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Enlightenment by virtuous conduct alone...


Ajay0
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An insightful article on female enlightened master Rajini Menon attaining enlightenment just through adhering to virtuous conduct and behavior.


https://www.lifepositive.com/a-light-unto-herself/

 

 

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Would you like to share a little about your journey?

There was no journey as such. I had no idea that there was anything like self-realisation. There was just the life. And what was special about the life was that there was righteous living right through, which is definitely not easy. One day I found myself at the point that people call self-realisation.

What do you mean by righteous living?

Righteous living means listening to your inner voice. Your conscience. We can always hear the inner voice, even as a small child.

Would you like to give me some examples of righteous living?

It goes right back to my childhood since I was in the third standard. After I was put to bed, I would review my whole day. I would hold my ears if I did something wrong, and appreciate myself if I did something right. I would correct myself. Ok, that girl threw my eraser away. But why did I take her eraser and throw it away? What she did was wrong, but I should have done what was right from my point of view. Then perhaps next time, I would not throw her eraser, but I would think ill of her. So I would tell myself, it is good that you did not throw her eraser, but you did not think right.

Amazing to be so aware at this young age. Is it that your parents gave you strong values?

Yes, they have taught me many good values. But they also would ask me at times, where did you get all this from? Once I, my brother, sister and parents had all gone to a temple. After coming back, my father took me on his lap and asked, “What did you pray to God?” I said, “Give me good thoughts and give the strength to act on them.” He was amazed. I was in the 6th standard then. He asked, “Who taught you all this?”

What are some of the circumstances that arose out of righteous living?

By the time I was leaving school, righteous living had become spontaneous in me. My father had a transferable job and I was in Delhi for my 11th standard. I had joined my new school when I contracted dengue and had to take leave for one week. On the command of their leader, none of the girls would give me their notes when I rejoined. These things would not affect me at all. Soon after, this leader also fell ill with dengue. I took my notes to her and told her, “In case, you don’t understand, you can ask me, and if you don’t want my notes, then you can take from someone else.” It was my luck that she took it. And she then became my best friend, even in college.

At work, there was one person whose life was difficult and therefore he lost his temper easily. He used to shout and scream at me, I would not say anything. After my transformation, one day, I went to this person and told him, “Whatever you speak or do, I simply would never do anything against you. In fact I will pray for you and your family too. If I retort to you, the consequence of some of your actions will be nullified to some extent, but as I am not doing that, the impact will be fully on you. I also pray that nothing bad should happen to you because nature’s course will take its toll.” After some six months, I suddenly noticed that this person had totally changed towards me. Not fully towards others but towards me. It is now three or four years since then, but the change still remains.

If you do what is right, irrespective of what the other does, it will slow down the mind. If you are working in an office and one or two are doing something against you, you will always be tense. Your sleep is destroyed. But if you have the policy that you will be thinking, speaking and doing only what is in accordance with your inner voice, irrespective of what others do or not, then how does it matter what the other does? You sleep well. And thoughts become less.

How did your transformation happen?

That particular evening I was so disturbed that I went into my room, closed my eyes and sat there. That was when everything dropped from me. The only thought that came to me was that I was the soul and my attention went to the heart region spontaneously. In a fraction of a second or so, I felt I was floating – a very light feeling. And bliss. And an unending expanse! It went on like this for hours but the change was instant. There were no questions. A no-question mind is so peaceful. As if everything was known to me. As though I was seeing everything through a crystal clear glass.

After this moment of transformation, everything changed. I would feel like a royal king moving around – as if everything was under my control. There were no changes outwardly, my circumstances were the same, but there was a total sea change inwardly. I would walk on the road with my no-mind; I would work in the kitchen with my no-mind. No thoughts whatsoever were coming. In the office, only where it was needed for me to think, such as when processing a file, would I think. Moreover, I suffered from many physical problems too for maybe a couple of years before, but all of them disappeared overnight never to return.

