Hello! How are you..?

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Dear Sadhakas,

Hope by this time you would have begun to feel the gentle breeze of the winter. I feel like sharing something about “health” with you all in this Editorial. Health is an essential aspect of human endeavour for happiness in life. The word “health” can be dissected to get “he” and “al” (pronounced as “all”); meaning He (god) is all (he + all); i.e., He permeates the entire creation and works through all. Anybody who stays with this feeling will always be in a healthy mood. Even if you see the word “Heart”, it could be divided to get “He” and “Art” meaning His (HE) Art. All our emotions and feelings spring from Him and one who lives with this feeling, his life becomes an Aesthetic Life.

So friends our health (wherever I say health, it implies physical + mental + emotional health) should be in perfect balance if we want to live peacefully and happily. The kind of attitude mentioned above will go a long way in developing such an aesthetic life. Action is unavoidable. So, it will be wise if we learn to perform our actions in a skillful and efficient way. That is the only way to live rather. Those who resist this natural law experience what is known in common parlance as suffering, strain, misery, dejection, stress, psyco-somatic diseases and the list goes on. The absence of this list in one’s life is what is known as peace, happiness, bliss etc.

Friends, don’t you all feel that it is high time that we understood this simple secret and make our life a very healthy one, thereby influencing the surroundings around us to become healthy? I do sincerely hope that you will give a serious thought to what I have said. My only request is: Do not ignore your health as well as your near and dear one’s health. Take personal responsibility in this matter and see the difference in the quality of your life. I would like to see you all with the result of this experiment when I meet you next in person. Till then, please do take care and I assure you of the blessings of the Parampara in this venture.

In service of Guru Parampara
Sri Pattabhiram


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Excellent Communication

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Please take care to read till the last word...A very important message for both professional and personal Grooming...If we can remind ourselves , the essence of the message , we may be able to handle our stress more effectively...moment to moment...in everyday life...!

Why we Shout when we are angry?

A saint asked his disciples, 'Why do we shout in anger? Why do people shout at each other when they are upset?'

Disciples thought for a while, one of them said, 'Because we lose our calm, we shout for that.'

'But, why to shout when the other person is just next to you?' asked the saint.

'Isn't it possible to speak to him or her with a soft voice?

Why do you shout at a person when you're angry?'

Disciples gave some other answers but none satisfied the saint.

Finally he explained, 'When two people are angry at each other, their hearts distance a lot.

To cover that distance they must shout to be able to hear each other. The angrier they are, the stronger they will have to shout to hear each other through that great distance.'

Then the saint asked, 'What happens when two people fall in love? They don't shout at each other but talk softly, why?

Because their hearts are very close. The distance between them is very small...'

The saint continued, 'When they love each other even more, what happens? They do not speak, only whisper and they get even closer to each other in their love.

Finally they even need not whisper, they only look at each other and that's all.

That is how close two people are when they love each other.'

MORAL: When you argue do not let your hearts get distant, do not say words that distance each other.

(from a Sadhaka)


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Antardarshana

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Taking up sadhana in the initial days is bitter. But when you establish yourself in sadhana-life, it starts giving you a sweet feeling. Eating neem leaves is bitter; but after you eat, the taste it leaves is really worth experimenting. Initially sitting still is difficult, going inside our mind and emotions is difficult. Even if you go inside, it would irritate a lot, initially. Once you learn to withstand irritation, the sadhana will ultimately give you only nectar, amrita.

There are two types of knowledge working with us—inner and outside. The knowledge related to the outside world, its memory, its reactions, are all stored in the chitta. You would be able to tap the inner light only when you learn to empty what is stored in the chitta. In order to clear up the chitta, we need to understand how it got filled up with so many things. Chitta is a store house of mental impressions. As I have told you earlier, there is light within us but the only difficulty with us is we are not able to experience it, because the contents of the chitta are covering that light, and hence the emphasis on clearing the contents of the chitta. That is why we must move on from impulsive behaviour to intelligent behaviour. As you practice this shift from impulsive behaviour to intelligent behaviour, your very mastery over intelligent behaviour would automatically open the door of intuitive realm of your personality. Impulse, or the hurried action, relates to animal instinct. The intelligence relates to human, and intuition relates to the beyond. Whatever contains in the chitta relates to the external world. You can’t enter intuitive world directly; you must bring down the speed of your mind intelligently. Handle your affairs intelligently. Deliberately, try to act slowly and intelligently. When someone says something, don’t react immediately. Wait a while. This way, you develop a space in your mind, for you to relax, to see, to feel and to act intelligently. Even in day-to-day life, learn to listen silently, see silently without commenting, act silently without complaining. As you spend your time silently, you are introduced to the way of your speech, action and thought. Then whatever you do, they all will have to have your approval first and then they would be executed. That way, every action of yours would become responsible and intelligent action. Then, a question comes, what type of things were filled into it?

pramaana-viparyaya-vikalpa-nidraa-smritayah

The chitta operates from the above five vrittis. Pramaana means proof and it is the first vritti. Again, proof has three constituents:

pratyaksha-anumaana-aagamaah pramaanaani

The chitta wants some proof to defend itself and it employs the proof of the things seen. The eyes, ears, tongue, touch, and nose, collect things from the world and transmit it inside. The moment an impression goes inside, immediately, reactions would crop up from inside, it is called chitta vritti. Here, yoga asks you to restrain yourself from reacting though you might have seen/ heard/tasted/touched things directly. It asks you to pause for a while and then act intelligently.

An example. You are sitting in a room and outside you hear a comment on you—you don’t know in what context somebody made a comment on you—but you go and take that person to task. You react violently. This proof is called pratyaksha. The other type of proof is anumaana, inference. Suppose, a smell of garam masaala comes from the kitchen of a pious family. If you had experienced such smell from a non-vegetarian family, immediately you infer that that family is also cooking a non-vegetarian dish. The next proof is aagama, words of the trusted people. You might have seen it with your children. Even if you say the correct spelling of a word, the child would defend only the teacher. The child trusts the teacher more than you. In such beliefs, we strengthen the chitta. We don’t ponder whether our beliefs are right or wrong. Yoga asks you, though you believe the people, yet you test what they say. If you find them at fault, don’t even neglect them. Even if the Lord or Guru says something, without judging, find out for yourself what is right. Viparyaya is explained as - viparyayo mithyaajnaanam atadroopam apratishttham

Viparyaya means false knowledge, no truth, and it means labelling something which is not. In other words, the image which your mind is seeing is not there. But the mind projects something else over there. Sage Patanjali says, see rope as a rope, not as a snake. When you have related chitta vrittis, the rope is seen as a snake. The defect is in the mind. If you have a lot of fear inside, your dealings with the outside world will add up to the fear. The third vritti is vikalpa.

shabda-jnaana-anupaatee vastu-shoonyo vikalpah

Based only on the word-meaning, we go on building castles; it is also called day-dreaming or fantasizing. There is no object, yet we dream about it. The day-dream may be a dream of fear or of pleasure. The fourth vritti is sleep.

abhaava-pratyaya-aalambana-vrittih-nidraah

Patanjali says even sleep is a vritti. Atman doesn’t need sleep. Chitta needs it to get ready for the next day’s ordeal. Since chitta is engaged all through the day, it needs rest. When there is no experience, that state is known as sleep. The thoughts, emotions, imaginations are all pratyaya, contents. The absence of contents, or the absence of transactions in chitta, is called sleep. The mind doesn’t want to do anything for sometime, and it depends on no-action, and that is sleep. To cite an example, the engine of a car is on but is not moving. The biological activity is on, but chitta is resting. Only during sleep the growth and rejuvenation of body happens. That is why it is said that one should not disturb the sleeping child/man. How much we sleep is not important but how qualitatively we sleep is important. The fifth vritti is memory, smriti.

It means, an event has happened, I have experienced that; yet, I have not forgotten it. That unforgotten impression is memory, smriti. The characteristics of the memory is, one memory will give rise to so many other memories. Memory gives rise to aversion, sadness, frustration, fear.... Psychologically, we should try to erase all memories. We should not remember even what we have eaten in the afternoon. That would allow me to stay in the present. When one is in the present, the next meal would be really an enjoyable one. There are two types of memories, objective and subjective. For example, when I see you, I must remember your face. That is necessary. But I should not remember the subjective memories. Subjective memory means, when I met you, you might have said something which left a deep scar on my being. That I should not remember. Normally the mind doesn’t remember that which ended in happiness. But it remembers vividly that which ended in pain. That is why our Gurudev, Swami Rama says, “If you want to progress in sadhana, forget and forgive.” It is enough to say that the memory is the greatest impediment in one’s experience of pure consciousness.

