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

290 – Collectively let us join our hands in prayer

A simple act like joining our hands in prayer can enable us to restore harmony in the universe. Why are our hands so important? We join our hands in prayer. We gesticulate with our hands. We express ourselves with our hands. We use our hands for eating and wiping our tears. We use our hands all the time. Our hands are centers of prana and the yogic mudras enable us to channelize the prana within ourselves. We use our hands for work and last but not least to express our love and tenderness for others and the earth. Continue reading

279 – The enchantment of sweet taste

Sweet is derived from water and earth elements. Many of the foods recommended for rejuvenation purposes are sweet. If you look at the sweet taste, it is considered cooling. Its characteristics are that it can be heavy, cold, oily soft and also difficult to digest. It is grounding, building nourishing. The emotions associated with it are love, sharing, compassion, joy, happiness, bliss – the most sattvic of flavors. Continue reading

267 – Address work with affection

According to Sri Aurobindo, the only work that spiritually purifies is that which is done without personal motives, without desire for fame or public recognition or worldly greatness. Without insistence on one’s own mental motives or vital lusts and demands or physical preferences, without vanity or crude self-assertion or claims for position or prestige. Continue reading

253 – Why am I unhappy?

What can be the answer for my unhappiness? Is it my wrong attitude about my life in general? Is it about my kids? Is it about my childhood? Is it about my relationships, my job or my behavior? Am I too humble, too arrogant, or do I feel that I am too superior or inferior? Continue reading

252 – The power of words

It is said that words stay in the ether, and they never vanish. We are always exchanging words and sometimes they are so cruel and hurtful. We regret afterwards, at least I hope we do and the other person will always remember them. What can we do about it? How is it possible to stop being abrasive and offensive? Continue reading

246 – Our eight senses

We have eight senses, and they all require prana management. Our five senses which we are familiar with are sight (vision), sound (hearing), smell (olfaction), taste (gustation), touch (tactile perception), and the three senses we are not so familiar with are vestibular (balance), prioceptive (movement) and introceptive (internal). Let us take a quick look at them. 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

236 – Come alive with Coffee

How many of you remember this advertising campaign? It was very popular in India, years ago and Nescafe, instant coffee came into great demand. There was a very sweet joke about it and the kids used to love telling the joke. A man lost his dog and every day he visited the grave of the dog with a cup of coffee. He was asked why was he doing this and he replied that his dog would come alive with the coffee. Think about it, it is funny and sad. Continue reading

233 – Devi in the hindu tradition

The Goddess has been worshipped in the vedic and tantric traditions in numerous forms. Thousands of goddesses exist in India, all manifestations and symbols of one energy and power. As Durga, she is the remover of obstacles, as Kali, the destroyer of time and annihilator of the ego. As Lakshmi, she is the granter of wisdom and knowledge. As Saraswati, she is the granter of wisdom and knowledge. As Tara, she is the guiding light. As Jagdamba, she is the mother of the universe. Continue reading

221 – Prana and its understanding from the Atharvvedas

What is prana? Prana is the symbol of the cosmic breath (Mahaprana) in our body. Mahaprana works both inside and outside in the universe and in our body. Prana performs its functions in the universe and in our body. During the existence of the universe, it functions. When there is pralaya (destruction) of the universe, it ceases to function. Wise persons call the air pervading in the firmament, prana. Our past and present are based on this prana and on it depends everything. Continue reading

204 – Offering comfort to a loved with a terminal illness

When we have a dear one suffering from a serious illness, we are distressed, and we feel helpless. If we are in this condition of anguish ourselves, we cannot offer empathy and support. We have to restore our tranquility and wellbeing before we visit them. We will be sending them signals of despair, which will make them more uneasy and troubled. Continue reading

183 – Shiva, the Auspicious one

Shankaracharya addresses Shiva, as the great ruler. He says, “O Auspicious One, the Great Ruler, O Compassionate One, O Thou wielder of the Trident, Thou Lord of Gauri and of the creatures, the destroyer of all bondage of the jivas, Thou Lord of Varanasi, out of thy mercy Thou projectest, maintainest and destroyest this world. Thou art the Great Ruler.” Continue reading

178 – Bija Mantras and Us

Today in the morning I was playing the chants in the garden. The birds started singing and whistling when Krishna Das was singing Hanuman Chalisa. They enjoy his singing, whether it is in Goa, Delhi or Germany. The crows like a harder voice and they cawwed to their hearts content with Aditya Hyrdayam. We soon had a bird band. Continue reading