SUNSAT series

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Sadhana Sangama - SUNSAT
Hello Friends,

In last two updates, we talked about connectivity with the Guru energy & connectivity with Conflicting Energy Centres. So after connectivity, with the Parampara and with Sadhakas, our journey continues. The third connectivity that has to happen, because of the above two connectivities, is the connectivity with oneself. This is the crucial phase and process which every one of us has to willingly undergo with enthusiasm. How strong our language (i.e., HARMONY) is going to be depends a lot on how accommodative we are going to be with our own selves. This certainly does not mean that we can be casual with ourselves.

By the word ‘accommodating’, I mean we should not feel shy about admitting a short-coming in us and at the same time we should not be afraid to work on ourselves to overcome such shortcoming / s.

Therefore, Friends, the primary purpose for which Gurudev has reinforced SUNSAT is to connect with our own selves. Even though the Parampara and the society appears to be external to and different from ourselves, we will realize that they are nothing but our own extensions when connectivity with one’s own self happens.


It is with such a noble intention and magnificent plan Spiritual Masters work and network. Just imagine the benefit that we will get if we fall in line with the thinking of Masters ! Now let me move on with our last SUNSAT update at New Delhi. 

This time, the SUNSAT was not the usual one. One of our Sadhana Parivara Member from New Jersey, Ms.Subhadra Mattai was in Delhi and we organized a three day Satsang starting on Sunday.

On Sunday, around 18 people attended and on Monday and Tuesday, being working days, it got stabilized at 10. She taught lots of kriyas / asanas and Suryanamaskar covering all parts in the body from head to toe and combined the activity with awareness of breathing to get the desired effect on the body. The curriculum was designed so as to enable us to sit comfortably in meditation.

Her teaching also covered the aspect of Harmony that Gurudev wanted us to practice. She combined the physical movements involved in kriyas, asanas and Suryanamaskar with prana to bring harmony. In other words, she was explaining the group that never, ever stop the prana from flowing and to achieve this be aware of your breathing when you are speaking, listening, moving your limbs --- just be aware and conscious of your breathing whenever you are active and during meditation. This way we can strike harmony and can have direct experience of harmony.

All of us enjoyed the three day Satsanga and felt the connectivity of togetherness, of belonging to one undivided family of Sadhakas.

Take care until next SUNSAT.

N. Narayanan, Delhi
Vande Guru Paramparam

Vande Guru Paramparam



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SUNSAT series

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Sadhana Sangama - SUNSAT

Just as SUNSAT provides an opportunity to connect with the Guru Energy, it is also an occasion to connect with Conflicting Energy Centres (CECs) that we as individuals carry within us. Please don’t read it as a negative way of putting things. It is a fact that there cannot be uniformity and balance as far as these CECs are concerned. But Gurudev has given us the language of HARMONY to communicate amongst ourselves. This is a BIG challenge. What else could be a perfect occasion than SUNSAT to get ourselves trained in this?

Friends, be the CECs as they are – conflicting in nature. Let us make language (HARMONY) as our centre without worrying about or getting disturbed by CECs. This way we can really test and hone our language skills very fast.

The tool for learning this new language is Prati Prasava – going back to the source. Here again, there cannot be two opinions that SUNSAT is the best opportunity to apply this tool Prati Prasava by observing the source of our reactions when we join together for a common activity.

With this thought process, I am happy to share last week report of SUNSAT at Delhi. We started one minute late i.e., at 7.31 am and ended 10 minutes late i.e, at 8.40 am. The group resolved to stick to the exact start and end time from next SUNSAT onwards.

We shuffled slightly with the format. We started with 24 minutes meditation, followed by Gayathri and Mrtyunjaya chanting, 10 rounds of naadi shodana pranayama and concluded with Hanuman Chalisa chanting.

While chanting Mrtyunjaya, we tried to establish the connectivity by imaging all of us to be in the Cave at the Ashram and chanting the mantra and offering it as flower to Shakteeshwara in the cave.

Similarly, while chanting Hanuman Chalisa, we imagined the group seated in front of Dhyanastha Aanjaneya in the Meditation Hall at our Ashram.

This way we tried to energies the Ashram by sitting at the comforts of our home. Initially it may be our imagination; however it is my strong faith that if we do this practice with feeling we can certainly achieve this objective.

At one place in Hanuman Chalisa, the verse says that those who chant this 7 times will be immediately relieved of bondage and will be bestowed with Bliss – ye sat baar paatkar koi chootahi bandhi maha sukh hoyi. The group felt that from next SUNSAT onwards let us try and chant 7 times Hanuman Chalisa. In this case, we have to again work on the format !!

