Monday 22 July 2024

GURU, AVATARA, YOGA, JAPA, SEVA - Swami Vivekananda

Q. — How can Vedanta be realised?

A. — By "hearing, reflection, and meditation". Hearing must take place from a Sad-guru. Even if one is not a regular disciple, but is a fit aspirant and hears the Sad-guru's words, he is liberated.

Q. — Who is a Sad-guru?

A. — A Sad-guru is one on whom the spiritual power has descended by Guru-paramparâ, or an unbroken chain of discipleship.

To play the role of a spiritual teacher is a very difficult thing. One has to take on oneself the sins of others. There is every chance of a fall in less advanced men. If merely physical pain ensues, then he should consider himself fortunate.

Q. — Cannot the spiritual teacher make the aspirant fit?

A. — An Avatâra can. Not an ordinary Guru.

Q. — Is there no easy way to liberation?

A. — "There is no royal road to Geometry" — except for those who have been fortunate enough to come in contact with an Avatara. Paramahamsa Deva used to say, "One who is having his last birth shall somehow or other see me."

Q. — Is not Yoga an easy path to that?

A. — (Jokingly) You have said well, I see! — Yoga an easy path! If your mind be not pure and you try to follow Yoga, you will perhaps attain some supernatural power, but that will be a hindrance. Therefore purity of mind is the first thing necessary.

Q. — How can this be attained?

A. — By good work. Good work is of two kinds, positive and negative. "Do not steal" — that is a negative mandate, and "Do good to others" — is a positive one.

Q. — Should not doing good to others be performed in a higher stage, for if performed in a lower stage, it may bind one to the world?

A. — It should be performed in the first stage. One who has any desire at first gets deluded and becomes bound, but not others. Gradually it will become very natural.

Q. — Sir, last night you said, "In you is everything." Now, if I want to be like Vishnu, shall I have to meditate on the form also, or only on the idea?

A. — According to capacity one may follow either way.

Q. — What is the means of realisation?

A. — The Guru is the means of realisation. "There is no knowledge without a teacher."

Q. — Some say that there is no necessity of practicing meditation in a worship-room. How far is it true?

A. — Those who have already realised the Lord's presence may not require it, but for others it is necessary. One, however, should go beyond the form and meditate on the impersonal aspect of God, for no form can grant liberation. You may get worldly prosperity from the sight of the form. One who ministers to his mother succeeds in this world; one who worships his father goes to heaven; but the worshipper of a Sâdhu (holy man) gets knowledge and devotion.

Q. — What is the meaning of "क्षणमिह सज्जनसंगतिरेका" etc. — Even a moment's association with the holy ones serves to take one beyond this relative existence"?

A. — A fit person coming in contact with a true Sadhu attains to liberation. True Sadhus are very rare, but their influence is such that a great writer has said, "Hypocrisy is the tribute which vice pays to virtue." But Avataras are Kapâlamochanas, that is, they can alter the doom of people. They can stir the whole world. The least dangerous and best form of worship is worshipping man. One who has got the idea of Brahman in a man has realised it in the whole universe. Monasticism and the householder's life are both good, according to different circumstances. Knowledge is the only thing necessary.

Q. — Where should one meditate — inside the body or outside it? Should the mind be withdrawn inside or held outside?

A. — We should try to meditate inside. As for the mind being here or there, it will take a long time before we reach the mental plane. Now our struggle is with the body. When one acquires a perfect steadiness in posture, then and then alone one begins to struggle with the mind. Âsana (posture) being conquered, one's limbs remain motionless, and one can sit as long as one pleases.

Q. — Sometimes one gets tired of Japa (repetition of the Mantra). Should one continue it or read some good book instead?

A. — One gets tired of Japa for two reasons. Sometimes one's brain is fatigued, sometimes it is the result of idleness. If the former, then one should give up Japa for the time being, for persistence in it at the time results in seeing hallucinations, or in lunacy etc. But if the latter, the mind should be forced to continue Japa.

Q. — Sometimes sitting at Japa one gets joy at first, but then one seems to be disinclined to continue the Japa owing to that joy. Should it be continued then?

A. — Yes, that joy is a hindrance to spiritual practice, its name being Rasâsvâdana (tasting of the sweetness). One must rise above that.

Q. — Is it good to practice Japa for a long time, though the mind may be wandering?

A. — Yes. As some people break a wild horse by always keeping his seat on his back.

Q. — You have written in your Bhakti-Yoga that if a weak-bodied man tries to practice Yoga, a tremendous reaction comes. Then what to do?

A. — What fear if you die in the attempt to realise the Self! Man is not afraid of dying for the sake of learning and many other things, and why should you fear to die for religion?

Q. — Can Jiva-sevâ (service to beings) alone give Mukti ?

A. — Jiva-seva can give Mukti not directly but indirectly, through the purification of the mind. But if you wish to do a thing properly, you must, for the time being, think that that is all-sufficient. The danger in any sect is want of zeal. There must be constancy (Nishthâ), or there will be no growth. At present it has become necessary to lay stress on Karma.

Q. — What should be our motive in work — compassion, or any other motive?

A. — Doing good to others out of compassion is good, but the Seva (service) of all beings in the spirit of the Lord is better.

Q. — What is the efficacy of prayer?

A. — By prayer one's subtle powers are easily roused, and if consciously done, all desires may be fulfilled by it; but done unconsciously, one perhaps in ten is fulfilled. Such prayer, however, is selfish and should therefore be discarded.

Q. — How to recognise God when He has assumed a human form?

A. — One who can alter the doom of people is the Lord. No Sadhu, however advanced, can claim this unique position. I do not see anyone who realises Ramakrishna as God. We sometimes feel it hazily, that is all. To realise Him as God and yet be attached to the world is inconsistent.

