Thursday, April 30, 2015

1 May

The Glory of God
God has no purpose. God is not bound by any action, just as the sun is not bound by the activities of the people of this world. God acts out of compassion for the individual soul. His sole purpose is to see that His creatures evolve spiritually.
God is the lover and the beloved at the same time. Justice, love, and goodness are expressions in the divine will.
In the word 'Bhagavan' - 'bhaga' signifies the six qualities of God. These are: jnana (wisdom), vairagyam (dispassion), kirti (fame), sri (prosperity or wealth, divine aishvarya), shakti or bala (omnipotence), and dharma (righteousness).
According to the Prashnopanishad, there are fifteen kalas or rays of God. These are: prana (life), faith, sky, air, fire, water, earth, senses, mind, food, strength, penance, mantra (mystic formula), karma (action) and name.
God has hands and feet everywhere. He has heads and eyes, mouths and ears everywhere. He is immanent in the world - possessing the vast whole. God breathed into man the breath of life and man became a living soul.
Pleasure is due to virtuous actions and pain is due to vicious actions. Virtue and vice constitute adrshta (unseen potency). The various experiences of man are due to this adrshta. But adrshta is a blind force - it needs an intelligent director to guide it. And that intelligent director is God.
God is the verity of all verities. There is a moral and spiritual order through which is fulfilled the will of the Lord in the world. God has created not only the world, He has also created time along with it. God's knowledge is eternal, complete and perfect.
Who can know the will of God? He who knows God, he alone can know His will. God and His will are one. The Lord is the supreme healer - He is the divine indweller in all medicines.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

30 April

The Nature of God
God is self-luminous and self-existent. God is eternal, perfect, pure, free and all-pervading. God is beginningless and endless. God is without pain, sorrow, fear, passion, caste, creed, sex and colour.
God is the indweller of your heart, God is the controller and governor of this world, body and mind. God is the centre of the whole of creation. He is the first causeless cause.
That supreme source of life is God. The Lord has become all. He permeates all. He is all in all. God is the way, the source, the goal, the truth and the life. God is with form and without form - like ice and steam.
God is your sole refuge, benefactor and master. God reveals himself to you in the form in which you love Him most. God cannot be comprehended but can be realised.
God sees without eyes, hears without ears, works without hands and tastes without tongue. God is unknowable through intellect but is knowable through intuition. The law and the law-giver are one - the eternal law is God himself.
God is near and far. He is nearer to the pure and sincere, but farthest to the passionate. God witnesses all your thoughts and actions. God is your unseen guest at every meal. God is the head of your house. The reality of God is his universal existence (sat).
God is not responsible for the wealth of a man or for the poverty of another. Everyone bears the fruits of his karmas. God is the greatest doctor, the greatest engineer. He is the greatest mathematician.
God is the enjoyer and He is the object enjoyed. God is the high and He is the low. He is the knower and He is the known. God is the word spoken and He is the breath which speaks it.
God is the manifest and He is the unmanifest. God is the breath of all breath, the prana (life) of all pranas, the Self of all selves.
He is the one ultimate truth, unborn, undying, everlasting, ever-existent, subtle and devoid of pain and sorrow.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

29 April

God is All in All
There is one God. He is above all, in all, through all. He is all in all. In God all are united. God is the essential power and reality in all things. God is one, God is the all-pervading spirit and life of the universe.
God is the inner soul of all alike. In every form behold the blessed Lord himself. That is my yoga. Cows are of diverse colours but all milk is alike. The kinds of flowers vary, yet all worship is one. There is but one God - the creator, the governor of the world, almighty, eternal, incomprehensible. God is almighty - he governs every action in the universe. Not even an electron can move without his will.
God is always just. God is truth. God is love. God is absolute good, know that everything is vanity except God. God can be attained by truthful behaviour, by leading a highly moral life and by the acquisition of knowledge. God's way is mercy. God’s name is love. God's first manifestation was sound.
In the eternity of God is real life. In truth God is eternal light. In the goodness of God is eternal bliss, peace and joy. God is near at hand to help you in your difficulties.
Difficult it is to get a human birth. Difficult it is to get a guru (spiritual preceptor). Difficult it is to attain God-realisation. But, through the grace of God, you can overcome all difficulties.
You have the urge of hunger and there is food to appease that hunger. You have the urge of thirst and there is water to quench that thirst. There is the urge to be always happy and there must be something to satisfy that urge. This 'something' is God.
Appeal. Knock. You will be heard. The door shall be opened unto you. Do not seek him far and wide - He is in your own heart - He has his dwelling there.
God is the great deliverer. Surely, He is near at hand to help you in your difficulties. God is the bread of life eternal. This bread is more than anything else. It is more abundant life.
God is the embodiment of happiness. Realise God and you will enjoy eternal happiness.

Monday, April 27, 2015

28 April

Philosophy of Bhakti 
Bhakti or devotion is indispensable for attaining jnana. Jnana is the condition necessary for bhakti to reach its fullest development in love. Knowledge without devotion is as futile as devotion without knowledge.
Love follows from the basic oneness of all beings. God is being. World is becoming. The creation of the world does not in any way affect the integrity of God. The world does not stand apart from God, but is pervaded by him.
Bhakti is not mere emotionalism but is the turning of the will as well as the intellect towards the divine. The ideal devotee is a karma yogi as well as a jnana yogi. Bhakti originates in knowledge, is essentially of the nature of love, and bursts forth in selfless action.
True love gives the highest wisdom. Diffused love is wisdom. Concentrated wisdom is love. True wisdom vibrates in the hearer. Bhakti begins with emotional dualism and culminates in monism. Lover and the loved, the devotee and the object of devotion, are fused into one spiritual ecstasy.
All creation is the family of God. This world is sustained by the power of God. The deepest urge of life is to know God and to live in God. God's will is the very law which governs the universe. All beings are guided and controlled by the divine will.
Life on this physical plane is a mere preparation for the eternal life in God. Though the Lord resides in all creatures and things, there is a difference in the degree of His manifestation in them. In human beings the Lord is more manifest than in others. And, among human beings, He is more or less manifest according to the degree of knowledge or consciousness that is realised.
He who follows the path of meditation knows his Self as divine and one with God. Any man or woman has equal right to follow the path of devotion. The greatest sinner can practise devotion and attain God-realisation. Though unborn, God takes birth as an avatara (incarnation) to destroy the wicked, to protect virtue and to establish dharma (righteousness).

Sunday, April 26, 2015

27 April

What is Devotion?
Make use of this precious human birth for the achievement of this supreme purpose - God-realisation. Pray to the Lord to make you desireless. But have one strong desire and let it be for attaining Self-realisation. Through a life of devotion, service, purification, charity, sadhana (spiritual practice) and meditation attain the highest Self-realisation and dwell in the supreme peace and bliss (paramananda).
Devotion is supreme love of the Lord, supreme attachment to the Lord. The notion of God means an absolutely perfect being, who has all the possible attributes, including the attribute of existence; so God must exist. The existence of God cannot be proved by rational arguments. It is purely a question of faith and refers to the intuitive side of man.
The deepest craving, the deepest aspiration in man is for eternal happiness, eternal knowledge and eternal truth. Man should search for some supernatural entity which can satisfy his deepest aspirations.
As we explain everything within nature by the law of cause and effect, so also the nature as a whole must be explained. It must have some cause. This cause must be different from the effect. It must be some supernatural entity, i.e. God. Nature is not a mere chance collection of events, a mere jumble of accidents, but an orderly affair. The planets move regularly in their orbits, seeds grow into trees regularly. Seasons succeed each other in order. Now, nature cannot order itself. It requires the existence of an intelligent being, i.e. God, who is responsible for it.
Everything in nature has some purpose. It fulfils some function or other. Certainly every object by itself cannot choose a function for itself. Their different functions ought to have been planned or designed by a single intelligent being or God. You cannot explore or probe into the lila (sportive play) of God. You must accept it with faith and reverence.
What is the nature of God? God is love and love is God. God is the source for this world, body, mind, prana and senses. God gives light to the mind, sun, moon and stars. God is your only redeemer, refuge. God is your real father, mother, guru, friend and relative.
God is the only reality. God is the dispenser of fruits of actions. God is the designer and architect of the universe. God is immanent and transcendent. God is unchanging, undecaying and imperishable. God is the supreme goal, beauty, truth.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

