Discovery of India

Monday, March 8, 2010


1. BRAHMA MUHURTA Get up at 4 a.m. Answer calls of nature. Clean your teeth and wash your mouth. Take bath where possible. Arrange to sit for Dhyana as quickly as possible, for Brahma Muhurta is extremely favourable for meditation on God.

2. ASANA Practise to sit in one Asana only, preferably Padmasana or any convenient pose in which you will be able to sit for long hours without physical strain. Sit erect with body, head and neck in a straight line. Sit for at least one hour from 5 to 6 a.m. at a stretch without any physical movement.

3. PRAYER Offer mental prostrations to Acharyas, your own Guru and Ishta Devata. Pray that all beings be happy, peaceful and blissful. Recite a few prayer Slokas that will produce sublime thoughts. Pray for knowledge and devotion only.

4. JAPA Do Japa of Ishta Mantra mentally from 5 to 10 Malas (of 108 beads) daily.

5. DHYANA Before going to actual meditation, practise simple Pranayama for two minutes. Feel the indwelling presence of the Lord and his form in you. Think of the attributes of the Lord, such as purity, love, perfection, all-pervading intelligence, bliss-absolute, omnipresence, omnipotence, omniscience of Him in and around you. Meditate now on the form of Ishta Devata. When the mind runs away from the object of meditation, repeat Ishta Mantra. This will steady the mind. Have another sitting for meditation at night. Do not neglect meditation as it is most important. Regularity in the practice of meditation is divinising of oneself for God-realisation.

6. SVADHYAYA Read one chapter or ten verses of the Bhagavad Gita with meaning and any holy text which will increase your psychic and spiritual culture, daily.

7. PHYSICAL EXERCISE Practise Asanas, Surya Namaskara or any useful exercise for physical movement of the body in any form best suited to you.

. FOOD Take light simple food. Have a balanced diet. Fast on Ekadasi days or take milk and fruits or root only. Offer to God every food you take. 9. SEVA Do some selfless service for one hour daily or for one or more hours on Sundays and holidays.

10. ENERGY Practise abstinence from speech and also be free from worldly thoughts for two hours daily and four to eight hours on Sundays and holidays. Observe celibacy according to your age and circumstances. Restrict the indulgence to once a month. Decrease it gradually to once a year. Finally take a vow of abstinence for whole life.

11. SLEEP Go to bed early or not later than 10 p.m. A rest for more than six hours is not necessary.

12. SPIRITUAL DIARY Maintain a regular diary from the day you begin Sadhana. Stick to your daily routine at any cost, never say tomorrow, for that tomorrow never comes. In your practice of Sadhana in seclusion, the spiritual diary maintained, takes the place of an absentee Guru, for, it reminds you to be regular in your daily habits and spiritual practices.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Rupa or form, Rasa or taste and Gandha or smell. These powers are subtle energies immanent in the elements constituting the physical universe. Modern science seems to corroborate the presence of these, essences behind bodies. The world was once said to be made up of molecules or chemical substances.

Further investigation revealed that molecules are not the last word and that they are made up of atoms. Research, again, proved that even the atoms are formed of certain substances, which have the character of both waves of energy and particles of force. They flow like waves and sometimes jump like particles. A great physicist has therefore preferred to designate them as ‘wavicles’. These have been named electrons, protons, neutrons, etc., according to their structure and function.

Their essence is force. There is nothing but force in the universe. There is only a continuum of energy everywhere. The Tanmatras of the Yoga system, however, are subtler than the energy of the scientist, even as the Prana is subtler than electricity. Just as behind the Prana there is the mind, behind the Tanmatras there is the Cosmic Mind. Beyond the Cosmic Mind are the Cosmic Ego and the Cosmic Intellect, the last mentioned having a special name, Mahat. Beyond the Mahat is what is called Prakriti, in which the whole universe exists as a tree in a seed, or as effect in its cause.

Transcending Prakriti is the Absolute-Consciousness, called Brahman, Paramatman and the like. So, whether we dive deep here or there, within ourselves or within the cosmos, we find the same thing-Consciousness. And the stages of manifestation in the individual correspond to those in the universe. The purpose of Yoga is to effect a communion between the individual and cosmic structures and to realize the ultimate Reality. The Yoga places before us the goal of a union wherein infinity and eternity seem to come together.

The aim of Yoga is to raise the status of the individual to the cosmic level and to abolish the false difference between the individual and the cosmic. The cosmos includes ourselves and things. The individual is a part of the cosmos. Then, why do we make a separate reference to the individual? This is a mistake, which Yoga effectively corrects. To regard the cosmos as an outer object would be to defy the very meaning of the cosmos. To imagine ourselves to be subjects counterposed before an object called the cosmos would be to stultify the comprehensiveness of the cosmos and to interfere with its harmony and working.

The Yoga rectifies this mistake and hereby the mortal becomes the Immortal. As the individual is a part of the cosmos, this achievement should not be difficult. The individual is not separate from the cosmic, but there

The Divine Life Society, Sivananda Ashram, Indiaseems to be some confusion in the mind of the individual which has caused an artificial isolation of itself from the rest of the universe. This confusion is called Ajnana or Avidya, which really means an absence or negation of true knowledge. Here we enter the realms of depth psychology.

From - The Yoga System


And what is this deepest? The physical body, being outside as a part of the physical world, should be considered an object like the other things of the world, and it is constituted of the five elements. This material body of five elements acts as a vehicle for certain powers that work from within.

Our actions are movements of these powers. There is an energy within the body which is other than the elements. This energy is called Prana or vital force. The Prana has many functions, which are responsible for the workings of the body.

The organs of action, viz., speech (Vak), hands (Pani), feet (Pada), genitals (Upastha) and anus (Payu) are moved by the motive power of the Prana. But the Prana is a blind energy and it needs to be directed properly. We know we do not just do anything at any time, but act with some, method The Yoga System by Swami Krishnananda, The Divine Life Society, Sivananda Ashram, India and intelligence.

There is a directing principle behind the Prana. We think before we act. The mind is, therefore, internal to the Prana. But thought, again, is regulated by something else. We engage ourselves in systematic thinking and follow a logical course in every form of contemplation and action. This logical determinant of all functions in life is the intellect, which is the highest of human faculties, and it is inseparable from the principle of the ego in man. All these functions of the psychological apparatus are, however, confined to what is called the waking state. The human being seems to be passing from this state to others, such as dream and deep sleep. Though we have some sort of an awareness in dream, we are bereft of all consciousness in deep sleep. Yet, we know that we do exist in the state of sleep.

This means that we can exist without doing anything, even without thinking. The condition of deep sleep is a paradox for psychology and is the crux of the Yoga analysis. It is strange that in sleep we do not know even our own selves, and still we know that we do exist then. An experience, pure and simple, of the nature of consciousness alone, is the constituent of deep sleep, notwithstanding that we are not aware of it due to a peculiar difficulty in which we seem to get involved there.

In deep sleep, we have consciousness not associated with objects, and hence we remain oblivious of everything external. There is, at the same time, unconsciousness of even one’s own existence due to there being the potentiality for objective perception. The result is, however, that the deepest in the individual is consciousness, which is called by such names as the Atman, Purusha, etc.

Now, what is the deepest in the cosmos? We learnt that there are five elements. But this is not the whole picture of creation. There are realities within the physical universe as they are there within the individual body. If the Prana, mind, intellect, ego and finally consciousness are internal to the bodily structure, there are also tremendous truths internal to the physical universe. Within the five gross elements there are five forces which manifest the elements. These forces are the universal causes of everything that is physical, and are called Tanmatras, a term which signifies the essence of objects. There is such a force or power behind the elements of Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. Sabda or sound is the force behind Ether. But this sound is, different from what we merely hear with our ears. It is the subtle principle behind the whole of Ether, on account of which the ears are capable of hearing at all. This is sound as Tanmatra. Likewise, there are the Tanmatras of Air, Fire, Water and Earth, called respectively Sparsa or touch,

From - The Yoga System

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Yama and Niyama

The Hindus have place these two attainments in the forefront of their programme.

They are the "moral qualities" and "good works" which are supposed to predispose to mental calm. "Yama" consists of non-killing, truthfulness, non-stealing, continence, and non-receiving of any gift. In the Buddhist system, "Sila", "Virtue," is similarly enjoined. The qualities are, for the layman, these five: Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not lie. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt drink no intoxicating drink. For the monk many others are added. The commandments of Moses are familiar to all; they are rather similar; and so are those given by Christ<> in the "Sermon on the Mount." Some of these are only the "virtues" of a slave, invented by his master to keep him in order.

The real point of the Hindu "Yama" is that breaking any of these would tend to excite the mind. Subsequent theologians have tried to improve upon the teachings of the Masters, have given a sort of mystical importance to these virtues; they have insisted upon them for their own sake, and turned them into puritanism and formalism. Thus "non-killing," which originally meant "do not excite yourself by stalking tigers," has been interpreted to mean that it is a crime to drink water that has not been strained, lest you should kill the animalcula. But this constant worry, this fear of killing anything by mischance is, on the whole, worse than a hand-to-hand conflict with a griesly bear. If the barking of a dog disturbs your meditation, it is simplest to shoot the dog, and think no more about it.

A similar difficulty with wives has caused some masters to recommend celibacy. In all these questions common sense must be the guide. No fixed rule can be laid down. The "non-receiving of gifts," for instance, is rather important for a Hindu, who would be thoroughly upset for weeks if any one gave him a coconut: but the average European takes things as they come by the time that he has been put into long trousers. {23} The only difficult question is that of continence, which is complicated by many considerations, such as that of energy; but everybody's mind is hopelessly muddled on this subject, which some people confuse with erotology, and others with sociology.

There will be no clear thinking on this matter until it is understood as being solely a branch of athletics. We may then dismiss Yama and Niyama with this advice: let the student decide for himself what form of life, what moral code, will least tend to excite his mind; but once he has formulated it, let him stick to it, avoiding opportunism; and let him be very careful to take no credit for what he does or refrains from doing -- it is a purely practical code, of no value in itself. The cleanliness which assists the surgeon in his work would prevent the engineer from doing his at all. (Ethical questions are adequately dealt with in "Then Tao" in "Konx Om Pax," and should be there studied. Also see Liber XXX of the A. A.

Also in Liber CCXX, the "Book of the Law," it is said: "DO WHAT THOU WILT shall be the whole of the Law."<> Remember that for the purpose of this treatise the whole object of Yama and Niyama is to live so that no emotion or passion disturbs the mind.)


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Brahmacharya - Part 2

Prayer For Purity “O Loving Lord of Compassion! Hey Prabhu! the Soul of my soul, the Life of my life, the Mind of my mind, the Ear of my ear, Light of lights, Sun of suns! Give me light and purity. Let me get established in physical and mental Brahmacharya. Let me be pure in thought, word and deed. Give me strength to control my Indriyas and observe the Brahmacharya Vrata. Protect me from all sorts of temptations of this world.

Let all my Indriyas be ever engaged in Thy sweet service. Wipe out the sexual Samskaras and Vasanas. Annihilate lust from my mind. Make me a true Brahmachari, Sadachari and an Urdhvareta Yogi. Let me be chaste in my look. Let me always walk in the path of righteousness. Make me as pure as Swami Vivekananda, Swami Dayananda, Bhishma Pitamaha, Hanuman or Lakshmana. Forgive. Forgive all my Aparadham. I amThine. I am Thine. Trahi Trahi (protect protect). Prachodayat Prachodayat (guide me). OM OM OM.
Enlighten my Buddhi.”
Recipes For Brahmacharya
Prescriptions for Celibacy
1. Sirshasana 5 minutes
Sarvangasana 10 minutes
Fasts On Ekadasi days or on alternative Sundays. Japa one hour
Study of the Gita one hour
Meditation -half an hour
2. Siddhasana -45 minutes
Pranayama -half an hour
Milk and fruits -at night
Uddiyana Bandha -morning and evening
Keep the mind fully occupied by: Reading, gardening and Kirtan.
3. Kirtan -half an hour
Prayer -half an hour
Satsanga one hour
Triphala water -in the morning
Atma Vichara, Meditation -15 minutes

4. Trataka (gazing) on OM or Lord Krishna 10 minutes
Maha Mantra Bhajan -half an hour
Krishna Mantra Japa -half an hour
Badam and Misre -(in the early morning).
Huxley’s Nervigor Syrup with formates one tea-spoonful with four tea-spoonful of water
twice daily after food.
(You can combine all the above items to your best advantage)

From - yoga in daily life

Brahmacharya - Part 1

Without perfect Brahmacharya you cannot have substantial spiritual progress. There is no half-measure in the spiritual path. Control the body first. Then purify your thoughts through prayer, Japa, Kirtan, Vichara and meditation. Make a firm resolve “I will be a perfect Brahmachari from today.” May the Lord give you spiritual strength to resist temptation and kill lust!


Brahmacharya—that is the Divine world. It is the sum and substance of Yoga. Through Avidya that is forgotten. It is the supreme Yoga that Lord Krishna emphasises repeatedly in His Immortal Song—the Gita. In Chapter VI, Sloka 14, it is very clearly stated that the vow of Brahmacharya is necessary for meditation (Brahmachari vrate sthitah).

Again in Chapter XVII Sloka 14, He says that Brahmacharya is one of the austerities of the body (sarira tapas). Now we have one of the most important statements made in the Gita, that Yatis practise Brahmacharya in order to attain the goal, spoken of by the knowers of Veda (Chapter VIII Sloka 11). This is taken from Katha Upanishad (Chapter II Mantra 15). There Yama says to Nachiketas that the life of Brahmacharya is necessary to reach the goal: “That whose form and essential nature all the Vedas declare; in order to attain which they prescribe austerities; desiring to know which the great ones observe Brahmacharya; that symbol will briefly tell thee, it is OM.”

Change The Angle Of Vision

For a scientist a woman is a mass of electrons. For a Vaiseshic philosopher of Rishi Kanada’s school of thought, she is a conglomeration of atoms, Paramanu. Dvianu, Trianu (two atoms, three atoms). For a tiger she is a prey. For the passionate husband she is an object of enjoyment. For a crying child she is an affectionate mother, who will give it milk, sweets, and other comforts. For a jealous sister or sister-in-law she is an enemy. For a Viveki or Vairagi (a man of discrimination and dispassionate nature) she is a combination of flesh, bone, urine, faecal matter, wool, pus, perspiration, blood, phlegm, etc. For a full-blown Jnani she is Sat-Chit-Ananda Atman. “Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma”—All is Brahman only. Name and forms are only mental creations like snake in the rope or man in the post.

Change the mental attitude (Bhava). You will have heaven on earth. You will be established in Brahmacharya. This is an important method for becoming a true Brahmachari. See Atman in all women. Reject all names and forms and take only the underlying essence—Asti-Bhati-Priya or Sat-Chit-Ananda. All names and forms are unreal, like the shadow, water in the mirage, blueness in the sky.

Mantras or Formulae

1. I am all Purity (Suddhoham) OM OM OM
2. Sexless Atman I am OM OM OM
3. There is neither lust nor sexual Vasana in Atman or Brahman OM OM OM
4. Lust is a mental Vikara; I am Sakshi of this modification OM OM OM
5. I am Asanga OM OM OM
6. My will is pure, strong and irresistible OM OM OM
7. I am fully established in physical and mental Brahmacharya now OM OM OM
8. I am feeling the purity now OM OM OM
Sit alone in your meditation room in Padma, Siddha, Svastika or Sukha Asana. Close your eyes. Slowly repeat again and again the above formulae mentally. Also let the mind dwell on the significance of the formulae. Saturate the mind with the above ideas. Your heart, mind, intellect and soul should feel the purity. Have the word image OM Purity clearly before the mind. Visualise the mental image. Your whole system, flesh, blood, bone, nerves, cells, molecules, atoms and electrons should powerfully vibrate with the above ideas.

You can have a sitting at night also. This is general meditation for Self-realisation. Sit for ten minutes. Increase the period to half an hour. Keep up the Bhava during work also. Write down on a piece of paper in bold types OM PURITY six times. Keep the paper in your pocket. Read it several times during the course of the day. Fix it in a prominent place in your house. Remember daily the Brahmachari-Saints like Swami Vivekananda, Swami Dayananda and their powerful actions.

Think about the multifarious advantages of Brahmacharya and disadvantages of impure life. Never leave the practice. Be regular and systematic. Gradually you will become purer and purer and ultimately you will become an Urdhvareta Yogi. Be patient.

From - Yoga in Daily Life

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Create a Sacred Space

Choose A Spot That Draws You Inward
This is a time of focus. You acknowledge the space around you on which you are about to work. It should be quiet, with no interruptions. You pick a place for the feet and plant them, one by
one, deliberately connecting with the earth beneath. Participation at this level is important, if the link between your body and the ground is formed there is a centered calmness. Making a time and place for your yoga is essential for maintaining a regular practice. Choose a place which is warm and where there is enough room for you to move freely. It is helpful to practice
at the same time each day, the optimal times being sunrise and sunset. Choose a spot that draws you inward. Regular practice is the key to yoga. It is through practice that these seemingly impossible postures are mastered with comfort and ease within a reasonable time period. It is through practice that yoga becomes integrated in your life.
Decide how much time you have to practice each day (be realistic) and how many times a week. Begin all sessions with naulis, sun salutations, standing postures, sitting postures, meditation and finish with corpse.
From Ashtanga Yoga Manual