CWSV - 5 - Questions and Answers

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कथा : विवेकानन्द केन्द्र { Katha : Vivekananda Kendra }
Vivekananda Rock Memorial & Vivekananda Kendra : http://www.vivekanandakendra.org
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मुक्तसंग्ङोऽनहंवादी धृत्युत्साहसमन्वित:।
सिद्ध‌‌यसिद्धयोर्निर्विकार: कर्ता सात्त्विक उच्यते ॥१८.२६॥

Freed from attachment, non-egoistic, endowed with courage and enthusiasm and unperturbed by success or failure, the worker is known as a pure (Sattvika) one. Four outstanding and essential qualities of a worker. - Bhagwad Gita : XVIII-26

Sunday 21 July 2024

WHO IS A REAL GURU? - Swami Vivekananda

A real Guru is one who is born from time to time as a repository of spiritual force which he transmits to future generations through successive links of Guru and Shishya (disciple). The current of this spirit-force changes its course from time to time, just as a mighty stream of water opens up a new channel and leaves the old one for good. Thus it is seen that old sects of religion grow lifeless in the course of time, and new sects arise with the fire of life in them. Men who are truly wise commit themselves to the mercy of that particular sect through which the current of life flows. Old forms of religion are like the skeletons of once mighty animals, preserved in museums. They should be regarded with the due honour. They cannot satisfy the true cravings of the soul for the Highest, just as a dead mango-tree cannot satisfy the cravings of a man for luscious mangoes.

The one thing necessary is to be stripped of our vanities — the sense that we possess any spiritual wisdom —  and to surrender ourselves completely to the guidance of our Guru. The Guru only knows what will lead us towards perfection. We are quite blind to it. We do not know anything. This sort of humility will open the door of our heart for spiritual truths. Truth will never come into our minds so long as there will remain the faintest shadow of Ahamkâra (egotism). All of you should try to root out this devil from your heart. Complete self-surrender is the only way to spiritual illumination.

CWSV - 5 -  Notes from Lectures and Discourses
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कथा : विवेकानन्द केन्द्र { Katha : Vivekananda Kendra }
Vivekananda Rock Memorial & Vivekananda Kendra : http://www.vivekanandakendra.org
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मुक्तसंग्ङोऽनहंवादी धृत्युत्साहसमन्वित:।
सिद्ध‌‌यसिद्धयोर्निर्विकार: कर्ता सात्त्विक उच्यते ॥१८.२६॥

Freed from attachment, non-egoistic, endowed with courage and enthusiasm and unperturbed by success or failure, the worker is known as a pure (Sattvika) one. Four outstanding and essential qualities of a worker. - Bhagwad Gita : XVIII-26

Friday 19 July 2024

A PRAYER FOR FREEDOM

Bethink thee how the world did wait,
And search for thee, through time and clime.
Some gave up home and love of friends,
And went in quest of thee self-banished,
O'er dreary oceans, through primeval forests
Each step a struggle for the life or death.
Then came the day when work bore fruit
And worship, love and sacrifice
Fulfilled, accepted and complete.
Then Thou, propitious, rose to shed
The light of freedom on mankind.
Move on. Oh Lord, in thy resistless path
Till thy high morn overspreads the world.
Till every land reflects thy light,
Till men and women, with uplifted head,
Behold their shackles broken, and
Know, in springing joy, their life renewed!

-Sister Nivedia

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कथा : विवेकानन्द केन्द्र { Katha : Vivekananda Kendra }
Vivekananda Rock Memorial & Vivekananda Kendra : http://www.vivekanandakendra.org
Read n Get Articles, Magazines, Books @ http://prakashan.vivekanandakendra.org

Let's work on "Swamiji's Vision - Eknathji's Mission"

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मुक्तसंग्ङोऽनहंवादी धृत्युत्साहसमन्वित:।
सिद्ध‌‌यसिद्धयोर्निर्विकार: कर्ता सात्त्विक उच्यते ॥१८.२६॥

Freed from attachment, non-egoistic, endowed with courage and enthusiasm and unperturbed by success or failure, the worker is known as a pure (Sattvika) one. Four outstanding and essential qualities of a worker. - Bhagwad Gita : XVIII-26

Wednesday 17 July 2024

Reminiscences of Sister Nivedita - 3

There were other experiences. The Ram Lila was going on. We drove out to see it. The other ladies stayed in the carriage but Sister Nivedita got down and wanted to go into the crowd, As I accompanied her a policeman on duty seeing an Englishwoman began hustling the people and thrusting them aside to make a passage for her. In an instant Sister Nivedita's smiling demeanour changed. The blood rushed to her face, her eyes flashed indignant fire ; going up to the policeman she exclaimed, " What right have you to push these people ? You ought to be run in for assault." She spoke in English because she did not know the language of the country. The policeman did not understand her words but there was no mistaking her gesture and look. The man turned to me helplessly for an explanation and when he got it he slunk away looking sheepish and crestfallen. When we came out of the crowd I burst out laughing. Sister Nivedita turned to me saying, "Why "are you laughing at me ?" I explained to her that the sight of a policeman push­ing people or even assaulting them was not a'.rare thing in India . She would not beleive it at first and became very indignant when I told her a few facts.

I met her next in Calcutta and was startled by the change that had taken place in her appearance. All the high colour of her complexion had disappeared. She had grown pale and thin and her face looked both intellectual and spiritual. She wore round her neck a slender chain of rudraksha. Sne looked quite the Brahmacharini she was. For several weeks she had been living on a plantain and a slice of bread. She had taken a small house in the heart of northern Calcutta and was teaching a few Bengali girls on the Kindergarten system. Would not some Indian women dedicate themselves to the service of India as she had dedicated herself ? That was why she had undertaken the instruction of Indian girls. She looked on every­thing Indian with the eyes of sympathy and love.

Her interests were as varied as they were wide. She was deeply interested in Dr. J. C. Bose's scientific researches. I met her at the house of the American Consul General in Calcutta in earnest conversation with a well known Japanese thinker and writer. I heard her speaking in public. She was a most eloquent and fasci­nating speaker but her thoughts and language were far too high pitched for the common audience. As a writer the charm of her style abides in her books. But I am thinking of the individual and not the writer—the clear, strenuous purpose, the fervour of faith, the human sympathy, the transparent sincerity, the selfless devotion to work.

