Sunday, February 26, 2017

Renunciation is the essence of spirituality ~ Swami Sivananda


“A man has a thousand and one desires. But the central strong desire is the sexual desire. The fundamental desire is the urge for a mate. All hang on this central basic desire. The desire for money, the desire for a son, the desire for property, the desire for houses, the desire for cattle and other desires come later on.”    ~ Swami Sivananda

All suffering is born of desire. Pleasure depends on things, happiness does not”  ~ Nisargadatta

 Sex, food, money, power, recognition and praise are what people want. And all these are based on sex pleasure

Sex is the original cause of lust and desire. This lust and desire for sex became lust and desire for food, money, power, recognition and praise (pride).  

So in two words lust and pride are the way to suffering. 

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.” 
 
“Desire is the root cause of all evil actions. If desire is removed, then the divine power manifests in its full glory and one enjoys peace, bliss, light and freedom.” 
 ~ Swami Sivananda
 
“Desire is a mode of the emotive mind. It has got a power of externalizing the mind. Desire is the fuel; thought is the fire. The thought-fire is kept up by the desire-fuel.”

“…the endless chain is welded out of three component, desire, thought and activity. A desire stimulates a thought; a thought embodies itself in an act.”
 

 "Remember always that renunciation is the essence of spirituality, and the secret of Self-realization. 

Renunciation is getting rid of egoism, desires and cravings. 

Renunciation is the only way to perfection and bliss eternal. 

Renunciation leads to complete unification with the supreme Being.

Renounce and be free."

Friday, February 24, 2017

Have unflinching, perfect faith in the Lord ~ Swami Sivananda


EVERYTHING DEPENDS ON FAITH” 
~ Sri Haidakhan Babaji

Life is a dreary waste when it loses its faith. Life loses its effulgence when it loses its faith. Know that everything is lost when faith is lost. The water of life is faith. Have perfect faith in the Lord.

Faith is belief in the truth of revealed religion. It is confidence and trust in God and in one's own self. It is belief in the statements, utterances, and teachings of one's Guru, preceptor or saints. It is belief in religious scriptures.

Faith creates, faith heals, faith works wonders, faith moves mountains.

Faith is the secret light for finding God.

Faith makes the weak strong, and the timid brave. 

Faith is power. Faith is strength. Faith is abundant energy. Faith is the soul of religion. It creates new hopes and awakens immortality. 

Unshakable faith in God gives mysterious power to overcome any difficulty. 

Faith makes the impossible possible, therefore, have unflinching, perfect faith in the Lord. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Self-surrender ~ Swami Sivananda

Self-surrender
Self-surrender is a safe and sure means of God-realization.

Surrender yourself, and all your belongings to the feet of the supreme. Live a life of godliness. Think that nothing is yours, and that everything belongs to God - this is surrender to God.

Give the power of attorney to God; let him do whatever he wants. You will have no worry and no anxiety, you will be peaceful.

Surrender contains intense love and faith. It must be complete, the entire being must be surrendered to the Lord (mind, intellect, chitta and egoism).

 Desire and egoism are the two great obstacles to self-surrender.

If the mind says, 'i am thine, o lord', if the ego says, 'i must become a court judge', if the intellect says, 'i am a great devotee', if the citta says, 'i must attain siddhis (psychic powers), this will not constitute perfect, unreserved surrender. This is only cheating the lord, the inner ruler and witness.

After surrendering to the Lord, you should not grumble and fret when any trouble comes. You should not complain to the Lord: 'O Lord, you have no eyes. you have no compassion.' If you complain, then there is no meaning in your surrender.

Through surrender the devotee immerses himself into the eternal essence. You can endear yourself to the Lord only by self-surrender. The more the surrender, the more the grace.

In difficulties and struggles, god will give you the strength and inner peace to bear them - this is his grace.
Constant remembrance of the Lord, constant recitation of his name, will fill your heart with sattva (purity) and immense strength and peace to face the most trying conditions with perfect calmness and serenity.

