Belief, faith and hope, which order should we follow?
Before I write about these three words which rule us, I want to share with you a truthful tale about the orchids. My dear ones, you all have observed the beauty of the orchid. It flowers and then gives us so much joy with its beauty. They are mono symmetrical; this means that both halves of the flower mirror each other. The orchid flower is thief, liar and cheat. Continue reading →
The sun shines not there, nor the moon and the stars, nor these lightnings, not to speak of this fire. When He shines, everything shines after Him; All this is illumined by his radiance. – Mundaka Upanishad. Verse 2.2.10.
May I feel the peace existing in the waters, medicinal herbs and trees of nature.
I meditate on the peace which pervades the Aapah (waters), Oshadh (herbs) and Vanaspati (trees).
Om Dyauha Shanti – Shanti Mantra of the Upanishad. Continue reading →
Now there are varieties of gifts, the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord: and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common God. 1 Corinthians 12. 4-7Continue reading →
Three extraordinary women and their narratives. Jabala, Maitreyi and Shandili have been written before the Christian Era (BCE). My dear ones when I read these legends, I was so pleased that I felt that I must share these stories. Continue reading →
Having controlled the Prana and Apana, during Kumbhaka (breath retention), with the gaze fixed steadily at the tip of the nose, performing shanmukh mudra with the fingers of both hands, the mind merge itself in the sound of pranava, Aum. – Upanishads.
Shanmukh mudra is practiced when one closes the ears with the thumbs, the eyes with the index fingers, the nostrils with middle fingers, and place the little finger below the lips. Release the pressure of the middle fingers and open the nostrils. Inhale slowly and deeply using full yogic breathing. At the end of the inhalation, close the nostrils with the middle fingers and practice Kumbhaka (holding breath). Hold breath for as long as possible. Release the pressure of the middle finger and slowly exhale.
What are the Upanishads saying?
Through one’s breath awareness, one is able to control inhalation and exhalation. When this is accomplished, one is able to rid oneself of negativity, doubts and fears. The outcome is one’s thoughts are no longer the rulers of one’s mind.
The mind, when it is free from thoughts, desire and motion, merges in the supreme Brahman. This state is Samadhi. – Upanishads.
The year is ending and what is the resolution one can make? Balance one’s prana and to do that practice Samvrit Pranayama. Inhale to the count of five, hold the breath to the count of five, exhale to the count of five and hold the breath outside to the count of five. Practice 27 times with the mantra So Ham, Aum or your personal mantra. Remain on the spiritual path.
Is it steady or is it wavering? When one meditates with a lighted lamp, it plays a lot of games with one. Sometimes the light whooshes and wavers from side to side, or it consumes the wick. Often one keeps lighting it and it does not light. Continue reading →
The Chandogya Upanishad says that Bhuma is a celebration of the auspicious qualities of the Supreme One. When Bhuman is seen and heard, nothing else is seen or heard. When Bhuman is known, nothing else is known. Swaroopoham refers to realization of truth. Love and bhakti are within us. Pursuit of Bhakti with sincerity and genuineness is essential. Continue reading →
Vedanta: means of knowledge based on the upanisads or knowledge that ends the quest for knowledge.
Modern advaita teachers and qualifications. Arguments from satya viewpoint and from the mithya viewpoint. Example of Ramana Maharshi, his spiritual experience and the knowledge he got from it. Knowledge is the only way to get free because I am already free. But I am ignorant of this fact. You know you exist and that you are conscious. But you don‘t know that you are limitless and free. Vedanta helps you to remove the notion that you are incomplete. The scriptures reveal something to you that you already know. Swami Chinmayananda: gurus are temporary psychological aide.
Verse 36: One achieves devotion by worshiping the Lord ceaselessly. Every action becomes a worship if you offer it to the Lord. Be a caretaker of all the things borrowed by the Lord.
Verse 37: One achieves devotion by hearing and talking about the Supreme Lord’s special qualities, in every relationship. Avoid gossip. The world is a shining reflection of the Lord‘s glory. Go back to the source whenever you see an object. Isvara is both the intelligence and the matter for the creation. Everything is Isvaras body. Two creation teachings: projection teaching and cause and effect teaching. Mandukya Upanishad. Location of objects teaching. You love love. We have to know that objects are love even though they don‘t look like love. You should question what you see and look deeper.
Beginning of the verses of Narada’s Bhakti Sutras. Traditional
versus modern style of teaching. Vers 1: Using intellect for
justification is not useful. Devotion is directed to God. Treat
the people around you as if they are God. Devotion is rational.
Vers 2: Focus all of your attention on one topic: who am I?
Samadhana. Love is willing attention. Love of what is right
here and now. You are always present. You love your self.
Selflessness. You are the goodness that makes goodness
good. Hate is a perverted form of bhakti. Duality: Men are
defined by women. You don’t love objects, you love love.
Chasing love in objects is useless. Vers 3+4: You know you
don’t die and get a security benefit. The worry goes away.
Immortal love. Perfection benefit. Gain of knowledge, loss of
ignorance. Enlightenment sickness. Love is your nature. You
are not the body. You were here before your body was born.
