Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Deceptions in Sadhana by Swami Sivananda


extract from the the essay
Primary Principles of Sadhana and Their Perversions
 by Swami Sivananda

The path of the spiritual aspirant verily lies through a bewildering jungle of difficulties and dilemmas of problems and paradoxes. One of such vexing paradoxes is that your mind is both your best friend as also your bitter enemy. Mind becomes a true friend only after being gradually trained to be so. Mind begins to be really helpful after the aspirant has progressed sufficiently in spiritual Sadhana. Until then it should be regarded as a troublesome and treacherous enemy inside us. It is extremely diplomatic, cunning and crooked. It is an arch-deceiver. One of the master-strokes of the mind's artfulness is to make the aspirant feel and smugly imagine that he knows his mind perfectly well and cannot be led away by it and at the same time to delude him totally. The mind has the knack of making the unwary aspirant confidently think himself its master, while it makes a hopeless fool of him. Its deceptions are subtle.

You have heard the saying, "The devil can quote scriptures for its purpose." Similarly the mind can use a virtue to indulge in a vice. It has an inborn inclination to perversion. It can even take the support of a perfectly good principle seemingly to justify the most unprincipled sort of action. Unless it is scrutinized dispassionately its tricks are never fully discovered.

To know where exactly one stands on the path is very difficult. The tricks of the mind are most subtle. Only constant Vichara (enquiry) will keep you alert and safe. Deep introspection alone can reveal a little of the mysterious workings. Probe and probe into the mind. Do not be lenient to the mind. The mind will try to compromise with you. Relentlessly hunt out its hidden motives. Subject yourself to keen self-analysis every day without fail. Oust all sentiments in this process. Become an intelligent, serious and earnest self-C.I.D. Carry on a ceaseless search and a vigorous enquiry inwardly. Put your mind on the dissecting table of Vichara (enquiry). Pray for the Grace of the Guru who alone can vanquish the mind and enable you to master it. Pray to the Lord to illumine your intellect with the light of knowledge. Watch the mind. Watch and pray. Thus alone, through introspection, analysis, discrimination, vigilance and prayer can you understand the subtle jugglery of this wonderful thing called 'mind' and transcend its deceptions and tricks.
Some of the perversions usually noticeable
Certain of the perversions usually noticeable are described below. This will be valuable to sincere aspirants who are eager to study their minds and eliminate defects and shortcomings. These are extremely useful tips specially in the working field, for aspirants engaged in active Seva in the midst of other people. 

Speak the truth always. Be frank
"Speak the truth always. Be frank." Thus is the Upadesa. This means when you are required to talk then speak only the truth. It does not at all mean that you must go about telling everyone to his face what exactly you think of him or her. This is unwarranted behaviour. Under the garb of frankness to give free expression of opinions without caring for other peoples' feelings is not 'Arjava' or frankness or straightforwardness. At the least it is thoughtlessness; at its height it is sheer brutality. It does not bespeak well of an aspirant. The same teacher who tells you "Speak the truth; be frank!" also tells you to have "Mita Bhashana, Madhura Bhashana" moderate and sweet speech. Mind can even make you to utilise frankness in order to express mild insult. An unpleasant truth is better left unsaid. If it becomes absolutely necessary and unavoidable then say it sweetly and with humility. "Not to hurt and wound others "feelings" is as equally important as speaking truth. Satya and Ahimsa must go together. Study thyself. Watch the mind!
Vairagya / mental detachment
Then there is the truism i.e., "Vairagya is really a mental state, mental detachment." The mind takes hold of this definition to justify a heedless sensual life without self-restraint or principle. The argument will always be, "Oh, I am not attached to all this. I can rise above it in a moment. I enjoy it as a master. Mentally I am detached." Contact with Vishayas has toppled down even Tapasvins like Visvamitra. Therefore, do not take Vairagya lightly. Cultivate Vairagya diligently. Safeguard your Vairagya carefully. Be vigilant. Watch the mind!
 Keep up Matri-bhava or Devi-bhava / See women as the Goddess mother or as your mother
Sadhakas are told, "Keep up Matri-bhava or Devi-bhava when you move with women." This is a grand principle to safeguard your purity and spiritual progress. But this does not tell you, "Move with women;" nor does this advice mean that if you try to have this attitude then you may go on freely mixing with the opposite sex without any limit or restraint. The mind will ask, "Why not? What if I do? To retreat from their presence is sheer timidity. No fear when you do so with Devi-Bhava!" Beware, O Aspirant, beware of this tendency! Divine Bhava is not a licence to throw away all restrictions of the Sadhaka's path. The permanent injunction for Sadhakas is to totally eschew all contact with the opposite sex. When unavoidably such contact becomes necessary, then, "Have Matri-bhava; have Devi-bhava" etc, are prescribed. Also this is to caution the aspirant not to hate women or become a misogynist. Women should be reverenced but from a safe distance. Let not Devi-bhava, etc., be taken to mean that you should be all the time in the midst of them. Watch your mind!
Take care of essentials. Do not pay too much attention to non-essentials
The above too serves as a handle for the mind to deceive the aspirant. If you have to follow this advice, first try to understand what is essential and what is non-essential. The idle nature of man is to loath following any sort of Niyama and set-lines of Sadachara. Therefore, everything is dismissed at a stroke as 'non-essential'. Then what remains, God only can say. The only 'essential' would seem to be to do what the mind likes. The Sadhaka must think what a spiritual instruction really means and then why it is given. Moreover essentials and non-essentials vary according to the stage of development of the spiritual aspirant. What may be unnecessary for an aspirant at a later stage may well be essential to him now. Do not throw away precious grain with the chaff. Watch the mind!

