Yoga is a perfect practical system of self-culture. Yoga is an exact science. It aims at the harmonious development of the body, the mind and the soul. Yoga is the turning away of the senses from the objective universe and the concentration of the mind within. Yoga is eternal life in the soul or spirit. Yoga aims at controlling the mind and its modifications. The path of Yoga is an inner path whose gateway is your heart.
Yoga is the discipline of the mind, senses and physical body. Yoga helps in the co-ordination and control of the subtle forces within the body. Yoga brings in perfection, peace and everlasting happiness. Yoga can help you in your business and in your daily life. You can have calmness of mind at all times by the practice of Yoga. You can have restful sleep. You can have increased energy, vigour, vitality, longevity and a high standard of health. Yoga transmutes animal nature into divine nature and raises you to the pinnacle of divine glory and splendour.
The practice of Yoga will help you to control the emotions and passions and will give you power to resist temptations and to remove the disturbing elements form mind. It will enable you to keep a balanced mind always and remove fatigue. It will confer on you serenity, calmness and wonderful concentration. It will enable you to hold communion with the Lord and thus attain the summum bonum of existence.
If you want to attain success in Yoga, you will have to abandon all worldly enjoyments and practise Tapas and Brahmacharya. You will have to control the mind skilfully and tactfully. You will have to use judicious and intelligent methods to curb it. If you use force, it will become more turbulent and mischievous. It cannot be controlled by force. It will jump and drift away more and more. Those who attempt to control the mind by force are like those who endeavour to bind a furious elephant with a thin silken thread.
A Guru or preceptor is indispensable for the practice of Yoga. The aspirant in the path of Yoga should be humble, simple, gentle, refined, tolerant, merciful and kind. If you have a curiosity to get psychic powers, you cannot have success in Yoga. Yoga does not consist in sitting cross-legged for six hours or stopping the pulse or beatings of the heart or getting oneself buried underneath the ground for a week or a month.
Self-sufficiency, impertinence, pride, luxury, name, fame, self-assertive nature, obstinacy, idea of superiority, sensual desires, evil company, laziness, overeating, overwork, too much mixing and too much talking are some of the obstacles in the path of Yoga. Admit your faults freely. When you are free from all these evil traits, Samadhi or union will come by itself.
Practise Yama and Niyama. Sit comfortably in Padma or Siddhasana. Restrain the breath. Withdraw the senses. Control the thoughts. Concentrate. Meditate and attain Asamprajnata or Nirvikalpa Samadhi (union with the Supreme Self).
May you shine as a brilliant Yogi by the practice of Yoga! May you enjoy the bliss of the Eternal!
Essence of Karma Yoga
Karma Yoga is selfless service unto humanity. "Your duty is to work incessantly but not to expect the fruits thereof." This is the central teaching of the Gita.
Repeat your Ishtamantra mentally even when you work in office. God is the Inner Ruler. He directs the body, mind and senses to work. Become an instrument in the hands of the Lord. Do not expect thanks or appreciation for your work. Do actions as your duty and offer them and their fruits to the Lord. You will be freed from the bonds of Karma. It is not the Karma but the selfish motive that binds the man.
Never, never say, "I have helped that man." Feel and think, "That man gave me an opportunity to serve. This piece of service has helped me to purify my mind. I am extremely grateful to him." If you see a poor man clad in rags standing in front of your door, feel that the Lord is before you in the form of a poor man. Serve him with Narayana Bhava.
Never grumble when you do service to others. Take delight in service. Watch for opportunities, to serve. Never miss even a single opportunity. Work is worship of the Lord.
A Karma Yogi should have an amiable, loving, social nature. He should have sympathy, adaptability, self-restraint, tolerance, love and mercy. He should adjust himself to the ways and habits of others. He should be able to bear insult, harsh words, criticism, pleasure and pain, heat and cold.
You can do selfless service according to your ability and station in life. An advocate can plead for poor people without accepting fees. A doctor can treat the poor free of charge. A teacher or professor can give free tution to poor boys. He can supply them books for study.
Have a medicine-chest of 12 tissue remedies or some allopathic medicines or homoeopathic medicines. Serve the poor and sick with Atma Bhava. Give one-tenth of your income in charity. This is the highest Yoga.
Do not make any difference between menial and respectable work. If any one is suffering from acute-pain in any part of the body, at once shampoo the affected part very gently. Feel that you are serving the Lord in the body of the patient. Repeat your Ishtamantra also. If you see a man or animal bleeding on the roadside, never hesitate to tear your upper cloth or shirt and use it for bandaging, in the absence of any other means of bandage. Do not bargain with the poor porters at the railway station. Be liberal and generous. Keep always some small coins in your pocket and distribute them to the poor and the decrepit.
Karma Yoga prepares the mind for the reception of light and knowledge. It expands the heart and breaks all barriers that stand in the way of oneness or unity. Karma Yoga is an effective Sadhana for Chitta Suddhi or purity of heart. Therefore, do selfless service constantly.
Hatha Yoga relates to the restraint of breath (Pranayama), Asanas, Bandhas and Mudras. 'Ha' and 'tha' mean the union of the sun and the moon, union of Prana and Apana Vayus. 'Hatha' means any tenacious practice till the object or end is achieved. Trataka, standing on one leg, (a kind of Tapas) and similar poses are all Hatha Yoga practices. Hatha Yoga is inseparable from Raja Yoga. Raja Yoga begins where Hatha Yoga ends. Raja Yoga and Hatha Yoga are interdependent. Raja Yoga and Hatha Yoga are the necessary counterparts of each other. No one can become a perfect Yogi without a knowledge and practice of both the Yogas. Hatha Yoga prepares the student to take up Raja Yoga.
A Hatha Yogi starts his Sadhana with body and Prana; a Raja Yogi starts his Sadhana with his mind; a Jnana Yogi starts his Sadhana with Buddhi or intellect and will.
A Hatha Yogi gets Siddhis (psychic powers) by uniting Prana and Apana and by taking the united Prana-Apana through the six Chakras (centres of spiritual energy) to Sahasrara at the crown of the head. A Raja Yogi gets Siddhis by Samyama, i.e., combined practice of Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi at one time. A Jnana Yogi exhibits Siddhis through pure will or Sat-Sankalpa. A Bhakta gets Siddhis through self-surrender and the consequent descent of grace. Kriyas, viz., Neti, Dhauti, Nauli, Basti, Tratak and Kapalabhati belong to Hatha Yoga. All need not practise these Kriyas. Those who have got much phlegm in the body should practise these Kriyas. Learn these under an expert Hatha Yogi. Hatha Yoga is not the goal. It is only a means to an end. Take to Raja Yoga after possessing good health.
Do Asana, Kumbhaka, Mudra and shake the Kundalini. Then take it to Sahasrara through Chakras in the Sushumna. O children of light! Will you drink not, will you drink not, the nectar of immortality?
Brother! Attain good health. Without health how can you live? Without health, how can you earn? Without health how can you get success in Yoga or any undertaking? Possess wonderful health through the practice of Hatha Yoga. Drink the nectar in Sahasrara and live in the immortal abode of Siva.
Health is wealth. Health is indeed a covetable possession. Good health is a valuable asset to one and all. It can be achieved by the regular practice of Yoga Asanas.
The practice of Asanas controls the emotions, produces mental peace, distributes Prana evenly throughout the body and different systems, helps in maintaining healthy functioning of the internal organs, gives internal massage to the various abdominal organs. Physical exercises draw the Prana (energy) out but the Asanas send the Prana in. The practice of Asanas cures many diseases and awakens Kundalini Sakti. These are the chief advantages in the Yogic system of exercises which no other systems have.
Practise a few Asanas daily at least for a period of fifteen minutes. You will possess wonderful health. Be regular in your practice. Regularity is of paramount importance. Practise Bhujang, Salabh, Dhanur, Sarvang, Hala and Paschimottasan Asanas. Bhujang, Salabh and Dhanur will remove constipation and muscular pain of the back. Sirsh, Sarvang and Hala will help you in maintaining Brahmacharya, rendering the spine elastic and curing all diseases. Paschimottasan will reduce fat in the belly and help digestion. Relax all muscles in Savasana in the end.
Asanas should be done on empty stomach in the morning or at least three hours after food. Morning time is best for doing Asanas. Do not wear spectacles when you do Asanas. Wear a singlet if necessary and a Langotee. Be moderate in your diet. Practice of Brahmacharya is very important for success in Yoga Asanas. Start with minimum time for each Asana and then gradually increase the period. Answer the calls of nature before you start the practice. Boys and girls over ten years of age as well as women can practise Asanas.
The world needs good, healthy, strong boys and girls. What do we find in these days in India? India, the land of Rishis and sages, the land which produced Bhishma, Bhima, Arjuna, Drona, Asvatthama, Kripa, Parasurama and countless other chivalrous warriors, the soil which contained numberless Rajput chiefs of undaunted courage and matchless strength, now abounds in weak and timid persons. Children beget children. The laws of health are ignored and neglected. The nation is suffering and dying. The world requires numberless brave, moral, Adhyatmic soldiers who are equipped with the five virtues, viz., Ahimsa, Satyam, Asteya, Brahmacharya and Aparigraha.
Pranayama is an exact science. It is the fourth Anga or limb of Ashtanga Yoga. It is the regulation of breath or control of Prana.
Pranayama steadies the mind, augments the gastric fire, energises digestion, invigorates the nerves, destroys the Rajas, destroys all diseases, removes all laziness, makes the body light and healthy and awakens Kundalini.
Pranayama should be practised when the stomach is empty. Be regular in your practice. Do not take bath immediately after the practice. Do not practise Kumbhaka or retention of breath in the beginning. Have only slow and mild Puraka (inhalation) and Rechaka (exhalation). Do not strain the breath beyond your capacity. Keep the ratio for Puraka, Kumbhaka and Rechaka as 1:4:2. Exhale very very slowly.
Sit on Padma, Siddha or Sukha Asana. Keep the head, neck and trunk in a straight line. Inhale slowly through the left nostril and retain the breath according to the ratio, then exhale slowly through the right nostril. This is half process of Pranayama. Then inhale through the right nostril, retain and exhale through the left nostril. Do not retain the breath for more than one or two minutes.
Do ten or twenty Pranayamas according to your capacity. Do not fatigue yourself. Increase the number gradually. You can go up to 16:64:32. This is Sukhapurvaka or easy comfortable Pranayama.
Practise Sitali in summer. This will purify your blood and cool the system too. Practise Bhastrika in winter. This will cure asthma and consumption. Repeat 'Om' or 'Rama' mentally during the practice. Observe Brahmacharya and diet-control. You will derive maximum benefits and will quickly purify the Nadis or nerves.
Prana and mind are intimately related to each other. If you control Prana, the mind will also be controlled. If you control the mind, the Prana will be automatically controlled. Prana is related to mind, and through it to will and through will to the individual soul and through individual soul to the Supreme Soul.
Start the practice this very second in right earnest. Control the breath and calm the mind. Steady the breath and enter Samadhi. Restrain the breath and lengthen the life. Subdue the breath and become a Yogi, a dynamo of power, peace, bliss and happiness.
Kundalini Sakti is the coiled-up, dormant, cosmic power that underlies all organic as well as inorganic matter. It is the primordial energy that lies at the basal Muladhara Chakra in a dormant, potential state. Kundalini Yoga is that Yoga which treats of Kundalini Sakti, the seven Chakras or centres of spiritual energy, the arousing of the sleeping Kundalini Sakti and its union with Lord Siva in Sahasrara Chakra at the crown of the head. The seven Chakras are pierced by the passing of Kundalini Sakti to the top of the head.
The seven Chakras are: Muladhara (at the anus), Svadhishthana (at the root of the organ of generation), Manipura (at the navel), Anahata (in the heart), Visuddha (in the neck), Ajna (in the space between the two eyebrows) and Sahasrara (at the crown of the head).
Nadis are the astral tubes that carry Pranic currents. They cannot be seen by naked eyes. They are not the ordinary nerves, arteries and veins. There are 72,000 Nadis. Among them three are important. They are Ida, Pingala and Sushumna. Sushumna is the most important one, because Kundalini passes through this Nadi only. The first step in Kundalini Yoga is the purification of Nadis. When Sushumna is pure then only Kundalini will pass through it. Purification of Nadis is done by the practice of Pranayama.
The Yogi opens the mouth of Sushumna Nadi through Pranayama, Bandhas and Mudras and awakens the sleeping Kundalini and takes Her to Sahasrara at the crown of the head through the lower six Chakras. Kundalini sleeps in the Muladhara in 31/2 coils. The three coils represent the three Gunas and half coil represents the Vikritis.
Kundalini is awakened through Pranayama, Asanas and Mudras by Hatha Yogins, through concentration by Raja Yogins, through devotion and perfect self-surrender by Bhaktas or devotees; through analytical will, by the Jnanis; by Japa of Mantra and by the grace of the Guru.
If you are pure and free from all desires, Kundalini will awaken by itself and you will be benefited. If you awaken Kundalini by violent methods, forcibly, when your heart is impure, when desires lurk in your mind, you will come across temptations of various sorts, when you move from plane to plane, you will have a downfall. You will have no strength of will to resist these temptations.
That aspirant who has firm faith in Yogic Sastras, who is courageous, devotional, humble, generous, merciful, pure and dispassionate, can easily awaken Kundalini and attain success in Samadhi. He should also be equipped with right conduct and self-restraint; he should constantly engage himself in the service of his Guru and be free from lust, anger, Moha, greed and vanity.
When Kundalini is taken to the Sahasrara, when She is united with Lord Siva, perfect Samadhi (super-conscious blissful state) ensues. The Yogi drinks the nectar of immortality.
May Mother Kundalini guide you all in your Yogic practices ! May Her blessings be upon you all!
Raja Yoga is an exact science. It aims at controlling all thought-waves or mental modifications. It concerns with the mind, its purification and control. Hence it is called Raja Yoga, i.e., king of all Yogas. It is otherwise known as Ashtanga Yoga i.e., Yoga with eight limbs.
The eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga are: Yama (self-restraint), Niyama (religious observances), Asana (posture), Pranayama (restraint of breath), Pratyahara (abstraction of senses), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (super-conscious state). Yama is practice of Ahimsa (non-injury), Satya (truthfulness), Asteya (non-stealing), Brahmacharya (celibacy) and Aparigraha (non-covetousness) in thought, word and deed. This is the foundation of Yoga. Niyama is observance of the five canons viz., Saucha (internal and external purity), Santosha (contentment), Tapas (austerity). Svadhyaya (study of religious books and repetition of Mantras) and Ishvara-Pranidhana (worship of God and self-surrender). Cultivate Maitri (friendship with equals), Karuna (mercy towards inferiors), Mudita (complaisancy towards superiors), Upeksha (indifference towards wicked people). You can eradicate jealousy and hatred and attain peace of mind. Ascend the ladder of Yoga patiently through its different rungs and attain the highest summit of the ladder, i.e., Asamprajnata Samadhi, wherein all Samskaras (impressions) which bring about successive births are absolutely fried up.
If you really aspire to unfold the lurking divinity within, if you really want to get rid of the meshes of this Samsara, you must know the technique of thought-control which is embodied in the system of Raja Yoga. You must know the ways of right living, right thinking, right speaking and right acting. You must practise the five rules of Yama or right conduct or Sadachara. You must know how to withdraw the mind from external objects and fix it on one point. You must know the right method of concentration and meditation. Then alone you can be really happy. Then and then alone, you will have power, independence and suzerainty. Then and then alone, you will attain immortality, freedom and perfection. A knowledge of the ways and habits of the mind, its operations, the laws of the mind and the methods of mind-control and mental discipline is very necessary if you want to enjoy real happiness and peace of an unruffled and abiding nature.
Practise Raja Yoga, control the thoughts, discipline the mind, meditate regularly and attain independence, immortality, freedom and perfection.
Control of Mind
Mind is Atma Sakti. It is through mind only that Brahman or the Supreme Self manifests as the differentiated universe with heterogeneous objects.
Mind is nothing but a collection of Samskaras or impressions. It is nothing but a bundle of habits. The true nature of the mind consists in the Vasanas or subtle desires. The idea of 'I' or egoism is the seed of the tree of mind. The sprout which springs up from this seed egoism is Buddhi or intellect. From this sprout the ramifying branches called Sankalpas take their origin.
Mind is made up of subtle Sattvic matter. According to Chhandogya Upanishad, mind is formed out of the subtlest portion of food.
Mind is of two kinds, viz., the Asuddha or impure mind and the Suddha or pure mind. The former leads to bondage while the latter helps the aspirant to attain liberation.
Manolaya or temporary absorption of the mind in the object of meditation will not help you to attain liberation. Manonasa or annihilation of the mind only will enable you to achieve the final emancipation or Moksha.
Have no longing for objects. Reduce your wants. Cultivate Vairagya or dispassion. Vairagya thins out the mind.
Do not mix much. Do not talk much. Do not walk much. Do not eat much. Do not sleep much.
Control your emotion. Abandon desires and Vasanas. Control irritability and lust. Slay the impure mind through the pure mind and transcend the pure mind through meditation. Practise perfect Brahmacharya. There is no half measure in the spiritual path.
Never wrestle with the mind. Do not use any violent effort in concentration. When the mind is jumping and wandering much, make no violent effort to control it but rather allow it to run along for a while and exhaust its efforts. It will take advantage of the opportunity and will jump around like an unchained monkey at first. Then it will gradually become quiet and look to you for orders.
If evil thoughts enter your mind, do not use your will-force in driving them. You will lose energy. You will tax your will. You will fatigue yourself. The greater the efforts you make, the more the evil thoughts will return with redoubled force. They will return more quickly also. The thoughts will become more powerful. Be indifferent. Keep quiet. Become a silent witness of those thoughts. Do not identify yourself with them. They will vanish soon. Substitute good thoughts. Pray and sing the Lord's name.
Never miss for a day your meditation. Regularity is of paramount importance. When the mind is tired do not concentrate. Give a little rest. Do not take heavy food at night. This will interfere with your morning meditation.
Japa, Kirtan, Pranayama, Satsanga (association with the sages), practice of Sama (serenity), Dama (self-restraint), Yama (right conduct), Sattvic or pure food, study of scriptures, meditation, Vichara or Atmic enquiry-all these will help you to control the mind and attain eternal bliss and immortality.
Sit in Padmasana or Siddhasana or Sukhasana. Close the ears with the thumbs. This is Shanmukhi Mudra or Vaishnavi Mudra. Hear the music of Anahata sounds. You will have wonderful concentration.
Do Japa (Ajapa Japa) of Soham with breath or Japa of any Mantra. Practise Pranayama for one or two months. You will hear the ten sounds clearly and enjoy the music of the soul. The sound that you hear will make you deaf to all external sounds.
Abandon all worldly thoughts. Control your passion. Become indifferent to all objects. Practise Yama (self-restraint), or Sadachara (right conduct). Concentrate your attention on the sound which annihilates the mind.
The sound serves the purpose of a sharp goad to control the elephant-mind which roams in the pleasure garden of sensual objects. It serves the purpose of a snare for binding the deer-Chitta. Just as the bee which drinks the honey does not care for the odour, so the mind which is absorbed in sound does not long for sensual objects.
The first sound is Chini, the second is Chinichini. The third is the sound of a bell. The fourth is like that of a conch. The fifth is like that of a lute. The sixth is like that of a cymbal. The seventh is like that of a flute. The eighth is like that of a drum. The ninth is like that of a Mridanga. The tenth is like that of thunder. Hear the internal sound through the right ear. Change your concentration from the gross sound to the subtle. The mind will soon be absorbed in the sound.
You will get knowledge of hidden things in the seventh. In the eighth stage you will hear Paravak. In the ninth you will develop divine eye. In the tenth you will attain Para Brahman.
The sound entraps the mind. The mind becomes one with the sound as milk with water. It becomes absorbed in Brahman or the Absolute. You will then attain the seat of Eternal Bliss.
Haft-hearted service is no service at all. Give your whole heart, mind and soul when you serve. This is very important when you practise Karma Yoga.
Some people have their body in one place, mind in another place, and soul in another place. That is the reason why they do not realise any substantial progress in the path.
Forget not the goal of life amidst selfish activities. The goal of life is Self-realisation. Are you attempting to reach the end and aim of life? Are you doing Japa, Pranayama and Meditation? Have you kept up the ideal before the mind's eye? That day in which you do not practise any spiritual Sadhana is wasted. Give the mind to God and the hands to work. You will have to analyse and scrutinise your motives. It is the selfish motive and not the work itself that binds a man to Samsara. Prepare the mind for Karma Yoga. Mere selfish work cannot be taken as Yogic activity. The mind is so framed that it always expects something for a small piece of work. When you smile you expect a return of smile from your friend. When you raise your hand in salutation, you will expect a salute from other people. Even when you give a cup of water to another man, you expect him to be grateful to you. When such is the case, how can you perform Nishkama Karma Yoga?
Life is very precious. Live in the spirit of the Gita teaching and work without expectation of fruits and egoism. Think you are Nimitta in the hands of Lord Narayana. If you work with this mental attitude you will become a Yogi soon. Work never degrades a man. Unselfish work is Puja of Narayana. Work is worship. All works are sacred. There is no menial work from the highest view-point of the absolute, from the view-point of Karma Yoga. Even scavenging when done with the right spirit and mental attitude is Yogic action. Even a scavenger can realise God in his own station of life by service. The famous butcher-Sadhaka of the Mahahharata realised God in his meat-shop (through serving his parents). You have got inside all materials for wisdom. There is a vast magazine of power and knowledge within you. It wants kindling. Now wake up, O Saumya!
When you work disinterestedly without any agency and when you surrender the works and fruits as Ishvararpana, all Karmas are transformed into Yogic Kriyas. Walking, eating, sleeping, answering the calls of nature, talking, etc., become offering unto the Lord. Every bit of work is Yoga for you. Think that Lord Siva is working through your hands, and is eating through your mouth. Think that your hands are the hands of Lord Siva. In the beginning some of your actions may be selfish and some may be unselfish. In the long run you can do all actions in an unselfish manner. Scrutinise your motives always. This is the key-note for Nishkama Karma Yoga. Every act can be spiritualised when the motive becomes pure. Work is meditation. Serve everyone with intense love, without any idea of agency, without expectation of fruits or reward. If you adopt the path of Jnana, feel you are a silent Sakshi and the Prakriti does everything.
It is selfishness that has deplorably contracted your heart. Selfishness is the bane of society. Selfishness clouds understanding. Selfishness is petty-mindedness. Bhoga increases selfishness and selfish Pravritti. It is the root-cause for human sufferings. Real spiritual progress starts in selfless service. Serve the Sadhus, Sannyasins, Bhaktas and poor and sick persons with Bhava, Prema and Bhakti. The Lord is seated in the hearts of all.
The spirit of service must deeply enter into your very bones, cells, tissues, nerves, etc. The reward is invaluable. Practise and feel the cosmic expansion and infinite Ananda. Tall tales and idle gossip will not do, my dear friends! Evince intense zeal and enthusiasm in work. Be fiery in the spirit of service.
Have Nishtha with God and Cheshta with hands like the Bahurupi who has the Nishtha of a male and the Cheshta of a female. You will be able to do two things at a time by practice. The manual work will become automatic, mechanical or intuitive. You will have two minds. A portion of the mind will be at work; three quarters of the mind will be in the service of the Lord, in meditation, in Japa. Karma Yoga is generally combined with Bhakti Yoga. A Karma Yogin offers to the Lord as an oblation whatever he does through the Karma-Indriyas. This is Ishvara Pranidhana.
Training of Karma Yoga
A raw untrained aspirant feels, "My preceptor is treating me like a servant or a peon. He is using me for petty jobs." He who has understood the right significance of Karma Yoga will take every work as Yogic activity or worship of the Lord. There is no menial work in his vision. Every work is Puja of Narayana. In the light of Karma Yoga all actions are sacred. That aspirant who always takes immense delight in doing works which are considered by the worldly man as menial services, and who always does willingly such acts only will become a dynamic Yogi. He will be absolutely free from conceit and egoism. He will have no downfall. The canker of pride cannot touch him.
Study the autobiography of Mahatma Gandhiji. He never made any difference between menial service and dignified work. Scavenging and cleaning of the latrine was the highest Yoga for him. This was the highest Puja for him. He himself did the cleaning of latrines. He annihilated the illusory little 'I' through service of various sorts. Many highly educated persons joined his Ashram for learning Yoga under him. They thought that Gandhiji would teach them Yoga in some mysterious manner in a private room and would give lessons on Pranayama, meditation, abstration, awakening of Kundalini, etc. They were disappointed when they were asked to clean the latrine first. They left the Ashram immediately. Gandhiji himself repaired his shoes. He himself used to grind flour and take upon his shoulders the work of others also when they were unable to do their allotted portion of work for the day in the Ashram. When an educated person, a new Ashramite, felt shy to do the grinding work, Gandhiji himself would do his work in front of him and then the man would do the work himself from the next day willingly.
In the West, cobblers and peasants have risen to a very great position in society. Every work is a respectable work for them. A boy applies polish to the boots in the streets of London for a penny, carries newspapers and journals in the afternoon for sale and works as an apprentice under a journalist during his leisure hours at night. He studies books, works hard, never wastes a minute and in a few years becomes a journalist of great repute and international fame. In Punjab some graduates have taken to hair-dressing work. They have understood the dignity of labour.
A real Yogi does not make any difference between menial and respectable work. It is only an ignorant man who makes such a difference. Some aspirants are humble in the beginning of their spiritual career. When they get some name and fame, some followers, admirers, devotees and disciples, they become victims to pride.
They cannot do any service. They cannot carry anything on their heads or hands. That Yogi who carries the trunk on his head without the slightest feeling in the railway platform amidst a multitude of his admirers, disciples and devotees, without making any outward show of humility must be adored. Sage Jada Bharata carried the palanquin of King Rahugana on his shoulders without murmuring. Lord Krishna shampooed the legs of a Raja when his barber devotee was on leave. Sri Rama carried a pot of water for the ablution of one of his devotees. Sri Krishna took the form of a menial servant as Vithoo and paid the money to the Nawab on behalf of his devotee, Dhamaji. If you really want to grow in the spiritual path you must do all sorts of service daily till the end of life. Then only you are safe. Do not stop doing service when you have become a famous Yogi. The spirit of service must enter every nerve, cell, tissue and bone of your body. It must be ingrained in you. Then only you will become a real fullblown practical Vedantin.
Is there any greater Vedantin or Karma Yogi than Lord Buddha? He still lives in our hearts, because the spirit of service was ingrained in him and he spent his whole life in serving others in a variety of ways. A magnanimous soul, one without a second! You can also become a Buddha if you apply yourself diligently to selfless service with the right mental attitude.
Attain Nirlipta State
Lord Krishna says in His Gita: 'Tasmat Sarveshu kaleshu mam anusmara yudhya cha". "Therefore at all times think of Me and fight." Give the mind to God and the hand to work. The typist works at the machine and talks with his friends. The player on the harmonium plays on the organ and talks and jokes with his friends. The lady knits and talks with her comrades. The mind of the girl who has a water-pot on her head is on the water-pot, though she is talking and joking with her companions while she is walking on the road. A nurse while she is nursing the baby of another lady has her mind rivetted on her own baby. A cowherd while he is looking after the cows of other people has his mind fixed on his own cow. Even so, have your mind fixed at the lotus feet of the Lord, while you are doing your household duties and office work. You will realise Self-consciousness quickly. Just as the water remains unaffected in the lotus leaf, just as the oil floats upon the surface of the water without being affected in any way, so also you should remain in the world amidst troubles, pleasures and difficulties.
Just as the tongue is not affected by taking ghee, so also you should remain unaffected even amidst worldly activities and troubles. You must keep up the Nirlipta state. This is Jnana. This is balance (Samata). You may fail to keep the balance and Nirlipta state in thousand and one times. But in the long run you are bound to succeed if you persist in your practice and if you discipline the mind properly. Every failure is a pillar for future success. Remember this point well.