Have perfect trust in God. Surrender to him. Place yourself in his loving care. Do this with your whole heart and mind, with perfect confidence and faith.

Worry not about your future, about money, about your health. He will take care of you. You will have plenty, you will have immense strength and wonderful health.

Monday, February 20, 2017

GENUINE SPIRITUALITY ~ Atman Nityananda


GENUINE SPIRITUALITY

Genuine spirituality is dying ( psychologically) moment by moment, and identifying with the ever peaceful and blissful innermost silence!

It is to die to the illusory and be born to the Truth!

~~~ ~~~   ~~~
 In this cave at Haidakhan Vishva Mahadham appeared Haidakhan Babaji, my beloved master. I was fortunate to have his permission and blessings to meditate for days and hours in this sacred cave at the foothills of Himalayas!

Bhole Baba ki jai!
Glory to the Simple Father, the Lord of the Universe!

Jai Mahamaya ki jai!
Glory to the Divine mother, the eternal Shakti, the illusory power of the Lord, creator of the Universe!

The Power of Living in Truth, Simplicity and Love ॐ ~ Haidakhan Bhole Baba


The Power of Living in Truth, Simplicity and Love ॐ
`
"The Path of God-Realization is a most difficult one," said Babaji. "Few are those who will walk it. It is as difficult as walking on the edge of a razor. The Grace of the Guru is everything. No knowledge is possible without the Guru, and practicing Truth, Simplicity and Love."

He asserted that by concentrating on these Three principles, one could gain control over mind, body and emotions and attain Spiritual insight. Yet, he cautioned that discovering Truth, Simplicity and Love requires discipline.

"Nothing can be achieved without discipline," said Babaji. "You should have the strong discipline of a soldier. Be a soldier of God, and act with courage and discipline."
`
~ Article from HINDUISM TODAY with Rhade Shyam

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The existential void ~ Atman Nityananda


The existential void

Living without awareness of our true nature is empty and full of ups and downs, from small up to chaotic. It is a mechanical life, a life of incompleteness, disharmony and discontentment.

If we are not aware of our divine Being, if we ignore our true Self, our Essence, that which gives life, fullness and meaning to everything, then we cannot live with fullness and plenitude; we will always feel an existential void which we will try (in vain), to fill it with superficial sense experiences, pleasures, material success and sensory objects.

If our every action, deed, thought, emotion doesn't vibrate in harmony with our soul, we cannot live with harmony, unity and fullness, always something will be missing.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Nonduality is living in Oneness ~ Atman Nityananda

'I am that all-embracing love.’ --Amma
Nonduality is living in Oneness

Our true Self is love, peace, bliss and freedom eternal.

The ego is what causes separation between us and God, between us and others as well. The solid sense or feeling "I am the body, -the body is me" is the expression fundamental of the ego, but the ego is not just this.The ego is an aggregation of  various tendencies like pride, anger, fear, jealousy, gluttony, lust, greed, resentment, depression, shame, guilt, bitterness, disappointment, etc.

By eliminating the I or ego what remains is pure love, fathomless peace, infinite bliss!

What we experience inside, we experience it outside as well. If we are in peace, we see peace every where. If we are in love, we see everything as ourselves. 

"I am Love, You are Love, Everything is Love!"  

"I am Light, You are Light, Everything is light!"

 "I am Love & Light, You are  Love & Light, Everything is Love & Light,!"  

"I am Peace,  Love & Light, You are Peace, Love & Light, Everything is Peace, Love & Light"

 Remember occasionally during all day these truths, to remind yourself that you are not a miserable entity trapped in the body, but the eternal truth, always peaceful and blissful, and always present, although you may not be aware of this, due to the identification with the body, the mind stuff (emotions, thoughts, imaginations) and the sensory perceptions.

I am that all-embracing love.’ --Amma


'I am that all-embracing love.’ --Amma

"The common expression is, ‘I love you.’ But, instead of ‘I love you,’ it would be better to say, ‘I am love—I am the embodiment of Pure Love.’

Remove the I and you, and you will find that there is only Love. It is as if Love is imprisoned between the I and you.

Remove the I and you, for they are unreal; they are self-imposed walls that don’t exist. The gulf between I and you is the ego.

