Tuesday, May 30, 2017

MENTAL PEACE THROUGH NON-ATTACHMENT. ~ Swami Sivananda


MENTAL PEACE THROUGH NON-ATTACHMENT

The subject of non-attachment is of universal importance.
Attachment is the most powerful weapon of Maya for binding the Jivas to the Samsaric wheel of birth and death. You would have never come into this world, had it not been for attachment.

The attachment first starts with this physical body. Then all other attachments crop up. Then comes relationship of father, mother, brother, sister, wife, son, friend, etc.

One may be attached to a place, person, or an object. Wherever there is attachment, there is the idea of Mineness or Mamata. Attachment is a kind of very strong glue that binds the mind with the objects. Why does the mind get attached to objects or persons? Because it finds pleasure in objects or persons. Wherever there is pleasure, the mind gets attached there. It is attached to wife, son, house, property, money or a friend, because the mind finds pleasure in these objects.

Attachment is the root cause for human sufferings. It is the product of effect of ignorance or Avidya. It is a modification of nescience or ignorance.

It is attachment that brings us again into this Mrityuloka. The seeds of attachment are ingrained in the subconscious mind. We have to obliterate or fry up all these seeds through right thinking, Vichara and Atma-jnana. We have to cut all these illusory attachments through the sword of non-attachment or Vairagya. The Gita says, - Asangasastrena dridhena cchitva. - - Cut this tree of Maya with the sword of non-attachment. (Chapter XV).

Develop internal Vairagya (dispassion) by understanding the illusory nature of this world. Remember the pains of this Samsara, viz., birth, death, old age, diseases and miseries of this world. Place before the mind the glorious life in Atman and the immense bliss of a spiritual life. Remember the Saints and Yogins and Jnanis like Sri Sankara, Mansoor, Shams Tabriez, Jnana Dev and their teachings. Slowly the mind will be weaned from sensual objects. It can be gradually turned towards God and higher things. Have recourse to Satsanga.

Do Atma-Vichara (Self-enquiry). Meditate daily. That man who has no attachment in this world, is the most happy man. He is God Himself. His joy is indescribable. He must be adored.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Wisdom of Chanting and Singing to Lord Siva ॐ By Swami Sivananda Saraswati



The Wisdom of Chanting and Singing to Lord Siva ॐ

The Name of Lord Siva chanted in any way, correctly or incorrectly, knowingly or unknowingly, carefully or carelessly, is sure to give the desired result. The Glory of the Name of Lord Siva cannot be established through reasoning and intellect. It can certainly be experienced or realized only through devotion, faith and 'constant repetition' of the Name and singing His hymns with Bhava (pure reverent approach).

Every Name is filled with countless potencies or Saktis. The power of the Name is ineffable. Its Glory is indescribable. The efficiency and inherent Sakti of the Name of Lord Siva are unfathomable.

The mind is purified by constant repetition of Siva-Stotra and Names of Lord Siva. The Stotras are filled with good and pure thoughts. Repetition of the hymns to Siva strengthens the good Samskaras. “As a man/woman thinks, that one becomes”. This is the psychological law. The mind of a one who trains their self in thinking good, holy thoughts develops a tendency to think of good thoughts.

Their character is moulded and transformed by continued good thought. When the mind thinks of the 'Image of the Lord' during singing His hymns, the mental substance actually assumes the form of the Image of the Lord. The impression of the object thought of is left in the mind. This is called Samskara. When the act is repeated very often, the Samskaras gain strength by repetition, and a tendency or habit is formed in the mind.

One who entertains Thoughts of Divinity, becomes transformed actually into the Divinity itself by constant thinking. Ones Bhava or disposition is purified and Divinized.  When one sings the hymns of Lord Siva, one is in tune with the Lord. The individual mind melts in the cosmic mind. One who sings the hymns becomes One with Lord Siva.

Just as fire has the natural property of burning inflammable things, so also the Name of Lord Siva has the power of burning the sins, Samskaras and Vasanas and bestowing eternal bliss and everlasting peace on those who repeat the Name of the Lord.

Just as burning quality is natural and inherent in fire, so also the power of destroying sins with their very root and branch and bringing the aspirant into 'blissful union' with the Lord through Bhava Samadhi, is natural and inherent in the Name of God.

O Friends! Take refuge in the Name of Siva. Sing His hymns. Nami and Name are inseparable. Sing Lord Siva’s hymns incessantly. Remember the Name of the Lord with every incoming and outgoing breath. In this Iron Age, Nama-Smarana, (the supreme sadhana) or singing the hymns is the easiest, quickest, safest and surest way to reach God and attain Immortality and perennial joy. 

