Freedom in Adhyatma Teachings

Free, free! If only we were all free, all problems would be solved and everything would go well. So runs the slogan, and it is felt that by destroying all barriers and restraints, it will come about. But as a matter of fact, when we try it in a small way, we soon find out that our freedoms clash with each other. I want to be free to take a good place for the concert, but others want to be free to take that same place. Inner Clash The freedoms clash within our very selves: wise old head wants to control …

Read moreFreedom in Adhyatma Teachings

Making The Desert Bloom in Adhyatma Teachings

The great Thar desert lies in what is now Pakistan and is almost completely barren. There is a tradition in the ancient Vedas going back to over 1000B.C. that a great river, the Sarasvati, which rises in the Himalayas, flows a long way underground. Recent prospecting for oil suggests that this supposedly mythological river flows under the Thar, and thus could make the desert bloom. Beneath the human mind, even when it seems most barren, there is a spiritual Sarasvati, which can make the desert blossom into inspiration and energy. To bring this stream to the surface of daily life …

Read moreMaking The Desert Bloom in Adhyatma Teachings

As Gladstone Did Not Say in Adhyatma Teachings

William Gladstone (1809-1898) was four times British Prime Minister, and arguably the greatest statesman of the century. His policies played a big part in preventing the revolution that Marx had foreseen. Gladstone coined many memorable phrases which were in constant use; in 1888: ‘I will back the masses against the classes.’ The interest for yoga is the extraordinary control that Gladstone exercised over his own mind. There is a striking example towards the end of his life when, as an old man, he saw his progressive programme voted down in Parliament for very dubious reasons, so that his government fell. …

Read moreAs Gladstone Did Not Say in Adhyatma Teachings

Morality and the Bhagavad Gita in Adhyatma Teachings

The Gita is a book of Yoga practice, but there has to be a basis, a basic knowledge of the philosophy of the Gita – not elaborate – but definite and clear. Someone who practises without studying the traditional philosophy ends up not simply practising without a philosophy, but practicing by inventing a philosophy and that invention is often very harmful. The situation of Arjuna is well known, he is a General who is to give the signal for a battle to begin, a battle that he has been looking forward to fighting, though it is unsought. The text and …

Read moreMorality and the Bhagavad Gita in Adhyatma Teachings

Shankara and Science in Adhyatma Teachings

There is a criticism made that Shankara described world processes in terms of the physics of the time. His statements are wrong as for instance when he says that the world is composed of earth, water, air, fire and ether. Shankara in 700 AD simply could not be expected to know the conclusions of science so his presentations are simply mythological. Thus the critics. If we enquire what is the science that David Hume knew and Shankara did not know, we shall find that a major element was the doctrine of Phlogiston. It is recorded in the first edition of …

Read moreShankara and Science in Adhyatma Teachings

Orchestra in Adhyatma Teachings

Nearly everybody who practices meditation will have some unusual experience. For instance, they will know that something which is very unlikely is nevertheless about to happen. They have some such experience of predictive power but they also find it passes. The basis of the universe and our experience is not something which is absolutely fixed. It is consciousness adapting itself to particular regulations. It has regularities, but those are regularities imposed by consciousness and the example given is that the things of the world are like notes of music. The musicians play the notes on the score in front of …

Read moreOrchestra in Adhyatma Teachings

Questions in Adhyatma Teachings

Following ancient tradition, our Teacher, Hari Prasad Shastri, would pause sometimes during a lecture and invite relevant questions. The questions and answers on this site were the result of similar invitations to enquirers. Causality QUESTION:  There are ridiculous things in some of the ecstatic utterances of Mahatmas, which we have to assume are somehow metaphorical or maybe just poetic fancies. After a bit, they no longer make an impression; they get shifted onto a siding well away from the main tracks of life. For instance, Swami Rama Tirtha (a one-time professor of mathematics at the university of Lahore who became …

Read moreQuestions in Adhyatma Teachings

Free Fall in Adhyatma Teachings

Free Fall  A rock, or a human being, falling from a cliff is said to be in free fall. But they are not free, because they have no choice. Similarly, those dominated by instinctive impulses often claim to be freely enjoying them, but in fact they are no more free than a falling rock. They are not free to check themselves.   Freedom can be a sort of verbal trick. When Henry Ford first introduced mass production, his famous Model T was always painted black. A reporter from abroad asked him whether customers could choose other colours. `They are free …

Read moreFree Fall in Adhyatma Teachings

Sanga or Association in Adhyatma Teachings

In its second chapter, near the beginning of the classic, the Gita gives a definition of yoga in terms of samadhi, the peak of yoga-in-meditation: When your higher mind (buddhi), Turning away from the jungle of words. Will stand motionless in samadhi, Then you will have attained yoga (11.53) The Jungle of Words Those who are beginning to have a sense of restriction in the body-mind complex, usually begin their search for expansion by reading and listening. The books or talks stimulate an impulse to transcendence, and a feeling that it is possible. The scent of freedom can seem a …

Read moreSanga or Association in Adhyatma Teachings