When the ego is removed the distance disappears, the I and you also disappear. They merge to become one—and that is Love.

You will realize, not that ‘I love you,’ but that ‘I am that all-embracing love.’"

--Amma (Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi)

Monday, February 13, 2017

SAMSARA GATE ~ Atman Nityananda


SAMSARA GATE

The chain of Samsara

1. Experience gives us pleasure,
2. Memorized pleasure becomes lust,
3. Lust becomes desire,
4. Desire becomes an urge or an impulse that prompts us to action,
4. Action leads us to experience,
5.Experience gives us pleasure,
1. Memorized pleasure becomes lust.
2. Lust becomes desire.....
and this chain goes on without a break.

After some time our behaviour of seeking pleasure through certain sensory stimulus becomes habitual and attachment and greed are developed as well. That means we suffer when we cannot have this pleasure and we want  more and more of this pleasure.

There is also multiplication of every kind of pleasure. We seek variety of sexual partners and various ways to multiply sex pleasure, we seek variety of food pleasure, drink pleasure and so on.
There is no end in the insatiable thirst of lust for more, greater, more intensive and different kind of pleasures.  Lust using imagination discovers innumerable ways to multiply pleasure. Pornography and glutton-food industry are the most obvious examples.

Addiction is the culmination of  the conditioned mechanical pattern of pleasure, lust and attachment.

This vicious circle of:

Pleasurable experience-lust-desire-action-pleasurable experience-lust-desire-action-pleasurable experience......

goes on in eternity or stops when due to suffering we decide to destroy this this chain by sincere, regular, systematic, daily sadhana (spiritual practice).

Rajas and tamas gunas, imagination, identification, projection, superimposition  are the components of Samsara or bondage.

Tamas makes the mind dull, fool, obscured, inattentive, without discernment,  and thus unable to see things correctly and rajas makes the mind extroverted, passionate, restless and attached to the objects.

Sattva, self-awareness, detachment, dispassion, discrimination or discernment, dispassionate self-observation, disidentification, conscious attention, concentration, self-enquiry, reflection, prayer, Japa nama and meditation are the components of liberation.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Our core illusion ~ Atman Nityananda


Our core illusion

The ego has been created by lust and desire and its essential nature is desire, and desire is always related to something exterior to ourselves, to something we don't have. We cannot desire what we already have, however we can be afraid to lose what we already posses.

Lust and desire create almost always in us a sense of insufficiency, uneasiness and  incompleteness, that something is needed in order to feel content, fulfilled, worthy and happy.

That's why our ego is always compulsively seeking something in the sensory world, something to possess in order to experience pleasure and satisfaction as well something to fulfill it or make it feel complete and worthy.

Since all sense objects devoid of any reality, are impermanent and perishable and since ego's desiring or seeking is  a compulsive and repetitive addiction,  no matter what we will possess, we will experience and we will achieve, we will always remain at the end with the same painful inner state of emptiness, incompleteness, uneasiness, discontentment, etc.

The seeking of plenitude, happiness, contentment and freedom outside of ourselves, due to non-perception that we already are complete, full, peaceful, blissful and free, it is the core illusion and the womb of all suffering.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Persevere in sadhana ~ Swami Sivananda


Persevere in sadhana

Let the sadhana - spiritual practice - always be regular, continuous, unbroken and earnest.

Not only regularity, but also continuity in sadhana and meditation are necessary if you want to attain self-realization quickly.

A spiritual stream, once set going, does not dry up unless the channel gets blocked, unless there is stagnation.

Be vigilant eternally. Meditate regularly.

Annihilate the undercurrent of vasanas (habit patterns, tendencies).

Patience,
perseverance,
courage,
determination,
discrimination, and
dispassion
are needed to tread the spiritual path.

Put away thoughts, stimuli, perceptions, intentions, emotions, feelings, preoccupations and deliberations arising out of the senses and the sense objects.

You will attain supreme blessedness or the peace of the eternal.
keep the flame of thy aspiration ever kindled and bright.

