Friday, March 31, 2017

LIBERATION IS THE DEATH OF EGO ~ Amma


LIBERATION IS THE DEATH OF EGO
~ Amma

"By birth, human beings are children of the universe, but they can be reborn as the children of God as well. This rebirth happens when we completely die to our ego. When the last trace of ego vanishes, that is when the real birth of our identity as the Supreme Self takes place within us. This is not something that is to be experienced after we die. We have to die to the ego, before we really die."

~ Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi)

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The knots of samsara ~ Swami Sivananda


The knots of samsara

Avidya (ignorance), Kama (desire) and Karma (action) are the knots or Hridaya Granthis that have tied the deluded Jiva to this Samsara or wheel of birth and death.

From the Avidya Sakti desire arises to enjoy the external objects of desire. As soon as man was enveloped by the veil of ignorance, he forgot his essential blissful nature and began to run after sensual objects to seek his pleasure through the avenues of the senses. He began to exert, to do selfish Karmas, to realise his objects of desire. He lost his original freedom and became bound. 

Impulses 

Impulses are of three kinds, viz., impulse of thought, impulse of speech and impulse of action.

Impulse, instinct, desires, cravings, are all modifications of Prakriti or Gunas. Just as the iron pieces move in the presence of magnet, the impulses, instincts, etc., derive their force or Chetana Sakti from Brahman only, the source of everything.

Every action is an outcome of some motive. Motive is nothing but some instinctive impulse or combination of two or more impulses.

Any activity is an endeavour to attain a goal. There is a vital impulse or urge to action. The conative process works in man.

There are the reproductive instinct, the pairing or sexual instinct, the instinct of self-preservation, the instinct of escape or shrinking from injury, instinct of combat, instinct of curiosity, herding instinct, instinct of repulsion, instinct of attraction, the parental instinct, instinct of assertion, instinct of laughter, the Bania or Vaishya instinct through which one exploits and amasses wealth for his own comforts, the instinct of lordliness through which man tries to lord or domineer over others, and the destructive instinct through which he tries to destroy others who are more powerful and influential than him. 

Man wishes to have children to maintain the race or line. This is reproductive instinct or Putra Ishana. Desire to copulate proceeds from the sexual instinct. The strength of the sexual desire depends upon the intensity of sexual impulse. Impulse is a mighty force. It exerts influence on the mind. It is a force suddenly communicated to the mind. The sexual impulse is controlled by Japa, Pranayama, meditation, pure food and Atmic enquiry. 

Man wants to preserve himself. Hunger is a self-preservative instinct. In time of danger, he wants to save himself from the impending danger. This is the instinct of escape. He wishes to fight when he is insulted. This is the instinct of combat. He wants to know about things. This is the instinct of curiosity. He wants company for talking. He wants to have a community of his own. This is the herding instinct. He has an inherent attraction or repulsion for certain persons or objects. This is the instinct of attraction and repulsion. He wants to assert himself, My view alone is correct. I can do anything and everything. I am intelligent. I am a high class Brahmin. I am a scholar. This is the self-assertive Rajasic instinct or the instinct of assertion. He has special inborn affection and love for his children. He fondles and caresses them. This is parental instinct. There is the instinct to retaliate. 

According to Gita impulse is Vegam or force. Lord Krishna says, He who is able to endure here on earth before he is liberated from the body, the force born of desire and passion, he is harmonised, he is a happy man (V-23). 

Just as the petrol or steam moves the engine, the instincts and impulses move this body. The instincts are the prime movers of all human activities. They give a push to the body and move the Indriyas to action. The instincts create habits. The instinctive impulses supply the driving power by which all mental activities are kept up. These impulses are mental forces. They mould the life of a man. The mystery of life lies in them. These impulses operate through the mind and the intellect.

Abhinivesa is clinging to this earthly life. This is fear of death. This is one of the five afflictions according to Patanjali Maharshi. It is born of Avidya or ignorance. This is synonymous with Bergson's 'elan Vital,' Schopenhauer's 'will-to-live' or Jung's Libido, or Trishna of Lord Buddha. This clinging to mundane life is the cause for rebirth. This clinging should be destroyed through dispassion, discrimination and enquiry of 'who am I?'.

Abhinivesa is clinging to this earthly life. This is fear of death. This is one of the five afflictions according to Patanjali Maharshi. It is born of Avidya or ignorance. This is synonymous with Bergson's 'elan Vital,' Schopenhauer's 'will-to-live' or Jung's Libido, or Trishna of Lord Buddha. This clinging to mundane life is the cause for rebirth. This clinging should be destroyed through dispassion, discrimination and enquiry of 'who am I?'.

