Monday was a pretty quiet day...
I have been thinking alot about my mother. I promised my
mother on her death bed that I would take care of my father
for her. I realize now she may not have cared about that at
that particular moment but I felt that it was something I could
reassure her about anyway.
I was also realizing that I had the honor of being present at
both my parent's death. I was holding my mother's hand
and I was a few feet away from my father. My father actually
died in my husband's arms. It was fitting somehow.
Hi Marcia. I also thought that you were fortunate to be present during your
father's passing away. I am glad it did not happen at the day care center
but instead at home. Sometimes, even when there is physical distance, there
can be a presence.
We visited the U.S. for about two years when I was in grade school and my
father was a professor. One day my brothers and I and my mother and father
were coming out of a park in the evening where we had been walking around.
As my parents approached their car, a bright ball of light came out of
nowhere and circled the car several times and then sped away. My parents
looked at each other. My mother said, "Did you see that light?." My father
said "Yes. what was it?" It was a highly unusual occurrence and we were
silent and wondering. Later, we received a telegram that my father's mother
had passed away in India.
WEEKLY WORDS OF WISDOM
on the World Wide Web
from Lama Surya Das
* * * * * * * * *
The Very Short Sutra on the Meeting of the Buddha and the Goddess
Thus have I made up:
Once the Buddha was walking
along the forest path in the Oak Grove at Ojai,
walking without arriving anywhere or having any
thought of arriving or not arriving.
And lotuses, shining with the morning dew
miraculously appeared under every step
Soft as silk beneath the toes of the Buddha.
When suddenly, out of the turquoise sky,
dancing in front of his half-shut inward-looking
eyes, shimmering like a rainbow
or a spider's web
transparent as the dew on a lotus flower
-- the Goddess appeared quivering
like a hummingbird in the air before him.
She, for she was surely a she
as the Buddha could clearly see
with his eye of discriminating awareness wisdom,
was mostly red in color
though when the light shifted
she flashed like a rainbow.
She was naked except
for the usual flower ornaments
Her long hair
was deep blue, her eyes fathomless pits
of space, and her third eye a bloodshot
song of fire.
The Buddha folded his hands together
and greeted the Goddess thus:
"O goddess, why are you blocking my path?
Before I saw you I was happily going nowhere.
Now I'm not so sure where I go."
"You can go around me,"
said the Goddess, twirling on her heel like a bird
but just a little way away,
"or you can come after me
but you can't pretend I'm not here,
This is my forest, too."
With that the Buddha sat
supple as a snake
solid as a rock
beneath a Bo tree
that sprang full-leaved
to shade him.
"Perhaps we should have a chat,"
"After years of arduous practice
at the time of the morning star
I penetrated reality and
"Not so fast, Buddha," the Goddess said,
"I am reality."
The earth stood still,
the oceans paused,
the wind itself listened
-- a thousand arhats, bodhisattvas and dakinis
magically appeared to hear
what would happen in the conversation.
"I know I take my life in my hands,"
said the Buddha,
"But I am known as the Fearless One
-- so here goes."
And he and the Goddess
without further words
Light rays like sun beams
so brightly that even
Sariputra, the All-Seeing One,
had to turn away.
And then they exchanged thoughts
And the illumination was as bright as a diamond candle
And then they exchanged minds
And there was a great silence as vast as the universe that
And then they exchanged bodies
And then clothes
And the Buddha arose
as the Goddess
and the Goddess arose as the Buddha.
And so on back and forth
for a hundred thousand hundred thousand kalpas.
If you meet the Buddha
you meet the Goddess.
If you meet the Goddess,
you meet the Buddha.
Not only that. This:
The Buddha is emptiness,
The Goddess is bliss.
The Goddess is emptiness,
The Buddha is bliss.
And that is what
And what-not you are
So here comes the mantra of the Goddess and the Buddha,
the unsurpassed non-dual mantra. Just to say this mantra,
just to hear this mantra once, just to hear one word of this
mantra once makes everything the way it truly is: OK.
So here it is:
Hey silent one, Hey great talker
Not two/ not one
Not separate/ not apart
This is the heart
Bliss is emptiness
Emptiness is bliss
Be your breath, Ah
Smile, Hey, And relax, Ho
Remember: You can't miss.
By Rick Fields. May, 1987.
It seems to me that Ramana said that there are three theories of
1.) It didn't happen at all.
2.) It is perceived as it arises.
3.) It was created by a 'Creator'.
So I guess it depends on what theory one favours. Number 2 Is
probably where our experience lies, for most of those into non-
So free will would be something that happened before immediate
causality, and we just live through the motions, thinking that we are
the doer. When it has already been done, or not done if you take
So freewill is only the freedom to attach oneself to the action,
rather than doing the action. For it is done spontaneously.
Hence comes the karma incurred from doing something that one has no
Om Namah Sivaya, Tony.
This is the 3-part division of causal theories in advaita vedanta.
1. known as ajAti vAda (non-creation)
2. known as dRshTi-sRshTi vAda (perception is simultaneous with creation)
3. known as sRshTi-dRshTi vAda (what has been created is perceived)
Traditionally, advaita students are taught various theories as they make
sense to the student. As the student starts seeing that the theory doesn't
make sense, the next one is taught with a new scripture, such as the
Mandukya Upanishad for the ajati vada.
