October 19, 2013 Comments Off on Mysticism to the mystic is both science and religion.
Mysticism to the mystic is both science and religion.
Bowl of Saki, October 17, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Hazrat Inayat Khan:
What we generally know as the breath is that little inhaling and exhaling
which we feel through the nostrils. We think that is breath and attach
little importance to it, while in reality, breath is a life-current running
through the innermost part of man’s being towards the surface. It would be
no exaggeration, according to the mystical point of view, to say that the
breath connects heaven and earth. …
For the mystic, breath is not only a science, but the knowledge of breath
is mysticism, and mysticism to the thinker is both science and religion.
The mystery of breath is not a thing that can be comprehended by the brain
only. The principles of mysticism rise from the heart of man. They are
learned by intuition and proved by reason. …
If we consider the conditions of life today, we see that, however much man
thinks he has progressed, certain aspects of life are neglected in the way
of health, repose, balanced thinking, and in the way of kindness and love
to one another. All these things are lacking, and the spirit of the present
time seems to be going in quite the opposite direction.
Selfishness seems to be so much on the increase. Real religion, the spirit
of forgiveness, generous giving, regard for old age, refinement, culture —
all seem to be disappearing. Man in general, does not know even if there is
a God or Truth. If this is the spirit, how can we expect to find that
harmony, peace and love, which make heaven on earth?
It is useless to discuss the peace of the world. What is necessary just now
is to create peace in ourselves that we, ourselves, become examples of
love, harmony and peace. That is the only way of saving the world and
September 14, 2013 Comments Off on The Golden Era is at Hand
Power is an intoxicant. Under its sway man will cut his own throat, bring about his own ruin. O Man! Have you not yet realised this patent truth? Have you not had enough of the poisonous fruits of power-politics, a mad hunt for power in national, international, social and even in domestic fields? Have you not yet realised that it will only produce disharmony, wars, riots and misery?
Power is an intoxicant. Even superhuman Tapas, even the Darshan of Lord Siva (for which aspirants engage themselves in life-long Sadhana) proved to be the ruin of Ravana who had surrendered himself to the lust for power.
Nothing can save you, except Dharma. Nothing is of any use, except Dharma. Nothing avails here except Dharma. Nothing, nothing can bring about harmony, universal peace and prosperity, except Dharma. Peace will remain unknown where Dharma remains unknown. Happiness will desert that house, village or nation in which Dharma has not been enshrined.
With Dharma as the sovereign ruling principle, everything acquires meaning. Based on Dharma, Tapas acquires Divine Power. Founded on Dharma, politics and nation-building activities ensure prosperity. Anchored in Dharma, family life will be happy and blissful, ennobling and divine.
The universe is maintained by Dharma. The planets are held together by Dharma. O Man! Wake up! Wake up now at least and walk the glorious path of righteousness.
You will attain what you want only if you seek for it where it is. If you want happiness, seek for it in the Self, in God, the fountain-source of the highest bliss, not in the little sensual objects. If you aspire for power, get omnipotence in Self-realisation; you will become One with the Supreme power that governs the universe; but not in petty positions, in empires and colonies, in wealth and machine-guns. If you want prosperity acquire it in righteousness, not in artificial living, bungalows and motor cars. If you seek happiness, prosperity, power and glory in the things of this earth, you will suffer the fate of the drowning man who got on the crocodile’s back mistaking it for a log of wood that would take him to the shore. Remember this. Be not deluded. Wake up, wake up, this very moment.
Remember: Adharma cannot survive for long. It will ruin its adherents and then suffer defeat at the hands of Dharma. That Golden Era, that Age of Dharma, that Satya Yuga, when Dharma will reign supreme is not far off. No power on earth can hold it back. If you co-operate with the divine forces that work for the ushering in the Golden Era, you will enjoy unalloyed bliss, peace and prosperity.
Beloved Children of Immortality! Arise, awake! Lead the Divine Life of truth, purity, love and goodness. Attain peace, perfection and Eternal Bliss. May God bless you all with health, long life, peace, prosperity and Atma-Jnana! – By Sri Swami Sivananda
September 13, 2013 Comments Off on YOGA ASANAS
Health is wealth. Good health is a valuable asset for one and all. It can be achieved by the practice of yoga asanas, which control the emotions and produce mental peace. It also distributes prana evenly throughout the body and different systems. It helps in maintaining the healthy functioning of the internal organs. It gives internal massage to the various abdominal organs.
Physical exercises draw the prana out but asanas send the prana in. The practice of asanas cures many diseases and it awakens the kundalini shakti. These are the chief advantages of the yogic system of exercises advantages which none of the other systems have.
