Book2

Introduction



This second book of inspirations on the Bhāgavata Purāṇa is about the at the person directed, historical core of the religion of the Hindus. This basis is known as an essential part of the old Vedic culture of India. This part of that culture is all about finding enlightenment and liberation, peace and prosperity, by exercising respect in devotion or bhakti, for the so-called purusha, the Original Person within us all whom we all want to be but never can actualize in full. The universe, as we saw in book one, is known as the material form of this Person of All Persons, but there are also stories in the scriptures of India about more local appearances of Him in the form of a human being like you and me. These appearances are called avatāras in Sanskrit. They are described in the second Canto of the Bhāgavata Purāṇa that inspired me to write this second volume in a planned series of twelve, one for each Canto.

Hinduism is a Humpty Dumpty. The Vedic culture fundamental to it, a culture based on spiritual knowledge centering around the notion of the Absolute Truth, Brahman or God, according to this text, fell apart about 5000 years ago. This happened with a great war called the Mahābhārata war. This war is described in an Epic tale with the same name that was written by an already in the first book introduced philosopher called Vyāsadeva, who is also known under the name of Badarāyaṇa. The Vedic culture fell down in this war because the common people no longer consequently could follow the classical Vedic rules called the vidhi. These rules stress the importance of the basic human values of truthfulness, faithfulness, voluntary penance and nonviolence (sathya, sauca, tapas, dayā), the so-called human command of dharma, or the running on 'the legs of the bull of dharma' to be precise. The term dharma is a catch-all term meaning righteousness, naturalness and religion. It is a naturalized term that one these days also can find in the Western dictionaries. Hinduism is the first culture in the world that, having turned away from the original human vidhi command and the therewith associated rule of holy kings and sages, managed to adhere to a replacing order of state that we nowadays call democracy. Each can have his - religious or otherwise motivated - way with this 'rule of the people' and may defend therein his interests. It is a political system that factually is based upon endless quarrel, an endless struggle of materially motivated conflicting opinions. Therefore the Hindus call this time the age of quarrel or the iron age (Kali-yuga). We may call it modern and democratic for each to have his say and prayer in this system, but from the perspective of the history of India we in fact know this order as being the result of a fallen culture of knowledge.

