Know That By Which All Else Is Known: By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

The photo art above is from John Wassenberg FB page.

Some say that Reality is subjective, some say it is objective, and some say it is both objective and subjective, and some say it is neither. Continue reading

What Is Reality? By Rita Minassian

Rita Minassian What is reality?

Very often in the past,  clients who would come for a consultation for the first time would start our session always asking the same question: Am I loosing it?… This question found an echo within me, the “me” who was in the same questioning many many years ago…

I hear you wondering, crazy about what? …

… About a dead father coming into dreams to “talk”, or about a sign given in such precise way that you feel like “someone” knows about your private thoughts or wishes and wants to give you a hand. Crazy about inner values changing and decisions made on gut-feeling basis, seemingly irrational for the majority of people because their based on what your heart tells to do you instead of following the “logic” of your mind…

Our education, the conditioning of our society can make us feel as if we are living in a reversed motion from our environment, this is the state of the “hanged man”.

The 12th card in the Tarot of Marseille shows a hanged man suspended upside down by one foot from a tree branch. In most decks the other leg is placed in a position to make it look like the number 4, symbolizing structure. The man always looks at peace, not upset in any way: he is much more an observer than an actor, such an interesting card…

We all go through period of time in our life where we really feel that our point of view about the world is changing: we feel we are stepping aside from the “normal” path, from the acceptable mould of society. It would be very wrong to think we’re stopping to be logical, on the contrary our look, our thoughts, moves and perceptions then start to be more in tune with deep core values and with the true flow of the Universe.

You’ll always come across people telling you you’re living in wonderland, to come back on earth, not to lose sense of reality…

Reality…which reality? Your reality, the neighbor’s reality, the butcher’s reality? the president’s reality?… What makes their reality more relevant than mine?

“It’s only a belief!” they say… But when a belief (or something in which you don’t believe at all sometimes) happens to take a form, to have an impact in your life, a tangible event, then that belief becomes an experience. The sum of our experiences makes what we call our reality. Then our personal reality cannot be compared to anyone’s: we can just live it and share it without pushing people to adopt it. In the name of what should we judge anyone? Then in the name of what definition of reality should my, your, anyone’s reality be judged?

People like ancient Vedic sages who created the science of Ayurveda by connecting to Nature, Soufis connected to higher state of consciousness through dances and trances, Christian saints who lived the passion of Christ, defiying time – space, starting to speak ancient Aramean language that they never learned, Prophets of the Torah who used to advise kings thank to their clairvoyance…and also, simple people, regular village people, sometimes children who were healing, seeing, perceiving a personal reality impossible to share with everybody because it was out of the standards, all of them were then crazy?

Nowadays, many scientists are also inquiring about those “parallel worlds”, and fortunately, nobody will be burned anymore on a church square! But still, it is sad that some of them still don’t dare to talk openly about their intuitions because of the judgement of the scientific community. Fortunately, quantum physicist like Dr. Michio Kaku present their fascinating work about the possible existence of other dimensions, different from the 4 dimensions commonly admitted, through understandable books for laypersons*.

The answer I give is “no”, you’re not crazy at all, unless thousands of people around the world, in history until nowadays are also totally insane. And more will come…

“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”  Arundhati Roy

* “Parallel worlds” , “Vision” Dr Michio Kaku.

Rita Minassian,

What is God’s Name? By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

Ramana Maharshi: “I am” is the name of God. Of all the definitions of God, none is indeed so well put as the Biblical statement “I am that I am” in Exodus (Chapter 3).

Words are used in various spiritual traditions to describe God or give God a name. Many people are convinced that their religion, their scriptures, and their way of worshipping God is the best way. Sometimes people argue and and fight over God as well. 

Our conception of God is to large extent a function of where we are born and in what religion. Our mental conditioning is often so strong that we are not able to see the diversity of perspectives in various spiritual traditions. Only the mystics in different religions, who have through self-reflections and meditation, gone beyond their mental conditioning offer a unified vision of God. 

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ULLADU NAARPADU (Reality in Forty Verses) – Verse #9.