If you wish to withdraw yourself from the objects of senses, you will have to shut out the three different compartments in the mind which perform the conative, the cognitive and the affective processes. The mind runs outside through conation, cognition and affection. Conation is activity. Cognition is perception. Affection is love towards objects. Conation is at the root of all actions. The process of conation is done through Kriya Sakti. The process of cognition is done through Jnana Sakti. The process of affection is done through Prema Sakti.

Do not allow the mental energy to run in these directions. Through the practice of Japa, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dama, Sama, Atmic enquiry, meditation and devotion you can fix your mind on the Lord or the Atman. 

Desire

What is desire?

Desire is an impulse (conative) towards an object. It is kept alive by imagination of the object such as 'Oh, how beautiful it is,' etc.

Desire is an earnest longing for attaining some object or goal. It is a wish to enjoy an object. An urge to attain something is desire.

Desire to see has become the eyes; desire to hear has become the ears; desire to taste has become the tongue; desire to smell has become the nose; desire to touch has become the skin; desire to work has become the hand; desire to speak has become the organ of speech; desire to walk has become the feet; desire to copulate has become the organ of reproduction. Desire is the root cause for this mundane life.

Desires are the conative tendencies of your instincts. An instinct is an involuntary prompting to action. In the light of Vedanta philosophy, desire is born of Avidya or ignorance. There are neither desires, nor cravings, nor longings in Brahman. It is ever pure and transcendent. It is not touched by even a trace of desire. It is absolutely free from Maya or Mala (impurities of desire).

When you think of an object, you feel a sort of stirring within you. There is an impulse to action in order to achieve the desired object. A desire arises to attain the object. Then there is Cheshta or Prayatna (effort). You begin to think in a clear and definite form as to how to possess the object. by the force of mere thought of an object, a tendency or hidden subtle Vasana is stirred to action. The senses of action begin to work. You obtain the object and enjoy it.

Desire is strengthened by hope and anticipation and repetition. 

Desire consists of three parts, viz., attachment (Aasakti), longing (Kamana) and preference. If you remove attachment through dispassion, discrimination and enquiry, longing will die by itself. Preference may remain for some time. It will also perish through discrimination. Therefore remove attachment first. Cultivate dispassion and discriminate between the real and the unreal. Persist in your enquiry. There are three sorts of attachment, viz., attachment to a person, or an object or a place.
You may have a preference to coffee or tea, brinjal or potatoes and the like. However nice may be a Hindustani food preparation, a Madrasi or a Bengali or a Punjabi will have preference to his own dishes. It takes a long time to destroy this preference.

The wheel of Vasana and Samskara

Vasana is a subtle form of desire. It is hidden desire. Vasanas assume the form of desire which is gross. Trishna is intense craving or hankering after sensual objects. Vasana is intermingled with Samskaras or impressions. Vasanas produce Samskaras (impressions) and Samskaras in turn generate Vasanas. The rotation of this never-ending wheel of Vasana and Samskara constitutes the Samsara Chakra which causes births and deaths.

Conquest of desires is conquest of mind, because mind is nothing but a bundle of desires.  

Annihilation of desires alone is Liberation (Moksha). The state of desirelessness is the highest Nirvikalpa Samadhi. 

Desire is a dire enemy of peace, devotion and knowledge.

If you entertain a desire to possess an object, then only the object gives you pleasure. Therefore desire is the cause of pleasures.

Woman in herself is not handsome for man. She is beautiful only in proportion to man's desire for her. A passionate man only sees Urvasi's beauty even in the brow of an ugly woman. A sage or a man of discrimination has neither attraction nor desire for woman. A beautiful woman loses all charm and becomes an object of repulsion after coital orgasm, when the sex impulse is at its lowest ebb in man. 

Beauty is a mental Kalpana only. What is beautiful for one is not so for another. The man projects his own idea of beauty in the woman and sees highest beauty even in an ugly woman. This is all due to the working of the mischievous mind which creates hell in heaven and heaven in hell.

Control the senses first. Destroy the desires through discrimination, meditation and Atmic enquiry and rest in the desireless Satchidananda Brahman.

May you be established in your native, pristine state of divine glory and splendour which is beyond the reach of Gunas, senses, mind and intellect, wherein there is neither urge nor impulse nor instinct, neither conation, nor cognition, nor affection, neither desire, Vasana or Trishna, wherein you enjoy perfect peace, bliss and joy through meditation and Nirvikalpa Samadhi.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

PEARLS ABOUT SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION ~ Swami Sivananda


PEARLS ABOUT SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION

Serve untiringly. Serve selflessly. Pray devotedly.
Live truthfully. You will soon enter the kingdom of God.

Remain cheerful. Do japa whole-heartedly. Rejoice heartily.
You will attain the state of blessedness.

Reflect ceaselessly. Meditate intensely.
Realize perfectly. Rest peacefully.

