The Japa Of The Mantra “Om anandamayi chaitanyamayi satyamayi parame”

Om anandamayi chaitanyamayi satyamayi parame

Om anandamayi chaitanyamayi satyamayi parame – 12 times

Om anandamayi chaitanyamayi satyamayi parame – 108 times

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The Practice Of Writing The Mantras Written By Sri Aurobindo

The practice of writing of mantras written by Sri Aurobindo may help in developing aspiration as well as surrender to Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. As one writes, it is useful to say the words out loud or mentally and calmly concentrate either in the centre of the chest or the centre of the head.

I write each of the following mantras in this manner once every day.

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How To Accomplish Little And Feel Great

At no time in the world will a man who is sane
Over-reach himself,
Over-spend himself,
Over-rate himself.
-Lao Tzu

All is vanity. What do people gain from all the toil at which they toil under the sun?
-Ecclesiastes 1:2-3

Sell not yourself at little price,
being so precious in God’s eyes.
-Rumi

The world wants you to be the best you can be. The message is relentless and you may not have even thought of trying anything less. It has brainwashed you into believing that striving for success is essential for your well-being. What does “best” mean and can everybody be “best”. Many times, striving for best is actually killing you. Well, to be contented and happy you can get away from giving less than your very best. It is about finding the right balance and the right amount of effort and that is a lot less than what you have been led to believe. You will then realize that your commitment to excellence is the source of your trouble. Then you will start to turn everything down a notch.

Mediocrity is the key to happiness. The world does not really care. It is a simple fact of life that your successes and failures really do not matter to nearly everybody alive. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you will feel comfortable and get on with underachievement. Even your friends, colleagues, neighbors and family do not really care for your success; because success is often relative and if you succeed, they have relatively lost. Our sense of satisfaction is relative to our standing relative to others and if we have less we suffer. This constant comparison with people who are more successful, smarter or beautiful breeds frustration and jealousy. It is suffering. But we all do it. Why?

We have been taught that achievement is our friend. We get positive feedback and rewards for achieving things and negative feedback and punishment for failing to achieve. There is nothing wrong in trying to improve ourselves but we kid ourselves into thinking that achievement is absolutely essential, like an addiction in order to live well. But what it does is it corrupts our bodies, minds, feelings, heart and soul. So the key is to retrain your mind and soul, to develop healthy attitudes to ensure that you never fall into the trap of high-intensity, strive-for-success-at-all-costs thinking. 

Now, let us explore the ten principles of underachievement:

Life’s too short. We all think that we are going to live for ever. But remember, nobody has got out of this world alive so far. In geologic time, that is less than a second away. You can drive yourself into a frenzy trying to do as much as you can while you are here, or you can relax and enjoy your split second. It’s your choice.

Control is an illusion. None of us is in total control of our lives, and if you think you are, then you are under a delightful illusion. Most of your life is not under your control, including your success, wealth, etc. So just relax, and live.

Expectations lead to misery. Because when you have a expectation, there is a good chance that something will go amiss.

Great expectations lead to great misery.

Achievement creates expectations. Expectations to do better, and better, and better, and…. suffering.

The law of diminishing returns applies everywhere. Benefits don’t continue to accrue at the same rate as effort or investment, whether it is money, swimming pool, tennis court, pool table, penthouse, or the 100 dollar wine bottle. At some point, in almost any endeavor, the curve flattens out and may even begin to dip. More is not always better, and good enough is good enough.

Perfect is the enemy of the good. If you want to be perfect, then the adequate, enjoyable, or even plain good won’t do  and that is horrible. If something is worth doing at all, sometimes it worth doing imperfectly.

The tallest blade of grass is sure to be cut. Accomplishment is not usually the source of admiration, it is usually the source of envy and resentment. If you are the best, make sure others do not recognize it.

Accomplishment is in the eye of the beholder. Do you really care about what someone has achieved in an activity you neither know or care a whit about?

The 4% value added principle. We are 96% identical to chimpanzees. The most successful and most unaccomplished people-all of us. So being alive itself is a great achievement.

