SHOULD MASKS GO?

 

The contagion continues to flummox us. Are we nearing the end of the epidemic? Is the contagion on its way out? Or is a new variant on its way in? Should we continue to wear masks at least in public places when we're indoors? Should vaccines be made obligatory? Is social distancing effective?       The answers to similar questions are varied and frequently mutually antithetical. We're drowned in a mind- boggling bowwow of voices from scientists, politicians, intelligencers, armchair experts, conspiracy- proposition suckers, and rumormongers. The less sure they are, the louder are their claims. At some point, people just give up and believe whatever they want to believe.   Although masks are attracting a lot of attention at present, they've been around for a long time, being used for conventional as well as practical purposes similar as protection, disguise, performance, or entertainment. These are just the visible masks. There are other masks which are hidden in the psyche. People use these, frequently unconsciously, in order to project the kind of personality they want others to see, so what goes on within is known only to them. This occasionally is done to conform to social pressures, abuse or importunity. occasionally these unnoticeable masks are a result of a survival medium, manifesting in people’s geste    when they try to mentally block passions of suffering.       Beyond these unnoticeable masks are a set of indeed more subtle masks that are as old as creation. They do n’t cover the body, they're the body. They do n’t cover the mind, they're the mind. Who do they cover also? They cover the tone( ātman), the real me, the substance of my actuality. The body and the mind are each that I see in myself from as far back as I can flash back . They do n’t appear to me as bare coverings. They're me.   Are they really? Am I nothing further than this body and this mind? Is that all?       Centuries agone   , far beyond our given history’s reach, it was discovered that beneath the body, beneath indeed the mind, there was commodity additional — more directly, someone differently. That someone was the real me, the real tone. Why call it the real tone? Because we're more familiar with the fake tone that shines within as “ I ”. That’s not me. That’s the pride. The real me is indeed beyond my present “ I ”. Since it was hidden under the body and under the mind, it remained unnoticed and unknown.   But those who refused to live superficially, those who challenged the conventional wisdom, those who explored what was passing inside them, eventually discovered this retired gem, the Gem of all gems. It was a revolutionary discovery. Those stalwart, grim discoverers we call them pundits( ṛṣi) — set up themselves passing the kind of freedom they had noway known was. They endured the zenith of bliss and it remained with them always. It's their inner discoveries that find expression through the Vedas. The topmost among these is the discovery of the real me, the Ātman.       The Ātman remains hidden under layers of masks. These masks can be classified in at least two distinct but affiliated ways. One way is to view the covering as comprising three masks. Each of the masks is perishable and, in Sanskrit, it's called śarīra( literally, “ that which wears down ”). In English, śarīra is generally restated as “ body. ”   The three masks are gross body( sthūla śarīra), subtle body( sūkṣma śarīra), and unproductive body( kāraṇa śarīra). The gross body is what I see when I stand before a glass. The subtle body comprises everything in me that a surgeon wo n’t find when my body is cut open. It includes the mind( manas), the intellect( buddhi), the pride( ahaṁkāra), the senses( indriya), the life force( prāṇa). The subtle body survives death and is the depository of all the fruits of my conduct( air- phala) and internal prints( saṁskāra). The unproductive body which is indeed more subtle than the subtle body is, as the name suggests, the “ cause ” of everything. In plain terms, the unproductive body is ignorance( ajñāna or māyā). Obviously, the gross body is the most fragile of the three masks. It perishes sooner and is replaced after death. The subtle body is with us for the long haul. As long as it remains, we're stuck like moochers to the painful and boring, indeed if constantly changing, cycle( saṁsāra- cakra) of birth and death.       But it's also possible to view the coverings over the Ātman as comprising five masks. Like the earlier bone   ’s, these are perishable too and, in Sanskrit, are called kośa( literally, jacket, subcaste). The five layers are of the body( lit. “ food, ” annamaya, because the gross body depends on food for its growth and survival), of the life force( prāṇamaya), of the mind( manomaya), of the agent- pride( lit. “ knowledge, ” vijñānamaya, because the knowledge of being an agent is necessary for any exertion), and the experiencer pride( lit. “ bliss, ” ānandamaya, because of the experience in deep sleep, when all other masks feel to fall down).   It does n’t really count whether we see the masks hiding the Ātman as three or five, whether we suppose of each of them as a “ body ” or as a “ subcaste. ” What matters really is the simple fact that they keep me hidden from myself, still fallacious this statement might appear. The deeper we dig into life and its incongruences, adhering to sense seems like one big joke. Logically is how our mind tends to suppose, but it’s not always how life wants to serve. Which is why the insolvable can feel possible. How differently can anyone explain the horizonless, immortal and free godly being suddenly converted into a finite, mortal and trapped mortal being?       Whatever we may suppose of masks moment, we know that not wearing them increases the threat of infection. We may argue over the degree of threat, but the stakes involve a likely infection followed by variable quantum of suffering, conceivably hospitalization, and maybe death. The stakes are high, but not advanced than keeping those other nearly in- erected masks described above that we feel unfit to shake off.   These “ bodies ” or “ layers ” over the Ātman are stealing us of our ingrain bliss, our unrestrained freedom, our deep unshakeable peace. There's no question that these inner masks must go. The sooner they do, the better it's for us. The only way to peel off these inner masks is to take spiritual life seriously. We've no bone   to condemn but ourselves if we ignore the call of the spirit. Only those who keep their eyes and minds open realize this.       As to the external masks of moment, just use your common sense   Source:Vedanta society,Wikipedia

The contagion continues to flummox us. Are we nearing the end of the epidemic? Is the contagion on its way out? Or is a new variant on its way in? Should we continue to wear masks at least in public places when we're indoors? Should vaccines be made obligatory? Is social distancing effective? 

