- Religion and Philosophy»
- Exploring Religious Options
The philosophies of great religions are founded in Truth and Non-violence!
Three philosophies in ancient Hinduism!
Hindu scriptures talk about three main philosophies that lead one towards God. They are Dual, Non-dual and qualified dualism. Dual denotes two and the practitioners of this philosophy take God as separate and individual as separate and they cannot attain union at any point of time. Then there is the philosophy of Non-dual called Monism or Advaita. There are few rare souls who lived in practice, the non-dual philosophy. Adhi Sankara who belongs to seventh century AD advocated the supremacy of Advaita over other philosophies. Later many people practiced it, notable among them are Sri Ramana Maharishi, Shri Vivekananda, Sri Vidyaranya, Sri Nisargadutta, Sri Ramatirtha and Swami Rama. I have not mentioned all and many more saints and sages taught Monism to the disciples who have advanced to such state! We have seen Dwaita represents two. Advaita represents ‘no two’. It is one alone. There is no second to it. Fear, pain and anxiety arise, if we consider two. If there is only one, to whom we should fear, whom we will hate? Hence we can understand that duality leads to grief and anxiety in the mind!
The philosophy of Dwaita or duality!
Controlling taste buds lead to spiritual gain.
To escape from fear and bond, one need to pursue the One alone which is otherwise called “Brahman” in the scriptures. For ordinary worldly minded people, adhering to advaita is not easy. The senses and mind always attract us towards sensory objects. It is difficult to escape from the pulls of sensory objects. This is called “Moha” or attachment. We are attached to the perishable vesture called body and throughout our life; we exert our energy to keep the body comfortable. We consider the body as the means of enjoyment of worldly pleasures. The five senses entice the mind which directs the body to obey to its whims and fancies. Hence man is addicted to his tongue (taste) and become a slave. Again he become a prey to intoxication and consumes forbidden liquors and drugs. Many people become slaves to lust and they are always contemplating the company of other gender. These cravings make a deep impression in the sub-conscious and hence even during dream, man craves for pleasures.
Without sense control, self-realization is impossible. The senses cannot act independently without the interaction of mind. Hence, the spiritual aspirant must find out a way to control the wayward mind. Do not cater to each desire that arise in the mind. Fire can be quenched only by stopping the feed of fuel. When we do not cater to the whims of the mind, it will get subdued in due course. But, this requires determination, detachment and discrimination. Discriminate between the real and unreal, between permanent and temporary, between fleeting and eternal. The body is really a water bubble and none can predict when it will burst! Mind is a monkey that too intoxicated one. How can we rely on these feeble instruments? It is easier to swim along the current of the river. Courage lies in swimming against the current. Look at the fishes in the river. Even, a newly hatched baby fish swim against the current to stay alive. When a small fish possess such quality, why not man practice to swim against the tide of sensual attractions? The secret lies in controlling taste! Yes, one who is not attached to the tongue and eat wholesome healthy food without bothering about the taste can easily conquer lust and anger! A minute part of the food becomes the subtle mind element. Hence, the sages and saints are cautious about what they eat! Whole grains, green leaves and vegetables, fruits and edible flowers forms part of an ascetic’s diet. A little milk or butter milk will conduce to holy thoughts and one pointed concentration.
Gandhi, an enigmatic personality!
Food that contribute to different thoughts!
People, who are addicted to taste buds and who relish, fried and hot food is prone to agitations and anger very quickly. It is the effect of hot fried chilly food that contributes to the agitations. On the other hand, people who eat stale food refrigerated for days will suffer from sloth and sleep. They will be lazy and they cannot undertake tasks easily. On the other hand, people who are pure vegetarian and eat limited food have peaceful and serene dispositions. Animal food naturally arouses animal feelings in human. Many people experimented with different varieties of food and learned which one contributes to what quality? Mahatma Gandhi tried different diets and ultimately he found that peanuts and goat milk ensure health and enable one to maintain his poise in trying circumstances. Gandhi underwent many troubles and tortures both within and outside India. British Police dealt inhumanly on peaceful protesters. But Gandhi never reacted to their brute force. But he was focused on his honest goals. Unable to face his peaceful resistance, British Empire finally ceded independence to India! He was always practicing Truth and Non-violence and hence he could succeed. But there are intolerant forces within India who could not stomach his altruism. This finally resulted in the assassination of Gandhi on 30 January, seventy years ago. He never got angry with the man who shot him at close range! This kind of tolerance and peace is possible to a great soul.
Today, many leaders are intolerant, resulting in intermittent wars in many parts of the globe. In fact, terrorism is the offshoot of intolerance. Only spiritual path will make the world peaceful and live in harmony. Let us practice Truth and Non-violence and honor souls like Gandhi!