On one occasion accompanied by a friend I went to see her in her house in Calcutta . We were told by another lady staying in the house that Sister Nivedita was seriously ill, suffering from meningitis. She was being treated by Dr. Nil Ratan Sircar, the famous Calcutta Physician. After several anxious days the crisis passed and the patient was pronounced out of clanger. Her time had not yet come. On recovery she went to England to recruit her health.

I saw her once again at Benares for a few minutes while the Indian National Congress was sitting in that city We were both pressed for time and there was not much conversation. And now she has gone to her rest, to peace everlasting, but those who had the privilege of kowing her will never forget her—her sweet yet forceful personality, her wonderfully pure life, white and fragrant as a lily.

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कथा : विवेकानन्द केन्द्र { Katha : Vivekananda Kendra }
Vivekananda Rock Memorial & Vivekananda Kendra : http://www.vivekanandakendra.org
Read n Get Articles, Magazines, Books @ http://prakashan.vivekanandakendra.org

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मुक्तसंग्ङोऽनहंवादी धृत्युत्साहसमन्वित:।
सिद्ध‌‌यसिद्धयोर्निर्विकार: कर्ता सात्त्विक उच्यते ॥१८.२६॥

Freed from attachment, non-egoistic, endowed with courage and enthusiasm and unperturbed by success or failure, the worker is known as a pure (Sattvika) one. Four outstanding and essential qualities of a worker. - Bhagwad Gita : XVIII-26

Tuesday 16 July 2024

Reminiscences of Sister Nivedita - 2

The Jhelum was flowing rippling below the keel of the boat. A cool, fresh morning breeze stirred the water into little wavelets flecked with fleeting foam. Over away in the distance towered Takht Suleman with the pillar on the top. On the bank were poplars and chinars and apple and pear trees laden with fruit. And so, half observant and half oblivious of the glorious nature outside, we fell into animated conversation. Sister Nivedita had a musical voice and spoke with the earnestness of an enthusiast. She wanted information on a hundred subjects. Swami Viveknanda pointed his finger towards me and smiled, " Yes, yes, peck his brains. He will give you all the information you want. " When leaving, one of the elderly ladies asked me to come and have tea with them the following afternoon.

After they had gone Swami Viveknanda told me a great deal about Sister Nivedita—her great accomplish­ments and range of knowledge, her passionate devotion to India . Then he told a little story. They had just returned from Amarnath, the famous shrine among the snows. Vivekananda had walked with the other pil­grims. As a young ascetic he had tramped over the greater part of India . Sister Nivedita had a dandy. When they had proceeded only a few stages she noticed an old woman among the pilgrims and saw that she was walking painfully and laboriously with the help of a stick. Nivedita promptly got out of her dandy, put the old woman in it and walked all the way out and back from the shrine. When I asked her afterwards about it she said she had two blankets, slept on the ground and had never felt better in her life.

But I never saw her in Srinagar again. I received a letter which necessitated my immediate return to Lahore and I left the next morning asking Swami Vive-kananda to make my excuses at the tea party.

A few days later I met her at Lahore . She was staying with the other two ladies at Nedou's hotel and we met almost every day. Sometimes we would keep on talking till late at night, one of the other ladies quietly sitting by and listening to the bewildering range of our conversation. There was hardly a thing relating to India tnat we did not discuss. She frequently praised the judicial balance of the cultured Indian mind and the passionlessness ot its outlook. Everything about her was sincere, frank and pure while her unaffected modesty was as charming as it was admirable. And I saw that she was a woman with an extraordinary intellect, of extensive and accurate reading. She was intensely impulsive, but eveiy impulse was generous and her earnestness ol purpose was consuming.

She wanted me to show her the city. Would she like to drive through the city ? No, she preferred to walk. A little slumming, I suggested, and she smilingly assented. So ope fine morning we entered the city by the Lohari Gate and tramped for over two hours, pass­ing through every street and lane in the city. She was greatly interested in everything she saw—the children who started at her open-mouthed, the women veiled and unveiled, the men who lounged at street corners, the Brahminy bulls lapping the rock salt exposed for their use on the market stalls, the crowded houses. She took in everything and asked questions about every­thing. On coming out of the city we took a carriage and I drove her to the hotel.

To be continue..
Source : http://www.vivekananda.net
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कथा : विवेकानन्द केन्द्र { Katha : Vivekananda Kendra }
Vivekananda Rock Memorial & Vivekananda Kendra : http://www.vivekanandakendra.org
Read n Get Articles, Magazines, Books @ http://prakashan.vivekanandakendra.org

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मुक्तसंग्ङोऽनहंवादी धृत्युत्साहसमन्वित:।
सिद्ध‌‌यसिद्धयोर्निर्विकार: कर्ता सात्त्विक उच्यते ॥१८.२६॥

Freed from attachment, non-egoistic, endowed with courage and enthusiasm and unperturbed by success or failure, the worker is known as a pure (Sattvika) one. Four outstanding and essential qualities of a worker. - Bhagwad Gita : XVIII-26

Monday 15 July 2024

Reminiscences of Sister Nivedita - 1

By Novalis in the 'Tribune,' Lahore .

Out of the silence of months I emerge to pay a tribute of memory to one who has just crossed the borderland and passed on to the beyond from whence comes neither whisper nor message to the land of the living. Margaret Noble —Sister Nivedita—is dead and her work has been accomplished. When it comes to be put together that work may not amount to much because the time vouchsafed unto her was so short and she had perhaps no premonition of the angel-wings that had been beating about her summoning her silently to where her Master had gone before her.

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The qualities that she brought to bear on the work she did, deserve to be remembered for seldom did a truer or more generous nature throw in its lot with a cause so hopeless as that of India and with so much enthusiasm and hopefulness. One Anglo-Indian paper has called her love for India ' a craze ' and that is how other people will call it, for how many of them can fathom the depth of her nature or the passion that burned in her as a holy flame ? To the shallow critic and the casual observer she was only a crank —gifted beyond doubt but only a crank.

