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.

 

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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.

Bramha, Vishnu and Shiva: A Yogic Explanation

A Yogic Explanation by H. H. Shri Shailendra Sharma

Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva

Ancient sages realized three states of the creation and introduced their presiding gods as Brahma, the creator; Vishnu, the fosterer; and Shiva, the destroyer. A pondering on these symbols from modern perspective leads us to a new meaning of all these symbols.

The principal basis of the creation is matter. As far as eyes can see, there are very many forms of matter that are visible. Right from the gross to the subtle, the matter with its entire immensity is present within the infinitude of the universe. The term Brahma means ‘unlimited immensity’. It is a symbol of the immensity of matter, the principal basis of this creation, or it may be said that the root consciousness of the conscious matter was adorned by the term ‘Brahma’ by the sages.

Lord Vishnu contains the creation and while containing it, he also fosters it. We have read this in the scriptures. After pondering upon this we find that the element that contains the matter is ‘void’ or the empty space. So much so that upon studying the smallest unit of matter – the atom, we find that the void exists between the centre of the atom and the particles moving around it. The support of the movement of matter is the void. Sages realized the capacity of the void to contain the matter and gave the name Vishnu to the consciousness of the conscious void.

When we split the matter and reach the atom, and then split it too, we can experience pure energy. In our quest for analyzing the energy or searching the root source of the energy, when we reach the original source, we are able to see that the advent of energy takes place from pure thought. Pure thought, which we can also term as the consciousness of the matter, is born from the conscious void. Pure thought alone is the link that establishes a relationship between the matter and the void. Continue reading

Which is the highest or best Yoga practice?

I love answering this question always and my answer, as always is, none. Yoga, is the end, not the means to achieve the end. Yoga is communion with the self. So whatever means suits you catches your attention, or strikes you as pragmatic and effective.

  • Ha tha Yoga
  • Kundalini Yoga
  • Sahaj Yoga
  • Kriya Yoga
  • SIddha Yoga
  • Tantra

among other instruments, to achieve this communion, are just instruments. Everything that we possibly need, is already there with us. Samkhya Cosmology maintains that there are 25 tattvas that manifest in this universe or creation. Incidentally (or not?), research shows that the human body contains 25 elements including some trace elements (not all) from the current periodic table, that play significant biological roles. Some may argue that there are 58 known elements or even all of them in our body. So be it.

The point here is, the human body is perhaps one of the most complex systems to have evolved. It encompasses the best known biological, chemical, electrical, magnetic and physical systems within it. It is not a wonder then, human beings are amongst the sentient species known. The human body is the best available tool, equipped with a powerful mind, to probe beyond the observable, to inquire the supernatural and to discover the metaphysical. Ultimately, to merge with the spiritual.

Anyways, I digress, coming back to which Yoga practice is the best; I would like to use the western movie analogy here. A cowboy who could draw fast, was the one who could shoot the others. He may or may not have the best hand gun in the world. His foes and contestants could even have rifles, cannons, shotguns. But, the gun was  and is as good as the hand that uses it. And, the hand is as fast as the mind that uses it. This was true, even when all shootists trained hard for precision and speed.

Similarly, in all yogic practices the body and the mind have to be trained. Scriptures, texts, tutelage, music, dance, entheogens, chanting, exercises and practice are all part of the training. This training is more to restructure the conditioning of the mind, to  be able to comprehend or accept that is inherent and within,  to better make sense of the day to outwardly experiences that we accumulate post birth.

Like the Oracle says to Neo in the Matrix, ” You have already made the choice! You are here to understand why you made it.”

There have been seers, religious revolutionaries like J. Krishnamurti who sought freedom from the Guru, the book, the tradition and the authoritarian voice of another. “Truth is within you”, he said, and to discover the truth in the luminous light of perception was to transform the very nature of thought and consciousness. It was to awaken intelligence, insight and abundant compassion. The total responsibility lies with the individual. No one, according to J.K. can free another.

Then there was, who I dare to call the nihilist yogi, U. G. Krishnamurti. He was an Indian thinker who questioned enlightenment. Although necessary for day to day functioning of the individual, in terms of the Ultimate Reality or Truth, he rejected the very basis of “thought” and in doing so negated all systems of thought and knowledge in reference to It.

“Tell them that there is nothing to understand.” he said.

Although many considered him an “enlightened” person, U.G. often referred to his state of being as the “natural state.” He claimed that the demand for enlightenment was the only thing standing in the way of enlightenment itself, if enlightenment existed at all. Incidentally, to clutch on to nirvana was also a desire and not a fool proof mechanism, as per the Buddha.

The legendary, Shri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, changed his religion several times to explore the ideology and philosophy behind each. Changing a religion for a Hindu was then and even today is a great taboo. Ramakrishna Paramahansa saw the mother goddess Kali in his wife and remained a celibate thereafter.

All said and done, all perceptions, ideas, beliefs and systems can be changed, broken, reused,  Religious doctrines, texts, philosophies, teachers, yogic systems all exist in abundance for men to extract what facilitates their quest and discard what they cannot. This does not imply, however, that we disrespect the means or belittle the efforts of others. Talking, listening, reading, following, imitating, meditating, self-enquiry, questioning, all are part of the process. Like a clay sculptor, who adds and removes clay as needed to sculpt, we must learn to imbibe and let go as need be. Adapt and Improvise.

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.

Nāda: The MicroCosmic and MacroCosmic Rhythm

Most of us can remember a fundamental concept taught to us in school when we learned of Molecular Motion, States of Matter and Gas Laws:

“All molecules are in constant motion. Molecules of a liquid have more freedom of movement than those in a solid. Molecules in a gas have the greatest degree of motion.”

We now know that even atoms and sub atomic particles are in constant motion. Everything from within the microcosm to the macrocosm is in perpetual motion. Incidentally, this concept has also been integral to the authoritative religious texts in Hinduism. Some intuitive findings of the ancient seers or Rishis, of India,  are based on the premise that the entire cosmos and all that exists in the cosmos, including human beings, consists of sound vibrations, called nāda. This concept holds that it is the sound energy in motion rather than of matter and particles which form the building blocks of the cosmos.

Dr. Robert E Svoboda maintains, in his article THE SOUNDLESS SUSURRATION OF THE KINDLY HEART ” Viewed from the perspective of creation, nada is “that which expresses,” the sound current from which manifestation occurs. From the perspective of dissolution, however, nada is the resonance that follows bindu, the last point that the experiencer holds to before relinquishing all sense of time and space. The transcendent bruit that is nada begins to reverberate through one’s self-awareness as soon as all differentiating thought disappears. Nataraja straddles the bindu fence between creation and destruction, everlastingly awash in the nada tide that He Himself engenders.

Nothing in the universe moves but Nataraja; all else that shifts position, form or condition does so solely through His whirl. Nataraja is the perfect embodiment of a Vedic formula for compressing Reality into words: satyam, rtam, brhat (“the true, the harmonious, the vast”). Reality exists (it displays truth, satyam), it has a natural order or rhythm (rtam) which is self-perpetuating and self-correcting (it is harmonious), and it is all-pervasive, extending beyond the farthest reaches of the human imagination (it is vast, brhat). Nataraja’s form expresses the solidification of resonance, the congealing of music and dance into form. The word ambara can also mean “garment,” and chid-ambaram thus also means “clad in consciousness,” in the same way that a naked sadhu is sometimes spoken of as being dig-ambara, “sky-clad, clothed in the ten directions.” Awareness covers the Lord of Dance, it surrounds Him as it emerges from Him. Alone at the center of the cosmos, He is the embodiment of the consciousness that gave the cosmos birth. Within the human microcosm Nataraja relentlessly dances a tarantella of blood and lymph at the heart-center, thumping out the rhythm of heartbeats endlessly disseminating oxygen and prana, the life force. Like the heart, which sits at the core of the chest, the center of any space or image, in or out of the body, should be relatively empty of matter but full of prana. Any central area is a “heart,” a chid-ambaram that should reflect and express ultimate nature, ultimate sound and rhythm by concentrating prana there. Prana, mind and breath all work together, in the internal and the external universe alike.”

The power (Hara) of the unmanifested absolute (Shiva), when manifested becomes the dynamic cosmic energy (Shakti), much like potential energy transforming into kinetic energy, from inertia to motion. The sound of this energy when “expressed” as Svoboda says, creates matter in various forms and size, ranging from atoms to galaxies to universes.

In the human form, the energy itself, first, manifests into thousands of ethereal energy channels or meridians (72,000) that carry the nada in and out of the body. It is my supposition, that these channels are thus called the naadis.

Inherent, within the nada, are laya and taala, the tempo and the beat. It is no wonder then why human beings are inherently perceptible to music at any age. Rhythmic vibrations, interspersed with silence, pattern within silence and silence within pattern. Space within matter and matter within space, matter that is nothing but energy bound in certain vibrations. We and the whole universe is nothing but these vibrations within and without.

 

Caste Away

Purushasuktam

 The Purusha Suktam, to quote wikipedia, “gives a description of the spiritual unity of the universe. It presents the nature of Purusha or the cosmic being as both immanent in the manifested world and yet transcendent to it.[2] From this being, the sukta holds, the original creative will (later identified with Brahma, Hiranyagarbha or Prajapati) proceeds which causes the projection the universe in space and time.[3] The Purusha sukta, in the seventh verse, hints at the organic connectedness of the various classes of in the society.”

This is a verse from the Purusha Suktam.
Brahmanoasya mukhamasida bahu rajanyakritah. Uru tadasya yadvaishya padabhyam kshudro ajayat. (Rigveda 10.90.12, Yajurveda.31.11)

Despite other rich spiritually meaningful verses the sukta offers, this particular verse stands out. It seems to have deeply affected the development of Hindu beliefs and traditions as we know today.  The Hindu caste system or the Varnas, have an inseparable association with this verse. The inception of the varna {class} system can be traced back to this innocuous verse from the Vedas. 
 
Literally translated, the verse means, Brahmanas are the mouth of the Purushaha, Kshatriyas his arms, Vaishyas his thighs and Kshudras his feet. 
 
Gross misinterpretation of the Sanskrit verse, could be a probable cause of all contemporary communal feuds.  The Purusha suktam describes and glorifies the “Cosmic Being”. It quantifies and qualifies the physical, metaphysical and spiritual properties of the Purusha. Like in poetry, the opulence of the Purusha are metaphorically and exotically presented.
Since the sentiment is to describe the qualities of the Purusha, let us revisit the verse, with this sentiment. 
Brahmano-asya mukham-aasid
The mouth, more appropriately the quality of speech of the Purushaha is that of all the brahmanas combined. Thus the cosmic being possesses the collective knowledge of all creation.
Bahu rajanyakritah
The arms represent the collective strength of all the warriors. It should be noted that warriors were also called “Bahu balis” the one with strong arms. Thus the Purusha is poetically said to have immeasurable proportions of strength in his arms.
Uru tadasyad-vaishya
 Vaishyas represent, tradesmen, merchants, craftsmen and skilled workers who form the central support system of an economy. Comparable, to the femur (thigh bone), which  is closest to the centre of the body in all vertebrates. It is also the strongest and the largest bone in the body. The Purusha’s thighs are comparable to the combined reliability of support that all the Vaishyas have to offer. 
 
Alternatively it can also signify the sedentary working style of the Vaishyas and might be an allegorical reference to the ones who are seated all the time.  
 
Padavyaam kshudro ajayat
Those who perform hard labor, masons, laborers et al, are the foundation of development of a system. The Purusha’s body is such a system, of which the feet are the foundation. Again an allegorical attempt.  
 
The stratification of the zones of the Purusha’s body are allegorical representation of delegation of responsibilities within a system. It does not dictate or suggest any economic discrimination or social discrimination. Any individual is free to choose any of the four responsibilities, with the implicit urge to fulfill the responsibilities reliably. 

The path to salvation is open to all the four sects of responsibility.