Deepen Your Practice 38 - The Bardo Thodol - Part One: The Bardo Thodol, Part One

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Can the mind which is fixed in its original State possess an ego-sense or have any problem to solve? Do not such thoughts themselves constitute bondage?


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Hence when such thoughts arise due to past tendencies, not only should the mind be curbed and turned back to its true State but also it should be made to remain unconcerned and indifferent to external happenings. Is it not due to Self-forgetfulness that such thoughts arise and cause more and more misery? Though the discriminating thought. Gradually one should, by all possible means, try always to be aware of the Self. Everything is achieved if one suceeds in this. Let not the mind be diverted to any other object. One should abide in the Self without the sense of being the doer, even when engaged in work born of destiny, like a madman.

Have not many devotees achieved much with a detached attitude and firm devotion of this nature? Being stirred up by the quality of activity rajas the mind becomes restless and, influenced by darkness tamas , manifests as he physical world.

Relationship as Alchemy

The mind thus becoming restless on the one hand and appearing as solid matter on the other, the Real is not discerned. Just as fine silk threads cansiot be woven, with the use of a heavy iron shuttle, or the delicate shades of a work of art be distinguished in the light of a lamp flickering in the wind, so is Realization of Truth impossible with the mind rendered gross by darkness tamas and restless by activity rajas. Because Truth is exceedingly subtle and serene. Mind will be cleared of its impurities only by a desireless performance of duties during several births, getting a worthy Master, learning from, him and incessantly practising meditation on the Supreme.

The transformation of the mind into the world of inert matter due to the quality of darkness jamas and its restlessness due to the quality of activity rajas will cease. Then the mind regains its subtlety and composure. The Bliss of the Self can manifest only in a mind rendered subtle and steady by assiduous meditation. He who experiences that Bliss is liberated even while still alive.

When the mind is divested of the qualities of darkness and activity by constant meditation, the Bliss of the Self will clearly manifest within the subtle mind.

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In the silence of those nights he began to perceive the ever-present inner sound, seemingly beginningless and endless, and he soon found that he was able to discern it throughout the day and in many circumstances, whether quiet or busy. He also realized that he had indeed noticed it once before in his life, when he had been on shore leave from the U. He remembered that as a wonderfully pure and peaceful state, and he recalled that the sound had been very loud then. So those positive associations encouraged him to experiment and see if it might be a useful meditation object.

It also seemed to be an ideal symbol, in the conditioned world of the senses, of those qualities ol mind that transcend the sense realm: not subject to personal will, ever present but only noticed if attended to: apparently beginningless and endless, formless to some degree, and spatially unlocated.

Relationship as Charnel Ground

Later, as he began to teach the method on retreats for the lay community, he began to hear about its use from people experienced in Hindu and Sikh meditation practices. There is a meditation on hearing that is described in that sutra. Since this form of meditation seems to be very supportive for that, despite not being included in lists of meditation practices in the Pali Canon or anthologies such as the Visuddhimagga, it seems wholly appropriate to give it its due. For surely it is the freedom of the heart that is the purpose of all the practices—and that freedom is the final arbiter of what is useful and therefore good.

Was a scientific. His work was conducted with appropriate scientific rigor. Yoga is the path by traversing which the individual soul realizes its real nature of immortality, omnipresence, peace, and bliss. The essential condition for the attainment of this supreme goal is the complete absence of the ego-sense.

Meetings on a Path to Awakening

Self-control and self-discipline are the means. Yoga also signifies union with and absorption in the immortal Reality. A steady, persevering, and concentrated effort and struggle alone can lead the aspirant to the realization of the Godhead.


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  8. So long as man is hankering after the pleasures of the senses, his progress on the path is slow and erratic. He must be undaunted in his endeavor and determined in his purpose. He must leave no stone unturned to subdue and eventually eradicate the impure passions of his heart and mind. A purified and enlightened bud-dhi can alone entitle the sadhaha to enter the kingdom of eternity. Yoga is not a thing to be merely talked about, read in books, and heard through others.

    Yoga is for practice in life. Yoga which does not soften the heart and fill it with the pure emotion of love, compassion, and peace is not worth the name. Real concentration of mind and meditation of God in the chamber of his heart does bring about an enormous change in the devotee. His transformed life becomes a beacon light for others. Through thought, word, and deed he pours out love and bliss upon all. If not to live such a life, what use is there for a man to speak of and wish to hear of yoga? Ramdas does not want anyone to lead only a contemplative life. It must be shown also in action, in the form of relieving distress and rendering help in all possible ways.

    To serve man is to serve God. In karma yoga, work is done as worship. Then alone it gives joy. It should be clone as perfectly as possible, with great care and love and never in a slipshod, clumsy, irregular, or half-hearted way. The inner beauty must reveal itself in outer conduct. Do not renounce work but divinize work by doing it in full submission to the will of God.


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    6. Work is worship when it is clone selflessly in a spirit of dedication to God. Do not run away from the work given to you by the Divine. Do it without the ego-sense. Become willing instruments in the hands of the Divine and cheerfully do the work, without any thought of the fruits. Work, and be a detached witness of the work. We must force this insatiable desire within us, which is always oriented towards outward things and has its domain in an imaginary future, to close in on itself and bring its main thrust round to the present. Apart from its primary goal which is to succeed in recognizing the Source whence he originally emerged and into which he shall return at the time of his death , meditation also helps the seeker to live in the present.

      In this way, he finds himself dissipated in extremely fragmented inner states where, from one instant to another, he is never the same! Walter took an early interest in the books on spiritualism in his father's library, reading as a teen both Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine by Madame Blavatsky of the Theosophical Society. These works were to have a profound effect on Walter Wentz. Indeed, it is impossible to appreciate his tetralogy without recognizing his lifelong commitment to Theosophy.

      The goals of their Society were "to diffuse among men a knowledge of the laws inherent in the universe; to promulgate the knowledge of the essential unity of all that is, and to determine that this unity is fundamental in nature; to form an active brotherhood among men; to study ancient and modern religion, science, and philosophy; and to investigate the powers innate in man. Rather than seeking a refuge from science in religion, Blavatsky and Olcott attempted FOREWORD c to found a scientific religion, one that accepted the new discoveries in geology and archaeology while proclaiming an ancient and esoteric system of spiritual evolution more sophisticated than Darwin's theory.

      Madame Blavatsky claimed to have spent seven years in Tibet as an initiate of a secret order of enlightened masters called the Great White Brotherhood. These masters, whom she called Mahatmas "great souls" , lived in Tibet but were not themselves Tibetan.

      In fact, the very presence of the Mahatmas in Tibet was unknown to ordinary Tibetans. These masters had once lived throughout the world, but had congregated in Tibet to escape the onslaught of civilization. The Mahatmas had instructed her in Theosophy, which she also referred to as "Esoteric Buddhism," of which the Buddhism being practiced in Asia, including Tibet, was a corruption.

      Throughout her career, she and later, other members of the society claimed to be in esoteric communication with the Mahatmas, sometimes through dreams and visions, but most commonly through letters that either materialized in a cabinet in Madame Blavatsky's room or that she transcribed through automatic writing.

      The Mahatmas' literary output was prodigious, conveying instructions on the most mundane matters of the Society's functions, as well as providing the content of the canonical texts of the Society, such as A. The Theosophical Society enjoyed great popularity in America, Europe, and India despite repeated scandals and a report by the Society of Psychical Research that denounced Madame Blavatsky as a fraud , playing an important but ambiguous role in the Hindu renaissance in India and the Buddhist renaissance in Sri Lanka where Henry Olcott was particularly active.