Finally the most dangerous deception played by the mind is in connection with Sadhana itself. The very Sadhana that is adopted by the aspirant to transfigure and divinise his life is converted into a prop and a field for the play of ego and senses. It is very difficult to break out of this ensnaring net without great earnestness and sincere endeavour. It is this vitiation of Sadhana that keeps the Sadhaka 'struck', as it were, on the path, arresting progress for years together. For example a youthful Sadhaka with sweet voice and musical talent naturally takes to Kirtan and Bhajan as his Sadhana. Art always attracts admirers. He is in demand at all auspicious functions. He gets popular amongst Satsangas. The subtle mind now spreads the net. The Kirtan becomes sweeter day by day. New songs and tunes are added to his musical repertory. Without his being aware the Kirtan has become a means to attract others to himself and to maintain the popularity. Thus the Sadhana becomes double-purposed- primarily for God's Darshan and side by side for worldly attraction. The result is the extraordinary phenomenon of the Sadhaka caught in his Sadhana and instead of Mochana (liberation) the quality of Sadhana becomes Bandhana (bondage). Maya is wonderful, indescribable. Her ways are mysterious and inscrutable.

Nishkamya Karma Yoga / Serving and helping others for no return
Take Nishkamya Karma Yoga. Serving and helping others for no return is something unheard of in the purely Vyavaharic world. Naturally the disinterested Sevak is regarded as an exceptional being. All doors are open unto him. Many bring their troubles to him, open their hearts and freely confide even intimate problems. They, of course, take it for granted that the spiritual aspirant is perfectly pure in every respect. Here the Sadhaka walks upon the 'razor-edge' of life. The mind is the devil. Through the very intimacy of contacts in the Seva field, pleasure-centres are created and sensuousness gets scope in this Seva 'Sadhana'. Vanity and carnality get catered to and the aspirant appears to take a keen interest in the Nishkama Seva. But a ruthless search of the mind will reveal that the keenness and interest in the Karma Yoga Seva is as much for the sense-indulgence to be had in the Seva as for the Seva itself. So the mind destroys the Sadhana.

Titiksha /  Endurance. Bearing with equanimity the pairs of opposites. (pleasure and pain, and respectful and disrespectful treatment)
Aspirants practising Titiksha many a time stick on to the Titiksha for similar subconscious reasons. His endurance will earn for him a reputation. He will be regarded as extraordinary. So even after the Titiksha Sadhana has served its purpose he will keep on with it for continuing the status it has granted him. Another Sadhaka will under the idea of being indifferent towards the body and its needs, neglects to shave even. This will be quite sincere and bona-fide in the beginning. But the long hair and beard that results out of this 'Udasinata' will prove the instrument for Maya to lay hold of the aspirant. The hair will be found to beautify his appearance. He loathes to part with it. Thus the former 'Udasinata' will be replaced by careful combing of the hair, application of oil, peeps into the mirror, dressing to suit the style of the hair, new mannerisms, etc. Thus in a trice will delusion spring upon you and overpower you like the tiger does its prey. Likewise Hatha Yogic exercises get misused to sustain gluttony; Vajroli is used for Vyabhichara and Yoga is made to serve Bhoga. All these perversions arise out of the mischief of the unregenerate mind. Therefore watch the mind.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Need for Sadhana by Swami Sivananda


Need for Sadhana

Time is most precious. You do not realize the value of time. When the patient is on the death-bed you will ask the doctor who is standing by the side of the patient, "O doctor! just do something for the patient. Give a powerful injection. Let the breath continue for some hours at least. My brother is coming from Bombay to see the patient." The doctor can only reply "My dear friend! I cannot do anything. The case is perfectly hopeless. He will pass away within five minutes." Now you will realize the value of time. You will repent for the days, months and years you have wasted in idle gossiping and sensual pleasures.

You may waste two hours in tying your turban. You may waste much time in self-shaving, combing the hair but if a devotee calls you to attend Satsanga, Sankirtan or Bhajan (Singing God's names), you will say, "Babaji, I have no time at all. I have to go to the doctor to get medicine. I must go to the market for shopping" and you will give a thousand and one lame excuses.

