Upanishads In 2017 As Powerful, Relevant As Ever. (Part 1)

By Jerry Alatalo

“The Self is everywhere. Bright is the Self, indivisible, untouched by sin, wise, immanent and transcendent. He it is who holds the cosmos together.”

or whatever historical, cultural, social, religious, or other reasons, discussions about the core elements found in scriptural writings of the world’s major traditions rarely take place, in particular as those extremely profound teachings relate to, and provide real answers for, today’s problematic situations of war, income inequality and greed, indifference to the suffering of innocent others, non-concern for the Earth’s environment, and so on.

Perhaps (re)turning to the spiritual knowledge of those described as “the ancients”, who lived thousands of years before the birth of Christ, can provide no small measure of assistance in effectively dealing with the persisting historical problems of 2017.

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The Isha Upanishad* (from the 1987 book by Eknath Easwaran (1910-1999), “The Upanishads”)

(*The Isha Upanishad is one of the shortest of the collective of major Upanishads familiar to all students of Vedanta. Vedanta is the term used for the Upanishads, the last parts or sections of the Vedas, the four major Vedas of Hindu scriptures being the Rig (the oldest), Sama, Atharva, and Yajur Vedas.The first Western philosopher to express widely known appreciation for the Upanishads was the German-born Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860), who said: “They have been the consolation of my life, and will be the consolation of my death.”)

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The Lord is enshrined in the hearts of all. The Lord is the supreme reality. Rejoice in him through renunciation. Covet nothing. All belongs to the Lord. Thus working may you live a hundred years. Thus alone will you work in real freedom.

Those who deny the Self (Creator, God, Brahman, Allah, Great Spirit, Great Mystery, Supreme Being, etc.) are born again blind to the Self, enveloped in darkness, utterly devoid of love for the Lord.

The Self is one. Ever still, the Self is swifter than thought, swifter than the sense. Though motionless, he out runs all pursuit. Without the Self, never could life exist.

The Self seems to move, but is ever still. He seems far away, but is ever near. He is within all, and he transcends all.

Those who see all creatures in themselves and themselves in all creatures knows no fear. Those who see all creatures in themselves and themselves in all creatures know no grief. How can the multiplicity of life delude the one who sees its unity?

The Self is everywhere. Bright is the Self, indivisible, untouched by sin, wise, immanent and transcendent. He it is who holds the cosmos together.

In dark night live those for whom the world without (external) alone is real; in night darker still, for whom the world within alone is real. The first leads to a life of action, the second to a life of meditation. But those who combine action with meditation cross the sea of death through action, and enter into immortality through the practice of meditation. So we have heard from the wise.

In dark night live those for whom the Lord is transcendent only; in night darker still, for whom he is immanent only. But those for whom he is transcendent and immanent cross the sea of death with the immanent and enter into immortality with the transcendent. So have we heard from the wise.

The face of truth is hidden by your orb of gold, O sun. May you remove your orb so that I, who adore the true, may see the glory of truth. O nourishing sun, solitary traveler, controller, source of life for all creatures, spread your light and subdue your dazzling splendor so that I may see your blessed Self. Even that very Self am I.

May my life merge in the immortal when my body is reduced to ashes. O mind, meditate on the eternal Brahman. Remember the deeds of the past. Remember, O mind, remember.

O god of fire, lead us by the good path to eternal joy. You know all our deeds. Deliver us from evil, we who bow and pray again and again.

***

The most precise descriptive word for the Vedic scriptures is mysticism. Writers on the Vedas, the first portions emphasizing rituals and their meanings, and in contrast the non-ritual, mystical portions focused on the inner worlds, have in their books many multiples of words over the Upanishads themselves, in the writers’ attempts to fully explain and/or interpret the deep meanings of these ancient writings.

As an example … in the following lecture, just the 1st of 7 over 1-hour talks by Swami Rama ( (1925-1996), one of the first yogis to become studied by Western scientists) on the 18-verse Isha Upanishad, his detailed exposition makes the deep concepts come alive and practical for people now in the year 2017. One can only wish such profound mystical knowledge became more widely understood; when that occurs, most certainly the world will change for the better.

World peace is possible.

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Love’s In Need Of Love Today.

By Jerry Alatalo

“Ahimsa [infinite love] is a weapon of matchless potency. It is the summum bonum of life. It is an attribute of the brave, in fact it is their all. It does not come within the reach of the coward. It is no wooden or lifeless dogma but a living and lifegiving force. It is the special attribute of the soul.” GANDHI (1869-1948)

Humanity needs love, not war

ne wonders what effects on United Nations Security Council members, national and state leaders listening to music before starting their meetings would create – such as from the blind genius Stevie Wonder. The theory accepted by most in the healthcare field about blind people is that, because of their inability to see, other available abilities naturally become much more focused, sharpened and developed to compensate.

The theory certainly is proven in the work of Stevie Wonder in the field of music, who, despite blindness, has created some of the most beautiful, complex and extraordinary artistry in recent history. One can only imagine what the world’s state of affairs would look like today, if before meetings of the Security Council and national governments since 1976 his “Love’s In Need of Love Today” were played… loud and clear.

