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Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa
Impersonalism is a very dangerous philosophy for it proposes the absurd idea that we are all God. It is presently being taught in schools, universities and colleges all over the world. Some of its adherents are teaching it more subtly and do not speak out directly about becoming God. Rather, they disguise it in various ways like self-improvement, success-oriented seminars, "Christianity" and movements that aim to cultivate the "hidden powers of man." Yet, people succumb to the foolishness of this idea. Life Force Series, then, takes a stand and aims to educate people of the stupidity of impersonalism. We hope that with this understanding, people may recognize such a philosophy even in its disguised forms to be foolish and absurd. We therefore present this in-depth interview with JAGAD GURU Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa, world renowned philosopher and teacher of the Science of Identity.
The game is not to know God; the game is to be God. 1Werner Erhard, the founder of est, has a similar teaching:
You're god in your universe. You caused it. You pre- tended not to cause it so you could play in it, and you can remember you caused it any time you want to. 2Swami Muktananda puts it this way:
Meditate on your SelfMaharishi Yogi, Vivekananda, and a host of other prominent swamis and theologians, as well as countless numbers of religion professors and yoga teachers, are also directly teaching the "I am God" philosophy.
Honor your Self
Worship your Self
Understand your Self
God dwells within you as you. 3
The impersonalist philosophy is so degraded that it has taken the insignificant living entity to be the Lord, the Supreme Truth, thus covering the glory and the Supremacy of the Absolute Truth with monism. -- Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi-lila, Vol. 2,7:120To say that God is forced to transmigrate into the bodies of worms, maggots, flies, dogs and hogs, birds and humans denies His power and intelligence.
. . . the highest consciousness becomes bound by . . . limitations; its primal powers of omniscience, omnipotence, perfection, everlastingness and all-pervasiveness are experienced in a reduced condition. Although omniscient, He knows only a few things; though omnipotent, He feels helpless and acts effectively only in a small sphere. The Master of perfect bliss, He is ensnared in pleasure and pain, attachment and aversion. The Eternal Being cries aloud from fear of death, regarding Himself as mortal. Pervading all space and form, He grieves because He is tied to a particular place and a particular form. 4So, according to the impersonalist philosophers, God becomes bound up on the wheel of birth and death, and this is all due to His having forgotten that He is God. According to this theory, God needs to meditate and struggle against material nature to remember who He is. So we have "God" watching His diet, doing breathing exercises, bouncing up and down on His bottom to try to wake up the kundalini, and trying in so many ways to remember His identity.
I am God . . . I am God . . . How did I forget? I am God . . . damn mosquito! . . . It's just me, I haven't forgotten. I am God, I am God . . . Why am I having to struggle?This is the impersonalists' philosophy. Muktananda says:
God forgets His own true nature and looks for God. God worships God. God meditates on God, and God is trying to find God. 5He's saying that God forgot. Now, that's just brilliant! "God forgot who He was and now He has to meditate to remember." Only a fool could make such a statement. The fact is, God does not need to meditate to remember His identity. God knows who He is, always has and always will. There is no question of amnesia for the Supreme Lord. God never forgets His identity, or anything else for that matter. In fact, it is described in the ancient Vedic scripture, Srimad Bhagavatam, that Mayadevi, the personification of ignorance and illusion, is afraid to show her face before the Lord.
It is only the One that becomes many. There is only the One in the many. Behind the differences lies the undifferentiated. The undifferentiated manifests differences. It is only the nondual becoming dual that revels unceasingly. 6In other words, the impersonalist theory holds that God has become the world and all souls or living beings. Impersonalists sometimes explain that God is like a piece of paper tearing itself up into many pieces. Thus God becomes fragmented and scattered everywhere. He divides Himself and appears as the many. And, like a piece of paper that is torn and scattered about, the original and unseparated whole no longer exists other than in that separated condition as the world and all living beings.
Brahma satyam jagan mithya. ["This world is false; only Brahman is real."]QUESTION: What is your idea? Isn't God impersonal? Isn't that the Absolute Truth?
