Saturday, August 21, 2004

Changing Our Reality - humor

Everywhere you go, it seems, you hear people complaining about their reality. I say if you don't like the current programming, step out from behind the remote. It's time to change the channel and tell a vision. Instead of being just another divisionary taking sides on the latest televised drama, become a visionary who uses the spectacle to help us all see more clearly. If enough of us do this, even the mainstream media will have to replace its commentators with uncommontaters who have an alter native vision. --Swami Beyondananda

Humor is our final deliverance. You have to take yourself lightly, so others don't feel your burden. - Sri

Yoga Journal: Ahimsa on self

Reflection: Yoga Dos and Don'ts


Yoga is more than just a physical practice. It is also an ethical code that guides us in every aspect of our lives.

So even on days when there is no time to do poses, you can still practice yoga by using its principles to guide you in daily life. Known as "yamas" (or don'ts) and "niyamas" (or "dos)" these "10 Commandments of Yoga" are guidelines for moral conduct outlined by Patanjali, a yoga sage who is thought to have lived in the second century BCE.

The first "don't" is ahimsa, which is translated as "non-harming," but means more than just refraining from physical violence. It also refers to avoiding emotional violence through unkind words, criticism, and judgment. Practice ahimsa by holding your tongue when you feel yourself about to say something unkind.

Ahimsa is also a practice we should apply to ourselves. So often we feel the need to inflict violence through self-criticism. When we practice ahimsa, we avoid violence not only to others but also to ourselves, because all of these principles start from within.

Give it a try—see if you can get through one entire day without a negative thought about yourself.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Hungry world 'must eat less meat'

Hungry world 'must eat less meat'

:

"The World Water Week in Stockholm will be told the growth in demand for meat and dairy products is unsustainable.

Animals need much more water than grain to produce the same amount of food, and ending malnutrition and feeding even more mouths will take still more water.

Scientists say the world will have to change its consumption patterns to have any realistic hope of feeding itself."

Let us review our habits in the light of this - Sri

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

ML King: .My Pilgrimage to Nonviolence

My Pilgrimage to Nonviolence

:

"Prior to reading Gandhi, I had about concluded that the ethics of Jesus were only effective in individual relationship. The 'turn the other cheek' philosophy and the 'love your enemies' philosophy were only valid, I felt, when individuals were in conflict with other individuals; when racial groups and nations were in conflict a more realistic approach seemed necessary. But after reading Gandhi, I saw how utterly mistaken I was."

We need to journal our own journeys (pilgrimage) to nonviolence. - Sri

Monday, August 16, 2004

Ganoba explains thought process

Ganoba just sent something that I find very unique - have not seen it anywhere else yet - truly fascinating. Cognitivists among us should look at this and see how this maps to our western understanding of the thought process.

Sri
PS:Shariq, this is very spooky - I just had a dinner conversation on this topic - about the fifth time Ganoba is spooking me.


Location of Thought

Information is available in books, in libraries, in cassettes, in digital form, on the Internet. These locations are outside us and are subject to decay. Thought, which is universal and perennial, resides in four locations within. This is the amazing discovery of our sages. It can be verified by anyone who begins the process of looking inwards.

The character of the thought appears to change with its location. Our level of awareness and correspondingly our ability to use it also depends on the location. The location of thought is not fixed. It changes over time. It can also be changed by conscious effort. It is thus worthwhile to study this aspect of thought

There is a distinction between information, an idea and thought. Information is bits and pieces of data. It is very local and short lived. When information is put together, we begin to see a pattern and meaning(s) emerges. This is like a seed with the possibility of germinating into something manifest. When an idea begins to surge
with action possibility it becomes a thought. It is an inherent quality of thought to express itself. If it is not expressed for whatever reason it causes restlessness. We have all experienced this stifling restlessness at some time or the other. No wonder we place so much emphasis on freedom of expression.

These four locations are called; "Para, Pashchanti, Madhyama and Vaikhari". I have not come across this concept in any other tradition and hence do not know the equivalent words in any other language.
Para is deep inside the mind. We are usually not aware of it. It is the storehouse of all the wisdom that is there in the universe, which is called Brahma Vidya in Sanskrit. It can be reached and accessed by deep spiritual sadhana. Our sages and saints have followed and continue to follow this path to come to know the mysteries of creation. Some of us, some times receive messages from this location. We call these insights or flashes of intuition. Most of us do not have any conscious control over this process. Hanuman is often shown baring his chest and in there we see Ram, This is an artistic representation of Parashakti. Thought and Power (shakti) are
synonymous at this location.

Paschanti is in the inner mind, the antarman in Sanskrit. The equivalent word in English would be "back of the mind". All the music of a singer is stored here. One little cue and the lyrics, the music, the gesture will all pour out. All relevant information associated with that one song would also come gushing out. Orators, scholars, artists who perform spontaneously (it is also called extempore) use this location to store all information and have a way of accessing it. This location is activated by a regular and devoted practice. In India we call it riyaz. This is very nearly a spiritual practice.

That is why most performing artists are almost saint-like. Sometimes we must have found ourselves humming a tune, without quite being aware of it. If we try to remove the tune from our lips it does not easily go away. Almost all of us begin to sing while taking a shower. Again we are not quite aware of it. All these are coming from the Paschanti location. This is a very important location for all practical purpose. Usually it is not under our conscious control. All the efforts to bring it under our conscious control are worthwhile. They lead to higher levels of achievement. They elevate a talented perform to the level of a sensitive coach, a teacher, a facilitator, a Guru.

Madhyama, the top of the mind location is available to most of us, except those who are inhibited. Most of us know what is on top of our mind and are able to express it. Those who are inhibited either do not know what is on top of their mind including knowing it partly or having doubts about it) or are afraid to express it. Vaikhari is the location at which the process of sharing with others begins. This is
the culmination of the process of expression. In visual expression it is the face, hand gestures or body postures, which come into play. In oral expression the throat and the tongue play a significant part. The inner equipment is our self-image. If we have a clear self-image all these processes go on smoothly and gracefully.

Vaikhari is also the location where all practices for bringing about a change, an improvement begin. So knowing about it is of vital importance. When a person begins to express what is on top of his/her mind (can he/she express anything else) the process of empowerment begins. All this is to be done with awareness, mindfully.
Then only it will be available to us when we need it. A practice without understanding, without mindfulness is a mere ritual. It will produce mindlessness and robotic behavior, based on the rule, "as the seed, so the plant." Chanting or "Jap" is an important corrective practice. This also includes what we choose to listen to regularly. All of us chant and perform rituals. They are mindless acts. Nevertheless they follow the natural law and get coded in various locations. They get expressed when the appropriate cue happens. What is likely to be your reaction if you slip and fall or bump against an object? Would you say, "Jesus" or "damn you" will depend on what is coded inside. That is why adversity is seen as a test of the character of a person. The truth comes out when an event happens suddenly.

