286 – Dhanya Vad, the thank-you-mantra

The world around is always on the move. Many of us do not look around us. We are staring at our phones continuously. I am surprised that many of us have so much to speak about. I see people going for a walk, going to work, driving, at the beauty parlor, at a restaurant and they all have one thing in common. They are on the phone. I seem to among the few, who is not gawping at the phone. If only we could take time off from our phone, shut off the visual and auditory stimulation coming from it, and appreciate what is happening around us. Continue reading

276 – God is knowledge and bliss

A quote by Sant Kabirdas

Kabirdas was a mystic poet and saint. His writings influenced the Hindu Bhakti movement in the fifteenth century. He believed in living life very simply. He makes us face up to the lies that we tell ourselves, that we are devout and are not afraid of death. He described the process of ajapa japa and the mantra So ham, as a continuous process. Continue reading

273 – Be selfish and engage in meditation and prayers

We are in a state of misery. We are deluged by misfortunes. Famine, floods and war. There are shortages everywhere. Innocents are being shot in schools, fires raging. Our miserable nature is overtaking us. We are crushing and destroying what is dear to us. Hurting others who have not harmed us. Wars are erupting everywhere. War does not only mean a battle but there is also an ongoing war against disease and pestilence. It has afflicted our thinking. There are politicians who are talking about maintaining peace but actually they are preparing for war to preserve peace. Continue reading

263 – Shiva Yoga

The Yoga described in Pashupata Tantra, is neither hatha yoga nor raja yoga, it is a yoga named by Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati as Shiva Yoga.

Shivenasaha yogah: Shiv yogah “The teachings of yoga as associated with Shiva will be called Shiva Yoga.” Shiva Yoga is the most important as it has four parts: hatha yoga, raja yoga, bhakti yoga and karma yoga. Continue reading

259 – Bed-time review your day

How does your day start? I know how mine starts. I silently chant my mantra for the Goddess and then I sit up and leave my bed. My first response are my guests seated in the balcony. My wild cats, mother and son and their extended family are the guests. I light the incense in the different rooms. I give them their breakfast and then play my chants on the CD player. After that it is one thing after the other. 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

210 – Mantras and Atma Bhava

Mantras have a very powerful effect on us and their healing powers are immense. When we play the mantras on CDs and hear them, the sound waves spread out. I have watched this first hand in my home. I play a different chant every day as soon as I wake up. It is very fascinating to watch my cats. 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

159 – Purusha and Prakriti

Purusha and Prakriti emerged from the split. The kundalini is the subtlest form of energy and indivisible part of pure consciousness. Energy and consciousness have separated and united to create the cosmos and they are striving to unite in our physical body. Continue reading

142 – Self-exploration with Anuloma Viloma Pranayama

In these extraordinary times, we are all spending a great deal of time with ourselves. Self-exploration is the process to find out what is invaluable to us by self-introspection. What is right for us, and how do we accept ourselves as we are. We live in the universe which is composed of space, air, fire, water and earth. It is also our composition. Continue reading

138 – Surrender yourself

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

084 – Mantras

Mantra means liberation from the thought processes of the mind (manyate trayate). When the thought processes are controlled by the mantras, the consciousness presents itself in its purest, truest nature. Mantras hold the pranic power of speech. The Vedas say that prana is hidden speech, while speech is manifest prana. We speak throughout the outgoing breath and can inhale only when we are not speaking. Continue reading