Solution is to accept the words of the scripture. Vers 5: Life is
not jiva centered anymore. Free of passion for objects. No
need to feel special. Vers 6: Feel wonderstruck because you
understand and fulfilled the purpose in your life. You know you
Recap of the last session. Freedom as the number one priority
in life. Nondual bhakti is exclusive love of the self. To progress
spiritually you have to commit yourself to the vedic tradition:
work through all stages. Skipping of the purification by karma
yoga is not useful. Understand the progression. Take care of
all instruments. Dual love is there to qualify for nondual love.
Nondual relationship. Samsara is a zero-sum-reality. You can’t
win and you can’t loose. Karma yoga is suitable to get out of
samsara: prepares you for jnana yoga, jnana yoga gives you
knowledge and knowledge sets you free. You need a noble
idea for your life. All beings are a set of rules by Isvara that
form their nature. Svabhava and svadharma of a human
being. Nature of animals. Karma yoga dharma. Example of
Arjuna. Karma yogis honor samanya dharma or universal
values. Vishesha dharma or situational ethics have no simple
formula. Dharma yoga. React appropriately in relation to
dharma in every situation to avoid bad karma. Krishna: I am
the desire that is not opposed to dharma. Adharma: Going
against your nature or to go against universal values.
Adharmic action creates mental and emotional agitation.
Pollute the environment and living in it is adharmic.
Svadharma of someone commited to Vedanta: be a karma
yogi, develop discipline. Karma yoga is build into the indian
society, that is a dharmic society. Svadharma and profession.
Karma yoga makes less stressful. You start thinking: who is
this Isvara? 4. Upasana. Listening, reasoning (reflecting and
getting rid of opinions that are not in harmony with the
teaching), actualize the knowledge “I am the self”. Getting rid
of obstacles to perfect satisfaction: by continuing the sadhana.
Total sense of confidence.
Karma yoga is bhakti yoga. Swami Vivekananda, Freud,
consequences of technology. Psychological designation in
Vedanta appeared. Multipath confusion. Better to integrate all
parts of the psyche. All stages of devotion are necessary, must
be practised. For karma yoga you need a guru and the
scripture. Only a mature person can surrender to Isvara.
Mantra “sadāśiva samārambhāṁ
śaṅkarācāryamadhyamām…” The self is the guru. Self is
beyond perception and inference. You need a guru because
the tendency for self-deception is immense. Dead gurus don’t
reveal your self-deceptions. You should manage your own life
based on the knowledge. Desire produces anger, depression
and delusion. Karma yoga as right action: dharmic lifestyle is
necessary. 5 daily practices: worship teacher, worship of
ancestors (tvam eva mātā…), worship deity, service to
humanity, protect environment. Desire hides your self from
you. Karma yoga turns an extroverted and subjective mind
into an introverted and objective mind. Inner child becomes an
inner adult. Relationship of guru and disciple: Krsna and
Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita. Sakhya bhava. Karma yoga is an
appropriate use of your free will. Described in chapters 1-6 of
the Bhagavad Gita.
3. Formal devotion. What is karma? Prarabdha, sanchita and
agami karma. Karma is similar to a bank account. 3
possibilities: add karma, exhaust karma or stay the same.
People with little karma become sannyasi. Karma Yoga means
how to relate to your karma. Neutralise your karma to have a
steady mind. Gunas, mind and karma. Deities are Vedas in
code. Rishis show you who Isvara is. The love for myself
depends on whether I am handling the karma properly. You
are the witness of karma. The I has no karma. All karmas are
created by Isvara. Isvara or God: creator, upholder or dharma,
giver of results. Isvara is in charge of the results. The principle
to hand out results to jivas are the needs of the total. Isvaras
versus jivas mind. Karma is hard to understand: I want results
and I am not sure if I get it. Karma Yoga is acting like an
enlightened person: offering the actions as a worship to Isvara
as the giver of results. Isvara gave you your life as a gift.
Karma Yoga is love of God. This attitude during action reduces
karma. Giving instead of grabbing. Your whole life is an altar.
It is normal to do good things with love. Accept the good and
bad results with an attitude of gratitude.
By reading Vedanta texts it is easy to misinterpret them.
Ignorance and knowledge are mixed up. Teaching makes
difference between ignorance and knowledge clear. Live your
life based on knowledge not on emotions. Isvara and action.
What is real? You see reality on the basis of your experiences.
Reflecting media. Three gunas and the mind. 2. Informal
devotion. Personal deity, ishta devata. Religion. Influence and
judgements of the family. God is a helpful concept in the mind.
God doesn’t judge. Dead gurus don’t judge. Living gurus make
you grow. In informal devotion you bring God down to your
level. Vedanta lifts you up to Gods level. Karma Yoga as the
Existence is my nature. Love is my nature. Everything you do
is motivated by love. Stages of love (see chart in the video):
1. Love of objects. What do you love? Samsaris love objects.
Suffering comes because objects are not under their control.
God controls objects. Does the love of your life last forever? To
love god is the only option if you want to be free.
2. Love of god. Informal devotion.
3. Isvara. Who gave life to you? Gods laws in the creation.
Moral dimension. Isvara/God: creator, upholder or dharma,
giver of results. Gods grace. Law of pleasure and pain. Joy and
sorrow are connected. Is it wise to worship God? There is only
God. Dharma field is a field of laws. God is the rule giver and