Let
purity,
serenity,
compassion,
truth, and
oneness,
manifest in thy thoughts and actions.
through
penance,
prayer, and
meditation,
the soul ascends on the divine chariot, to the realms of infinite bliss, to god's halls of wisdom.

Regularity is of paramount importance in spiritual practice.
Spiritual aspirants must be arduous and efficient in performing their tasks without a break.

Remember
vairagya (dispassion), and
abhyasa (constant practice).

Pray without a break. Have unshakable faith.

Prayer is the wing by which you fly to god.
meditation or intuition is the eye by which you see god.
Pray fervently unto the lord.
Pray for the lord's light and guidance.

Meditate on the great truth within.
strive ever to keep thyself close to the divine centre.
day by day draw nearer unto the lord.
Strive inwardly to grow into the likeness of the divine ideal.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

EGO AND DESIRE ~ Atman NItyananda

 
EGO AND DESIRE

 Desire and ego (the lower rajasotamasic ego that identifies us with the body) are not two different things, but one field of energy that assumes various forms of expression. The main ones are desire, the sense the 'body is me' and pride; the rest expressions of this egoic energy are: all lower emotions and vital impulses, like-dislike, attraction-repulsion, anger, impatience, fear, depression, envy, lasciviousness, gluttony etc.

The ego itself takes the form of desire.  The ego is desire, desire is the ego. In really we haven't many desires. There is only desiring. There is almost constantly manifested in us a compulsive urge to desire and seek something that will give us pleasure, that will make us feel better, complete, satisfied, happy etc.. Due to this compulsive desiring and the identification and association of our mind with the objects new desires are constantly created. Each time the ego (that its nature is the desire) by imagination projects its lust onto something and is identified with this creates a new desire.

Why does the ego identify with some objects and not with others?
Lust or desire is illogical, irrational, that's why it can projects itself and identify with whatever appears in our sight when illogically thinks or imagines that this object it will give it pleasure. That's why some men like women with blonde hair, some other brunette, some thin women, some tall ones, etc. All of that is completely irrational. It is only a question of lack of discernment, imagination, identification and projection.

And all the branches of the ego (selfish or egoic tendencies) are only modifications or transformations of desire. Anger, fear, taste, dislike, jealousy, envy, greed, lust, greed, pride, hatred, etc., they are only forms of desire. Desire is transformed into these forms according to circumstances.

Then, any time we identify with any egoic expression, that is: we identify with the sense the 'body is me', a desire, anger, pride, taste, dislike, etc. we increase the ego (the energy field of ego increases) and on the contrary when we disidentify from the egoistic expressions, whatever may be and we eliminate it by any means (prayer, mantra, etc.), we reduce the ego.

It is not possible to eliminate the ego as if it were one simple thing. We have to eliminate each egoic branch or aspect that manifests in the moment, whatever it may be (anger, fear, pride, gluttony, etc.). By eliminating an aspect of the ego, the whole ego is reduced although some other aspects of the ego may remain strong.

Only after many years of practice and purification, the egoistic branches become very weak and thus we can meditate profoundly without effort. In this stage there is not necessary to work deliberately  with the various egoic expressions. When the egoic tendencies are already very weak and our ability to remain self-aware and rooted in our Being is high, we can stop the manifestation of the ego before it will assume any of its forms; that is, we stop the ego before expressing itself in any form. We don't allow the ego to be manifested in any of its forms. Only if we are not sufficiently guarded can the ego steal our attention and be expressed. But even in this case we have the resources to disidentify easily from the ego and return into our Being. 

However this is possible only for very advanced aspirants. Most are easily identified with the egoic tendencies and become aware of them when they have already fully manifested. That's why it is necessary to continue their specific work with the dissolution of the egoic tendencies.

