Soul Culture Journal - Winter 2009
GuruDevMessage From the Master – The Power to Change Excerpt from the Book ‘Kriya Yoga’; Ch 4 – The Theory of Kriya Yoga pg 83-86 Gurudev’s Teaching - What’s in a Name? The Significance of Prajnanananda
Paramahamsa PrajnananandaExcerpt from the Book ‘River of Compassion’ - Chapter 7 - The Company You Keep pg 164 -168 An Excerpt from the ‘Book Path of Love’ CH 9. Cultivating Love pg 73 - 75
ScripturesThe Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 18, Verse 9) Patanjali Yoga Sutra 49
Greetings to all:
In January 2009, the Kriya Yoga Institute hosted the Kriya Yoga New Year Seminar with Brahmachari Vidyananda and Yogacharyas Elizabeth Tackenberg & John Thomas Lopategui.
February: Our Divine Mother Swami Gurupremananda Giri breathe her last breath at 1.35 p.m. IST on February 5, 2009 at Cuttack, Orissa, India. During her householder life she gave the world the most beautifull gift, Triloki Dash who latter became Paramahamsa Prajnanananda. She was his model of love and compassion. She always had loving words for everyone. She never spoke unkind words to anyone. She lovingly embraced all who came to her. Her sparkling eyes and her beautifull smile opened everyone heart. She always had words of inspiration and encouragement. We would missed her deeply.
After the passing of Swami Gurupremanandaji on February 5, 2009, her mortal body was taken from Cuttack to Jagatpur Ashram and then onwards to the Balighai ashram, with a stop for darshan at Jagannath Temple in Puri. Upon arriving at Hariharananda Gurukulam, where her body was to be laid to rest, many devotees came to pay their respects and have her last darshan. Her body was then carried in a procession of devotees to Gurudev Paramahamsa Hariharananda's samadhi mandir and then to her samadhi place. The traditional burial ceremony for monks (bhu-samadhi ceremony) was performed under the guidance of Paramahamsa Prajnananandaji in the early evening in the presence of many monks and devotees. There was chanting of the Bhagavad Gita, devotional chanting, and vesper.
On February 20, 2009 there will be a traditional monk celebration at Hariharananda Gurukulam in which many monks will congregate to offer their prayers. In this grand celebration, devotees and villagers in the surrounding areas will also gather to remember Gurupremanandaji's many great contributions. The event will conclude with devotional chanting and feeding of the monks and other guests.
Initiations at the GurukulamThe 23rd of February, 2009, the auspicious day of Maha Shivaratri (the great night of Lord Shiva) was a scene of great spiritual events at our Hariharananda Gurukulam. Several initiations into the path of brahmacharya and sannnyasa were conducted at the Gurukulam under the direction of Paramahamsa Prajnananandaji. The two-day event was a grand and colorful ceremony, following all the prescribed rites of the Giri order.
Ten of our brahmachari trainees and four brahmacharini trainees who completed at least one of the Residential Brahmachari Training Courses and have been serving in our different ashrams were initiated into brahmacharya, with new names ending with ananda (meaning bliss) and were given yellow clothes following the Giri tradition. The yellow color indicates the light of knowledge. A brahmachari follows the path of knowledge in pursuit of God-realization. The following are the old and new names of the Brahmacharis (Br.) and Brahmacharinis (Brn.) with the meaning of the new names:
- Br. Hari Baba – Br. Dhirananda (the bliss of stillness)
- Br. Radha Krishna – Br. Muktananda (the bliss of freedom)
- Br. Bijoy – Br. Devananda (the bliss of God consciousness)
- Br. Sushil – Br. Krupananda (the bliss of Divine grace)
- Br. Kamal – Br. Krishnananda (the bliss of Krishna consciousness)
- Br. Manoranjan – Br. Ramananda (the bliss of Rama consciousness)
- Br. Shakti – Br. Nishtananda (the bliss of commitment)
- Br. Arjun – Br. Premananda (the bliss of love)
- Br. Devendra – Br. Tyagananda (the bliss of sacrifice)
- Br. Utkal – Br. Jnanananda (the bliss of knowledge)
- Br. Dasarathi – Br. Bhumananda (the bliss of Absolute)
- Br. Marco – Br. Ritananda (the bliss of truth)
- Br. Sudhir – Br. Buddhananda (the bliss of enlightenment)
- Br. Nagananda – Br. Purnananda (the bliss of fullness)
- Brn. Sunitha – Brn. Shantimayi (the bliss of peace)
- Brn. Sunitha – Brn. Bhaktimayi (the bliss of devotion)
- Brn. Sashmita – Brn. Muktimayi (the bliss of liberation)