May you succeed in your Sadhana
Sri Pattabhiram


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What does Yoga science mean to you?

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When people talk about Yoga they often think it has something to do with the physical being only. Yoga is a science that deals with body, breath, mind, soul, and ultimately, the universe itself. It is both practical and theoretical.

Patanjali* is not trying to teach any particular religion to you. Yoga is not a new religion, nor does it condemn any religion. Yoga does not teach that if you are Jewish, you should become Catholic, or if you are Catholic, you should become Hindu, or if you are Hindu, you should become Buddhist. All the great religions have come from one source. Religions tell people what to do and what not to do, and provide a set of rules or commandments that are not fully satisfying.

Yoga science does not tell you what to do and what not to do, but teaches you how to be. Yoga science is a science of life that helps you to know the known and unknown parts of life, that helps you to liberate yourself from pains and miseries, and that helps you to attain that state which is free from pains and miseries.

How can someone living in the world practice Yoga science? If you understand the fundamental principles of Yoga science and why Yoga science should be practiced, it will become easy for you to practice. First you have to decide to search. You have to feel the necessity of finding yourself. Yes, I want to know myself. Something is missing, something I could not receive from my church, from my religion. Millions of people, both in the East and in the West, are searching for Truth and Self-realization—or as the religionists put it, God. You may go to church or temple or synagogues, but the questioning mind is still there. Sometimes orthodox religions do not satisfy your needs, so you question life. When your mind questions, it means you are not fully satisfied. Life is a question in front of you. You want to know something more, but you are using this little mind, which is like a yardstick, to measure the vast universe and its mysteries. You do not understand your religion because you do not understand yourself.

The highest of all books is the book of life. Unless you open the book of life, you will not understand the teachings of the scriptures. The scriptures say what to do and what not to do, but you have to learn how to be. All the gates to higher knowledge will be opened to you once you understand yourself. Patanjali offers something to such seekers. Patanjali says the source of knowledge is within you. The world and external knowledge can only inform you and inspire you. To evolve does not mean going toward the external world. Evolution means going back to the source. If you put ten covers around a light, what will happen to the light? The light will be as it is, but it will appear dim to you. You will not be able to see it. If you remove the covers, you will see it clearly. You can compare yourself with the light. Before you go to the source of knowledge within, you have to go through many barriers.

Yoga science does not offer any new religion; it offers a methodology. Through Yoga science you can understand yourself better on all levels, including your physical well-being, your actions, thought process, emotions, and desires. You will also understand how you are related to the world, and how to lead a successful life in the world. Yoga science creates a bridge between the internal and external conditions of life. Yoga is a way of improving yourself, a way of understanding your internal states. Whosoever you are, you have all the potentials within you. Are you aware of this? If you are aware of this, do you know how to use them? Patanjali encourages us to be aware of the potentials that we have and to learn how to use them. This practical science says to explore more and more.

The word Yoga means “unification, to unite with.” You have to unite yourself with the whole. At present you are an individual and you are experiencing miseries. The cause of misery, according to Patanjali, is ignorance. Ignorance is self-created. You can be free from that misery because it has been created by you. It’s as if you constantly slap your face and then say, God help me. It’s as though you blindfold yourself and then say, O Lord of light, of life, and love, give me light. This prayer is in vain.

You have to light your own lamp. No one will give you salvation. I am talking of enlightenment. All individuals have the responsibility to enlighten themselves. Do not think you cannot do it. You have that spark. You are fully equipped. You simply need to discipline yourself. Discipline is not a prison. It simply means practice.

- Swami Rama

(Extracted from sites.google.com/site/swamiramateachings)


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Hello! How are you..?

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AUSTERITY IN SADHANA

Dear Sadhakas,

November 13th is very special day for all of us. It is the day on which our beloved Baba attained Maha Samadhi. Baba had a great concern for all of us, even to those who have not seen Baba in his physical form. Baba always said, have faith in the Guru Parampara and it will guide you in all walks of life. On the occasion of Baba’s Maha Samadhi, let us also remember some of his teachings.

While Baba strongly believed in austerity for everlasting transformation and highest spiritual attainment, he rejected the meaning of austerity or tapas being not eating food or drinking water for days together or giving torture to the self. In fact he used to say, “adopting a healthy way of living is austerity”. By eating of too much or too little, by sleeping too much or very little, by exercising too strenuously or not doing any exercise at all, by thinking too much or not using the mind at all, one disturbs the pranic forces which support and sustain both body and mind. To enjoy life, you have to be healthy and strong, by avoiding extremes. For, it is only in a healthy body there can be a sound mind. No matter how spiritual you are, when you are not well, a great deal of your mental and spiritual energy is wasted in managing the complaints of the body. When you spend so much of energy complying with the demands of the body, where do you have the time and energy to discover the higher purpose and meaning of life? Taking care of oneself is the first and the most important step in practicing austerity. Therefore, first take care of your body.

The Sanskrit word ‘tapas’ literally means heat or glow. The practices that help you to shine are called ‘tapas’. Unhealthy living smothers the fire within us. To blow off the ashes of sloth and inertia, and allow the fire to become active, is tapas. Keeping the body cleansed and nourished is the way to practice tapas. For a genuine and everlasting transformation, you must practice a systematic method of self discipline and self training. Mere philosophy or intellectual knowledge cannot stand in times of need. To start and complete any practice, first you must have a strong, burning desire. Such a desire leads to commitment. Commitment needs to be nourished by the power of determination. When you are determined that today you will sit in meditation, no one has the power to disturb you. The combined force of your burning desire, the actual practice and God’s grace will guide you and whenever you are about to make a mistake, the same force will protect you.


In service of Guru Parampara
Sri Pattabhiram


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Swami Rama Message

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I pray that you will all be happy and enjoy, and let the flower of your life bloom so that you can serve one an-other and help others. Enjoy all the time. Be happy. Learn to be Happy.

I too have a Guru. The spiri-tual path can’t be tread with-out kripa, Guru’s graces. But if you want to have the Guru’s grace, you would have to have your own grace. You should make sincere efforts, and then the grace of God will come. Let you be graced today, the day which reminds you that you have to follow the path of enlightenment, loving all and excluding none. That is the way to the Divine.

To that glorious Guru my homage,
who has shown me that state which is identical
with the unbroken full orb of the sun,
which pervades all things, moving and unmoving.
Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi. May God bless you.

Swami Rama



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Antardarshana

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tasya vachakah pranavah

It means, His own voice is Pranava, the Omkara. We all would like to reach Godhood. But how to reach Godhood? That is why we all go to temples, satsanga, and other such events. When we visit such places, what we get is a soothing feeling, a tranquil mind. But this tranquil mind doesn’t last long. The moment we come to the busy streets, immediately our minds get diverted and we remain the same before we went to the temple! The same restlessness, the same discontentment, the same negative thoughts.... Sometimes, one really wonders whether there is really God or not.

Why this Sutra? We all believe that we are in darkness. We continuously pray to the Almighty : Please lead me from darkness to light, from falsehood to the real, from mortality to immortality. Our buddhi is clouded with lot of negativities and that is why we don’t see clarity in our thought, positivity in our actions, and bliss in our being.

In the modern age, we live in fully lighted houses during nights. Even if current goes off, we have standby generators or inverters. We get enough light for a period of time. But imagine the days when you have no standby generators. All is pitch dark. You are sitting in a room, and your father is resting in some other room. Your father calls you to offer you something. How do you reach the place he is staying? Though you don’t see anything, you follow the voice of your father and as your father goes on calling you, you go on reaching him. Suddenly, you are there! You are at his feet!

Maharshi Patanjali had seen this long ago. That is why he has suggested this Sutra. When mind pushes the human being to get lost in the mad race of the modern times, he undergoes chaos, confusion & frustration. In other words, he is in utter darkness. Though he has all the gadgets to light his external living, there is no light within, no peace within. That is why, Maharshi Patanjali asks us to follow the voice of the Lord. He is testifying the voice of the Lord to be Om. This is also testified by those who have followed Om. It is the same truth for you and me. If you board the Karnataka Express train from Delhi, it takes you to Bangalore; it is the same for you and me. Even if a beggar takes this train, he is assured of his destination: Bangalore.

In the same way, if you sit in the ‘Train of Om’, the destination is sure: He Himself. Though you can chant it the way you like, the effective technique is as given in our Antar Darshana. You must sit quiet, stabilise the sitting posture, harmonise the breathing, watch your mind and allow the mental disturbance to settle down and then chant long Omkara for a few times. After that, chant short Omkara. You can go on chanting this. How do you have to chant it? It is said in another Sutra: tat-japah-tat-artha-bhaavanam.You must chant it with the meaning and feeling. What is the meaning? Om means the voice of the Lord, means He Himself. What can be the feeling? The confidence of reaching Him. Assure yourself that you would reach him one day or the other.

