324 – Vaishnava Tantra

Vishnu is worshipped in Vaishnava Tantra. He is the preserver of the world. He is said to manifest in human form in every era (Yuga), to relieve the world from suffering by evil persons, who being destroyed by him also attain their moksha. In Sattva, his Narayana form, in Rajas, his Narsimhan form, and in Tamas, his Varaha form is worshipped. 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

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

052 – To walk on the Sattvic path – with a balanced frame of mind

We are hedonists. Seekers of assuaging our senses. We are all engaged in the pursuit of pleasure, and this leads us to wanting more, excesses and dis-satisfaction. Every day is spent in seeking excitement and challenge. However what happens is that we develop a void in our lives, and we experience negativity in all its aspects. For many a short cut is consumption and abuse of stimulants. We want to chase the boredom away. What is the solution? How do we handle this ennui, and we have to face reality. 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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