You keep vigil for cinemas and dramas. You keep vigil all the night if a scorpion stings you. But you cannot keep vigil if there is Akhanda Kirtan (24 hours singing God's name) during Vaikuntha Ekadasi or Sivaratri (Holy Festivals of Hinduism). What a pity?

Everybody wants to see God but nobody wants to do any Sadhana (Systematic daily practice). If the Guru says, 'Practise meditation, Pranayama and study scriptures,' the disciple replies 'I have no time for that.' The teacher says, "Repeat the name of Lord Hari (God, Narayana)." The disciple replies: "I know that already. It is a long, cumbersome and ineffective way. I do not have much faith in Name."

If the Master says, "Then practise Raja Yoga and control the Vrittis (Thouths, emotions, mental modifications) gradually. Sit on one Asana for one or two hours," you will say, "I cannot sit for more than 15 minutes. My limbs ache if I sit for a long time." If you are asked to do Upasana, you will say, "There is nothing in Upasana. Idol worship is useless. I cannot concentrate on a picture. A picture is only the imagination of a painter or an artist. I wish to meditate on the all-pervading formless Brahman. Meditation on a picture is a child's play. This does not suit me well." If the teacher says, "Then do Kirtan and Japa for two hours daily," you will say, "There is nothing in Japa or Kirtan. This is suitable only for dull-headed persons. I know science well. I cannot stop to do these things. I am above Japa and Kirtan. I am quite modern." If the priest performs the Havan in the proper prescribed manner you say, "Well, Purohit! What is all this? Hurry up. I am feeling hungry. I want to go to the office at 10." If the priest hurries up, you say, "What is this? The priest said something for a couple of hours and says it is all over now. It is all waste of time, money and energy. I have no faith in Havan. There is no good in it."

This is your state of affairs. Anyhow you want spiritual bliss and realization without doing Sadhana. You want Samadhi in the twinkling of an eye.

You lead a happy-go-lucky life. You do not want to strive hard for attaining God-realization. If there is any work you will say, 'I will do it tomorrow. I am not quite well today. Doctor has advised me to take perfect rest in bed.' But if there is some sweetmeat-Halva or Rasagulla-you will say, "I am hungry; give it to me now. My health is all right. I can digest it quite easily."

O Man! Lord Buddha strove hard and did Tapas in the Uruvela forest. Lord Jesus did rigorous Sadhana during the missing period. All saints and Yogins have done severe Tapas and meditation. The boy Dhruva did Tapas living on air, water and grass.

The evil Vrittis such as lust, pride, jealousy, Raga-Dvesha (attraction-repulsion, desire-aversion) are very deep-rooted. Pride and Raga-Dvesha do not leave even Sannyasins (Who renounces the material desires), and Sadhus (Pious or righteous man; a Sannyasin). Go to a Mahatma and tell him: "Your lecture was very beautiful and inspiring. You have touched on all points very nicely; but I cannot agree with one or two points." He will at once become angry and jump upon you and say, "O you fool! How can you criticize me? I am a great scholar and practical Yogi." Maya is very powerful. You will have to obtain the grace of the Lord through self-surrender. That is the reason why Lord Krishna says, "This divine illusion of Mine, caused by the qualities is hard to pierce (Mama Maya Duratyaya); they who come to Me, cross over this illusion."

The terrible enemy of Immortality is attachment (Moha). It is very difficult to get rid of attachment. The bee can make holes even in wood; but it perishes on account of its attachment to the honey. It sits on the flowers to gather honey. It sits on the lotus in the evening and slowly sucks honey. The lotus closes itself in the evening when the sun sets. The bee does not want to get out of the flower on account of attachment. It foolishly thinks, "I will get out of the flower tomorrow when the sun rises." An elephant comes, crushes the lotus and with it the bee also. This is the case with man also. He can do many wonderful deeds. But he gets attached to the various objects of the world and perishes. The elephant Time consumes him before he can get out of the lotus (of woman and wealth).

The serpent has the frog in its mouth. Only the head of the frog is outside. It will be devoured within a few minutes, yet even in this condition, the wretched frog projects its tongue outside to catch and eat an insect or two. Even so, O ignorant man, you are already in the mouth of timre (Kala). You will be nowhere in a few minutes. Yet you crave for and cling to the sensual objects again and again. You have become a slave of Moha (delusion and attachment).

Death is ever waiting to devour you. Pierce the lotus through dispassion, renunciation and discrimination. Give up attachment. Have faith in Lord's name. Do Japa (repetition of God name or a mantra), meditation and attain Immortality.

Do Sadhana, therefore, when there is yet time; when you are young and the body is healthy. When you are young, when you have abundant energy, you must practice concentration and meditation. You cannot do any spiritual practice during old age.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

RIGHT ASSOCIATION IS THE CORNER STONE OF SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION & REALIZATION ~ Atman Nityananda

Haidakhan Babaji and Amma
RIGHT ASSOCIATION IS THE CORNER STONE OF SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION & REALIZATION ot.