According to our progress in the elimination of the egoic tendencies and the ability to remain vigilant and rooted in our true Self, we become more and more able to stop ego's manifestation sooner. When we are very advanced in self-awareness and discernment we can stop it even in the very beginning of its movement. Thus, we don't identify with it, we don't lose our self in it, we don't increase it and we don't experience the consequences that would cause its manifestation. Thus, the ego gradually dissolves and loses its power. Finally in deep sustained Nirvikalpa samadhi the ego dissolves totally and forever.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

TO REALIZE TRUTH, GOOD INTENTIONS ARE NOT ENOUGH ~ Atman NItyananda


TO REALIZE TRUTH, GOOD INTENTIONS ARE NOT ENOUGH

Our good intentions to live a true spiritual life and realize the truth are not enough by themselves.
 
Most of people engaged in spirituality have good intentions, but ultimately they don't make a daily systematic and diligent practice; and usually they justify themselves by various ways and excuses.
 
Only by dedication, sincerity, steady determination, strong will, self-confidence, faith, forbearance of  difficulties, patience, perseverance and diligent daily practice, we can overcome the resistance and inertia of the ego and overcome the external difficulties and adversities. Only by sincere, diligent daily practice we can dispel the darkness of selfishness and ignorance, be free from all suffering and live in peace, plenitude, love and bliss.

The daily prayer is the most effective way to activate our inner strength and attract grace.
 

Friday, February 3, 2017

How to develop Self-awareness ~ Atman Nityananda


How to develop Self-awareness

There are two meanings of self-awareness. The first is to be aware of our ephemeral self (our body, energy and mind) and the second is to be aware of our true Self, the inner formless silent luminous space which is eternal and is pure existence, pure awareness and pure bliss. We must develop both kind of awareness, both are necessary, but more important is to develop awareness of our true Self. However the one leads to the other. By trying to be fully aware of our body and mind we become aware of our Self and by becoming aware of our Self we become aware of our body and mind. Only in deep meditation we are only aware of our true Self. In all other cases we are aware of both; we decide where to focus more (to the silent inner space or to the body and mind) according our goal and circumstances. In this text I am referring to the self-awareness about our true Self.

The general rule is that we can increase something by doing as much as possible what we want to increase. So, if we want to develop self-awareness we must practice self-awareness. In order to develop self-awareness it is highly recommended to use some techniques or exercises appropriate for this purpose. At the same time we must avoid as much as possible what make us fall in forgetfulness and identification with thoughts, emotions and objects and eliminate one by one the obstacles and the egoic tendencies that impede us remain self-aware.

In order to develop self-awareness, first of all we must investigate what is to be self-aware and what is to be identified. Right knowledge, a focused mind, attention and discernment are the necessary requirements to do this enquiry. It is a must to acquire a clear perception of what self-awareness is, as well as what identification is, regarding the external objects and situations, the body, sensations, emotions, thoughts and the ego itself. Moreover we must enquiry and discover how identification happens as well as the strategies by which the egoic mind pulls us to forgetfulness of our true Self and identification with its own context and external objects. We must be alert and vigilant as much as possible during all day, in order to observe ourselves and enquire the nature of identification and self-awareness and deepen more and more in them. The practice of Self-awareness and the stopping of identifications is a whole life process; we practice it until to free our subconscious mind from all samskaras and vasanas* (which are the cause of all identifications) and rest permanently and effortlessly in our true nature (Sahaja state).

To enquire Self-awareness and be aware of the play of egoic mind, it is necessary to dedicate daily some time to do this enquiry in favorable conditions. We must do this enquiry two or three times in isolation (home, nature etc.) in order to investigate carefully the works of the mind regarding the identification as well as deepen in self-awareness without distractions.

