The consequences of pride and self-righteousness

Intelligence + education + knowledge + awareness + ability + opportunity
+ passion + ambitious + idealistic positive thinking to create a ‘perfect’ world the way that ‘I’ think it should be + craving and aversion + impurities of anger, hatred, frustration, dissatisfaction, disappointment, hurt, guilt, fear and worry + pride + self-righteousness + trying to ‘educate’ or ‘change’ other people’s thinking, belief or behavior that ‘I’ don’t like and don’t agree with to be the way that ‘I’ like and agree with
= egoistic actions derived from selfish intention and aspiration based on personal thinking, belief, desires, ideal, attachment, identification, judgment, expectation
= the possibility of a more messy world with more impurities and ignorant behavior/actions/reactions

Intelligence + education + knowledge + awareness + ability + opportunity
– passion – ambitious – idealistic positive thinking to create a ‘perfect’ world the way that ‘I’ think it should be – craving and aversion – impurities of anger, hatred, frustration, dissatisfaction, disappointment, hurt, guilt, fear and worry – pride – self-righteousness – trying to ‘educate’ or ‘change’ other people’s thinking, belief or behavior that ‘I’ don’t like and don’t agree with to be the way that ‘I’ like and agree with
= selfless actions derived from selflessness, wisdom and compassion
= the possibility of a less messy world with less impurities or ignorant behavior/actions/reactions

When we don’t like and disagree with the world being what it is and want to change the world to be the way that we think it should be, when we think there are people in the world are ignorant and selfish who behave ignorantly and selfishly, and we try to perform ‘good’ and ‘righteous’ actions to ‘educate’ or ‘change’ those whom we think are ignorant and selfish, with intention or hope or expectation to change their thinking, belief and behavior to be less ignorant and selfish (because we think we are better than them or we know better than them), will only provoke/generate more impurities and ignorant behavior in the world. This is because due to ignorance, selfishness and pride, people don’t like to be ‘educated’ or ‘changed’ or ‘controlled’ or ‘interfered’ by anybody, they will be very offended and feel being challenged or insulted or humiliated, and hence, they will react under the influence of unhappiness, dissatisfaction, defensiveness, pride and anger, and be inclined/provoked to perform more ignorant actions and selfish behavior.

None can take away another being’s ignorance. It has to come from oneself being aware of ignorance in oneself and self-initiated to be free from ignorance.

If we really want (to help) the world to be free from all sorts of ignorant thinking, belief and behavior, then mind our own mind, to free one’s mind from ignorance and ignorant thinking, belief and behavior, is the most efficient way to help the world to have less ignorant beings and less ignorant thinking, belief and behavior.

Have peace in oneself if we want (to help) the world to have (more) peace.

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Be free, we don’t need to be someone important to be happy and peaceful…

The one who needs to be and feel ‘I’ am someone important, and keeps looking forward to possess certain qualities of name and form to be attached onto and to be identified as who we are, to be better and greater, to feel meaningful and happy about oneself or one’s existence, is the ego.

The ego wants to be recognized, acknowledged and remembered as somebody ‘important’ or ‘great’. Some egos want to be recognized and remembered as bad and evil. As long as we attach onto either good or bad qualities to be who we are, we are not free.

Be free from the ego. We don’t need to be important or great, whether in good or bad qualities, to be who we are. It’s knowing how to love and accept the impermanent body and mind as they are, without expecting ourselves to be identified as somebody whom we are not, that makes everything meaningful. It’s not about ‘I’ want to be important, or ‘I’ want to do something great, or ‘I’ want to feel meaningful, or ‘I’ want my existence to be meaningful. We do our best by making use of the present condition and ability of the physical body and the thinking mind, to serve oneself and others, but without identification with all the qualities of name and form that we have or don’t have, without attachment towards the impermanent condition and ability of the body and mind, what the body and mind can do and can’t do, and all the past and present actions and inactions.

One can be free from the ego and still performing lots of beneficial actions in the world, for oneself and others, without identification of ‘I’ am good, or important, or great, without attachment towards ‘I’ am performing good, or important, or great actions. Without the desire or intention of ‘I’ want to serve humanity, or ‘I’ want to feel good and happy and meaningful.