A Karma Yogin should not expect even return of love, appreciation, gratitude, and admiration from the people whom he is serving.
Only he who has reduced his wants and controlled the Indriyas can do Karma Yoga. How can a luxurious man with revolting Indriyas serve others?
He wants everything for himself and wants to exploit and domineer others.
Another qualification is that you must be balanced in success or failure, gain or loss, victory or defeat. You must be free from Raga and Dvesha. "An action which is ordained, done by one undesirous of fruit, devoid of attachment, without love or hate, is called pure". (Gita XVIII-23).
What is Karma
Karma means work or action. According to Jaimini, rituals like Agnihotra, Yajnas, etc., are termed Karmas. There is a hidden power in Karma termed Adrishta which brings in fruits of Karmas for the individual. Karma is all for Jaimini. Karma is everything for a student of Mimamsa school of thought. Jaimini is the founder of Purva Mimamsa. He was a student of Maharshi Vyasa, the founder of Uttara Mimamsa or Vedanta. The Mimamsa school denies the existence of Ishvara who awards the fruits of works.
According to the Gita, any action is Karma. Charity, sacrifice, Tapas are all Karmas. In a philosophical sense, breathing, seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling, smelling, walking, talking, etc., are all Karmas. Thinking is the real Karma. Raga-Dvesha constitute the real Karma.
How to Find Right or Wrong Action
Have right thinking. Use your reason and commonsense. Follow the injunctions of the Sastras. Consult the code of Manu or Yajnavalkya Smriti whenever you have doubts. You will be able to find out whether you are doing right or wrong action. If you say, 'Sastras are countless. They are like ocean. I can hardly understand the truths that are inculcated. I cannot fathom and gauge their depths. There are contradictions. I am puzzled and bewildered.' Then strictly follow the words of a Guru on whom you have absolute faith and confidence. The third way is: Have fear in God. Consult your conscience. The shrill, inner voice will guide you. As soon as you hear the voice, do not delay even a moment. Start the action diligently without consulting anybody. Practise to hear the inner voice in the morning at four. If there is fear, shame, doubt or pricking of conscience, know that you are doing a wrong action. If there is joy, exhilaration or satisfaction, understand that you are doing the right action.
When the diverse, confining sheaths of the Atma have been dissolved by Sadhana, when the different Vrittis of the mind have been controlled by mental drill or gymnastic, when the conscious mind is not active, you enter the realm of spirit life, the super-conscious mind where Buddhi and pure reason and intuition, the faculty of direct cognition of Truth, manifest. You pass into the kingdom of peace where there is none to speak, you will hear the voice of God which is very clear and pure and has an upward tendency. Listen to the voice with attention and interest. It will guide you. It is the voice of God.
Prayer for a Karma Yogin
(By Sri Sankaracharya)
Atma tvam girija mitih sahacharah pranah sareeram griham.
Puja te vishyopabhogarachana nidra samadhisthitih,
Sancharah padoyoh pradakshinavidhih stotrani sarva giro;
Yadyat karma karomi tat tad akhilam sambhotavaradhanam.
Repeat the Sloka at the end of your meditation.
"Thou art Atma: Buddhi is thy consort, Parvati (who is born of mountain); the Pranas are thy attendants; this body is thy house; the action of sensual enjoyment is thy worship; deep sleep is the establishment of Samadhi; walking by my feet is the perambulation around Thee; all my speeches are thy praises; whatever actions I perform, are all Thy worship; Oh Sambho!"
Brahman or God Exists
Para Brahman cannot be demonstrated. But it is possible to infer the existence from certain empirical factors. The existence of Brahman is known from the fact of its being the SELF of everyone. For everyone is conscious of the existence of his self and never thinks "I am not." If the existence of his self were not known, everyone would think: "I am not." This self, of whose existence all are conscious, is Brahman. There is an inherent feeling in everybody: "I exist-Aham Asmi."
You dream sometimes that you are dead and that your relatives are weeping. Even in that supposed death state, you see and hear them weeping. This clearly indicates that, even after the apparent death, life really persists. You exist even after the physical sheath is thrown out. That existence is Atman or Brahman or the Supreme Self.
Close your eyes and imagine for a moment that you are dead. You can never do so. You can never think that you will not exist after death. You will imagine that your dead body is lying flat and that you are witnessing the dead body. This definitely proves that you are always the witnessing subject or Sakshi.
When you are in the dark, when you are behind a veil, if anybody enquires: 'Who is there?', you will unhesitatingly answer: 'It is I'. If he again asks you: 'Who is there?' you will say: 'I am So and So.' This 'I am So and So' is a mental Kalpnana or false superimposition on account of ignorance. At first you have expressed spontaneously your inherent feeling of existence, the big infinite 'I'. Nothing can resist this innate feeling of 'Aham Asmi.'
By whose command are the earth and the sky, the sun and the moon, upheld in their places? By whose command do the seas not overstep their limits? By whose command does the sun rise punctually in the morning and set in the evening? By whose command do the seasons, solstices and the years not transgress? By whose command do Karmas and their performers and their fruits not likewise go beyond their appointed time? It is by the command of Brahman-the Inner Ruler, Controller and Governor.
What is common in trees, ants, birds, stones and man? Existence. A tree exists. A bird exists. A stone exists. A man exists. Existence is Brahman.
Some are rich, some are poor. Some are healthy, some are born blind. Some die at eighty, some die at ten. What is the cause for this variation? This clearly proves the theory of Karma that there is one Omniscient Lord, who is the dispenser of fruits of actions of human beings, who fixes the span of life in accordance with the nature of their actions, who knows the exact relation between Karmas and their fruits. Karma is Jada or insentient. It certainly cannot dispense the fruits of the actions.
In sleep there are no senses, no objects, no mind and yet you experience the highest bliss. Wherefrom have you derived the bliss? The mind rests in Brahman during sleep and it is from Brahman that this Bliss is derived.
Cogito, ergo sum-"I think, therefore, I am." This is Descartes's fundamental basis of philosophy. Sri Sankara says: "This Atman cannot be illusive, for, he who would deny it, witnesses its reality even in denying it."
Power of Prayer
Prayer elevates the mind. It fills the mind with purity. It is associated with praise of God. It keeps the mind in tune with God. Prayer can reach a realm where reason dare not enter. Prayer can move mountains. It can work miracles. It frees the devotee from the fear of death, brings him nearer to God and makes him feel the divine presence everywhere. It awakens in him the divine consciousness and makes him feel his essential immortal and blissful nature.
It was the prayer of Prahlada that rendered cool the burning oil when it was poured on his head. It was the prayer of Mira that converted the bed of nails into a bed of roses and the cobra into a flower-garland.
Prayer has tremendous influence. Mahatma Gandhi was a great votary of prayer. If the prayer is sincere and if it proceeds from the bottom of your heart (Antarika), it will at once melt the heart of the Lord. Sri Krishna had to run bare-footed from Dvaraka on hearing the heart-felt prayer of Draupadi. You all know this. Lord Hari, the mighty ruler of this universe, apologised before Prahlada for coming a little late when the latter prayed. How merciful and loving is the Lord!
Say even once from the bottom of your heart: "O Lord, I am thine. Thy will be done. Have mercy on me. I am Thy servant and devotee. Forgive. Guide. Protect. Enlighten. Trahi. Prachodayat." Have a meek, receptive attitude of mind. Have Bhava in your heart. The prayer is at once heard and responded to. Do this in the daily battle of life and realise yourself the high efficacy of prayer. You must have strong Astikya-Buddhi (strong conviction in the existence of God).
Christians have different prayers for getting various gifts and bounties from God. Mohammedans and all religionists have daily prayers at sunrise, noon, sunset, just before retiring to bed, just before taking food. Prayer is the beginning of Yoga. Prayer is the first important Anga (limb) of Yoga. Preliminary spiritual Sadhana or practice is prayer.
God helps even a dacoit when he prays. Pray to God for purity, devotion, light and knowledge. You will get these things. Get up early in the morning and repeat some prayers for getting mental and physical Brahmacharya. Pray in any manner you like. Become as simple as a child. Open freely the chambers of your heart. Sincere Bhaktas know pretty well about the high efficacy of prayers. Narada Muni is still praying. Nama Deva prayed and Vittal came out of the image to eat his food. Ekanath prayed. Lord Hari showed His Chaturbhuj form. Sri Krishna served Damaji as a servant when he prayed; He played the part of a menial in paying his dues to the Badshah. What more do you want? Pray fervently right now from this very second. Do not delay, friend. That 'to-morrow' will never come.
The power of prayer is indescribable. Its glory is ineffable. Only sincere devotees realise its usefulness and splendour. It should be done with reverence, faith and Nishkama-Bhava (non-expectation of fruits), and with a heart wet with devotion. O ignorant man! Do not argue about the efficacy of prayer. You will be deluded. There is no arguing in spiritual matters. Intellect is a finite and a frail instrument. Do not trust this. Remove now the darkness of your ignorance through the light of prayer.
The term 'Bhakti' comes from the root 'Bhaj' which means 'to be attached to God.' Bhakti is the form of supreme love towards God. It is love for love's sake. The devotee wants God and God alone. There is no selfish expectation here. Bhakti is of the nature of nectar. It is the spontaneous outpouring of love towards God. It is pure unselfish love or Suddha Prem. It is the sacred higher emotion with sublime sentiments that unites the devotee with the Lord. It has to be experienced by the devotees.
Bhakti is the basis of all religious life. Bhakti destroys Vasanas and egoism. Bhakti elevates the mind to magnanimous heights. Bhakti is the master-key to open the chambers of wisdom. Bhakti culminates in Jnana. Bhakti begins in two and ends in one. Para Bhakti and Jnana are one.
There is no virtue higher than love; there is no treasure higher than love; there is no Dharma higher than love; there is no religion higher than love; because, love is Truth and love is God. Love, Prem and Bhakti are synonymous terms. This world has come out of love. This world exists in love and this world ultimately dissolves in love. God is an embodiment of love. In every inch of His creation, you can verily understand His love.
A life without love, faith and devotion is a dreary waste. It is a real death. Love is divine. Love is the greatest power on earth. It is irresistible. It is love alone that can really conquer the heart of a man. Love subdues an enemy. Love can tame wild ferocious animals. Its power is infinite. Its depth is unfathomable. Its nature is ineffable. Its glory is indescribable. The essence of religion is love. Therefore, develop pure love.
Do you really want God? Do you really thirst for His Darshan? Have you got real spiritual hunger? Only he who thirsts for the Darshan of God will develop love. Unto him alone, He will reveal Himself. God is a question of supply and demand. If there is a sincere demand for God, the supply will come at once.
Develop the nine modes of Bhakti gradually. Hear the Lilas of the Lord: this is Sravana. Sing His praise: this is Kirtana. Remember His Names: this is Smarana. Worship His lotus-feet: this is Pada-seva. Offer flowers: this is Archana. Prostrate yourself before Him: this is Vandana. Do service unto Him: this is Dasya-Bhava. Make friendship with Him: this is Sakhya-Bhava. Do total unreserved self-surrender unto Him: this is Atma-Nivedana.
Sit not idly praying to God to help thee, but be up and doing as God helps only those who help themselves. Do the best you can and leave the rest to God. Serve the devotees. Remain in their company. Do Japa and Kirtan. Study Ramayana and Bhagavata. Live in Brindavan or Ayodhya for some time. You will soon develop devotion.
Pray fervently like Prahlada. Sing like Radha. Repeat His names as Valmiki, Tukaram and Tulsidas did. Do Kirtan like Gauranga. Weep in solitude like Mira for the separation from the Lord. You will have Darshan of the Lord this very second.
Kindle the light of love in your heart. Love all. Include all creatures in the warm embrace of your love. Cultivate Visva Prem or all-embracing, all-inclusive cosmic love. Love is a mysterious divine glue that unites the hearts of all. It is a divine magical healing balm of very high potency. Charge every action with pure love. Kill cunningness, greed, crookedness and selfishness. Immortality can be attained only by performing acts of kindness continuously. Hatred, anger and jealousy are removed by continuous service with loving heart. You will get more strength, more joy, more satisfaction by doing kind acts. Practice of compassion, charitable acts, kind services purify and soften the heart, turn the heart-lotus upwards and prepare the aspirant for the reception of divine light.
The Sastras are endless. There is much to be known. Time is short. Obstacles are many. That which is essence should be grasped, just as the swan takes the essence of milk alone from a mixture of water and milk. That essence is love or Bhakti. Drink this essence and attain the everlasting abode of Peace and Immortality.
Live in love. Breathe in love. Sing in love. Eat in love. Drink in love. Walk in love. Talk in love. Pray in love. Meditate in love. Think in love. Move in love. Write in love. Die in love. Taste the honey of divine love and become an embodiment of love (Prema-Vigraha of Prema-Murti).
May the fire of devotion grow brighter in you all! May your heart be filled with devotion! May you all live drowned in the ocean of love in an illumined state! May the blessings of Bhagavatas be upon you all! Peace be with you all!
Japa is the repetition of any Mantra or name of the Lord. In this Iron Age, Japa is an easy way for God-realisation. Tukaram, Prahlada, Valmiki, Dhruva and several others attained salvation by Japa alone. Sri Krishna says in the Gita, "Yajnanam Japa-Yajnosmi". Among the Yajnas, I am Japa Yajna (Yaga)".
There are three kinds of Japa, viz., verbal or loud Japa (Vaikhari), semi-verbal Japa or humming (Upamsu), and mental Japa or silent repetition through mind (Mansic). Mental Japa is more powerful. It gives a reward ten thousand times more than the loud Japa. When the mind wanders aimlessly take to loud Japa.
Japa must become habitual. It must be done with Sattvic or divine Bhava or feeling, purity, Prema and Sraddha. There is an indescribable power or Achintya Sakti in the names of God or Mantra. Every name is filled with countless Saktis or potencies.
