October 24, 2011 Comments Off on Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba on Pros & Cons of Spiritual Practices
Be careful not to discuss the pros and cons of your spiritual practices with all and sundry.
If the people consulted are treading another path, they will decry your practice of repetition of the name and meditation and treat them with scant respect. They will look down upon your practices, as if they were very elementary and as if your were but a beginner in school.
As a result, you will start doubting the efficacy of your chosen path! You will get concern where earlier you had joy, disgust where earlier you had love. Therefore, reflect within yourself, or approach those who have tasted the nectar of that Name.
Do not argue about these things with everyone you meet. The time spent in these disputations is better used in the cultivation of joy through the repeated contemplation of the Name (Nama) and meditation on the Form (Rupa) of the Lord.
Dhyana Vahini – Sri Sathya Sai Books & Publication Trust
This web site contains the writing and discourses of Sathya Sai Baba. It is a subsite of www.sssbpt.org.
– Dhyana Vahini, Chap 7: “Remember God and Meditate”
[God is the embodiment of love. If you want God, you should have total love for God. – Baba
Research: answer from: Prasanth – Why should we keep our spiritual practices private? Swami explains to us today.]
February 8, 2011 Comments Off on THE FACTORS
Summation of the considerations and examinations of the human spirit and the material universe completed between A.D. 1923 and 1953.
1 Before the beginning was a Cause and the entire purpose of the Cause was the creation of effect.
2 In the beginning and forever is the decision and the decision is TO BE.
3 The first action of beingness is to assume a viewpoint.
4 The second action of beingness is to extend from the viewpoint, points to view, which are dimension points.
5 Thus there is space created, for the definition of space is: viewpoint of dimension. And the purpose of a dimension point is space and a point of view.
6 The action of a dimension point is reaching and withdrawing.
7 And from the viewpoint to the dimension points there are connection and interchange. Thus new dimension points are made. Thus there is communication.
8 And thus there is light.
9 And thus there is energy.
10 And thus there is life.
11 But there are other viewpoints and these viewpoints outthrust points to view. And there comes about an interchange amongst viewpoints; but the interchange is never otherwise than in terms of exchanging dimension points.
12 The dimension point can be moved by the viewpoint, for the viewpoint, in addition to creative ability and consideration, possesses volition and potential independence of action; and the viewpoint, viewing dimension points, can change in relation to its own or other dimension points or viewpoints. Thus comes about all the fundamentals there are to motion.
13 The dimension points are each and every one, whether large or small, solid. And they are solid solely because the viewpoints say they are solid.
14 Many dimension points combine into larger gases, fluids or solids. Thus there is matter. But the most valued point is admiration, and admiration is so strong its absence alone permits persistence.
15 The dimension point can be different from other dimension points and thus can possess an individual quality. And many dimension points can possess a similar quality, and others can possess a similar quality unto themselves. Thus comes about the quality of classes of matter.
16 The viewpoint can combine dimension points into forms and the forms can be simple or complex and can be at different distances from the viewpoints and so there can be combinations of form. And the forms are capable of motion and the viewpoints are capable of motion and so there can be motion of forms.
17 And the opinion of the viewpoint regulates the consideration of the forms, their stillness or their motion, and these considerations consist of assignment of beauty or ugliness to the forms and these considerations alone are art.
18 It is the opinions of the viewpoints that some of these forms should endure. Thus there is survival.
19 And the viewpoint can never perish; but the form can perish.
20 And the many viewpoints, interacting, become dependent upon one another’s forms and do not choose to distinguish completely the ownership of dimension points and so comes about a dependency upon the dimension points and upon the other viewpoints.
21 From this comes a consistency of viewpoint of the interaction of dimension points and this, regulated, is time.
22 And there are universes.
23 The universes, then, are three in number: the universe created by one viewpoint, the universe created by every other viewpoint, the universe created by the mutual action of viewpoints which is agreed to be upheld – the physical universe.
24 And the viewpoints are never seen. And the viewpoints consider more and more that the dimension points are valuable. And the viewpoints try to become the anchor points and forget that they can create more points and space and forms. Thus comes about scarcity. And the dimension points can perish and so the viewpoints assume that they, too, can perish.
