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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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