Glory to Lord Siva! Glory to His Name!

ॐ नमः शिवाय.  On nama Shivay!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Divine Mother -Shakti \ The active aspect of Brahman and the awakening of kundalini ~ Atman Nityananda




The Divine Mother -Shakti  \ The active aspect of Brahman
and the awakening of kundalini

Brahman (Shiva or Atman or God, or Spirit etc.) and Shakti are not two. They are the static and the dynamic aspects of one and the same principle.

"The power or active aspect of the immanent God is Shakti. Shiva (Brahman, God etc.) is the unchanging consciousness. Shakti is His changing Power which appears as mind and matter. She runs this world-show. She maintains the sportive play or Lila of the Lord. She is the supporter of the vast universe. She is the supreme Power by which the world is upheld. She is the Universal Mother (the Divine Mother)."

~ Swami Sivananda



"It is this cosmic energy, this Para Shakti, that manifests as the incredible energy of the sun, the energy of the planets and, the incredible speed at which they whirl in their own orbits. It is this cosmic energy which manifests as the power of gravity, as the power of the sun’s radiance, as the power of all these great planets and heavenly bodies, as the power of the wind and other elements. Shakti controls the entire manifestation, just as electricity allows all appliances to work."

~ Swami Chitananda

"The Divine Mother is everywhere triple. She is endowed with the three Gunas, viz., Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. She manifests Herself as Will (Ichha Shakti), Action (Kriya Shakti) and Knowledge (Jnana Sakti). She is Brahma-Shakti (Sarasvati) in conjunction with Brahma, Vishnu-Shakti (Lakshmi) in conjunction with Vishnu and Shhiva-Sakti (Gauri) in conjunction with Shiva. Hence She is called Tripurasundari. The Chaitanya (consciousness) that is associated with the Sattva Guna is Vishnu. The Chaitanya that is associated with Rajoguna is Brahma and the Chaitanya associated with Tamoguna is Siva. 

The one Ishvara (Chaitanya associated with Shakti or Maya; the reflection of Brahman in Maya is Ishvara.) has become three according to the functions of creations, preservation and destruction. The Chaitanya (consciousness) is the same."

~ Swami Sivananda

The Shakti is neither female nor male. She is everything, male, female and neutral and beyond these aspects also. Shakti is considered as female in relation with Brahman which of course is not neither male nor female; Brahman or the absolute Truth is beyond any description.

"Any power that we see in this universe is the power of this great cosmic force and it is this same power that animates all living beings, trees, plants, insects, birds, bees, reptiles, fish and animals. It is the power of the lion, it is the power of the elephant and it is the power of the brilliant intellect or genius of a Faraday, a Raman or an Einstein.

"This self-same power abides in us and animates our entire body mechanism. Our lives depend entirely upon Shakti, which grants us vitality, feeling and consciousness or awareness, through which we operate on all levels and can set in motion both our outer actions and inner sadhana (spiritual practice). 



"The body is Shakti. The mind is Shakti. The needs of the body are the needs of Shakti. The shakti is the power that digests our food, that makes our heart pump blood, that makes our lungs breathe, that makes our muscles and joints work, that makes our tongue talk and ear hear. 

~ Swami Chitananda

"The Shakti rules over the processes of birth and death and the unfoldment karma. She provides our souls with the bodies and minds and the worlds in which to experience life. All that we eat, breathe, perceive, feel or know consists of some portion of her energy and an aspect of Her dynamic processes that surround us on every side. All that we seek to acquire for sustenance, happiness, knowledge or growth is part of Her and comes from Her."

 ~ David Frawley

The sexual aspect of Shakti

The sexual energy is the most fundamental expression of cosmic energy, because through it the entire universe is born and exists.
In our bodies its main functions is the reproduction of the species and the experience of pleasure, but it is even more important in spiritual development.

Sexual energy is the deepest reservoir of our energy. In the sexual fluids (semen and vaginal fluids) are stored the more subtle and fine energies (Tejas and Ojas) which are very important for maintaining good health, mental and emotional balance and harmony and achieve a high level of consiousness .

Sexual energy has also a higher potential which causes the awakening of Shakti-kundalini which in its turn awake the superior capabilities of the seven chakras and mind (clairvoyance, clairaudience, cosmic consciousness etc.).