26 April

Song of Chidanand

Chidanand Chidanand Chidananda Hum
Har Halme Almast Satchidananda Hum
Ajardnand Amardnand Acalananda Hum
Har Halme Almast Satchidananda Hum
                                           Antarai (chorus or again)
Nirbhaya aur Nischinta Chidghanananda Hum
Kaivalya Kevala Kutastha Ananda Hum
Nitya Shuddha Siddhi Satchidananda Hum
Knowledge Bliss, Knowledge Bliss, Bliss Absolute,
In all conditions I am Knowledge, Bliss Absolute.
I am without old age, without death, without motion
In all conditions, I am Knowledge Bliss Absolute.
                                          Antarai (chorus or again)
I am without fear without worry, Bliss Absolute 
     Existence Absolute 
     Knowledge Absolute
Independent, unchanging, non-dual Atma 
     Immortal Atma 
     Advaita Atma 
Eternal, pure, perfect Knowledge, Bliss Absolute
Sivananda Sivanand Sivananda Hum
Aghadbhumwala Aghadbhumwala Akhilananda Hum
Chidananda Chidanand Chidanand Hum
Har Halme Almast Satchidananda Hum
Nijanand Nijanand Nijananda Hum
Har Halme Almast Satchidananda Hum.

Raja Yoga, Message 21

The section ‘Kinds of Meditation’ now resumes.

Without undergoing a course of concrete meditation in the beginning, especially for the ordinary type of person, it is absolutely impossible to start abstract meditation at the very outset. The vast majority of aspirants commit a serious mistake in jumping to abstract meditation all at once. They will only have a downfall. The mind is so formed that it demands a form to cling to. Meditation on a form, i.e. a stone-image or a picture, should be practised. The stone-image remains the stone which it is, but the devotion of the devotee goes to the Lord. He is pleased. Divine grace will surely descend. You will have to superimpose the attributes of God on the stone-image. You will have to imagine that there is the Antaratma (inner Soul) hidden in the image, that there is the all-pervading, indwelling presence or the pure consciousness at the back of it.  

A child makes a toy-child (doll) of rags, and plays with it with motherly instincts of nursing and protection. The doll remains the same, but the child develops the motherly instincts for future development and manifestation. Even so, in worshipping an image a devotee develops devotion, bhakti, grace, love, feeling of separation and ecstasy, and eventually supreme love and devotion.  

When you meditate with open eyes on the concrete figure of Lord Krishna it is a concrete form of meditation. When you reflect over the image of Lord Krishna by closing your eyes, it is also a concrete form of meditation, but it is more abstract. When you meditate on the infinite abstract light, it is still more abstract meditation. The former two types belong to saguna form of meditation, the latter to nirguna form. Even in nirguna meditation there is a concrete form in the beginning for fixing the mind. Later on this form vanishes and the meditator and the meditated become one.  

When you repeat: 'Om Namo Narayanaya' mentally or verbally it is mere japa. When you repeat the mantra and at the same time you meditate on the form of Lord Hari with conch, discus, mace, lotus, yellow silken cloth, armlets, bracelets, etc., it is called japa sahita dhyana.  When you progress in meditation the japa will drop by itself and you will have pure meditation only. This will constitute japa rahita dhyana.  

By worship and meditation or japa of mantras the mind is actually shaped into the form of the object of worship, and is made pure for the time being through the purity of the object (namely, the chosen deity). By continual practice the mind becomes full of the object to the exclusion of all else, it becomes steady in its purity and does not wander into impurity. So long as the mind exists it must have an object, and the object of sadhana is to present it with a pure one.  

The sound of a mantra repeatedly and harmoniously uttered in japa must create or project into perception the corresponding thing, the deity. The mantras gather creative momentum by repetition through the force of latent impressions.  

When one is established in meditation and attains the stage of supreme devotion he sees his chosen deity only, everywhere. The names and forms vanish. A devotee of Lord Krishna sees Lord Krishna only everywhere and experiences the state described in the Bhagavad Gita: "Everything is Vasudeva (Krishna) only". A jnani or a vedantin sees his own Self or Atman everywhere. The world of names and forms vanishes from his view. He experiences the utterances of the seers of the Upanishads: "All indeed is Brahman".  