It is not for me however to attempt an appreciation of her work in this place. Mine as I have said is a tribute of memory, recalling her as I knew her in life. I saw her many times and talked with her for hours at a stretch and I shall here relate only incidents of actual happening, things and words as they may recur to the memory.

 It was at Srinagar , Kashmir , that I first met her. I was living in a house-boat close to a donga occupied by Swami Vivekananda and we used to pass much of our time together. Our boats were moored close to the guest-house of the Maharaja. Some way up the river beyond the Residency was a boat in which there were three lady disciples of Swami Vivekananda, Nivedita being one of them. One morning as I came back from a stroll I stepped into Vivekananda's boat and found the three ladies there and introductions followed. Nivedita looked quite young and handsome. She had a full figure and a high colour and though her -eyes were very bright and vivacious she did not appear like a bluestocking or a very intellectual  woman. But first appearences are frequently deceptive.  

To be continue..
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कथा : विवेकानन्द केन्द्र { Katha : Vivekananda Kendra }
Vivekananda Rock Memorial & Vivekananda Kendra : http://www.vivekanandakendra.org
Read n Get Articles, Magazines, Books @ http://prakashan.vivekanandakendra.org

Let's work on "Swamiji's Vision - Eknathji's Mission"

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मुक्तसंग्ङोऽनहंवादी धृत्युत्साहसमन्वित:।
सिद्ध‌‌यसिद्धयोर्निर्विकार: कर्ता सात्त्विक उच्यते ॥१८.२६॥

Freed from attachment, non-egoistic, endowed with courage and enthusiasm and unperturbed by success or failure, the worker is known as a pure (Sattvika) one. Four outstanding and essential qualities of a worker. - Bhagwad Gita : XVIII-26

Wednesday 10 July 2024

Yoga: The Solution To The Youth Problem - 2

Swami Satyananda Saraswati (Bihar School o f Yoga, Monghyr, Bihar)

The Crisis of To-day

'TODAY, more than any other time in history there is a crisis of status. Few people are sure of their place in time and space, in the world, in their country, in their work or in their homes. This is the case with old and young people alike.

There are so many conflicting ideas and possibilities open to most people, and when there are so many different things that each person can do with his life, he becomes confused and does not know which direction to take. How much easier it was, in olden days, when each person followed in his parents' footsteps and knew what he would be doing, not only tomorrow, but also in twenty years' time. So, what can young people do : how can they decide what their basis for living their life should be ? They can ask their parents, but they know instinctively that their parents are as confused as they are.

Search for Happiness

They want happiness and contentment, and these things few of their elders now about, for as one great writer put it "most people lead lives of quiet desperation Can anyone expect young: people to follow their parents, when they see underneath all the show and pomp, that their parents are really unhappy in the life style that they lead? They see that their elders' way of life, gives happiness only on fleeting occasions, perhaps when they unexpectedly earn a lot of money or when they go to the cinema, oi when they eat some very nice food. Young:  people perceive and rightly so, that everyone's life should be a continual expression of joy.

Yoga : A Way to Happiness

Happiness is the true condition of man. This is why young; people have taken up yoga ; to find their true nature and so find permanent happiness that transcends the transitory happiness given by sensual pleasures and so on. In yoga they can see a complete way of life that tackles all the facets of man's being. They see that the techniques of asanas and p ran ay am a give physical and mental health, the most basic step to achieving permanent happiness. How much different this attitude is compared to the older generation, who tend not to worry very much about this aspect of their being ; if their bodies work, all is well, even if they have pain, indigestion and so on, through misuse.

Yoga, Health and Youth

They have positive attitudes about health; they don't wait for illness to occur; they prevent it occurring. Young people realise that maintaining or obtaining good mental health is the next step to permanent happiness. "Old people do not seem to give much consideration to this factor in their lives even though they continually feel tense ; and if they do give this factor consideration, it is because they have been stricken by grave mental problems. Again, it is the young people who are leading all people on a positive path to mental peace, for they have universally adopted meditation and other yoga practices as being a necessary part of the daily routine.

Youth : Their Scientific Approach to Truth

And what about the spiritual side of life ? Whilst older people have accepted the religious ideas handed down through the ages, without really understanding their basis, or even rejected religion as being 'rubbish ' as seems to be the modern trend, young people have again taken the initiative. They have started to try to 'experience ' the truths, inherent in all religions. They have not accepted, nor have they rejected, religions. They have, in fact, adopted a more scientific approach by trying to find the truth by practical methods. In this endeavour they have taken to the techniques in yoga.

Understanding Rebellious Youth

I once talked to a young man who could see his place in society. Already at the age of eighteen, his parents had disowned him because of his rebellious nature. He told me that he did many 'crazy ' things with his friends, for no other reason than that he could see no reason why he shouldn't do them. He told me that he was looking for something, though he did not know what. All his actions were an attempt to express some inner feeling. He felt there was a permanent, universal correct action for each individual but could not find what it was. He looked around him and he saw hypocrisy; people were not doing what their nature dictated, their dharma, but were doing things in life that did not come from their inner being; doing things automatically like a machine, because their neighbours expected them to do a particular action. He felt that people were continually suppressed because they were always 'acting' in their lives to impress the people around them. It was in reaction to this way of life which most people lived, that he had done 'crazy things ' as he put it.

Yoga : Way to Inner Harmony

He said that he had heard that yoga is a method of knowing the inner nature and so attaining happiness. Was it true ? I told him it was perfectly true, I told him that if he wanted to know more and practise yoga he should go to a yoga school, the address of which I gave him. I met that same person six months later. I didn't ask him if he had been doing yoga, I could feel by his face. He told me that yoga had changed his whole life. At last he had found the way to permanent happiness in life, and now he knew in a small way that there was one truth underlying everything that was devoid of hypocrisy and superficiality. He was now on good terms with his parents and was trying to convince them of their wrong attitude to life and to persuade them to do yoga.

