Yoga in Daily Life
Sri Swami Sivananda
A DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY PUBLICATION
Eighth Edition: 1999
World Wide Web (WWW) Edition : 2000
WWW site: http://www.dlshq.org/
This WWW reprint is for free distribution
© The Divine Life Trust Society
THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY
P.O. Shivanandanagar249 192
Distt. Tehri-Garhwal, Uttar Pradesh,
- Publishers’ Note
- Author’s Preface
- Yoga in Daily Life
- Basis Of Yoga
- Strive Ceaselessly
- Happiness Within
- Need For Adhyatmic Knowledge
- Importance Of Guru
- Three Requisites Of Mukti
- Four Kinds Of Temperaments
- The Four Yogas
- Yogic Diet
- Fruit Diet
- Forbidden Articles
- Bhakti Yoga
- Where Is God?
- Mysterious Help From The Lord To Bhaktas
- What Is Japa?
- Benefits Of Japa
- Instructions On Japa
- Mantra For Japa
- Bhakti Yoga Sadhana
- Kirtan At Home
- Evening Katha At Home
- What Should Ladies Do
- Duties Of Womanhood
- Advice To Householders
- Nil Desperandum
- Karma Yoga
- Training For Karma Yoga
- Attain Nirlipta State
- What Is Karma
- How To Find Right Or Wrong Action
- Inner Voice
- Prayer For A Karma-Yogin
- Raja Yoga
- Metaphysics Of The Inner Man
- Tame The Six Wild Beasts
- Mind And Its Mysteries
- Control Of Mind
- Jnana Yoga
- Assert The Majesty Of Your Real Self
- What Is Atman?
- Vedantic Sadhana
- Vedantic Assertions
- Soham Dhyana
- Problem Of Good And Evil
- Unity And Diversity
- Hatha Yoga
- Easy Comfortable Pranayama
- Bhastrika Pranayama
- Mind And Meditation
- Three Doshas Of The Mind
- Mind: Its Mysteries And Control
- Practice Of Concentration
- Philosophy Of Sleep
- Change The Angle Of Vision
- Assertions For And Meditation On Brahmacharya
- Prayer For Purity
- Recipes For Brahmacharya
- Yoga In A Nutshell
- Spiritual Lessons
- Guide To Sadhakas
- Sayings Of Siva
- Conversations On Yoga
- Ten Vital Instructions
- Pancha Maha Yajnas
- Sankirtan Dhvanis
- How To Live A Divine Life
- Stories Of Saints
- Yogi Jaigisavya
- Sibi And Buddha
- Sundaramoorthy Nayanar
- Akalkot Swami
- Story Of An Old Man And A Donkey
- Tayumana Swami
- Gandha Baba (Benaras)
- Story Of Vomiting A Crow
- Story Of A Pailwan
- Story Of A Sadhu
- Story Of A Sugar-Eating Boy
- Mantra Yoga Sadhana
- Course Of Sadhana
- Twenty Important Spiritual Instructions
That this book has already run into eight editions is in itself the best tribute that can be paid to this, one of the first books written by Sri Swamiji Maharaj.
About the book and its author, we cannot do better than to quote from the Publisher’s Note to the first edition of this book, in which Sri Em. Airi writes:
“His Holiness Sri Swami Sivananda Saraswati needs scarcely any introduction to the vast multitudes of reading public that pants for spiritual unfoldment and Self-Realisation. The revered Yogi belongs to the ages and ranks amongst the blessed souls who have had the good fortune to taste the Nectar of Cosmic Consciousness. In clear, simple and impressive style the Swami addresses the young and yet inexperienced spiritual aspirants and lays down before them the fundamentals of spirituality and the various means essentially requisite for Divine Wisdom.”
“This book is a message from the great Yogi of the Himalayas to the helpless and bewildered seekers of Truth. This inspiring and soul-stirring little volume will, we venture to say, undoubtedly contribute its mite to the moral and spiritual perfection of the human race in general and the aspirants in particular. As we wish to present this volume in a popular and a presentable style, it is printed on good paper and got up excellently well. If this book appeals to the broad-minded and expanded hearts amongst the religious reformers and also aspirants, the Publishers’ labours will have been sufficiently recompensed.”
We reiterate Sri Airi’s pious wish as we offer this priceless treasure to the blessed aspirant-world.
THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY
Man wants happiness. He shuns pain. He makes various sorts of efforts (Pravritti) to get happiness from objects and gets himself entangled in the meshes or snares of Maya. As these objects are perishable, finite and conditioned in time, space and causation, he fails to get the desired happiness from the objects. This world is Apurna (imperfect) and there is uncertainty of life. A barrister talks at the telephone, ascends the staircase to take his meals upstairs and dies on the staircase.
There is not an iota of happiness in objects and they are Jada (insentient). Even the sensual pleasure is a reflection of Atmic Bliss only. Just as a dog which sucks a dry bone in the streets imagines foolishly that the blood comes from the dry bone, whereas, it really oozes from its own palate, so also worldly-minded persons foolishly imagine that the happiness they enjoy comes from the objects only.
There is a mental uneasiness, dissatisfaction, discontent and restlessness even in multi-millionaires and kings. Some kind of sorrow, misery or pain is always present even when you are in the height of enjoyment of worldly pleasures. When the marriage of your second son is celebrated the remembrance of your first son who passed away, torments your mind. Mind is so constituted that the rhythm of pleasure and pain is kept up like the rhythm of systole and diastole (contraction and dilation) of heart. You entertain the idea that the happiness will pass away soon. This adds pain when you are in the enjoyment of sensual pleasure.
You can find eternal, infinite, supreme peace and bliss, only in the Atman of your heart. It is an embodiment of bliss (Ananda Swarupa).
All objects that you see consist of five parts, viz. Nama-Rupa-Asti-Bhati-Priya (name, form, existence, knowledge, bliss). Nama and Rupa constitute the world. They are the cause for human activities and sufferings. Asti, Bhati and Priya are the Svarupas of Atman or Brahman or Moksha.
Amongst the things desired by human beings of this world, Moksha alone is the best and highest thing. The means (Sadhan) for Moksha is Atma Jnana (knowledge of the Self or Atman), Vichara of “Who am I?” or significance of “Tat Tvam Asi” Mahavakya. This is the means for attainment of Brahma Jnana.
Moksha is desired in order to get rid of the pains of Samsara which are in the form of birth, death, disease, old age, etc. Moksha can hardly be attained without Sadhana.
Some say, that Karma is the Sadhan for Moksha. Some other say, that Karma and Jnana combined (Samucchayavada) is the means. Sri Shankara has refuted the Karma and Samucchaya theories by strong, sound, convincing arguments and has established the Truth that Kevala Jnana (pure knowledge alone) is the means for Moksha. Just as fire is the direct means for cooking food, so also Brahma Jnana is the Sakshat Sadhana (direct means) for Moksha. The famous Mandana Misra (Sureshwaracharya) disciple of Sri Sankara has also said in his reputed book Naishkarma Siddhi that Kevala Jnana alone is the means for Moksha.
Do not say: “Karma. Karma. My Karma has brought me like this.” Exert. Exert. Do Purushartha. Do Tapas. Concentrate. Purify. Meditate. Do not become a fatalist. Do not yield to inertia. Do not bleat like a lamb. Roar OM, OM, OM like a lion of Vedanta. See how Markandeya who was destined to die at his sixteenth year became a Chiranjeevi, an immortal boy of sixteen years on account of his Tapas! Also note how Savitri brought back to life by her Tapas her dead husband; how Benjamin Franklin and late Sri T. Muthuswamy Iyer of Madras High Court elevated themselves. Remember, my friends, that man is the master of his own destiny. Visvamitra Rishi, who was a Kshatriya Raja, became a Brahma Rishi like Vasishtha and even created a third world for Trishanku by his power of Tapas. Rogue Ratnakar became the sage Valmiki through Tapas. Rogues Jagai and Madai of Bengal became highly developed Saints. They became the disciples of Lord Gauranga. What others have done, you also can do. There is no doubt of this.
You can also do wonders and miracles if you apply yourself to spiritual Sadhana, Tapas and meditation. Read the book ‘Poverty to Power’? by James Allen with interest and attention. You will be inspired. Draw up a programme of your life. Follow my Twenty Spiritual Instructions and Forty Golden Precepts. Adhere to the “Spiritual Daily Routine” prescribed by me. Apply yourself with zeal and enthusiasm to Sadhana. Become a Naishtic Brahmachari. Be steady and systematic in your Yogabhyasa. Assert. Affirm. Recognise. Realise. Shine in your native pristine Brahmic Glory. Become a Jivanmukta. You are the children of light and immortality. “Tat Twam Asi—Thou art That,” my dear readers.
This is a book with a message of hope, success in life, of peace, of bliss and of the secret of life itself. Herein will be found the Way to Peace, to Truth, and to the Abode of Immortality, eternal sunshine, infinite Joy and Knowledge (Nirvana or Kaivalya) or the final beatitude, the highest goal of life.
YOGA IN DAILY LIFE
Cultivate indomitable will. Practise self-control and self-mastery. Have self-confidence. Develop independent judgment. Do not argue. Strive ceaselessly for Self-realisation. Kill this little ego. Develop pure love. Rise above all distinctions of caste, creed and colour. Give up the idea of ‘I-ness’, ‘Mine-ness’. Look within for the happiness which you have sought in vain in the sensual objects.
Moksha is the summum bonum of life. It is freedom from births and deaths. It is not annihilation. It is annihilation of this little ‘I’. It is obtained through knowledge of the Self. You will have to know the Truth through direct intuitive experience. You will have to cut asunder the veil of ignorance by meditation on the Self. Then you will shine in your pristine purity and divine glory.
Do not try to drive away the unimportant and irrelevant thoughts. The more you try, the more will they return and the more strength will they gain. You will only tax your energy and will. Become indifferent. Fill the mind with divine thoughts. The others will gradually vanish. Get yourself established in Nirvikalpa Samadhi through meditation.
Without perfect Brahmacharya, you cannot have substantial spiritual progress. There is no half measure in the spiritual path. Control the body first. Then purify your thoughts through prayer, Japa, Kirtan, Vichara and meditation. Make a firm resolve, “I will be a perfect Brahmachari from today.” Pray to the Lord to give you spiritual strength to resist the temptations of life and kill lust.
Constant study of the lives of saints will enable you to lead a virtuous life. You will imbibe very noble qualities. You will be gradually moulded in the spiritual path. You will draw inspiration from them. There will be an inner urge in you to attempt for God-realisation. Pray to the Lord that you may become a saint.
Basis Of Yoga
Have self-confidence. Develop independent judgment. Cultivate the indomitable will. Practise self-control and self-mastery.
Do not argue. Strive ceaselessly for Self-realisation. Kill this little ego. Develop pure love. Rise above all distinction of caste, creed and colour.
Give up the idea of “I-ness” and “mine-ness”. Look within for the happiness which you have sought in vain in sensual objects.
One anna of pleasure is mixed with fifteen annas of pain. Pleasure that is mixed with pain and fear is no pleasure at all. If you begin to analyse this one anna of pleasure, you will find that it is no pleasure at all. It is mere play or delusion of the mind. Milk gives pleasure to some and pain to others. Milk brings on retching in fever. The third cup of milk induces vomiting. What is this? This is play of Maya. This is Indra-Jala of Avidya-Shakti. The Indriyas and mind are deceiving you at every moment. Beware. Wake up. Open your eyes. Develop Viveka. If you suffer from cancer of the stomach, can you enjoy Rasagulla and sweets even though you are a multi-millionaire? The doctor will put you on a diet of pepper-water only. If your wife dies, you are drowned in sorrow. You cannot expect happiness from finite, perishable objects that are conditioned in time, space and causation. Nitya Nirupadhika, Niratisaya Ananda, eternal, independent, infinite bliss can only be had in the Atman that is hidden in your heart. Search, understand and realise Atman.
Need For Adhyatmic Knowledge
The secular knowledge that you get from Universities is mere husk only. It serves the purpose of earning the bread only. It cannot give you peace of mind and salvation. It thickens the veil of ignorance only. He who says, “I am specialist in Biology and various logies” is only a fool. One Mantra, one Sloka of the Upanishads will blow up the knowledge that you derive from colleges. Study the first Mantra of Isa Upanishad: “Isavasyam idam sarvam—The whole world is indwelt by the Lord.” Rejoice in Atman by removing the names and forms. Do not be covetous. Imbibe the ideas of this Mantra. Practise. Feel the indwelling presence. Live in the spirit of the Mantra. You will become a King of kings, Emperor of emperors, the Sun of suns, the Light of lights. Do not be puffed up with your University degrees. Be humble. Destroy scientific atheism. Have faith in the teaching of Srutis. Do Kirtan in a chorus with harmony and concord, with one Svara and one Tala. Sing Rama Nama from the bottom of your heart with Bhava. I will make you realise the infinite peace and bliss this very moment.
Importance Of Guru
Guru-Bhakti is absolutely necessary. Guru-Seva with Atma-Lakshya will take you to God immediately. People generally complain: “We do not get good Gurus these days.” This is a lame excuse. You can take even the worst possible rogue as your Guru. You will have to change your angle of vision. When you look at a coconut made of sugar, you have a double consciousness. You know pretty well that it is not coconut. In your heart there is Bhava, it is sugar and sugar alone. Even though you see the world, it is really not. This is the Nischaya of the Vedantic student. It is the determination. Even so, the defects of the ‘rogue-Guru’ do not exist for the disciple who has taken him as his Guru with Bhakti. The aspirant should deify and superimpose all the attributes of the Lord on the ‘rogue-Guru’.
You should never look into the defects of the Guru. You must deify the Guru. Guru, Ishvar, Brahman, Om, Truth are all one. You must strictly obey and carry out his orders. You must think that underneath the name and form of the Guru, there is the all-pervading pure consciousness. In course of time the physical form will vanish and you will realise your own self, the pure Brahmic consciousness that lies at the back of the physical form of your Guru. When once you have taken a man as your Guru, you should never change even if you get a man with greater developments or Siddhis. Then only you will have faith. Through strong faith, you will realise then and there, Brahman, the God in that Guru. You must become the famous Bhakta, Pipa of the well-known Bhaktamala, who took a rogue Nata as his Guru and when he saw his Nata-Guru dancing on the bamboos in the open market, he took him as Guru, the Brahma-incarnate, prostrated before him and thus eventually had his Self-realisation through the form of the rogue-Guru, the Nata.
Three Requisites Of Mukti
Yoga is communion with Lord. The goal of life is Self-realisation. There are two ways for attaining God-consciousness. They are the Pravritti-Marga and Nivritti-Marga. Pravritti-Marga is the path of activity with detachment for attaining the cosmic vision in and through the diverse experiences of normal life. Nivritti-Marga is the path of absolute renunciation or Jnana-Yoga. Karma-Yoga is only Jnana-Sadhana, i.e., means for attaining Self-knowledge. Three things are indispensably requisite for attaining Self-realisation. They are: (1) Guru-Bhakti—devotion and Prema towards the spiritual preceptor, (2) Jijnasa—longing for liberation and (3) a taste for Satsanga. He alone who is endowed with these three attributes can cross this ocean of Samsara (Bhava Sager).
Four Kinds Of Temperaments
There are four kinds of temperaments, viz., the active temperament, the devotional temperament, the mystic temperament and the intellectual temperament.
The Four Yogas
There are four Yogas, viz., Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Raja Yoga and Jnana Yoga.
Karma is suitable for people of active temperament, Bhakti Yoga for people of devotional temperament, Raja Yoga for men of mystic temperament with bold understanding and strong will-power. Bhakti Yoga is suitable for vast majority of persons as they are emotional. Jnana Yoga is suitable for a microscopic minority only. Ladies can realise God quickly as their hearts are filled with devotion, Prema and affection. But it is very difficult for them to get Vairagya.
Food plays a very important role in exciting the senses and passions. An aspirant should be very careful in the selection of articles of diet of Sattvic nature in the beginning of his Sadhana period. Later on drastic dietetic restrictions can be removed. Havis Annam, which is a mixture of boiled white rice and ghee, is very conducive to Yogic practices. When white rice is boiled with ghee, white sugar and milk, it is called Cheru. This is a wholesome combination suitable for Sadhakas.
Milk is a perfect food by itself, containing the different nutritive constituents, fats, proteins, carbohydrates, etc., in well-balanced proportions. It leaves very little residue in the bowels. This is an ideal food for Yogins during Pranayama practice. Fresh milk from a healthy cow, free from bovine tuberculosis, is preferable to scalded milk. Milk should be scalded or pasteurised but not boiled. The process of scalding is that the milk should be immediately removed from the fire, as soon as the boiling point is reached. Too much boiling destroys the vitamins, the mysterious nutritive principles and renders milk quite useless as an article of diet.
A fruit diet exercises a benign, soothing influence on the constitution and is very desirable diet for Yogins. This is a natural form of diet. Bananas, grapes, sweet oranges, apples, pomegranates are wholesome fruits. Bananas are very nutritious. Lemons possess anti-scorbutic properties and act as restoratives to blood. Fruit juice contains a form of nutritive principle, Vitamin C.
Take wholesome, Sattvic food half-stomachful; fill the quarter-stomachful with pure water; and allow the remaining quarter free for expansion of gas. This is Mitahara, the ideal food for Yogins. This is the ideal for all who want to preserve health. This is quite hygienic and is in harmony with the dietetic principles of modern medical science. This is Mitahara prescribed for Yogis.“Nathyasnatastu Yogoasti na chaikantamanasnatah
Na chaathisvapnaseelasya jagratho naivacharjuna”.
“Verily, Yoga is not for him who eateth too much, nor he who abstaineth to excess, nor who is too much addicted to sleep, nor even to wakefulness, O Arjuna.” (Gita VI- 16).“Ahara suddhau, sattva suddhih; sattva suddhau, dhruva smritih;
Smritilabhe sarvagranthinam vipramokshah.”
For spiritual practices Sattvic food is absolutely necessary. Wheat, rice, barley, sugar, butter, sugar-candy, milk, ghee, green dhal, Panchasakha vegetables, cabbages, potatoes, etc., are Sattvic articles of diet.
Highly seasoned dishes, hot curries and chutnies, meat, fish, etc., are forbidden for Sadhakas. Meat can make a scientist, but rarely a philosopher and a Tattva Jnani. Chillies, sour articles, tamarind, mustard, all kinds of oil, asafoetida, salt, onions, garlic, etc., should be avoided. Onions are worse than meat. Too much fasting is injurious during the practice of Yoga.
NOTE: Myrobalan is a beautiful stuff for Yogins. They can chew it very frequently. In Bhagavata it is represented as even superior to nourishing mother. It takes care of the body better than a mother does. Even a mother gets annoyed towards her child; but myrobalan has controlled its Krodha, always possesses an even temperament and is always cheerful and enthusiastic in attending to the well-being of human beings.
Bhava is the main basis of Rasa. The relish of eternal Bliss which the devotee enjoys during his ecstatic state of Bhava Samadhi is called Rasa.
Rasa is of the essence of Lord Krishna. Rasa is the nectarine transcendental Bliss. Lord Krishna is the repository or fountain-source of Rasa.
Taste the Krishna-Bhakti-Rasa through Rati or Prema and attain immortality.
Bhakti is intense devotion towards God. It is Prema of Prabhu. Sraddha and Visvas are the incipient stages of devotion. They develop into Bhakti. Later on faith is the most important thing in the path of devotion.
The qualifications for the attainment of Bhakti are a pure loving heart, faith, innocence, simplicity, truthfulness, Arjava, Vairagya and Brahmacharya.
God looks upon all with an equal eye. We all know how Sri Ramachandra ate the fruits already tasted by the Bhilini Sabari. Sudama’s grains are more welcome to Lord Krishna than the most sumptuous feast that can be offered by a mighty potentate on this earth. What He wants is your loving heart. He neither wants a big temple nor rich presents from you.
Bhakti can be acquired and cultivated. Constant Satsanga with devotees and Bhagavatas, repetition of His Name, Sri Ram, Sita Ram, Hari Om, etc., constant remembrance of the Lord, prayer, study of religious books such as the Ramayana, the Bhagavata, Hari Kirtan, service of Bhaktas, etc., can infuse Bhakti in your heart.
Lust, anger, greed, Moha, pride, jealousy, hatred, egoism, desire for power, name and fame, hypocrisy are all obstacles in the way of Bhakti Yoga.
Remove lust by entertaining pure thoughts; anger by love, Kshama, etc.; greed by charity, honesty, disinterestedness; Moha by Viveka; pride by humility (Namrata, Vinaya); jealousy by magnanimity, nobility and Mudita; hatred by love; and egoism by unconditioned, unreserved and ungrudging self-surrender to the Lord, Atmanivedana or Saranagati.
Pray fervently like Prahlada. Sing His Name like Radha. Weep in solitude like Mira on account of Viraha Agni. Do Kirtan like Lord Gauranga. Sing Bhajan like Ram Prasad of Bengal. Dance in Divine ecstasy like Chaitanya Maha Prabhu and enter into Bhava Samadhi. Repeat His Name like Valmiki, Tukaram or Ram Das.
Be up and doing, my dear friends, in spiritual Sadhana, Bhajan, etc. Never waste a single minute. Wasting time is the highest sin. Lord Rama will surely crown your efforts with success.
