will feel when he overhears the following conversation happening between two very young kids: Kid A: Do you know? Once you are grown up, you can get anything you want.. You can buy sweets and toys.. you can buy a house, clothes and anything else that you want. Kid B: Yeah, And growns ups have a lot of freedom. Nobody would scold them. But I don’t know why some grown ups have nothing, there is a guy in my street who always wears old torn clothes.. My mom told me that he is poor.. Kid A: Poor? What does that mean? Kid B: May be poor people are not interested to buy clothes. But the guy is so big, I mean tall. He is definitely a grown up. Nobody scolds him either. Kid A: Yeah, he should be.. Anybody who is as tall as my mom or your mom is a grown up. Kid B: No, there is actually a short guy that I know.. And he is married. Only grown ups get married. He is only as tall as my elder brother. Kid A: Really? Then how can one tell who is grown up and who is not? Kid B: They all have moustache and beard. Kid A: no, my dad has none of it. Kid B: He can grow if he wants to.. I think he shaves everyday… oh no! Wait a minute, my mom doesn’t have a moustache or beard either and I have never seen her shaving. But she is a grown up! Kid A: well, then the only way to tell whether someone is grown up or not is to find out if they are still going to school or not. A grown up doesn’t have to go to school. Kid B: There are always exceptions.. You would never know. Only a grown up can tell for sure if another person is grown up or not..As I said, there are always short guys who are grown ups. Kid A: do you know how long it takes to grow up like your mom or dad, so that we don’t have to go to school anymore? Kid B: it takes very long.. Probably ages! Kid A: I can’t wait to be a grown up. Because, then I will be free to do anything and buy anything.. Kid B: but you need to go to work everyday.. I think it will be fun. I have never seen my dad doing any homework. Kid A: Yeah, my mom and dad go to work too.. They don’t cry when they go to work but we sometimes cry when we go to school. I think they do a lot of fun stuff at work. Kid B: do you know grown ups do a lot of crazy weird stuff? I overheard two people talking about this stuff while watching something crazy on TV.. It is called sex. It was totally weird to watch. Kid A: really? I have never heard of that word.. What do they do exactly? (Kid B whispers something into Kid A’s ears) Kid A: Jesus Christ! This sounds totally crazy.. I would never want to do that once I am grown up.. Why the hell do they do that, do you know? Kid B: only a grown up can understand this stuff.. But it seems like they like to do it. Kid A: But why? I can’t see any logic behind this.. Why would someone want to do something weird and crazy like this.. What is the logic.. Kid B: I told you, you can’t understand it with logic. Only grown ups can understand why they like to do it.. But I know there is one reason why they do it. That is how babies are born. A guy told me this. Kid A: what do you mean? Kid B: You were born because your mom and dad did this... Kid A: are you crazy? Dont trust that guy, he is a liar.. Babies are born because God puts the baby in a mom’s belly after she gets married. After the belly becomes big, doctor cuts the stomach and pulls the baby out. Thats what my mom told me.. My mom is a grown up, she knows a lot of stuff and she must be correct… Kid B: I don’t want to be rude but I think your mom is lying to you.. Kid A: don’t act like an idiot.. Moms don’t lie.. There is no reason for them to lie. Kid B: mom and dad always lie to you or tell you some stories when you ask about any stuff that we don’t understand.. It is not bad. If they tell you the real thing, you won’t understand. Sometimes it is not good to know the real thing. We will get confused or we will misunderstand. Kid A: really? Kid B: Yes.. grown ups don’t care about toys and sweets like we do.. Their life is different and they see things in a different perspective.. That is all I know. Once we grow up, we will understand.
  4. Ego is the best plagiarist... It copies everything from the existence. First, it claims to exist when it really doesn't... It also takes the ownership of all actions and says 'I am the one who is doing it, I am the one who is running the show, I am the doer...
  5. @Antonius Observing thoughts is completely necessary. Not just thoughts, mindfulness is all inclusive. You should train to be able to be mindful of every single movement in the stream of consciousness. But it takes a long time to go deeper and deeper. It took about 12 years for me to make it a 24/7 thing. As you keep doing it, you will be able to watch even the subtlest sensations, mood changes etc. But it sounds like you are on the right track. Very rarely these questions are being asked in this forum. Just make sure you don't distract yourself by thinking about things like paranormal, esp etc. It is fun but a completely useless distraction when it comes to spiritual progress. Also, mindfulness is really not a doing, even though we use the words like doing, practice etc. When you are mindful, you take place of the witness instead of identifying yourself with the doer. When each thought or emotion arises and passes away, there is a constant realization that those thoughts, emotions and sensations are not you. This is essentially same as self-inquiry. Self-inquiry and mindfulness are just different words used to point out essentially the same thing. When you get thoughts like "Am I missing on a lot of growth if I don't observe my thoughts and any tips to do this more effectively?", recognize it as another thought, give space for it to arise and pass away. Recognize that it is just another thought but not really about who you are. In other words, it is the same as inquiring "who is missing something?".. Recognize that the 'I' which claims to be missing something is just an appearance created by that thought. When I say recognize, I am talking about just a 'noticing', recognizing for what it is without verbalizing it, without thinking and analyzing it.