Sattva is the key of spiritual transformation

The most important factor of self-transformation, awakening and self-realization is association

As long as we associate with tamasic and rajasic persons, places and impressions there is no possibility of any real progress.

If we want to warm our hands we must put them near something that is hot.

Similarly if we want our mind to become luminous, harmonious and awake we must be in the company of men with such a mind. In the presence of a luminous mind our mind absorbs the sattvic luminous vibrations and gradually it is transformed.

Pure sattvic luminous minds have the sages, saints and great spiritual Beings like Buddha, Jesus Christ, krishna, Amma, Swami Sivananda, Anandamayi, Ramana Maharshi, Paramahansa Yogananda, Haidakhan Babaji etc.

Fortunate are those who have the opportunity to live and practice for a long time at the feet of a great spiritual being or at a sacred place like Hairakhan Vishva Mahadham, the ashram of Babaji, at Arunachala the ashram of Sri Ramana Maharshi, at Sivananda's ashram at Rishikesh etc.

Seek the company of men with pure sattvic minds, stay as much as possible in sattvic  places (sacred places, nature, temples, ashrams, monasteries), feed the mind with sattvic impressions, with sattvic thoughts (reading sacred texts and books, hearing and reading the words of self-realized beings, saints and sages, etc.) and sattvic emotions, feed the body with sattvic food and engage your self mostly in sattvic actions.

Association with sattva (purity, light, harmony) and diligent, sincere daily practice is the only way to realize God consciousness in this very life.

God bless you all realize the Truth!

Om Tat Sat

Monday, January 23, 2017

MECHANICAL UNCONSCIOUS LIVING. ~ Atman Nityananda



MECHANICAL UNCONSCIOUS LIVING

What people call my life is only mechanical, compulsive, habitual reactions (sensational, emotional, mental) to what they perceive through the five senses.

The majority of earthlings live more like robots than real human beings with inner harmony and awaken to their true nature. 

Although they act forced by the programming and conditioning of the subconscious mind, yet they think that they live consciously and also that what they do is the result of their free choice. They cannot perceive and understand their situation due to tamas and rajas gunas that are predominant in their mind.

Tamas veils their true nature and obscures their discernment, pure reason,  understanding and clear perception and rajas extroverts, distracts and agitates  their mind and causes dissatisfaction, discontentment, craving for sensory pleasure, power, money, fame and possessions.

Thus they are identified and lost in a non stop mental and emotional turmoil which ceases only temporarily and for a while when a desire or a need is satisfied.

As long as the majority of humans remains in this state of consciousness any essential change and real progress in our world is quite impossible.

Moreover we have to face the consequences of our mechanical unconscious behaviour which exploits all kinds of life on earth.

Friday, January 20, 2017

In the Hours of Meditation ~ Swami Sivananda

Amma meditating
In the Hours of Meditation
~ Swami Sivananda

Brahman, Self, Purusha, Chaitanya, Consciousness, God, Atman, Immortality, Freedom, Perfection, Peace, Bliss, Bhuma or the Unconditioned, are synonymous terms. If you attain Self-realisation alone, you will be freed from the round of births and deaths and its concomitant evils. The goal of life is the attainment of final beatitude or Moksha (liberation). Moksha can be attained by constant meditation in the heart that is rendered pure and steady by selfless service, Japa, etc.

Reality or Brahman can be realised by man. Many have attained Self-realisation. Many have enjoyed the Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Sankara, Dattatreya, Mansoor, Shams Tabriez, Jesus, Buddha were all realised souls who had direct perception of the Truth or cosmic vision or Aparokshanubhuti. But one who has known cannot communicate it to others for want of means. Even the knowledge acquired by the five senses, which are common to all, cannot be communicated to others. You cannot tell the taste of sugarcandy to a man who has never tasted it; you cannot communicate the idea of colour to one born blind. All that the teacher can do is to tell his disciple the method of knowing the Truth or the path that leads to the unfoldment of intuitional faculty.

These are the signs that indicate that you are growing in meditation and approaching God. You will have no attraction for the world. The sensual objects will no longer tempt you. You will become desireless, fearless, ‘I'-less and ‘mine'-less. Deha-adhyasa or attachment to the body will gradually dwindle. You will not entertain the ideas, "She is my wife; he is my son; this is my house." You will feel that all are manifestations of the Lord. You will behold God in every object.

The body and mind will become light. You will always be cheerful and happy. The name of the Lord will always be on your lips. The mind will be ever fixed on the lotus feet of the Lord. The mind will be ever producing the image of the Lord. It will be ever seeing the picture of the Lord. You will actually feel that Sattva or purity, light, bliss, knowledge and Prema are ever flowing from the Lord to you and filling up your heart.

You will have no body-consciousness. Even if there be body-consciousness, it will be in the form of a mental retentum. A drunkard may not have full consciousness that he has a cloth round his body. He may feel that something is loosely hanging from his body. Even so, you have a feeling of the body. You will feel that something is sticking to you like a loose cloth or loose shoes.

You will have no attraction for the sex. You will have no sex-idea. Woman will appear to you as manifestation of the Lord. Money and gold will appear to you as pieces of stone. You will have intense love for all creatures. You will be absolutely free from lust, greed, anger, jealousy, pride, delusion, etc. You will have peace of mind even when people insult you, beat you and persecute you. The reason why you are not perturbed is that you get immense spiritual strength from the Indweller or the Lord. Pain and pleasure, success or failure, honour or dishonour, respect or disrespect, gain or loss are alike to you.

Even in dreams, you are in communion with the Lord. You will not behold any worldly pictures.

You will converse with the Lord in the beginning. You will see Him in physical form. When your consciousness becomes cosmic, conversation will stop. You will enjoy the language of the silence or the language of the heart. From Vaikhari (vocal speech), you will pass on to Madhyama, Pasyanti and Para (subtle forms of sounds) and eventually you will rest in soundless Omkara or soundless Brahman.

Dispassion and discrimination, serenity, self-restraint, one-pointedness of mind, Ahimsa, Satyam, purity, forbearance, fortitude, patience, forgiveness, absence of anger, spirit of service, sacrifice, love for all, will be your habitual qualities. You will be a cosmic friend and benefactor.

During meditation you will have no idea of time. You will not hear any sound. You will have no idea of the environments. You will forget your name and all sorts of relationship with others. You will enjoy perfect peace and bliss. Gradually you will rest in Samadhi.

Samadhi is an indescribable state. It is beyond the reach of mind and speech. In Samadhi or the superconscious state the meditator loses his individuality and becomes identical with the Supreme Self. He becomes an embodiment of bliss, peace and knowledge. So much only can be said. You have to experience this yourself through constant meditation.

Contentment, unruffled state of the mind, cheerfulness, patience, decrease in the excretions, sweet voice, eagerness and steadiness in the practice of meditation, disgust for worldly prosperity or success and company, desire to remain alone in a quiet room or in seclusion, desire for association with Sadhus and Sannyasins, Ekagrata or one-pointedness of mind are some of the signs which indicate that you are growing in purity, that you are prospering in the spiritual path.

You will hear various kinds of Anahata sounds, of a bell, a kettle drum, thunder, conch, Veena or flute, the humming sound of a bee, etc., during meditation. The mind can be fixed in any of these sounds. This also will lead to Samadhi. You will behold various kinds of colours and lights during meditation. This is not the goal. You will have to merge the mind in that which is the source of these lights and colours.

A student in the path of Vedanta ignores these sounds and lights. He meditates on the significance of the Mahavakyas of the Upanishads by negating all forms. "The sun does not shine there, nor do the moon and the stars, nor does this lightning shine and much less this fire. When He shines, everything shines after Him; by His light all these shine." He meditates, also like this: "The air does not blow there. The fire does not burn there. There is neither sound nor touch, neither smell nor colour, neither mind nor Prana in the homogeneous essence. Asabda, Asparsa, Arupa, Agandha, Aprana, Amana, Atindriya, Adrishya, Chidanandarupa Sivoham, Sivoham. I am blissful Siva, I am blissful Siva." Be a spiritual hero in the Adhyatmic battlefield. Be a brave, undaunted, spiritual soldier. The inner war with the mind, senses, Vasanas and Samskaras is more terrible than the external war. Fight against the mind, senses, evil Vasanas, Trishnas, Vrittis and Samskaras boldly. Use the machine-gun of Brahma-Vichara to explode the mind efficiently. Dive deep and destroy the undercurrents of passion, greed, hatred, pride and jealousy, through the submarine or torpedo of Japa of OM or Soham. Soar high in the higher regions of bliss of the Self with the help of the aeroplane of Brahmakara Vritti. Use the ‘mines' of chanting of OM to explode the Vasanas that are hidden in the sea of subconscious mind. Sometimes move the ‘tanks' of discrimination to crush your ten enemies, the ten turbulent senses. Start the Divine League and make friendship with your powerful allies viz., dispassion, fortitude, endurance, serenity, self-restraint, to attack your enemy-mind. Throw the bomb of "Sivoham Bhavana" to destroy the big mansion of body and the idea "I am the body," "I am the doer" and "I am the enjoyer." Spread profusely the gas of "Sattva" to destroy your internal enemies viz., Rajas and Tamas quickly. "Black-out" the mind by destroying the Vrittis or Sankalpas by putting out all the lights or bulbs of sensual objects so that the enemy ‘mind' will not be able to attack you. Fight closely against your enemy ‘mind' with the bayonet of one-pointedness (Samadhana) to get hold of the priceless treasure or Atmic pearl. The joy of Samadhi, the bliss of Moksha, the peace of Nirvana are now yours, whoever you may be, in whatever clime you are born. Whatever might be your past life or history, work out your salvation. O beloved Rama, with the help of these means come out victorious right now, this very second.