Practice of Japa removes the impurities of the mind, just as soap cleanses the cloth of its impurities. Be regular in your Japa. Japa destroys the sins and brings the devotee face to face with God.
The name of God chanted correctly or incorrectly, knowingly or unknowingly, carefully or carelessly, with Bhava or without Bhava is sure to give the desired fruit. The Bhava will come by itself after some time. Get up at 4 a.m. and do the Japa for two hours. You will get the maximum benefits.
The glory of the name of God cannot be established through reasoning and intellect. It can certainly be experienced or realised only through devotion, faith and constant repetition of the Name. Have reverence and faith for the name of God. Do not argue. Devotees of Lord Hari can repeat the Mantras 'Hari Om' or 'Om Namo Narayanaya'. Devotees of Sri Ram can repeat 'Sri Rama', or 'Sitaram', or 'Om Sri Ram, Jaya Ram, Jaya Jaya Ram.' Devotees of Sri Krishna can repeat 'Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya.' Devotees of Lord Siva can repeat 'Om Namah Sivaya.' Perform 200 Malas of Japa daily. Wear a Mala on your neck. Mala is a whip to goad the mind towards God.
O man! Take refuge in the Name. Name and Nami are inseparable. In this Iron Age, Japa is the easiest, quickest, safest and surest way to reach God and attain immortality and perennial joy. Glory to the Lord! Glory to His Name!
Sankirtan is singing God's name with feeling (Bhava), love (Prema) and faith (Sraddha). In Sankirtan people join together and sing God's name collectively in a common place. Sankirtan is one of the nine modes of Bhakti. You can realise God through Kirtan alone. This is the easiest method for attaining God-consciousness in Kali Yuga or the Iron Age "Kalau Kesava-Kirtanat".
When several people join together and practise Sankirtan, a huge spiritual current or Mahasakti is generated. This purifies the heart of the aspirants and elevates them to the sublime heights of divine ecstasy or Samadhi. The powerful vibrations are carried to distant places. They bring elevation of mind, solace, strength to all people and work as a harbinger of peace, harmony and concord. They annihilate hostile forces and quickly bring peace and bliss to the whole world.
Lord Hari says to Narada, "Naham Vasami Vaikunthe Yoginam Hridaye na cha, Mad-Bhakta Yatra Gayanti Tatra Tishthami Narada", i.e., "I dwell not in Vaikuntha nor in the hearts of the Yogins, but I dwell where my devotees sing my name, O Narada."
Kirtan destroys sins, Vasanas and Samskaras, fills the heart with Prem and devotion and brings the devotee face to face with God.
Akhanda Kirtan is very powerful. It purifies the heart. The Mahamantra: 'Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare-Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare' or 'Om Namah Sivaya' should be sung continuously for 3 hours or 24 hours, three days or a week, by forming batches. One will lead and others will follow. Do Akhanda Kirtan on Sundays or holidays. Do Prabhat-Pheri Kirtan in the morning around the streets. Kirtan in the early morning is more effective than at night.
At night, sit before the picture of the Lord along with your children, family-members and servants. Do Kirtan for one or two hours. Be regular in the practice. You will derive immense peace and strength.
Sing the Lord's Name from the bottom of your heart. Be wholly and solely devoted to Him. Delay in God-realisation is extremely painful. Merge in Him. Live in Him. Be established in Him.
May peace and prosperity abide in you all!
At the end of Dvapara Yuga, Narada went to Brahma and said: "O Lord! How can I cross Kali or mundane existence easily?" Brahma replied. "Well asked. Hearken to that which all Vedas keep secret and hidden, through which one may cross the Samsara or mundane existence. He destroys the evil effects of Kali through the mere uttering of the word 'Lord Narayana,' who is the primeval Purusha!"
Narada asked Brahma: "O venerable Lord! What is the name?" Brahma replied: "The names are: Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare.
These sixteen names destroy the evil effects of Kali or sins. There is no better means than this in all the Vedas. These sixteen names destroy the Avarana or veil of ignorance that has enveloped the Jivas or the human beings. Then just as the sun shines fully after the clouds are dispersed, so also, Para Brahman or Supreme Self alone shines after the veil is removed."
Narada asked. "O Lord! What are the rules to be observed when one utters these names?" Brahma replied:" O Rishi Narada! There are no rules. Whoever repeats these names three and a half crores or 35 millions in a pure or an impure state, is freed at once from all sins. He is at once released from all bondages. He merges himself in the Lord and attains Eternal Bliss and Immortality".
The Jiva has sixteen Kalas, corresponding to which sixteen words or names are given in this Mahamantra. This is very good for repetition during Akhanda Kirtan. If you repeat this Mantra 20,000 times per day you will finish three and a half crores within 5 years. You can sing this Mantra and can do Japa also. You can write this Mantra in a notebook as Likhita Japa.
The names of God, chanted in any way correctly or incorrectly, knowingly or unknowingly, carefully or carelessly, is sure to give the desired result. The glory of the Name of God cannot be established through reasoning and intellect. It can certainly be experienced or realised through devotion, faith and constant repetition of the name only. The power of name is ineffable. Its glory is indescribable. The efficacy and inherent Sakti of the name of God is unfathomable.
May you attain God-consciousness by repetition of the names of God as described above. May you have real taste for the names of the Lord!
Mind is a mysterious something which is really nothing but does everything.
It is born of Maya. It is a product of ignorance. It is a compound of Vasana and Sankalpa. It is a mixture of worry and fear. It is a solution of Ahamkara. It is a confection.
Absolute and relative Manifestations.
PRANA Relative manifestations
Matter, Prana and Mind are the three relative manifestations of the Absolute. Prana is really a modification or manifestation of Mind. Prana is Kriya Sakti or faculty of actions. Matter emanates from Prana. Prana proceeds from mind. Matter is below Prana. Prana is above matter but below mind. Prana is positive to matter but negative to mind. Mind is positive to both Prana and matter but negative to will. Will is the centre of the ego. Will is the General-in-chief which directs the mind and Prana to all parts and in all directions. Intuition is above reason and is the channel of communication between man and spirit. Development of the Will-power by autosuggestion is the basic principle of Raja Yoga or Vedanta. Superconscious Mind is the realm or Spirit of Life.
Metaphysics of the Inner Man
The Physical body, the astral body, Prana, intellect or Buddhi, the instinctive mind, the spiritual mind and the spirit are the seven principles of man. Buddhi is pure reason. The seat of Buddhi is just below the crown of the head in the pineal gland of the brain. Buddhi is manifested only in those persons who have developed right intuitive discrimination or Viveka. The ordinary reason of the worldly people is termed practical reason, which is dense and has limitations.
Prana is the vital force, life-energy or Jiva-Sakti. It is the eternal symbol of God or Brahman. It is Hiranyagarbha or Golden Son of God. It is the link between the astral and physical bodies. Prana is divided into physical Prana and psychic Prana. Breathing is external manifestation of physical Prana. All thoughts are due to the vibrations of psychic Prana in the Chitta.
The causal body or Karana Sarira is the support for the astral and physical bodies. Will is Para Sakti. Get this Sakti-you will get Sat or Existence.
Chitta is the subconscious mind. It has two layers. One layer for emotion and the other for passive memory. The instinctive mind is the lower nature of human beings. It is the desire mind or Kama Manas. The Spiritual mind is the higher Manas. The seat of the mind is the heart. The mind connected to the Somachakra of the lowermost portion or undersurface of the brain is termed the organ of understanding. By Manonasa or annihilation of the mind is meant the destruction or dissolution of the lower nature, desire-mind. Sankhya Buddhi or Buddhi in the light of Sankhya philosophy is will and intellect combined. Mind is microcosm. Mind is Maya. Mind occupies an intermediate state between Prakriti and Purusha, matter and Spirit.
Tame the Six Wild Beasts
You have a whole menagerie within, with the lion, the tiger, the serpent, the elephant, the ape, and the peacock. Bring them to subjection. The beauty of the flesh is really due to the life-giving principle Prana. The beauty is attributable to the light that emanates from Atman. The nasty body with oozing discharges from nine gutters is composed of five elements, is Jada-Vastu and Apavitra. Always entertain this idea. Have a clear-cut, well-defined image-picture like this. You will conquer lust by such a mental drill. If you understand the doctrine of unity in variety, if you know there is only one Matter, one Energy, one Mind-substance, one Life, one Existence, Sat, one Reality, and if you entertain always such a thought, you can control Krodha. If you remember that you are only an instrument in the hands of God, that God is everything, God does everything, God is just, then you can get rid of Ahamkara. You can annihilate Dvesha by Pratipaksha Bhavana. Look to the brighter side of persons. Ignore the dark aspect.
Emotion is a motive power like the steam of an engine. It helps you in your evolution. Had it not been for the presence of emotion you would have passed into a state of passivity or inertia. It gives a push for action or motion. It is a blessing. But you must not become a prey to emotions. You must not allow the emotions to rule over you. You must not allow them to bubble out. You must purify and calm the surging emotions. You must allow it to rise slowly and subside quietly from the mind-ocean. You must keep the emotion under perfect control. Do not mistake physical sensations for higher sublime emotions. Do not be carried away by emotions. There are certain people who like to hear some new sensational events just to arouse their emotions. They live on emotions, otherwise they feel quite dull. This is a great weakness. This must be eradicated if they like to have a calm, quiet life.
All evil qualities proceed from anger. If you control anger, all evil qualities will vanish by themselves.
Ahamkara, Sankalpa, Vasana, Prana have intimate connection with the mind. There cannot be any mind without these four. Prana is the life of the mind. Ahamkara is the root of the mind. Sankalpas are the branches of the tree mind. Vasana is the seed of mind. This deep-rooted tree of Samsara of dire Ajnana which ramifies in various directions with branches full of flowers, tendrils, fruits, etc., has the mind as its root. If this root-mind is destroyed, the tree of Samsara, this tree of birth and death will be destroyed. Cut this root-mind with the axe of Brahma-Jnana. Chop off the branches-the Sankalpas-with the knife of Vichara-Viveka.
The ever-restless mind becomes quiescent when all desires vanish. Desire raises Sankalpas (thoughts). Man performs actions for acquiring the desired objects. Thus he is caught up in the wheel of Samsara. The wheel stops when the Vasanas perish.
Just as there are doors in a bungalow between the outer and inner rooms, so also there are doors between the lower and higher minds. When the mind is purified by the practice of Karma Yoga, Tapas, right conduct or the practice of Yama, Niyama, Japa, meditation, etc., the doors between the lower and the higher mind are opened. Discrimination between the real and the unreal dawns. The eye of intuition is opened. The practitioner gets inspiration, revelation and higher Divine Knowledge.
It is extremely difficult to have a calm and pure mind. But you must have such a mind, if you want to have progress in meditation, if you desire to do Nishkama Karma Yoga. Then only you will have a perfect instrument, a well-controlled mind at your disposal. This is one of the most important qualifications for the aspirant, you will have to struggle hard for a long time with patience and perseverance. Nothing is impossible for a Sadhaka who has iron-will and strong determination.
Just as soap cleanses the physical body so also Japa of a Mantra, Dhyana, Kirtan and practice of Yama cleanse the mind of its impurities.
The subconscious mind is termed "Chitta" in Vedanta. Much of your subconsciousness consists of submerged experiences, memories-thrown into the background but recoverable.
When you show symptoms of losing your memory, as you grow old, the first symptom is that you find it difficult to remember the names of persons. The reason is not far to seek. All the names are arbitrary. They are like labels. There are no associations along with the names. The mind generally remembers through associations, as the impressions become deep thereby. You can remember in old age some passages that you have read in schools and colleges. But you find it difficult to remember in the evening a passage you have read in the morning. The reason is that the mind has lost its Dharana-Sakti (power of grasping ideas). The cells have been degenerated. Those who overwork mentally, who do not observe the rules of Brahmacharya and who are afflicted with much cares, worries and anxieties, lose their power of memory soon. Even in old age you can remember old events as there are associations with events.
The mental processes are limited to the field of consciousness alone. The field of subconscious mentation is of a much greater extent than that of conscious mentation. Messages when ready, come out like a flash from the subconscious mind or Chitta of the Vedantins. Only ten per cent of mental activities come into the field of the consciousness. At least ninety per cent or our mental life is subconscious. We sit and try to solve a problem, and fail. We look around, try again and again but fail. Suddenly an idea dawns and leads to the solution of the problem. The subconscious processes were at work.
Sometimes you go to sleep at night with the thought "I must get up very early in the morning to catch a train". This message is taken up by the subconscious mind and it is this subconscious mind that wakes you up unfailingly at the exact hour. Subconscious mind is your constant companion and sincere friend. You repeatedly fail at night to get a solution for a problem in Arithmetic or Geometry. In the morning when you wake up you get a clear answer. This answer comes like a flash from the subconscious mind. Even in sleep it works incessantly without any rest. It arranges, classifies, compares, sorts all facts and works out a proper satisfactory solution. This is all due to subconscious mind.
With the help of the subconscious mind you can change your vicious nature by cultivating healthy, virtuous qualities that are opposed to the undesirable ones. If you want to overcome fear mentally deny that you have fear and concentrate your attention upon the opposite quality, the ideal of courage. When this is developed fear vanishes by itself. The positive always overpowers the negative. This is an infallible law of nature. This is Pratipaksha Bhavana of the Raja Yogins. You can acquire a liking for distasteful tasks and duties by cultivating a desire and taste for them. You can establish new habits, new ideals, new ideas and new tastes and new character in the subconscious mind by changing the old ones.
The functions of Chitta are Smriti or Smarana, Dharana (retention) and Anusandhana (inquiry or investigation). When you repeat a Mantra it is the Chitta that does the Smarana. It does a lot of work. It turns out better work than the mind or Buddhi.
All actions, enjoyments and experiences leave their impressions in the subconscious mind in the form of subtle impressions or residual potencies. The Samskaras are the root of causing again Jati, life and experiences of pleasure and pain. Revival of Samskaras induces memory. The Yogi dives deep inside and comes in direct contact with these Samskaras. He directly perceives them through the inner Yogic Vision. By Samyama (concentration, meditation and Samadhi) on these Samskaras, he acquires knowledge of previous lives. By doing Samyama on the Samskaras of others, the Yogi gets the knowledge of their past lives also.