Combine all the love you cherish towards all worldly objects, wife, son, wealth, property, relatives, friends and then apply this combined love towards God. You will realise in this very second.
Repeat His name 200 Malas daily (200x108=21,600 times). Sing His praise. Do Hari Kirtan. Repeat His Stotras and hymns. Live in Ayodhya, Brindavan, Pandharpur, Mathura for some months. Control the Indriyas. Eat simple food. Wear simple clothing. Lead a simple, natural life. You will develop Bhakti soon. Cultivate Vairagya towards sensual objects. Have Mithya and Dosha Drishti for objects. Objects are unreal, perishable. They are attended with various sorts of pains and miseries. Vairagya will come by itself. Raga for objects is an enemy of Bhakti.
Repeat the formulae “I am Thine. All is Thine. Thy Will be done.” Have perfect self-surrender. Then only you will have Darshan of God. Do not keep any desires for you. Destroy egoism completely. A Bhakta gets Salokya, Sameepya and Sayujya Mukti. He lives near God. He serves God. He enjoys all His Aishvaryas. He gets Krama Mukti. In the end he gets Jnana.
Where Is God?
Where is God? Is He only in the temples, churches or Musjids? No. Is He only in the four Vedas or Upavedas or six Vedangas or six schools of philosophy or eighteen Puranas or sixty-four sciences? ‘No’. Is He in the places of pilgrimage or Tirthas alone? No. No. No. Where is He then? “Hridi Sarvasya Tishthitam (Gita XIII-17)—Wisdom, the object of Wisdom, seated in the hearts of all.” He is not very far. He is quite close to you. “Anoraniyan mahato mahian atmasya jantornihato guhayam.” Subtler than the subtlest, greater than the greatest, He is located in the cavity of your heart, in the innermost recesses or chambers, the Hridaya Kamala.
“Nayamatma pravachanena labhyo na medhaya na bahuna srutena” (Katha Upanishad). Not by arguments, not by extreme intelligence, not by the voracious and wide study of scriptures, will you reach God. You can reach Him by sincere Sadhana or ascetic spiritual practices. Avoid wrangling and vain quibbling. Make genuine efforts.
Mysterious Help From The Lord To Bhaktas
O faithless ones! Just hear the life-history of Roopkala Bhagavan of Ayodhya and the soldier-Bhakta of Punjab. Roopkala Bhagavan was a famous Bhakta in Ayodhya. It was he who started the All-India-Kirtan. He died a few years ago. He was a native of Chapra near Benares. He was the Inspector of Schools. He was a sincere devotee of Sri Rama. One day he was absorbed in meditation. He did not visit a school for inspection. Lord Rama Himself assumed the form of the inspector through his Yoga-Maya-Sakti, inspected the school boys, signed in the register and disappeared. When the inspector came to the school next morning, the teachers said that he was present all along in the school the previous day and showed him his signature in the register. He was very much astonished. This one evidence gave him much encouragement. He instantaneously resigned his post and went to Ayodhya to spend the rest of his life in communion with Lord Rama. Have you not heard of a recent Punjab incident? A soldier, a sincere Rama-Bhakta, was on patrol duty at night. One night a fine Kirtan-party was moving about quite close to the soldier. The soldier was much moved by deep devotion, left his duty and joined the Kirtan-party. He enjoyed the Kirtan to his heart’s content. In the depth of higher emotions, he entered into Bhava-Samadhi, the ecstatic state of Bhaktas. When he returned at 6 a.m. he enquired the Subedar-Major whether anything happened during his absence. The Subedar said, “Nothing happened. I saw you always on the patrol duty.” The Bhakta soldier was extremely surprised to hear the statement of the Subedar. He thought it was all the Grace of Rama. Rama Himself took charge of patrol duty to protect His devotee. He assumed the form of the soldier. When the Bhakta came to know of this incident, he immediately resigned his post and went to Ayodhya to spend his whole life in devotion. My dear brother, do not become a sceptic. If you are sincere in your devotion, you will have Darshan of God face to face this very moment.
What Is Japa?
Japa is the repetition of any Mantra or Name of the Lord. In this Kaliyuga, Japa is an easy way for God-realisation. Tukaram, Dhruva, Valmiki, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Narsi Mehta, Gauranga, Ramdas, Mira—all had attained salvation by uttering the name of God. Why not you also, my dear friends, my amiable comrades? Japa is an important Anga of Yoga.
Any Mantra is powerful. It is a mass of radiant energy. Japa is of three kinds:
(1) Vaikhari or verbal with Ucchara.
(2) Upamsu with humming sound.
(3) Manasika wherein the lips do not move. It is done with the mind and mind alone.
Upamsu brings fruits thousand times more than that of Vaikhari. Manasika brings fruits crores of times than Vaikhari.
Mind wants varieties, new sensations. It gets disgusted with monotony. Just as you want brinjal vegetable today, Lauki tomorrow and Parwal day after tomorrow, the mind wants varieties in Japa also; otherwise it becomes dull. It refuses to work.
Do Vaikhari for some time, then Upamsu for some time and then Manasika for some time. The repetition of a Mantra serves as a gate-keeper. When the mind runs away, the repetition of the Mantra will at once tell you that some other evil-intruding thoughts have entered the mind.
Benefits Of Japa
There is Mantra Sakti and Mantra Chaitanya in every Mantra. It changes the mental substance from passion to purity, from Rajas into Sattva. It calms, strengthens the mind. It makes the mind Antarmukha, introspective. It checks the outgoing tendencies of the mind. It eradicates all kinds of evil thoughts and inclinations. It destroys Vasanas and reduces the force of thought. Eventually it leads to the direct Darshan of God or Ishta Devata. Japa purifies the mind, induces Vairagya, destroys Vasanas and brings you face to face with God.
Instructions On Japa
Have Suddha, Sattvic Bhava when you repeat the Mantra. Repeat the Mantra at least 21,600 times daily, to correspond with the 21,600 Soham breaths.
You must do the Japa regularly. The shorter the Mantra the greater is the concentration. Of all the Mantras, Rama, Rama, Rama is the best. It is easy to repeat also. If you are tired of repeating the Mantra at one stroke, have three or more sittings; from morning 4 to 7, evening 4 to 5 and night 6 to 8.
Repeat the Mantra very quickly for some time and when you find that the mind is wandering much then repeat it slowly. The golden rule is to repeat the Mantra neither too slow nor too quick. Observe the happy medium.
Everyone of you should have a separate meditation room. Make a small enclosure in a corner of a room with screen and sit for Japa if you cannot manage to get a separate room. Do not allow anybody to frequent the place. Both morning and night sit there regularly for 10 minutes. Gradually increase the time as much as you can. This is very, very important.
In this Kali Yuga when rigid Hatha Yoga Kriyas are difficult to be performed owing to poor physique of people and when people do not possess sharp intellect and power of inflection and ratiocination, Japa and Kirtan are easy methods for Self-realisation. Ram Prasad of Bengal had Darshan of Mother Kali through Kirtan alone. “Na-aham vasami Vaikunthe yoginam hridaye na cha, mad bhakta yatra gayanti tatra tishthami Narada—I dwell not in Vaikuntha, nor in the hearts of Yogins; but I dwell there where my Bhaktas sing of Me, O Narada!”
Mantra For Japa
Select any one of the following Mantras. Repeat it with concentration from 10 to 50 Malas from 4 to 6 a.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. regularly, everyday.
Om Gam Ganapataye Namah
Om Namo Narayanaya
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Om Kling Krishnaya Govindaya Gopijana Vallabhaya Svaha
Om Sri Rama, Jaya Rama, Jaya Jaya Ram
Om Ram Ramaya Namah
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
1. Sita Ram
3. Sri Sita Ramachandrabhyo Namah
1. Sri Rama Saranam Mama
2. Sri Sita Rama Saranam Mama
3. Sri Ramachandra Saranam Prapadye
4. Sri Krishna Saranam Mama
Bhakti Yoga Sadhana
God is the Inner Ruler of your heart and mind. He is the silent witness of your thoughts. You cannot hide anything from Him. Become guileless and straightforward.
A devotee of Hari is always meek and humble. Name of God “Hari” is always on his lips. He sheds profuse tears when he is alone. He is very pious. He is friendly towards all. He has equal-vision. He does good always. He never hurts the feelings of others. He has a spotless character. He never covets the property of others. He sees Hari in all beings.
Bhakti can move mountains. Nothing is impossible to it. It was the devotion of Mira that converted a snake into a flower garland, poison into nectar and a bed of nails into a bed of roses. It was the devotion of Prahlada that turned fire into ice.
A devotee should become an embodiment of goodness. He must be ever ready to do good to living beings. That devotee who is intent upon the welfare of all beings obtains the peace of the Eternal. He who rejoices in the welfare of all, gets the Darshan of the Lord. He develops Advaitic consciousness eventually.
Service of Bhagavatas, repetition of God’s name, Satsanga, singing His name, study of the Bhagavata or the Ramayana, living in Brindavan, Pandharpur, Chitrakuta or Ayodhya, are the six means for developing Bhakti.
Anger and lust are the two inner enemies that stand in the way of developing Bhakti. From lust follow the ten vices that are mentioned in Manusamhita—love of hunting, gambling, sleeping by day, slandering, company with bad women, drinking, singing love-songs, vulgar music, dancing, aimlessly wandering about.
Anger begets eight kinds of vices. All evil qualities proceed from anger. If you can eradicate anger all bad qualities will die of themselves. The eight vices are: Injustice, rashness, persecution, jealousy, taking possession of others’ property, harsh words and cruelty.
How are Bhaktas to be known? Lord Krishna has given a description of them. You will find it in Bhagavatam. “They do not care for anything. Their hearts are fixed on Me. They are very humble. They have equal vision. They have no attachment towards anybody or anything. They are without ‘mine-ness’. They have no egoism. They make no distinction between sorrow and happiness. They do not take anything from others. They can bear heat, cold and pain. They have love for all living beings. They have no enemy. They are serene. They possess exemplary character.”
Here is a Sadhana for advanced students. This is highly useful for getting quick, solid progress in the spiritual path. Get up at 4 a.m. Start your Japa on any Asana you have mastered. Do not take food or drink for 14 hours. Do not get up from the Asana. Control passing urine till sunset if you can manage. Finish the Japa at sunset. Take milk and fruits after sunset. Householders can practise this during holidays. Practise this once a fortnight or once a month or once weekly.
Here is another Sadhana for 10 days. You can do this during the Christmas holidays or Puja holidays or summer vacation. Shut yourself in an airy room. Do not talk to anybody. Do not see anybody. Do not hear anything. Get up at 4 a.m. Start Japa of the Mantra of your Ishta Devata or your Guru Mantra and finish it at sunset. Then take some milk and fruits or Kheer (milk and rice boiled with sugar). Take rest for one or two hours. But continue the Japa. Then again start the Japa seriously. Retire to bed at 11 in the night. You can combine meditation along with Japa. Make all arrangements for bath, food, etc., inside the room. Have two rooms if you can manage, one for bath and one for meditation. Repeat this four times a day. This practice can be kept up even for 40 days. You will have wonderful result and various experiences. You will enter into Samadhi. You will have Darshan of your Ishtam. I assure you.
Here is an Anushthana for 40 days. You will have to do Japa of Rama Mantra one Lakh and twenty five thousand times in the following manner for 40 days, at the rate of 3000 daily. During the last five days do 4000 daily. Get up at 4. a.m. Write down in a thin paper ‘Rama, Rama’ 300 times. Then cut it into small pieces. Each piece will contain one Rama Nama. Then roll it with a small ball of Atta (wheat flour paste). Writing will take two or three hours according to your strength and capacity. Then you will have to cut one by one. You will have to do the whole process by sitting on one Asana. If you find it difficult to sit on one Asana, you can have change of Asana. But you should not leave your seat. Some use a special ink made of saffron, musk, camphor, etc., and special writing pen made up of a sharp-pointed thin, Tulasi-stick. You can use ordinary ink and pen if you cannot get the above special ink and special pen. You will have to do the Anushthana on the banks of Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Kaveri or Narmada, at Rishikesh, Benares, Hardwar, or Prayag. You can do it at home, if you find it difficult to move to these places. Take milk and fruits and Palahar during these days. Two Punjabis, a student of law, and his father, are having this Anushthana in Rishikesh. Throw the balls in the Ganga or any river for fishes. You will develop wonderful patience. You will get Divine Grace.
Study the whole of the Ramayana 108 times with purity and concentration. This can be done within three years if you can devote three hours daily. You can go through the book three times in a month. You will acquire Siddhis. You will have Darshan of Lord Rama.
Bhakti Yoga and Jnana Yoga are not incompatibles like acids and alkalis. One can combine Ananya Bhakti (one-pointed devotion) with Jnana Yoga. The fruit of Bhakti Yoga is Jnana. Highest love (Para Bhakti and Jnana are one. Perfect knowledge is love. Perfect love is knowledge. Sri Sankara, the Advaita Kevala Jnani, was a great Bhakta of Lord Hari, Hara and Devi. Jnana Deva of Alandi, Poona, a great Yogi of late, was a Bhakta of Lord Krishna. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa worshipped Kali and got Jnana through Swami Totapuri, his Advaita Guru. Lord Chaitanya was a fine Advaita Vedantic Scholar, and yet he danced in streets and market places, singing Hari’s names. Appaya Dikshitar, a famous Jnani of Adaipalam, North Arcot District, Madras, the author of Siddhanta Lesha and various other Vedantic books was a devotee of Lord Siva. It behoves, therefore, that Bhakti can be combined with much advantage with Jnana.
May we hear with our ears and see with our eyes nothing but what is pure, so that with our senses unperturbed, remembering God, meditating on Him, singing His praise and repeating His name, we may attain life as that of the Gods. Om Santi.
Kirtan At Home
This is an easy way for attaining God-consciousness. At night all the members of the house should sit in a circle and do Kirtan for one hour before the picture of Lord Krishna. The servants of the house also should be included. Sing any Name of the Lord as Siva, Hare Ram, Sita Ram, Raghupati Raghava Rajaram, etc., in a chorus with one Svara, Tala harmoniously. Nada Brahman will be generated. You will forget the body and the world and enter into ecstatic state. Practise, try and feel yourself. Mere tall talk will not do. Just as the intoxication that you get by taking a dose of opium lasts for hours, the Divine intoxication that you get from Kirtan will last for some hours during the following day also. At night you will be free from bad dreams. During Kirtan a special spiritual wave comes from the indweller of your heart and purifies the mind and Pranamaya Kosha. All diseases are cured thereby. Doctor’s bills are saved. Sattva flows from the Lord to your mind, just as oil flows from one vessel to another vessel. Kirtan gives you strength to face the difficulties in the battle of life. Singing the Names of the Lord is a mental tonic.
Evening Katha At Home
In the evening four people can join together and read regularly the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana or the Bhagavata. Svadhyaya or study of holy scriptures is Kriya Yoga. It is of immense benefit for householders who do not find much time for serious spiritual practices and constant meditation. The study itself is a form of meditation. When the mind is concentrated on Divine thoughts, it is filled with purity. The gross mind is rendered subtle.
What Should Ladies Do
I want to say a word on the devotional nature of Hindu ladies. In India, religion is maintained by the ladies only. There is peculiar religious instinct in them. Hindu ladies are highly devotional. They infuse the religious spirit in the males through their daily conduct and practical life. They get up in the early morning, wash the house, take bath, do Japa, make a small temple in their house and keep there pictures of the Lord and Pooja vessels, etc. They keep the place sacred and in the evening do Arati and prayer. The atheistic male members of the house are forced to do some prayer or other through their influence, on account of fear. In reality the ladies of the house govern the house. They are the manifestations of Sakti. The husband is not entitled to do any religious rite without her presence by his side.“Yatra naryastu pujyante ramante tatra devatah,
Yatrai tastu na pujyante sarvastatraphalah kriyah”
—Manu Smriti III-56.
“Where women are honoured, there Devas are pleased; but where they are not honoured, there no sacred rite is fruitful.” Such is the glory of Hindu ladies. My earnest prayer is that they should sing the Name of the Lord in the early morning as soon as they get up. They should train their children also to sing the Names. The whole house will be charged with spiritual vibrations. Even when they cook and draw water from the wells, they should be singing in mild tone the Names of the Lord. A strong habit of repeating the Names of the Lord will be formed in two months. This itself is quite sufficient for attaining God-consciousness. Singing the Names of the Lord is a very easy method for getting Darshan of the Lord in this Kali-Yuga. Even when anyone dies, the habit of singing the Name of the Lord will come to his rescue.
Duties Of Womanhood
From time immemorial Sita, Savitri, Damayanti, Nalayani, Anasuya and Draupadi have been regarded as sacred ideals of Indian Womanhood. They are sublime and exemplary characters who have exalted womanhood to the height of divine perfection.
Modern women should draw inspiration from their lives and try to tread their path. As long as such characters continue to exercise their influence upon the lives and character of Indian ladies, so long they will be looked upon with admiration and reverence by their sisters of other countries.
All of them were subjected to very severe tests in which their purity, courage, patience and other virtues were put to and nobly did they come out through those tests. Hindu women are, since the dawn of the early civilisation, distinguished for their disinterested love and self-abnegation.
What a wife is to a Hindu husband is well illustrated by a verse in the Ramayana where Sri Rama referred to Sita says:Karyeshu Mantree, Karaneshu Dasee,
Dharmeshu Patnee, Kshamaya Dharitree,
Sneheshu Mata, Sayaneshu Rambha,
Rangecha Sakhi, Lakshmana Sa Priya Me.
“In counsel she is my counsellor, in action she is my servant, in religious performances she is my partner, in tolerance she is like the earth, in affection she is like unto my mother, in bed she is like the celestial Rambha and in play she is my companion. Such indeed, O Lakshmana, is my beloved...” This is the Hindu ideal of a wife.
The eternal fidelity of a Hindu woman to her husband makes her an ideal of the feminine world. It makes her sublime and lofty. This sublime virtue still runs deep in the heart of hearts of every Hindu woman of India superior to any of the other countries in national integrity and honour.
The inspiring force of the home is woman. The home is the origin and the beginning of every form of social organisation. It is the nursery of the nation. It is the sweet place or centre wherein children are trained for future citizenship. The woman illumines the home through the glory of motherhood. Man is incapable of doing the domestic duties incident upon the rearing up of the children. Good habits, right conduct, formation of character are created in children spontaneously in a well-regulated home under the personal influence of the mother. The loving kindness and the cultured gentleness of the mother help the children to unfold their native talents and dormant capacities quickly. Children absorb ideas by suggestion and imitation. Early training and impressions are lasting formation of character can be done by efficiently by mothers at home. Therefore, home is the beautiful training ground for the building up of character in children under the personal guidance of the mother.
Women are the backbone or bedrock or the basis for sustaining religion and national strength and prosperity. There is no difference between her and Lakshmi, the Goddess of Beauty, Grace and Prosperity. Manu says, “That woman who does always good, who is efficient in work, sweet in speech, devoted to her Dharmas and service to her husband, is really no human being but a Goddess.” If the mother trains her children on the right lines she is rendering a great service indeed to the nation and the national culture.
Women have got ample opportunities to improve and increase the national health and prosperity. They really build the nation. They can utilise their talents and abilities in making the home the cradle of culture character, personal ability and religious upheaval. It is therefore wrong to say that their life is cramped or stunted by attending to the duties at home and that no scope is given for evolution and freedom. This is a sad mistake indeed! The life of a woman is as noble and serious as that of a man. There is no doubt of this.
It is the women that keep up the life and happiness of the home through their smile, tender affection, sweet speech, charming personality, grace and angelic presence. The home will be a real void without them. It will lose its peculiar charm and beauty without their presence.
It will be of great benefit to know what the Great Ones have said about the ideal of conduct and deportment that a woman should try to live up to. Sri Rama instructs Kausalya, his mother, as follows: “To a woman so long as she is alive, the husband is indeed the Lord and God. That woman, who, though noblest of all and given to the practice of vows and fasts, does not look after her husband, will indeed obtain an unmeritorious future. Even if a woman has never bowed to the Gods and has ceased to worship them, she obtains the highest heaven by serving her husband. A woman should be absorbed in the service of her husband, taking delight in his pleasure and his good. This is the path of the Dharma, known for long ages, revealed in the Vedas, and remembered by the world. There is nothing more cruel for a woman than to desert her husband. To attend upon and to serve one’s husband is no doubt the highest duty of a woman. So long as a woman lives, her husband is her only master.”
Then again there is Kanva Rishi’s advice to Sakuntala on the eve of her departure from his Ashram to King Dushyanta’s residence. Kanva Rishi says: “Sakuntala! Serve all your elders. Though your Lord is angry with you at times, do not go against his wishes. Do not be too much attached in enjoyment. Treat your dependants and co-wives with motherly affection and tenderness. Be an affectionate companion to your sisters-in-law. Be obedient to your mother-in-law. These attributes will make you the true mistress of the house. Otherwise, you will give pain and trouble to the whole family.”
It is the duty of the lady of the house to get up before her husband in the early hours of the dawn, take her bath and perform the household work. Tiruvalluvar’s wife shampooed the feet of her husband, slept after her husband and rose up in the morning before he got up from bed. She is regarded as a model woman.
To a lady the husband is indeed the highest ornament of all ornaments. Being separated from him, she, however beautiful, does not shine.
