Thursday, July 31, 2014

Soul - the Ever Present Witness

Try as you may with the farthest range of imagination, you will never succeed in going beyond the soul. You will never believe that this "I" is ever non-existent. This "I" (the soul) is a drop of THAT absolute, indestructible, immutable, ocean of consciousness, which we call God.  The soul itself is the spark of THAT supreme sun of the spirit.
O Seeker! May you, by the grace of God, succeed in perceiving the existence of the soul in yourself and appreciate that man is a deity in deep slumber (a fallen angel, according to Christian belief) unaware of his potentialities. Within a human being there exist, in dormant state, divine potentialities, awaiting discovery and seeking an outlet to manifest themselves in action. It has been demonstrated in the lives of innumerable mystics, sages, seers and occultists through the ages that these powers can be accessed and made operative, although their mastery requires persistent, single-pointed endeavor. Initially, the progress is slow, but after crossing over the threshold or limiting consciousness and rising to the plane of Adhyatm Manas, the vision becomes clear and path easy. After that the progress is like an elevator ride. In its original nature, the individual soul (Atma) in each embodied being is an indivisible portion of the Absolute (Parmatma).
In the previous article, I have expressed that the soul, too, does not have an independent existence of its own and that it ever remains an integral part of the Supreme Being. However, before attaining this awareness, one has to activate the awareness of Aham within. Let these let these lesson and words not be taken merely as a trivial exercise in verbosity and treated with disdain. The elaborations made here may not be as explicit as necessary for this complex subject. Nevertheless, it is to be emphasized that through these words a great truth is being revealed. As you are reading these lines, your soul is eagerly expecting to proceed on the path leading to spiritual enlightenment. Step forward and become its torchbearer.
It is hoped that with the foregoing contemplative exercises, the reader will have developed the capability of making a distinction between Aham and the faculties of the body and the mind. Experiential awareness of this fact will make the seeker master of his mind and its traits (Vrittis). He will then intuitively develop the competence to use these tools effectively in life.
For elaboration of such a serious subject, the ideological approach and words used by the author may appear too crude and naïve. The subject, however, pertains to perceptions of intangible realms of consciousness, which are beyond the reach of words and expressions. The specific taste of a particular favorite food cannot be described in words. One has to personally taste it. The author is simply trying to cultivate an interest in the subject, so that the reader is motivated to himself carry out these exercises. Thus, the reader will himself find proofs of the occult and mystic layers of consciousness and progressively have a clear perception of the nature of the Inner-Self. Until personally realized, knowledge remains a mere theoretical statement. Once one has the concrete experience, no arguments to the contrary are able to shake his rocklike living faith.

The Blissful Self Within

Just as a thread with a few ragged fibers will not pass through the eye of a needle, so a mind with even a single attachment to the external world cannot realize the self within. But when all desires and distractions are burnt in the fire of yearning, when all egoistic feelings of "I" and "mine" dissolve in the intense concentration on the Beloved - the mind becomes so finely-pointed on the infinite that it disappears - and one plunges instantaneously into the dazzling brilliance of the innermost self.
As the age-old darkness in the depths of a cave is dispelled in a second when a match is lit, so self-realization comes in the twinkling of an eye, and countless lifetimes of ignorance and illusion are dispelled from the mind forever.
The individual consciousness exists within the infinite ocean of Cosmic Consciousness like a pot full of water in a pond. The water in the pot seems separate from the water of the pond only because of the boundary of the pot in between - the individual mind, the limited ego. But when the pot is broken, the water merge; when the mind is removed and there is no longer any separation between inner and outer, the individual consciousness dissolves into the Cosmic Consciousness in an ecstatic flow. Then, free from all bondages, beyond all vibration and duality, the self realizes its true glory - nameless, faceless, changeless, birth less and deathless, infinite bliss and eternal peace.
When those who have attained this ultimate state return to awareness in the world, they feel that a surge of exhilaration from some unknown realm has flooded their minds, and every cell of their bodies thrills in that divine current. Having drunk deep from the fountain of bliss, their senses are intoxicated and they see the Supreme Consciousness everywhere. In every morsel, they taste His sweetness, in every sound they hear His melody, with every breath they inhale His fragrance, in every touch, and they feel His caress. Then they know that deep within everything is the Supreme, playing hide-and-seek with Himself.
Like the wandering saint who lovingly embraced the dogs in the street and fed them the delicacies her disciples had offered her, and then what feel from the dog's mouths, she gleefully ate and distributed among her disciples - those who have dived deep into the Ocean of Consciousness have realized that they are One with all.
Then whatever part they choose to play in the drama of life - as they work and play, move and speak in the world - inwardly they always know that they are the immortal self.

One divinely realized being called the Blissful Mother was once asked, "Please tell me something of your life." Her face was lustrous with an inner joy, and in her sweet voice she answered quickly. "This consciousness has never associated itself with this temporary body. Before this body came on this earth, she was the same. As a child, she as the same. She grew into womanhood, but still she was the same. When the family in which she was born made arrangements to have this body married, she was the same. Ever afterward, though the dances of creation change around her in the hall of eternity, she shall always be the same." Saying this, her body became motionless, and she went into ecstasy.