So,

Work slowly and steadily, like the tortoise, not the hare. Make sure you spend time with family rather than be always at work. Spend time on hobbies and things you really like to do. Remember that ugly people have good sex too. Assume that there are many perfect mates you can find and if you have found one already, remember that one is good enough. Don’t demand perfection in your relationships and don’t create expectations in your relationships. Eat what you like in moderation; after all this body is going to rot someday and starving is not going to prevent it. Don’t spend a lot of money on fitness. Just walk. Do something with your upper body. Stretch yourself. Sleep a lot. Be satisfied with little. Then the wealth ratio: what you have/what you want is >1 and you have money to invest which you can put in index funds and match the market and beat 98% of people over the long run. If you live this way you will have healthier, durable relationships, more time to enjoy a wide variety of activities and save money. Don’t stress your kids too much; allow them to blossom in their own way and time. Encourage them but do not pressurize them. Kids are messy and life is messy too but beautiful. Enjoy the messiness. Realize that you are part of the Divine as is everybody else and evolution towards realizing our oneness with the Divine never ends as is the Divine expressing Himself in Her world. We are all on the path and the path is everywhere.

Once you do the above,

serenity
peaceful work relations
moderate fitness
smooth commutes
friendship
humble faith
sustainable economic growth
low blood pressure
contentment

is all yours for the taking.

Underachievement is the key to happiness in your life, and for everyone else around you. Stop worrying about not being perfect. Dedicate yourselves to the pleasures and benefits of mediocrity. Remember, underachievement is not about doing nothing. It’s about the right effort at the right time, in the right place. And not one bit more. Go ahead and start living life to the minimum. Don’t strive for success against your own best interests. Don’t take any so-called achievement seriously. Because you are already good enough.

You must always work not just within, but below your means. If you can handle three elements, handle only two. If you can handle ten, then handle only five. In that way, the one you do handle, you handle with more ease, more mastery, and you create a feeling of strength in reserve.

Pablo Picasso

notes from the book: The Underachiever’s Manifesto by Ray Bennett 

Stories 52: What We Really Want

The abbot woke up early one morning. Nothing unusual in that. But this morning he was awakened by the sound of something moving in the nearby shrine room. That was unusual because most of his monks would normally be practicing their morning “chanting” at this time (“Zzzzzz . . .”) so he went to investigate.

In the darkness he saw a silhouette of a hooded figure. It was a burglar.

“What do you want, my friend?” said the abbot kindly.

“Gimme the key to the donation box, punk!” said the burglar brandishing a long, sharp knife.

The abbot saw the weapon but felt no fear. He felt only compassion for the young man.

“Certainly,” he said, slowly handing over the key.

As the thief frantically emptied the box of cash, the abbot noticed the robber’s jacket was torn, his face pale and gaunt.

“When was the last time you have eaten, dear boy?”

“Shuddup!” barked the burglar.

“You’ll find some food in the cupboard next to the donation box. Help yourself.”

The thief paused a moment in confusion. He was taken aback by the abbot’s consideration for his welfare. Still, pointing the knife at the monk just in case, he hurriedly filled his pockets with cash from the donation box and food from the cupboard.

“And don’t call the cops, or else!” he shouted.

“Why should I call the police?” answered the abbot calmly. “Those donations are to help poor people like you, and I have freely given you the food. You have stolen nothing. Go in peace.”

The next day, the abbot explained what had happened to his fellow monks and to his lay committee. They were all very proud of their abbot.

A few days’ later, the abbot read in the newspaper that the burglar had been caught robbing another house. This time he was sentenced to ten years in jail.

Just over ten years later, the same abbot was woken up early in the morning by the sound of someone in the shrine room. He got up to investigate and, yes you’ve guessed it, he saw the old burglar standing next to the donation box carrying a sharp knife.

“Remember me?” shouted the burglar.

“Yes,” groaned the abbot reaching into his pocket. “Here’s the key.”

Then the burglar smiled, put down the knife, and said gently, “Sir, put away the key. I couldn’t stop thinking about you all those long days in prison. You were the only person in my entire life who was kind to me, who actually cared about me. Yes, I have come back to steal again, but I realized that last time I took the wrong thing. This time I have come to take your secret of kindness and inner peace. That is what I really wanted in the first place. Please hand over the key to compassion. Make me your disciple.”