The Hindu scriptures say that the wife must be very obedient and that the husband is God to her. Some ignorant persons take advantage of this and exercise undue authority over their wives and keep them under extreme subordination. Is this not a sad mistake? Woman is in no way inferior to man. The home is a co-operative organisation. It flourishes on the principle of division of labour. The husband should not think that he is superior to his wife, simply because he is the earning member of the family. Women have a definite field of their own. They are mothers of the house. The extraordinary abilities and intellectual attainments, and the magnetic personality of the modern women are a standing monument to their undoubted equality with men. The personal influence of women at home is essential to unify the various interests of the family. It is women alone who can rear and nurse children. Hindu wives are queens in their own homes. The husbands should treat their wives with intense love and respect. They should be regarded as equals in all respects and be held in the light of partners in life. Manu says, “The householder should first serve his relatives and dependants with food and then take the remaining food along with his wife,” hinting thereby at the position of equal footing on which she is to be treated. If a man earns and the wife stays at home, it does not mean that the woman is a parasite and a slave. She is indeed the builder of the nation. Verily, women exercise an authority over their husbands through their love, tenderness, affection, grace, beauty, selfless service and fidelity, purity and self-abnegation.
In the west the woman is wife. In India the woman is the mother. Mother is worshipped. Mother is considered as the Goddess Lakshmi of the house. The Srutis emphatically declare, “Let thy mother be thy God.” The late Ashutosh Mukherji, Vice-Chancellor of the Calcutta University used to wash the feet of his mother and drink the water before he went to his office. This water is called ‘Charanamrit’. It is a great purifier of the heart. In the West the wife governs the home. In an Indian home the mother rules. In the West the mother has to be subordinate to the wife. In India the wife has to be subordinate to the mother.
If woman be pure she can save and purify man. Woman can purify the race. Woman can make a home a sacred temple. The Hindu women have been the custodians of the Hindu race. The Hindu religion, the Hindu culture and civilisation still survive in spite of the many foreign invasions, when other civilisations have come and gone, on account of the purity of the Hindu women. The women are taught to regard chastity as their most priceless possession, and the loss of it as equal to the eternal damnation of their souls. Religion is ingrained in the Hindu women from their very childhood. Hindu women illumine and enliven the house through the glory of their purity. This is the secret of the endurance of the Hindu religion, civilisation and culture.
Advice To Householders
Start that pure life of a Yogi the very day on which you read these lines. No leniency to mind. Self-reliance is indispensably requisite. You can get suggestions from outside. But you will have to tread the path yourself, to place each step yourself in the spiritual ladder.
You will have to train your wife also. She also will have to do rigid Sadhana. Mere gossiping will not do. If she serves the husband nicely and takes care of his body with the right mental attitude and gives him the wants of the flesh, food and drinks as soon as he comes down from meditation, she can have Self-realisation in and through the form of her husband alone, like Laila in Majnu, Savitri in Satyavan, Anasuya in Atri.
That house is a miserable place, veritable hell on earth wherein the husband moves up in spirituality and the wife pulls him down in sensual grooves and vice versa. They should be harmoniously blended or joined by the thread of the knowledge of the Self, each aspiring eagerly for attaining God-consciousness. That house is really a Vaikuntha where the husband and wife lead an ideal Divine Life, singing Hari’s Name, repeating His Mantra 200 Malas daily, studying the Ramayana and the Bhagavata, controlling the Indriyas and serving Bhaktas and Sannyasins.
Renunciation is mental. Renunciation brings peace. There is no loss in renunciation. You renounce the illusory sense pleasure to get the Supreme, Eternal Bliss and Immortality. Bear this in mind. Do not be guided and influenced by public opinion. March boldly and cheerfully in the path of Truth, consulting your inner conscience and hearing the inner, small, shrill, sweet voice of the soul. Do not be hasty in doing any outward renunciation. The world is the best teacher. Unfold the Divinity by remaining in the world alone. Nivritti Marga is extremely difficult. Ninety per cent fail in this path.
Save as much money as possible. Do 200 Malas of Japa. Cut off society. Keep company with one Sattvic man. Spend every second profitably. Serve sick people. Share what you have a small portion with poor people.
May the Divine Glory shine in your face!
(Cheer up yourself—never despair)
Sin is a mistake committed by the ignorant Jiva during his journey towards Sat-Chit-Ananda abode. Once you make up your mind to tread the path of truth all sins will be destroyed. Lord Krishna gives His assurance: “Even if the most sinful worship Me, with undivided heart, he too must be accounted righteous for he hath rightly resolved. Speedily he becometh dutiful and goeth to eternal peace. Know thou for certain that My devotee never perisheth.” The repetition of even ulta-nam (reverse name) of Rama Mantra, transmuted rogue Ratnakar into a sage Valmiki. When such is the power of the inverse name (Mara, Mara), what to speak of the glory of repeating Rama, Rama with Bhava from the bottom of the heart! Ajamila who was in a degraded and abject state on account of his bad character attained Mukti by repeating ‘Narayana’ once in his death-bed by calling his son by his name Narayana. Licentious Vemanna of Andhra Desa became a full-blown Yogi by his devotion to mother Kali. Grieve not, my dear friends. Fear not. Stand up. Gird up the loins. Fight with the Indriyas and Vasanas. Become a Yogi. Forget the past. A glorious, brilliant future is awaiting you. Cheer up yourself. Purify. Concentrate. Do Japa and Kirtan. Meditate. Realise the Sat-Chit-Ananda Atman!
Half-hearted service is no service at all. Give your whole heart, mind and soul when you serve. This is very important when you practise Karma Yoga.
Some people have their body in one place, mind in another place, and soul in another place. This is the reason why they do not realise any substantial progress in the path.
Forget not the goal of life amidst selfish activities. The goal of life is Self-realisation. Are you attempting to reach the end and aim of life? Are you doing Japa, Pranayama and Meditation? Have you kept up the ideal before the mind’s eye? That day in which you do not practise any spiritual Sadhana is wasted. Give the mind to God and the hand to work. You will have to analyse and scrutinise your motives. It is the selfish motive and not the work itself that binds a man to Samsara. Prepare the mind for Karma Yoga. Mere selfish work cannot be taken as Yogic activity. The mind is so framed that it always expects something for a small piece of work. When you smile you expect a return of smile from your friend. When you raise your hand in salutation, you expect a salute from other people. Even when you give a cup of water to another man, you expect him to be grateful to you. When such is the case how can you perform Nishkama Karma Yoga?
Life is very precious. Live in the spirit of the Gita’s teaching and work without expectation of fruits and egoism. Think you are Nimitta in the hands of Lord Narayana. If you work with this mental attitude you will become a Yogi soon. Work never degrades a man. Unselfish work is Puja of Narayana. Work is worship. All works are sacred. There is no menial work from the highest view point, from the view point of the absolute, from the view point of Karma Yoga. Even scavenging when done with the right spirit and mental attitude is Yogic action. Even a scavenger can realise God in his own station of life by service. The famous butcher Dharma Vyadha of Mahabharata realised God in his meat shop (through serving his parents). You all have got inside all materials for wisdom. There is a vast magazine of power and knowledge within you. It wants kindling. Now wake up, Oh Saumya!
When you work disinterestedly without any agency and when you surrender the works and fruits as Ishvararpana, all Karmas are transformed into Yogic Kriyas. Walking, eating, sleeping, answering the calls of nature, talking, etc., become offering unto the Lord. Every bit of work is Yoga for you. Think that Lord Siva is working through your hands, and is eating through your mouth. Think that your hands are the hands of Lord Siva. In the beginning some of your actions may be selfish and some may be unselfish. In the long run you can do all actions in an unselfish manner. Scrutinise your motives always. This is the keynote for Nishkamya Karma Yoga. Every act can be spiritualised when the motive becomes pure. Work is meditation. Serve everyone with intense love without any idea of agency without expectation of fruits or reward. If you adopt the path of Jnana, feel you are a silent Sakshi and the Prakriti does everything.
It is selfishness that has deplorably contracted your heart. Selfishness is the bane of society. Selfishness clouds understanding. Selfishness is petty-mindedness. Bhoga increases selfishness and selfish Pravritti. It is the root cause for human sufferings. Real spiritual progress starts in selfless service. Serve the Sadhus, Sannyasins, Bhaktas and poor, sick persons with Bhava, Prema and Bhakti. The Lord is seated in the hearts of all.
The spirit of service must deeply enter into your very bones, cells, tissues, nerves, etc. The reward is invaluable. Practise and feel the cosmic expansion and infinite Ananda. Tall talk and idle gossiping will not do, my dear friends! Evince intense zeal and enthusiasm in work. Be fiery in the spirit of service.
Have Nishta with God and Cheshta with hands like the Bahurupi who has the Nishta of a male and the Cheshta of a female. You will be able to do two things at a time by practice. The manual work will become automatic, mechanical or intuitive. You will have two minds. A portion of the mind will be at work; three quarters of the mind will be in the service of the Lord, in meditation, in Japa. Karma Yoga is generally combined with Bhakti Yoga. A Karma Yogin offers to the Lord as an oblation whatever he does through the Karma Indriyas. This is Ishvara Pranidhana.
Training For Karma Yoga
A raw untrained aspirant feels, “My preceptor is treating me like a servant or a peon. He is using me for petty jobs.” He who has understood the right significance of Karma Yoga will take every work as Yogic activity or worship of the Lord. There is no menial work in his vision. Every work is Puja of Narayana. In the light of Karma Yoga all actions are sacred. That aspirant who always takes immense delight in doing works which are considered by the worldly man as menial services, and who always does willingly such acts only will become a dynamic Yogi. He will be absolutely free from conceit and egoism. He will have no downfall. The canker of pride cannot touch him.
Study the autobiography of Mahatma Gandhiji. He never makes any difference between menial service and dignified work. Scavenging and cleaning of the latrine is the highest Yoga for him. This is the highest Puja for him. He himself has done cleaning of latrines. He has annihilated this illusory little ‘I’ through service of various sorts. Many highly educated persons joined his Ashram for learning Yoga under him. They thought that Gandhiji would teach them Yoga in some mysterious manner in a private room and would give lessons on Pranayama, meditation, abstraction, awakening Kundalini, etc. They were disappointed when they were asked to clean the latrine at first. They left the Ashram immediately. Gandhiji himself does repairing of his shoes. He himself used to grind flour and take upon his shoulders the work of others also when they were unable to do their allotted portion of work for the day in the Ashram. When an educated person, a new Ashramite, felt shy to do grinding work, Gandhiji himself would do his work in front of him and then the man would do the work himself from the next day willingly.
In the West cobblers and peasants have risen to a very great position in society. Every work is a respectable work for them. A boy applies polish to the boots in the streets of London for a penny, carries newspapers and journals in the afternoon for sale and works as an apprentice under a journalist during his leisure hours at night. He studies books, works hard, never wastes a minute and in a few years becomes a journalist of great repute and international fame. In Punjab some graduates have taken to hair-dressing work. They have understood the dignity of labour.
A real Yogi does not make any difference between menial and respectable work. It is only an ignorant man who makes such a difference. Some aspirants are humble in the beginning of their spiritual career. When they get some name and fame, some followers, admirers, devotees and disciples, they become victims to pride.
They cannot do any service. They cannot carry anything on their heads or hands. That Yogi who carries the trunk on his head without the slightest feeling in the railway platform amidst a multitude of his admirers, disciples and devotees, without making any outward show of humility must be adored. Sage Jada Bharata carried the palanquin of King Rahugana on his shoulders without murmuring. Lord Krishna shampooed the legs of a Raja when his barber devotee was on leave. Sri Rama carried a pot of water for the ablution of one of his devotees. Sri Krishna took the form of a menial servant as Vithoo and paid the money to the Nawab on behalf of his devotee, Dhamaji. If you really want to grow in the spiritual path you must do all sorts of service daily till the end of life. Then only you are safe. Do not stop doing service when you have become a famous Yogi. The spirit of service must enter every nerve, cell, tissue and bone of your body. It must be ingrained in you. Then only you will become a real, full-blown practical Vedantin.
Is there any greater Vedantin or Karma Yogin than Lord Buddha? He still lives in our hearts, because the spirit of service was ingrained in him and he spent his whole life in serving others in various ways. You can also become a Buddha if you apply yourself diligently to selfless service with the right mental attitude.
Attain Nirlipta State
Lord Krishna says in His Gita: “Tasmat sarveshu kaleshu mam anusmara yudhyacha—Therefore, at all times think of Me and fight.” Give the mind to God and the hand to work. The typist works at the machine and talks with his friends. The player on the harmonium plays on the organ and talks and jokes with his friends; the lady knits and talks with her comrades. The mind of the girl who has a water pot on her head is on the water pot, though she is talking and joking with her companions while she is walking on the road. A nurse while she is nursing the baby of another lady has her mind rivetted on her own baby. A cowherd while he is looking after the cows of other people has his mind fixed on his own cow. Even so, have your mind fixed at the lotus feet of the Lord, while you are doing your household duties and office work. You will realise Self-consciousness quickly. Just as the water remains unaffected in the lotus leaf, just as the oil floats upon the surface of the water without being affected in any way, so also you should remain in the world amidst pleasures and difficulties.
Just as the tongue is not affected by taking ghee, so also you should remain unaffected even amidst worldly activities and troubles. You must keep up the Nirlipta state. This is Jnana. This is balance (Samata). You may fail to keep the balance and Nirlipta state a thousand and one times. But in the long run you are bound to succeed if you persist in your practice and if you discipline the mind properly. Every failure is a pillar for future success. Remember this point well.
A Karma Yogin should not expect even return of love, appreciation, gratitude, admiration from the people whom he is serving.
Only he who has reduced his wants and controlled the Indriyas can do Karma Yoga. How can a luxurious man with revolting Indriyas serve others? He wants everything for himself and wants to exploit and domineer others.
Another qualification is that you must be balanced in success or failure, gain or loss, victory or defeat. You must be free from Raga and Dvesha. “An action which is ordained, done by one undesirous of fruit, devoid of attachment, without love or hate, that is called pure.” (Gita XVIII-23)
What Is Karma
Karma means work or action. According to Jaimini, rituals like Agnihotra, Yajnas, etc., are termed Karmas. There is a hidden power in Karma termed Adrishta which brings in fruits of Karmas for the individual. Karma is all for Jaimini. Karma is everything for a student of Mimamsic school of thought. Jaimini is the founder of Purva Mimamsa. He was student of Maharishi Vyasa, the founder of Uttara Mimamsa or Vedanta. The Mimamsa school deny the existence of Ishvara who awards the fruits of works.
According to the Gita, any action is Karma. Charity, sacrifice, Tapas are all Karmas. In a philosophical sense, breathing, seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling, smelling, walking, talking, etc., are all Karma. Thinking is the real Karma. Raga-Dvesha constitute the real Karma.
How To Find Right Or Wrong Action
Have right thinking. Use your reason and commonsense. Follow the injunctions of the Sashtras. Consult the code of Manu or Yajnavalkya Smriti whenever you have doubts. You will be able to find out whether you are doing right or wrong action. If you say, “Sastras are countless. They are like the ocean. I can hardly understand the truths that are inculcated. I cannot fathom and gauge their depths. There are contradictions. I am puzzled and bewildered.” Then strictly follow the words of a Guru on whom you have absolute faith and confidence. The third way is: Have fear in God. Consult your conscience. The shrill, inner voice will guide you. As soon as you hear the voice, do not delay even a moment. Start the action diligently without consulting anybody. Practise to hear the inner voice in the morning at 4 a.m. If there is fear, shame, or pricking of conscience, know that you are doing a wrong action. If there is joy, exhilaration or satisfaction understand that you are doing right action.
When the diverse, confining sheaths of Atman have been dissolved by Sadhana, when the different Vrittis of the mind have been controlled by mental drill or gymnastics, when the conscious mind is not active, you enter the realm of spirit life, the superconscious mind where Buddhi and pure reason and intuition, the faculty of direct cognition of Truth manifest. You pass into the kingdom of peace where there is none to speak, you will hear the voice of God which is very clear and pure and has an upward tendency. Listen to the voice with attention and interest. It will guide you. It is the voice of God.
Prayer For A Karma-Yogin
(By Sri Sankaracharya)Atma tvam girija matih sahachara pranah sareeram griham
Puja te vishayopa bhoga rachana nidra samadhi sthitih
Sancharah padayoh pradakshina vidhih stotrani sarvagiro;
Yadyat karma karomi tat tat akhilam Shambho tavaradhanam.
Repeat the Sloka at the end of your meditation.
“Thou art Atma; Buddhi is Thy consort, Parvathi (who is born of mountain); the Pranas are Thy attendants; this body is Thy house; the action of sensual enjoyment is Thy worship; deep sleep is the establishment of Samadhi; walking by my feet is the perambulation around Thee; all my speeches are Thy praise; whatever actions I perform, are all Thy worship; Oh Shambhu!”
Mind is mysterious something which is really nothing but does everything.
It is born of Maya. It is a product of ignorance. It is a compound of Vasanas and Sankalpas. It is a mixture of worry and fear. It is a solution of Ahankara. It is a confection.
Absolute and relative manifestations.
Matter, Prana and Mind are the three relative manifestations of the Absolute. Prana is really a modification or manifestation of Mind. Prana is Kriya Sakti or faculty of actions. Matter emanates from Prana. Prana proceeds from mind. Matter is below Prana. Prana is above matter but below mind. Prana is positive to matter but negative to mind. Mind is positive to both Prana and Matter, but negative to will. Will is the centre of Ego. Will is the General-in-chief which directs the mind and Prana to all parts and in all directions. Intuition is above reason and is the channel of communication between man and spirit. Development of the Will-Power by Auto-suggestion is the basic principle of Raja Yoga or Vedanta. Superconscious Mind is the realm or Spirit of Life.
Metaphysics Of The Inner Man
The physical body, the astral body, Prana, intellect or Buddhi, the instinctive mind, the spiritual mind and the spirit are the seven principles of man. Buddhi is pure reason. The seat of Buddhi is just below the crown of the head in the Pineal Gland of the brain. Buddhi is manifested only in those persons who have developed right intuitive discrimination or Viveka. The ordinary reason of the worldly people is termed practical reason, which is dense and has limitations.
Prana is the vital force, life-energy or Jiva Sakti. It is the eternal symbol of God. It is the link Hiranyagarbha or Golden son of God. It is the link between the astral and physical body. Prana is divided into physical Prana and psychic Prana. Breathing is external manifestation of physical Prana. All thoughts are due to the vibration of psychic Prana in the Chitta.
The causal body or Karana Sarira is the support for the astral and physical bodies. Will is Para Sakti. Get this Sakti—you will get Sat or Existence.
Chitta is the sub-conscious mind. It has two layers. One layer for emotion and the other for passive memory. The instinctive mind is the lower nature of human beings. It is the desire-mind or Kama Manas. The spiritual mind is the higher Manas. The seat of the mind is the heart. The mind connected to the Somachakra of the lowermost portion or under-surface of the brain is termed the organ of understanding. By Manonasa or annihilation of the mind is meant the destruction or dissolution of the lower nature, desire-mind. Sankhya Buddhi or Buddhi in the light of Sankhya philosophy is will and intellect combined. Mind is microcosm. Mind is Maya. Mind occupies an intermediate state between Prakriti and Purusha, matter and Spirit.
Tame The Six Wild Beasts
You have a whole menagerie within, with the lion, the tiger, the serpent, the elephant, the ape, and the peacock. Bring them to subjection. The beauty of the flesh is really due to the life giving principle Prana. The beauty is attributable to the light that emanates from Atman. The nasty body with oozing discharges from nine gutters is composed of five elements, is a Jada Vasthu and Apavitra. Always entertain this idea. Have a clear-cut, well-defined image-picture like this. You will conquer lust by such a mental drill. If you understand the doctrine of unity in variety, if you know there is only one matter, one Energy, one Mind-substance, one Life, one Existence, Sat, one Reality, and if you entertain always such a thought, you can control Krodha. If you remember that you are only an instrument in the hands of God, that God is everything; God does everything; God is just; then you can get rid of Ahamkara. You can annihilate Dvesha by Pratipaksha Bhavana. Look to the brighter side of persons. Ignore the dark aspect.
Emotion is a motive power like the steam of an engine. It helps you in your evolution. Had it not been for the presence of emotion, you would have passed into a state of passivity or inertia. It gives a push for action or motion. It is a blessing. But you must not become a prey to emotion. You must not allow the emotions to rule you. You must not allow them to bubble out. You must purify and calm the surging emotions. You must allow it to rise slowly and subside quietly from the mind-ocean. You must keep the emotion under perfect control. Do not mistake physical sensations for higher sublime emotions. Do not be carried away by emotions. There are certain people who like to hear some new sensational events just to arouse their emotions. They live on emotions otherwise, they feel quite dull. This is a great weakness. This must be eradicated if they like to have a calm, quiet life.
All evil qualities proceed from anger. If you control anger, all evil qualities will vanish by themselves. Ahamkara, Sankalpa, Vasana, Prana have intimate connection with the mind. There cannot be any mind without these four. Prana is the life of the mind. Ahamkara is the root of the mind. Sankalpas are the branches of the tree, mind. Vasana is the seed of mind. This deep rooted tree of Samsara of dire Ajnana which ramifies in various directions with branches full of flowers, tendrils, etc., has the mind as its root. If this root-mind is destroyed, tree of Samsara, this tree of birth and death will also be destroyed. Cut this root-mind with the axe of Brahma Jnana. Chop off the branches—the Sankalpas, with the knife of Vichara-Viveka.