The Pandora's Box

The placement of the brain at the top of the human body matches with the superiority of its role as compared to the other organs. It sits at the head of the body as if Lord Shiva divine glory is present on the sacred Kalish peak of the Himalayas. The strong fort of the skull protects it from pollution, harmful radiation, and effects of weather fluctuation and also prevents it from being hurt due to external stroke or hit. Further, the outer walls of this fort are also in contact with the external environment so as to allow important cosmic signals to reach the brain, this organization is most suitable for the healthy functioning of the brain as well as the body.
As infants brain weights only about 12 ounces. In a grownup youth it becomes about 3 pounds. Its functional capabilities increase at exponential rates as compared to the growth of its size and weight during this period. With the help of microfilms, we can store huge volumes of books in a tiny pocket. A healthy and normally developed human brain can store the amount of knowledge, which if printed, would require billions of huge volumes of books. Moreover, nature has endowed it with the potential to even double this capacity as and when required.
If one half of the brain is damaged or hurt due to some accident or similar causes, the remaining half fulfills the tasks of both. We normally have two hands, two legs, two eyes, two ears, two lungs, two kidneys etc. If one of these is lost, the normal functions of the body continue without much trouble because, the other member of the pair can compensate to a large extent for the lost or failed one. The brain does so despite being a single organ. It continues to perform its essential duties efficiently even if half portion becomes useless.
During the Second World War, about sixty-two soldiers had to undergo major surgical operations in which half portion of the brain was removed because of concussion. It was feared at that time that even if they survived, the memorizing capacity and efficiency of their brains would also be halved after such an operation. However, such apprehensions were found to be baseless as the half-brains of these soldiers worked normally like the complete ones.
Size, weight or physique of the body might be a good measure of its physical strength to some extent. However, that is certainly not the case with respect to the potentials of the brain. The brain of an elephant weight about 10 pounds and that of a human only 3 pounds. But, we all know that an elephant is not intelligent at all as compared to a normal human.
 Intelligence is found to be associated with the connectivity of the neurons in the cortex. More the number of active connections among these neurons, the higher will be the efficacy of information transmission and retrieval through them. The principle of cooperatively assures progress in every field of life. That it is also the basis of intelligence - can be easily seen in the structure and functional adaptability of the interconnected neurons.
The human brain controls every activity of life. The domain of its regulatory tasks ranges from the body-functions to mental faculties and from the wonderful creations of imaginations to the depths of sentiments and subtler fields of emotions and acumen. Every kind of experience is stored in its memory. Only the intelligent machinery of the brain performs the functions of reasoning, planning and decision making. Whatever be the external structure, appearance and activities of the body, the basic source of control of each and every component and function of the body lies in the brain (mind). All the macro and micro level physiological, biochemical, cellular and molecular activities inside the body are conducted under its regulatory mechanism. It is the core of the origin, cultivation and culmination of the endeavors and tendencies of inclination towards philosophy, science, business, technical skill, art, music, adventure etc. What is the present level of one's personality and what it would become in near future - this can be deciphered by the elucidation of his/her mentality and emotional propriety.
The amount of material substances in brain is very less but its structural complexity, flexibility, storage capacity and functional adaptation fro, the hidden stock of its memory almost instantaneously and its parallel processing at ultra fast speed make it a supreme computer. These together with the unbound intelligence of the human brain challenge that none of the advanced information systems, super computers or other man made artificially intelligent machines could ever match the functioning or human brain in Toto.
Man made devices perform only the particular tasks for which they are fabricated. Their power and efficiency depends upon their design. Such is not the case with the natural 'instruments' like the human body and brain. The brain automatically controls its own development and can expand its capacities, potentials, activities and efficiency beyond any limit. It begins to grow on its own since the time of birth of the fetus and continues to perfect its development till the time of death along with performing its duties towards the other organs without any pause. In this respect, it may be likened to a teacher, who besides teaching regularly in the school, also continues his own studies and gradually passes higher grades of examination to expand his own scholarly talents.
Recent developments in neurosciences have revealed many features of the structure and function of the human brain. The facts known till date are so starling that this organ appears to be superior to the collective accomplishments of the most advanced technologies. What remains to be known about it could be more astonishing. Many layers of this majestic Pandora's Box still remain closed. As stated earlier, in normal case a large number of neuronal connections remain inactivated throughout the life of a human being unless some extra efforts are made - for instance, by Yoga practices and other experiments of spirituality to stimulate them. Rousing of these latent centers of consciousness can bestow supernatural faculties. Then, an ordinary human can enhance his physical power to compete with that of a giant and develop divine talents and potentials at the mental, intellectual and spiritual levels too.
Regular physical exercises and massaging etc. are practiced in order to energize the functional centers, which maintain physical health. The metabolic activities are maintained by eating pure, nutritious and digestive food in balanced quantities. Such practices ensure happy and healthy survival of the body in normal cases. However, extra care is essential for the refinement of mental capabilities and talents. The food intake of a person engaged in such a endeavor should be pure and austere and should also be 'charged' by subtle energy. The latter helps stirring and arousing the reservoir of consciousness existing in the brain.
The food of one's own refined thoughts, sentiments and inner strength catalyses the actions of the subtle energy. The external means useful in this regard consist of - dedicated endeavors (Sadhanas) of practicing truth, austerity and penance in every aspect of life, ascetic contemplation and Swadhyaya coupled with the Sadhanas of spiritual elevation. Meditation (Dhyan) is the simplest kind of Sadhana, which sublimated the flow of subtle energy in the brain.
Focusing of sunrays on a convex lens results in generation of thermal energy and ignition, channelizing of steam in a single direction triggers motion of a steam engine, targeted attack of cannon gives rise to an explosion. These examples demonstrate the power of concentration .A large number of bio-electrical impulses and energetic currents continuously flow in the human brain … focusing these to refine and strengthen specific quality of mind - is accomplished by a Dhyan Sadhana. This also results in rousing the willpower and mental strength along with sharpening of the intellect.

The inner strength of the mind is more important than the might physical power of the body, the power of wealth and external resources or the impact of education and talents etc.. One can rise up to those heights of development which are unimaginable in today's world and gradually culminate the personality with the help of the awakened inner strength of the mind

Food for thought

Why do we fear?
Most fears are nothing but movements of thoughts. A thought is a language that we give for words, pictures and feelings. Put in a different way, a thought is just a movement of word, picture and feeling…….. You interpret a thought in your mind in a language that you are afraid, and your experience fear.
What happens when you are in a state of deep sleep? In that state there are no thoughts, and you experience no fear at all. If there is no thought, there is no fear. When you are in deep sleep, a snake may glide close to you, but you are not afraid of that snake in such proximity because you are not thinking about the snake. On the other hand, when you are awake, the sight of even a coiled piece of rope can fill you with fear, because you think the rope is a snake.
Fears that are physical in their origin arise from a threat perceived in our immediate physical surroundings. For example, you may be in the jungle, and you know there are tigers in the jungle. You will genuinely be afraid. Even then, you can turn that fear into an enjoyable experience, what advertisers of adventure sports call an "adrenaline-pumping" or "hair-raising" experience. Such fear also has great survival value. Ask professional hunters and experienced trekkers and they will tell you that it is fear that keeps them alert and alertness that keeps them alive.
You can work on reducing or eliminating your fear. If you have a fear, first understand the nature of the object that arouses it. Let us say you are afraid of your future. What you really fear is the uncertainty that surrounds events yet to happen. By living totality in the present and by planning ahead you can reduce the uncertainty and fear. If you do not know how to plan, you can take the guidance of consultants and counselors. You cannot plan for all uncertainties but being prepared to an extent reduces your fear of uncertainties. Learn the art of enjoying it, too

At times, even when we are thinking positively, negative thoughts and images intrude. How to prevent this?
I will begin my answer with n analogy. You have a computer and you switch it on. Windows 98 comes on. You don't want windows 998. You get angry. You switch off the computer, and switch it on again. Still you see only windows 98. Switching the computer on and off repeatedly will not change the situation. For, the built-in programming environment is windows 98. You have to change the programming. Similarly, the psychological programming inside you, your subconscious mind, should change before any real change can happen. Your subconscious mind comprises engrams - mental traces that have been created over life experiences. These consist of both positive and negative associations and act like computer programmes. So long as the programming remains the same, the computer will function only in the manner dictated by that programme.

Similarly, we have to change the programming of our mind. When you have changed your programming, you start perceiving and acting positively. So it is wise thinking that holds the key to positive frame of mind.

