Titiksha – Forbearance

SADHANA CHATUSHTAYA BY SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA (MESSAGE 6)

From: “swamisuryadevananda” <swamisuryadevananda@yahoo.com>

Section 4, `Titiksha’ now continues.

“This is true Titiksha based on knowledge. The practitioner can endure any kind of difficulty or catastrophe. He is not shaken even by shocking news of heavy sorrow. He is superior to physical Titikshus who have trained themselves by physical torture, because the latter ones will show signs of failure when confronted by serious disasters. A Titikshu who has developed his Titiksha through knowledge is the King of all Titikshus.

Endurance is the state of enduring or bearing. It is suffering patiently without sinking or yielding to the pressure, without resistance.

Endurance is the capacity or power to endure without opposition. It is ability to suffer pain, distress, hardship, or any very prolonged stress without succumbing or murmuring or complaining, lamenting or repining. It is patient fortitude. It is the ability to bear and continue in spite of destructive forces.

To endure is to bear, with strain and resistance, with conscious power. To brook is quietly to put up with provocation or insult.

He who endures conquers. Through endurance, willpower and patience are developed. Through endurance, evils and difficulties are overcome.

Your strength often increases in proportion to the obstacles imposed upon you. Endure them bravely.

Difficulties and troubles, adversities and calamities have often built the character of men.

The palm-tree grows best beneath a ponderous weight, and even so the character of man.

The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it. Skilful pilots become famous from storms and tempests.

Through endurance, you exhibit your divine grandeur and make alliance with God.

This body is your instrument but is not your Self. Titiksha (forbearance) develops your will-power. It is one of the qualifications of an aspirant in the path of Jnana. It brings happiness herein and hereafter. But it has one defect. People misconstrue those who practise forbearance for impotent, effeminate men.

Bear with joy whatever amount of pain or trouble men may give you.

Samaduhkhasukham dheeram sah amritatvaya kalpate.

He who has the power of endurance, who is balanced in pleasure and pain, steadfast, is fit for immortality. (Gita, II-15).

Mowni Baba is a great Titikshu. He is a Vairagi. He lives in a forest two miles from Chitrakut. He stands in the terribly hot sun in summer from 8 o’clock in the morning till sunset. Whit a wonderful power of endurance the saint has! Remarkable, indeed!

Occasionally walk bare-footed in the compound of your house. Train the body for physical labour. You should not be entirely dependent upon the servants. Wash all your clothes and understand the dignity of labour. Take medicine only when there is absolute necessary. Gradually develop your power of endurance.

Increase by all means your power of endurance—bearing heat and cold, pain, hunger, etc.

Power of endurance is a virtue to be possessed by a Yogi, a Jnani and a Bhakta. Many hardships and privations have to be faced by the students in the successful performance of Yoga. Titiksha develops will-power.

The weak man emerges as a strong and sublime man from terrible trials and adversities. Trial is a crucible into which nature throws a man whenever she wishes to mould him into a superman. Therefore do not be afraid of troubles and adversities. They are blessings in disguise.

Titiksha is a condition of wisdom. It is a means for acquiring knowledge. Some saints make Titiksha as the goal of life. Till the end of life they stand on one leg in cold water in winter and in the hot sun in summer. Titiksha by itself may not be able to secure the highest human end.

Titiksha is a means to an end. Some devote their whole life – in standing in the sun and cold, giving up blankets, etc. They forget and miss the goal. The goal is Jnana. A man of strong will-power need not practise any kind of Titiksha at all. He can at once do any kind of rigid Tapas at his will. Don’t spoil your health in the name of Tapas. Use your common sense. Lead a simple and natural life.

Be calm, serene and poised always. Practise this. Never get excited or nervous. Stand as firm as a rock. Be composed and unruffled. Never become impatient. When you are calm, you can get help and strength from within. The divine energy will flow unto you. When you are calm and tranquil, you can hear the still inner voice.

Study the psychology of men. Analyse human nature. When you move with different minds, adjust yourself well. Have perfect adaptability. Develop tolerance. Then only you can be happy.

Wherever you go, you carry your own mind, Vasanas and Samskaras with you. Raga-Dwesha is everywhere, even in the caves of the Himalayas. Create your own world and environments from within. Then alone you can be happy anywhere and under any circumstances.

The best of all virtues is even-mindedness. Therefore develop this virtue with patience and perseverance. Other virtues will cling to you by themselves.

Adjust yourself to the temperaments and mentality of others with whom you mix. This is the secret of happiness. Bear difficulties patiently. Adjust the mind to all circumstances and places. Then only you can be really strong.

