Why is it difficult to please Vishnu
Answer to your questions
Hindu gods and the one god
American visitor: what Hindu gods are there?
Swamiji: I don't know if you know the names of these Indian gods? Are you not familiar with them? Have you heard of Vishnu?
Swamiji: The three great deities in Hinduism are Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Brahma is the creation aspect, Vishnu the protective, sustaining aspect and Shiva the changing, dissolving aspect. Brahma creates, Vishnu receives and Shiva dissolves. These are the three aspects of Absolute Being.
Vishnu has many incarnations. Rama and Krishna are the most famous of his embodiments, and they are worshiped as true Narayana. Narayana is also another name for Vishnu. The supreme principle of creation, the absolute creative will, is called Narayana or Vishnu.
So we know different concepts of religious worship of God. For example, we have Badrinath in the Himalayas. It is a very famous pilgrimage site in summer because it is visited by millions of people. Worship begins in May and ends in October. The place is on a mountain top. There is a temple there dedicated to Vishnu (Narayana); there is another temple in Kedarnath, also located on a mountain peak, in honor of Shiva. Badrinath and Kedarnath are the most famous reliquary shrines of Narayana (Vishnu) and Shiva in the Himalayas.
Visitor: Are Buddha and Christ also incarnations of Vishnu?
Swamiji: Buddha is seen as an incarnation of Vishnu, but Christ or someone else in the broadest philosophical sense can also be seen as an incarnation of the Absolute Being, but not in a strict Hindu religious interpretation. A Hindu will not see Christ as Vishnu’s AVATARA (Divine Descent), although in the broadest sense any great divine revelation can be seen as the incarnation of the Absolute; but from a purely religious Hindu standpoint, Muhammad and Christ are not recognized as incarnations. In a higher transcendental sense, however, each is an incarnation of the One Being.
Visitor: There is a Hindu goddess. I don't know much about her, but she has eight arms, doesn't she?
Swamiji: I didn't want to confuse your mind with all these things, so I limited myself to Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
Visitor: I don't know much about it, but I see all of these postcards that are so wonderful.
Swamiji: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva represent the universal consciousness on the background of the creation, maintenance and dissolution process. When consciousness reveals itself as creation, maintenance and dissolution, IT must also be understood as a power, since revelations are nothing more than a demonstration of power and strength. The powers of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are called Shaktis, which means power. The Shakti Brahma’s are called Sarasvati, which means goddess of learning; the Shakti Vishnu’s is Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity; the Shakti Shiva’s is Durga (she also has many other names), who is sometimes identified with the power of the One Absolute.
These Shaktis, which I mentioned, are also worshiped as goddesses regardless of their consideration as parts of Brahma’s, Vishnu’s and Shiva’s. In the earliest forms of religion, they were all viewed as ONE (deity). Later, when it became very difficult to contemplate and meditate on the Deity as a whole in worship, these Universal Powers were personified.
Indeed, no god like a human being can be considered as a person, and yet, due to the habit of our minds, we cannot help but think in terms of personality, which is why we do not refer to Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva or Durga, Lakshmi and Sarasvati other than in an embodied) way even though they don't have a body like us. We consider Brahma to be an ancient father of the universe, and sometimes with a beard he is imagined as an over-father. Vishnu is considered a great, majestic, wonderful person, and Shiva a strict, withdrawn ascetic. They are with their wives Durga, Lakshmi and Sarasvati, whereby, as you said, Durga has as many hands as Lakshmi and Sarasvati, namely four each. Each has four hands, which can be joined by others.
But they all have an inner mystical meaning. They show an outer symbolism with an inner spiritual conceptual content. All psychic powers are concentrated in a single act of thought or as consciousness in these gods. In relation to our human existence, the psychic sides are separate - understanding is one aspect, feeling another, wanting a third and remembering a fourth aspect. In Western psychology only three aspects are considered, namely understanding, willing and feeling; one emphasizes three aspects of personality, but the fourth aspect is the subconscious or in other words, the “over-conscience”, which is the medium of memory. All of these things in us act independently of one another. Understanding is not the same as feeling or feeling the same as willing, etc., because each is independent of one another, which, however, eludes our thinking. If we could combine all of these faculties in a single perception, it would be intuition, but we cannot. We always stay separate in our psyche. We understand something, feel something else and want something completely different, whereby in the subconscious we are possibly a fourth, again completely different thing; but the gods represent a perfect intermingling of the powers of all of these four dispositions. It can therefore be said that the four hands really symbolize the four aspects of the psyche through which a single consciousness - in the case of the goddesses - acts as intuition, and in our case as ordinary knowledge.