25 Thus comes about death.
26 The manifestations of pleasure and pain, of thought, emotion and effort, of thinking, of sensation, of affinity, reality, communication, of behavior and being are thus derived and the riddles of our universe are apparently contained and answered herein.
27 There is beingness, but man believes there is only becomingness.
28 The resolution of any problem posed here by is the establishment of view-points and dimension points, the betterment of condition and concourse amongst dimension points, and, thereby, viewpoints, and the remedy of abundance or scarcity in all things, pleasant or ugly, by the rehabilitation of the ability of the viewpoint to assume points of view and create and uncreate, neglect, start, change and stop dimension points of any kind at the determinism of the viewpoint. Certainty in all three universes must be regained, for certainty, not data, is knowledge.
29 In the opinion of the viewpoint, any beingness, any thing, is better than no thing, any effect is better than no effect, any universe better than no universe, any particle better than no particle, but the particle of admiration is best of all.
30 And above these things there might be speculation only. And below these things there is the playing of the game. But these things which are written here man can experience and know. And some may care to teach these things and some may care to use them to assist those in distress and some may desire to employ them to make individuals and organizations more able and so give to Earth a culture of which we can be proud.
Humbly tendered as a gift to man by L. Ron Hubbard, 23 April 1953
©2011 All Rights Reserved – permission RTC.org
February 8, 2011 Comments Off on #1 Think Areté. The Manifesto
#1 Think Areté. The Manifesto
What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
So…uh…what exactly are you waiting for?
This isn’t a dress rehearsal…
Here’s the deal: What we can be, we MUST be.
There’s no getting around that one.
So, turn off your TV. Put down your drink. Get off the medication.
Quit numbing yourself. The pain’s not going away.
Not until you Think Areté.
Gandhi got it. Einstein got it. Mother Theresa got it.Tiger gets it. Gates gets it. Oprah gets it.The Greeks
Get this: Guys like Socrates, Plato and Aristotle said that if you want happiness you better live with Areté–a word that literally
means virtue or excellence but has a deeper meaning…something closer to
“constantly striving to reach your highest potential.
How beautiful is that? It was one of the highest ideals of Greek culture.
It should be one of ours.
Tragically, it’s not.
We seem to be more interested in resumes, accolades and 401k’s.
Speaking of retirement…Who came up with that? Work our asses off doing something
we’re not passionate about so we can accumulate enough money to pay the
bills from our stress-caused illnesses while we bitch about what we
should have done when we were still young.
Hmmm…can’t quite figure that one out. Seems like it makes a bit more sense to go ahead and dare
to live now…
Why not Think Areté?
Live to your highest potential–moment to moment to moment.
Not in the mood?
Fine. Then live with regret, anxiety, and disillusionment.Your call.
Think about it. When do we feel most alive?
Exactly. When we’re being ourselves–our highest selves.
You want happiness?
Dream. Grow. Stretch yourself.Rip off the tie.
Jump out of the cubicle.
Dream. Think. Dare to be crazy.
What are you waiting for?
Live. Love. Smile. Hug. Laugh. Dream. Do. Create.Have fun. Be intense. Be
audacious. Be unreasonable. Act impeccably. Breathe.Be you. Be
different. Get paid to do what you love. Dance in your underwear on your
way to work…
Ditch the tie. Escape the cube. Leave the 8-5. Trash the resume.
Ignore the critics. And the cynics. Burn the corporate ladders. Laugh at the ceilings.
Quit the bitching. Open your mind. End the laziness. Overcome the fear. Transcend the
Move the world.
Change the world.
Push the human race forward.
Whatever you call it, go out and do it.When?
Not when you have enough money or once you do this or do that. That’s
nonsense.It’s not gonna be easy, but go out and live your dream. Now.
You deserve it.
And, if that doesn’t move you: The world deserves it.
February 8, 2011 Comments Off on 50 VERSES ON GURU DEVOTION
50 VERSES ON GURU DEVOTION
By Indian Master Ashvagosha
Note: these practices are specifically part of the Tantric path as practiced in Tibetan Buddhism.
1. Bowing in the proper way to the lotus feet of my Guru, who is the cause for me to attain the state of a
glorious Vajrasattva, I shall condense and explain in brief what has
been said in many stainless tantric texts about Guru-devotion.
