Friday, October 28, 2016

Karma Yoga (part 4)

I am confused.

The Ashtanga Yoga of Patanjali and most scriptures of Hinduism say that the final stage of spiritual growth is Samadhi (a state of intense concentration achieved through meditation). A stage at which union with the divine is reached. So, when union is achieved – the individual identity is merged into the Divine, where one’s personality or individuality is lost.

But the Divine has given us life and created a person, an identity for a particular role in the Universe. If we attempt to merge with the Divine, are we not shirking our role and defeating the purpose of our birth? Samadhi cannot be the final step.
Meaning of life needs to go beyond Samadhi. After we access and merge with the vast Divine Consciousness, we have to bring this power back to one’s life and use this immense consciousness to do selfless service.

So, my formula of spiritual life is CCMSSS.

C ~ Clarity of purpose of existence

C ~ Cleansing of body to prepare to accept the Divine energy

M ~ Meditate to access the Divine energy

S ~ Surrender to allow the Divine energy to flow through me. Like a small fish going with the flow of the river.

S ~ Samadhi to merge myself into the Divine energy

S ~ Sewa or service that is selfless using this Divine energy 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Path for life - just some notings - read carefully

To see, understand, access and experience the Divine is the path to the truth, salvation and true freedom. 

The ego appears during the manifestation of the subtle Divine into a gross human. This ego separates the Divine Consciousness from the human. We therefore live in a veil of ego, desire and unconsciousness which conceals the Divine from us.

To experience and access the higher and deeper Divine Intelligence and Energy, we have to get unshackle the forces of the lower nature and through sadhana, awaken the Divine Shakti which will transform our consciousness into that of the Divine Consciousness. One will have to go beyond mind altogether, to have the real complete experience.

The Divine has three aspects
Ø  The Cosmic aspect from which and in which all is created or manifested in the universe.

Ø  The Manifested aspect is the Divine energy present in all beings. Right now, it is a manifestation which has to express its will to grow from ignorance to light.

Ø  This Transcendent aspect is all bliss and light and divine knowledge and power towards which we need to rise and bring it into our life and consciousness.

There are three major spiritual paths that can be explored

1.       One realises the cosmic aspect of the Divine, the aspect from which and in which everything is created or manifested, which is separate from me. The manifested aspect then unlocks the limitations of ignorance and surrenders itself to this image of the Divine that the mind has built. This is a realization, but a limited one.

2.       There is another path, taken by innumerable saints from all religions and sects. Not only does one realize the cosmic aspect of the Divine, but achieves transcendental realization too. Loses both oneself as well as the world in the transcendental Absolute. Lose individuality, surrender and become one with Divine energies and its manifestations. There is no personal or divinely individual consummation. All lose themselves to the Divine. This stage of Samadhi has been the highest stage of spiritual growth in any religion.

3.       But we have all been created as separate individuals to play a role in existence. My aim is not to just lose my individuality and personal role by surrender to the transcendental aspect of the Divine. My aim is to realize and also to manifest the Divine in the world, bringing down for the purpose of a yet unmanifested Power. I have to bring it down, and from where shall I bring it down — since it is not yet manifested in the cosmic formula — if not from the unmanifested Transcendence aspect of the Divine, which I must reach and realize? I have to bring it into the cosmic formula and, if so, I must realise the cosmic Divine and become conscious of the cosmic self and the cosmic forces. But I have to embody it here, and it is through the manifested aspect of Divine in the individual alone that this can be done. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Karma Yoga (part 3)

The Gita and the Vedanta thought process leads from ignorance to knowledge. A knowledge that teaches escape from the cycles of births. Understanding of a journey that starts from the lower consciousness but leads to the highest consciousness and beyond for salvation.
This intellectual understanding while extremely important, would still be only speculative; it could not have any spiritual value. Like reading a recipe without experiencing food. Thus, it is not by “thinking out” the entire reality, but by a change of consciousness that one can pass from the ignorance to the Knowledge.
For direct experiencing of Reality, this knowledge will have to be converted into spiritual experience by intensive sadhana of Yoga and Tantra. Deep and intensive practice can lead to opening of chakras or inner consciousness. And on opening of chakras, the journey from lower consciousness to higher to supreme consciousness begins.
This journey of evolution gives access to the Divine Intelligence or Divine energy. But, it needs to be remembered that accessing the supreme consciousness or the Divine energy cannot be the final destination. This should never lead to an individual achievement of the Divine realization for the sake of an individual, but something to be gained for humanity. This Divine energy needs to be brought down to Earth-consciousness and should be used for betterment of humanity and existence.
And this work should be done without desire of name, fame, power or any selfish motive, but as a surrender to the Divine.
So the sequence should be
1. Knowledge through reflection, books and scriptures
2. Experiencing through practice and meditation
3. Evolution to Supreme intelligence and having access to Divine energy
4. Using that Divine energy and intelligence for selfless work for humanity (karma yoga).