Source: sivanandaonline.org/

Essence of Jnana Yoga II / ~ Swami Sivananda

 Essence of Jnana Yoga II
by Swami Sivananda
The aim of Jnana Yoga is the destruction of the notion of duality and the establishment of the unity of the individual self  (Atman) with the Supreme Self (Brahman).

What is Ajnana (ignorance, avidya)? To identify oneself with the illusory vehicles such as body, mind, Prana, senses, etc., is Ajnana. To say: I am the doer, I am the enjoyer, I am a Brahmin, I am a Brahmachari, this is mine, he is my son, is Ajnana. What is Jnana (Knowledge)? Abheda Darshanam Jnanam. To know Brahman as one's own Self is Jnana. To see: I am Brahman, I am pure, all-pervading consciousness, I am non-doer, I am non-enjoyer, I am always the silent witness, is Jnana. To behold the one Self everywhere is Jnana.

The Brahman, the Supreme Self is neither the doer of actions nor the enjoyer of the fruits of actions. The creation, preservation and destruction of the world is not due to Him. They are due to the action of Maya or Avidya which is the Lord's own energy that manifests itself as the world-process or Samsara.

Just as there appear to be three kinds of space, viz., absolute space, space as limited by a jar and space as reflected in the water that is in the jar, so also there are three kinds of Chaitanya (intelligence), viz., Absolute Chaitanya (Para Brahman), Chaitanya reflected in Maya (Isvara) and Chaitanya reflected in Avidya (Jiva). The notion of the doer which is the function of intelligence as reflected in the Buddhi (intellect) together with the notion of Jiva (the individual soul) is superimposed on the limitless, pure Brahman, the silent witness, by the foolish.

The illustration of space Absolute, space as limited by a jar and space as reflected in the jar is given to convey the idea that in reality Brahman is one but appears or expresses to be threefold owing to Maya.

The reflection of the intelligence is an erroneous belief or notion. It is due to Anadi Avidya (beginningless ignorance). Brahman is without limitations. Limitation is a super-imposition (Adhyasa or Kalpana) on Him.

The unity of the Supreme Self with the reflected self (Jiva) is established through the saying or the great sentence of the Upanishads, Thou art That (Tat Tvam Asi). When this Knowledge of the identity of the two selves arises through the great saying (Mahavakya), Thou art That, then Avidya (ignorance) with all its offshoots and the world problems are destroyed. Thus there is no doubt at all.

Self-realisation or direct intuitive perception of the Supreme Self is necessary for attaining perfection or freedom. Mere study of scriptures even through hundreds of births will not confer the final emancipation.

Maya is also called Prakriti, Prarabdha, Avyaktam. It is said to be neither existence nor non-existence. It is neither Sat (Real) nor Asat (Unreal). It is indescribable (Anirvachaniya). It is Sat-Asat-Vilakshana, Anadi Bhavarupa Anirvachaniya.

For a liberated sage (Jivanmukta), there is neither joy nor sorrow, neither birth nor death. He has crossed the ocean of Samsara or worldly course of life and reached the other shore of fearlessness and immortality. He has become Brahman himself. Brahmavit Brahmaiva Bhavati. The Knower of Brahman becomes Brahman. This is the emphatic declaration of the Srutis or Upanishads.  

The aim of Jnana Yoga is the destruction of the notion of duality and the establishment of the unity of the individual self with the Supreme Self.

This is a compendium of all the Vedanta. This is a great purifier and destroyer of all sins. This is a great secret. He who attains Self-realisation is worshipped by all gods. He attains the status which even Yogis cannot attain.

Read the part I: Essence of Jnana Yoga I

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Does presence requires effort? ~ Atman Nityananda


Does presence requires effort? 

Being present doesn’t need effort. If you have understood what is being present, then what is needed is to remember it (remember being present). That’s why Gurjieff named Self-awareness as Self-remembrance. 

But this is not so easy (especially in the beginning, - depends also on the maturity of the aspirant) because due to the habit and the power of the egoic tendencies we fall quite easily in self-forgetfulness and we identify with the mechanical thinking, emotions, sensations, objects, our ego and body. Because of this an effort is needed to stop or to impede identification (with thoughts, emotions, sensation, the body and objects) to happen and remember being present. It is needed an effort to stop the compulsive movement of our ego (if it is possible in the very beginning of its movement, before it takes a full manifestation) to identify with thoughts emotions etc.

I would like here to mention that there is a difference between being present and being aware of the source of the presence. The important thing regarding to this, it is that when we are present we can very easily lose the state of presence and identify with the mind, emotions, objects etc., but if we are more deeply in the source of presence then it is not easy for the ego to bring our consciousness down to the level of body, mind and perceptions and make us fall in forgetfulness. But being in this deeper state it is possible only for advanced aspirants and also when we are not engaged in external activities; it is not possible to focus our attention deep within and function through senses properly.