When you desire to remember a thing you will have to make a psychic exertion. You will have to go up and down the depths of the different levels of the subconscious mind and then pick up the right thing from a curious mixture of multifarious irrelevant matter. Just as the mail sorter in the Railway Mail Service takes up the right letter by moving the hand up and down along the different pigeon-holes, so also the sorter in the subconscious mind goes up and down along the pigeon-holes in the subconscious mind and brings the right thing to the level of normal consciousness. The subconscious mind can pick the right thing out from a heap of various matters.
A Samskara of an experience is formed or developed in the Chitta the very moment the mind is experiencing something. There is no gap between the present experience and the formation of a Samskara in the subconscious mind.
Smriti of memory is the function of Chitta (subconscious mind). It is a separate faculty or category in Vedanta. Sometimes it is Antarangata (comes under the mind). In Sankhya philosophy it is included in Buddhi or Mahat Tattva. The Chitta of Patanjali Rishi's philosophy of Raja Yoga (Yogas Chittavritti-Nirodhah) corresponds to the Antahkarana of Vedanta.
Mind and Its Mysteries
Just as a busy officer works alone in a room by closing all the doors, so also the busy mind works alone in a dream by shutting out all the doors of the senses.
Mind is a power born of the soul. It is through mind that the Lord manifests Himself as the differentiated universe with heterogeneous objects.
Mind is merely a bundle of thoughts. Of all thoughts the thought 'I' is the root. Therefore, mind is only the thought "I".
Mind is nothing but a collection of Samskaras or impressions. It is nothing but a bundle of habits. It is nothing but a collection of desires arising from contact with different objects. It is also a collection of feelings aroused by worldly botherations. It is a collection of ideas gathered from different objects. Now these desires, ideas and feelings constantly change. Some of the old desires are constantly departing from their storehouse of the mind, and new ones are replacing them.
In the waking state, the seat of the mind is the brain; in the dreaming state the seat of the mind is the cerebellum; in the deep sleep state it rests in the heart.
Mind always attaches itself to something objective. It cannot stand by itself. It is only this mind that asserts itself as 'I' in this body.
The things that we perceive all round us are only mind in form of substance. Manomatram-Jagat Manah-Kalpitam Jagat. Mind creates. Mind destroys.
The occult phenomena that take place in the mental world are all based on scientific laws. Occultists and Raja Yogins should have a comprehensive intelligent understanding of these laws. Then only will they be able to control the psychic forces easily.
Practice of telepathy, thought-reading, hypnotism, mesmerism, distant healing, psychic healing, etc., clearly proves that mind exists and that a higher developed mind can influence and subjugate the lower minds. From the automatic writing and the experiences of a hypnotised person, we can clearly infer the existence of subconscious mind which operates throughout the twenty-four hours.
If an idea is planted in the mind, it grows at night through the operation of the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind never takes any rest. It works vigorously throughout the twenty-four hours. Those who know how to manipulate this subconscious mind can turn out tremendous mental work. All geniuses have control over their subconscious mind. You must understand the ways of extracting work from the subconscious mind. Subconscious mind is a wonderful underground mental factory.
Mind is the greatest force on this earth. He who has controlled his mind is full of powers. He can bring all minds under his influence. All diseases can be cured by psychic healing. One is struck with awe and wonder at the marvellous and mysterious powers of the mind of a man. The source or home or support of this mysterious mind is God or Atman.
Any action that is done by the physical body is the outcome of a preconceived idea. The mind thinks, plans and schemes at first. Then the action manifests itself. He who invented a watch at first had all ideas in his mind about the construction of the lever, various wheels, dial, minute-hand, second-hand, hour-hand, etc. These ideas materialised later on into actuality.
A spark of light presents the appearance of a continuous circle of light if it is made to rotate quickly. Even so, though the mind can attend but to one thing at a time, either hearing or smelling, though it can admit of but one kind of sensation at a time, we are led to believe that it does several actions at a time, because it moves from one object to another with tremendous velocity, so rapidly that its successive attention and preception appear as a simultaneous activity.
The best philosophers and seers (Rishis and sages) are unanimously agreed that the mind cannot actually attend to more than one thing at a time, but it only appears to be doing so when it is shifting with prodigious rapidity backward and forward from one end to the other.
Change of thought, relaxation of mind by dwelling on thoughts of pleasant objects, cheerfulness, Sattvic food, mental recreation of Sattvic nature are necessary for mental health.
The mind assumes the shape of any object it intently thinks of. If it thinks of an orange it assumes the shape of an orange. If it thinks of Lord Jesus on the Cross it assumes the shape of Lord Jesus on the Cross. You must train the mind properly and give it proper pure food for assimilation. Have a Divine background of thought or mental image.
If all the thoughts are eliminated, then there remains nothing which can be called mind. So thoughts are the mind. Again there is no such thing as world, independent of and apart from thoughts. Two thoughts, however, closely related to one another, cannot exist at the same time.
The mind becomes that on which it dwells. This is an immutable psychological law. If you begin to think about the Dosha or defects of a man, for the time being at least your mind dwells on the bad qualities and becomes charged with these qualities, whether the man possesses these bad qualities or not. This may be your vain imagination only through your wrong thinking, wrong Samskaras or wrong (bad) habits of the mind. He may not possess even a bit of the bad qualities which you have superimposed on him through ill-will or some form of jealousy or petty-mindedness or habitual Dosha-Drishti or fault-finding nature. Therefore, give up the dangerous habit of censuring others and finding fault in others. Praise others. Develop the power or vision of finding only good in others. Do not bark like a wild dog about the bad qualities of others. Glorify others. You will grow spiritually. You will be liked, honoured and respected by others.
Deep sleep (Sushupti) is not merely a state of inactivity or passive repose. It has deep philosophical significance. Vedantins study this state very deeply and carefully. It gives the clue for non-dual philosophers to trace, search and find out the hidden, silent witness.
Atman is ever awake, although all the minds are at rest. Mother of this world, Rajesvari, takes the Jivas back to Her and Her Lord during deep sleep, hugs them to Her bosom, bestows on them refreshing peace, new vigour, vitality and strength and makes them quite fit for the ensuing battle of life on the following day. But for this sleep, life would have been absolutely impossible in this physical plane when miseries, diseases, cares, worries, fears and anxieties of various kinds trouble men every second. If a man does not get sound sleep even for one night, if he loses his sleep one night for three hours by keeping watch over a sick patient or attending the cinema, how miserable, gloomy, depressed he feels the next day!
Mind is atomic according to the Indian school of logic. It is all-pervading according to Raja Yoga school of Patanjali Maharshi; it is of the middling size (same size as that of the body) according to the Vedantic school.
Mind is material. Mind is made up of subtle matter. This discrimination is made on the principle that the soul is the only source of intelligence: it is self-evident; it shines by its own light. Mind is formed out of the subtlest portion of the food.
Mind can be compared to water. Water exists in four states, viz., causal state, in the form of hydrogen and oxygen; subtle state, in the form of water; gross state, in the form of ice: and gaseous state, in the form of vaporised steam. Even so the mind is in a gross state during Jagrat state when it enjoys sensual objects, is in a subtle state when it functions in the dream state, is in a causal state when it gets involved into its cause, Mula-Avidya, during deep sleep and it evaporates as gas when it melts or dissolves in Brahman during Nirvikalpa Samadhi.
Just as the physical body is composed of solid, liquid and gaseous matter, so also the mind is made up of subtle matter of various grades of density with different rates of vibration. A Raja Yogi penetrates through the different layers of the mind by intense practice.
Just as you nourish the physical body with food, so also will you have to give food for the mind and spiritual food for the soul.
When your business fails, or when you are in heavy grief by the death of your only son, you get emaciation of body even though you eat nourishing, substantial food. You feel tremendous internal weakness. This clearly proves that mind exists and cheerfulness is a good mental food.
When a lady is deeply engaged in the management of the affairs of her daughter's marriage, she forgets to take her food. She is always happy. Her heart is full of joy. The joy and cheerfulness are powerful tonics for her mind. She gets inner mental strength although she does not take any food.
Control of Mind
Life in this physical plane is a mere preparation for the eternal life of everlasting sunshine and joy which is to come when one gets knowledge of the Self through intense and constant meditation after purifying the mind. This immortal life of supreme joy is described as the 'Kingdom of Heaven' in the Bible. That Kingdom of Heaven is within you, in your heart. Realise this Immortal Life, O Susil! by controlling the mind, and enjoy the Supreme Bliss of the Self.
The secrets of Yoga Sastra can only be imparted to that student who is Jita-Indriya and Abhyasa-sura, who has devotion to Guru, who has Vairagya, discrimination, who is firm in his determination and who has strong conviction in the existence of God.
The mind is single, but it appears dual in dreaming state as the perceiver and the perceived, through the power of Maya or illusion. The mind itself takes the forms of rose, mountain, elephant, rivers, ocean, enemy, etc. Just as heat is inseparable from fire, so also fluctuation is inseparable from mind. It makes the mind restless. The fluctuation is caused by the power of Rajas. It is the fluctuation that causes Asanti (absence of peace of mind). The Bhaktas remove this tossing by Japa, Upasana and worship of Ishtadevata.
The power of fluctuation is itself the mind. This fluctuating mind alone is this world. The mind becomes no mind if fluctuation disappears. The mind ceases to exist, if it becomes destitute of this fluctuation. What is called Maya is this fluctuating potency of the mind. Mind does havocs through the power of fluctuation. Fluctuation is Mara or Satan or Vasana or Eshana or Trishna. It was this fluctuation that tempted Visvamitra. It is this fluctuation that brings about the downfall of a struggling aspirant. Destroy this fluctuation through strong Viveka, constant meditation and ceaseless Brahma-Vichara.
As soon as fluctuation manifests itself various sorts of imaginations crop up. Imagination co-exists with fluctuation. Imagination is as much dangerous as fluctuation. Fluctuation moves the mind. Imagination fattens the mind. Mind minus fluctuation and imagination is a mere zero. Fluctuation and imagination are the two wings of the mind-bird. Cut the right wing through Atmic enquiry and the left wing through the practice of thoughtlessness. The great bird-mind-will fall dead on the spot immediately.
The one dividing wall between the soul and body is mind. If this wall is broken by ceaseless Atmic enquiry, then the Jiva mixes with the Supreme Soul just as the river mixes with the ocean.
Close your eyes. Meditate. Open your heart to the inflow of the invisible power. You will find in the Bible "Empty thyself, I will fill thee". Then you will have abundant, superintuitional knowledge which is beyond the reach of intellect. Just as water freely flows when the tap is turned so also Divine Wisdom will flow freely when the obstacles of ignorance that stand in the way of knowledge are removed. You will get flashes, glimpses of the Divine inspiration, revelation and intuition. You will have to put yourself in a state of quietude by silencing all bubbling thoughts and emotions and connect the mind with the source by withdrawing the mind from sensual objects, just as you do in telephone by turning the switch off and connecting the two persons who want to speak.
All duality is of mind. The whole of duality is caused by the imagination of the mind. If all imaginations are withdrawn into the mind itself by constant practice of discrimination, Vairagya (dispassion), Sama, Dama, and Samadhana, you will not experience the dual universe. The mind will become no mind. As it has nothing to cognise, it will rest in the source, the Atman.
"My mind was elsewhere, I did not see". "My mind was elsewhere, I did not hear"; for a man sees with his mind and hears with his mind.
The attraction for objects and the ties of various sorts make the man bound to this world. Renunciation of all attractions for objects and breaking up the ties constitute real Sannyasa. That Sannyasi or Yogi who is free from attraction and ties enjoys the infinite bliss, supreme joy and eternal bliss.
The mind should be absorbed in the word Om (Pranava). That Yogi or Jnani whose mind is absorbed in Om has no fear whatever. He has reached the goal of life.
The fire of meditation rapidly consumes all evils and sins. Then there follows that knowledge of Truth which confers perfections, everlasting peace and immortality.
Stop the Vrittis through constant and steady practice. The mind will become no mind. You will attain Yogarudha State (the Absolute state). The seeds of Avidya in the form of potential tendencies which are embedded in the mind are all burnt to ashes when the mind rests in the Truth during Samadhi. The fire that burns is the fire of knowledge of Atman (Jnana-Agni, Yoga-Agni).
When the Yogi has attained the last stage of meditation, when he has entered into Asamprajnata Samadhi, he becomes a Jivanmukta in this very life.
The fire of Yogic Samadhi burns all Samskaras in toto. There are now no seeds for rebirth.
A powerful occultist hypnotises the whole audience collectively through his power of concentration and will, and performs the rope-trick. He throws a red rope in the air, gives the suggestion to the onlookers that he will climb in the air through this rope and disappears from the platform, in the twinkling of an eye. But, when a photograph is taken, nothing is recorded.
Yogins of olden times, like Sri Jnana Deva, Bhartrihari, Patanjali Maharshi, used to send and receive messages to and from distant persons through mind-telepathy and thought-transference. Telepathy was the first wireless telegraph and telephone service in the world. Even now there are Yogins who are versed in telepathy. Thought travels with tremendous velocity through space. Thought moves. Thought is as much a solid matter as a piece of stone is. It can hit a man against whom it is directed.
Understand and realise the powers of the mind. Unfold the hidden powers or occult faculties. Close the eyes. Concentrate. Explore the higher regions of the mind. You can see distant objects, hear distant voices, send messages to distant parts, heal persons who are at a distance, and move about to a distant place in the twinkling of an eye. Believe in the powers of the mind. If you have interest, attention, will-power, faith you are bound to succeed. The source for the mind is Atman or the Higher Self. This mind is born of Atman through His Maya or illusory power. Cosmic mind is universal mind. Cosmic mind is the sum total of all individual minds. Cosmic mind is the Hiranyagarbha or Ishvara or Karya-Brahman. Man's mind is just a fragment of the universal mind. A Raja Yogi becomes one with the cosmic mind and knows the workings of all minds. The Yogi gets omniscience through the cosmic mind. The Yogi experiences cosmic consciousness through the cosmic mind.