The ever-restless mind becomes quiescent when all desires vanish. Desire raises Sankalpas (thoughts). Man performs actions for acquiring the desired objects. Thus he is caught up in the wheel of Samsara. The wheel stops when the Vasanas perish.
Just as there are doors in a bungalow between the outer and inner rooms, so also there are doors between the lower and higher mind. When the mind is purified by the practice of Karma Yoga, Tapas, right conduct or the practice of Yama, Niyama, Japa, meditation, etc., the doors between the lower and the higher mind are opened. Discrimination between the real and the unreal dawns. The eye of intuition is opened. The practitioner gets inspiration, revelation and higher Divine knowledge.
It is extremely difficult to have a calm and pure mind. But you must have such a mind, if you want to have progress in meditation, if you desire to do Nishkamya Karma Yoga. Then only you will have a perfect instrument, a well controlled mind at your disposal. This is one of the most important qualifications for the aspirant. You will have to struggle hard for a long time with patience and perseverance. Nothing is impossible for a Sadhaka who has iron will and strong determination.
Just as soap cleanses the physical body so also Japa of a Mantra, Dhyana, Kirtan and practice of Yama cleanses the mind of its impurities.
The subconscious mind is termed “Chitta” in Vedanta. Much of your subconscious consists of submerged experiences memories thrown into the background but recoverable.
When you show symptoms of losing your memory, as you grow old, the first symptom is that you find it difficult to remember the names of persons. The reason is not far to seek. All the names are arbitrary. They are like labels. There are no associations along with the names. The mind generally remembers through associations, as the impressions become deep thereby. You can remember in old age some passages that you have read in schools and colleges. But you find it difficult to remember in the evening a passage you have read in the morning. The reason is that the mind has lost its Dharana Sakti (power of grasping ideas.) The cells have degenerated. Those who over work, mentally, who do not observe the rules of Brahmacharya and who are afflicted with much cares, worries and anxieties, lose their power of memory soon. Even in old age you can remember old events as there are associations with events.
The mental processes are limited to the field or consciousness alone. The field of subconscious mentation is of a much greater extent than that of conscious mentation. Messages when ready, come out like a flash from the subconscious mind or Chitta of the Vedantins. Only ten per cent of mental activities come into the field of consciousness. At least ninety per cent of our mental life is subconsciousness. We sit and try to solve a problem, and fail. We look around, try again and again but fail. Suddenly an idea dawns and leads to the solution of the problem. The subconscious process was at work.
Sometimes you go to sleep at night with the thought “I must get up very early in the morning to catch a train.” This message is taken up by the subconscious mind and it is this subconscious mind that wakes you up unfailingly at the exact hour. Subconscious mind is your constant companion and sincere friend. You repeatedly fail at night to get a solution for a problem in Arithmetic or Geometry. In the morning when you wake up you get clear answer. This answer comes like a flash from the subconscious mind. Even in sleep it works without any rest incessantly. It arranges, classifies, sorts all facts and works out a proper satisfactory solution. This is all due to subconscious mind.
With the help of the subconscious mind you can change your vicious nature by cultivating healthy, virtuous qualities that are opposed to the undesirable ones. If you want to overcome fear mentally deny that you have fear and concentrate your attention upon the opposite quality, the ideal of courage. When this is developed fear vanishes away by itself. The positive always overpowers the negative. This is an infallible law of nature. This is Pratipaksha Bhavana of the Raja Yogins. You can acquire a liking for distasteful tasks and duties by cultivating a desire and taste for them. You can establish new habits, new ideals, new ideas and new tastes and new character in the subconscious mind by changing the old ones.
The functions of Chitta are Smritti or Smarana, Dharana (attention) and Anusandhana (inquiry or investigation). When you repeat a Mantra it is the Chitta that does the Smarana. It does a lot of work. It turns out better work than the mind or Buddhi.
All actions, enjoyments and experiences leave their impressions in the subconscious mind in the form of subtle impressions or residual potencies. The Samskaras are the roots of causing again Jati, life and experiences of pleasure and pain. Revival of Samskaras induces memory. The Yogi dives deep inside and comes in direct contact with these Samskaras. He directly perceives them through the inner Yogic Vision. By Samyama (concentration, meditation and Samadhi) on these Samskaras, he acquires knowledge of previous lives. By doing Samyama on the Samskaras of others, the Yogi gets the knowledge of their past lives also.
When you desire to remember a thing you will have to make a psychic exertion. You will have to go up and down the depths of the different levels of the subconscious mind and then pick up the right thing from a curious mixture of multifarious irrelevant matter. Just as the mail sorter in the Railway Mail Service takes up the right letter by moving the hand up and down along the different pigeon-holes, so also the sorter in the subconscious mind goes up and down along the pigeon-holes in the subconscious mind and brings the right thing to the level of normal consciousness. The subconscious mind can pick the right thing out from a heap of various matters.
A Samskara of an experience is formed or developed in the Chitta the very moment when the mind is experiencing something. There is no gap between the present experience and the formation of a Samskara in the subconscious mind.
Smrithi or memory is the function of Chitta (subconscious mind). It is a separate faculty or category in Vedanta. Sometimes it is Antarangata (comes under the mind). In Sankhya philosophy it is included in Buddhi or Mahat Tattva. The Chitta of Patanjali Rishi’s philosophy of Raja Yoga (Yogaschitta Vritti Nirodha) corresponds to the Antahkarana of Vedanta.
Mind And Its Mysteries
Just as a busy officer works alone in a room by closing all the doors, so also the busy mind works alone in a dream by shutting out all the doors of the senses.
Mind is a power born of the soul. It is through mind that the Lord manifests Himself as the differentiated universe with heterogeneous objects.
Mind is merely a bundle of thoughts. Of all thoughts the thought ‘I’ is the root. Therefore, mind is only the thought ‘I’.
Mind is nothing but a collection of Samskaras or impressions. It is nothing but a bundle of habits. It is nothing but a collection of desires arising from contact with different objects. It is also a collection of feelings aroused by worldly botherations. It is collection of ideas gathered from different objects. Now these desires, ideas and feelings constantly change. Some of the old desires are constantly departing from their storehouse of the mind, and new ones are replacing them.
In the waking state, the seat of the mind is the brain; in the dreaming state the seat of the mind is the cerebellum; in the deep sleep state it rests in the heart.
Mind always attaches itself to something objective. It cannot stand by itself. It is only the mind that asserts itself as ‘I’ in this body.
The things that we perceive all round us are only mind in form or substance. ‘Manomatram Jagat—Manah Kalpitam Jagat.’ Mind creates. Mind destroys.
The occult phenomena that take place in the mental world are all based on scientific laws. Occultists and Raja Yogins should have a comprehensive, intelligent understanding of these laws. Then only will they be able to control the psychic forces easily.
Practice of telepathy, thought-reading, hypnotism, mesmerism, distant healing, psychic healing, etc., clearly prove that mind exists and that a higher developed mind can influence and subjugate the lower minds. From the automatic writing and the experiences of a hypnotised person, we can clearly infer the existence of subconscious mind which operates throughout the twenty-four hours.
If an idea is planted in the mind, it grows at night through the operation of the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind never takes any rest. It works vigorously throughout the twenty-four hours. Those who know how to manipulate this subconscious mind can turn out tremendous mental work. All geniuses have control over the subconscious mind. You must understand the ways of extracting work from the subconscious mind. Subconscious mind is a wonderful underground mental factory.
Mind is the greatest force on this earth. He who has controlled his mind is full of powers. He can bring all minds under his influence. All diseases can be cured by psychic healing. One is struck with awe and wonder at the marvellous and mysterious powers of the mind of a man. The source or home or support of this mysterious mind is God or Atman.
Any action that is done by the physical body is the outcome of a preconceived idea. The mind thinks, plans and schemes at first. Then the action manifests itself. He who invented a watch at first had all ideas in his mind about the construction of the lever, various wheels, dial, minute-hand, second-hand, hour-hand, etc. These ideas materialised later on into action.
A spark of light presents the appearance of a continuous circle of light if it is made to rotate quickly. Even so, though the mind can attend but to one thing at a time, either hearing or smelling, though it can admit of but one kind of sensation at a time, we are led to believe that it does several actions at a time, because it moves from one object to another with tremendous velocity, so rapidly that its successive attention and perception appear as a simultaneous activity.
The best philosophers and seers (Rishis and sages) are unanimously agreed that the mind cannot actually attend to more than one thing at a time, but it appears to be doing so only when it is shifting with prodigious rapidity backward and forward from one end to the other.
Change of thought, relaxation of mind by dwelling on thoughts of pleasant objects, cheerfulness, Sattvic food, mental recreation of Sattvic nature are necessary for mental health.
The mind assumes the shape of any object it intently thinks of. If it thinks of an orange, it assumes the shape of an orange. If it thinks of Lord Jesus on the Cross it assumes the shape of Lord Jesus on the Cross. You must train the mind properly and give it proper, pure food for assimilation. Have a Divine background of thought or mental image.
If all the thoughts are eliminated, then there remains nothing which can be called mind. So thoughts are the mind. Again there is no such thing as world, independent of and apart from thoughts. Two thoughts, however closely related to one another, cannot exist at the same time.
The mind becomes that on which it dwells. This is an immutable psychological law. If you begin to think about the Dosha or defects of a man, for the time being, at least your mind dwells on the bad qualities and becomes charged with these qualities, whether the man possesses these bad qualities or not. This may be your vain imagination only through your wrong thinking, wrong Samskaras or wrong (bad) habits of the mind. He may not possess even a bit of the bad qualities which you have superimposed on him through ill-will or some form of jealousy or petty-mindedness or habitual Dosha-drishti or fault-finding nature. Therefore, give up the dangerous habit of censuring others and finding fault in others.
Praise others. Develop the power or vision of finding only good in others. Do not bark like a wild dog about the bad qualities of others. Glorify others. You will grow spiritually. You will be liked, honoured and respected by others.
Sleep (Sushupti) is not merely a state of inactivity or passive repose. It has deep philosophical significance. Vedantins study this state very deeply and carefully. It gives the clue for non-dual philosophers to trace, search and find out the hidden, silent witness.
Atman who is ever awake, although all the minds are at rest. Mother of this world, Rajeshvari takes the Jivas back to Her and Her Lord during deep sleep, hugs them to Her bosom, bestows on them refreshing peace, new vigour, vitality and strength and makes them quite fit for the ensuing battle of life on the following day. But for this sleep, life would have been absolutely impossible in this physical plane when misery, diseases, cares, worries, fears and anxieties of various kinds trouble man every second. If a man does not get sound sleep even for one night, if he loses his sleep one night for three hours by keeping watch over a sick patient or attending the cinema, how miserable, gloomy, depressed he feels the next day!
Mind is atomic according to the Indian school of logic. It is all-pervading according to Raja Yoga school of Patanjali Maharshi; is of the middling size (same size as that of the body) according to the Vedantic school.
Mind is material. Mind is made up of subtle matter. This discrimination is made on the principle that the soul is the only source of intelligence; it is self-evident; it shines by its own light. Mind is formed out of the subtlest portion of the food.
Mind can be compared to water. Water exists in four states, viz., causal state in the form of H2O, subtle state in the form of water, gross state in the form of ice and gaseous state in the form of vaporised steam. Even so the mind is in a gross state during Jagrat state when it enjoys sensual objects, is in a subtle state when it functions in the dream state, is in a causal state when it gets involved into its cause, Mula-Avidya during deep sleep and it evaporates as gas when it melts or dissolves in Brahman during Nirvikalpa Samadhi.
Just as the physical body is composed of solid, liquid and gaseous matter, so also the mind is made up of subtle matter of various grades of density with different rates of vibration. A Raja Yogi penetrates through the layers of the mind by intense practice.
Just as you nourish the physical body with food, so also you will have to give food for the mind and spiritual food for the soul.
When your business fails, or when you are in heavy grief by the death of your own son, you get emaciation of body even though you eat nourishing, substantial food. You feel tremendous internal weakness. This clearly proves that mind exists and cheerfulness is a good mental food.
When a lady is deeply engaged in the management of the affairs of her daughter’s marriage, she forgets to take her food. She is always happy. Her heart is full of joy. The joy and cheerfulness are powerful tonics for her mind. She gets inner mental strength although she does not take any food.
Control Of Mind
Life in this physical plane is a mere preparation for the eternal life of everlasting sunshine and joy which is to come when one gets the knowledge of the Self through intense and constant meditation after purifying the mind. This immortal life of supreme joy is described as the ‘Kingdom of Heaven’, in the Bible which is within you, in your heart. Realise this Immortal Life. O Sushil! by controlling the mind, enjoy the Supreme bliss of the Self.
The secrets of Yoga Sastra can only be imparted to that student who is Jitendriya and Abhyasa-Sura, who has devotion to Guru, who has Vairagya, discrimination, who is firm in his determination and who has strong conviction in the existence of God.
The mind is single, but it appears dual in dreaming state as the perceived, through the power of Maya or Illusion. The mind itself takes the forms of rose, mountain, elephant, river, ocean, enemy, etc. Just as heat is inseparable from fire, so also fluctuation is inseparable from mind. It makes the mind restless. This fluctuation is caused by the power of Rajas. It is the fluctuation that causes Asanthi (absence of peace of mind). The Bhaktas remove this tossing by Japa, Upasana and worship of Ishta-devata.
The power of fluctuation is itself the mind. This fluctuating mind alone is this world. The mind becomes no mind if fluctuation disappears. The mind ceases to exist, if it becomes destitute of this fluctuation. What is called Maya is this fluctuating potency of the mind. Mind does havocs through the power of fluctuation. Fluctuation is Mara or Satan or Vasana or Ishana or Trishna. It was this fluctuation that tempted Visvamitra. It is this fluctuation that brings about the downfall of a struggling aspirant. Destroy this fluctuation through strong Viveka, constant meditation and ceaseless Brahma Vichara.
As soon as fluctuation manifests itself various sorts of imaginations crop up. Imagination co-exists with fluctuation. Imagination is as much dangerous as fluctuation. Fluctuation moves the mind. Imagination fattens the mind. Mind, minus fluctuation and imagination is a mere zero. Fluctuation and imagination are the two wings of the mind bird. Cut the right wing through Atmic enquiry and the left wing through the practice of thoughtlessness. The great bird—mind—will fall dead on the spot immediately.
The one dividing wall between the soul and body is mind. If this wall is broken by ceaseless Atmic enquiry, then the Jiva mixes with the Supreme Soul just as the river mixes with the ocean.
Close your eyes. Meditate. Open your heart to the inflow of the invisible power. You will find in the Bible “Empty thyself, I will fill thee.” Then you will have abundant, super-intuitional knowledge which is beyond the reach of intellect. Just as water freely flows when the tap is turned, so also Divine Wisdom will flow freely when the obstacles of ignorance that stand in the way of knowledge are removed. You will get flashes, glimpses of the Divine inspiration, revelation and intuition. You will have to put yourself in a state of quietude by silencing all bubbling thoughts and emotions and connect the mind with the source by withdrawing the mind from sensual objects, just as you do in telephone by turning the switch off and connecting the two persons who want to speak.
All duality is of mind. The whole of duality is caused by the imagination of the mind. If all imaginations are withdrawn into the mind itself by constant practice of discrimination, Vairagya (dispassion), Sama, Dama and Samadhana, you will not experience the dual universe. The mind will become no mind. As it has nothing to cognise, it will rest in the source, the Atman.
“My mind was elsewhere, I did not see.” “My mind was elsewhere, I did not hear”; for a man sees with his mind and hears with his mind.
The attraction for objects and the ties of various sorts make the man bound to this world. Renunciation of all attractions for objects and breaking up the ties constitute real Sannyasa. That Sannyasi or Yogi who is free from attraction and ties enjoys infinite bliss, supreme joy and eternal bliss.
The mind should be absorbed in the word OM (Pranava). That Yogi or Jnani whose mind is absorbed in OM has no fear whatsoever. He has reached the goal of life.
The fire of meditation rapidly consumes all evils and sins. Then there follows that knowledge of Truth which confers perfection, everlasting peace and immortality.
Stop the Vrittis through constant and steady practice. The mind will become no mind. You will attain Yogarudha state (the Absolute state). The seeds of Avidya in the form of potential tendencies which are embedded in the mind are all burnt to ashes when the mind rests in the Truth during Samadhi. The fire that burns is the fire of knowledge of Atman (Jnana Agni, Yoga Agni).
When the Yogi has attained the last stage of meditation, when he has entered into Asamprajnata Samadhi, he becomes a Jivanmukta in this very life. The fire of Yogic Samadhi burns all Samskaras in toto. There are now no seeds for rebirth.
A powerful occultist hypnotises the whole audience collectively through his power of concentration and will, and performs the rope trick. He throws a red rope in the air, gives the suggestion to the onlookers that he will climb in the air through this rope and disappears from the platform, in the twinkling of an eye. But, when a photograph is taken, nothing is recorded.
Yogins of olden times like Sri Jnana Dev, Bhartrihari, Patanjali Maharshi used to send and receive messages to and from distant persons through mind-telepathy and thought transference. Telepathy was the first wireless telegraph and telephone service in the world. Even now there are Yogis who are versed in telepathy. Thought travels with tremendous velocity through space. Thought moves. Thought is as much a solid matter as a piece of stone is. It can hit a man against whom it is directed.
Understand and realise the powers of the mind. Unfold the hidden powers or occult faculties. Close the eyes. Concentrate. Explore the higher regions of the mind. You can see distant objects, hear distant voices, send messages to distant, parts, heal persons who are at a distance, and move about to a distant place in the twinkling of an eye. Believe in the power of the mind. If you have interest, attention, will-power, faith, you are bound to succeed. The source for the mind is Atman or the Highest Self. This mind is born of Atman through His Maya or Illusory Power. Cosmic mind is universal mind. Cosmic mind is the sum total of all individual minds. Cosmic mind is Hiranyagarbha or Ishvara or Karya Brahman. Man’s mind is just a fragment of the universal mind. A Raja Yogi becomes one with the cosmic mind and knows the workings of all minds. The Yogi gets omniscience through the cosmic mind. The Yogi experiences cosmic consciousness through the cosmic mind.
Tap the universal mind. You will get higher, super-sensuous knowledge. You will experience cosmic consciousness. You will get knowledge of the past, present and future. You will acquire knowledge of the Tanmatras (root elements) and mental plane. You will experience clairvoyance and clairaudience. You can know what is going on in the minds of others. You will get Divine Aisvarya or Vibhutis of God. There are scientific means to tap this universal mind. Purity, concentration, dispassion, right living, right thinking, right conduct, right action, devotion, moderation in eating and sleeping, purity in food, truthfulness, non-injury, austerities, have to be regularly practised for a protracted time.
Look at the marvels of mind! One is struck with awe and wonder when he witnesses a hypnotised person in trance and hears his narratives. The hypnotised person narrates very lucidly the life history and incidents of a person whom he has not seen in his life.
A maid servant (Jew) who was attending on a Hebrew priest used to hear the Hebrew verses during her service. She suddenly developed a double-personality when she was sick in the hospital and repeated Hebrew verses. She did not know the Hebrew language. All the Samskaras (of hearing from the priest) were in the subconscious mind, and she repeated the verses. No Samskaras are lost. They are indelibly recorded in the gramophonic machine of Chitta.
A priest used to forget his old personality and assume a new personality, a new name, a new avocation for six months. When he developed a double-personality he could leave his old house, entirely forget all about his old life and would return to his native place after six months and would entirely forget all about the second personality he assumed for six months.
Moksha is the summum bonum of life. It is freedom from births and deaths. It is not annihilation. It is annihilation of this little “I.”
It is obtained through Knowledge of the Self. You will have to know the truth through direct intuitive experience.
You will have to cut asunder the veil of ignorance by meditation on the Self. Then you will shine in your pristine purity and Divine glory.
Assert The Majesty Of Your Real Self
You are not the little self, Mr. John Murray. You are not Miss. X.Y. Banerjee. You are not Mr. S.R. Iyer. You are not Mrs. A.M. Iyengar. Endeavour to remove this body idea. Attempt to eliminate this sex idea. You are neither a male nor a female. Transmute the sex energy or reproductive energy into spiritual energy or Ojas Sakti by pious thoughts, constant Satsanga, ceaseless Atmic enquiry, study of Atma Jnana books, mental drill and meditation. Remember always, “I am. I exist. I am a centre of consciousness in the ocean of life. I am a centre of thought, influence and power.”
Courage, power, strength, wisdom and joy are your divine heritage, your birthright from the Absolute. Develop your will-power. Will has made intellectual and spiritual giants. You are equal to any and every man. You have emanated from the same source. You are an expression of the same one life, one Existence, one Sat, one Reality. You are the real “I”, the real Atman. You are immortal. You can hardly be destroyed. You are invincible. You can by no means be injured. Belief in this sense-world alone is death. Your real nature is Satchidananda, immortality and bliss. The Seer of Self sees not death nor disease nor sorrow. The Seer sees all as his own Self. He pervades all. He knows everything. He is all-powerful.
What Is Atman?