You can do this chanting anytime or everytime you feel like doing: whether walking, eating, giving, receiving, when you are angry, when you are sad, when you are elated. In all walks of life you can tune in to this Om as a background music. Inside, go on establishing this beautiful musical note. Om, om, om..... A day will come when this background music happens on its own. Then it is called ajapa-japa. You are not doing the japa, but it is happening. When this happens for a period of time, one day or the other, you would really listen to the Voice of the Lord.

I give you an example. You want to ring up someone, your dear one. You pick up the receiver and dial the number of your friend from your phone. The response you hear depends on the instrument and the number engagement. In the same way, you must attune yourself with the Voice of the Lord with the chant of Om. He may be busy talking to someone. Actually, our own instruments are faulty. We have a number of negative tendencies. These negative tendencies really come in the way of our tuning in to the Voice of the Lord. Continuously work with your tendencies towards life, towards yourself and towards the other. Just see how your tendency is towards your work, your wife, your family, your neighbours, and everyone around the globe. The more you divide, the more miserable you are. The more integrated you are, the better the tuning would be.

My request to you is, as you tune in with the Voice of the Lord, also work on yourself. Observe how do you perform your duties. Is it a burdened work? Is it a boring work? If so, change the attitude. Do you not like someone? Question yourself as to why you don’t like him/her.

Do you utter lies? For what? Do you avoid work? For what? Do you deceive people? Question the deceiving mind. What for is it deceiving? If you develop this deceit in you, the day is not far away when you yourself would be deceived totally by your own mind! Become aware of this! You may free yourself from some people. You can’t free yourself from this deceitful mind!

Set your instrument right. Keep yourself light by closely monitoring the way you work, the way you think, and the way you speak. Filtering of your actions should happen right at these planes. If you do it, nobody can stop you from regaining your Kingdom of Bliss. OM.

May your practice guide you and all.

Sri Pattabhiram


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Three Stages of Practice

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1. Initial stage: At this stage, the student thinks that he is practicing, but actually he is preparing himself for the practice. His so-called practice consists of collecting the necessary means and resources to begin and to stay on the path.

2. Intermediate stage: At this stage, a student is fully equipped with all the resources he needs to practice. His time and energy are not involved in collecting means and learning methods, rather he spends his time in practice.

3. Last stage—achievement: At this stage, a student experiences the Truth. He may have only a momentary glimpse of the Truth, but at least it is a direct experience, which helps him understand the greatness of the Truth. Now, sadhana consists of trying to maintain that state. As his practice matures, he becomes an adept; then he need not try, for the experience of non-dual Reality is maintained effortlessly and spontaneously.


You really do not need to know many things, but you definitely need to practice what you know.

(Extracted from sites.google.com/site/swamiramateachings)


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Mantra Anushtthaana for Navaratri

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Dear Sadhaka

I have been sending special mantra practices on very auspicious occasions and I am certain that you are doing it and creating the energy fields in you to protect yourself and your family from various negative influences.

Navaratri, nine nights of very powerful divine manifestations, are very sensitive nights for sadhakas to meditate and to experience communion with the Divine Mother -- the energy play of the Cosmos.

I am blessed by Guru Parampara to initiate a very transformative mantra needed at this critical passage of time, which is full of confusions, conflicts,uncertainties, insecurities and unexpected happenings causing misery.

The Mantra:

OM - AIM - HREEM - SHREEM - ICCHAASHAKTI - KRIYAASHAKTI - JNAANASHAKTI - LALITAA - ABHAYA - SUNDARYAI – NAMAH

Meanings:

Hreem Iccha - Determination, Sankalpa
Aim Jnaana - Knowledge
Shreem Kriyaa - Dynamism
Abhaya - Assurance, Security
Sundara - Beauty, Harmony
Lalitaa - Divine Mother

Practice:

1. Sit and prepare for meditation.

2. Connect Sahasrara and Mooladhaara with a golden bridge of light and energize with Praana and SO HAM Naada.

3. Concentrate on Navel - the center of Iccha Shakti. Activate through nine rounds of breathing i.e. Praana Aahuti. Chant 9 times OM HREEM.

4. Come to Anaahata, heart center and do the Praana Aahuthi and chant 9 times OM - SHREEM.

5. Come to Agna, space between the eyebrows and do the Praana Aahuthi and chant 9 times OM - AIM.

6. Come to Sahasrara and feel the Blue sky with a Golden triangle and red dot (Bindu). Feel the presence of Divine Mother - the embodiment of knowledge, dynamism, determination and assurance.

7. Remember your Guru and seek the blessings to enter the mantra sadhana.

8. Chant the mantra given above - minimum 516 times.

9. Feel as if Divine Mother is blessing all the above powers to you to recreate your life and your family and the entire humanity.

10. Conclude with the following shloka:

Sarvamangala Maangalye Shive Sarvaartha Saadhike
Sharanye Tryambake Devi Naaraayani Namostute

Please practice this sadhana with your family in the evening between 8:30 - 9:30 PM every day for 108 days.

The purpose of meditation is to invoke the integrated energy of brilliance with full of confidence, dynamism of prosperity, knowledge of eternity and the shields if security and assurance. The effect will be a beautiful life beaming with Health, Harmony and Happiness.

Then you become Lalita - the benevolent ray of Divine Mother. May Guru Parampara bless you. Wish you happy Navaratri. Let the effort lead to Victory (Vijaya) in all ten directions (Dassera / Dashahara).


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Hello! How are you..?

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We suffer from various types of diseases not because of something ‘wrong’ in the physical body, but because of the continuous generation of negative energy in the mind; the mind is continuously generating the negative energy because we are feeding negative emotions.

What is negative energy? Negative energy is that energy which blocks the smooth flow of pure consciousness. If my emotions are selfish, then the pure energy cannot travel easily because of this blockage. Say, my heart says, "go and do something good to that fellow because he needs your support", that is the nature of the consciousness; our inner awareness - Aatmavat sarva bhooteshu. It is the same energy that is flowing everywhere. So, go and help. The moment pure energy starts coming out, the heart, which is filled with negative emotions, blocks it as if to say "Do not do it, if you do it, you will get caught." It is because we are selfish deep within. This slowly corrupts my pure energy. This corrupted impure energy is travelling all over the body.

There are 72,000 channels through which this corrupted energy is flowing. Wherever this corrupted energy flows, corrupted energy at the physical body will generate a negative chemical. Negative chemical gets deposited in the blood vessels, nerves, and in all such channels (or) passages through which various types of energies flow. Then slowly it starts blocking the communication system. The whole personality thus becomes negative.

When the personality becomes negative, automatically it creates a field around you. That field acquires the negative qualities of your personality. I am at the centre, the field surrounds me, sitting in that field, I attract people having similar negative energies. Because, in a way I become a magnet. When it becomes the magnet, it attracts. So, I start attracting only negative people towards me. Because there is negativity, there are negative people around me.

Similar attracts similar. That is the principle of nature. If there is negativity, it attracts only negativity. Slowly and surely, the negative field around me gets strengthened. In that negative field, where is the protection? Who is there to protect? My own emotions cannot protect me. Please understand - every emotion gets transformed into negative attitude. If a particular emotion starts operating 10 times in the mind, the same emotion becomes the attitude. I start seeing through that emotion only. Then, my entire perception becomes that only. So, the negative perception.

When the perception is negative, when the attitude is negative, then the habit patterns acquire negativity and get strengthened in a negative way.

For liberation, it is the mind; and so does for bondage too. For good things, it is the mind and for bad things too. Whatever samskara I give, whatever attitude I develop, whatever emotions I nurture, whatever feeling I develop within, that becomes my life. In that zone, small positive activities here and there do not help much. People are doing a lot of positive work, still it is not helping them to remove the density of negativity that they have stored inside. It is like sweeping for 10 minutes in a day and putting dirt all around the rest of the day. One or two days you will clean with a great enthusiasm. As days advance, you become tired of doing; because the amount of dirt piling up is so much, it makes you feel heavy, you feel bored - everyday doing the same thing! Because, you are not able to see the clean floor.

So, Sadhana or Mantras are very powerful, and they invoke a special energy from deep within. You must make efforts to awaken that intelligence which is charged with cosmic brilliance. That is your true energy. When you do Sadhana with feeling, then automatically, the natural cosmic brilliance which is in all of us in the latent form gets activated. We are not going to get it somewhere from above, no. It simply comes from within.

