Om Sri Ganeshaya Namah!
Om Namo Bhagavate Sivanandaya!
Om Namo Bhagavate Chidanandaya!
Om Namo Bhagavate Krishnanandaya!
The Incredible Gift of Our Spiritual Heritage
by Sri Swami Chidananda
As far as we know about the human race, since ancient times there has been a continuing development in human society. In the beginning man wanted to know where he could find food, water and shelter, but then a period came when, not satisfied with knowing only about his immediate physical environment, the desire arose to ask deeper questions. Past observances had revealed to him that all of life seemed to be an entry and an exit. He began to ponder, "Why am I here? Where did I come from? Where do I go?"
These questions were asked, but there were no answers forthcoming. Some adventuresome people with a pioneering spirit desired to pry open the door that held this mystery and see what was behind it. This was a totally new and unexplored dimension. People started out on this intrepid search into the realm of the spirit, and they began investigating not only the outer nature but also the inner field of man’s own being. They must have gained insights into what up until that point had been a hidden unknown. These insights are the content of the metaphysical, philosophical and religious domain of man’s life. We are the richer because these ancient people took up this enquiry as their mission in life.
Today, confused and agitated mankind has lost its sense of identity and does not seem to perceive a satisfactory meaning in life. If man could but recognise that the discoveries of these ancient seers are meant for modern man, then he could once again regain his sense of direction in terms of the meaning of life. There would thus be a solution to the problems that cause him to be a stumbling, despairing wanderer. This stumbling would be a needless and avoidable distress if only man could realise that these ancient teachings were meant for this modern age as well. They are for us today, because these insights are the common heritage of the entire human species and are tools that are meant to be used. They are so many lights for us to live by and to guide us purposefully to exalted goals. This rich legacy of the past forms a perennial, precious heritage for mankind in every century.
The following article has been posted at Sri Swami Krishnanandaji's site:
Yours in the service of Gurudev,
by Swami Sivananda
The Aitareya Upanishad forms part of the Aitareya Aranyaka of the Rig-veda. It is divided into five sections (Khandas). If the Peace-Chant be counted as a section, the sections become six, and by such counting, this Upanishad is sometimes called ‘Atmashatka’, i.e., six-sectioned dissertation on the Atman. It is divided into three chapters. The first contains three sections, the second and the last, one section each.
The Upanishad derives its name from its author Mahidasa Aitareya, the son of Itara.
It describes, in symbolical language, the creation of the universe. It deals with the Atman as the only Reality. It treats of evolution through hunger and thirst, of food, of the entrance of the Self into the body. It deals with the conception and the three births of man.
It teaches that one is freed from birth and death and attains immortality through knowledge of Brahman. It contains the saying of Rishi Vamadeva who attained immortality through knowledge of the Self. It teaches that the Atman, and not Prana, is the last and only cause of everything. It teaches that the whole universe is manifestation of Brahman, that the individual soul is identical with the Supreme Soul, and that the goal of life lies in the realisation of the unity of the individual self with the Supreme Self. The sole teaching of the Upanishad is to inculcate the knowledge that the Atman and Para-Brahman are identical.
For more information, please see: Aitareya Upanishad
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SEEKING RECOMMENDATIONS: A gentleman came to the Master and requested his recommendation for presentation to a government official.
The Master advised him, “Just as you have explained the facts of the case to me, go and explain to your officer. He is a fine person and I know him. What is the need for my recommendation? I do not know you. In a dispute between two parties it is natural for each to present his good points and not disclose the weak ones. Unless both the parties are given a hearing, a judgment cannot be passed. I have no objection in deciding over the issue provided you bring the other man also. Otherwise, I am afraid I cannot interfere in this matter. It is your private affair.”
When the man had departed the Master said, “People come here thinking that I will give them recommendations. What is the need for any recommendations at all? Good qualities, sincerity and efficiency are themselves the best recommendations.”
“It has been held that the concept of God implies at the same time the concept of the infinite, and such a concept cannot arise in the mind of anyone unless the infinite really exists. Thoughts cannot arise from a vacuum. Consciousness cannot have a location; its realm is infinitude. The concept of God as the perfect being should be regarded as proof enough, ontologically, of the existence of a reality which is God.” – Swami Krishnananda
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