In no-mind, the range you can see is wide. I walk on the road, and see absolutely everything; at the same time, not looking at anything. Earlier, when I walked on the road, I would look at every shop window, attracted to so many things. With no-mind, nothing attracts me. And I have so much energy. I am never tired. All night I take a thin bed sheet, spread on the floor with a thin pillow and lie down in shavasan, close my eyes and lie there totally aware with absolutely no thoughts. I can hear even a pin. And it is more energising than even deep sleep. Because, there is no mental activity to drain away the energy.

When the body is relaxed physically, I can lie down all night totally aware without either the body or the mind moving even a bit. Otherwise, sleep comes for some time depending on how tired the body is.

Could you throw more light on your inner transformation?

The transformation, though overnight, was never an overnight process. In Chemistry classes we do the acid-base titration experiments. The final drop from the pipette changes the colour of the solution in the beaker. But were not the earlier drops significant? Similarly, righteous living all through life purified me and enabled the overnight transformation.

In 2000, my life crashed. After that I was in intense pain, which even led to depression. Of course, no one could make out. I was always well-dressed and cheerful. But my inner story was not like that. That agony continued till the time the change happened in 2008. The one thought when I came out of it was, I should share this with everyone. Everyone is in grief. It is such a simple thing. You just stop your thoughts.

So difficult …

I did not know that. When this happened, I just found that I was able to stop my thoughts as and when I wished. When people began to ask me how to do it, then only I realized it was difficult for others.

Just a couple of months before the transformation, in order to cope with my intolerable situation, I used to throw off Rajini. I would say, “I ask Rajini to turn about and stand there” and gave a kick. Then I let the inner Divine function instead. I correlate the Divine with many things like the river or a tree. Whoever comes to it, the river gives water, the tree gives shade, without discriminating. Similarly, the deity in a temple has its hands in the abhaya mudra. If a dacoit came and stood in front of the deity, the deity would not put its hands behind him. The Divine can do anything. It is only Rajini who cannot. So why have her here? Earlier, Rajini would do everything the inner conscience asked her to do; but when Rajini was unable to do this, as the situations were getting tougher and tougher for her, I threw her off and let the Divine take over.

What do you plan to do now?

I feel the only worthwhile thing for me to do is to guide sincere seekers. That gives me the greatest satisfaction. However, there are few sincere seekers. Janaka said after getting enlightened by Ashtavakra. “Why are there not more Ashtavakras?” Ashtavakra said, “The shortage is not of Ashtavakras but of Janakas.” In all these years, I have understood that. I used to think that even if a mad elephant was rushing towards me, I would answer the questions of a spiritual aspirant. But there are few true seekers.

Are you still in a state of no-mind?

Yes, once a permanent no-mind state is attained it does not vanish. Rather, when the mind vanishes, no-mind happens (laughs). In fact, the mind vanishes permanently and the ‘no-mind state’ does not leave you even while you are involved in activities.

If you do right, irrespective of what the other does, it will slow down the mind. - Rajini Menon

Swami Satchidananda also states in this regard....

“When even one virtue becomes our nature, the mind becomes clean and tranquil. Then there is no need to practice meditation; we will automatically be meditating always.” - Swami Satchidananda

Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. - Buddha AN 10.1

I would say this showcases the importance of virtues and virtuous conduct as taught in the world religions and secular humanism, and shows that they are not limited to mere conditioning  or are abstract contrivances  as nihilism and existentialism believes them to be.

Sound adherence to morals and ethical conduct can even enable an agnostic or nontheist to attain enlightenment, without  religions or spiritual masters, as is the case with Rajini Menon.

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5 hours ago, Ajay0 said:

Sound adherence to morals and ethical conduct can even enable an agnostic or nontheist to attain enlightenment, without  religions or spiritual masters, as is the case with Rajini Menon.

:yes:

Non-theistic Quakers are atheist secular humanists who still "meditate in the Light" and the more active they are in social justice causes the more "quiet minded" they seem. 