(Therefore) listen with respect.
2. All the Buddhas of the past, present and future, residing in every land in the ten directions, have
paid homage to the Tantric Masters from whom they have received the
highest initiations. (Is there need to mention that you should too?)
3. Three times each day, with supreme faith, you must show your respect to
your Guru who teaches you (the tantric path), by pressing your palms
together, offering a mandala as well as flowers and prostrating
(touching) your head to his feet.
4. Those who hold ordination vows, if (your Guru) is a layman or your junior, prostrate (in public)
while facing such things as his scriptural texts in order to avoid
worldly scorn. But in your mind (prostrate to your Guru).
5. As for serving (your Guru) and showing him respect, such as obeying what he
says, standing up (when he comes) and showing him to his seat – these
should be done even by those with ordination vows (whose Gurus are
laymen or their juniors). But (in public), avoid prostrating and
unorthodox actions (such as washing his feet).
6. In order for the words of honour of neither the Guru nor the disciple to degenerate,
there must be a mutual examination beforehand (to determine if each can)
brave a Guru-disciple relationship.
7. A disciple with sense should not accept as his Guru someone who lacks compassion or who is
angersome, vicious or arrogant, possessive, undisciplined or boasts of
8. (A Guru should be) stable (in his actions), cultivated (in his speech), wise, patient and honest. He should neither
conceal his shortcomings, nor pretend to possess qualities he lacks. He
should be an expert in the meanings (of tantra) and in its ritual
procedures (of medicine and turning back obstacles). Also he should have
loving compassion and a complete knowledge of the scriptures.
9. He should have full experience in both ten fields, skill in the drawing
of mandalas, full knowledge of how to explain the tantras, supreme
faith and his senses fully under control.
10. Having become the disciple of such a protecting (Guru), should you then despise him from
your heart, you will reap continual suffering as if you had disparaged
all the Buddhas.
11. If you are so foolish as to despise you Guru, you will contract contagious diseases and those caused by harmful
spirits. You will die (a horrible death) caused by demons, plagues or
12. You will be killed by (wicked) kings or fire, by poisonous snakes, water, witches or bandits, by harmful spirits or
savages, and then be reborn in a hell.
13. Never disturb you Guru’s mind. Should you be foolish and happen to do this, you will
surely boil in hell.
14. Whatever fearful hells have been taught, such as Avici, the Hell of Uninterrupted pain, it is clearly explained
that those who disparage their Gurus will have to remain there (a very
15. Therefore, exert yourself whole-heartedly never to belittle your Tantric Master who makes no display of his great wisdom
16. (If from a lack of awareness you have shown disrespect) to your Guru, reverently present an offering to him and seek
his forgiveness. Then in the future such harms and plagues will not
17. It has been taught that for the Guru to whom you have pledged your word of honour (to visualize as one with your
meditational deity), you should willingly sacrifice your wife, children
and even your life, although these are not (easy) to give away. Is there
need to mention your fleeting wealth?
18. (Such practice of offering) can confer even Buddhahood on a zealous (disciple) in his very
lifetime, which otherwise might be difficult to attain even in
countless millions of eons.
19. Always keep your word of honour. Always make offerings to the Enlightened Ones. Always make offerings
also to your Guru, for he is the same as all the Buddhas.
20. Those who wish (to attain) the inexhaustible (state of a Buddha’s Wisdom
Body) should give to their Guru whatever they themselves find pleasing,
from the most trifling objects to those of best quality.
21. Giving (to your Guru) is the same as making continual offerings to all
the Buddhas. From such giving, much merit is gathered. From such
collection comes the supreme powerful attainment (of Buddhahood).
22. Therefore, a disciple with the good qualities of compassion,
generosity, moral self-control and patience should never regard his Guru
and the Buddha Vajradhara as different.
23. If you should never tread even on (your Guru’s) shadow, because the fearsome consequences
are the same as destroying a stupa, is ther need to mention never
stepping on or over his shoes or seat, (sitting in his place or riding)
24. (A disciple) having great sense should obey the words of his Guru joyfully and with enthousiasm, If you lack the
knowledge or ability (to do what he says), explain in (polite) words why
you cannot (comply).