  6. Here are some excerpts from 'I am that' (Nisargadatta Maharaj) Q: What am I? M: It is enough to know what you are not. You need not know what you are. For as long as knowledge means description in terms of what is already known, perceptual, or conceptual, there can be no such thing as self-knowledge, for what you are cannot be described, except as except as total negation. All you can say is: ‘I am not this, I am not that’. You cannot meaningfully say ‘this is what I am’. It just makes no sense. What you can point out as 'this' or 'that' cannot be yourself. Surely, you can not be 'something' else. You are nothing perceivable, or imaginable. Yet, without you there can be neither perception nor imagination. You observe the heart feeling, the mind thinking, the body acting; the very act of perceiving shows that you are not what you perceive. Can there be perception, experience without you? An experience must ‘belong'. Somebody must come and declare it as his own. Without an experiencer, the experience is not real. It is the experiencer that imparts reality to experience. An experience which you cannot have, of what value is it to you? ................................................................................................................................................................. Q: Still, you are different. Your mind seems to be always quiet and happy. And miracles happen around you. M: I know nothing about miracles, and I wonder whether nature admits exceptions to her laws, unless we agree that everything is a miracle. As to my mind, there is no such thing. There is consciousness in which everything happens. It is quite obvious and within the experience of everybody. You just do not look carefully enough. Look well, and see what I see. Q: What do you see? M: I see what you too could see, here and now, but for the wrong focus of your attention. You give no attention to your self. Your mind is all with things, people and ideas, never with your self. Bring your self into focus, become aware of your own existence. See how you function, watch the motives and the results of your actions. Study the prison you have built around yourself by inadvertence. By knowing what you are not, you come to know your self. The way back to your self is through refusal and rejection. One thing is certain: the real is not imaginary, it is not a product of the mind. Even the sense ‘I am’ is not continuous, though it is a useful pointer; it shows where to seek, but not what to seek. Just have a good look at it. Once you are convinced that you cannot say truthfully about your self anything except ‘I am’, and that nothing that can be pointed at, can be your self, the need for the ‘I am’ is over -- you are no longer intent on verbalising what you are. All you need is to get rid of the tendency to define your self. All definitions apply to your body only and to its expressions. Once this obsession with the body goes, you will revert to your natural state, spontaneously and effortlessly. The only difference between us is that I am aware of my natural state, while you are bemused. Just like gold made into ornaments has no advantage over gold dust, except when the mind makes it so, so are we one in being -- we differ only in appearance. We discover it by being earnest, by searching, enquiring, questioning daily and hourly, by giving one's life to this discovery. .............................................................................................................................................................. Questioner: All teachers advise to meditate. What is the purpose of meditation? Maharaj: We know the outer world of sensations and actions, but of our inner world of thoughts and feelings we know very little. The primary purpose of meditation is to become conscious of, and familiar with, our inner life. The ultimate purpose is to reach the source of life and consciousness. Incidentally practice of meditation affects deeply our character. We are slaves to what we do not know; of what we know we are masters. Whatever vice or weakness in ourselves we discover and understand its causes and its workings, we over-come it by the very knowing; the unconscious dissolves when brought into the conscious. The dissolution of the unconscious releases energy; the mind feels adequate and become quiet. M: When the mind is quiet, we come to know ourselves as the pure witness. We withdraw from the experience and its experiencer and stand apart in pure awareness, which is between and beyond the two. The personality, based on self-identification, on imagining oneself to be something: 'I am this, I am that', continues, but only as a part of the objective world. Its identification with the witness snaps. ............................................................................................................. Q: Don’t you have desires and fears anymore? M: My destiny was to be born a simple man, a commoner, a humble tradesman, with little of formal education. My life was the common kind, with common desires and fears. When, through my faith in my teacher and obedience to his words, I realized my true being, I left behind my human nature to look after itself, until its destiny is exhausted. Occasionally an old reaction, emotional or mental, happens in the mind, but it is at once noticed and discarded. After all, as long as one is burdened with a person, one is exposed to its idiosyncrasies and habits. Q: Are you not afraid of death? M: I am dead already. Q: In what sense? M: I am double dead. Not only am I dead to my body, but to my mind too. Q: Well, you do not look dead at all! M: That’s what you say! You seem to know my state better than I do! Q: Sorry. But I just do not understand. You say you are bodyless and mindless, while I see you very much alive and articulate. M: A tremendously complex work is going on all the time in your brain and body, are you conscious of it? Not at all. Yet for an outsider all seems to be going on intelligently and purposefully. Why not admit that one’s entire personal life may sink largely below the threshold of consciousness and yet proceed sanely and smoothly? .............................................................................................................