- Brn. Tapaswini – Brn. Dhyanamayi (the bliss of meditation)
Four of our resident brahmacharis serving the ashrams in teaching and non-teaching capacities for the last few years and Yogacharya Anita Ma, a long time disciple of Gurudev, were ordained into monkhood of the Giri order donning ochre clothes. The ochre or saffron color indicates a life of renunciation and sacrifice. The following are the old and new names of the monks and the meaning of their new names:
- Yogacharya Anita Ma – Swami Gurukrupananda Giri (the bliss of the guru's grace)
- Br. Vidyananda – Swami Atmavidyananda Giri (the bliss of Self-knowledge)
- Br. Sadananda – Swami Paripurnananda Giri (the bliss of completeness)
- Br. Sevananda – Swami Gurusevananda Giri (the bliss of service of the guru)
- Br. Nityananda – Swami Nityapremananda Giri (the bliss of constant love)
- Br. Jugal Baba – Swami Apurvananda Giri (the bliss of uniqueness)
For the first time initiations into vanaprastha were conducted at the Gurukulam. In Vedic tradition there are four stages in one's life — brahmacharya (student life), grihasta (married life and taking care of the family and children), vanaprastha (pre-monastic life spent in pursuit of spirituality and service to society), and sannyasa (monastic life of renunciation in quest of Self-realization and helping humanity).
We pray to God and masters to bless all our new initiates in successfully achieving their goals and in their selfless service to further Gurudev Paramahamsa Hariharananda's mission of spreading the divine path of Kriya Yoga worldwide.
March was the vernal equinox:
Loving and Divine Soul,
On the occasion of the Vernal Equinox, I send my love, best wishes, and prayer to all of you.
As the earth constantly revolves around the sun, the light plays across the earth differently depending on the position of the sun. When the sun is over the equator, it is the equinox, and the length of daylight and night are equal. Once the sun goes to the northern hemisphere, as it will today, there will be more light in the north and less light in the south.
It has symbolic meaning. In the body the northern hemisphere is above the heart, and the southern hemisphere is below the heart. When there is more light, meaning more knowledge and awareness in the upper part of the body, we experience more calm and peace. In this state human ego, emotion, jealousy, pride, fear, anxiety, and so forth disappear. On the other hand, when the sun goes to the south, this represents more attention in the lower part of the body, that is, toward material possession, physical pleasure, and food and drink. At this time we become engrossed in worldly life, ignoring the real joy and happiness.
If we can tune ourselves to the rhythm of love and devotion, knowledge and consciousness, we can take care of the lower chakras and their propensities, but still be free from human vices. Those who are not truly spiritual, who achieve a little accomplishment in lower chakras, become filled with pride and ego.
There is a beautiful verse in Sanskrit:
gandusha jala matrena safari pharpharayate
“Although a big fish, such as a carp who lives in deep water, is not proud of itself, a tiny fish flutters a lot in a handful of water, making much noise.”
We should be intelligent and wise. Wise people do not show pride or vanity, but people with little knowledge are egotistical and showy. We should create balance and harmony in our spiritual lives as well as in our day-to-day living. On the equinox, the day of balance, I pray to God and masters to help us live balanced lives.
Again, I am praying for all of you.
Viveka vairagya nidhi pradabhyam
Bodha pradabhyam Dhrita moksha dabhyam
Namo namah Sri guru padukabhyam
“Salutation to the holy fee of the Guru, who swoops down like a hawk on the serpent of desire, anger greed and the like, grants the treasure of discrimination and dispassion, gives wisdom and assures salvation.”
The Power to Change - Jan 2000 issue of Sthita Prajna
You are all doing something, you all are religious persons, but if you ask, then you will easily say that you have no change, you have the same cruelty, same insincerity; you are not seeking your own fault. You are always seeking the fault of other person. But the guru is remaining within you, as formless body, the marvelous power of God. What is in God that is within you? Purity and perfection and truth, kindness, lovingness, simplicity which is the quality of God. But you have nothing, because you do no know the power of God.