It is heartening to note that Hyderabad Chapter and Chennai Chapter also have started their SUNSAT. Congratulations from all of us !! Let us inspire each other and travel the path together filled with celebrations J

N. Narayanan, Delhi
Vande Guru Paramparam

 Update from SST Chennai Chapter:

Receiving the mail with the methods adopted by Delhi chapter was indeed very helpful. Previously we used to sing a few bhajans, do Gayathri chanting/mritujnuya chanting, a few minutes of meditation and disperse.

This week, however we followed the schedule sent by Narayan. Eleven of us assembled at 6 pm in Mr.Rajagopal's house and armed with print outs of the schedule, We diligently followed it. The only changes were: we allowed the cassette to play the Hanuman chalisa as not everyone knew it. Next time we will be better prepared.

One more change was -instead of the silent meditation we played the DVD of vyadhi versus samadhi. The last 30 mins of this DVD is really excellent in bringing Guruji right into our homes.

At 7.10 we finished the session and each one of us felt greatly relaxed, energised at the same time!

We shared the happenings at the ashram with the sadhakas who were unable to come to the camp. After a sumptuous partaking of snacks and tea provided by our gracious hosts, we dispersed with the resolution to put into practice the same schedule at least twice weekly.

With warm regards from the Chennai Chapter sadhakas 

 - compiled by Vaijayanthi C, Chennai

Vande Guru Paramparam




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Saranagathi - Tales of Surrender (2)

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Sri Jayadeva
Episodes so far: 1

(Next day evening, Sankara reaches the park and looks around for Bansuri. Not seeing him around, Sankara sits under a shade & closes his eyes. After few minutes...)

Eh!, Bansuri!, when did you come. I didn't realize you arriving?

It’s been 3 minutes & 54 seconds Sankara. I noticed you were in sleep, so was waiting how long you can be in this state in midst of this wonderful greenery park. 

Hahah!, No, No, not at all! I wasn't in sleep. When I reached the park, you were not to be seen. So I thought instead of sitting idle waiting for you, why not try little bit of Sushumna Breathing technique. 

Oh! Wonderful, it’s a beautiful way of calming the mind & getting relaxed. Ah Well! It is one of those 1000 things that Guruji taught us, which is waiting in queue for me to practice it. 

Bansuri!, there is no waiting period for a sadhaka, you can start very well now. 

Eh, No!, I will practice it at my home. Let’s start from where we left yesterday. 

Nothing doing. Don’t try to find a place for doing your practice. Where ever you are, you can do it, if you have the will to do it. 

But we don’t have much time Sankara!. 

Don’t worry Bansuri!, It is not in the length of the period of sitting that success lies, but in intensifying the awareness, Let’s do a short relaxation breathing exercise. 

OK Sankara, as you say…

Good, now close your eyes and follow my instructions.

......

Keep your body absolutely still & relaxed. 

……

Now quickly glance through your body & be aware of yourself from head to toe and toe to head. After doing it, quietly resolve deep within that for next 3 minutes no thoughts would disturb your concentration apart from your awareness of breath flow in the Sushmna

…….

Mentally feel the spot where the nose bridge ends and the upper lip begins. 

…..

Now observe the flow of breath in both the nostrils. 

……..

Let the breath flow evenly without any jerks

……..

Let there be continuous flow of awareness without any breaks, cuts or noise. 

…….

Do not forcefully change the breath pattern, but just be a witness and watch the flow of prana continuously going in & coming out..

……..

Now Relax, Relax, Relax… 

……….

………

……..

………

Slowly open your eyes…

………

How do you feel now Bansuri ?

Much better, I was in so many thoughts while coming, this quick 3 minutes relaxation helped me to stay on ground now. 

Why, what’s the matter? What’s bothering you?

I was trying to work out a plan for weekly satsang and it’s not coming out well.

Oh! you are talking about the recent message that we got from Guruji asking all of us to work on weekly satsanga?

Yes Sankara. Our group sadhaka’s are so scattered and I was wondering how to regroup and assemble at a single place?

Didn't you read the message properly? Let’s work out a possibility of arranging a place where we all can meet & have weekly satsanga. Till then, we will continue to do so at our respective places. I am sure, if you take up this activity with shraddha & virya, you will certainly get good results soon.

You are right. Let me work it out. OK! before you say that you have to get back to your home, please continue from where you left yesterday on Sri Jayadeva. 

Yes yes..!, where were we on that?

You said, one fine day, when Jaya Deva was in the middle of composing ‘Gita Govind’, he got struck with the thought flow he got while composing it. 