I am the basis of the impersonal Brahman.-Bhagavad-gita 14:27So the personal form of God is not material, but is sat-chit-ananda-- full of eternity, knowledge and bliss. The impersonal Brahman (which the impersonalists consider Supreme) is simply the rays or effulgence emanating from the Supreme Person. This is described in the Brahma Samhita:
I serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda, the primeval Lord, whose transcendental bodily effulgence is known as the impersonal Brahman (which is unlimited, unfathomed, and all-pervasive).The impersonalist knows that all material forms spring from the formless Brahman--and this is a fact--but that formless Brahman is springing from the Supreme Person.
-Brahma Samhita 5:14
The Absolute Truth is so perfect that although innumerable energies emanate from Him and manifest creations which appear to be different from Him, He nevertheless maintains His personality. He never deteriorates under any circumstances. 7QUESTION: So, if we are emanations or energies of God, then we're actually eternally individuals?
Assuming physical bodies, He appears as separate entities. 8The impersonalist idea is that we appear to be individuals because we have on physical bodies. Without the physical bodies there would be no individuality.
One who sees the Supersoul accompanying the individual soul in all bodies, and who understands that neither the soul nor the Supersoul is ever destroyed, actually sees.Also, Krishna states:
- Bhagavad-gita 13:28
Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to exist.The individuality of the soul and the Supreme Soul is clearly documented in this verse. Krishna could have said, "I am you and I am them and I have always existed and always will," but He didn't. He made a clear distinction between Himself, Arjuna and the kings by pointing to each as being eternal.
- Bhagavad-gita 2:12
Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharat, and a predominant rise of irreligion--at that time I descend Myself.Guru actually means the descent of the representative of the Supreme Personality. But since the impersonalists say that each of us is God descended, "avatar" or "guru" has no meaning. To them guru or avatar is nothing special. According to their theory, we are all avatars, even the soul in the body of a dog or rat.
- Bhagavad-gita 4: 7
The truth is that the highest Lord, pure consciousness, lives in absolute freedom . . . He can do whatever He likes. If an emperor wants to enact the role of an ordinary constable, he puts aside his pomp and majesty, his elephants and horses, and plays a commoner for a while. In exactly the same way, the supreme Lord, who is of the nature of consciousness, sheds His undifferentiated state and accepts differences. 9Muktananda goes on to explain how the Emperor, God, then gets subjected to the most terrible misery, sometimes taking on the bodies of hogs, sometimes dogs, sometimes humans, sometimes maggots, etc. That is the flaw in this philosophy.
We're all here in eternal time and space . . . We're just doing lila rasa, the divine dance. We're dancing and dancing and dancing, dance after dance, in one body, in another body. 10QUESTION: And after God divides Himself into many, He forgets the Oneness that He can enjoy?
If you come back into form from having merged with God, you are in the world though not of it. You play the cosmic sport. You fill the forms though there is no one home, it is just more lila, the dance of God. 11So, the impersonalist admittedly descends to "enjoy" the names and forms of the world. This is lust. After going so high to the outer circumference of God's Kingdom, still they are attracted to enjoy pastimes in the material world. When they come down, they again get polluted by karmic reaction due to their sinful activities. After again becoming polluted, they want to again "merge" and become "nothing."
You're in the void. Then the Buddha nature sees there are many beings whose veils are very thin and you can come back and teach them through your being. That's the boddhisattva role. 12Most impersonalists say they descended out of compassion, but compassion is based on individuality, and impersonalists deny individuality. But to say that they descended out of compassion for others means that they are admitting the existence of others. The impersonalist says he was enjoying perfect bliss in the Brahmajyoti but that he has come down to help suffering humanity. He thinks, "I was enlightened and in a blissful condition, but out of compassion I descended to help others."