Soon after, the thief became a monk and became rich beyond his wildest dreams. Not with money, but with a wealth of kindness and inner peace. That is what we all really want. What a steal!

Ajahn Brahm in Don’t Worry, Be Grumpy

 

Reflections On Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta

In Buddhism, the three marks of existence are anicca, dukkha and anatta.

  • Anicca means that everything that is exists is impermanent.
  • Dukkha means that everything is subject to stress, unpleasantness and suffering.
  • Anatta means that everything does not have a self.

In the Vedas, the formula for the Divine is Sat – Chit – Ananda

  • Sat refers to eternal existence
  • Chit refers to eternal consciousness and knowledge
  • Ananda refers to eternal bliss and happiness

There seems to be a contradiction between these points of view. But Truth is Truth. It has to be experienced and when we put them into mental forms, they can get distorted.

In my view,

Ultimately everything is Divine. The good, the bad, the ugly. When one says that everything that exists is impermanent, it means that the things that are manifested out of the Divine, all are impermanent. Impermanent here can mean that they change form – like a body dying and going to the elements; or ultimately, the elements merging into the Divine itself ( like what is said to happen in pralaya or the ultimate annihilation). It does not mean the manifestations of the Divine are false or illusion; it just means that they come and go; they are temporary. So, in this way, yes, everything is anicca but in their innermost sense, everything is Divine. And, the Divine is immortal, eternally exists, with no beginning and no end. This is hard to comprehend mentally because these can only be understood beyond the mind.

It would seem that everything is subject to suffering and unhappiness. But that is true for the mind, not for the Divine who exists within us and us who is the spark of the Divine. We often are unhappy when something goes away, someone dies, something is lost, something becomes ill or non-functional. If one understands that since the manifestations of the Divine, which is everything in the world changes, these things are bound to happen and these things affect us only if we think that we are an independent self apart from the Divine, only if we thing from an ego-perspective. For example, we do not grieve when we kill an ant by pouring water on it. The ant does not belong to us. We do not grieve when another person who is not related to us dies. Because we do not feel the sense of belonging. If we understand that nothing truly belongs to us; everything is a part of the Divine, then why should one suffer. That realisation is difficult, but the absence of that is what leads to suffering and unhappiness. And once we realise, that everything is the Divine, belongs to the Divine, then it is all bliss, it is all the play of the Divine, the lila. That leads to eternal happiness and bliss.

The third assertion of the Buddha is that there is no-self. It is often said that this applies to everything both temporal and so-called divine things. My way of understanding this is that, yes, there is nothing that is independent from the Divine and in that sense there is no independent self. In the Advaita school, everything is Divine, everything is one and in that sense, there cannot be an independent self, everything is the Divine. In the Vishistadavaita philosophy, the manifested world, both living and non-living is the body of the Divine. The Divine is immortal and so is his body but the body is not the Divine fully just like our body is not completely ourselves. My finger cannot exist without being attached to my body; in that sense we cannot exist properly without being attached to the Divine’s body- otherwise there will be dukkha, anicca. But if we attach ourselves to the Divine, then it is Sat and Ananda. In other philosophies, there is the distinction that the finger is different from the body in one sense, but one can see that it is just a way of seeing and the same idea remains that one has to be yoked to the Divine. Essentially, what I am saying is that no-self means no independent self that exists in isolation from the Divine and the problems that we face is because of the fact that we cannot identify ourself with the Divine but keep thinking we are separate.

So,

understand that the forms are anicca, temporary; do not identify with the forms but identify with the Divine

understand that identifying with the forms and thinking that these forms independently exist is what leads to stress and suffering, dukkha; surrender to the Divine completely and understand that you are an eternal part of Him and once that happens, everything is bliss.

understand that you do not exist in isolation from the Divine; because you are a part of the Divine; then you understand that anatta, the understanding that you are not-self nor is anything except the Divine. The Buddha did not talk explicit about the Divine.

Buddhism has spread a lot today, especially in the Western world and there is a lot of things one can learn from the teachers of Buddhism today. The three marks of existence, if we view it this way, can help us deepen our understanding of our own path towards the Divine.

God Bless.