Tap the universal mind. You will get higher supersensuous knowledge. You will experience cosmic consciousness. You will get knowledge of the past, present and future. You will acquire knowledge of the Tanmatras (root elements) and mental plane. You will experience clairvoyance and clairaudience. You can know what is going on in the minds of others. You will get Divine Aisvarya or Vibhutis of God. There are scientific means to tap this universal mind. Purity, concentration, dispassion, right living, right thinking, right conduct, right action, devotion, moderation in eating and sleeping, purity in food, truthfulness, continence, non-injury, austerities have to be regularly practised for a protracted time.
Look at the marvels of mind! One is struck with awe and wonder when he witnesses a hypnotised person in trance and hears his narratives. The hypnotised person narrates very lucidly the life-history and incidents of a person whom he has not seen in his life.
A maid servant (a Jew) who was attending on a Hebrew Priest used to hear the Hebrew verses during her service. She suddenly developed a double-personality when she was sick in the hospital and repeated Hebrew verses. She did not know the Hebrew language. All the Samskaras (of hearing from the priest) were in the subconscious mind, and she repeated the verses. No Samskaras are lost. They are indelibly recorded in the gramophonic machine of Chitta.
A priest used to forget his old personality and assume a new personality, a new name, a new avocation for six months. When he developed a double-personality he could leave his old house, entirely forget all about his old life and would return to his native place after six months and would entirely forget all about the second personality he assumed for six months.
Twenty Spiritual Instructions
1. Get up at 4 a.m. daily. This is Brahma Muhurta which is extremely favourable for meditation on God.
2. ASANA: Sit on Padma, Siddha or Sukha Asana for Japa and Meditation for half an hour, facing the east or the north. Increase the period gradually to three hours. Do Sirshasana and Sarvangasana for keeping up Brahmacharya and health. Take light physical exercises as walking, etc., regularly. Do twenty Pranayamas.
3. JAPA: Repeat any Mantra as pure Om or Om Namo Narayanaya, Om Namah Sivaya, Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya, Om Saravanabhavaya Namah, Sita Ram, Sri Ram, Hari Om, or Gayatri, according to your taste or inclination, from 108 to 21,600 times daily.
4. DIETETIC DISCIPLINE: Take Sattvic food, Suddha Ahara. Give up chillies, tamarind, garlic, onion, sour articles, oil, mustard and asafoetida. Observe moderation in diet (Mitahara). Do not overload the stomach. Give up those things which the mind likes best for a fortnight in a year. Eat simple food. Milk and fruits help concentration. Take food as medicine, to keep life going. Eating for enjoyment is sin. Give up salt and sugar for a month. You must be able to live on rice, dhall and bread without any chutni. Do not ask for extra salt for dhall and sugar for tea, coffee, or milk.
5. Have a separate meditation-room under lock and key.
6. Do charity regularly, every month, or even daily, according to your means, say six paisa per rupee.
7. SVADHYAYA: Study systematically the Gita, Ramayana, Bhagavata, Vishnu-Sahasranama, Lalita Sahasranama, Aditya Hridaya, Upanishads, Yoga-Vasishtha, the Bible, Zend Avesta, the Koran, the Tripitakas, the Granth Sahib, etc., from half an hour to one hour daily and have Suddha-Vichara.
8. Preserve the vital force (Veerya) very very carefully. Veerya is God in motion or manifestation, Vibhuti. Veerya is all power. Veerya is money. Veerya is the essence of life, thought and intelligence.
9. Get by heart some prayer, Slokas, Stotras, and repeat them as soon as you sit on the Asana before starting Japa or meditation. This will elevate the mind quickly.
10. Have Satsanga. Give up bad company, smoking, meat and alcoholic liquors entirely. Do not develop any evil habits.
11. Fast on Ekadasi day or live on milk and fruits only.
12. Have a Japa Mala (rosary) round your neck or in your pocket or underneath your pillow at night.
13. Observe Mouna for a couple of hours daily.
14. Speak the truth at all cost. Speak a little. Speak sweetly.
15. Reduce your wants. If you have four shirts reduce the number to three or two. Lead a happy contented life. Avoid unnecessary worry. Have plain living and high thinking.
16. Never hurt anybody. Control anger by love, Kshama (forgiveness) and Daya (compassion).
17. Do not depend upon servants. Self-reliance is the highest of all virtues.
18. Think of the mistakes you have committed during the course of the day, just before retiring to bed (self-analysis). Keep daily diary and self-correction register. Do not brood over past mistakes.
19. Remember that death is awaiting you every moment. Never fail to fulfil your duties. Have pure conduct (Sadachara).
20. Think of God as soon as you wake up and just before you go to sleep. Surrender yourself completely to God (Saranagati).
This is the essence of all spiritual Sadhanas. This will lead you to Moksha. All these Niyamas or spiritual canons must be rigidly observed. You must not give leniency to the mind.
The spiritual path is thorny, precipitous and rugged. Temptations will assail you. Your will, sometimes, will become weak. Sometimes, there will be downfall or a backward pull by the dark Asuric antagonistic forces. In order to strengthen your will and resist the unfavourable currents, you will have to make, again and again, fresh resolves. This will help you to ascend the ladder of Yoga, vigorously and quickly. Here are some resolves. Stick to them tenaciously. Watch the mind carefully and keep a daily spiritual record.
1. I must get up at 4 a.m. today for practising meditation. (I will have an alarm time-piece).
2. I will certainly observe Brahmacharya for a month.
3. I will, at any cost, speak the truth today.
4. I will not speak harsh or vulgar words today.
5. I will do 21,600 (200 Mala) Japa this Sunday.
6. I will observe complete Mouna this Sunday.
7. I will live on milk and fruits this Ekadasi.
8. I will finish the study of the whole of Gita on this Sunday (Svadhyaya) and write my Ishta Mantra or Guru Mantra for 2 hours.
9. I will spend one-tenth of my income on charity this month.
10. I will take only three things today-dhall and bread in the noon and milk at night.
11. I will not use shoes and bed-stead today.
12. I will not become angry today.
I will give up night meals and do 10 Malas of Japa if I break any of my resolves.
When you make these resolves, stand before the Lord's picture with folded hands and pray devoutly for His grace and mercy. You will doubtless get immense strength to carry out these resolves.
Even if you fail in your attempt, do not be discouraged. Every failure is a stepping-stone for success. Make a fresh resolve again with more firm and fiery determination. You are bound to succeed. Conquest over one weakness will give you additional strength and will-force to get over another weakness or defect. The baby tries to walk, gets up and falls down. Again it makes another attempt. Eventually it walks steadily. Even so, you will have to fall down and get up, again and again, when you walk in the spiritual path. In the long run, you will steadily climb up to the summit of the hill of Yoga and reach the pinnacle of Nirvikalpa Samadhi.
May the Lord give you strength of will to carry out your resolves!
Messages of Vairagya
There is not even an iota of bliss in this world. Every thing is illusory in this universe. All worldly things are generative of pain only and fraught with all dangers. This life is ephemeral. There is nothing so baneful as this life which is perishable in its nature. What beauty is there to be enjoyed in this body which is composed of blood and flesh and which has a tendency to rot? Even the most virulent poison is no poison but the sensual object is truly so. The former kills only one body, whereas, the latter destroys many bodies in successive births.
Fie on this uneven life which is attended with pains, sorrows, diseases and death. You cannot find one object in this universe which is sweet and beneficial for one twinkling of the eye at least. Even the greatest of persons will, in course of time, become dust-the lowest of the low. Emperors, poets, scientists, orators and intellectual giants have come and gone.
It is very difficult to get a human birth. This precious life is meant for attaining Self-realisation. Ignorant persons, like innocent children that do taste again and again sweetmeats which give sweetness for the time being, indulge themselves in illusory, transient, sensual pleasures and are caught, again and again, in the wheel of births and deaths. They are not ashamed to repeat the same sensual act. What a miserable life they lead! How pitiable is their lot. !
You are elated when you get a son, when you get married, when you get some sudden fortune or increase in salary; but you feel sorry when your wife dies, when you lose your money, when you are thrown out of employment, when you suffer from some acute pain.
Now tell me, friend, what do you really find in this illusory world-happiness or pain? Have you now understood the illusory nature of this world? This world is a mere show. The mind and the senses are deceiving you at every moment. You have mistaken pain for pleasure. There is not even an iota of happiness in this universe.
Will your son, or daughter, or friend, or relative, help you when you are about to die? Have you got one, sincere, unselfish friend in this world? All are selfish. There is no pure love. But that Lord, your real immortal friend and father who dwells in your heart, will never forsake you though you may forget Him. Adore Him in silence, that God of gods, that Divinity of divinities, Highest of the most high. May He bless you with His love, wisdom, power and peace!
By indiscriminate clinging to wife, children, house, wealth and property, you have forgotten all about your essential divine nature. In youth you are enveloped in ignorance; in adult age you are entangled in the meshes of women; in old age you are groaning under the burden of Samsara. When you will find time, friend, to do virtuous actions and worship God?
Sensual pleasure is momentary, deceptive, illusory and imaginary. A grain of pleasure is mixed with a mountain of pain. Enjoyment cannot bring satisfaction of desires. On the contrary, it makes the mind more restless through intense craving. Sensual pleasure is the cause of births and deaths. It is an enemy of peace and knowledge.
Abandon these selfish struggles and schemes for amassing wealth. Do all actions with Nishkama Bhava. March directly to that wire-puller (God), who is moving these toys of fleshy human bodies, who is keeping up this big show, who is behind this pageant. In Him only you will find everlasting happiness and perennial joy. Merge in Him by practising daily Japa and Meditation.
Give up clinging to this illusory life. Take refuge in God. Develop lasting, sustained dispassion (Vairagya) or indifference to sensual enjoyments herein and hereafter. You have had countless fathers, mothers, wives and children in the past. You came alone. You will go alone. No one will follow you save your own actions. Worship God. Realise Him. All miseries will come to an end.
O Ram! Do you not wish to attain the illimitable kingdom of eternal bliss and perennial joy? Do you not long to attain everlasting peace and immortality? Do you not desire to dwell in that sweet abode of Brahman where there is neither pain nor sorrow, neither hunger nor thirst, neither fear nor grief, neither doubt nor delusion?
Then come, my beloved Ram! Develop, real, lasting Vairagya (dispassion or mental non-attachment) by looking into the defects of sensual life (Dosha Drishti) and through association with Sages, Sadhus and Sannyasins (Satsanga). Serve. Love. Give. Be kind. Be good. Do good. Practise vigorous Japa and meditation and attain God-consciousness or Self-realisation (Brahma jnana) in this very birth.
May you all possess that master-key, Vairagya to open the realms of Brahmic bliss!
May you all attain Kaivalya or Atma-Svarajya or independence! May you all dwell in the immaculate Brahmic seat of ineffable splendour and glory!
Minus skin, minus dress, minus ornaments, physical beauty is nothing. Just imagine for a moment that the outer skin is removed. You will have to stand with a long stick to drive away crows and vultures. Physical beauty is superficial, illusory and fading. It is skin-deep only. Do not be deluded by external appearances. It is the jugglery of Maya. Go to the source-Atman, the Beauty of beauties, the Everlasting beauty.
If your hairs become grey, that is the first warrant from Lord Yama, the God of Death. You must get yourself ready to meet him. The wrinkles on the face and the bending of the body will remind you of the warrant. When the teeth fall and the eyesight becomes dim, you must be fully prepared to greet him. You will get three hiccups or final passing of breaths lying on the bed. When the last hiccup comes, all your possession will be taken away by your sons and partners. One will run after the savings bank pass-book, another will take hold of the cash chest, the third, of your provident fund papers and insurance claims, the fourth, of the ornaments that lie on your person and so on. Such is life on this earth-plane. Why can't you see that the money is well spent for your spiritual progress and the service of the poor and the Mahatmas? Friends! Try to attain immortality through devotion, meditation, purity, service, Japa, prayer and enquiry. All troubles and miseries will come to an end.
O Nectar's sons! Enough of this mundane life. Enough of this life of passion in this earth-plane. You have spent your whole life, energy and time in obtaining material wealth, power, name and fame. All your efforts have gone in vain. All your wealth is only a broken shell when compared with the inexhaustible or supreme wealth of Atman. Obtain this spiritual wealth. Give up this vain selfish struggle. You have walked too long with passionate eyes in this universe. Give up this lustful look. Meditate. Look within now and behold the marvellous Self and be free.
Atman or Brahman or Supreme Self is the hidden treasure. It is the pearl of incalculable value. It is the jewel of jewels. It is the gem of gems. It is the imperishable, inexhaustible, supreme wealth which no dacoit can rob. It is Chintamani of Chintamanis that will give man whatever he wishes.
Brahman is beyond speech, time and causation. It is limitless. It is tranquil and It shines with equal effulgence in all bodies. It cannot be a particular thing. It is Chaitanya or pure consciousness. It is Vastu. It is Sat-Chit-Ananda.
Knowing the nature of Brahman or Atman as such, attain freedom or perfection. Think yourself bodiless. Identify yourself with the Supreme. Achieve peace and eternal bliss of your all-pervading soul.
May you all lead the divine life sharing what you have with others, singing the Lord's name, rejoicing in Him alone and melting the mind in the Supreme Self!
Message of Brahmacharya
Brahmacharya is purity in thought, word and deed. Brahmacharya includes the control of not only the sex or reproductive Indriya but also other Indriyas. This is the definition of Brahmacharya in a broad sense. Brahmacharya is of two kinds viz., physical and mental. Physical is control of the body and mental is the control of evil thoughts. In mental Brahmacharya even a lustful thought will never enter the mind. Freedom from all sexual thoughts in waking as well as dreaming states is strict Brahmacharya.
The vital energy, the Veerya, which supports your life, is a great treasure for you. It is the quintessence of blood. Brahmacharya is truly a precious jewel. It is the most effective medicine or nectar which destroys diseases, decay and death. This Atma or immortal soul is verily the nature of Brahmacharya. Atma resides in Brahmacharya.