25. It is from your Guru that powerfull attainments, higher rebirth and happiness come. Therefore, make a
whole-hearted effort never to transgress your Guru’s advice.
26. (Guard) your Guru’s belongings as you would your own life. Treat even
your Guru’s beloved (family) with the same (respect you show for him).
(Have affectionate regard for) those closely around him as if they were
your own dearest kin. Single-mindedly think (in this way) at all times.
27. Never sit on the (same) bed or seat (as your Guru), nor walk ahead of
him. (At teachings do not) wear your hair in a top-knot, (a hat, shoes
or any weapons). Never touch a seat (before he sits down, or if he
happens to sits on the ground. Do not) place your hands (proudly) on
your hips or wring them (before him).
28. Never sit or recline while your Guru is standing (nor lie while he is sitting). Always be
ready to stand up and serve him skilfully in an excellent manner.
29. In the presence of your Guru, never do such things as spit, (cough or
sneeze without covering your head). Never strech out your legs when at
your seat, nor walk back and forth (without reason before him, and
30. Never massage or rub your limbs. Do not sing, dance or play musical instruments (for other than religious purposes).
And never chatter idly or speak in excess (or too loudly) within the
range of (your Guru’s) hearing.
31. (When your Guru enters the room) get up from your seat and bow your head slightly. Sit (in his
presence) respectfully. At night, at rivers or on dangerous paths, with
(your Guru’s) permission, you may walk before him.
32. In the direct sight of his Guru, (a disciple) with sense should not (sit) with
his body twisted around, nor lean (casually) against pillars and such.
Never crack your knuckles, (play with your fingers or clean your nails).
33. When washing (your Guru’s) feet or his body, drying, massaging (or
shaving) him, precede such actions with (three) prostrations and at
their conclusion do the same. Then attend (to yourself) as much as you
34. Should you need to address (your Guru) by his name, add the title “Your Presence” after it. To generate respect for him in
others, further honorifics may also be used.
35. When asking for your Guru’s advice, (first announce why you have come). With palms
pressed together at your heart, listen to what he tells you, without
(letting your mind) wander about, Then (when he has spoken), you should
reply, “I shall do exactly as you have said.”
36. After doing (what your Guru has told you), report (what has happened) in polite,
gentle words. Should you yawn or cough, (clear your throat or laugh in
his presence), cover your mouth with your hand.
37. If you wish to receive a certain teaching, request three times with your palms
pressed together, while before him on your (right) knee. (Then at his
discourse), sit humbly and with respect, wearing appropriate clothing
that is neat (and clean, without ornaments, jewelery or cosmetics).
38. Whatever you do to serve (your Guru) or show him respect, should never
be done with an arrogant mind. Instead you should be like a newly-wed
bride, timid, bashful and very subdued.
39. In the presence of (the Guru) who teaches you (the Path), stop acting in a conceited,
coquettish manner. As for boasting to others what you have done (for
your Guru), examine (your conscience) and discard all such acts.
40. If you are (requested) to perform a consecration, (an initiation into) a
mandala, a fire puja or to gather disciples and deliver a discourse,
you may not do so if your Guru resides in that area, unless you receive
his prior permission.
41. Whatever offerings you receive from performing such rites as (the consecration known as) “Opening the Eyes”,
you should present all these to your Guru. Once he has taken a token
portion, you may use the rest for whatever you like.
42. In the presence of his Guru, a disciple should not act (as a Guru) to his own
disciples and they should not act towards him as their Guru. Therefore
(before your own Guru), stop (your disciples) from showing you respect
such as rising (when you come) and making prostrations.
43. Whenever you make an offering to your Guru, or whenever your Guru
presents you with something, a disciple with sense will (present and)
receive this, using both hands and with his head slightly bent.
44. Be diligent in all your actions, (alert and) mindful never to forget
(your word of honour). If fellow-disciples transgress (what is proper)
in their behaviour, correct each other in a friendly manner.
45. If because of sickness you are physically (unable) to bow to your Guru
and must do what normally would be prohibited, even without (his
explicit) permission, there will be no unfortunate consequences if you
have a virtuous mind.