What we consider modern propriety of rule is, from the Vedic viewpoint, in fact a system that is based upon the unwillingness to be first of all truthful. A good example of that type of unwillingness is found in our time system, the way modern people deal with calendars and clocks. The present difficult 'modern' time is indeed built upon a time problem that makes the subject difficult. The clock does not tell us solar time, but mean time, zone time and summer time. Just like coffee creamer being condensed, sterilized and sugared, no longer is raw milk. That is considered normal and pragmatical, but it in fact means a practice of untruthfulness with the position of the sun. With the still maintained pretence of indicating the state of affairs with the light of day, it is a lie to the present scientific standard of valid measurement, but the adherents of the modern democracy do not care about this. One is not eager to be truthful in this, one prefers to adhere to the pragmatical lie of so-called standard time. Strange enough one considers it  pragmatical and okay to lie about the position of the sun, while it certainly is the all-determining source of light and energy in our life. Truthfulness is a philosophical and scientific ideal, but no scientist or professional philosopher puts for that reason the respect for the sun as the prime reference of time first. But we do have many religiously and historically motivated wars about it with an enemy among others who five times a day bows before the with a table respected position of the sun. So some apprehension we, the children of this earth, should have about this easy lie of disrespect for the dynamic marriage of mother nature with father time. But we have to tolerate it until there is a majority against it with an, also because of technology, better possible (gps-) respect for the position of the sun. To allow such an attitude of ease with the time after all belongs to the mores of the culture of democracy. We should not forget though, that this desired tolerance thus entails a constant political quarrel; at odds with nature means to be at odds with ourselves as being a part of that nature, we already stated in book 1. Democracy 1.0, as we have said, is a form of moral allowance partly based upon being untruthfully engaged with the time of nature.
Another form of modern untruthfulness is to consider material reality, the relative of time, the ultimate reality. It is called materialism. It is the way by which one denies one's own person, the one we know to belong to the absolute of time, the timeless self. We ourself are the person, the soul of the eternal here and now that factually is the only real thing there is of lasting coherence. We absolutely are the definite witness, the first and last interest we are after. But in our present form of democracy one rather puts money first than the person we are. From this aspect of untruth, with the person not being the truth to depart from, one as adherents of the modern democratic error therefore tends to be impersonalistic, so to say, a term to remember.
A third aspect of the political practice of untruth is the popular notion that meditation would center around a core of emptiness. There would be nothing inside of us but illusion. But that is a lie evidently. Being without desires when one meditates, does not imply that one would be empty. We, the witness, are what is inside. How can we deny ourselves in this? Why? We are not nothing, we are the foundation of consciousness. It is, among other matters, because of the inability to face lies like this that humanity massively with an ever fearful material ego tries to escape in legal and illegal drug and alcohol abuse and other forms of escapism, that one simply tries to kill one's brain function! That is the drama of the liar that one tends to become in the modern age of quarrel. One becomes addicted to strategies like obstructing the chance of one's own self realization; or popularly stated, one in this 'modern' state of mind is not just looking away from nature, one is running away from oneself.
Another basic rule of the ancient Vedic culture is faithfulness. Faithfulness in a Vedic sense means that one should regulate one's sex life. But we in modern time one often does not want to do that anymore. One self-righteously wants to have sex whenever one feels like it and hates it to be frustrated in this respect. Celibacy is by many modern people considered the reason of mental and physical illness. But celibacy in fact constitutes the so-called secondary principle of sense gratification. Love requires postponement of gratification until two partners agree about the necessity to have sex, not the submission of one partner to the sex-drive of the other. The latter way being at odds with one's self-respect there will be a war between the sheets after all. When modern people cannot accept celibacy, cannot accept this denial which we broadly define here as sexual abstinence until love puts an end to it,  they out of frustration tend to gratify themselves in phantasies being unfaithful to their partner. One eventually puts the fantasy into practice, but the slippery slope began with not accepting celibacy, or simply the postponement of gratification, as a rule of love in the first place. Thus about half of all modern marriages - and so too possibly many of the not legally confirmed intimate relationships - end up in divorces partly based upon this factor of unfaithfulness or lovelessness imagined or practiced. So be it. The unfaithful person is easily addicted to sex and may thus lose everyone, including his/her self-respect. That is his/her drama. That is modern life, so one maintains. But of course with that not all has been said. There are of course other types of unfaithfulness next to the sexual one. About this impurity of faith we will speak later on in these inspirations.
