The sara-grahi, sat and asat.

Sadhus are also called sat, which is best translated as "the good or holy." Sat-sanga means "association with the good, the holy." But the derivation of sat is that it is the present participle of the verb "to be" (as), so it s fundamental meaning is "being, existing." This then has several derived meanings, primary of which is truth, the sacred, or reality.

In other words, what exists is real and true, what does not (asat) is not true. That which is true is good, that which is not is not.

As Vaishnavas we are meant to discriminate between sat and asat, but basically asat is an illusion, because untruth, by definition, is that which does not exist.

The asat person is one who is living in the mistaken belief that asat is sat.

One who finds fault, therefore, is seeing asat and meditating on asat. As much as we meditate on asat, that much are we ourselves asat. Coming into contact with asat is called asat-sanga. Coming into contact with Reality is sat-sanga.

Though it may be argued that at lower levels of spiritual advancement, it is necessary to identify asat in order to eliminate it, in actual fact, as soon as it is recognized as unreal, it will disappear.

So my personal strategy in this matter is to concentrate on sat wherever there is a mixture of the two. Like a swan taking milk from the mixture. This is also the same as the concept of the sāra-grāhī, the essence-taker..

This is not a strategy for paramahamsas alone, however. Even practical psychologists like Dale Carnegie use this as their fundamental principle. If you want your child to grow properly, you praise lavishly his or her positive accomplishments. He may need to be punished for going wrong, but if the balance is swayed in the negative direction, he is likely to develop in undesirable ways.

I know that this is an idealistic position that may be considered impractical, but I would rather accentuate the positive than the negative.

The only thing is that the standard I hold myself to is the one of the topmost Vaishnava behavior in what I consider the most important area of all,



Comments

Prem Prakash said…
When I was a kid in school, we used to sneak out during lunchtime to avoid the dreaded cafeteria food. We'd go to McDonalds's and eat burgers, fries, shakes. Horrible fare, but we were typical Americans and we didn't know any better.

Personally, the fact (and fact it is) that Bhaktivinode ate meat brings me comfort. Whether this was by divine decree, or not, it conveys a feeling that my spiritual ancestor can understand, and forgive, my youthful mistakes.
Jagadananda said…
That is one of the points I am trying to make. If no saint could ever have been a sinner, except in the most egregious Jagai Madhai kind of way, then there is no hope for anyone. This is what I have been saying over and over.

In a way, that is why I personally have been a little more confessional than is probably advisable. If I try to present myself as a guru or someone who "covets respect" then why would I do that? In this respect, the Christians have a bit of a more realistic approach... we are all sinners and we need grace to come out of it.

Anyway, public confession is all well and good as long as other people don't get hurt, and that is one of the reasons I felt I should stop.

No doubt, sin can be a lot more subtle than those things we associate with sin. On the highest reaches of the search for samadhi, even a moment's inattention feels like a betrayal of truth.
Prem Prakash said…
Jagatji, I posted this in the wrong place. Oops. Meant it to be in the post regarding Thakur and his past. Can this be moved?
Jagadananda Das said: Sadhus are also called sat, which is best translated as "the good."

Anon replied: Yes, amongst many other meanings 'sat' translates to English as "good"; but yet this translation is empty, being far from the best (and fullest) translation to enlighten minds to the truth of it meaning.

One can understand that you wish to employ the word "good" as an equivalent of "sat" to springboard the predictable path of your discourse, but your definition simply does not spring or wash (in more ways than one…, think “abhiṣeka”) over the minds of your readers.

So what does the word sat mean when describing a sādhú?

If you follow the English word ‘true’ back to its earliest Proto-Indo-European etymological origin (to find a direct like-for-like Sanskrit-to-English equivalent), eventually by tenacious endurance of will you will find the word dóru (drewo):

‘Dóru’ is a de-adjectival noun of ‘deru’, ‘drew’ ‎(“hard, firm, strong, solid”‎) with reflexes as Latin ‘dūrus’ ‎(“hard, rough”‎), Old English ‘trum’ ‎(“strong, firm”‎), Old Armenian ‘տրամ’ ‎(tram, “firm, solid”‎), and Ancient Greek ‘δροόν’ ‎(droón, “strong, mighty”‎).

N.B.* Also look at (and explore all) the descendants of the word ‘dóru’ listed further down the page.

See: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/d%C3%B3ru

And now look at the cognate Sanskrit word ‘dróṇa’:

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E0%A4%A6%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A5%8B%E0%A4%A3

And finally, look at the word sādhu (see link to page 1201 of Monier-Williams in the notes below)

If you have followed, explored and read through “all” these links, eventually the fullest truth of the word ‘sat’ will rise up for you:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c2/Bhagavan_Vishnu.jpg

āpane ācare keha, nā kare pracāra
pracāra karena keha, nā karena ācāra
'ācāra', 'pracāra',—nāmera karaha 'dui' kārya
tumi—sarva-guru, tumi jagatera ārya


Notes

Sat

See Monier-Williams page 1134:

http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/cgi-bin/monier/serveimg.pl?file=/scans/MWScan/MWScanjpg/mw1134-saMjvara.jpg

See also Wiktionary page for "sat" with concordant cognates:

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E0%A4%B8%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%8D

sādhu

See Monier Williams page 1201:

http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/cgi-bin/monier/serveimg.pl?file=/scans/MWScan/MWScanjpg/mw1201-sAdh.jpg
Anonymous said…
For further elucidation (in regard to "firm as a tree"), see:

https://archive.org/stream/lectureonsankhya00kapi#page/24

Page 24 (Verse No. 48) 'A Lecture on the Sánkhya Philosophy, embracing the text of the Tattwa Amamása.'

