136 – Who is Ganesha

Ma Shakti created Ganesha. She did not desire a son, she created him to be her protector. After Shiva beheaded Ganesha in a fearsome rage, there was pandemonium in the universe. Parvati assumed the form of Kali and was prepared to destroy and devour all the worlds. The Gods and devas were terrified, and the Gods said that they will have to give him some of their attributes. Shiva called him Ganesha which means ruler, gana means a group of people and isha means master. Continue reading

131 – Remember and learn from your Gurus

We should try to remember our main Guru every day. Yesterday I wrote about the 24 gurus who gave Dattatreya, the son of the Holy Trinity, wisdom. The point this sage who lived thousands of years ago was making that we can learn discernment from anybody, be they humans or animals. He spoke about the elements which compose our mind, body and the universe. When we seek insight we have to purify ourselves. Continue reading

126 – How to be optimistic in the times of the Corona Virus

The new year is here and all of us have a great deal on our plates. Swami Sivananda has given us some wonderful advice, a long time ago. It is still contemporary and relevant.

First let us think of all the good things that have happened to us during the time of the epidemic. Continue reading

124 – Me, myself and my Prana

I remember when I was a child, the word Prana was used very frequently. My mother would call us her prana, or say my prana left me when she was concerned. The saying in English would be my heart was in my mouth. Also another saying was my prana dried like the desert. It means that I was so hungry or thirsty, and that I had no energy left. Continue reading

117 – A Perfect Gift

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “The only gift is a portion of thyself…The poet brings his poem… the farmer corn… the painter his picture; the girl, a handkerchief of her own sewing. This is right and pleasing, for it restores society in so far to its primary basis, when a man’s biography is conveyed in his gift.” Continue reading

112 – Mantras and their magic

Mantra is the psychic sound. In the science of mantra yoga, each person has a different psychic personality. The mantra is a specific sound of the spiritual system. In ancient times when the rishis were meditating, they overcame their sensory awareness, mind awareness and time stood still for them. And finally they came to ether awareness where they were able to hear all the different sounds of the vibrations in the cosmos. These sounds were called mantras. Continue reading

108 – Our two-faced heart

Swami Niranjanananda describes our heart as being two sided. I like to call it two-faced. And of course, he knows best. The left compartment is the physical heart and the right compartment is the spiritual heart. The left chamber’s functioning is responsible for the circulation and the right chamber is responsible for the circulation of our feelings and emotions (bhava). It is our bhava which connects us to the universe. Continue reading

105 – The importance of unblocking our left and right nostrils

We require to unblock our left and right nostrils. It is extremely uncomfortable when our nostrils are blocked and we cannot breathe. We breathe through our mouths and it also leads to bad breath. The Ida nadi flows through the left nostril and the pingala nadi flows through the right nostril.

Why is it necessary to unblock the nadis?

Continue reading

085 – What is Prana

The Upanishads describe prana as the breath contained within the breath. A person is dead when this breath leaves the body. It is called Mahaprana and is the instrument of consciousness. It nurtures and nourishes us. It is the energy which is gross and subtle, and which is present in all life form. It is present in the universe from the blade of grass to the most microscopic sign of life. It exists where there is life and this includes physical, mental, Intellectual, psychic and emotional health. To fully understand this life force, we have to be aware of the flow of prana. Prana is present everywhere in our bodies, it is inside the oxygen, which is in our blood, inside the bones, inside our veins, our arteries and is the subtle breath within our breath. 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

076 – Ajapa Japa

Ajapa Japa is chanting from the heart. It is the spontaneous repetition of the Mantra Soham for developing awareness of the psychic breath in the psychic passages of the body. The meaning of psychic is spiritual in the Yogic sense and Ajapa Japa sadhana enables the flow of prana. Continue reading

073 – Real Wealth

“He enjoys peace, who is endowed with samata (affinity), who is free from raag-dvesh (likes and dislikes), and harsh-sokaj (exhilaration and depression). Samata is supreme wealth. Man tries to amass wealth but vairagya (detachment) is the supreme wealth which blows out all other wealth. All our wealth is straw for a man of Vairagya.” – Swami Sivanananda.

Continue reading

070 – If you are weak willed, what should you do

In my life of teaching Yoga, I have come across many people who are weak willed. It is written and said that we must have a strong will. It is easier said than done. We have a restless mind. We are distracted and therefore lose our focus. I found that a daily lesson was very beneficial. Continue reading

013 – Can we control the wind?

How do we control Prana? Can we control the wind?
Attempting to controlling our mind, makes us plunge in a constant war with ourselves. What should we do?

We work on purifying the elements of our body and mind. We attempt to unblock the Ida and Pingala nadi, so that the Sushumna nadi can flow. Once the Sushumna nadi flows, our chakras are unblocked. Continue reading