God has made you in such a way that through the practice of Kriya Yoga you can change your anger, pride, viciousness, cruelty, and you can always perceive that anything you are doing is done by Him. Ask you conscience, are your eyes seeking God? Are your hands and legs seeking God? Do you feel the power of God within you? No one can touch God. No one can cut God, no one can drench God, no one can burn God, and on one can throw dirt on God. God is formless, abiding in every human being. But you do not perceive the divine joy.
You are only getting animal joy. You are after money, you are after sex, you are after food and you do not know anything. You are passing your time idly. Just like an animal being Where is the change? Animal being and human being are eating, sleeping enjoying sexually and giving affection to their offspring and children. But there is on special thing in every human being, that in each moment you can watch God through your breath. You are only born for God realization. The power of God is within you an in every human being. Use that power to create change and inner transformation.
Chapter IV – The Theory of Kriya Yoga pg 83-86
VITAL AIRS AND CAKRAS
In every thought our vital air (prana) and the quantity and quality of inhalation changes. There are 49 types of air in the body, but the Yoga Sãstras have classified them into five types of airs: apana, samãna, vyana, prana and udana. In the coccygeal and sacral centers, there is apana air. In the lumbar center, there is samana air; in the dorsal center, there is vyana air, in the cervical center, there is prana air and above cervical is udana air. The air we are inhaling is called prana air. When it comes in the lungs, it is called vyana. During the time of sexual satisfaction, people get more heartbeat. That is also vyana air. After food, we take a special type of inhalation and exhalation by the help of which we can digest our food. That air is samana air. When we take food, we sometimes feel that some wind is moving. That wind is also called samana air. After that, the air enters in the colon and it discharges through the anus. That air is called apana air or anila air. During meditation when we sit in paravastha, then inhalation and exhalation become very feeble. That air gives us triple divine qualities in our whole body. That is the real air for calmness, divineness and Godliness. That air goes in the cranium from. pituitary and is called udana air. Prana air is the king of all airs, because without prana air (inhalation), a person is a dead body. That prana air is divided into five main airs and then further into 49 types.
The udana air gives us supreme God-consciousness, because it is coming from the cortical center and remains between the medulla and fontanelle. The two vagus nerves and other cranial nerves allow the storehouse of the brain to perceive awareness of external stimuli and this leads us to the physiological sense. In the cerebrum and cerebellum there are so many nerves. The two vagus nerves, salsai and gairus, originate from the medulla. Using them, we can switch off the ignorance of our mindstuff and can switch on our finest purified sensations.
These nerves form convolutions in the brain where we get the finest intellect, power of reasoning, intuition, foresight and divineness. Also, by the help of these nerves, people can control their lungs with deep inhalations and can reduce their heartbeat and give rest to their tissues and cells. By the kriya yoga technique, everyone can remove his nervousness, weakness, fatigue, anger, sorrows, fear and immature death and can perceive divineness inside the cerebrum and cerebellum. Also, with the kriya yoga technique, a person can perceive and realize three divine qualities and feel true love and regard. This is why the yoga scriptures have given special importance to the udana air in the brain.
The coccygeal center is called the earth center, the sacral center is called the water center, the lumbar center is called the fire center, the dorsal centers called the air center and the cervical center is called the vacuum center. From the cervical center to the crown of the head is also called the vacuum center because five vacuums are remaining there.
In the Yoga Sastras, the coccygeal center is called annamaya kosa. It is also called the wealth center, because all material wealth is remaining in the earth, i.e. food grains, metals, diamonds, petroleum, uranium etc. The sacral center is called pranamaya kosa, the life center, because every human being is born by sex pleasure and life remains in every human body. The lumbar center is called manomaya kosa. The mind is formed in the lumbar center. In all matter and in particular in every foodstuff, there is energy. This is the power of God and that energy enters the stomach as foodstuff where it is digested by the vaisvanara agni (divine fire). Therefore, people get energy from the material world and matter. If we only take food, we cannot get energy. But when we combine the life force and the soul-fire, we can then have real energy in our whole body and mind.