Be free.

Selflessness and selfless service is not the same as self-sacrifice

Selflessness and perform selfless service is the main part of yoga practice. It’s about performing action without egoism. There is no ego or ‘I’, and hence, there’s no attachment or identification with the actions and the fruit of actions. Selflessness and selfless service is not about self-sacrifice. It’s not about sacrifice ‘myself’ to put other beings before ‘I’. They are two different things.

One can be performing many actions including yoga practice, rituals and self-sacrificed actions, but one isn’t practicing yoga if one doesn’t know what is performing action without egoism.

Be free from the idea of ‘I’ sacrifice ‘myself’ to put other beings and their benefits in front of ‘I’ and ‘my benefits’. But there’s no ‘I’ or ‘my benefits’ to be sacrificed for other beings. There’s no separation. There’s no this being and other beings. Be kind to others is being kind to oneself, and be kind to oneself is being kind to others.

There’s no sacrifice.

Om shanti.

Dispassion?

Dispassion is gradually developed as we sincerely perform Yoga Sadhana with the correct understanding and attitude. It is a natural renunciation, or disinterest in worldly objects, activities, and sensual enjoyments. As the mind is less and less running out to chase after names and forms.

Real dispassion comes from realizing the truth of worldly things, or objects, or activities, or sensual enjoyments (all the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses), and stop chasing after all these impermanent names and forms.

There is no craving or clinging towards all the names and forms that the mind perceives or recognizes as pleasant, or good, or positive, or happiness.

There is no aversion towards all the names and forms that the mind perceives or recognizes as unpleasant, or bad, or negative, or suffering.

The mean of Yoga Sadhana is to be conserving and directing the energy or attention into performing yoga and meditation practice, or engaging the body and mind in performing Yoga Sadhana, to purify the mind, to remove ignorance, impurities and egoism, to transcend the conditioned and limited thinking egoistic restless mind, to be free.

This is not about run away from our duties and responsibilities, or throw away all our relationships and belongings, and think that we are practicing non-attachment, or detachment, or dispassion, as this doesn’t give us liberation either if the mind is not free from ignorance, impurities and egoism.

It is living in the world, as we are, performing all our duties and responsibilities towards ourselves and others (whether we know or don’t know, without discrimination, or preferences, or priority), without being affected, nor disturbed, nor influenced, nor determined by all these worldly objects, relationships, duties and responsibilities, and renounce the fruit of all our actions.

All our actions including spiritual practice, is being performed without attachment, without expectation. There is no selfish desires, or intentions, or ambitions about ‘I’ want to do this and that, or ‘I’ want to get this and that, or ‘I’ want to be this or that. There is no success and failure, gain and loss, good and bad, happiness and unhappiness in the actions and objects, if we truly know what is dispassion.

This is not feelingless, or emotionless, or being ‘cold’. This is in fact great compassion towards all beings including ourselves, being undetermined or uninfluenced by the impermanent qualities of names and forms, being free from ignorance, impurities and egoism.

If we think and desire, ‘I’ want to be good, and ‘I’ do many good actions, and ‘I’ expect something good in return, and ‘I’ expect ‘I’ to be acknowledged or recognized by the world as a good person, then this is not what yoga is about.

If we think and desire, ‘I’ don’t want to be bad, and ‘I’ don’t do bad actions, and ‘I’ expect nothing bad in return, and ‘I’ expect ‘I’ not to be acknowledged or recognized by the world as a bad person, then this is also not what yoga is about.

If we think and desire, ‘I’ want to be compassionate, and ‘I’ perform many compassionate actions, and ‘I’ expect the world to be benefited by my compassionate actions, and ‘I’ expect ‘I’ to be acknowledged or recognized by the world as a compassionate person, then this is not what compassion is about.

If we think and feel, ‘I’ am a good and righteous being, ‘I’ love and care for the world, ‘I’ am a better person than those whom ‘I’ think they don’t love nor care for the world, ‘I’ am angry and hating those whom ‘I’ think they don’t do anything to make the world a better place, ‘I’ am angry and hating the people that make the world a suffering place, ‘I’ will be happy and at peace when all the bad people and bad happenings that ‘I’ don’t like and don’t agree with disappear from the world, then this is not what yoga is about.