I have done a lot of work in this area. The sensibility behind many practices adopted by personal growth trainers and facilitators, which appear shocking at a casual glance, have become clear to me. I have also understood the significance and importance of many a spiritual practice. This has helped me to practice them diligently. The result is like a cascade of bounties. I am willing to share these with anyone who is really interested. Let us go on this Yatra (pilgrimage)
together.

Offered in love by

Ganoba Date website: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ganobadate

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Statement of His Holiness The Dalai Lama

43rd Anniversary of The Tibetan National Uprising Day
We need to research, develop and teach this spirit of non-violence and invest in these efforts as much resources as we do for military defence.

Read the full article for a "problem statement". - Sri

Ahimsa - in Jainism

Ahimsa - Article by Satish Kumar

Ahimsa (nonviolence)



Mahavir said that nonviolence must begin in the mind. Unless the mind is compassionate, nonviolence is not possible. Unless one is at ease in the inner world, one cannot practise nonviolence in the external world. If the mind is condemning other people yet the tongue speaks sweet words, then that is not nonviolence. The seeds of nonviolence live within the inner consciousness. Keeping consciousness pure is therefore an essential part of Jain nonviolence. Pure consciousness means consciousness that is uncorrupted, uncontaminated and undiluted with the desire to control others.

Why are we violent? Jains would answer that it is because people wish to control others. People say: "We own everything here. This world is for our benefit." Those who eat meat say: "Animals and fish are there for our food." Everything is for us and we are the masters of nature. This is the violence of the mind, which leads to physical violence.

Mahavir saw the world as a sacred place. The birds, the flowers, the butterflies and the trees are sacred; rivers, soil and oceans are sacred. Life as a whole is sacred. All our interactions with other people and with the natural world must be based on this sacred trust, on deep reverence for all life.
Nonviolence of the mind should be translated into nonviolence of speech.

Harmful, harsh, untrue, unnecessary, unpleasant and offensive speech is violence. Skilful use of language is a sacred skill. Mahavir insisted that we must understand others fully before we speak. Language can express only partial truth; therefore nonviolence is an essential guide to our spoken words. In this context Mahavir put a very high value on silence. A Jain monk is called muni, which means 'the silent one'.

Nonviolence of mind and speech leads to the nonviolence of action. Ends cannot justify means. Means must be compatible with ends. Therefore, all human actions must be friendly, compassionate and unaggressive. Do no harm. No ifs and no buts. No compromise. Mahavir's nonviolence is unconditional love to all beings.

Thus nonviolence is the paramount principle of the Jains. All other principles stem from nonviolence. Nonviolence is first and last. Because all life is sacred we may not violate or take advantage of those life forms which may be weaker than ourselves. Ahimsa is much more than "Live and let live": it is "Live and love."

AUM - Its meaning

AUM - Its meaning:

"According to Sri VinobA BhAve, the Latin word Omne and the Sanskrit word Aum are both derived from the same root meaning all and both words convey the concepts of OMniscience, OMnipresence and OMnipotence. "

The letter A symbolises the conscious or waking state (jAgrata-avasthA), the letter U the dream state (svapna-avasthA) and the letter M the dreamless sleep state (sushupta-avasthA) of the mind and
spirit. The entire symbol, together with the crescent and the dot , stands for the fourth state
(turIya-avasthA), which combines all these states and transcends them. This is the state of samAdhi.

The letters A,U and M symbolise respectively speech (vak), the mind (manas) and the breath of life
(prAna), while the entire symbol stands for the living spirit, which is but a portion of the divine spirit.

The three letters also represent the dimensions of length, breadth and depth, while the entire symbol represents Divinity, which is beyond the limitations of shapes and form.

The three letters A, U and M symbolise the absence of desire, fear and anger, while the whole symbol stands for the perfect man (a sthita-prajna), one whose wisdom is firmly established in the divine.

They represent three genders, masculine, feminine and neuter, while the entire symbol represent all creation together with the Creator.

They stand for the three gunAs or qualities of sattva, rajas and tamas, while the whole symbol represents a gunAtIta, one who has transcended and gone beyond the pull of the gunAs.

The three letters correspond to the three tenses - past, present and future - while the entire symbol stands for the Creator, who trancends the limitations of time.

They also stand for the teaching imparted by the mother, the father and the Guru respectively. The entire symbol represents Brahma VidyA, the knowledge of the Self, the teaching which is imperishable.

The A, U and M depict the three stages of yogic discipline, namely Asana, prAnAyAma and pratyAhAra. The entire symbol reprsent samAdhi, the goal for which the three stages are steps.

They represent the triad of Divinity, namely, BrahmA - the creator, Vishnu - the Maintainer, and Siva - the Destroyer of the universe. The whole symbol is said to represent Brahman from which the universe emanates, has its growth and fruition and into which it merges in the end. It does not grow or change. Many change and pass, but Brahman is
the One that ever remains unchanged.

The letters A, U and M also stands for the mantra 'Tat Twam Asi' ('That Thou Art'), the realisation of man's divinity within himself. The entire symbol stands for this realisation, which liberates the human spirit from the confines of his body, mind and intellect and ego. "

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Books of The Times | 'The Invisible Century': Einstein and Freud Go to a Bar, and Freud Says . . .

The New York Times >
'The Invisible Century': Einstein and Freud Go to a Bar, and Freud Says . . .
:

"His innovation is a striking thesis about ''invisibility': Einstein and Freud did not revolutionize intellectual history by interpreting evidence as good scientists are supposed to. To start, they barely glanced at the evidence. They discovered their astonishing new truths by running thought experiments and introspecting." - David Gelernter

Dwarkoji spoke to us about Scientific Attitude. So I have been thinking about what we take for science and how well that is informed by what truly Science is. In that spirit I am blogging this book review - which suggests how different the two men's SCIENCEs are. Question to think about: Is Darwin's Theory of evolution and natural selection Science? I think of it as borderline.


Four Question: Loving things as they are

Get real, beat the blues
By Catherine Lucas

Lasting happiness is just four simple questions away, the author Byron Katie tells
Link to Byron's website
CAN FOUR simple questions change your life? Byron Katie believes they can — and they have transformed her from a clinically depressed woman into a self-taught teacher of happiness — which comes, she says, from “loving what is”.

Dwarkoji said: Learn to see things as they are and Love them; This article shows us how - Sri

According to Katie, “loving what is” means coming to terms with reality. “For centuries we have believed that to find happiness we need to change the world around us — get a bigger house, make more money, find a more attractive or understanding partner,” she says. “This means we are at war with reality, trying desperately to get it to match our stories of how we think our life should be. But it doesn’t work. Fighting reality just causes stress and suffering.

