This virtue is very vast and comprehensive. Any deep development of other virtues, like, loving kindness, generosity, constancy or moderation, is not possible without the development of this virtue to a certain degree. Deep purification requires understanding of the virtue accurate perception and correct expression. We will just uncover the topic and leave it to you for further consideration and study;
Let us understand the Eightfold Path, to come out of dukkha and to achieve Nirvana, as explained by Lord Buddha. The Eightfold path is divided into accurate perception and correct expression. Accurate perception is right view point which is the first point and rest of the 7 points are part of correct expression.
If perception goes wrong, your 7 ways of expression will go wrong. Right viewpoint or right wisdom is accurate perception. That's called Jnana Yoga or understanding meditation. The correct expression is concretizing meditation or Karma Yoga.
We will first look into how to develop accurate perception, then we will touch upon correct expression. With better perception, you put proper effort, practice well, develop enhanced and higher viewpoint and then further are able to have improved expression. You achieve greater oneness in the process. This is a continuous path.
Steps in Practicing Accurate Perception, Jnana Yoga
We have just unfolded the discussion on this topic. You have unlimited scope for understanding and practicing it. For example, if you really want to develop right faith on the techniques that you are practicing, you must follow this module of accurate perception and correct expression.
Everything that we do, we must find out, what is it that we are doing, what are the details of the technique, how this technique came about, how it works and what is the purpose of this technique? This deep discernment is called understanding meditation or Jnana yoga.
Jnana yoga must be practiced for all things that you do daily, for which you spend time and energy, everything that you want to make part of your life, i.e., Sadhana. So, the questions that you must try to answer are, what are you doing, what all it contains, how it came about or how it works and what is the purpose. To simplify, it is what, what all, how and why? (four main components). Only then practice the technique! With this, you will be able to schedule your time well. You will be able to discern between what is important, what is less important and also what is not important. These four components constitute the process of accurate perception.
For example, if you are doing a certain exercise, try to understand, why this exercise is needed? What does this exercise contain? What all are the components of this exercise? How it came about, who introduced it or how it works? What are the benefits or why should you do it? Or you may analyze about diet. What is this diet? What all does this diet contain? How it came about? How it works and what is the purpose of this diet, what are its benefits? You must look into everything. Extend this to everything that you want to do regularly, like, fruit diet, breathing exercises, meditation, healing etc.
For validating, first you must have an open mind, i.e., your cup must be emptied! You must be ready to investigate. You must not reject anything which is not validated. You don't have to validate everything. Validate things that you are spending time on. Validate about what somebody is suggesting that is helping their health, finances, etc. Learn from others. You must have a temperament to validate. If your cup is full, you cannot validate. That leads to superstition, including scientific superstition or blind belief. Faith means having right faith after validation, not blind faith.
After validation, if you find something is beneficial, you have a duty and responsibility to propagate it. Anything that you think is useful and important for humanity, you must use your full might to propagate it. That is also correct expression. If you are not doing this, it is dishonesty. Dishonesty is not that you trouble someone or cause pain to someone. Dishonesty is also when you are not able to use your knowledge and capability to help people who are ready and willing to learn. Hesitating to spread what you know is beneficial, reluctance to propagate it due to the fear of being ridiculed is dishonesty.
You must also know where and when to suggest and how much to explain? This is also part of accurate perception or discernment. You cannot go and explain everything to everyone. You cannot share what is sacred with everyone. There has to be readiness and willingness to be able to learn. Readiness and willingness are different. Some people may be ready, but may not be willing to learn. And some may not be ready still.
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Reflect Within and Purification
The real way of moving forward is to reflect into yourself and know thyself, that is called Jnana Yoga. Trying to be aware of yourselves within, is actually Dhyana or awareness. You watch what is unwholesome and disagreeable; remove and eliminate them all. This is accurate perception in action. Correct expression is part of planting what is right. It is planting only what is wholesome after cleaning the field. So, correct expression is firm resolution or making positive affirmations after the weeding process.