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Karma Yoga (part 2)

We are always in activity, even in inactivity. Most of the voluntary activity that we do is determined by the mind. The mind generally runs towards sense gratification increasing attachment and greed. How can we make it work for service to others?

Existence is the unfolding of the Divine plan. This process or flow is fuelled by Divine intelligence and energy. From the vast Universe to the cell, from the material world to the human race, from the smallest unit to the infinite, from the Big Bang to the present, the flow of the Divine Plan is intelligent, evolutionary and cyclic. This flow is not independent of us; we are a part of it, as participant not just observer.

The Divine plan, flowing from millenniums, seeks to enhance the lives of those in existence. Being a part of the Divine, we need to plug into this plan, and thus it becomes our function and duty to work for the betterment of others. An analogy would be that the Divine flow is like a river and we are the small fish in that river. It is our choice to go with the flow or against. It is our choice to work for service to others or use our narrow, sense-driven false concepts and ego to swim against the direction. Life would be much happier when going with the flow than against.

I have chosen to go with the flow. A surrender to the larger intelligence. Transform one’s own limited consciousness into the Divine Consciousness, to be its vessel, channel, instrument in one’s active nature. Attempting the way of spiritual self-giving and surrender to the Divine, abandoning ego and desire even in the midst of action.

This style of operation may sound very illogical and senseless to the normal, but am trying to transcend logic and sense and loving it. Whenever there is anything that I need or want to take decision, instead of reacting, just let it go. And believe it or not, after the next morning’s meditation, am able to respond with clarity. Success is HIS and failure is HIS. Have left everything to the Divine and its working. As the larger consciousness has substituted my limited one, the mind has become more of an observer than a player.

This is the true karma yoga – dedicating all through surrender to the Divine, without ego, desire or outcome.  

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Karma yoga (part 1)

Every microsecond of our lives, we are in activity. There is action even in inaction. Breathing, thinking, working, motor activity everything is going on all the time. Activity cannot cease, for if it does, we shall cease to exist.

Therefore, considering that action is inevitable, the question before us is twofold– what should be the purpose and intent of the actions and consequently, what the nature of activity is.

People generally work for the satisfaction of the five senses, and getting some comfort from it, one gets attached and binding increases, wishing for repeat performances of that act. Not being successful, one grieves. This constant striving for fruits of action creates the unending cycle of happiness and sadness, pleasure and pain.  We increase our load of work mostly due to attachment and greed, and till the end of life the burden makes us over-worked and over exhausted.

The mind is the ruler of the senses. Wherever the mind goes, the senses follow it. If the mind runs towards sense gratification, then all senses will get activated for want or greed of various sounds, touch, beauty, taste and smell. If the mind wants to go towards service to others, then the indriyas (senses) will also start activating themselves on that path.

As the army becomes victorious when the king is captured, similarly, if the mind is controlled, all indriyas will follow suit. As the sun is invisible if covered by clouds, but can be visible as soon as the clouds have passed, similarly the mind which is covered by passions, become clear as soon as passion has left. As the light of the sun is always present in spite of the clouds, similarly the true knowledge in the mind is always present, one just needs to unveil the curtains of “false concepts or knowledge” that has sullied the mind.

So what is true knowledge and how does one act ?

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Why women should not be allowed in Garbhagrih of some temples

I am deeply concerned with the new wave of activism of gender equality for entry into the sanctum sanctorum of few temples. These have been prohibited for many centuries and the new thinking of rubbishing all that is ancient without understanding the science behind the rules is worrisome. A shrill media campaign in the name of feminism, equality and modernism may destroy hundreds of years of profound decision making.

Deep understanding of profound subjects is needed. Complex issues of thousands of years cannot just be reduced to black-and-white. Cries of equality, feminism, rights and modernism are very well for public consumptions, but there is a need to reflect on the reason, rationale and understanding of disallowing women or men inside the garbhagrih of few temples.

The Hindu religion is not just about the superficial or the manifest or the symbolic, but about the complex energy dynamics that underlies the manifestation.