“I was depressed for more than a decade, starting in my thirties. I was paranoid and agoraphobic, and for two years I didn’t get out of bed. I piled on weight and was so full of rage that my children feared me. I was living in hell, although I had plenty of money and a beautiful home.”

Eventually Katie moved into a hostel for women with eating disorders — the only place with mental health support that her insurance policy would pay for. Then, one morning, she woke up and it was all gone. “Instead of the darkness I experienced joy. It was as if I had fallen into a place that no one had told me existed. I had no story about how my life was supposed to be, and I felt an indescribable delight in everything. Then I had a thought — and I noticed that before the thought there was nothing but joy, but when I attached to the thought there was stress and pain. I also noticed that the thought wasn't true, so I reversed the process, let go of the thought and the joy returned.

“It was that simple. I saw that all my suffering came about because I believed my thoughts and I had been thinking terrible things: no one cares about me; my partner should be more understanding; my children don't appreciate me; there is something wrong with me; life is too hard; it's all hopeless; I want to die.”

In that moment of clarity, Katie realised that it was her thinking that was causing her unhappiness. Without her “story” there was simply the joy of being alive — so she went home and began to examine her thoughts and beliefs, one by one. In the process she developed a method of inquiry that she calls “the work”, which consists of four questions and a “turnaround”.

The method is easy. You choose something that irritates or depresses you, write it down as a statement, and apply the questions. “You can do the work on everything,” Katie says. “These questions will free you from things you think are unsolvable: the belief that your partner doesn't love you, the death of a child, fears about money, a trauma such as rape or incest.”

“The work” has been compared to Socratic dialogue, Buddhist inquiry and modern psychological methods such as behavioural therapy, but it stems from Katie's personal experience. “I had no background or training. I just figured out what hurts and what doesn't. The questions are like a speeded-up meditation — rather than sitting waiting for realisation to come, you use them to activate the truth and wisdom within you. They are for people in a hurry, as I was. I was sick and hurting and I needed answers.”

In person, Katie sparkles with joy and energy. She has striking silver-grey hair and bright, piercing eyes. When she is teaching, rather than delivering a lecture, she invites members of the audience on stage to do “the work”.

It is riveting to watch, and not just because people are baring their souls. Katie's laser-like tough love burns away all illusions: I saw her help a woman who thought she was so fat and ugly that no man could be attracted to her. In fact, although somewhat overweight, she was quite attractive. “It is not your body that is ugly,” Katie said briskly. “It is your thinking about your body that is ugly.” And with that they got to work.

Whatever the scenario, the questions are the same. For example, one woman believed that her husband no longer loved her.

“Is that true?” Katie asked (the first question). “Yes,” the woman replied. “Can you absolutely know that it's true?” (the second question). “Well, I can't absolutely know. But I don't believe he loves me,” the woman replied. As her husband was in the room, Katie asked him if it was true and he said to his wife, “No, it isn't. I do love you”.

“So how do you react when you think the thought ‘my husband doesn't love me?' ” Katie continued, asking the third question.

“I feel miserable and angry. I punish him and freeze him out. I don't believe what he says. I get a knot in my stomach and my heart speeds up,” the woman replied.

“And who would you be without that thought?” The fourth question.

“If I didn't believe that thought, I would just feel my love for him and I'd be happy being with him.” And she burst into tears.

“OK sweetheart,” said Katie gently. “Let's do the turnaround.” At this point the person is invited to rewrite their statement to see if they can find a truer version. “So my husband doesn't love me becomes ...”

“My husband does love me,” the woman replied, tissues in hand.

“Yes,” said Katie. “Anything else?”

“I don't love me.”

“Exactly. And that's the real problem, isn't it?” Katie replied. “So now you can find out where that story comes from.”

The most common fear that people have about “loving what is” is that they will turn into doormats and do nothing to change their lives. But Katie insists that the opposite is true. “When we act out our stories we create confusion. When we accept what is happening we free our minds to create positive solutions. Loving what is doesn't mean becoming a victim or passively accepting what is happening. You don't have to condone it or want it — no one wants to be in a car crash, for instance. But there is nothing to be gained from fighting reality and wishing that it hadn't happened. Will that make it different or better? No. It only causes more suffering.

So accepting reality spares us from pain, empowers and liberates us. “If you lose your job, what is more helpful?” she asks. “To say ‘I am a failure, I'll never find work again, I'll lose my home and my family', or to say ‘I lost my job, now, how can I get another?' That's what makes loving what is so exciting — it turns life into a wonderful opportunity.”

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Spiritual Revolution - HH Dalai Lama

Our problems, both those we experience externally such as wars, crime and violence and those we experience internally as emotional and psychological suffering will not be solved until we address this underlying neglect of our inner dimension. That is why the great movements of the last hundred years and more--democracy, liberalism, socialism, and Communism--have all failed to deliver the universal benefits they were supposed to provide, despite many wonderful ideas. A revolution is called for, certainly, but not a political, an economic, or a technical revolution. We have had enough experience of these during the past century to know that a purely external approach will not suffice. What I propose is a spiritual revolution.

-His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Friday, August 06, 2004

Society, Government, Spiritual Force

DWARKO
Religion and Policits are outdated. Religion was necessary at one time. Politics also. But just like you put a fence around a tree when it is young; when it grows and gets bigger, you have to take the fence out. Why? The fence will now hurt and impede further growth. Politics and the rule of law brought civilization to an uncivilized people. But now we have to govern through soul force. This involves no power, no imposition. When soul force is used, people do the right thing because they understand. Spontaneous action through right understanding.

Read what Aurobindo has to say about the same topic:

AUROBINDO
The existence of a social law external to the individual is at different
times a considerable advantage and a disadvantage to the development of the divine in man. It is an advantage at first when man is crude and incapable of self-control and self-finding, because it erects a power other than that of his personal egoism through which that egoism may be induced or compelled to moderate its savage demands, to discipline its irrational and often violent movements and even to lose itself sometimes in a larger and less personal egoism. It is a disadvantage to the adult spirit ready to transcend the human formula because it is an external standard which seeks to impose itself on him from outside, and the condition of his perfection is that he shall grow from within and in an increasing freedom, not by the suppression but by the transcendence of his perfected individuality, not any longer by a law imposed on him that trains and disciplines his members but by the soul from within breaking through all previous forms to possess with its light and transmute his members.

DUANE ELGIN SAYS
When he lectures around the world, he asks what is the maturity level of
humanity . . . invariably the response is that humanity is at the 'teenage'
level.