46. What need is there to say much more. Do whatever pleases your Guru and avoid doing anything he would not like.
Be diligent in both of these.
47. “Powerful attainments follow from (doing what) your Guru (likes).” This has been said by (the Buddha)
Vajradhara himself. Knowing this, try to please your Guru fully with
all the actions (of your body, speech and mind).
48. After a disciple has taken refuge in the Triple Gem and developed a pure
(Enlightened) motive, he should be given this (text) to take to his
heart (how to abandon his own arrogant self-will and) follow in his
Guru’s footsteps (along the Graded Path to Enlightenment).
49. (By studying the prerequisite trainings of Guru-devotion and the Graded
Path, common to both the Sutra and Tantra,) you will become a (suitable)
vessel (to hold) the pure Dharma. You may then be given such teachings
as Tantra. (After receiving the proper initiations,) recite out loud the
fourteen root vows and take them sincerely to your heart.
50. As I have not made the mistake (of adding my personal interpretation) when
writing this work, may this be of infinite benefit to all disciples who
would follow their Guru. By the limitless merit I have gathered in this
way, may all sentient beings quickly attain Buddhahood.
Tags- Guru, devotion
For comments/discussions, please start a thread in the Forum.
February 8, 2011 Comments Off on Awakening Universal Energy – Prana
The practice of pranayama forms the core of spiritual awakening. To most people pranayama means control of breath for physical health, but it
has been misinterpreted and wrongly explained. Prana is universal in
nature. The individual prana is a microcosmic representative of the
universal system and should not be mistaken for the air that we breathe.
A certain quantum of prana exists in each human body. By enlarging the
scope of prana we awaken the inner recesses of the brain. Prana flows in
the body on a superficial level to maintain our body and its organs. It
is a force or energy which is resonant throughout the physical system
of man. According to the science of hatha yoga, pingala nadi, which
flows on the right side within the framework of the spinal column, is
the channel of prana from mooladhara to ajna chakra. The distribution of
prana takes place throughout the physical structure by a different
system made up of thousands and thousands of nerve channels which carry
the force of prana to each and every atom in the body, for its growth
and maintenance. Pranayama attempts to extend the scope of prana beyond
the frontiers of the physical body. Force has many manifestations.
Energy can assume any dimension. It can be minimal as well as cosmic.
The brain is divided into ten compartments of which nine parts are silent.
Scientists have divided the brain into three sections: the new brain,
the middle brain and the primitive brain. This primitive brain is the
nine parts of the whole brain, which are existing but not participating
in the scheme of man’s life. These areas of the brain are called ‘the
silent areas’ and their qualities are unknown. If these nine silent
portions of the brain were operating, one’s human faculties would be
greatly expanded and they would not undergo degeneration.
In the course of man’s evolution the silent areas are slowly developing and
coming into active participation. Imagine a big city with beautiful
houses, roads and buildings, but without electrical energy. In the same
way these areas of the brain are not functioning due to the absence of
force or energy. The present amount of pranic energy is insufficient to
activate these silent areas. The prime objective of pranayama is to
create a greater quantum of prana, change the nature of the electrical
forces within this pranic body, and then transmit it to the silent areas
of the brain. The different forms of pranayama prepare the channels or
media through which the energy must flow.
Before this higher form of energy is conducted to the brain the channels must first be
purified. Pingala nadi is the vehicle which carries the pranic force
from mooladhara chakra to the higher centres in the brain. Ajna chakra,
known as the medulla oblongata, situated on top of the spinal cord is
the monitoring centre for the entire silent area. When this fantastic
amount of energy is regenerated in the system it is conducted through
pingala nadi up to ajna chakra and from ajna chakra this energy flows
into the silent areas of the brain.
Seat of pranashakti
The pranas which are universal in nature exist as dormant potential energy
in mooladhara chakra. This great pranashakti is also known by the name
of kundalini, and awakening kundalini means awakening of the great
universal pranic force in the individual human system. This tiny little
centre or gland in mooladhara chakra is not a myth, a story or a fable.
It is a scientific formula of utmost importance in man’s evolution.