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The righteous are the worlds door mats. People wipe their feet on them. They are something walked all over. This world is not for good people. So what if you reach enlightenment, then what? Enlightenment 2.0? 

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Enlightenment is not a religious artefact and so, of course, an atheist can be enlightened, and experience gnosis  

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On 9/23/2020 at 6:29 AM, XenoFish said:

The righteous are the worlds door mats. People wipe their feet on them. They are something walked all over. This world is not for good people. So what if you reach enlightenment, then what? Enlightenment 2.0? 

I haven't found that to be true  

Good people generally have better lives than bad people, especially in smaller communities, because communities require certain codes of behaviour and reward "good"  behaviours while punishing "bad"  ones.

Bad people are often shunned /avoided and thus rendered powerless. while good people accrue power through reputation.   And good/ righteous isn't weak/ powerless.

A strong conviction can greatly empower a person, making them VERY hard to walk over   

Edited by Mr Walker
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On 9/22/2020 at 9:08 PM, Piney said:

:yes:

Non-theistic Quakers are atheist secular humanists who still "meditate in the Light" and the more active they are in social justice causes the more "quiet minded" they seem. 

The y weren't  quakers, but you have basically described my parents. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 9/22/2020 at 3:03 PM, XenoFish said:

What's the point.

There is no point, just the present moment.

Also a lack of fear, worry, drama and selfish intent has its own rewards..

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8 hours ago, Crazy Horse said:

There is no point, just the present moment.

Also a lack of fear, worry, drama and selfish intent has its own rewards..

Still a waste of time, then again, everything is. So there really isn't a point in enlightenment. 

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11 hours ago, XenoFish said:

Still a waste of time, then again, everything is. So there really isn't a point in enlightenment. 

Well that depends upon the individual.

Whether one apricates a life of laughter over misery, friendship over loneliness, health over sickness and depression etc, etc, etc..

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  • 1 year later...

Here is an interesting conversation between the female enlightened sage Anandamayi Ma and a disciple...


Question: Suppose an atheist lives an ethical and righteous life. Is he on a lower level than a faithful devotee?

Ma Anandamayi : An ethical life purifies the mind. Even though one may have no faith in God, if one believes in some Superior Power or pursues a high ideal, this also will serve one's purpose. By living an ethical life, one progresses towards the realization of the Divine.



Through this Ma Anandamayi too, like Rajini Menon, states that an ethical and virtuous life, is a spiritual exercise in itself and is potent enough to bring about enlightenment on its own.

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19 minutes ago, Ajay0 said:

Here is an interesting conversation between the female enlightened sage Anandamayi Ma and a disciple...


Question: Suppose an atheist lives an ethical and righteous life. Is he on a lower level than a faithful devotee?

Ma Anandamayi : An ethical life purifies the mind. Even though one may have no faith in God, if one believes in some Superior Power or pursues a high ideal, this also will serve one's purpose. By living an ethical life, one progresses towards the realization of the Divine.



Through this Ma Anandamayi too, like Rajini Menon, states that an ethical and virtuous life, is a spiritual exercise in itself and is potent enough to bring about enlightenment on its own.

‘Interesting’ is obviously subjective.

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These teachings of Hinduism and Buddhism effectively negates the nihilist and existentialist viewpoint that all virtues and values are mere abstract contrivances or mental creations and do not have any substance of their own in reality.

In this regard, it is important to realize the fact that nihilism has been a major philosophical cause of the destructive world wars, and is said to have influenced the destructive thought process of the Nazi ideologues.


Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor, philosopher and medical doctor specializing in neurology and psychiatry commented thus...

“If we present a man with a concept of man which is not true, we may well corrupt him. When we present man as an automaton of reflexes, as a mind-machine, as a bundle of instincts, as a pawn of drives and reactions, as a mere product of instinct, heredity and environment, we feed the nihilism to which modern man is, in any case, prone.

I became acquainted with the last stage of that corruption in my second concentration camp, Auschwitz. The gas chambers of Auschwitz were the ultimate consequence of the theory that man is nothing but the product of heredity and environment; or as the Nazi liked to say, ‘of Blood and Soil.’

