O nobly-born, when thy body and mind were separating, thou must have experienced a glimpse of the Pure Truth, subtle, sparkling, bright, dazzling, glorious, and radiantly awesome, in appearance like a mirage moving across a landscape in springtime in one continuous stream of vibrations. Be not daunted thereby, nor terrified, nor awed. That is the radiance of thine own true nature. Recognize it.
From the midst of that radiance, the natural sound of Reality, reverberating like a thousand thunders simultaneously sounding, will come. That is the natural sound of thine own real self. Be not daunted thereby, nor terrified, nor awed.
Note: Since Lord Mahavira was the 24th Tirthankara in a long lineage of Tirthankaras and was born 599 BC, this makes Jainism an extremely ancient world religion..
The following is from, The Harmony of All Religions, Chapter Two (Jainism), By Swami Sant Sevi Ji Paramahans..
The word "jain" is derived from the root word jina meaning "conqueror." A Jina is one who has conquered the desires of the senses and overcome ignorance, thus attaining Samyak Jnana, Right (Absolute) Knowledge. The followers of this dharma (spiritual path) are known as Jains. The original impetus for this tradition came as a reaction to the violence in the form of animal sacrifices condoned in the Vedas. A seed of resistance began to germinate and from this seed Jain dharma developed..
Although specific details of the origin of Jainism are not known, but ancient tablets discovered at archaeological sites in Udayagiri and Junaghara in India indicate that Jainism preceded Buddhism..
The honorable teachers of Jain dharma are known as Tirthankaras. They are considered to be free from of all impurities, liberated, and granters of freedom (absolute freedom). The meaning of tirtha is "to ferry one across the ocean of the world." The one who has crossed this worldly ocean is known as a tirthankara. "Tirthakaroti iti tirthankara" means "one who has crossed over and helps others cross the world-ocean.."1
According to Jain Dharma, there have been twenty-four Tirthankaras—-enlightened spiritual teachers—who have shown the way to Liberation. Rishabhadeva was the first Tirthankara of Jain dharma. After Rishabhadeva there were twenty three more Tirthankaras. Lord Mahavira was the last in the line.The names of the twenty four Tirthankaras of Jainism are as follows:
Mahavira was born about 2,500 years ago (ca 599 B.C.E.) in Vaishali Republic (Bihar), in an aristocratic Kshatriya2 clan. His father’s name was Siddhartha........
Lord Mahavira: His Teachings
Lord Mahavira began his journey to spread the essential teachings of Jain tradition. He rejected the superiority of the higher castes which were only based on birth. Therefore, he completely disregarded the caste system. He considered the thoughts and actions of a man to be the true measure of the excellence not the high caste or class. He revolted against the established religious observances and rituals, and sought to restrain religious inexorability and squandering of monetary resources..
Lord Mahavira never tried to coerce others to follow Jain doctrines and practices. His attitude was progressive and novel..
"Whatever I say, you must test this with your own reasoning and verify it through your own experience..
"Do not accept what I say blindly by faith alone until it passes the litmus test of intellection. Otherwise, it will never be yours. If you accept what I teach on the basis of the sacred texts, or from my convincing reasoning, or even because of my radiant personality, but not by testing with your own reasoning, then in the end this will create only darkness (ignorance) in you and not light.."
Mahavira's teaching about the Law of Karma was similar to the other saints of Indian traditions. He taught that each person's own karmas or past deeds are the cause of each individual soul's present condition. Life and death, joy and sorrow, are all caused by one's past deeds [actions] or karmas. He said that it is foolish to consider other persons as the cause of our joy, sorrow, life and death. When it is understood that living beings suffer due to the consequences of their own past errors, then it will be understood that it is only through counteracting one's own errors and recognizing one's own mistakes that a person can become happy..
The central point of Mahavira's teaching is about the liberation of the soul (atman). Primarily, Jainism is the path of freedom. Lord Mahavira elaborated anuvrata (a moral code of conduct) and emphasized the absolute importance of the development of human character:
".....You are God! (lshwara): recognize yourself. Develop the inner divine qualities and become God. If the soul labors in the right direction, then that soul can become God (parma atman).."
Lord Mahavira's Teachings on Atman and Meditation
Here are some references to atman and meditation as taught by Mahavira:
"Atman is Brahma (the Ultimate Reality). Brahmacharya (living in Brahma; restraint of the senses)7 is the state of being established in one's soul. The practitioner who is freed from the body and established in the soul is the true brahmacharya. The practitioner who lives abandoning (detaching from) his/body (desires of flesh) is a true brahamchara. The practitioner who lives abandoning (detaching from) his body (desires of flesh) is a true brahamchari..
"Through meditation of the soul Param Samadhi (highest state of concentration; state of liberation) is attained..
Absorbed in meditation the mendicant leaves behind all impurities. Therefore, meditation is the cure for all the impurities and inflictions of the soul..
"If your vision itself becomes the source of removing darkness [by the practice of meditation the divine Light dawns and the practitioner's divine vision opens up], then why would a man need an outside source of light? If the soul itself is an abode of infinite joy why then would the sensual pleasures have any value for that practitioner?"
In the above quote Lord Mahavira describes the divine vision which removes one's darkness. His words find support in an ancient anecdote about Mragavati, a devout woman and devoted wife, who was able to see clearly in the darkness..
The bright bindu point [infinitesimal point] emerges when the practitioner becomes established in the discipline of focusing on one point with the beams of both eyes. When the inner Light is attained, a practitioner is established in the divine Light, which is not conditioned by any outward source of light. This technique is known by different names in texts of the various saints and traditions. 8 In this practice of Light the practitioner sitting in meditation is able to observe the scenes from anywhere (clairvoyance ).9 The outward darkness does not hinder the power and ability of seeing. Therefore, Mahavira has asked why the practitioner would need outward light once his vision has itself become the source (instrument) of removing darkness..
Once established in light, the practitioner hears various types of sweet inner melodious Sounds. The saints have named this sound the Anahad (Unstruck, self producing divine Sound). Through the technique of Shabad Yoga (Yoga of Divine Sound) the practitioner goes beyond these sounds and enters the eternal Sound—Pranava dhvani OM (the cosmic sound of OM),. Through this the practitioner reaches God (paramatma—the Supreme Spirit) and reaches the point where the distinction between the devotee (practitioner) and God (object of worship) disappears. The soul which is united with the Supreme Soul, becomes the Supreme Soul. This is known as liberation or nirvana..
A discussion on the Shabad Yoga is found in the text, Jnanarnva composed by Shrishubhachandracharya:
"This focus (intense concentration) moves from one sound to another, and from one yoga to another. Therefore, it is known as that which is endowed with focus and logic.."
Lord Mahavira speaks of the experience of the Bindu-point-in meditation as the experience of sva (inner self) by Lord Mahavira. Dr. Hukumchand Bharill in his book, Tirthankara Mahavira and his Sarvodaya Tirthal, 10 has beautifully depicted the inner depth of meditation practice of Lord Mahavira. From these illustrations it is evident that Mahavira practiced inner Sound Yoga or (Shabad Yoga) 11..
In the Jain texts we find various references:
"In the deep state of meditation) Lord Mahavira experienced the divine Sounds. The Sound of Om was ceaselessly emanating, and the inner form of atman manifested in its utmost grandeur, and the nectar was pouring.."
Mahavira knew that in a life, without morality and observance of discipline, it is impossible to attain liberation and the well-being of the self..
"Restraint (Sheela, life of moral rectitude) is the ladder to liberation.."
He stressed purity of life and practice of moral behavior. He emphasized the five principles: non-violence, truth, non-stealing, brahmacharya (restraint in sexual misconduct), and non-possession (lack of greed; being satisfied with one's possessions). In order to apply these principles in daily life, he taught the monks and nuns mahavrata (great vows), laymen and laywomen and anuvrata (lesser vows).....
Until the last moments of his life Mahavira inspired many to seek world peace through the establishment in inner peace, and he encouraged people to realize their divine nature. For 30 years he traveled throughout India to spread his message. At the age of 72, on the day of Diwali (the Festival of Lights) in the town of Pawa Puri, Mahavira ended his worldly journey while in the state of deep meditation and attained nirvana. His close disciple was Indrabhutti Gautama..
*JPG IMAGE of the Book Cover: http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k241/agochar/Harmony.jpg
Veena Howard translated the English edition of this book from India. In the Editor's Note at the beginning she writes: "From this day onward our whole world has changed. The "shock and awe" witnessed by the destruction of the towers has sent shock waves through all the established value systems. The feelings of fear and distrust have numbed the hearts of people worldwide and have paralyzed the sense of clear vision. But time of despair must be taken as an opportunity, an opening to search for new horizons, to re-assess our values, and to understand other cultures and religions. This is exactly what the great Sant, Maharishi Shri Santsevi Ji, has sought to accomplish by his book, The Harmony of All Religions. Shri Santsevi Ji Maharaj has been teaching the path of mysticism for many decades and believes in the underlying principles of all prominent world religions."
One of the most impressive books I've ever read on comparative religion and comparative mysticism is, The Harmony of All Religions, taking this study to a whole new level. This newly translated book contains chapters on the Vedic Tradition (Krishna, Gita, Hinduism, bhakti, yoga), Jainism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam-Sufism, Sikhism, and Santmat: the Way of Sages, also known as The Path of the Masters. There is also a biography of the author, as well as an editor's note, which affirms the need for a greater, more in-depth understanding of the great world religions and mysticism in an age of increased global travel and communication.