Since we have a clear perception of what self-awareness is, then we must practice (to practice doesn't mean to struggle or strive hard) moment to moment to remain as much as possible self-aware and avoid identification. Of course it is not easy to avoid identification and remain present but this is the challenge in spirituality; our capacity to remain self-aware depends on our maturity, motivation, mental and emotional capacities and the power of ego.

A fundamental requisite to develop self-aware is our motivation, how much we want to remain self-aware, and the opposite, how much we don’t want live in identification. Are we fed up by the mechanical life full of miseries and suffering, or we are still thirsty for sensual pleasurable experiences? What is, we want more? Very important are also our determination, patience, perseverance, tenacity and self-confidence to succeed in this endeavor.

Remember that in order to remain and deepen in self-awareness we must seek and associate with what help us to succeed in this and avoid what impedes us remain in self-awareness and facilitates identification. A problem regarding identification and self-awareness is that we don't want to avoid the identification in relation with pleasurable and pleasant experiences. This is the greatest challenge we face in our journey towards liberation.

Can we enjoy objects without identification? Yes we can, but we cannot have pleasure (except sexual pleasure; of course there is also passionate sex which is based also on imagination, identification and projection) without identification, imagination and projection. Pleasure needs identification. This is subtle subject and needs a greater analysis.

Strangely in some cases our ego doesn't like also to let go of negative emotions as well; this happens because our egoic identity is based on these emotions (in reality these emotions are modifications or expression of the ego itself) and also because of false concepts and beliefs.

The quantity and the quality both are important factors of development

In order to develop any capacity or quality, the quantity and the quality of practice are both necessary and important. High quantity of practice with low quality gives poor results and vice-versa, high quality (which normally is impossible without a lot of practice) with a little practice gives poor results as well.

High aspiration, devotion, dedication, self-confidence, faith, determination, patience, perseverance, tenacity, are more important than the methods.
We and not the practices or the techniques by themselves are the most important factor and everything depends on our faith and determination.

Practical tips to develop self-awareness and self-awareness

Practice two times a day meditation or self-enquiry.
Read books about self-awareness (of spiritual teachers (like Eckhart Tolle, Nisargadatta etc.), two or more hours every day 'trying’ to remain self-aware.
Read classical advaita books like Ribhu Gita, Astavakra Gita, Avadhuta Gita and 'try' to remain self-aware.
Watch video that are focused in self-awareness (of spiritual teachers (like Eckhart Tolle, Adhyasanti and others) 'trying’ to remain self-aware.
Participate in satsangs about self-awareness and self-awareness and ‘trying’ to remain self-aware.
Listen spiritual music or mantra 'trying’ to remain self-aware.
Repeat mentally mantras 'trying’ to remain self-aware.
Walk one hour every day 'trying’ to remain self-aware.
Walk one hour in market and see how your mind is attracted from sense objects and how the process of identification unfolds. Observe how your egoic mind reacts with like and dislike, attraction and aversion towards objects.
Practice pranayama 'trying’ to remain self-aware.
Practice hatha yoga asanas 'trying’ to remain self-aware.
Practice relaxation 'trying’ to remain self-aware.
Stay in front of a big mirror and look at your self 'trying' to remain self-aware.

Find your own ways to develop self-awareness and be established in it

Find your own ways to remain and deepen in self-awareness according the conditions of tour life.
Finally by continuous steady practice you must achieve remain self-aware in all situations of daily life.

Introspection and dissolution of egoic tendencies

You must also every day (usually every night) to do introspection and work with some egoic tendency, some negative emotion in order to understand it and dissolve it by proper means. By dissolving little by little every day the egoic energy we create more free space in mind that enable us remain more easily present and self-aware.

Everything is in you, everything will be revealed to you in the right time. If you aspire sincerely and practice regularly with faith and steadiness you will succeed. There is no doubt. Obstacles are many but you can overcome everything, no doubt! Everything depends on faith!


NOTE:
samskaras and vasanas*: