Sunday, May 3, 2015

Welcome to the Buddha Purnima issue of e-Sanai


by Sri Sandip Dasgupta

Dear fellow devotees,

Welcome to the Buddha Purnima issue of e-Sanai.  In this issue, I will restate one of Sri Sri Babathakur's teachings and try to reflect on it.  It is also pertinent to point out here, an excellent online resource for His teachings – a facebook page named “Followers of Prajnanpurush Sri Sri Babathakur”,  which can be found at

Sri Sri Babathakur had said ‘A man in general is never wholly satisfied by objective enjoyment in life.’ So what exactly did He mean?  Let us consider examples of certain things we do at all times.

We yearn for material wealth – money, objects, clothes etc.  When we get what we want, we appear to enjoy it momentarily – but then we begin yearning for more.  Permanent satisfaction is just not there!

       If we have spare money, we feel like investing it in the hope of obtaining even more.

       If we go on vacation to a luxury resort, we enjoy it.   That enjoyment however is gone as soon as the vacation is over.  We then begin planning our next vacation – perhaps at an even better resort.

       We are always buying clothes that are in vogue – the fashion keeps changing, and we keep chasing the latest fashions. We just aren’t satisfied…

       This cycle goes on and on – and hence Sri Sri Babathakur’s reference to the term 'whole satisfaction' – something that is complete and permanent.

       On the other hand, Sri Sri Babathakur has repeatedly told us that I-Absolute or I-Reality is the Supreme cause of Jiva, Jagat, Ishwara.  We are all functioning on that supreme substratum – and all the objects that we see and experience are a reflection of that absolute substratum.  So in life, we should be thinking of every object, every event, every desire as being expressions of that Absolute I-Reality – rather than it belonging to us, the mortal being.  Then every result would also be His – and we whould be surrendering all the results to the Lord.

       Lack of satisfaction arises when we think that we are lacking something - when there is perception of a void. But if we are aware that we ourselves are “whole” and already possess everything, the question of lack of satisfaction doesn’t arise.

       So, let us remind ourselves of our Master’s saying that we are Sat-Cit-Ananda.   In other words,

        -   We are whole and Absolute (Sat)
        -   We should remain conscious of that wholeness at all times (Cit)
        -   We will always remain satisfied and remain in bliss (Ananda)

Joy Babathakur!  Joy Babathakur!  Joy Babathakur!


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Pebble Riddle - 2

by Sri P.C. Lahiri

The 2015 Sri Panchami e-Sanai article titled “Pebble Riddle” generated a few questions amongst readers that I seek to address in the present piece.  Those wishing to refer to the article in question may access it by clicking on the following link:

The interesting and healthy aspect of engaging in a spiritual discussion is that we enrich each other.  Being fellow students of the Spiritual School of Oneness, it is important that we share what each one of us has picked up and understood about the ‘Science of Oneness’ as revealed to and narrated by Prajnanpurush Sri Sri Babathakur (hereinafter referred to as Master). This Science being the ‘Science of the Absolute’ is picked up by each one of us according to our “mental set up”. Any mental set up, howsoever developed it might be, is only partial. The partial state remains until it merges with the Absolute and becomes an all-encompassing Whole. Only after this supreme merger has taken place does one realize that there is nothing in this universe that’s ‘partial’.  It is all a ‘sportful dramatic sameside game of Self-Consciousness’ – or in other words, a game of the Absolute Whole with the Absolute Whole, in the Absolute Whole, for the Absolute Whole and by the Absolute Whole. There is no second entity.  Hence, there is nothing that can be called partial.  

