October 23, 2013 Comments Off on Beyond the narrow barriers
Beyond the narrow barriers of race and creed we can all unite, because we
all belong to one God.
Bowl of Saki, October 21, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Hazrat Inayat Khan:
The soul is the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of God lives within the
shrine of the heart; this shrine can be closed or it can be open. There are
some things in life that open it and some that close it. The things that
close the heart are those which are contrary to love, tolerance and
forgiveness, such as coldness, bitterness and ill-will, and a strong
element of duality. The world is more upset today than ever before; in many
ways man seems to go from bad to worse, and yet he thinks that he is
progressing. It is not lack of organization or of civilization; both these
things he has. What he lacks is the expression of the soul. He closes his
door to his fellow man, he closes the shrine of the heart and by doing so
he is keeping God away from himself and others. Nation is set against
nation, race against race, religion against religion. Therefore today more
than ever before there is a need for the realization of this philosophy.
What we need is not that all religions should become one, nor all races;
that can never be. But what is needed is undivided progress, and making
ourselves examples of love and tolerance.
By talking about it, by discussing and arguing it will not come, but by
self-realization, by making ourselves the examples of what should be, by
giving love, taking love, and showing in our action gentleness,
consideration and the desire for service for the sake of God in whom we can
all unite beyond the narrow barriers of race and creed.
October 1, 2013 Comments Off on In order to relieve the hunger of others
In order to relieve the hunger of others, we must forget our own hunger.
Bowl of Saki, September 26, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Hazrat Inayat Khan:
Riches and power may vanish because they are outside of us, but only that
which is within can we call our own. In order to awaken love and sympathy
in our hearts, sacrifices must be made. We must forget our own troubles in
order to sympathize with the troubles of others.
To relieve the hunger of others we must forget our own hunger. Everybody is
working for selfish ends, not caring about others, and this alone has
brought about the misery in the world today. When the world is evolving
from imperfection towards perfection, it needs all love and sympathy. Great
tenderness and watchfulness is required of each one of us. The heart of
every man, both good and bad, is the abode of God, and care should be taken
never to wound anybody by word or act. We are only here in this world for a
short time; many have been here before, and have passed on, and it is for
us to see that we leave behind an impression of good.
There are however blessed souls, souls who are really satisfied and whose
hunger is stilled by seeing another person eating or who are happy seeing
another person adorned with beautiful clothes. It might seem to us a great
renunciation or self-denial; but they have been given a cross to bear and
have risen above it. Sacrifice gives no pain; it only gives pleasure.
Love another and do not depend upon his love; and: Do good to another and
do not depend upon receiving good from him; serve another and do not look
for service from him. All you do for another out of your love and kindness,
you should think that you do, not to that person, but to God. And if the
person returns love for love, goodness for goodness, service for service,
so much the better. If he does not return it, then pity him for what he
loses; for his gain is much less than his loss.
~~~ “Sangatha I, 3 – Saluk”, by Hazrat Inayat Khan (unpublished)
July 9, 2013 Comments Off on THE MIND BECOMES THE BODY
The body with its organs, is no other than the mind. The physical body is the outward manifestation of the mind. Mind is the subtle form of the physical body. The mind, contemplating on the body, becomes the body itself. Then, enmeshed in it, is afflicted by it. All bodies have their seat in the mind. Should the mind be paralysed, the body will not evince any intelligence.
The mind performs all actions very speedily in the linga sarira (subtle body) and fluctuates thereby. But the gross body knows not anything and is inert. Should this gross body be dissolved, the mind quickly assumes a fresh body. This physical body is the mould, as it were, of the mind. It is made by the mind for the outpouring of its own energy, for its own enjoyment. Thereby it gains different experiences of this world through the organs of knowledge or perception.
The body is really our thoughts, moods, convictions and emotions objectivised, made visible to the naked eye. Every cell in our body suffers or grows, receives a life impulse or a death impulse, from every thought that enters the mind. You tend to grow into the image of the thing you think about most. When the mind dwells on a particular thought, a definite vibration of matter is set up. This tends to repeat itself, to become a habit.
The body follows the mind and imitates the changes. Every change in thought makes a vibration in your mental body and this, when transmitted to the physical body, causes activity in the nervous matter of the brain. And this activity in the brain and nerve cells causes electrical and chemical changes in the body.
Vedanta also adds: “See and feel Brahman everywhere. Ignore the names and forms.” This teaches you to develop atma bhava (feeling that the Self is all) or Brahma bhava (feeling that Brahman is all) by vicara (enquiry) and right thinking and meditation.
When an idea exclusively occupies the mind, a mental state or bhava, corresponding to the nature of the idea comes in. Think of your enemy – the inimical bhava will manifest. Think of mercy and universal love – prema (love) bhava or karuna (compassion) bhava will manifest. Think of universal service – seva (service) bhava will manifest. Think of Lord Krishna and his lilas – Krishna prema bhava will manifest. Feeling always accompanies thinking; it is like fire and heat – inseparable. – Swami Sivananda
June 7, 2013 Comments Off on SELFLESS ACTION
Karma yoga removes the impurities of the mind and prepares it for the reception of divine light, divine grace and divine knowledge. Service of humanity is service of God. Work always elevates when it is done in the right spirit, without attachment and egoism.
Karma yoga expands the heart, breaks all the barriers that stand in the way of realising the ultimate unity and takes you to the door of intuition. It helps you to develop divine virtues such as mercy, tolerance, kindness, cosmic love, patience, self-restraint, etc. It destroys jealousy, hatred, malice and the idea of superiority.
Karma yoga is the yoga of selfless action, without the idea of agency and without expectation of fruits. Work is worship of the Lord. There is indescribable joy in the practice of karma yoga.
A karma yogi should be absolutely free from greed, lust, anger and egoism. Only then can he do real and useful service. A karma yogi should have an amiable, loving nature. He should have perfect adaptability, tolerance, sympathy, cosmic love and mercy. He should be able to adjust himself to the ways and habits of others.
A karma yogi should have an all-embracing and all-inclusive heart. He should have equal-vision. He should have a cool and balanced mind. He should rejoice in the welfare of others. He should have all his senses under control. He should lead a very simple life.
A karma yogi should bear insult, disrespect, dishonour, censure, infamy, disgrace, harsh words, heat and cold and the pains of disease. He should have great power of endurance. He should have absolute faith in himself, in God, in the scriptures and in the words of his guru. Such a man is a good karma yogi and reaches the goal quickly.
The man who serves the world, really serves himself. This is an important point. When you serve a man, when you serve your country, always think that the Lord has given you a rare opportunity to improve. Correct and mould yourself by service. Be grateful to that man who has given you a chance to serve him.
– Swami Sivananda
May 25, 2013 Comments Off on PRACTISE KARMA YOGA
The practice of karma yoga does not demand that you possess enormous wealth. You can serve with your mind and body. If you find a poor sick man lying on the roadside, give him some water or milk to drink. Cheer him up with sweet encouraging words. Take him to the nearest hospital. If you do service like this, your heart will be purified. If anyone is suffering from pain in any part of the body, at once shampoo the part. When you massage him feel that you are shampooing the body of the Lord. As you do this, repeat your mantra, or any other name of the Lord. Also pray from the bottom of your heart: “O Lord! Remove the pain of this man. Let him rest in peace. Let him possess good health.”
When you massage any person feel that it is the energy from the cosmic source that is flowing continuously through your hands. Some neophytes are afraid that their energy will be depleted by massaging another person. This is a serious mistake. The more you give, the more you will get. You will be in tune with the cosmic energy. This is the divine law.
If you see a man or an animal with severe bleeding, on the road or anywhere, do not run hither and thither to find cloth to bandage them. At once tear a piece of cloth from your shirt and use that for bandaging. This is real karma yoga. This is a test to gauge your heart. How many of you have done such noble service? If you have not done it up till now – then do it from today.
God is more pleased with such service of the poor and the helpless, than with service done by rich people with pomp and vanity.
“Do as you would be done by” – remember this motto always. You will not do any wrong action. You will feel unbounded joy.
Never lose the opportunity to serve. Serve to the satisfaction of the person you are serving. It is not enough to serve him just to please yourself. Only by selfless service can you attain God-realisation.
If selflessness becomes the religion of the world, there will be heaven on earth. When work is done as worship of the Lord, it is transformed from karma into yoga. Cultivate cosmic love. Rekindle the light of love in the world. – Swami Sivananda
April 30, 2013 Comments Off on OBSTACLES AND REMEDY
Be wise. Discriminate. Analyse. Scrutinise your thoughts daily. Boldly proclaim: “I would devote my entire life to the service of others – no matter whether I achieve salvation or not. Salvation is not my concern. My duty is to serve the Lord in all; to serve the sick and the poor, untiringly; to saturate my entire being in the service of others.” This should be your bold proclamation at all times – to everyone with whom you come into contact.
Even while you work you should feel: “I am not hungry, it is the function of the prana to feel hungry. I do not see anything, it is the function of the eye to see. Exhilaration and depression belong to the mind, not to me. I am the witness (saksi of everything.” Through such regular vicara (ratiocination), you will soon attain samadhi (self-awareness).
A karma yogi must be a hero. He will come across many difficulties and obstacles – he must conquer them one by one. He must do this with an undaunted spirit; he must do it boldly.
There are five obstacles that a man has to face when he does karma yoga in the world, even after he has attained purity of heart. They are:
1. Dispassion wanes by contact with sense-objects – downfall comes.
2. Thoughts of the reality of the world creep in.
3. Remembrance of Brahman vanishes.
4. You cannot keep up the brahmakaravrtti (thought of Brahman) for a long time, owing to viksepa (tossing of the mind).
5. During work, the idea of duality and triputi (seer, sight, and seen) come in.
To become humbler than a blade of grass – this should be your ideal. Then you will develop patience, understanding, and you will have goodwill on all sides, from everyone. You should introspect in silence and solitude. Analyse points of criticism. Solitude will calm your emotions. The conclusions you arrive at will be sound.
Karma yogis should never let their emotions and excitement get the better of them. By following these instructions any action, sacred or secular, even if it is service of the family, may be converted into an act of worship leading to the most sublime goal of Self-realisation. – Swami Sivananda
April 25, 2013 Comments Off on LET GOD DO EVERYTHING
When the sadhaka (spiritual aspirant) has combined bhakti yoga and karma yoga, he feels that God does everything, that he is an instrument in the hands of God. Thus he slowly frees himself from the bonds of karma and attains freedom through action.
When the sadhaka combines jnana yoga with karma yoga he feels that prakrti (nature) does everything. He feels that he is the silent witness of the activities of the mind, the senses and the three states (waking, dream and deep sleep).
The karma yogi feels the indwelling presence everywhere. He develops adaptability, He shares all he has (physical, mental and spiritual) with others. He observes strict brahmacarya. He offers all his works unto the Lord. Before going to sleep he says: “O Lord, whatever I have done today, is done as worship of thee. May thou be pleased to accept it.” Thus he burns the fruits of action, and he is no longer bound.
The karma yogi attains freedom through action. Thus he gets purity of heart and, through purity of heart, he attains knowledge of the self.
Some aspirants are humble at the beginning of their career. But, when they get name, fame, some followers, some disciples, they become victims of pride. Now they cannot do any service, they cannot carry anything on their heads or even in their hands.
The yogi that carries the baggage with joy and feeling, amidst a multitude of admirers, without making any show of humility, must be admired.
“Restraining and subduing the senses, regarding everything equally, rejoicing in the welfare of all, these alone come to Me.” (Bhagavad Gita, Chapter XII, Verse 4). Such a man becomes a good karma yogi. He reaches the goal quickly. – Swami Sivananda