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"If God is everywhere, then He is also in you. You simply have to
The Master Speaks
Inspired Sayings of Sri Swami Rama
Sadhana Mandir Ashram
Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust
Throughout the highs and lows of life, whether bad times or good,
whether living in darkness or light, untruth or truth, sugar always
tastes sweet. So too can the sweet remembrance of the union called
Yoga be ever tasted.
By Adi Sankaracharya, 788-820 CE,
Translated by Swami Chinmayananda
Published by Chinmaya Mission, Mumbai
1. I am composing the ATMA-BODHA, this treatise of the Knowledge of
the Self, for those who have purified themselves by austerities and
are peaceful in heart and calm, who are free from cravings and are
desirous of liberation.
2. Just as the fire is the direct cause for cooking, so without
Knowledge no emancipation can be had. Compared with all other forms of
discipline Knowledge of the Self is the one direct means for liberation.
3. Action cannot destroy ignorance, for it is not in conflict with or
opposed to ignorance. Knowledge does verily destroy ignorance as light
destroys deep darkness.
4. The Soul appears to be finite because of ignorance. When ignorance
is destroyed the Self which does not admit of any multiplicity truly
reveals itself by itself: like the Sun when the clouds pass away.
5. Constant practice of knowledge purifies the Self (`Jivatman'),
stained by ignorance and then disappears itself – as the powder of the
`Kataka-nut' settles down after it has cleansed the muddy water.
6. The world which is full of attachments, aversions, etc., is like a
dream. It appears to be real, as long as it continues but appears to
be unreal when one is awake (i.e., when true wisdom dawns).
7. The Jagat appears to be true (Satyam) so long as Brahman, the
substratum, the basis of all this creation, is not realised. It is
like the illusion of silver in the mother-of pearl.
8. Like bubbles in the water, the worlds rise, exist and dissolve in
the Supreme Self, which is the material cause and the prop of everything.
9. All the manifested world of things and beings are projected by
imagination upon the substratum which is the Eternal All-pervading
Vishnu, whose nature is Existence-Intelligence; just as the different
ornaments are all made out of the same gold.
10. The All-pervading Akasa appears to be diverse on account of its
association with various conditionings (Upadhis) which are different
from each other. Space becomes one on the destruction of these
limiting adjuncts: So also the Omnipresent Truth appears to be diverse
on account of Its association with the various Upadhis and becomes one
on the destruction of these Upadhis.
11. Because of Its association with different conditionings (Upadhis)
such ideas as caste, colour and position are super-imposed upon the
Atman, as flavour, colour, etc., are super-imposed on water.
12. Determined for each individual by his own past actions and made up
of the Five elements – that have gone through the process of
"five-fold self-division and mutual combination" (Pancheekarana) – are
born the gross-body, the medium through which pleasure and pain are
experienced, the tent-of-experiences.
13. The five Pranas, the ten organs and the Manas and the Buddhi,
formed from the rudimentary elements (Tanmatras) before their
"five-fold division and mutual combination with one another"
(Pancheekarana) and this is the subtle body, the
instruments-of-experience (of the individual).
14. Avidya which is indescribable and beginningless is the Causal
Body. Know for certain that the Atman is other than these three
conditioning bodies (Upadhis).
15. In its identification with the five-sheaths the Immaculate Atman
appears to have borrowed their qualities upon Itself; as in the case
of a crystal which appears to gather unto itself colour of its
vicinity (blue cloth, etc.,).
16. Through discriminative self-analysis and logical thinking one
should separate the Pure self within from the sheaths as one separates
the rice from the husk, bran, etc., that are covering it.
17. The Atman does not shine in everything although He is
All-pervading. He is manifest only in the inner equipment, the
intellect (Buddhi): just as the reflection in a clean mirror.
18. One should understand that the Atman is always like the King,
distinct from the body, senses, mind and intellect, all of which
constitute the matter (Prakriti); and is the witness of their functions.
19. The moon appears to be running when the clouds move in the sky.
Likewise to the non-discriminating person the Atman appears to be
active when It is observed through the functions of the sense-organs.
20. Depending upon the energy of vitality of Consciousness (Atma
Chaitanya) the body, senses, mind and intellect engage themselves in
their respective activities, just as men work depending upon the light
of the Sun.
21. Fools, because they lack in their powers of discrimination
superimpose on the Atman, the Absolute-Existence-Knowledge (Sat-Chit),
all the varied functions of the body and the senses, just as they
attribute blue colour and the like to the sky.
22. The tremblings that belong to the waters are attributed through
ignorance to the reflected moon dancing on it: likewise agency of
action, of enjoyment and of other limitations (which really belong to
the mind) are delusively understood as the nature of the Self (Atman).
23. Attachment, desire, pleasure, pain, etc., are perceived to exist
so long as Buddhi or mind functions. They are not perceived in deep
sleep when the mind ceases to exist. Therefore they belong to the mind
alone and not to the Atman.
24. Just as luminosity is the nature of the Sun, coolness of water and
heat of fire, so too the nature of the Atman is Eternity, Purity,
Reality, Consciousness and Bliss.
25. By the indiscriminate blending of the two – the
Existence-Knowledge-aspect of the Self and the thought-wave of the
intellect – there arises the notion of "I know".
26. Atman never does anything and the intellect of its own accord has
no capacity to experience `I know'. But the individuality in us
delusorily thinks he is himself the seer and the knower.
27. Just as the person who regards a rope as a snake is overcome by
fear, so also one considering oneself as the ego (Jiva) is overcome by
fear. The ego-centric individuality in us regains fearlessness by
realising that It is not a Jiva but is Itself the Supreme Soul.
28. Just as a lamp illumines a jar or a pot, so also the Atman
illumines the mind and the sense organs, etc. These material-objects
by themselves cannot illumine themselves because they are inert.
29. A lighted-lamp does not need another lamp to illumine its light.
So too, Atman which is Knowledge itself needs no other knowledge to
30. By a process of negation of the conditionings (Upadhis) through
the help of the scriptural statement `It is not this, It is not this',
the oneness of the individual soul and the Supreme Soul, as indicated
by the great Mahavakyas, has to be realised.
31. The body, etc., up to the "Causal Body" – Ignorance – which are
objects perceived, are as perishable as bubbles. Realise through
discrimination that I am the `Pure Brahman' ever completely separate
from all these.
32. I am other than the body and so I am free from changes such as
birth, wrinkling, senility, death, etc. I have nothing to do with the
sense objects such as sound and taste, for I am without the sense-organs.
33. I am other than the mind and hence, I am free from sorrow,
attachment, malice and fear, for "HE is without breath and without
mind, Pure, etc.", is the Commandment of the great scripture, the
34. I am without attributes and actions; Eternal (Nitya) without any
desire and thought (Nirvikalpa), without any dirt (Niranjana), without
any change (Nirvikara), without form (Nirakara), ever-liberated (Nitya
Mukta) ever-pure (Nirmala).
35. Like the space I fill all things within and without. Changeless
and the same in all, at all times I am pure, unattached, stainless and
36. I am verily that Supreme Brahman alone which is Eternal, Pure and
Free, One, indivisible and non-dual and of the nature of
37. The impression "I am Brahman" thus created by constant practice
destroys ignorance and the agitation caused by it, just as medicine or
Rasayana destroys disease.
38. Sitting in a solitary place, freeing the mind from desires and
controlling the senses, meditate with unswerving attention on the
Atman which is One without-a-second.
39. The wise one should intelligently merge the entire
world-of-objects in the Atman alone and constantly think of the Self
ever as contaminated by anything as the sky.
40. He who has realised the Supreme, discards all his identification
with the objects of names and forms. (Thereafter) he dwells as an
embodiment of the Infinite Consciousness and Bliss. He becomes the Self.
41. There are no distinctions such as "Knower", the "Knowledge" and
the "Object of Knowledge" in the Supreme Self. On account of Its being
of the nature of endless Bliss, It does not admit of such distinctions
within Itself. It alone shines by Itself.
42. When this the lower and the higher aspects of the Self are well
churned together, the fire of knowledge is born from it, which in its
mighty conflagration shall burn down all the fuel of ignorance in us.
43. The Lord of the early dawn (Aruna) himself has already looted away
the thick darkness, when soon the sun rises. The Divine Consciousness
of the Self rises when the right knowledge has already killed the
darkness in the bosom.
44. Atman is an ever-present Reality. Yet, because of ignorance it is
not realised. On the destruction of ignorance Atman is realised. It is
like the missing ornament of one's neck.
45. Brahman appears to be a `Jiva' because of ignorance, just as a
post appears to be a ghost. The ego-centric-individuality is destroyed
when the real nature of the `Jiva' is realised as the Self.
46. The ignorance characterised by the notions `I' and `Mine' is
destroyed by the knowledge produced by the realisation of the true
nature of the Self, just as right information removes the wrong notion
about the directions.
47. The Yogi of perfect realisation and enlightenment sees through his
"eye of wisdom" (Gyana Chakshush) the entire universe in his own Self
and regards everything else as his own Self and nothing else.
48. Nothing whatever exists other than the Atman: the tangible
universe is verily Atman. As pots and jars are verily made of clay and
cannot be said to be anything but clay, so too, to the enlightened
soul and that is perceived is the Self.
49. A liberated one, endowed with Self-knowledge, gives up the traits
of his previously explained equipments (Upadhis) and because of his
nature of Sat-chit-ananda, he verily becomes Brahman like (the worm
that grows to be) a wasp.
50. After crossing the ocean of delusion and killing the monsters of
likes and dislikes, the Yogi who is united with peace dwells in the
glory of his own realised Self – as an Atmaram.
51. The self-abiding Jivan Mukta, relinquishing all his attachments to
the illusory external happiness and satisfied with the bliss derived
from the Atman, shines inwardly like a lamp placed inside a jar.
52. Though he lives in the conditionings (Upadhis), he, the
contemplative one, remains ever unconcerned with anything or he may
move about like the wind, perfectly unattached.
53. On the destruction of the Upadhis, the contemplative one is
totally absorbed in `Vishnu', the All-pervading Spirit, like water
into water, space into space and light into light.
54. Realise That to be Brahman, the attainment of which leaves nothing
more to be attained, the blessedness of which leaves no other blessing
to be desired and the knowledge of which leaves nothing more to be known.
55. Realise that to be Brahman which, when seen, leaves nothing more
to be seen, which having become one is not born again in this world
and which, when knowing leaves nothing else to be known.
56. Realise that to be Brahman which is
Existence-Knowledge-Bliss-Absolute, which is Non-dual, Infinite,
Eternal and One and which fills all the quarters – above and below and
all that exists between.
57. Realise that to be Brahman which is Non-dual, Indivisible, One and
Blissful and which is indicated in Vedanta as the Immutable
Substratum, realised after the negation of all tangible objects.
58. Deities like Brahma and others taste only a particle, of the
unlimited Bliss of Brahman and enjoy in proportion their share of that
59. All objects are pervaded by Brahman. All actions are possible
because of Brahman: therefore Brahman permeates everything as butter
60. Realise that to be Brahman which is neither subtle nor gross:
neither short nor long: without birth or change: without form,
qualities, colour and name.
61. That by the light of which the luminous, orbs like the Sun and the
Moon are illuminated, but which is not illumined by their light,
realise that to be Brahman.
62. Pervading the entire universe outwardly and inwardly the Supreme
Brahman shines of Itself like the fire that permeates a red-hot
iron-ball and glows by itself.
63. Brahman is other than this, the universe. There exists nothing
that is not Brahman. If any object other than Brahman appears to
exist, it is unreal like the mirage.
64. All that is perceived, or heard, is Brahman and nothing else.
Attaining the knowledge of the Reality, one sees the Universe as the
non-dual Brahman, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss-Absolute.
65. Though Atman is Pure Consciousness and ever present everywhere,
yet It is perceived by the eye-of-wisdom alone: but one whose vision
is obscured by ignorance he does not see It; as the blind do not see
the resplendent Sun.
66. The `Jiva' free from impurities, being heated in the fire of
knowledge kindled by hearing and so on, shines of itself like gold.
67. The Atman, the Sun of Knowledge that rises in the sky of the
heart, destroys the darkness of the ignorance, pervades and sustains
all and shines and makes everything to shine.
68. He who renouncing all activities, who is free of all the
limitations of time, space and direction, worships his own Atman which
is present everywhere, which is the destroyer of heat and cold, which
is Bliss-Eternal and stainless, becomes All-knowing and All-pervading
and attains thereafter Immortality.
Thus concludes Atma-Bodha.
"Start from a personal God, go to the God within, then to the
universal God, and finally beyond."
"The best of all knowledge, the greatest of all powers, comes from
The Master Speaks
Inspired Sayings of Sri Swami Rama
Sadhana Mandir Ashram
Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust
Frequently Asked Questions About Hatha-Yoga
1. Is Hatha-Yoga the only kind of Yoga there is?
Far from it. The Yoga tradition comprises many distinct approaches,
notably Râja-Yoga (the "royal" path of meditation), Jnâna-Yoga (the
path of discernment and wisdom), Karma-Yoga (the path of
self-transcending action), Bhakti-Yoga (the path of devotion), and
Tantra (the integrative path developed in the medieval era). See our
FAQ about Yoga in general.