In the lumbar center there are two kinds of mind. It is written in yoga scriptures: Mana eva manusyanam karanam bandha moksayoh. The mind can lead a man to hell in the coccygeal and sacral centers, which only give money sense and sex sense. The general mass of people on the earth are engrossed in business, industry, wealth, power, pleasure of senses, cars, houses, extreme happiness or extreme sense pleasures-their minds and brains remain captive in the jungle of matter. Thus, there will always remain anxieties, worries, sorrows, frictions, avarice, anger, greediness, difficulties, dangers, doubts and suspicions and consequently, they will suffer from nervousness and disease within their systems.
By the practice of kriya yoga they can withdraw their thought waves and mindstuff into knowledge, their knowledge to consciousness and their consciousness to super-consciousness. Also, by the practice of kriya yoga, a man can withdraw his manomaya kosa from the coccygeal and sacral centers to above the lumbar center and get super-consciousness, peace, solace and joy in his life. This is why in the above sloka it is written Karanam bandha moksayoh. If you convert your mind into consciousness above the navel center, then you will feel that you are not the doer. You will feel that the soul is drawing inhalation directly to the lungs in the heart center. The dorsal center is the heart center and in yoga scriptures it is called vijnanamaya kosa.
Since people are absorbed in the visible body, they think, “I am inhaling.” But the moment they come to a proper environment, that is, to a realized guru, a realized kriya yoga Master, they will learn that a dead man cannot inhale and that the supra-electronic life-force, oxygen, is being pulled by the inner mechanism, the Soul. This is why human life sustains.
IN OUR EVERY DISPOSITION
OUR INHALATION CHANGES
If the general mass of people come to a real kriya yogi, they will be taught the truth behind their inhalation. In our every disposition, our inhalations vary. When one enjoys the sex sense, the heart pumps more and more. When one becomes angry, the heart beats even faster. When one has fear, the heart beats most rapidly and may at this stage, causes heart failure. But when we sleep, our heartbeats become slow calm and by the help of slow inhalation, anxieties and thoughts disappear. The real kriya yogi takes his students and teaches them how to get extreme calmness by the process of inhalation. The moment they take calm inhalation, as taught in kriya yoga, they get the breathless stage that is the deathless stage. At that time the heart takes a rest as well as the brain and the mind and the practitioners can work nicely and live longer lives.
Mind is the principal thing of every human being that comes from the energy of food. That is why in the Bhagavad Gita (VI:17) it is written: yuktahara- viharasya yukta-cestasya karmasu yukta-svapna-vabodhasya yoga bhavati duhkhaha. This means a moderate diet, moderate sex pleasure, moderate work and moderate contemplation will enable man to have a calm mind and God-realization.
The power of the mind is very speedy. It is speedier than airplanes or rockets. By plane you can travel a long distance within a very short period, but your mind can reach any distance within the twinkling of an eye. With a single sentence a person can have extreme joy or extreme sorrow. For example, if we get good news by telegram, immediately we have extreme joy, but if it is bad news, immediately our mind feels severe pain. Even if we hear news that is false, that someone close is dead, just hearing this news we can become unconscious by the help of the mind. The kriya yoga technique given by a kriya yogi teaches how to switch off the mind, how to remain free from sorrow, free from pleasures of the senses and how to switch on your knowledge body and go from knowledge to super- consciousness.
In this issue we continue our tribute to Paramahamsa Prajnanananda in honor of 50 years of dedicated and selfless service. Here we include a tribute from Gurudev himself,who loved and honored his disciple for his intense devotion discipline and immense wisdom. Gurudev explains in his own words why he selected the name Prajnanananda for his chose successor.
His previous name was Triloki. When he was in the womb of his mother a monk visited her and said “This child will be a spiritual person. He will roam throughout the whole world and be a Guru. So give him the name Triloki.” His mother followed the monk’s instructions. Triloki means one who is everywhere, existing on all three planes, the gross, astral and casual. He is in God. He is free.
When Triloki became a young man and successfully completed his college examinations, he got a job in the government college. He never even applied for the position. The college saw his examination results, which were the top scores and immediately wrote him a letter asking him to please come and join them as a professor.
Not only academic education, but all the scriptures are also in his brain. He stayed constantly with me. Throughout this time period, when he was a student, and even when he was a professor, he went from the ashram to the university, and came back to eat his meals in the ashram. Every day, he traveled ninety kilometers to and fro, just so he could be with me and learn. Traveling forty-five kilometers each way on road in India takes a long time and serious dedication.