Veerya is the essence of life, thought, intelligence and consciousness. When the Veerya is once lost, it can never be recouped in your lifetime by your taking any amount of Badam, nervine tonics, milk, cream, Makaradhvaja, etc. This fluid, when preserved carefully, serves as a master-key for you to open the doors of elysian bliss or the realms of God or Atma and for all sorts of higher achievements in life. By Brahmacharya alone the Rishis of yore have conquered death and attained the immortal abode of joy and bliss.
You cannot have health and spiritual life without Brahmacharya. Brahmacharya is the key-note of success in every walk of life. Brahmacharya serves as a gateway for bliss beyond. It opens the door of Moksha (emancipation). Siddhis and Riddhis (psychic powers) roll under the feet of a Brahmacharin. Who can describe the majesty and glory of a Brahmachari? Brahmacharya or spotless chastity is the best of panaceas. There is nothing in this world that cannot be attained by a celibate. He can move the whole world.
Sensuality destroys life, lustre, strength, vitality, memory, wealth, fame, holiness and devotion to the Supreme. Death is hastened by letting out vital energy from the body. Life is saved and prolonged by preserving it. Those who have lost much of their Veerya or the vital energy become easily irritable and lazy. They easily succumb to any disease. They meet with premature death.
Have you realised, my dear friend, the importance and glory of Brahmacharya? Have you recognised the true significance of Brahmacharya? How can you expect to be strong and healthy if the precious energy that is acquired through various means with great difficulty is wasted daily?
What do we find in these days? Men, women, boys and girls are drowned in the ocean of impure thoughts, lustful desires and little sensual pleasures. It is highly deplorable indeed. Many college students have personally come to me and narrated their pitiable lives of gloom and depression brought about by heavy loss of semen through unnatural means. Persons are physically, mentally and morally debilitated because of the want of Brahmacharya or because of wasting the seminal power. Such persons become easily irritable for little things. They fall a victim to various diseases and premature death. I appeal to the parents, the teachers and the professors to instruct and guide their children in Brahmacharya at the proper time and save them. Through them the country is saved. Youths are the future hope of the country. If they are inspired the whole nation is inspired and elevated.
It is quite possible for a man to practise celibacy albeit there are various sorts of temptations and distractions. A well-disciplined life, study of Scriptures, Satsanga, Japa, Dhyana, Sattvic diet, daily self-analysis, practice of sadachara, and the three kinds of Tapas and such other spiritual discipline, pave a long way in the attainment of this end.
The practice of celibacy is not attended with any danger or any disease or any undesirable result, such as the various sorts of 'complex' which are wrongly attributed by the Western psychologists to it. They have no practical knowledge of the subject on hand. They have got a wrong ill-founded imagination that the ungratified sex-energy assumes various forms of complexes in disguise, such as, touch-phobia, etc. It is a morbid state of mind due to excessive anger, hatred, jealousy, worry and depression brought about by various causes.
Householders who are moderate in their sexual enjoyment, who are free from animal passion, who are desirous of progeny to keep up the line only, are also Brahmacharins. This is also Brahmacharya Vrata. As soon as a son or daughter is born, the wife becomes his mother.
Do not look at obscene pictures. Do not speak vulgar words. Do not read novels that excite passion and produce ignoble, undesirable sentiments in the mind. Shun bad company. Do not go to Cinemas. Give up onions, garlic, hot curries, chutnies and spiced dishes. Take wholesome, bland Sattvic food. Transmute the sex-energy into spiritual energy (Ojas) by sublime thoughts, practice of Japa, Kirtan (singing God's Name), Vichara or Atmic enquiry, Pranayama (restraint of breath), Sirshasana, Sarvangasana, study of Gita, Upanishads and other religious books. Have Satsanga-association with Mahatmas, Yogins and Sadhus. You will be established in Brahmacharya. There will be sublimation of sex-energy.
Glory to Brahmacharya! Glory to Brahmacharins who are veritable gods on earth! May you all attain immortality by leading a life of Brahmacharya or ideal divine life while remaining in the world!!
In the name of Tapascharya (austerities) do not spoil your health. Constant repetition of "Vairagya Dindima" of Sri Sankara, with feeling, study of "Vairagya Sataka" of Bhartrihari and "Vairagya Prakarana" of Yoga-Vasishtha, reflection on the Slokas of Gita which treat of Vairagya, and finding out the defects in the sensual life will surely intensify your Vairagya.
Spiritual growth is gradual. There is progressive evolution. You should not be in a feverish hurry to accomplish great Yogic feats or enter into Nirvikalpa Samadhi (superconscious state) in two or three months. You will have to ascend the ladder of Yoga step by step. You will have to march in the spiritual path stage by stage.
This world is your best teacher. You will have yet to learn many lessons from this world. The worldly duties are not ties when done in the spirit of Nishkama Karma Yoga (selfless service). You are not required to renounce the world and take shelter in the Himalayan caves to claim back your lost divinity. The secret of renunciation is renunciation of egoism and desires. Live in the world but be not worldly-minded. He who, living in the midst of the temptations of this world, attains perfection, is a true hero indeed.
Guru's grace is needed by the disciple. This does not mean that the disciple should sit idle and expect a miracle from the Guru to push him directly into Samadhi. The Guru cannot do Sadhana or the spiritual practice for the student. He can guide the aspirant, clear his doubts, pave the way, remove snares, pitfalls and obstacles and throw light on the path. The disciple himself will have to place each footstep in the spiritual path. He will himself have to place his footstep in each rung of the ladder of Yoga.
Know things in their proper light. Do not be deluded. Emotion is mistaken for devotion; violent jumping in the air during Sankirtan for divine ecstasy; falling down in swoon on account of exhaustion from too much jumping for Bhava Samadhi; Rajasic restlessness and motion for divine activities and Karma Yoga; Tamasic man for Sattvic man; movement of air in the back due to rheumatism for ascent of Kundalini; Tandri and deep sleep for Samadhi; Manorajya or building castles in the air for meditation; physical nudity for the Jivanmukti state.
Understand the laws of the universe. Move tactfully in this world. Learn the secrets of Nature. Try to know the best ways to control the mind. Conquer the mind. Conquest of mind is really conquest of nature and the world. Conquest of mind will enable you to go to the source of Brahman and you can realise: "I am the all-pervading Sat-Chit-Ananda Atman or the Self".
Learn to discriminate and become wise. Fight out the inner battle, again and again, and come out victorious, O Sushil!
May you all become dynamic Yogins and radiate joy and peace to all corners of the world!
Practical Spiritual Instructions
Thou art divine. Live up to it. Feel and realise thy divine nature. Do not murmur when you get difficulties, troubles, tribulations and diseases. Every difficulty is an opportunity for you to develop your will and power of endurance and to grow strong. Conquer the difficulties one by one. This is the beginning of a new life, a life of expansion, glory and divine splendour. Aspire and draw. Grow. Expand. Build up all positive qualities, the Daiva-Sampatti, viz., fortitude, patience and courage, that are dormant in you. Tread the spiritual path and realise: 'I am the Immortal Self."
Never weep even if you lose your near and dear relations. Births and deaths are the two illusory scenes in the marvellous drama of this world. They are all the jugglery of Maya. In reality nobody comes and nobody goes. Atman alone exists. Atman is Brahman or the Immortal Soul.
Be hopeful always. Face all difficulties, tribulations and anxieties in life with a smile. Always repeat the formula "Even this will pass away." You will then be always beyond grief and sorrow.
Pain is a blessing in disguise. Pain is an eye-opener. Pain is your silent teacher. Pain will turn your mind towards God. Many old Karmas have to be purged out quickly by the thirsting aspirant before he attains the blissful Samadhi (superconscious state). Therefore, the thirsting aspirant only will get more troubles. Become a spiritual warrior and chop off the thoughts and subtle forms of secret desires for enjoyment. A glorious brilliant future is awaiting you.
Conquer difficulties one by one. Stand adamant. Root yourself in the immortal Sat-Chit-Ananda Atman or Self within. Develop a magnanimous, serene, calm and poised mental state. Sing "Anandoham, Anandoham-I am all bliss. I am all bliss."
To live is to fight for the ideal and goal. Life is conquest. Life is a series of awakenings. Conquer your mind and the senses. These are your real enemies. Live under lifelong vows. Conquer your internal and external nature. Fight against the antagonistic dark evil forces through Japa and meditation.
If you are firm in your resolves to reach the highest goal of Yoga, if you have firm determination to attain the aim of spiritual life, you will rise up again and march forward even if you have a temporary fall. Feel the divine within you. Open yourself fully to the divine influence. Develop burning desire for the attainment of God-consciousness and burning dispassion (Vairagya) for worldly enjoyments. Abandon all worldly ambitions and mundane desires. Soar high always in the realms of higher spiritual knowledge. Show your manliness, moral courage and spiritual strength now, O Ram!
Spiritual life is not mere idle talk. It is not mere sensation. It is actual living in Atman. It is a transcendental experience of unalloyed bliss.
May you all become immortal and drink deep the divine nectar of perennial joy and eternal bliss!
Live in God
There is a maker for a pot or a table. So, there must be a creator for this marvellous world also. That creator is GOD.
God is the wire-puller (Sutradhara) standing behind the machine of this world. He is the indweller of your heart. He presides over all actions (Karma-dhyaksha). He is the dispenser of the fruits of your actions. Live in God by singing His name, repeating His Mantra and surrendering the fruits of your actions unto Him.
The Lord abides in every creature. Behold the Lord in all objects, in all manifestations. He is in the breath, in the voice, in the eyes. He is the Life of your life, Soul of your soul. Make no distinction between a Hindu and a Mussalman, a Protestant and a Catholic, a Saivite and a Vaishnavite.
Within you is the hidden God. Within you is the immortal soul. Within you is the inexhaustible spiritual treasure. Within you is the fountain of joy and happiness. Within you is the ocean of bliss. Look within for the happiness you have sought in vain in the perishable sensual objects. Rest peacefully in your own Atma and drink the nectar of Immortality.
Insure your life with God. Depend upon Him alone. All other insurance companies will fail, but this Divine Company will never fail. You need not pay any premium to this Divine Company. You will have to love God only. You will have to give Him your heart.
Satyam (truth) is the seed. Brahmacharya (celibacy) is the root. Meditation is the shower. Santi (peace) is the flower. Moksha (salvation) is the fruit. Therefore, speak truth. Practise Brahmacharya and meditation. Cultivate Santi. You will surely attain the final emancipation or freedom from the trammels of births and deaths and enjoy eternal bliss, supreme peace, perennial joy and immortality.
Surrender everything unto Him. Place your ego at His feet and be at ease. He will take complete charge of you. Let Him mould you in any way He likes. Let Him do exactly as He wills. He will remove all defects and weaknesses. He will play beautifully in this body flute. Hear the marvellous music of the flute of the Lord-the mysterious music of the soul-and rejoice.
Peace is a divine attribute. It is a quality of the soul. It cannot remain with greedy persons. It fills the pure heart. It is a sweet companion of sages and Yogins. It deserts the lustful. It runs away from the selfish. It is an ornament of a Paramahamsa.
"As you think, so you become." This is the immutable psychological law. Your thoughts make your life. You can choose your thoughts. You can choose your mode of thinking. You can make your life as you choose. If you entertain evil thoughts, you will lead a miserable life. If you cultivate sublime thoughts, you will attain Godhead.
May you all prosper gloriously! May you all lead the divine life singing Hari's Name, serving the poor and the sick with Atma Bhava, sharing what you have with others and melting the mind in the Lord through silent meditation!
The only Sara Vastu in this world is Prema or love. It is eternal, infinite and undecaying. Physical love is passion or Moha or infatuation. Universal love is divine love. Cosmic love, Visva Prema, universal love are synonymous terms. God is Love. Love is God. Selfishness, greed, egoism, vanity, pride and hatred contract the heart and stand in the way of developing universal love.
Develop universal love gradually through selfless service, Satsanga (association with Mahatmas), prayer, recitation of Guru Mantra, etc. When the heart is contracted through selfishness, man loves his wife, children, a few friends and relations only, in the beginning. As he evolves, he loves the people of his own district, then the people of his own province. Later on, he develops love for men of his own country. Eventually he begins to love people of different countries. In the long run, he begins to love all. He develops universal love. All the barriers are broken now. Heart expands infinitely.
It is very easy to talk of universal love. But when you want to put it in actual practice, it becomes extremely difficult. Petty-mindedness of all sorts comes in the way. Old, wrong Samskaras (impressions) which you have created by your wrong mode of life in past, act as stumbling blocks. Through iron determination, strong will-power, patience, perseverance and Vichara (right enquiry), you can conquer all obstacles quite easily. The grace of the Lord will descend on you if you are sincere, my dear friends!
Universal love terminates in Advaitic unity or oneness or Upanishadic consciousness of Seers and Sages. Pure love is a great leveller. It brings equality. Hafiz, Kabir, Mira, Gouranga, Tukaram, Ramdas, all have tasted this universal love. What others have achieved, you can also attain.
Feel that the whole world is your body, your own home. Melt or destroy all barriers that separate man from man. Idea of superiority is ignorance or delusion. Develop Visvaprema, all-embracing love. Unite with all. Separation is death. Unite in eternal life. Feel that the whole world is Visvabrindavan. Feel that this body is a moving temple of God. Wherever you are, whether at home, office, railway station or market, feel that you are in the temple. Consecrate every act as an offering unto the Lord. Transmute every work into Yoga by offering its fruits to God. Have Akartri-Sakshi Bhava, if you are a student of Vedanta. Have Nimitta Bhava, if you are a student of Bhakti Marga. Feel that all beings are images of God. Isa-Vasyamidam Sarvam-this world is indwelt by the Lord. Feel that one power or God works through all hands, sees through all eyes, hears through all ears. You will become a changed being. You will enjoy the highest peace and bliss.
May Lord Hari take you all to His bosom and bathe you with the waters of sweet love!
May your heart be filled with cosmic love!