Therefore, instead of waiting to do your Sadhana ‘one day’, after you are through with your life’s commitments, start today and now. The moment you make the decision, my blessings and best wishes will start traveling with you.


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Determination & Patience

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Determination

Faith and determination are two essential rungs on the ladder of enlightenment. Without them enlightenment can never be realized. Without faith we can attain some degree of intellectual knowledge, but only with faith can we see into the most subtle chambers of our being.

Determination is the power that sees us through all frustrations and obstacles. It helps in building the willpower that is the very basis of success within and without. It is said in the scriptures that with the help of sankalpa shakti, the power of determination, nothing is impossible.

Shakti is behind all the great works done by the great leaders of the world. When the power of determination is not interrupted, one inevitably attains the desired goal.

Decide that no matter what happens, you will do what you set out to do. If you are determined, possible distractions will still be there, but you will continue on your path and remain undisturbed.

Sankalpa (determination) is very important. You cannot change your circumstances, the world, or society to suit you. If you have strength and determination, you can go through the procession of life very successfully.

Be confident, self-reliant, and always say to yourself, “I will do it. I can do it. I have to do it.” These confirmations build the power of determination, or sankalpa shakti.

Patience

In sadhana patience plays an important role.

Patience is a great virtue that needs to be cultivated. One should always pay attention to one’s determination, sincere efforts, patience, regularity, and loving nature. Always try to be vigilant, so that the opposite forces do not take over.

Whenever you find an obstacle, you should learn to be patient. You will have to be patient when you go to the unconscious mind, to the many fields of your mind.

The mind says, “How come you are so brave to go to the kingdom of the Lord within, without dealing with me?” Sometimes it becomes a devil; sometimes it becomes an angel; sometimes it becomes evil; sometimes it becomes a sage. It has all these qualities. The mind is a means for bondage—it could be a means for liberation. If the mind is at your disposal, it will not create obstacles for you.

You should learn to be patient. The quest of the soul helps you, if you persist; then, finally, you will find the light from the distance that dispels the darkness of ignorance. Will you please practice?

The time will come when you will know all that is to be known. Do not allow the gentle and eternal flame to diminish, and do not give name to the nameless.

(Extracted from sites.google.com/site/swamiramateachings)



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Three Dimensions of Family and Karma Yoga

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A ‘family’ has three dimensions: Functional Dimension, Karmic Dimension, and Spiritual dimension.

Spiritual dimension has the dimension of freedom, liberation; it is an unbound space where one rejoices in his or her true nature. The purpose of this dimension is to go back to that space.

Then we have the external world – the world of Ahara, Nidra, Bhaya, Maithuna of panch bhoota. That is the functional world, a duty bound space. Truly, the rule of that domain is sharing the responsibility, sharing the duty, cooperating with each other and not rubbing with each other. When we agree upon something we have to abide by that. Remember that whatever duty or responsibility we have undertaken, it becomes our commitment. When the decision to do something is being taken or the responsibility is being assigned, be live, be watchful and become rational. Do not comment on the decisions afterwards. Once the decision has been taken, you just have no choice but to do that, whether it is good or bad. At this level we should not bring any personal or emotional problems there. Unfortunately, in functional plane, we bring in confusion. When I am doing it, think that I am just doing that as discharge of my duty; there should be no ambiguity, no confusion. We should behave like soldiers, i.e., whatever instructions given, you just do that. In the duty bound space there is no choice, no assumption. When you have choices you create space for confusion and you become bound. When you have no choice, it means that you have accepted the reality, that is all and you are free. Where is assumption now? All your assumptions have disappeared now. There is no ambiguity. Everything is very clear and a beautiful harmony sets in there. You create a rhythm and you sail through the rhythm and orchestra works accordingly. When you abide by the duty that, in turn, develops trust. This is called Karma Yoga and this is going to help you in redefining your personality.

The third dimension, the karmic dimension lies between the above two planes of existence: one is unbound and other is terribly bound. Karma means your attitude, your behavior, your aptitude, your approach – all are called karma. That is why the karmic plane is also called the emotional plane. Karma is connected to the bound space only. Your Karma, Samskara and vasanas go through continuous changes, transformations; because, it is kept between bound and unbound fields. In the bound area when you start getting agitated, or getting attached then that reflects upon you karmic body and new karmic loops starts developing. Development of further and further of these karmic loops will not let you feel or reach the unbound space that is there in you. This will make you to move more and more outward and make you think - how to execute, how to run away, how to confront, how to avoid, how to fight, etc. The karmic personality has to be purified by taking leap from the bound space to the unbound space. The entire karmic field got generated because the jeeva has to face the external bound world. If the bound world becomes a duty bound world without any friction, resistance or rubbing, then jeeva frees itself from the duty bound world. Karyam karma karoti yah! That you are supposed to do, do it and finish it. Anashrita karma phala. But do not depend up on it.

Same thing develops for an organization too. It also has three levels: objectives and the vision level; responsibility given or taken level; and between these two the emotional and communicative domain. First we have to be clear about our vision. Define it. Keep the objective in a sacred space and do not corrupt it, do not dilute it. Do not put your emotion and spoil it. Do not modify this. Then total surrender to the unbound space. Modalities to achieve the objectives may differ.

Then comes the functional level. Continuously question here why we are with the organization. This will help you define your responsibility. Your commander takes a decision with due consultation with you in the meeting. Once the decision is taken, do not question the commander as to how did he do it, what compelled him to do that, etc. do not do that. Then you will find that your emotion becomes positive, free from sentiments, getting purified and reconditioned. You start understanding objective as objective and duty as duty.

The emotional zone called the live zone should become the super conductor between the objective zone and the responsibility zone. Most of the time this live zone is an insulator or semi conductor and seldom it is a conductor. Think how you can make this completely free from resistance or friction.

This is our Sadhana.


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Ganesha - Anushthana

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Dear Sadhakas,

Boundless blessings from the Guru Parampara and best wishes on Ganesha Chaturthi festival to you and your family. May Lord Ganesha and dedicated Mother Godess Parvati shower lots of Grace, happiness, health, wealth in this crucial hour of economic crisis.

On this auspicious occasion, I would like to share a message that I received from the Masters of the Himalayan Tradition and how to celebrate this years Ganesha Chaturthi festival.

The word Ganesha is from the words ‘Gana’ (group) and ‘Isha’ (Lord). ‘Chatur’ means ‘four’.

In anybody’s life, there are 4 important dimensions to be understood. They are called the ‘Purushaartha Sadhana’. They are – Dharma, Artha, Kaama, and Moksha.

Dharma means righteous living.

Artha means mobilizing the resources to build up righteous life for oneself, family and the community.

Kaama means the desires and aspirations to lead a complete life with all joys, health, happiness, harmony at all levels.

Moksha is the purpose of life to liberate oneself from all the misery and to experience the boundless joy of freedom.

Our Artha and Kaama, i.e., the resource making and the desires, should be guided by the other two – Dharma on the one side and Moksha on the other side. So life has to travel from Dharma, pass through Artha and Kaama and reach the Moksha. So these 4 groups are very important and Ganesha is the Lord of these 4.

On this Ganesha Chaturthi day, let us remember the purpose of life, the aspirations of life and the dynamics of life. Let us create a broad base and righteousness with virtues and values and vision and build a beautiful abode with the right desires and well-earned resources and rejoice in the inner most space of freedom blessed to every soul which does not know the suffering, the agony and other negative emotions or colours. Let us make Sankalpa on this day to build such a holistic, purposeful life for oneself and for others.

To create such a life, we need the blessings of Lord Ganesha who removes the obstacles and Goddess Parvati who gives us indomitable strength and confidence to go through the challenges of life in creating such a visionful life.

This is the message of the Himalayan Masters to contemplate on this very auspicious day which is nothing but the beginning of our new life with new vision and new message. Remember, this day onwards, to receive the blessings and inspirations from the Masters and you can do the mantra anushtana for 21 days. The mantra for the anushtana is

OM-HREEM-SHREEM-GAM GANESHA-ANTARGATA-SHAKTI-ROOPINYAI NAMAH

In South India, the tradition goes like –

(a) first day, it is Gowri festival where one worships Divine Mother Parvati and seek her blessings;

(b) second day is the Ganesha Chaturti where on worships Lord Ganesha (after seeking the blessings from the Divine Mother) who is the remover of all obstacles, impediments in life and lead us to reach our destination – complete freedom from misery through 4 groups of Dharma, Artha, Kaama and Moksha.

With yogic pranams,
Sri Pattabhiram.


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Hello! How are you..?

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Religion & Spirtuality

A man is quite restless and seeks a path for inner poise. He may choose either the path of religion or of spirituality. On a mundane plane, there may not appear much difference between religion and spirituality - people use either path for inner poise. If you look closely you will find while religion is a directed path to achieve the truth, spirituality leaves a seeker to explore his own path. A spiritual seeker after attaining the highest wisdom preaches the people certain path to follow for their benefit and this directed path based on the experiences of one or a few individuals takes shape of a religion. Thus a religion is bound by customs, traditions, culture, formalities, practices, etc. With elapse of time the real essence or message of the religion gets overshadowed by mere rituals of customary and traditional formalities and practices.

The present day generation is the generation of enquiring nature and so is its mind explorative. It wants to have first hand experience before following and accepting anything and seeks reasons for all actions. Religion is too inadequate to answer all the queries of this enquiring mind. It is only the spirituality which has the capacity and potentiality to answer all the questions of the enquiring mind and take the person to his true nature. Spirituality addresses human being directly and tries to take him to his true nature through self transformation processes and self enquiring methods. In his great work of Yogasutra, Maharshi Patanjali starts with the sentence,

Atha yógánushásanam, the word, atha generally is used as an auspicious beginning of a function or puja or any ritual. The real meaning of this word is ‘open’, ‘let us open out’. Maharashi Patanjali when starting his lessons on Yoagashastra, says ‘let us open out’ the discipline of yoga and have the first hand experience. He never restricts you to follow any strict path. He asks the seeker to realise what he is seeing in the external world is not true. He asks the seeker to look within and enquire about himself: who I am? Dear Sadhakas, this self enquiry about yourself will bring in transformation in you and will answer all questions that were bothering you and keeping you restless.

With love and best wishes,
Pattabhi and Jyothi


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Nachiketa's Choice

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Nachiketa’s story in the Kathopanishad begins when his wealthy father, Vajashravas, is to perform a special sacrifice. The sacrifice required Vajashravas to give all his wealth, all his possessions, and distribute them to the great seers and Brahmins. It was a rare sacrifice performed only by the most highly advanced aspirants. One who could give up all transitory things would have the knowledge of Brahman, the knowledge of Reality.

The story is not unlike the New Testament meeting of Jesus with the rich, young ruler who asks what it will take to have eternal life. After the rich man assures Jesus that he has obeyed the commandments against murder, stealing, adultery, and lying all his life, and has honored his mother and father, and loved his neighbor, Jesus gives him a single instruction. He tells the rich man he must give away all that he has to the poor, and come with him.

The rich man cannot. Although virtuous in every respect, he is too attached to his worldly possessions and wealth. The scriptures tell us that the rich man went away sorrowful.

Nachiketa’s father also could not part with his wealth, despite the assurance that the knowledge of Brahman would follow the sacrifice.

The Kathopanishad tells us he brought cows for giving away as part of the sacrifice, but only those cows that were old, dry, blind, diseased, and of little or no use to anybody. Vajashravas kept the good cows for himself.

Nachiketa saw the old and useless cows his father brought for the sacrifice and knew such an unworthy gift would bring misery to his father. Eager to help his father, Nachiketa reminded his father that as his son he was also his property and should be included in the sacrifice for distribution.

“Father, to whom will you give me?” asked Nachiketa.

Vajashravas, haunted by the knowledge of his halfhearted sacrifice, focused his negative emotion on his son and chose to interpret Nachiketa’s offer as impudence.

Three times Nachiketa asked his father to whom he would be given. After the third time, Vajashravas angrily retorted. “You I shall give to the Ruler of Death, Yama.”

Nachiketa, with a pure heart and an abundance of faith, cheerfully took his father at his word.

“There is nothing in death,” said Nachiketa. “All beings flourish like grain and die again. Now I shall be the first one to discover truth and reveal the mystery of death.”

When Nachiketa went to Yama’s abode, the Ruler of Death was not at home. Three nights passed before Yama returned. To make amends for not being there to welcome his guest, Yama gave Nachiketa three boons, one for each night he had waited alone without proper hospitality.

Nachiketa’s first boon, demonstrating again the respect he had for his father, asked Yama to soothe Vajashravas’ heart, to allay his father’s anger, and to remove any worry Vajashravas might have because Nachiketa was now away from home.

Yama granted the wish and said, “Oh, Nachi-keta, your father will happily recognize you and treat you with the greatest love and kindness. “For his second boon, Nachiketa asked Yama to show him the fire sacrifice and all the rituals and ceremonies that went with it.

“In heaven,” said Nachiketa in his request for the second boon, “there is neither fear nor death, neither age nor decay, neither hunger nor thirst, neither pain nor suffering. There is perpetual bliss. Ruler of Death, you alone know how, by performing sacrifice, mortals can attain this blissful heaven. This is my second boon that I ask. I want to know the nature of the sacrifice which leads a mortal to heaven.”

Yama granted it, and taught Nachiketa the fire sacrifice. Yama then told Nachiketa to choose his third boon. After going within himself and quieting himself, Nachiketa said to Yama:

“There is a belief that after a man departs from the world he is gone forever. There is another viewpoint that he is born again, that even after death man does not die in the real sense but remains on a subtle plane with his subtle body, and only the outer physical garment is discarded; and that is called death. There is yet another belief that one who dies, lives. Which of these is true? What exists after death? Explain it to me. This is my third request—the truth relating to the mystery of death.”

Yama did not want to explain the mystery of death to Nachiketa without testing the eagerness and sincerity of his young disciple. Yama told Nachiketa that even the gods had difficulty understanding this mystery.

“It is very difficult for anyone to grasp,” said Yama. “Ask any other boon and I shall grant it to you with great pleasure.”

Nachiketa was steadfast. He told Yama that even though the gods were once puzzled by the mystery of death, and even though the subject was difficult to understand, there was no better teacher than Yama to explain it.

“Oh King of Death,” said Nachiketa, “I shall not make any other request. There is no boon equal to this and I must know the secret.”

Yama tried another route and tested Nachiketa with the temptations all human beings face, the choice between God and mammon, between passing material pleasures and eternal joy, between illusion and reality.

Yama offered Nachiketa a life span of as many years as he might wish, with all the pleasures there are in heaven. Yama said he would grant Nachiketa children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, fine horses and elephants, gold, jewels, and rare gems. He said he would give Nachiketa the kingdom of earth to rule. He did not want to grant the third boon requested by Nachiketa.

“Take all of this wealth and power instead of the third boon that is asked for,” said Yama to Nachiketa. “I shall fulfill all your desires,” Yama continued, “except this, for it is the greatest secret of life. All the maidens in the celestial regions, such as cannot be had by ordinary mortals, shall be yours if you want them. Do not ask me that question again. I do not wish to divulge the secret of life and death.”

Nachiketa then showed the depth of his faith and resolve to know the purpose of life and the relationship between life and death. He was not interested in the temptations Yama offered him. He did not hesitate in answering Yama. He told the Ruler of Death.

“What shall I do with all these transitory and perishable objects? Everything that is perceived by the senses is momentary, and life on this plane is subject to change by death and decay. Even life in heaven is not worth living without acquiring the knowledge of liberation. All your dancing maidens and worldly attractions are merely sensual pleasures. Oh King of Death, keep them with you. No one can acquire happiness by worldly wealth. All the material enjoyments of this world and even heavenly life are subject to change. After knowing the fleeting nature of this world, who will long for mere longevity? I don’t care to live for a thousand years. What shall I do with such a long life if I cannot acquire the highest wisdom and attain the supreme knowledge?”

When Yama saw the clarity and determination of Nachiketa, he gladly offered to grant the third boon.

Now the Kathopanishad begins in earnest to reveal the secret of immortality, the meaning of death and life.

Worldly, transitory life, with all of its charms, is not the purpose of human existence. The world is full of objects and temptations. People want them, choose them, and organize their lives around getting them, lifetime after lifetime.

Today a person develops a pattern of identifying with the world, with its objects, and with the emotions that go with having those objects or with the possibility of losing them. He begins to think that joy will come with having glamorous possessions, a new car, a new suit, or a new spouse. With each new acquisition there is a flash of satisfaction followed by a prolonged sense of dissatisfaction.

A person identifies with the emotions that go with the objects and relationships. He thinks he loves someone, that he must have her to be happy. When he has her, so often the relationship settles into something else that is not very loving. He may hurt the person he said he needed. Then he says he is sorry. A month passes and he does the same hurtful thing again. Finally, they separate. So he finds another person he thinks he needs for his happiness, and the process begins all over again.

There are many variations of this theme. The point is that a human being becomes attached to things and relationships, and the thoughts and emotions attendant to the attachments. That creates suffering because none of those things or relationships lasts. Nonetheless, human beings keep trying to find peace in this way, lifetime after lifetime.

“Those who are dwelling in the darkness of ignorance and are deluded by wealth and possessions are like children playing with toys,” says Yama to Nachiketa. “Such foolish children are caught in the snares of death and come again and again under my sway. They remain in the snares of death. They cannot get beyond the limits of the dark realm. They travel back and forth.”

Fortunately, this condition is not permanent. Eventually a time comes when the desire for all of those objects—what the nineteenth century Bengali saint Ramakrishna repeatedly referred to as lust and greed—begins to appear as empty and pointless.

Growth and expansion are the nature of the soul, so inevitably what happens is: a person comes to recognize the pattern that behind every pleasure is pain, behind every expectation is disappointment, and following every fulfilled desire is yet another desire. For all the world’s charms, the bottom line and the sum of it all adds up to an inordinate amount of suffering, loneliness, and emptiness.

That arithmetic is instructive. The bottom line awakens the human soul. Suffering teaches and trains a person in the necessary art of discrimination.

The Kathopanishad outlines a pure, unequivocal choice. Yama tells Nachiketa that there are two alternative paths before us in the world. One is good and the other is pleasant. One, though difficult, leads to the knowledge of the highest Truth. The other, though appearing very pleasant, is ephemeral and when an apparently pleasurable experience passes, as it inevitably will, there is pain. The wise choose that which is good, and the ignorant rely on that which is pleasant.

That is the nature of life. The purpose of life is to grow, expand, and completely realize one’s own true identity. If the path toward that goal is not taken, then the world will bring one around toward it. Blow after blow, one misfortune will follow another, one disappointment, then another, until the person begins to understand. The choice between good and pleasant becomes clear.

The theme of Kathopanishad is that the treasure of human life, the real Self, is to be found within. Within is immortality. Within is where Atman or Reality resides. The journey to the discovery of the real Self is the goal or the purpose of life. One who has realized one’s own real Self can then realize the cosmic Self who encompasses the entire universe.

The dualists believe that the individual, the universe, and the cosmic Self are entirely separate units, having their independent existence. According to this belief, by knowing one’s own Self one acquires only a partial knowledge. A wide gulf separates this school of thought from Vedanta. The most valuable and elevating contribution of Vedantic literature is that the Self, or God, is not separate or far away from us, but dwells within the inner chamber of our being. This is the central tenet in the philosophy of Vedanta.

- Swami Rama

(Extracted from sites.google.com/site/swamiramateachings)


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Point to Ponder

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Buddha, one day, was on deep thought about the worldly activities and the way of instilling goodness in human. The following is the text of conversation between him and his disciple.

One of his disciples approached him and said humbly “Oh my teacher! While you are so much concerned about the world and others, why don’t you look in to the welfare and needs of your disciples also?”

Buddha: “OK... Tell me how I can help you.”

Disciple: “Master! My attire is worn out and is beyond the decency to wear the same. Can I get a new one, please.”

Buddha found the robe indeed was in a bad condition which needed replacement. He asked the store keeper to give the disciple a new robe to wear on. The disciple thanked Buddha and retired to his room. Though he met his disciple’s requirement, Buddha was not all that contended on his decision. He realized he missed out some point. A while after, he realized what he should have asked the disciple. He went to this disciple’s place and asked him “Is your new attire comfortable? Do you need anything more?”

Disciple: “Thank you Master. The attire is indeed very comfortable. I need nothing more”

Buddha: “Having got the new one, what did you do with your old attire?”

Disciple: “I am using it as my bed spread”

Buddha: “Then… hope you have disposed off your old bed spread”

Disciple: “No... no.. master. I am using my old bedspread as my window curtain”

Buddha: “What about your old Curtain?”

Disciple: “Being used to handle hot utensils in the kitchen”

Buddha: “Oh.. I see.. Can you tell me what did they do with the old cloth they used in Kitchen?”

Disciple: “They are being used to wash the floor.”

Buddha: “Then, the old rug being used to wash the floor…???”

Disciple: “Master, since they were torn off so much, we could not find any better use, but to use as a twig in the oil lamp, which is right now lit in your study room…”

Buddha smiled in contentment and left for his room.

If not to this degree of utilization, can we atleast attempt to find the best use of all our resources – at home and at office.. It becomes imperative in the critical time of Recession…

(Received this piece of Article from one of the Sadhakas)


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Antardarshana

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“tapah svadhyaye svara pranidhanani kriya yogah”
Many people think tapas means austerity and torturing one’s own self. People also imagine, tapas means that which people did in ancient ages – standing on one leg for years, immersing oneself in water, standing on thorny foot-rest etc. They were, in a way, tapas in the early ages. But, in the Kali Yuga, such kind of tapas is not helpful. For sadhakas like us, tapas means to close one’s eyes, look within oneself and find out what comes in the way of experiencing the bliss within. After identifying the obstacles, one has to create a dynamic counter energy within oneself to overcome such identified obstacles.. For example, if one is more talkative, the tapas would be to observe silence. If one is in the habit of bossing over, the tapas would be to not to boss over, but to become accommodative. If one overeats as a habit, the tapas is to eat in moderation.

If you sit with a bent back, the tapas here is sitting straight and standing straight. Every minute should become tapas for you. Don’t be under the impression that fasting is tapas. You just watch the kind of fasting people do. If you are in the habit of withdrawing from challenges with a feeling of “what to do” in helplessness, explore the possibilities of doing something positive. Once you create this kind of a positive attitude, you would really be happy. That is the effect of tapas.

The literal meaning of tapas is taapa, heat. That is, one should generate the requisite heat in him so that it burns away one’s negative tendencies, karmas, and vasanas. It is wise to attend to the habit patterns that are coming in the way of Sadhana and to continuously work on it. When you slowly, but consistently, work on them, the conditioned habit patterns would lose their power to dominate you and, in turn, you grow stronger. Such tapas would lead you to svaadhyaaya. Sva stands for self, adhyaaya for study. Many people mistake svaadhyaaya to studying scriptures. It really means that when one puts oneself in tapas, many reactions start coming up. As they come up, it gives an opportunity for one to study one’s reactions, as to wherefrom they come and why do they come. Let me tell you of my own experience. Sometime ago, I suddenly decided to observe silence. I asked the volunteers not to disturb me during my silence. I confined myself to a room, and the volunteers started discussing what to do next, because things were to be organized in my absence. Then, I heard them deciding to contact a particular set of people, whom I knew to be non-cooperating. There was an urge to tell them the truth by breaking the silence. The urge would come up to the lips, but my inner personality would remind me of my vow. I would keep quiet. After sometimes, again the urge would come with a vengeance, and again I would keep quiet.

This happened for nearly ten days and it was a terrible struggle. My mind started questioning the very purpose of my observing silence. My ego would say, “I am running the organization, and if I don’t work, the organization would die, and with its death my existence too would disappear.” The run of thoughts was like this. I began to study all these reactions. Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that it is not because of me the things are moving, but they are moving as they would . I also understood that I am merely an instrument in the hands of divinity, and I should not have any attachment to the organization. In such a self-study, the Ishvara Pranidhaana happens. As I experienced a turmoil in me, I understood that I am merely an instrument of my Master who said “Bete, I am with you. You simply stay with your sadhana and I would do the rest.” This is the way of Kriya Yoga. Give importance to tapas and svaadhyaaya; then surrender happens on its own accord. You would start experiencing glimpses of the divinity. This would strengthen your faith in the divinity; this would also build a tremendous confidence in you.

May you succeed in your tapas.
Sri Pattabhiram


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My "Sadhana Vidyala"

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Namaste,

I'm CM Shrinidhi, studying class VI from Sadhana Vidyalaya.

On the ocassion of First Anniversary of Sadhana Sangama e-Newsletter, I would like to share few of my experiences about my school - Sadhana Vidyalaya.

I come from a rural background and children of my age group are fond of play and whiling away our time in the vast open areas. Schooling was never in our life. When Guruji uncle started Sadhana Vidyalaya, we came to know that schooling is fun too.

Presently, my school has up to standard 6th. Around 240 children are studying in my school. My school has a very peaceful and clean environment. The teachers are extremely polite and loving and they use easy methods to make us understand what is taught in class. We learn things through fun. My school has a play area wherein we have swings, sea-saw and open space for football and running around during play hours.

My school also has a vast open area wherein all children assemble and learn yoga. Its really fun learning all the yogasanas. we enjoy the yoga session with the teacher.

All children also sit in Meditation Hall and practice Meditation. Morning Prayers is also part of our daily schedule.

During lunch time, my school provides good, hygienic food to all children, teachers and other staffs. Myself and others relish the tasty food that is being served every day.

My school has 4 buses that brings us to the school from our homes. I enjoy my school because all the children spend our time like we do at our homes. I thank Guruji uncle for providing me this wonderful experience called Sadhana Vidyalaya.

With Love
CM Shrinidhi



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Hello! How are you?...

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VASHA-SHAVA-SHIVA

Our ancestors categorised days/moments for prayers, for personality development / transformation and for attaining the true Self within. The observance of such performance on a particular day / moment is called vrata. Shivaratri has been given a special importance to move from darkness to light.

Shiva means auspiciousness. In order to reach ‘Shiva state of being,’ we need to follow the process of attaining that. If you jumble the Sanskrit letters in shi-va, it can be combined to get the word va-shi, meaning ‘gripped by’ or ‘in the grip of’. We are in vasha, in the grip of certain things. Whose grip? One needs to ponder dispassionately in order to understand that. If you jumble the letters in va-sha, one can coin sha-va. Then, what is shava? What is Shiva? What is vasha?

If one observes one’s life-style, one would realise that everybody is in the grip of sensory organs. We are immersed in the grip of sensory pleasures. We have forgotten ourselves, as we are under the grip of desires, under the grip of greed. Our bonded life, filled with rajas, has made our life miserable. With the grace of the Lord, the Guru, the awareness of ‘I am none of these’, ‘my state is something else’ dawns on sadhakas often. When you are gripped by anger, when you are immersed in the depth of greed, when you are caught by passion, in those situations if you realise that ‘I am none of those’, ‘It is not my true nature’, then, you are in the ‘Shiva state of being.’

Who am I? Under whose grip am I? How did I enter those grips? Such thoughts would lead you to Shiva Consciousness. That is the state of Shiva. In order to attain the Shiva Consciousness, in order to identify that, the dance of prakriti attached to it should be stopped. The life engrossed with prakriti should cease to exist. Becoming ‘shava’ is that.

I need to become Shava, a corpse, in order to become Shiva. Shiva-Shakti means the combination of nature and consciousness. We are struggling to have harmony between within and without. We are trying to lead a happy life. We are not able to attain that. It is a tragedy. In order to be free from the dance of sensory organs, an awareness of ‘I am none of these’ is a must. We should also be aware that whatever happens is with the Grace of the Lord.

In order to attain the Shiva state of being, may we live in that awareness.

Finally, With this issue we have entering second year of publishing Sadhana Sangama E-Newsletter. We sincerenly believe that you have cherished the contents of this newsletters. Many seekers, who attended my programs wanted the contents of the programs they attended in a written form so that they could remind themselves of the path again and again. In a way, in the 12 issues brought out, we hope you could find out sections more relevant to you.

In service of Guru Parampara,
Sri Pattabhiram


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Guru Poornima Celebration

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Guru Poornima was celebrated at “Kala Yoga” Headquarter of Sadhana Sangama Trust with great enthusiasm. Sadhakas participated in the function with fervor and enthusiasm in large numbers.

On the occasion, Guruji spoke briefly about the importance and significance of Guru Poornima and taught us a new method of meditation on Guru. He said Gurupoornima is an important day wherein all sadhakas meet and pledge their faith and belief in the Guru Tatva and seek the blessings of the Guru and the Guru Parampara on the auspicious day.

Adhi Guru is Shiva. Shiva means auspicious light. Shiva Swaroopa is in our breathing in the form of “Soham”. This soham becomes mantra when awareness follows this breathing. Then it takes the form of energy – Hamsa. We should try to focus and stay with that divine light – shiva swaroopa.

In the Himalayan Tradition, the Gurutatva started with Hiranya Garbha – Golden Womb supposed to be Brahma’s Manasa Putra. From there on the Guru lineage is continuing through Aadhi Sesha and Vyasa without any break and working in the entire universe. Pujya Swami Rama is the recent link in our Tradition. This Guru Tatva takes the form of Guru with a definite Mission on earth and works, by joining and uplifting sincere souls that are interest to uplift themselves..

It is much easier for us when the Guru energy takes form of a human being, to see, relate, talk, discuss and communicate and get connected with that energy. When the Guru is not limited by the human form becomes the Mantra, the Mantra, then becomes the Devatha and all the three – Guru, Mantra & Devatha become one.

The emotion that obstructs in relating with the Guru energy should be given up. This message of the Masters should be remembered and reinforced within us by all of us on the occasion of Guru Poornima. .

Our experiences in the Sadhana & Mantra should translate into Bhakthi. This Bhakthi should become Shakthi – Strength and this Strength should become the weapon for destroying all the obstacles in the path of Sadhana. For this to happen we should create proper environment that will facilitate the Guru Kripa to flow uninterruptedly. We should become the magnet attracting the Guru Tatwa and for that there should be a clear and sustained transformation in our nature, habit pattern and attitude.

Anybody can invoke Guru Kripa, provided one strives sincerely for it to happen.

Life is a procession, a parade. Ups and downs are part of life. We have to seek the grace of the Guru to give us strength to retain our individuality and not be affected by the ups and downs of life.

The celebration ended with puja and arati to Guru Swami Rama and after partaking of Prasadam.





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Discipline Means Self Commitment

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You have to light your own lamp. No one will give you salvation. I am talking of enlightenment. All individuals have the responsibility to enlighten themselves. Do not think you cannot do it. You have that spark. You are fully equipped. You simply need to discipline yourself. Discipline is not a prison. It simply means practice.

Patanjali says that you have the capacity to unfold yourself and lead yourself to a state of tranquility. Then you will understand things as they are. Otherwise, you create darkness for yourself and you are not able to see things clearly. The human mind remains clouded because the external world does not provide correct data. In the external world everything is fleeting. The moment you want to study something in the external world, that thing changes its name and form and you cannot study it. First, you will have to remove the clouds of ignorance from your mind. When you have clarity of mind, then you can study things as they are, and there will be no confusion.

Thus, when Patanjali says, “Atha yoganush-asanam,” he means that if you really want to unfold yourself, you first should learn to discipline yourself. People are afraid of the word “discipline.” Discipline is not a punishment. You will enjoy it once you know it. Discipline means self-commitment. When you commit yourself to your progress, then slowly you will find that the light is within you. These external lights—the sun, moon, stars, and electric lights—are superficial lights. The Upanishads say again and again, “hiran-mayena patrena satyasyapihitam mukham, tat tvam pushann apavrinu satya dharmaya drishtaye.” (Isho-panishad 15). “The face of Truth is hidden by the golden disc. Oh Lord, help me so that I can see the Truth within.” You keep trying to find Truth in the external world, but it is not there. Those who have found Truth within themselves can express that same Truth in the external world, and they are considered to be great people.

The discipline you need to learn this science, to follow the path for the inward journey, is not the discipline that you already have. You have to understand this subtle point. You had to have discipline in the colleges and universities to study things in the external world and to verify things in the external world. Learning in the external world is entirely different from yoga discipline. In the external world you move. However, when you want to go to the deeper levels of your being, stillness is important. In all other journeys you have to move. In this journey you do not have to move at all. The Bible says, “Be still and know that I am God.” It is a simple formula, but very difficult to apply. From your childhood onward you are taught to move. Nobody teaches you how to be still. You have to learn not to move. “Anushasanam,” the discipline that you have to follow, you have not yet learned. Since it is a completely new undertaking, it seems difficult.

To learn yoga science, which leads you to the highest rungs of life, which takes you to the summum bonum of life, which leads you to the kingdom of wisdom, peace, and bliss, and which leads you to freedom from all pains and miseries, you first have to discipline yourself. In modern education there is enough knowledge, enough books, and enough freedom, but there is no training program for discipline. No one tells you how to study yourself or how to practice. Patanjali says this is not the way. That knowledge which you consider to be knowledge is not fruitful or helpful. First, learn to discipline yourself.

At any age, at any time, you can discipline yourself. It is not too late. You have to discipline yourself. Discipline is real learning. Learn to say no to yourself. Listen to that part of mind that tells you “no.” If you really want to practice, for some time don’t listen to that part of mind that says “yes.” If you understand “no” well, you will understand yes easily. When you want to steal something, mind says, “Don’t.” Another part of mind says, “Oh, yes. Come on, do it. You’ll enjoy it. You’ll like it. You should have it.” Don’t listen to the “yes.” Listen to “no” first. Tell yourself you’re not going to do that. You have to understand the impact of “no” and learn to use it with yourself and not with others. Never use the word no with others, with those with whom you live, or with those whom you love. Learn to use that no for yourself. This will give you strength.

Discipline should not be forced by teachers or by others. Patanjali says the whole foundation of samadhi is anushasanam. You have to understand the word “anushasanam” in a practical way. Discipline means to regulate yourself on three levels: mind, action, and speech. Determine that from today you will begin to discipline yourself. It is a simple thing. Do not make big plans or too many rigid rules for yourself. Start with small things: “I will wake up at four-thirty.” One simple rule. “After that, I will go to finish my ablutions and do my exercise. Exactly at five-thirty I will sit down in meditation.” Discipline yourself. If you do not have the zeal, vigor, and determination to discipline yourself, you cannot follow the path. When you have decided something, you need determination to act according to your decision. If you lack determination, you will not be successful, even though you have decided. If you have decided that you will practice yoga, that decision must be supported by determination. “Yes. I will practice it every day. The day I don’t practice, I will not eat.” The next day you will say, “I have to practice because I have to eat.”

When a student comes to a teacher he wants to see a miracle. You yourself are a miracle. How did Christ change water into wine? Only a perfect yoga master could do that. Do you know what Christ did? There was an essay contest on this topic among the writers of Britain when I was studying in Europe. One person answered the question in one line and he won the prize. The line was, “When the master looked upon the beloved, she blushed.” When Christ looked at the water, the water changed its color. Anything around you is subject to change according to the way you look at it. The day you understand this principle your entire environment can be changed if you are really disciplined. Do not blame nature, God, or others. Ninety-nine percent of your problems are self-created. You know it, though you do not accept it.

You say you cannot get enlightened, you can never see God. You have a desire to see God, yet you have no concept or understanding of what God is, so nothing is going to happen. You are searching for enlightenment in the external world, but that is not the way. Are you prepared for the journey from the grossest to the subtlest aspect of your being? Are you competent enough to discipline yourself on all levels? Can you practice? Are you prepared to know life within and without? If you are, come along. How will you do it? “Now, yoga science is being expounded.” What is that exposition? How can you create a bridge between the external and the internal? How can you understand all the mysteries of life here and hereafter? How can you understand your relationship with the universe? How can you understand the purpose of your life? All this will be explained, but first you should understand mind and its modifications.

- Swami Rama

(Extracted from sites.google.com/site/swamiramateachings)


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Guru Poornima Day Meditation

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July 7th, 2009 is a very auspicious day for a Sadhaka. It is “Guru Poornima Day”. It is a day for introspection, celebration and affirmation. Through introspection, let us remove the impurities of our inner sky and celebrate the benevolent presence of our inner Guru, shining in Chidaakaasha (sky filled with pure consciousness) at Sahasrara. Let us resolve on this day that the inner space will be always kept clean, transparent and radiant with the Guru intelligence. It is the day to experience joyous communion with the Guru within. Listen to Guru’s messages, which splash in the fathomless ocean of silence; decode the messages; use them as the guiding light to navigate in the confused stress-ridden world, which the man has created out of his selfish, greedy, ignorant, and arrogant behavior.

On the Guru Poornima day, please sit for a while in silence and ponder on how to experience the affectionate tender touch of the Master within. Here, I would like to share some clues with you. These are the clues which help you reach the treasure, in the game of treasure-hunt.

a. Sit quietly in your meditation posture
b. Chant the following mantra:



Hiranya-garbhaad-aarabdhaam
shesha-vyaasa-aadi madhyamaam
swaami-shree-raama paadaantaam
vande guru paramparaam

c. Focus your attention at the root of your nose and practice 21 rounds of sushumna pranayama.

d. Go to Sahasrara and practice 18 rounds of `Soham’ Pranayama (inhale with sound `So’ from Sahasrara to Mooladhara and exhale with 'Ham' from Mooladhara to Sahasrara. While practicing this pranayama, listen to the naada, the musical Anaahata naada (unstuck sound) of Soham (sah-aham), which means `That is me, That is me, That is me’.

e. Stay in Sahasrara and feel the blue sky of SILENCE, BLISS AND RADIANCE and listen to the voice of the Master during the moments of absolute stillness. Visualize a golden dot---the centre of silence, bliss and radiance---in the centre of your sahasrara. Let this golden dot be your Guru. Then let the following mantra reverberate in a spiral fashion around the golden dot in the Chidaakaasha at Sahasrara:




Om Shreem Hamsah Soham Abhaya Karunaananda Guru Chetase Namah

Chant for a minimum of 516 times. Then feel that the same spiral light is enveloping you and protecting you from all negative influences. Now, let this light permeate from you, in all directions, to protect the entire humanity.

f. Feel that you are shining like a bright star in the sky. You are the nucleus of an atom and all the movements of the world revolve around you like the electrons---the movements having no effect upon you. Feeling that deeply, with great reverence, conclude your meditation by offering humble salutations at the lotus feet of the Guru within.

g. End meditation with the following mantra:





Sarve bhavantu sukhinah
Sarve santu niraamayaah
Sarve bhadraani pashyantu
Maa kaschit duhkha bhaag bhavet


Suggestions:

• On the Guru Poornima day, select your comfortable time and practice this meditation at least for 40 minutes, either alone or with your family members.

• In different centers of the Sadhana Sangama Trust, I suggest the sadhakas get together and practice this meditation in the ambiance of Guru Festivity.

Hear the Mantra from Gurudev by clicking on 'Play' below:












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Guru Poornima Blessing - Swami Rama

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I pray to the divinity in you.

The day of Guru Poornima is considered to be the holiest day for the students of life, for those that have been treading the path of light, for those aspiring to attain enlightenment in this lifetime. They remember this day and celebrate it by becoming aware that the purpose of life is to attain enlightenment, this state of mind, internal state, that makes one free from all pains and miseries. So as you celebrate other days like Father’s Day, Mother’s day, this is a little bit different; it is very auspicious. The student mentally, religiously follows the spiritual teachings imparted by the tradition because the tradition is considered to be the highest. It is a tradition that follows truth that leads one to the highest peak of wisdom.

In our tradition there have been many, many sages. If you find any obstacles on the path, there will be help. Always you will be guided by the spiritual beings, those who watch your progress.

I want you to faithfully tread the path of light and life by doing your duties selflessly, lovingly and skillfully in the external world, and punctually meditate. Meditation is one method that helps you fathom the internal sates, those levels of life that are not normally understood by the human being. And in meditation you should be patient with yourself. You should gradually go ahead. Nothing is lost inside, everything is lost outside.

It is not external method; it is an internal method. It is a journey within you. When you go from your gross self to your subtlest self of life, when you know yourself, you can relate well to the world.

Don’t ever miss your meditation. Meditation is helpful in understanding yourself and knowing yourself. And the same meditation helps you in action in your daily life. While doing your duty in meditation, you remain aware of the Reality all the time.

This day is a day of determination. When you determine, you do your sankalpa, you decide that I will devote my time and energy towards enlightenment and that I will attain enlightenment in this lifetime. Determination is one of the greatest powers, gifts, given to the human being by Providence. That sankalpa shakti should not be broken, should not be scattered. The more your mind becomes one-pointed and inwards, the more you will find yourself. Sankalpa shakti, determination must be developed.

Be punctual. Learn to sit in meditation and do it systematically. See that your body is in a state of steadiness and is not uncomfortable. Learn not to move in meditation. Learn to have physical stillness first. Then make your breath serene without any noise, without any jerks, without any pause, and then you will find your mind becoming calmer. And whenever thoughts rush from the unconscious mind, learn to let go. This sort of introspection will lead you to a deeper state.

A day will come when you can go beyond the mire of delusion created by your mind, and you will have control. Meditation, contemplation and prayer should go hand-in-hand. I pray to the mighty Lord to help you. I pray that you all will be happy and enjoy, and let the flower of your life bloom so that you can serve one another and helps others. Enjoy all the time. Be happy. Learn to be happy.

Let me tell you something. If you learn to do human effort sincerely, then that ascended power suddenly comes in touch with descending power that is called Kripa, blessings, as the grace of God, the grace of the highest, the grace of the Absolute One.

So, human effort is Sadhana. It needs the grace of God. When you are doing your sadhana, you are bound to receive the grace from Providence, from the Highest Level.
May God Bless you. I love you. I will continue praying for your. That is my wish for the Guru Poornima Day.

I revere this day because I too have a Guru. The spiritual path can’t be tread with-out kripa, Guru’s graces. But if you want to have the Guru’s grace, you would have to have your own grace. You should make sincere efforts, and then the grace of God will come. Let you be graced today, the day which reminds you that you have to follow the path of enlightenment, loving all and excluding none. That is the way to the Divine.

Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi. May God bless you.


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