Actually the Nasadiya Sukta of the Rig Veda, the oldest of the Vedas says that first there was creation and that the Gods came later. So, the energy in the Universe that was unleashed by the Big Bang was later defined and structured into various forms of God and its shape, color, size and materials by ancient Rishis. Temples and religious places capture some of these powerful energies with form of idols, temple structures, rituals and various poojas. Pran pratishta or consecration of idols in highly magnetic and charged locations is done by powerful rituals during potent planetary positions. The power of those energies of the temples becomes more forceful during certain days of the week and during certain time of the year and at certain muhuratas. Praying with deep intent in these temples is supposed to lead to transformations and grace.

There are many, many different kinds of energies that affect our lives in various ways. Like the yin and yang energies of Chinese philosophy (the male and female energies), the Hindu Sankhya philosophy call these energies as Purusha (male) and prakriti (female). Shaivism and Shaktism call it Shiva (male) and Shakti (female). Shiv or Purusha is static, while Prakriti or Shakti is dynamic. If there are 12 Jyotirling temples for male energy (Shiva), there are over 50 Shakti peeth temples for female energy. Shakti is represented by various deities of immense power and different types of energies. Ancient India was not such a prejudicial society as now. Men and women had assigned duties and women were treated as equal partners and played a major part in religious activities like praying, fasting and rituals.

 The Indian knowledge system have tried to garner these powerful male and female energies by assigning shapes, colors, materials to various God forms, temple architecture, location and placement of temples and consecration of idols.  They have also assigned it days of the week when energy is at maximum level for praying. Days and time for festivals, meditation, eating, fasting and praying etc  based on the movement of planetary objects.

The planetary position during our birth and life affects us in different ways and because every individual is born during unique planetary positions, we all get uniquely affected by different Gods and places of worship (concentration of relative energy).

Do read Sadhguru Vasudeva’s extraordinary explanation on why women should not be allowed in Shani Shingnapur’s garbhagrih.

By the way, was reading on the internet about the temples that men cannot enter.

1.       The temple of Lord Brahma at Pushkar in Rajasthan is one of the most prominent temples of Lord Brahma. The temple dates back to 14th century. The householder's (married men) are not allowed to enter its sanctum.

2.       Attukal Temple is a renowned temple in Kerala where Women are worshipped. The temple hosts Attukal Pongala festival, in which over a million women participate.Only women are allowed to participate in the Pongala ritual. The festival has figured in the Guinness Book of World Records for  being the single largest gathering of women for a religious activity.

3.       Chakkulathukavu Temple is another temple in Kerala dedicated to the Bhagavathi, and follows a peculiar  annual ritual called 'Naari Puja'. On the first Friday of Dhanu  (December), the male priests wash the feet of female devotees who have  fasted for 10 days. This  system takes root in the belief that female devotees visiting on this  particular day are the incarnation of Chakkulathu Amma (goddess).

4.       In Assam, Kamru Kamchhaya Mandir is also such temple where only women is allowed to enter the premises during the time of monthly period. It is the temple of Bhagavati Maa, when Uma or Maa Sati waist was fell down here after having cut by Lord Vishnu Sudershan Chakra.   It is also an important Peeth of Bhagvati Maa. Devipuram Kamakhya Peetham with the female priest and devotees.

5.       One such temple is in  Muzaffarpur, Bihar.  During the time of special period day, only women devotee is allowed there to enter the Mandir. Even, Pujari of the Mandir is not allowed to enter the premises. 

6.       The temple of the Bhagwathi in Chengannur (Kerala) and the temple of Kamakhya Devi (Assam) where the Goddess too was believed to menstruate and followed similar rituals of menstrual seclusion, closing the temple for 3 days and then celebrating the end of her menstruation. In both these temples, the menstrual cloth is considered highly auspicious and is distributed among devotees. 

7.       One such temple of Bhagavati Maa is Kanya Kumari in Kerala.There also women devotee is allowed to enter. Male entry is prohibited there.    This is a famous temple of Kanya Kumari, where Kanya Ma Bhagawati Durga is worshiped by women only. 

8.       Santoshi Maa Varat is observed by only women or unmarried girls. I did not see any male on fast or on the Varat of Santoshi Maa. Sour fruits or prickle eating on that day is also prohibited. Though, male enters the Santoshi Maa temple for worshiping but hardly anyone is on Varat of Santoshi Maa.