Think rightly. Act righteously. Meditate regularly.
You will attain eternal bliss.

Aspire fervently. Pray sincerely. Introspect seriously.
Reflect vigorously. You will enjoy supreme peace.

Speak sweetly. Speak softly. Speak lovingly.
Speak truthfully. You will attain unalloyed felicity.


DHARMA

Dharma is the pivot of life.
Dharma means duty, righteousness, religion, eternal law.
Where dharma is, there victory is.
Dharma supports life.
Dharma brings perfection.
Dharma is a way of life based on virtues and perfect moral conduct.
Dharma bestows immortal bliss.

CONQUEST OF MIND

Control of the mind is the first step to spirituality.
Victory over the mind means victory over the world.
Conquest of the mind is the greatest victory.
The mind becomes unstable and restless through desires for objects.
When the mind is not centered in the Atman, man desires objects.
Become desireless, control the mind, be happy for ever.

SATSANGA

Satsanga is association with saints and sages.
Without satsanga the mind cannot be turned towards god.
Satsanga is a formidable and impregnable fortress to protect aspirants from the temptations of Maya (illusion).
Live in the company of sages, hear their valuable instructions, and follow them implicitly.

BHAKTI

God is love.
Bhakti is the experience of divine love.
Do your duty in a spirit of worship.
Perform all actions in an attitude of prayer.
Your heart should overflow with divine love at the sight of any object in this world.
Then alone you will become an ideal devotee.

Bhakti is devotion unto the lord.
Prayer, japa (repetition of God's name), kirtan (chanting),
God remembrance, worship, meditation, self-surrender are all limbs of bhakti yoga.

Bhakti yoga is suitable for the vast majority of persons.
Para (supreme), bhakti, and jnana (self-knowledge), are one.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

NEVER LEAVE YOUR SADHANA ~ Swami Sivananda



NEVER LEAVE YOUR SADHANA 

Listen! wake up now. Do sadhana (spiritual practice). Develop dispassion. Beware of the senses. Become desireless.

Conscious attempts to unite oneself with God, is called spiritual sadhana.

Never leave your sadhana (spiritual practice), your meditation, even for a day. Constant practice, and eternal vigilance, are indispensable, till God-realization is attained. As long as you do not realize the truth, practice self-control and meditation.

Be regular in keeping your spiritual diary. Spiritual progress will be greatly quickened. Go to bed early (10 pm) and get up early (4 am). The early morning hours are most favorable for meditation.

Spiritual discipline is the key to God-realization. Discipline the body and the senses and the mind. May you attain God-realization, now and here.

Subjugate the senses. slay this egoism. Curb the mind, and enter the illimitable domain of immortal bliss.
 

Om Krishna!


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

This is the way to spiritualise all your actions ~ Swami Sivananda

This is the way to spiritualize all your actions

What is the Divine Life?

To shed the animal in man, and to sublimate the human in him to the divine.
To express the sublimation, in his daily life, in his hourly life, in thought, word, and deed, that is divine life.
To pray, to do japa nama (repetition of God's name), to sing the glory of God, to do kirtan (chanting mantras), to meditate on the Lord, is divine life.

Understand life. Live divinely. Seek good company. 

Fear not. Waste not time.Depend on God.
Understand life's supreme purpose. Seek the eternal. Realize the underlying essence.
Have intense thirst for liberation. Die to live. Discipline the mind. Have self-control. Learn to be wise. Make the best use of this human birth. Realize the oneness of existence.

See God in all beings and things, see the world as a manifestation of God. It is not necessary to abandon the world in order to have a vision of God, because the world itself is a manifestation of God.

Treat all kinds of work, domestic, official, etc., as service of God. Surrender all your actions and their fruits to the Lord. give up agency. Feel you are an instrument in the hands of the Lord. Actions will not bind you. Your heart will be purified. The grace and light of God will descend on you.

This is the way to spiritualize all your actions.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

METHODS FOR THE DISSOLUTION OF THE EGOIC TENDENCIES `~ Atman Nityananda

GODDESS KALI KILLS THE EGO 

METHODS FOR THE DISSOLUTION OF THE EGOIC TENDENCIES 

The process of dissolution of the egoic patterns and tendencies it is an integral work and relates to all aspects of Sadhana (to all spiritual practices). In order to free our minds from the selfish patterns requires a daily, diligent, sincere and systematic practice. However there are some specific ways or methods* by which we can dissolve the egoic tendencies.
 This work of dissolution of the egoic patterns and tendencies has two main objectives.

1. We must stop the creation of new patterns and tendencies as well as stop the strengthening of the already existing patterns and tendencies stored in the subconscious mind. 
2. We must eliminate the already existing patterns and tendencies by appropriate means (techniques, practices, methods and strategies).