Question: In forming a collecting to engage in development of spiritual force, how do we support "spontanious action" and "right thinking". How do we support all participants (co-conveners) to share responsibility, understanding and action? Your ideas?

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Only Spirituality Can Keep The World Sane

Isha Foundation - Sacred Space for Self Transformation:


'Only Spirituality Can Keep The World Sane.' - Sadhguru"

Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future

Amazon.com: Books: Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future: "
Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future
by Peter Senge, C. Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski, Betty Sue Flowers

Book Description
How would the world change if we learned to access, individually and collectively, our deepest capacity to sense and shape the future? This is just one of the questions posed by the authors of a book that combines unusual personal honesty with rigorous critical thinking.

Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future gives the reader an intimate look at the development of a new theory about change and learning. In wide-ranging conversations held over a year and a half, Senge, Scharmer, Jaworski, and Flowers explore their own experiences and those of one hundred and fifty scientists and social and business entrepreneurs in an effort to explain how profound collective change occurs. Their journey of discovery articulates a new way of seeing the world, and of understanding our part in creating it-as it is and as it might be.

Radical and hopeful, Presence synthesizes leading-edge thinking, first-hand knowledge, and ancient wisdom to explore the living fields that connect us to one another, to life more broadly, and, potentially, to what is 'seeking to emerge.' Seven capacities underlie our ability to see, sense, and realize new possibilities. Developing these capacities accesses a deeper level of learning that is the key to creating change that serves the whole-ourselves, our organizations, and the communities of which we are a part."

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

HHDL on Spirituality and Religion

From BeliefNet
I believe there is an important distinction to be made between religion and spirituality. Religion I take to be concerned with belief in the claims to salvation of one faith tradition or another--an aspect of which is acceptance of some form of meta-physical or philosophical reality, including perhaps an idea of heaven or hell. Connected with this are religious teachings or dogma, ritual, prayers and so on. Spirituality I take to be concerned with those qualities of the human spirit--such as love and compassion, patience, tolerance, forgiveness, contentment, a sense of responsibility, a sense of harmony, which bring happiness to both self and others.

-His Holiness the Dalai Lama
From "The Pocket Dalai Lama," edited by Mary Craig, 2002. Reprinted by arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Boston, www.shambhala.com.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Aurobindo on Supermind (long post)

The Ascent Towards SuperMind

It is difficult to conceive intellectually what the Super- mind is; and to describe it, another language would be needed than the poor abstract counters of the mind.

Read the rest of the book at http://www.mountainman.com.au/auro_7.html

The Future Evolution of Man - Sri Aurobindo
Conclusion of Chapter 7 - The Ascent Towards SuperMind
by P.B. Saint-Hilaire
August 1962


The psychic transformation and the first stages of the spiritual transformation are well within our conception; their perfection would be the perfection, wholeness, consummated unity of a knowledge and experience which is already part of things realized, though only by a small number of human beings. But the supramental change in its process carries us into less explored regions; it initiates a vision of heights of consciousness which have indeed been glimpsed and visited, but have yet to be discovered and mapped in their completeness. The highest of these peaks or elevated plateaus of consciousness, the supramental, lies far beyond the possibility of any satisfying mental scheme or map of it or any grasp of mental seeing and description. It would be difficult for the normal unillumined or untransformed mental conception to express or enter into something that is based on so different a consciousness with a radically different awareness of things; even if they were seen or conceived by some enlightenment or opening of vision, another language than the poor abstract counters used by our mind would be needed to translate them into terms by which their reality could become at all seizable by us. As the summits of human mind are beyond animal perception, so the movements of supermind are beyond the ordinary human mental conception: it is only when we have already had experience of a higher intermediate consciousness that any terms attempting to describe supramental being could convey a true meaning to our intelligence; for then, having experienced something akin to what is described, we could translate an inadequate language into a figure of what we knew. If the mind cannot enter into the nature of supermind, it can look towards it through these high and luminous approaches and catch some reflected impression of the Truth, the Right, the Vast which is the native kingdom of the free Spirit.

The transition from mind to Supermind is a passage from Nature into Supernature. For that every reason it cannot be achieved by a mere effort of our mind or our unaided aspiration. Overmind and Supermind are involved and hidden in the earth-nature; but, in order that they may emerge in us, there is needed a pressure of the same powers already formulated in their full natural force on their own superconscient planes. The powers of the Super- conscience must descend into us and uplift us and trans- form our being.

The transition to Supermind through overmind is a passage from Nature as we know it into Super-Nature. It is by that very fact impossible for any effort of the mere Mind to achieve; our unaided personal aspiration and endeavour cannot reach it: our effort belongs to the inferior power of Nature; a power of the Ignorance cannot achieve by its own strength or characteristic or available methods what is beyond its own domain of nature. All the previous ascensions have been effectuated by a secret Consciousness-Force operating first in Inconscience and then in the Ignorance: it has worked by an emergence of its involved powers to the surface, powers concealed behind the veil and superior to the past formulations of Nature, but even so there is needed a pressure of the same superior powers already formulated in their full natural force on their own planes; these superior planes create their own foundation in our subliminal6 parts and from there are able to influence the evolutionary process on the surface. Overmind and Supermind are also involved and occult in earth-Nature, but they have no formations on the accessible levels of our subliminal inner consciousness; there is as yet no overmind being or organized overmind nature, no supramental being or organized supermind nature acting either on our surface or in our normal subliminal parts: for these greater powers of consciousness are superconscient to the level of our ignorance. In order that the involved principles of Overmind and Supermind should emerge from their veiled secrecy, the being and powers of the superconscience must descend into us and uplift us and formulate themselves in our being and powers; this descent is a sine qua non of the transition and transformation.

For a real transformation there must be a direct and unveiled intervention from above; there would be necessary too a total submission and surrender of the lower consciousness, a cessation of its insistence, a will in it for its separate law of action to be completely annulled by transformation and lose all rights over our being. If these two conditions can be achieved even now by a conscious call and will in the spirit and a participation of our whole manifested and inner being in its change and elevation, the evolution, the transformation can take place by a comparatively swift conscious change; the supramental Consciousness-Force from above and the evolving Consciousness-Force from behind the veil acting on the awakened awareness and will of the mental human being would accomplish by their united power the momentous transition. There would be no farther need of a slow evolution counting many millenniums for each step, the halting and difficult evolution operated by Nature in the past in the unconscious creatures of the Ignorance.

What should be the preparation for the supramental transformation?

First, an increasing control of the individual over his own nature and a more and more conscious participation in the action of the Supernature.

It is a first condition of this change that the mental Man we now are should become inwardly aware and in possession of his own deeper law of being and its processes; he must become the psychic and inner mental being master of his energies, no longer a slave of the movements of the lower Prakriti, in control of it, seated securely in a free harmony with a higher law of Nature.

