Steady Wisdom: Day 65

Steady Wisdom: 108 Verses On Changing My Thinking

DAY 65

The universe is merely an illusion.  Of what interest can it be to me?  What reason is there to fear death? 
-Ashtavakra Samhita 3:11

The body-mind will surely die.  But seeing as the body-mind is part and parcel of the illusory universe, its death is also illusory.  What reason is there to fear an illusion? 

Further, what does an illusion have to offer me?  Similar to the way that food in a dream cannot satisfy hunger in the waking state, I cannot find satisfaction or security in the illusory world after I’ve awoken to my true nature as the absolute reality.  OM. 

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Steady Wisdom: Day 54

Steady Wisdom: 108 Verses On Changing My Thinking

DAY 54

I am free from impurities such as attachment.  I am not affected by the suffering of the body.  I am the self alone.
-Avadhuta Gita 1:67

I am the self alone and I alone exist.  I cannot be tainted by my own self and I cannot be attached to my own self as if it were a possession that belonged to me.  Therefore, I am ever-pure and unattached. OM. 

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What is samsara in Hinduism?

Q:  What does the term “samsara’ mean in Hinduism? 

A:  Hinduism is very diverse, with numerous different religious sects and philosophical schools.  So you’re going to get different answers depending on who you ask.  To be clear, I am answering from the perspective of Advaita Vedanta, particularly Advaita Vedanta as taught by Shankara, Swami Dayananda and Dayananda’s students.

Swami Dayananda defines samsara as “the life of becoming.” In other words, it is 1) Identifying with the body and mind, thinking it is who you are and 2) Subsequently believing that the mortality and suffering of the body and mind belong to you. Further, you believe that the qualities and character of the body and mind define who you are.

Because of this you are always trying to become something other than what you are.  Perhaps you want to be happier, perhaps you want to become immortal to escape death. Or perhaps you want something more mundane like a slimmer waistline and a more respectable position at work. Either way, feeling like you need to be something other than what you are, that you’re not good enough as you are, or that you’re somehow lacking is a painful cycle: this is samsara.

This painful cycle of thinking that you’re the body-mind continues (perhaps over lifetimes if the theory of reincarnation is true) until you see directly realize that instead of being the flawed, mortal, ever-changing and limited body-mind, that you’re the immortal, changeless, limitless brahman (the very essence of the entire universe) that is always perfect just as it is.

But you asked “What is samsara?” not “how do I end it?” so I’m getting ahead of myself.  That’s an answer for another day. 

All my best – Vishnudeva

Steady Wisdom: Day 53

Steady Wisdom: 108 Verses On Changing My Thinking

DAY 53

I am devoid of thought, even when engaged in thought; I am devoid of the sense-organs, even though I have them; I am devoid of intellect, even though endowed with it; and I am devoid of the sense of ego, even though possessed of it. 
-Ashtavakra Samhita 18:95

I am not a thought.  I am not the sum of my sense perceptions.  I am not the reasoning faculty of my mind.  I am not even the sense of “I.”  All of these things are transient objects that are known to me and I am not what I know.  I am the self, untouched by them all. 

And yet, thoughts, sense perceptions, etc. are all me because they have no existence apart me, existence itself.  They depend on me but I do not depend on them.  How inexplicable but liberating is that!  OM. 

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Steady Wisdom: Day 52

Steady Wisdom: 108 Verses On Changing My Thinking

DAY 52

I am neither the doer nor the enjoyer.  There is no karma for me, past or present.  I have no body nor is the body mine.  There is only me so what could be mine or not-mine?
-Avadhuta Gita 1:66

The doer and enjoyer is the ego, a thought in my mind that claims, “I am doing this” and “Now I am enjoying the results of my actions.”  Because the ego is a thought known to me, it cannot be me.  Because the ego comes and goes, it cannot be me.  The same applies to the body.  Because I am not the body that performs action, nor the ego that claims the results of action as its own, there is no karma for me, past or present.  OM. 

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