It’s remarkable, disappointing and unfortunate that – besides religious men and women of the world’s various traditions – in the over 6-years of heart-breaking violence, war and destruction in Syria and the 2-years in Yemen, there haven’t been proposals such as: “Please stop bombing the people of Syria and Yemen – but please love them.”

When one takes a good long, hard look at the varying and many proposals coming from those perceived as experts to resolve the world’s wars and bring peace (most enjoying excellent vision since birth), perhaps their taking some extremely “sound advice” from a blind man has reached the point where it’s become more than necessary.

Tomahawk cruise missiles launched toward their targets are not “beautiful”, but hideous creations designed solely to kill fellow, innocent brothers and sisters in the human family – to inflict harm and destroy. Let those who call for war and “bombs bursting in air” know they suffer from spiritual blindness, and that love for one’s fellow human beings is truly beautiful.

Some – after hearing Stevie Wonder’s message, and “seeing” where he was coming from when he created it – may feel sufficiently moved to act in preventing escalation of violence in Syria, Yemen, the Middle East and everywhere on Earth. If so, and American, call the United States congressional switchboard below and talk to or message your representative and Senators. Send a message to representatives and Senators in neighboring states as well. Or… if moved greatly act by leaving your message in all 50 states.

U.S. Congressional switchboard phone #: 202-224-3121

Thank you.

World peace is possible.

***

(Post #1,000)

(From Stevie Wonder’s 1976 masterpiece: “Songs In the Key of Life”)

Love’s In Need of Love Today

Good morn’ or evening friends, here’s your friendly announcer
I have serious news to pass on to everybody
What I’m about to say could mean the world’s disaster
Could change your joy and laughter to tears and pain

It’s that love’s in need of love today
Don’t delay, send yours in right away
Hate’s going around breaking many hearts
Stop it please, before it’s gone too far

The force of evil plans to make you its possession
And it will if we let it destroy everybody
We all must take precautionary measures
If love and peace you treasure, then you’ll hear me when I say

Oh, that love’s in need of love today
Don’t delay send yours in right away
Hate’s going around breaking many hearts
Stop it please, before it’s gone too far

People, you know that love’s in need of love today
Don’t delay send yours in right away
You know that hate’s, hate’s goin’ round breaking many hearts
Stop, stop it please, before it’s gone too far

It’s up to you, cause love’s in need of love today
Don’t delay, send yours in right away
You know that hate’s, hate’s going around
Breaking – hate’s tried to break my heart many times
Don’t – you’ve got to stop it please
Before… before… before…

Love’s in need of love, love today
Don’t delay send yours in right away
You know that hate’s going around, hate’s going around
Hate’s going around and it tried breaking up many hearts

You’ve got to, I’ve got to, they’ve got to
We’ve got to, they’ve got to, we’ve got to stop it before it’s gone too far
Love’s, love’s in need of love
Did you ever think that love would be in need of love today
Don’t delay, send yours in right away

Bring it down a little –  love is very peaceful, so bring it down a little
Love’s in need… of love today

What the world needs now…

Um, L-O-V-E love… Oh, L-O-V-E love

Just give the world love.

(Thank you to Stevie Wonder – Topic at YouTube)

Praying For Time.

By Jerry Alatalo

Alphabet Artist George Michael (1963-2016) wrote “Praying For Time” and performed the song in 2011 at Royal Albert Hall, London.

 

Do you think we have time?
Do you think we have time?

These are the days of the open hand
We will not be the last
Look around now
These are the days of the beggars and the choosers

This is the year of the hungry man
Whose place is in the past
Hand in hand with ignorance
And legitimate excuses

The rich declare themselves poor
And most of us are not sure
If we have too much
But we’ll take our chances
[*1] I sang twenty years and a day
But nothing changed
The human race found some other god
And walked into the flames

[*1 Original lyrics:
‘Cause God stopped keeping score
I guess somewhere along the way
He must have let us all out to play
Turned his back, and all God’s children crept out the back door]

And it’s hard to love, there’s so much to hate
Hanging on to hope
When there is no hope to speak of
And the wounded skies above say it’s much too late
Then maybe we should all be praying for time

Do you think we have time?
Do you think we have time?

These are the days of the empty hand
Oh you hold on to what you can
And charity is a coat you wear twice a year

This is the year of the guilty man
Your television takes a stand
And you find that what was over there is over here

So you scream from behind your door
Say “what’s mine is mine and not yours”
I may have too much but I’ll take my chances
[*2] I sang twenty years and a day
But nothing changed
The human race found some other god
And walked into the flames

[*2 Original lyrics:
‘Cause God stopped keeping score
You cling to the things they sold you
Did you cover your eyes when they told you
That he can’t come back
‘Cause he has no children to come back for]

It’s hard to love, Jesus there’s so much to hate
Hanging on to hope when there is no hope to speak of
And the wounded skies above say it’s much too late
So maybe we should all be praying for time

Do you think we have time?
Do you think we have time?
Lord, give us time…

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(Thank you to James Anderson at YouTube)