Saturday, January 31, 2015

Married Life

Every Grahastha yogi should adopt these mantras whole heartedly. He must chant them several times during the day. He may write these on a small card and carry it along and he should read them whenever he gets time, contemplating upon each written word. If possible, he should frame it in a poster and hand it upon a wall in his room. Early in the morning while getting up from sleep he must read these mantras a few times before getting busy in the daily chores, and take a vow that he would try his best throughout the day to deep sentiments hidden in these words and that he would sincerely try to match his conduct with these thoughts. For one who leaves his bed contemplating upon these mantras, this effect would stay with him throughout the day. The instructions given to the inner unconscious mind early in the morning go very deep; they do not fade in the memory easily and recur in the conscious mind at the right time.

Every Morning a Grahastha Yogi must chant ------
·         I am a Grahastha Yogi
·         My life is oriented towards Sadhana
·         What do others do, how they do it, what they ssay and think - I do not care, for I am satisfied with myself.
·         My true sadhana of performing my duties is so great, so satisfying, calming and fulfilling that it suffuses my soul with bliss.
·         I shall continue my enriching, blissful sadhana uninterruptedly
·         I shall always perform all my duties towards my home with selfless attitude.
This oath must get firmly ingrained in mind. Whenever the mind begins to waver and infirmities appear to set in, this oath must be reaffirmed with sincerity.
Before falling asleep in the night all the actions during the day should be thought over again:
·         What activities did I do today that were related to my family?
·         What were my errors in carrying these out?
·         What inappropriate actions did I perform out of selfishness?
·         What wrongs did I do unintentionally?
·         Which actions were good, appropriate and in perfect accordance with the tenets of Grahastha Yoga?

All the activities done for the family must be divided into these categories and then means to correct the errors made must be found out. Adopting the process of --searching for mistakes and errors, accepting them, being ashamed of them and putting sincere, honest efforts to correct them, one can reduce one's mistakes day-by-day.

Happy Married Life

The Oath to fight all shortcomings and faults
On the path of sadhana of Grahastha yoga, a sadhak is faced with a number of new problems every day. Sometimes due to his errors and at other times due to others' incidents keep unfolding that are not in consonance with the tenets of Grahastha yoga. A sadhak wishes that each of his action should be perfect and according to the principles, but mistakes keeping recurring. Sadhak believes that in a few days, in a few weeks, or a few months all his faults would be rectified and his actions would become perfect. But when a long time passes by and the errors do not subside, then his mind begins to worry and feelings of disappointment and failure begin to creep in. He thinks: "I am trying so hard and yet am unable to sublimate my nature. I err daily and my sadhana is not progressing properly". Sometimes he thinks: "My family members are silly, idiotic and irresponsible. They trouble me and annoy me; they do not allow me to tread on the path of sadhana. So it is not worth continuing my sadhana anymore." Egged on by such disappointing thoughts he gives up on his oath.
Every sadhak must take precautions against this difficulty. It is certainly true that human nature has its own fallacies and shortcomings. The day a human overcomes all his shortcomings he would attain the supreme spiritual state, and become free. Till he has not arrived at his destination, he has to remain in human form with all its known shortcomings. When there is a mix of several individuals, in which some are in an advanced spiritual state and some are lagging behind, it is but natural that new errors and mistakes would surface everyday. Some of these would be committed by us, some by others. The frequency of occurrence of these errors would reduce gradually, but it is impossible to believe that our family would transform into a family of deities. So neither there is any need to be afraid of difficulties nor to get worried and perturbed. After all, sadhana stands for the practice to correct errors and this practice must go on unhindered.
Yogis practice their sadhanas like pranayam, self control and meditation every day because their mental makeup still has some shortcomings. The moment these are removed, they also would attain self-realization. Being devoid of all faults is a sign of reaching the pinnacle, the final destination. Sadhaks should not even expect that all the desired virtues would come into action with a short practice of sadhana. Thoughts can come to mind in a flash but for them to get fully ingrained as an intrinsic tendency is a long, laborious process. To make an impression upon a stone the rope has to rub against it for a long, long time. One must understand that absolute freedom from all faults is the final aim; it is not a sign of the first stage of sadhana. If one begins to search for mangoes amongst leaves of a newly grown plant, he has to return disappointed.

Rather than expecting total perfection, one must observe whether there is at least some increase in sattwik (pure, serene) qualities or not. If there is even a little bit of progress it is a sign of hope, joy and success. A drop on drop fills the whole pot; a grain on grain becomes a quintal. If there is a little bit of success daily, then in the long run, great success will be achieved. And this wealth does not get destroyed ever. This accumulation continues life after life and we would certainly reach our final destination definitely at the end. If progress is being made little-by-little, one must keep going with renewed enthusiasm. There is no need to feel disappointed and disheartened.

Fulfilling Happy Married life

When one comes face to face with personal shortcomings during self-introspection, one must not feel dejected. One must strengthen these feelings ……
·         Like a brave soldier I am fighting this battle that would continue throughout lifetime.
·         All the bad samskaras my family members and I have acquired over countless previous births keep presenting obstacles in my path. Sometimes I err, sometimes they. Obstacles keep coming, but I would not let them discourage me.
·         I would fight all the difficulties I am faced with. When I trip and fall, I would not give up. I would get up again, shake off the dust and continue the fight.
·         I am walking the path of truth. I am a blissful soul and it is my duty to fight my and others' ill-tendencies and stop not till the victory is won.
·         I am true to my oath, my intent my sadhana and my ultimate goal
·         I shall continue to search for, identify and weed out all my faults, with the same fervor I started out with
The above mantra must be continuously contemplated upon along with assessment of success attained.
The above three great mantras; the fundamental tenets of Grahastha yoga, the oath of firmness, and the oath to fight the holy war against faults and shortcomings - must always resound at the core of a sadhak's mind keep him inspiring.
The ultimate objective of life is to make the individual soul unite with the Supreme Soul. To act for the good of all while forsaking individual selfish desires is the real spiritual endeavor (sadhana). There could be several different ways to pursue this sadhana in practical lives. Grahastha yoga is one such way. Sincere adoption of above guidelines of this yoga in practice will not only edify one's personal and family life but also contribute towards development of a better society.

Wife of the great philosopher Socrates was very ill-natured. His house was always crowded by his followers and visitors and she detested it. She scorned at guests instead of welcoming them.
One day the gathering was especially large and Socrates was delivering his discourse. His wife felt disturbed by the crowd and got angry. Filled with rage she went up to the balcony and started shouting at his followers angrily shouting them to go away from the house. Socrates signaled his followers not to listen to her and continued with his discourse. This enraged her even more and she started throwing dirty water on the gathering as well as hurling abuses at them.
Socrates did not lose his calm and instead remarked jokingly "Did you all see, till now, clouds were thundering and now it has started raining as well". The people in the gathering broke into laughter.

One of the qualities of great men is their ability to deal with ill-tempered people with gentle humor.

