Thursday, November 19, 2009
Raja Yoga attained through spiritual powers
K. S. Sivakumaran
An reader upset by what we wrote last week on Yoga Swami of Yaalpaanam has complained that the piece was all factually wrong. When asked what were the errors the reply was that we have mentioned that the swami was a catholic. This information we gathered from an article written by the late S. Ambihaipahan. As mentioned in our column the article we wrote was based on what Ambihipahan has written. Granting that the complainant was right, let us move on to some useful suggestions on attaining Spiritual Powers.
Last Sunday (Nov.15) we were invited to a function organized by the Brahma Kumaris Raja Yoga Centre of Sri Lanka. It was held at the BMICH. The 150 minutes program was a practical exercise - Experiencing Inner Power and Protection Through Good Wishes and Pure Feelings. With multimedia presentation in three languages and singing of melodic hymns in Hindi and English the devotees at the Centre invited the audience of different strata to meditate at different levels to know our inner power. It was a harmonious atmosphere and a few members explained how they felt doing this exercise in silence.
We must know something about the organizers. A Lanka branch of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University in India is incorporated by Act of Parliament of No 37/1998. We learn that the University has been working for more than 75 years to promote understanding between people of different beliefs and backgrounds through dialogue, education and the development of spiritual values and also simple form of meditation.
The organization offer seminar programs on the following:
Positive thinking, stress management, self awareness, self empowerment, inner leadership. Lectures on values and appreciative inquiry.
The bottomline is that there are eight powers amongst us that become effective in our lives. "The basis for this experience is to become an embodiment of LOVE - it is this unconditional Love from the Supreme Truth that gives us the feeling of safety, security and protection."
The Centre has outlined the eight powers. For the benefit of our readers let me list them so that they too can change themselves and become powerful.
The power to tolerate, the power to face obstacles, the power to accommodate, the power to cooperate with others, the power to discern, the power to judge, the power to pack up waste and the power to withdraw thoughts.
Despite negative situations one can remain peaceful and happy. One can be detached from the consciousness of the physical body and see beyond problems and difficulties nod discover positive approach. One can be above any clash of personality or nature to mould and adjust oneself as the situation requires. Good wishes and pure feelings can change bitter relationships.
The attitude of brotherly or sisterly vision creates unity and strength. Correct values to the thoughts, words and actions could be achieved through meditation. We must have clear understanding of what is right and wrong.
Meditation provides this strength and clarity of the intellect through greater self understanding and detached perspective. Not having negative thoughts and positive outlook keeps one from both mental and physical tiredness. True controlling power of our negative thoughts brings greater strength to the self and protection ensures.
Thus Raja Yoga helps us attain Spiritual Powers.
Sai Baba's 84th Birthday:
Making men of excellence
Dr. C. Srideva
Usually the devotees address Sai Baba as 'Swami', who is a spiritual leader with multi dimensional personality catering to the requirements of people based on their levels of thought, levels of awareness, levels of understanding, and levels of consciousness. Thus His approach is different for each one. Best way to follow the spiritual path is the Prashanthi Nilayam schedule, where Swami lives. Here there is no place for any religion but it is a place of religiousness, a connection heart to heart, love to love.
What is spirituality?
We, humans are reflections of god, the very image of god. Sparks of the divine. Tree behaves like a tree, an animal behaves like an animal. But most human beings behave like animals with qualities like ego, pride, envy, passion, animosity. So we have to pass this illusory "I", and evolve to be true human, and realize the spark of divinity within and view life in the correct perspective to feel the divinity. This is Spirituality.
Spiritual path is not imprisonment. It is freedom, sharing something that we already know, creative, a vision, constructive, without any instructions or theory, and is an eternal, continuous journey and is a path to the unknown without any space or time factor. So one have to continue to go along more and more eternally, tirelessly, ceaselessly, continuously enjoying.
Love and Meditation are the twins that, one has to cultivate on the spiritual path. Meditation establishes inner contact, at the psychological level, intellectual level, all alone by yourself.
Love is an interaction among people in the neighbourhood. This love turned inwards becomes meditation. And meditation turned outwards becomes love. With love and meditation one can be closer to God.
What is the happiest thing in life? Not to desire anything. Die mind is the end of life. When the mind is annihilated, you are beyond attachment and in a state of renunciation and you become a real seeker after truth.
Spiritual goals are unknown, and there is always a thrill in moving towards the unknown. Leading a life is mechanical like a railway time table. Living a life, that is life is to be lived, when you are blissful, joyful, happy and creative. To be creative, we have to be child like. Jesus said, 'Unless you are like a child, you cannot enter the gates of Heaven'. Not childishness. Child is innocent. We should have the same innocence.
But adults like us do not want to be innocent. We want to be post graduates, or men of excellence, or knowledge. The biggest obstacle on the spiritual path is this state of knowledge. With knowledge one can get a good job, good salary, but in the spiritual field, you get zero. Knowledge is the information passed on to you by somebody. That is borrowed information. But spirituality wants first hand information. One has to be child like to establish contact, heart to heart, love to love, connection with God. One has to be creative. Because of the ego mind, which the child do not possess, we are not able to establish communion with God. Ego has already taken charge of this mind. The heart and mind should be open and not closed. Mind should not be a barrier and thus one has to be child like, in a state of innocence.