      While I am a great proponent of equality and women empowerment, am not able to support this latest activism that has the potentially harm the profound science and balance of the Indian knowledge system. Please give your views.


Friday, January 15, 2016

Shiva-shakti of Kashmiri Shaivism - Leela Revisited (part 9)

The previous day had been unlike any other in the lives of those assembled. Lateral thinking, deep research and interdisciplinary knowledge had filled the minds of the scientists and the mystics. They could barely sleep as they waited for the morning to break for one more day of extraordinary discussions. The day would break new grounds in understanding of existence, this time from the perspectives of the mystics. By now, the scientists had seen enough to know that the talks of the Rishis, sages and saints would be dripping with knowledge and profundity. 

Next morning, all woke up fresh and excited, looking forward to imbibing new knowledge from each other. A group of monks, all bald headed and wearing ochre robes started the session by intoning a sutra from the Rig Veda in a rich, textured and melodious tone

“There was neither non-existence nor existence then.
There was neither the realm of space nor the sky which is beyond.
What stirred?

There was neither death nor immortality then. 
There was no distinguishing sign of night nor of day. 
That One breathed, windless, by its own impulse. 
 Other than that there was nothing beyond.

Desire came upon that One in the beginning, 
that was the first seed of mind. 
Poets seeking in their heart with wisdom 
found the bond of existence and non-existence.

Their cord was extended across. 
Was there below? 
Was there above? 
There were seed-placers, there were powers. 
There was impulse beneath, there was giving forth above.

Who really knows? 
Who will here proclaim it? 
Whence was it produced? 
Whence is this creation? 
The gods came afterwards, with the creation of this universe. 

Who then knows whence it has arisen?
Whence this creation has arisen –
perhaps it formed itself, or perhaps it did not - 
the One who looks down on it, 
in the highest heaven,
only He knows 
or perhaps even He does not know.”

There was a hushed silence for some time as all got affected with the profundity of the verse. All that was spoken the last evening was packed so beautifully in these verses from the Rig Veda.

After some time, Sage Bhaskara spoke for the first time, “Do not mistake the non-existence as nothingness or emptiness. It may be empty from the perspective of nothing actual, but is really “fullness” of all potential that constitute the source and soul of all things, all worlds, all beings and bodies.”

Looking at Dr. Bohm, who was sitting with his chin in his hands, sage Bhaskara said, “Dr Bohm, what you have proposed in your theory of Implicate Order could be found in the commentary on the “Siva-sutras” – collection of principles of Kashmiri Shaivism called the Spanda-karika in the 10th Century. It says that the Divine Consciousness is not simply cold, inert but active, dynamic, throbbing with life, creative pulsations – just like the vibrations or waves of the Implicate Order.”

The SHREE YANTRA-from the Implicate Order to the Explicate and from the Explicate back to the Implicate

“The potential of the Implicate Order theory of Dr.Bohm seems the same as “Shiva” – the consciousness or the pure intelligence, from which flows the energy and awareness to create the millions of  “Shakti” – the power of action. These latent potential of Shiva continue to take the form of countless shaktis.” Sage Bhaskara continued, “Consciousness is revealed (unmesa) and concealed (nimesa) by the power of mere will. Just a simple cessation of an idea in the mind is said to be nimesa, for without stopping the previous idea, the rise of the next one, unmesa, is not possible. One can observe this for oneself in every single moment between birth and death.”

Ved Vyasa smiled and added, “We humans are different manifestations of “Shakti” that have all emerged from “Shiva”. The intelligence in the human minds is no different from the intelligence in nature, and thus the unified field of nature’s intelligence can be directly experienced by any human being, if he so desires. Our meditation and processes is to understand and connect to that stage of pure intelligence. The meeting of Shiva-Shakti is our ultimate goal.”

We need to increase the frequency of our mind so as tune it with the universal consciousness and then, we will automatically “go with the natural flow” without any effort or thought.” Ved Vyasa concluded by quoting the Vedic literature, “Yatinam Brahm bhavati sarathih” (for those whose mind is established in the universal consciousness, the infinite power of natural law becomes his charioteer.)

David Bohm stood up, overcome with emotion, and went and touched the feet of Ved Vyasa, saying, “I was not even aware of the Spanda-karika of Kashmiri Shaivism. I have spent a lot of time with Indian philosophy and have not found any mention of this treasure-trove of knowledge that is so similar to my search. I have never been happier in my life.”

“Just one request, Ved Vyasa,” Bohm pleaded, “Do you know how a human or a being emerges from the implicate order to take a form?”