Notes

"So too, observing a mango tree in blossom, one establishes the fact that other mango trees also are in flower"

Page 63

Source: https://archive.org/stream/lectureonsankhya00kapi#page/62
Prem Prakash said…
The refusal to see the guru as a full being, perhaps even having a flawed past, requires of the fanatical devotee a high degree of emotional and intellectual obstinance. It mandates a defense against information and/or feelings that could threaten the purity of the ideal. It's a kind of idol worship, where mentation is placed on an altar and authenticity is required to bow.
Anonymous said…

Yes, the construct you have postulated Prem Prakash succinctly describes a system of social control which by its very nature corrupts, subverts and displaces the genuine pursuance of attaining samadhi.

True authenticity is the grace of Śaktipāta bestowed by the purity of the ideal embodied by one's own true Guru.

Anonymous said…
Dear Prem Prakash, In further regard to your comment, please take the time to read through 'Born of the Yoginī’s Heart: Reflections on the Nature of Meditation and Ritual in Abhinavagupta’s Paratrisika-laghuvrtti' (it's only 48 pages, and answers your comment).

https://archive.org/download/BornOfTheYoginisHeartPaulEMullerOrtega_201709/Born%20of%20the%20Yogini%27s%20Heart%20-%20Paul%20E%20Muller%20Ortega.pdf

Prem Prakash said…
Dear Anonymous,
Thank you for the suggested link. I was interested to learn the author teaches something called Neelakantha Yoga. I think the manner in which the Blue-Throated One relates to poison holds a key as to how individuals and communities can actually transform.

This process of transformation is something that many critics of our dear Jagatji don't seem to realize. They spit their poison out in his direction.
Prakāśa said…

"Into the oblation-eating belly of one’s consciousness, all existing things are hurled suddenly; they sacrifice their portion of differentiation, consuming it by fire with their own energy. When the fragmentation of existing things is dissolved … the divine sense-energies of consciousness eat [feast on and enjoy] the universe that has become the nectar of immortality. Feeling satisfied, these deities rest, intertwining with Divine Bhairava, the Sky of Consciousness, who dwells in the secret space of the full heart of their selves."

(Abhinavagupta, Tantrāloka 3.262a–264b)

Source: http://www.mdpi.com/2077-1444/9/3/81/htm

Notes

“the heart is the unbounded, infinite light (prakāśa)”

Source: Page 11, Born of the Yoginī’s Heart: Reflections on the Nature of Meditation and Ritual in Abhinavagupta’s Paratrisika-laghuvrtti.

https://archive.org/stream/BornOfTheYoginisHeartPaulEMullerOrtega_201709/Born%20of%20the%20Yogini%27s%20Heart%20-%20Paul%20E%20Muller%20Ortega#page/n9
Anonymous said…

An excellent read for 'budding' sahajiya's read:

Interpreting Across Mystical Boundaries: An Analysis of Samādhi in the Trika-Kaula Tradition.

By Jeffrey S. Lidke.

www.gianfrancobertagni.it/materiali/tantra/lidke2.pdf

Notes

The Place of the Hidden Moon: Erotic Mysticism in the Vaisnava
Sahajiya Cult of Bengal:

https://archive.org/download/160228011DimockEdwardCPlaceOfTheHiddenMoon331p/160228011-Dimock-Edward-C-Place-of-the-Hidden-Moon-331p.pdf

Obscure Religious Cults(See Chapter V):

https://archive.org/download/ObscureReligiousCultsShashibhushanDasgupta/Obscure%20Religious%20Cults%20Shashibhushan%20Dasgupta.pdf
Anonymous said…

Prem Prakash said: "I think the manner in which the Blue-Throated One relates to poison holds a key as to how individuals and communities can actually transform."

Anon replied: When your breath stops and your lucid consciousness has left the physical body to become as one with the (great light) consciousness of the primordial being (Guru), then you will understand why Pārvatī (as Śakti) grasped the neck of Śiva.
Anonymous said…

What is the poison?

The poison is time.

Becoming as one with the primordial light, one becomes free of time...

Abhinavagupta said…

Śrī Bhagavad Gītā with Commentary by Abhinavagupta:

https://archive.org/download/BGGitaCommentaryByAbhinavaGupta/BG%20Gita-Commentary-by-Abhinava-Gupta--------------------------------.pdf
Anonymous said…
Bhagavad Gītā (Chapter 4, Verse 31)

“Eating the remains of the yajña, which is nectar, they reach the eternal Brahman. This world, O best of Kurus, is not for him who offers no yajña, much less the world hereafter.”

Source: Abhinavagupta’s Commentary on the Bhagavad Gītā:

https://archive.org/stream/BGGitaCommentaryByAbhinavaGupta/BG%20Gita-Commentary-by-Abhinava-Gupta--------------------------------#page/n125

Notes

Yajña – Sacrifice, oblation (performed in front of a sacred fire).
Anonymous said…

Translation of the Parātrīśikā-Vivaraṇa

Read online (or download Pdf):

https://archive.org/details/AbhinavaguptaATridentOfWisdomTranslationOfParatrishikaVivaranaJaidevSinghSunny

Translation of the Parātrīśikā-laghuvrttih

Read online (or download Pdf):

https://archive.org/stream/TheTriadicHeartOfSivaPaulEduardoMullerOrtegaKaula/The%20Triadic%20Heart%20Of%20Siva%20Paul%20Eduardo%20Muller%20Ortega%20%28Kaula%29#page/n213

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