The funny part though is that until complete acceptance of the Absolute Whole by the “mental set up” occurs, the Absolute Whole does not reveal itself in Its full glory and majesty. It is a spontaneously self-revealing Entity no doubt, but due to the admixture of gunas (qualities) imaginarily created by the “mental set up” and superimposed on the Absolute Whole, it seems or only appears as a partial entity, going through innumerable changes and ups and downs.  A mental set up like mine is sometimes just dumbfounded to even think that this world drama is only the sameside game of Oneness appearing in and through innumerable forms, names and ideas to fulfill Its divine dream of becoming many to play with Itself alone and realize Its own supreme glory Itself alone.  To top it all, this Oneness is verily my own Self, as also the Self of one and all.

“Mental set up” faces great difficulty in accepting this seemingly limitless universal appearance of diversity and many-ness as only the play of the Supreme One Self-Absolute with Itself, for Itself, by Itself and in Itself. But as students, we have been given a Dictate by the Master to ‘accept one and all as the Supreme Self and live with this acceptance at all times’. Master never revealed it as a Dictate because for Him, It is the sameside playful game.  We however have to take it as a Dictate to school our mental set up.  In the process of following this Dictate, the mental set up comes across various situations where it gets perplexed what to do or how to apply this Principle?   All this happens only because the mental set up is partial.  Had it been an Absolute Whole, everything would have been spontaneously self-revealing from within, the situation of dilemma would never arise. Dilemma arises only when there is distinction/division/demarcation; in a state of unity and equanimity, there can be no second or different thought that can create a state of dilemma.  We have to simply accept that millions of us lead our lives from a mental set up which varies from person to person; and all such lives in essence are nothing but That One Self-Absolute waiting to fully reveal from within after getting rid of the self-imagined superimposed ignorance. This thought process alone shall considerably reduce differences amongst common people (mental set ups) in the world.  ‘All-acceptance and all-embrace’, i.e. ‘accept all as One and live with that acceptance’ is the path to follow to get rid of the self-imagined ignorance, as revealed by the Master.

The young beautiful girl of the 'Pebble Riddle' story (that appeared in the 2015 Sri Panchami issue) demonstrated exemplary behavior indicating ‘all-acceptance and all-embrace’ which can be cultivated as a Supreme Principle in life. It does not matter whether the girl was specifically aware of this Supreme Principle or not.  If she wasn't even aware of it, and yet still served up a practical demonstration of how to use the Supreme Principle in daily life, then it is all the more commendable and exemplary.  The beauty of this divine world game is that where and when the Divine will demonstrate in what way which divine law, is unknown to a “mental set up”. Hence, the easiest and the best formula to follow is to ‘just accept all as verily the Supreme Self without any questions whatsoever’. The young girl of the story amply demonstrated this by easily accepting without a second thought, probably the most unpalatable situation of her life. The result was that what spontaneously revealed within her was the perfect solution, given the circumstances.  That line of action eluded all those who were present at the scene as well as those who did academic analysis many years later.  The action was simply termed by the intellectual analyzers as “out of the box thinking”, without spelling out how to develop this thinking process by remaining within the domain of “in box thinking and training”.

I am narrating another story which I recently read. A father was busy reading his favorite magazine, while his little daughter would distract him every now and then. To keep her busy, he took out a page on which a map of the world was printed.  He tore the page into pieces and asked her to go to her room and assemble the pieces together again, just as she would with a jigsaw puzzle.  Having done so, the father was now convinced that he would be able to read his magazine without any disturbance as it may take his daughter the whole day to accomplish the task. But the little one came back within a short time with a perfect map…!!! The curious and confused father wanted to know how his daughter was able to assemble the pieces of paper so quickly. She giggled and said, “Oh dad, there is Amitabh Bacchan’s photo on the other side of the paper. I made his face perfect to get the map right.” The moral of the story per its author:  In life there is always the other side to whatever you experience. Whenever we come across a challenge or puzzling situation, look at the other side - you will be pleasantly surprised to find an easy way to tackle the problem.