Teaching Yoga Universally

Imagine what would happen if yoga were taught in every school in the world, just as we teach mathematics or science. When we consider that about sixty percent of the world's population are children, the implications are staggering. Young people everywhere would be well-adjusted, healthy and happy. Perceptive and understanding, physically and mentally fit, they would be aware of their own potential and more capable of its realisation. With their spiritual experience they would be able to operate on a different and higher level of consciousness, and this could be brought to use in the outer life, in their work and social pursuits.

Yoga and Service

Yoga encourages service, and this could be utilised for the greater benefit of mankind. With yoga in the curriculum of universities and colleges, a much better graduate would be produced who would be more perceptive in applying his intelligence to work.

Yoga and the Future

Everyone should invest in yoga, young and old. The future of young people and the world needs a system such as yoga. Yoga means 'union' and that is just what we could achieve — a union of people throughout the world. By yoga everyone would gain insight into their own culture and their own way of life to a level never before believed possible. Such is the power of yoga. It is not a religion, but a science of living according to our means and the laws of life. If we hold ourselves responsible for the future, our own and of our children, then we must ensure that the evolution of man is along positive lines. Only then will wars cease; only then will man be able to love his fellow man, and only then will adults understand the young, and the young will understand the old.

Yuva Bharati - Oct 1973
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कथा : विवेकानन्द केन्द्र { Katha : Vivekananda Kendra }
Vivekananda Rock Memorial & Vivekananda Kendra : http://www.vivekanandakendra.org
Read n Get Articles, Magazines, Books @ http://prakashan.vivekanandakendra.org

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मुक्तसंग्ङोऽनहंवादी धृत्युत्साहसमन्वित:।
सिद्ध‌‌यसिद्धयोर्निर्विकार: कर्ता सात्त्विक उच्यते ॥१८.२६॥

Freed from attachment, non-egoistic, endowed with courage and enthusiasm and unperturbed by success or failure, the worker is known as a pure (Sattvika) one. Four outstanding and essential qualities of a worker. - Bhagwad Gita : XVIII-26

Tuesday 9 July 2024

Yoga - The Solution To The Youth Problem - 1

Swami Satyananda Saraswati (Bihar School o f Yoga, Monghyr, Bihar)

"Is everything wrong with our young generation ? And is there no way of redemption for today's youth, other than law and social welfare schemes ? One ideal educational syllabus evolved by the ancient Indian culture included a process of 6 auto mental ' education, which was successfully taught to, and practised by, students for centuries. Today, after a lapse of a few hundred years, it is claimed that the content of the ancient life-moulding system, has been rediscovered and will revitalize future generations all over the world. The basis of this much acclaimed ancient system is Yoga."

The Ever-rebellious Young  

YOUNG people today are seeking to break down the barriers of society, to create new means of expression, to improve society and to rectify any injustices which they see around them.

In this respect, they are no different from the young people throughout the history of mankind ; they have always sought to change the existing order, whether in their parent's house, in their village, in their town or in their country. The thing that is different in the present modern age is that, because of the advent of international communication, young people are able to know the ideas of other young people in other countries, share ideas and widely publicise new means of expression, or decry, injustices internationally. It is a natural process in nature, for young people to 6 rebel ' against tradition, for without it man would not evolve. By not accepting tradition, young people are only trying to find their place in life, where they can be happy ; a place that is in accordance with their individual nature, and not in opposition to their nature.

Yoga Popular among World Youth

Today a strange thing is happening. Whilst young people have rejected most old ideas, even ideas that were popular only ten years ago, they have flocked in large numbers to the ancient tradition of yoga. The number of people who practise yoga is increasing in all age groups, but young people in particular are attracted to yoga like insects to a lamp. Why is this ? Why have young people throughout the whole world started to adopt yoga as their way of life ? Older people should consider this phenomenon carefully, for every major change that has occurred in the history of mankind, has occurred through youthful dissatisfaction that has continued into adult life where the individual, or individuals, have effected change. So it seems more than a probability, that the interest people show in yoga, will in future infiltrate the whole of society.

In Defence of Modern Youth

It is a common cry among the older generation that young people have too much freedom and use their time pursuing useless things. They show a great interest in all kinds of music which is incomprehensible or even nauseating to older people. They wear strange clothes which seem most strange to their elders. They indulge in drugs which older people object to and condemn. The fact that their critics consume large amounts of alcohol is conveniently forgotten. And so on. Actually it can be said in all sincerity, whether these criticisms are valid or not, that the young people of today are the most ' truth oriented ' group of people that have ever existed. Whatever young people do, good or bad in their fathers' and mothers' eyes, it is in an endeavour, either consciously, or unconsciously, to find or experience the truth. Young people today have, as no other generation have dared to do, removed and discarded taboos, traditions, social restrictions and hypocrisies on an unprecedented scale. The circumstances in the world make it possible. Modern technology and widespread education have given the young people more facilities and the chance to do 6 their thing '. The fact that young people are experimenting with so many different things is actually a positive contribution to mankind and the evolution of mankind. Older people should watch them and learn from them.

Yoga : A Technique for Search of Truth

It is in the search for truth that young people have universally adopted yoga. They have discovered that yoga does not ask them to accept dogmas or stereotyped ideas. It merely suggests techniques and then tells people to find out things for themselves. Yoga gives them a way of life that transcends national boundaries, something that people throughout history and large numbers of people today cannot understand. If I am an Indian, then I must love India more than any other country.

If I am English, then England must be the greatest country and so on. Of course most people never question the sense in this kind of thinking. The young person of today, however, is too wise ; he knows this is not the truth and is just blind dogma and the cause of the futile wars throughout the ages. Yoga has

started to flourish again after thousands of years of sleep, and is flourishing because the wisdom of present day young people demands it. If yoga in any way preached dogma, untruths or anti-fellow-man slogans, young people would not even try it, let alone adopt it as they have.

