DEVELOP THE BODY, TOO

March 18, 2013 Comments Off

Physical culture or development of the body is as important as the development of the mind, will or memory. If the body is not kept strong and healthy, vigorous and active, no culture is possible. All cultures depend on a sound body. There is a wise saying: “A sound mind in a sound body”. The body is the temple of God. It should be kept scrupulously clean by daily bath, a good scrub with a clean towel – this opens the pores which may have been clogged by sweat and sebum.

There are different types of physical culture. Select one according to your needs, taste, temperament and capacity. A man in poor health should take long brisk walks, morning and evening. Always walk alone; then you feel the presence of the Almighty everywhere and you can be in perfect harmony with nature. Morning walks are pleasant. The cool breeze is refreshing and the fragrance of the flowers is invigorating. Finish the walk before sunrise. The walking itself should be brisk; you should have good perspiration. Only then it is exercise. Walk at least three or four miles a day. Do pranayama whilst walking. Inhale for six steps, retain for six steps and then exhale for six steps. This is good practice.

Be strictly regular in the performance of the exercises – this is essential for rapid progress. Those doing vigorous exercise should take substantial, nutritious food – otherwise their muscles will waste. They should take plenty of ghee (clarified butter), milk, butter, nuts etc. Those who practise the head-stand should take a light meal about ten minutes after they have finished the asanas. Weigh your body once a month and keep a record. Do exercise both morning and evening. Then rest for half an hour before taking your bath.

Observe brahmacarya (celibacy) as much as you can. If you remain a strict celibate you will attain astonishing results. What is there in a woman? What is there in repeating the same old act again and again which is so disgraceful? Are you not ashamed of all that? Do you not realise that it is all the play of avidya (ignorance) and false moha (delusion)? Strengthen the body and then do spiritual sadhana (practice). You will enjoy real bliss. I beseech you – learn to be wise – at least from now on.

Treat this body as your servant and instrument. You are distinct from this physical body which is only made up of the five elements and is subject to decay and death. You are in essence the reality, the all-pervading, imperishable Atman (Self). Identification with the body is the root-cause for bondage, for human misery and suffering. Do not become the slave of the body.  – Swami Sivananda

Where there is the possibility of pain there is no love

March 18, 2013 Comments Off

The questioner wants to know how he can act freely and without self-repression when he knows his action must hurt those he loves. You know, to love is to be free – both parties are free. Where there is the possibility of pain, where there is the possibility of suffering in love, it is not love, it is merely a subtle form of possession, of acquisitiveness. If you love, really love someone, there is no possibility of giving him pain when you do something that you think is right. It is only when you want that person to do what you desire or he wants you to do what he desires, that there is pain. That is, you like to be possessed; you feel safe, secure, comfortable; though you know that comfort is but transient, you take shelter in that comfort, in that transience. So each struggle for comfort, for encouragement, really but betrays the lack of inward richness; and therefore an action separate, apart from the other individual naturally creates disturbance, pain and suffering; and
one individual has to suppress what he really feels in order to adjust himself to the other. In other words, this constant repression, brought about by so-called love, destroys the two individuals. In that love there is no freedom; it is merely a subtle bondage.  – JKrishnamurti,Book of Life – July 21st

A Saint

February 15, 2013 Comments Off

God dwells in those who have no lust, anger, pride, arrogance, delusion, greed, hatred and deceit. A sage realises his unity, his spiritual oneness with others. He sees their suffering and out of compassion, devotion and love, he stays on the earth plane – to serve and to suffer for all creatures – until they become purified and attain illumination.

He is a saint who has conquered the senses, who is endowed with righteous conduct, who speaks sweet words even to those who are crooked by nature, and whose heart is always softened by tender feelings for others. He is a saint who has shaken off all attachments, who is never swayed by lust, greed or anger, who is constantly established in righteousness, who is wise, humble, modest and forgiving.

A saint is compassionate – he is free from violence, greed, hypocrisy and duplicity. He regards earthly riches as poison. A saint is forbearing. He has a generous heart and possesses great fortitude and discrimination. A saint is free from egoism and selfishness – he is liberated.

A saint is the one to be worshipped. He is a paramahamsa. He has shaken off everything. Each saint proclaims the same truth but his teachings are adapted to suit the requirements of his time and area of influence.

He who looks upon everything with an equal eye, who is perfectly calm and serene, who does not covet anything, and who is the friend of all he is a real saint.

Sri Vasishta tells Rama: “An acarya’s (preceptor’s) grace, if it becomes en rapport with his disciple, will of itself, in a mysterious manner, enable the disciple to perceive directly the Brahmic principle within, though it is impossible for the guru to point to Brahman as `this’ or `that’, or for the disciple to understand how it is, prior to his direct perception. Each should cognise it within himself, through his own jnana (intuition) and with the aid of the acarya (preceptor) and an understanding of the true significance of the many scriptures. It is indeed very rare to attain that state without the help of a guru and spiritual book. Should all three combine – that is, an acarya, jnana sastra (scripture dealing with self-knowledge) and a true disciple, then it is certain that the seat beyond all bondage will be attained.”
– Swami Sivananda

PRAYER IS SPIRITUAL FOOD

June 4, 2012 Comments Off

Prayer elevates, inspires, redeems. Through prayer divine grace and divine light descend. Prayer is spiritual food for the soul. Prayer is a spiritual tonic. Prayer is a master key to open the realms of Elysian bliss. Prayer helps the devotee to be in tune with the infinite. Prayer should come from the inner recesses of the heart then it will be heard at once.

Prayer works wonders. Its power is ineffable. Through prayer the devotee sits by the side of the Lord. Prayer expands and purifies the heart. Prayer is a strong spiritual injection. It fills the heart with immense power and strength.

Every religion has its own prayer. Pray in the early morning – it is more effective. Let prayer become habitual pray at all times. Pray not for wealth, position, wife and children, success in lotteries or horse racing – ask for darsan (vision) of the Lord. Pray for devotion and communion.

Recite the beautiful Upanishadic prayer morning and night: “Asatoma sat gamaya, tamasoma jyotir gamaya, mrtyorma amrtam gamaya” – “Lead me on from the unreal to the real, from darkness to light, from mortality to immortality.”

During mass prayer a huge spiritual current is generated.
Gayatri japa is a prayer – the devotee asks for illumination of the intellect, so that he can know his real, essential, divine nature. This is an unselfish prayer Mrityunjaya mantra also is a prayer. It is a prayer to the Lord Siva. The devotee asks: “Free me from bondage and death make me immortal”.

Om bhur bhuvah svah tat savitur varenyam
bhargo devasya dhimahi dhiyo yo nah pracodayat
(Gayatri Mantra)

“Let us meditate on the glory of Isvara, who has created this universe, who is fit to be worshipped, who is the remover of all sins and ignorance. May He enlighten our intellect”.

Om tryambakam yajamahe sugandhim pustivardhanam
urvarukamiva bandhanan mrtyor muksiya mamrtat
(Mrityunjaya Mantra)

“We worship the three eyed one (Lord Siva), who is fragrant and who nourishes well all beings. May He liberate us from death for the sake of immortality, even as the cucumber is severed from its bondage (to the creeper).”

- Swami Sivananda

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