As I tried to understand the moral of the story, a few things came to me which I present next.  Children by nature are more relaxed and easy-going than elders. Looking at the intricacy of the jigsaw puzzle, the child did not lose her simple and playful nature. In that easy mood, without getting unduly bogged down by the extreme difficulty of the problem, she would have just needed to turn the paper and see a part of Amitabh Bacchan’s face before getting the idea on how exactly to solve the jigsaw puzzle. This is the result of an uncluttered, joyful mind which effortlessly came upon a simple process to solve the problem – a way that wasn’t even imagined by the designer of the jigsaw puzzle. That is why the maker himself got perplexed as to how such a difficult jigsaw puzzle could be solved by a child in a jiffy. Such is the efficacy of easiness and simplicity.  An elderly mind, including the maker of the puzzle, would have got totally engrossed and bogged down by focusing on only the world-map side of the paper.

Conventional methods educate, train and develop a mind in a way that emphasizes one-upmanship, and that unfortunately is deemed as success.  Spiritual education on the other hand, adopts an inclusive (rather than exclusive) approach towards teaching one about success, and that too in an easy and relaxed way.  The success of one is not and does not have to be at the cost of others’ failures.  The essence of success is always along the lines of “bahujan hitaya” (welfare of all). Conventionally trained minds may question the possibility of success being inclusive.  Master had told a group of educationists sometime in the seventies that the entire education system has to undergo a comprehensive change to enable a child to start life and go ahead further with the formula of unity in diversity, inclusivity in exclusivity, universal in individual and Oneness in many-ness. Teaching based on unity and equanimity would help develop relaxed, tension-free minds as against restless tension-filled minds.  Spontaneity cannot develop in restless minds.  Without easiness and simplicity of mind, the “other side of a life puzzle” shall not be visible or shall not reveal of its own accord.  Revelation is always spontaneous and effortless, as has been demonstrated by the Master every moment of the day during His mundane physical existence.

Experiencing the world through our senses, we find it as being very diverse and ephemeral.  Also, conventional teaching and training of any kind teaches us how to fight, to survive and to be successful relative to others by maintaining such diverseness and temporariness.  Given such a scenario, one first struggles to attain success, then struggles even more to hold on to this success forever.  Life of a common person thus becomes all about struggling from birth until death.  In this ever changing diverse system and state all over the world, how can the mind remain calm and steady?  Until and unless there is something permanent and eternal for such a restless mind to hold on to, how can it ever be expected to be calm and equanimous?  Ease and peace can only be prevalent when the whole system is based on the formula of unity in diversity, permanence in impermanence, and one unifying principle tying up all of the apparently diverse and contradictory principles.  What is now only a part of the spiritual world visited by just a few, has to become an integral part of the rest of the world where the vast majority resides.  The ‘Science of Oneness’ as revealed by the Master has to become the base and integral part of all action and movement in life.  The least we can do is to make an earnest start towards incorporating It in all that we endeavor at in life. We can also be as calm, easy and happy as the two main characters of the two stories discussed - without the need for any effortful, expensive, time-consuming formal training.

Jai Guru.


Revealing Characteristics of Consciousness Itself

The following article first appeared in the 2006 Raas Purnima of Sri Sanai, Saccidananda Society's quarterly publication. 

Reality of duality, which is manifested eternal part of the reality of non-duality, is the source of universal creation of world appearance of diversified names and forms. All kinds of duality, plurality and relativity have made the entire creation enriched, enjoyable to the individual lives of all categories from the gross to the subtlemost.  Reality of duality extends from the grossmost creation to the subtlemost one. That is to say, all the visible forms of all kinds with their innumerable varieties have specific characteristics of their own. Such characteristics have their charming qualities like truth, reality, beauty, goodness, attraction which have their origin in the reality of non-duality. Origin of everything always remains obscured in the background.  Hence characteristics of manifesting varieties of consciousness of both aspects, the reality of duality and non-duality, are not always intelligible and accessible, though those are however experienced in the inner nature and subtler in the central nature. Each form has a name of its own by which it is used. Name is sound/prana which originates in vak (speech).  Bhava (idea) of all kinds is subtler which originates in consciousness. Form pertains to outer nature, name to inner nature and idea to central nature. Everything of the outer nature is sensual, of the inner nature is mental and of the central nature is intellectual. The threefold nature of life—outer, inner and central—is the object of experience pertaining to reality of duality.