That Yogic student who tries to evolve amidst trying conditions, temptations, and unfavourable circumstances will become adamantine. He will become very powerful. Mother Prakriti knows fully well how to train and mould her children. Therefore, don’t murmur. Don’t grumble. Keep your mind cool at all times under all conditions.

If you are impartial, if you are master of your senses, if your mind is unruffled, in the midst of unending troubles, difficulties, sickness, and festivities, if you neither desire nor renounce any object, you are in possession of tranquillity. Truth will dawn by itself in the tranquil mind only. Therefore, cultivate this virtue by all means.

Failure is only the pillar of success. Do not be discouraged by failure. Gird up the loins. Stand up. Be bold. Face difficulties. Overcome them one by one.

Do not become despondent on any account. Walk like a spiritual lion. Overcome difficulties one by one. Be not afraid of public criticism. People are still abusing Lord Mahadeva, Sri Sankaracharya, Lord Krishna and Lord Rama. They will continue to do so from eternity to eternity. The world abounds with Tamasic people. Sattwic people are very rare. Discipline your mind. Stand adamantine under all conditions and at all times. Keep a cool balanced mind. This is the highest Jnana. Now stand up. Gird up the loins and fight with the Indriyas and mind. Serve the world with redoubled force and energy. May you prosper gloriously. May you attain the state of Kaivalya.

Are you Atma or mind or body? Even though you have read my writings 100 times, you identify yourself with mind and body and lose the balance of mind when a trifling criticism is made. So strong is your egoism. People can criticise your body and mind. You yourself dislike your body and mind. Those who criticise your body and mind become your friends. Then why do you get agitated, my dear Krishna? You are still weak. You have not grown spiritually. Ignore criticism. Why do you brood over past events? This is a very bad habit. You can’t have peace of mind. Rise above criticisms and petty remarks. Stand firm like that yonder rock. Become adamantine. Do good to those men who attempt to poison or hurt you. Put this in practice.

You should try to love all, even your worst enemy who wants to destroy you, who is planning to poison you, who is dragging the sword to chop off your head. This is of course, difficult, but you will have to practice this if you really want spiritual growth and salvation. This is real Sannyasa. Real Sannyasi is one who feels that he has no body. You should live, work and meditate amidst people who are aiming at your destruction and amidst worst unfavourable surroundings. Then only you can grow spiritually. Then only you can have the unruffled mind of a sage. This method is doubtless difficult but it will make one really adamantine.

It is a great loss for you to leave the public service because some jealous persons attempted to vilify and injure you when you would have to face various sorts of bitter experiences. Your spiritual growth will be terribly retarded. You must have moral strength and moral courage to face public criticism, harsh remarks and persecution. Your suffering is nothing when compared with the persecutions underwent by Sri Rama and the five Pandavas. Show your manliness, moral courage and spiritual strength now. The inner strength that you obtained by meditation during these six years is tested now. Had you really done sincere meditation, you ought to have abundant strength now to face these difficulties with a smile. If you have no strength, it shows that there has been some error in meditation. Real meditation gives immense inner strength.

Do not be afraid of insult, disrespect, dishonour, abuse or harsh words. Wear them as ornaments on your body.

Many worry themselves a lot if they hear a little scandal about themselves. Don’t be afraid, these are vain sounds. They are vibrations in the air. These are nothing. What is mocking? What is scandal? Analyse these. Do Vichar. They will dwindle into airy nothing. Allow scandals to enter through one ear and pass immediately through the other ear. You are the immortal Atma where there is no sound (Asabda). Nothing can affect you. You are invulnerable.”

“Nothing Exists That Is Not Consciousness”

“Because there are laws such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going.” 
~ Stephen Hawking

This statement bears repeating, as its ramifications are so profound and far-reaching that we feel it must be addressed in the worldwide forum of philosophical discourse.

“It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going.”

May we respectfully submit that, when any of us use a global platform to present ideas and opinions with such consequential import, it does become incumbent upon us to defend those hypotheses in the court of public debate.  The internet is, after all, a place that is visited by everyone, especially the youth of the world.  They often look to the authorities and experts of the planet to receive wisdom and guidance about the true order of things.  Therefore, we begin this debate by asking the following rather provocative question.

Has common sense, as well as the ability to utilize the human faculty of reason, completely fled from some of those who people the highest echelons of scientific inquiry?