All of these religious figures are symbols of a higher abstract principle that normal people cannot understand, and that is why we use figures, pictures, idols, images, sculptures, paintings and all these things; Otherwise we cannot think of God, because the mind has come down so far in its psychological functioning and thought power that we want everything to be as we are - even God should be like us. This is why we believe that God is a great man; that's what we believe If you read any scripture you will find God described as a huge body that fills the whole room, with eyes and nose as we have them.
But if you say that God does not fit this description, what else is God? If one cannot think of God in any form, this may result in total rejection of God. So it is better to have an inadequate idea of God than no idea at all. We ultimately need something to hold onto.
Dr. Goel: Ultimately, we have to have a correct idea.
SWAMIJI: It is not possible for ordinary mortals to have an idea of the truth. People don't even have a right idea about themselves. How are you going to get a right idea about someone else?
Dr. Goel: That's why we first have to have a correct idea of ourselves.
Swamiji: Right. If you don't really know yourself, how can you properly judge another thing? You yourself are the medium of knowing something, and whatever you are is reflected in the process of your own perception and knowledge of things. Whatever idea you have of yourself, you will also have of all other things. This is our problem.
In reality one is not a physical body. You are also not the son of Mr. So-and-so, not six feet tall, with a certain weight, meat and bones, etc. It is difficult to see who you really are. You have to spend a lot of time and go deep into the matter to realize that you are completely different from what you seem to be, but it is not so easy to forget that you are Mr. Land comes of this size and weight, and so on. You just can't forget these points.
One cannot imagine for a second to be the concentrated structure of a Universal Particle of Consciousness in space and time. If you could always maintain this awareness, you would not be the person you are. One would be different every day, and God only knows what one will be, but who can think that way? It is not possible because the mind will pull you down and tell you, "Don't climb too high".
You are just a little vortex in the sea of Universal Consciousness. That's what you really are, but who can think that way? It may work for a moment, but then you slip back into the old state and are once again the same person as before.
In order to raise consciousness to the level of Universal Perception and to feel in tune with the whole creation of the universe and not as an independent Lord So-and-so, it is necessary to meditate intensely. Each is intertwined as an organic part with the whole Universal Building. If one can keep this awareness forever, one is permanently in a state of meditation.
American visitor: Please give a few details about the gods.
Swamiji: The sitting of Durga on a lion, Sarasvati on a swan, and Lakshmi on a lotus represent the three functions of these three forces. It is difficult to explain all of these things in a few minutes. The lion represents the ferocity of human desires. If you oppose the wishes, they get wild and are not that easy to handle. Since we face only a small fraction of our desires, it doesn't look too bad. The riding of Durga on the back of the lion symbolizes the submission of the wildness of desires by the divine power.
Lakshmi, sitting on the lotus, means beauty, prosperity, splendor, aesthetic joy and all kinds of pleasure.
Visitor: Is there usually water in the background of Lakshmi?
Swamiji: Yes, water - but not necessarily. Sitting on a swan, Sarasvati embodies intelligence and purity. Sarasvati is dressed completely in white, Lakshmi is wrapped in a magnificent cloth, Durga appears even more picturesque and you can see her in different poses with many hands. The former represents the purity of knowledge and the transparency of understanding, which is symbolized by the white color. The other represents the apparent prosperity in this world, which contains a trace of human desires. (If we have no desires, we cannot understand what wealth is.) Durga is the power that controls the cruelty of human passions. These are, in brief, its aspects.
Visitor: Thank you very much.
Andrea: Swamiji, you mentioned the four arms of the deity and said that there was a will ...
Swamiji: Understanding, will, feeling.
Andrea: And you said memory, you also said .....
SWAMIJI: Overly certain.
Andrea: Is this the same as the subconscious?
SWAMIJI: It's the same thing.
Andrea: Has it nothing to do with conscience?
SWAMIJI: The conscience is also in the subconscious. It is a function of the subconscious.
Andrea: I understand.
Swamiji: Memory is also part of the subconscious. It has many functions, memory as one function and conscience as another, the voice of God, so to speak. Something tells you that something is right; this is the work of the conscience and also the work of the subconscious.
Dr. Goel: What is the difference between conscious and subconscious?
SWAMIJI: Now you are working on the conscious level. In the dream you are on the subconscious level. The level of the conscious is withdrawn into the subconscious, which is the dream level. During sleep you are in the unconscious.
Dr. Goel: And in deep sleep?
SWAMIJI: In the unconscious.
Eva: Swamiji, I have a different question on the same subject. You mentioned on the same day that all four abilities are united in one.
SWAMIJI: When all faculties work in harmony, they become intuition.
Eva: Is that why intuition is greater than conscience?