Yes, right. OK listen:

Jayadeva Gosvami was greatly perturbed. “How can I make these words come from the mouth of my Lord Krishna, the supreme controller of unlimited millions of universes?” Many times he asked himself, “Should I write such a thing?” and many times he decided, “Yes, I should.” But even though he wanted to do it, he could not bring himself to write this line. 

This is the scene in Gita Govind where Jayadeva Goswame was not able to proceed further:

Radha is desperately waiting for Sri Krishna all day and there was no sign of Him till evening. Radha loses her patience & slowly it turns into aversion towards Krishna. 

The dry day became wonderful evening with cool breeze around, when Krishna arrived playing enchanting melody on his flute.

Though Radha’s happiness grew in multifold upon seeing his Krishna for whom she was waiting enduringly, she doesn’t want to show it to Krishna immediately for having made her wait so long. At the same time she was hesitant to show her true emotion of aversion towards krishna fearing he may leave her & go away. In this twin state of confused mind, Radha was looking completely helpless. 

Krishna with brightness of 1000’s of lotus petal flowers, comes closer to Radha and talks in a very pleasing tone: 

“My beloved! Offer the fresh buds of your enchanting feet as an ornament upon my head, so the devastating effect of Cupid’s poison may be alleviated and the harsh fire of amorous desires may also be relieved.”

This is the thought flow which Sri Jayadeva received while he was trying to write it as part of Gita Govinda. 

He could not accept the fact of imagining his lord whose feet millions of devotes throng for, can have a women’s feet on his head. 

“What a great sin I have done imagining so. Krishna!, Please forgive me. Your lotus feet touching the devotee’s head is a pure ecstatic moment for anybody.If this being the fact, how can I imagine otherwise!

Not willing to write any further, he placed his works aside and kept sobering in a corner unable to control his tears for having committed such a sin. After a short while, Jayadeva heard his wife asking him to take a bath to get ready for the noon puja offerings to the lord. Not wanting to miss lord's service, Jayadeva consoled himself and left the house to take bath in nearby river. 

Soon after Jayadeva left home for bath, Padmavathi started cleaning & preparing the house for the noon puja. 

At that time:

“Padmavathi!!” – She heard her husband calling by her name from the house entrance. 

Before she could reach the front, she saw her husband with half bathed oil face entering the house in a jet speed. 

Quite surprised, she asked, ‘Prabho!, What made you come back in the middle of your bath? “

“Padmavathi!, I have to add a beautiful sloka in the 'Gita Govind Astapathi'. Before I forget them, bring my writing materials soon so that I can write it immediately”

Padmathi went inside & brought the required materials by a whisker.

Sri Jayadeva without wasting any time, quickly sat and rushed to pen down his thoughts. Padmavathi was quite surprised to see his husband working in such a hassled manner which she has never noticed earlier. 

Within few minutes, Jayadeva had a smile on his face for having written what he wanted to write. He asked his wife to keep the written scripts back in the puja room and left the home to complete his bath. 

After some time, Jayadev returning from his bath went straight into the Puja room and started the noon puja along with devotees who from nearby villages already gathered in good numbers. 

Deepam for the lord was lit

Archana’s & stotra’s for the lord was sung.

Dhoopam for the lord was shown

Mantra Pushpam for the lord was offered

Naivedhya (offerings to the lord) was shared among the gatherings.

Noon Puja got completed. 

After remaining in the bliss for some time, the devotees all left the place satisfactorily both by heart & stomach. 

Compared to his state of mind in the morning, Sri Jayadeva felt so light & relaxed deep inside after the Puja. He went back to his puja room to collect his writing materials to continue with his ‘Gita Govind’. 

Sri Jayadeva took his seat before Sri Krishna idol…. 

Opened the Astapathi written so far…..

Got Astonished & screamed…..

“Padmavathi…Padmavathi!!....”

Padmavathi who was in the kitchen cleaning the vessels, heard her husband calling her name so loudly, immediately rushed towards the puja room and asked if her 'Prabho' is in need any of her help. 

“Padmavathi, today morning, few sloka’s that came to my mind to be written in the 'Gita Govind' were not so good thoughts and hence I left it without writing. But now when I am opened the scripts written so far, I could see the same slokas are already written on them. I am wondering who could have done such a crime like this”? 

“Prabho, you only came in half bathed oil face in the afternoon & hurriedly started writing it and gave it back to me before leaving for bath again. How can you forget it so soon?

‘Devi, I never returned from my bath, if that’s the case, how it can be….”