(Reality in Forty Verses)

The famous Vedantic poem in Tamil by Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi
(consisting of two preliminary verses called Mangalam,
40 verses which form the main text ,
and another 40 verses called the Appendix)

Detailed Commentary in Tamil by Lakshmana Sharma,
adapted into English by Profvk

(Continued from ULLADU NAARPADU – Verse No.8
See Post #48178 Of Harsha Satsangh)

Lakshmana Sharma’s Introduction to Verse No.9

The Ishvara and JIva spoken of here constitute a dual pair. They consist of two opposites, like light and darkness. Ishvara is all-knowledgeable while JIva has only a scanty intelligence; they differ in many other respects. So they form a pair. Knowledge and ignorance, good and evil, happiness and misery, inside and outside, are each a pair (Sanskrit: dvandva). Such pairs or dualities are numerous. The world is full of differences because of these dualities. Further, when we visualise an Ishvara, there are three different things, namely, the seer, the seen and the sight. These three constitute a triad (Sanskrit: tripuTi) or trinity. Triads also are innumerable. And they too create differences in the world. We have to enquire whether these differences are real or unreal. If they are unreal, it will confirm that the world is unreal. This is conveyed by Bhagavan in this verse.

Verse #9

iraTTaigaL, muppuDigaL, enRum onRu paRRi iruppavAm;
avvonRu Ethu enRu karuttinuL kaNDAl
kazhalum avai; kaNDavare uNmai kaNDAr,
kalangArE, kAN

Translation (Lakshmana Sharma)

The triads all arise depending on the ego-sense; so too arise the pairs. If one enters the heart by the Quest of ‘Who is the I?’ and sees the truth of it (the Real Self) all of them vanish utterly; such a one is the Sage; he is not deluded (by them).

Translation (Prof. K. Swaminathan)

`Twos’ and `Threes’ depend upon one thing, the ego. If one asks in one’s Heart, `What is this ego?’ and finds it, they slip away. Only those who have found this know the Truth, and they will never be perplexed.

Translation (Osborne)

The duality of subject and object and trinity of seer, sight, and seen can exist only if supported by the One. If one turns inward in search of that One Reality they fall away. Those who see this are those who see Wisdom. They are never in doubt.

Word by Word

iraTTaigaL: Pairs (like knowledge & ignorance, pleasure & pain)
muppuDigaL:Triads (like knowledge, knower & the known)
enRum : always
iruppavAm: hold alive, exist
onRu paRRi: supported by (some) one (namely, the ego )
Edu: Whence (is)
avvonRu: that one
enRu: thus
karuttinil : in the bottom of the heart
kaNDAl : if one finds out
avai ; they (the dualities and trinities)
kazhalum: slip away
kaNDavarE: Only those who thus see (the truth)
kaNDAr: have realised
uNmai : the Absolute Truth
kalangArE : they are not deluded (by the dualities and trinities)
kAN : Know this (to be the truth).

Commentary (by Lakshmana Sharma)

Pairs and triads all arise in the mind. In every pair, when one rises, the other (of the pair) also arises simultaneously. In the same manner, in every triad, when one rises, the other two of the triad also rise alongside. And similarly, when they die they die together – the two of the pair together and the three of the triad together. In sleep where the mind is absent, there are no duads or triads. Therefore they are all constructs of the mind. And at the bottom of all thoughts in the mind there is the thought of ‘I’. Always this thought arises only in respect of a form or body (see verse #25). This is what is called the Ego (‘ahamkAram’ or ‘ahamtA’ in Sanskrit and ‘akanthai’ in Tamil). It will be explained in the sequel. Thus, pairs and triads, all have their roots in the Ego. In the words ‘onRu paRRi iruppavAm’ in the first line of the verse the word ‘onRu’ (meaning ‘one’ in general, but here in the context meaning ‘some one thing’) stands for this.

In a later verse (#26), it will be shown that this Ego is the original source for all world-appearances.

All the differences of the world that hide the Atman, the Existent Reality, have their seed in this Ego. If this is destroyed, everything vanishes and the Real Nature of the Atman shines. This is the content of this entire work.

What is the means by which this Ego may be destroyed? The means is the quest for the source of the Ego. This comes up in verse #27 and succeeding verses.

That source is what is mentioned in the second line of this verse by Bhagavan. In order to know the truth of this Ego one delves inside; the mind dives into the heart and merges into it. Then one realises the Self. The ‘finding out’ in the bottom of the heart (‘karuttinil kaNDAl’) is nothing but this experience. ‘The dualities and trinities slip away’ says the verse; this shows that in theturIya of Self Realisation these do not survive. In other words in absolute truth (pAramArthika reality) they are not real. Only so long as the feeling or attitude of ‘I am the body’ is there they appear to be real – just as for the dreamer the dream is a reality while dreaming.

Those who see thus realise the absolute truth. This shows that such a seer is a jnAni. Not only that. Because he sees no differences – he does not see them – he is not perplexed by this mAyA of the world. The delusion caused by these differences is only when Ego is alive.