Further clarification of the subject is needed.  Hence it is stated that the threefold nature of life is verily threefold aspect, of which the first two that is the outer and inner ones are both universal and individual; while the third one, the central one, is always universal. Individual is always material and the universal is always spiritual and divine. Therefore form, name and idea—the first three aspects—from a different viewpoint are prakriti, swabhava and Swabodha respectively. Of the three aspects the first two are both universal and individual and the third one is always universal.

The individual is inseparable part of the universal one. Individual owes all its beings and becomings to the universal one. Differently expressed, the universal one willingly manifests into the individual life in order to transform the individual one to universal one in and through the integral process of evolution. Both the individual nature and universal nature have one and the same origin—with the reality of non-duality. The only difference that appears in their nature is quantitative and not qualitative. That means the power and knowledge of the individual are finite, conditioned and limited; while those of the universal are infinite by nature i.e., unlimited and immeasurable. Individual life has its power and knowledge greatly attached to the gross nature of life with the thought and idea of objective pursuits and their enjoyment as well. It cannot think of anything else apart from the same. Its all aims and purposes of life are worldly prosperity and sensual enjoyment which are entirely materialistic. Its spiritual approach cannot easily develop until and unless it’s matter-fed worldly life or material life gets bored and digustful. Then and then only it aspires to get rid of that and intensely needs help from others of right experience. The more it feels for that, the more it grows dispassionate and indifferent to the worldly ways of life which is the characteristic of power-nature of life called avidya maya.

To rise above the material concept of life and be well established in the spiritual divine ways of life it gets the right help with spiritual light from spiritually experienced guide or master. He unfolds the spiritual science, vidya, to the aspirant seeker according to his/her intensity of urge.  The individual seeker thereby gets devoted to the teachings of the master and cultivates the spiritual science, vidya, as is instructed or inculcated by the master.

The characteristics of avidya are always diversified and contradictory to one another which verily are experienced to be the reality of duality. Nature of reality of duality is always experienced by the individual owing to the constitutional nature of avidya. Avidya-nature of the individual seeker (life) gets thoroughly transformed into vidya-nature in and through the process of evolution of the integral nature of the individual. All kinds of approach of the individual nature towards the individual one get successful and fulfilled not by avidya but by the evolutionary process of vidya-nature. The characteristics of vidya-nature are totally opposite to those of avidya-nature. For example—differences, inequality, diversity, plurality, duality etc. pertain to avidya; while non-difference, equality, evenness, unity, non-duality, identity etc. pertain to vidya.  As the avidya nature causes the life of the individual to be more objective, materialistic and sensualist; so the vidya nature causes the life of the individual to be more subjective, spiritual, discriminative and renunciative.

Vidya-nature makes life spiritually divine. It constitutes the upper nature of swabhava with the traits of predominating sattva wherein rajas and tamas of lower nature remain subordinate or subservient.  Rajas and tamas are predominant in avidya-nature. That is why self-generated lower nature is avidya and self-generated upper nature is vidya.  As the lower nature avidya is the cause of bondage and sufferings of life, so the upper nature vidya is conducive to liberation and balance of life. Vidya par-excellence is Paravidya which is the predominating nature of central aspect of life. The central aspect is the abode of Kutastha Chaitanya, immutable or permanent Consciousness called Self-Divine, Ishvara, Atman. It is also called Swabodhatma of shuddha sattva (pure sattva) i.e., homogeneous by nature.  Divine Self is always homogeneous by nature. That is why the traits of rajas and tamas of trigunaprakriti or lower nature have nothing to do in the shuddha sattvic (ever pure) homogeneous nature of Swabodhatma called Paka Ami. This Swabodhatma is ever non-dual Reality permanently unified and identified with the transcendental nature which is beyond all gunas and bhavas i.e., pairs of opposites, sense of differences of duality.  Hence it is beyond the sense of in and out, subject-object, creator-creation, this or that and not this and not that etc.  Thus it is said that it is the eternally non-dual One without a second, ever ‘at-one-ment’—‘All Divine for All Time, as It Is’, symptomatizing as Paka Ami—I-Absolute.