Observe all these thinking and feelings. They are not caused by what is happening out there in the world. They arise in the mind, as soon as the ego reacts towards all the perception of names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses of what it sees, hears, smells, tastes, touches, and thinks based on what the ego likes and dislikes, agrees and disagrees with. When the ego is eliminated, there won’t be such reactions in the mind. It is not the world that troubles us, it is the ego.

Just by reading or hearing all these teachings won’t liberate us from ignorance and egoism. We need to divert the mind from all sorts of worldly distractions, to be performing Yoga Sadhana to purify the mind. It’s not selfishness to divert our energy and attention to concentrate on performing Yoga Sadhana. This is indeed a noble action, to take care of our minds first, before we can truly take care of other beings. We need to be free egoism and ignorance and suffering, being undetermined by the worldly objects of names and forms, before we can help other beings to be free as well.

Meditate, go beyond the ‘I’, and all that comes from this ‘I’.

Realize unconditional peace of who we really are, then we can truly benefit the world just by being who we really are, being at peace.

The satisfaction and happy and good feelings coming from being able to do what we want to do, go where we want to go, achieve what we want to achieve in the world, is conditional, limited, and impermanent. It is not the ultimate unconditional peace coming from the practice of dispassion and discrimination towards all the worldly names and forms, including this body and this mind. Undetermined by all these impermanent names and forms to be identifying as ‘who we are’.

Once we realize this, it doesn’t matter if we are performing some actions or not in the world, there is no difference. There is no selfish intentions, desires nor expectation to motivate or demotivate us to perform actions or not. There is no criticism towards those who are not free yet, who are over-powered by ignorance, impurities and egoism. There is no criticism towards those who seem like ‘not doing’ anything for the world, or ‘not caring’ for the world.

When the mind is silent, the world ceases to exist. What is good and bad? What is happiness and suffering? What is positive and negative? What is right and wrong?

The one who is dispassionate, not allowing the mind to go out chasing after worldly objects, who is restricting and controlling his/her mind to sit still in the chamber of his/her heart, who has conquered his/her mind, who’s mind is free from worldly desires, is going to benefit the world a lot. With the unwavering, desireless pure mind, he/she can live in the world, being undistracted by worldly objects and affairs, and ‘performs’ selfless actions to serve the world/universe.

There’s no difference between action and inaction, when one knows what is dispassion.

Those who are passionate towards the world, and those who are compassionate towards the world, are both performing some actions in the world, but the difference is;

The love towards the world that motivate or demotivate us to perform certain actions, but will result in anger, hatred, discrimination, dissatisfaction and disappointment in us when things don’t happen the way that we think it should be, is passionate love that binds us to suffering.

The love towards the world (whether performing some actions or not) that won’t result in anger, hatred, discrimination, dissatisfaction and disappointment in us when things don’t happen the way that we think it should be, is compassionate love that doesn’t bind us to suffering.

Om shanti.

The practice of mind control (Raja Yoga) – renunciation and silence

There are many different types of personalities or temperaments in those who are interested in learning and practicing the ancient techniques of how to control the mind and how to be really peaceful and happy through the path of yoga and meditation.

It doesn’t matter what type of personality that we have, some of us (the mind and the ego) might prefer a passionate outgoing life and like to be active and sociable, some of us might prefer to live a quiet inner life and have less social activities for conserving energy and focus on yoga and meditation practice for Self-realization, and some of us find a balance point between the active sociable outgoing life and the quiet inner life (this exists in those who have self-discipline and self-control).

There is nothing wrong with all these different types of temperaments in different people.

That’s why there are many different paths in yoga to suit all types of temperaments people.

People who are outgoing and like to be active and sociable are suitable for Karma Yoga (the path of selfless action or renounce from the fruit of action) and Bhakti Yoga (the path of devotion).

People who are not outgoing are suitable for Raja Yoga (the path of mind control) and Jnana Yoga (the path of wisdom).