Food for thought
The ear tests words as the tongue tastes food. (Bible 34.3)

The thought manifests as the word. The word manifests as the deed. The deed develops into habit. And the habit hardens into character. So watch the thought and its ways with care. And let it spring from love, born out of concern for all beings. (Gautam Buddha)

Nourish the mind like you would your body. The mind cannot survive on junk food (Jim Rohm)

You think You are

Busy Social Life Holds key to Fighting Cancer

Socializing is good for health - in fact, it may even help fight cancer, says a new study.
An international team has carried out the study and found that socializing with others aid in fight against cancer as the stress of interaction causes tumors to shrink and even go into remission. Cancer patients who change their life style to keep company with more people could see substantial improvements in their condition, says the study.
According to researchers, the findings challenge accepted wisdom that stress is damaging to health, indicating that a manageable level of stress can help the body fight disease, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Matthew During of the Ohio State University, who led the experiments on mice, said that the results had substantial implications for how people with cancer should live after diagnosis. Doctors should pay more attention to living conditions of their patients, rather than relying on traditional clinical treatments like surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. He was quoted as saying "The goal isn't to minimize stress, but to live a richer life, social and physically. You want to be challenged.
In their study, the researchers found that moving mice with cancer from their standard laboratory lodgings - where they live in groups of five - to more spacious accommodation shared with up to 20 other rodents had a significant positive effect on the progress of their condition. Their tumors shrunk in weight by an average of 77% while 5% of the mice showed no evidence of cancer after three weeks.
The mice's "enriched" environment also included more space them exercise and toys with which to play, but the researchers identified the stress of socializing as the key factor in suppressing the cancers.

You think You are
We re responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. You cannot believe in
God until you believe in yourself. (Swami Vivekananda)

It isn't true that everyone should follow one apth. Listen to your own truth. (Ram Dass)

Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acccquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.   (M K Gandhi)

Smile, don't frown. Look up, don't look down. Believe in your self don't let yourself go. Just be who you are and let your life flow. (Kirstie Alley)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Gardens of Enlightenment

The majesty of light is endless. After having created worms, it created gazelles. And afterwards it brought about resourceful monkeys and then humans – who taught themselves to read and write. IN due time, enthralling stories are written, which are exciting the human mind and imagination to the point that words are often more important than bread and physical sustenance.
Light is majestic, generous and clear. Human words are many and some are obtuse. Obtuse words create obtuse minds. Obtuse words and minds combined create areas of darkness. Light is clear and never obtuse. Dwell in light and you will be all right.
To see the true majesty of light, you simply have to see the endless radiance of the universe, and then the continuous radiance of your inner being…. and the glory of light all over. For the universe means light in its radiance, dignity, majesty, effervescent transcendence, in every act of your understanding, generosity, and light in its continuous giving and loving. This shining Light is but one enormous all embracing Mother.
How can you become Light, while you are already it? But think; the potency is not the same thing as its actualization. Where does the seed come from? From other seeds. And the ultimate seed – where does it come from? May be there re no answers to ultimate questions.
Yet we want to understand don’t we? Yes, but what understands? It must be nothing else but the rays of light, that illumine. Illumine what? The state of your being. From what to what? From being less illumined to being more illumined. Why is it important? Because it is the way of Light from being less illumined to being more illumined. Such is the path of the evolutionary unfolding of Light, until it becomes perfectly realized. Which means what? The end of the story of Light. Does tat mean the end of the story of the universe? Yes, it means the end of the story of the universe. And then What? And then there are no “whats” we understand everything because we re everything. No questions. No answers. When the universe arrives at the ultimate point of the Self-realization of light, there will be no problems of any kind.
Human consciousness has been a marvel of creation of Light. It has shown flashes of genius and extraordinary depth. As it was the cane with the illuminati. Yet the consciousness of the whole species is another mater. This consciousness has a long way to go.
At present there is no such thing as Absolute Consciousness with which we can connect. For the time being Absolute Consciousness is but a myth. Human consciousness is evolutionary as everything else is. It will reach its apogee of enlightenment at the end of time.

In the meantime we need to cultivate our small gardens of enlightenment, for we don’t truly know what ultimate enlightenment for they are real – an anticipation of greater things to come. Above all, we should seek the Great Peace within, which is available to all human beings and which is a precondition of any form of enlightenment.

Big Bird of the Storm

When there is a severe storm, birds with small wings are caught up in it, but large birds with strong wings fly upwards and save themselves from becoming victims of the storm.
On the basis of this phenomenon there is a saying in the English language. “Big birds of the storm.” This applies to people of high thinking, to those who can save themselves from the environmental storm. That is they can live on their own without becoming affected by the external world.
Who are the ‘big bird’ of the storm? They are the ‘big bird thinkers’ who can live independently, drawing on their own mental resources. Big bird thinkers are those who do not become angry even when provoked. They are those who maintain their positively even in negative situations, who can control their thoughts in such a way that they can see all men and women as human beings, whether friends or foes, and who can keep the peace even if others turn violent.
‘Big bird thinkers’ are those who are so mature that nothing can distract them from their objectives, who give well considered responses when in adverse situations, rather than simply indulging in an emotional backlash.
There is a saying in Hindi “Kuttu bhonkte rehte hain our hathi chalta rehata hai” – the elephant walks on without being disturbed by barking dogs. This is the best illustration of one who has the capacity for ‘big bird thinking. Life is full of storms, full of barking, full of untoward situations – these things are due to the laws of nature and no one is in a position to abolish the laws of nature. So you have only two options; either to waste your time and energy by constantly stopping to reactionary behavior or to ignore all undesirable situations and try to live like the elephant in the adage. Elephant style living is the only successful way to live in this world.
‘Big bird thinking’ is only another name for spiritual thinking. Spirituality is not something mysterious; it is positive thinking. All spiritual people are positive thinkers and all positive thinkers are spiritual in nature. Spirituality and positive thinking are almost synonymous with each other.
There is a beautiful story in Hindu mythology: Once a man became furious and he kicked Ram in the chest. Ram’s response was quite unique. He said: “Mere lokhan seene se tumhare komal paunwen ko chot to nahi lagi?” I hope your soft leg was not hurt by my iron chest.
Spiritual behavior is friendly behavior towards every human being – to both friends and foes alike. Spiritual behavior is like the behavior of flowers that can live with all their fragrance in the neighborhood of thorns.
An Urdu poet has beautifully expressed this: “Gulshan parast hoon mujhe gul hi nahi azeez, kaaton se bhi nibah kiya jar aha hoon mein” –I am a lover of nature, I don’t only love flowers, but I can live normally with thorns as well.
Spirituality is good for the all round development of the individual’s personality, for it makes you free of tension and friendly towards all. Spirituality is the way to all kind of success.

Positive thinking makes you a ‘big bird thinker’ and ‘big bird thinking’ imbues the human character with spirituality. Although this is an inner wquality, it is this inner quality that has the power to better all your external affairs.