 

 The answers to similar questions are varied and frequently mutually antithetical. We're drowned in a mind- boggling bowwow of voices from scientists, politicians, intelligencers, armchair experts, conspiracy- proposition suckers, and rumormongers. The less sure they are, the louder are their claims. At some point, people just give up and believe whatever they want to believe. 

Although masks are attracting a lot of attention at present, they've been around for a long time, being used for conventional as well as practical purposes similar as protection, disguise, performance, or entertainment. These are just the visible masks. There are other masks which are hidden in the psyche. People use these, frequently unconsciously, in order to project the kind of personality they want others to see, so what goes on within is known only to them. This occasionally is done to conform to social pressures, abuse or importunity. occasionally these unnoticeable masks are a result of a survival medium, manifesting in people’s geste 

 when they try to mentally block passions of suffering. 

 

 Beyond these unnoticeable masks are a set of indeed more subtle masks that are as old as creation. They do n’t cover the body, they're the body. They do n’t cover the mind, they're the mind. Who do they cover also? They cover the tone( ātman), the real me, the substance of my actuality. The body and the mind are each that I see in myself from as far back as I can flash back . They do n’t appear to me as bare coverings. They're me. 

Are they really? Am I nothing further than this body and this mind? Is that all? 

 

 Centuries agone

 , far beyond our given history’s reach, it was discovered that beneath the body, beneath indeed the mind, there was commodity additional — more directly, someone differently. That someone was the real me, the real tone. Why call it the real tone? Because we're more familiar with the fake tone that shines within as “ I ”. That’s not me. That’s the pride. The real me is indeed beyond my present “ I ”. Since it was hidden under the body and under the mind, it remained unnoticed and unknown. 

But those who refused to live superficially, those who challenged the conventional wisdom, those who explored what was passing inside them, eventually discovered this retired gem, the Gem of all gems. It was a revolutionary discovery. Those stalwart, grim discoverers we call them pundits( ṛṣi) — set up themselves passing the kind of freedom they had noway known was. They endured the zenith of bliss and it remained with them always. It's their inner discoveries that find expression through the Vedas. The topmost among these is the discovery of the real me, the Ātman. 

 

 The Ātman remains hidden under layers of masks. These masks can be classified in at least two distinct but affiliated ways. One way is to view the covering as comprising three masks. Each of the masks is perishable and, in Sanskrit, it's called śarīra( literally, “ that which wears down ”). In English, śarīra is generally restated as “ body. ” 

The three masks are gross body( sthūla śarīra), subtle body( sūkṣma śarīra), and unproductive body( kāraṇa śarīra). The gross body is what I see when I stand before a glass. The subtle body comprises everything in me that a surgeon wo n’t find when my body is cut open. It includes the mind( manas), the intellect( buddhi), the pride( ahaṁkāra), the senses( indriya), the life force( prāṇa). The subtle body survives death and is the depository of all the fruits of my conduct( air- phala) and internal prints( saṁskāra). The unproductive body which is indeed more subtle than the subtle body is, as the name suggests, the “ cause ” of everything. In plain terms, the unproductive body is ignorance( ajñāna or māyā). Obviously, the gross body is the most fragile of the three masks. It perishes sooner and is replaced after death. The subtle body is with us for the long haul. As long as it remains, we're stuck like moochers to the painful and boring, indeed if constantly changing, cycle( saṁsāra- cakra) of birth and death. 

 

 But it's also possible to view the coverings over the Ātman as comprising five masks. Like the earlier bone

 ’s, these are perishable too and, in Sanskrit, are called kośa( literally, jacket, subcaste). The five layers are of the body( lit. “ food, ” annamaya, because the gross body depends on food for its growth and survival), of the life force( prāṇamaya), of the mind( manomaya), of the agent- pride( lit. “ knowledge, ” vijñānamaya, because the knowledge of being an agent is necessary for any exertion), and the experiencer pride( lit. “ bliss, ” ānandamaya, because of the experience in deep sleep, when all other masks feel to fall down). 

It does n’t really count whether we see the masks hiding the Ātman as three or five, whether we suppose of each of them as a “ body ” or as a “ subcaste. ” What matters really is the simple fact that they keep me hidden from myself, still fallacious this statement might appear. The deeper we dig into life and its incongruences, adhering to sense seems like one big joke. Logically is how our mind tends to suppose, but it’s not always how life wants to serve. Which is why the insolvable can feel possible. How differently can anyone explain the horizonless, immortal and free godly being suddenly converted into a finite, mortal and trapped mortal being? 

 

 Whatever we may suppose of masks moment, we know that not wearing them increases the threat of infection. We may argue over the degree of threat, but the stakes involve a likely infection followed by variable quantum of suffering, conceivably hospitalization, and maybe death. The stakes are high, but not advanced than keeping those other nearly in- erected masks described above that we feel unfit to shake off. 

These “ bodies ” or “ layers ” over the Ātman are stealing us of our ingrain bliss, our unrestrained freedom, our deep unshakeable peace. There's no question that these inner masks must go. The sooner they do, the better it's for us. The only way to peel off these inner masks is to take spiritual life seriously. We've no bone

 to condemn but ourselves if we ignore the call of the spirit. Only those who keep their eyes and minds open realize this. 

 

 As to the external masks of moment, just use your common sense 

Source:Vedanta society,Wikipedia
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