If it said, this is the only way to live your life and that other systems are completely wrong, young people would not have been attracted to it.

(..To Be Continue)

Yuva Bharati - Sept - 1973
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कथा : विवेकानन्द केन्द्र { Katha : Vivekananda Kendra }
Vivekananda Rock Memorial & Vivekananda Kendra : http://www.vivekanandakendra.org
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Let's work on "Swamiji's Vision - Eknathji's Mission"

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मुक्तसंग्ङोऽनहंवादी धृत्युत्साहसमन्वित:।
सिद्ध‌‌यसिद्धयोर्निर्विकार: कर्ता सात्त्विक उच्यते ॥१८.२६॥

Freed from attachment, non-egoistic, endowed with courage and enthusiasm and unperturbed by success or failure, the worker is known as a pure (Sattvika) one. Four outstanding and essential qualities of a worker. - Bhagwad Gita : XVIII-26

Monday 8 July 2024

Yogopanishads – Darshana Upanishad

Transcription of the lecture given by Mananeeya Sri Hanumantaraoji, All India Vice President of VRM & VK

Darshanopanishad (Darśanopaniṣad) - Darshana Upanishad. Darshana Upanishad is one of the important Upanishads which contains various practices and suggestions, techniques, methods for the beginners and also to the advanced practitioners of the yoga. Darshan Upanishad is almost similar to Maharshi Patanjali's Ashtanga Yoga, with various variations. Darshan Upanishad is from the Sama Veda. There are 10 Khandas, or for our convenience, we can say 10 chapters. In these 10 Khandas there are 224 mantras. Darshan Upanishad is a beautiful, wonderful description and discussion between the Guru and the Sishya. The Guru is Dattatreya and the Sishya is Sankriti. So Dattatreya Maharshi and his disciple Sankriti, their discussion is the exposition we find in Darshan Upanishad.

 

The 10 Khandas are: the first one is the Yama, which contains 10 Yamas. Second Khanda is a discussion on 10 Niyamas. Third Khanda is an elaboration and discussion of the 9 Asanas. Then the fourth Khanda is the Deha Pramanam, a discussion on the human body. The fifth one, the fifth Khanda, Pancham Khanda, is exclusively on the Nadi Shodhanam and the Mudras associated with, especially the Shanmukhi Mudra. The sixth Khanda is on the practice of Pranayama. The seventh one is on the Pratyahara, and the seventh, the Saptam Khanda, is on the Pratyahara Lakshanam and the Pratyahara Phalam. The Ashtam Khanda, is on the Dharana. A beautiful description is given on the external Panchabhuta Dharana and on oneself, Atma Dharana. The ninth one is on the Savishesha and Nirvishesha Brahma Dhyanam. So the eighth Khanda is on the Dharanam. The ninth Khanda is on the Dhyanam. And the last one is on the Samadhi. And this is how the ten Khandas, the ten chapters, ten divisions of the Darshana Upanishad, elaborates in detail the subtle practices involved in the Yoga for a person for the higher achievements, for quietening of the mind. The ten Niyamas and the ten Yamas, the nine Asanas, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, all are very practical suggestions, techniques.

 

The first Khanda is on the ten Yamas. And the ten Yamas are beautifully described as Ahimsa, Satya, Asteyam, Brahmacharya, Daya, Arjavam, Kshama, Dhruti, Mitaharaha, and Saucham. Talking about these ten Yamas, we find this commonality in the commonly known Yama of Maharshi Patanjali. But here the difference is few additions were given in this. And the discussions are very wonderful. When talking about Ahimsa, the Dattatreya Maharshi beautifully says,

vedoktena prakāreṇa vinā satyaṃ tapodhana।

kāyena manasā vācā hiṃsā'hiṃsā na cānyathā।।

 

ātmā sarvagato'cchedyo na grāhya iti me matiḥ।

sa cāhiṃsā varā proktā mune vedāntavedibhiḥ।।

 

It means, "vedoktena prakāreṇa vinā satyaṃ tapodhana। kāyena manasā vācā hiṃsā'hiṃsā na cānyathā।।" is to be avoided. Unnecessary involvement in violence, avoidable violence should be avoided.' When we say avoidable violence, is there unavoidable violence? Unavoidable violence? Then we have to understand the depth of the entire thing. The entire Srushti Krama, from the Vyashti, Samashti to the Parameshti, from individual to the entire creation, the Jiva Chakra, the life cycle, the time cycle involves some sort of dependence of life on others, on other lives. So there is always this dependence, interdependence, interrelatedness continues. To maintain this natural Dharmic cycle, Dharmachakra, what is happening, elimination, deletion of the lives is a natural sequence. But for self-aggrandizement, for selfishness, for selfish desires to be fulfilled, if violence is created, then it is Himsa. That is how beautifully the Upanishad goes. In the Mahabharata, there is an elaborate discussion between Himsa and Ahimsa. This suffices to understand: the activity done for the protection of Dharma, an activity done with nisvarthata (unselfishness) and selflessness, without any ragas, dveshas— that activity, if it inflicts hurt and violence on other living beings, it is considered as not violence.

 

Similarly, Satyam—

sarvaṃ satyaṃ paraṃ brahma na cānyaditi yā matiḥ।

tacca satyaṃ varaṃ proktaṃ vedāntajñānapāragaiḥ।।

 

About the Satyam. Similarly, Asteyam. Brahmacharyam was beautifully described.

It says,

kāyena vācā manasā strīṇāṃ parivivarjanam।

ṛtau bhāryāṃ tadā svasya brahmacaryaṃ taducyate।।

brahmabhāve manaścāraṃ brahmacaryaṃ parantapa।।

 

A complete abstinence from contact with women by means of the body, word of mouth, and the mind, as also with one's own wife, immediately after the desires, pouncing desires, uncontrollable sensual engagements are to be avoided. That is celibacy. Practice of celibacy. Then what is Brahmacharya? Beautifully, the Darshana Upanishad defines it as a staunch application of the mind to the state of becoming Brahman. "brahmabhāve manaścāraṃ brahmacaryaṃ parantapa।।" A complete penance, applying the mind for the Brahmabhavanam. That is Brahmacharya. A normal, common understanding of not getting married, living alone. That is not a definition of Brahmacharya. Brahmacharya is brahmabhāve manaścāraṃ brahmacaryaṃ parantapa।।. Engaging the mind in the Brahmi sthiti. And for the practice of Brahmacharya, what are to be done? We have seen in the earlier sentences.

 

Then talks about Daya as a part of Yama. Then Arjavam, then Kshama, Dhrutihi. Then Mitahara is beautifully described.

 

alpamṛṣṭāśanābhyāṃ ca caturthāṃśāvaśeṣakam।

tasmādyogānuguṇyena bhojanaṃ mitabhojanam।।

 

What is Mitahara, Mita Bhojanam? 'Mitah' itself suggests a limit. 'Mitah' means a measurement, a limit. And what is the limit? 'caturthāṃśāvaśeṣakam' It means the fourth, one-fourth is left off. That doesn't mean three-fourth should be eaten. Half is to be eaten, moderately and pure food. Then half of the half is for water. And the quarter is left out. A moderate and pure food is eaten. And this is Mitahara.

 

Then Shaucham is beautifully described. Cleanliness is also part of Yama. And of course, the ten Niyamas of the Dhriti Khanda contain another important dimension. The ten important Niyamas are Tapah, Santoshah, Astikyam, Danam, Ishvara Pujanam, Siddhanta Shravanam, Hrihi, Matihi, Japah. These are the ten parts of the Niyamas as prescribed in the Darshanopanishad.

 

Darshanopanishad goes in detail: what are the practices? How these are to be practiced? Tapah means what?

śarīraśoṣaṇaṃ yattattapa ityucyate budhaiḥ।।

ko vā mokṣaḥ kathaṃ tena saṃsāraṃ pratipannavān।

 

Emaciating the body, putting the physical body to a strain, making an effort to enhance the capacity, forbearance of the body. And that is how Tapah has been beautifully described. Ability of the body to withstand toughness, to bring that ability, to increase that ability. Capacity of the body to withstand the external changes, atmospheric changes. Ability to maintain natural common balance of the body. All the steps taken for that, is Tapah.

 

Then beautifully, the description of Santoshah comes. Astikyam is a beautiful word used as a part of the Niyama. Then Danam, Ishvara Pujanam are there. Then Siddhanta Shravanam. How wonderful it is! As a part of the Niyama, listening, hearing the Siddhanta, means texts which propose conclusions, texts which enhance faith, texts which guide one's practices towards the higher lives. That Siddhanta Shravanam, of course, the Darshan of Upanishad prescribes it.

 

"pratyagityavagantavyaṃ vedāntaśravaṇaṃ budhāḥ" it calls. Vedanta Shravanam is the Siddhanta Shravanam and that is part of the Niyama. Then Hrihi. Hrihi is modesty. Modesty, a very important quality and character. And then Matihi is another beautiful quality, character as a part of the Niyama of the Darshan of Upanishad. And what is Matihi? "guruṇā copadiṣṭo'pi tatra saṃbandhavarjitaḥ" Means all the connections are to be cut which will be disturbing the mind, all the attractions, attachments, and connections which are responsible for the distractions of the mind to maintain its stability. And the Darshan of Upanishad says, even if the Guru instructs, one should not follow that, if it is detrimental to one's stability of the mind. Then the Japaha is the last part of the Niyama.

 

Then the Tritiya Khanda talks about the Asanas, the nine Asanas: Swastikasana, Gomukhasana, Padmasana, Virasana, Simhasana, Bhadrasana, Muktasana, Mayurasana, Sukhasana. These are the nine important Asanas, and the Darshan of Upanishad describes them in a simple dimension, how to practice. At the end of the Tritiya Khanda, what is the benefit of the practice of the Asana? Asana jaya phalam. Very important suggestion it is, very important conclusion of the Darshan of Upanishad is:

 

āsanaṃ vijitaṃ yena jitaṃ tena jagattrayam।

anena vidhinā yuktaḥ prāṇāyāmaṃ sadā kuru।।

 

One can master the world, and after that, one can master the Pranayama. For a person to master the practices of Pranayama, one has to be a master of the Asanas. It is not that one has to be the Asana of masters. Practice of Asanas contributes and helps in gaining mastery in the practice of Pranayama. This is what the Asana Phalam.

 

Then the Chaturtha Khanda talks about the Deha Pramanam: characteristics of the body, contents of the body, the structure of the body, the dimensions of the body. Beautifully it talks. And the seat, the positions of the nadis, the seat and positions of the various chakras, the position and prescriptions, activities, effects of the various pranas—the Pancha Pranas, the Pancha Upa Pranas. Then what are their activities? All these are beautifully described in the Deha Pramanam. And it describes beautifully the names of the 15 important nadis: Ida Nadi, Pingala Nadi, Sushumna Nadi, Saraswati Nadi, Kuhu, Gandhara, Hastajivha, Pusha, Yashaswini, Vishodara, Varuna, Shankhini, Alambusa, and Payaswini. Then it says about Ida Nadi is the cooling and effect of the Chandra. Pingala Nadi is the effect of the Surya.

 

Then the Darshanopanishad wonderfully describes the tithis, the ayanas, the varas, the tirthas are all part in the body, part and parcel of the body, concluding that our own physical body is full of divine qualities. Our own physical body is the punya kshetra, punya tirtha, punya tithi. This is how wonderfully the Upanishad describes.

 

Then we come to the fifth Khanda, that is the Pancham Khanda, which talks about the Nadi Shodhanam, purification of the nadis—the Ida Nadi purification, Pingala Nadi purification, and how the inhalation and exhalation are to be done. It should be very clear that the Upanishad prescribes slow, balanced, harmonious, synchronized breathing. The flow of the breath in these nadis and nostrils has to be slow, deep, harmonious, and synchronized. The time of inhalation and exhalation has to be longer and longer, deeper and deeper, slower and slower.