Finding Your Voice

The story of Caedmon, the first documented poet to compose in the English language in the late sixth century, is about an ordinary man whom God took aside from his busy everyday activity and from his own limited sense of who and what he was, and spoke to him in the quiet of the night.
Caedmon worked as a lay brother in the community of Abbess Hilda of Whitey. The singing of psalms and hymns played central role in the community, and at a feast it was an accepted tradition that all should sing in turn.
It bothered Caedmon so much that he knew no songs and could not sing that whenever this began, he would quietly slip away.
Once frustrated by his inability to contribute to the songs of praise to God, he left the gathering and went to the stables, falling asleep among the horses.
As he slept, he dreamt that someone addressed him by name saying, “Caedmon, sing me something”. He answered “I cannot sing” that is why I left the feast and came here…. The voice insisted. “Nevertheless you must sing”.
Feeling strangely compelled to obey, Caedmon asked, “What shall I sing” And was told: “Sing. His hymn was new, pouring from his heart: “Now we must praise Heaven kingdom’s guardian/ the maker’s might and his mind’s thoughts, the work of the glory-father as he established the beginning of every wonder. He first shaped for men’s sons. Heaven as a roof, the holy Creator; then middle earth mankind’s guardian, eternal Lord afterwards prepared for men the earth the Lord almighty”
Walking from his sleep, Caedmon remembered all that he had sung in his dream. He went to his superior and told him of the dream. His superior took him to Hilda, who recognizing the grace of God at works, instructed Caedmon to set aside his secular clothes and to take monastic vows.
She received him into the community and ordered that he should be instructed in sacred history and the scriptures. He learned all he could by listening to the lesson, and then”…. Memorizing it and ruminating over it, like some clean animal chewing the cud, he turned it into the most melodious verse, and it sounded as sweet as he recited it that his teachers become in turn his audience”
He composed more verses in the same manner, “praising God in a worthy style”, and went on to become a creative and dynamic force in the spiritual community a poet and a beloved teacher.
It was Caedmon’s fear of not measuring up – maybe to his standards or to those of those around him – that held him back. It was his trusting the ‘voice’ that allowed him to make that first attempt.
Even if only just one of Caedmon’s poems survives, that it is still in publication some 1,300 years after his death and continues to touch us, speaks of how even a small legacy can have a huge impact.

Caedmon’s story tells us too of our ordinary selves, afraid to find our true voice; but by heeding the call of ‘the other’ – divine prompting, - we can give voice to out previously withheld beautiful creativity  - whatever shape or form this takes.

Don’t be Hurry

A man who was very found of trees wanted to see a green tree in the courtyard of his home. He thought that if he planted sapling, it would take a long time to grow into a tree. So he went to a garden and selected a fully grown tree. He then employed several laborers to dig it up and then transport it to his courtyard where he had it planted.
The man was very happy. He thought to himself; “I have traveled a long journey in a single day. Planting a sapling or a seed would have been a lengthy business and now I have found quick way of having a lush green tree”
But the next morning when he looked at the tree, he found that its leaves had begun to wither, and after a few days the whole tree dried up. He was disappointed. When one of his friends visited him, he found him in a very sad mood. When he asked the reason he said: “I am in a hurry, but God isn’t”
This story instructs us about the law of nature, which is based on gradual development and not on sudden leaps. One who follows this law of nature will be successful, while the one, who fails to follow it, will be doomed to failure.
This law of nature is applicable not only to tree; it is a universal law. In every field, one must follow this natural course; otherwise one cannot attain any worthwhile goal.
Why is it that when the tree was in the garden, it was green, but when the same tree was transferred to another place – the courtyard – it dried up? The reason is that when the tree was in the garden, it had its roots intact, but when it was transferred to the courtyard, it had very few of its roots left. And it is roots that give life to a tree.
This is a law of nature and this law of nature applies to all human activities. It is the need of every business, every profession, and every institution to have proper roots, that is, a sound basis. There is no exception to this law of nature.
For example, education is the basis for a job, reputation is the basis of a business, and infrastructure is the basis of national development. Constructing a really solid foundation requires a long period of time; you cannot have such a foundation by just taking wild leaps.
When you are in a hurry to achieve something. It means that you are denying the law of nature. You want to build a world on your own and this kind of procedure is not possible in this world. Those who engage in a gradual process will find support in nature and without such support no achievement is possible in this world.
Why did God decree this nature? He did so for the purpose of consolidation. If you try to achieve something by leaping into things, the final result will be like an uprooted tree. But when you adopt the gradual process, you consolidate your achievement.

An agriculturist once rightly pointed out that it requires only six months to grow a kakdi plant, but if you want to grow a tree like the oak, it will take 50 years to produce a fully grown tree. From this example one can understand how the law of nature functions.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Chasing the Oracle

There isn't a single Indian TV news channel that hasn't featured Paul the celebrity octopus. After successfully forecasting the results of FIFA World Cup matches, this eight-legged marine creature has proved his clairvoyance. Well, that's at least the case with an energetic game played by the two-legged race, a sport that has become a passion in several countries but is yet to capture the hearts and minds of our young Indians. There's however, been recent news of threats from German fans to serve Paul up as soup or on seafood platters. But he and his handful of Indian fans seem far from appalled, now that the German authorities have vowed to protect him. Not without reason.
The Germans looked upon by the entire Euro-zone to pull it out of economic toxicity, have finally found Paul to lend a helping hand. For, if not European youth in search of employment. Paul certainly had many job offers - most of them from India, the only place that has plenty of jobs today!
So, will Paul prevent the polarization of countries of the Euro alliance by accepting the offer from our TV business channels to predict the outcome of our stock markets - for which he would have to study some other what longish sideways movement of the bourses, analysts are divided over which way the stock market will go. They would welcome Paul's help in figuring out the way ahead. After all, despite several heads pooled together on the issue, there's no consensus on this subject. One can't help but think more legs may work better than more heads. Paul could aid the experts in overcoming their 'predicament' - the predicament of being unable to predict the future.
But once Paul lands on the shores of our great country, regional politicians will be quick to make angry statements about soothsaying 'outsiders' and root for our traditional parrots. After all, there is many a bird in India competing with Mani, the fortune telling parakeet who happens to be an astrologer's assistant in Singapore's Little India. Our desi parakeets are waiting to make a complete poppet out of Paul the octopus, despite him having got it right with every football match outcome. Only, most of us are likely to think of homegrown psychics as ghar ka tota dal barabar. Which means Paul will get more offers, especially from 'charitable' and flush-with funds cricketing bodies, to predict the results of IPL matches. Why, he may even have to pick out the man of the match. Be prepared for lots of legwork, Paul!
Bollywood will then jump into the fray. It'll want to cast Paul in a lead role with female octopus chosen from a reality TV show to partner him. So if he's worried that all this television coverage will only give him temporary fame, he'll be underestimating the power of publicity on our national channels. Indeed, he'll have an opportunity to dance with his costar around plastic trees even while a villain forces him to turn his predictions into chores at gunpoint. But what the heck - think of the moolah the industry will offer!
Psephologists will not be far behind. At the cost of being renamed pse-Paul-logists, they too will extend an invitation to the eight legged - or is it eight-handed? -Creature. This time around, Paul will need to familiarize himself with a dozen national and scores of regional political parties in order to choose winners! That is, if he wants to be here and do something more than just drift listlessly like our bourses. Get the drift? But there's a catch. Paul may survive the threats of being turned into soups or seafood platters. But chances are he may not survive our media trails if ever allegations are made about a 'foreigner' coming to our shores and playing Paulitics! So good luck Paul, you might just need it.