Life has got two parts. One is attributeful and the other one is attributeless.  The former is spiritual and the latter is supremely divine and beyond. The spiritual one is the combined form of subject and object and the divine one is super–subject and beyond i.e., ever-Witness of the former subjective and the objective ones. Life consists of fourfold nature i.e., outer, inner, central and transcendental.  Outer nature constitutes the physical body with material elements pertaining to outer prakriti which characterizes avidya itself, inner nature constitutes the spiritual body with the light of cidabhas pertaining to inner prakriti which characterizes vidya itself and the central nature constitutes the spiritual divine body with the light of Pure Knowledge/Consciousness pertaining to central prakriti which characterizes Paravidya itself. Transcendental nature is the eternal background of all of them which is Self-Divine, ever-Witness of all the rest.  This is Paka Ami, the I-Absolute.

Sri Sri Babathakur

to be continued.........................

Myths, Beliefs Contributed to Scientific Discoveries

by Sri Ajit Halder

A strong connection exists between myths (including popular and religious beliefs) and scientific discoveries.  Everything begins with a thought or a conjecture taking shape in the human mind, then that idea progressively takes a concrete form in the mind of an investigator working in the field of science.  As a result, a new theory is proposed or a discovery of a scientific nature is made. The world applauds the new scientific achievement intended to benefit humanity.  This article concentrates on the proposition that ideas, fictitious or imaginary, conveyed through the myths of bygone days, fires and still continues to stir the imagination of the new age scientists to bring to reality many of those ideas propagated by the mythical stories.

Myths are stories about divine beings and their super human deeds.  Their divine achievements are revered as true and sacred by a host of religiously minded people. Often myths deal with a heroic personality, an event, flying machines or powerful battle weapons (Brhmastra). To most people however, myths are imaginary, fictitious, unproved belief about persons or events.  It should be noted that all these mystical accounts are without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation, yet they have provided material for creative thoughts, and initiated serious studies to unravel the mysteries of the unknown.  Many societies, especially the Hindus, group their myths, legends and history together, considering myths to be true accounts of their remote past. The term ‘myth’ appears at the front of the compound word mythology and in this article the words myth and mythology will be used interchangeably.

It should be emphasized that imagination leads to creative thinking with beneficial consequences. Herein lies the impact of the mythological stories on the mind of scientists engaged in the pursuit of discovering new principles or devices so far unknown to the world.  Mythological stories have great symbolic power, influencing the beliefs of a society, and this may be a major reason why myths have survived for thousands of years.

Our ancestors created mythology in the remote past. And it has evolved through thousands of years, with new stories and legends consistently being added along the way of its development. Since myths have stood the test of time, it is not unreasonable to assume that they have contributed to the creative thinking and subsequent discoveries made by generations of scientists.