One day when I was doing a puja, he was present. I spoke about the long dhyana mantra, and said that he would not have to memorize this mantra. To my surprise, he recited the entire mantra. I asked how he knew it. He replied, “on the day that you were worshipping, I recorded what you chanted. I listened to it, transcribed it, and committed it to my memory.” This is prajna.
After that when he took Sannyas, I gave him the name Prajnanananda. Prajnana means wisdom. Through meditation you will get a super conscious state, a cosmic consciousness, and then when you will get Samadhi stage. Then you will forget the whole human stage, you will get real joy. He was on the door of wisdom, so I gave him the name – Prajnanananda – meaning joy in wisdom.
What is Prajnana? Prajnana is Brahman. Prajnana mean Brahman – knowledge, consciousness, super consciousness, and cosmic consciousness- these are the stages of knowledge. The first stage, knowledge, means material knowledge. Consciousness is higher, including knowledge that you are free, and not evil. Superconsciousness and cosmic consciousness both mean being near the door of God, the cosmos. Prajnanananda is there, in that state. Prajna and Samadhi cannot be taught with words. Prajnananandaji is beyoud, in the formless stage. I felt this about him long before. It is why at the time he received sannyasa, I gave him the name Prajnanananda.
Prajnanananda has vast knowledge of all the scriptures and of spirituality. I have the deepest love for him. I am so happy with him. I am old- ninety-one years. How long will I be able to talk? How long will God inhale in this body? I don not know. But Prajnanananda is advanced. He is above the level of humanity. He is the one to continue my work.
On his birthday in 1998, I decided that his name should reflect his transformation to Paramahamsa Prajnanananda His whole ham (body) is God. Prajnananandaji is that person – Supreme Almighty – param, ham, and sa. He is free from all negatives and has attained this highest spiritual state. This is why on his birthday; I wrote that I am so happy that he will be the one to carry on my work.
Chapter-7 The Company You Keep Pg 164 - 168
Brahmarshi Satyadeva was an enlightened householder yogi and the disciple of Shri Bijoy Krishna Chattopadhyay, the earlier guru of Swami Hariharananda. Because he practiced the instructions of his guru single—mindedly, he frequently entered into the state of samadhi. His name was Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, and he was a Sanskrit teacher.
So great was his God-intoxication, he once entered into samadhi embracing an electricity pole because he perceived the presence of God in it. Another time, seeing the manifestation of the Divine Mother in a woman sweeping the streets and carrying the garbage, he embraced her. He authored several books, all explaining the deep spiritual meaning of scriptures such as Devi Mahatmya, under the title of Sadhan Samar, meaning “spiritual battle for enlightenment.”
As disciples of the same master, Satyadeva and Swami Hariharananda were close. Though Satyadeva did not remain for long in his physical body, the two spent memorable moments together, and in later years Swamiji would recollect Satyadeva in his talks. Swamiji instructed his disciples many times to read the books written by Shri Satyadeva, for they afford insight into scriptural truths.
Brahmarshi Satyadeva’s disciple was Shri Narendranath Brahmachari, the founder of Deva Sangha, a spiritual organization in Deoghar, Bihar. He was also a highly spiritual soul and, until his mahasamadhi, was in touch with Swami Hariharananda. He came to Puri every year and conducted his program in Durga Badi, where the annual Durga Puja was held. He always invited Swamiji, saying that his absence would make his program appear incomplete. Shri Narendranath Brahmachari’s disciple, Swami Brahmananda (Dr. Sudhir Brahmachari), the founder of Dhyana Mandir at Puri, also visited Swami Hariharananda frequently at Karar Ashram and invited him to attend Shri Annapurna Puja and to deliver discourses in his ashram.
Jwala Prasad Tiwari
Jwala Prasad Tiwari was the disciple of Shri Sanyal Mahasaya, a householder yogi, who initiated and guided many on the path of Kriya. He also undertook the publication of the works of Shri Sanyal Mahasaya in Hindi. A quite humble and noble soul, he was very close to Swami Hariharananda, and they frequently discussed the intricacies of Kriya. Whenever he visited Puri, Jwala Prasad spent some time at Karar Ashram in the company of Swami Haniharanandaji. Because they both were on the same path of Kriya and followed the footsteps of the same master, Shri Sanyal Mahasaya, they had extraordinary love for each other. Jwala Prasad left his body long before Swamiji.