Mooladhara is the centre of creation. It is not an impure centre because it is
situated in the sexual area. Many people feel hesitant and shy about
believing kundalini is in mooladhara and claim it to be in manipura,
because they don’t want to associate this holy kundalini shakti with the
unholy sexual system. But it has been scientifically shown that this
tiny gland in mooladhara chakra contains infinite energy. Many psychic
and spiritual experiences originate from mooladhara chakra.
Hindus believe that in mooladhara there is an oval-shaped shiva lingam,
resembling an egg. In modern physics we know about the egg which is made
up of proto-matter. In the centre of every matter there is a nucleus
and in tantra and yoga this nucleus is known as bindu, the centre of
matter, object and creation. In bindu the complete cosmos is compressed
in exactly the same way as a great tree is contained within one seed.
Around this nucleus is infinite proto-matter in the shape of an egg,
with two poles of positive and negative energies known as time and
space. This is how the whole scientific concept of kundalini has to be
understood. It is the point where infinite time and infinite space
unite. When these positive and negative energies join each other, an
explosion occurs either in the nucleus or in the matter.
Although mooladhara chakra is situated in a physical gland, energy is inherent
within it as in all matter. Matter is nothing but a different form of
energy and energy is nothing but a different form of matter. At every
stage of creation, matter and energy are inter-convertible. Therefore we
should not wonder how this physical organ could be the source of
Prana and pranayama
Through the practices of pranayama a certain amount of heat or creative force is generated in the entire body, which
influences the existing quantum of prana. For example, if you produce
heat in this room, it will heat the existing amount of air. There is a
certain amount of prana within us giving us life, and pranayama heats
that quantum of prana, which then makes its way through pingala nadi
into ajna chakra. When sufficient heat is generated within the system
ajna chakra monitors the message back to the base of kundalini and the
actual awakening of the great prana takes place. This in short is the
purpose of pranayama.
Pranayama is not specifically intended to awaken kundalini. Certain pranayamas are done to purify the carrying
channels, i.e. the nervous system. Some are intended to create heat in
the system while others stimulate ajna chakra to monitor. For example,
there is a very important pranayama known as ujjayi which clears pingala
for the ascension of prana.
The whole science of pranayama is based on retention of prana, known as kumbhaka. Inhalation and
exhalation are incidental. Kumbhaka means pranayama and pranayama means
kumbhaka. Those aspirants who are keen and working on this new project
of awakening the silent areas of the brain should prepare themselves
slowly by perfecting kumbhaka. From results of scientific studies on
pranayama we have found that during kumbhaka an increased supply of
blood is poured into the brain and at the same time extra heat is
generated within the system.
Pranayama also influences the cerebral fluid in the brain. When energy is generated it changes the
chemical structure of the cerebral fluid surrounding the brain within
the skull. When this fluid is chemically influenced it acts on the
behaviour of the brain. For example when you take a narcotic drug it
produces an immediate chemical reaction within this fluid. As a result
you experience certain psychic phenomena. During the state of kumbhaka
extra energy in an electrical form is generated and in the course of
time it changes the chemical structure of the fluid in the brain. This
is why one experiences the feeling of dizziness.
This dizziness occurs in the brain, and you have to superimpose this state on the mind.
All the great explosions of experiences take place in the firmament of
this dizziness and very few people know how to manage it. When awakening
takes place and dizziness comes, a visual aid is necessary. That is why
the practice of pranayama should be combined with the practice of
dharana, concentration. There are thousands of symbols for
concentration- a small dot, a candle flame, a star or the symbol Om.
When you have visualised the symbol you can immediately superimpose it
on the condition of the brain. When this internal awareness becomes
vivid, simultaneous awakening of kundalini takes place. Therefore the
practice of pranayama has to be done very intelligently and patiently.
Pranayama must be seen in relation to the awakening of yoga.
First perfect siddhasana, the best of all the postures. Then begin the practice of nadi shodhana pranayama. Inhalation, internal
retention, exhalation, and external retention in the ratio 1:2:2:1.
When you practice internal retention combine it with jalandhara bandha
and moola bandha. With external retention practice jalandhara, moola and
add uddiyana bandha, Gradually try to improve the quality of your
breath by controlling the inhalation and exhalation.
