Facts and figures for Winter Solstice:

- solstice = ‘sol’ for ‘sun’ + ‘sisto’ for ‘stop’; means the sun stops and changes direction.
- See solstice chart.
- This day the sun starts moving from ‘south’ to ‘north’.
- First day of winter? (Winter has already started 15-20 days ago!)
- Shortest day: technically Sun’s elevation at noon, gets lower (on the other hand for Summer solstice, the elevation of Sun gets higher, poles reversed from ‘north’ to ‘south’ and the day is the longest day.)

- It is also a movie .
- Animation for Winter Solstice, see Google’s doodle.

Time-pass gossips for Winter Solstice:

Sky is falling; day will get shorter each coming day; world is going to end — nothing like that is going to happen. I don’t know which year and in which country, but I’ve seen in news that some people burned their clothes and belongings in a hope ‘world would end that day.’

If hard-drive corrupts, CDs or other external storage drives get stolen or lost; perhaps you will lose everything for which you’ve worked so hard. Or, if you struggle everyday in hiding your data from certain people and occasionally fail in doing so. In both the cases you can go for online storage.

If you never used and don’t know abc of online storage, pick each at a time, read everything about free storage: security, how to sync with your computer or smartphone, accessibility and so on — and start using them. They can better tell about their storage usability so it’s useless to take screenshots and paste here.

So the list is:

Dropbox.com
Googledrive.com (Google)
Icloud.com (Apple)
Skydrive.com (Microsoft)
Ubuntu One

And,
Mozy.com/free
Box.com
Adrive.com
Spideroak.com
Mimedia.com
JustCloud.com
…still there are lot more websites that offer free online storage.

Question: my files won’t be safe there?
Answer: I can’t say anything about security, but you can use thing like WinZip and encrypt your file with banking level AES encryption, before uploading to (syncing with) online storage.

Sarvatro Bhadra

I’ve limited knowledge regarding Sarvatro/Sarvato Bhadra. But as they say, it represents a mix of 33 crores Gods and Goddesses–each square represents 1 crore. And worshiping Sarvatro Bhadra means to worship them.

The above is made of colored rice; each color has its specific story to be told associated with Gods and Goddesses; and each square has its own specific mantra…. Worshiping this and followed by a Havan, might take your whole day. There is much technical detail about this, so will update this post later on.

Technology is running so fast, if you don’t update yourself for few months–many things will come up and people will start using them. And it’d sound like “What is happening, I know nothing what they are talking about.” Blue Ray had been knocking my head for a week: it sounded like a blue movie, until I found it was a good thing to use….

If you have a large collection of movies, songs, ebooks, or perhaps softwares–now you don’t need to carry and hide a big pouch of CDs / DVDs holder. Blue Ray Disc can do all. It’s so thin that you can hide it between the pages of your book…. And as its layer increases so its data capacity, a single layer can contain 25 GB of data.

Is it expensive? Does it need a different player? How does it look like? What type of technology is used in it?

Let’s talk about simple things first, I use Transend DVD + RW, and I doubt if it can read a Blue Ray Disc–as technology is different. In Blue Ray, they use Blue Laser; and in DVD they use Red Laser. Now a bell rings, “Difference between Blue and Red Laser?” Obviously it is not color mixing but a big difference of frequency. (Red has lower frequency, that’s why the danger signal of Railway is of color “red”, it doesn’t dissipate and you can see it from a long distance and guess, “A train is coming”; another example, rock is solid ‘coz its frequencies are in that way, water is fluid ‘coz its frequencies are higher than rock but in that way it could remain water, air is invisible ‘coz its frequencies are higher than the rest of twos.) As frequency changes color also changes. In sum up, I can’t play a Blue Ray Disc in my DVD + RW. I need to buy a Blue Ray Player, as I’m googling, companies like Samsung, Sony, Philips, and LG are making this sort of player. Some Blue Ray Players have backward compatibility for DVD, you need to see particular model Specification before buying a player.

…And Blue Ray Player is expensive than DVD Player. But with quality and data storage capacity of Blue Ray Disc, of course any tongue can salivate.