 

What method we adopt to it, that is the pranayama method. And by the practice of the Nadi Shuddhi, what happens? The symptoms of the correct practice of Nadi Shuddhi, the Upanishad beautifully describes: lightness of the body, glowing of the jatharagni, good digestion, then a clear expression of the sound, the nada, and there is a feeling of light and effortlessness. And we should always remember, a correct, right practice of pranayama eliminates digestive inconveniences, digestive disorders. Then the highest benefit of the Nadi Shuddhi Lakshanam is Atma Shuddhi, self-purification.

 

ajñānānmalino bhāti jñānacchuddho bhavatyayam।

ajñānamalapaṅkaṃ yaḥ kṣālayejjñānato yataḥ।

 

Atma Shuddhi means what? "ajñānamalapaṅka:" - beautiful word it is. Pankaha is mud, slush, dirty slush of ajnanaha. And the Upanishad defines what is ajnanaha. Ajnanaha is taking this body as our real self. Not knowing our real self and taking it wrongly that the body is the real self. This is the ajnanaha. And this ajnanaha is the mala pankaha. It is a dirty slush. And that is removed, purified by the practice of Nadi Shuddhi. We should understand the highest benefit of the Nadi Shuddhi is the removal of ajnanaha.

 

And the sixth one is the Shashtakhandaha, which is about the Pranayama. Beautifully, the Darshanopanishad explains wonderfully the Pranayama vidhi, Pranayama siddhi, Pranayama lakshanam. And it says roga nivartaka Pranayama—means it removes the rogas, imbalances are removed, balance is restored. Shanmukhi mudra practice is a beautiful explanation in this sixth Khanda. And practicing Pranayama with Shanmukhi mudra is an important practice it gives. And if one masters this Pranayama,

prasvedaḥ prathamaḥ paścātkampanaṃ munipuṅgava।।

utthānaṃ ca śarīrasya cihnametajjite'nale।

 

The lightness of the body is so light that there is a feeling of weightless. It is not just a feeling of the weightless. The body becomes so light it can float. This is how the benefit of the practice of Pranayama in the Shashtakhanda it comes. Then the practice of Pranayama also enhances one's mastery over the raga and dveshas.

 

Then the seventh Khanda is on the practice of Pratyahara. As we all are aware, Pratyahara is the mastery over our senses—the Pancha Jnanendriyas and the Pancha Karmendriyas. The pressure, the push, the pull, and the force of the senses are brought under control, are brought under restraint. And maintaining the stability and the restraining state of the mind, not allowing the senses to be free as unbridled horses, bridling the horses of the senses is Pratyahara.

 

And then the eighth Khanda is on the Dharana. And this Dharana is on the Pancha Bhutas—external. A Dharana on the murti, a Dharana on the form, a Dharana on an object having a name and shape. Every object has a shape and every object has a name. There cannot be any object without shape and name. Nama rupa rahita vastu is not possible. When there is Nama, there will be Rupa. When there is Rupa, there will be Nama. When there is a Nama and Rupa, there is an object. So this object, name and form. And this name, form and object, subjected with the Pancha Bhutas (Pritvi, Apas, Teja, Vayu, Akasha). Prithvi - varieties of object's names and forms. Apaha (water) -  varieties of object's names and forms. So, this object's name and form applied to all the five, its various combinations and concentration on that is the Pancha-Bhuta Dharana it is. And finally, the Darshanopanishad says from the external Pancha Bhuta Dharana, perform Dharana on one self, an internal Dharana.

 

Then the Navama khanda, the ninth khanda is Savishesha Brahma and Nirvishesha Brahmaha. And what is Dhyana phalam? The result of the Dhyana is:

 

evamabhyāsayuktasya puruṣasya mahātmanaḥ।

kramādvedāntavijñānaṃ vijāyeta na saṃśayaḥ।।

 

One gains the knowledge of the Vedanta and gradually he gets liberated. Nasamshayaha - no doubt about it. This is how the Navama Khanda of the Darshana Upanishad.

 

Then the last one is on the Samadhihi. And finally the Upanishad has an Upasamhara, it sums up completely, summed up by the Maharshi Dattatreya gives to the Sankriti the disciple that at the end of all these, one attains the Atman, 'Atma Tattva Nirupanam' it is. "dattātreyo mahāmuniḥ sāṃkṛtiḥ svasvarūpeṇa sukhamāste'tinirbhayaḥ" - one gets established in Sukham and Nirbhayam. Svasvarupena - that is the highest dimension of the Darshanopanishad, describing all the various practices in the entire Yoga practices and Darshanopanishad is the most practical and practice oriented Upanishad of all the twenty Yogopanishads. Let us conclude here. Aum Shanti Shanti

Listen at : https://youtu.be/R2sdrLub27s?si=m2elYvevMtYW1L2p

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कथा : विवेकानन्द केन्द्र { Katha : Vivekananda Kendra }
Vivekananda Rock Memorial & Vivekananda Kendra : http://www.vivekanandakendra.org
Read n Get Articles, Magazines, Books @ http://prakashan.vivekanandakendra.org

Let's work on "Swamiji's Vision - Eknathji's Mission"

Follow Vivekananda Kendra on   blog   twitter   g+   facebook   rss   delicious   youtube   Donate Online

मुक्तसंग्ङोऽनहंवादी धृत्युत्साहसमन्वित:।
सिद्ध‌‌यसिद्धयोर्निर्विकार: कर्ता सात्त्विक उच्यते ॥१८.२६॥

Freed from attachment, non-egoistic, endowed with courage and enthusiasm and unperturbed by success or failure, the worker is known as a pure (Sattvika) one. Four outstanding and essential qualities of a worker. - Bhagwad Gita : XVIII-26