Thus all the differences have their root-source in our Ego; in Self-Realisation the Ego has vanished; therefore the mental constructs of dualities and trinities all vanish. And the only thing that remains is the Atman. All this go to confirm that the world is unreal.

(To be continued in Verse #10)

Illusion and Reality! Fooled by my own mind. By Mourad Rashad

Illusion and to become disillusioned. What the mystics mean by the term “The world is an illusion”?  We have a proverb -where I live- it says “The one you think is Moses turned out to be Pharaoh”. The one you think is Moses is the illusion. You think that this man is as virtuous as Moses; you were under the impression that he is kind and you were bewitched by this impression, you were blinded by  the spell of this  illusion. The man turned out to be Pharaoh instead of Moses. The man was revealed to you as wicked as Pharaoh. You were freed from the spell of illusion and you were disillusioned. You had been living all your life thinking, imagining and hallucinating that this man is virtuous. Then circumstances proved to you that he is not virtuous.

If you are asked, what is your experience now? You would answer, “The world”. I am experiencing the world. I am in the world. You think that the phenomenal appearances -animals, humans, mountains, rivers and skies- constitute the world which you reside in and experience. This is the illusion. It is the way of viewing and reacting to these phenomena that constitute the world. This means it is my own thoughts about, and what I feel towards, and how I react to these phenomenal appearances, which gives me the impression that I am living in a world. If it is my own thoughts, feeling and reactions that are responsible for my experience of a world in which I reside. It follows that I am living in a world fabricated by my own mind. A world, fabricated by my own thoughts, feelings and reactions. This entails that I live in my own mind and in my own concepts. I come to believe that this world constitutes the sole reality. My only reason to believe that is UNANIMITY. The conventional way of seeing and experiencing these phenomenal appearances agreed upon by mortal humans, not by the Sages or Prophets. For the Sages and Prophets speak differently. For example, Lao Tzu said:   

As to the roaming of the sages,
They move in utter emptiness,
Let their minds meander in the great nothingness;
They run beyond convention
And go through where there is no gateway.
They listen to the soundless
And look at the formless,
They are not constrained by society
And not bound to its customs.

 Have you ever investigated  your experience of these phenomenal appearances without how you thought about them and how you felt towards them. Just like Jiddu Krishnamurti (JK) used to say “Have you ever listened or saw anything without your screens”. How I think about and how I feel towards these phenomenal appearances are my screens. The impression that I am living in a world is due to how I thought about and how I felt towards these phenomenal appearances.

Is there another Reality? Am I going to discover a more solid and truer Reality to this phenomenal experience without my screens?

The human mystical legacy insists that only God Exists and only Truth Exists, there is only One Reality in the whole Experience. Man is carrying out all his activities through this One Reality. Nevertheless, we are oblivious to this Reality, although every mystical writing states that you are living in this One Reality, this Divine Existence. Definitely this reality is not my mind’s world and my fabricated concepts about the phenomenal appearances. If my mind has fabricated my impression of living in a world, based only on UNANIMITY,  then Reality is masked and covered by what humans agreed on,  masked by convention  and this is my  screen. Convention is my screen. This one Reality is obscured and tarnished by my impression due to my screen. A screen that keeps on telling me  that I am living in a world. The Reality of man’s experience here and now is masked by these screens. This is man’s illusion. An illusion that there is a man living in a world with other men, amid other phenomenal appearances, all tied together by CONVENTION. My mind is the CONVENTION.

To become disillusioned, this is a horse of another color. First you must see that you have been fooled by your own mind. Then we can find a way to become disillusioned.

The Open Secret: By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

The Open Secret

Looking outside of ourself, we discover the world and its many manifestations. Some are pleasant and some unpleasant. Without going on the mysterious journey of seeking the truth of reality, the mind does not accept its powerlessness to comprehend reality. Without this acceptance, there is always an underlying tension.

How can the conscious mind, that is but a small manifestation of fullness of consciousness, capture the reality of the original being whose nature is that of Sat-Chit-Ananda? How can that which is limited pretend to understand the infinite eye?

It is all an open secret. The answer is there without words. The mind cannot understand the source from where it sprang. It can only go back and become one with it.

When the mind which seeks, asks the questions, and doubts, surrenders to the divine will and consciously merges in the Heart, in that very instant, Reality shines forth as the Self in perfect Self-Revelation.

Nature of Reality: By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

Nature of Reality

It seems to me that Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Taoism and other religions and spiritual traditions use different words and concepts to describe the nature of Reality.

Even within the Shiva and Shakti traditions there are great debates about the nature of the highest state of existence. If we are speaking of the highest state, then differences can only be in the words used to describe it, not in the experience or in understanding of great Sages.