Atman or Brahman is Existence Absolute, Knowledge Absolute, Bliss Absolute. It is different from the gross, subtle and causal bodies. It transcends the five sheaths (Pancha Koshas). It is the witness of the three states: waking, dreaming and deep sleep. It is the support of the twenty-four Tattvas. It is distinct from Jiva and Ishvara who are associated with Avidya and Maya respectively.
The Self appears to be finite on account of Avidya. But when the ignorance is dispelled, that one Atman shines by its own light, like the sun when clouds are dispelled. This Samsara which is filled with love, hatred, etc., is really like a dream. It appears to be all real, so long as one is involved in it, but when one awakes by acquiring true knowledge, it becomes unreal. Just as bubbles rise from, exist and dissolve in the water, so also the Supreme Lord who is the material cause for everything, the pure Atman, by the contact with the five sheaths, etc., appears to put on their respective qualities. Just as we attribute blue colour to the sky, so also we attribute on account of indiscrimination, the qualities and activities of the body and the organs to the pure, Satchidananda Atman. Passion, desires, happiness, misery, etc., exercise their functions only during waking and dreaming states when the intellect is present and are not present in the deep sleep, when intellect is absent. They, therefore, belong to the intellect and not to the Pure Nirvikara Atman. Egoism and the idea “I know” crop up by indiscriminately mixing up the Satchidananda aspect of Atman with the functions of Buddhi.
A beginner in Vedanta should study Atma-Bodha, Tattva-Bodha, Laghu Vasudeva-Manana and Vivekachudamani. English translations are available. He should have a comprehensive understanding of the Vedantic Prakriyas. He should have an intelligent grasp of the three bodies, the five sheaths and their Dharmas or functions, and the three states of consciousness, viz., Jagrat, Svapna and Sushupti. He should know the various Yuktis such as Anvaya Vyatireka, Adhyaropa-apavada, Neti-neti, Laya Chintana, Bhaga-Tyaga Lakshana, etc. He should have a clear knowledge of Vivarta Vada, Advaita Vada, Drishti-Srishti Vada, Sva-Prakash-Vada and Ajati Vada.
An advanced student should study Upanishads, Brahma Sutras, Panchadasi, Vichara Sagar, Naishkarma Siddhi, Chit Sukhi Khandana Khadhyam, Advaita Siddhi, the monumental works on Vedanta. Advanced books should be read under a Brahma-Srotri, Brahma-nishta. He should repeat mentally Pranava (OM) at least 21,600 times daily. He should start his Sadhana, Japa and Nirakara meditation early in the morning at 4 a.m. He should possess the four means of salvation.
1. Meditate on the all-pervading air, ether, light, expansive sky, expansive ocean in the beginning to render the mind subtle and fit for abstract meditation.
2. Meditate on abstract virtues, viz., mercy, generosity, magnanimity, courage, patience, peace, balance, poise, etc. Possess these virtues also to the maximum degree. Become an embodiment of these virtues. Have the mental image ‘Om Courage, Om Mercy.’ Repeat these formulae several times daily.
3. Meditate on the following. Take up one formula every month. Repeat the formula several times daily.
(a) Nothing exists (names and forms).
(b) The world is a long dream.
(c) Nothing belongs to me (Whenever anybody dies in your house, whenever you lose anything, repeat this formula several times daily. You will have real peace of mind).
(d) I am not the body (I am distinct from body). I am not the mind (I am distinct from the mind). I am not Prana (I am distinct from Prana). I am not Indriyas (I am distinct from Indriyas). I am Immortal Atman. (Body idea will disappear).
(e) I am Sakshi OM OM OM
I am Sakshi of mind OM OM OM
I am Akarta OM OM OM
I am Asanga OM OM OM
(f) I am Immortal Atman OM OM OM
(g) I am Satchidananda Brahman OM OM OM
(h) I am Brahman OM OM OM
Those who meditate on the above ideas and formulae will become changed. They will become veritable Gods on earth, radiating joy and peace everywhere. After doing some practice, stick to one idea only. This one idea will die by itself when you get established in Brahman, in pure Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Take any triplet which you like best and meditate on that seriously in right earnest.
4. Meditate on the following. Feel and identify yourself with the whole world.
Formulae for Meditation
(a) The whole world is my body.
(b) The whole world is my home.
(c) I suffer and enjoy in all bodies.
(d) I work through all hands.
(e) I eat through all tongues.
(f) I see through all eyes.
(g) I hear through all ears.
This will result in Cosmic Consciousness and oneness of life. All sorts of Ghrina, hatred, envy, jealousy, will vanish. You will become one with the Virat and Hiranyagarbha.
5. Meditate on these ideas:
(a) All is good.
(b) All is sacred.
(c) All is one.
(d) All is God (Brahman).
(e) All bodies are mine.
6. Positive Nirguna Meditation
(a) I am the All.
(b) I am all-in-all.
(c) I am the Immortal Self in all.
Feel this. Feel this.
1. Enquire “Who am I?”
2. Find out the “Seer” of sight.
3. Thou art neither body nor mind, O Sushil! Thou art the Immortal Atman. Feel this. Feel this.
4. Deny body, deny world. Assert. Recognise. Realise. “I am the living Truth. I am the living Reality. I am Satchidananda Brahman. “Aham Brahma Asmi”—“I am the Immortal Self.”
5. Roar: OM OM OM, Soham, Soham, Soham Sivoham, Sivoham, Sivoham, like a lion of Vedanta and come out of this cage of flesh, my dear Sushil, “Tat Tvam Asi!”
Soham and OM are one and the same. Soham Dhyana is Nirguna, Nirakara meditation only. Soham means “I am he” This is associated with the breath. Repeat “So” when you inhale and “Ham” when you exhale. This is easy for some. This is known as ‘Ajapa Japa’. Feel that you are the all-pervading pure consciousness when you think of Soham. The source for this breath is Brahman or Atman. You are identical with that source and reality.
Problem Of Good And Evil
The universe contains two dynamic forces, viz., good and evil. Good and evil are twin forces. They are twin born of the same father. They are “Dvandvas” or pairs of opposites. They have no independent existence. Evil exists to glorify good. Evil is destructive force. Good is constructive force. There is neither absolute good nor absolute evil in this universe. Evil has no independent existence apart from good. Wherever there is evil, there is good; wherever there is good, there is evil. You cannot expect absolute good in this relative world. You can find absolute good in Brahman alone. From the viewpoint of the basic Reality which lies at the back of evil and good, evil and good dwindle into an airy nothing. Evil and good are mental creations. Transcend good and evil and reach the abode of Supreme Peace and Immortality. For a Jnani who has knowledge of the Self, there is neither good nor evil. The ‘Why’ of the evil can only be understood when you get Atma-Jnana. Do not rack your brain now. It is a transcendental mystery. Only Brahman knows. Finite intellect that is conditioned in time, space and causation cannot find out a solution for this problem of evil. When you are fully established in your Svarupa (Atma Nishta) evil and good vanish altogether. Do not put the cart before the horse. Transmute evil into good by changing your mental attitude or angle of vision. Out of evil, good often cometh. Destruction is necessary for regeneration, renovation and reconstruction. Will a patient with intense type of appendicular colic try to find out the ingredients of a pill, when the doctor gives him a medicine? Will he not take the pill immediately? Will a man whose cloth is on fire try to find out the “why” and “how” of the fire? Will he not run towards water for cooling himself?
Tamas is evil. Sattva is good. Convert Tamas into Sattva. Then evil is transmuted into good. Selfishness is evil. Selflessness is good. Lust is an evil. Brahmacharya is good. Greed is evil. Generosity, integrity, disinterestedness are good. Pride is evil. Humility is good.
Out of evil good often cometh. If there is a heavy torrent of rain at the time of a harvest, people consider this as evil. But God knows what is good for His children. He has brought this rain to wash off the earth the germs, which produce severe diseases. Had it not been for this rain, there would have been a severe type of pandemic, infectious diseases which could have swept away the whole population in the twinkling of an eye. Mark here. O friends, the merciful nature of the Lord! Do not try to probe into the Divine mysteries. It will baffle your poor intellect.
Then again, what about a war? It is no doubt an evil. But good often cometh out of war. A war cannot break out without the sanction of the Lord. It is He, who goads the minds of the Minister, the King, the Dictator, the President and the Commander-in-chief to wage war. It is war that produces chivalrous warriors, fearless soldiers, undaunted and intrepid statesmen. War makes a man fearless. Fearlessness is a great qualification for a spiritual aspirant. On account of passion, there is an increase in the population. The supply of foodstuff is not sufficient to meet the demands of the people. War removes the extra population and prevents the outbreak of a severe famine. War brings down to dust the pride of a ruling power. War creates mercy, generosity and cosmic love, in the hearts of rich persons who are misers; and forces them to donate to the helpless widows, orphans and the wounded persons. The world or society must evolve through evil. Understand His mysterious ways and become wise.
Unity And Diversity
Though you see variegated forms with different shades of colours, yet there is a definite unity behind them. A philosopher or serious thinker is struck with wonder. He has a different, sensitive pair of eyes to behold the mysterious universe of sounds and colours. He feels and sees unity everywhere. For a scientist the world is a mass of electrons or force or energy. For a student of Kanada’s school of thought, the world is a bundle of atoms, anu and paramanu. For a psychologist the world is all mind only. For a Vijnanavadin it is a mere idea. For a Vedantin this world is nothing but Brahman or Atman.
All objects are the products of the five elements. The five elements are reducible to one element, Akasa. Earth is gross form of water. Earth gets dissolved or involved in water. Water is gross form of fire. Water gets involved in fire. Water comes out of fire. When you feel intense heat, you get profuse perspiration. Fire is gross form of Vayu. There is heat when there is motion of Vayu. Fire gets involved in Air. Vayu is gross form of Akasa. Vayu is reduced into the Akasa. This whole world is projected out of one element Akasa only.
Then again all energies such as electricity, magnetism, etc., can be reduced to one energy—Prana. They get involved in the Cosmic Prana (Hiranyagarbha). All minds can be reduced to one cosmic mind. Though expressed in different languages, the thought-image is one only. The thought-image for water or Apas or Pani or Jal is one.
Cows have different colours. But the colour of milk is one. There are different kinds of roses; but the scent is one. The eyes, ears, tongues are different but the power of sight, hearing and taste is one.
The feeling of sincerity is one though nations are different. When mercy, love, friendship, feeling of brotherhood operate, all are united at heart. There is oneness everywhere.
There is only one language, the language of the heart. There is only one Dharma, viz., Sanatana Dharma. There is only one Law—the Law of Cause and Effect. There is only one religion—the religion of love or the religion of Vedanta. There is only one sun, one moon, one Akasa, one Brahman, one Atman, one Purushottama, one Chaitanya. Feel the oneness everywhere. Realise the Satchidananda Atman, the common thread of consciousness that links all these names and forms. All diversities, all differences, all qualities, which are Mayaic or mental creations will now totally vanish. You will now recognise, feel and realise the Truth of Upanishadic utterances of sages, “Aham Brahma Asmi. I am Brahman. Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma. All is Brahman. Atmaiva Idam—all is Atman. All is OM only.”
Unity is eternal life. Diversity is death. Unity brings concord, harmony, supreme peace. Diversity brings discord, disharmony and restlessness. Unity is Divine life in spirit. Diversity is Asuric life in matter.
May unity be our centre, ideal and goal! May we all attempt in right earnest to secure an immortal life of supreme joy in Advaitic unity of consciousness! May that Brahman of Upanishads guide us, enlighten the path of unity and remove the obstacles in the path of our realisation of the oneness! May the blessings of Brahman be upon us all! May we all endeavour to bring about unity amongst mankind!
Hatha Yoga is a Divine Blessing for attaining success in any field. Body and Mind are instruments which the practice of Hatha Yoga keeps sound, strong, and full of energy.
It is a unique armour of defence to battle the opposing forces in the material and spiritual fields. By its practice you can combat Adhi-Vyadhi and attain radiant health and God-realisation.
Become a spiritual hero full of physical, mental and spiritual strength.
Any steady comfortable posture is an Asana. There are 84 Asanas. Sukha, Siddha and Padma Asanas are very good for meditation and Japa. If you practise Siddhasana for a period of twelve years, this alone will give you Moksha. You must keep the head, neck and the trunk in a straight line. You can control the Rajoguna and the Indriyas by practice of Asana. Several ailments such as haemorrhoids or piles, chronic constipation, etc., are removed by Asana.
Sit on the ground. Place the right foot on the left thigh and similarly the left one on the right thigh. Place the hands on the thighs near the knee joint. Close the eyes and concentrate on Trikuti. This is Padmasana.
Place one heel at the anus. Keep the other heel at the root of the generative organ. Close the eyes. Concentrate and do Japa and meditation on this Asana. Padmasana and Siddhasana are most suitable for meditation. Start practising for half an hour and gradually increase the period to three hours. When you sit on the Asana, there must not be the least shake in the body. You must become a live marble statue. In the beginning, the body feels heavy. Later on when Asana Siddhi is obtained, you will feel a real pleasure and the body becomes very light. The body becomes your willing servant to obey your commands.
Any comfortable Asana in which you can sit for a long time is Sukhasana. You must be careful to keep the head, neck and the trunk in one straight line.
The above three Asanas are intended for Japa and meditation. There are several other Asanas that are intended for keeping up Brahmacharya and good health and for awakening Kundalini.
Sirshasana is the king of all Asanas. Spread a four-fold blanket. Rest the head inside the locked fingers and slowly raise the legs up. Then slowly bring down the legs without jerks. Take the help of a wall or any of your friends. Do it for a minute and increase the period to 5 to 10 minutes. It removes diseases of the eyes, nerves, blood, stomach, intestines, gonorrhoea, spermatorrhoea, dyspepsia, constipation. It augments the digestive fire, and improves appetite. It helps as blood and nervine tonic. Intellectual faculties develop. It helps Brahmacharya and makes you an Oordhvareta Yogi.
Lie down flat on the back. Slowly raise the legs to vertical position. Support the trunk with the palms of your hands. The whole body rests upon two shoulders. Press the chin against the chest. Concentrate on the thyroid-gland that is situated at the root of the neck. Do it from 3 to 10 minutes. Slowly bring down the legs. All the benefits of Sirshasana are derived from this Asana also.
Do Padmasana. Lie on the back. Hold the head by two elbows. This is one variety. Stretch the head back so that the centre of the head rests on the ground and catch hold of the toes. Form an arch of the trunk. This is a contrary Asana to Sarvangasana. This must be done after Sarvangasana to realise the maximum benefits.
Place the palm of the two hands on the ground. Place the navel on the two elbows. Stand upon the hands, the legs being raised in the air plain or crossed with Padmasana. This destroys the effect of unwholesome food. Take the help of the end of a table. Practise here in the beginning.
Sit. Stretch the legs on the ground stiff like a stick. Exhale and then catch the toes with the hands. Bend slowly and place the forehead on the knees. Keep the lungs empty when you bend. This will drive out all diseases of the stomach. Do this five or six times in the morning and evening.
Do Asanas with an empty stomach.
Pranayama or control of Prana, is the means to an end. It helps purification of the nerves and causes Nadi Suddhi. It awakens the mystic, serpent power, Kundalini Sakti. Puraka is inhalation of breath. Kumbhaka is retention. Rechaka is exhalation of breath. The practice of Pranayama should be systematic and well-regulated. The ratio between Puraka, Kumbhaka and Rechaka is 1:4:2. If you inhale for a period of 12 Matras, you will have to do Kumbhaka for a period of 48 Matras, then the Rechaka period is 24 Matras. You must do Rechaka very, very slowly. This is important. This is a sine qua non of the practice.
Easy Comfortable Pranayama
Sit on Padma or Siddha Asana with an empty stomach in your meditation room before the picture of your Ishta Devata. Close your eyes. Close the right nostril with the right thumb. Draw the air in slowly through the left nostril. Then close the left nostril with the right ring and little fingers and retain the air as long as you can comfortably do. Then remove the right thumb and exhale through the right nostril very, very slowly. Now half the process is over. Similarly, draw the air in through the right nostril; retain the breath and exhale through the left nostril. This is one round of Pranayama. Do 20 or 30 Pranayamas in the morning and evening to start with and slowly increase the number to 80 for each sitting. First have two sittings only, in the morning and evening. After due practice you can have four sittings. Have a Bhava that all the Divine qualities such as mercy, love, forgiveness, Santi, joy, enter into your system along with the inspired air and that all Asura Sampat, devilish qualities such as lust, anger, greed, are thrown out along with the expired air. Repeat OM, or Gayatri mentally during Puraka, Kumbhaka and Rechaka.
Pranayama removes all diseases, purifies the Nadis, steadies the mind in concentration, improves digestion, hardens Brahmacharya and awakens the Kundalini. Hardworking Sadhakas can do 320 Pranayamas daily in four sittings at the rate of 80 each sitting. Purification of the Nadis will set in rapidly. Many Siddhis are obtained by Pranayama practice.
This is one of the eight kinds of Pranayama of Yogi Swatmaram. As the bellows of the blacksmith constantly dilate and contract, similarly, slowly draw in air by both nostrils and expand the stomach; then let out air quickly making the sound like bellows. Inhale and exhale quickly ten to twenty times. Then perform Kumbhaka after a deep inhalation. Then expel it slowly. Do this three times. This is a very powerful Pranayama.
Draw air forcefully in through the mouth (with lips contracted and tongue thrust out) folding the tongue lengthwise with a hissing sound and fill the lungs slowly. Retain it for a short time, as long as is comfortable. Then exhale slowly through both nostrils. Practise this daily. Bhastrika and Sitali Pranayamas can be practised even in standing posture. [For full particulars, see the book: “Science of Pranayama”.]
Mind And Meditation
Do not try to drive away the unimportant and irrelevant thoughts. The more you try, the more will they return, the more strength will they gain. You will only tax your energy and will.
Become indifferent. Fill the mind with Divine thoughts. The others will gradually vanish.
Get yourself established in Nirvikalpa Samadhi through constant meditation.
Three Doshas Of The Mind
There are three Doshas or defects in the mind viz., Malam, Vikshepa and Avarana. The impurities of the mind such as Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Mada, Matsarya are termed Malams. This is removed by the practice of Yama, Niyama and Nishkama Karma Yoga. Vikshepa is tossing of the mind. It is removed by Upasana, Trataka, Yoga and Pranayama. Avarana is the veil of ignorance. This is removed by the study of Vedantic literature, meditation and Jnana.
Mind: Its Mysteries And Control
Mind is Atma Sakti. It is an illusory power of God or Brahman. The seat of the mind is heart. It is formed out of the subtlest essence of food. A Vritti is a wave that arises in the mind-lake. There are three Gunas in the mind, viz., Sattva (purity), Rajas (passion) and Tamas (inertia, darkness). Control the Vrittis. Increase your Sattva.
If you entertain thoughts of hatred you are really a murderer of that man against whom you foster such thoughts. You are committing suicide, because those thoughts rebound upon only you. Hatred ceases only by love and not by hatred.
Your thoughts, sentiments, moods and emotions produce their strong impressions on the face. The face is like an advertisement board wherein is what is going in the mind is specified.
As the first thought is the thought “I” and as this thought “I” is at the base of all other thoughts. Ahamkara is the seed for the mind. Buddhi (Bheda Buddhi) is the cause for this differentiation (this little “I”, the self-arrogating false personality), and is again the cause of Ahamkara. Destroy this false egoism and the Bheda Buddhi by Brahma Bhava, Vichara and rest in your own natural Satchidananda Svarupa.
Trataka is one of the Shat Karmas in the light of Hatha Yoga philosophy. Trataka also plays a very prominent part in Raja Yoga and Jnana Yoga. Trataka is focussing of one’s own energy towards an object or thing or an idea and observing every detail and dissecting, analysing, consciously and subconsciously drawing to itself every possible bit of information regarding it both within and without. Trataka lies at the base of will-power. This is a preliminary Sadhana for a Yogic student. A Jnani concentrates his attention on an abstract thought—“Aham Brahma Asmi. I am all purity. I am all power,” etc. It is really an up-hill work or a tremendous task for people of average intelligence to concentrate on an abstract thought. To begin with, you will have to concentrate on concrete object.
Keep the picture of your Ishta Devata in front of you. I shall tell you now how to do Trataka on Lord Vishnu. “Dhyeya sada savitri mandala madhyavarti, Narayana sarasijasana sannivishta; Keyuravan, Makara kundalavan, kirti harih hiranmaya vapuh; Dhrita sankha chakra gada pane dvarakanilayachyuta.”
Fix the mind first on the feet of Lord Vishnu, then on lotus under the legs. Take it round the yellow silken cloth the Pitambara, then to the golden Hara, the gem on the breast, then ear-ring, then the face, then the crown on the head, then the bracelets on the arm, then the disc in the right upper hand, then the conch in the left upper hand, then the Gada or mace in the left lower hand. This is the order. Then come down to the feet and start again to the upper parts. Do like this again and again. Whenever the mind runs away, fix it again and again, just as Lord Krishna says in the Gita VI-25:“Yato yato nischarati manaschanchalamasthiram
Tatastato niyamyaitadatmanyeva vasam nayet.”
The conch represents OM or Sabdha Brahman. The disk is the destroyer of the evil Vrittis or Vasanas, the mace represents the emblem of sovereignty, the lotus at the feet represents the world or universe.