Practise a few asanas daily – at least for fifteen minutes. Soon you will possess wonderful health. Be regular in your practice – this is of paramount importance.
Asanas should be done on an empty stomach in the morning or at least three hours after food. Morning is the best time to do the asanas. Do not wear your spectacles whilst doing them. Wear a langotee and a singlet if necessary.
Be moderate in your diet. Practise brahmacarya (celibacy). Begin with a minimum time and gradually increase it. Answer the calls of nature before you begin doing the asanas.
The endocrine glands play an important part in the economy of nature. The practice of sarvangasana keeps the thyroid healthy and this means a healthy functioning of all the organs and systems in the body.
The diaphragm, the muscular partition between the chest and the abdomen, is also developed by certain exercises such as – dhanurasana, mayurasana, and pascimottanasana. The movement of the diaphragm massages the abdominal viscera and organs. There will be daily evacuation of the bowels in the morning. Constipation, dyspepsia and a host of other ailments of the stomach and intestines will disappear.
Four asanas are prescribed for the purposes of japa (repetition of God’s name) and meditation. They are padma, siddha, svastika and sukha. Be able to sit in any of these for three hours without shaking. Then only you will be able to control the breath and do meditation. If you can be steady in the posture for even an hour you will acquire a one-pointed mind and feel infinite peace. – Swami Sivananda
September 13, 2013 Comments Off on THE FRUITS OF CONCENTRATION
Now hear about the fruits that one gains from this practice. Supreme joy is for the yogi whose mind is peaceful, whose passionate nature is calmed, who is sinless and of the nature of the eternal.
When one advances in the practice of concentration, when one takes a real interest in it and when one has realised some benefits, then he cannot leave the practice. Concentration brings supreme joy, spiritual inner strength, unalloyed felicity and infinite, eternal peace. It brings profound knowledge and deep inner sight, intuition and communion with God.
The vital point in concentration is to bring the mind to the same point or object, again and again, by limiting its movements. Limit it to a small circle to begin with – that is the main aim. A time will come when the mind will stick to one point alone. This is the fruit of protracted sadhana (practice). Now your joy will be indescribable.
If you decide to meditate on the form of a chair, bring all thoughts connected with that chair together and dwell on these ideas. Do not allow thoughts of other objects to enter your mind. Thought should flow steadily, like oil flowing steadily from one vessel to another. Gradually reduce the number of ideas related to the object of concentration. When all these ideas die, you get the super-conscious state (samadhi).
When this last idea dies out and when there is not even a single idea, the mind becomes blank or void. There is mental vacuity. This is the stage of thoughtlessness referred to by Patanjali in his Raja Yoga philosophy. You must rise above this blank vrtti (thought-form) and identify yourself with the Supreme Purusha or Brahman, the silent witness of the mind who gives power and light to the mind. Then and then alone you will reach the highest goal of life. – Swami Sivananda
Prolonged meditation on the Absolute leads to perfection. One of the greatest needs in spiritual life is meditation. Meditate and listen to the voice of God. This will give you strength and power and peace. – Swami Sivananda
September 13, 2013 Comments Off on SUPREME PEACE IS YOUR GOAL
Every man in the world is restless and is striving after something. What it is he does not know. In the accomplishment of ambitious projects he seeks the rest that he feels he is in need of – but he finds that worldly greatness, when secured, is a snare and a delusion. He does not find any real happiness or peace in it. He gets degrees, titles, honours, power, name, and fame. He marries, he begets children, he gets all he had supposed would give him happiness. But he finds no rest. Pious men, saints, sages declare that this restlessness of every man, this state of discontent, dissatisfaction and uncomfortableness, of being ill at ease with himself and his surroundings, is solely due to the loss of the companionship of the partner of his soul, God.
Peace is absolute serenity and tranquillity, wherein all the mental modifications, thoughts, imagination, whims, fancies, moods, impulses and emotions, instincts etc., cease entirely and the individual soul rests in his own native, pristine glory, in an unruffled state. It is not, of course, the temporary condition of mental quietude which worldly people speak of in common parlance, when they retire for a short time to a solitary bungalow in a forest for a short rest. Peace is the fourth state of super-consciousness. It is the realm of supreme bliss, eternal life and eternal sunshine, where cares, worries, anxieties and fears which torment the soul here, dare not enter; where all distinctions of caste, creed and colour vanish altogether in the one embrace of the divine love and where desires and cravings find their full satiety.
Peace is within. Search for it in the chambers of your heart through one-pointed concentration and meditation. If you do not find peace there, you will not find it anywhere else. Remember, dear friends, that the goal of life is attainment of peace and not the achievement of power, fame and wealth.