All paths are not separated from each other and will lead to mental peace, contentment and annihilation of the ego (selflessness and compassion) if the practice is being performed with correct attitude and effort. You’ll see Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga and Raja Yoga in connection with each other. You’ll be practicing all these paths at the same time when you come to the state of purity and selflessness.

But, no matter which type of yoga or what type of path, the practice of non-attachment, dispassion and right discrimination, having intense yearning for liberation and the cultivation of the sixfold paths – tranquility of mind, control of the senses, satiety (renounce from worldly objects, enjoyments and activities), the power of endurance and forbearance, immovable faith (in God for those who believe in God or in Self for those who disbelieve in God, in the teacher, in the teachings), and indifference (balance of mind or equanimity), are the essential basic qualities or cultivation in a Sadhaka or Yogi.

The path of mind control is to turn the outgoing mind inward and make the mind introspective.

In order to achieve this inward state of mind, the observation of Self-restraint (control of our own thoughts, action and speech), morality, silence (Mauna) and celibacy (control of sexual desire), the practice of Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses from the objects of the senses) and one-pointedness of mind (concentration), lessening the number of thoughts, the cultivation of mental non-attachment and reduction of wants and desires, avoid too much talking or walking, avoid too much eating or fasting, avoid too much physical activities, avoid too much mixing with worldly minded people, avoid novel and newspaper-reading, avoid visiting cinemas or movies watching, develop Antarmukha-Vritti (making the outgoing tendency of the mind turn inward upon itself), and etc, all these are the very important practice in the path of yoga and meditation.

These practice are not just to purify and calming the mind, but also to conserve energy and channel the externalizing energy turn inward for spiritual Sadhana to realize the Truth.

All these practice can be performed and should be performed while living in the midst of the distracting world of names and forms. If we only can observe these practice while in an Ashram or in a retreat centre for a short period of time, but once we go back into the worldly life, we cannot or do not follow and continue all these practice, and are constantly being distracted and disturbed by all the names and forms, then whatever practice we perform will not bring us to the real peace (free from doubts, ignorance, fear and worry).

At one moment we might feel peaceful and at some other times, we might feel unpeaceful and restless due to the fluctuation of the mind activities or mental thought-waves (come from all the inputs – perception of names and forms through the senses; and outputs – expression of ideas, thoughts, feelings, emotions and egoism through action and speech, physically and mentally).

Yoga and meditation is to starve the mind or deprive the mind from activities (ideas and thoughts) by Vairagya and Tyaga (renunciation of desires, objects and egoism).

But this type of inner life is being criticized by the passionate worldly people as “anti-social”. But a true Yogi or Sadhaka is not a bit disturbed nor moved by this type of criticism that comes from the worldly minded people, it’s because they cannot understand the importance of the practice of renunciation and silence, and they have not yet experience the eternal and real inner peace that comes from renunciation and silence. Worldly minded passionate people seek after the momentary and conditional satisfaction and happy feelings that come from doing the things and getting the objects that we want and like. There is nothing wrong with this. But when things don’t turn out the way that we want them to be, we’ll get disappointed, frustrated and unhappy, forever restless being influenced and over-powered by all the attachments, and the craving and aversion in our own mind.

When the mind is rendered pure, calm and at peace, undisturbed nor distracted by all the names and forms, then this Yogi or Sadhaka can mix freely in the world to perform selfless service but will not be influenced nor affected by the world and the fruit of action, as he is firmly established in non-attachment and renunciation. He can be truly compassionate when he knows non-attachment and renunciation. He won’t be disturbed nor affected by the result of his compassionate actions. There is no difference between respectful and disrespectful, success and failure, good and bad beings, censure and praise, happiness and suffering. He is unconditioned by all the names and forms of good and bad.

Be free. Be really peaceful and happy.

Om shanti.

When the outgoing tendencies of the mind are arrested, when the mind is restrained within the heart, when all its attention is turned on itself alone, that condition is Antarmukha-Vritti. The Sadhaka can do a lot of Sadhana when he has this inward Vritti. Vairagya and introspection help a lot in the attainment of this mental state.

He who has controlled his mind is really happy and free.

Concentration and Meditation – Swami Sivananda