Friday, February 18, 2011
SATHYA SAI BABA
Some persons are living legends. Sathya Sai Baba is one such. It is difficult to explain how and why he became spiritual. As Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita, it comes from a previous Birth, perhaps.
His teachings and his great deeds of service to humanity are truly magnificent.
Here are some of his most beautiful quotes. These are the ways – we must shape our life; the humanity must shape its course.
Ø Service has a double effect, it extinguishes ego and gives bliss.
Ø Before you speak, think -Is it necessary? Is it true? Is it kind? Will it hurt anyone? Will it improve on silence?
Ø Always respect another's opinion and another's point of view.
Ø Discipline trains you to put up with disappointments.
Ø You can hear the footsteps of God when silence reigns in the mind.
Ø Unity is the secret of social progress, and service to society is the means to promote it.
Ø For the progress of humanity, work alone is not adequate, but the work should be associated with love, compassion, right conduct, truthfulness and sympathy. Without the above qualities, selfless service cannot be performed.
Ø Service slowly and steadily broadens one's heart, bringing with it an unexpected feeling of happiness, and it begins to transform the community around us as well.
Ø If the Parent is a drunkard, a gambler and a cheat, no amount of textbook ethics can cure the sons.
Ø Less talk - more work!
Ø The values a man must cherish as his life-breath are, Truth, Righteousness, Peace, Love and Non violence.
Ø Wealth that you hoard is not yours; wealth that you have given is really yours.
Ø No one can liberate you, for no one has bound you; you hold on to the nettle of worldly pleasures and you weep for pain.
Ø A language is as sweet as the tongues of the speakers.
Ø Every experience that is drawn through any of the senses has an effect on one's health.
Ø Discipline is the mark of intelligent living
Ø A man's well-being depends upon his degree of contentment.
Ø God is not to be spoken of as coming down or going up, since HE is everywhere.
Ø What is the unmistakable mark of a wise man? It is Love, Love for all humanity.
Ø Each man carries his destiny in his own hands.
Ø Silence is the speech of the spiritual seeker.
Ø Service springs out of Love and it scatters Love in profusion.
Ø Ignorance is the most important cause of sorrow.
Ø Have constructive thoughts, consoling words, compassionate acts.
Ø The end of knowledge is Love. The end of education is character.
Ø Mine, not thine; this sense of greed is the root of all evil. This distinction is applied even to GOD! -- my GOD, not yours! Your GOD, not mine!
Ø Love lives by giving and forgiving. Self lives by getting and forgetting.
Ø God is neither distant, nor distinct from you.
Ø When there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation. When there is order in the nation, there will be PEACE in the world.
Ø The beauty of life depends upon our good habits.
Ø Good company is important; it helps to cultivate good qualities.
Ø You cannot see ME, but I am the light you see by. You cannot hear ME, but I am the sound you hear by. You cannot know ME, but I am the truth by which you live.
Ø God gave you the time, space, cause, material, idea, skill, chance and fortune. Why should you feel as if you are the doer?
Ø Unity is divinity; purity is enlightenment.
Ø Reason can prevail only when arguments are advanced without the whipping up of sound.
Ø Take failure and victory coolly.
Ø There should not be any trace of dislike or distrust on the score of nationality, language, caste, economic status, scholarship, age or sex.
Ø Your thoughts, words, and deeds will shape others and theirs will shape you.
Ø Love seeks no reward; Love is its own reward.
Ø Truth has no fear; Untruth shivers at every shadow.
Ø Mind sees separateness, Love sees unity.
Ø Friendship is the expression of unshakable LOVE, LOVE that is noble, pure, free from desire or egoism.
Ø Do not use poisonous words against anyone, for words wound more fatally than even arrows.
Ø Patience is all the strength that man needs.
Ø A nation that has no bridle on its sensuality, can never thrive or survive.
Ø Teachers must be examples of LOVE and TRUTH.
Ø Love must express itself as SERVICE.
Ø Devotion is not a uniform to be worn on certain days and then to be put aside.
Ø Practice the vocabulary of love - unlearn the language of hate and contempt.
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Friday, February 11, 2011
(CHAPTER.6 OF BHAGAVAD GITA)
Are you in some sorrow, or in some difficulty?
Most of us are.
The Bhagavad Gita told to Arjuna by Lord Krishna over 5000 years ago, has an answer to our difficulties and our Sorrows. And, the most effective answer.
DHYANA YOGA, chapter.6 of the Gita, tells us the method of meditation, by which we can derive infinite and boundless joy.
After all – what is our whole AIM in life?
We want the Best of Joy and total avoidance of Sorrows.
That is what Yoga promises us. And, delivers with Certainty.
Maharshi Patanjali has, much later, written his YOGA SUTRAS on the same subject in a highly systematic fashion.
Here are Ten Great Quotes on Dhyana Yoga from Lord Krishna himself.
The quote; the Number of Sanskrit verse in Dhyana Yoga from which it is extracted; and Brief comments are furnished here for your convenience:
(1) Yogi performs his duties Selflessly, without desire for the fruits of his actions (to himself)-Vs.6.1
Comments : Yogi can be recognized by this one test. Does he perform selfless actions – most of the time? If his actions are selfless, he is Yogi.
(2) You must uplift your self by your own efforts, in which case, you become your best friend. If you debase yourself, you become your worst enemy. –V.6.5.
Comments : Do not look to others to uplift You. You must help your self to uplift you and thus, become your own best friend. If you debase your self, either in thoughts, words or actions, you become your worst enemy.
(3) When the Ego based mind(your baser self) is subdued and controlled by the enlightened Intellect (which is your higher self), then You become your own best friend. When the Ego based mind is not so subdued and controlled by the Enlightened Intellect, then you become your own worst enemy (v.6.6)
Comments : Here Atmanah is not to be interpreted as Soul. Soul does not participate in any actions but always remains a witness. All battles are fought between the Mind and the Intellect. When Mind is the winner, you become slave to it and become your own enemy. When your Intellect is the winner, mind becomes your slave and your friend too under the control of the Buddhi or Intellect. This battle is in your hands.
(4) When you have conquered and controlled your mind (the baser self), you become infinitely peaceful and calm and get firmly established in your highest self. Your peacefulness now, cannot be disturbed by any dualities of life like Heat and Cold, Sorrows and Pleasures, honour and dishonor (V.6.7).
Comments : Mind is responsible for all restlessness, wavering and turbulence in you. You are tossed between various dualities and suffer on account of them – only because of this baser self called mind. You can control and conquer this by your higher self, the enlightened Intellect (or,Buddhi). When you have conquered and controlled your turbulent mind – you become so peaceful and joyful as if the almighty has taken a firm seat in you. Nothing can disturb or make you suffer now.
(5) The yogi is – one who looks upon well wishers, friends, foes, Strangers, mediators, hateful persons, relatives, saints and sinners with equal mindedness (V.6.9).
Comments : Ordinary men behave one way with friends and another way with enemies. We revere saints and keep off from sinners. But, Yogi sees himself in all; all in himself; and the almighty in all. He makes no difference among people on any ground.
(6) Yoga – is not for those who overeat, who starve, who oversleep or who sleep too little (V.6.16).
Comments : Moderation in all aspects of life is the key for success in Yoga. This makes the mind restful. Either extreme makes it suffer and it, in turn, makes the practitioner of Yoga suffer much more and for longer time.
(7) Yoga destroys all sorrows of that practitioner of yoga, who is appropriate and regulated in diet, in recreation, in performing actions, in sleep and in wakefulness. (V.6.17).
Comments : Yoga lays great stress on moderation in all aspects of life, as the key for success in Yoga. Either extreme makes us suffer and distracts from yoga.
(8) Yogi who identifies with his Self (Atman) sees him self in all beings and sees all beings in his self (V.6.29).
Comments : Yogi’s vision extends itself vastly, throughout the Universe. This is one test by which you can measure your progress in Yoga. You do not, any more, differentiate your self from any one else. The real self means the Atman, which is again none other than the all pervading Brahman.
(9) The yogi sees the Almighty in all beings and all beings in the almighty and therefore never loses sight of Him and the almighty also never loses sight of the Yogi-(V.6.30).
Comments : Yogi is always in presence of the almighty and so is the almighty in the presence of the Yogi.
(10) Let there be no doubt that mind is restless and difficult to control; but with repeated practice and control of one’s desires, mind can be brought under control.(V.6.35)
Comments : Both Lord Krishna and Patanjali Maharshi have said that Mind is very difficult to control – but, through constant practice (Abhyasa) of Mind control and Non-attachment to desires (Vairagyam), it is possible to control the mind gradually. Patanjali declares in the first verse itself that Yoga means Mind control.
When the whole science of Yoga is for Mind control – is it not obvious that Mind is the most difficult to control?
But, when mind is controlled through practice and non attachment, it becomes full of peace, contentment and unbounded and infinite joy. Lot more things happen to such a mind – as stated by Patanjali.
At each step of Yoga, the yogi gets certain benefits automatically, but must move on till he attains unbounded and limitless joy, which Patanjali calls as Samaadhi.
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Thursday, February 10, 2011
Dhyana Yoga starts with a beautiful definition of “YOGI”.
Ø Yogi is one who performs his duties selflessly and does not aspire for the fruits of such work.
Ø Sannyasa and Yoga mean the same.
Ø The first step in Yoga is to bring the MIND under your control. Mind is the sum total of your Sankalpas (thoughts and decisions) and your desires which are at the root of all of your actions.
Ø Do you realize that - your Mind is not under your control? On the other hand, YOU are under your MIND’s control. Your Mind is driving you from one thought to another and one desire to another and propelling you from one action to another for satisfaction of these endless desires.
Ø Mind resists, militates and rebels – when YOU try to control it through Yoga. Mind tries all its tricks to bring you back under its control.
Ø You must remain patient and confident and strive steadfastly to bring it under your control.
Ø PREPARATORY STEPS FOR DHYANA :
Ø To achieve mind control through Yoga, select a silent, lonely place.
Ø Sit on a small, firm, raised platform. Make it convenient for you to sit without disturbance from people, insects, noises etc.
Ø Relax completely while sitting firmly and erect.
Ø Keep the mind calm and peaceful and free from external disturbances.
Ø Now watch the Mind with your Buddhi. This is a crucial step.
Ø Now, there is a watcher YOU and a watched YOU.
Ø Under the watchful eye of Buddhi, the unending stream of thoughts and desires arising in the mind slowly and gradually start coming down. This is the first success.
Ø Sankalpas (thoughts) and desires are the power of the Mind over you. When they start coming down, Mind automatically becomes weak and comes under the control of the Buddhi.
Ø A mind under Buddhi’s control is your greatest friend. But one which is not under such control is your worst enemy.
Ø Now, the ignorance or avidya in you starts clearing up.
Ø You must strive to see your self in all beings and all beings in you. And, you must see the Brahman, or the Almighty in all, including you. This process is gradual but the result is certain. This is the next step.
Ø Great peace, contentment and Joy starts arising in you now. The peace, the contentment, the joy that you now experience – is much greater than any other mundane joy. This joy is far beyond ordinary sense perception.
Ø You will now ignore any sorrows which arise in life with nonchalance. This is another important stage.
Ø Keep the mind now fixed on Brahman. This is the next step.
Ø Some times, your mind will play its old tricks of going back to sense objects and trying to lure you to them.
Ø Gently bring the errant mind back with your Buddhi to your control again and again. This is a regular process for quite some time.