Although presence doesn’t need effort due to habit and the rajasotamasic nature of our ego, the ego very easily ‘steals’ our attention and makes us fall in forgetfulness and identify with thoughts, emotions, sensations, perceptions etc.. So, it doesn’t needed effort to be self-aware but it is needed a very subtle effort (this is called effort without effort) to remember it, and some kind of effort (a little or greater, according the circumstances) to impede identification to happen (identification happens due to the activation of some egoic tendency) or it is needed an effort to disidentify from the mind, objects, emotions etc. (if we already are in the state of identification) and return into the state of presence.

The whole process of spirituality in two words is detach-attach.

We must moment to moment detach from the thoughts, imaginations, emotions, the objects and the ego itself and attach to the Self within. By practice gradually decreases the power of the ego to make us identify as well as the time we are identified with the ego and the egoic tendencies and increases the time we remain present and Self-aware.

In order to accelerate this process and remain more and more aware of our true nature, we must follow a daily discipline and work with the dissolution of the egoic tendencies.

Om peace


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

THE VITAL EGO IS THE GREATEST OBSTACLE OF SELF-TRANSFORMATION ~ Atman Nityananda


 
THE VITAL EGO IS THE GREATEST OBSTACLE OF SELF-TRANSFORMATION & SELF-REALIZATION 

The majority of spiritual seekers fail to realize their true nature and be united with God because they cannot control their mind; and they cannot control their mind because they cannot overcome and dissolve the vital ego.

The vital ego assumes the form of vital-emotional conditioning such as likes-dislikes, passions, delusions, desires , fears, arrogance, vanity, anger, resentment, laziness, stupidity, etc..

 The vital ego is unconscious, chaotic, captious, obstinate, compulsive, reactive as well as it is unwilling to cooperate with us and resists forcefully our efforts to control our mind, body and senses and live a conscious virtuous life. The vital ego clouds our reason, discernment and clear (without distortion) perception and thus impedes us to be aware of the its play and also to recognize our true nature. 

That's why it is required great patience, tenacity, perseverance, forbearance, courage, steady determination, sincerity and diligent incessant practice in order to dissolve it.

Most seekers fail to dissolve the vital ego because they lack of patience, courage and determination to face bravely the resistance and the attacks of their vital ego.

Spirituality it is not always an easy happy journey but a difficult battle between the lower forces of nature and the higher discriminative self. It is a battle between the higher sattvic mind and lower rajasotamsic vital mind.

Who has defeated his vital ego is a true hero because conquered his lower nature and has become a king of his own psychological kingdom. After realization the nature serves the yogi, since the only purpose of nature is to serve the Spirit and the realized yogi is one with the universal Spirit.

Read about vital ego :


Monday, January 16, 2017

MIND, OUR BEST FRIEND & OUR GREATEST TYRANT ~ Atman Nityananda


MIND, OUR BEST FRIEND & OUR GREATEST TYRANT

The lower mind is nothing more than an aggregation of habits, programming, conditioning (mental and emotional), attachments, likes, dislikes, desires and passions of all sorts.

The worst of all is that we take the lower mind as our self, while in fact it is only a tool of ours, as our hands for example are.

Due to ignorance and identifications, the mind instead of being a servant and an instrument of the Soul, has become the boss and because of its programming and passions a tyrant.

An uncontrolled,  passionate mind is our worst enemy and a pure sattvic mind is our best friend and servant.

The former brings pain and suffering, and the later is a valuable instrument that help us to achieve the Self-realization.

The feeling of discontentment. ~ Atman Nityananda



The feeling of discontentment

The almost all time present in us feelings of discontentment and that something is missing in order to feel well or happy, is a emotional-mental disease of the mind created by desire and rajas guna.

Their elimination involves the elimination of lust and desire for pleasures, fame, etc.(since it is the desire -among many other things- that causes these emotions) and the elimination of likes and dislikes.

He who is free from desire, attachments, likes-dislikes, fear and anger, the 'me and the 'mine experiences the plenitude, the peace and bliss of the Spirit.

Although mortal lives as God!

BLISS IS OF CONSCIOUSNESS. ~>Atman Nityananda


Bliss is of Consciousness (Atman or Self), but it is experienced by a pure mind

He who does not control his mind, he is controlled by his mind and suffers.

A sincere, diligent, long time practice is need in order to conquer our mind.

In this work it is included the purification of the mind from the Tamas and Rajas gunas as well as from its programming and its passions (lust, gluttony, greed, pride, fear, anger, jealousy, laziness, etc.).

Once the mind is purified and is full of sattva, even without to make an effort to feel happy, we live in peace, completeness and bliss!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

WE CANNOT HAVE PLEASURE AND BLISS AT THE SAME TIME. ~ Atman Nityananda






WE CANNOT HAVE PLEASURE AND BLISS AT THE SAME TIME

To be a Zorba and a Buddha at the same time it is just impossible. It is just an imagination of a lusty mind.

