364 – Like to see my personal deity

There was a poet who said looking at a photograph, “I do not know what you are like in real life. You may be cruel, destructive or loving and gentle. However whenever I look at your picture I see you the way the way I wish to see you.” So this applies to all of us when we gaze at the picture of our personal or deity. We do not have to think of our deity or Guru in flesh and blood. We are in the presence of spirit and purity. And this experience becomes living reality. Continue reading

345 – Do we need a Guru for spiritual guidance?

Many say that our guru is within us. It is true but we need a switch to activate us, and this switch has to be switched on. According to Swami Niranjanananda, we have a bulb within us, which has wires. What is required is that there has to be a connection. There has to be no short circuits or carbon so that the electricity can flow. Continue reading

309 – Us and our Gurus

We idolize our mentors and think of them as God. They are human and have come in the form of man. I had a conversation with Rishi Sukadev and he pointed out to me that even a murderer had a soul and there was goodness within him. I had said that I could never talk to a murderer or a rapist. After he said this, I thought deeply about it. Continue reading

291 – Our Guru’s golden words

“You may go to temples and discharge all religious obligations as taught by your tradition, but that alone will not help you to unlock the secret chambers. However much you may sit for puja, please note that lack of concentration will render all your efforts futile. It is always best to aim first and then shoot. There is practically no use of shooting in the air.” – Swami Satyananda Saraswati Continue reading

289 – Who was Swami Sivananda’s Guru?

Thursday is the day of the Guru? I asked myself this question, as must so many of you, “Who was Swami Sivananda’s Guru?” Swami Sivananda received mantra diksha from Parmahamsa Viswananda Saraswati, on the banks of the Ganga on 1st June 1924. Swami Sivananda was in quest of a Guru. Continue reading

243 – Gayatri Mantra

Gayatri is the equal partner of the sun and the mantra for prana, with three forms. In the early morning, Gayatri is a little girl. At noon she is a young woman in her prime. In the evening she is a wise, old woman. The colors used for Gayatri are red in the morning, yellow at noon, and grey at night. Continue reading

218 – Lal Ded, a truly liberated saint

Lal Ded was born in the fourteenth century, and she was a feminist saint and a mystic poet. She had an education as in Kashmir, girls were educated. She was married at the age of twelve. Her in-laws ill-treated her. They starved her and gave her only a handful of rice to eat. She left her husband and became a disciple of Sed Bayu, a Shaivite guru. She shed her clothes and became a digamber swami. She was unembarrassed about her body, she had a huge stomach. In a few years she had eclipsed her guru in wisdom and bhakti. She taught that one should connect with one’s soul and remove ritual from our meditation. She told a priest that a temple and an image were just like stone. She was venerated by both Muslims and Hindus. Continue reading

217 – How many kinds of Gurus are there?

Many of us are searching for a Guru and the search is like looking for the most bahumulya vyakti (priceless person). It is not possible for us to find a Guru, s/he appears before us, when the time is right. There are many kinds of Guru, Gyana Guru, Yogic Guru, Tantric Guru, Brahmanishtha (one who lives in the light of the teaching, of one ness) Guru, Chela Guru. The title given before guru describes the method that a Guru utilizes to transmit his/her energy. 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