When you read a book with absorbing interest and attention your mind gets fixed to the ideas. Even so, in formless meditation on God the mind is fixed on one idea, that of the Atman.  

If the readers of works dealing with Atma-jnana take delight therein and are not hasty in longing for the fruits at once, but meditate regularly and gradually upon them, then the mind will by degrees be ripened, and in the end the endless Atman will be reached.  

Light of Lights  

The Light of lights, which transcends darkness, which transcends inertia, which is attainable through knowledge, is seated in your heart. Nowhere will you find this idea in Western philosophical books. If you study Western philosophical books (say, ten or fifteen volumes) at the end you may find yourself to be an agnostic. That is the difference between the teachings of the Eastern sages and the writings of Western philosophers. It is only a realised sage like Lord Krishna who can give the essence of human existence and of all the scriptures in one sentence: "Brahman is the Light of lights, seated in the hearts of all." (Bhagavad Gita XV-12 & 15)  

That Light of lights which transcends darkness, which transcends the three gunas, is close to you, closer than the jugular vein, closer than your breath. You will have to obtain this through wisdom and meditation.  

Every sense organ is a light, because through the organs of perception you get knowledge of the world. The ear is a light, the eye is a light. Intellect is a light. Prana is a light. He who gives light to these — this Light of lights — is your own Atman.  

"I am that Siva (Supreme Being) who is the inner light, the outer light, the innermost light in the heart, transcending the highest. Light of all lights, self-effulgent and the light of the Atman.'' If you meditate on this you will attain illumination and be established in the supreme Light of lights.  

"The sun does not shine there, neither the moon nor the stars nor lightning. Through It's light all the objects of this world are illuminated. The senses and mind are illuminated. The mind, intellect and senses borrow their light from the ultimate Source, the fountain Source of everything."  

There is another Upanishadic verse where the method of attaining the Self is given: "By truth, by austerity, by cosmic consciousness and by constant practice of celibacy, you will find the Light of lights, bright and self-effulgent, in your own body. It is attained by those who are free from all defects and all mental modifications. 

Fear is a defect. Sleep is a defect. He who has controlled sleep by meditation on the Atman, who has stopped the vibration of prana, beholds the Light of lights. The world exists because prana vibrates. When there is vibration of prana, there is life. He who has controlled the prana becomes immortal. He who has conquered sleep attains the Light of lights. He rests in his own Atman and enjoys the supreme bliss.  

So let us practise meditation, either saguna (concrete), nirguna (abstract) or meditation on light (jyotir-dhyana) and become one with the supreme Light of lights, free ourselves from the trammels of karma and become jivanmuktas — not in the unknown future, but in this very birth.  

Patanjali suggests various methods for meditation, such as:  

"Meditate on the effulgent one in the lotus of the heart who is beyond sorrow." (I-36)  

"Meditate on the heart that has given up all attachment to sense objects." (I-37)  

"Meditate on the knowledge that comes in sleep." (I-38)  

And, lastly, he has introduced the sutra:  

"Meditate on anything that appeals to you as good." (I-39)  

The following story illustrates that meditation on any subject which the mind likes best is very easy.  

Meditation on a Buffalo  

Krishna Chaitanya, a brahmachari in Omkar Ashram on the banks of the holy river Narmada, went to Ram Acharya and prayed to him to teach him the method of meditation. Ram Acharya said to him: "Oh Krishna Chaitanya, meditate on Lord Krishna having crossed legs and flute in hand, located in the midst of a big sun in the lotus of your heart, and repeat mentally the famous Krishna mantra: 'Om namo bhagavate Vasudevaya'."  

Krishna Chaitanya said: "Guruji, I am quite dull-headed. I cannot do this. This is too difficult for me. The mantra is very very long. Kindly suggest an easy method."  

Ram Acharya said: "Oh Krishna Chaitanya! Do not be afraid. I will tell you an easy way. Hearken. Place a beautiful, small brass idol of Sri Krishna in front of you. Sit in padmasana. Look at this idol, its hands, legs, etc., with attention. Do not look at any other object."  