'Depth' is a word I find myself often using to describe the writings of Swami Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj, who resides at the Maharishi Mehi Ashram in Bhagalpur, Bihar District, India. His spiritual discourses on each of the world religions are very scholarly, accurately and eloquently communicating all these "gospels": beautiful and charming accounts of the childhood of Jesus, the enlightenment of Guru Nanak hearing the voice of the One God (Ek Ong Kaar Saat Naam) as he was bathing in the river Bein, Siddhartha leaving the palace, Muhammad's experiences with Allah in the cave of Ghar-e Hira, etc.... providing an in-depth analysis of the sacred texts of these above-mentioned faith-communities, brimming with quotes and footnotes, from not only the well-known world scriptures but lesser-known sacred texts and spiritual classics of the mystics and saints at the heart of these traditions. The chapter on Lord Mahavira and Jainism for instance breaks new ground in the study of a major world religion that has received very little attention in the West. The same can really be said for each of the chapters of this new book on inter-faith studies. The author displays an intimate knowledge of the history, terminology, esoteric writings, and meditation practices used by the various schools of mystics within each of the world religions, often pointing out the shared vision, the common goals and common threads along the way, such as similar ethical principals of ahimsa or non-violence in thought, word, and deed (like the Golden Rule), Dharma, the Eight Limbs of Yoga, Four Noble Truths and Eightfold Path, chakras, subtle bodies, meditation techniques including the use of mantras, mystical stages of transcendence, Sound-mysticism (Nada Yoga or Yoga of Sound), Light-mysticism (Dristi Yoga or Yoga of Light), the inward journey or ascension to other realms/heavens, jivan mukti or moksha (salvation, liberation of the soul), self (atma) and God (Paramatma) realisation.
The final paragraph of the book summarises the universalist spirit of peace and harmony (as in the harmony of all religions) in the following way: "In different times and different places Saints appear and their followers name their religion according to the Sage or Saint who propounded that tradition. The appearance of differences can be attributed to time, place, and language. This gives rise to various labels for the common views held by all religions. Likewise, due to excessively zealous followers, these seeming differences are often amplified. When all sectarianism and the temporal and linguistic aspects are removed, the basic principles of all the Saints are in accord and the voices of the Saints are in harmony."
This Week on HealthyLife.Net: A Course In Miracles Mysticism
"Listen, and see if you remember an Ancient Song you knew so long ago and held more dear than any melody you taught yourself to cherish since." (A Course In Miracles)
"Your Voice reminds me of an Ancient Song, it was forgotten. Now I hear it again, a Word I thought had been forever dead. (The Gifts of God)
"I walk in stillness. Where my rest is set Is Heaven. And the silence of the stars Sings in a soundless circle. For the Song Of Heaven is past hearing, and ascends Beyond the tiny range the ear can catch, And soars into a spaceless magnitude Where Sound and silence meet in unity." (Helen Schucman, The Gifts of God)
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This Week: The Mystic Poetry of Tulsi Sahib, Saint of Hathras, India
Come Sail Away
"Shabd surat jin ki mili"
Whose soul is attached to the Word, revels ever in cosmic flight; Revels ever in cosmic flight, and realizing the Lord, plays with Him. The mystery of the Inaccessible and the secret of the scriptures he unravels: He reaches his Home within and its Essence he comes to know; In the lotus feet of the Beloved he sees his true destination. The happily married woman rejoices with her Spouse every moment, O Tulsi, For her soul is attached to the Word, and revels ever in cosmic flight.
What do the U.S.
Government and British
Petroleum have in
common? Well, aside
from bureaucratic B.S.
and a whole lot more
money than we could ever
dream of… they
also seem to have a
complete lack of concern
for the sanctity of
protect america's "war
horses" faces legal
LEIGH on SEPTEM
BER 13, 2013
(Reno, NV) Legal action
has been filed against
Sheldon National Wildlife
Refuge (NWR) today in
Help save our wild
horses. They are our
se e-mail, write or fax
your comments to the BLM.
Comments for the
Bureau of Land Management
public scoping period to
address wild horse and
burro management are due
I listed this focus as
because if we do not stop
this, there will be no
wild horses left.
These horses are
part of our American
Heritage and need to be
protected! Time to
"welfare" ranchers on our
BLM ANNOUNCES MEETINGS ON
MASSIVE REMOVALS OF
WYOMING WILD HORSES
SPRINGS, Wyo. (
Sept. 6, 2013) - The
Bureau of Land Management
(BLM) announced public
meetings to be held in
Rock Springs (Sept. 11)
and Rawlins, WY
Few images evoke the
romantic spirit of the
West like a herd of wild
horses galloping under a
But this romance is a
More wild horses are
being held in captivity
at taxpayer expense than
can be found in the wild.
Fish and Wildlife
Service began to
ill-conceived plan to
eliminate all wild horses
and burros in the Sheldon
National Wildlife Refuge
Nevada. The first of
America when America was
Created they were Masons.
America was Founded as an
expression and an
experiment in masonic
Ideals of domocracy,
Freedom of expression,
freedom of religion, and
equality are all