420 – Visualization

Modifications in our consciousness.

“Each day watch the colors of your mind.
Until the light shines clearly
And you see straight through
The craving of your senses.
Thus, you will win freedom from experiences
Which carves you to its form
Release from desire which eats you from within.” Swami Satyananda Saraswati.

In Hinduism, colors play a very significant role. Some of the main colors are red, yellow (turmeric), green from leaves and white from wheat flour.

The meaning of the colors

Red is the color used most frequently for auspicious occasions like marriages, birth of a child, festivals, etc. A red mark is put on the forehead during ceremonies and important situations. As a sign of marriage, women put red powder (sindhoor made from turmeric and lime juice) in their hair parting. Red powder is applied to statues of deities, during prayers. It is also the color of Shakti’s strength. A red dress is put on Gods who are charitable, merciful and protective against evil. A married Indian woman is wrapped in red, when she is cremated.

Saffron expresses fire, abstinence and celibacy. Wearing this color also means searching for the light.

Green characterizes peace and happiness.

Yellow is the color of knowledge and learning and it symbolizes happiness, peace and meditation.

White is a mixture of seven colors, and therefore depicts the qualities of each color. It typifies purity and cleanliness. It is also the color of mourning for Hindus. The deities always have a little bit of white on their clothes.

Blue is a color which is everywhere in nature. It is a color which demonstrates stability and strong character. Rama and Krishna are colored blue because they protected mankind against evil.

Violet is associated with oneness with God, peace and wisdom. The lotus flower is of many colors but violet is considered the most sacred.

Last but not least, black is a color which is used to ward of the evil eye. According to Astrology if you wish to harmonize the planetary influences, then black is the color to be worn on Saturday. Black color is offered to the fiercest form of mother. In this color she absorbs everything that she has created.

The colors of the gunas

Prakriti, the Goddess is described as having three gunas. Purity, passion and inertia. Knowledge arises from Sattwa; greed from Rajas; delusion, heedlessness and ignorance arise from Tamas. The Gunas are represented by three colors, Sattwa is harmony and purity, and is therefore white. Rajas is energy and passion and is rendered as red. Tamas is inertia and ignorance and is depicted as Black.

A special visualization for you, before you get out of bed.

Close your eyes. Breathe in and out of your nostrils eleven time. Now visualize your breath, while inhaling going in through both nostrils and meeting at the eyebrow center. While exhaling visualize the breath descending form the eyebrow center out of both the nostrils. This is triangular breathing. Do this fifty-four times. See a color in the Chidakasha, the space behind the eyebrow center. Ten minutes stay with the color, if the color changes, no worry. End the practice with becoming aware of the normal breathing process.

All the colors are very powerful in their energy. Do not push to see a particular color.

Aim Hrim Klim

 

285 – Develop a healthy respect for your food

Eat your food with bhavana (feeling), as a blessing. When you eat your meal, develop respect for what you are eating. Pause and think where your food came from. Where did the wheat grow for your bread, how was it harvested? How many persons were involved in the process? Were they happy when they were involved in the task? Were their stomachs full? The vegetables on your plate where did they grow? Did they receive sunshine, or did they grow under plastic? Continue reading

212 – How do I train my monkey mind

We are all familiar with an agitated and distracted mind. As children we were made to stand in corners or put our fingers on our lips. We were told that our attention span is that of a gold fish’s (five seconds). As adults, we continue give in to our frantic thoughts and try to fight them. Even in a Yoga class, we will fidget. It is not unusual at all. And now we wish to practice meditation. How should we go about it? We could not sit still as kids and this habit persists. As adults we can now be compared to having a monkey mind. It is really frustrating as some of us are not aware of our ineptitude. Continue reading

208 – Chaturtha Pranayama – the perfect pranayama

We all have this question, is there a perfect pranayama which one can practice in front of people unobserved. There are numerous pranayamas mentioned and each one is better than the other. They energize our lungs, stimulate our digestive system, regulate our breath and calm our mind. However, they cannot be practiced without the sadhaka being noticed. Continue reading

168 – The Divine Forms of Devi

Swami Satya Dharma Saraswati was my first teacher at the Ashram. She was an American who came to the Ashram and never went back. She has written about the divine forms of Devi which were the subject of discussion between, the immortal Narada Muni and Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu spoke about the divine attributes of the Cosmic Mother, and the description is given in the Devi Bhagwatam (Book 1X). Continue reading

155 – How we should prepare our mind

We must learn and understand the practice of Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga. What is Karma Yoga? The word karma is used freely and frankly and all our misfortunes are blamed on our bad Karma. Karma is the real desires created in the mind. When we wish to possess, it is karma. Karma is a movement that takes place within the mind, body or emotions. Continue reading

093 – In search of yourself

There are three attitudes that control our actions. These are the three gunas, which are sattwic, rajasic and tamasic. When our mind is changing, it goes through these phases. These three gunas interface in our universe and with us all the time. Our mind in its infancy is tamasic and its ultimate experience is sattwic. Our nature goes through trials and tribulations and these result in the development of the gunas. Continue reading

059 – Why is the Goddess called Mahamaya

Shakti existed before the creation of time and space. Shakti is also called the pristine matter or Prakriti (nature). Prakriti expresses herself in three different forms as the power of the universe. These three qualities are called Gunas. The Mother now creates the universe based on the Gunas. The Gunas are sattwa, rajas and tamas. Continue reading