Krishna Chaitanya replied, "Oh Guruji, this is still more difficult. Sitting with crossed legs will give severe pain in the hips and the knees. If I think of the pain I cannot look at the idol. I have to sit steadily, look with attention and mark carefully the various parts. I cannot do more than one action at a time and I cannot remember more than two things at a time. Oh Guruji Maharaj, kindly show me a very very easy way."  

Ram Acharya said: "Oh Krishna Chaitanya, place the photo of your father in front of you. Sit in front of the photo in any way you like. Simply look at the figure for a short time."  

Krishna Chaitanya replied: "Oh Guruji, my protector, this is also difficult, because I am very much afraid of my father. He is a terrible man. He used to beat me severely. I tremble the very moment I think of his form. This would never suit me. This method is more difficult than the previous ones. I pray, Guruji, kindly suggest a very very simple method this time. I will surely follow."  

Ram Acharya said: "Oh Krishna Chaitanya, tell me now, which thing do you like best?"  

Krishna Chaitanya replied: "Oh Guruji, I have tended a buffalo in my house. I have taken plenty of milk, curd and butter from that buffalo. I like it best of all. I constantly remember it."  

Ram Acharya said: "Krishna Chaitanya, now go to this room, lock the door. Sit in a corner on a mat and constantly think and meditate on this buffalo only, to the exclusion of all other objects. Do not think of anything else. 

Now Krishna Chaitanya was very much pleased. With a gay and cheerful mind he went inside the room, followed the instructions of the guru implicitly and began to meditate on the buffalo intensely, with one-pointed mind. He did not get up from the seat for three days continuously. He forgot all about his food, he was unconscious of his body and surroundings. He was deeply absorbed in the form of the buffalo.  

Ram Acharya came on the third day to the room of Krishna Chaitanya to see his condition, and found him absorbed in meditation. With a loud voice the guru called out: "Oh Krishna Chaitanya, how do you feel? Come outside to take your food."  

Krishna Chaitanya replied: "Oh Guruji, I am very grateful to you. I am in deep meditation now. I cannot come out. I am very big. Horns have grown out of my head. I cannot get out of the small door. I like the buffalo very much. I myself have become a buffalo also."  

Ram Acharya found that Krishna Chaitanya's mind had attained a one-pointed state and was quite fit for attaining samadhi. He said: "Oh Krishna Chaitanya, you are not a buffalo. Now change your meditation. You are not a buffalo. Forget the name and form of the buffalo and meditate on the underlying essence of the buffalo, sat-chid-ananda (existence, knowledge, bliss), which is your real nature."  

Krishna Chaitanya changed his method, adhered to his guru's instructions and attained liberation (kaivalya mukti), the goal of life.  

Meditation on Virat Purusha  

Sit in padma or siddha asana in your meditation room and meditate on the following thoughts for half an hour daily for six months: (This is a gross form of meditation.)  

1. Heaven is His head.

2. Earth is His foot.

3. Quarters are His hands.

4. Sun and moon are His eyes.

5. Fire is His mouth.

6. Righteousness is His back.

7. Grass and herbs are His hairs.

8. Mountains are His bones.

9. Sea is His bladder.

10. Rivers are His arteries and veins. 

The mind will expand now. Afterwards take to meditation on a form of God, such as Rama, Krishna, Siva, Jesus or Buddha. Have this kind of meditation for a year. Then have recourse to formless meditation on Brahman. By the practice of these various methods the mind becomes a fit instrument to take up abstract meditation on an abstract idea.  

Saguna Meditation  

This is meditation on an image. This is the concrete form of meditation for people of devotional temperament (bhakti marga). This is meditation on the attributes of God, where you repeat His name and also think of His attributes like omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, etc. Your mind will be filled with purity. Any favourite picture of your chosen tutelary deity is excellent for concrete meditation. Enthrone Him in the lotus of your heart amidst a blazing light. Mentally think of His various attributes again and again.  

Select any image you like best — either Siva, Vishnu, Rama, Krishna, Jesus or Buddha — according to your inclination or taste; or follow the directions of your guru, who will select the form of God best suited to you. The selected deity will guide you.  