At the outset, you can do Trataka, after taking Asana, on a fine black point on the wall in front for 10 minutes. Slowly increase the time. Have a steady uninterrupted gaze on the dot without closing the eyes. You can also do Trataka after closing the two ears with your two thumbs, on the Anahat sound that rises from the Akasa of the heart. This will lead to actual Laya, in the long run. Then you can do Trataka on Lord Vishnu, Siva, Krishna or any other Murthy. Trataka practice gives tremendous power and removes a host of opthalmic ailments (eye troubles) and bestows Divya Drishti.
Practice Of Concentration
Fix the mind on some object either inside or outside the body. Keep it steady there for some time. This is concentration. You will have to practise this daily.
Purify the mind first through the practice of right conduct and then take to the practice of concentration. Concentration without purity is of no use. There are some occultists who have concentration; but they have no good character. This is the reason why they do not make any progress in the spiritual path.
He who has a steady posture and has purified the nerves and the vital sheath by the constant practice of control of breath will be able to concentrate easily. Concentration will be intense if you remove all distractions. A celibate who has preserved his energy will have wonderful concentration.
Some foolish, impatient students take to concentration at once without any preliminary ethical training. This is a serious blunder. Ethical perfection is of paramount importance.
You can concentrate internally on any one of the seven centres of spiritual energy. Attention plays a prominent part in concentration. He who has developed his powers of attention will have good concentration. A man who is full of passion and all sorts of desires, can never concentrate on any object even for a short period. His mind will be restless like that of a monkey.
A scientist concentrates his mind and invents many things. Through concentration he opens the layers of the gross mind and penetrates deeply into the higher regions of the mind and gets deeper knowledge. He concentrates the energies of his mind and focuses them on the materials he is analysing and finds out their secrets.
He who has gained abstraction (withdrawing the senses from the objects) will have good concentration. You will have to pass on the spiritual path step by step, stage by stage. To start with, lay the foundation of right conduct, postures, regulation of breath, and abstraction. The superstructure of concentration and meditation will be successful only then.
You should be able to visualise the object of concentration very clearly even though it is not there. You must form the mental picture at a moment’s notice. If you have good concentration you can do this without much difficulty.
At the initial stage of practice you can concentrate on the tick-tick sound of a watch, the flame of a candle or any other object which is pleasing to the mind. This is concrete concentration. There is no concentration without something at which the mind may rest. The mind can easily be fixed on any object which is pleasing. It is very difficult to fix the mind in the beginning on an object which it dislikes.
Sit on lotus-pose, Padmasana, with crossed legs. Fix the gaze on the tip of the nose. This is called nasal gaze. Do not make any strained effort. Gently look at the tip of the nose. Practise for one minute in the beginning. Gradually increase to 30 minutes or one hour. This practice steadies the mind. It develops the power of concentration. Even when you walk in the streets keep up this practice.
Sit on lotus-pose with crossed legs or in “perfected pose” (Siddhasana) in your meditation room and practise fixing the mind at the junction of the eyebrows gently for half a minute. Then gradually increase the period to half an hour. There must not be the least strain in this practice. This practice removes the restlessness of mind and develops concentration. This is known as the frontal gaze because the eyes are directed towards the frontal bone of the forehead. You can select either the nasal gaze or the frontal gaze according to your temperament and capacity.
If you want to increase your power of concentration you will have to reduce your worldly activities. You will have to observe the vow of silence every day for two hours or more.
Practise concentration till the mind is well established on the object of concentration. When the mind runs away from the object bring it back again.
When concentration is deep and intense, the senses cannot operate. He who practises perfect concentration for three hours daily will have tremendous psychic powers. He will have a strong will-power.
There was a workman who used to manufacture arrows. Once he was very busy at his work. He was so much absorbed in his work that he could not notice even the big party of a King and his retinue passing in front of his shop. Such must be the nature of your concentration when you fix your mind on God. You must have the idea of God and God alone. No doubt, it takes some time to have complete concentration or attain one-pointedness of mind. You will have to struggle very hard to have a single-minded concentration.
Even if the mind runs outside during your practice in meditation do not bother. Allow it to run. Slowly try to bring it to your object of concentration. By repeated practice the mind will be finally focussed on your heart, on the Self, the Indweller of your heart—-the final goal of life. In the beginning the mind may run out 80 times. After six months it may run 70 times; within a year it may run 50 times; within two years it may run 30 times; in five years it may be completely fixed in the Divine Consciousness. Then it will not run out at all even if you try your best to bring it out. It will be like a wandering bull which used to run to the gardens of neighbours for grazing but which now eats fresh grain and extract of cotton seeds in its own resting place.
Meditation is an unbroken uninterrupted or incessant flow of the idea of the object that is concentrated upon. If you close your eyes when you do Trataka and mentally visualise the picture of the object of Trataka, it is concrete meditation or Saguna meditation. Concrete meditation on an object is necessary for an untrained mind, in the beginning. If you meditate on an abstract idea, it will constitute Nirguna meditation.
For beginners whose minds are engrossed in and filled with passions and impurities, meditation on a form is absolutely necessary. A Murty or any concrete form such as a Pratima is indispensable during meditation or Japa. Without undergoing a course of concrete meditation in the beginning, especially for the ordinary type of people, it is absolutely impossible to start Nirguna meditation at the very outset. The vast majority of aspirants commit a serious mistake in jumping to Nirguna meditation all at once. They will only break their legs. The mind is so framed as it demands a form to cling to. Meditation on a Murty, i.e., a stone-image remains the stone as it is, but the devotion of the devotee goes to the Lord. He is pleased. Divine Grace will surely descend. You will have to superimpose the attributes of God on the stone-image. You will have to imagine that there is the Antaratman hidden in the image, the all-pervading, indwelling presence, the pure consciousness, the Chaitanya at the back of it.
A child makes a toy-child (doll) of rags, and plays with it with motherly instincts of nursing and protection. The doll remains the same but the child develops the motherly instincts for future development and manifestation. Even so, a Bhakta in worshipping a Murty, develops devotion, Bhakti. Anugraha, Preeti, Viraha and Mahabhava and eventually Parabhakti.
An aspirant can meditate on the physical form of his Guru.
Sit on Padmasana or Siddhasana in a solitary room. Close the eyes. Concentrate on the picture of Lord Vishnu in the heart. Imagine that Lord Vishnu is seated there with His four hands in the centre of a blazing sun of light, with conch, disc, mace and lotus. Mentally visualise the picture, from head to foot as you have done in Trataka. Do mental Puja also. Offer flowers, Arghya, Sandal paste, incense; burn camphor, etc., mentally. Similarly you can meditate on Lord Siva, Krishna, Devi. Instead of concentrating at the heart, you can concentrate at the space between the two eyebrows (Trikuti). Practise this Saguna meditation for two years and then take to Nirguna meditation. You can do meditation while sitting or standing or walking. For beginners a sitting posture is necessary. Repeat your Guru Mantra or the Mantra of the Ishta Devata mentally. Associate the ideas of purity, infinity, eternity, immortality, Vyapaka, Paripurna, Sat-Chit-Ananda, Akhanda, Advaita, Chidakasa, etc., with Om repetition.
Samadhi is deep sleep with the full knowledge of the Self. You get this sleepless sleep when you have burnt the five Jnana Indriyas in the fire of Wisdom, when you have extricated yourself from the clutches of Avidya, Maya or ignorance and when you have controlled all desires.Tadevartha matranirbhasam
Svarupa Soonyameva Samadhi
—Patanjali Yoga Sutra.
Samadhi Samathovastha Jeevatma Paramatmano
This is not a state of nothingness but a state of “everythingness.” You enter into a state of Absolute Awareness, in which time and place disappear; every place is here; every period of time is ‘now’; and everything is “I”. In this state you have obtained Bliss and Eternal Life.
During cosmic consciousness, you are in touch with universal knowledge and life. The Divine principle flows through you. Your little, individual personality is lost. Your individual will has become merged in the cosmic will or Ishvara’s will. You are aware of the oneness of life. You have the one consciousness—CHINMAYA—that the universe is filled with one life, that the universe is full of life.
You have Tattva Jnana and you see the real universe, which is the essence or background of the universe of Matter, Energy and Mind. You are in a state of Bliss and Ecstasy beyond understanding and description. This is a cognitive trace or Turiya Avastha where Triputi (knowledge, knowable and knower) exists.
Philosophy Of Sleep
Study the condition of Sushupti Avastha or Jada Nidra, the state of deep sleep. There is neither the play of the mind nor the play of the Indriyas. There are no objects. There is neither attraction nor repulsion (Raga, Dvesha). Wherefrom do you derive the Ananda in sleep? The experience in sleep is universal. There is no difference of opinion here. Everyone says: “I slept soundly. I knew nothing. I was very happy in sleep.” During deep sleep you rest in Sat-Chit-Ananda Atman and enjoy the Atmic bliss which is independent of object. The difference between deep sleep and Samadhi is that in deep sleep there is the veil of ignorance and in Samadhi this veil is removed. You draw four conclusions from sleep: (1) You exist. There is feeling of continuity of consciousness. (2) There is Advaita. (3) You are Ananda Svarupa. (4) The world is Mithya. Names and forms are illusory. The world is a mere play of the mind. It is only a phenomenal appearance. When there is mind, there is world. If you can produce Manonasa (destruction of the mind) consciously through Yoga Sadhana, the world will disappear. You will feel the Atman everywhere. Even in the day time, you become one with the Atman whenever a desire is gratified. When you enjoy an object you become mindless (Amana) for a short time. You rest in your own Atman and enjoy the Atmic Bliss (spiritual Ananda). Ignorant persons attribute the happiness to the objects. Just as the dog which sucks a dry bone, foolishly imagines that blood comes from the dry bone, whereas in reality the blood oozes out of its own palate, so also foolish persons imagine that the happiness comes from external objects, while they actually derive the happiness from their own Atman within. They are deluded owing to the force of Maya and Avidya.
Without perfect Brahmacharya you cannot have substantial spiritual progress. There is no half-measure in the spiritual path.
Control the body first. Then purify your thoughts through prayer, Japa, Kirtan, Vichara and meditation.
Make a firm resolve “I will be a perfect Brahmachari from today.”
May the Lord give you spiritual strength to resist temptation and kill lust!
Brahmacharya—that is the Divine world. It is the sum and substance of Yoga. Through Avidya that is forgotten. It is the supreme Yoga that Lord Krishna emphasises repeatedly in His Immortal Song—the Gita. In Chapter VI, Sloka 14, it is very clearly stated that the vow of Brahmacharya is necessary for meditation (Brahmachari vrate sthitah). Again in Chapter XVII Sloka 14, He says that Brahmacharya is one of the austerities of the body (sarira tapas). Now we have one of the most important statements made in the Gita, that Yatis practise Brahmacharya in order to attain the goal, spoken of by the knowers of Veda (Chapter VIII Sloka 11). This is taken from Katha Upanishad (Chapter II Mantra 15). There Yama says to Nachiketas that the life of Brahmacharya is necessary to reach the goal: “That whose form and essential nature all the Vedas declare; in order to attain which they prescribe austerities; desiring to know which the great ones observe Brahmacharya; that symbol will briefly tell thee, it is OM.”
Change The Angle Of Vision
For a scientist a woman is a mass of electrons. For a Vaiseshic philosopher of Rishi Kanada’s school of thought, she is a conglomeration of atoms, Paramanu. Dvianu, Trianu (two atoms, three atoms). For a tiger she is a prey. For the passionate husband she is an object of enjoyment. For a crying child she is an affectionate mother, who will give it milk, sweets, and other comforts. For a jealous sister or sister-in-law she is an enemy. For a Viveki or Vairagi (a man of discrimination and dispassionate nature) she is a combination of flesh, bone, urine, faecal matter, wool, pus, perspiration, blood, phlegm, etc. For a full-blown Jnani she is Sat-Chit-Ananda Atman. “Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma”—All is Brahman only. Name and forms are only mental creations like snake in the rope or man in the post.
Change the mental attitude (Bhava). You will have heaven on earth. You will be established in Brahmacharya. This is an important method for becoming a true Brahmachari. See Atman in all women. Reject all names and forms and take only the underlying essence—Asti-Bhati-Priya or Sat-Chit-Ananda. All names and forms are unreal, like the shadow, water in the mirage, blueness in the sky.
Assertions For And Meditation On Brahmacharya
Mantras or Formulae
1. I am all Purity (Suddhoham) OM OM OM
2. Sexless Atman I am OM OM OM
3. There is neither lust nor sexual Vasana in Atman or Brahman OM OM OM
4. Lust is a mental Vikara; I am Sakshi of this modification OM OM OM
5. I am Asanga OM OM OM
6. My will is pure, strong and irresistible OM OM OM
7. I am fully established in physical and mental Brahmacharya now OM OM OM
8. I am feeling the purity now OM OM OM
Sit alone in your meditation room in Padma, Siddha, Svastika or Sukha Asana. Close your eyes. Slowly repeat again and again the above formulae mentally. Also let the mind dwell on the significance of the formulae. Saturate the mind with the above ideas. Your heart, mind, intellect and soul should feel the purity. Have the word image OM Purity clearly before the mind. Visualise the mental image. Your whole system, flesh, blood, bone, nerves, cells, molecules, atoms and electrons should powerfully vibrate with the above ideas.
You can have a sitting at night also. This is general meditation for Self-realisation. Sit for ten minutes. Increase the period to half an hour. Keep up the Bhava during work also. Write down on a piece of paper in bold types OM PURITY six times. Keep the paper in your pocket. Read it several times during the course of the day. Fix it in a prominent place in your house. Remember daily the Brahmachari-Saints like Swami Vivekananda, Swami Dayananda and their powerful actions. Think about the multifarious advantages of Brahmacharya and disadvantages of impure life. Never leave the practice. Be regular and systematic. Gradually you will become purer and purer and ultimately you will become an Urdhvareta Yogi. Be patient.
Prayer For Purity
“O Loving Lord of Compassion! Hey Prabhu! the Soul of my soul, the Life of my life, the Mind of my mind, the Ear of my ear, Light of lights, Sun of suns! Give me light and purity. Let me get established in physical and mental Brahmacharya. Let me be pure in thought, word and deed. Give me strength to control my Indriyas and observe the Brahmacharya Vrata. Protect me from all sorts of temptations of this world. Let all my Indriyas be ever engaged in Thy sweet service. Wipe out the sexual Samskaras and Vasanas. Annihilate lust from my mind. Make me a true Brahmachari, Sadachari and an Urdhvareta Yogi. Let me be chaste in my look. Let me always walk in the path of righteousness. Make me as pure as Swami Vivekananda, Swami Dayananda, Bhishma Pitamaha, Hanuman or Lakshmana. Forgive. Forgive all my Aparadham. I am Thine. I am Thine. Trahi Trahi (protect protect). Prachodayat Prachodayat (guide me). OM OM OM. Enlighten my Buddhi.”
Recipes For Brahmacharya
Prescriptions for Celibacy1. Sirshasana 5 minutes
Sarvangasana 10 minutes
Fasts On Ekadasi days or on alternative Sundays.
Japa one hour
Study of the Gita one hour
Meditation half an hour
2. Siddhasana 45 minutes
Pranayama half an hour
Milk and fruits at night
Uddiyana Bandha morning and evening
Keep the mind fully occupied by: Reading, gardening and Kirtan.
3. Kirtan half an hour
Prayer half an hour
Satsanga one hour
Triphala water in the morning
Atma Vichara, Meditation 15 minutes
4. Trataka (gazing) on OM or Lord Krishna 10 minutes
Maha Mantra Bhajan half an hour
Krishna Mantra Japa half an hour
Badam and Misre (in the early morning).
Huxley’s Nervigor Syrup with formates one tea-spoonful with four tea-spoonful of water twice daily after food.
(You can combine all the above items to your best advantage)
Yoga In A Nutshell
The Salt of life is selfless service. The bread of life is universal love. The water of life is purity.
The sweetness of life is devotion. The fragrance of life is generosity. The pivot of life is meditation. The goal of life is Self-realisation.
Therefore, serve. Love. Be pure and generous. Meditate and realise.
If one can always remember that God is watching all his thoughts, he will do very few evil actions. He will realise God quickly. But he forgets this point owing to force of Maya or Avidya. But a Viveki who has got the power of discrimination remembers this on account of the descent of God’s grace (Anugraha) and marches on the spiritual path with bold, steady and quick steps. The descent of the Divine grace is due to countless virtuous actions done by him with Nishkama Bhava during several births.
This world is as unreal as a shadow, bubble or froth. Why do you run after wealth, woman and the toys of name and fame?
Some Bhaktas think that they have made a complete self-surrender. But they have their own ways sometimes and cherish some desires. They walk in their own egoistic ways. This surrender is insincere. They are not entitled to the descent of Divine Grace.
No one is always praised. No one is also always censured. Also there is no one on earth who is not blamed. Therefore, do not bother about praise or censure. Rise above censure and praise and identify yourself with the Absolute, the Glory of glories, the Holy of holies, the Light of lights, the Sun of suns, Atman or Supreme Self.
The body is the source of all pains. Hunger is the worst of all diseases. There is no fire like lust. Santosha (contentment) is the best of all virtues.
Guide To Sadhakas
1. Reduce your wants to the barest minimum.
2. Adapt yourself to circumstances.
3. Never be attached to anything or anybody.
4. Share what you have with others.
5. Be ever ready to serve. Lose no opportunity. Serve with Atma Bhava.
6. Entertain Akarta and Sakshi Bhava.
7. Speak measured and sweet words.
8. Have a burning thirst for God-realisation.
9. Renounce all your belongings and surrender yourself unto God.
10. Spiritual path is a sharp-edged razor path. A Guru is absolutely necessary.
11. Have great patience and perseverance.
12. Never leave the Abhyasa even for a day.
13. The Guru will only guide you. You should yourself tread the path.
14. Life is short. Time of death is uncertain. Apply yourself seriously to Yogic Sadhana.
15. Maintain daily spiritual diary and record correctly your progress and failures. Stick to resolves.
16. Do not complain that there is no time for Sadhana. Reduce sleep and tall talks. Stick to meditation in Brahmamuhurta.
17. Let the thought of God (Reality) keep away the thought of the world.
18. Forget the feeling that you are so and so—a male or a female—by vigorous Brahma-chintana.
19. Never postpone a thing for tomorrow if it is possible for you to do it today.
20. Do not boast or make a show of your abilities. Be simple and humble.
21. Be cheerful always. Give up worries.
22. Be indifferent to things that do not concern you.
23. Fly away from company and discussion.
24. Be alone for a few hours daily.
25. Give up greediness, jealousy and hoarding.
26. Control your emotions by discrimination and Vairagya.
27. Maintain equilibrium of mind always.
28. Think twice before you speak and thrice before you act.
29. Give up backbiting, criticising and faultfinding. Beware of reaction.
30. Find out your own faults and weaknesses. See only good in others.
31. Forgive and forget the harm done by others. Do good to those who hate you.
32. Shun lust, anger, egoism, Moha and Lobha as a venomous cobra.
33. Be prepared to suffer any amount of pain.
34. Have a set of maxims always with you to induce Vairagya.
35. Treat sensual enjoyment as poison, vomited food, Vishta or urine. They cannot give you satisfaction.
36. Preserve your Veerya carefully. Sleep always separately.
37. Revere ladies as Mother Divine. Root out the sex idea. Prostrate before all.
38. See good in every face, in everything.
39. Take to Sankirtan, Satsanga, prayer when the mind is overpowered by lower instincts.
40. Face obstacles coolly and boldly.
41. Care not for criticism when you are in the path. Yield not to flattery.
42. Respect rogues and scoundrels. Serve them.
43. Admit your faults openly.
44. Take care of your health. Do not neglect daily Asanas and exercises.
45. Be active and nimble always.
46. Develop your heart by giving. Be extraordinarily charitable. Give more than one’s expectations.
47. Desires multiply misery. Develop contentment.
48. Control the senses one by one.
49. Develop Brahmakara Vritti by repeated thinking.
50. Have a check over all your thoughts. Keep them pure and sublime.
51. Do not lose temper when anybody insults, taunts or rebukes you. It is a mere play of words and a variety of sound.
52. Rest your mind in God and live in Truth.
53. Be up and doing in the path of perfection.
54. Have a definite aim in your life and proceed cautiously.
55. Benefits of Mouna are incalculable. Never give up this practice.
56. Four important gates for passion to enter the mind are sound, touch, sight and thoughts. Be vigilant!
57. Have intimate connection with none but God. Mix little with others.
58. Be moderate in everything. Extremes are always dangerous.
59. Everyday have self-analysis and introspection. Know the amount of your growth.
60. Give up curiosities in spiritual path. Conserve your energy and concentrate. Think little of food, body and relatives. Think more of Atman. You must realise in this very birth itself!
Sayings Of Siva
Nitya Sukha and Parama Santi can be had only in God.
God is in your heart. He is in you and you are in Him. Just feel His Presence.
Through Bhranti caused by the mind, pain is mistaken for pleasure.
Everyone in this world runs after pleasure and tries to get rid of pain.
Sensual enjoyment is attended with various defects.
Maya binds people through affection, love, tenderness, respect, present, etc.
Human love is selfish and hypocritical.
As everything is unreal in this world, treat love and respect as poison.
Live alone and enjoy the Atmic Bliss in your heart.