SWAMIJI: It is greater than all four abilities combined. She is a perfect reflection of all four.
Andrea: I thought about the people who really want to leave their body because there is no point of reference for them there. I know and understand why people want to leave their bodies once they realize ...
SWAMIJI: In reality it is not the desire to leave the body but the individual consciousness - body or not body - that is a different matter. If you have a body but you are not aware of it, it is not a cause for concern. The body is not the source of worry, but the awareness that there is a body. A rich man is a man who is aware of his riches. Suppose he is very rich, but he is not aware of it, then neither can he be called rich. What do you say?
Visitor: That's right.
SWAMIJI: That is why consciousness means wealth. That sounds very interesting! [Laughter]
Dr. Goel: Everything is consciousness.
Swamiji: Yes. Assuming you have received a lot of money and you are not even aware of it, can you call it a worthwhile thing? It's useless. That is why consciousness also means money. Very interesting! Everything is consciousness, because without it everything is meaningless. That is why attachment means awareness of finitude. It is not the existence of anything, but the awareness of the existence of something. So in some ways attachment is just a limited consciousness.
The question is not about keeping or leaving the body. Let the body be body. There are bodies; many people here got bodies. Is that why you worry? [Laughter] Why do you care about your body? What is so important about that? If you are not interfering with other people's bodies, why do you deal with your body as if it were more significant than other bodies? This is called the binding of consciousness to a particularly localized individuality.
Dr. Goel: That's a bad thing.
SWAMIJI: The whole thing is that it's not about the existence of a thing, but the awareness of that thing. In liberation the world is not destroyed, rather the connection between it and one's own finitude is broken. Your own consciousness will pervade everything; which is why there is no longer any special bond with any individual object. Freedom means recognizing that consciousness is present in all and not just some things. If it is only in one thing, then it means attachment. If IT is everywhere and IT is only alone, then it is free. Now you and someone else are here, and yet there is only ONE.
Dr. Goel: In the liberation?
Swamiji: In liberation there is only ONE BEING.
Dr. Goel: And that is the universal consciousness.
SWAMIJI: Yes, because attachment is not in the existence of things, it is in being aware of the existence of things. It is a special act of consciousness. The Universal Consciousness is enclosed within a body that is called "your own self". It is afraid because of its limitations and the separation from others - also because it depends on many other factors, etc., and because it fears that it will lose this individuality today or tomorrow.
But supposing it is present in everything that is actually the case, then there is no such fear, for fear only arises from a dual existence. Fear comes from something outside of you. This external consciousness must be dissolved; then fear also disappears.
Andrea: When you say that, I feel kind of peaceful.
Swamiji: Yes. When we hear this, we feel a little peace. We want sincere peace.
Dr. Goel: Do we have to break away from it?
SWAMIJI: We do not have to detach ourselves, we have to turn to everything, then detachment from one thing automatically takes place. We always fear detachment, but that fear is unfounded. Do you like indications? Then turn to everything, because that is tantamount to detaching yourself from one thing. So love the turning, because it means joy.When one is detached, there is great fear. Nobody likes to detach, so we should never use such words. Never speak of "renunciation" etc., but turn to everything. Let's see what happens. [Laughter]
The mind is such a trickster. He does not want to turn to everything, nor detach from anything. Do you want ‘something’? Good, then take everything ’. One should not only ask about one thing, but take everything - otherwise do not ask. What do you ask for? I give you everything, but you have no place to keep it. You can take the whole earth! [Laughter]
No one can be as vicious as the mind. He doesn't know what he wants and yet he constantly has desires without knowing what he wants. Here is the problem. Why don't you turn to everything? Where is the mistake?
Visitor: The ego.
Swamiji: Ask the ego to connect with everything, with every person in this world, every building, every tree in the forest and every river, every mountain, every sun, moon and all stars. Turn to everyone and let's see what happens. But it is entirely possible that the connection does not work - what then? Most unreasonable, even in turning we are unreasonable! [Laughter]
There is a story: Archarya Shankara was in a room. The door was locked and a student knocked on the outside of the door. “Who's there?” Asked the guru. "Me." "Either let it be nothing or all," said the Guru.
There are three kinds of "I": the me that is nothing, the me that is something, and the me that is everything. This "something" is a dangerous thing. Better leave it nothing or everything. Then you are free. You cannot turn the “I” into anything or everything, that's why you hang in the middle. [Laughter]
Dr. Goel: That is the problem in life.
SWAMIJI: Even if he gets everything, he doesn't want it. What a human? Take everything and be connected to everything, then you are in VIRATE consciousness (cosmos as the body of God). The "connection of consciousness with everything" is another name for Universal Consciousness.
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