Practise tratak* on the picture for six months. After six months practice of tratak, meditate on the mental picture of a form or image in the space between the two eyebrows, from half to two hours at a time. See and feel that the deity is present in every object in the universe. When you meditate, mentally repeat the mantra of the deity. Think of the attributes of the deity, such as omnipotence, omniscience, etc. Feel that the pure qualities from the deity flow towards you. Feel that you possess this pure attitude. You will have the vision of your deity in one or two years if you are sincere in your practice.  

* See Volume II: Health and Hatha Yoga  

An archer first aims at grosser, bigger objects. Then he takes up medium sized objects. Finally, he shoots at finer and subtler objects. Even so, one should take to saguna meditation to start with, and when the mind is trained and disciplined well he can have abstract formless meditation. Devotional meditation on a form removes restlessness of mind.  

Simple Saguna Exercises  

1. Place a picture of Lord Jesus in front of you. Sit in your favourite meditative pose. Concentrate gently with open eyes on the picture till tears trickle down your cheeks. Rotate the mind on the cross, the chest, the long hair, beautiful beard, round eyes and the various other limbs of His body, the fine spiritual aura emanating from His head, and so on. Think of His divine attributes, the various phases of His interesting life, the miracles He performed and the various 'extraordinary' powers He possessed. Then close the eyes and try to visualise the picture. Repeat the same process again and again.  

2. Place a picture of Lord Hari in front of you. Sit in your meditative posture. Concentrate gently on the picture till you shed tears. Rotate the mind on His feet, legs, yellow silken robes, golden garland set with diamonds, etc. on the chest, the ear-rings, then the face, the crown of the head, the disc on the right upper hand, the conch on the left upper hand, the mace on the right lower hand and the lotus flower on the left lower hand. Then close the eyes and try to visualise the picture. Repeat the same process-again and again.  

3. Keep a picture of Lord Krishna with flute in hands. Sit in your meditative pose and gently concentrate on the picture till you shed tears. Think of His feet adorned with anklets, yellow garment, various ornaments round His neck, the necklace set with the kaustubha gem, the long garland of beautiful flowers of various colours, ear-rings, crown set with precious jewels of priceless value, dark and long hair, sparkling eyes, the sacred mark on the forehead, the magnetic aura round His head, long hands adorned with bracelets and armlets, and the flute in the hands ready to be played upon. Then close your eyes and visualise the picture. Repeat the same process again and again.  

4. Take the picture of Lord Vishnu with four hands and meditate as follows: see with the mind His feet first, then legs, then His yellow silken cloth, then His golden ornament set with diamonds, kaustubha gem, etc., on His breast, then the ear-ring, then the face, then the crown of the head, the discus on the right upper hand, the conch on the upper left hand, the mace on the lower right hand, the lotus flower on the left lower hand. This is the order. Then come down to the feet and start again to the upper parts. By this method the mind will not run towards objects.  

5. This is one kind of meditation for beginners: Sit in padmasana in your meditation room. Close your eyes. Meditate on the effulgence in the sun, the splendour in the moon or the glory in the stars.  

6. Meditate on the magnanimity of the ocean and its infinite nature. Then compare the ocean to the infinite Brahman, and the waves, foam and icebergs to the various names and forms. Identify yourself with the ocean. Become silent. Expand, expand.  

7. Meditate on the Himalayas. Imagine how the Ganges takes its origin in the icy regions of Gangotri near Uttarkashi, flows through Rishikesh, Hardwar and Benares and then enters into the Bay of Bengal near Gangasagar. Himalayas, Ganges and the sea — these three thoughts only should occupy your mind. First take your mind to the icy regions of Gangotri, then along the Ganges and finally to the sea. Rotate the mind in this manner for 10 minutes.  

8. Imagine that there is a fine garden with lovely flowers. In one corner there are jasmine flowers, in another corner there are beautiful cabbage roses, in the third corner there is the 'queen of the night' and in the fourth corner there are champaka flowers. First meditate on the jasmine. Then take the mind to the rose, then to the 'queen of the night' and finally to the champaka. Again rotate the mind as above. Do this again and again for 15 minutes.  

These preliminary practices will make the mind more and more subtle and render it fit to take up nirguna (formless) meditation.  