Shri Satyacharan Lahiri was the son of Yogacharya Tinkori Lahiri, the eldest son of Shri Lahiri Mahasaya. He followed the footsteps of his father and grandfather as a householder yogi, leading sincere people in the practice of Kriya. In the company of another householder Kriya yogi, Jwala Prasadji, he visited Karar Ashram many times, where he met and discussed Kriya Yoga techniques with Swami Hariharananda. A very loving and sincere person, he wished to organize a common platform for the propagation of Kriya.
Bengal is a place of yoga and tantra, and among all the prominent tantric places, Tara Pitha is the most famous. This is where Goddess Tara is worshipped on the cremation ground. Here lived a great saint of high spiritual experience who was known as Vamakshepa, and his disciple Tarakshepa was also a highly elevated soul. One evening Swami Hariharananda went there to meditate. Tarakshepa, who had a program scheduled, canceled it in order to spend time with Swamiji in spiritual discussion and meditation. They meditated and spent many hours together. Tarakshepa always had a high regard for Swami Hariharananda.
Shri Ankul Thakur
Shri Ankul Thakur, born in East Bengal, later came to Deoghar, Bihar. He was the founder of the Satsang Movement and had thousands of followers in different states, especially in Bihar, Bengal, and Orissa. Brahmachari Rabinarayan spent time visiting this holy man in his ashram in Deoghar. Recognizing the spiritual merits of Rabinarayan, Ankul Thakur requested him to stay permanently in Deoghar, but Brahmachariji declined politely, saying that he was committed to serve his own guruji Swami Shriyukteshwarji until his last breath.
Shri Mohanananda Brahmachari
Shri Mohanananda Brahmachari was the disciple of the great yogi Shri Balananda Brahmachari of Deoghar, a disciple of Shri Lahiri Mahasaya. He and-Swami Hariharananda knew each other well. When Shri Mohanananda went to his ashram, Balananda Teerthashram, located near Karar Ashram, for his annual visit, they met and spent time in silence. Mohananandaji once asked Swamiji why he was creating so much strain on his health by teaching Kriya to so many people when he himself would teach Kriya only to selected people. Swamiji replied in his compassionate voice that because he had achieved so much through Kriya, he could not be a miser in passing it on to others.
They had a very friendly relationship, and Mohananandaji helped Swamiji in Deoghar when he was in dire need. Recollecting his compassionate help, Swamiji expressed his love and gratitude even in Mohananandaji’s absence. Mohanananda Maharaj lived for more than 94 years helping people on the spiritual path, finally leaving his body in Nashville, Tennessee, in the USA.
Swami Chidananda Saraswati
Swami Chidananda Saraswati is the spiritual successor of Swami Shivananda Saraswati of Rishikesh. He is one of the most beautiful monks: a paragon of peace, love, and humility. Swami Chidanandaji and Swami Hariharanandaji held each other in high regard. Swami Chidanandaji and two attendants once visited Karar Ashram a few days before the Saraswati Puja. At that time, Swami Hariharanandaji was painting the idol of Mother Saraswati. He was so absorbed in his work that he did not know that Swami Chidanandaji had come into the room and sat down behind him. Some time later, after the work was finished, Swami Hariharanandaji looked up and saw Swami Chidananda prostrating himself, so he did the same. Chidanandaji expressed his wish to meditate for some time in the temple of Shriyukteshwaiji. Then he presented a set of books published by the Divine Life Society and a basket of fruits and flowers to Hariharanandaji and left.
There were public occasions where the two met and shared the same platform. For instance, the All-India Conference of the Divine Life Society, Sarva Dharma Sammelan at Cuttack, Abhirama Satsang Samaroha at Rourkela, and also many places abroad.
During his lifetime, Swami Hariharanandaji also had the rare opportunity to meet many other prominent spiritual luminaries, including Neem Karoli Baba, Brahmachari Kuladananda, Dr. Mahamamabrata Brahmachari, Kaviyogi Swami Suddhananda Bharati, and Swami Muktananda. He also met some of the renowned monks of the Ramakrishna order and spent time with many disciples of Swami Shriyukteshwarji, such as Swami Bhavananda Gin, Swami Paramananda Giri, Amulya Santra, and Dr. Bipin Behari Bhuyan.