Only the man who is spiritually thirsty will drink the Nectar of Immortality.
In the presence of sensual pleasures, Atmic Bliss cannot be had.
There is no way of overhauling the vicious, worldly persons other than the personal contact of a Guru.
Work is a help for beginners and hindrance for advanced persons in meditation.
Mind is only a bundle of Samskaras, ideas, habits, impulses, thoughts and emotions.
Many have fallen from Yoga by the influence of subtle desires.
The most difficult thing in this world is concentration.
Mental purity is of paramount importance for Self-realisation.
Memory of the past retards an aspirant’s spiritual advancement.
A gross mind with selfishness and lust is absolutely unfit for a spiritual life.
Conversations On Yoga
Q. What will give peace of mind to those who are materially poor.
A. Peace of mind for one and all can be had only by realising God. One should not identify himself with the perishable body, but should feel that he is Atman. Then and then alone, he will have Parama Santi.
Q. What is the right way of praying to God and how far is it possible for an ordinary man to pray like that?
A. The main thing to be looked to while praying to the Lord is one’s mental Bhava. There should be no selfish motive. Pray to God for purity, devotion, light and knowledge. You will get these things. Pray in any way you like. Become as simple as a child. Open freely the chambers of your heart. Have no cunningness. Every man can and should adopt this attitude.
Q. What is the real aim of education?
A. Education should teach the pupils to love God and man. Education should instruct the students, to be truthful, morally sound, fearless, humble, and merciful. Education should teach the students to practise right conduct, right thinking, right living, right action, self-sacrifice and to attain knowledge of the Self. The main purpose of education must be to make man a real MAN with all divine attributes.
Q. What is expected from a teacher in the Elementary School?
A. A teacher is expected to impart real education to the students, as mentioned in the answer above.
Q. Do you really believe that unless I leave my wife and children I will never obtain Mukti?
A. Celibacy is a great desideratum for the path of Yoga. Though it is in no way necessary for you to abandon home, wife and children, yet you would be well advised to reduce all carnal relationship with your partner to the minimum. Married life, if lived in a perfect ideal manner, is no bar to the attainment of Mukti. Mukti is a question of sincere, earnest Sadhana and the Grace of the Lord.
Ten Vital Instructions
There is no use of talking on abstruse Vedantic Philosophy. If I begin to explain Adhyaropa-Apavada, Bhaga-Tyaga Lakshana, and the Neti-Neti doctrines, they will all be Greek and Latin to you. I want to bring home to your minds some important points which you will be able to put into daily practice. Get up at 4 a.m.—Brahmamuhurta which is very favourable for meditation. Answer the calls of nature. Wash your face. Do Japa and meditation for 1 or 2 hours. In the early morning the mind is free from worldly Samskaras. It is more or less like a blank sheet of paper. It can be moulded very easily. Have your own meditation room. Then read one chapter of the Gita. Observe Mouna for 2 hours daily. Mouna helps concentration and affords peace of mind. Energy is conserved and will-power is developed. Take Sattvic food and Mithahara. Do some Asanas and Pranayamas regularly to keep up your health and to steady the mind. Take milk and fruits on Ekadasi. Spend one tenth of your income in charity. Charity purifies the heart. Develop Sattvic virtues such as tolerance, mercy, forgiveness, nobility, etc. Preserve the Veerya. Keep a homeopathic chest of twelve tissue remedies. This is a Maha-Yoga for you. Give medicine to all the sick persons. Become a member of some social institution and do social service wholeheartedly without expectation of reward and without egoism. This is a beautiful Sadhana for Self-realisation.
Pancha Maha Yajnas
I shall speak a word on the Pancha Maha Yajnas which are intended to be performed by the householders for purification of heart. The five great Yajnas are:
(1) Deva Yajna is offering oblations to Devatas with recitation of Vedic Mantras.
(2) Rishi Yajna consists of study of Vedas and teaching of Vedas to students and offering of oblations to Rishis.
(3) Pitru Yajna consists of Tarpana or oblations to departed souls and Shraaddha or annual religious rites performed for them.
(4) Bhuta Yajna is distribution of food to crows, cows and other animals. This develops cosmic love and Advaitic Bhava.
(5) Atithi Yajna is giving food to guests and honouring them.
Every householder should perform these five Yajnas. If he fails to do, he will suffer from Pratyaya Dosha (the sin of omission). The fire place, the water pot, the cutting, grinding and sweeping apparatuses are the five places where injury to life is daily being committed. These sins are washed away by the five Maha Yajnas which every Dvija ought to perform; they are intended to satisfy the Bhutas, the Rishis, the men, the gods and the Pitrus.
The Pitrus are forefathers who dwell in the Pitruloka. They possess powers of clairvoyance and clairaudience. When Mantras are recited, they exercise a tremendous influence through their vibrations over the reciter of the Mantras, and his forefathers to whom they are directed. The Pitrus hear the Mantras through their power of clairaudience, and are pleased. They bless those who offer the oblation. In Shraaddha, the essence of food offerings is taken up by Sun’s rays to Suryaloka and the departed souls are pleased with the offerings which reach them through the Sun. Even in Germany, many persons perform Tarpana and Shraaddha. They have scientifically investigated the beneficial effects of such oblations. It is the imperative duty of all householders to perform Shraaddha and Tarpana to propitiate the Rishis and Pitrus. It is only deluded souls with perverted intellect who misconstrue these things and neglect to perform the sacred ceremonies and suffer as a consequence.
1. Jaya Ganesa Jaya Ganesa, Jaya Ganesa Pahi Mam.
Sri Ganesa Sri Ganesa Sri Ganesa Raksha Mam.
2. Jaya Guru Siva Guru, Hari Guru Ram;
Jagad Guru Param Guru, Sat-Guru Shyam.
3. Adi Guru Advaita Guru, Ananda Guru Om;
Chid Guru Chidghana Guru, Chinmaya Guru Om.
4. Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare.
5. Jaya Sarasvati Jaya Sarasvati Jaya Sarasvati Saranam Om.
Sri Sarasvati Sri Sarasvati Sri Sarasvati Namah Om.
6. Gauri Gauri Gange Rajesvari.
Gauri Gauri Gange Bhuvanesvari
Gauri Gauri Gange Mahesvari,
Gauri Gauri Gange Mathesvari;
Gauri Gauri Gange Mahakali,
Gauri Gauri Gange Mahalakshmi;
Gauri Gauri Gange Parvati,
Gauri Gauri Gange Sarasvati.
7. Govinda Jaya Jaya, Gopala Jaya Jaya;
Radha Ramana Hare Govinda Jaya Jaya.
8. Raghupathy Raghava Rajaram,
Pathitha Pavana Seetha Ram.
9. Sivaya Namah Om Sivaya Namah,
Sivaya Namah Om Namah Sivaya.
Siva Siva, Siva Siva, Sivaya Namah;
Hara Hara, Hara Hara Namahsivaya.
Siva, Siva, Siva Siva, Sivayanamah;
Bhum Bhum, Bhum Bhum, Namahsivaya.
Siva Siva, Sankara, Hara Hara Sankara,
Jaya Jaya Sankara, Namami Sankara.
Samba Sadasiva, Samba Sadasiva;
Samba Sadasiva, Samba Sivoham Hara.
How To Live A Divine Life
1. Nitya Sukha, Parama Santi, eternal satisfaction, Infinite Bliss, knowledge and Immortality can be had only in God or Atman who gives light to the intellect and the Sun. Therefore, realise the Satchidananda Atman through meditation right now this very second by purifying the mind.
2. Samsara (world) is Mithya, Asara, Apadramania, evanescent, impermanent, full of miseries, untruth, hatred and selfishness, disease and pain. It is a long dream. Be not worldly.
3. Time is most precious. Utilise every second profitably.
4. Serve Sadhus, Sannyasins, the sick, the poor and the country. This is Pada-Seva of God.
5. Whenever your friend is annoyed with you, speak to him first, with a smile, and apologise sincerely with tears in your eyes even though you may be in the right. Serve him nicely with Prem. Vindictive spirit is a deadly enemy of peace, devotion and Jnana.
6. Observe Mouna (silence) during food. Observe Mouna for six hours on Sundays.
7. Keep the picture of Saints and Sages in the bedroom and the front room. Do not keep any obscene pictures in the house.
8. Speak the truth, preserve Veerya and control anger by Kshama, love and service. Repeat “OM SANTI” twelve times mentally and drink some cold water when you detect the least symptom of irritation in your mind.
9. Sleep always alone. Take one meal and some milk at night on Sundays. Do one lakh of Rama-Nama Japa on Sundays.
10. Write daily for half an hour in a notebook the Mantra of your Ishta Devata or “Rama Rama.” Write down in bold types on a slip of paper “Speak Truth”, “Om Courage”, “Om Purity”, “I am Immortal Atman”, “I am to realise God now”, “Time is most precious”, “I will be a true Brahmachari”, and “Brahmacharya is Divine Life” and fix them in the bedroom, front rooms and verandah. Keep some slips in your pocket.
11. Keep always a few pies in your pocket and distribute them daily to the poor and the decrepit.
12. Do Hari-Kirtan at night. Sing “Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare; Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare” along with the members of your family and servants of your house for one hour.
13. Study the Gita or the Upanishads, the Ramayana, the Bhagavata or the Yoga Vasishtha for one hour in the evening with some of your friends. The ladies of the household should also do this.
The beginning of saintliness is killing of egoism or Ahamkara. The end of saintliness is Eternal Life. The key to saintliness is humility and self mortification. The light of saintliness is silent meditation. The garb of saintliness is virtue and tolerance, not the Gerua cloth alone.
Pravritti and Nivritti are not two different paths. They are two aspects of one and the same path. There is Pravritti in Nivritti and Nivritti in Pravritti. It is the mental state that counts. Look at Janaka, the king of Videhas. In him, there was absolute Nivritti in Pravritti. Always remember: “Yogasthah kuru karmani sangam tyaktva Dhananjaya.”
Man is the master of his own destiny. He sows an action and reaps a habit; sows a habit and reaps a character; sows a character and reaps a destiny. So he is entirely responsible for his Prarabdha Karma. Prarabdha is under his Adheena or control. He will become an absolute fatalist and a slothful, inactive man, if he attributes everything to a pre-ordained destiny or Prarabdha. Let him awaken his free Will. Let him avail himself of his Paramartha (Will). God has endowed man with Buddhi, independent free thinking principle, rational reasoning and all sorts of faculties. He can control atoms; he can control elements; he can fly in air; he can forward a thought from one corner to another corner of the world; he can command electricity to pump out water from a well; he can walk over water, he can sit on fire; he can pass from one body to another; he can roam about the world without being seen by anyone.
In fact there is nothing impossible for him under the sun. Instead of realising his real nature by introspection within himself or Atmic enquiry, he dwells in an instinctive plane, wanders about in vain here and there in this phenomenal world of mere mental creation and forgets the magnanimity of his real Self. He worships man instead of worshipping God. He is a man-worshipper. He signs “I beg to remain. Your obedient servant.” Instead of asserting his divine nature as a centre of consciousness in the ocean of life—instead of styling himself as a Director, Controller and Supporter of Universe. Wake up immediately to rectify this lamentable condition; otherwise it will be too late to gather honey in winter! Awake! Arise, Dear Readers!
For sincere spiritual aspirants marching boldly in the Adhyatmic field, this handy publication provides, succinctly, innumerable practical hints. Every page abounds in much valuable information in a condensed form. The laconic lessons contained in this book should speak for themselves. If this proves in any way useful to the ardent Mumukshus, the author’s sincere endeavour to help them will be more than amply fulfilled.
Stories Of Saints
Constant study of lives of saints will enable you to lead a virtuous life. You will imbibe noble qualities.
You will be gradually moulded in the spiritual path. You will draw inspiration from them.
There will be an inner urge in you to attempt for God-realisation.
May you become a Saint!
Tibet’s Great Yogi: It was in the first autumn month, on the twentyfifth day of A.D. 1052 under the influence of an auspicious star that Milarepa was born. His father gave him the name Thopaga (which means “delightful to hear”). He had one sister by name Peta. Milarepa’s father was Mila-Sherab-Gyaltsen. Milarepa was born in a rich family. His hair was plaited with gold and turquoises when he was young. When Milarepa reached the age of seven, his father died. His uncle was in charge of the estate of Milarepa. He deceived Milarepa and his mother and ill-treated them. Milarepa was a black-magician in the beginning. He destroyed his enemies by launching a hailstorm just to please his mother. Then he repented very much and turned to the “white path” or the path of virtue.
Marapa was the Guru of Milarepa. Milarepa was also known by the name of Jetsun. Marapa tested Jetsun very much in various ways.
With great difficulty Milarepa got the highest initiation from his Guru, and became his pet disciple. He practised severe austerities and meditation in solitary caves. Demema, the wife of Marapa, treated Milarepa with kindness and tender affection, because Milarepa was energetic, sincere, hardworking and intelligent. He was shut up in a cave. Food was passed inside by the servant of Marapa through a small aperture in the side. Milarepa used to sit in a rigid posture with a lighted-lamp on his head, without moving till the light was out, were it night or day.
Milarepa meditated in various caves. His body was reduced to a skeleton owing to severe austerities. He lived on nettles only for several months. He followed the instructions of his Guru to the very letter. He developed various Siddhis. Just as Lord Krishna multiplied himself and appeared in the house of all the Gopis, so also Milarepa had the power to take as many forms as he liked. He played with his disciples by multiplying himself.
Milarepa once transferred his pain to the door of his meditation room. The door began to emit sounds of cracking and splitting. It throbbed and vibrated and was on the point of crumbling down.
Milarepa attained the state of Buddha-hood. The caves where he practised devotion and meditation are even now places of pilgrimage and worship. He had a large number of followers. Even now there are people in Tibet who belong to his school. He died in A.D. 1135 at the age of eighty-four. Those who desire to have a detailed study of his life can get a copy of the book “Tibet’s Great Yogi—Milarepa” (by W.Y. Evans Wentz, Jesus College Oxford) from the Oxford University Press, London.
There was a great Yogi by name Jaigisavya. He had full knowledge of all his previous births continuously for ten Maha Pralayas. Rishi Avatya approached Jaigisavya and asked him, “You have experienced the troubles of life in hells, among animals and in various wombs. You have been born again among men and Gods. What are your experiences of pain in hells; what are your experiences of pleasures in heaven? Which is greater: pleasure or pain in human birth?”
Yogi Jaigisavya gave the following answer: “I have lived through ten Mahakalpas. I have experienced the troubles of hells and animal life. I have been born again and again among men and Gods. There is no pleasure at all in anything, anywhere in this world or heaven. I consider all that I have experienced as only pain.”
Avatya again questioned “Oh Yogi, do you think that the joy and contentment obtained during the state of Prakriti-laya also comes under the category of pain?”
Yogi Jaigisavya replied, “The joy of Prakritilaya is no doubt superior to the sensual pleasure that is derived from objects but it is only pain when compared to the pure Bliss of absolute freedom (Kaivalya). The joy of Prakritilaya is only an effect of Guna. There is still the thread of desire (Trishnatantu) here. When the Yogi becomes absolutely desireless, then only does he enjoy pure, unalloyed, infinite, eternal bliss.”
True devotion: Sabari was a woman of the forest tribe of Bhils. She presented Sri Rama with some fruits which she had bitten to know if they were sweet. Rama accepted the offering with intense delight on account of the true spirit of devotion in which it was made.
What is wanted is a loving heart of the Bhakta. God does not want precious gifts. The prayer must be Antarika (from the bottom of the heart). Love without attachment is needed. The self-surrender must be sincere, perfect, ungrudging and unreserved. When this is effected you need not do any Sadhana at all. Divine Sakti will do everything for you.
Sibi And Buddha
Karuna is the highest Sadhana: Sibi was a Solar king famous for his generosity. One day a dove flew into his court pursued by a hawk. Sibi offered the hawk a piece of his own flesh in order to save the dove. When this was cut off, both the hawk and the dove manifested their own true Divine forms and conferred on him many boons.
Lord Buddha offered his body to a tiger to appease its appetite. There is no Sadhana greater than Karuna (compassion).
True Devotion, Inaction in action: Parvati asked Lord Siva; “Oh! Jagat Pathi. Oh! Lord of the Universe. How is it you like very much Sundaramoorthy, when he is leading a lascivious life. This seems to me a mystery. Kindly explain this, my Lord.”
[Sundaramoorthy was a Tamil saint who wrote several Tevaram songs in Tamil. He had a concubine. He was living always in her house. But his mind, the Choranari was immersed in Brahman. A Choranari while engaged in the affairs of her house, thinks of her paramour. Similarly, a Jnani always dwells in Brahman, while he uses the instrument mind for various worldly activities. Sundaramoorthy was a perfect Jnani.]
Lord Siva replied “Oh Parvathi! Siva Maya! Look at the Bhakti of Sundaramoorthy. He is a Jnani also. He is Asakta, Asanga, Nirlipta, (unattached). He is not affected by actions. I will demonstrate this to you.” Lord Siva assumed the form of an old man and pretended to get himself drowned in a tank. Parvathi was standing on the shore. If anybody came to rescue the old man, Parvathi would say; “If you are a sinner, do not touch my husband.” Many offered to rescue the old man but none dared to go near him when they heard Parvathi’s words—“If you are a sinner...”. Their hearts were tainted with the inveterate idea of “sin and vice” a strong idea of impurity, a haunting idea indeed. Sundaramoorthy came straight from the concubine’s house with dishevelled hair. He saw a huge crowd near the tank and the old man in a drowning state,—the pretender Lord Siva with head coming up, and going down. He prepared himself to rescue the old man. Parvathi interposed “If you are a sinner, do not attempt to rescue my drowning husband.” Sundaramoorthy remarked “Oh foolish woman! The old man is in a critical juncture. What is sin? What is virtue? It is all foolish, creative imagination or Srishti Sankalpa of the mind. Shut up your mouth. I care not a jot about those relative terms, sin and virtue. I am beyond sin and virtue. Get away, O! preposterous lady! I will jump into the water now.” Sundaramoorthy plunged into the water, swam a few yards, brought the old man to the shore, gave him artificial respiration, brought back to life, and went back to the concubine’s house.
Lord Siva said, “Oh Parvathi! Look at Sundaramoorthy’s wisdom and Karuna, his mental attitude of ‘inaction in action.’ Are you satisfied now? That is the reason why I love Sundaramoorthy.” Parvathi now understood the secret of action and inaction and eulogised her Lord, Siva.
Akalkot Swami was a Jnani. He lived in Akalkot in Maharastra. In the later period of life, he became a Jnani of the Brahma Varishta type by withdrawing the external consciousness and living in the pure Nirvishesha, Nirguna Brahman of Sri Sankara. He shut out the phenomenal consciousness. He had to be spoon-fed with milk just as a man is fed in the comatose state. He used to pass motions in an unconscious state. People used to clean him. The same was the case with the most famous Kumbakonam Mouni Swami of Southern India. This Swami lived for 25 years in an unconscious state. He was fed all along on an easy chair.
A poor Brahmin performed Tapas for the sake of getting money for the celebration of his daughter’s marriage. He propitiated God Ganesha. Ganesha appeared in his dream and told the poor man to go to Akalkot Swami. The poor Brahmin went to Akalkot Swami. Swamiji asked the orthodox Brahmin to collect some bones. The poor Brahmin was very much perplexed. Anyhow, as he was in bad need of money, he obeyed the words of Swamiji and collected some bones. Swamiji told the Brahmin to take this to his house. The Brahmin was greatly embarrassed. When he reached the house, he did not take the bones inside but kept them in a corner of the verandah. After three days, he wanted to throw the bones away. When he lifted the bundle, he found it was very heavy. He opened it, and found to his astonishment it was full of gold. The Brahmin said to himself: “I made a serious mistake. I ought to have collected some more bones.” Such is the power of greed which keeps you bound to this Samsara. Destroy greed, which disturbs peace. Have faith in Saints.
Story Of An Old Man And A Donkey
You cannot please the world: An old man was riding a donkey, while he was returning from a Sunday fair. His young son was walking. The passers-by saw this and remarked: “Look at this cruel fellow. The young boy is walking all along. This stout man is riding on the donkey. Merciless wretch!” As soon as the old man heard these harsh words, he got down from the donkey and put his boy on the donkey. Some other people who were passing along the road saw this and remarked: “Loot at this cruel boy. The old, weak man is walking. Cheeky, arrogant, young, stout boy is enjoying a ride. Cruel boy!” Then the old man also got upon the donkey. They both rode the old animal. Some other people criticised: “Look at these two cruel fellows. The animal is old and weak. These two stout fellows are riding. Both are very, very cruel and heartless indeed!” They both got down and allowed the animal to walk freely. Some other passers-by remarked: “Look at these two fools. They have no brains. There is a good animal. They can quite easily ride and enjoy. They are walking now.” Thus the old man was kicked and tossed about from both sides, like a drum. If you marry, people will say that you are a passionate man. If you remain unmarried, people will say that you are a eunuch or impotent man. If you perform Japa, Sandhya, people will remark that you are a great religious hypocrite. If you do not perform Sandhya they will still criticise you and say that you are an atheist. You can never please the world. Bhima advised Yudhishthira: “O Dharmaputra, you can never please the world.” Be above the Dvandva of Ninda and Stuthi, censure and praise. Do not bother yourself. Have no fear of public opinion. Rest in Samata.”