In order to avoid the creation of new patterns and the strengthening of the old ones, we must avoid or stop the identification with the mind (emotional and thinking, - thoughts, beliefs, emotions, moods, imaginations), with the body and the external objects and change our mechanical reactions from moment to moment. This can be done by several ways. The most fundamental prerequisites are: be moment to moment vigilant and alert, remain self-aware (self-awareness), exercise dispassionate, discriminative self-observation, control the senses and mind, keep the mind focused, exercise the discernment, repeat the name of God or a mantra and prayer.

In order to dissolve the existing egoic tendencies and patterns, it is necessary to exercise moment to moment all these I mentioned above as well as to apply daily some specific for the dissolution of the egoic tendencies techniques and methods.

Thus, although the dissolution of the egoic tendencies and patterns is connected with all aspects of the spiritual practice there are some specific methods or techniques to achieve this directly. 

I mention here some of the most important ways and methods to dissolve the egoic tendencies. The instructions about the application of these methods will be explained in other essays. 

1. Prayer to divinity (Divine Shakti or God) to dissolve this particular egoic tendency or energy.

2. The repetition of a mantra of God´s name or the Divine mother´s name (Om, Om Sri Durgaye namaha, Om Jesus Christ namaha, Om nama Shivay etc.). 

3. The practice of introspection, observation, analysis, reflection, comprehension and dissolution by prayer and visualization.

4. Positive visualization together with respiration, affirmations and prayer

5. By connecting with the divine energies of love, light and feeling that these energies permeate our mind, heart and energy field and purify the negative or the egoic energy.

6.The dissolution of the egoic tendency in the 49 subconscious levels.

7. The one pointed, discriminative enquiry 

8. Another way (if we are capable to do so) is to 'download' the power of the silent space within on the emotion by focusing our attention in the source of the silent space and then without to lose connection with it to put our attention also to the emotion.  

9. Facing the Sun and asking the Sun forces to dissolve the egoic tendency or energy.

10. The method EFT* and the Sedona* method. 

11. Bach flower remedies*.

I consider also very important to purify and clear regularly (especially when we are exposed in negative energy fields, of persons, areas, shops, houses), our subtle bodies, chakras and nadis (vital energy channels) from any negative energy that came from outside or of ours. This can be done by prayer, by reiki or any other way of pranic healing.

In this process of the dissolution of egoic patterns meditation and self-inquiry play a fundamental role because without to be aware of our essence, our true Self, we cannot remain as a detached observer of our mind. It will be extremely difficult to disidentify from the emotional reactions and the thinking patterns as well as to develop discernment, dispassion and the dispassionate discriminative self-observation that are indispensable for the dissolution of the egoic patterns and Self-realization.

Question: Have we (it is necessary) to exercise all the above ways and methods in order to dissolve the ego?
 Answer: No. Each person can select some of them. 
According my experience I consider the prayer and God's name or a mantra as the most important ways to dissolve the ego. I consider also as very important the practices No 2 (Introspection, observation, analysis etc., especially for the first years of sadhana, and No 7 The one pointed, discriminative enquiry (which we must exercise  during all day in order to stop identification with the egoic patterns and facilitate its dissolution).   

I recommend highly the No 2 method (of introspection, observation, analysis etc.), because by practicing this method we will  become capable to apply all other methods easily. This happens because in this method, which the most fundamental one, are included all the elements and capacities (attention, detached and discriminative observation, Self-awareness, prayer, visualization) that are common to almost all other methods, All other methods include some of these elements of attention, detached and discriminative observation, Self-awareness, prayer, visualization but each method  works in a different way.

EFT and Sedona are very simple and effective methods and although have some common elements with my own methods, they approach the dissolution of the egoic tendencies in a different way. However I used these two methods in my own way, according my understanding and experience of the work related to the dissolution of the ego.
 
The usage of Bach flower remedies doesn't require any effort or practice. We simply take some drops of the flowers we need several times during the day. 

 Question: Are these methods complicated?
 Answer: Not at all. They are very simple. As all things we learn in this world, in order to apply effectively each method we must practice it for some time with regularity and sincerity. Gradually we become familiar with it, and we develop the necessary skills and capacities related to it.

Of course some methods are simpler than others. Prayer for example doesn't need any prerequisite or capacity to do it, but perhaps a minimal faith that can be accomplished what we ask. 

Moreover to apply some of them effectively (No 7 and No 8), it is required a greater capacity of discrimination, self-awareness and detached observation than the others.  

NOTE: 
The method EFT*, the Sedona* method:
You can find information about  EFT and Sedona in websites as well as on youtube.

Bach flower remedies*: 
They gently restore the balance between mind and body by casting out negative emotions such as fear, worry, hatred and indecision which interfere with the equilibrium of the being as a whole.