Who says that is possible to have pleasures without to be attached and addictive to them and without to suffer just don't believe him. Why?

Because there is no pleasure without lust, desire and passion (it is impossible) and suffering is due to desire and passion. Suffering is inevitable because all kinds of emotional suffering are modifications of desire itself. Selfishness,, anger, jealously, depression, fear, resentment, uneasiness, discontentment, incompleteness, hatred, disappointment, hopelessness, frustration, impatience, loneliness, are all effects of desire and passion.

If someone doesn't accept this, it is because he ignores  how the mind functions, he doesn't really know himself deeply enough.

Moreover it is impossible to experience at the same time the bliss of our true nature (Atman, Consciousness) and the pleasure which is the result of the contact of mind with the sensual objects, plus imagination and projection.

Mind can focus and experience one thing at the moment. So, we can focus the mind within and experience the bliss and peace divine or focus it outside to experience illusory, temporary, fleeting pleasures.

Moreover a mind full of passion and  lust it is dense, obscured, distracted, cloud, dull and cannot reflect clearly and without distraction the peace and Bliss of Consciousness. Only a pure sattvic mind can reflect clearly and without distortions the bliss and the peace of Atman.

Then we must make a choice. What is we want more? Eternal freedom, peace and bliss or fleeting illusory pleasures accompanied inevitably with suffering.

Only if one suffers enough due to an extroverted pleasure-based life it is possible to begin question his way of living and seek something that can be harmonious, sustainable and free from imagination and suffering.

Friday, January 13, 2017

LUST & FAME - THE CHIEF OBSTACLES OF FREEDOM ~ Atman Nityananda

 
Fame and pleasure are the chief obstacles of Self-realization.

In other words these are the desire to be recognized in order to feel special and the desire for any kind of pleasure especially sex and food pleasure.

Desire for power and money are only means to get pleasure and fame.

Due to these two desires our mind is constantly agitated seeking and planning the means and the ways by which we will get more, better and different pleasure and get the recognition of others.

Desire is always accompanied with anguish, uneasiness, impatience fear, anxiety, irritability, anger, not not acquire or lose the pleasant and pleasurable object (for the ego persons are also objects) or situations, and follows disappointment, dissatisfaction, anger, depression, bitterness, melancholy when finally fail to obtain the desired object or we lose the already possessed. Due to desire and the desired based emotions we live in a perpetual vicious circle which is sustained by ignorance, imagination, identification, projection and attachment.

The result is a superficial life with rare fleeting moments of happiness, illusory temporary pleasures, and a lot of misery, disharmony, dissatisfaction, illness and suffering.

EMOTIONS & DESIRE ~ Atman Nityananda



When a man’s desire is not gratified and when someone stands in the way of its fulfillment, the man becomes angry. The desire gets transformed into anger. Anger is only a modification or form of desire. Anger is desire itself.”
“All evil qualities and actions proceed from anger.”
                                                                                           ~ Swami Sivananda

 EMOTIONS & DESIRE

All negatives emotions are only modifications or transformations of desire. The desire is a kind of psychic energy which manifests almost constantly and assumes various forms. Among them are the emotions of like-dislike, disgust, discontentment, impatience, satisfaction, dissatisfaction, distress, aversion, attraction, repulsion, depression, fear, greed, anxiety, malaise, resentment, irritability, anger, hatred, envy, jealousy, etc.

The primary desire is to desire to incarnate in a physical body in order to have sensory experiences. In this principal desire all other desires are developed. The fundamental desires are: desire for pleasure (especially sex, food, drinks and other substances), money, power, possessions, comfort, fame and name.

The desire is also identical with what we call ego or egoism that make us identify with the body (make us feel 'the body is me') and separates us from God and life. The ego is only the innumerable expressions of desire.

The death of desire brings the death of the ego and vice-versa, the death of the ego brings the death of desire and all negative emotions and tendencies.

The state free from the ego-desire and the rest is the state of liberation or enlightenment and results in total Oneness with God.

"Freedom is in detachment and desirelessness."

"Eradication and extinction of desires lead to the sublime state of supreme bliss and perfect freedom."
~ Swami Sivananda

276. As the mind becomes gradually established in the Inmost Self, it proportionately gives up the desires for external objects. And when all such desires have been eliminated, there takes place the unobstructed realisation of the Atman.


277. The Yogi’s mind dies, being constantly fixed on his own Self. Thence follows the cessation of desires.

526. To the man who has realised his own nature, and drinks the undiluted Bliss of the Self, there is nothing more exhilarating than the quietude that comes of a state of desirelessness.

540. The sage, living alone, enjoys the sense-objects, being the very embodiment of desirelessness – always satisfied with his own Self, and himself present at the All.

~ Vivekachudamani of Adisankaracharya