In human mind there is the first appearance of an observing intelligence that regards what is being done and of a will and choice that have become conscious; but the consciousness is still limited and superficial: the knowledge also is limited and imperfect, it is a partial intelligence, a half understanding, groping and empirical in great part or, if rational, then rational by constructions, theories, formulas. There is not as yet a luminous seeing which knows things by a direct grasp and arranges them with a spontaneous precision according to the seeing, according to the scheme of their inherent truth; although there is a certain element of instinct and intuition and insight which has some beginning of this power, the normal character of human intelligence is an inquiring reason or reflective thoght which observes, supposes, infers, concludes, arrives by labour at a constructed truth, a constructed scheme of knowledge, a deliberately arranged action of its own making.

It is only a free and entire intuitive consciousness which would be able to see and to grasp things by direct contact and penetrating vision or a spontaneous truth-sense born of an underlying unity or identity and arrange an action of Nature according to the truth of Nature. This would be a real participation by the individual in the working of the universal Consciousness-Force; the individual Purusha would become the master of his own executive energy and at the same time a conscious partner, agent, instrument of the Cosmic Spirit in the working of the universal Energy: the universal Energy would work through him, but he also would work through her and the harmony of the intuitive truth would make this double working a single action. A growing conscious participation of this higher and more intimate kind must be one accompaniment of the transition from our present state of being to a state of supernature.

Thus the individuality would become more and more powerful and effective in proportion as it realized itself as a centre and formation of the universal and transcendent Being and Nature. For as the progression of the change proceeded, the energy of the liberated individual would be no longer the limited energy of mind, life and body, with which it started; the being would emerge into and put on - even as there would emerge in him and descend into him, assuming him into it - a greater light of Consciousness and a greater action of Force: his natural existence would be the instrumentation of a superior Power, an overmental and supramental Consciousness-Force, the power of the original Divine Shakti. All the processes of the evolution would be felt as the action of a supreme and universal Consciousness, a supreme and universal Force working in whatever way it chose, on whatever level, within whatever self-determined limits, a conscious working of the transcendent and cosmic Being, the action of the omnipotent and omniscient World-Mother raising the being into herself, into her supernature. In place of the Nature of Ignorance with the individual as its closed field and unconscious or half-conscious instrument, there would be a Super-Nature of the divine Gnosis and the individual soul would be its conscious, open and free field and instrument, a participant in its action, aware of its purpose and process, aware too of its own greater Self, the universal, the transcendent Reality, and of its own Person as illimitably one with that and yet an individual being of Its being, an instrument and a spiritual centre.

A first opening toward this participation in an action of Supernature is a condition of the turn towards the last, the supramental transformation: for this transformation is the completion of a passage from the obscure harmony of a blind automatism with which Nature sets out to the luminous authentic spontaneity, the infallible motion of the self-existent truth of the Spirit. The evolution begins with the automatism of Matter and of a lower life in which all obeys implicitly the drive of Nature, fulfils mechanically its law of being and therefore succeeds in maintaining a harmony of its limited type of existence and action; it proceeds through the pregnant confusion of the mind and life of a humanity driven by this inferior Nature but struggling to escape from her limitations, to master and drive and use her; it emerges into a greater spontaneous harmony and automatic self-fulfilling action founded on the spiritual Truth of things. In this higher state the consciousness will see that Truth and follow the line of its energies with a full knowledge, with a strong participation and instrumental mastery, a complete delight in action and existence. There will be a luminous and enjoyed perfection of unity with all instead of a blind and suffered subjection of the individual to the universal, and at every moment the action of the universal in the individual and the individual in the universal will be enlightened and governed by the rule of the transcendent Supernature.

A second condition consists in a conscious obedience, a surrender of our whole being, to the light, the truth and force from above.

But this highest condition is difficult and must evidently take long to bring about; for the participation and consent of the Purusha to the transition is not sufficient, there must be also the consent and participation of the Prakriti. It is not only the central thought and will that have to acquiesce, but all the parts of our being must assent and surrender to the law of the spiritual Truth; all has to learn to obey the government of the conscious Divine Power in the members. There are obstinate difficulties in our being born of its evolutionary constitution which militate against this assent. For some of these parts are still subject to the inconscience and subconscience and to the lower automatism of habit or so-called law of the nature,--mechanical habit of mind, habit of life, habit of instinct, habit of personality, habit of character, the ingrained mental, vital, physical needs, impulses, desires of the natural man, the old functionings of all kinds that are rooted there so deep that it would seem as if we had to dig to abysmal foundations in order to get them out . . . At each step of the transition the assent of the Purusha is needed and there must be too the consent of each part of the nature to the action of the higher power for its change. There must be then a conscious self-direction of the mental being in us towards this change, this substitution of Supernature for the old nature, this transcendence. The rule of conscious obedience to the higher truth of the spirit, the surrender of the whole being to the light and power that come from the Supernature, is a second condition which has to be accomplished slowly and with difficulty by the being itself before the supramental transformation can become at all possible.

It follows that the psychic and the spiritual transformation must be far advanced, even as complete as may be, before there can be any beginning of the third and consummating supramental change; for it is only by this double transmutation that the self-will of the Ignorance can be totally altered into a spiritual obedience to the remoulding truth and will of the greater Consciousness of the Infinite. A long, difficult stage of constant effort, energism, austerity of the personal will, tapasya, has ordinarily to be traversed before a more decisive stage can be reached in which a state of self-giving of all the being to the Supreme Being and the Supreme Nature can become total and absolute.

A third condition is the unification of the whole being around the true self and the opening of the individual to the cosmic consciousness.

A unification of the entire being by a breaking down of the wall between the inner and outer nature, - a shifting of the wall between the inner and outer nature, - a shifting of the position and centration of the consciousness from the outer to the inner self, a firm foundation on this new basis, a habitual action from this inner self and its will and vision and an opening up of the individual into the cosmic consciousness, - is another necessary condition for the supramental change. It would be chimerical to hope that the supreme Truth-consciousness can establish itself in the narrow formulation of our surface mind and heart and life, however turned towards spirituality. All the inner centers must have burst open and released into action their capacities; the psychic entity must be unveiled and in control. If this first change establishing the being in the inner and larger, a Yogic in place of an ordinary consciousness has not been done, the greater transmutation is impossible. Moreover the individual must have sufficiently universalized himself, he must have recast his individual mind in the boundlessness of a cosmic mentality, enlarged and vivified his individual life into the immediate sense and direct experience of the dynamic motion of the universal life, opened up the communications of his body with the forces of universal Nature, before he can be capable of a change which transcends the present cosmic formulation and lifts him beyond the lower hemisphere of universality into a consciousness belonging to its spiritual upper hemisphere. Besides he must have already become aware of what is now to him superconscient; he must be already a being conscious of the higher spiritual Light, Power, Knowledge, Ananda, penetrated by its descending influences, new-made by a spiritual change.