When Stephen Hawking uttered these words during an appearance in an on-line video about his new book — The Grand Design — he made a fatal and obvious error in pleading this extremely tenuous and quite indefensible case.

 Stephen tells us that “… the universe can and will create itself from nothing.”

We have no quarrel that something was created from nothing, except that “the nothing” is perhaps an infinite void of Consciousness, which is actually far, far from nothing.

We are compelled to ask who or what created “the nothing” that is doing the creating?!

Furthermore, we might ask what or who is doing the willing that is quite necessary for the creating from nothing?

Has Stephen now conferred the powers of creation on Creation itself, without the agency of a Creator?  This faulty reasoning represents a much greater collapse in humankind’s capacity to utilize its God-given faculty of reason.  Which is, by the way, also responsible for the ongoing collapse of modern society, as well as the whole of Western Civilization.

Now we do see that Stephen has given us a GREAT teaching moment here.  God often does create little dramas in order to draw in a grand audience who will be duly informed by the global discussion that one of his little creations (that would be Stephen Hawking) has helped co-create.  Thank you, Stephen Hawking!

There are, incidentally, a few layers in this line of inquiry that ought to be properly unpacked if the right conclusions and true order of things are to be revealed.

Stephen makes direct reference to a universe.  Who or What created the universe?

Let’s back up and first ask from where did the agency of creation which created the universe come.

In other words, who, pray tell, created the Creator?

Even the most simple and child-like among us know that there is a Creator.

What most fail to contemplate, however, is who or what created the Creator.

Asked another way, “From where did the ground of being come – the ground upon which the Creator could create and the created could exist?”

Since there are many levels of creative agency going all the way back to the Prime Mover (the CREATOR of  all  Creators)  we can quite safely assume that all and everything in the universe is made of the very same stuff of creation.

Shall we call it Consciousness?

Nothing exists that is not Consciousness.”

Even the hardcore scientists among us now admit that all of Creation flows from a primordial wellspring of cosmic energy (aka consciousness) in the form of so many newly emerging energies and forces, particles and matter performing a veritable “play of consciousness”.

Let’s make this our point of departure, as we collaboratively co-create a comprehensible theory of Cosmogony of Creation — one that even Stephen Hawking can understand.

In the meantime he, and we, can enjoy the visual contemplation known as the E8 Diagram.  This diagram has been represented by some as a mathematical blueprint for the known universe.  Each line, color, angle, etc., taken in the aggregate, portrays every known force and particle in Creation.  The relationships between each force and every other force, between each particle and every other particle, between each force to every particle, and each particle to every force are now quite exquisitely delineated on the worldwide web.

The E8 diagram may just elegantly illustrate the awesome beauty and perfect order and phantasmagoric wonder with which the Creator has imbued His/Her Creation.

E8 Diagram -- Click to enlarge

Surfer dude stuns physicists with theory of everything

The Primordial CREATOR of Creation (aka GOD) has just prompted us to make one more observation before we conclude this blog.

Although we are far from proving our central thesis, one point has been made quite conclusively.  Stephen’s statement that, “It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going” will bump up against evidence provided by  many of his peer scientists, which points directly to something way beyond all the forces, and particles, and energies and multifarious forms of matter. Quantum physics itself, as well as the current form of the “Grand Unified Theory”, beg for a true understanding of the very backdrop of the cosmic stage of existence.

Some existential philosophers refer to Consciousness as the very ground of being.  The theoretical physicists have identified it as the substratum from which the universe has emerged.  The artists among us call it the canvass upon which the mosaic of creation has been painted.  Others, like the ‘weavers’, refers to Consciousness as the underlying fabric of the cosmos into which the tapestry of Creation has been woven.

As we telescope back in time and through space, we find the wisdom of the rishis — the sages and seers of ancient India — to be especially perceptive and descriptive, and as accurate as words can possibly be.  They call it Brahman, the Absolute, and consider Consciousness to be the Ultimate Reality.

“He is the Supreme Brahman, the Self of all, the chief foundation of this
world, subtler than the subtle, eternal. That thou art; thou art That.”

~ Atharva Veda

In the same spiritual tradition, a great Siddha Master has written these words:

“The Self is called satchidananda – absolute existence, consciousness, and bliss.  
It is the Supreme Truth.”

~ Swami Muktananda

By the way, we often hear that the estimated age of the universe is 13.75 billions years, and that it has been rapidly expanding in all directions since the Big Bang (aka the Primordial Spanda).

Therefore, we think that the ultimate ontological question might be, “What in God’s Good Name is the universe expanding within, if not within Consciousness itself?”