Hormones in the Human Body

Transplantation of different organs of the human body has now become possible because of the advancement of medical science and technology. However, no progress has yet been made in the field of surgical operations of the hormonal glands. In case of kidney or lung failure, the damaged or diseased organ is replaced and the transplanted organ gives almost a new and healthy life to the patients…; legs, hands or ribs etc. - Lost or damaged due to an accident or disease - can be replaced or given mechanical support to run the chores of the body…. But trying a surgical operation or medical treatment on the hormone secreting (endocrine) glands is dangerous like putting one's hands in fire. In pure anatomical terms, these glands do not seem to play any role and appear as unnecessary 'abscess', which could be cut and removed without any apparent trouble. However, as stated earlier, doing so could invite abnormalities that might prove to be worse than death.
Deeper research into the effects of hormones has reveled that not only the bodily functions but the complex mental reflections and emotions are also associated with the endocrine system. The endocrine glands play a major role in shaping the overall personality of an individual. Graham Hazscrines has indicated these aspects in his work on 'Endocrine Glands and body Adjustments'. He writes that - "Until the recent past, the effects of hormonal secretions were considered to be more intense on the body and only partially associated with mental conditions. However, now these convictions have changed and we have to accept their dominance over the mental activities too".
In his book entitled 'Machinery of the Body', J. Carlson has highlighted, besides the gross effects on sexual desire and reproductive potency, the effects of hormones on the psychological compatibility of married couples. He further writes that the inherent mentality of a child is also based on his hormones, heredity and genetic connections molecular levels. A natural question that arises here is -- "What is the original source of exhilaration or suppression of the specificity of a gene or a pool of genes?" In depth investigations on such issues would show that it is the regulatory machinery of the hormones, which controls the transmission of inherent biological characteristics and behavioral tendencies from one generation to the other and also gives originality to an individual.
Occurrences of phenotypes and tendencies that are different from immediate ancestors are often attributes by the geneticists to the manifestations of the genotypes inherited from hundreds of generations ago. They tend to neglect the fact that the stimulation of specific hormone driven activity can bring drastic changes in any generation.
Professor Dorsap of the Endocrinology Department of the Chicago University has found the juicy secretions from the spleen as of utmost important for proper functioning of the digestive system and the metabolic activities. He describes these secretions as regulators of the healthy functioning of the stomach and the intestines too. According to him, one likes or disliking for different types of foods also depends on the spleen-secretions.

There are many examples where poor people who hardly eat any fatty substances are found to be very bulky; the fat or overweight of many people does not reduce despite abstaining from eating potatoes, rice, sugar and fatty eatables. Such observations indicated that obesity or weight of the body does not necessarily depend on the type of food. Similar facts are seemed in case of the condition of individual organs and subsystems of the body. Even when the structure and physical health of the brain is normal, one's mind might become sick or overexcited or his power of thinking might turn illusive, unreasonable or insane. In such situations, treatment of the gross components of the brain would not serve any purpose; because the organs function like 'puppets' under the regulatory control of the endocrine system. The latter is mainly responsible for efficient or defective functioning of the otherwise healthy faculties of the body and mind. What controls the endocrine system? Every attempt to decipher this enigmatic code leads to a labyrinth of further queries in Endocrinology, Neurochemistry, psychology and related sciences. Recent findings at the interface of Neurosciences and Yoga and Spirituality add entirely new dimension with exciting hopes! Future articles under this column will take us further along this intriguing quest in the amazing world of our 'own' Hormones.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Leaving in a Constant Fear

Fear remains deeply entrenched within us; it is one of the most primitive of emotions that ensures self-preservation. This emotion is mediated by the limbic system, which is phylogenetically the oldest of the nervous systems. It is an integral third of the 'fight, fright and flight' response. Fear as a physiological reaction has a definite evolutionary role, but when it outgrows this primal scope and becomes pathological, it can wreak havoc. Fear plays an integral role in determining the happiness quotient of life.
The index of equanimity is guided by the fear degree of the fear of the unknown. It can drive a person to paranoia if he is a control freak or redeem him totally if he surrenders to the unknown. Fear is in the future, never in the present. Eventually, today becomes the tomorrow that we feared yesterday.
There is a primordial form of fear that keeps one always on the edge. It is 'existential angst'. It is characterized by a sense of constant persecution, a fear of a grand conspiracy and a sense of impending doom. This psychological anxiety, sooner than later, manifests itself as a plethora of somatic ailments.
The following story is illustrative: There was once a little mouse that lived in constant fear of the cat. The anxiety of running into the cat made it live a life of misery. God, overcome with sympathy decided to truth the mouse into a cat so as to allay its fears. No sooner did this happen than the cat began to get nightmares about the dog.
Wanting to appease the tortured soul, God turned the cat into a dog. However, the newly-created dog now began to get fearful thoughts about being b y the tiger. The omniscient One understands even without words and soon enough, the dog was converted into a tiger.
Becoming a tiger should have been the end of all his woes, but no, this 'tiger' felt the creeps at the thought of an armed hunter, who might spot him and then...... At this point, God turned the tiger back into a mouse.
He said to the mouse, "No physical form will ever rid you of your fear, because the fear is not of your form. It is in your imagination, and that unfortunately is not in my control."
On closer examination it is evident that fear stems from resentment and anxiety about imminent unpleasant events..... Despite the knowledge of one's helplessness in shaping the turn of future events, fear stems from the imaginary ''What if?" It is common knowledge that anxiety about an unpleasant event is worse than actually dealing with the event itself. This is because the imagination conjures all sorts of potential 'worse than' scenarios. The actual event very often passes off as an anti-climax. Thus fear tends to magnify only the negative outcomes. A positive attitude in such situations learns more on 'better than' scenarios. Both schools of thought don't change reality. They only modulate the mindset by making it either bearable or unbearable.

If fear were to be viewed merely as a biological construct, just an instinct for survival, then the tiny mouse would be as fearless as the hunter without physically having to transform into one.

Intellect and Intelligence

we spend a lot of time acquiring intelligence at the expense of developing intellect.
Intelligence is built by gaining information, knowledge from external agencies, from schools and universities, teachers and textbooks. The intellect is developed through your individual effort by exercising the faculty of questioning, thinking and reasoning. Not accepting anything that does not admit logic or reason. Know the difference between the two. And that any amount of intelligence gained cannot per se build your intellect.
The intelligence acquired from external agencies is much like data fed into a computer Consider, a computer charged with a complete knowledge of fire extinguishers, firefighting and fire escapes. All the knowledge stored in its memory cannot help the computer act on its own. If the room catches fire, it will go up in flames. The knowledge you acquire is of no use to you without an intellect.
You need a powerful intellect to put the knowledge, intelligence gained, to practical use in life. That explains why among millions of doctors graduating from medical schools only a few have discovered life-saving procedures, cures and remedies. So too, among millions of engineers only few design something unusual like the Panama Canal or Eurotunnel. It is their intellect that renders their performance outstanding. Besides hindering success and progress, intelligence without intellect could destroy peace and happiness in the world.
No realizing the importance of the intellect in life, people make no attempt to develop their own. Instead, they merely indulge in acquiring intelligence through surface reading of others’ periodicals and publications. Few go into the depth of any literature. Education has lost its meaning and purpose. For generation human beings have turned into intelligent robots and are traversing through life without awareness, much less enquiring into the meaning and purpose of life. Herbert Spencer, a profound thinker and writer, was a rare luminary. Someone asked him if he was a voracious reader. He said: “No sir, if I were as big a reader as others, I would have been as big an ignoramus as they.”
The World today is in a state of chaos due to the perversion in human development – all intelligence and no intellect. That explains why even highly educated business persons, professionals, and scholars become alcoholic, are short-tempered and succumb to worry and anxiety. It is the mind that craves alcohol. It is the mind that loses its temper. Again, it is the mind that constantly harbors worry of the past and anxiety for the future. When the intellect remains undeveloped and weak, it is unable to control the vagaries of the mind. Those having developed a powerful intellect, with or without academic distinction, can hold the mind under perfect control and direct action to spell success and peace in life.

The educational systems the world over must be held responsible for the debacle of the intellect. It is their primary responsibility to strike an equable balance between acquiring intelligence and developing the intellect. Only by maintaining this essential equation can governments be run, business conducted, professions practiced and families live in peace and prosperity.

God’s Grace is Bestowed happy by God.

Meaning: The line of Rigved 1/113/11 states that – God makes those men intelligent and religious, who, upon getting up at dawn meditate upon Him. Those men and women maintain harmonious with God as witness are always
Message: Among all the natural elements, air is subtler than earth, water and fire. Because of that, its qualities and influence are also more. Man can live for some time with food and water, but cannot remain alive for even a moment without air. The pollution of other elements is not as harmful as the pollution of air. It becomes difficult to breathe in dirty, unclean, rotten, stinking air and one feels suffocated. During day-time we have to go to various places for our work and can hardly get pure air to breathe. In such a situation, it is foolishness of the first order to ignore the easily available life-giving air of the dawn.
After the ablutions after getting up in the dawn, along with breathing the fresh air, exercise and thinking about God must be carried out. This wonderful nature, fruits, flowers, grains and water, all this has been produced by our Supreme Father for our use. By meditating upon that God, we must express our thanks to Him. To resolve to observe his commands is in itself thanking or meditating upon God. It is not necessary to go to a temple, offer flowers, fruits, water and milk, to light a lamp and incense, to ring the bell, and to bow down and prostrate in reverence. The good use of life is in obeying God’s advice or orders. We must be alert to see that demoniac tendencies do not enter our daily activities, and that our individual, familial and societal activities be inspired with divine qualities and that the demons of selfishness, attachment, greed and anger do not harass us. This is realistic thinking about God.
Our most important problems is how to put our life to good use and farsightedness lies in solving it. For this the best period is the dawn. By meditating for some time, we are able to obtain the divine message regarding the objective of life. Whatever wickedness and faults we have will disappear, good qualities will increase. Wicked thoughts and sinful sentiments will disappear from our mind. A direct connection is established with the omnipresent authority of God by contact with nature in the dawn and the mind vibrates with waves of pleasant, pure and beautiful thoughts.

God’s grace is bestowed on this type of conduct of man, who obtains happiness, peace, name and fame by doing his deeds throughout the day with energy and enthusiasm.

Face to Face with Fear

A woman dreams every night that she is being chased through an old hunted house by a huge, hideous monster. Night after night, it endlessly chases her, coming so close that she feels its icy breath on the nape of her neck
Then one night, though she runs madly, the monster corners the terrified woman. Just as it reaches out to tear her apart, she turns around, finds her voice and screams, “what are you? Why do you chase me? What will you do to me?”
At that, the monster stops, straightens up, and with a puzzled expression, shrugs and says. “How should I know? It’s your dream.”
The Tibetan Buddhist teachings of Chogyam Trungpa state plenty that in order to exercise fearlessness, it is necessary to face our fear, in fact, “the essence of cowardice is not acknowledging the reality of fear.” In his Shambhala teachings he holds that discovering fearlessness comes, paradoxically, from “working with the softness of the human heart”.
We open ourselves vulnerably to what we are afraid of and learn from the challenges and lesson it brings.
Fear has many names like dread, worry, panic, anxiety, and it manifests itself in varied ways as in avoidance procrastination, perfectionism, judgment control, agitation and violence. Fear usually prevents us from living up to our true potential. Whether we are afraid of the dark, of being abandoned failure, commitment, flying or public speaking, fear can affect nearly every decision we make.
In ‘Embracing Fear” Psychotherapist Thom Rutledge tells us that sometimes fear is part of the problem, sometimes fear is the problem – but when we are really paying attention, fear is usually part of solution.
We easily forget that fear is an essential part of our nature, an alarm system, there to get our attention, to push us out of harm’s way. So we need to learn to distinguish between unhealthy or neurotic fear that holds us back, and healthy fear that helps us to move on. Unhealthy fear is persistent, exaggerating and even inventing potential dangers; healthy fear stands guard responsibility, informing us immediately of real danger. Everything that could possibly go wrong now, tomorrow, the day, week, month or year after, do what can be done in the present?
It is only through facing, exploring, accepting and responding to fear that we free ourselves from its paralyzing grip. If befriending or embracing our fear seems too much, then as a first step one can simply acknowledge it: Yes, I feel fear. I recognize it, but I do not have to be led by it.
We can also work with our fear by recognizing it as a sign of the inner work we need to do. What is this fear waking me up to? What am I being asked to develop in myself? What old habits and reactions must I abandon or transform?

What scares or threatens us can easily cause us to become aggressive and selfish, to react in violent ways, to step off the path. Most spiritual traditions teach us that fear is to be ‘met’ if we are to understand it in any measure ands work with it to grow in understanding. On the way to achieving compassion or equanimity or peace or fearlessness, we are called upon to face and get to know that which is disturbing, threatening, disagreeable or fearful; only then can we reach and experience what those and states really are.

Body should be Healthy and Strong

Body should be Healthy and Strong
Meaning: The line of Athervaved 5/3/1 says us that – for victory in the struggle in this world, it is necessary that the body be healthy and strong. A weak body does not have that strength and luster by which to rule and lead.
Message: Man is a social animal. He shines with the qualities of mutual cooperation and generosity. He opens many varieties of doors to knowledge, experience, means, production, contemplation and development by cooperating with others through intellectual and active cooperation and can move forward on the road to progress. But not every man can do this. There are also wicked, men with bad tendencies and bad conduct in the society who work for harming others, instead of mutual cooperation. They go on spreading bad thoughts, bad habits, bad customs and anarchy everywhere. Government can punish some criminals, provide the means for economic progress, but it is beyond
Government’s control to abolish individual foolishness, wickedness, social corruption and disorganizations.
In a democracy, the responsibility for human and societal reforms is that of public servants or social workers. They have to provide leadership to the society on this front. Only such men can be capable in raising high the level of the society and the nation. For that, first one’s own individual life has to be made of a high level so as to be able to influence others properly. He has to lay an ideal before the society by his own conduct. By looking at the sorrows and difficulties of others, he has to reduce his own facilities, has to deal courteously and in a civilized manner with others, speak pleasantly and keep his promises, has to adopt the policy of honesty and present the ideal of fulfilling properly his responsibility to the society. It is very difficult to change the bad customs in the society. For that he has to establish the traditions of healthy customs. For reforming the society, for running it and for spreading healthy traditions, constant struggle is required.
To develop such capacity for leadership, physical and spiritual strength is necessary. It is most important that the body be well built and disease-free. Gandhiji was extremely weak in built and very thin, but he had the brightness of spiritual strength which astounded the whole world. The daring produced by profound spiritual strength becomes capable of battling the bad customs of the society. In this battle there is resistance from every side, ridicule and non cooperation from the people and the social reformer has to make the tremendous effort of swimming against the current. Only with strong health at both individual and societal levels, the bliss and contentment of material and spiritual progress like that of civilized and organized people can be achieved.

This is the only royal road to victory in the struggle in this world.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Achieve the Objective of Life

Meaning: The line of the Athervaved 19/60/1 says us the truth about our objective. May the power of air never get destroyed from my mouth, or the vitality of air from the nose, nor vision from the eyes, and hearing from the ears? May my hair not turn grey, may my teeth remain firm and may there be strength in my hands.
Message: According to Nepalese tradition, man’s life is divided into four phases called ‘aashrams’ God has granted a life of one hundred years to man and the rishis (sages) have allotted 25 years to each phase of life called “Brahmacharya, Gruhastha, Vanaprastha and sanyaas aashrams. The first 25 years of life are for observing brahmacharya (celibacy and closeness to God), learning and developing the body. The next 25 years are for discharging one’s responsibilities to the family, the next 25 years are for the joint-endeavor of self development and doing public welfare activity while simultaneously making the family self dependent and cultured. The last 25 years are for freeing oneself from the attachment to the family, and complete surrender to God and nation while moving around in the country. This wise and practical division of life-span is applicable and useful for the present times also.
Will it be enough if we get a hundred years life span by the grace of God? To enjoy the happiness of this long life, full energy and freedom from disease are necessary. Only then one gets happiness in life. Otherwise dragging around a diseased body for a hundred years is like severe punishment. Therefore it becomes a man’s duty to maintain his diet, conduct and dealings etc in such a way that be remains fully healthy while achieving longevity, keeping his eyes, ears, nose, and teeth working at full capacity and there is no slackening of life’s vitality.
Suppose by the grace of God, along with a hundred years life-span, good health is also maintained, then will that be enough and life’s objective achieved? No. What is the use of mere physical fitness? Even more important is mental and spiritual health. In their absence, the physical strength will be misused as it was misused by the demon king Ravan and by the wicked Duryodhan and man will not be able to see beyond selfishness, attachment and greed. All his energies or powers will be used in the pursuit of wealth and more wealth and still more for all the facilities and comforts. By being immersed in the desires for children, money and fame, his activity will increase for exploiting others. Everywhere there will be an atmosphere of plunder, robbery and fights. Their energies will be utilized in creating the scenario of ‘might is right’. The man trapped in the whirlpool of desires will neither himself be happy nor will allow others to be happy.

Along with physical health, mental personal and spiritual level also should be excellent for achieving happiness, peace, prosperity and contentment in individual, familial and societal life. We can achieve the objective of life on the basis of such good efforts.

Flow of Water

The Ganga River originates in heaven. Its fall is broken by the head of Shiva, who stands on the Himalaya Mountains; otherwise the shock would be too great for the earth. But Shiva’s goddess-bride is displeased. Fly then where Ganges o’er the king of mountains Falls likes a flight of stairs from heaven let down. For the sons of men; she hurls her billowy fountains. Like hands to grasp the moon on Shiva’s crown and laugh her foamy laugh at Gauri’s jealous frown….. If thou, like some great elephant of the sky, shouldst wish from heaven’s eminence to bend and taste the crystal stream, her beauties high – as thy dark shadows with her whiteness blend – Would be what Jumana’s waters at Pryaga lend.      Kalidas

Guru is the expression of enlightenment, pure knowledge, the field of all possibilities, and the field of infinite correlation.

The master helps the seeker in his own invincible ways, which have no parallel in the ways of the world. But if the aspirant is to be the recipient of this help, he must make a real effort to surrender himself to the Divine will of the Master

What is the nature of Guru’s grace? It is beyond thought and word. Then how can it be said that the devotee realizes his true Being by virtue of the Guru’s grace? It is like the elephant which wakes up on seeing a lion in its dream. Even as the elephant wakes up at the mere sight of the lion, so too is it certain that the disciple wakes up from the sleep of ignorance to the knowledge or Real. It is true and certain.

The Absence of Self

Buddha’s disciple Subhuti suddenly discovered the richness and fecundity of emptiness; the realization that everything is impermanent, unsatisfactory and empty of self. In this mood of divine emptiness, he sat in bliss under a tree when suddenly flowers began to fall all around him. And the gods whispered, we’re enraptured by your sublime emptiness, subhuti replied, but I’ve not uttered a word about emptiness.” “True,” the gods replied. “You’ve not spoken of emptiness, we’ve not heard of emptiness. This is true emptiness.” And the showers of blossoms continued.
If I had spoken of my emptiness or even been aware of it, would it be emptiness? Music needs the hollowness of the flute, letters, the blankness of the page, light, the void called a window, holiness, the absence of self. “Divinity descends on a man who never seeks divinity,” said a Persian mystic. Our minds are too cluttered with the ideas of self, divinity and spirituality. In our conscious endeavor to become spiritual we fall short of our objective and remain worldly. We’re all too preoccupied with things that have no real significance in life.
A woman went to Lao of our objective and said that she was constantly tormented by useless thoughts whenever she sat for her evening prayers. Lao Tse said, “Try to pray anytime in a day and come to me after a few days.” She came to meet Lao Tse and told him that no set aside a fixed hour for prayers. “When you fixed a time, your self was conscious. You were aware of the need to pray at a given time. Now with random prayers, you’ve broken that stifling mould, you’re no longer conscious, thus free of any pestering thought.” Unawareness is a blissful state. With awareness comes a set pattern. It gives birth to a structure, a formula, a format.
Rami said, “While taking to my beloved (Allaha), I’m unaware at times whether to speak or not. Lofted remain silent because my beloved doesn’t like much volubility.” Silence is unspoken emptiness and is much more eloquent than any set or fixed prayer.
The trouble is we’ve set aside practices and rituals even for spirituality. One has to visit a Shani mandir only on Saturdays or wear a certain stone on a specific day. This has no meaning. Every hour is auspicious and every day is lucky.
Blissful ignorance is divinity. Only in a state of bekhudi or self-immersion you can reach the stage of enlightenment, called ‘trueya avastha’. Buddha never felt that he had attained satori or enlightenment. It became integral to his mystic consciojusness. Any effort to expedite the process of enlightenment is futile. In Ramz-e-bekhudi Allama Iqbal says, “Spirituality is not something mundane to attain, the way we put all our efforts into achieving an object in life. It occurs like a bolt from the blue when you least expected it.”

Conscious endeavor cannot lead a seeker to his spiritual destination. Nor is the lifestyle of a monk assurance of achieving the    state of perpetual bliss. The moment mind becomes free of wish, desire or wistfulness, a divine consciousness descends. Christ was a carpenter’s son, Muhammad was reportedly unlettered, Moses was adopted and he was reportedly illiterate. “God finds his way through unconscious and unpretentious people. Because divinity resides in a blissfully unaware mind” Tagore wrote in the Gitanjali