    Data Capacity     Disc  Price/Piece  (Approx.)   Player Price  (Approx.)
Blue Ray  25 GB (single layer)  225 INR | US $ 3.59  7000 to 1100 INR | US $ 111.60 to 175.37
DVD  4.7 GB  30 to 40 INR | US $ 0.48 TO 0.64      2000 to 4000 INR | US $ 31.89 to 63.77

P.S. I wonder after a decade or two, some White Ray might come….

When they do not cultivate their minds, they call it “generation gap.” Oops! Not trying to offend anybody, but that’s what I see the truth it is.

Curse is when this “generation gap” goes wider and wider; and nobody understands anybody. Blesses are, when one cultivates their mind with the age goes by, has wisdom and insight; not only kill the generation gap but available to all sorts of guidance.

…also called “Atma-Shatakam, or Nirvana-Shatkam.” It was written by Adi-Shankaracharya. It is called “Shatkam,” ‘coz it has six verses, and in ‘em the whole teaching of advaita exists. Some gurus recommend chanting these verses many times a day. Though who do not understand advaita, it might look futile to ‘em as it says, you are not the body, nor the mind, nor in rituals, nor in misery, nor in happiness, nor in caste system, nor you are born and nor you die. And what are you? Try to understand the sixth verse there

Chanting Atma-Shatakam is very useful to the people who practise advaita; or love the teachings like of Ramana Maharshi, Siddharameshwar Maharaj, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Ranjitji, Shri Samartha Ramdas, Poonjaji, Mooji, Gangaji, Adyashanti and so forth; or love the books like, Ashtavakra Gita, Tripura Rahasya, Upanishads, Ribhu Gita, I am that, Dasbodh and so on….

In few words, it sets you free from all the clingings and attachments; it finishes off all the dreams and assumptions, dos and donts. And turns to you, to your non-dual “subjectivity.”

What I can say about Ribhu Gita, after reading cover to cover — still I realize, I need to read it a number of times.

Ribhu Gita is about “that,” for which every seeker aspires; this text has the authoritative knowledge — about reality vs. illusion, or say, truth vs. untruth — in a way that if one understands profoundly, I wouldn’t exaggerate but the Self realization is possible in a second.

Ribhu Gita gives no mantra to chant, no kriya to practise, no God to worship; what it gives is only — understanding. It demands nothing but firm conviction and a sharp intellect to penetrate in truth. And above all a discriminative mind-set.

I love these particular kind of texts ‘coz they don’t solicit blind faith, or say, “Do this a number of years then see the result.” Everything is quick here if the mind is mature enough.

I’m attempting to write a review of this great text about which Ramana Maharshi said, “Recitation of Ribhu Gita is as good as Samadhi,” and “it does not matter if you don’t understand the book. Just go through it, it will be of immense benefit to you.”

The book:
The Ribhu Gita
(Sixth Amsa of Sri Siva Rahaysam)
Second Edition; ISBN: 978-81-8288-088-7
Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam
Paperback, pp:738; 200 INR

Ribhu, the mind-born son of Brahma, sought divine secret from Shiva1 Himself; and Shiva granted his wish by disclosing this knowledge to him. On sage Ribhu name, the text was called Ribhu Gita. Later on Ribhu passed this knowledge to Nidagha2, and it kept passing on sage to sage — till this time I’m having this text in my hand.

It has 50 chapters, and title of each chapter is given at the end of each chapter; even the initial content page doesn’t show any title other than the chapter number and its location — but for my convenience I wrote titles as per given at the end of each chapter and few times out of my own understanding, here are these:

(1) Ribhu invocation to Shiva. (2) Dialogue b/w Shiva & Ribhu on the instruction of sutras. (3) Dialogue b/w Shiva & Ribhu. (4) Dialogue b/w Ribhu & Nidagha. (5) Description of Shiva teachings to Kumara. (6) Definition of the world as being consciousness. (7) Description of one’s Self. (8) Determination of world being void & non-existent. (9) Determination of “I am Brahman3.” (10) Ablution to Brahman & Oblation to Self. (11) Liberated while alive. (12) Liberation from the body. (13) All is Self. (14) Bliss of the Self. (15) Brahman alone is all. (16) You are consciousness alone. (17) Compendium of all system of philosophy. (18) Dialogue b/w Ribhu and Nidagha. (19) Brahmic bliss. (20) Glory of the Self. (21) Rejection of the whole world. (22) Abandonment of name and form. (23) Secret instructions. (24) Establishing “I am Brahman.” (25) Determination of Brahman being all forms. (26) Mind filled with nectar of knowledge. (27) Nature of Bliss. (28) Self without characteristics. (29) Teachings of being full of that. (30) Unitary nature of Brahman. (31) Meaning of great aphorism. (32) Illusory nature of all. (33) Form of Being-Awareness-Bliss. (34) Attaining Brahman through examples. (35) Disposition in Brahman. (36) Ditto. (37) Settled conclusion. (38) Hollowness of the world. (39) Subsidence of all. (40) Restraint of mental modes. (41) Preeminence of treatise. (42) Nidagha experience. (43) Ditto. (44) Ditto. (45) Nidagha hymn to the guru. (46) Knowledge bestowing vows of Shiva. (47) Abridged instruction of Ribhu. (48) Vows and instructions of Shiva. (49) Explanation of Shiva in Vishnu. (50) Attainment of liberation by Sudarshana.

These chapters are like your two eyes; as I can’t say which one is better than the other — same way, I can’t say if few chapters are better than others, all are supreme. I find Ashtavakra Gita in ‘em; Yoga Vasistha in ‘em; the book Illusion vs. Reality by Ranjit Ji in ‘em; Kaivalya Navneeta in ‘em. And Ribhu Gita itself says that it is the cream of all Vedas4.

Let’s use some cream.

When I was reading it, I kept on bookmarking it, and later on realized that I had marked almost each page of the book (it has 738 pages). So, better to select things randomly from start to finish.

One problem is, I don’t know Sanskrit — so I need to trust the translator and go ahead accordingly … I wish I knew Sanskrit! Anyway, let’s continue:

“Until a well-guided effort is embarked upon, Jnana does not dawn even in a hundred lives. That is, Jnana is the fruit of a conscious, meaningful and systematically directed practice and not the consequence of a specified number of lives spanning a defined period of time. In short, it is the result of ‘active’ endeavor and not a time-bound passive programme. Intensity of effort alone determines the speed with which the outcome is attained.”5

This text is clear cut. Yes, well-guided efforts are necessary to cultivate understanding about what have been said; and level of intensity or earnestness shows our inner urge, or say dedication or devotion — to the thing we really, really want. Even, according to this text, daily Tarpan6 and daily Homa7 — that are mandatory for Hindus — are not rituals but to contemplate about the Brahman in its magnificence.

Buddhism is about purifying the mind and transcend duality. But this text rejects the mind from its very root; again and again has been said that mind and its thoughts are just illusion, the hell — and the world is empty and hollow. And in transcendental state “All is Brahman; only Brahman alone is.” Though the transcendental state can only be experienced but with discrimination and analysis, we can take a plunge in that.

About mind and thoughts

“The phenomenal world, the mind faculty, the ego sense, the individuality do not exist. Brahman being alone, all these are naught, ever.”8

“Whatever uttered in the least; whatever fancied through imagination and whatever thought of by the mind — are all illusory. There is no doubt about this.”9

“Whatever is thought of by the mind, whatever is willed anytime, whatever is decided by the intellect — are all like horn of a hare.”10

“The assertion ‘I am the body’ is defined as mind only. In all the three periods of time it is not. All is Brahman alone.”11

“One who is beyond the modes of the mind, who does not illuminate them and who is devoid of all such mental activity alone is the videhamukta.”12

“I am ever the all-round perfection, devoid of the adjuncts of knowledge. I am devoid of the activity of mind. There is nothing such as mind for me.” 13

“The concept of the world is non-existent, nor is there any form in the least to be seen. Thought and its activity are of the form of unreality. The world is verily naught.” 14

If you think “Mind is eternal” then what happens to it in a deep sleep; obviously there is no mind — but still you are aware that you’ve slept well. Further, mind is just a collection of thoughts; and if you start seeking the source of thoughts — there is no thought and no mind. For a thought, a thinker is needed; so both are different, one is permanent and other comes and goes. The permanent is real, the Self. Above, I just took few verses but the whole Ribhu Gita is filled with these kind of knowledge.