I am absolutely convinced that the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Maidanek were ultimately prepared not in some Ministry or other in Berlin, but rather at the desks and lecture halls of nihilistic scientists and philosophers.”- Viktor Frankl



Half-baked philosophies like nihilism, taken out of context, thus becomes an intellectual instrument to override basic virtuous conduct and behavior in human beings, dehumanize the 'other', discredit and trivialize values like nonviolence, compassion, altruism and perpetrate atrocities in the name of various ideologies.

In  Dharmic philosophies on the other hand, moral values and virtues are considered to be valuable in expansion of consciousness (and destruction of karma) alongside meditation, awareness or total love and instrumental in attainment of enlightenment or Buddhahood.

Vices perpetrated in the absence of virtuous conduct and wisdom, actually results in accumulation of karma and greater psychological suffering in the perpetrator .

Edited by Ajay0
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Ah nihilism. The ultimate bs filter. Where you learn that society is a charade, religions are fake, and morality doesn't exist. 

Governments aren't real.

Laws aren't real.

Money is fake.

Existence has no inherent meaning point or purpose. 

Doesn't matter how great or small a person is, we're all going to die. 

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I think I agree with the OP. I have often wondered what led me to Christianity, and why am I saved. Especially if other Christians are doing evil and claiming they are unconditionally saved. I think because of trying to do the right thing throughout my youth I was able to read the whole Bible and stay in religion. Even though my youth may have been sinful to religious standards, I always tried to give my spare dollars to those in need, to tell as much of the truth as possible, stand up for the weak, fight evil and try to make the world a generally better place not a worse one. I think after quite some time all my good deeds added up and let me pass through the door of Christ. If I had not at least tried to be on the right side of paganism and given to charity I think I would have missed this door.

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2 hours ago, XenoFish said:

Ah nihilism. The ultimate bs filter. Where you learn that society is a charade, religions are fake, and morality doesn't exist. 

Governments aren't real.

Laws aren't real.

Money is fake.

Existence has no inherent meaning point or purpose. 

Doesn't matter how great or small a person is, we're all going to die. 

Are feelings real?

Happiness, the feeling of being loved, contentment, joy, bliss, ecstasy..?

But yes, we are all going to die, some a peaceful, good death, and some not so peaceful..

I know which one I prefer.

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17 minutes ago, Crazy Horse said:

Are feelings real?

Happiness, the feeling of being loved, contentment, joy, bliss, ecstasy..?

But yes, we are all going to die, some a peaceful, good death, and some not so peaceful..

I know which one I prefer.

Feeling are chemical reactions in the brain brought on by a stimulus. Nothing magical about them.

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On 10/17/2020 at 11:50 PM, Crazy Horse said:

Well that depends upon the individual.

Whether one apricates a life of laughter over misery, friendship over loneliness, health over sickness and depression etc, etc, etc..

You are describing an attachment to and preference for certain outcomes. 

Edited by Sherapy
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24 minutes ago, XenoFish said:

Feeling are chemical reactions in the brain brought on by a stimulus. Nothing magical about them.

That wasn't what I asked.

Are feelings real?

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14 minutes ago, Sherapy said:

You are describing an attachment to and preference for certain outcomes. 

Not an attachment, a preference, sure.

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1 minute ago, Crazy Horse said:

Not an attachment, a preference, sure.

Same thing. :P  Meditate on it:D

 

Edited by Sherapy
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9 minutes ago, Crazy Horse said:

That wasn't what I asked.

Are feelings real?

They're chemical reactions created due to a stimuli. 

Edit: I'll lower the IQ requirement for my comment. Yes. Feelings are a response to something that happens either externally, internally or both.

Edited by XenoFish
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1 minute ago, Sherapy said:

Same thing. :P  Meditate on it:D

 

Not really, in fact, not at all.

An attachment means that one must have it or suffer.

A preference is what one would choose given a choice.

I choose a happy, peaceful life.

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