The River of Life

Two young girls Laukika and Samatha, set off on an adventure. Both of them had completed their formal education and before venturing into their respective samsaric enterprises, they thought of taking a break to contemplate life. And thus was born this hedonistic idea of journeying down the river.
Laukika was so over whelmed with the river’s speed, energy and her own enthusiasm that she said to her friend: “I’m going to jump into the river, Samatha, and be carried along with its great energies. Meet you later”. So saying, she took the plunge, without waiting for her friend to respond.
Laukika enjoyed the initial adventure. At times the river frightened her, its strong current sweeping her along. But she dismissed her fears as she was taken up by the full flow of the river. The current carried her after and she could now no longer see the shore. Laukika was euphoric and wanted more of the adventure. Forever engrossed in steadying herself from the speed of her journey, she managed mere fleeting glimpse of the beauty around her.
Now, the waves got bigger, the waters deeper the river widened, the gushing become so forceful that she was thrown about, knocked about on the rocks all over, water and sand filled her nostrils and mouth, she was being bruised…….. by the gravel and creatures in the river, “Help me to the shore, someone”, she cried, but no one heard her. Those who did hear her couldn’t do much, as they were not in a position to help her.
Meanwhile, Samatha had set out on foot. “I choose to walk down the river bank instead. I might be able to enjoy the vistas better this way”, she had thought to herself before embarking on her journey.
Many years passed. The two friends met again. They hugged each other, happy to meet once again. They shared their experiences. Laukika admitted she did have her share of fun, but the journey had tired her out. Moreover, she felt vacant inside. There was so much she wanted to do, she said, but the sheer speed of her journey didn’t permit her to take those liberties’.
Samatha spoke. “I too thought for long after your left me, Laukika. I was tempted to follow you. The river looked enticing. But then, there was no hurry, either, I chose to walk down instead. I got to experience and enjoy the scenic offerings around the river. I marveled at the sunrise and sunset that were so different each day. The open blue sky was so re-assuring, as were the stars at night. I played with the countless birds and butterflies that filled the forest. I stopped to smell the forest and waited with bated breath for the kingfisher to dive into the    waters for a quick mea land the seagulls that flew over my head. I was tempted many times to plunge myself into  the racing river but would spend only a little time in the waters before drying myself on the warm rocks on the banks, read a book and resume my journey.
The local people who collected firewood and fruits from the forest would invite me to their humble homes. I would play with their children and share with them simple tips on improving their health before bidding them goodbye. It has been an amazing journey.”
The friends sat in silence, mulling over the choices they’d made and the experiences they’d been through.

Water is Life

Meaning: The line of Rigved 10/9/12 says us that - water is beneficial to man. By using it, the outer and inner dirt is removed.
Message: The glory of motherhood lies in the welfare of the children. A mother is always alert about her child's good health and good habit, and God knows how much hardship she suffers for the child's sake. A woman's life becomes glorified by children with good qualities and good habits and right from the time of conception to the child's birth and even thereafter her remaining life she spends for the welfare of her children. Similarly, God the Supreme Father keeps this world going with the desire for the welfare of His children. He gives happiness, like the happiness through a mother’s tender care, for all the living beings and makes arrangements for feeding them all. Among the innumerable types of help given by God, the importance of water is maximum and it is beneficial for all.
Water has been described as life and nectar in the Vedas. Water has wonderful health-giving medicinal properties and it can remove a number of diseases. Ayurved recognizes the great importance of water for the treatment of diseases. The percentage of water in man’s body is 70 percent, in the brain it is 90 percent and in solid bones it is 25 percent. Man’s body is made up of the five elements of water, earth, air, space and fire.
The entire beauty of this earth is because of water. The pleasant greenery, the beautiful fragrant flowers and plants, the trees laden with tasty fruits, ghee (butter-oil), milk, curds, butter, etc all this is produced through water only. When the water filled with the rare minerals of the mountains reaches the fields, the earth yields a golden harvest. All the works of the world are dependent upon the benevolence of water. The authority or supremacy of water is all pervading. Water possesses many great qualities and it is the nectar of our life.
By drinking clean and cool water all the dirt of the body is flushed out (through bowel-movements and urine) Ayurved mentions ‘usha-paan’ (i.e. drinking of water on getting up in the down) The man who drinks about two glassfuls of water, always remain healthy. This is because the bowels move and with the emptying of the bowels, the mind becomes cheerful, man develops a good appetite and the digestive system works efficiently. With ‘Usha paan’ many diseases and weaknesses are removed. If instead of drinking water with the mouth, practice is made of drinking water through the nose. It is extremely beneficial for the health. It increases the brightness of the eyes, raises the level of intelligence and drive away old age.
Bathing is extremely necessary for the cleanliness of the body. A daily bath is useful for strength, energy and health. A bath with clean and cool water removes dirt, perspiration and tiredness. It increases physical strength and luster and gives longevity. As far as possible, avoid bathing with warm water. Bathing with cold water is beneficial for the health.

Thus we can say that water is life itself.

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Blooming of Lotus

The function of meditation practice is to heal and transform. It helps us to be whole, and to look deeply into ourselves and around us in order to realize what is really there. The energy that is used in meditation is mindfulness to look deeply into the heart of things in order to see their true nature. When mindfulness is present, meditation is present. Mindfulness helps us to understand g the true essence of the object of meditation - whether it is perception, an emotion, an action, a reaction, the presence of a person or object.
By looking deeply, the meditation practitioner gains insight, prajna, or wisdom. This insight has the power to liberate us from our own suffering and bondage. In the meditation process, fetters are undone, internal blocks of suffering such as fear, anger, despair and hatred get removed, relationships with humans and nature become easier, and there is freedom and joy. We become aware of what is inside us and around us; we are fresher, and we become more alive in our daily existence. As we become freer and happier, we cease to act in ways that makes others suffer, and we are able to bring about change around us and to help others become free. Isn't that wonderful?
The meditation practitioner is like a lotus flower in the process of blooming. Buddha's are fully bloomed human flowers, beautiful and refreshing. All of us are Buddha's-to-be. That is why in practice centers when people meet each other, they form a lotus with their palms and greet each other while bowing saying, 'a lotus for you. As they inhale while saying 'a lotus for you' and exhale, smiling, while saying "a Buddha-to-be", they have the appearance of a blooming flower.
It may be possible for you to meditate on your own, without a teacher or a Sangha, namely, Buddhist community of practice. But it goes without saying that to practice with a teacher and a Sangha is more advisable and much easier. A teacher is someone who has had the experience of the practice, and has succeeded in ti. A Sangha is a meditation community where everyone follows more or less the same kind of practice. Since everyone is doing the same practice, it becomes easier for you to practice too, because the group energy emitted by the Sangha is strong and very supportive. You can also learn a great deal from individual members of the Sangha, especially those who have realized some degree of peace and transformation. There are many things you may find difficult to do when alone, but in the presence of the Sangha you can do them easily. All of us who have practiced with a Sangha can testify to this fact........

In the Buddhist tradition, we consider Sangha one of the three gems. The three gems are Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. As we see it, the three gems are already in your heart. The Sangha in yourself may guide you to the Sangha that is somewhere near you. Maybe the teacher and the Sangha are right there, very close to you, but you have not yet noticed. With practice, you will generate the energy of mindfulness, which may lead you towards a teacher and a community.