Practice of Meditation
Meditation is the only royal road to the attainment of salvation or Moksha. Meditation kills all pains, sufferings, the three kinds of Taapas (fevers) and the five Kleshas (sorrows). Meditation gives the vision of unity. Meditation produces sense of oneness. Meditation is an aeroplane that helps the aspirant to soar high in the realms of eternal bliss and everlasting peace. It is a mysterious ladder that connects earth and heaven and takes the aspirant to the immortal abode of Brahman.
Meditation is the continuous flow of one thought of God or Atman, like the continuous flow of oil from one vessel to another (Tailadharavat). Meditation follows Concentration.
Practise meditation in the early morning from 4 to 6 (Brahma-Muhurta). This is the best time for the practice of meditation.
Sit on Padma or Siddha or Sukha Asana. Keep the head, neck and the trunk in a straight line. Concentrate either on the Trikuti-the space between the two eyebrows-or in the heart, with closed eyes.
Meditation is of two kinds, viz., Saguna Dhyana (concrete meditation) and Nirguna Dhyana (abstract meditation). In concrete meditation the Yogi student meditates on the form of Sri Krishna, Rama, Sita, Vishnu, Siva, Gayatri or Devi. In abstract meditation, he meditates on his own Self or Atman.
Place the picture of Lord Hari with Chaturbhuja in front of you. Gaze at this picture steadily for five minutes, then close the eyes and visualise the picture. During visualisation move the mind on the various parts of Vishnu. See with the mind His feet first, then in the following order: His legs, His yellow silk cloth, His golden necklace set with Kaustubha gem on the breast, the earring Makara Kundala, then the face, then the crown on the head, then the disc in the right upper hand, then the conch in the left upper hand, then the mace in the lower right hand, then the lotus in the lower left hand. Then come down to the feet and repeat the process again and again. Finally fix the mind either at the feet or the face. Repeat the Mantra mentally: "Hari Om" or "Om Namo Narayanaya". Think of the attributes of the Lord such as Omnipotence, Omnipresence, Purity, etc.
Meditate on Om and its meaning with feeling. This is Nirguna Dhyana. Repeat Om mentally. Identify yourself with Atman. Feel, "I am the all-pervading immortal Self or Atman. I am Sat-Chit-Ananda Brahman. I am Sakshi or silent witness of three states and all modifications of the mind. I am pure consciousness. I am distinct from the body, mind, Prana and senses. I am the self-luminous Light of lights. I am the Eternal Supreme Soul.
If you have contentment, cheerfulness, patience, unruffled state of mind, sweet voice, one-pointedness of mind, light body, fearlessness, desirelessness, disgust for worldly things, know that you are advancing in the spiritual path and that you are nearing God.
Be regular in your meditation. Regularity is the key to success. Regularity is of paramount importance. May you all be established in Samadhi (superconscious state of bliss) through regular meditation!
Thy Real Nature
Religion is faith for knowing and worshipping God. It is not a matter for discussion at a club table. It is the perception and realisation of the True Self. It is the fulfilment of the deepest craving in man. Therefore, hold religion as the goal of your life. Live every second of your life for its realisation. Life without religion is real death.
Analyse your thoughts. Scrutinize your motives. Remove selfishness. Calm the passions. Control the Indriyas. Destroy egoism. Serve and love all. Purify your heart. Cleanse the dross of your mind. Hear and reflect. Concentrate and meditate. Attain Self-realisation.
There is something dearer than wealth. There is something dearer than your wife. There is something dearer than your children. There is something dearer than your life itself. That dearest something is thy own Self (Atman)-Inner Ruler (Antaryamin), Immortal (Amritam). This Immortal Self can be realised by incessant practice of meditation.
O Saumya! Dear Immortal Self! Be bold: Be cheerful, even though you are unemployed, though you have nothing to eat, though you are clad in rags. Thy essential nature is Sat-Chit-Ananda. The outer cloak, this mortal physical sheath is an illusory production of Maya. Smile, whistle, laugh, jump, dance in joy and ecstasy. Sing Om Om Om! Ram Ram Ram! Come out of this cage of flesh. Thou art sexless Atma. Thou art that Atma who dwells in the chambers of your heart. Act as such. Feel as such. Claim your birthright, not from tomorrow or the day after, but right now from this very second. "Tat Tvam Asi-Thou art That". Feel, Assert, Recognise, Realise, my beloved Ram!
Find out your centre. Dwell always in this centre. This centre is the abode of Supreme Bliss and Eternal Sunshine. This centre is the Param Dham or Paramagati or Supreme Goal. This centre is your sweet original home, the abode of immortality and fearlessness. This centre is Atma or Brahman. This is the Imperishable Brahmic seat of ineffable splendour and glory!
Divine life is life in God or the Immortal Soul. He who leads the divine life is free from cares, worries, anxieties, miseries, sufferings and tribulations. He attains immortality, perfection, freedom, independence, eternal peace, supreme bliss and perennial joy. He radiates joy, peace and light everywhere.
To lead the divine life, you need not retire into forests. You can lead the divine life, while remaining in the world. What is wanted is renunciation of egoism, mineness, attachment, Vasanas and Trishnas. Give the mind to God and the hands to the service of humanity.
Serve humanity with Atma Bhava. Serve the poor. Serve the sick with Narayana Bhava. Serve the society. Serve the country. Selfless service is the highest Yoga. Samadhi will come by itself without any effort for one, who is solely absorbed in service, when his heart is purified. Service is worship of the Lord. Never forget this. He who sees Brahman or the Immortal Soul in the spoon, Brahman in the medicine, Brahman in the patient, Brahman in the doctor, Brahman in service, he who thinks or meditates thus, while doing service, verily reaches Brahman or the Eternal.
The practice of Brahmacharya is very important for spiritual progress. Brahmacharya is the basis for acquiring immortality. It is itself divine life. Brahmacharya brings material progress and psychic advancement. It is a substratum for a life of peace in Atma. It is a potent weapon for controlling the internal Rajasic forces, viz., Kama, Krodha, Lobha, etc. It gives tremendous energy and gigantic will power and good Vichara Sakti.
Japa is an important Anga of Yoga or divine life. A Mantra is divinity. Japa is the repetition of the Mantra or the names of the Lord. In Kali Yuga, practice of Japa alone can give eternal peace, bliss and immortality. Japa ultimately results in Samadhi or communion with the Lord.
Sankirtan is the singing of Lord's names with faith and devotion. When you sing His names, feel that Lord Hari or Ishta Devata is seated in your heart, that every name of the Lord is filled with divine potencies, that the old vicious Samskaras and Vasanas are burnt by the power of the name and that the mind is filled with Sattva or purity, that Rajas and Tamas are completely destroyed, and that the veil of ignorance is torn down. This kind of mental attitude brings the maximum benefit of Sankirtan. It is not the number of Japa or the length of time of Kirtan that counts for spiritual growth but it is the intensity of Bhava with which the Lord's names are sung.
Pure as the snow of the Himalayas, bright as sunlight, expansive as the sky, all-pervading as the ether; unfathomable as the ocean, cool as the waters of the Ganges, is the Immortal Atman-the substratum for this world, body, mind and Prana. Nothing is sweeter than this Atman.
Purify your heart and meditate. Plunge deep in your heart. Dive deep into the innermost recess. You will find it. Only if you search in deep water, you will find the pearl of Atman. If you keep to the shore, you will find broken shells only.
The best flower that can be offered to the Lord is your heart. Penetrate more deeply into the infinite domain of Kailas, the kingdom of illimitable bliss and boundless joy and peace within.
Just as the light is burning within the hurricane lantern, so also, the divine light is burning within the heart. You can behold the divine light through your inner third eye or the eye of intuition by withdrawing the senses and stilling the mind.
It takes a long time for charcoal to catch fire but gunpowder can be ignited within the twinkling of an eye. Even so, it takes a long time for igniting the fire of knowledge for a man whose heart is impure. But an aspirant with great purity of heart gets knowledge of the Self, within the twinkling of an eye with the time taken to squeeze a flower by the fingers.
Armed with patience, perseverance, tranquillity and courage, slowly ascend, peak after peak, subdue the Indriyas one by one, control the thoughts one by one, eradicate the Vasanas one by one and eventually reach the summit of Self-realisation or Divine Glory.
O friend! Wake up. Sleep no more. Meditate. It is Brahmamuhurta now. Open the gate of the temple of the Lord in your heart with the key of love. Hear the music of the soul. Sing the song of Prema to your beloved. Play the melody of the Infinite. Melt your mind in His contemplation. Unite with Him. Immerse yourself in the ocean of Love and Bliss.
Daily self-analysis or self-examination is an indispensable requisite. Then alone can you remove your defects and can grow rapidly in spirituality. A gardener watches the young plants very carefully. He removes the weeds daily. He puts a strong fence around them. He waters them at the proper time. Then alone they grow beautifully and yield fruits quickly. Even so, you should find out your defects through daily introspection and self-analysis and then eradicate them through suitable methods. If one method fails, you must adopt a combined method. If prayer fails, you should take recourse to Satsanga or association with the wise, Pranayama, meditation, dietetic regulation, enquiry, etc. You should destroy not only big waves of pride, hypocrisy, lust, anger, etc., that manifest on the surface of the conscious mind, but also their subtle impressions which lurk in the corners of the subconscious mind. Then only are you perfectly safe.
These subtle impressions are very dangerous. They lurk like thieves and attack you when you are napping, when you are not vigilant, when your dispassion wanes, when you slacken a bit your daily spiritual practice, and when you are provoked. If these defects do not manifest even under extreme provocation on several occasions, even when you are not practising daily introspection and self-analysis, you can be rest assured that the subtle impressions also are obliterated. Now you are safe. The practice of introspection and self-analysis demands patience, perseverance, leech-like tenacity, application, iron will, iron determination, subtle intellect, courage, etc. But you will gain a fruit of incalculable value. The precious fruit is immortality, Supreme Peace and Infinite Bliss. You will have to pay a heavy price for this. Therefore you should not murmur when you do daily practice. You should apply your full mind, heart, intellect and soul to spiritual practice. Then only rapid success is possible.
Keep daily spiritual diary and practise self-analysis (self-examination) at night. Note down how many good actions you have done, what mistakes you have committed during the course of the day. In the morning resolve: "I will not yield to anger today. I will practise celibacy today. I will speak truth today."
Importance of Keeping a Spiritual Diary
The keeping up of a daily spiritual diary is an indispensable requisite and of paramount importance. Those who are already in the habit of keeping it know its incalculable advantages. Diary is a whip for goading the mind towards God. It shows the way to freedom and eternal bliss. It is your Guru. It is the eye-opener. It develops the Manana-Sakti or the power of reflection. It will help you to destroy all your evil qualities and to be regular in your spiritual practices. If you regularly maintain a diary, you will get solace, peace of mind and quick progress in the spiritual path. Those who desire to grow in morality and spirituality, those who wish to evolve rapidly must keep a daily record of their actions.
All great men of the world keep diaries. The life of Benjamin Franklin is known to you all. He kept a daily diary. He noted down the number of untruths and wrong actions for which he was responsible during the course of the day. In course of time, he became a perfect man. He had perfect control over his mind. Mahatma Gandhi used to advise the students to keep a daily diary always.
A big thief is hiding himself in your brain. He has snatched away your Atmic pearl. He is giving you immense worries and troubles. He is deluding you. The thief is your mind. You must not be lenient towards him. You must kill him ruthlessly. There is no other sword sharper than this diary to kill him. It checks his happy-go-lucky ways and destroys him eventually. All your daily mistakes will be corrected. A good time will come when you will be entirely free from anger, untruth, lust, etc. You will become a perfect Yogi.
Your father and mother gave you this body. They gave you food and clothing. But this diary is superior to your parents. It shows the way to freedom and eternal bliss. It gives you solace, satisfaction and peace of mind. Turn the pages of your diary carefully once a week. If you can record your actions every hour, your growth will be rapid. Happy is the man who keeps a daily diary for he is very near to God. He has a strong will and he is free from defects and mistakes.
By keeping a spiritual diary you can then and there rectify your mistakes. You can do more Sadhana and evolve quickly. There is no other best friend and faithful teacher or Guru than your diary. It will teach you the value of time. At the end of every month calculate the total number of hours you spent in Japa, study of religious books, Pranayama, Asanas, sleep, etc. Then you will be able to know how much time You are spending for religious purposes. You have got every chance to increase the period of Japa, meditation, etc., gradually. If you maintain a daily diary properly, without any fault in any of the items, you will not like to waste even a single minute unnecessarily. Then alone will you understand the value of time and how it slips away.
Compare the total of the last month with those of the previous months. Find out whether you have progressed in your Sadhana or not. If you have not progressed, increase your practice daily. You can do more Sadhana and evolve quickly.
In maintaining a diary, you should not utter any falsehood anywhere. You are keeping it only for your own benefit. It is the diary of a religious aspirant who is treading the path of truth to realise Truth. Acknowledge your faults openly and endeavour to rectify yourself in future. You should not neglect to record everything in your diary. It is better if you compare the progress of your work of the present week with that of the previous week. If you are not able to do so once a week, you must at any cost compare it once a month. Then you will be able to make various adjustments in different items, increase the period of Japa and meditation and decrease the time of sleep.
Self-punishment consists in giving up the night meals and in doing fifty Malas of Japa more than the usual number. The filling in of the form should not be a mere routine work. The annexed form is only a specimen for guidance. These items should be copied on a foolscap size paper neatly with columns drawn for all the days of the month.
Do not be ashamed to mention your mistakes, vices and failures. This is meant only for your own progress. Do not waste your precious hours. It is enough that you have wasted so many years in idle gossiping. Enough, enough of the troubles you had all these days in satisfying your senses. Do not say, "From tomorrow, I will be regular." That "tomorrow" will never come. Be sincere and start doing Sadhana from this moment. If you are really sincere, He is ever ready to help you and give you a push in your spiritual march.
He who regulates his life on the above lines is sure to become a Jivanmukta or a Yogi in this very birth. Do it practically and see how you grow. Start maintaining a spiritual diary from this moment itself and realise the marvellous results.