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Realization of Impersonal God. Options
Rajorshe Mistry
Posted: Sunday, November 23, 2014 9:03:53 AM

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Question : "Sir, is there no spiritual discipline leading to realization of the Impersonal God?"
Sri Ramakrishna : "Yes, there is. But the path is extremely difficult. After intense austerities the rishis of olden times realized God as their innermost consciousness and experienced the real nature of Brahman. But how hard they had to work! They went out of their dwellings in the early morning and all day practised austerities and meditation. Returning home at nightfall, they took a light supper of fruit and roots.

"But an aspirant cannot succeed in this form of spiritual discipline if his mind is stained with worldliness even in the slightest degree. The mind must withdraw totally from all objects of form, taste, smell, touch, and sound. Only thus does it become pure. The Pure Mind is the same as the Pure Atman. But such a mind must be altogether free from 'woman and gold'. When it becomes pure, one has another experience. One realizes: 'God alone is the Doer, and I am His instrument.' One does not feel oneself to be absolutely necessary to others either in their misery or in their happiness.

"Once a wicked man beat into unconsciousness a monk who lived in a monastery. On regaining consciousness he was asked by his friends, 'Who is feeding you milk?' The monk said, 'He who beat me is now feeding me.'"

M : "Yes, sir. I know that story."
Sri Ramakrishna : "It is not enough to know it. One must assimilate its meaning. It is the thought of worldly objects that prevents the mind from going into samadhi. One becomes established in samadhi when one is completely rid of worldliness. It is possible for me to give up the body in samadhi; but I have a slight desire to enjoy the love of God and the company of His devotees. Therefore I pay a little attention to my body.

"There is another kind of samadhi, called unmana samadhi. One attains it by suddenly gathering the dispersed mind. You understand what that is, don't you?"
Miriam...
Posted: Sunday, November 23, 2014 9:27:58 AM

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To Rajorshe: I am grateful for your postings this morning. Please continue posting them, for I find great peace when I read them. Miriam.
FounDit
Posted: Sunday, November 23, 2014 9:40:39 AM

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If you want to preach, we have a section for religious beliefs: Religion and Philosophy. English Vocabulary is not the place to post these ideas.
Epiphileon
Posted: Sunday, November 23, 2014 10:37:12 AM

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From a vocabulary perspective, would not "impersonal god" be an oxymoron? Does not "god" imply identity and therefore personality? "The Force" of the Jedi is what I'd think of as an impersonal supernaturalism to base a religion on. Are there impersonal gods in any human religion? This has been a question I've wondered about before but, never compelling enough to look into.
Perhaps admin will move the thread to P&R
Barnacle Barney Bill
Posted: Sunday, November 23, 2014 11:13:44 AM

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Hi FounDit, I am fairly new to this forum. What I have noticed is that any topic seems acceptable. Topics range from apparitions to zombies with anything in between. Some use this forum to advance their own political or religious agenda. Some of it is, well, let's say, whats a good word, "interesting"? Life is good, BBB
Alice M Toaster
Posted: Sunday, November 23, 2014 12:32:41 PM

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OK, BBB, but this posting isn't an English Vocabulary topic. It would be more appropriate in Philosophy & Religion.
Romany
Posted: Sunday, November 23, 2014 12:32:43 PM
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BBB,

this is a strange time for TFD - just as we've had a sudden influx of members in the past year, so has the Administration seemed to have taken a back seat.

If you look back over older threads you'll find posts getting moved regularly, and Administrators intervening when members break the rules or make mistakes.

Some of the Advanced Members for a time would step in when rules were being broken or posts going into the wrong places. Some of us still do, from time to time. But we have come in from a lot of flack from other newer members for doing this. And I suppose it does make us look like busy-bodies to them.

Maybe the real Admin left and there's only a kind of Wizard of Oz at the helm?
Barnacle Barney Bill
Posted: Sunday, November 23, 2014 1:41:02 PM

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Alice and Romany, you comments are well taken. I also have been guilty of posting off topic on ELF. Being a newbie, I assumed it was the norm. Do you think the TFD staff has become more lenient to attract more members? If that is the case, perhaps they could create a front page open forum for those members.
CatCat
Posted: Sunday, November 23, 2014 2:22:47 PM

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Romany, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! :)
elle16
Posted: Sunday, November 23, 2014 2:53:47 PM
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People are getting bent out of shape over what someone wrote? It's not for an English forum, stay on topic, blah blah blah blah blah. Give people a break, if you don't like it skip over it. This isn't Communism.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Sunday, November 23, 2014 3:16:49 PM

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Some interesting questions here (as well as the original post!)