World is empty and hollow

“Whatever trace of this world one hears or one sees of it, the form that is seen and the form of seer are all like horn of a hare.”`15

“Earth, water, fire, air, space, mind, intellect, ego and transcendental light are all like horn of a hare.”16

“Destruction, birth, truth, the world and heavenly systems, merit, sin, victory and delusion are all like horn of a hare.”17

“The gross body, the subtle body, the cause and effect even, and what little of seen and seeing there is, are all like horn of a hare.”18

Everything comes from the Self and everything goes back to the Self. Earth dissolves in water; water dries in fire; fire dies out in air; air disappears is space; and space in Self. Physical body never remains the same; whatever is seen comes with an expiry date. But who knows the world is empty and hollow is “eternal.” That is Brahman, or say, Self.

About Self

“I alone am the supreme Brahman; I alone am the transcendental happiness. I alone am; I alone am myself. I am only Brahman.”19

“I am of the nature of perfection, ever. I am Being-Consciousness-Bliss. I am of the form of non-duality only. I am Brahman alone.”20

“I am of the indefinable form. I am devoid of beginning or end. I am not of the nature of created matter. I am only Brahman.” 21

“I am devoid of all names. I am without all forms. I lack all attachments. I am Brahman alone.”22

The glory of Self like this, in Siddharameshwar Maharaj terms, you become god of gods, the sun shines, and wind blows by your power. You become the greatest of the greatests; nothing remains impossible for you. All the Siddhis or Occult powers worship your feet; though, not a bit of desire remains in their indulgence — you remain Self-fulfilled.

Secret instructions for Self-realization

Earlier, as a rule, knowledge of the Self was not given just to anybody. The scriptures were kept hidden; gurus gave the knowledge only to the worthy ones. I wonder if some scriptures might have lost that way. But these days what is available anybody can access; so taking few verses of secret instructions in Ribhu Gita:

“The abidance that Brahman alone am I should be the practice always — Brahman alone am I. There is no doubt of this. Being-Consciousness-Bliss alone am I.”23

“‘I am of the nature of Self that is Bliss. Nothing else exists’ — feel thus. Then renouncing even that abide as the one alone.” 24

“Thereupon, forsaking even that ever remains attributeless. Renouncing even the attributelessness, thereafter, one should transcend speech.”25

“Renouncing even the transcendence of speech rest as just being consciousness alone. Renouncing even the transcendence of the Self, have succor in just Brahman.” 26

“Renouncing being just consciousness too, be supported by complete quiescence. Renouncing the complete quiescence also, be of the great quiescence.”27

“Renouncing the great quiescence too take refuge in quiescence of mind. Renouncing the quiescence of mind too, take up the quiescence of jiva.”28

“Renouncing the quiescence of jiva rest in the void of jiva. Renouncing the rejection of the void, be as you are.”29

“Renouncing even the abidance, go beyond speech and mind. Thereafter there is nothing to say nor there is anything to perceive.”30

OR

“Or else, renounce everything. ‘Brahman alone am I’ — proclaim thus. Remember always. Reflect always. Ever meditate upon the attributeless.”31

Self is without second; even thoughts, mind, body — everything it perceives, is objective. That’s why renounce and renounce. Whatever experience takes place, it is only in duality; Self alone is. Verses of Ribhu Gita are like, A hammer is striking in front of you — and with each strike it says, “This is it! This is it!”

Conclusion

It is a paradox: world is illusion but world is just a Brahman; or mind is illusion but mind is just a Brahman. It is something like a headache. We can understand that whatever we perceive is all transient; and in our dreams we feel same as we do in day time — so when the thoughts run, everything is just a dream; and, Self is without a second. But to understand all is Brahman, looks terrible. The people who are realized understand that “all is Brahman” is truth. So journey rolls on with negation “Neti Neti” this is not it, this is not it: I’m not mind, I’m not body, I’m not senses, I’m not “I.” But ends with ‘I’m everything’: I’m in rocks, I’m in trees, I’m the wind, I’m the sun, I’m the moon, I’m in animals and birds and in nasty humans.

Jnana yoga looks simple, but attaining the Brahman which already exists — is not so easy. Ribhu Gita hard accelerates on “well guided efforts” and “firm conviction”; if you’ve understood something, you won’t and can’t take a step back. Otherwise. No progress even in hundreds of lives.

