Our spiritual life starts once we experience atmabhava, the experience of oneself in all. It means that we have the same attitude towards others’ interests as we do towards our own. We cannot progress if we do not have a shred of atmabhava.
The first lesson of spiritual life is seva. In order to experience the presence of God, serve humanity. Seva is defined as the kindergarten of spiritual life. Seva Yoga is karma yoga, selfless service. The second lesson is love. Love everyone. There is no room for hatred in love. We must develop love for someone even if he is of no use to us. The third lesson is to purify our mind. Purification is only possible through having the same kind of love for strangers that we experience for our loved ones. And all this leads to having Saraswati on our tongue.
We have been in enforced isolation because of Covid. Have we been able to change our way of speaking. There are three conditions when we speak and these are happiness, pain and need. Speech in Sanskrit is known as Shabda. Speech, which is spoken through the mouth is vac and Saraswati is called Vac Devi. She is the goddess of learning and Vac Devi, the shakti, the power who controls and regulates speech. The power of speech on the positive side is the positive Saraswati and the criticizing, gossiping, and using of speech to express anger, is not Saraswati.
Ask yourself whether the Saraswati on your tongue is the positive one or your destructive aspect. We have many words used to describe speaking. Plain speaking means being frank. Straight talking is also being honest, with no hidden agenda. Now we come to Man talk, which means masculine conversation between men. Mansplaining is described as a man explaining something to a woman, in a condescending manner.
A practise to add atmabhava to your speaking
Have we been able to combine atmabhava with our manner of speaking? Let us try a simple way of practicing heightened awareness. Watch our breath. Visualize the breath going in and out of the left nostril, when we do this, we are clearing our ida nadi, it affects the right hemisphere of our brain. It also activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which results in a relaxation response. Practice 27 times, counting backwards. Now we go to the right nostril and visualize the breath going in and out of our right nostril, when we do this, we are clearing our pingala nadi, it affects the left hemisphere of our brain. It activates the sympathetic system and balances our vitality. Practice 27 times, counting backwards.
An imbalance of the ida nadi leads to a sense of lethargic and slow mental energy. An imbalance of the pingala nadi leads to unreasonable and angry behavior and excessive appetites. Now we breathe 27 times through both nostrils as the sushumna is unblocked. Our spiritual awareness is awakened and therefore we can consciously change ourselves and our manner of speaking. We are walking on the path of spiritual life.
References: Bihar School of Yoga Archives.
Aim Hrim Klim