Monday, December 12, 2011


CAN FACILITATE OUR SPIRIT OF INQUIRY - As creators and users of technology, we have been greatly empowered. Yet this power often comes at the cost of becoming entirely dependent on this very technology.  Our enthusiasm to explore and to know is often limited to internet searches. We do not go out and explore nature and so tend to lose the human touch. Nothing can replace the experience of touching snow or feeling the coolness of the flowing river.  While it is much easier to know more about anything by connecting to the World Wide Web, the enthusiasm to discover and learn firsthand is receding and only the virtual experience remains.  It is a fine line of balance to know how much to depend on information and when to rely on intuition. It is a skill to deepen our knowledge with information yet broaden our vision with real experience. Both skill and balance are essential to avoid the risk of overexposure and fatigue; to keep creativity flowing and enthusiasm alive.

This is where spirituality helps.  Spirituality is not a dogmatic rule. It is dynamic action, continuously accommodating and adapting to changes in circumstances and the environment. It makes you ever accepting of change. This ability to adapt is essential in a technological environment where the need to upgrade and update oneself is imperative to stay ahead.  In the race to keep up with technology, we should not forget the mind that created it. We are used to charging our phones and laptops. What can we do to re-charge ourselves? For the human mind to be more effective, it needs to be charged through meditation.  Meditation brings centeredness. It is the subtler technology for mind management. It calms the agitated mind. It connects us to our source and brings us back home to ourselves. It is important that we connect to the ‘inner-net’ and not just the Internet.

The same finger-on-a-button that can unleash a nuclear bomb can also spread peace. Walking this line of balance with effortless grace is the skill that meditation brings in us so naturally.  Living the values of caring and sharing, of seeking the highest truth and ultimate joy, of giving love and wisdom, are the signs of an individual blossoming to his full potential through spirituality. Technology should be an aide in this journey to make life a daily celebration. But it isn't so simple. Meditation requires a pure heart of dedication, not one of exploitation.
Remembering (smarana) or meditating (dhyana) requires purity of heart in order for it to be effective. Thus mental utterances are considered more powerful than verbal ones because they necessitate a controlled mind, whereas verbal utterances of God’s name do not. However, from this it should be obvious that verbal utterances of God’s name are more powerful because they can be effective even when the mind is uncontrolled, and through such verbal utterance one can gradually bring the mind under control. The scriptural verdict is that chanting God’s name aloud in kirtana is most efficacious. The first effect derived from such chanting is the cleansing of the heart. To the extent that one’s heart is cleansed of desire one can effectively engage in meditation on God’s name silently in japa. Otherwise japa can be uttered aloud or audibly to oneself as a limb of kirtana.
Śrīla Bhakti Vedanta Tripurari Mahārāja :
“Chanting The Holy Name of God”
Sri Caitanya Sanga - September 30, 2002, Vol. IV, No. 23

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