The spiritual evolution obeys the logic of a successive unfolding; it can take a new decisive main step only when the previous main step has been sufficiently conquered: even if certain minor stages can be swallowed up or leaped over by a rapid and brusque ascension, the consciousness has to turn back to assure itself that the ground passed over is securely annexed to the new condition. It is true that the conquest of the spirit supposes the execution in one life or a few lives of a process that in the ordinary course of Nature would involve a slow and uncertain procedure of centuries or even of millenniums: but this is a question of the speed with which the steps are traversed; a greater or concentrated speed does not eliminate the steps themselves or the necessity of their successive surmounting. The increased rapidity is possible only because the conscious participation of the inner being is there and the power of the Supernature is already at work in the half-transformed lower nature, so that the steps which would otherwise have had to be taken tentatively in the night of Inconscience or Ignorance can now be taken in an increasing light and power of Knowledge.

Four steps of ascent lead from the human intelligence to the Supermind; these are:

(1) Higher Mind

Our first decisive step out of our human intelligence, our normal mentality, is an ascent into a higher Mind, a mind no longer of mingled light and obscurity or half-light, but a large clarity of the spirit. Its basic substance is a unitarian sense of being with a powerful multiple dynamization capable of the formation of a multitude of aspects of knowledge, ways of action, forms and significances of becoming, of all of which there is a spontaneous inherent knowledge . . . It is a luminous thought-mind, a mind of spirit-born conceptual knowledge.

But here in this greater Thought there is no need of a seeking and self-critical ratiocination, no logical motion step by step towards a conclusion, no mechanism f express or implied deductions and inferences, no building or deliberate concatenation of idea with idea in order to arrive at an ordered sum or outcome of knowledge . . .

This higher consciousness is a Knowledge formulating itself on a basis of self-existent all-awareness and manifesting some part of its integrality, a harmony of its significances put into thought-form. It can freely express itself in single ideas, but its most characteristic movement is a mass ideation, a system or totality of truth-seeing at a single view; the relations of idea with idea, of truth with truth are not established by logic but pre-exist and emerge already self-seen in the integral whole. There is an initiation into forms of an ever-present but till now inactive knowledge, not a system of conclusions from premisses or data; this thought is a self-revelation of eternal Wisdom, not an acquired knowledge.

This is the Higher Mind in its aspect of cognition; but there is also the aspect of will, of dynamic effectuation of the Truth: here we find that this greater more brilliant Mind works always on the rest of the being, the mental will, the heart and its feelings, the life, the body, through the power of thought, through the idea-force. It seeks to purify through knowledge, to deliver through knowledge, to create by the innate power of knowledge. The idea is put into the heart or the life as a force to be accepted and worked out; the heart and life become conscious of the idea and respond to its dynamisms and their substance begins to modify itself in that sense, so that the feelings and actions become the vibrations of this higher wisdom, are informed with it, filled with the emotion and the sense of it: the will and the life impulses are similarly charged with its power and its urge of self-effectuation; even in the body the idea works so that, for example, the potent thought and will of health replaces its faith in illness and its consent to illness, or the idea* (* The word expressing the idea has the same power if it is surcharged with the spiritual force; that is the rationale of the Indian use of the mantra.) of strength calls in the substance, power, motion, vibration of strength; the idea generates the force and form proper to the idea and imposes it on our substance of mind, life or matter. It is in this way that the first working proceeds; it charges the whole being with a new and superior consciousness, lays a foundation of change, prepares it for a superior truth of existence.

(2) Illumined Mind

This greater Force is that of the Illumined Mind, a Mind no longer of higher Thought, but of spiritual light. Here the clarity of the spiritual intelligence, its tranquil day-light, gives place or subordinates itself to an intense lustre, a splendour and illumination of the spirit: a play of lightnings of spiritual truth and power breaks from above into the consciousness and adds to the calm and wide enlightenment and the vast descent of peace which characterize or accompany the action of the larger conceptual-spiritual principle, a fiery ardour of realization and a rapturous ecstasy of knowledge. A downpour of inwardly visible Light very usually envelops this action; for it must be noted that, contrary to our ordinary conceptions, light is not primarily a material creation and the sense or vision of light accompanying the inner illumination is not merely a subjective visual image or a symbolic phenomenon: light is primarily a spiritual manifestation of the Divine Reality illuminative and creative; material light is a subsequent representation or conversion of it into Matter for the purposes of the material Energy. There is also in this descent the arrival of a greater dynamic, a golden drive, a luminous enthousiasmos' of inner force and power which replaces the comparatively slow and deliberate process of the Higher Mind by a swift, sometimes a vehement, almost a violent impetus of rapid transformation.

The Illumined Mind does not work primarily by thought, but by vision; thought is here only a subordinate movement expressive of sight. The human mind, which relies mainly on thought, conceives that to be the highest or the main process of knowledge, but in the spiritual order thought is a secondary and a not indispensable process.

A consciousness that proceeds by sight, the consciousness of the seer, is a greater power for knowledge than the consciousness of the thinker. The perceptual power of the inner sight is greater and more direct than the perceptual power of thought: it is a spiritual sense that seizes something of the substance of

Truth and not only her figure; but it outlines the figure also and at the same time catches the significance of the figure, and it can embody her with a finer and bolder revealing outline and a larger comprehension and power of totality than thought-conception can manage.

(3) Intuitive Mind

But these two stages of the ascent enjoy their authority and can get their own united completeness only by a reference to a third level; for it is from the higher summits where dwells the intuitional being that they derive the knowledge which they turn into thought or sight and bring down to us for the mind's transmutation. Intuition is a power of consciousness nearer and more intimate to the original knowledge by identity; for it is always something that leaps out direct from a concealed identity . . .

This close perception is more than sight, more than conception: it is the result of a penetrating and revealing touch which carries in it sight and conception as part of itself or as its natural consequence. A concealed or slumbering identity, not yet recovering itself, still remembers or conveys by the intuition its own contents and the intimacy of its self-feeling and self-vision of things, its light of truth, its overwhelming and automatic certitude.