My teacher once commenting on the Buddhist teaching of Shunya (Emptiness) said that the ultimate state is not “nothingness” but No-Thing-Ness.  He meant that it is empty of all things, concepts, images.

That is my experience as well. The highest reality is nothing less than our own Reality. The Reality of the Self, the Heart, that the ancient called Sat-Chit-Anand. Truly, although we call it an experience for lack of words, it is the end of all experiences.  It is it self the foundation of experience.  That is the nature of the Self.  It is simple and pure being,  both fullness itself and also empty of all things.

Even the notion of no-self and self are concepts only and cannot do the Self justice.  In order to communicate, words have to be used to indicate the experience of the Reality. What ever term one uses to describe THAT, It is what It Is. We can call it God, God Consciousness, or the Self, or the no-self or Shunya, etc.

The words we use to describe reality are not independent of our culture, language, religion, and are historically embedded.  Knowing this, we should keep the company of the Truth, or Truth seekers.  This leads to refinement and Self-Awareness.

With gentle compassion for oneself and others, one should remain aware with a feeling of surrender to Lord of the Heart within whose very nature is that of Awareness.

Whether we meditate or engage in contemplative prayer, absolute awareness dawns in perfect stillness with clarity when the mind subsides into the Heart. The Unlimited Nature of “Now – The Present Moment”, becomes fully Self-Evident. The Self Sees It Self by It Self and Through It Self.

It is the Pure Self Seeing Eye. One without a second.


The Only True Love: By Dr. Mourad Rashad

If you love a person, you start seeing things which are not there. No woman is as beautiful as you think when you love her, because you project. You have a dream girl in the mind and that dream girl is projected. Some how the real girl functions only as a screen on which you project your dream girl.

That is why every love comes to a frustrating point sooner or later, because how can the girl go on playing the screen? She is a real person; she will assert, she will say, “I am not a screen!” How long can she go on fitting in with your projection? Eventually, you feel things do not fit. In the beginning, she yielded, in the beginning you yielded. You were a projection screen for her; she was a projection screen for you.

Nobody can play a screen for you forever and nothing can remain a screen for you forever, because it is uncomfortable and not natural. How can somebody adjust to your dream? How can anything adjust to your dream? Everything has his own reality, and the reality asserts and shows itself.

If you love a person, you project things, which are not there. If you hate a person, again you project things, which are not there. In love, the person becomes a god. In hate, the person becomes a devil — and the person is neither god nor devil. The person is simply himself or herself. These devils and gods are projections.

Similarly, you love your world; the real world is a screen for you, a screen for the beautiful world in your own mind, which you project. You see things in your loved world, which are not there; you imagine that they are there. That is why your loved world frustrates you, betrays you, annoys you and finally you die, your loved world kills you.

The real world cannot remain a screen for you. It has to show you what it is made of, and it has to show you its truth. You cannot see its truth unless you stop projecting your dream world, you stop loving the world in your mind, and you stop loving your ego, which is the world, stored up as mind.

If you love, you cannot see clearly. If you hate, you cannot see clearly.  When there is no liking, no disliking, your eyes are clear, you have clarity. Then you see the other as he is or as she is, you see the world stored up in your mind, which is projected, or you see your ego as it is.

Moreover, when you have clarity of consciousness, I say clarity of consciousness not clarity of mind. The mind or ego can never be clear. The mind or ego are only consciousness transformed through our preferences, desires and conditioning. I say when you have clarity of consciousness, which means you are no longer an ego, you are no longer a mind, but you are the clarity, the light, and the purity of consciousness. Then, the whole existence reveals its reality to you. The whole world unravels its identity to you.

That reality and that identity is God, that identity is the Divine, that reality is the Sublime Truth. You come to discover that your ego, your mind, your projected world was hiding and transforming the Original Divine Existence.

One can say, when man’s consciousness regains its liberty from the influence of the ego or mind, it returns to the original unity. Unity of man’s consciousness and this Divine Existence. Where man’s consciousness mirrors faithfully the immediate experience and functions as an integral part of this Divine Existence, and follows it without any separation, any division or any cleavage.

This is the state of Love, this is The Divinity, this is the Ultimate and this is the Sahaja-Samadhi. This is seeing, experiencing and living without your mind, without your projections, without your ego, this is the state of Egolessness, this is Sahaja-Samadhi.

Editor’s note: Dr. Mourad Rashad is an insightful and brilliant writer on love, life, and the nature of reality. Mourad is a long time member of HarshaSatsangh.