Sun Dispels Darkness with Light

Meaning: According to the line of Athervaved 11/5/19 - Just as the sun dispels darkness with light and produces excellent materials (by nurturing plants and trees), similarly man should dispel disease, laziness, wretchedness etc and obtain the bliss of salvation.
Message: "Tamaso maa jyotira gamaya" means a prayer to God to kindly lead from darkness to light. The meaningfulness of man's life lies in removing the darkness of ignorance on all sides and to spread the divine light of knowledge. Its main basis is Brahmacharya. With it the 'sattoguni rutumbhara' (i.e. saatvik pure intelligence) develops which gives us the capacity to differentiate between the philosophy or the essence and the chaff, truth and untruth, beneficent and harmful and also the ability to take the proper decision. In its divine light it becomes easy to decide about what should be done and what should not be done. With the daily routine attuned to Nature through discipline, simplicity and labor, strength and semen increases, the body remains active and attains longevity. The sentiments of self-denial, helping others, service, renunciation, pity, sympathy, friendship, compassion, humility, religiousness, faith, devotion to God etc are awakened in those observing "Brahmacharya", which increases physical energy, mental brightness and spiritual strength and they can even trounce death.
A man trapped in the mire luxury and gratification of senses cannot even imagine the divine happiness of a disciplined "Brahmachari" . Such a person can never know the joy which lies in 'phakiri (monkhood) instead of 'amiri' (wealthiness). The best endeavor for the control of the sexual desire is in married life. Ram Krishna, Shankar, Parvati, Sita all were married and are the best symbols of the best ideals of celibacy as a part of Brahmacharya. From their lives we get the inspiration for the incomparable daily routine with discipline and simplicity while simultaneously carrying out family responsibilities. It was the miracle of the power of 'Brahmacharya' that Ram accepted with equanimity his coronation as well as banishment into the jungle. There was neither the joy of reigning over a kingdom, nor any sorrow for banishment. The entire life of Lord Shri Krishna was nothing but observance of Brahmacharya whether it was the company of the cowherds or the divine dance with his supreme devotees the gopis (women-cowherds), whether the political tactics or the battlefield, we always find his supreme self-restraint or discipline. Is such a control of the mind, speech and deeds possible without Brahmacharya, which is the greatest power in the world?
Observance of Brahmacharya in conduct is necessary to learn about the mystery or secrets of the world. Indulgence of the senses gives birth to diseases and the mind cannot concentrate on God. The observance of Brahmacharya arouses the desire for knowledge and leads to spiritual development.

Not only does man's will-power increase with Brahmacharya, but also his daring, forbearance, fearlessness, and freedom from disease. He becomes peaceful, engrossed and responsible. Laziness, negligence and wretchedness do not dare to come near him. He is always diligent and achieves self as well as society's benefit. With this only the human life becomes meaningful.

So Much for Bookish Knowledge

A professor of English Grammar once got into a boat with a boatman. Proud of his accomplishments in the literacy field, he asked the boatman, "Have you ever studied the science of grammar?"
The boatman said, "No, I haven't"
The grammar professor exclaimed, "Then you have wasted half your life". The boatman was upset by the professor's rudeness but he remained cool.
Soon, a storm moved in as they sailed across the water. Suddenly, the boat became caught in a vortex of water and they could not maneuver the boat out of it. Fearing that the boat would capsize, the boatman yelled over the roaring waves. "O professor, do you know how to swim?"
The grammar professor replied with contempt, "Certainly not. Don't expect me to know swimming I never wasted my time with such a pastime".
The boatman told him, "Then since the boat is going to sink, it is you who have wasted the other half of your life by not learning how to swim, because you are about to drawn!"
This story told by Maulana Rumi in his Masnavi point to an important truth. It asks us to contemplate how we spend our lives and what we value. The professor was filled with pride and ego about his intellectual knowledge, but it did not help him when it came to the practical experience of swimming. His life depended upon his ability to swim, but he did not value that activity during his life. He was busy studying grammar books and did not feel he would ever be in the position to need to learn anything else.
Most of us spend our lives pursuing physical and intellectual goals, but we remain ignorant of spirituality. When the total wave of physical death is upon us, we have no spirituals skills to help us through the end of our life. When we get the news that we have a terminal illness, or suddenly we are faced with our mortality, we panic. We do not know what to do. We have not spent our lives learning about the true meaning of life and death, and we fear our end.
Those who have spent their life learning to swim in the spiritual stream through meditation have nothing to fear. They face their end with calm and fearlessness. They have already seen the splendors of the afterlife while in this life. They have learned the art of rising above body-consciousness and have witnessed first-hand the realms beyond. What have they to fear when their physical boat of their body is about to capsize.
Too many people ignore the reality of physical death until it is too late. They feel that intellectual knowledge and amassing physical wealth, name and power are more important. But when death nears, they discover that their intellectual knowledge and worldly possessions are of little use. At this kpoint, they regret that they have not spent more time learning about their soul, about God and the realms beyond.

Those who learn about spirituality early in life are fortunate. They can devote some time daily to their spiritual practices so that they can master the art of rising above body-consciousness in this very life. Like swimming it takes practice. Daily meditation will build up our spiritual abilities so that we can reach a point at which we can experience the spiritual realms within.

Some statements

Restrain in the mind until it dissolves in the consciousness. This is wisdom, this is meditation. The rest is all logic and verbal extensions
Amritabindu Upanishad
Be happy for no reason from no cause, at all times
Swami Bed Bharati
There will have to be rigid and iron discipline before we achieve anything great and enduring, and that discipline will not come by mere academic argument and appeal to reason and logic
M.K. Gandhi
God is a philosophical blank hole - the point where reason breaks down
Kedar Joshi
Logic and cold reason are poor weapons to fight fear and distrust. Only faith and generosity can overcome them
Jawaharlal Nehru
A man who sees action in inaction and inaction in action has understanding amont men and discipline in all actions he performs.
Bhagavad Gita 2.4
Vigor, forgiveness, fortitude, purity, absence of overweening pride - these belong to the one who is born with Divine treasures
Bhagavad Gita 16.6
Maitreyi: you want to offer me all your wealth I have a question: Can I become immortal through wealth? Yajnavalkya: Far from it: You will be a well-to-do person like any other in the world, but there is no hope of immortality through wealth.
Brihadaranyaka  Upanishad
He who gives liberally goes straight to the gods; on the high ridge of heaven he stands exalted.
Rig Veda 1.125.5
Every Sacrifice is a boat to heaven

Satapatha Brahmana

Reaching for the Stars

Have you seen some people look at others from the perspective of their opinions, likes and dislikes? Learn to free yourself from this trap and just look purely from innocence.
If you accept limitation, then the limitation is yours, but if you accept limitlessness, then limitlessness is yours. Why does a person want more and more of everything? The 'more' is ultimately seeking limitlessness. Limitation is like dust in your eyes. As long as it exists, your effort is to eliminate it, because it is a foreign particle.
Infinite is not other than finite. If it were so, then infinite becomes finite, for it is other than finite. Infinite is in spite of finite. It includes finite and is not limited by finite. In the same way, limitlessness includes limitation and is not other than limitation.
Very often a father gets stuck in his opinion of his son. Even if his son is changing, he cannot see it. His identity of himself and his son limits the quality of his perception. So also, the son is stuck in his opinion of his father and sees the sky through his own window........ thereby assuming, that the sky is limited to the shape of his window.
There is a law of gravitation and a law of grace. In occultism, the law of gravitation is that which pulls us to the earth, our attachments, likes and dislikes... When one is pure, one experiences a sense of lightness and also towards heaven. Heaven is not a place; it is a state of being where one experiences a sense of relaxation and lightness.
To rise to the level of the stars is the law of grace. This is opposed to the law of gravitation that drags us down to the earth. Why do you want to be limited to the earth, when you can fly up to the sky? Why be a dwarf when you can be a giant?
Why do you cling to your ignorance, your impurity that keeps you low? This makes you ugly. You can grow to the heights of purity, kindness, forgiveness and bliss. Allow that to happen by dropping your likes, dislikes, anger, jealousy.......
What constitutes the soul of the law of grace is inner freedom. Free yourself from all limitations of the mind, its likes and dislikes.

Have you observed that whenever you are angry or sad, you feel very heavy and burdened? This is the law of gravitation. Have you also observed that whenever you are loving, kind, inwardly free, you feel you are floating and flying? This is the law of grace.

