vimala thakar (1921 – 2009) was an indian spiritual teacher who gave emphasis on meditation and living a balanced life.
in initial years of her life, she was a social activist who worked along with vinoba bhave in the bhoodan (land gift) movement. but her life took a turn when she attended few talks of enlightenend mystic jiddu krishnamurthi. she was highly impressed with the philosophy and teachings of j krishnamurti. j krishnamurti words inspired her to find out the inner truths of life. so she went deep into meditation as she realized that raising consciousness can solve much of the problem humanity is facing. its because of narrow minded thinking that world is living a self centered life and is not sensitive to others.
in her later years, she came back to social activism and she traveled through out the india giving lectures. according to vimala thakar, one should live a balanced life. one should grow spiritually as well as be active in social causes.
mostly she worked with small group of seekers, guiding them on spiritual path and answering their queries. in her last years of life, she settled down in mount abu, rajasthan. she was often visited by spiritual seekers and social activist. she also wrote many books and gave commentaries on some of the major upanishads, the bhagavad gita and patanjali yoga sutras.
vimala thakar quotes and sayings:
1. meditation – dhyanam is a romance with the unknown.
2. in the dimension of dhyan (meditation) you have let the activities of the mind come to an end.
3. self-education begins by watching how we are using the energy and learning how not to waste it through.
4. if i am aware of the nature of my reactions, and movement of my reactions, naturally that awareness will result in freedom from the reaction.
5. the art of living is to live completely in the moment, not carrying any residue over to next incident, person or day.
6. life itself is divine, life is divinity, it is something sacred, and reverence for life is the perfume of religiosity. there is no other religion, but reverence for life that is self- generated and self- sustained.
7. through observation thoughts subside, hence the strain and pressure they cause on the neurological and chemical systems is also lifted. it is this tension that brings about anti-social behaviour.
8. one has to see that one does not waste the precious energy unwarrantedly. the energy that is built-in in childhood and youth is our capital. it should be conserved and used with care and concern.
9. if the aspirant takes one step towards the truth and god, the totality takes ten steps to meet him.
10. nothing in life is trivial. life is whole wherever and whenever we touch it, and one moment or event is not less sacred than another.”
11. whether you try to influence the mind through ideas and concepts, or through discipline and vows, or through drugs, you are trying to stimulate artificially a state of silence. perhaps if we are friendly with the mind, if we watch the mind, if we understand the mind, if we let it wander, let it roam about wherever it wants, let it exhaust its momentum by wandering, without scolding, without praising, without condemning it might exhaust its momentum and arrive at the simple innocent silence.
12. meditation is meeting eternity in the present moment. it is resolving every problem as it comes. it is resolving every tension as it creeps in. it is facing the challenges of life in a non-fearful way.
13. meditation is relaxation in action. only that person can act out of his total being, who acts in relaxation. tensions, fears and worries create inhibitions. a person who lives in constant conflict and tension starts seeking relaxation outside his daily life. he seeks silence outside his skin. he seeks perfection outside his daily relationships. we should be vigilant not to become victims of such unholy temptations. to penetrate through the daily routine and relationships; to understand them and to undergo a transformation through that understanding is the creative way of meditation.
14. the essence of religion is the personal discovery of the meaning of life, the meaning of truth. religion is related to the unconditional, total freedom that truth confers on us. it is a revolution of the whole way of living. religion moves us from the superficial layers of existence and encourages us to go deeper to the roots of life. tt is an inward journey to the depths of our being.
15. go on acquiring. acquire, own, possess, protect, and die in the end, feeling that you had acquired so much, and you had so much wealth, and you are leaving behind so much property. do you see, living becomes a means to an end, not for the joy of it, not because life is something sacred? life is for living. the purpose of life cannot be outside living. the act of living cannot become a means to an end, to please some god or goddess, to acquire money, prestige, security, etc.; but the act of living is the worship of the divine, it is the only way one can express gratitude, gratefulness, to the cosmic life of which one is born, and in which one is living and moving.
16. a spontaneous cessation of mental activity releases an absolutely new and dynamic energy. silence increases the sensitivity of the total being. it refreshes the nervous system in an astounding way. as you come out totally replenished when you have had profound and innocent sleep, so do you come out totally renewed when you have had ceased to function through the ego in the hour of silence.
17. the cleverness of the human mind has led us to the complex, horrifying, and all-encompassing crisis that we now face.
18. the only salvation for mankind appears to be in a religious revolution of the individual.
19. as soon as the mind begins moving and says: “i like” or “i dislike” what it sees, there is a disturbance, a burdening of the mind and the role of the observer is lost and you are once more immersed into the roles of an experiencer and actor. if you do not react to the thoughts you are observing, if they no longer have the power to elicit any reaction from you then they will subside of their own accord.
20. one of the by-products of the state of dhyan is that fearlessness is awakened. fearlessness is very different from bravery. bravery is an attribute of the mind, which can be and has been cultivated by the state, religion and family for their own purpose, but it is an attribute that can also be lost. once fearlessness is awakened it can never be extinguished, fear no longer enters the mind. fearlessness is awakened when man has faith either in his own understanding or has faith in the universal intelligence.
21. the thoughts cannot be suppressed nor can they be thrown away anywhere, you can only watch them, not naming them as good or bad. then you are free from the roles of an experiencer and an actor, you enter into the state of an observer of non-reactional attention.
22. we become aware of all that is happening within us, of the different emotions arising within us, for example if we begin to get angry we are aware of it and so the grip of anger loosens its hold over us.
23. one has to begin with being introduced to one’s own mind. to watch how the mind works, to watch how we live second-hand through emotions, feelings and sentiments. how we call them our own and identify ourselves with them. to watch all this, will be the beginning of meditation.
24. one has to watch the movements of the mind without trying to control or suppress it. one has to go through the phase of suffocation, embarrassment and void. it is an unavoidable experience of loneliness through which everyone has to go once in his life.
25. a calmness prevails when the attention is turned inwards. a relaxation is experienced when the thought-process comes to an end.
26. one eats only when it is necessary to keep the body in health. one eats only what keeps the body and mind in health and beauty. misuse of the palate is responsible for most of the physical ailments.
27. correct diet implies the right quality and quantity as well as the frequency of intake. eating should be related to appetite. it should not cause any excitement, or emotional disturbance. it should be gone through peacefully and happily. one has to be very alert to see that everything one eats is fully digested. the body should not be burdened with undigested food. the cleanliness of all the internal organs is one of the most important factors of meditation.
28. generally we waste energy in unessential secondary things. this criminal waste leaves us tired and troubled at the end of the day. an overtired and emotionally disturbed person cannot sleep profoundly. the sacred night is wasted and you begin the next day with a sluggish body and a lethargic mind.
29. dhyan is not an activity but a state of being, a dimension of being. it is a state of motionlessness where the ego is dissolved and you have let it be dissolved, where there is no experiencing but only a state of non-knowing, non-doing. some have described it as the dark night of the soul. there is no tension at all in this state; the space within is being activated. it is a very delicate state that has to be looked after. you need to be alone then and need time to adjust to it.
30. the observation of the breathing rhythm is suggested as a support to those who cannot arrive at the spontaneous stillness of total mind without some support. but to depend upon the support for a long period is undesirable and unwarranted. one has to discover for oneself whether one is learning self-reliance through the support or not. simple observation of the breathing rhythm culminates into silence or total awareness within a few weeks. secondly the hour of silence should enable one to live in awareness throughout the day.
31. persons suffering from physical troubles will find it difficult to sustain the depth of meditation or total awareness. one has to be very alert to see that the nervous and the muscular system are supple and healthy. rigidity means dis-ease. no part of the body should be allowed to degenerate into rigidity. by proper exercises one can keep every fibre of the physical organism in health. health is beauty.
32. to surrender all activity to the emptiness requires courage. man must be able to stick it out and not to run away from this state, he must be able to digest it. after all, what is there to be afraid of? it is a fact of the organic reality of life.
33. every movement of body, mind and speech consumes energy. every thought, emotion and ideation consumes vital energy. every spoken word consumes vital energy.
34. all our emotions and thoughts are conditioned reflexes, reactions. this non-identification with ones reactions … brings about a sudden change in the level of consciousness. this non-identification with the subconscious world, non-identification with the momentum of the whole subconscious and unconscious results in creative silence. the creative alternative is to refuse to identify oneself with the mind. this cannot blossom in a day, if we do not know what mind is.
35. compassion is a spontaneous movement of wholeness. it is not a studied decision to help the poor, to be kind to the unfortunate. compassion has a tremendous momentum that naturally, choicelessly moves us to worthy action. it has the force of intelligence, creativity, and the strength of love. compassion cannot be cultivated; it derives neither from intellectual conviction nor from emotional reaction. it is simply there when the wholeness of life becomes a fact that is truly lived.
36. either we have to set ourselves free of the theory of nation- states and the idea of sovereignty of the states, or, we have to say that world peace is not possible. World peace requires a world economy, a global approach to political issues.