Karma Dharma Moksha

Being able to do, what we want to do, when we want to do it, without, hurting others and ourselves in the process is Moksha. There is no buddhist, islamic, hindu, or any other world religion that tells us otherwise. Doing what we do to the best of our abilities is karma, it is also dharma. The side effect is Moksha. Moksha is not a destination. There is no destination. That’s the beauty of it all. When we know there is nowhere to go, does it matter if we have little or more time. There is just action to be done.

Gods aren’t liberated beings, they need to take a corporeal form to get liberated. Gods are alpha, beta, delta, gamma, omega beings that yearn to be born in a human form. So that they can liberate themselves to join the Overmind. Gods like to do karma and reinstate such karma as dharma to get Moksha. Manifestations to perform various karmas, to get to Moksha happen in an event based space called the Universe. Ths is Karma kshetra, it is the dharmakshetra and is the kurukshetra.

Do not follow a buddha, or become a buddha, do not let ideas, incept ideas in you, that is not you. If you have a idea first within you, and then you see that someone has put it in good words, you can point to that, but thats that. Forget that idea, let it pass. Do not hold on to it.

 

Ramayan: A Yogic Allegory

Ram symbolizes a Yogi-Sahdhak. He broke Shivdhanushya into pieces- this is the Avayava Chhedan of Merudanda (spinal chord). This experience can be achieved by superior Yoga practice only. Ram broke Shivdhnushya and got married to Sita (self-experience). He gave up worldly life and along with Sita (self-experience) and Laxmana (discretion/ prudence) eminent Yogi Ram lived in the forest Dandakaranya (for doing the penance of Merudanda Sadhana). After carrying out such Sadhana for 14 years with maturity and prudence, a Sadhak can become one with his soul. Some studies suggest that, 12- 14 years of celibacy also helps gather enough virility for a sadhak to potently direct the kundalini towards its goal.

Dandakaranya is a forest, where the house namely Panchvati is made of five senses. Ram cuts ears and nose of Shurpanakha (Avyava Chhedan or desire for women) and kills the golden deer i.e. covetousness. He has left his kingdom too. Thus, Ram is ready for Sadhana after giving up his all materialistic wishes. As Laxman (prudence) follows him Ram performs his Yog-Sadhana. Royal self-experience (Sita) is taken away by Brahmadnyana Ravan. When Sita, self-experience is lost, Ram becomes desperate and yearns for her. Laxman keeps his balance. The air element, Hanuman, meets Ram at Pampa Sarovar, the water element, and helps him to find out Sita. Hanuman, is one with the hanuvati, a chin. The dasa (servant) of atma ram (the self god) is Hanuman.  Sita is found at Brahmarup Ravan. Since Ravan has taken her away, Ram has to fight with him to get her back. This is the battle between good and evil attitudes. In this battle Ram kills Kumbhakarna who symbolizes Sadhana done by only listening. Other ill wills are also killed in this attitudinal war of Ram and Ravan. Egoistic Ravan has a son Indrajit, who has command over his limbs. Ram asks Laxman to kill Indrajit who is busy performing Yadnya. Brahmavastha is in the form of Ravan. He is egotistic as he has mastery over Vedas and knowledge. So Ram has to target his heart, meaning thereby, he has to change the mind-set totally and nurture that good attitude. Ravan is thus merged into Ram. Sita, self-experience, acquires grace of Brahmadnyan but has to go through an ordeal. Now, Sita is sacred, pure and symbolizes divine self-experience. She is also waiting to meet Ram after her stay with Brahmanubhuti. Ram and Sita and Laxman return to Ayodhya, a place where there is no war but peace. Ram symbolizes a Yogi-sadhak leading a peaceful life. Sita conceives two virtues namely Lav (time) and Kush (penance). Thus Ram achieves authority for Samdahivastha. But Story of Ramayan continues.

God is Love, Pure Love. Why Would We Think Otherwise?

God is Love

Vulnerability is Good : Accepting Vulnerability is Better

Recently, I see a lot of posts about vulnerability, mostly accepting it as a positive human construct. It is encouraging to feel this wave of perception that has risen and is relentlessly touching thousands of kindred souls.

Of course, my friends and fellow travelers! Vulnerability is an honest human construct. Fear, doubt, frustration, hurt, failure, depression, angst, anxiety, insecurity all are sensory responses to varied external stimuli.

I find movies a good place to quote or to draw parallels from. The iconic martial artists, actor and stunt man, Jackie Chan brought something fresh and new to the erstwhile martial art movies. His movies introduce vulnerability with impeccable comic timing. He made the  people, the viewers relate to the troubles of the protagonist.  The heroes also get hurt and why not, they are human beings, made up of flesh and bones. They are susceptible to emotions, circumstances, to the people in their lives. Of course a hero wins at last, but it is usually after he learns from his mistakes and learns to adapt.

We are conditioned, programmed to believe that vulnerability is a sign of weakness. A valid point, apparently. But what is weakness? Have we analyzed weakness enough to understand it. Or have we made a rapid connection to the word, and formed a thesaurus of words like bad, lack of strength, inability, inadequacy, imperfection and so on? What if we look closer, spend a little time with vulnerability? We begin to realize, hey, it is more a tendency, just like our tendency to laugh at jokes, or the tendency to feel bad. We are sentient beings, we are meant too feel. If we were not vulnerable, why would we feel hurt?

Vulnerability is the nature of the garb, this human body. Human beings are susceptible to change, vulnerable to the world around them. What is vulnerability, if not heightened sensitivity and awareness. It is this awareness that makes us such a wonderful species. Vulnerability to thought, emotions, stimuli, environment and practically everything perceivable and tangible. Accepting vulnerability brings us closer to our awareness. What do we find when we are past vulnerability, a rewarding revelation, that we are still here! We continue to be, so can this be a weakness then? How can anything be a weakness, isn’t it just strength in disguise.

Accepting vulnerability takes us to  something indomitable, invulnerable and imperishable viz. the human spirit.

Here are some choice posts that I enjoyed for their honesty

http://victorianeuronotes.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/vulnerability-the-birthplace-of-creativity-connection-and-authenticity/

http://tonningsen.wordpress.com/2013/10/22/reflections-on-self-belief/

http://atruthseekerspeaks.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/a-case-of-the-tomorrows-learning-to-live-in-the-now/

Zentheogens

Disclaimer: The post and its author do not promote or encourage the consumption of alcohol, drugs, psychedelic or psychoactive substances.

An Entheogen, says Wikipedia is  (“generating the divine within”) is a psychoactive substance used in a religious, shamanic, or spiritual context. Entheogens can supplement many diverse practices for transcendence, and revelation, including meditation, psychonautics, psychedelic and visionary art, psychedelic therapy, and magic.

A good article that sums up a lot about entheogens,  has been posted by Ryhen Satch at Entheogen: The power of the forbidden fruit

An entheogen is ritually used to alter one’s perception of reality, to generate god or divinity within. It has found altruistic uses in

  •     Ego death
  •     Egolessness
  •     Faith healing
  •     Psychedelic therapy
  •     Spiritual formation

and so on.

Alcohol has been used by Tantrics and Aghoris for spiritual advancement. Shaivite extremists, pan-india consume Bhang, a preparation made out of cannabis during  MahaShivaratri (the night in reverence of Lord Shiva).

I have not tried any of these for spiritual advancements. There are certain herbs that are known to increase dopamine levels in the brain. I call them Zentheogens. These herbs, are not entheogens, but may be used as ingredients, among others, for preparing entheogens.  The herbs are

  • Periwinkle
  • Ashwagandha
  • Kapikachhu
  • St. Johns Wort
  • Gingko
  • Green Tea
  • Brahmi

Although radical changes in ones perception of reality, can be induced chemically, as there are definitive pharmacological effects during deeper states of meditation. However, I believe the body along with the mind needs to be ready to withstand the effects of such radical changes. Supervision by seers, or traditional practitioners also is necessary to conduct such experiments on the self.

I always say, and I believe that the human body has everything it needs within itself. One should not underestimate the power of a suitable diet, good rest and regular meditation.

Chakras DeMystified – Part 2 – Prana: The Universal Life Force

If ‘steadfast awareness or super subtle pure conscious’ is the quintessence that permeates everything in the observable universe and beyond, then Prana is its universal principle of energy or force. It is the sum total of all energy that is manifest in the universe, all the forces in nature and powers which are hidden in men and which lie everywhere around us.

Swami Sivananda Saraswati says:

Prana is force, magnetism and electricity. Radio waves travel through prana. That which moves the steam engine of a train and a steamer, which causes the motion of breath in lungs, that which is the very life of this breath itself, is prana. It is prana that pumps the blood from the heart into the arteries or blood vessels. Through prana digestion, excretion and secretion take place. Prana digests the food, turns it into chyle and blood, and sends it into the brain and mind. The mind is then able to think and enquire into the nature of Brahman.

Prana is the link between the astral and physical body. When the slender thread-link of prana is cut, the astral body separates from the physical body. Death takes place. The prana that was working in the physical body is withdrawn into the astral body.

How is Prana related to the Chakras?

In the pranic body, prana flows through nadis, energy channels, and is stored in chakras, energy vortices. According to some researchers, the electromagnetic energy in prana gives rise to radiation in which the waves of electric energy and magnetic energy are at ninety degrees to each other, resulting in what looks like a spiral. Indeed, the spiral radiation structure around chakras has been seen, described and drawn by sages and savants from all parts of the world at different times.
At the pranic level, in their initial stages the practices of pranayama clear up the nadis, energy pathways in the body. The scriptures say there are over 72,000 nadis or pathways of prana in the pranic body and six main chakras. However, in the average individual, many of these pathways are blocked and the chakras release energy only partially. In other words, we do not utilize our full potential in terms of energy, mind and consciousness. The negative conditions we experience, whether physical or mental, are the cause as well as the consequence of the blockages. The state of our nadis and chakras are defined by our samskaras, conditionings carried in seed form, as well as purushartha, self-effort and anugraha, grace. When these pathways of energy are gradually freed so that prana moves through them smoothly.


Chakras DeMystified – Part 1

Most people practicing Yoga would say that there are 6 chakras. Certain sects believe there are 7 chakras. Dr. Svoboda in his conversations with his mentor Vimalananda, reveals that an aghori knows of 9 chakras. Some specific Shiva Yoga practitioners believe there are 22 chakras, 6 within the body and the other 16 situated outside the human body and ascending upwards above the head.

Some deep mystics, claim there are all in all 24 chakras, that correspond to 23 tattvas and one mahattatva out of which the divine purusha and the universes manifested. These 24 chakras, also correspond to the 24 syllables in the sacred Gayatri Mantra.

However, without getting into much debate into the number of chakras, let us try to demystify the chakras.

What are Chakras?

I love Svoboda’s text on this subject, in his conversations with Sri Vimalananda. So, I am going to quote him directly.


Nadis and Chakras (Kundalini: Aghora 2, 83)

Arthur Avalon comments that:

” … from an objective standpoint, the subtle centers or Cakras, vitalize and control, the gross bodily tracts which are indicated by the various regions and vertebral column and the ganglia, plexuses, nerves, arteries and organs, situate in these regions. It is only therefore (if at all) in the sense of being the gross outer representatives of the spinal centers that we connect the plexuses with the Cakras spoken of in Yoga books. In this sense, only the whole tract which extends from the subtle center to the periphery, with its corresponding bodily elements, may be regarded as a Cakra. (The Serpent Power, pp 161-2)

The chakras are the knots that bind ahamkara into self-indentification with the substances that make up the universe. Each of the lower five chakras is the place where ahamkara and one of the Elements meet and interact; the chakra plugs ahamkara into the frequency of that Element, in effect broadcasting that Element into the organisms consciousness.


My oversimplification:
The Elements that Vimalananda refers to are the metaphysical elements or natural elements of Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space or Ether.

Have you seen those pajamas for babies, the jumpers or body suits which have press buttons or studs? These press buttons run down from the neck all the way between the legs. When we open these press studs, we can remove the baby out completely of the pajamas. Now imagine if the baby is our soul and the pajamas is our flesh, bones, blood and the garb (our skin). Imagine the studs are invisible high energy wheels, revolving and keeping the soul attached to the garb. With the right kind of pressure, these chakras open and free the soul. That is how chakras work.

God, Guru and Grace: Shri Ramana Maharshi

“Paul Brunton found that the Maharshi’s way of helping others was by an unobtrusive, silent and steady outpouring of healing vibrations into troubled souls, a mysterious telepathic process for which science will one day be required to account.”

All those who seriously ponder upon the question “Who am I?” have invariably heard of Shri Ramana Maharshi. The unassuming spiritual master, who propounded one of the most simplest theories of knowing the self. The method of self-enquiry.

“He simply puts forward a way of self-analysis, which can be practised irrespective of any ancient or modern theories and beliefs which one may hold, a way that will finally lead man to true self-understanding.” – says an ardent follower.

Here is a conversation between Ramana and a seeker, where Ramana establishes that God, Guru and Grace are one and the same thing, They are all the single quintessence found dwelling deep within the seeker’s own heart.


Grace

D.: Is not Grace the gift of the Guru?

M.: God, Grace and Guru are all synonymous and also eternal and immanent. Is not the Self already within? Is it for the Guru to bestow It by his look? If a Guru thinks so, he does not deserve the name.

The books say that there are so many kinds of initiations – by hand, by touch, by eyes and by mind. They also say that the Guru makes some rites with fire, water, japa, mantras, etc., and call such fantastic performances Initiation, as if the disciple becomes ripe only after such processes are gone through by the Guru.

If the individual is sought he is nowhere to be found. Such is the Guru. Such is Dakshinamurti. What did he do? He was silent; the disciples appeared before him. He maintained silence; the doubts of the disciples were dispelled, which means that they lost their individual identities. That is wisdom  and not all the verbiage usually associated with it.

Silence is the most potent form of work. However vast and emphatic the scripttures may be, they fail in their effect. The Guru is quiet and peace prevails in all. His silence is vaster and more emphatic than all the scriptures put together. These questions arise because of the feeling, that having been here so long, heard so much, exerted so hard, one has not gained anything. The work proceeding within is not apparent. In fact the Guru is always within you.

D.: Does Bhagavan give initiation?

M.: Silence is the best and the most potent Initiation. That was practiced by Sri Dakshinamurti. Touch, look, etc., are all of a lower order. Silence changes the hearts of all. There is no Guru and no disciple. The ignorant confounds his body with the Self and so he takes the other’s body for the Guru. But does the Guru think his body to be the Self? He has transcended the body. There are no differences for Him. So the ignorant cannot appreciate the standpoint of Guru and of disciple.

D.: Vivekananda has also said that silence is the loudest form of prayer.

M.: It is so, for the seeker’s silence Guru’s silence is the loudest instruction. It is also Grace in its highest form. All other initiations, e.g., touch, look are derived from silence. They are therefore secondary. Silence is the primary form. If the Guru is silent the seeker’s mind gets purified by itself.

Later, a passage from the Yoga Vasishtha was read out before Sri Bhagavan, indicating initiation by look and initiation by touch.

Sri Bhagavan observed: Dakshinamurti observed silence when the disciples approached Him. That is the highest form of initiation. It includes the other forms. There must be subject-object relationship established in the other initiation. First the subject must emanate and then the object. Unless these two are there how is the one to look at the other or touch him? Initiation by silence is the most perfect; it comprises looking, touching and teaching. It will purify the individual in every way and establish him in the Reality.

D: “Can anyone get any benefit by repeating sacred syllables (mantras) picked up casually?

M.: “No. He must be competent and initiated in such mantras.” Maharshi illustrated this by the following story: A King visited his Premier in his residence. There he was told that the Premier was engaged in repetition of sacred syllables. The King waited for him and, on meeting him, asked what the words were. The Premier said that it was the holiest of all, Gayatri. The King desired to be initiated by the Premier. But the Premier confessed his inability to initiate him. Therefore the King learned it from someone else, and meeting the Minister later he repeated the Gayatri and wanted to know if it was right. The Minister said that the mantra was correct, but it was not proper for him to say it. When pressed for an explanation, the Minister called to a page close by and ordered him to take hold of the King. The order was not obeyed. The order was often repeated, and still not obeyed. The King flew into a rage and ordered the same man to hold the Minister, and it was immediately done. The Minister laughed and said that the incident was the explanation required by the King. “How?” asked the King. The Minister replied, “The order was the same and the executor also, but the authority was different. When I ordered, the effect was nil, whereas, when you ordered, there was immediate effect. Similarly with mantras.”

Mr. MacIver had an interview with Sri Bhagavan and spoke about initiation.

Sri Bhagavan asked: What is this initiation? After a pause, He continued, “Initiation is of various kinds, by word, by sight, by touch and so forth.”

D.: Bhagavan’s is silent initiation, is it not?

M.: Yes, this the highest form of initiation.

D.: Is it applicable to the path of enquiry only?

M.: All the different paths are included in the path of enquiry.

After a pause Sri Bhagavan spoke to the effect that people who come here are brought by some mysterious Power which will look to their needs. The conversation practically ended with this.

D. How is the Guru found?

M. God, who is immanent, in His grace takes pity on the loving devotee and manifests Himself according to the devotee’s development. The devotee thinks that He is a man and expects a relationship as between two physical bodies. But the Guru, who is God or the Self incarnate, works from within, helps the man to see the error of his ways and guides him in the right path until he realizes the Self within.

D. What should the devotee do then?

M. He has only to act up to the words of the Master and work within. The Master is both ‘within’ and ‘without’, so He creates conditions to drive you inward and at the same time prepares the ‘interior’ to drag you to the Centre. Thus He gives a push from ‘without’ and exerts a pull from ‘within’, so that you may be fixed at the Centre.

D. What is guru’s grace? How does it lead to Self-realization?

M. Guru is the Self…. Sometimes in his life a man becomes dissatisfied with it, and, not content with what he has, he seeks the satisfaction of his desires, through prayer to God etc. His mind is gradually purified until he longs to know God, more to obtain His grace than to satisfy his worldly desires. Then, God’s grace begins to manifest. God takes the form of a guru and appears to the devotee, teaches him the Truth and, moreover, purifies his mind by association. The devotee’s mind gains strength and is then able to turn inward. By meditation it is further purified and it remains still without the least ripple. That calm expanse is the Self.

The Guru is both ‘external’ and ‘internal’. From the ‘exterior’ he gives a push to the mind to turn inward; from the ‘interior’ He pulls the mind towards the Self and helps in the quieting of the mind. That is guru’s grace. There is no difference between God, Guru and the Self.

You think that the world can be conquered by your own efforts. When you are frustrated externally and are driven inwards, you feel ‘Oh! There is a Power higher than man!’

The ego is like a very powerful elephant which cannot be brought under control by any less powerful than a lion, which, in this instance, is no other than the Guru, Whose very look makes the elephant-like ego tremble and die.

You will know in due course that your glory lies where you cease to exist. In order to gain that State, you should surrender yourself. Then the Master sees that you are in a fit state to receive guidance, and He guides you.

D. How can I obtain Grace?

M. Grace is the Self. That also is not to be acquired: you only need to know that it exists.

The sun is brightness only. It does not see darkness. Yet you speak of darkness fleeing on the sun’s approach. So also the devotee’s ignorance, like the phantom of darkness vanishes at the look of the Guru. You are surrounded by sunlight; yet if you would see the sun, you must turn in its direction and look at it. So also Grace is found by the proper approach you make, though it is here and now.

D. Cannot Grace hasten ripeness in the seeker?

M. Leave it all to the Master. Surrender to Him without reserve.

One of two things must be done : either surrender yourself, because you realize your inability and need a higher power to help you; or investigate into the cause of misery, go into the Source and so merge in the Self. Either way, you will be free from misery. God or Guru never forsakes the devotee who has surrendered himself.

The main type of instruction given by Ramana Maharshi was silence, as it was with Dakshinamurthy of old. Divine bliss permeated those who sat around him. In this silence the doubts of his devotees were cleared and their questions were either answered or faded away, ceasing to exist. This silence was, and is, a dynamic force, eternal and universal in nature.


Expectation, Belief and Love

Belief is nothing but relentless expectation. There is absolutely nothing wrong with expectation, it is in fact a very honest human construct. Human beings can never be devoid of belief, the very effort of negating all beliefs (nihilism), is also a belief. It is very simple to understand this principle.

We are bound within causality of this universe. Every effect tangible or intangible is not without cause. The reason I believe that god can disappear and re-appear is because, I “expect” him to achieve this with tremendous ease. There is an idea and then there is a belief in possibility of this idea. But where does this idea come from ?

Either there has been substantial evidence of such an event in the past, which makes me expect a recurrence.
Or, I simply am the first to imagine such an event and expect it to manifest some point in time. In this case it is also a certain intuition a more inherent form of expectation. Something inseparable from my existence.

In either case, the root premise is expectation. So much so that belief itself is Ego! Expectation is nothing but the self-individuation, the projection of existence in this material frame , the reflection of our awareness in this world. As long as the ego remains, expectations will remain, beliefs will be formed, destroyed and reformed. Only when the ego dies, expectations die.

Love is nothing but the death of ego. Love is not an emotion, say like compassion. It is merely a state, a very high state of the mind. Ego is the barrier between the higher mind and its smaller projection that we struggle with in our day to day life. The Ego dies and connects us to a something gargantuan, something beyond measure.

Being

What is God? Is he a personal being? Or is it an impersonal force?  What is being?  Ramana Maharishi says it is simple. It is in the now. Who am I? Who is feeling, thinking, seeing and being? Ask this recursive, seemingly abysmal question. Do not stop at anything. Only when you drill down deep in the recesses of the mind, there is no assumption, there is just being.When our consciousness moves, it creates sensation of time. A larger consciousness, creates large space and time. As large as the Universe or Multiple universes. We are the thoughts of a greater mind, when we look at its movement, we see past, present and future. 

Whereas, in absolute non-relativistic reality, it is just one instant, everything is happening in it simultaneously. There is no past, no present, no future. It just is. This happening is being. 

An incorporeal entity, a personal being, the ground of all being, many religious beliefs describe God as “I am what I am” or “that is”. Hindus call it the “bramhan”, Hebrews called it
YHVH or yahweh or yehova.

The one who is truly being or that is truly being, thus is the supreme being. 

If the only thing you were good at was being, then you could be everything.