You're in the void. Then the Buddha nature sees there are many beings whose veils are very thin and you can come back and teach them through your being That's the boddhisattva role.Firstly, when someone is merged in the Brahman effulgence or void, there is absolutely no awareness of one's self as an individual. Nor is there any awareness of others as being separate from one's self. That is why the condition is called void. Buddhists describe the void like this:
'Nirvana'--'the state of a fire blown out'. When a fire is blown out, nothing remains to be seen. 13It is absolutely impossible to be "merged" into the Brahman and simultaneously be conscious of the existence ]of others--what to speak of feeling compassion for them. The statement that when one is "in the void," he sees many beings who are suffering, is not based on reality. There is no such experience.
We're just doing lila rasa, the divine dance. We're dancing and dancing and dancing. dance after dance, in one body, in another body. And we're all here. We're all staying right here. 14Or, as Swami Vivekananda puts it:
It is all really in sport . . . If you are poor, enjoy that as fun; if you are rich, enjoy the fun of being rich; if dangers come, it is also good fun; if happiness comes, there is more good fun. The world is just a playground, and we are having good fun, having a game . . . It is only when you forget that it is all play . . . that misery and sorrows come. But as soon as you give up the serious idea of reality . . . and know it to be but a stage on which we are playing . . . at once misery ceases for you. 15These people sound like complete mental cases. Just try to understand that Vivekananda said this in the middle of Calcutta, the most poverty-stricken, suffering city in the world. The question is this: if a person is God and he is having "good fun" in this world--if this is his pleasurable pastime--why does he come back to get himself out of it?
DISCIPLE: Why have you come, O Guru?These people are fools covered by maya
GURU: I have come out of compassion for others.
DISCIPLE: For others?
GURU: Well, of course there are no others, but I have come to help them. They do not really exist, but I could not bear to see them suffering.
DISCIPLE: You're so heavy, Guru. Perhaps one day I will understand.
GURU: Don't worry. Be happy.
The experiencer and the experience have merged and you have become God; and the concept of God is long gone. 16QUESTION: And atheism leads to materialism?
"It is all really in sport . . . If you are poor, enjoy that as fun; if you are rich, enjoy the fun of being rich; if dangers come, it is also good fun; if happiness comes, there is more good fun. The world is just a playground, and we are having good fun, having a game."
- so says Swami Vivekananda
Meditate on your Self, honor and worship your Self. Kneel to your Self, because the supreme reality, the highest truth, lives within you as you. 17The ordinary materialist usually discriminates between correct or incorrect, acceptable or unacceptable ways to get sense gratification. The Super Materialist, however, has no such "hang-ups." Whatever feels good, do it! It's all the same. No limits of good or bad, right or wrong. After all, you are "God."
You are the laws of the universe. 18There is no question of having to act in such a way that God is pleased. After all, since you are God, whatever is pleasing to you is pleasing to God. Whatever you (God) wants to do is what God (you) wants you to do.
What you are doing is what God wants you to do. 19Since you are "God," doing "God's will" is no problem at all. Your will is God's will.
Bagawan Das, clearly a young man of extremes, ate one [pizza] and then went upstairs in the company of a female admirer, coming back a half hour later for another of each. 20Ram Dass' other friend and teacher, the popular Tibetan Buddhist, Trung Pau Rimpoche, is also described in Rolling Stone as "one who sleeps with his female devotees, appears drunk in public and plays ego deflating games with his closest associates." 21
The "I" who uses the senses and organs of action is none other than the Supreme Lord who has limited Himself for His own sport or amazement. 22By this philosophy, we can conclude that to try to restrain the senses so that you are not "enjoying" is based on the illusion that you are the enjoyer when, in reality, it's simply God enjoying via the bodily senses.
When we eat, Shiva [God] is eating. When we hear, Shiva is hearing. 23This is how Muktananda puts it.
Sometimes people get the notion the purpose of est is to make you better. It is not. I happen to think that you are perfect exactly the way you are. 24(Of course, if he thinks like this, one may ask, why does he teach his course? ) If all individuals are already perfect, this means that society is also perfect, no changes are needed, social improvement is unnecessary. If we are all God (perfect), then this is the Kingdom of God, this is heaven. It is just a matter of "realizing it."