Ø Practice moderation in food, sleep, work, relaxation and all areas of life, so that mind remains peaceful. Do not indulge in any excesses or abstinences in life as they will make the mind restless and suffering. It actually makes the mind highly wavering. Moderation is very important for success.
Ø Two tools must necessarily be used in Yoga. (i) Abhyaasa (constant practice) and (ii) Vairaagya (non attachment to sense desires).
Ø These 2 tools ensure the Yogi’s success in Yoga – by bringing his mind under his firm control.
Ø If the Yogi is not completely successful in achieving perfection in yoga in his life time, will his efforts go a total waste?
Ø No. His good work is not a waste at all. His good work ensures that he reaches heavens after his present life and stays there for countless years. Thereafter, he is born is a wealthy and pious family. He may even be born in the family of Yogis.
Ø All his good efforts will come along with him after his life – and in all of his future births and aid him in his practice of yoga, in such future births. His progress will be extraordinarily fast now and he will reach perfection in yoga very easily.
Ø What is success in Yoga? It is - achieving the unlimited, eternal and boundless joy which is beyond all sense perception.
Ø Such a Yogi is freed from all sorrows and is in union with the almighty / Brahman.
Ø Such a Yogi is much superior to ascetics, Jnanis and those indulging in karma.Among them, whoever is devoted to the Brahman steadfastly is very dear to the almighty. Neither they will leave him nor he will leave them.
Ø Readers may now ponder – what do we all want in life? Greatest Joy for all time and No sorrows. Is it not? That is what Yoga gives us.
Ø Therefore Krishna told Arjuna – Oh Arjuna, Become a Yogi! This advice is to Arjuna, to me and to you all.
Ø May you all have Lord Krishna’s blessings for success in your Yoga efforts.
OF VERSES 1 to 47
Ø YOGI – is one who does selfless work, one who does not aspire for the fruits of his work.(V.1)
Ø Sanyaasa and Yoga are one and the same. For both, you must leave your Sankalpa / desires (V.2).
Ø Karma becomes essential before becoming a yogi. But, Karma peels off when you enter Yoga seriously. You become more and more peaceful(V.3).
Ø You must gradually reduce Desire for Sense objects – to become firm in Yoga (V.4).
Ø In this path, your mind must be made your friend, in uplifting yourself. Else, your own mind can become your enemy(V.5).
Ø If you discipline your mind and senses, your mind becomes your own friend(V.6).
Ø With discipline, you will enjoy a calm and peaceful mind. You will treat comforts, discomforts, gains and losses with equanimity when mind is calm(V.7).
Ø You will be totally contented in this new wisdom (Jnanam)(V.8).
Ø You will treat friends, foes, good people and bad people, all alike in your calm mind (V.9).
Ø Where and how should you perform this Dhyana yoga?
Ø You must select a lonely and silent place for practicing Yoga. You must also reduce your desires, and your expectations from others for the purpose (V.10).
Ø Ensure that the place is clean. Have a raised, firm platform, not too high and not too low for sitting. Place Kusa grass on the plat form, a deer / tiger skin on top of it and a clean cloth one top of the deer / tiger skin (V.11).
Ø Sit on this firm seat for watching your mind and the thoughts and emotions in it. (V.12).
Ø keep your trunk, neck and the head straight, firm and unmoving. Keep your eyes as though seeing the tip of the nose, but not really making any effort for the purpose. It means, eyes must be at total rest but not closed(V.13).
Ø Keep your mind peaceful, devoid of all fears, and in Brahmacharya (devoid of desires and lust) and attentive on the almighty(V.14).
Ø Now, place your total attention on the Atman (Brahman). Slowly, You will achieve a great peace in your mind. Keep that peaceful mind on the almighty (Brahman)(V.15).
Ø To become a Yogi, moderation is the key. Do not eat too less or too much; do not sleep too much and do not be awake too much. Do not be day dreaming(V.16).
Ø Eat appropriate food, relax appropriately and do appropriate actions. When you perform yoga this way, you can easily go beyond all sorrows and pleasures (V.17).