If even #2 is one's experience, the question of free will wouldn't really
arise for that one.
Namaste and OM!
Namaste All, Greg,
Sure if it didn't happen free will is redundant. If it happens as one
perceives it, surely we are perceiving the result of previous karmas
playing out. Seeing the results of previous incarnations so to speak.
In that case what we do is predetermined and only our ego has the
illusion of causing/choosing the action.
Creation is also like this! However even if we admit some validity to
the world, however illusory, all things happen at once. There being
time,so freewill is an illuison, the decision you make is the one you
were going to make anyway. Lives being like spokes on a wheel and we
concentrate on one particular one at a time, but the others are
existing and sometimes 'bleed through'.
So ultimately there is only Nirguna Brahman and no creation instant
That is how I perceive it, and even scientifically it is arising all
There is a question about time in number 2 though, arising as we
perceive it. If we give any validity to time at all.
Om Namah Sivaya, Tony.
The spontaneity is the causeless arising of appearances from silence. Free
will, like you say, carries the notion of causality, like "I caused this."
It's related to the desire to control things for one's self and in the
world. The person wants to be the cause. But this is never so. If we had
to describe these things in the language of cause and effect, the person is
never the cause, but always the effect!
> Forgive my butting in here...
You're most welcome. I really apreciate your effort to
clarify this point.
> The idea of the whole causing the part is just a
> tautology given to satisfy the mind. It's like
> saying a thing causes itself. The whole causing the
> part removes time from the picture, and time is
> usually part of a causal explanation.
I don't see why that (the whole causing the part)
should be a tautology. I'm not speaking of self-cause,
but of the possibility that each phenomenon is
determined (that is, brought about, conditioned or
affected) by all the other phenomena. Whether such
phenomena are or not entities, is here immaterial: also
mere aspects or accidents like colour, weight or speed
are said to be caused by this or that, even if they are
not entities themselves.
>On the other hand, the idea of the source causing part
>of the projection ... If the source is featureless,
>free of phenomenal characteristics, then this hasn't
>answered the causal question that arises
> for most people -- why does the part in question look
>like XXX rather than YYY?
Yes, the idea of the source causing part of the
projection smells of continous intervertion of the
ultimate cause (a sort of ceaseless series of
miracles). I don't see Brahman determining each and
every aspect of whatever happens. There's an obvious
autonomy in the evolution of the world of phenomena,
free from divine interference.
But what about the source bringing about the whole of
projection at the beginning of time and setting it in
motion in an autonomous, selfdetermined evolution?
>Why require the idea of a cause in the first place?
>When you have the idea of a cause and
> an effect, then you have a THING that is the cause
>and an THING that is the effect. If you say the cause
>is the source, then this has made a THING out
>of the source, which is THINGLESS.
The mind produces thoughts. And this does not make the
mind or the thoughts THINGS, if by that you mean
independent, separate objects. Neither of them is. And
yet what is wrong in asserting that the mind produces
thoughts? Or that consciousness produces mental
objects? From the fact that something is caused you
can't conclude that both the caused and the cause are
independent things. Both may still be mere appearances,
sheer empty forms without substance.
> Not only is a cause never truly observed, but neither
>is constancy. Constancy is nothing more than a thought
>arising Now. A thought comes that says "This pear is
>growing on a pear tree just like the other 1000 cases
> I've seen - and no other fruit has ever grown on a
>pear tree." During this thought that spontaneously
>appears in the Now, the other pears are not
> present. There's no proof that any pear, any tree,
>or any thought ever preceded it. This thought is not
>evidence that anything in the past ever
> happened -- it's self-contained. So why seek after
>an external cause? It's perpetual reaching....
Constancy doesn't require the passing of time to be
Even if there existed only this present moment, you
could see a constant relation between some aspects of
the projection and others. For example, if you stand in
front of 1000 peartrees to the right and 1000
orangetrees to the left, you instantly perceive a rule:
only pears on peartrees, only oranges on orangetrees.
Not one exception. No past or future are implied in the
observation. All in the now. How do you then account
for the regularity, the constancy, if everything
happens spontaneously, by chance, without any cause?
Indeed causation, being not an object but a relation
between objects, is never directly observed. In the
same way you can never directly observe other relations
like family relationship, dependence, or motion, but
that does not prevent you from saying that So-and-so is
your mother, or that the crop will depend on the
weather, or that the moon moves aroung the earth. And
that stands even if you come to the conclusion that
your mother, the crop and the moon are mere
appearances, not entities. Appearances yes, but
determined by the rest of the projection.
Not that I give so much importance to causation. But I
feel that without it you lose all possibility of
understanding anything or of saying anything
meaningful. For example, you wouldn't be able to say
"What Ramana says in this book has clarified my doubts"
(because you'd be then assuming a causality) or
"ajata-vada is taught to the more advanced students"
(you'd be assuming time and progress to exist), or even
"I liked your last post" (how do you know that it was
the post that produced that feeling?). In fact, without
causality you'd have to sink in the most absolute
silence, or to consider all speach mere nonsensical
mumbling and babbling.
Don't answer this post, because if you do, that will
prove that, whatever you may say, in fact you do
believe in causality.