Many instances may be cited where mythical thoughts and scientific views are in accord. The ancient mythology provides an explanation of how the world and the creatures came to be. We will present several important topics beginning with the origin of the universe and the origin of life species, followed by other themes to illustrate that mythical ideas of the ancient times have significantly influenced the development of scientific principles and devices of the present age. 
Origin of the Universe
The Hindu cosmology and timelines indicate that the Big Bang is not the beginning of everything but just the start of the present cycle preceded by an infinite number of Universes and to be followed by another infinite number of Universes.  The Hindu view is that the Universe is expanding and is in perpetual cycle, with no beginning and no end in time; this view is in accordance with the modern scientific thinking.
Emergence of life in the world
The story of the ten Avatars (the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu) describes the evolution of life on earth that is broadly in tune with the Darwinian theory of evolution which present day scientists accept as highly plausible.
The account of the emergence of life in our world has been described in the Dasabatar Stotram: the evolution of living organism from the low form of life, progressively developing to the most complex human life, is comprehensively narrated in these verses.  An analysis of the stotrams will indicate that the evolution of life took place from aquatic life upwards to more complex living organisms.
In the beginning the entire surface of the earth was covered in water. In course of time life appeared in the form of an aquatic animal i.e. fish. Matsaya Avatar is the starter avatar in the Dasavatar story.  As water started receding, gradually land appeared on earth supporting amphibious animal life. Correspondingly, within the Dasavatar story we find the mention of the next avatar to be Kurma, the tortoise. Then evolving through land based animal Baraha (i.e. the boar) and ascending to humanlike character Nrisingha (half animal, half human), then the arrival of Bamana (the dwarf human) took place. We are now in the phase when human figures started developing, and we reverentially welcome Parasurama, adore the full-fledged avatara (purnavatara) Ramachandra and finally, Kalki in completely developed human form. Thus we see that the elements of the creation theory as given in Hindu mythology bear a close resemblance with Darwin’s Theory of Evolution of Life on earth. 
Gita’s Viswarupa-Darshan and Nuclear Explosion
Another illustration is the famous Gita verse uttered by Robert Oppenheimer on witnessing the nuclear explosion on July 18, 1945 at the Los Alamos test site.  Oppenheimer, the leader of the team developing the nuclear bomb, recalled that while witnessing the blast he thought of a verse from the Bhagavad Gita (Chapter XI, verse 12), which translated into English reads:
‘If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst simultaneously into the sky that would equal the glorious splendour of the mighty one i.e. Sri Krishna in His Godlike form.’
The above noted observation of Oppenheimer is a confirmation that the intense brilliance generated by the nuclear explosion in modern times corresponds to the splendour of the Supreme Creator as mentioned in the Gita. One finds a link between the mythical past and the reality of present day science.
Puspak Rath and Flying Machines
Hindu mythology gives colourful, detailed description of flying machines, Vimanas.  Puspak Rath, a chariot carrying passengers and flying through the sky, is an example elaborately described in the Hindu scriptures. It is an indisputable fact that our ancient sages intensely thought about the working mechanisms of flying machines and described in detail their component parts and their structure.   It may be stressed that myths about flying machines influenced the discovery of aeroplanes and space crafts.
Celestial Weapons and Missiles
One may cite myths about celestial weapons (Astras) which were described in various scriptures as missile-type weapons that were intended to be hurled at an enemy.  An example of great importance is a Brahmastra which was believed to be the mystical force of Brahma.  This weapon is said to be capable of releasing scores of missiles with destructive potential capable of extinguishing all creations.  From the account given in the Ramayana about this Astra, we may equate the destructive power of this weapon to be similar to that of a nuclear bomb.
Present-day Myths 
It is true that mythical stories of the past still entertain and influence our thinking process and stimulate creative actions. What is more interesting is the fact that newer myths are continuously being added to our rich resource of mythical stories.  We have myths today that capture our imagination, and our expectation grows for more and more marvels and smarter devices. If we read Jules Verne or Arthur C. Clarke, we are swept into the era of space odyssey.  Space crafts and space travel are no longer fictional ideas; they have become a reality, thanks to the imaginative writings of the authors of fictional works that must have motivated and enthused scientist to succeed in developing powerful devices, humanoid robots and intelligent gadgets.
It suffices to say that mythology, with all its colourful stories, has played a significant role in moulding the thoughts of modern day scientists and discoverers, and that human life in today’s world has been hugely enriched by these scientific achievements.