Speaks on “Rise Above"
Sunday, November 13, 2016 at 11:00am
There are times in life when we meet individuals whose strength and resilience create within us a sense of awe. Seeing how such a person overcomes adversity in life and prevails against all odds inspires us. In fact, we seek out stories of such human beings to set an example for how we may live our own life.
No matter what personal tragedies and obstacles arise, some people seem to find the inner strength to rise above their circumstances and, perhaps, achieve greatness. Or at the very least, they learn critical lessons from these life experiences to bring them to a new understanding, a new way of thinking.
We know that one of the sublime messages of the Bhagavad Gita reveals to us that we should dedicate our actions to God, the universal reality; that we should fix our mind on that reality; rise above all personal desires and egoism; make ourselves free from attachment and grief. Thus prepared, we should engage in life. Is this not the very ideal that we are to “live in the world but not of the world?”
How do we apply this ideal to our daily living? How do we remove the trappings of our attachments, fears and worries? We too easily forget the reality of that Eternal and Immortal Self.
Our struggles reflect the negative tendencies of our mind. How do we overcome the obstacles that meet us on the path of Self-realization? How do we rise above the physical, mental and emotional barriers that prevent us from realizing our True Self?
There is but one reality that permeates Thee and me and all beings. Let us rise above the consciousness of separation. Let us cross the sea of Samsara.
FROM GURUS AND SWAMIS:
The cosmic force, prana, is pure spirit, finer than electrons and more subtle than anything we perceive with our senses. It is this cosmic life energy that joins the universe of what we call matter - or manifest being - to spirit. All is spirit, but what we differentiate as spirit and matter is simply the gradation of spirit in vibration. Looking at life this way there is no conflict of separation between so-called spirit life and so-called matter.”
-Swami Kamalananda, The Mystic Cross
The cause of finiteness in man is his false knowledge about himself. He is entrenched in the thought that he is finite and limited, a creature of age and suffering, disease and death… He lives, moves, and grows in and with false concepts about himself, and in consequence he has not only forgotten his true and godly nature, but now he even refuses to believe that he is the supreme Spirit. The darkness of false knowledge blinds man’s vision of his divine Self.”
“Man, the transcendental Spirit, has made himself a captive in the prison-house of the senses. But what is it that keeps him enchained to the finiteness of sensory existence? It is Tanha. The Pali word Tanha is translated into English as “desire,” but the word desire does not convey the right philosophical significance of the term Tanha. The true meaning of Tanha is “the will to live in the lower self.” This will is the chain that keeps man tied to sensory existence. Desire for sublime virtues and noble deeds is among the basic principles of the philosophy of Nirvana. But the desire to confine the existence and ideal of life in the sensory self is a motive unworthy of the lofty origin and sublime destiny of man.”
-Introduction to Dhammapada: The Path of the Eternal Law, by Swami Premananda
“Life in this physical plane of consciousness is as impermanent as the fleeting moments of time. One who has been initiated in the Light of the Self can never limit his ideal of existence to the evanescent pleasures of the phenomenal world.” (ch 1 v 28)
“Transcending even the subtlest phenomena in the relative universe, more sublime than the most spiritual being, is the Self, yet it resides in the hearts of all. When the senses are made calm by the serenity of mind, and the consciousness is freed from attachment and sorrow, then the Self is realized in its magnificence and glory. (ch 2 v 20)
"There is an indefinable mysterious power that pervades everything, I feel it though I do not see it. It is this unseen power which makes itself felt and yet defies all proof, because it is so unlike all that I perceive through my senses. It transcends the senses.
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
“O Arjuna, rise above the pairs of opposites, be thou firmly established on truth, be not attached to material gain and possession, be established on the Self, and thus thou shalt find freedom in and from the relative world of the Gunas.
To work is thy right, but thou hast no claim over the fruits of action. Let not thy action be inspired by the desire of its fruits, yet do thou not fall into inaction.
O Dhananjaya, being absorbed in the love of God perform thine action, and ever remembering that both success and failure are ultimately good, be thou undisturbed. Inner calmness is Yoga.”
- Srimad Bhagavad Gita Ch 2: 45, 47-48
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.