Desire is the greatest enemy of peace. There is no peace for him who has no concentration. There can be no happiness for the unpeaceful. In that supreme peace all pains, all sorrows, miseries, tribulations vanish forever.
The peace of the eternal lies near those who know themselves, who are disjoined from desire and passion, subdued in nature and of subdued thoughts. The man who is endowed with supreme faith and who has mastery over his senses, quickly gets supreme peace.
– Swami Sivananda
September 12, 2013 Comments Off on BENEFITS OF NON-COVETOUSNESS
Aparigraha is the fifth limb of yama (self-restraint). Parigraha is covetousness or greed, to possess and enjoy objects of the senses. Aparigraha is the opposite of parigraha. This is non-covetousness or non-acceptance of gifts; it is the absence of craving to possess and enjoy sensual objects. It is a mental state (bhava), wherein the sensual craving is dead. Parigraha leads to anxiety to preserve, to fear of loss, to sorrow in loss, to hatred, anger, untruthfulness, stealing, etc. Aparigraha puts an end to all these defects and bestows peace, contentment and satisfaction.
Aparigraha is indeed an aid to the practice of ahimsa (non-violence), satyam (truth), asteyam (non-stealing). When the craving is not satisfied you become angry, you hate the man who stands in your way of attaining and possessing things. You harm him in different ways; you speak untruth; you begin to steal things. The mind is ever in a state of agitation, restlessness, dissatisfaction and discontentment. Aparigraha removes all these defects. Mithya drsti (the seeing of falsehood in objects), dosa drsti (the seeing of defects in them), vairagya (dispassion), discrimination, dama (control of the senses) and pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses) are aids to the practice of aparigraha. Aparigraha is the common foundation for all yogas, just as dhyana (meditation) is the common meeting point of all yogas. It is a virtue to be practised not only by aspirants but by all persons of the world.
He who has no faith in the grace of the Lord and in the utterance of Lord Krishna in the Gita, “I ensure the welfare of the devotees who constantly think of me”, will not practise aparigraha. The practice of aparigraha has wonderful benefits. It removes at one stroke, fear, attachment, disappointment, anxiety, agitation, restlessness, hatred, jealousy, anger, lust, greed, cares, worries, despair, and depression. Therefore practise aparigraha and become a dynamic yogi.
Pure love is bliss. Speak forgivingly, act lovingly, serve lovingly. You will soon enter the kingdom of heaven or supreme peace. Hatred ceases not by hatred, but by love. Love is absolute goodness, honour, peace, and purity. – Swami Sivananda
September 11, 2013 Comments Off on IMPORTANCE OF MOUNA
The organ of speech is a very great distracter of the mind. Too much talking indicates that the man is rajasic (restless). Talking makes the mind outgoing. Mouna (vow of silence) is almost death for the worldly man. It is a great blessing for the spiritual aspirant.
A worldly man always wants company and talk. This is his nature. Energy is wasted in this idle gossiping. Conserve this energy by mouna and utilise it for the contemplation of the divine. If you observe mouna for two months you will realise its advantages. Then you yourself will not leave the practice. If the organ of speech is checked then the eyes and ears come under control quite easily.
Mouna develops will power. It checks the impulse of speech. It is a great help in the observance of truth and the control of anger. Emotions are also controlled and irritability vanishes. A mouni (one who observes mouna) uses measured words, and his speech is very impressive. A mouni first thinks whether his speech will wound the feelings of others, what sort of impression it will make on the minds of others, and so on. He is careful in his speech. He is thoughtful and considerate. He weighs each word before it comes out of his mouth. He can stay for a long time in seclusion. Practise. Feel the joy and peace of silence for yourself.
If you wish to observe mouna, you should keep yourself perfectly occupied in japa (repetition of God’s name), meditation and mantra-writing. Do not mix with others. Do not come out of your room frequently. The energy used for speech should be sublimated into spiritual energy. It should be utilised for meditation. Then only you will enjoy serenity, calmness, peace and inner spiritual strength.
During mouna, introspect. Watch the thoughts. Then you will come to understand the ways of the mind and its workings. You can notice how the mind runs from one object to another in a moment’s time. You will derive immense benefit from the practice of mouna. Real mouna is silence of the mind. Physical mouna eventually leads to silence of the mind.
Mouna of the mind is far superior to the mouna of speech. Mouna should come by itself. It must be natural. Forced mouna is only wrestling with the mind. It is an effort. If you live in truth, then mouna will come by itself, and there will be absolute peace. – Swami Sivananda