Meditation on a Rose  

Sit in padma, siddha or sukha asana in a room set apart only for meditation, and meditate on the colour, form and the various parts of a rose, such as the petals, stalk, pollen, etc.; on the various kinds of roses, such as a white rose, yellow rose, red rose, cabbage rose; on the various preparations, such as rose water, rose syrup, attar of roses and essence of rose confections; think of the diverse uses of rose, such as rose water for cleaning the eyes in ophthalmia, gulkand as a laxative in constipation, the flowers and garlands for worship of God, for wearing etc; think of the various virtuous properties such as its cooling effect on the system, its carminative properties; the price of rose and garlands of roses; the places where they are found in abundance and various other items connected with the rose. You must exclude any other foreign thought associated with other objects. By this concrete method the mind becomes fit for abstract meditation. Practise for half an hour daily in the morning at 5 a.m. for a month.  

Meditation on Twelve Virtues  

Meditate on these twelve virtues for ten minutes daily:  

Humility, in January

Frankness, in February

Courage, in March

Patience, in April

Mercy, in May

Magnanimity, in June

Sincerity, in July

Pure love, in August

Generosity, in September

Forgiveness, in October

Balanced state of mind, in November

Contentment, in December  

Meditate on purity, perseverance, diligence and cheerfulness also. Imagine that you are in the actual possession of these virtues. Say to yourself: "I am patient. I will not get irritated from today. I will manifest this virtue in my daily life. I am improving." Think of the advantages of possessing the virtue of patience and the disadvantages of irritability, for instance.  

The spiritual path is rugged, thorny and precipitous. It is too long. The feet may become tired and bruised and the heart may pant, but the reward is very great. You will become immortal. Persevere, plod on diligently. Be on the alert. Be agile and nimble like the squirrel. There are resting places on the path. Hear the small inner voice. It will guide you if you are pure and sincere.  

Meditation on Divine Songs  

If you are well-versed in music, go to a lonely place and sing beautifully to your heart's content. Develop the ragas and raginis luxuriantly, from the bottom of your heart. Forget yourself, forget the past and the environment. This is an easy method. Select some fine chants, prayers or philosophical writings. Ram Prasad, a reputed saint of Bengal, realised in this way. Ram Prasad's songs are very famous throughout Bengal. Hear what Shakespeare says on music: "The man that hath no music in him nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treason, stratagem and spoils. The motions of his spirit are dull as night, his affections dark as Erebus. Let no such man be trusted."  

You can quite easily withdraw the mind from the objects through singing. Singing immediately elevates and expands the mind. To fix an expanded mind on the saguna (with form) or nirguna (formless) Brahman is very easy. What is wanted here is good taste and skill in music with purity of heart and steady practice of concentration.  

Meditation on Gita Slokas  

Learn by heart some important verses in the Bhagavad Gita. Repeat them mentally after sitting in a steady pose. The following are some suggested verses:  

1. There are some important verses which dwell on the 'Immortality of the Soul' in the second chapter. You can concentrate and meditate on these series of ideas. You will find this practice very very useful.  

2. Meditate on the series of ideas from the verses which describe the state of one who is unshakeably established in super-consciousness, in the second chapter.  

3. Meditate on the series of ideas from the verses which describe the effects of yoga, in the sixth chapter.  

4. Meditate on the series of ideas from the verses which deal with the attributes of a knower of God (jnani), in the thirteenth chapter.  

5. Meditate on the series of ideas from the verses which describe the nature of divine qualities, in the sixteenth chapter.  

6. Meditate on the vision of the Cosmic Form, in the eleventh chapter.  

7. Meditate on the verses 'Devotee dear to me', in the twelfth chapter.  

8. Meditate on the idea of one who has transcended the gunas, in the fourteenth chapter.

I have given you eight sets of ideas. Select any set that appeals to you most. You can allow the mind to move from one set to another.  

Meditation on Gayatri  

Gayatri is the 'Blessed Mother' of the Vedas. It is a symbol of God, the Lord of created beings. Japa of Gayatri mantra produces purity of mind, without which you can do nothing in the spiritual line and without which you can never effect an iota of spiritual progress. Gayatri is an effective universal prayer. (It is also known as the Brahma Gayatri.)  

"Om bhur-bhuvah-svah tat-savitur-varenyam

bhargo devasya dheemahi dhiyo yo nah prachodayat".  