The 'admins' have expanded in ranks - one just arrived last month and three new ones started at the end of 2013 (around the time that the forum changed direction). However, the 'old-timers' (nothing to do with actual age), like nnorlen and GoldmanM are still around, and reply to PMs.

It looks like most of the admins have the weekend off - there are only three of them who have visited the site since Friday (and one of those is cheshirecat, who has never posted a post).

As Romany says, it did used to be that the Grammar and Vocabulary forums were totally free of "political and religious agenda", and if someone did post a religious or political statement, it was fairly rapidly moved to the correct forum.

*************
Hello Epi - from a vocabulary viewpoint, I had a different idea of the meaning of 'personal' or 'impersonal'.
I thought a 'personal' god would be, as some Christians (and others) believe, a god who took note of the personal minute actions and troubles of each person individually.
- Concerning a particular person and his or her private business, interests, or activities; intimate:

To me, an 'impersonal god' might have an individuality, but would not take notice of each individual (like the old Greek gods, who ignored most people completely) - or might be 'the Force' type of thing, without an individuality.

**************
Though I may not agree in full with what Sri Ramakrishna says here, I do find the message of hope and possibility to be highly acceptable (I'm not too sure about the 'austerity' bit, though).
scypek
Posted: Sunday, November 23, 2014 3:27:26 PM
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elle16 wrote:
People are getting bent out of shape over what someone wrote? It's not for an English forum, stay on topic, blah blah blah blah blah. Give people a break, if you don't like it skip over it. This isn't Communism.


Communism is a system, where the ruling party personalized in the person of the first secretary do whatever they please, and whenever they find it fit. In contrast, democracy is the system where the law and regulation rule. So, are we in communism or are we for democracy, meaning if this forum is about English language, so everybody in general should stick with the subject?
Peter O'Connor - Dundalk
Posted: Sunday, November 23, 2014 3:42:20 PM

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Applause
Barnacle Barney Bill wrote:
Hi FounDit, I am fairly new to this forum. What I have noticed is that any topic seems acceptable. Topics range from apparitions to zombies with anything in between. Some use this forum to advance their own political or religious agenda. Some of it is, well, let's say, whats a good word, "interesting"? Life is good, BBB
FounDit
Posted: Sunday, November 23, 2014 3:56:57 PM

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I have no problem with what was written. I simply think we should post opinions on various topics in the section set aside for that purpose.

Someone who is interested in grammar or vocabulary would find topics under those headings, while someone who is interested in philosophy and religion, would find topics there. I fail to see why this is difficult to understand, or why anyone would have issue with it...Think


Edit: BTW, I am somewhat suspicious of a swami that chooses a name like Vivecanada. Is that you Excaelis???...Whistle
Empty Seas
Posted: Sunday, November 23, 2014 5:21:05 PM

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Give me strength!
SatiricalStutter
Posted: Sunday, November 23, 2014 5:38:14 PM

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Well, this is my first post so philosophical religion draws me to grammar. (I'm drawn to grammar & philosophy anyway.)

Why would people seek an impersonal God? Or to a personal one?

However, I don't think the term "impersonal god" is an oxymoron.

Oblivion, disinterest or indeed "impersonality" would be God's only defence if called to "order".

Realisation of impersonal god sounds to me like agnosticism accepted by many reasonable adults.

Yet, I'm drawn to this idea of gathering the dispersed mind.

Keep talking - that's my vote.
fireflame
Posted: Sunday, November 23, 2014 7:32:08 PM
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This is very good to hear.
L.Rai
Posted: Sunday, November 23, 2014 8:49:56 PM

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I believe we have topics in order for us to be able to hone in on what we want to read and not have to read everything. It is a good idea for us to stick to posting to assigned topics so the comment that this post should be moved is warranted, otherwise let's can all the topic headings and wade through a swamp of posts until we find what we like. That sounds like a much more productive way to go!

jacobusmaximus
Posted: Monday, November 24, 2014 3:30:07 AM

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Mistry writes - "....Sri Ramakrishna : "It is not enough to know it. One must assimilate its meaning..."

Now there is a lesson for "Christians".
FounDit
Posted: Monday, November 24, 2014 9:34:03 AM

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Drag0nspeaker wrote:


To me, an 'impersonal god' might have an individuality, but would not take notice of each individual (like the old Greek gods, who ignored most people completely) - or might be 'the Force' type of thing, without an individuality.