Ø Keep your mind is intent on Yoga without wavering. Then, desires cannot disturb it (V.18 &19 ).
Ø You will experience great, unlimited, boundless joy in such a state(v.20).
Ø This joy is beyond the sense organs and their perception abilities. Only the enlightened Buddhi (Intellect) will perceive it (V.21).
Ø You will know that this is the greatest joy there is – and you will now not hanker for other pleasures. You will also not be tormented now by any sorrows (v.22).
Ø Vidya or wisdom is – the ability to remain untormented by sorrows. Remaining unattached to such sorrows is called Yoga(V.23).
Ø Sankalpa (decision / thought) is at the root of all desires. If you keep control on your sankalpa and the senses, your mind becomes unwavering and steady and will be of a great help to you(V.24).
Ø Buddhi only can do it. Control your mind with Buddhi and through it the senses, slowly and steadily(V.25).
Ø Some times, mind will go after sense objects during your yogic practice. It happens and is natural; Bring the mind back gently again through your Buddhi and keep it under Buddhi’s control(V.26).
Ø The Yogi who persists in performing his Yoga, achieves a peaceful, contented mind, cleaned of the Rajasic (and tamasic) gunas (v.27).
Ø Such a yogi experiences the Brahman in himself easily and feels the extraordinary joy of union with Brahman(v.28).
Ø Such a yogi sees all beings in himself and himself in all beings and treats all as equal(V.29).
Ø He also sees the almighty (Brahman) in all beings; worships him always through this experience of sama darshana or oneness of all beings. The almighty( Brahman) will always be with the yogi in his endeavours and the yogi will always be with the almighty (Brahman)(v.30 &31).
Ø He looks upon the joys and sorrows of all, including his own, with equal eye and equanimity (v.32).
Ø At this point, Arjuna raises a valid doubt – mind is so strong, turbulent, wavering and uncontrollable.(33,34).So how do I control it?
Ø Krishna says – True. Mind is powerful and difficult to control ordinarily. But there are 2 tools for its control (i) Practice of Yoga and mind control (Abhyaasa) and (ii) Non-attachment to sense objects (vairagyam)(V.35).
Ø One who has no control at all on his mind can not attain to yoga. But, one who tries to control sincerely, slowly gains control over the mind (v.36).
Ø Now Arjuna has a further doubt : If a yogi, even if sincere and devoted, may, due to the wavering mind, fall some times from yoga. What happens to him then? (v.37).
Ø Does he not become unsuccessful in worldly life and yogic life both?(V.38).
Ø Krishna, you are the only one who can remove my doubts. Please do clarify to me, says Arjuna(V.39).
Ø Lord Krishna now assures –
Ø A yogi who has done some sadhana earnestly never comes to any grief from it and never gets adversity because of it(v.40).
Ø Such failed yogis also will reach great heavens where they will stay for long years and are then reborn in wealthy and pious families to continue their yoga (v.41).
Ø Or, in rare cases, he may even be born in a family of great yogis, which hastens his yogic achievements (v.42).
Ø Such failed yogis will also be aided by their yogic knowledge of previous births and their progress in current birth will be that much faster(v.43).
Ø Even if in current birth, you do not seem to have much links with Yoga, you will be drawn to yoga by the practices done by you in your previous birth(v.44).
Ø Such yogi will remove all his sins and impurities through consistent practice and come to perfection (with unbounded, eternal Joy) through his yogic practices of all previous and current births(V.45).
Ø The Almighty says - he considers such a Yogi – as superior to the ascetics, to the Jnanis and to all those persons who indulge in Karma (for selfish purposes). Therefore, O Arjuna, Do become a Yogi. (v.46). This is a direct exhortation to Arjuna.
Ø The best among such yogis, is the one, who always keeps me in his mind and worships with devotion(V.47)
Ø Here ends Dhyana Yoga, the chapter.6 of Bhagavad Gita.
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