I have shared my understanding about the elements and chakras and how they affect our spiritual growth. We address our five senses, auditory, tactile, visual, gustatory and olfactory through the process of pratyahara. Our senses are constantly functioning, and our thinking is influenced by them.
In our current lives it is extremely difficult to isolate ourselves from them. Swamiji has described it as atmabhava, the sum and substance of spiritual life, and the best teaching of Vedanta. The principal of atmabhava, I take the liberty to explain, it means feeling the pain of others through the anahata chakra, hearing the stories of distress from the victims through the visshudhi chakra, seeing the sorry plight of sufferers, through the manipura chakra, lack of water food and sustenance for others, through the swadhishthan chakra and mooladhara chakra.
Do we experience these feelings for others as we do for our-selves? We hear or read the news. There is a report of a daily calamity and do we just think that it is happening to others. I am fine. Do you think about others as you think about yourself that is the feeling of atmabhava. This feeling encompasses what you are seeking. Our sadhana purifies our elements and our chakras and we develop atmabhava. We become neutral and detached.
How I learned atmabhava
I want to share a story from my life with you. When I had my twins, one of them was in the ICU as a baby. I spent the day with one baby and stayed in the hospital with the other baby. The hospital was a place where all babies had to have three dozen diapers each, (we had cloth napkins in those days, and they had to be washed), since I had had twins and I did not know that they were arriving. I did not have six dozen diapers. Also in those days we stitched the diapers ourselves. Neither did the doctor as there was no ultrasound. The napkins had to be washed and the nurses kept reminding me that I was using other babies’ stuff. I had a friend whose daughter was also in the hospital and she offered to wash them. I was very touched. She would bring them every morning, washed and ironed. Then one day she said that her daughter had a brain tumour and was being operated upon. I was shocked as I had never asked her about her daughter. I felt so upset with my selfishness, and she had atmabhava. She recognized that I was helpless and helped me.
Aim Hrim Klim