014 – Gunas the power of the universe

How can we commune with the powers of the universe. We live in a cosmos which is permeated by powerful sources.There are deities everywhere, whether they are in the clouds, forests, waterfalls, mountains, planets, sand or an atom. We have to connect our heart with them and we will feel their presence. We are part of the divinities as these are aspects of our deeper self. We are comprised of three gunas, Tamas, Rajas and Sattwa. They are our basic energies and their complex interactions create the physical universe. Continue reading

Gunas, devotion and values – James Swartz – Yoga of Love, Bhakti Yoga, Bhakti Sutra, Narada

How to overcome tamas? When you are rajasic and succesful you
have no time to pay attention to yourself. Stuck in sattva. Danger
of vanity and stop of growth. Verse 58: “Success is easier to attain
by informal devotion than by any other means.” If you bring
discipline into your life you do things that are good for you and
your self esteem grows. Verse 59: “Devotion is easiest because it
does not depend on any other authority; it is self-validating.” In
Vedanta you have to live according to the scripture. Verse 60:
“Furthermore, devotion is the embodiment of peace and supreme
joy.” Verse 61: “Once all worldly and spiritual duties are consigned
to God, the devotee need not worry about gain and loss.” Ishvara
takes care of your worldly affairs. Do the best every day and then
see what happens. Manusha the one who thinks and worry. Verse
62: “To attain non-dual devotion, do not abandon responsibilities
in this world, but surrender the results of all actions to the
Lord.”Expression of Karma Yoga. When you give the actions to the

Lord then your worry stops. Karma Yoga and gratitude. Gratitude
as a sadhana. Honesty and purity. Verses 63, 64: “Don’t chase
money or entertain yourself with sex. Don’t compromise your
values and don’t quarrel with others. Relinquish false pride,
hypocrisy and other vices.” Fearless moral inventory is necessary.
12 step program. Sorting out spiritual and material values. Fully
assimilate the good values, renounce the bad values. In the
Bhagavad Gita the values are called knowledge.

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Reincarnation, non-dual love and gunas – James Swartz – Yoga of Love, Vedanta, Bhakti Sutra Narada

Free will. Making no choice and turning it over to ishvara.
Issue of free will: what values are determining your use of

free will? Those values are chosen by the gunas. If tamas
predominates fear will inform your choices. If rajas
predominates desire will inform your choices. The self has
no values. It is value-neutral. Reincarnation view: this
person will transmigrate and will be the same person in the
next incarnation. The person‘s karma is coming along with
them. But: when the body goes this person is never coming
back. The only thing that transcends time are the subtle and
the causal body. The circumstances of the next birth will be
different. You will have a new identity. The person that you
think you are is a conceptual person, no actual person. You
claim that subjective and objective events equal ‚I‘.
Transmigration: What reincarnates is the subtle body
powered by the vasanas. Your parents will be selected by
ishvara according to your vasanas. Non-eternal jiva. Eternal
jiva is consciousness. It is the same ‚I‘ for everyone and it is
eternal. Irrelevance of the personal story and the
experiences of the person when you know your nature. ISense
is an image or a reflection of the I. The reflection is
not the Self. Vedanta is a complete teaching. Since we are
multi faceted people we need to understand the self from
different angles. 360 ° knowledge of the self and the world.
Verse 51: „The essential nature of pure love of God is
beyond description.“ But you can know it. Verse 52: “Trying
to describe the experience of pure love of God is like a
mute trying to describe a particular taste.” Verse 53:
„Occasionally, pure love of God is revealed in a qualified
person.” In great souls you find this kind of love that is
totally different from worldly love. Verse 54: “Pure love of
God is devoid of material qualities and desires, manifests
more and more every moment, is uninterrupted and is
always experienced as one’s innermost consciousness.”
Verse 55 “Having discovered non-dual love, you see only
the self everywhere, hear the self in every word, speak only
of the self and think only of the self.” You can discover love
but you can‘t make it happen. You get rid of your concepts
and discover that you are love. The gunas influence the way
you experience love. Then it is love conditioned by the
gunas. Verse 56 “Secondary devotional service is of three
kinds, according to which of the gunas predominates at any
time or according to the motivation – distress, desire or
knowledge – that brings one to devotion.” Verse 57: “Each
succeeding type of devotee is superior to the preceding
type.” Rajasic devotees are superior to tamasic devotees,
sattvic devotees are superior to rajasic devotees and nondual
devotees are superior to sattvic devotees. You need
rajas to get out of tamas. Tamas means you live in a fantasy
world. In rajas you are driven by ambition. You need sattva
and knowledge to get out of rajas. Self inquiry renders the
gunas non binding, so you can overcome attachment to
sattva.

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James Swartz – Love, Ishvara and Informal Devotion to God – Talk 4

By reading Vedanta texts it is easy to misinterpret them.
Ignorance and knowledge are mixed up. Teaching makes
difference between ignorance and knowledge clear. Live your
life based on knowledge not on emotions. Isvara and action.
What is real? You see reality on the basis of your experiences.
Reflecting media. Three gunas and the mind. 2. Informal
devotion. Personal deity, ishta devata. Religion. Influence and
judgements of the family. God is a helpful concept in the mind.
God doesn’t judge. Dead gurus don’t judge. Living gurus make
you grow. In informal devotion you bring God down to your
level. Vedanta lifts you up to Gods level. Karma Yoga as the
beginning stage.

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Intuition of Reality – Vedanta Talk 17 by Ira Schepetin

Revision and conclusion. What is the meaning of ignorance? The oneness of the individual and the supreme reality. The method of Vedānta. How to get a sattvic mind. Jñāni. You are the happiness you are looking for. You have to go beyond the gunas but in the end there are not even gunas. Direct experience of the self. Tat tvam asi. Neti neti.

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