Spiritual path is the observance of religion, which is religiousness. This will help to advance and progress. It is by a process of development, slow and steady all by your individual self. Bhagavad Gita says, "You have to work for your own liberation." It cannot be bought, purchased or imported. That is self awareness is to be attained by the self. Moksha or liberation is not the goal of life. It is a state of mind, an attitude, a state of detachment, state of bliss. It is not a life after death. A cheerful, joyful, ecstatic life, a non-dual life and a life of vision are the very symbols of liberation, of moksha, or of nirvana. One should not get confused religion with religiousness in one's spiritual path. Religion, is a banner, builds up ego, divides you with rules and regulations, makes you dogmatic, and fanatic leading you to conflicts and wars. But religiousness is only a manner, a methodology, with principles and practice of religion, brings you together, makes you feel blissful.
Here again, to be successful in spirituality, one has to bend the body in service, mend the senses in devotion, and end the mind in awareness. In spirituality transformation is slow and steady. A true spiritual man finds life to be positive, beautiful and interesting, and he never condemn his life. He will find every moment of life as God's gift and value it.
Life is like a river that flows continuously taking us to unknown shores. That is river finds its fulfilment in merging with the ocean. Ocean is divinity, cosmic soul, universal soul. River is individual soul. So when the river of the individual soul merges into the ocean which is the cosmic soul, there lies joy, bliss, and end of the journey, end of the spiritual journey.
How do you call yourself spiritual? When you realize both states of existence, for example, good or bad, victory or defeat, success or failure, partial or prejudice, profit or loss, then you are balanced and spiritual.
Man is born with natural intelligence i.e. awareness (Prajgnanam brahma). Life's journey should be towards subject and not towards objects. Once you know the subject, the inner being, then you will feel the light of love, light of truth, flame of peace, and radiance of bliss. Existence, Awareness, and Bliss, all are latent in your inner being. So diversion of mind to subjectivity instead of objectivity will make the life interesting.
Far reaching goal
Unlike worldly endeavours, worldly pursuits, worldly paths, which have goals, spiritual path is not goal orientated but is not a far reaching goal. One has to find out the meaning of life and create the meaning of your life. There is only one spiritual question Who am I? We have to live to find an answer and the answer comes from the deepest core within you. Until you find an answer to this question, there is emptiness within, there is discontent lying deep within, but the answer is already there. Answer is I am, I am God, I am You. So the purpose of life is to find that answer within us, if not life is unlived. Life is worth living if one can understand that life lies in Being and not in Having. Having is materialism (cars, flats, etc.), comparative, competitive, and leads to dissatisfaction. Being is spirituality, non-dual, divine, and is the very nature of satisfaction and be happy eternally.
One should know about the essence of life and existence of life. For a tree, seed is the essence of life. It is born with essence and lives in existence. But man starts his life in existence but he misses the essence. Without the essence, existence is useless, is negative, and is futile. The essence of life is the divinity latent within us and knowing the divinity is this essence of life.
Life is a matter of questions and problems. It is absolutely individualistic. When this individuality is gone (eg. retired from service, or losing job, or losing everything in life as in an earthquake)then you are lost. Then the question arises in your mind. Who am I? To realize the answer one has to work for his own liberation, own emancipation, own progress and advancement and as an individual introspect, seek and search and answer would be "I am I".
In spirituality life is never a question but life is a Quest. Questions can be answered intellectually, and two persons are involved. Quest needs to be answered existentially, the answer comes then and there within you, deep within you.
To be continued
Meditate with God Ganesha
The Hindus of Sri Lanka will observe the twenty one (21) day fast in the Vinayakar Temple accompanied by meditation, poojas by repeating the story of Lord Ganesha.
The worship of God Ganesha is widespread in Sri Lanka and is revered by Hindus and Buddhists. His other names are Ganapathy, Vigneswara, Pillaiyar, Yanaimukan etc.
God Ganesha is the God of wisdom and is the removers of all obstacles and He is worshipped in all Hindu ceremonies both in the temple and in the home. Even the celestial beings are said to have worshipped God Ganesha before embarking on any important undertaking.
God Ganesha holds a hatchet (Parasu) in one hand which symbolises the cutting away of vanity and false teaching.
He also holds a God (Ankusha) to cut through illusion, in another a noose (Pasa) which represent the restraining of passions and desires. The fourth hand of God Ganesha holds a sweet (Modaka) with an external tasteless part of rice flour and an internal tasty parts of jaggery and coconut. They symbolise the Universe where the outward worldliness has no worth, but within is the bliss.
As the son of Lord Shiva, Ganesha inherits his father's attributes, ornaments (such as the snakes) and the dancing posture. The adoration of god Ganesha in the arts has been remarkably universal and has very often cut across religions. His dominant manifestation has been in warding off all evils.
He even creates obstacles that are prays to him for the removal. God Ganesha has been a major deity, since the seventh and eighth centuries in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.
God Ganesha was extremely popular in Indonesia, Sumatra and Java. There are paintings and stone sculptures of god Ganesha found in China.
As a remover of obstacles, god Ganesha is propitiated in Sri Lanka and India at the beginning of any activity - undertaking a journey, building a house, performing marriages, social ceremonies, writing a book or even composing a letter. He even helped Sage Vyasa for writing Mahabharatha.
God Ganesha had appeared in the form of "Nritya Ganapathy" blowing the conch, dancing in great abandonment, swirling and whirling his movements beyond man's comprehension. Even god Ganesha gave the task of creation, preservation and destruction of the world to Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
Therefore, let us all pray to god Ganesha and observe this twenty-one-day fast very meticulously and receive His Divine Blessings to remove all the obstacles to maintain to tranquillity, equanimity and serenity of the mind and for peace and prosperity.