P.S. If you are interested in listening Ribhu Gita chants, you can buy it from here.

 

Footnotes:
1. Shiva is called Siva in South India.
2. I often mistype his name.
3. Brahman or Self, same words.
4. Vedas: Atharvaveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda, and Rigveda
5. Ribhu Gita, p.20
6. Tarpan: offering water to ancestors, devatas and gods.
7. Homa: havan, offering into fire.
8. Ribhu Gita, p.109
9. Ibid., p.119
10. Ibid., p.149
11. Ibid., p.155
12. Ibid., p.228
13. Ibid., p.407
14. Ibid., p.543
15. Ibid., p.145
16. Ibid.
17. Ribhu Gita, p.146
18. Ibid.
19. Ribhu Gita, p.94
20. Ibid, p.95
21. Ibid.
22. Ibid.
23. Ribhu Gita, p.395
24. Ibid.
25. Ibid.
26. Ibid.
27. Ribhu Gita, p.396
28. Ibid.
29. Ibid.
30. Ibid.
31. Ribhu Gita, p.397

Right now what is your mood, I don’t know. If feeling dejected, I have a cure; you just need to take your hand and put it on your heart, try to slow it down first. And for vitality and energizing the body activate the Thymus gland in the following way:

First thing first, precaution! never rub on it, nor give it a hard stroke — this one and all glands in the body are very sensitive if taken roughly can produce adverse result.

The way is, take your fingers and softly pat the Thymus gland 20-22 times, and then feel what happens. If it activates you will feel happy and energized. Better if you do in the morning and feel good till the evening.

P.S. Thymus gland images link. (Sorry! couldn’t find CC image to upload here.)

“Because when you allow  a movement of your mind to result in a concept of the Buddha, you are bringing into existence an objective being capable of being Enlightened.” Page 81,  The Zen Teaching of Huang Po, ISBN 0802150926 (ISBN13: 9780802150929)

So, what do you think, spirituality is subjective or objective? Subjectivity is oneness. And objectivity is creation of mind. Above lines of Huang Po is very enlightening ‘coz you can’t enlighten an object–no matter how hard and for how many decades you try. It is only when we discard all the objects and conceptual thinking from the mind, then only Self remains.

“If you are identified by the seen, you are destroyed.” -Siddharameshwar Maharaj, Master of Self Realization

Why? Reason one, Self is one without second. Reason two, what is second, is objective, temporary, comes and goes: gross body is not permanent, subtle body is not permanent, causal body is not permanent, bliss body is not permanent. Nothing objective is permanent.

“World is Illusion” this contemplation helps in returning to Subjectivity. Later on, spiritual texts say, “World is one mind,” or “All is Self or say Brahman,” or, in other words as Siddharameshwar has said, “there is none other but me.” Same lord Krishna has said, “I live in everyone’s heart.”

In short, many is illusion, because there is oneness only. Let’s check out some authority in this subject:

From the book Illusion vs. Reality [this book is available at Sadguru.us]

“Be indifferent to things because they do not exist. Nothing can touch you. You are unattached. The mind must come to the point of complete understanding of the illusion. There lies your state. Nothing remains for he has understood. There is no more gain or loss. Don’t ask if you can achieve Reality because you are the reality, so why say “Can I?”. First of all get out of the circle. Leave everything one after the other, and go deep in your Self. Come back then, and be in the All.” -Ranjit Maharaj

“The master and the seeker are illusion because there are One.” -Ranjit Maharaj

“Your mind must accept that all is illusion, and only illusion. Then you will be the greatest of the greatest.” -Ranjit Maharaj

“Nothing can touch me, nothing can limit me, nothing can fathom me, and nothing can evaluate me. Because it is all illusion.” -Ranjit Maharaj

“What you have described [bliss] is a good state, no doubt, but go little further. When the mind accept all is illusion, and only illusion, then you are in your Self. The body and mind are illusion. You should be happy to know that. Get rid of your identification. The only thing that the Master does is to show you the real value of the Power which is in you, to which you pay no attention.” -Ranjit Maharaj

Tilopa

“Transient this world, like phantoms and dreams, substance it has none. Renounce it and forsake your kin. Cut the string of love and hatred. If without effort you remain loosely in the natural state, soon Mahamudra you will win and attain the non-attainment.” -Tilopa

