According to my Guru, Swami Satyanananda Saraswati, there comes a stage in our lives, when the desire to succumb to the divine will come naturally. Until this happens we are guided by our ego. Our expectations are motivated by ego, efforts are energized by the ego, until our ego has wrung us dry. We all wish to have a better life. We are lost in a maze of confusion. Our intentions improve ourselves and lead a qualitative life. In order to tread on this path we have to look at our own experiences and then those of others to learn to detect what has been truly fulfilling. Continue reading
The Guru Stotram say:
Gururbrahma gururvishnuh gururdevo maheshvarah.
Guru is Brahma, guru is Vishnu and guru is Shiva.
Guru is Brahman because he creates for his disciple a new and wondrous world; he is Vishnu because he sustains and protects him; he is Shiva because he annihilates the world of individuality. All great saints have stressed the importance of a guru. In the Ramayana it is said that no one can cross the ocean of samskara without the guru’s help even if he is Brahma or Shiva. Continue reading
Ma Shakti created Ganesha. She did not desire a son, she created him to be her protector. After Shiva beheaded Ganesha in a fearsome rage, there was pandemonium in the universe. Parvati assumed the form of Kali and was prepared to destroy and devour all the worlds. The Gods and devas were terrified, and the Gods said that they will have to give him some of their attributes. Shiva called him Ganesha which means ruler, gana means a group of people and isha means master. Continue reading
There are five elements which comprise our offering to the deity. I write deity for the God as statue or image is a word used by persons who do not recognize the divine status. The puja can be conducted physically or mentally. Continue reading
I tell myself that it will all pass and look at my surroundings and smell my organic coffee every day. Yesterday our son and his family who live in USA, wrote to say that the airlines they were coming on had cancelled that particular flight. They were looking for alternate flights. We have not seen them for two years. Yes, we zoom and talk often. We know what is happening in their lives and what they eat. I was very disappointed and told myself that what has to be will be. Continue reading
Words which are endearing, loving, complimentary, affectionate, tender, and admiring are never forgotten. We remember when someone has commended us on a task we have accomplished. When we cook a meal for our loved ones, family and friends, the compliments we receive make us feel plain and simple good. We also remember when someone tells us how horrible it was. Continue reading
Swami Satyananda Saraswati said, “If we hold ourselves responsible for the future, our own and our children, then we will ensure that the evolution of man is along positive lines. Only then will wars cease, only then will man be able to love his fellow man, and only then will adults understand the young and the young understand the old.” Continue reading
We should try to remember our main Guru every day. Yesterday I wrote about the 24 gurus who gave Dattatreya, the son of the Holy Trinity, wisdom. The point this sage who lived thousands of years ago was making that we can learn discernment from anybody, be they humans or animals. He spoke about the elements which compose our mind, body and the universe. When we seek insight we have to purify ourselves. Continue reading
Dattatreya is the God who is an incarnation of the Divine Trinity Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. In the Bhagwata Purana he stated that he had 24 Gurus. His first Guru was his Atman alone, but he had learnt wisdom from 24 elements and creations of God. Continue reading
I love my gifts and enjoy giving gifts. Over the years I have been asking for plants for my birthday. A few days ago was my husband’s birthday and I thought of what happened to my Bael plants, which I had received for two of my birthdays. We have many sacred plants in India and I have been nurturing them. Some survive and some do not. They are very demanding as they need bright sunshine and my neighbor has built a high wall and blocked our sun. Continue reading
How do we create a sacred space? We go to the temple, church, mosque, pagoda, to pray, to communicate with God, meditate and to be at peace. When we enter a place of veneration, it is the space in our hearts and mind which has to be pristine. Please pause and think. Continue reading
When you are asked to close your eyes and visualize a garden. What do you see? Pause and enjoy what you see. Is it dusk or dawn? Are you in summer or winter? Are the birds singing and is the fragrance of the flowers everywhere. Is it a winter garden? Is it covered in snow and the purity of the snow is blinding? Is there a pond there? Does it have fish, ducks, or swans? What is the light like? What is the colour of the sky? Or are you in a desert and there is sand everywhere? Or is it a place where everything is dead and barren? What is the state of your mind? Continue reading
The new year is here and all of us have a great deal on our plates. Swami Sivananda has given us some wonderful advice, a long time ago. It is still contemporary and relevant.
First let us think of all the good things that have happened to us during the time of the epidemic. Continue reading
Swami Niranajananda Saraswati wrote about happiness, the first Yogic Yama (restraint). Parvati asked Shiva, how one can remain happy. There was so much unease and distress in the universe. What could her children do? Parvati and Shiva are the eternal couple and parents of the universe. Parvati’s ongoing concern is that her children should remain happy and at peace. Continue reading
I remember when I was a child, the word Prana was used very frequently. My mother would call us her prana, or say my prana left me when she was concerned. The saying in English would be my heart was in my mouth. Also another saying was my prana dried like the desert. It means that I was so hungry or thirsty, and that I had no energy left. Continue reading