CH 9. CULTIVATING VIRTUES Pg 73 - 75
In the Bhagavad Gita, many qualities are given;
amanitvam or humility,
adambhitvam or unselfishness,
ahimsa or non-violence,
ksyanti or forgiveness,
arjavam or straight-forwardness,
acaryopasanam or service to the Guru,
saucam or purity,
sthairyam or steadfastness and
atmavinigrahaam or self-control.
A life dedicated to virtue will help us reach the higher goal of life.
Watch the flow of your thoughts carefully. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa said, the vulture soars high in the sky, but his eyes remain fixed on the dead flesh below. A person can talk intelligently about lofty ideas, but the mind may be consumed by lowly cravings.
Follow a disciplined lifestyle on a daily basis. The day should begin at dawn. Human life is nothing but time, we do not know how many days are left. Life is time and time is God. One who honors time, honors God. Time wasted, is a life wasted.
Follow a regular routine. Have a fixed time for meditation. Allot some time for scriptural study and introspection. Even highly evolved souls read the scriptures on a daily basis; holy books elevate and inspire us spiritually. Before sleeping, sit silently and examine the day’s activities. How much time was spent in God-consciousness? If you are not sleepy, practice conscious breathing. If you mentally repeat the name of God, then your sleep will be divine, and your dreams will be full of peace.
Follow moderation in your food habits. Without a thorough control over your food intake, spiritual life will elude you. Eat good nourishing food, always in moderation. Avoid foods that are too spicy or oily.
Moderation in Activities
Do not be engrossed in too many activities. Work is a form of worship. Always perform your duty towards your family and towards society, without neglecting your own spiritual evolution. Take care of the body with proper food, exercise and rest. Earn your livelihood in a decent, moral way. Do what you can to contribute to your personal growth, to your role within your family and to society as a whole. Manage time well. When you analyze how you spend your time, you will realize what a limited amount of time you spend on your spiritual evolution, compared to other activities. Most of the time is spent in the three lower centers of money, sex and food. Be established in the ajna chakra, in the soul center, and dedicate all your work to God. Work from any center, without forgetting your Divinity, even while earning money, enjoying sex or eating.
Follow a Chosen Ideal
Regularly and continuously follow an ideal; a master you can love and who inspires you. Emulate him as much as you can, and integrate his teachings in your daily life.
God is supreme, absolute and infinite. To help us experience the state of infinite love and wisdom, God keeps sending us prophets, saints and sages, divine incarnations, to help and guide us. When we have a role model, an ideal and a mentor, our path becomes easier. We have the example of Arjuna, who looked upon Krishna as his friend and guide.
Through his divine friendship, Arjuna received inspiration and encouragement, sometimes he was scolded and chastised. Always he progressed. Arjuna never forgot Krishna, even in his sleep.
7. Satava sama mohi maya jaga dekha moten santa adhika karci dekha
The seventh step is to perceive God’s presence pervading the universe, and to accept the saints greater than Me (Rama).
Perceive God’s presence in the universe. God is omnipresent. There is nothing in the universe that is not God. God is the universe and the universe is God. Each human body is a temple of God. Perceive and manifest this truth in your daily life. Since God is infinite and formless He is everywhere. I should strive to perceive my unity with God wherever I look. I will see the presence of God in a flower or in an insect. God is all pervading and all encompassing. We cannot separate a wave from an ocean, or gold from a gold ornament. We must be able to experience unity with eternity. Love based on knowledge means that what is within me and all around me is eternal and immortal.
Once, there was a devotee of Lord Shiva who had a small shrine with a Shiva Lingam, a symbol of Lord Shiva. One day, when he came to worship, he found a sadhu or holy man, sleeping in the shrine with his feet resting on the Shiva Lingam. The devotee became outraged, and went so far as to shout at the sadhu to remove his feet from the holy Lingam. The sadhu replied that he was too old and weak to even lift up his feet. So he humbly asked the devotee to put his feet wherever he wanted. The devotee picked up the sadhu’s feet and moved them away from the Lingam but to his surprise wherever he placed them, a new Lingam appeared below, to support the sadhu’s feet. The devotee realized that there was no place that was not filled with the presence of God. God is everywhere. He bowed down in acknowledgement and begged the sadhu’s forgiveness.