Breath is both gross and subtle. The gross breath is perceptible and the subtle
breath is imperceptible. Heavy and gross inhalation and exhalation is
not pranayama. When the breath becomes subtle it improves the quality of
awareness. The ingoing and outgoing breath should be uniform. It should
not be thick or thin, broken or in waves.
After practising one round of nadi shodhana sit down quietly and fix your awareness at the
mid-eyebrow centre. When everything becomes calm once again then
commence a second round.
Pranayama is very important in the role of yoga. You must have a well trained and experienced teacher. It cannot
be done from books alone. With the help of pranayama you can awaken
kundalini and accelerate the speed of individual evolution.
Tags: brain, chakra, kundalini, prana, pranayama
for meanings of Sanskrit words in the text
For comments/discussions, please start a thread in the Forum.
Path/Religion : Hinduism
February 8, 2011 Comments Off on Conscious Awareness
Discussion with Baba Lokenath
Question: “What is the path to a happy and peaceful life?”
Baba Lokenath: “Do whatever you like, but do it consciously, with a sense of awareness.”
Question: ” “If You give Me permission to do as I please, then what would You say if I hit
somebody’s head with a stick?”
Baba Lokenath: ” “Do it and see. I asked you to perform all actions consciously. Once you become conscious
and aware, you will find that your conscience will prevent you form
hurting anyone.” The evils in society are perpetrated because awareness
is absent. All evil actions are the result of unconsciousness.
If you intend to become spiritual, you must analyze your actions and
thoughts each day before you go to bed at night. You must assess the
good actions and evil actions and come to a firm resolution not to
repeat evil actions anymore. A seeker should try to practice all
activities in a state of awareness. This is the most important ‘abhyasa-yoga‘ or spiritual practice
for the aspirant. Most recurring actions that flow from lust, anger,
greed, jealousy and the like manifest only in a state of unawareness.
The seeds of these tendencies lie dormant in the subconscious layers of
Tags: awareness, action
February 8, 2011 Comments Off on Detachment (Pratyahara): The Fifth Limb of Astanga Yoga
image with gratitude for use…
Pratyahara (Detachment) is abstraction or withdrawal of the senses. From it starts the real inner spiritual life and the external world is shut out. Yama, niyama, asana, pranayama all prepare the aspirant for the practice of pratyahara. The mind is rendered calm by the practice of brahmacarya (celibacy) and aparigraha (non-covetousness). Asana and pranayama squeeze out the rajas (restlessness). Pranayama checks the out-going tendencies of the mind. Now the mind can easily be detached.
Pratyahara gives inner spiritual strength and great peace of mind. It develops will power and removes all sorts of distractions. An unsteady asana (posture), too much talking, too much mixing, too much work, too much food, too much walking, too much of activity (vyavahara) and poking one’s nose into the affairs of others, all produce much distraction of the mind and stand in the way of the practice of pratyahara.
When you mix with people, again and again, fix the mind on your laksya (point of concentration). Rest in your background of thought – whether saguna (form) or abstract vedantic image. This serves as a strong fortress to protect you from the onslaught of worldly thoughts.
Keep a steady pose, be regular in the practice of pranayama, cultivate vairagya (dispassion), vicara (enquiry) and viveka (wisdom). Always look at the defects of a sensual life. Develop serenity, contentment, patience. Be persevering, tenacious and ever-vigilant. Pray to the Lord. Sing. Do japa (repetition of God’s name). Obtain divine grace. Observe mouna (silence), moderation in diet, and seclusion. Practise celibacy. Stick to resolves. Live in seclusion. Be bold. Be pure. Be wise. Have satsanga (holy company). Give up evil company. Then you will have success in pratyahara.
Concentration is the direct method to get success in pratyahara.
Sit in a quiet room and withdraw the senses. Have a spiritual background of thought and the mind will rest in this when released from work. Japa is another method. Divide the mind. Fix one portion on God and let the other portion work. Sightless gaze is also another aid. Feel that this world is the manifestation of the Lord.
Understand that lasting happiness can only be had in the atman within. It is difficult to say where pratyahara ends and concentration begins. Concentration for twenty seconds makes one meditation and twenty such meditations make one samadhi (superconscious state). But this is only for beginners.