And it seems to me that the preponderance of religions of that time were of that type. I think Christianity was probably the first to bring God down to the personal level, so the individual could relate.

This is likely why it became so popular, and widespread. All the religions invented after that, jealous of its success, have been an attempt to imitate it.
Rajorshe Mistry
Posted: Monday, November 24, 2014 10:45:27 AM

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Dear FounDit,

It’s good to read yours and inner views of many others. I admit that this post doesn’t pertains to he right section. For which, I will keep in mind while posting further topics only to the respective sections. But, I found something you have written, which I don’t concur with your views.

You wrote - "All the religions invented after that, jealous of its success, have been an attempt to imitate it."

In this context, I would like to say that, every religion has its own greatness. Please don’t belittle others.

As said by Dr. Bill Crawford

“I love the way this "little" quote cuts right to the heart of the issue of criticism., especially the sort of criticism that is really about putting down, or belittling others. The wisdom in this quote is that when someone "belittles" another, the act is really more information about the criticizer than the criticizee. It says that the person who is belittling others is actually demonstrating a lack of (or a "little" amount of) many things.”

In a letter written by Swami Vivekanda to Sister Nivedita (Margaret Elizabeth Noble – one f his greatest disciple), dated 25 August 1900, he mentioned -

Avoid jealousy and selfishness. Be obedient and eternally faithful to the cause of truth, and humanity; and you will move the world. Remember it is the person, the life, which is the secret of power — nothing else. For ages we have been saturated with awful jealousy; we are always getting jealous of each other. Why has this man a little precedence, and not I? Even in the worship of God we want precedence, to such a state of slavery have we come. This is to be avoided. If there is any crying sin in India at this time it is this slavery. Everyone wants to command, and no one wants to obey. First, learn to obey. The command will come by itself. Always first learn to be a servant, and then you will be fit to be a master. Avoid this jealousy and you will do great works that have yet to be done. Our ancestors did most wonderful works, and we look back upon their work with veneration and pride. But we also are going to do great deeds, and let others look back with blessings and pride upon us as their ancestors.
Brother, we can get rid of everything, but not of that cursed jealousy. That is a sin with us, speaking ill of others, and burning at heart at the greatness of others. Mine alone is the greatness, none else should rise to it!!
Give up jealousy and conceit. Learn to work united for others. Hold on with faith and strength; be true, be honest, be pure, and don't quarrel among yourselves. Jealousy is the bane of human race. How difficult it is to look through each other's eyes and that is the bane of humanity. That is the basis of hatred and jealousy, of quarrel and of fight. Ignorance, fickleness, jealousy, laziness, and excessive attachment are the great enemies to success. It is absolutely necessary to the work that I should have the enthusiastic love of as many as possible, while I myself remain entirely impersonal. Otherwise jealousy and quarrels would break up everything. Jealousy is a vice necessarily generated in slaves. Try to free your mind from jealousy. Jealousy is the root of all evil, and a most difficult thing to conquer. Let us wipe off first that mark which nature always puts on the forehead of a slave — the stain of jealousy. Be jealous of none. Be ready to lend a hand to every worker of good. Send a good thought for every being in the three worlds. Test your love and humility. That man is not humble or loving who is jealous. Jealousy is a terrible, horrible sin; it enters a man so mysteriously. Ask yourself, does your mind react in hatred or jealousy? Good works are continually being undone by the tons of hatred and anger which are being poured out on the world. If you are pure, if you are strong, you, one man, are equal to the whole world. The view of the absolute separation of good and evil, two cut and dried and separate existences, makes us brutes of unsympathetic hearts. The good woman jumps aside from the streetwalker. Why? She may be infinitely better than you in some respects. This view brings eternal jealousy and hatred in the world, eternal barrier between man and man, between the good man and the comparatively less good or evil man. Such brutal view is pure evil, more evil than evil itself. Good and evil are not separate existences, but there is an evolution of good, and what is less good we call evil. Throw overboard all idea of jealousy and egotism, once for all. Come on to the practical field with tremendous energy; to work, in the fullness of strength! Well, do you consider yourselves as men? You have got only a bit of rationality -- that's all. How will you struggle with the mind unless the physique be strong? Do you deserve to be called men any longer -- the highest evolution in the world? What have you got besides eating, sleeping, and satisfying the creature - comforts? Thank your stars that you have not developed into quadrupeds yet! You are but standing witnesses to the lowest class of insect - like existence of which the scripture speaks, that they simply undergo the round of births and deaths without being allowed to go to any of the higher spheres! Leave aside theories and all that. Just reflect calmly on your own everyday acts and dealings with others and find out whether you are not a species of beings intermediate between the animal and human planes of existence! First build up your own physique. Then only you can get control over the mind. You are all of infinite strength — how long does it take you to keep off petty jealousy or egoistic ideas! The moment such propensity comes, resign yourselves to the Lord! Just make over your body and mind to His work, and all troubles will be at an end forever. You must know once for all, I am born without jealousy, without avarice, without the desire to rule — whatever other vices I am born with.

FounDit
Posted: Monday, November 24, 2014 12:38:57 PM

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Rajorshe Mistry

There is no belittlement intended, or proposed, in what I wrote. I stated what appears to me to be fact, and offered my opinion on those facts.

But perhaps an examination would clarify these things. Does Swami Vivekanda wish to bring his message to individuals? Would he be happy to see individuals accept his teachings? Would this not be a duplication of what Jesus, and by extension, Christianity did, and daily desires to do? And is this not exactly what I said was being done by all religions today?

If you say that both the Swami and Jesus did none of these things, then I would be in the wrong, and you might have a basis for characterizing my words as belittlement. If, however, I am correct, and you agree with my statements, then I believe you would have to agree also, that you have misunderstood my comments.

Rajorshe Mistry
Posted: Tuesday, November 25, 2014 12:44:30 AM

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FounDit,

Here is your answers to your questions and few more information for you.


Your Q1: Does Swami Vivekanda wish to bring his message to individuals?
Ans: Yes

Your Q2: Would he be happy to see individuals accept his teachings?
Ans: Yes

Your Q3: Would this not be a duplication of what Jesus, and by extension, Christianity did, and daily desires to do?
Ans: NO

Your Q4: And is this not exactly what I said was being done by all religions today?
Ans: NO

And for your information, Indus Valley Civilisation and Vedic period is commenced since c. 3000 BCE. Hinduism and its religious cultures Formed in c. 2000 B.C.E with the sacred texts as Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Epics.
Swami Vivekananda represented India and Hinduism at the Parliament of the World's Religions (1893). This was the first World's Parliament of Religions and it was held from 11 to 27 September 1893.

The only "DUPLICATION" (as you said “jealous of its success, have been an attempt to imitate it”) is spreading LOVE among all. I think the motto of every religion to focus on LOVE and free one’s mind from evils like jealousy, hatred etc etc etc. In few books like Purgatory, The Divine Comedy, dictionary of Catholicism etc. there are 7 sins mentioned as Pride, Lust, Envy, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth & Wrath. But, what is the ultimate idea?? LOVE alone can conquer all these evils. So, focus on love and learn to accept facts. Ask your inner self. You know the answers to your questions. Because, everyone of us have had already walked for thousands of years on earth. The words you pick, are from your thoughts. they will eventually be your actions. We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.
FounDit
Posted: Tuesday, November 25, 2014 10:20:12 AM

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Apparently you missed the part where I referred to "All the religions invented after that that...(Christianity)". But I'll leave it there.
Rajorshe Mistry
Posted: Wednesday, November 26, 2014 3:53:31 AM

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FounDit wrote:
Apparently you missed the part where I referred to "All the religions invented after that that...(Christianity)". But I'll leave it there.


You must leave it there because you need to do more research on such topics...I think you know what BCE stands for ...And Hinduism, as I mentioned, was founded around 2000 BCE... Angel
Dreamy
Posted: Thursday, November 27, 2014 1:24:10 AM

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Rajorshe Mistry wrote:
FounDit wrote:
Apparently you missed the part where I referred to "All the religions invented after that that...(Christianity)". But I'll leave it there.


You must leave it there because you need to do more research on such topics...I think you know what BCE stands for ...And Hinduism, as I mentioned, was founded around 2000 BCE... Angel


(Joh 8:54) Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God:

(Joh 8:55) Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.

(Joh 8:56) Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

(Joh 8:57) Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?

(Joh 8:58) Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

(Joh 8:59) Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.


JFB Commentary wrote:
Before Abraham was, I am — The words rendered “was” and “am” are quite different. The one clause means, “Abraham was brought into being”; the other, “I exist.”

The statement therefore is not that Christ came into existence before Abraham did (as Arians affirm is the meaning), but that He never came into being at all, but existed before Abraham had a being; in other words, existed before creation, or eternally (as Joh_1:1). In that sense the Jews plainly understood Him, since “then took they up stones to cast at Him,” just as they had before done when they saw that He made Himself equal with God (Joh_5:18).
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