Climate of Karma

What's been the hottest topic in India or at least in all of north India for the aspst several weeks? An American scientist's claim to have created life in a laboratory, thus effectively pink-slipping God? The patch between the Ambani brothers? Mayawati's/Mamata's latest tantrum (tick whichever applicable)? No, the hottest topic for the past few weeks has been the heat.
The plains of north-west India get hot in summer. It's a fact of life. Like gravity makes apples (ad other things) fall. Like birds can fly, but pigs can't? Like Behenji/Mamatadi will throw a tantrum on any given day (tick whichever applicable, which on some days might be both).
However, summer heat has always been a hot topic. Everyone agrees that the summer of 2010 is the hottest summer they've ever been through. However, within this broad framework of agreement, there is plenty of scope for heated argument. Some say it's the hottest summer in 60 years. Other says it's the hottest summer in a hundred years. Some say it's the hottest summer since meteorological records were invented, whenever that was. Other claim it's the hottest summer since the molesters were invented, whenever that was.
The more people talk about how hot this summer is and how much worse it might still get-the hotter I feel. Ad I am sure so does everyone else. So why do we do it? Why do we work ourselves into a frenzy telling each other how hot it is, recounting cases of people we know who've got sunstroke, or are likely to get sunstroke? Why do we send our internal mercury soaring by squabbling about whether it was hotter yesterday than it is today or whether that ought bothersome dog which, if you pay it the slightest attention, will feel encouraged to get familiar, trying to jump into your lap and slobber all over your face with its great big drolly tongue? Why do we make the heat so much worse by talking so much about it?
Are we a nation of masochists, people who take pleasure in their own suffering? Is that why we allow ourselves to get so hot and bothered about a routine occurrence: On the tropical plains, summer is going to be hot, as sure as eggs is andas? Or do we talk so much about the heat simply because we have no other topic of conversation. (Scientist who created life in a lab? What's so hot bout that? Didn't that Frankenstein fellow do its years ago? Tell you what. Let's compare heat waves instead. I bet my heat wave is bigger than your hat wave).
No, I don't think it's either of these reasons. I think that the reason we talk about the heat so much is because of our profound philosophy, not of man-made climate change, but of karma, which is the same thing. According to the laws of karma, all suffering in this life is an expiation of sins committed in a former life. If we suffer now it's because in our past we probably had it far too cushy and swanked round living the life of Reilly and looking down our noses at our less fortunate neighbors. Yesterday's gain today's pain. That's the karmic formula, as cosmically valid as E=MC2. Conversely, today's pain must equal tomorrow's gain. If we put in more than our fair share of suffering today, tomorrow must in recompense, be hunky-dory, and the more dory the hunky the better. It's like insurance premia; the bigger the premium you pay today (pain) the bigger the insurance pay-off you get tomorrow (gain).

That's why we moan and bitch and bellyache about the heat. Because by doing so we hope in our next incarnation life will in all senses of the term, be cool. Me? The heat's making me so miserable right now that in my next innings Hell itself should freeze over. A real chill out.


What do IPL and the mango have in common? Indians love both, both are the centre of stormy arguments and both can end up creating the most unholy mess. Indians are gage over IPL and they're orgiastic about mangoes. IPL is divided into teams, each of which has its assertive fans. There are the Mumbai Indians and the Chennai super Kings to name only two (who are known, respectively, as the Mumbai Idiots and the Chennai Supporters of the other teams). Mangoes have their own competing teams so to speak.
First is the Alphonso (which is also known to its intimates by its nickname, Haphoos). The Alphonso (or Haphoos) is claimed by its adherents to be the king of mangoes. The Alphonsoese - as Alphonso lovers sometimes call themselves - claim that the Alphonso should be declared India's National Fruit, in support of which contention they quote the song composed by a famous poet which almost became the country's national anthem: Sare Jahan se achchha, Alphonso hamara.
Codswallop, retort those who favor the Alphonso's closest rival, the Sinduri, which in some parts of the country is called Gulabkhas. (Mangoes, like cricketers, tend to go in a lot for aliases, like sachin also being known as Master Blaster and Harbhajan as Bhajji.) The Sinduri - or Gulab khas - is so called because of its patches of red which contrast prettily with the rest of its green skin.
Third - some would say not third at all, but leading the pack - is the curiously named Langra, which comes - or rather limps - all the way from Benaras. No one knows why the Langra is called the Langra. However, an NGO advocacy group which champions the cause of politically correct terminology is believed to have launched a movement to have the Langra's name, with its derogatory connotations, changed by deed poll to PI, which is not a mathematical quantity but the abbreviated version of physically impaired. But whatever the type of mango eating it is a messy business. IPL created a mess thanks to sweat equity. Mangoes create a mess thanks to squirt equality. Looks at a man about to eat a mango. The mango is on a plate, beside which is a knife. The mango is the patient the plate is the operating table and the knife is the scalpel with which the man is about to perform one of the trickiest operations known to humankind; how to cut open and eat a mango without making a total muck-up of it. The man balances the mango on its broader end, tongue sticking out of the side of his mouth to maintain balance, and with the knife tries to cut off one cheek - let's say the right cheek - of the mango. The mango stone gets in the way. The man turns the mango around to make a second incision from the other side, so that two cuts can meet, thus enabling one hemisphere of the mango to come away free from the stone and the rest of the fruit. Frowning with concentration, the man completes the second cut. The two cuts don't meet. The cut mango is dripping juice, but its flesh is still inaccessible. The man decides to try cut off the other the left, cheek of the fruit. Makes the two cuts. Same result. By now the mangled fruit is oozing juice and the squirt equity is coming into play. Plate and hands full of sticky mango squirt, the man desperate by now, looks around to see no one of tender age or finer sensibilities is watching, says the hell with it, and tries to rip the goddam thing apart with sheer muscle power. There is s sound like an elephant pulling its foot out of quicksand and the mango explodes in a spray of yellowish orange guck that covers the table, the man's clothes and a part of the ceiling. The mango stone lands on the man's lap, as the holds the dismembered, dripping halves of the butchered fruit in each hand. End of civilization as we know it. The man looks heavenwards and utters one short, sharp word. Mothers cover up the ears of their children. Susceptible auntiejis swoon in shock. Bouncers come and take the man away.
Mango's Not for this man, no when it comes to the king of fruits I am a strictly no-aam aadmi.

Ocean Creates the Rain

Meaning: According to the line of Athervaved 14/1/13 — when the ocean creates the rain (through evaporation of its water into clouds), the rivers get water, that is, the ocean controls the rivers. Similarly, o wife! You too make the entire family happy by becoming the owner of the house.
Message: The life of a householder is full of responsibilities. Only men whit deep insight, understanding and practical skills can be successful in this phase of life. Even educated men commit mistakes because of lack of practical skills, then what to say about uneducated persons? One develops practical-ness by living with experienced men. It is not possible merely by getting high education. A person must obtain the knowledge from experienced people about the practical conduct with parents, parents-in-law, brothers, sisters and other family members after matrimony.
The joint family system in our country is a blessing in disguise and a person gets exposed to family's responsibilities right from childhood. There is great importance of the joint family system from the spiritual and sentimental viewpoint also. Service to parents, help to brothers and sisters and to think of problems of the family members as one's own and getting involved in their solution, reduces one's selfishness. And increases generosity of mind and heart. Those thinking of only their own bodies and the comforts of their wives may obtain certain facilities in early life, but they have to suffer the punishment for their narrow-mindedness for the remaining life. The usefulness of a joint family is realized during illness, weakness, calamities and quarrels and fights and at that time the other members of the family help in their own way and lighten the burden on the family. The inclusion and maintenance of unworthy, incapable, mad and wicked is possible in a joint family system. Left to themselves, such men would have found even begging and survival difficult.
The new bride is the centre of the family and all family members have some expectations from her. The maintenance of the family's cheer, joy, enthusiasm and harmony depends on her practical skills. If mutual goodwill warmth, courtesy, respect and cooperation are maintained, then dissatisfaction and malice are never produced. Every member of the family must fulfill his duties properly and must not claim undue rights. It should not happen that because of being seniors some persons keep enjoying and the juniors have to work like the ox carrying the burden of drudgery in an oil-mill. This leads to the division of the family.