"It is this very power that is also present as the sex energy in us. Therefore, the sex energy is nothing but the presence of the Divine Mother in all human beings."

"So, the sexual energy is part of the one indivisible great cosmic power present in the human individual. In its gross biological aspect, it is called the sexual energy. In its subtler aspect, it is the energy of discrimination, the power of the intellect to analyze and enquire and ratiocinate. In a still subtler aspect, in its psychic aspect, it is the power of the Shakti Kundalini. And in its supreme aspect, it is nothing but Atma-Shakti. Because Brahman and Shakti are not two. They are the static and the dynamic aspects of one and the same principle."

~ Swami Chitananda

Shakti and spirituality

"Even to seek Brahman, to seek what is beyond Shakti (Shiva, Brahman etc.), we must work with Shakti. Shakti provides us the power of meditation and the discriminating insight through which we can transcend time and space. This means that the best means for both spiritual realization and for gaining all the other goals of life is to worship Shakti, to work with and for the Goddess (Divine Mother). There is no other way as effective, if there is any other way at all. If the Brahman is the goal, the Shakti is both the path and the power to traverse it. We can awaken and follow her current to Brahman, or remain asleep and get caught in her outside streams that move in different directions."

 ~ David Frawley


The worship and devotion of Divine Mother can be included in all spiritual paths and can be a part of the sadhana of everyone who wants to realize the Truth.  But there are paths like Shaktaism that are dedicated in the worship of the Divine Mother and have spesific practices for the awakening of Shakti-kundalini.  

Worship and devotion can be done by rituals, prayers, singing praises and kirtan, reading sacred texts about the Divine mother, repetion of mantras, by the sexual Maithuna and finally by recognising every person and action as a manifestation of the Shakti, by seeing  the Divine Mother in everything.

 

Shakti-Kundalini yoga sadhana

Shaktaism is an ancient path of India in which the devotees adore the Divine Mother and with specific practices aim to the unfolding and awakening of Shakti-Kundalini. 

"Shaktaism helps the aspirant to arouse the Kundalini and unite Her with Lord Shiva (pure Consciousness) and to enjoy the supreme bliss or Nirvikalpa Samadhi. A Shakta (devotee of Shakti) does Sadhana which helps the union of Shiva and Shakti through the awakening of the forces within the body. He becomes a Siddha (perfect) in the Sadhana when he is able to awaken Kundalini and pierce the six Chakras. The mode of Sadhana depends upon the tendencies and capacities of the Sadhaka. One should become perfectly desireless and should be full of Vairagya before he attempts to awaken Kundalini.



"In this path the aspirant adores the Shakti and practices, Dhyana, Bhava, Japa, pranayamas and Shakti-Mantra in order to awaken the Shakti-kundalini. Devotion, celibacy, renunciation, dispassion and purity of mind are necessary for the awakening of kundalini."

~ Swami Sivananda




There are other paths like the Tao and the Gnosis movement of Samael Aun Weor which although they give practices for celibates  for the transformation of sexual energy they suggest the sexual Maithuna as the main practice for the awakening of kundalini. However, in these paths are also essential the purity of mind, the dispassion, concentration and meditation for the awakening of kundalini. 
Sexual Maithuna is the adoration of Shakti through the sexual union of male and female without orgasm in order to transform the sexual energy and awaken the Kundalini. Shakti kundalini is the serpent power, that has 3 coils with face downwards, in the Muladhara Chakra, at the base of the spine.  By concentration, imagination, pranayama, bandhas and mantras the aspirants lead the sexual energy through the spine (the subtle nadis of ida, pigala and susumna). When kundalini awakens, awaken also the latent superior powers of the six chakras and the yogi aquires siddhis (clairvoyance, clairaudience, cosmic consciousness etc.).

However  Maithuna is not easy to practice in this age and paths like Advaita suggest celibacy. 

Swami Sivananda used to say: Brahmacharya is the basis of immortality.”
 
Swami Sivananda
Sri Swami Sivananda who himself followed celibacy, suggests celibacy, and considers as more important requisites or qualifications for the awakening of Kundalini, as well as for self-realization, the purity of mind (a mind free from desire, anger, greed, fear, jealousy and rajas and tamas gunas), the devotion, the discrimination, the dispassion, the absence of Iness and mineness, the faith and concentration. He claims that Kundalini can be awakened by various ways :

 "Kundalini can be awakened by various methods such as Japa, devotion, Vichara (enquiry of “Who am I”), Asana, Kumbhaka, Bandhas, Mudras, and above all by the Grace of the Guru."