To be able to see what is inside, there has to be light, aura must be clean to a certain extent, then only you can see. If your eyes are blindfolded or if you have put on dark glasses, you cannot see things. If you cannot see things, how will you remove them. So, certain amount of light, expansion and purification of the aura is required. This is achieved by simple techniques, like, exercises, Rhythmic Yogic Breathing, Forgiveness Sadhana, Planetary Peace Meditation, etc.
How to look into yourself? Bhagavan Sri Ramana had suggested to enquire who you are? So, reflect into “who am I”? When your aura is clouded, you are in lower emotion; you are in anger, frustration, fear, insecurity; you may be blaming others around, your heart might be racing, solar plexus and diaphragm vibrating and breathing erratic. In such a condition, how can you see clearly? There must be certain amount of emotional balance which can be easily achieved by physical exercises and breathing exercises.
Purification can be easily attained when you practice in a group. “Sangham Sharanam Gacchami”! Every thought or every emotion is a vibration at a subtler level. In a group, you come into a very conducive vibration. All your vibrations which are unpleasant don’t get supported and those that are healthy get enhanced. You will be lifted up. This is analogous to Faraday’s law of induction. You send energy in one coil; it gets induced in the other coil without any contact. That means, through mutual inductance, we humans contribute to each other and this is much more when in group.
Validate and learn from others mistakes, achievements and successes. Imbibe the good habits and qualities from others, which have helped them. Observe it for yourselves. You can see, hear, perceive through your other sense organs too and additionally have thinking faculty to validate. You are a thinker! Do not get stuck with blind faith.
Look at the animal kingdom. Who is teaching them what to eat or what is suitable for them? We are somehow not able to accept right things in natural form. When you go closer to nature, you get healed. That is because, the body has innate ability to heal itself and this ability is strengthened by going towards nature, whether it is a simple exercise or breathing or eating fruits provided by nature. Look into very simple things first.
We are still stuck with calcified ideas, in terms of food and also medicine. You take medicine for some health issue. Even for the medicine to work, your system has to accept and work on it. Medicine does not work by itself; body works using medicine. Energy healing can enhance your body’s ability to heal itself and help boost your immune system; but even for that to show faster results, you must put some effort from your side. Understand cause and effect. If you eat something that is not healthy for you, on a regular basis, then what will be the effect? If you eat more salt, you may get hypertension. Have you not seen reduction in salt intake by people who are hypertensive, bringing down their BP quite soon? This can be validated very easily. You will find that they are directly proportional!
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If you breathe properly you become calmer. Everything is in breathing; life is breath! Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi imparted, “regulate your breathing to regulate your mind!” Even before that, Yogi Ramacharaka had gone into deeper details of breathing, exercise and diet, for improving and sustaining health at various levels and further for proper spiritual progress. Validate their statements and find out for yourself! Observe your breathing. That is meditation. Buddha Shakyamuni, also popularly known as Gautama Buddha, instructed his disciples to observe their breathing. Observing your breathing leads to Dhyana Yoga, which is experiencing your Higher Self. Breathing becomes erratic based on your emotional condition or mental state. They are inter-linked. Observe yourself to know this. You don’t need an instrument to prove this to you.
Some revered Teachers have propagated great knowledge and wisdom. We must validate and use them. We don't require a physical instrument to validate everything. We have an emotional and mental component. We can validate the effect on these by being aware. These cannot be fully measured by physical gadgets. The scientific community is oriented towards physical proof, which is not completely possible, may be partly achievable. It does not give full picture.
We must view life with optimism, not with skepticism. Moreover, when we are suggesting exercise, breathing, right diet, there are no side effects to these. Any excessiveness is bad of course, like, you don't keep exercising for too many hours or do breathing exercises for longer time or eat excessive fruits just because they are healthy. Look into the book on “Hatha Yoga” by Yogi Ramacharaka. These teachings are not limited to one religion, custom, tradition, nation or race. There are certain common truths that have been advocated by many great people. Every religion or spiritual system preaches forgiveness. Why have they recommended so? Do understanding meditation on it. Marshall Rosenberg, who talked about “Non-Violent Communication”, has validated from spiritual point of view, the methods of harmonizing conflicting factors through empathy, compassion, non-violent speech. Though it seems like a mental exercise, it has a spiritual background. After the mental exercise or analysis, there has to be action!
Different people have different viewpoint. Many may be right at the same time. One task can be accomplished in many ways. Generally, there is no one way and also the way you do it, changes with time. Earlier days, written communication through letters and post was used. Now, with technological development, you can accomplish the same instantly through an email or messaging. We cannot stick to the old ways of doing things. You must flow with life. Future is dynamic, everything is undergoing change. You must use these technological advancements for the assistance and benefit they offer and not get consumed by it all the time. With evolution, you must adapt to the changes. Validate and pick up what is important and drop all that is not. That is correct expression.
One of the most important things to be understood and validated is Law of Cause and Effect or Law of Karma. Ultimately, what you sow is what you reap; what you have not sown, you cannot really reap. What you waste will be removed from you. Put differently, what you give is what you receive; what you don't give, you do not receive. Hence, what you want is what you give! That's yang golden rule. Similarly, what you don't want, do not give or do that to others. That’s yin golden rule. If you want others to smile at you, smile at them first. Understand this law which is applicable at mental, emotional, and physical levels, i.e. in thinking, feeling, speech and action. Thinking and feeling generate Karma apart from speech and action. A person with less awareness thinks that only action causes Karma. But at least he understands Karma. The next level is to recognize that even words generate Karma. And these actions and words come from your thinking and feeling. So, thoughts and emotions are like seeds; while speech and action are the fruits. Hence, we must watch what we think and what we feel. That is inner reflection or Jnana yoga. Without this inner reflection, greater development of virtues and deeper spiritual progress is impossible.
Right action implies right Karma yoga. Without understanding, you will not do right action. For example, addressing the condition of another person by healing is a loftier act. It is holistic, it addresses not only at physical level, but also at emotional, mental and spiritual levels. It gives an opportunity to the person to go in right direction. This opportunity can be created just by cleaning the aura of a person, like, washing someone who is dirty. This is a great service as every human is connected to the entire Earth, every drop makes an ocean.
The next level that you need to comprehend is, “Am I this body” or “Am I the user of this body”? This is similar to, “Am I the car or “Am I the user of the car”? You must then validate, why have you come into this car or body? There must be some purpose. You must recognize the purpose of a human being, how can that be achieved, what is the significance of spiritual path, what is the importance of a Guru, why is aligning with a group required, what is the importance of regular Sadhana?
You must also deeply analyze the various targets in life. Check for karmic obligations, like, what should I do for my family, how can I contribute to those working for me and who contributed to me, what can I do for humanity, how can I repay to mother Earth? Check who all are you obligated to and how you can fulfill these obligations? Ponder, have you come to only fulfill these obligations? Is there any other purpose beyond that? Use your discernment to realize how to balance life.
You may take help while climbing a hill. You can also extend help to those who are on the lower steps. You may put your own effort, but may take some help too. How do you get help? It is by giving help that you get helped. You know that you have to go further up, by seeing those who are ahead of you. Guru shows you the path and is way ahead of you.
To summarize, right view point is accurate perception. Reflecting into yourself is real Jnana. You must validate all that you are practicing on a regular basis. Understand honesty at a deeper level. It is not just telling truth. It is utilizing your capability to help others! Do understanding meditation to go deeper into a subject matter. The questions to look in are what is it, what all it contains, how it came about or how it works and what is the purpose? While doing something which consumes a lot of time, money and resources, use your discernment. Do not do them based on customs, tradition, blind belief or superstition. Validate and then do them. For deeper discernment, certain purification is required. Regular Sadhana is necessary for this. All our online live sessions help with the purification. After the session, try to continue being aware of your inner state.
You may try our live sessions on Facebook for regular group practice of breathing exercises; forgiveness; reflecting within and erasing the unwholesome thoughts and emotions; meditation; channeling divine blessings to the entire Earth and the affected areas during this pandemic and for a powerful guided Divine healing.
These live sessions are now extended up to 31st December2020 @ www.facebook.com/ShriNJReddy. Timings: Morning 7.15 AM, Afternoon 1.00 PM, Evening 6.30 PM.
You may also try the YPV Sadhana app which is available for free in various languages. It has guided tracks for physical and breathing exercises, Forgiveness Sadhana and Planetary Peace Meditation. These techniques also boost and sustain your immune system.