The administration of a family should be like the mutual relationship between the ocean and the rivers. The ocean is the master of all the water in the world. The water of the rivers also flows down into it, but the ocean never considers the water as his exclusive property. Through clouds, he rains down the water to every nook and corner of the world. Similarly it is expected of the new bride that, becoming the mistress of the happiness and comforts of all members, she should consider as her supreme good-luck to think of their interests with sobriety and gain the love and respect of the family members.

Out of the way

When will politician learn to leave art alone?
Subscribing to liberal values means respecting free expression. If that's a truism, the link doesn't seem very obvious to the Congress. The party has been accused of forcing cuts in Prakash jha's movie. Rajneeti.One of the reasons reportedly is that the heroine's character resembles Sonia Gandhi. Now even as it tries to fob off charges of curbing creative license in cinema, the party's courted yet another controversy over a book. Congress wallahs reportedly want Javier Moro's novel, based on Sonia's life, off store shelves abroad and its publication in India stymied. None of this does their image ny good. If anything the congress has only itself to bleame if its political rivals are gleefully describing the Rajneeti fracas as a throwback to the Emergency. That was when gag and ban orders - recall films on politics like Aandhi and Kissa Kursi Ka - were par for the course.
True, certain film makers have been known to screen films for Maharashtra's Sena politicos, to avoid post-release trouble. Does the congress wish to be bracketed with outfits that are openly intolerant, violently disputing film shows and art exhibitions whenever their narrow views are challenged? A British film. The Queen, portrayed the British monarch and government in the dark days following princess Diana's death. Not only was it made without rouals or politicians making a fuse, it went on to win many awards, including a best actress Oscar for Helen Mirren who played the queen. Celebrities  themselves, if the Nehru-Gandhis inspire works of art they should take it as a compliment. Nor should they seek to silence critique. The Grand Old party has long sought to build its political brand as a votary of ideological openness and pluralism. Let it also set  better record of practicing what it preaches.

Out of the way
Make your mind one pointed in meditation, and your heart will be purified.  (Bhagavad Gita 6:12).

We need to free ourselves of practical interests that are bound up with our exterior and material life. The chief concern is a disciplined disinterestedness. We need to develop the power to see things as a free, undistorted intelligence would see them. For this, we must get ourselves out of the way.  (S Radhakrishna).

Have you ever sat very quietly with closed eyes and watched the movement of your own thinking? Have you watched your mind working? Or rather, has your mind watched itself in operation, just to see what your thoughts are, what your feelings are, how you look at the trees, at the flowers, at the birds, at people, how you respond to a suggestion or react to a new idea? Have you ever done this? (Jiddu Krishnamurti).

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Path of Justice

Meaning: The line of Rigved 5/51/15 says us that -"O men! Just as the Sun and the moon moves on their prescribed paths with regularity, similarly man also should go on the path of justice
Message: What is this creation? This is merely a small part of the universe, which is extremely great and extremely vast. Despite their progress every day, the scientists have been able to learn only on infinitesimally small part of this vast universe. Nobody knows how many solar-system, earths, and constellation etcetera God has created which, bound by a definite organization, are moving in space since billion of years. There is never any distortion in that organization and not one of them shows laziness or neglect in following the rules.
This is the biggest gift to humanity. Yet, despite actually seeing the miracle of God's organization, man himself considers living by the rules as an imprisonment. Whether it is his familial or social work, in everything he wants to behave willfully, and considers it as burdensome and insulting to follow the rules. The guardians of the law, themselves consider it a feather in their cap to break the law. They forget that working by the rules in an organized manner, everyone gets much more facilities for development and an atmosphere of joy and enthusiasm is also created. It is possible that a few men will get undeserved by unbridled conduct, but by and large it gives rise in the majority of them to frustration, which then develops into mutual enmity, malice etc.
Once upon a time, man may have lived in solitude, but today he is a social animal. His stability, facilities, devotion, progress and cheerfulness, all are dependent on societal organization. Who created the innumerable means for his bread, clothes, shelter, and comforts? How many million person working day and night in fields and industries create these and reach out to him. If there is a slight disturbance in this arrangement, or someone does something with selfishness, then there is harassment to the society. Dark clouds of uncertainty, doubt and disturbance will spread everywhere if attention is not paid to organization and rules in the society. Everywhere lack of interest and harshness will be seen and we will have to face improper and aggressive wickedness. In such a situation the hope for one's own security, peace, organization and future will crumble to dust.
We must cultivate the habit of doing every work with regularity and punctuality in personal, familial and social life. One's diet, daily schedule of work, exercise, worship, trade or profession, all these must be carried out in an organized manner, governed by rules. The members of the family, specially the children, must be explained its importance right from the beginning, so that progressing along, they will shine forth like the sun in the society.
One must cultivate the nature of following the rules —

Swasti Panthaamnu cherem
suryaachandr masaviva

jaanataa sangamemahi

                        (Rigved 5/51/15)

Please Pay attention

We have needed to 'originate' the slow food movement to counter fast food culture; only then do we feel we can get to something that we once had, but lost! What we had lost is the attention that goes into creating and savoring nourishing meal.
While previous years were all about multitasking we now hear and read people asking us to please 'uni-task', coining an odd sounding term to remind us to pay attention, even enjoy, each thing we do. It would be funny it if weren't so sad. Nicolas Malebranche, a 17th century philosopher said "Attention is the natural prayer of the soul." If that is true most of us have forgotten how to really pray.
Thich Nhat Hanh in The Miracle of Mindfulness writes about how he and a friend once sat under a tree sharing a tangerine. The friend began to talk about plans for the future, becoming so immersed in it that he literally forgot about what he was doing in the present.
Popping a section of tangerine in his mouth, before he had begun chewing he lifted another slices to his mouth again. The teacher gently suggested, "You ought to eat the tangerine section you've already taken, "startling him into realizing what he was doing," as if he hadn't been eating the tangerine al all…… If he had been eating anything, he was 'eating' his future plans."
Educators speak of the shrinking attention span of young people today, but few schools teach children the gift of savoring the moment. There are some parents who say that the capacity for attention is theirs to claim.
There is another aspect to attention; attention to others around us. Psychotherapist Pierro Ferrucci refers to attention as a precious gift. People who are suffering may need advice, diagnoses, interpretations and interventions, but still more do they need sincere and complete attention. He points out that attention, being completely available, may well be the most coveted gift: "We silently hope that someone will want to do that for us….. Attention is a type of friendliness and the lack thereof is the worst kind of rudeness. Attention is the means that allows us to let friendliness flow. Anyway who can't give others attention, will never be friendly. Attention gives energy, while the lack of attention takes it away.
From yet another angle, we learn that what we give attention to grows. Even when it does not actually grow, it certainly seems to, because we tend to see little else.
Often people I meet in therapy mistakenly think they must only focus on what's wrong. Sure, things could be wrong; even very wrong. But is that all that's happening in one's life? When they make a list also about what's going right, they are shocked at how long or how rich it actually is! Life is a mix of what we label good or bad - not to mention that there is often good in the bad and also, on closer like, some bad perhaps in the good.
We need to learn to pay attention to our entire life, not just parts of it. Focusing only on problems is draining, exhausting. Knowing there is already some good shifts us out of 'poor me' place and pumps us with energy to work on what we need to work on.

Have compassion for all beings, rich and poor alike; each has their suffering. Some suffer too much, others too little. (Gautam Buddha)

You have no compassion; the Lord's Light does not shine in you. You are drowned, drowned in worldly entanglements. (Guru Granth Sahib)

We are ready to become the people we are meant to be. None of us can afford to squander our days, our years, or our lives. We have too much to give; we have too much to live. (Lama Surya Das)

The most precious gift we can offer other is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers. (Thich Nhat Hanh)

Strive Firmly

Meaning: The line of Rigved 10/117/4 says that — "Those who do not repay the debt of their obligation, who are stingy about giving their service to others, nobody in this world is their well-wisher. Therefore, man must always be generous by nature.
Message: Man is but an infinitesimal part of the vase creation of God. God has created innumerable, countless living species of animal-life and plant-life and among the plants various shrubs, trees, vegetables and medicinal plants and herbs. He has also crated water, earth, sky, wind, Sun, Moon, stars etc. Among all these he has created the human-body with a special aim. Only because of the wonderful grace or benevolence of the Supreme Father this divine creation, i.e. the human body, has obtained the best skills. Whatever has been created in the world is for his use and consumption. Even though we know this fact, we show stinginess in expressing our gratitude to Him. Instead of being grateful to Him, we become proud ourselves.
God's directive is 'tyaktena bhoonjitha ma grudhaha' which means consume with n attitude of renunciation and do not be greedy. But we want to have everything and every moment we are immersed in selfishness. First and foremost we must express our gratitude to that vast Almighty and as directed by Him we should work for the welfare of all by giving up selfishness.
Man cannot be aloof even in the day-to-day life. Every time he receives cooperation from one or the other, and therefore he has been able to achieve this much progress. No matter however much insight and capacity we possess, it is almost impossible to do anything without others' cooperation. We should liberally express our thanks to all our associated, big or small. Without making any distinction of young or old, high or low, we should try to repay them to the maximum extent for their help. Those who show stinginess in this are committing grave sins and are permanently deprived of God's grace.
It is unfortunate that man always thinks that his ultimate objective lies in nourishing his body, indulging his senses, loving the family members and relatives, and as such, he spends his entire life in these only. Trapped in these worldly affairs he neglects the values of life and receives society's contempt. In times of his need, nobody comes to serve and help him. Nobody is his well-wisher. Even the society condemns a man who does not thank others, does not cooperate with others and is always immersed in his own world.
We should strive to firmly establish our ideal values of life and should not be miser in expressing our gratitude for the cooperation we receive from various living beings from our birth to death. We should try to be of maximum service to them in return for all the obligations. It is our supreme duty to express our gratitude to God, our Supreme Father.

Na sa sakhaa yon a dadaati sakhye
sachaabhuve sachamaanaaya pitvaha
apaasmaatprey yaanna tadoko asti

prunantamanyamaranum chidichchhet (Rigvved 10/117/4)

We are all the Same Really

To be able to see all things as one, you have to be in a state of mind that does not differentiate between like and dislikes that are manifested in those we are looking at. Vedanta says the universe is the supreme. Absolute from which all evolved. Shankara writes in the Atma Bodha that Self of all is like the sun and the attitude we develop are like clouds that hide the sun.
When we look at a person beyond his attitudes, we find that we are all of the same eternal self luminous atma. Sages see with an equal eye, a learned and humble Brahmin, a cow, an elephant or Krishna to Arjuna in the Bhagavad-Gita Gita 5.18
A merchant goes to a wood sculptor and asks him to make an idol of Krishna in sandalwood. The sculptor requests for 15 days' time to locate the right sandalwood to commence work. Not finding a suitable piece of wood, he goes to the merchant's house to tell him of his inability to make the idol. The merchant is away and his wife asks him to wait. The sculptor's eye falls on a wooden log in a corner of the room. He asks the merchant's wife if he could take it. With her permission, he chisels out an enchanting image of Krishna.
On seeing the idol the merchant praises the work; he could not believe that the wooden log which was there all the time in his house was used to make the fine idol. Then the sculptor says that all he had done was to remove the unwanted parts of the wood so that what remained was the image of Krishna. Similarly, we have to remove all irrelevant identities in us so that the Self in us shines forth.
That homogenous mass of pure consciousness that is present in all of us is termed as Atma. It is timeless and eternal, says Krishna in the Gita.
The nature of self is sat, chit and ananda. Pure consciousness continues to survive after the death of the body. It is immortal; hence it is called sat. Consciousness is as Chaitanya. It is not limited by time or space and hence is limitless, that is ananta. Hence it is known as ananda which means a sense of completeness, a sense of fulfillment.
The eternal self is the ultimate phase, like gold, while the name and form of an individual is like that of gold jeweler. Some may not like the making of the jewel but the gold that is in it is not inferior. The face value of a currency notes is the same even if it is soiled. Every individual is the same like gold and the intrinsic value of a currency note. This is what Shankara tries to convey through the prism of advaita philosophy.
The dvaita philosophy of Madhana endorse the need for every individual to live life in a way that enables one to take out or forge an attractive jewel out the gold or clean the currency note so that it becomes new and crisp. Both these great exponents of philosophy, of advaita and dvaita, have really said the same thing but in different ways.
Shankara asks us to see others in the same perspective as we see ourselves. Madhava explains to us that even though others see us in the same perspective as they see themselves, it is righteousness to live a quality life.
World Communication day
With the mind resting on me, with the senses absorbed in Me, constantly discussing this Truth, constantly speaking with Me (remain connected). (Bhagavad Gita 10.9)

The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. (Bible 2.186)

Your Lord says, "Call on me; I will answer your prayer. (Qurana 40.60)

God within cannot be apprehended by the eyes, by words, by any of the senses, by mortification of the flesh or by rituals. When the understanding becomes clear and the essential character becomes purified, then in meditation one realizes Him, the one and only God. (Mundakopanishad)

