A recent issue of Scientific American Mind, November/December 2012 (pp.30ff.) gives a random list of geniuses in history. All names are western except one Arab (Ibn Khaldun) and one ancient Egyptian (Imhotep). Obviously, from this 'scientific' writer's point of view, India and China never produced any geniuses!
Here I take a different approach. While the IQ scores are reported to be rising, the modernity also makes us lose some of the abilities of our brain. We no longer want to do mental work; we want to depend on calculators and computers.
Our parents and grandparents, in the east and the west, did mental arithmetic as a matter of course. Their minds were trained to do so. Now, calculators are allowed in the examination rooms (at least in the Western countries) so that the students no longer need to depend on their memory work of the Tables (pahaRas in Hindi).
The Last Statement of Swami Veda Bharati before Taking the Five-Year Vow of Silence At the Gathering of the Sangha, 9th March 2013
[During Swami Veda’s talk on 9th March 2013 at the 2013 Sangha Gathering, Swamiji introduced the practice for “the next five years and the rest of your life.” This is a transcript of that talk.]
Akhaṇḍa-maṇḍalākaraṁ vyāptaṁ yena charācharam.
Tat padaṁ darshitaṁ yena tasmai shrī-gurave namaḥ.
Hiraṇya-garbhād ārabdhām sheṣha-vyāsādi-madhyamām.
Svāmi-shrī-rāma-pādāntāṁ vande guru-paramparām.
Om tat sat brahmārpaṇam astu.
Wisdom is different from information. A person can memorize the entire Oxford English Dictionary and still not have a clue as to how to live in a way that is fulfilling and life-enhancing. Wisdom is not about information, but about understanding how to live a fulfilling life.
People often think that wisdom comes from experience. It is true that as we live and act, we have a chance to learn from our successes and mistakes. However, you've no doubt met many people who go through experience after experience and yet seem to learn little.
Wisdom actually comes from a part of the mind, called the buddhi, in yoga. Buddhi is the instrument of understanding; it's our inner-guide. It's function is to make discriminations and choices. When the buddhi is offline, no amount of information will result in wisdom. For buddhi to do its job, it has to be fed good information, and we need to be able to receive and act on buddhi's output. Yoga-meditation provides an efficient program for doing this.
The word consciousness is often used in modern psychology and philosophical literature. It is used for Atmajnana, the direct knowledge that we receive from our Atman. Jiva Atma is the individual soul, and Param Atma is pure consciousness.
From the center of consciousness flows the life force in various degrees and grades. With the following simile, you will clearly understand. When a lamp has many shades, the light is very dim. When you take off the shades, one by one, finally you find the center of light.
Read the February 2013 Newsletter [by Dan Prideaux]
Table of Contents
- Consciousness and Knowledge
- Silence Between Breaths
- Spiritual Advice
- Astavakra Gita, Part VI by Swami Nitya
- SRSG News
- Ammaji's Corner
- KHEL News
- Chai and Veggie Pakoras
A letter written to Swami Veda Bharati by a sadhaka who prefers to remain anonymous.
Daily God is thanked with the greatest of gratitude for the beautiful blessing of the many recordings of spoken words of divinely inspired wisdom. Daily, hour upon hour, my ears hear words of wisdom flowing from the cosmic consciousness like a quiet, but confident river whose source is eternal beauty and truth.
This voice of recorded words is the conduit mouthpiece for the living truth of God's cosmic mind, and a great source of guidance for this one who daily with great eagerness of intention listens to these words, hoping that today, finally, may a strong seed be planted to purify at least one unruly thought of her rampant distracted mind; thus may she be, at last, one millimeter closer to knowing her greatest wish--the realization of God.
Daily, guided by spoken words of truthful insight and by my efforts of intense self examination, if in matters of the day, am unsure of which course of action to take, in the final moment, my mind answers the question the ears have heard many times before; "What action will most please God"? And almost as quickly as the question is asked, the answer will follow.