2. What is the difference between contemporary Hatha-Yoga and
Traditional Hatha-Yoga is a pronouncedly spiritual tradition, that is,
it is concerned primarily with the goal of liberation, or
enlightenment. The various physical practices all serve to create a
healthy, vital body that can withstand the rigors of an ascetical
approach to life involving the awakening of the "serpent power"
(kundalinî-shakti). The contemporary schools of Western Hatha-Yoga, by
contrast, are mostly geared toward physical fitness, strength,
flexibility, or beauty. They tend to ignore traditional Yoga's
spiritual orientation nor its ethical foundations. The distinct
feature of traditional Hatha-Yoga is its attempt to create a
transubstantiated immortal body of energy through the mastery over the
five material elements.
3. How old is traditional Hatha-Yoga?
Probably, yogins and yoginis discovered the health benefits of certain
yogic practices (notably breath control) early on, though their focus
was always on the spiritual benefit gained from consistently engaging
those practices. It was not, however, until around 1000 A.D. that,
under the body-positive tradition of Tantra, practitioners of Yoga
formulated the tenets of Hatha-Yoga and also developed the postures
and breathing techniques into psychosomatic devices for
self-transformation. Previously, postures (âsana) were used
exclusively for the purpose of stabilizing the body during meditation,
and breath control (prânâyâma) was used in order to deepen the
4. Who invented traditional Hatha-Yoga?
Traditional authorities associate Hatha-Yoga with Goraksha Nâtha,
whose teacher is said to have been Matsyendra, even though the latter
appears to have lived many centuries earlier. Goraksha, the founder of
the Kânphata ("Split-Ear") sect, lived in the 10th to 11th century.
The texts attributed to him do not show the elaborate postural
technology of subsequent schools of Hatha-Yoga. Rather, he focused on
breath control as a major transformative tool.
5. Can contemporary Hatha-Yoga be considered authentic?
This is a difficult question to answer. It all depends on the school
or style. To the degree that a school or style honors and preserves
Yoga's general spiritual and ethical orientation, it is likely to be
authentic. In its best manifestations, contemporary Hatha-Yoga can be
viewed as a modern adaptation of traditional Hatha-Yoga. But then
there are also schools and approaches that have very little in common
with traditional Hatha-Yoga. Caveat emptor!
6. Is contemporary (Western) Hatha-Yoga as potent as traditional
The answer to this question again depends on which school or style one
is talking about. But contemporary Western Hatha-Yoga does not (yet)
appear to have given rise to great adepts like Matsyendra or Goraksha,
which does not mean that this could not happen in the future. Even
accomplished Hatha-Yoga masters like B. K. S. Iyengar, who does not
consider himself a realized adept (siddha), have so far not emerged in
7. Is it useful to practice contemporary Hatha-Yoga?
Of course. Just be very clear on what sort of Hatha-Yoga you are
practicing and what its inherent limitations are. If you are looking
for health, fitness, or strength, the contemporary styles of
Hatha-Yoga will not disappoint. If you are looking for spiritual
fulfillment, you must look more closely at a system and its teacher(s).
"Silence does not lie within the domain of your mind; silence lies
beyond your mind."
The Master Speaks
Inspired Sayings of Sri Swami Rama
Sadhana Mandir Ashram
Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust
Below is the Summary section of a paper entitled "An Indic
Contribution Towards an Understanding of the Word `Religion' and the
Concept of Religious Freedom," by Dr. Arvind Sharma of McGill
University (Montreal, Quebec, Canada). The paper was presented for the
Global Renaissance Conference Series in July 2002 in New York.
Dr. Sharma does a very good job of explaining the different ways in
which the word "religion" is used. If you are a practitioner of Yoga
or a teacher of any form of Yoga, you may find his explanations
extremely insightful. If you have ever asked, or been asked the
question, "Is Yoga a religion?" you will find his paper most useful,
although he is not directly discussing the question of Yoga itself.
The reason I have copied below only the Summary of his paper (rather
than the whole paper) is for brevity, so you can get an overview of
the topic. The whole paper is well worth reading in its entirety. As I
was exploring web links for Dr. Sharma's biography (so that I could
share it here), I ran into his personal blog, which also has a very
succinct comment about this topic; I have included that below as well.
In loving service,
Here is the link to the entire 36-page paper:
The article is linked from this page:
Dr. Arvind Sharma's personal website:
AN INDIC CONTRIBUTION TOWARDS AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE WORD "RELIGION"
AND THE CONCEPT OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
The word religion is now part of global discourse specially as it is
carried out through the medium of English. The word, however, is
Western in origin which raises the question: Does a Western word, when
used in global discourse, reflect the global religious reality or does
it in the process of reflecting it, also distort it? It is contended
in the paper that such in fact is the case—that when the word is used
to represent the religions of Indian origin, the religions of the Far
East and the indigenous religions—it in fact distorts reality. The
basis for making such a claim is the following.
The word "religion" came into secular use in the nineteenth century
and has since been freely used in the public sphere as if it were a
neutral word, which could be impartially applied to all the religions
of the world. However, the word embodies a certain concept of what
religion is and this concept is rooted in its Christian background. In
such a context the concept of religion implies that a religion is
something (1) conclusive; (2) exclusionary and (3) separative. In
other words, a religion, in order to qualify as such must hold that it
has the final truth (conclusive); that in order to obtain it one must
belong to it alone (exclusionary) and that in order to do so one must
separate oneself from any other, specially prior, affiliation
(separative). It is also separative in another sense: that religion
constitutes a part of life, separate from the rest of it—a sense
particularly pronounced in Christianity.
When this word was adopted in secular discourse these orientations of
the word were retained, with some modifications. The claim to
possessing the final truth by Christianity was extended to each
religion on its own, this process giving rise to the expression "truth
claim." The idea that the membership of a religion excluded that of
any other was retained, while the third constituent of the concept,
that of separation (between the sacred and the profane or the secular
and the religious) came to characterise one religion's separateness
from another more than anything else.
All the three orientations of the word religion as conclusive, as
exclusionary and as separative are in effect exclusivist in nature, a
word to be carefully distinguished from the word exclusionary which
has been used above in the sense of indicating the fact that the
formal membership one one religion must exclude such membership of
another. The conclusive element is exclusivist in the sense that only
the religion's own truth-claim is considered final, thereby excluding
such claims of other religions; the exclusionary element is obviously
exclusivistic and the claim that religions must be treated as separate
entities by themselves is also obviously exclusivistic.
Such an exclusivistic orientation however does not characterise the
Indic religious tradition or what we might also call the dharmic
tradition. The word Indic in this context needs to be carefully
distinguished from the word Indian. All religions found to exist in
India may be called Indian religions. Those religions among these
which are Indian in origin in their self-perception, namely, Hinduism,
Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism alone may be called Indic. 32
This Indic religious tradition tends to be non-exclusivistic. Each
component of it—Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism—tends to view
one's membership of it as a sufficient but not a necessary condition
for liberation. This attitude finds further expression in the fact
that these traditions tend to be non-proselytizing even when they
Such a non-exclusivistic attitude in terms of religion is not confined
to Indic religions but is shared by religions of the Far East. In
pre-Communist China it was common for people to view themselves as
both Confucian and Taoist in terms of religious commitment. The
example of present-day Japan is also relevant here. According to the
1985 census, 95% of the Japanese population declared itself as
followers of Shinto. Seventy-six per cent of the same population,
however, also simultaneously declared itself to be Buddhist. The
indigenous religions of the world—the American-Indian, the African and
so on—are also non-exclusivistic in their attitude to religion.
The use of the word religion, which carries exclusivistic overtones,
in these three contexts—of Indic religions, of the religions of the
Far East and of the indigenous religions, distorts their reality,
because it means that a word with an exclusivistic orientation is
being employed to describe "religious" traditions which are
One might still wonder, even if one accepts this point, as to how
consequential a point it is. Is it merely of academic interest or of
more than academic interest? I would like to urge that the use of
religion when applied as a blanket term to all the religions of the
world—both exclusivistic as well as non-exclusivistic in nature— when
the word itself has exclusivistic connotations, possesses significant
policy implications. For instance, it tilts the concept of religious
freedom in human rights discourse in favour of freedom to proselytize
which is more in keeping with an exclusivistic rather than a
non-exclusivistic concept of religion, thereby depriving the
non-exclusivistic religions of their religious freedom—which in their
case would consist of not being made the object of proselytization.
The formal recognition of such a right on their part would then
constitute an Indic contribution toward a truly global understanding
of the [word] religion.
Dr. Sharma wrote an additional comment on his blog on December 1,
2008; it is a clear, succinct summary.
8.) Indic and Western Concepts of Religion
December 1, 2008 by arvindsharma
During the period of the heavy interaction between India and the West
during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the West did not
succeed in converting Indians to Christianity on an appreciable scale.
This fact has obscured what it did achieve—it converted its
intelligentsia not to Christianity but to the Christian concept of
religion—not to the West's religion but to the West's concept of
religion. This concept of religion was employed by this intelligentsia
both during the period of British Raj and after, to describe the
Indian "religious" reality, which does not quite conform to it. Hence
its use to describe this reality, in the process of reflecting it,
also reshaped it. According to this Western concept of religion one
can only belong to one religion at a time, while the Indic concept of
religion permits multiple religious affiliation. This was doubly
unfortunate: It was unfortunate for the West failed to benefit by not
taking the Indic concept of religion into account in its
conceptualization of religion, a failure apparent in human rights
documents available in the West, abetting the charge that human rights
discourse is Western, and it was unfortunate for India: By forcing
Indian religious reality into a Western conceptual constraints it
thereby distorted it and exported to India the problems the Western
concept of religion had created in the West.
The reformulation of intellectual discourse in a way in which it takes
the Indic concept of religion as seriously as the Western might help
solve both the problems.
A total of 14 articles from the SwamiJ.com website have been
translated from English into Spanish as a most generous offering of
selfless service to others by Zulema Higueras from Chile. The articles
range in size from 1 page to 49 pages. The articles are all in pdf
format and can be downloaded from this page:
Please freely circulate these links to other readers of Spanish who
may enjoy and benefit from the articles. More translations are to come.
In loving service and with gratitude to Zulema,
Highlight from the article below: "The great secret of true success,
of true happiness, then, is this: the man who asks for no return, the
perfectly unselfish man, is the most successful.... Ask nothing; want
nothing in return. Give what you have to give; it will come back to
you — but do not think of that now, it will come back multiplied a
thousandfold — but the attention must not be on that. Yet have the
power to give: give, and there it ends."
WORK AND ITS SECRET
(Delivered at Los Angeles, California, January 4, 1900)
One of the greatest lessons I have learnt in my life is to pay as much
attention to the means of work as to its end. He was a great man from
whom I learnt it, and his own life was a practical demonstration of
this great principle I have been always learning great lessons from
that one principle, and it appears to me that all the secret of
success is there; to pay as much attention to the means as to the end.
Our great defect in life is that we are so much drawn to the ideal,
the goal is so much more enchanting, so much more alluring, so much
bigger in our mental horizon, that we lose sight of the details
But whenever failure comes, if we analyse it critically, in
ninety-nine per cent of cases we shall find that it was because we did
not pay attention to the means. Proper attention to the finishing,
strengthening, of the means is what we need. With the means all right,
the end must come. We forget that it is the cause that produces the
effect; the effect cannot come by itself; and unless the causes are
exact, proper, and powerful, the effect will not be produced. Once the
ideal is chosen and the means determined, we may almost let go the
ideal, because we are sure it will be there, when the means are
perfected. When the cause is there, there is no more difficulty about
the effect, the effect is bound to come. If we take care of the cause,
the effect will take care of itself. The realization of the ideal is
the effect. The means are the cause: attention to the means,
therefore, is the great secret of life. We also read this in the Gita
and learn that we have to work, constantly work with all our power; to
put our whole mind in the work, whatever it be, that we are doing. At
the same time, we must not be attached. That is to say, we must not be
drawn away from the work by anything else; still, we must be able to
quit the work whenever we like.
If we examine our own lives, we find that the greatest cause of sorrow
is this: we take up something, and put our whole energy on it —
perhaps it is a failure and yet we cannot give it up. We know that it
is hurting us, that any further clinging to it is simply bringing
misery on us; still, we cannot tear ourselves away from it. The bee
came to sip the honey, but its feet stuck to the honey-pot and it
could not get away. Again and again, we are finding ourselves in that
state. That is the whole secret of existence. Why are we here? We came
here to sip the honey, and we find our hands and feet sticking to it.
We are caught, though we came to catch. We came to enjoy; we are being
enjoyed. We came to rule; we are being ruled. We came to work; we are
being worked. All the time, we find that. And this comes into every
detail of our life. We are being worked upon by other minds, and we
are always struggling to work on other minds. We want to enjoy the
pleasures of life; and they eat into our vitals. We want to get
everything from nature, but we find in the long run that nature takes
everything from us — depletes us, and casts us aside.
Had it not been for this, life would have been all sunshine. Never
mind! With all its failures and successes, with all its joys and
sorrows, it can be one succession of sunshine, if only we are not caught.
That is the one cause of misery: we are attached, we are being caught.
Therefore says the Gita: Work constantly; work, but be not attached;
be not caught. Reserve unto yourself the power of detaching yourself
from everything, however beloved, however much the soul might yearn
for it, however great the pangs of misery you feel if you were going
to leave it; still, reserve the power of leaving it whenever you want.
The weak have no place here, in this life or in any other life.
Weakness leads to slavery. Weakness leads to all kinds of misery,
physical and mental. Weakness is death. There are hundreds of
thousands of microbes surrounding us, but they cannot harm us unless
we become weak, until the body is ready and predisposed to receive
them. There may be a million microbes of misery, floating about us.
Never mind! They dare not approach us, they have no power to get a
hold on us, until the mind is weakened. This is the great fact:
strength is life, weakness is death. Strength is felicity, life
eternal, immortal; weakness is constant strain and misery: weakness is
Attachment is the source of all our pleasures now. We are attached to
our friends, to our relatives; we are attached to our intellectual and
spiritual works; we are attached to external objects, so that we get
pleasure from them. What, again, brings misery but this very
attachment? We have to detach ourselves to earn joy. If only we had
power to detach ourselves at will, there would not be any misery. That
man alone will be able to get the best of nature, who, having the
power of attaching himself to a thing with all his energy, has also
the power to detach himself when he should do so. The difficulty is
that there must be as much power of attachment as that of detachment.
There are men who are never attracted by anything. They can never
love, they are hard-hearted and apathetic; they escape most of the
miseries of life. But the wall never feels misery, the wall never
loves, is never hurt; but it is the wall, after all. Surely it is
better to be attached and caught, than to be a wall. Therefore the man
who never loves, who is hard and stony, escaping most of the miseries
of life, escapes also its joys. We do not want that. That is weakness,
that is death. That soul has not been awakened that never feels
weakness, never feels misery. That is a callous state. We do not want
At the same time, we not only want this mighty power of love, this
mighty power of attachment, the power of throwing our whole soul upon
a single object, losing ourselves and letting ourselves be
annihilated, as it were, for other souls — which is the power of the
gods — but we want to be higher even than the gods. The perfect man
can put his whole soul upon that one point of love, yet he is
unattached. How comes this? There is another secret to learn.
The beggar is never happy. The beggar only gets a dole with pity and
scorn behind it, at least with the thought behind that the beggar is a
low object. He never really enjoys what he gets.
We are all beggars. Whatever we do, we want a return. We are all
traders. We are traders in life, we are traders in virtue, we are
traders in religion. And alas! we are also traders in love.
If you come to trade, if it is a question of give-and-take, if it is a
question of buy-and-sell, abide by the laws of buying and selling.
There is a bad time and there is a good time; there is a rise and a
fall in prices: always you expect the blow to come. It is like looking
at the mirrors Your face is reflected: you make a grimace — there is
one in the mirror; if you laugh, the mirror laughs. This is buying and
selling, giving and taking.
We get caught. How? Not by what we give, but by what we expect. We get
misery in return for our love; not from the fact that we love, but
from the fact that we want love in return. There is no misery where
there is no want. Desire, want, is the father of all misery. Desires
are bound by the laws of success and failure. Desires must bring misery.
The great secret of true success, of true happiness, then, is this:
the man who asks for no return, the perfectly unselfish man, is the
most successful. It seems to be a paradox. Do we not know that every
man who is unselfish in life gets cheated, gets hurt? Apparently, yes.
"Christ was unselfish, and yet he was crucified." True, but we know
that his unselfishness is the reason, the cause of a great victory —
the crowning of millions upon millions of lives with the blessings of
Ask nothing; want nothing in return. Give what you have to give; it
will come back to you — but do not think of that now, it will come
back multiplied a thousandfold — but the attention must not be on
that. Yet have the power to give: give, and there it ends. Learn that
the whole of life is giving, that nature will force you to give. So,
give willingly. Sooner or later you will have to give up. You come
into life to accumulate. With clenched hands, you want to take. But
nature puts a hand on your throat and makes your hands open. Whether
you will it or not, you have to give. The moment you say, "I will
not", the blow comes; you are hurt. None is there but will be
compelled, in the long run, to give up everything. And the more one
struggles against this law, the more miserable one feels. It is
because we dare not give, because we are not resigned enough to accede
to this grand demand of nature, that we are miserable. The forest is
gone, but we get heat in return. The sun is taking up water from the
ocean, to return it in showers. You are a machine for taking and
giving: you take, in order to give. Ask, therefore, nothing in return;
but the more you give, the more will come to you. The quicker you can
empty the air out of this room, the quicker it will be filled up by
the external air; and if you close all the doors and every aperture,
that which is within will remain, but that which is outside will never
come in, and that which is within will stagnate, degenerate, and
become poisoned. A river is continually emptying itself into the ocean
and is continually filling up again. Bar not the exit into the ocean.
The moment you do that, death seizes you.
Be, therefore, not a beggar; be unattached This is the most terrible
task of life! You do not calculate the dangers on the path. Even by
intellectually recognising the difficulties, we really do not know
them until we feel them. From a distance we may get a general view of
a park: well, what of that? We feel and really know it when we are in
it. Even if our every attempt is a failure, and we bleed and are torn
asunder, yet, through all this, we have to preserve our heart — we
must assert our Godhead in the midst of all these difficulties. Nature
wants us to react, to return blow for blow, cheating for cheating, lie
for lie, to hit back with all our might. Then it requires a
superdivine power not to hit back, to keep control, to be unattached.
Every day we renew our determination to be unattached. We cast our
eyes back and look at the past objects of our love and attachment, and
feel how every one of them made us miserable. We went down into the
depths of despondency because of our "love"! We found ourselves mere
slaves in the hands of others, we were dragged down and down! And we
make a fresh determination: "Henceforth, I will be master of myself;
henceforth, I will have control over myself." But the time comes, and
the same story once more! Again the soul is caught and cannot get out.
The bird is in a net, struggling and fluttering. This is our life.
I know the difficulties. Tremendous they are, and ninety per cent of
us become discouraged and lose heart, and in our turn, often become
pessimists and cease to believe in sincerity, love, and all that is
grand and noble. So, we find men who in the freshness of their lives
have been forgiving, kind, simple, and guileless, become in old age
lying masks of men. Their minds are a mass of intricacy. There may be
a good deal of external policy, possibly. They are not hot-headed,
they do not speak, but it would be better for them to do so; their
hearts are dead and, therefore, they do not speak. They do not curse,
not become angry; but it would be better for them to be able to be
angry, a thousand times better, to be able to curse. They cannot.
There is death in the heart, for cold hands have seized upon it, and
it can no more act, even to utter a curse, even to use a harsh word.
All this we have to avoid: therefore I say, we require superdivine
power. Superhuman power is not strong enough. Superdivine strength is
the only way, the one way out. By it alone we can pass through all
these intricacies, through these showers of miseries, unscathed. We
may be cut to pieces, torn asunder, yet our hearts must grow nobler
and nobler all the time.
It is very difficult, but we can overcome the difficulty by constant
practice. We must learn that nothing can happen to us, unless we make
ourselves susceptible to it. I have just said, no disease can come to
me until the body is ready; it does not depend alone on the germs, but
upon a certain predisposition which is already in the body. We get
only that for which we are fitted. Let us give up our pride and
understand this, that never is misery undeserved. There never has been
a blow undeserved: there never has been an evil for which I did not
pave the way with my own hands. We ought to know that. Analyse
yourselves and you will find that every blow you have received, came
to you because you prepared yourselves for it. You did half, and the
external world did the other half: that is how the blow came. That
will sober us down. At the same time, from this very analysis will
come a note of hope, and the note of hope is: "I have no control of
the external world, but that which is in me and nearer unto me, my own
world, is in my control. If the two together are required to make a
failure, if the two together are necessary to give me a blow, I will
not contribute the one which is in my keeping; and how then can the
blow come? If I get real control of myself, the blow will never come."
We are all the time, from our childhood, trying to lay the blame upon
something outside ourselves. We are always standing up to set right
other people, and not ourselves. If we are miserable, we say, "Oh, the
world is a devil's world." We curse others and say, "What infatuated
fools!" But why should we be in such a world, if we really are so
good? If this is a devil's world, we must be devils also; why else
should we be here? "Oh, the people of the world are so selfish!" True
enough; but why should we be found in that company, if we be better?
Just think of that.
We only get what we deserve. It is a lie when we say, the world is bad
and we are good. It can never be so. It is a terrible lie we tell
This is the first lesson to learn: be determined not to curse anything
outside, not to lay the blame upon any one outside, but be a man,
stand up, lay the blame on yourself. You will find, that is always
true. Get hold of yourself.
Is it not a shame that at one moment we talk so much of our manhood,
of our being gods — that we know everything, we can do everything, we
are blameless, spotless, the most unselfish people in the world; and
at the next moment a little stone hurts us, a little anger from a
little Jack wounds us — any fool in the street makes "these gods"
miserable! Should this be so if we are such gods? Is it true that the
world is to blame? Could God, who is the purest and the noblest of
souls, be made miserable by any of our tricks? If you are so
unselfish, you are like God. What world can hurt you? You would go
through the seventh hell unscathed, untouched. But the very fact that
you complain and want to lay the blame upon the external world shows
that you feel the external world — the very fact that you feel shows
that you are not what you claim to be. You only make your offence
greater by heaping misery upon misery, by imagining that the external
world is hurting you, and crying out, "Oh, this devil's world! This
man hurts me; that man hurts me! " and so forth. It is adding lies to
We are to take care of ourselves — that much we can do — and give up
attending to others for a time. Let us perfect the means; the end will
take care of itself. For the world can be good and pure, only if our
lives are good and pure. It is an effect, and we are the means.
Therefore, let us purify ourselves. Let us make ourselves perfect.
"The greatest of all churches and temples is the living human being."
The Master Speaks
Inspired Sayings of Sri Swami Rama
Sadhana Mandir Ashram
Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust
From Merging with Shiva
by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami
When your awareness is in superconsciousness, you see yourself as pure
life force flowing through people, through trees, through everything.
I have seen myself, in a certain state of samadhi, as pure life force
flowing through a jungle, through trees, through plants, through
water, through air. That is superconsciousness. It is so permanent. It
is so real. Nothing could touch it. Nothing could hurt it. In this
state we see the external world as a dream, and things begin to look
transparent to us. People begin to look transparent. This is
superconsciousness. When we look at a physical object and we begin to
see it scintillating in light as it begins to become transparent, this
is superconsciousness. It is a very beautiful and natural state to be in.
Occasionally, in deep meditation we see the head filled with an
intense light, and we know that that is the natural state of man. This
is superconsciousness: when we can look at another person and know
what he is thinking and how he is feeling and how his subconscious is
programmed. While we are looking at him, all of a sudden he can be
seen in a past life, or in the future, or in the eternity of the
moment. You are so naturally, without striving, in the superconscious
area of the mind. No technique can give you these experiences that you
unfold into as you walk the path toward merger. You come right into
them, and the experience is how you are. Occasionally, when you close
your eyes in meditation, you may see the face of your guru or some
divine being that possibly once lived on Earth, and now just the shell
of his subtle body remains vibrating in the ethers. You see
superconscious beings while in the superconscious area of the mind.
Occasionally you clairaudiently hear voices singing, music playing,
just as Beethoven heard his wonderful symphonies that he recorded like
a scribe. It is the superconscious mind again, so near, so real, so
And when you are in contemplation, so engrossed in the energies within
you -- within the physical body and the energy within that, and that
within that -- that you become totally engrossed in the peace of the
central source of all energy, that too is superconsciousness. Being on
the brink of Self Realization, having lost consciousness of the
physical body and of being a mind, you are only conscious of a vast,
bluish white light. You get into this through going into the clear
white light and out through the other side of it. Then you come into
pure consciousness. It is a vast, pure, pale bluish white light --
endless, endless inner space. It is just on the brink of the Absolute,
just on the brink of the fullness of Self Realization. When you are in
this beautiful, blissful state of pure consciousness, you are barely
conscious that you are there, because to have a consciousness of being
conscious, you have to be conscious of another thing.
These are some of the wonderful signposts on the path, all within your
immediate grasp in this life, just as the ability to play the vina or
the flute beautifully in this life is within your immediate grasp. It
takes practice, following the rules and then more practice.
India Bends Toward Yoga Regulation: The formation of the Indian Yoga
Association signals recognition of the need to create global standards
in yoga education.
After years of consultation with eminent yoga experts, India's
Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddhi and
Homeopathy (AYUSH), along with the Ministry of Health and Family
Welfare, has overseen the establishment of the Indian Yoga Association
(IYA), a self-regulatory body responsible for establishing standards
for accrediting yoga institutions, yoga curriculums and yoga therapy.
This recent development in India signals the first official government
sanctioning of efforts to regulate the tradition of yoga, and it is
appropriate that India, the motherland of yoga, and the Indian
government, which has become increasingly aware of the need to protect
and preserve its cultural heritage, should take this historical
initiative and lay a much needed foundation for establishing a
credible standard of yoga education and practice.
Perhaps more importantly, it is also the first time that
representatives from all the major lineages of yoga across India have
come together in search of a common regulatory goal.
This news, however, may not bode so well with yogis around the world.
Many practitioners and teachers of yoga might wonder just what this
means for yoga, their current status as teachers and institutions, and
their various yoga practices. It may be too early to tell, but the IYA
is already feeling pressure by those who feel that their approach to
yoga may be compromised by any standardization.
As Smt. Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani, Acharya of Ananda Ashram in
Pondicherry, India says; "No one can argue that the wild mushrooming
of Yoga Institutes and Yoga schools and the rapid proliferation of
so-called Yoga Teachers is truly alarming… Clearly, some
regularization, standardization, clarification, and accreditation is
the need of the hour."
How to do this will certainly be a challenge. The word `yoga' today
has taken on many new and often strange associations. There is much
debate, even in India, over what this ancient science is all about and
what it holds in store for those who engage in it.
First, and perhaps foremost, will be the task of defining the term
yoga. The measurement of the quality of yoga teachings will also
another hot topic of debate. As Dr. KD Sharma, former director of the
Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy, states: "Those
concerned with ensuring quality yoga education are well aware of the
difficulties of assessing and regulating this subject. [Yoga] is not
physical education… and hence, its value cannot be assessed by normal
academic measures. It is an Indian art and science, not a foreign
concept of physical training, and cannot be measured by the foreign
[Western] standards of education."
The board members of the Indian Yoga Association must also grapple
with the relevance of the age-old guru-chela (teacher-student)
relationship, as well as the significance of the paramparai (yoga
lineage) tradition, both of which have always been an integral part of
yoga's foundation but have become increasingly discounted by the
modern approach to yoga and its teaching. So has the relevance of the
very culture from which the teachings of yoga have sprung. These
issues and their significance to the future of yoga are no small
matters to consider.
Anyone who has ever been to India knows that the wheels of Indian
bureaucracy turn slowly. With much at stake, and under the direction
of a group of eminent masters who have dedicated their lives to the
preservation and propagation of this ancient science of life, these
decisions are not likely to come easily, nor quickly.
The Founding Members of the IYA are:
Dr. B.K. S. Iyengar (Pune); Shri. O.P. Tiwari (Kaivalyadhama,
Lonavala); Dr. H.R. Nagendra (VYASA, Banglore); Dr. S.P. Mishra
(Haridwar), Smt. Hansa Jayadev (Yoga Institute, Mumbai); Shri. S.
Shridharan (Krishnamacharya Yoga Institute, Chennai); Smt. Meenakshi
Devi Bhavanani (ICYER, Puducherry); Shri. Shrdhalu Ranade (Aurobindo
Ashram, Puducherry); Dr. Swami Ananta Bharti (Swami Rama Ashram,
Delhi); Dr. K.Krishna Bhat (Manglore University, Manglore); Dr. Ishwar
Bharadwaj (Haridwar); Dr. M.Venkanta Reddy (Hydrabad); Swami
Mangaltirtham (Bihar School of Yoga, Munger); Dr. Swami
Shankaranandaji (Munger); Swami Dharmanand (Delhi); Dr. Anil Singhal
(Himalayan Institute of Yoga, Deheradun)
"The sun, the moon, the stars, and all the lights that you can imagine
in the entire external world are but fragments of that one great Light
that is within you."
The Master Speaks
Inspired Sayings of Sri Swami Rama
Sadhana Mandir Ashram
Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust
DHARMA AND SECTARIANISM
by S.N. Goenka
Friends, seekers of peace and harmony:
Everyone seeks peace. Everyone seeks harmony. Life is full of misery,
misery of one kind or another, due to this reason or that reason.
There is misery everywhere. How can we come out of misery? How can we
live peaceful, harmonious lives, good for ourselves and good for others?
The sages, saints and seers of India the wise, enlightened ones asked:
"Why is there misery?" and "Is there a way out of misery?" There are
innumerable apparent reasons why there is misery. But we cannot come
out of misery by eradicating these apparent reasons. The real cause of
misery lies deep within ourselves. And unless this deep-rooted cause
of misery is eradicated, we can never experience real peace, real
harmony or real happiness.
How can we eradicate the deep-rooted cause of misery within ourselves?
Everyone who was wise and enlightened realized that the only way to
eradicate misery was by following the path of Dharma. If one lives the
life of Dharma, one is definitely coming out of misery. Dharma and
misery cannot co-exist. But the difficulty came when, after a few
centuries, people forgot what Dharma was. When one does not understand
the real meaning of Dharma, how can one apply Dharma in life?
Two thousand years ago in India, there were two distinct traditions.
One tradition gave importance to the purity of Dharma. The other gave
importance to sectarian rites, rituals, religious ceremonies, external
appearances, and so on. In those days the tradition of pure Dharma was
quite strong, but slowly it became weaker and weaker, and eventually
vanished from India. What was left had no trace of pure Dharma. It is
very unfortunate that we have lost Dharma. When one speaks of Dharma
in today's India, the question that arises in the audience's mind is:
"Which Dharma? Hindu-dharma, Buddhist-dharma, Jain-dharma,
Christian-dharma, Muslim-dharma, Sikh-dharma, Parsi-dharma, or
Jewish-dharma? Which Dharma?"
It is a great pity that we have totally forgotten pure Dharma. How can
Dharma be Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jain, Parsi, or Sikh? This is
impossible. If Dharma is pure Dharma, it is universal. It cannot be
sectarian. Sectarian rites and rituals differ from one sect to
another. The so-called "Hindu-dharma" has its own rites, rituals and
religious ceremonies; its own beliefs, dogmas, and philosophies; and
its own external appearances, and disciplines, such as fasting. It is
the same with the Muslim-dharma, Christian-dharma, Sikh-dharma, and so
on. But Dharma has nothing to do with all these. Sectarianism is
divisive. Dharma is universal: it unites.
The meaning of Dharma in the ancient language of India has been lost.
Unfortunately, our country has lost the bulk of its ancient literature
and scriptures. This literature was preserved and is still being
maintained in the neighbouring countries. When we study these writings
it becomes so clear what the people of this country meant by Dharma in
ancient times. The definition was "Dharet¨ ti dharma"—what one holds,
what one contains, is Dharma. This means what one's mind is holding,
what one's mind is containing, at this moment. These contents may be
wholesome thoughts, or unwholesome thoughts. In the language of those
days, wholesome thoughts were called kuoala-dharma, and unwholesome
thoughts were called akuoala-dharma. We find that these two words were
used for a long time in our ancient literature. Kuoala-dharma and
akuoala-dharma are both Dharma. What one's mind contains at this
moment is Dharma—"Dharet¨ ti dharma."
Two other words that occur in the ancient literature are arya-dharma
and anarya-dharma. As the centuries passed, the real meaning of these
words has been lost. Today the word arya is used for a particular race
of human beings. In the India of those days, this meaning was nowhere
to be found. trya had nothing to do with a race of human beings.
Rather, it meant one who has a pure mind one who is a noble person, a
saintly person; one who has eradicated all the impurities of the mind.
Such a one was called an arya. One who lives the life of negativity,
impurity, and generates anger, hatred, ill will, or animosity, was
called anarya. So anybody whose mind contained purity was called arya,
and anybody whose mind contained impurity was called anarya.
Words like Hindu-dharma, Buddhist-dharma or Jain-dharma, were never
used in our ancient literature. Other sects came much later, but even
when these three were there, nobody used these words. The words
kuoala-dharma and akuoala-dharma were used. Slowly, after a few
centuries, another division came: kuoala-dharma (wholesome Dharma) was
called dharma, and akuoala-dharma (unwholesome Dharma) was called adharma.
In the ancient scriptures, there was another definition of the word
dharma: the nature or characteristic of what the mind contains,
whether wholesome or unwholesome. What is the characteristic of the
contents of one's mind? This was called dharma. Its nature, its
characteristic was called dharma. In Indian languages today, we still
hear an echo of this meaning when someone says: "The dharma of fire is
to burn." The nature of fire is to burn itself and to burn others.
Similarly, we can say that the dharma of ice is to create coolness.
This is the nature of ice.
What do these universal characteristics have to do with Hinduism? What
have they to do with Buddhism, or Christianity, Islam, Jainism or
Sikhism? Fire burns; ice cools. This is a universal law of nature. If
fire does not burn itself and others, it cannot be fire. If it is
fire, then its characteristic must be to burn itself and to burn
others. The dharma of the sun is to give light and heat. If it does
not give light and heat, it cannot be the sun. The dharma of the moon
is to give a soft, cool light. This is the dharma, the nature of the
moon. If it does not do that, it is not the moon.
This was how the word dharma was used in those days. If the contents
of my mind are unwholesome for example, if I am generating anger,
hatred, ill will, or animosity at this moment then the nature of these
negativities is to burn. They will burn me. The vessel containing the
fire is the fire's first victim; then this fire and its heat start
spreading to the environment around it.
It is the same when there is negativity in the mind. One who contains
this negativity, who generates this negativity, is the first victim.
He or she becomes very miserable. How can you expect peace, harmony
and happiness, if you are generating anger? This is totally against
the law of nature. That means it is totally against Dharma, which is
the universal law of nature. If, knowingly or unknowingly, I place my
hand in fire, my hand is bound to burn. The fire does not
discriminate. It does not notice whether the hand belongs to a person
who calls himself or herself a Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jain, Sikh or
Parsi, or an Indian, American, Russian or Chinese. There is no
difference, no discrimination, no partiality; Dharma is Dharma.
In the same way, when my mind is generating purity, the negativities
are eradicated. According to the law of nature, when the mind is pure,
it is full of love, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity. This
is the nature of a pure mind. This pure mind may belong to a Hindu or
a Christian, or it may belong to an Indian or a Pakistani: it makes no
difference at all. If the mind is pure, it must have these qualities.
And when the mind is full of love, compassion, goodwill and
equanimity, then again, the universal law is such that these contents
of the mind have their own nature, their own Dharma. They give so much
peace, so much harmony, so much happiness. One may keep calling
oneself by any name. He may keep performing this rite or that ritual,
this religious ceremony or that religious ceremony. He may have this
external appearance or that external appearance. He may believe in
this philosophy or that philosophy. It makes no difference at all.
Dharma is Dharma.
The moment you defile your mind, the moment you generate any
negativity, nature starts punishing you then and there. The punishment
doesn't wait until after death. Whatever happens after death will
happen then. But what happens now? Anybody who generates anger now
will experience nothing but unhappiness and misery. This person may
have any name, may be from any caste, from any community, from any
sect or from any country: it makes no difference at all. Because one
has generated negativity, one is bound to suffer here and now.
Similarly, when you generate purity of mind, when your mind is full of
good qualities such as love, compassion and goodwill, nature starts
rewarding you here and now. You won't have to wait until the end of
your life you start getting the rewards of a pure mind now. When your
mind is full of love, full of compassion, you start experiencing so
much peace, harmony and happiness. This is Dharma. It has nothing to
do with sectarianism.
Someone who calls himself a very staunch Hindu, a staunch Muslim, a
staunch Christian or a staunch Sikh, may be a very good Dharmic
person, or may not have any trace of Dharma. Sectarian rites and
rituals, sectarian beliefs or philosophies, sectarian religious
ceremonies and outward appearances have nothing to do with Dharma.
Dharma is totally different. Dharma means what your mind contains now.
If what it contains is wholesome, it rewards you. If it is
unwholesome, it punishes you.
If this understanding of Dharma becomes more and more prevalent in
Indian society, as it was twenty-five centuries ago, then the country
will be more peaceful because its people will be more peaceful.
Everyone will give importance to whether or not he or she is a Dharmic
person. That means, is one keeping one's mind pure, free from
impurities, free from negativities? If you keep generating anger,
hatred, ill will, animosity and other negativities, you are not a
Dharmic person. You may perform some rite or ritual. You may go to a
temple and bow before a particular idol, or to a mosque to recite a
namaz. You may go to a church to say prayers, or to a gurudwara to
chant kirtans. Or you may go to a pagoda and pay respect to the statue
of Buddha. These do not help at all.
When you generate negativity in your mind, you may blame various
outside reasons for your misery. You may find fault with others. You
may be under the wrong impression that you are miserable because
so-and-so abused or insulted you, or because something which you
wanted has not happened, or because something that you did not want
has happened. You remain deluded for your whole life that you are
miserable because of these apparent external reasons. Because Dharma
was lost to the country, we have forgotten to go deep inside to find
the real cause of misery.
Suppose someone abuses me, and I become miserable. Between these two
events, something very important happens inside me. But that link
remains unknown to me. When somebody abuses me, I start generating
anger and hatred; I start reacting with negativity. Only then do I
become miserable, not before. The reason I am miserable is not because
somebody has abused me, nor because something unwanted has happened.
Rather, it is because I am reacting to these outside things. This is
the real cause of my misery. You cannot understand this by listening
to discourses such as this, by reading scriptures, by
intellectualizing or accepting it at the emotional or devotional
level. The real understanding of Dharma can only come when you start
experiencing it within yourself.
To illustrate this point: suppose by mistake I have placed my hand in
fire. The law of nature is such that the fire starts burning my hand.
I take my hand away because I don't like being burned. The next time,
I again make a mistake and put my hand in the fire. Again, my hand
gets burned, and again I take my hand back. I may do this once, twice,
or three times, and then I start to understand: "This is fire, and the
nature of fire is to burn. So I had better not touch the fire." This
becomes a lesson, and I begin to understand at the experiential level
that I must keep my hand away from fire.
In a similar way, one can learn how to practice Dharma using a
technique which was very common in ancient India. To learn Dharma
means to observe the reality within oneself. The word that was used
for this was "Vipassana," which means "to observe reality in a special
way." This means to observe reality in the right way, the correct way,
to observe it as it is not just as it appears to be, not just as it
seems to be, not coloured by any belief or philosophy, not coloured by
any imagination but to observe it by working in a scientific way.
For example, when anger has arisen, you observe the reality that anger
has arisen. Cutting yourself off from the external object of anger,
you simply observe anger as anger, hatred as hatred; or passion as
passion, ego as ego. You observe any impurity that has arisen on the
mind. You simply observe it, observe it objectively, without
identifying yourself with that particular negativity.
It is very difficult to observe objectively. When anger arises, it is
like a volcanic eruption, and we get overpowered by it. When we are
overpowered by anger, we cannot observe anger. Instead, we perform all
the vocal and physical actions which we did not want to perform. And
then we keep repenting: "I should not have done this. I should not
have reacted in this way." But the next time a similar situation
occurs, we will react in the same way, because we have not experienced
the truth within ourselves.
If you learn this technique of observing the reality within yourself,
then you will notice that, as anger arises in the mind, two things
start happening simultaneously at the physical level. At a gross level
at the level of your breath you will notice that, as soon as anger,
hatred, ill will, passion, ego, or any impurity arises in the mind,
your breath loses its normality. It cannot remain normal. It will
become abnormal slightly hard, slightly fast. And once that particular
negativity has gone away, you will notice that your breath becomes
normal. It is no longer fast, no longer hard. This happens in the
physical structure at a gross level.
Something also happens at a subtler level, because mind and matter are
so interrelated. One keeps influencing the other, and getting
influenced by the other. This interaction is continuously happening
within ourselves, day and night. At a subtler level a biochemical
reaction starts within the physical structure. An electromagnetic
reaction starts and, if you are a good Vipassana meditator, you will
notice: "Look, anger has arisen." And then what happens? There is heat
throughout the body; there is palpitation; there is tension throughout
One need not do anything except observe. Do nothing; just observe.
Don't try to push out your anger. Don't try to push out the signs of
the anger. Just observe, just observe. Continue to observe, and you
will notice that the anger becomes weaker and weaker, and passes away.
If you suppress it, then it goes deep into the subconscious level of
your mind. When it is suppressed, it does not pass away.
Whenever misery comes, we think that the cause of this misery is
something outside, and we make a great effort to rectify external
things: "So-and-so is misbehaving. I am unhappy because of this
person's misbehaviour. When this person stops misbehaving, I will be a
very happy person." We want to change this person. Is this possible?
Can we change others? Well, even if we succeed in changing one person,
what guarantee is there that somebody else will not appear, who will
again go totally against our desires? It is impossible to change the
entire world. The saints and sages, enlightened people, discovered the
way out: change yourself. Let anything happen outside, but do not
react. Observe the truth as it is. But when we don't know the
technique of observing ourselves the technique of self-realization,
the technique of truth-realization then we can't work out our own
For example, you may try to divert your attention. You are very
miserable and you can't change the other person or the outside
situation, so you try to divert your mind. You go to a cinema or a
theatre, or worse, to a bar or gambling casino, to divert your
attention. For awhile you may feel that your misery is gone. This is
an illusion: you have not come out of your misery; it is still there.
You have merely diverted your attention, and the misery has gone deep
inside. Time and time again it will erupt and overpower you. You have
not come out of your misery.
There is another way of diverting the mind, this time in the name of
religion. You go to a temple, a mosque, a gurudwara, or a pagoda, to
chant or pray. Your mind will be diverted, and you may feel quite
happy. But again, this is an escape. You are not facing your problem.
This was not the Dharma of ancient India.
We have to face the problem. When misery arises in the mind, face it.
By observing it objectively, you go to the deepest cause of misery. If
you can learn to observe the deepest cause of misery, you will find
that layers of this deep-rooted cause start getting eradicated. As
layer after layer gets peeled off, you start to be relieved of your
misery. You have neither suppressed your negativity, nor expressed it
at the vocal or physical level and harmed others. You have observed
it. Doing nothing, you have just observed.
This is a wonderful technique of India. Unfortunately, our country
lost it because we lost the real meaning of the word dharma. Now these
crutches, these scaffoldings of Hindu-dharma, Buddhist-dharma,
Jain-dharma and Muslim-dharma have become predominant for us. When we
say Hindu-dharma, then Hindu is predominant for us. Poor Dharma
recedes behind the curtain into the darkness. Dharma has no value,
because Hindu is more important. When we say Muslim-dharma, Muslim is
important. When we say Buddhist-dharma, Buddhist is important;
Jain-dharma, Jain is important. It's as if Dharma is not an entity of
its own. But what a great entity Dharma is! It is the law of nature,
the eternal truth; and we are missing it when we give prominence to
these false scaffoldings, crutches. We are forgetting the real essence
When someone starts giving importance to Hindu-dharma, he never gives
importance to Dharma. Hindu-dharma and all the rites, rituals,
ceremonies and appearances become more important for this person. He
performs them and feels that he is a very Dharmic person. Similarly,
if one gives importance to Muslim-dharma, Sikh-dharma, or
Buddhist-dharma, one feels that he is a very Dharmic person. This
person may not have even a trace of Dharma, because all the time his
mind is full of impurity, full of negativity. What a great delusion it
is when one feels that he is a Dharmic person because he has performed
his rite or ritual; because he has gone to this temple or to that
mosque; because he has gone to this church or to that gurudwara;
because he has recited this or recited that. What has happened to us?
Where is this sectarianism leading us? Far away from Dharma!
The yardstick of Dharma should be: "Is my mind getting purified or
not?" There is nothing wrong with performing a particular rite,
ritual, or religious ceremony. There is nothing wrong with going to a
mosque or a temple. But one should keep examining oneself to see: "Is
my mind getting purified by performing all these rites, rituals and
ceremonies? Am I getting liberated from anger, hatred, ill will,
animosity, passion, ego?" If so, then yes, they are very good.
If no improvement is coming, then one sees that he is just deluding
himself, fooling himself: "Even if my mind appears to be purified for
a short time, I am deluding myself, because I have not come out of my
misery, my impurities. My impurities lie at the deepest unconscious
level of my mind. That is the storehouse of my impurities." We carry
this storehouse from life to life, from life to life. And we either
give more input, more impurities, or we remove them.
Mostly we keep giving more and more input, and therefore we become
more and more miserable. How can we purify the deepest level of the
mind? We can purify the surface of the mind to some extent by
intellectualizing, or by devotional or emotional beliefs. But to take
out the impurities from the deepest level of the mind, we have to work
and work in the way that nature wants us to work. The law of nature
says that whenever we generate any impurity, the source of the
impurity lies at the deepest level of our mind. And the deepest level
of our mind is constantly in contact with body sensations.
Day and night, whether you are asleep or awake, the deepest level of
your mind (the so-called "unconscious") is never unconscious: it is
always feeling sensations on the body. Whenever there is a pleasant
sensation, it will react with craving raga, raga. Whenever there is an
unpleasant sensation, it will react with aversion 'dvesha', 'dvesha'.
Craving, aversion, craving, aversion: this has become the behaviour
pattern of the mind deep inside. Twenty-four hours a day, day and
night, every moment there are sensations in the body deep inside, and
at the deepest level the mind keeps reacting. It has become a slave of
its own behaviour pattern. Unless we break that slavery, how can we
come out of our misery? We will be just deluding ourselves by trying
to purify the surface of the mind, while we forget the deep root. As
long as the roots are impure, the mind can never become pure.
Vipassana is a technique of India. Laudable references to Vipassana
are given in the Rig Veda. The most ancient literature of this country
is full of words of praise for Vipassana:
Yo viovabhih vipaoyati bhuvanah
sanca paoyati sa na paroadati dvioah.
One who practices Vipassana in a perfect way_sanca paoyati, sa na
paroadati dvioah_comes out of all aversion and anger; the mind becomes
But one has to practice it oneself. If you just keep reciting this
verse of the `g Veda, how is this going to help? Suppose you keep
reciting: "The cake is very sweet; the cake is very sweet." How can
you taste the sweetness of the cake unless you put it in your mouth?
The practice of Dharma is more important than merely accepting Dharma
at the intellectual, emotional or devotional level. And this practice
In ancient days, Vipassana was everywhere in India. A traveller came
from Burma then. Travelling the whole country, he found that in every
household people were practicing Vipassana. He visited different
households, rich and poor, and found that not only the husband, wife
and children, but even the servants were practicing Vipassana every
morning and evening. And everywhere there was talk of Vipassana,
because people were getting benefit from it. Over time, unfortunately,
in this country we became involved in rites, rituals and religious
ceremonies and forgot this scientific understanding of Dharma.
Dharma is nothing but a pure science, a super-science of mind and
matter: the interaction of mind and matter, the cross-currents and the
under-currents happening deep inside every moment. Things are
happening inside every moment, but we remain extroverted, giving
importance to things outside. Say somebody has abused me, and I don't
have this practice of observing what is happening within myself: I
become angry and start shouting. What am I doing?
When someone is abusing me, it is that person's problem, not mine. If
they are abusing, it means that they are generating negativity in the
mind. This person is a sick person, an unhappy person, a miserable
person when he is generating anger and shouting. Why should I generate
anger? Why should I shout and make myself miserable? This
understanding cannot come unless you have experienced it. It is like
the experience when you touch fire and learn not to touch it again. It
happens once, twice, several times, and then you learn not to touch
fire again. Similarly, you can develop the ability to observe what is
happening inside. Anger has arisen and you will immediately notice
that there is fire, and it has started burning you: "Look, I am
burning! I don't like burning. Next time I will be more careful." Or,
"Oh no, here is anger. If I generate anger, I'll burn." By mistake you
have again generated anger; again you observe it. Again you generate
anger, and again you observe it. After a few experiences, you start
coming out of it.
But when you are not observing the reality within yourself, then you
give all importance to the apparent external cause of your misery,
trying to rectify that. For example, a mother-in-law says: "Our
household is a real hell now." If you ask her the reason, she says:
"It is all because of this daughter-in-law. What a daughter-in-law has
come into our house! She is so modernized. She goes totally against
all our traditions and beliefs! She has spoiled the entire harmony of
the household." If you talk to the daughter-in-law, she will say: "The
old lady should change a little. She doesn't understand that there is
a generation gap. The times are changing. Why doesn't she understand?
She is making herself and everybody else miserable." The
daughter-in-law wants the mother-in-law to change. The mother-in-law
wants the daughter-in-law to change. The father wants the son to
change. The son wants the father to change. This brother wants the
other brother to change. The other brother wants this brother to change.
"I won't change. I am perfectly all right. Nothing in me needs
changing!" We never see within ourselves that we are not perfectly all
right, that we are the cause of our own misery. The basic problem lies
within ourselves, not outside. We start realizing this at the
experiential level by practicing Vipassana. It is very difficult to
observe abstract anger. Even for a Vipassana meditator, it takes a
long time before one reaches the stage where one can observe abstract
anger, or abstract passion, abstract fear, abstract ego. It is very
When anger arises, along with it, a sensation starts in the body.
Along with anger, the breath also becomes abnormal. You can observe
this. Even in ten days you can learn this technique. By coming to a
Vipassana course and working properly, you can understand how to
observe the breath. Perhaps anger has come, and you can't observe
abstract anger, but you can observe your breath: "Look, the breath is
coming in and going out." This is not a breathing exercise. You just
observe the breath as it is; if it is shallow, it is shallow; if it is
deep, it is deep; if it passes through the left nostril, then the left
nostril; through the right nostril, then the right nostril. You simply
observe it. Or perhaps there is heat throughout the body, or
palpitation, or tension. You just observe them. It is easy. These
things become easy to observe if you practice even for one or two
To observe anger as anger, or hatred as hatred, or passion as passion,
is very difficult. It takes time. That is why the wise people, the
enlightened people, the saints and seers of India advised: "Observe
yourself." Observing oneself is a path of self-realization,
truth-realization; one can even say "God-realization," because after
all, truth is God. What else is God? The law is God, nature is God.
And when one is observing that law; one is observing Dharma. Whatever
is happening within you, you are just a silent observer, not reacting.
As you observe objectively, you have started taking the first step to
understand Dharma; the first step towards practicing Dharma in life.
By practicing Dharma, you won't run away from external activities like
going to this or that temple, or performing this or that rite or
ritual. But at the same time as you are doing these things, you will
start observing the reality pertaining to your mind at that moment:
"What is happening in my mind at this moment? Whatever is happening in
my mind from moment to moment, this is more important for me than
anything that is happening outside." You will start to notice how are
you reacting to things outside. Whenever you react, this reaction
becomes a source of misery for you. If you learn not to react but
simply to observe, you will come out of the suffering. Of course it
takes time. One does not become perfect immediately, but a beginning
Let a beginning be made to understand Dharma. Dharma is free from all
sectarian beliefs, dogmas, rites and rituals. Even sectarian names are
not necessary. You may or may not call yourself a Hindu or a Muslim,
but you should be a Dharmic person, a person living the life of
Dharma. This means that your mind should remain pure. If your mind
remains pure, then all your other actions, vocal or physical, will
naturally become pure.
Mind is the base. When the mind is impure, full of negativities, then
our vocal actions are bound to be impure, and our physical actions are
bound to be impure. We have started harming ourselves. We have started
harming others. As I said, when you generate anger, or hatred, or ill
will, you are the first victim of your negativity. You become very
miserable, and the misery that you generate because of your negativity
starts to permeate the atmosphere around you. The entire environment
around you becomes so tense. Anyone who comes in contact with you at
that time becomes tense, miserable. You are distributing your misery
to others. This is what you have, and you keep distributing it to
others. You are making yourself miserable, and you are making others
On the other hand, if you learn the art of Dharma, this means the art
of living, and you stop generating negativity, you start experiencing
peace and harmony within yourself. When you keep your mind pure, full
of love and compassion, the peace and harmony that is generated within
permeates the atmosphere around you. Anyone who comes in contact with
you at that time starts experiencing peace and harmony. You are
distributing something good that you have. You have peace, you have
harmony, you have real happiness, and you are distributing this to
others. This is Dharma, the art of living.
In ancient India, Dharma was nothing but an art of living, the art of
how to live peacefully and harmoniously within, and how to generate
nothing but peace and harmony for others. And to achieve that, proper
training was given. There were Vipassana meditation centres in
practically every village. Vipassana centres were everywhere, as were
yoga schools, yoga colleges and yoga hospitals. They were a part of
life. Students used to learn this art in their schooling. Practicing
it, they lived good lives, healthy lives, harmonious lives.
May that era come again. May people understand what Dharma is. May you
be released from the demons, the devils, of sectarianism and
communalism which make you forget all about Dharma. May you come out
of this suffering. May you live a real life of Dharma, so peaceful,
harmonious and happy for you and so peaceful, harmonious and happy for
May all of you who have come to this Dharma talk find time to spare
ten days of your life to learn this technique. You will get the
benefits here and now. It is not necessary for you to convert yourself
from one organized religion to another organized religion, from one
sect to another sect. Let a Hindu keep calling him or herself Hindu
for the whole life. Let a Christian keep calling himself Christian for
the whole life a Muslim, Muslim; a Sikh, Sikh; a Buddhist, Buddhist.
But one should become a good Hindu. One should become a good Muslim, a
good Christian, a good Sikh, a good Buddhist. One should become a good
human being. Dharma teaches you how to become a good human being, how
to live a good life, a happy life, a harmonious life.
May all of you get trained in this wonderful technique. Come out of
your misery and enjoy real peace, real harmony, real happiness. Real
happiness to you all. Real happiness to you all.
A 6-part series for PBS and BBC entitled "The Story of India" begins
showing on US television on January 5, 2009.
Here is the PBS website describing the series:
Here is a direct link to the PBS schedule for the series:
At the bottom of the page is another link where you can enter your zip
code to find the exact schedule for your area.
Synopsis of the series from PBS:
The world's largest democracy and a rising economic giant, India is
now as well known across the globe for its mastery of computer
technology as it is for its many-armed gods and its famous spiritual
traditions. But India is also the world's most ancient surviving
civilization, with unbroken continuity back into prehistory.
Like other great civilizations—Greece or Egypt, for example—over the
millennia it has enjoyed not just one but several brilliant golden
ages in art and culture. Its great thinkers and religious leaders have
permanently changed the face of the globe. But while the glories of
Rome, Egypt, and Greece, have all been the subject of TV portraits, as
yet there has been no television story of India on our screens. This
series sets out for the first time to do that: to show a world
audience the wonders of India; the incredible richness and diversity
of its peoples, cultures and landscapes; and the intense drama of its
past, including some of the most momentous, exciting and moving events
in world history.
India's history is a five thousand year epic. For half of that time,
over two millennia, India has been at the center of world history. It
has seen successive invasions from Alexander the Great and Genghis
Khan to Tamburlaine and the British, all of whom left their mark but
all of whom succumbed, in the end, to India herself. For all that time
India has been famous for its spiritual traditions; it gave birth to
two world religions, one of which—Buddhism—had a profound impact on
all of East Asia, China, Japan and Korea, and in modern times has
found root even in the US and Europe. The subcontinent is home to one
of the world's greatest—and least understood—artistic traditions and
to an extraordinary spectrum of music, dance and literature. India was
also, and still is, a great center for technology and science,
inventing—for example—the decimal system with zero, which is the basis
of all modern science, mathematics and economics. India gave birth to
some of the most remarkable characters in world history, including the
Buddha, the Mauryan emperor Ashoka, and the Moghul emperor Akbar the
Great, not to mention the likes of Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi.
Michael Wood at Holi Festival
Now, in the era of globalization, India has once again become a
leading player in the world. Home to more than one billion people it
is a land of amazing contrasts: it contains both the high tech
brilliance of Bangalore's Silicon Valley and the archaic splendour of
the Kumbh Mela festival, where 25 million pilgrims come to bathe in
the sacred river Ganges on a single night. While moving at high speed
into the 3rd millennium, India alone, of all the civilizations on the
face of the earth, is still in touch with her ancient past.
In this landmark six-part series for PBS and the BBC, Michael Wood
will embark on a dazzling and exciting journey through today's India,
"seeking in the present for clues to her past, and in the past for
clues to her future".
Massena High School allows yoga, calls it 'Raider Relaxation'
by The Associated Press
Wednesday October 15, 2008, 2:27 PM
An upstate New York high school has won community approval to offer
students a voluntary yoga program, as long as it's not called yoga.
The program at Massena High School has been renamed "Raider
Relaxation" -- after the school mascot -- and includes the same
exercises that drew objections last month from some parents who said
yoga promotes Hinduism and had no place in school.
"It is still yoga. If opponents feel a name change solves the dilemma,
I'm all for that," Board of Education President Julie Reagan said
Wednesday. "We are basically doing the same thing, we're just calling
it something different."
The compromise was reached during a meeting between Superintendent
Roger Clough and several parents. Clough said parents agreed to change
the name of the in-class program and set up an after-school club to
give interested students a deeper understanding of yoga.
Special education teacher Martha Duchscherer and Kerry Perretta, a
Spanish teacher, began using yoga in their classrooms last year to
relieve stress before exams and had approached the school board this
fall about letting other teachers use the breathing and relaxation
techniques in their classes.
Perretta and Duchscherer are both in the process of being certified by
the Temple of Kriya Yoga in Chicago. After finishing their training,
they will be qualified to teach yoga methods to other educators.
It was when the teachers asked to expand the program that a group of
parents raised concerns. They claimed teaching yoga in school would
promote Hinduism and violate the separation of church and state.
"Basically, what they're going to do (in class) is simple breathing,"
the Rev. Colin J. Lucid of Calvary Baptist Church, one of the
program's original critics, told the Watertown Daily Times. "The
breathing is just what they would do in gym."
Reagan, a professor of classroom management courses at the State
University of New York at Potsdam, said the board supports the yoga
program, whatever it is called. One hundred schools in 26 states use
yoga in the classroom to relieve stress, Reagan said.
She said all the fuss has generated more interest among students.
The debate around Massena's yoga program is not unprecedented. In
2002, a group of Baptists in Aspen, Colo., objected to a proposed yoga
program in the public school district, citing separation of church and
state as well.
Judge each day not by the harvest you reap,
nor by the seeds that you plant,
but by the stillness of your mind in meditation.
(The whole article is at this link, along with useful pictures)
YOGA, COMPUTERS AND FOUR LEVELS OF CONSCIOUSNESS
By Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
I am not the picture on my computer monitor.
I am electricity.
I am not the processing in my microchip.
I am electricity.
I am not the data on my hard drive.
I am electricity.
I am the life in all of these three.
I am the electricity.
A MODEL FOR MEDITATION: The computer can be used as a modern metaphor
for understanding the process of Yoga meditation and the levels of
consciousness through which one journeys. By understanding these
levels or stages, it is much easier to understand how meditation is
not used merely as a means of relaxation or psychic experience, but as
the means for the realization of the ever pure, ever joyful core of
our being, by whatever name you choose to call that center.
1. Peripherals/Conscious: The ten senses and means of expression
(indriyas), along with the conscious mind, allow the inner person to
communicate and act in the external world, like the peripherals of a
computer system, including monitor, keyboard, speakers, and microphone.
Four functions of mind: Throughout the conscious, unconscious, and
subconscious levels, the four functions of mind operate ever subtler,
until even they are transcended in the fourth stage, noted below.
2. Microchip/Unconscious: The active unconscious mind processes mostly
out of view, with only a small part of its functioning normally coming
to the surface of the conscious mind, like the microchip of the
computer, which does a tremendous amount of processing, yet presents
only a tiny amount of that to the peripherals.
3. Hard-drive/Subconscious: It is consciousness flowing in or through
the deep impressions of the latent subconscious, which causes them to
stir, just like the otherwise inert binary numbers resident on a
hard-drive, which do nothing until they are energetically brought to
life and spring forth into the microchip.
4. Electricity/Consciousness: The conscious, unconscious, and
subconscious levels of mind all function because of the flow of
consciousness, energy, or life force, just as the peripherals,
microchip, and hard-drive all operate because of the electricity. Both
the consciousness and the electricity are uniform, regardless of what
programs might be running in the moment.
I AM THE ELECTRICITY:
I am not the peripherals!: One explores the peripherals, the waking
state, the conscious mind, and the gross world, moving through them in
I am not the microprocessor!: One explores the microprocessor, the
dreaming state, the unconscious mind, and the subtle plane, moving
through them in meditation.
I am not the hard-drive!: One explores the hard-drive, the deep sleep
state, the subconscious mind, and the causal plane, moving through
them in meditation.
I am the electricity!: Through deep meditation, one pierces the three
layers described above. Ultimately, one comes to resolve the question,
"Who am I?" in direct experience, with the realization of being the
pure consciousness, energy, or life force that is beyond, higher, or
underneath each of the other three levels, stages, or states, which is
the core of our being.
MORE ARTICLES ON THESE LEVELS OF CONSCIOUSNESS:
From Merging with Shiva
by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami
FINISH WHAT YOU START
We are not always sitting down concentrating on a flower in the search
for the Self. Once you have decided that Self Realization is the
ultimate goal for you, go on living your normal life. Everything that
you do in life can collectively be channeled toward the ultimate goal,
for what you need is a dynamic will. You need a strong willpower.
Willpower is the channeling of all energies toward one given point for
a given length of time. This will can be brought out from within in
everything that we do through the day. It's a powerful will. It's
available to everyone. It is channeling the rarefied energies of the
body, of awareness itself, into attention and concentration upon
everything that we do through the day.
How do we cultivate the willpower? What do we mean by will? Will means
that if you're going to complete something, you complete it. Finish
that which you begin. Finish it well, beyond your expectations, no
matter how long it takes. If you are going to do something, do it
well, no matter if it is a simple task or a complicated one. If you're
going to read a book and intend to finish the book, then read the
book, finish the book, and understand what it had to offer you, for
that was the purpose for reading it.
It is not developing a strong will by having a lot of half-finished
jobs. It is not developing a strong will by starting out with a bang
on a project and then fizzling out. These only attach awareness to
that which it is aware of and lead us into the distraction of thinking
the external mind is real. Then we forget our inner goal of Self
Realization because the subconscious becomes too ramified with,
basically, our being disappointed in ourselves, or the willpower being
so diversified, or awareness being so divided in many different ways
that whatever we want to do never works out because there is not
enough will, or shove, or centralization of energy, or awareness is
not at attention over the project enough, to make it come into completion.
A tremendous will is needed on the path of Self Realization, of
drawing the forces of energy together, of drawing awareness away from
that which it is aware of constantly, of finishing each job that we
begin in the material world, and doing it well, so that we are content
within ourselves. Make everything that you do satisfy the inner
scrutiny of your inner being. Do a little more than you think that you
are able to do. That brings forth just a little more will.
Update Flash: HINDU AMERICAN FOUNDATION
"Story of India" Misses the Mark on India's History, Hindu Watchdog
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For Media Inquiries contact:
HAF Director of Public Policy
Email: ishani at hafsite.org
January 10, 2009 (Washington, D.C.)-- Historian Michael Wood's
visually stunning documentary on India's history, "The Story of
India," currently appearing on public television, is reigniting a
bitter debate over the origins of Indian civilization. The Hindu
American Foundation, a prominent Hindu advocacy group based in
Washington, D.C., recorded a deluge of phone calls criticizing Wood's
presentation of the Aryan Migration Theory (AMT).
The AMT theorizes that in 1500 BCE, pastoral tribes that came to be
known as Aryans, migrated from Central Europe to Northwest India
eventually dispersing indigenous peoples and imposing their own
culture. This theory, that is not supported by archaeological
evidence, was first posited by European indologists and British
colonialists, eventually finding support from a section of India's
politically motivated linguists and historians such as Romila Thapar,
and famously, controversial Harvard linguist, Michael Witzel.
In his documentary, Wood holds that the early Hindu practice of
worshipping devas, or demigods representing elements, somehow implies
that these practices were imported from Central Asia. And while
referencing obliquely that the Aryan Migration Theory is
controversial, Wood fails to present contrary evidence that many
scientists believe refutes the claim that the progenitors of Hindu
civilization came from west of the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan.
"There is no debate that India was always the cradle of Hindu
civilization, and the Vedas, the Hindu's holiest scriptures, are the
recorded history of our ancestors," said Suhag Shukla, HAF's Managing
Director. "We strongly oppose the insulting theory--advanced by
agenda-driven activist historians--that our rishis, the great sages
who composed the Vedas, were foreign to India, and Wood does viewers a
disservice in not presenting both sides of the coin of the debate, in
an otherwise admirable and beautiful work."
The AMT is reviled by many Hindus due to its implicit proposition that
a tribe of "Aryans" migrated into the Indian subcontinent, subjugated
an indigenous people dispersing them to South India and established a
caste system where the highest castes are comprised of "Aryans" and
lower castes were indigenous peoples--an ethno-religious apartheid system.
This explosive theory that narrates that Aryans were only the first
colonizers--followed by Greeks, Mongols, Turks, Persians--was used by
European historians to justify the last foreign claim on India, the
However, it is the latest genetic evidence, based on chromosomal and
DNA analysis, that scientists believe definitively discredits the AMT.
Studies published in 2006, in the highly reputed Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences and American Journal of Human Genetics,
demonstrate that Y-chromosomal data collected from dozens of Indian
sub-populations and tribal areas confirmed a common ancestry between
all caste groups and tribals. The scientists in both studies concluded
that there was no genetic basis to a claim that any migration occurred
from west of India, and in fact, theorized that a northward migration
may have occurred from India, out to Central Asia.
"Michael Wood clearly admires India and its people, and this shows
through in his passionate depiction of India," said Sheetal Shah,
HAF's Director of Development and Outreach. "We are not seeking to
discredit the "Story of India" in its entirety, but viewers should be
aware that a major error was made in the documentary that fails
scrutiny and should be corrected."
The Hindu American Foundation is a 501(c)(3), non-profit, non-partisan
organization promoting the Hindu and American ideals of understanding,
tolerance and pluralism. Contact HAF at 1-301-770-7835 or on the web
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In loving and joyous service,
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken
Poet (1874 - 1963)
THE MEANING AND PURPOSE OF YOGA
By Bhole Prabhu
Like many arts and sciences that are profound, beautiful, and
powerful, yoga has suffered from the spiritual poverty of the modern
world--it has been trivialized, watered down, or reduced to cliches.
The deep and eternal essence of yoga has been misrepresented and
packaged for personal profit by clever people. At the hands of some,
yoga has been reduced to the status of just another exercise program
available on videotape. In other contexts, yoga has been presented as
a cult religion, aimed at attracting "devotees." Such a haze of
confusion has been created around the clear and pure concept of yoga
that it is now necessary to redefine yoga and clarify its meaning and
Yoga defines itself as a science--that is, as a practical, ethodical,
and systematic discipline or set of techniques that have the lofty
goal of helping human beings to become aware of their deepest nature.
The goal of seeking to experience this deepest potential is not part
of a religious process, but an experiential science of self-study.
Religions seek to define what we should believe, while a practical
science such as meditation is based on the concrete experience of
those teachers and yogis who have previously used these techniques to
experience the deepest Self. Yoga does not contradict or interfere
with any religion, and may be practiced by everyone, whether they
regard themselves as agnostics or members of a particular faith.
Throughout history, yogic techniques have been practiced in both the
East and West, so it would be an error to consider yoga an "Eastern
import." In fact, yoga, with its powerful techniques for creating a
sense of inner peace, harmony, and clarity of mind, is absolutely
relevant to the modern world--both East and West. Given the increasing
pace and conflict present in modern life, with all its resulting
stress, one could say that yoga has become an essential tool for
survival, as well as for expanding the creativity and joy of our lives.
THE LIVING TRADITION
Although yoga does not "belong" to the East, it is easiest to trace
its roots there, because cultural change has not obscured the origins
of the science, and an ongoing tradition of yoga has continued to the
present day. No one person "invented" yoga--yoga is a living
tradition, a set of practices that dates back for centuries. These
practices were codified by a scholar and teacher named Patanjali in
The Yoga Sutras, written about the second century B.C.
The most important teaching of yoga has to do with our nature as human
beings. It states that our "true nature" goes far beyond the limits of
the human mind and personality--that instead, our human potential is
infinite and transcends our individual minds and our sense of self.
The very word "yoga" makes reference to this. The root, "yuj" (meaning
"unity" or "yoke"), indicates that the purpose of yoga is to unite
ourselves with our highest nature. This re-integration is accomplished
through the practices of the various yoga disciplines. Until this
re-integration takes place, we identify ourselves with our
limitations--the limitations of the body, mind, and senses. Thus we
feel incomplete and limited, and are subject to feelings of sorrow,
insecurity, fear, and separation, because we have separated ourselves
from the experience of the whole.
In the modern world we have become quite successful in our external
achievements--we have created powerful technologies and a variety of
products, we are obsessed with accumulating power, wealth, property
and objects--and yet we have not been able to create either individual
or social peace, wisdom, or happiness. We have only to look around and
see the destructiveness of our weapons, the emptiness of our pleasures
and entertainments, the misuse of our material and personal resources,
the disparities between rich and poor, and above all, the loneliness
and violence of our modern world. We see that amid all our success in
the external world, we have accomplished little of lasting value.
These problems will not be solved through new technological
developments. Instead, the resolution to these human problems will
come only when we discover within ourselves that for which all of
mankind is searching--inner peace, tranquility, and wisdom. This
attainment is the goal of yoga, for yoga is the practical science
intended to help human beings become aware of their ultimate nature.
AN ASCENT INTO PURITY
The process of yoga is an ascent into the purity of the absolute
perfection that is the essential state of all human beings. This goal
requires the removal of our enveloping personal impurities, the
stilling of our lower feelings and thoughts, and the establishment of
a state of inner balance and harmony. All the methods of yoga are
based on the perfection of our personalities and may help to create a
new world order.
In the beginning of our work, the greatest problem we experience is
our inherent restlessness of mind. Mind, by its very nature, is
outgoing and unsteady. The highest state of meditation, however,
requires a calm, serene, one-pointed mind, free from negative emotions
and the distractions created by cravings, obsessions, and desires. To
reach the subtler levels of consciousness and awareness, we need
willpower, clarity of mind, and the ability to consciously direct the
mind towards our goal. This is possible only when we turn away from
preoccupation with external acquisition and seek to stop all
inharmonious or negative mental processes. To achieve this, we do not
need to give up our homes and society and retire to a monastery.
Instead, we can achieve a state of peace, harmony, and contentment in
our daily meditation, and thus, go on carrying out our life's duties
and activities with the love and devotion that emerges from our
For those who want to follow the path of yoga towards peace and
evolution, there are a few prerequisites. We need good health, a calm
mind, sincerity, and a burning desire to rise above our human
imperfections. Our health is maintained by a simple and well-
regulated diet, adequate sleep, some physical exercise, and
relaxation. Imbalance or excesses in food, exercise, sleep, or our
personal relationships produce physical and emotional disruptions that
disturb the practice of yoga and meditation.
If the aspects of our daily lives are well balanced, then certainly we
can make progress in yoga in the modern world. Regardless of where we
live or what we do, we can create a life conducive to yoga.
PATHS TO THE SUMMIT
As we indicated earlier, there is much confusion about exactly what
yoga is, especially since there seem to be so many approaches, all
described by the name "yoga." A mountain climber may take a variety of
routes to reach the top of a mountain. From the plain at the base of
the mountain, all these paths seem distinct and different, but from
the mountain summit, the view is always the same! The same is true of
the seeming diversity of the yogic paths. These different paths are
not mutually exclusive or conflicting, but are intended to accommodate
the various inclinations, personalities, and temperaments of
individual students, and yet they all have the same goal. These
various paths of yoga include:
1) Hatha yoga, which deals mostly with body and breathing exercises
that help the student to become aware of his or her internal states.
Hatha yoga exercises help to make the body a healthy and strong
resource for the student.
2) Karma yoga, which means "the yoga of action." This path teaches us
to do our own duties in life skillfully and selflessly, dedicating the
results of our actions to humanity. Practicing this aspect of yoga
helps us to live unselfishly and successfully in the world without
being burdened or distressed.
3) Jnana yoga is the path of knowledge and wisdom. This path involves
intense mental discipline. Knowledge dawns as we learn to discriminate
between the real and the unreal, between the transient and the
everlasting, between the finite and the infinite. This path is meant
for only a fortunate few, who are aware of the higher and subtler
realities of life.
4) Bhakti yoga is the yoga of devotion. This path is the way of love
and devotion. It is the path of self-surrender, of devoting and
dedicating all human resources to attaining the ultimate reality.
5) Kundalini yoga is a highly technical science. The guidance of a
competent teacher is required to learn methods for awakening the
serpent-like vital force that remains dormant and asleep in every
6) Mantra yoga, which involves meditation and the use of certain
sounds called "mantras," which are traditionally transmitted to the
student, and are used as objects of concentration. Mantras help the
student in self-purification, concentration, and meditation. These
mantras were discovered in deep meditation by highly advanced sages
Finally, there is raja yoga, the "royal path" which is very scientific
and thorough. By following this path methodically, we learn to refine
our desires, emotions, and thoughts, as well as the subtle impressions
and thoughts that lie dormant in the unconscious mind. Raja yoga helps
us to experience the inner reality by using an eight-runged ladder.
The ultimate goal is for the aspirant to attain the eighth rung, samadhi.
THE ROYAL PATH
Raja yoga encompasses teachings from all the different paths. Because
of its variety it can be practiced by people of many backgrounds and
temperaments. It involves all three dimensions of human interaction--
physical, mental, and spiritual. Through this path, we achieve balance
and harmony of all three levels and then attain full realization of
Raja yoga is a scientific discipline that does not impose
unquestioning faith, but encourages healthy examination. Certain
practices are prescribed and the benefits derived from them are
described so that this path can be scientifically verified by anyone
who experiments with the methods. Because of this, raja yoga is
ideally suited to the modern world, in which scientific skepticism is
Raja yoga is also called astanga yoga, or "the eight-fold path,"
because its eight steps create an orderly process of self-
transformation beginning on the level of the physical body, and
eventually involving the subtler levels of life. The eight steps are
yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, and samadhi.
The first four rungs or steps--yama, niyama, asana, and pranayama,
comprise the path of hatha yoga, which is preparatory to the last four
stages of raja yoga.
Yama and niyama are ten commitments of attitude and behavior. One set
of disciplines (niyama) is meant to improve the human personality and
the other (yama) is meant to guide our relationships and interactions
with other beings in the world. Thus yoga is an education for both
internal and external growth.
The five yamas, or restraints, are nonviolence, truthfulness,
nonstealing, sensual moderation, and non- possessiveness. Their
practice leads to changes in behavior and emotions, in which all
negative emotions are replaced by positive ones. The five niyamas, or
observances, are cleanliness (both external and internal),
contentment, practices which bring about perfection of body and senses
(tapas), study of the scriptures, and surrender to the ultimate
reality. The niyamas lead to the control of our behavior and
eventually are extremely positive factors in developing the personality.
In the beginning we should not be discouraged by the challenge of
these first two steps. For example, even before we have succeeded in
developing the trait of nonviolence completely, we will see increasing
peace in our lives and meditation as a result of attempting to
practice this yama.
Usually, when hatha yoga is taught in the modern world, only asanas
(physical postures) and certain breathing practices are taught. Yama
and niyama often are ignored. Because of this, hatha yoga has become
somewhat superficial, sometimes emphasizing only physical beauty or
egoism about skill and strength in postures. Certainly asanas and
breathing exercises create physical health and harmony, but only when
our minds are free from violent emotions can we achieve a calm,
creative, and tranquil mental state.
Actually, there are two types of asanas--meditative postures and
postures that ensure physical well-being. A stable meditative posture
helps us create a serene breath and calm mind. A good meditative
posture should be comfortable and stable, ensuring that the head,
neck, and trunk are erect and in a straight line. If the body is
uncomfortable, it makes the mind agitated and distracted. The second
kind of postures are practiced to perfect the body, making it limber
and free from disease. These postures stimulate specific muscles and
nerves and have very beneficial effects.
The fourth step of raja yoga is pranayama. Prana is the vital energy
that sustains body and mind. The grossest manifestation of prana is
the breath, so pranayama is also called the "science of breath." These
exercises lead to calming and concentration.
The four steps of hatha yoga prepare the student for the four internal
practices of raja yoga. These internal practices are pratyahara,
dharana, dhyana, and samadhi.
The fifth step of raja yoga is pratyahara or withdrawal and control of
the senses. While we are awake, the mind becomes involved with the
events, experiences, and objects of the external world through the
five senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. The mind
constantly gathers sensations from the external world through these
senses and our mind reacts to them. To attain inner calmness, the
student of yoga will want to develop the ability to voluntarily remove
the distractions of the world outside. This is not a physical process
but a voluntary, mental process of letting go of our involvement with
Our sensory impressions distract the mind when we want it to become
aware of serenity within. Thus, it is useful to learn dharana, or
concentration, the sixth step in raja yoga. In concentration, the
scattered power of the mind is coordinated and focused on an object of
concentration through continued voluntary attention. This voluntary
attention uses a conscious effort of the will, and it is developed
through consistent practice. Through concentration, a scattered, weak
mind is focused and made more powerful.
The seventh step in raja yoga is dhyana, or meditation. Meditation is
the result of continued, unbroken concentration. Concentration makes
the mind one-pointed, calm, and serene. Meditation then expands the
one-pointed mind to the superconscious state. Meditation is the
uninterrupted flow of the mind toward one object or concept. When the
mind expands beyond conscious and subconscious levels and assumes this
superconscious flow, then intuitive knowledge dawns. All the methods
of yoga prepare us to eventually reach this stage of meditation and
thus attain peace, perfection, and tranquility.
In our daily lives, meditation can be very helpful in eliminating many
physical and psychological problems. A significant amount of the
disease we experience is actually either directly or indirectly the
result of conflicts, repression, or emotional distress arising in the
conscious or unconscious mind. Meditation helps us to become aware of
these conflicts and to resolve them, establishing tranquility and
peace. In this way, meditation becomes a powerful resource for facing
the challenges of daily life.
If we really consider how we learn in the modern world, we realize
that despite all our emphasis on education, our education is one-
sided and shallow. We may learn to memorize equations and facts, but
we do not really learn to understand and develop our own inner life.
Our minds remain scattered and our emotions persist as negative,
conflicting forces. We are able to use only a small portion of our
mental abilities, because we are preoccupied with confusion, fear, and
inner conflict. Meditation helps us to overcome these limitations; it
helps us to become aware of the subtler and more positive powers
within. In gaining this awareness, we become creative and dynamic.
Abilities such as intuition, which many consider unusual or rare, are
actually within the potential of all human beings who meditate. Such
gifts are available to those who make contact with the deeper aspects
Prolonged and intense meditation leads to the last step of raja yoga--
the state of samadhi, the superconscious state. In this state we
become one with the higher Self and transcend all imperfections and
limitations. The state of samadhi is the fourth state of
consciousness, which transcends the three normal states of waking,
dreaming, and dreamless sleep.
A person who attains samadhi becomes a gift to his or her society. If
humanity is ever to achieve a more evolved civilization, it will be
possible only because of our growth and evolution as human beings. A
person who is established in samadhi lives his or her whole life as a
spontaneous expression of the unhindered flow of supreme
consciousness. This superconscious level is our human essence; it is
universal and transcends all the divisions of culture, creed, gender
or age. When we become aware of this state within, our whole life is
transformed. When we transform ourselves and experience serenity,
peace, and freedom, we also transform our societies and all of human
civilization. This awareness of the infinite consciousness is the
practical and real goal of yoga.
Bhole Prabhu lived in the Himalayas, and was a yogi, poet, and
philosopher renowned as an original thinker.
The first two live, interactive streaming video programs (last week)
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We are adding a third program each week because of requests from
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This will cause the image to be slightly or significantly broken, but
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:) We are all experimenting with this process, and I appreciate your
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In loving service,
FORTY TYPES OF YOGA
(reprinted with permission)
The Sanskrit word yoga stems from the verbal root yuj meaning "to
yoke" or "to unite." Thus, in a spiritual context, yoga stands for
"training" or "unitive discipline." The Sanskrit literature contains
numerous compound terms ending in -yoga. These stand for various yogic
approaches or features of the path. The following is a descriptive
list of forty such terms. Not all of these form full-fledged branches
or types of Yoga, but they represent at least emphases in diverse
contexts. All of them are instructive insofar as they demonstrate the
vast scope of Hindu Yoga.
1) Abhâva-Yoga: The unitive discipline of nonbeing, meaning the higher
yogic practice of immersion into the Self without objective support
such as mantras; a concept found in the Purânas; cf. Bhâva-Yoga
2) Adhyâtma-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the inner self; sometimes
said to be the Yoga characteristic of the Upanishads
3) Agni-Yoga: The unitive discipline of fire, causing the awakening of
the serpent power (kundalinî-shakti) through the joint action of mind
(manas) and life force (prâna)
4) Ashtânga-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the eight limbs, i.e.,
Râja-Yoga or Pâtanjala-Yoga
5) Asparsha-Yoga: The unitive discipline of "noncontact," which is the
nondualist Yoga propounded by Gaudapâda in his Mândűkya-Kârikâ; cf.
6) Bhakti-Yoga: The unitive discipline of love/devotion, as expounded,
for instance, in the Bhagavad-Gîtâ, the Bhâgavata-Purâna, and numerous
other scriptures of Shaivism and Vaishnavism
7) Buddhi-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the higher mind, first
mentioned in the Bhagavad-Gîtâ
8) Dhyâna-Yoga: The unitive discipline of meditation
9) Ghatastha-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the "pot" (ghata),
meaning the body; a synonym for Hatha-Yoga mentioned in the
10) Guru-Yoga: The unitive discipline relative to one's teacher
11) Hatha-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the force (meaning the
serpent power or kundalinî-shakti); or forceful unitive discipline
12) Hiranyagarbha-Yoga: The unitive discipline of Hiranyagarbha
("Golden Germ"), who is considered the original founder of the Yoga
13) Japa-Yoga: The unitive discipline of mantra recitation
14) Jnâna-Yoga: The unitive discipline of discriminating wisdom, which
is the approach of the Upanishads
15) Karma-Yoga: The unitive discipline of self-transcending action, as
first explicitly taught in the Bhagavad-Gîtâ
16) Kaula-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the Kaula school, a Tantric Yoga
17) Kriyâ-Yoga: The unitive discipline of ritual; also the combined
practice of asceticism (tapas), study (svâdhyâya), and worship of the
Lord (îshvara-pranidhâna) mentioned in the Yoga-Sűtra of Patanjali
18) Kundalinî-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the serpent power
(kundalinî-shakti), which is fundamental to the Tantric tradition,
19) Lambikâ-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the "hanger," meaning the
uvula, which is deliberately stimulated in this yogic approach to
increase the flow of "nectar" (amrita) whose external aspect is saliva
20) Laya-Yoga: The unitive discipline of absorption or dissolution of
the elements prior to their natural dissolution at death
21) Mahâ-Yoga: The great unitive discipline, a concept found in the
Yoga-Shikhâ-Upanishad where it refers to the combined practice of
Mantra-Yoga, Laya-Yoga, Hatha-Yoga, and Râja-Yoga
22) Mantra-Yoga: The unitive discipline of numinous sounds that help
protect the mind, which has been a part of the Yoga tradition ever
since Vedic times
23) Nâda-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the inner sound, a practice
closely associated with original Hatha-Yoga
24) Pancadashânga-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the fifteen limbs
(pancadasha-anga): (1) moral discipline (yama), (2) restraint
(niyama), (3) renunciation (tyâga), (4) silence (mauna), (5) right
place (desha), (6) right time (kâla), (7) posture (âsana), (8) root
lock (műla-bandha), (9) bodily equilibrium (deha-samya), (10)
stability of vision (dhrik-sthiti), (11) control of the life force
(prâna-samrodha), (12) sensory inhibition (pratyâhâra), (13)
concentration (dhâranâ), (14) meditation upon the Self (âtma-dhyâna),
and (15) ecstasy (samâdhi)
25) Pâshupata-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the Pâshupata sect, as
expounded in some of the Purânas
26) Pâtanjala-Yoga: The unitive discipline of Patanjali, better known
as Râja-Yoga or Yoga-Darshana
27) Pűrna-Yoga: The unitive discipline of wholeness or integration,
which is the name of Sri Aurobindo's Yoga
28) Râja-Yoga: The royal unitive discipline, also called
Pâtanjala-Yoga, Ashtânga-Yoga, or Râja-Yoga
29) Samâdhi-Yoga: The unitive discipline of ecstasy
30) Sâmkhya-Yoga: The unitive discipline of insight, which is the name
of certain liberation teachings and schools referred to in the Mahâbhârata
31) Samnyâsa-Yoga: The unitive discipline of renunciation, which is
contrasted against Karma-Yoga in the Bhagavad-Gîtâ
32) Samputa-Yoga: The unitive discipline of sexual congress (maithunâ)
33) Samrambha-Yoga: The unitive discipline of hatred, as mentioned in
the Vishnu-Purâna, which illustrates the profound yogic principle that
one becomes what one constantly contemplates (even if charged with
34) Saptânga-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the seven limbs
(sapta-anga), also known as Sapta-Sâdhana in the Gheranda-Samhitâ: (1)
six purificatory practices (shat-karma), (2) posture (âsana), (3) seal
(mudrâ), (4) sensory inhibition (pratyâhâra), (5) breath control
(prânâyâma), (6) meditation (dhyâna), and (7) ecstasy (samâdhi)
35) Shadanga-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the six limbs
(shad-anga), as expounded in the Maitrâyanîya-Upanishad: (1) breath
control (prânâyâma), (2) sensory inhibition (pratyâhâra), (3)
meditation (dhyâna), (4) concentration (dhâranâ), (5) examination
(tarka), and (6) ecstasy (samâdhi)
36) Siddha-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the adepts, a concept found
in some of the Tantras
37) Sparsha-Yoga: The unitive discipline of contact; a Vedantic Yoga
mentioned in the Shiva-Purâna, which combines mantra recitation with
breath control; cf. Asparsha-Yoga
38) Tantra-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the Tantras, a
39) Târaka-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the "deliverer" (târaka); a
medieval Yoga based on light phenomena
40) Yantra-Yoga: The unitive discipline of focusing the mind upon
geometric representations (yantra) of the cosmos.
FAITH IN JESUS?
Swami Nirmalananda Giri
January 21st, 2009
What do the Gospels really say about believing in Jesus?
Those without a clear understanding of Jesus' nature, mission, or
message, like to insist that believing in or accepting Jesus as our
Savior is necessary for salvation. To support this they quote:
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31).
This seems to be only following the teaching of Jesus, Who said such
things as: "He that believeth on me hath everlasting life" (John
6:47). "Whosoever believeth on me shall not abide in darkness" (John
12:46). "Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die" (John
11:26). "This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath
sent" (John 6:29).
The Greek word for "in," is "en," but in each instance quoted, Jesus
uses the word "eis," which means "into." (Or rather, Saint John,
writing in Greek, was very careful to use only eis, so Jesus' inner
meaning would be conveyed. Jesus, of course, spoke in Aramaic.)
Therefore Jesus is not saying "believe 'in' Me," but "believe 'into'
Me." He is urging us to merge our consciousness into His
consciousness–which is not the limited consciousness of an individual,
but the boundless Christ Consciousness. First we unite our
consciousness with Christ, the Divine Consciousness immanent in all
creation, and then through That we shall be enabled to unite our
consciousness with the transcendent Consciousness of God the Absolute,
God the Father.
The Christ Consciousness acts as the bridge by which we pass into God
Consciousness. And this is what is really meant by the intercession
and mediatorship of Christ: something far beyond the scope of
exoteric, limited "Christianity." "It is Christ who maketh
intercession for us" (Romans 8:34). "Wherefore he is able also to save
them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth
to make intercession for them" (Hebrews 7:25). "For there is one God,
and one mediator between God and men" (I Timothy 2:5).
We must become one with Jesus in Christ Consciousness; then we shall
inherit the kingdom of God: God Himself. "Wherefore thou art no more a
servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ"
(Galatians 4:7). "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and
joint-heirs with Christ" (Romans 8:17).
"Eis" also has the connotation of moving toward that into which we
shall eventually enter. So we must begin believing toward God right
now by orienting our consciousness, will, and aspiration toward the
Supreme. It also means a continual movement toward the goal. And
lastly, it means actually inside or within something. So our faith
must be manifesting within the Being of God. Just sitting outside God
saying we believe in Him means nothing. We must be inside that Light
for our faith to be of any effect.
Jesus is exhorting us to meditate, for it is through meditation that
we enter into the Consciousness we seek. Then we shall no longer
believe, but KNOW.
Related articles (also by Swami Nirmalananda Giri):
What Did Jesus Really Say in the Sermon on the Mount?
Mercy and the Law of Karma
The Authentic Christian View on Reincarnation
THE ROAD NOT TAKEN
Robert Frost (1874–1963)
Published in 1916 in his collection Mountain Interval
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Be quiet when you scream.
Scream with joy when you are quiet.
Just address an email to Yoga-Meditation@yahoogroups.com
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