Yog Vasishta [ this book is availabe at bookstore.sriramanamaharshi.org ]

“Whatever is seen does not truly exist. It is like the mythical city of Gandharvas or a mirage.” -Yog Vasistha

“The bliss of a man of discrimination, who has rejected Samsara and discarded all mental concepts, constantly increases.” -Yog Vasistha

“Firmly convinced of non-duality and enjoying perfect mental peace, yogis go about their work seeing the world as if it were a dream.” -Yog Vasistha

“O Rama, there is no intellect, no nescience, no mind and no individual soul (jiva). They are all imagined in Brahman.” -Yog Vasishta

Kaivalya Navneeta

“He is Jnani who knows beyond doubt that all that is seen is only ephemeral like a dream.” -Kaivalya Navneeta

“To the degree that you turn away from ‘attachment to the unreal’, your inner vision of reality develops. If by a steady practice of this kind, the mind comes under control and becomes aware as consciousness Self, you can abide as the ocean of bliss though living in the bitter body.” Kaivalya Navneeta

Ashtavakra Gita

“Know that which has form to be unreal and the formless to be permanent.” -Ashtavakra

“The world appears from the ignorance of the Self and disappears with the knowledge of the Self, even as the snake appears from the non-cognition of the rope and disappears with its recognition.” -Ashtavakra

Nisargadatta Maharaj

“The body is made of food, as the mind is made of thoughts. Seen them as they are. Non-identification, when natural and spontaneous, is liberation.” -Nisargadatta Maharaj

“Discover all that you are not — body, feelings, thoughts, time, space, this or that; nothing concrete or abstract, which you perceive can be you. The very act of perceiving shows that you are not what you perceive.” -Nisargadatta Maharaj

“Treating everything as a dream liberates–this is the truth.” -Nisargadatta Maharaj

“Realize that every mode of perception is objective, that what is seen or heard, touched or smell, felt of thought, expected or imagined, is in the mind not in reality.” -Nisargadatta Majaraj

Ribhu Gita [ this book is availabe at bookstore.sriramanamaharshi.org ]

“Whatever trace of this world one hears or one sees of it, the form that is seen and the form of seer are all like the horn of a hare.” -2, chap 8

“Earth, water, fire, air, space, mind, intellect, ego and transcendental light are all like horn of a hare.” -3, chap 8

“Destruction, birth, truth, the world and heavenly system, merit, sin, victory and delusion are all like the horn of a hare.” -4, chap 8

“Lust, anger, greed, delusion, pride, delirium, infatuation, steadfastness, Guru, disciple, teaching and such are all like the horn of a hare.” -5, chap 8

“The organs of knowledge, the five subtle senses, the group of organs of action, waking, dream, sleep and relevant stated are all like horn of a hare.” -11, chap 8

Important! There are number of verses in Ribhu Gita that show World is Illusion, and all is Brahman (Self). The whole book is transcendental. Highly recommended by Ramana Maharshi.

Master of Self Realization [ this book is available at Sadguru.us ]

“If very keen discrimination is not used, one only becomes confused. Discard the world with the help of knowledge. Anything that is “second”, or “other”, the imaginary person, the individual etc., all of these things, are worldly and based only in illusion. The imaginary person who is of this world must die. The ego must be dissolved. The concept that I’m a separate individual, a jiva, must be destroyed. To do this is the “true spirituality”. It is not necessary to recognize what Brahman is. Only remove the “I” that is in between. It is enough if this “I” is gone. This “I” is itself the imaginary person. In fact, there is no such thing as “I” at all, yet it comes into being. Brahman is something quite different from this “I”. -Siddharameshwar Maharaj

The Zen Teaching of Huang Po

“The arising and the elimination of illusion are both illusory. Illusion is not something rooted in Reality; it exists because of your dualistic thinking. If you will only cease to indulge in opposed concepts such as “ordinary” and ‘enlightened’, illusion will cease to itself. And then if you still want to destroy it wherever it may be, you will find that there is not a hairsbreadth left to anything on which to lay hold. This is the meaning of: ‘I will let go with both hands, for then I shall certainly discover the Buddha in my Mind.’ -Huang Po