"Let us meditate on the Creator and His glory, He who has created this universe, who is fit to be worshipped, who is the remover of all sins and ignorance. May He enlighten our (my) intellect." Retire into the meditation room after bath just before sunrise. Sit on your meditation seat and repeat the mantra mentally as many times as you can (but not less than 108 times) and constantly feel that you are receiving light, purity and wisdom from Gayatri. Concentrate on the meaning of the Gayatri. This is important. Have your gaze at the space between the two eyebrows.  

Uddhava's Meditation  

Uddhava asked Lord Krishna: "O lotus-eyed! How to meditate on Thee! What is the nature of that meditation?"  

Lord Krishna replied: "Be seated on the meditation seat that is neither low nor high, with your body erect and in an easy posture. Place your hands on the lap. Fix your gaze on the tip of the nose (in order to fix the mind). Purify the tracks of prana by inhalation, retention and exhalation, and then again in the reverse way (i.e. first breathe in by the left nostril with the right nostril closed with the thumb. Then close the left nostril with the ring finger and the little finger and retain the breath in both the nostrils. Then remove the thumb and breathe out through the right nostril. Reverse the process by breathing in through the right nostril, retaining the breath in both nostrils and letting out the breath through the left nostril.) Practise this pranayama gradually with your senses controlled.  

‘Uddhava’s Meditation’ will resume next Saturday.

Friday, April 24, 2015

25 April

Song of Instructions

Mohana bansiwale tumko lakhou pranam, tumko lakhou pranam
Shankar bholevale tumko lakhou pranam
Tumko lakhou pranam pyare kroro pranam
Bhajo Radhe Govind
Radhe Govinda, bhajo Radhe Govind,
Radhe Govinda, bhajo Sita Govind
Hari bolo, bolo bhai Radhe Govind
Hare Krishna Hare Ram Radhe Govind.
Get up at 4 a.m.        Brahmamuhurt,
Get up at 4 a.m.       Japo Ram Ram,
Get up at 4 a.m.       Do brahma vichar, 
Get up at 4 a.m.       Enquire 'Who am I?'
Get up at 4 a.m.       Practise Yogabhyas.
Observe mouna daily for two hours, 
Fast on ekadashi, take milk and fruits,
Study daily one chapter of Gita, 
Do regular charity, one-tenth income, 
Rely on your own self, give up servants, 
Do kirtan at night, have satsang.
Speak the truth at all costs, preserve virya, 
Satyam vada, dharmam chara, observe brahmacharya. 
Ahimsa paramo dharma, love one and all, 
Never hurt others feelings, be kind to all, 
Control anger by kshama, develop vishwa prem.
Keep daily spiritual diary, you will evolve quickly.
(Hare Krishna Hare Ram............)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

24 April

Basic Kirtans of Sivananda

Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Eat a little, drink a little, speak a little, sleep a little,
Mix a little, move a little, serve a little, think a little,
Give a little, work a little, rest a little, worship a little.
Do asan a little, pranayam a little, meditate a little, do vichara a little.
Do japa a little, do kirtan a little, write mantra a little, reflect a little.
Purification, concentration, reflection, meditation.
Selflessness, self-surrender, self-purification, Self-realisation.
Do self-sacrifice, effect self-surrender, have self-restraint. You will have Self-realisation.
Speak sweetly, speak truthfully, think correctly, believe faithfully.
Serve selflessly, pray devotedly, meditate ceaselessly, realise perfectly.
Think no evil, see no evil, hear no evil, talk no evil. 
Serve, Love, Give, Purify, Meditate, Realise. 
Be good, do good, be kind, be compassionate.
Practise ahimsa, satyam brahmacharya
This is the foundation of yoga-vedanta.
Practise sravan manan nididhyasan
You will attain brahma sakshatkara.
Find the knower, find the hearer,
Find the seer, find the smeller,
Find the taster, find the feeler.
You will attain Self-realisation.
Sarva dharman parityajya mamekam saranam vraja
Aham tva sarva papebhyo mokshayasyami ma suca.
Om Tat Sat Om Om Shanti Om
Om Tat Sat Om Om Shanti Om
Hari Om Tat Sat Om Sri Om Tat Sat Om
Shiva Om Tat Sat Om Om Tat Sat Om.