Of Diffusing and Drift

Diffusion is the law of nature. It takes place when there is inequality and non-uniformity. Since our world has plenty of the above traits, diffusion is bound to happen. However, it is not free from obstruction; it has to overcome barriers that oppose diffusion.
Consider the diffusion of knowledge. Knowledge developed at one place must diffuse to places devoid of it. This helps its spread and contributes to its growth. Similarly, wealth created at one place must also diffuse to Librium is maintained, which contributes to stability of the system.
Society that jealously guards its wealth and knowledge, without making these available to others is bound to disintegrate. Strong isolated places of affluence do not serve the interest of humankind. Diffusion is a spontaneous progress.
In the Bhagavad Gita the cosmic form visualized by Arjuna of the Supreme Being seems infinite. It is the diffusion of an infinite energy. It is undiminished everywhere and all the time, hence is omnipresent and omnipotent because of its infinite power. Before assuming Vishwarupa, Krishna says. “The entire universe is pervaded by me in imperceptibly subtle manifestation”. Thus, in the realm of spirituality, one could interpret the omnipresence of the Supreme Energy as being due to diffusion.
In real life, however, we experience limited diffusion, the spread of a flower’s fragrance in the air and the dissolution of ink in water are examples of diffusion in gaseous and liquid states of matter. Diffusion takes place in gases and liquids due to their flexible nature. Diffusion does take place even in a solid matter, in spite of its rigidity. Diffusion does take place even in a solid matter, in spite of its rigidity. Diffusion takes place in the material world irrespective of its nature, however, the degree varies.
Unlike diffusion drift is a driven process. There are both positive and negative drifts. If a person is swayed away by bad company or habits, it is a negative drift. If influenced by something good, it is a positive drift. It does well to both the doer and its recipient.
What is the signature of drift in inanimate matter? Electric current in a metallic wire is driven by a power source and is a drifted motion of conduction electrons, negatively charged subatomic principles, bound in an atom but free in a metal. There’s a philosophical angle. The electron which conducts in a metal does not do so in an isolated atom. Stretching it to life one would conclude that society makes one dynamic, whereas isolation does the opposite.
Diffusion and drift sometimes oppose each other. It is not bad. Together they create a balance in life. In matter, drift and diffusion together do wonders. Solid state electronics results from this joint action. In which are much heavier, diffuse. Hence no barrier is strong enough to stop spontaneity.

Life is a queer mixture of drift and diffusion. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Roger Moore said “Teach love, generosity good manners and some of that will drift from the classroom teach home and who knows, the children will be educating the parents”.

Air is essential for all the living beings

The line of the Samved 1841 states that – Air is life, it is health –giving and hence taking in this life-giving air in the dawn gives as much happiness as a father, brother or a friend.
Message: Real beauty in the world is in Nature only. Whatever attempts we may make to increase our beauty with artificial means, but the health, energy and beauty obtained by our body through contact with Nature is superior in many ways. By observing the rule of Nature and by exercise and natural food, balanced development of the muscles takes place and every limb shines with beauty. By regular breathing of happiness-giving air in the dawn and by physical exercise, man becomes disease-free and long-lived. If we wish to be strong, powerful and brave then we must adopt this regular daily routine.
Regularity has great importance. Most people get up in the dawn just for 3-4 days, do a little exercise and then put a full-stop to it. In this way, it will only cause harm instead of benefit. One should cultivate a habit of getting up daily at a fixed time and taking exercise. Doing regular exercise is a very good habit, which has a surprisingly good effect not only of increasing physical strength but also mental strength. The best and cheapest medicine for producing good appetite and good sleep is to do hard labor throughout the day. But the magic of exercise is special. Its effect is not limited to the body only, but it also facilitates cleansing up of one’s nature and increases willpower. The wrestler exercising for two hours in the gymnasium is more powerful than the black-smith beating the iron by the forge throughout the day. The reason for it is the enthusiasm connected with exercise. The feeling at that time is of the worship of health and the psychological effect of that faith influences our health.
The body becomes rock-like, beautiful and well-proportioned by regular exercise and regular games, the power to bear hunger, thirst, heat and cold is produced, the muscles become energized, the lungs becomes strong, the blood purified, intelligence sharpened, longevity achieved, disease and old age do not dare to come even nearby and death always remains away. Depending on the region and the kind of time prevailing, indigenous and light exercise, and yogaasana must be performed and games played. To imitate foreign countries and to run after cricket, tennis and other such costly games is a crime against the nation. This does not also mean that we should spend the entire time in exercise or games. One should arrange a time-slot according to one’s needs and partake of the fresh air of the dawn and take exercise. This is the best arrangement for remaining healthy. The evening can be utilized for some game or taking a walk, but it must be remembered that even though the available time may be less, there should be regularity.

A regular routine makes the life pleasant.S

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Inherent human traits and 'Aham'

It is not the purpose of this article to make the reader impervious to emotions, though it would be welcome if through this Sadhana one could develop a capability for getting rid of one's depraving and downgrading traits. However, for the objective under consideration, the seeker is advised to ignore all traits - whether good or bad, leave them as they are and realize that Aham is beyond these and is an overarching independent entity. Let the seeker now resolutely and clearly make a demarcation between the traits and virtues of three modes of nature (Gunas) discussed earlier and Aham. There is no need to worry that a particular trait has become so strong that it cannot be discarded. Before this trait was established, your Aham was already in existence. It this Aham is capable of clearly discerning these traits objectively and independently, it will become easy to discard them in no time. Remember! Through this exercise, the seeker is experiencing and developing a conviction that the "I" who is using the intellect and its powers, the "I" which considers the mind and its powers as its implements, is the master of the mind.
 In the previous article, we have done an in-depth study of the Prabuddha Manas and its creations and found that Aham is capable of discerning these as separate from it. In the same way, the creations of the highest faculty of mind the Adhyatm Manas can be discerned by "Aham" as separate from itself. The seeker may doubt that, since the divine spiritual inspirations are not related to physical body, and these cannot be utilized like emotions arising in the lower faculties of mind, perhaps these are inseparably related to the Aham. At this stage, let us not enter into a deep discussion on this subject, as the seeker still has very rudimentary and fleeting experience of the Adhyatm Manas, which unlike the lower, less evolved faculties of the mind is like a workshop for activation of divine forces in human mind. Seers, who have had the paranormal vision of the "light" (Jyoti) of Aham at the highest level of their spiritual evolution, tell that Aham exists beyond the Adhyatm Manas but it illuminated the latter with its light and that reflection of Aham in the Adhyatm Manas is like the image of the sun seen in water. The enlightened sages say that the brilliance of Adhyatm Manas is only a faint reflection of the inherent and dazzling effulgence of Aham, although first experience of Adhyatm Manas crated an illusion as if this itself were Aham, which in reality it is not. Aham is like an incessantly glittering jewel wrapped under several coverings of cloth (the coverings of the illusory world created by the magical mind). As the coverings are removed one by one, the filtered light becomes brighter and bright. The inherent brilliance of the jewel remains undiminished irrespective of the number of coverings or no covering at all.
The sole purpose of going to this level of consciousness is to create the highest level of awareness of Aham, so that the seeker becomes convinced of the competence of the soul for utilizing its instruments effectively. This understanding empowers him to take off the old, sullied, tattered clothes (regressive traits and illusions) and put on new, resplendent garments (noble, virtuous traits) and with their help carry out the assigned duties and responsibilities of life effectively - thus becoming a role model for others to follow.