Sivananda, Paramahansa Ramakrishna and Amritanadamayi (Amma) are great sages that demostrate that Kundalini can be awakened by celibacy despite the fact that devotees of Tantra and Samael Aun Weor (the founder of Gnosis) insist that the sexual Maithuna is necessary for the awakening of kundalini.

"When Kundalini is awakened, reaches the top of the head after piercing one Chakra after another and finally unites with Lord Shiva and enjoys the Highest Bliss. Now the Yogi attains super conscious state and becomes a full-blown Jnani. He drinks the Nectar of Immortality. Illustration shows the ascent of the Kundalini to the top of the head and its union with Lord Siva.

"When Kundalini sleeps, man is awake to the world. He has objective consciousness. When She awakes, he sleeps. He loses all consciousness of the world and becomes one with the Lord. In Samadhi, the body is maintained by the nectar which flows from the union of Shiva and Shakti in the Sahasrara. 

"Mother Kundalini-Shakti unites with Lord Shiva in the Sahasrara during Nirvikalpa Samadhi. This is real Maithuna or blissful union. This is due to Divya-Bhava (divine disposition).ª

"No one can free himself from the thralldom of mind and matter without Mother’s grace. The fetters of Maya are too hard to break. If you worship Her as the great Mother, you can very easily go beyond Prakriti through Her benign grace and blessings. She will remove all obstacles in the path, lead you safely into the illimitable domain of eternal bliss, and make you absolutely free."
~ Swami Sivananda   

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Myths of modern nonduality (Neo-advaita) - There is nothing to change ~ Atman Nityananda


"The duty of every man is to try continually to achieve perfection"
~ Mahatma Gandhi

  There is nothing to change - You are perfect as you are
 There is nothing to change, you are perfect as you are, are two of the common neoadvaita concepts.

Is this true? Yes and not at the same time. 

 There is nothing to change and you are perfect as you are, are true only regarding to our essential or divine nature, which is perfect, complete, homogeneous, indestructible, without form, without time, without cause, a source of unalloyed peace and bliss.

But this is not true regarding our mortal nature. Our vital, mental emotional and intellectual aspects of our being are full of imperfections, full of vital, emotional and mental toxins. These imperfections have the form of pride, anger, gluttony, lust, greed, jealousy, arrogance, hatred, fear, etc. So at these mortal levels, we do have to change. We have to eliminate all these imperfections and transform our rajasotamasic mind into a pure sattvic mind.

 One can say: "First we will realize that we are perfect and then eradicate the mental and emotional imperfections" This would be very nice, but it is not possible. This is equivalent to put the cart in front of the horse. These imperfections, called selfish tendencies, are what prevent us to realize that we are the eternally perfect consciousness and not the body and the mind. These imperfections cover the consciousness (which is the subtlest of all) and obscure our perception as the fog covers the space and the sun. How could a dense mind obscured by the selfish tendencies, perceive with clarity the consciousness that is the most subtle of everything? 

Can you see your face with clarity in a dirty mirror? No. First you have to clean the mirror. The clearer the mirror, the clearer the perception of your face. The same happens with the mind and consciousness. The mind is like a mirror that reflects the consciousness. The purer the mind, the more clearly it will reflect the peace and bliss (ananda) of consciousness which are not its attributes but its innate nature.

"Do not miss any opportunity, take advantage of every opportunity, every opportunity is aimed to your development and perfection."

"Be sincere, work in harmony, be flexible, adapt, adjust, accommodate. The perfection of the individual ultimately leads to the perfection of humanity."

"Perfection is attained when the intellect becomes as pure as the Atman (Consciousness) itself!"
 
~ Swami Sivananda

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Myths of modern nonduality (Neo-advaita) - Ego is a thought or an idea ~ Atman Nityananda

Ego is a thought or an idea

What is ego?

Ego is one of the four aspects of antahkarana (manas, buddhi, chitta, ahamkara-ego).

Ego (its lower rajasotamasic aspect) is what makes us identify with the body and thus we sense 'the body is me'.
The ego makes us sense 'I am the body' (more precise 'the body is me') and due to this strong sense we think and believe that we are the body, not the opposite (i.e. we don't feel or sense that we are the body because we think or believe so). That means that the ego is not a thought, not a belief or an idea but some kind of energy that makes us identify with the body and sense the body as our selves. Then, based on this sense or feeling 'the body is me' all various egoistic mental concepts are added.

