Misunderstanding in Adhyatma Teachings

A teenage disciple asked the advice of a senior in the Yoga group he had joined. ‘My parents don’t understand me at all – we are always having rows. Why shouldn’t I have pictures of nudes on the walls of my room, like my friends do? I wanted to put one up in the hall too, but they raised hell over that. Why should I have to listen to them? I think I’m a natural rebel, and I won’t just meekly conform.’ The senior said: ‘Do you really get that much pleasure from these pictures?’ The teenager considered. Then he …

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Poetics in Adhyatma Teachings

A noted, middle-aged poet lived like a recluse in a remote area. The country had a strong tradition of poetry; for every public occasion, and some private ones, there would be a commission to write a poem. This poet had, aided by some strokes of luck, established a reputation, and many commissions came to him, so that he became comparatively wealthy. He was an eccentric man, who lived in solitude, and he never visited the capital. He wrote his poems in a little two-roomed retreat he had built in a corner of his large garden. Hardly anybody knew what he …

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Don’t Wait For Him in Adhyatma Teachings

In the first part of the 20th century, when the living Vedanta of the Gita was brought across to the West by Dr. Shastri, few of the great Sanskrit classics had been adequately translated into English. Among his early disciples was a middle-aged Scottish lady, who gave much of her time to looking after the needs of the little Sangha (spiritual group). One day he told her that he had received a spiritual impulse to translate, into English, one of these great classics, but he added that he felt quite incompetent for the task. She said: ‘But you are a …

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Pointless in Adhyatma Teachings

A middle-aged energetic business-man, member of a yoga group, began to think that he was not making proper progress. He practised regularly and did a good deal of service, but he felt that he was getting no new insights or experience. He asked the teacher, who told him: “It is good that you have become aware of this. Ask yourself whether at the end of your yogic practices or service you think: I have finished with that, now I will get on with my ordinary affairs; and whether at the end of an engagement in worldly affairs, you think, I …

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Compassion Ration in Adhyatma Teachings

  The owner of a small wine-shop in a not very prosperous district of Tokyo had to be a tough man, if only to deal with penniless alcoholics demanding a drink. One such wine-shop proprietor related this incident to a Buddhist priest. It was the end of the year, when debts have to be settled. Those who have collected the money owing, spend some of it on drink; those who cannot pay, hide from the debt-collectors or sometimes vanish to another part of the country. One evening just before the New Year, a little girl of about seven came into …

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Life into Life in Adhyatma Teachings

Life into Life The business of getting the necessities is, for many people, a boring necessity. It is livelihood, not life. For them, life begins only after the work has finished. This is especially true when the work has to be done alone, with no one to talk to. Making endless entries in computers down to scrubbing the floor and steps, it is said to be soul-destroying work, in which there is no progress. One is simply a replaceable element in a machine. From the point of view of yoga, this is a big mistake. It is in just those …

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Satan in Adhyatma Teachings

Quite often in our lives we are going to meet Satan, either in other people or in ourselves. We don’t realize it because we often fail to recognise him. Here is an example from a time when smoking was just a social habit and not yet known to be a killer: A certain heavy smoker did find some adverse symptoms and he recognised quickly that it was due to smoking. He resolved to give it up and managed to maintain this for several months. His cigarette-smoking colleagues at first tried to break his resolution; failing to do so they began …

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