Sri Jayadeva’s voice suddenly choked. 
He understood the truth. 
His body trembled with goose bumps. 
His eyes were filled with tears of joy. 

“Padmavathi, the slokas which I considered as inauspicious and which I thought that writing them itself is a big sin, has been accepted by the lord. Making his feet burn in this hot day, Srimad Narayanan himself have shown mercy on us by visiting our home”

Sri Jayadeva closed his eyes & said; 

“Parandhama, Jaganatha, Bhakthavatsala, Govinda, Gopala, how will I sing your mercy on us. You have shown the world today that, by feeling sacred to have Radha’s feet touching your head because of her pure love & devotion towards you, you have proved that nothing gives you immense joy & happiness than serving the true devotees who come to you in similar traits with complete Sarangathi (surrender)”

Sri Jayadeva realized how fortunate his wife Padvamathi is to have the dharshan of Srimad Narayana himself, for whom the entire universe is begging to hear their prayers. 

“Padmavathi, you are the one who is really fortunate. You are blessed to be in the service of the lord. Krishna has himself showed his mercy by visiting you in the form of half bathed oil face to write my thoughts into words. He has stolen our hearts and left our place. What good deeds you did to see his dharsan, devi ?

Sri Jayadeva, holding both the hands of his wife Padmavathi, said, “In the next Astapathi that I am going compose, let me include the phrase ‘padmävati-sharana-shärana-chakravarti’* as a gratitude for the immense service you have done for the Lord & Sri Radha. 

Bansuri!, Thus the famous work of Gita Govinda got completed which has been an inspiration for many compositions and choreographic works in Indian Classical dances. 

Its go nice to get into behind the scenes on such famous works done by great men of our country. I would like to do a google search if I can find any such composition to listen to.

Ya, there are many. To start with, if you are interested, you can listen to Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna singing Jayadeva's one of the Ashtapadi’s where Shri Krishna expresses his deep disappointment by the exclamation hari! hari! for making Radha suffer through his prolonged absence. 

Sri Jayadeva expreses Krishna in following ways in that composition:

“Alas! What a terrible calamity. On seeing me surrounded by a throng of elegant gopi’s, Rädhä deserted me. She feels neglected and disrespected. Although she always reigns in my heart as my most beloved, and although she abounds with all desirable virtues, and although her love for me has never been surpassed, still I offended her. Therefore I was nervous and hesitated to pacify her. Feeling insulted, she became annoyed with me and left, and now I am very sorry about what happened.”

“She has been suffering from the devastating heat of separation for a long time, so I cannot predict her behaviour. What will she do? What will she say? Alas! In the absence of Rädhä, my wealth, my relatives, my life, my home and everything seem worthless.”

“Alas! When I continuously realize the direct presence of Rädhä and deeply embrace her in the temple of my heart, why am I uselessly lamenting over her and why am I repeatedly searching for her from forest to forest?

Hear the song here:



The song goes like this:

tastatas-tāmanusṛtya rādhikām
anaṅga-bāṇa-vraṇa-khinna-mānasaḥ |
kṛtānutāpaḥ sa kalinda-nandinī-
taṭānta-kuñje viṣasāda mādhavaḥ ||

māmiyaṃ calitā vilokya vṛtaṃ vadhū-nicayena |
sāparādhatayā mayāpi na vāritā’tibhayena ||
hari hari hatā’daratayā sā gatā kupiteva ||1||

kiṃ kariṣyati kiṃ vadiṣyati sā ciraṃ viraheṇa |
kiṃ dhanena janena kiṃ mama jīvitena gṛheṇa ||2||

cintayāmi tadānanaṃ kuṭila-bhru-kopabhareṇa |
śoṇa-padmam ivopari-bhramatākulaṃ bhramareṇa ||3||

tām ahaṃ hṛdi saṅgatām anīśaṃ bhṛśaṃ ramayāmi |
kiṃ vane’nusarāmi tāmiha kiṃ vṛthā vilapāmi ||4||

tanvi khinnam asūyayā hṛdayaṃ tavākalayāmi |
tanna vedmi kuto gatāsi na tena te’nunayāmi ||5||

dṛśyase purato gatāgatameva me vidadhāsi |
kiṃ pureva sasambhramaṃ parirambhaṇaṃ na dadāsi ||6||

kṣamyatām aparaṃ kadāpi tavedṛśaṃ na karomi |
dehi sundari darśanaṃ mama manmathena dunomi ||7||

varṇitaṃ jayadevakena hareridaṃ pravaṇena |
kindu-bilva-samudra-sambhava-rohiṇī-ramaṇena ||8|

Sankara, we are so blessed to have such pious saints in our Indian culture who inspire us with such pure dive love & devotion for the lord. 

Yes Bansuri, but remember, it’s not so easy to have complete 'Sarangathi' as well. There are many times in Sri jayadeva’s life where he was tested & even severely punished by the circumstances surrounding him.

Oh is it!, I am eager to know them as well Sankara?

Certainly Bansuri!, I love to share them with you too. But not until tomorrow as it’s now getting late for my Meditation. 

You always leave only when I start to get some interest on your story. Anyways, nothing can stop you from your Meditation…. See you tomorrow, Jai Gurudev!

Jai Gurudev…

*Verse 2 (the Ashtapadi where Sri Jayadeva includes her wife name in his composition)

väg-devatä-carita-citrita-citta-sadmä
padmävati-carana-cärana-cakravarti
sri-väsudeva-rati-keli-kathä-sametam
etam karoti jayadeva-kavih prabandham

*Verse 8 (the Ashtapadi which Sri Jayadeva was reluctant to compose)

smara garaLa khanDanam mama Sirasi manDanam dEhi pada pallava mudAram jvalati mayi dAruNo madana kadanAnalO haratu tadupAhita vikAram||priyE || 

-'Bansuri'

(story of Sri Jayadev inspired from 'Maha Bhakta Vijaya'. Poem extracts are from the book 'Sri Gita Govinda')



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SUNSAT series

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Satsang - Sadhana Sangama

The 2nd Sunday Satsang (SUNSAT) was held on 8th June, 2014 at Sri. Ramachandran’s place. Around 18 people attended.

We followed the programme schedule circulated earlier. We felt the need to work with the schedule by rearranging the things which we will do before the 3rd SUNSAT.

Gurudev was suggesting that we start and end the SUNSAT exactly at the appointed time i.e., 7.30 am start and 8.30 am end sharp. He was suggesting this because he said that to transcend the concept ‘time’ the first step is to strictly adhere to time.

Conversation with Gurudev provoked many thoughts in my mind relating to Satsanga and I wish to share them. Friends, SUNSAT can be a Group Study, studying one’s own self and others at the same time, if we approach it with that attitude. So, please don’t view them from the prism of right or wrong.

I plan to share them over a few weekly updates and if you find something useful you can adopt it.

Invoking Guru energy

We usually invoke the Guru energy (Hiranya Garbha Aarabdhaam … … ) before starting the programme. I am sure this is the practice others also follow, be it a Satsanga or doing sadhana at home. 

While invoking Guru, what I practice personally is that on the Guru Chakra, I invoke the Guru Trayaa – Asmad Gurubhyo Namaha (Guruji and Jyothi Amma together as one Guru form. If you are comfortable only with Guruji as the Guru image, please continue with that practice.), Asmad Parama Gurubhyo Namaha (H.H. Swami Rama of the Himalayas - Guru of Sri Pattabhiram & Smt. Jyothi) Asmad Parameshti Gurubhyo Namaha (Bengali Baba - Guru of Swami Rama). 

Just above the Guru Chakra is the Vamsa Rushi Chakra, at the top of our forehead. Vamsa Rushis are a combination of one from the Saptarushis and two or four other Rushis who are given the responsibility to protect and guide your family, generations after generations. Mostly, South Indian families are aware of their Vamsa Rushis. Even if you are not aware, just imagine a light and invoke that Energy also. 

If we do this with feeling and confidence, setting aside our logic and intelligence, these energies descend and monitor our sadhana and guide us. This has been happening to me and hence I thought I can share this with you all so that you can also benefit from the presence of these powerful energies in Guru Chakra. 

Some of you may wonder why am I sharing this, as it is a common and regular practice which is being followed by one and all. Yes, I know. But the reason is that instead of making it ritualistic, endeavor should be made to make it workable. When we invoke Guru energy, the feeling should be so intent that the Energy not only descends but you feel its presence. That is the idea. This is certainly not to disregard the sincerity of Sadhakas who are already doing it with intent feeling but there may be some, a very few, who may not be experiencing this and hence I thought of sharing this. This is the connectivity that Gurudev was telling me, at a basic level. Since SUNSAT is blessed by the Guru, it will definitely monitor this activity every week. So, why can’t we make use of SUNSAT to experiment on this when there is collective energy of Sadhakas? 

Other Chapters of Sadhana Sangama are also encouraged to give a weekly report of their Satsang and mail the same to bansuri.sst@gmail.com.

N. Narayanan, Delhi 
Vande Guru Paramparam


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