Ego is the factor of identification, i,e. ego causes all kinds of identification. Ego identifies with everything. First makes us sense and believe that we are the ego itself and due to its identification with the body that we are the body called so and so, born some years ago. Based on this identification with the body we think: I am tall, fat, nice, American, woman, religious etc. and due to identification with the mind, I am, smart, dull, intelligent, stupid, quick learner, and die to identification with the emotional mind I am angry, depressed, anxious, afraid, etc.

Ego makes us sense that we as body-mind entities and as the ego itself, we are the perceiver, the observer, the doer, the feeler, the experiencer etc. In respect with external objects ego develops as ' Mineness'.

Due to the identification of ego with consciousness (and its identification with the body), the ego creates the false perception that consciousness belongs to the body. That's why ignorant materialists scientists consider that consciousness is a phenomenon created by the brain (I.e. from matter).

But what is this mysterious rajasotamasic lower ego essentially?
 It is a kind of energy (desire energy). 
The lower ego is like a tree with many  branches, of which its primary aspect is desire (mainly for pleasure, power, fame, name, comfort, possessions). The ego-desire tree develops  and assumes various  forms. The main ones are pride, greed, raga-dvesha (i.e., like- dislike, attraction- repulsion or aversion, love- hatred), lasciviousness, gluttony, jealousy, arrogance, fear, agony,  uneasiness, insecurity, vanity, anger, hatred, resentment, disappointment, impatience, depression.

The above are its main forms and all the rest aspects of ego are based on them (are their modifications).

These ego's aspects are primarily vital (psychic prana) and sexual energy formations. These energetic egoic formations are associated or identified ( phenomenon Velcro) with thoughts, imaginations, ideas and beliefs. 

Ego of course has its mental aspect but its more difficult aspect to eradicate is the vital-desire aspect.

In reality all the above egoic forms are only modifications of desire itself. Desire itself, transforms as pride, like, dislike, greed, anger, hatred, jealousy  impatience, resentment etc. As the water assumes the form of steam, ice, snow moisture, etc., similarly desire assumes all other egoistic forms. Negative emotions are only modifications of desire They aren't original feelings. Feelings (empathy, devotion, sympathy, happiness, joyfulness, kindness etc.) are not expressions or aspects of this lower rajasotamasivc ego but expressions of the soul and the sattvic mind.

For most seekers sexual desire and pride are the main obstacles that obscures them to reach liberation or Self- realization.

So, the death of the ego  presupposes the dissolution of this distorted vital energy crystallized in our subtle body which is the lower vital ego (of rajasotamasic nature) and which is the most difficult aspect of ego to dissolve. Once this is made then liberation or Self- realization is very easy. 
As Sankarachatrya said it in his famous text Vivekachudamani Verse 181: " Therefore the seeker after Liberation must carefully purify the mind. When this is purified, Liberation is as easy of access as a fruit on the palm of one's hand."
Quotes about the death of ego 

Sri Ramana Maharshi

"When the ego dies, its base, the supreme Self, shines in all Its fullness. No harm comes to You, Self, when the ego dies. Therefore don’t be afraid. 


"The death of the ego in the unlimited Silence – the non-dual Truth – and the shining forth of Self is the Kaivalya-Siddhi [i.e. the attainment of Oneness]. In that State of Jnana, pure Bliss will gloriously blaze forth as one’s own [true] Nature."

 '...intense effort is necessary until the I-thought disappears completely in the heart (Self) and all the vasanas and samskaras are fried and do not revive again.'

' Knowledge (of the Self or Atman -Jnana) can only remain unshaken after all vasana-s are rooted out.' '... if one has not rooted out the vasanas, he will not attain salvation.'

If the six illusory enemies (desire, anger, greed, delusion, intoxication and envy), beginning with desire, that mingle in your heart are totally destroyed, the extremely clear light of  jnana will shine.’  
‘An unruffled mind established in the heart is the fence that protects the field of liberation.’ 
 

‘Knowledge (jnana) can only remain unshaken after all vasanas are rooted out.’  
 
Sri Adi shankaracharya 
 
299. So long as one has any relation to this wicked ego, there should not be the least talk about Liberation, which is unique.
303. As long as there is a trace of poison left in the body, how can one hope for recovery? Similar is the effect of egoism on the Yogi's Liberation.
317... the destruction of desires is Liberation, and this is considered as Liberation-in-life.
~ (Vivekachudamani)

Read also
Is ego the ’I’ thought’ or the identification with thoughts? Atman Nityananda
Enquiry into the nature of ego - by Nityananda Atman