After attaining this level of perception through persistent practice, the seeker may be eager to know what remains to be experienced which is beyond Aham. Transcending Aham is the pure, ultimate, immutable Super Soul (Vishuddha Atma) - the almighty God of which the individual soul is a spark. The conviction of this Transcendental Being comes through personal realization. By separating the Aham from the body, the mind and everything else related to these, successively discarding ever subtler layer of ego-bound consciousness, the seeker is ultimately left with the immortal, immutable soul, beyond which, nothing remains to be discerned. The logic is simple. The thinker, the analyst, and the object being deliberated upon, or being analyzed, can never be one and the same. The sun can never illuminate its own self. In the same manner, the soul cannot be something to be deliberated upon, nor can it be a subject of analysis. At each moment of life your consciousness tells you that your Real-Self - "I" is the thinker, the seer and the doer. This "I", as we have already discussed, is neither your body nor your mind in its conscious, subconscious or unconscious states. It has to be some other independent entity, which remains ever vigilant, alert and awake irrespective of the state of the body or the mind. This is what we call Atma or soul in spiritual parlance.

Exercise for differentiating Soul from the Products of Mind

Mind is the tool for Self-Realization
Let the above discussion not create the erroneous impression that the writer is assigning a higher or lower status to various faculties of the mind and suggesting that one or the other in itself is an obstruction in the path of Self-Realization. As a matter of fact, it is the mind in totality, which is bringing you nearer to the reality of your true immortal identity and your Inner Self (Aham). Each faculty of the mind has its own specific role in helping the seeker move towards Self-Realization, provided it is properly utilized. The common man uses only the lower, less evolved faculties of the mind. They are hardly aware that different realms of mind have distinctive known and unknown miraculous potentialities. People tend to ascribe their failures to incapability of their mind. However, those aspiring for spiritual awakening are always advised by blame for their failures on their mind. Instead of considering the dormant potentialities of the mind irrelevant for human progress, they should earnestly endeavor to activate them properly. The lesson being imparted here can be put into practice through the mind. All activities leading to success, including understanding an idea and accepting its viability, first take place in the realm of mind only. Hence, addressing the mind of the reader directly, the writer says, "Open the door to receive the wisdom being transmitted from your higher mental faculties." He further pleads, "Please pay attention to this sacred subject. Please do not crate obstacles in the way of transmissions of divine illuminations (Daivi Chetna). These can be received through your faculty of Adhyatm Manas, which has capability of perceiving the Truth. So not create obstacles when it transmits divine energies for enlightenment".

With a calm, relaxed and peaceful state of mind be reverently seated, receptively opening yourself to the higher wisdom, being transmitted through your Adhyatm Manas.
In the previous article, we have come to understand that your "I" is an immortal entity beyond your body, controlling your thoughts, emotions and traits. Now, we proceed further to deduce that all objective and subjective thoughts are products of the mind and therefore are different from the soul. In other words, soul has an independent identity of its own beyond the mind and its qualities and attributes.
Let us examine how the soul exists independent of the mind. Numerous emotional impulses like animosity, anger, maternal or paternal love, jealousy, hatred, elation, dejection etc are endlessly arising in the mind. Your "I" the Inner-Self or Aham can differentiate, examine, analyze or discard each of these. This "Aham" can also observe the state of their origin, maximum intensity and end. After practicing this introspection for a few days, the seeker will become so adept in this process, as though the object of observation were some other person. All such impulses are part of contemplative observation. Their nature can be examined threadbare and impact assessed from all angles. Thus the seer "I" or observer is a different entity than the observed objects - the body or mind. Visualizing the Inner-Self (soul) in this way will make it easier to comprehend.

The very fact that the creations of mind are being examined separately means that these are not part of your real self the "I". W ith practice, this perception of separateness will continue becoming stronger and stronger and ultimately an abiding uninterrupted expression.

Three faculties of the mind

The Pravritta Manas: In spiritual parlance, one faculty of mind is called "pravritta Manas". This faculty of mind is undifferentiated between human beings and the less evolved species of the biological kingdom like birds and animals. It is also known as the  secret mind (Gupta Man) or sleeping mind (Supta Man) the Limbic brain or animal brain i.e. the autonomic nervous system in parlance of medical science. It controls the normal biological functions of the body and keeps it functioning. Though we are not conscious of it, the biological functions of our body keep going on involuntarily. Functions like digestion of food, blood circulation, extraction of juices at successive stages, formation of blood platelets, flesh, bones and bone-marrow, hormones; defecation-urination, inhalation-exhalation, movements of eyelids, etc. take place without any conscious effort. The Pravritta Manas is also responsible for formation of habits. It takes some time in learning something, but once learning something, but once it is learnt, the Pravritta Manas does not discard it easily. The experiences of our ancestors and those which we had had in course of our evolution in our earlier births up to the present human birth, are all stored in this subconscious layer of mind. Before assuming the human from, the soul has inhabited in innumerable life forms of lower order, lacking developed intellectual capacity. It had acquired in this process of slow evolution, many animal traits like jealousy, animosity, aggressiveness, selfishness and anxiety. All such crude animal-like traits, which have not been consciously eliminated by strong self-efforts in earlier births, are accumulated in this faculty of mind. It is a unique museum having an assortment of antiques. A few amongst these instinctive urges are good, worthwhile and invaluable (such as faithfulness of the dog), whereas many others are perverse and frightening. Seeds of all impulses such as greed, violence, cruelty, rage, impatience, etc, which are common amongst savages and animals, are stored in this part of mind. The basic impulses of the two lower modes of nature - Tamas (inertia) and Rajas (kinesis) such as ignorance, dullness, passivity - Tamasic and self-seeking, inflated senses of egoism, sensual indulgence, greed, anger, etc. - Rajasic - are all stored in seed form in Pravritta Manas  - the unconscious/sub-conscious layers of mind.

The Prabuddha Manas
Besides the Pravritta Manas, there is yet another more evolved faculty, which could be appropriately called as "Prabuddha Manas", the cortical brain or the intelligent mind. While attentively going through this exercise reader can use this faculty of the mind. The attributes of this layer of mind are deliberating analyzing, comparing, conceptualizing, logical thinking and decision-making. Quick-wittedness, sharp intellect, alertness, analysis of situations is all functions of this faculty of mind. However, it is to be remembered that neither the Pravritta Manas nor the Prabuddha Manas are Aham of man. With a little more consideration, it would be easy to differentiate these two from Aham. In this small tract, it is not possible to elucidate, in detail, the properties of the intellectual faculty of human mind. Those interested in this subject are advised to study the latest masterpieces on psychology. For the time being it is sufficient to know that the Prabuddha Manas too is only a covering and not the soul (Aham) proper.

The Adhyatm Manas
The third, most evolved faculty of mind is called Adhyatm Manas - a distinctive faculty of a spiritually awakened person.

In a majority of people it remains dormant and inactive. It is assumed that this faculty has started awakening in the reader; otherwise he would not have taken interest in the subject of this treatise. This faculty of mind (Adhyatm Manas) is regarded as the most evolved attribute of the mind. It is reflected as spiritual seeking, inspirations, receptivity to inner divine guidance, exceptional talents, etc. Noble urges and emotions originate in this very faculty of mind. Love, compassion, mercy empathy, sense of justice, sensitivity to sufferings of others, adherence to basic values, benevolence, commitment, integrity etc. are some of the attributes of this faculty of mind. In this faculty also germinate the seeds of unconditional Divine Love. The mysteries of nature too are revealed in this illumined layer of the mind. However, Remember! This faculty of mind, too, is only a resplendent garment of Aham. It is not Aham. Nevertheless, the experience of Aham, which we are endeavoring to point towards, can be had only through Adhyatm Manas.