The third basic rule of the Vedic vidhi is voluntary penance. Voluntary penance is not just to prevent an imposed penance or punishment. On the basis of voluntary penance we are able to share. Modern people often do not want to share but rather compete in making money, saying that the money must be earned, that it would not be a human right according to them. People in a state of economic ignorance do not want basic incomes to have a foundation of economic righteousness based upon an equality in civil rights. One thus rather fights about the money than share it and takes great pride in owning the biggest house and biggest car. With such an envious outlook, against every cent there must be something in return, quid pro quo, but that is impossible of course. All kids need their basic allowance, so too the children of God we  all are. Not just because one cannot put a price tag on everything but particularly because one then with negation punishes the normally being adapted without a labor contract, or the common human will to behave properly. The money one earns in denial of societal adaptation, that is made at the cost of others, is earned by unfair means. If good behavior is not rewarded all other rewards are suspect. Breaking the link between money and behavior, one rather speculates and gambles with one's money than pay taxes to a government  that is expected to righteously distribute the means to have the general basic requirements of the populace properly taken care of.  To be greedy with the money is, in denial of the Vedic values,  considered a basic right and a freedom in modern democracy. Large political factions across all cultures on this planet are concerned with this so-called freedom and most of the political zeal on this planet is wasted on endless discussions about the redistribution of wealth on this planet. And next to that there are - again -  naturally more forms of greed than the greed for money. There are all kinds of possessiveness and egoism that ruin our human collective wellbeing with false motives of freedom. The basic rule offended is the golden rule. In modern estrangement one does not want to, or as a hanger on is not able to, recognize one's own interest in that of others and takes to false pride rather considering oneself more intelligent, more civilized or whatever form of cultural arrogance. But as thieves one gets stolen, and thus everyone becomes a poor miser in a world of  successive economic crises, that is the drama of the ones fostering greed.
The fourth basic rule is that of nonviolence. The majority of the not so-modern-anymore man refuses to be a vegetarian. We think it is healthy to eat meat, even many modern Hindus do so. Still it is unnecessary violence against other living beings and that mentality, that lack of compassion with with the endless suffering of our fellow creatures, is not conducive to our conscience of maintaining our humanness and international peace and it also spoils  our chances of collective survival, because of the greenhouse gasses generated by meat production. With an excess of animal gas (methane) emissions our climate is changing because of our greed for meat and is also the biodiversity diminishing seriously for that reason. As stated in book one this lack of heart for other living beings within the scope of meat consumption is part of our discontent and the reason why we engage in offering this filognosy as a solution. The predator mind is the type of mind that tends to rule our lives and international politics. When conflicts of interest cannot be resolved by political agreement or corruption we, being fixed in this mind, easily decide to wage war. As slaves of the false notion of being the controllers of this planet, we then engage in systematic mutual destruction. The notion between slaughtering animals and slaughtering human beings then drops away. One became what one ate. Karma. It almost seems to be a tradition in this time and age of quarrel to start wars when we, politically arguing, reached the end of our precious reason in enmity and frustration. What wisdom would save us? Not knowing that there is always war somewhere on the planet. Vegetarianism, which is an important part of the solution of classical wisdom, is a more difficult diet than eating meat. Therefore it does not happen that easily, but for our desire to eat meat worldwide as a basic life standard, we actually need more than one planet. And thus we sooner or later will have to. The planet is with such an ecological footprint simply not big enough for so many predators. And let us not dilate now on the problems of controlling the mentality of violence belonging to it and the health costs associated with the diseases following from the regular consumption of, in particular, red meat and processed meat products. The violent person, the meat eater in conclusion, has in the denial of this problem offering no constructive solution, no real compassion and finds no compassion, but chooses - more or less consciously - rather for a world full of physical disease and global ecological decay, that is his drama.