In the human mind the intuition is even such a truth-remembrance or truth-conveyance, or such a revealing flash or blaze breaking into a great mass of ignorance or through a veil of nescience: but we have seen that it is subject there to an invading mixture or a mental coating or an interception and substitution; there is too a manifold possibility of misinterpretation which comes in the way of the purity and fullness of its action. Moreover, there are seeming intuitions on all levels of the being which are communications rather than intuitions, and these have a very various provenance, value and character. The infrarational 'mystic', so styled, - for to be a true mystic it is not sufficient to reject reason and rely on sources of thought or action of which one has no understanding, - is often inspired by such communications on the vital level from a dark and dangerous source. In these circumstances we are driven to rely mainly on the reason and are disposed even to control the suggestions of the intuition - or the pseudo-intuition, which is the more frequent phenomenon, - by the observing and discriminating intelligence; for we feel in our intellectual part that we cannot be sure otherwise what is the true thing and what the mixed or adulterated article or false substitute. But this largely discounts for us the utility of the intuition: for the reason is not in this field a reliable arbiter, since its methods are different, tentative, uncertain, an intellectual seeking; even though it itself really relies on a camouflaged intuition for its conclusions, - for without that help it could not choose its course or arrive at any assured finding, - it hides this dependence from itself under the process of a reasoned conclusion or a verified conjecture. An intuition passed in judicial review by the reason ceases to be an intuition and can only have the authority of the reason for which there is no inner source of direct certitude. But even if the mind became predominantly an intuitive mind reliant upon its portion of the higher faculty, the co-ordination of its cognitions and its separated activities, - for in mind these would always be apt to appear as a series of imperfectly connected flashes, - would remain difficult so long as this new mentality has not a conscious liaison with its suprarational source or a self-uplifting access to a higher plane of consciousness in which an intuitive action is pure and native.

Intuition is always an edge or ray or outleap of a superior light; it is in us a projecting blade, edge or point of a far-off supermind light entering into and modified by some intermediate truth-mind substance above us and, so modified, again entering into and very much blinded by our ordinary or ignorant mind substance; but on that higher level to which it is native its light is unmixed and therefore entirely and purely veridical, and its rays are not separated but connected or massed together in a play of waves of what might almost be called in the Sanskrit poetic figure a sea or mass of 'stable lightnings'. When this original or native Intuition begins to descend into us in answer to an ascension of our consciousness to its level or as a result of our finding of a clear way of communication with it, it may continue to come as a play of lightning-flashes, isolated or in constant action; but at this stage the judgment of reason becomes quite inapplicable, it can only act as an observer or registrar understanding or recording the more luminous intimations, judgements and discriminations of the higher power. To complete or verify an isolated intuition or discriminate its nature, its application, its limitations, the receiving consciousness must rely on another completing intuition or be able to call downa massed intuition capable of putting all in place. For once the process of the change has begun, a complete transmutation of the stuff and activities of the mind into the substance, form and power of intuition is imperative; until then, so long as the process of consciousness depends upon the lower intelligence serving or helping out or using the intuition, the result can only be a survival of the mixed Knowledge-Ignorance uplifted or relieved by a higher light and force acting in its parts of Knowledge.

Intuition has a fourfold power. A power of revelatory truth-seeing, a power of inspiration or truth-hearing, a power of truth-touch or immediate seizing of significance, which is akin to the ordinary nature of its intervention in our mental intelligence, a power of true and automatic discrimination of the orderly and exact relation of truth to truth, - these are the fourfold potencies of Intuition. Intuition can therefore perform all the action of reason - including the function of logical intelligence, which is to work out the right relation of things and the right relation of idea with idea, - but by its own superior process and with steps that do not fail or falter.

(4) Overmind

The next step of the ascent brings us to the Overmind; the intuitional change can only be an introduction to this higher spiritual overture. But we have seen that the Overmind , even when it is selective and not total in its action, is still a power of cosmic consciousness, a principle of global knowledge which carries in it a delegated light from the supramental gnosis. It is, therefore, only by an opening into the cosmic consciousness that the overmind ascent and descent can be made wholly possible: a high and intense individual opening upwards is not sufficient, - to the vertical ascent towards summit Light there must be added a vast horizontal expansion of the consciousness into some totality of the Spirit.

When the overmind descends, the predominance of the centralizing ego-sense is entirely subordinated, lost in largeness of being and finally abolished; a wide cosmic perception and feeling of a boundless universal self and movement replaces it: many motions that were formerly ego-centric may still continue, but they occur as currents or ripples in the cosmic wideness. Thought, for the most part, no longer seems to originate individually in the body or the person but manifests from above or comes in upon the cosmic mind-waves: all inner individual sight or intelligence of things is now a revelation or illumination of what is seen or comprehended, but the source of the revelation is not in one's separate self but in the universal knowledge; the feelings, emotions, sensations are similarly felt as waves from the same cosmic immensity breaking upon the subtle and the gross body and responded to in kind by the individual centre of the universality; for the body is only a small support or even less, a point of relation, for the action of a vast cosmic instrumentation. In this boundless largeness, not only the separate ego but all sense of individuality, even of a subordinated or instrumental individuality, may entirely disappear; the cosmic existence, the cosmic consciousness, the cosmic delight, the play of cosmic forces are alone left: if the delight or the centre of Force is felt in what was the personal mind, life or body, it is not with a sense of personality but as a field of manifestation, and this sense of delight or of the action of Force is not confined to the person or the body but can be felt at all points in an unlimited consciousness of unity which pervades everywhere.

But there can be many formulations of overmind consciousness and experience; for the overmind has a great plasticity and is a field of multiple possibilities. In place of an uncentered and unplaced diffusion there may be the sense of the universe in oneself or as oneself: but there too this self is not the ego; it is an extension of a free and pure essential self-consciousness or it is an identification constituting a cosmic being, a universal individual . . . In the transition towards the supermind this centralizing action tends towards the discovery of a true individual replacing the dead ego, a being who is in his essence one with the supreme Self, one with the universe in extension and yet a cosmic centre and circumference of the specialized action of the Infinite.

The overmind change is the final consummating movement of the dynamic spiritual transformation; it is the highest possible status-dynamis of the spirit in the spiritual-mind plane. It takes up all that is in the three steps below it and raises their characteristic workings to their highest and largest power, adding to them a universal wideness of consciousness and force, a harmonius concert of knowledge, a more manifold edlight of being. But there are certain reasons arising from its own characteristic status and power that prevent it from being the final possibility of the spiritual evolution. It is a power, though the highest power, of the lower hemisphere; although its basis is a cosmic unity, its action is an action of division and interaction, an action taking its stand on the play of the multiplicity. Its play is, like that of all Mind, a play of possibilities; although it acts not in the Ignorance but with the knowledge of the truth of these possibilities, yet it works them out through their own independent evolution of their powers.

The Overmind descent is not sufficient to transform wholly the Inconscience, the Supramental Force alone is capable of achieving this.