Transformation with Self-Awareness

Progressing on the spiritual path is no easy task; just as in any other endeavor - in fact, perhaps more so in this come in the obstacles could be so daunting that a seeker faces unique challenges that only he can try to overcome. "That's because no one can really spell out a tried and tested formula and say, "look, this is the way you do it." How you connect to the spiritual realm is something you as an individual seeker need to work out for yourself, through trial and error and with some guidance and soul searching.
Those who offer their services in this respect to guide and show the path that would lead to realization and liberation - are so many that the very exercise of choosing the right teacher or guru becomes in itself a difficult challenge. And there are those who though realized masters themselves, would prefer not to get into the domain of guiding or teaching others……. trying to put into words and thoughts that which might help another see the light.
The best way for awareness of self to happen is slowly, from within, like daybreak when the brightness of the sun is experienced very gently, until it shines forth steadily. Such an experience of self awareness would need to happen out of the complete and expectant emptiness of mind, something that waits in hushed silence to be brought forth with divine intervention and the effort put in by the seeker.
This way, as something that comes from within, self-awareness would help the individual seeker make that cosmic connection with the universal intelligence. You feel it as an effulgent presence, a consciousness that is pristine pure, completely free of any thought. In fact, we cannot grasp the quintessence of spirituality through thinking at all.
Elkhart Tolle says: "It is the spiritual dimension which alone can give transcendent and true meaning to this world….. While we cannot come to grips with the core of spirituality through our mind and brain, we can subliminally sense it from the core of our being if our restless mind doesn't continue its incessant chatter".
The soul already has a subliminal sensing of an abiding awareness; an awareness with no object. So once it picks up the spiritual cue again, there will be an intense and soulful reconnect with an intense consciousness and piercing clarity. When such a spiritual moment happens, you feel intensely alive and aware.
Psychologist David Steindler Rast described it thus: "Our spiritual moments are those moments when we feel most intensely alive."
A sinner once sought a sage's advice on what should he do if he wanted to reform himself. The sage advised him to just lead a normal life and continue to do whatever he felt like doing. He had only to be deeply aware of whatever he was doing or going to do, and then go ahead and do it. The sinner appeared to be going through some intense internal churning when he again ran into the saint. He confessed to him that he was leading an absolutely virtuous life; because with a sense of self awareness he was finding it nearly impossible to do anything wrong.

If we consciously try to enhance our awareness of the here and now, and become as sensitive as an aspen or a weather vane to the totality of existence at the present moment, the subconscious dependence of the soul on material objects will disappear into thin air. And so will our dependence on, and identification with our mind. The fire of suffering then gets transformed into the light of consciousness.

Subtle Aspects of Yagya

The extremely subtle effects are by far the more important. Like humans, matter too, has three bodies -- physical, subtle and causal. The body which eats, sleeps, walks, acts; which consists blood, flesh etc. is visible man's physical body. Subtle body is that which thinks, considers and controls the physical body. Causal or astral body is that in which faith, convictions, aspirations etc. are deeply rooted. The subtle body is much more powerful as compared to the physical body. The casual body is several times more powerful than the subtle body.
The casual energy underlying all the Havishya used in Yagya is stimulated by the rituals prescribed for the Yagya performance. Only then alone it is possible to affect desired changes in the mind and consciousness of the participants. It this is not done, the effect of Yagya will be limited to the physical - chemical effects fo vaporization of specific substances. No doubt, several benefits can be derived by these effects too; the fumes of Yagya remove foul smell and spread soothing fragrance. It can also help in controlling virus infections and thereby promoting physical health. This is, however, an insignificant achievement, as compared to the vast potential of Yagya.
Importance of Yagya lies in the subtle power of the substances which are offered in the sacrificial fire. The selection of a particular wood or Havan Samagri depends on the purpose for which Yagya is performed.
In order to stimulate the causal energy of the offering, help of the science of Mantras is taken. The conductor of Yagya takes all precautions to ensure that the Mantras are uttered, pronounced and appropriated correctly in the pitch voice, rhythm and tone duly prescribed. Strict discipline is required to be maintained, and there should be no deviation. Shabda (the eternal and cosmic sound) is termed as Brahm. Ordinarily, it is used for exchanging of thoughts but at subtler and higher levels in Mantra, Shabda plays the role of getting transformed into potential energy.
The entire basis of the Mantra Shastra stands on the footing that the selection, interlocking and appropriation of words in a Mantra exist in such a way that it becomes possible to get miraculous advantage by making the causal energy of Shabda specifically enhanced and made more powerful.
All the pots and even water used in the Yagya are purified by specific Mantras before use. The fire-wood (Samidhas) are washed, dried and use dafter they are duly sanctified by Mantras. The process of Vedi Pujan and Yagyashala Pujan are resorted to make the Havan Kunda live….. with awaken causal energy. This as a whole is the scientific process of mass medication which strengthens the spiritual basis of the Yagya process.

It is generally experienced that Yagya (Agnihotra) --- atmosphere is very compatible and alluring for attaining spiritual uplift. Dr. Motohama of Tokyo, Japan has studied the effects of Agnihotra, with his instrument for measuring electric fields surrounding the body. He has reported that after performing an Agnihotra, the Anahata Chakra (cardiac plexus) exhibits similar condition that exists after psychic and spiritual healings.

Walking the Pathless Path

Sometimes a lesson has to be repeated for thousands of years, not because it was not learned the first time but because new people arrive on the scene. The lesson I am thinking of was Siddhartha's a prince on the Nepalese boarder of northern India. He dropped everything and hit the road, becoming the original or at least the most famous dharma bum. He traveled from seeking to master with his begging bowl, he became impressively austere. Instead of a loving wife, a warm bed, and feasts, he tried the opposite; solitude, sleeping by the wayside, and subsisting on whatever scraps of food he could beg for.
It's still an appealing choice, because we equate austerity with virtue. If the stress of a chaotic world is too much, perhaps harmony lies along a different, quieter, moral solitary road. But the moral of Siddhartha's tale led a different way. Leaving home didn't bring enlightenment, nor did austerity, poverty, starving his body, or trying to force his mind to be still. Instead, Siddhartha became someone entirely transformed - the Buddha - when he hit upon a new road, the one called "the pathless path".
The pathless path isn't a straight line; it doesn't even lead from point A to point B. The journey takes place entirely in consciousness. A mind overshadowed by fears, hopes, memories, past traumas, and old conditioning finds a way to become free. This sounds impossible at first. How the mind that is trapped and old conditioning can finds a way to become free. This sounds impossible at first. How can the mind that is trapped by pain also be the tool for freeing itself? How can a noisy mind find silence? How can peace emerge from discord?
The Buddha offered his answer, which is variant on an even more ancient answer from the seers or rishis of Vedic Indian transcend the personal mind and find universal mind. The personal mind is tied to the ego and the ego is forever swinging from pleasure to pain and back again. But If you look at awareness when there I s no pleasure or pain, when the mind is calm while simply existing, a fascinating journey begins. You have made the first step on the pathless path.
This is not to dismiss the other path, the one that takes you away from home into a retreat, ashram, meditation centre, or holy place. They have their own atmosphere; therefore, the mind can breathe a different kind of air, so to speak an air of tranquility and peace. When you arrive at such a place, two things usually happen. You soak up the peace, enjoying the contrast with your busy life at home. At the same time you notice how loud your mind, is how much chaos it has absorbed. So these holy places can only suggest what the pathless path is about.
Kabir sang of spiritual travelers: "There is nothing but water in the holy pools/ I know I have been swimming in them. All the gods sculpted of wood or ivory can't say a word. I know, I have been crying out to them. The sacred books of the east are nothing but words. I looked through their covers one day sideways: What Kabir talks of is only what he has lived through. If you have not lived through something, it is not true."

These lines don't deny the worth of spiritual journeying, but they tell us that there is no substitute for first-hand experience. Where you go to find it is irrelevant. The true seeker after truth discovers, sooner or later, that truth was seeking him all along.