  7. by doing it again and again and again...
  8. @egoless Imagine you are walking while wearing a shoe that hurts your feet. It hurts really bad but you don't want to take your shoes off because you are on the road. Finally, when you reach your home and take off your shoes, you feel completely relieved and peaceful.. Would you call that sense of relief a self-induced belief or placebo effect? Once you are enlightened, the feeling of liberation it gives you is not a placebo effect, self-induced belief or delusion for the very same reason. Now imagine this scenario. A small 4-year-old boy is walking in his beautiful new shoes. The shoe is hurting him and he cries in pain. But he doesn't realize that it is the shoe which is hurting him. Instead, he thinks that the pain is in the leg, caused internally. I tell him "It is your shoe which is causing the problem, take it off!".. And he says, 'no way, the shoe is beautiful! I won't take this off. What if you want me to take it off so that you can grab it and run away? What is the guarantee that taking my shoes off will remove the pain? you are lying and I am not ready to fall for it" The question you are asking is similar to the question this little boy is asking. Because of your identification with the body and mind, you are deriving a sense of self from it. That sense of a separate self is like this shoe.. It may be beautiful but it hurts... Just take it off!
  9. I have never experienced anything like seeing visions, seeing UFO's etc.. But not having any such abilities was never a barrier to my awakening. Nothing happened like that after my transformation either. But there was a period of about two months (it happened more than a year ago) when I was convinced that I had some kind of psychic ability. I would think about or talk about something and it would be in the news the next day or I would read about the exact same topic the next day. Such things happened for about a month and were very convincing. I didn't write about it in my book since my main focus was to appeal to people who are skeptical, the book is basically an attempt to bridge science and spirituality. But I have generally touched on the topic of extra-sensory perception in a chapter. I don't have any explanation for what happened during those two months. It could be a mere coincidence or something that is really psychic. Honestly, it was happening too often to call a coincidence. But I am careful in not to come up with my own imagined explanation for what happened. (People are usually tempted to add something imaginary to it, instead of seeing the way it happened). At the same time, I am completely open to the possibility that ESP could be real.
  10. When I move back in time, everything will move back in time including my own memories, the cells of my body, the arrangement of neurons in my brain. But for some reason people assume that when everything moves back in time, their current brain state alone will not move back in time .. How is that possible? If I move back to one day prior to today, all physiological changes that my brain and body went through will completely reverse.. (This will lead to more paradoxes by the way)... And if I move back to 34 years my body would be in my mother's womb. A few months before that, there would be only a single cell which would eventually develop into this body and my mind which I have always called as 'me'.. What people call as time travel is not time travel at all, because they assume that their current state of mind will remain constant while everything else will move back in time...
  11. A ball of sugar jumps inside a pot of water and it takes on a journey to absorb as much water as it can. It becomes smaller and smaller as time goes by until it is fully dissolved one day... Once the ball has completely disappeared, is there anymore journey for that ball? The sugar molecules which were in the ball are still there in the water, they may still undergo changes. But do those changes belong to the original sugar ball? The sugar ball is the person you think you are and the water is the existence... In a way, the sugar ball has now become water. But to be more precise and exact, the sugar ball is not there anymore. There are no clear boundaries between the sugar ball and the water. Another way of saying this would be that sugar ball and the water is one and the same now.
  12. Buddha has only one answer to all these questions: "It's just as if a man were wounded with an arrow thickly smeared with poison. His friends & companions, kinsmen & relatives would provide him with a surgeon, and the man would say, 'I won't have this arrow removed until I know whether the man who wounded me was a noble warrior, a brahman, a merchant, or a worker.' He would say, 'I won't have this arrow removed until I know the given name & clan name of the man who wounded me... until I know whether he was tall, medium, or short... until I know whether he was dark, ruddy-brown, or golden-colored... until I know his home village, town, or city... until I know whether the bow with which I was wounded was a long bow or a crossbow... until I know whether the bowstring with which I was wounded was fiber, bamboo threads, sinew, hemp, or bark... until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was wild or cultivated... until I know whether the feathers of the shaft with which I was wounded were those of a vulture, a stork, a hawk, a peacock, or another bird... until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was bound with the sinew of an ox, a water buffalo, a langur, or a monkey.' He would say, 'I won't have this arrow removed until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was that of a common arrow, a curved arrow, a barbed, a calf-toothed, or an oleander arrow.' The man would die and those things would still remain unknown to him. "In the same way, if anyone were to say, 'I won't live the holy life under the Blessed One as long as he does not declare to me that 'The cosmos is eternal,'... or that 'After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist,' the man would die and those things would still remain undeclared by the Tathagata. Read more: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.063.than.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_Poisoned_Arrow
  13. @Harms727 Karma is pretty simple.. Our intentions shape our future... I have elaborated it in my book :
  14. living with paradoxes without feeling uncomfortable is what enlightenment is all about. Only in duality, paradoxes are problems...