There is a saying, ‘If you cannot see God in all, you cannot see God at all.’ This is the path that leads us to be established in truth. In the Tulsi Ramayana, Saint Tulsi Das sang,
karahun pranam jori juga pani
“Experiencing the universe as the manifestation of God alone, I bow down to God, mentally in every place, time and person.”
A true lover of God lives immersed in God all the time.
niyatam kriyate rjuna
saṅgam tyaktvā phalam caiva
sa tyāgaḥ sāttviko mataḥ
O Arjuna! When action is performed constantly because it is a duty, and all attachment and expectation of fruit is givin up, this renunciation is sattvic (spiritual).
The only purpose of human birth is for God-realization, a state of constant peace, bliss, and joy. To achieve such a state, you must strive sincerely and be mindful to remain compassionately detached and free from expectations.
A yogi is not attracted or repelled by anything. The yogi’s breath goes in and out day and night without any expectation; it is spontaneous and automatic. At the same time, the yogi constantly maintains awareness in the fontanel without expectation from his actions. This is the practice of Kriya Yoga in everyday life.
“O Arjuna! Every day you must meditate and fix your attention in the fontanel. Watch and search for the Lord in the fontanel. Witness His presence in every breath. If you do not work, you cannot progress. To eat, you much work. You do not know the consequences of this work. You need not think about it. Remain compassionately detached from everything and work for duty’s sake, then you will know Him.”
By practicing a technique such as Kriya Yoga, you can learn to watch Him during the daily work that is given to you by God. The imperishable soul helps you work. IN every action, remember Him. IN this way you can live in the world and remain compassionately detached. In very work, perceive the living presence of God, remember Him, and love him constantly.
Working with this attitude, approach, and understanding, applying Kriya meditation in daily life (kri and ya), and remaining constantly detached is undoubtedly spiritual renunciation (sattvika tyaga) An outward display of renunciation only leads to spiritual corruption and hypocrisy.
Śhruta – heard; perceived through sense organs, or scriptural knowledge
anumāna – inference, speculation
prajñābhyām – from two levels of knowledge
anyavisaya – having another object
viśeşārthatvāt – because of having a specific object
(The wisdom that bears ultimate truth) is of a different kind from the knowledge gained through study (of scriptures) and inference. It is of a higher order because of having a specific object.
Commentary of Shri Lahiri Mahashaya:
Wisdom arising out of spiritual/ divine bliss, because of its specialty is in another domain from knowledge that is achieved through hearing or imagination.
Prajna or wisdom described in the previous sutra is further elaborated. We live with knowledge. Knowledge can be direct or indirect. That knowledge which we attain by using the sense organs or the inner instruments like mind, intellect, etc. are indirect. Ordinarily the knowledge that we have about any thing or in other words about the world, even about the heaven or heavenly joy or even about God etc. are indirect. That is why in this sutra, the sage used the word “shruta”.
Shruta means that which is heard. It is in broader senses, that which we have read, heard, smelt etc. through the sense organs. No doubt the sense organs have their own limitation and at the same time, the perception through the senses also depends upon the state of mind. If one is unmindful or absent minded or even in disturbed state, one can not perceive things in the right way.
Anumana is speculation, imagination or inference. Looking at the smoke to conclude the existence of fire is often erroneous. But in spiritual life – shruta means that one has learned from the scriptures and the words of the Masters. With these information and ideas, the knowledge that we have might give us inferential knowledge too. We believe in all these because they are from reliable sources. But such knowledge is indirect, partial and provisional.
One must have direct experience.
One meaning of “ritam” –“ I “ the knowledge or wisdom that upholds this truth of “ I “ in all and all in “I “ is ritambhara prajna, which is completely different from the earlier two methods of knowledge through hearing and speculating. It is the stepping stone into nirvichara Samadhi. This state comes through pure mind which is saturated with truth.
Small waves merged in big wave is the example of concentration and big wave merged in the ocean of pure consciousness is the state of Samadhi. Ritambhara prajna is the wisdom beyond senses, mind, intellect and ego or in one word it is supersensory. It is a state of complete transformation.
Bathe in the ocean of love, purity, prayer and meditation. Let all duality disappear. Experience that oneness, I am that I am.
This experience is unique and superior to what you have heard or imagined. Meditate and be realized.