Fear of public opinion is a great weakness. One may not be afraid of the knife of surgeons. He may submit himself fearlessly to extraction of a strong tooth without cocaine-injection or to an operation without chloroform. One may not have the least fear for wild animals in thick forests; he may move about fearlessly in forests. One may not be afraid of the machine gun in the battlefield; he may fearlessly expose his chest to the bullets. Such fearless people may be afraid of slight public criticisms! They may even die of such criticisms. He who is leading a spiritual life, who has outgrown society’s fragile man-made rules, must be above public opinion and criticisms. He will have to hear the shrill pure, inner voice within, the voice of the soul and follow this voice at all costs, despite public criticisms of all sorts. Many spiritually great men have given up their lives to keep up their convictions in the path of Truth. You can grow spiritually if you are above public opinion. Mark how Gandhiji stuck tenaciously to his principles despite public criticisms. Even if the whole world opposes you, you will have to stick to your principles and fight out, single-handed, even if it be.
Tayumana Swami was a very distinguished Saint of Trichinopoly on the bank of the Kaveri River in Tamil Nadu. His Samadhi is on a famous mountain, Rock Fort Hills. The hillock also goes by his name, Tayumanaswami’s Rock Fort Hill. He was a Saint of infinite realisation. His songs of realisation are sung by everybody throughout South India. They contain soul-stirring, thrilling, soul-elevating, sublime thoughts. His songs are wonderful indeed. They are marvellous. His songs are in perfect harmony with the physical science. Even a marked atheist will be converted into a theist if he hears his songs. Many songs are good for the purpose of Nididhyasana, like Avadhoota Gita. He was an embodiment of the Vedas. He was a living assurance of God-realisation. He never preached on platforms. He was a perfect Jnani, who was one with Brahman though his essential nature, and being absorbed primarily in the qualified God, Saguna-Apara Brahman of Sri Sankara, he possessed all the eight Divine attributes. As a Jnani, he worked in all the bodies, he worked with the very breath of Nature. He worked along with the wind that blew, with the rain that dropped from heaven, and with the sunshine. If a Jnani elevates ten persons by removing their Avidya, the root cause of all evils, that is the real Loka Sangraha. Social and political work concerns not a Jnani or real Sannyasi.
Famous Gujarati: Akha was a celebrated Saint of Gujarat. He was a goldsmith by profession. He went to Benaras. Swami Brahmananda was holding Vedantic classes at night. Akha could not get admission. He hid himself at night in a dustbin, behind Swami Brahmananda’s residence and was attentively hearing the lessons for one year. One day, when one of the students was not able to answer one of the questions put by Swamiji, Akha gave an answer loudly from behind the wall. Swami Brahmananda asked who it was that gave the beautiful answer? “I am Akha from Gujarat” was the reply. Swamiji said: “Come inside Akha.” Akha went inside and prostrated. Swamiji asked: “Who are you, Akha? How did you manage to come here at this hour?” Akha said, “Swami, I am a goldsmith. I am a strong Mumukshu. I have been hiding in this dustbin for the last 12 months and hearing your instructions attentively. Kindly initiate me.” Swami Brahmananda found him a suitable Adhikari and initiated him into the mysteries of Kaivalya. He became a full-blown Jnani. His songs of wisdom are collected and published in a book form. It is prescribed for M.A. class students in the Bombay University.
God’s Test: In those days when there was no railway communication, Ekanath went on foot on a pilgrimage to Gangotri. He stocked water from the source of Ganga in vessels and carried them in a Kavadi of bamboos on his shoulder. The vessels should not touch the ground. Hence, the bamboo Kavadi contrivance. He went to Benaras and performed Puja-Abhisheka of one vessel of Gangotri water on Kasi Visvanath. He proceeded to Rameswaram to perform Abhishekam there on Ramalingeshwar. On the way, a few miles from Rameshwaram, Ekanath saw an emaciated, diseased ass dying of thirst. The sun was very scorching; Ekanath thought that God wanted to test him. He was a Saint of Parabhakti. He saw and felt god in everything, in every movement, in every action. He could never be deceived. He thought, that, that was the best opportunity to serve Ramalingeshwar in the ass. He never took this being for an ass. He forgot the Nama-rupa. He saw the essence, Sat-Chit-Ananda, Asti, Bhati, Priya in the ass. He remembered the words of Lord Krishna to Uddhava: “See me in everything. Make prostration to asses, etc., for, I am the Antaryamin in them.” Ekanath never grieved a bit that he had lost the chance of serving Ramalingeshwar. He thought, “This is the best opportunity. This is tantamount to the feeding one lakh Brahmins.” He broke the top of the vessel and gave the ass all the water to drink. Then and there he had Darshan of Ramalingeshwar. Follow Ekanath’s example. Develop Karuna to perfection. Karuna is the basis for Moksha.
Gandha Baba (Benaras)
Gandha Baba is also known as Swami Vishuddhananda. He has got a Siddhi to bring in any kind of scent you want. He will take a small piece of paper, squeeze it and produce lavender scent or any scent you want. He also demonstrated the power of the sun’s rays of giving sweet scent to ordinary oil kept in a phial in the sun. He also showed how by the rays of the sun ordinary cotton could be converted into sweets (Rasagullas). He demonstrated at the request of some of the European tourists the power of the sun’s rays of giving sweet scents to the oil in the presence of Brahmachari Kali Mohan, retired Deputy Magistrate. He informed the Brahmachari that he acquired the knowledge of the sun’s rays (Surya Rishini Jnana) in Tibet, where the Lamas teach their disciples the power of the different constituents of the sun’s rays. Gandha Baba is now living in Benares. He has constructed a special building for this purpose which is considerably high.
Story Of Vomiting A Crow
Do not be credulous: There was a wild rumour in Hardwar that a Sadhu vomited a crow in Rishikesh. So, many people came from Hardwar to see the fun. They went to the Kutir of the Sadhu and enquired what the matter was and asked: “Did you vomit the crow, Oh Santji” The Sadhu said: “I suffered from fever for the last ten days. I took some Ayurvedic medicine from Kali Kambiliwala’s Ayurvedic Dispensary. I am very bilious owing to the improper functioning of the liver. I vomited yesterday morning and brought forth some black matter. They might have spread a false rumour. That is all. I never vomited a black crow.” Do not be credulous. Always use commonsense and reasons. The Sadhu vomited. That much is certain. He brought forth some black matter. That is also the truth. This turned into the wild rumour that he vomited a black crow! Such instances are quite common. They are all cock and bull stories. They are bazaar “gups and gossips”. Never believe them. These gups and gossips bring about misunderstanding, unrest, quarrels and disputes. Allow them to pass at once through the other ear. You must not be credulous. You must always reason out. The process of ratiocination is indispensable for Jnana Yoga. Credulous men are quite unfit for the path of illumination.
Story Of A Pailwan
Admit your fault: “No sand on the moustache!”
A Pailwan is one who knows wrestling and does Kusti. Two Pailwans wanted to have a trial of their strength. One of them was a Punjabi, the other a Maharashtra. They entered the Talim or Gotham or arena which was spread with sand or red earth. Wrestling started. Both demonstrated a variety of feats and manipulations. The Maharatta put on ‘scissors’ to the neck of the Punjabi—a kind of feat where the knees are applied to the opponent’s shoulders to turn the man on his back, ‘to show beat’. ‘To show beat’ is a wrestling terminology. If a man is put on his back, he is defeated, he is ‘shown’ beat. With great difficulty the Maharatta showed ‘beat’ to the Punjabi, and won the day. But the Punjabi, never admitted his defeat or ‘beat’. He loudly remarked “I am not at all defeated. Oh spectators! just see, there is no sand on my moustache.”
Do not behave like this Punjabi, “With no sand on moustache.” You will be ruined. You must always admit your faults and weaknesses. If you are self-sufficient, with stubborn pride, arrogance and egoism, you will never evolve. You must always analyse your mind, scrutinise and find out all your defects and weaknesses and employ suitable methods to eschew them. Purification of the mind is the first part of Yoga (Chitta Suddhi).
Story Of A Sadhu
Way to Santi—God is everything:
A Sadhu was severely beaten by a householder and was lying unconscious on the ground. A virtuous, pious Grihastha pitied this Sadhu and took him in a Tonga to his house. He fed him slowly with a little warm milk. The Sadhu was gradually recovering his lost senses. After a couple of hours he was brought back to full objective consciousness.
The pious Grihastha asked the Sadhu, “Who beat you?”
Sadhu replied: “He, who is giving me milk, beat me.”
The Grihastha was greatly astonished at these words. He was rather perplexed. He could not properly grasp the sense.
Then the Sadhu explained to the Grihastha, the laws of destiny, the laws of Prarabdha, the laws of action and reaction. He said, “God is everything; God does everything; God is just; God does everything for our good. God is the proper judge. God gives proper reward and punishment. We should bear everything coolly.”
The Grihastha followed the example of the Sadhu, became a devout devotee and attained peace and Mukti.
Whenever you have difficulties, whenever you are puzzled, whenever you are in a dilemma, repeat mentally the formulae:“God is everything
God does everything
God does just
God does for my own good.”
Your worries will vanish. You will find peace instantaneously. Practise and feel.
Story Of A Sugar-Eating Boy
A certain old man took his boy who was addicted to eating much black sugar to a Saint and addressed him, “O Santji, my boy eats much black sugar. Kindly advise him to give up eating black sugar.” The Saint said, “Come after fifteen days.” The Saint himself used to take much black sugar like the boy. He gave up at once eating sugar for fifteen days. He found no trouble or mental disturbance. When the old man came on the fifteenth day with the boy, the Saint addressed the boy with great force, “My dear boy! Give up this habit of eating sugar at once.” The old man asked the Saint, “O Sadhu Maharaj! Why did you not advise the boy on the first day?” The Saint replied: “I was myself a victim of the sugar-eating habit. How could I then be able to advise others? I gave it up for fifteen days. I corrected myself first. How can I preach to others when I am myself filled with Doshas?” The advice of the Saint had very great effect on the mind of the boy. He gave up eating sugar from that day.
The moral of this story is that you must put a thing into actual practise yourself before you begin to preach it to others. Then only will it produce a lasting impression. Example is better than precept. It is easier to preach to twenty than to be one of the twenty in following the preaching.
Mantra Yoga Sadhana
Mantra Yoga is an exact science. “Mananat trayate iti mantrah”—by the Manana (constant thinking or recollection) of which one is released from the round of births and deaths, is Mantra.
Every Mantra has a Rishi who gave it to the world; a Mantra, a Devata, the Bija or seed which gives it a special power, the Sakti and the Kilakam or the pillar.
A Mantra is Divinity. Mantra and its presiding Devata are one. The Mantra itself is Devata. Mantra is divine power, Daivi Sakti, manifesting in a sound body. Constant repetition of a Mantra with faith, devotion and purity augments the Sakti or power of the aspirant, purifies and awakens the Mantra Chaitanya latent in the Mantra and bestows on the Sadhaka Mantra Siddhi, illumination, freedom, peace, eternal bliss, immortality.
By constant repetition of the Mantra the Sadhaka imbibes the virtues and power of the Deity that presides over the Mantra. Repetition of Surya Mantra bestows health, long life, vigour, vitality, Tejas or brilliance. It removes all diseases of the body and the diseases of the eye. No enemy can do any harm. Repetition of Aditya-hridayam in the early morning, is highly beneficial. Lord Rama conquered Ravana through the repetition of Aditya-hridayam imparted by Agastya Rishi.
Mantras are in the form of praise and appeal to the deities, craving for help and mercy. Some Mantras control and command the evil spirits. Rhythmical vibrations of sound give rise to forms. Recitation of Mantras gives rise to the formation of the particular figure of the deity.
Repetition of Sarasvati Mantra OM Sarasvatyai Namah will bestow on you wisdom and good intelligence. You will get inspiration and compose poems. Repetition of ‘Om Sri Mahalakshmyai Namah’ will confer wealth and remove poverty. Ganesha Mantra will remove any obstacle in any undertaking. Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra will remove accidents, incurable diseases and bestow long life and immortality. It is a Moksha Mantra too.
Repetition of Subramanya Matra ‘Om Saravanabhavaya Namah’ will give you success in any undertaking and make you glorious. It will drive off the evil influences and evil spirits. Repetition of Sri Hanuman Mantra, ‘Om Hanumanthaya Namah’ will bestow victory and strength. Repetition of Panchakshara and Shodasakshara (Sri Vidya) will give you whatever you want. You must learn this Vidya from a Guru alone.
Repetition of Gayatri or Pranava, ‘Om Namah Sivaya’, ‘Om Namo Narayanaya’, ‘Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya’, one and a quarter lakh of times with Bhava, faith and devotion will confer on you Mantra Siddhi.
‘Om’, ‘Soham’, ‘Sivoham’, ‘Aham Brahmasmi’ are Moksha Mantras. They will help you to attain Self-realisation. ‘Om Sri Ramaya Namah’, ‘Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya’ are Saguna Mantras which will enable you to attain Saguna realisation first and then Nirguna realisation in the end.
Mantra for curing scorpion stings and cobra bites should be repeated on eclipse days for getting Mantra Siddhi quickly. You should stand in water and repeat Mantras. This is more powerful and effective. These can be recited on ordinary days also for attaining Mantra Siddhi.
Mantra Siddhi for curing scorpion sting, cobra bites, etc., can be attained within 40 days. Repeat the Mantra with faith and devotion regularly. Have a sitting in the early morning after taking bath. Observe Brahmacharya and live on milk and fruits for 40 days or take restricted diet.
Chronic diseases can be cured by Mantras. Chanting of Mantras generate potent spiritual waves or divine vibrations. They penetrate the physical and astral bodies of the patients and remove the root causes of sufferings. They fill the cells with pure Sattva or divine energy. They destroy the microbes and vivify the cells and tissues. They are best, most potent antiseptics and germicides. They are more potent than ultra-violet rays or Rountgen rays.
Mantra Siddhi should not be misused for the destruction of others. Those who misuse Mantra power for destroying others are themselves destroyed in the end.
Those who utilise Mantra power in curing snake bites, scorpion stings and chronic diseases should not accept any kind of presents or money. They must be absolutely unselfish. They should not accept even fruits or clothes. They will lose the power if they utilise the power for selfish purposes. If they are absolutely unselfish, if they serve humanity with Sarvatma Bhava, their power will increase through the grace of the Lord.
He who has attained Mantra Siddhi can cure cobra bite or scorpion sting or any chronic disease by a mere touch on the affected part. When a man is bitten by a cobra a telegram is sent to the Mantra Siddha. The Mantra Siddha recites the Mantra and the man who is bitten by a cobra is cured. What a grand marvel! Does this not prove the tremendous power of Mantra?
Get the Mantra initiation from your Guru or pray to your Ishta Devata and start doing Japa of the particular Mantra, if you find it difficult to get a Guru.
May you all become Mantra Yogis with Mantra Siddhi! May you all become real benefactors of the world by becoming divine healers through Mantra cure! May Mantra-Cure, divine healing centres be started all over the world!
Course Of Sadhana
1. BRAHMA MUHURTA
Get up at 4 a.m. Answer calls of nature. Clean your teeth and wash your mouth. Take bath where possible. Arrange to sit for Dhyana as quickly as possible, for Brahma Muhurta is extremely favourable for meditation on God.
Practise to sit in one Asana only, preferably Padmasana or any convenient pose in which you will be able to sit for long hours without physical strain. Sit erect with body, head and neck in a straight line. Sit for at least one hour from 5 to 6 a.m. at a stretch without any physical movement.
Offer mental prostrations to Acharyas, your own Guru and Ishta Devata. Pray that all beings be happy, peaceful and blissful. Recite a few prayer Slokas that will produce sublime thoughts. Pray for knowledge and devotion only.
Do Japa of Ishta Mantra mentally from 5 to 10 Malas (of 108 beads) daily.
Before going to actual meditation, practise simple Pranayama for two minutes. Feel the indwelling presence of the Lord and his form in you. Think of the attributes of the Lord, such as purity, love, perfection, all-pervading intelligence, bliss-absolute, omnipresence, omnipotence, omniscience of Him in and around you. Meditate now on the form of Ishta Devata. When the mind runs away from the object of meditation, repeat Ishta Mantra. This will steady the mind. Have another sitting for meditation at night. Do not neglect meditation as it is most important. Regularity in the practice of meditation is divinising of oneself for God-realisation.
Read one chapter or ten verses of the Bhagavad Gita with meaning and any holy text which will increase your psychic and spiritual culture, daily.
7. PHYSICAL EXERCISE
Practise Asanas, Surya Namaskara or any useful exercise for physical movement of the body in any form best suited to you.
Take light simple food. Have a balanced diet. Fast on Ekadasi days or take milk and fruits or root only. Offer to God every food you take.
Do some selfless service for one hour daily or for one or more hours on Sundays and holidays.
Practise abstinence from speech and also be free from worldly thoughts for two hours daily and four to eight hours on Sundays and holidays. Observe celibacy according to your age and circumstances. Restrict the indulgence to once a month. Decrease it gradually to once a year. Finally take a vow of abstinence for whole life.
Go to bed early or not later than 10 p.m. A rest for more than six hours is not necessary.
12. SPIRITUAL DIARY
Maintain a regular diary from the day you begin Sadhana. Stick to your daily routine at any cost, never say tomorrow, for that tomorrow never comes. In your practice of Sadhana in seclusion, the spiritual diary maintained, takes the place of an absentee Guru, for, it reminds you to be regular in your daily habits and spiritual practices.
Twenty Important Spiritual Instructions
H.H. Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj
1. Get up at 4 a.m. daily. This is Brahmamuhurta which is extremely favourable for meditation on God.
2. ASANA: Sit on Padma, Siddha or Sukha Asana for Japa and meditation for half an hour, facing the east or the north. Increase the period gradually to three hours. Do Sirshasana and Sarvangasana for keeping up Brahmacharya and health. Take light physical exercises as walking, etc., regularly. Do twenty Pranayamas.
3. JAPA: Repeat any Mantra as pure Om or Om Namo Narayanaya, Om Namah Sivaya, Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya, Om Saravanabhavaya Namah, Sita Ram, Sri Ram, Hari Om, or Gayatri, according to your taste or inclination, from 108 to 21,600 times daily.
4. DIETETIC DISCIPLINE: Take Sattvic food, Suddha Ahara. Give up chillies, tamarind, garlic, onion, sour articles, oil, mustard, asafoetida. Observe moderation in diet (Mitahara). Do not overload the stomach. Give up those things which the mind likes best for a fortnight in a year. Eat simple food. Milk and fruits help concentration. Take food as medicine to keep the life going. Eating for enjoyment is sin. Give up salt and sugar for a month. You must be able to live on rice, Dhal and bread without any chutni. Do not ask for extra salt for Dhal and sugar for tea, coffee or milk.
5. Have a separate meditation-room under lock and key.
6. CHARITY: Do charity regularly, every month, or even daily according to your means, say six paise per rupee.
7. SVADHYAYA: Study systematically the Gita, the Ramayana, the Bhagavata, Sri Vishnu-Sahasranama, Lalita-Sahasranama, Aditya Hridaya, Upanishads or Yoga Vasishtha, the Bible, Zend Avesta, the Koran, the Tripitakas, the Granth Sahib, etc., from half an hour to one hour daily and have Suddha Vichara.
8. BRAHMACHARYA: Preserve the vital force (Veerya) very, very carefully. Veerya is God in motion or manifestation—Vibhuti. Veerya is all power. Veerya is all money. Veerya is the essence of life, thought and intelligence.
9. PRAYER SLOKAS: Get by heart some prayer-Slokas, Stotras and repeat them as soon as you sit in the Asana before starting Japa or meditation. This will elevate the mind quickly.
10. SATSANGA: Have Satsanga. Give up bad company, smoking, meat and alcoholic liquors entirely. Do not develop any evil habits.
11. FAST ON EKADASI: Fast on Ekadasi or live on milk and fruits only.
12. JAPA MAALA: Have Japa Maala (rosary) round your neck or in your pocket or underneath your pillow at night.
13. MOUNA: Observe Mouna (vow of silence) for a couple of hours daily.
14. SPEAK THE TRUTH: Speak the truth at all cost. Speak a little. Speak sweetly.
15. Reduce your wants. If you have four shirts, reduce the number to three or two. Lead a happy, contented life. Avoid unnecessary worry. Have plain living and high thinking.
16. NEVER HURT ANYBODY: Never hurt anybody (Ahimsa Paramo Dharmah). Control anger by love, Kshama (forgiveness) and Daya (compassion).
17. DO NOT DEPEND UPON SERVANTS: Do not depend upon servants. Self-reliance is the highest of all virtues.
18. SELF-ANALYSIS: Think of the mistakes you have committed during the course of the day, just before retiring to bed (self-analysis). Keep daily diary and self-correction register. Do not brood over past mistakes.
19. FULFIL DUTIES: Remember that death is awaiting you at every moment. Never fail to fulfil your duties. Have pure conduct (Sadachara).
20. SURRENDER TO GOD: Think of God as soon as you wake up and just before you go to sleep. Surrender yourself completely to God (Saranagati).
Om Santih Santih Santih!
This is the essence of all spiritual Sadhanas.
This will lead you to Moksha.
All these Niyamas or spiritual canons must be rigidly observed.
You must not give leniency to the mind.