In the terrestrial evolution itself the overmind descent would not be able to transform in each man it touched the whole conscious being, inner and outer, personal and universally impersonal, into its own stuff and impose that upon the Ignorance illumining it into cosmic truth and knowledge. But a basis of Nescience would remain; it would be as if a sun and its system were to shine out in an original darkness of Space and illumine everything as far as its rays could reach so that all that dwelt in the light would feel as if no darkness were there at all in their experience of existence. But outside that sphere or expanse of experience the original darkness would still be there and, since all things are possible in an overmind structure, could reinvade the island of light created within its empire . . .

Also by this much evolution there could be no security against the downward pull of gravitation of the Inconscience which dissolves all the formations that life and mind build in it, swallows all things that arise out of it or are imposed upon it and disintegrates them into their original matter. The liberation from this pull of the Inconscience and a secured basis for a continuous divine or gnostic evolution would only be achieved by a descent of the Supermind into the terrestrial formula, bringing into it the supreme law and light and dynamics of the spirit and penetrating with it and transforming the inconscience of the material basis. A last transition from Overmind to Supermind and a descent of Supermind must therefore intervene at this stage of evolutionary Nature.

A transformation of human nature can only be achieved when the substance of the being is so steeped in the spiritual principle that all its movements are a spontaneous dynamism and a harmonized process of the spirit. But even when the higher powers and their intensities enter into the substance of the Inconscience, they are met by this blind opposing Necessity and are subjected to this circumscribing and diminishing law of the nescient substance. It opposes them with its strong titles of an established and inexorable Law, meets always the claim of life with the law of death, the demand of Light with the need of a relief of shadow and a background of darkness, the sovereignty and freedom and dynamism of the spirit with its own force of adjustment by limitation, demarcation by incapacity, foundation of energy on the repose of an original Inertia. There is an occult truth behind its negations which only the Supermind with its reconciliation of contraries in the original Reality can take up and so discover the pragmatic solution of the enigma. Only the supramental Force can entirely overcome this difficulty of the fundamental Nescience; for with it enters an opposite and luminous imperative Necessity which underlies all things and is the original and final self-determining truth-force of the self-existent Infinite. This greater luminous spiritual Necessity and its sovereign imperative alone can displace or entirely penetrate, transform into itself and so replace the blind Ananke of the Inconscience.


The Future Evolution of Man - Sri Aurobindo
Conclusion of Chapter 7 - The Ascent Towards SuperMind
by P.B. Saint-Hilaire
August 1962

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Quotes from Dwarkoji

Look at the things as they are and love them.

Spontaneous action through Right understanding.

Ashram Prayer (Dwarko recited at the start of the July Retreat)

In Hindhi and English
Tan Man Vachana Praan-say Khojain

Let us search with our body, mind and words and Atma

Dharain param satya kaa Dhyaan

While holding absolute truth in our minds

Pavitra Karain Buddhi say

And through this search we purify our intellect

Karain Vishwa Kalyaan

And work for the whole world

Param Smayo ko Dharan karake, hum Sabh ho insaan

Through Equanimity we become human

One Jain monk, one man cam to him. “We want to set up a college in the name of your Guru” We want to send one million rupees. No you should not make college in the name of any man living or not living.

You will be surprised to know, Jawaharlal Nehru sent his personal money, no Government, no Congress; the first President Rajendra Prasad sent his personal money; Bajaj sends us money for building big hall; his son wanted Bajaj name on the hall. I said “No name, No plaque”.

The more you possess, the less you are; the less you possess, the more you are.

Nonpossession.

Conversation Samdong Rimpoche, PM of Tibetan Government in Exile

It was March 2004. We are seated in a meeting hall in the Kashag in Mcleodgunj - with Samdong Rimpoche - a reincarnated lama and high spiritual teacher - in the traditional maroon robes of Tibetan lama, not looking much like a politician - and Kalon Lungrig, Minister of Education. There is an air of informality. The conversation occurs like between two old friends - even though we have just introduced ourselves to each other.


Rimpoche started off with serious interest in my background and laughed when I told him I was a Tamilian who grew up Bengali and living now as American. I reproduce below the segment of the conversation about Dwarkoji's idea of Center for Nonviolence Research in Action. The rest of the converstion (2 hours) covered many topics China, Tibet, Culture, Education, Technology and Health Care.

Rimpoche: If we count the number of people who believe in violence or nonviolence, support violence or nonviolence. The number of people believing in nonviolence is greater. But the voice of nonviolence is not strong.

Rimpoche: The pressure or influence of violence is strong; they are expressive. I was watching for the last one year about Iraq war. The opposition to war in Europe, Asia and America was overwhelming. This is a very big question for me: why we and our voice are so weak?

Sri: I went in a peace protest, where I live. We did the usual things, chanting, singing, and marching. As the procession turns the corner, we saw another group supporting the troops and supporting the war. The two groups engaged in anger and shouting. Police held the peace. I left the peace march. If there is anger in the heart there can be no peace. Jesus, King, Gandhi after all were teaching us to love our enemy and to love our neighbor. Gandhi loved the British but only opposed their actions and their policies, on clear moral grounds.

Sri: From a practical perspective with Dwakoji, he is coming America in July. There will be a retreat including people in California, perhaps those form NVPF, Quakers and many others. We have to change ourselves and thereby change others. Would you or anyone you know want to participate. It will be in July? Q: This year? A: Yes, this year. A: I don't think so.

Rimpoche: Another thing I wanted to tell Dwarko and you both: There are hundreds of thousands of Peace Organizations, groups, institutions working for peace and nonviolence. But there is no coordination, instead we even see competition. Peace organizations should collaborate together so there can have some impact.

The whole Buddhist teachings, the whole Jain teaching, the whole Gandhian way, the whole King's teachings and examples are with us. We do not need to find a new philosophy or new idea. Now it is time to implement. We need to put this practice. Dwarko's center must do this.

Sri: Martin Luther King, Jesus and Mahatma Gandhi all died in violence. The work of violence was silenced by violence.

Rimpoche: Jesus was crucified, but his teachings were not crucified. Gandhi was shot, but his teachings and his life are still with us. The Tibetan movement has been nonviolent since 1960s. In the beginning there was some violence. But we have been able to keep to nonviolence. We are not able to create a nonviolent mind among the Tibetan people. I do understand that people have suffered a great deal, been deeply hurt. They have recovered. But we do have the teaching, the leadership. If even half of the Tibetan people could evolve a nonviolent heart, within 24 hours we can bring peace to Tibet/China. The problem is that all the peace workers are not able to overcome their hate. Therefore, all our actions become useless. Not useless, but less effective.

Rimpoche: We have to try this superconsciousness. No harm can come. Great good can come of it. It was very nice to meet you.

We ended with exchange of some gifts. I brought for him a sandpainting of the Navajo and a Peace play that I had a small hand in editing. He gave me a copy of a book by HH Dalai Lama.