Religions have lost their credibility by being rational cultural defenses of violence, selfishness, greed, unfaithfulness and untruthfulness. We with them have forgotten that the original religion is about  respecting the natural order of time, sexual love, sharing the wealth of this planet and being nondestructive with each other, the animals and the plants. Our planet is fast on its way to become a hellish planet. The integrity of these values,  the actual solution, is offered by the Person of All Values we always know by another name. His we should respect. But clearly one in offense with the vidhi, with these regulative principles, is not of His heaven and paradise. One loses the quality of the people and the planet. One does not want to take birth on a bad planet. Who wants to take birth where the atmosphere is spoilt, the seas are dead, the soil is polluted, the biodiversity is destroyed and the cultures are motivated for endless political quarrel and illusions of victory, without any faithfulness to the basic rules of human civilization as defended with the original Vedic vidhi? Not conscious of the rules for a righteous democracy version 2.0 we tend to have an unrighteousness demon-cracy, a rule of evil. We imagine ourselves to be virtuous, but when we in fact refuse to respect the truth, to be faithful, to share and to be nonviolent, we are mistaken. Thus we plead in these inspirations for the integrity of these values, for the respect for the True Person Within Us All.

This book we are writing about, the Bhāgavatam as it is also called, was, as stated, written by Vyāsadeva. He was the writer of many other well known Vedic texts like the Bhagavad Gītā and the Brahma-sūtra. This book is in India considered the most important collection of stories wherein in particular the history is described of what happened directly after the great war that constituted the fall of the Vedic culture. It discusses how politicians ran into estrangement with the sages, how each went his own way and how one became a stranger to one's true self under the rule of the age of quarrel. It also describes the heroic efforts of the souls who notwithstanding this problem try to be truthful, faithful, sharing and nonviolent, as was discussed. These people are called devotees or simply spiritual. When you put your clock to the sun, your calendar to the moon, when you accept celibacy as a rule for regulating your sex life, when you are in favor of basic incomes instead of a false concept of economic freedom and when you do not want any killing anymore on this planet full of predator minded people, you are a spiritual person, a devotee. This kind of people has a culture of exercising respect for the person, the inner witness that we all are. These people turn away from impersonalism and voidism. These people want to share the planet and its wealth. These people are vegetarians. Even though the rest of mankind has fallen for the animal propensities to lie, to cheat, to steal and to kill, these idealists believe in a culture of devotion. Putting the person first including the basic rules, the human command of the culture of knowledge, the Vedic culture about it, they believe it is possible to create cultural refuges, safe havens, safe pockets of subcultural human virtue that are basically devotional and spiritual.

Dear reader if you consider yourself spiritual, a person worth the while, if you dare to take up the forgotten theme of exercising respect for the Original Person of the human command deep inside of us, then please continue reading, for this book is the defense of such a cultural refuge amidst a sea of human weakness offending the basic rules. If you love this planet and want to contribute to turning our collective fate away from the hellish conditions we inevitably will end up in with the false concept of the 'demoncracy' of our so-called modern lives, then make it a habit to regularly pick this book up and meditate daily on the names and stories of the persons of virtue described herein. This constitutes the way out of our modern predicament of false freedom, endless quarrel and self destruction. This knowledge came a long way, from long ago it stood the test of time. There is in fact no other way but to respect the original witness within and follow the basic rules to protect the person of purity and love, truth and righteousness, sharing and nonviolence we in fact are deep inside of us. Conditioned as slaves of a system that inspires us otherwise, we absolutely need this alternative to the modern lie that threatens the survival of all of life on this planet. So please, again, be decided to put your clock and calendar to nature, to at least accept the postponement of sexual gratification in celibacy as the rule of your love life, to share your wealth in favor of a government defending basic incomes and to be nonviolent in peace and love with all living beings. I beg you, save at least yourself and your fellow devotees and turn the tide of the modern fall down of our human command. Even though the Vedic culture was lost because of denying the human command, there is really no other way of being mentally, socially, religiously and also physically healthy.

This second book of inspirations discusses in ten chapters in the form of a dialogue the questions of 1) how one should meditate on His form, how one 2) should both respect the time and the person for a cultural basis, why one 3) should embrace devotion as an alternative, how one 4) can show one's respect for the Original Person, how 5) a creative person operates in being faithful to the traditions, what 6) the Original Person of All has to offer us as His gifts, what 7) His appearances were before and after the fall of the Vedic culture, 8) what specific questions are raised by this knowledge, how 9) the Supreme Person in Command revealed Himself for the purpose of this knowledge and finally 10) which answers are given to the fundamental questions about the form of the Person of All Knowledge and our evolution therewith.
The logic of this second book is different from the logic in the first one. Different types of logic shed different types of light on a subject, so that it may be better understood. This many-angle approach is fundamental to this type of spiritual knowledge of self-realization we have named filognosy in book one, a term proposed as a western translation for the Sanskrit term ātmatattva. In the first book we departed from the perspective of philosophy in discussing the different ideas and terms in relation to the subject of the person. In this second book we reason the other way around. From the perspective of the person we now discuss the ins and outs of learning about this philosophical subject of discussion. The first book consists of monologues, essays, reflections and discourses that discuss basic terms. These monologues divert to a great extend from the original texts in the first Canto and display more what the general way of thinking is in relation to these texts. They offer hardly a direct purport on them. The second book consists of dialogues between a seeker and a teacher that by contrast very closely follows and also, where necessary, elaborates on the mantras in the second Canto. The dialogue is generally preferred in philosophy as the medium for truth and personal reality. The entire Bhāgavatam is for that reason offered in the form of a frame story in dialogue. Thus, after our non-dialectic but necessary introductory philosophical exercises for getting a grip on the terms of our filognosy concerning the person in the first place, we now arrive at the philosophy of the person from the more empathic viewpoint of the person who knows in discussion with the person who seeks. Two persons we all have within us.

Swami Anand Aadhar, October 6, 2016







The Person

De Persoon

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