Part I - Prayer for fullness

Discussion in 'Introduction to Hindu Spirituality' started by Bhaskar, Mar 22, 2008.

  1. Bhaskar

    Bhaskar Members

    Please begin the session by taking a moment to breathe deeply and calm your mind.

    The final shanti mantra in our study is a very common, yet complex mantra that lends itself to many many meanings. It can be of value to the beginners as well as to advanced seekers.
    The mantra is:
    Poornam adhah
    poornam idam
    poornaat poornam udachyate
    poornasya poornamadaya
    poornameva avasishyate
    Om shanti shanti shantih.

    That is full,
    This is full.
    From fullness, fullness arose.
    From fullness, if fullness is removed
    Fullness alone remains.
    Om peace, peace, peace

    If we shine the light on our mental process, we are likely to find that our activities in the world outside are driven by a sense of incompleteness. We feel that we, by ourselves, are not good enough, and there is something outside in the world that we need in order to perfect our contentment and joy. Unable to see it within ourselves because, from time immemorial, we have trained our mind and intellect and senses to be extrovert and only transact and contemplate the world outside, we grasp at the objects and pleasures of the world as a means to complete ourselves.
    We look out at the world and we see fullness in it. "If I win the lottery, I will live happily ever after." - fullness in wealth. "If only she agrees to marry me, life will be heaven." - fullness in relationships. "That is my dream job. If I get it mt life will be made." - fullness in profession. We all do it. Look at yourself for a moment and examine and find out - what is that you seek from the world to complete yourself? Ask yourself, right now - will that truly complete you? Is everyone who has the worldly experiences you covet living in total joy and contentment?
    When we thus brutally analyse our own desires and desire-prompted activities, we will find that we have been running about foolishly chasing shadows.
    There is fullness in the world, the masters never deny that. Every single thing is perfect and complete in itself. It is what it is supposed to be. When that changes, the change also is in accordance with the law of karma. It does not need you to fulfull it. A flower does not need a poet to write a sonnet about it in order for its beauty to be fulfilled. Its fullness is in being itself.
    In the same way your fullness is in blossoming into your true self. You are full in yourself. Look within and see that nothing in the world can complete you. It is only the discovery of the vastness of your own being that can complete you. Expand yourself to grow beyond the limited ego and body consciousness, learn to identify with the macrocosm instead of the microcosm, step out into the sunshine of divinity and dance in the vast meadows of life rather than peeping at it through the keyhole of your egocentric self. You need nothing other than you to complete yourself, to be joyous and whole.
    The rest of the mantra is like a zen koan. From fullness, fullness is born. What a blissfull contradiction! The student grabs the teacher by the sacred thread and asks him, "You claim that I am full in myself, although my entire experience is of joy only from outside. I don't see anything but finitude in myself. My needs are many and I rely on the world outside to provide them. Yet you say that I am full and free in myself! And how pray do I come to experience this?"
    It is not through ritual or yoga, no amount of standing on the head and pinching the nose will bring that experience, nor will smearing the body with ashes or sandalwood paste, nor any amount of holy baths in the sacred rivers of the world, nor reptition of a million names of God, nor thousands of years of penance, will bring that fullness. The fullness is born from fullness alone.
  2. Bhaskar

    Bhaskar Members

    It is like removing darkness. You cannot shovel out the darkness with a pitchfork, or remove it by distillation. It cannot be swept away with brooms or sucked out with vaccuum cleaners or blown away with leafblowers. It cannot be scrubbed out with soap or washed away by water. Darkness is removed by bringing light.
    So too all our spiritual practices. No spiritual practice can ever give us enlightenment. The upanishads roar, "Jnanaat eva tu kaivalyam - Liberation is only found through knowing (not through doing)." Our incompleteness is cannot be removed by the finite actions of the world. How can the finite ever reach the infinite? No matter how many times you add and multiply numbers, you will never reach infinity until you add or multiply by infinity. Finitude is removed only by the coming of fullness, just as the darkness is removed only by the coming of light.
    This is not to say that our spiritual activities are useless, please. In order to bring the light, we must first seek out the lamp, fill it with oil, then take a piece of cotton and roll it between our hands into a wick. We have to put the wick in the oil - very carefully because if it falls in fully, we can never light it. The we strike the match and bring it to the tip of the wick and when the lamp is lit, the light shining from it removes the darkness. Finding the empty lamp does not remove darkness, nor does pouring oil, making the wick, immersing it in the oil or lighting the lamp. Yet these are alle ssential in order to make that lght manifest itself. So too our spiritual practices are essential to light the lamp of fullness in our heart.
    From fullness, when fullness is removed fullness alone remains.
    When thus we have reached the state of fullness, what is there that cannot be given up? Great masters gave up their homes, their families their wealth, their very lives in order to help others. The beacon of advaita, Adi Shankara was willing to offer his head as a sacrifice in order to help complete a tantric's ritual. Jesus crucified his body to absolve his followers of their sins. When from that state of fullness, we give even a little, that which is given is full. When we give from our finitude, our giving is finite and the receiving is finite. But when we give from the infinite, the giving is infinite, it is for the fulfillment of all beings of all times, it never ceases to give. And thus when we give from the state of fullness, we lose nothing. When we give from finitude, we lose that which is given, making us less. When we give from fullness, we remain ever full and and are at peace. This is true giving complete.
    May we all make full use of the grace of the masters that has been given to us so abundantly, and may we strive successfully to claim the freedom, the fullness that is our birthright.
    Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantih.
  3. SvgGrdnBeauty

    SvgGrdnBeauty only connect

    I really like this lesson. I just recently learned this mantra properly....and its really very simple and beautiful. My favourite from the lesson : "A flower does not need a poet to write a sonnet about it in order for its beauty to be fulfilled. Its fullness is in being itself." :) Beautiful. Thank you.
  4. Lynnbrown

    Lynnbrown Firecracker

    Bhaskar, I've read over actually all of these teachings, these wonderful, inspired words - and felt deeply I should stop at this point and let you know how deeply touched I feel.
    I will certainly return (probably again and again), and probably pose the occasional question. :)
    Thank you so much for being here, with this wonderful knowledge available to anyone desirous for I am quite pleased with the coincedence(?) of coming to this area for something to think and read on.
  5. Bhaskar

    Bhaskar Members

    Thank you for your kind words, Lynn. I am honoured to have you join us and to answer any question you may have to the best of my knowledge.
  6. We say the relationship between the person who prays and the object of prayer is like the relationship between a bell and the person who rings the bell, or a mirror and the person standing in front of the mirror. Faith is what gives prayer its power.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice