Moving In Sync With The Cosmic Flow

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Moving In Sync With The Cosmic Flow

To count beads or practise ritualistic worship without directing one’s mind towards the Supreme is of no use. To pretend to be virtuous outside while harbouring sinful thoughts within is absolutely meaningless. The beginning, the middle and end of dharma sadhana is to rush towards the Supreme, to channelise all positive and negative propensities of mind towards the Entity. Spiritual aspirants will not destroy material desires but will utilise them for their benefit. When utilised as aids for spiritual progress they will do no further harm.

So-called jnanis or intellectuals may fight the propensity of krodha, anger, but seekers will utilise it to fight staticity. They will shatter the meanness and pettiness of the mind through psychic strength and fearsome temper. So-called jnanis claim that the propensity of lobha, greed, is harmful, but aspirants disagree ­ they nurture greed to attain the Supreme. Jnanis abhor mada or pride but seekers say that the only object of pride in their lives is Parama Purusha. Jnanis detest the propensity of moha, blind attachment, but aspirants say, “I am already in love with the Supreme. I have a blind attachment for attaining the Ultimate. The propensity of jealousy is very bad, but a spiritual aspirant will never take it as harmful. In this way spiritual aspirants keep their vision fixed on Brahmn.

Those who fail to focus their entire existence upon the Supreme, those who do not flow towards the macrocosmic nucleus of the cosmic cycle, realise one day that everything in their lives has become futile. On seeing the ostentatious practices of religion the popular ideas of a Sufi saint are likely to arise in the mind of a spiritual aspirant: “I listen to the voice of the muezzin from the minaret in darkness. I say you are all fools ­ where is your God? He is neither here, nor there.” When the cosmic flow is inspired by the cosmic nucleus it vibrates in its entirety, thereby vibrating all the receptive minds in the universe. These emanated vibrations take different forms to provide momentum to human beings in different ways.

This force of inspiration keeps all receptive minds connected to Purushottama, the Supreme Source of all emanations, and motivates them to rush towards Him.

When the macrocosmic stance dances in its individual macrocosmic flow, the microcosms dance in pararasa, individual flow.

In the past the svarasa, divine flow, of Brahmn, the Supreme Consciousness, was expressed through Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, causing people to madly run after him, dancing, crying, singing and laughing in ecstatic joy.Brahmn’s svarasa was also expressed in the flute melody of Krishna, which resonated with such divine sweetness that people ran towards it, madly forgetting their family , culture, prestige, lineage, and so on.

The gopis of Vrindavan also danced, sang and burst into laughter to the strains of the flute. In Ananda Marga this divine flow of Brahmn is embedded in different lessons of spiritual meditation.Those who practise this meditation ­ whether in the present or the future, whether within time or beyond time ­ will certainly cry, sing and dance with exquisite spiritual joy, and advance steadily towards the blissful macrocosmic stance.

Advancing thus, establishing oneself in yama and niyama, cardinal moral principles, and becoming a true sadvipra or spiritual revolutionary, one will attain oneness with the Supreme Entity. The highest fulfilment in life lies in movement in the cosmic flow. The path along which this movement takes place is called the path of bliss, Ananda Marga.

Om Namah Shivay

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तुम मुझे देखा करो और मैं तुम्हें देखा करूँ

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हमारा मन वहीं लगता है, जहाँ हमारी अभिलाषित वस्तु होती है, जहाँ हमें अपनी रूचि के अनुकूल सुख, सौंदर्य, माधुर्य, ऐश्वर्य आदि दिखायी देते हैं | विचार करके देखने से पता लगता है कि जगत में हम जो प्रिय वस्तु, सुख, सौन्दर्य, माधुर्य, ऐश्वर्य आदि देखते है, उन सभी का पूर्ण अमित अनन्त भण्डार श्रीभगवान हैं | समस्त वस्तुएँ, समस्त गुण, समस्त सुख-सौन्दर्य भगवान् के किसी एक अंश के प्रतिबिम्बमात्र हैं | उस महान अनन्त अगाध सागर के सीकर-कण की छायामात्र हैं | हमें जो वस्तु जितनी चाहिए, जब चाहिए, वही वस्तु उतनी ही और उसी समय भगवान् में मिल सकती है; क्योंकि वे सदा-सर्वदा उनसे अनन्तरूप से भरी हैं और चाहे जितनी निकाल ली जानेपर भी कभी उनकी अनन्तता में कमी नहीं आती | अतएव हमारा मन जिस किस में लगता हो, उसी को दृढ विश्वास के साथ भगवान् में देखना चाहिए | फिर हम कभी भगवान् से अलग नहीं होंगे और भगवान् हमसे अलग नहीं होंगे; क्योंकि सबकुछ भगवान् से, भगवान् में है तथा भगवत्स्वरूप ही है | भगवान् ने कहा है—
यो मां पश्यति सर्वत्र सर्वं च मयि पश्यति |
तस्याहं न प्रणश्यामि स च मे प्रणश्यति ||
(गीता ६ | ३०)
‘जो पुरुष सम्पूर्ण भूतों में सबके आत्मरूप मुझ वासुदेव को ही व्यापक देखता है और सम्पूर्ण भूतों को मुझ वासुदेव के अंतर्गत देखता है, उसके लिए मैं अदृश्य नहीं होता और वह मेरे लिए अदृश्य नहीं होता | भाव यह कि वह मुझे देखता रहता है और मैं उसे देखता रहता हूँ |’

इसी के साथ हमें अपने को ऐसा बनाना चाहिए, जो भगवान् को अत्यन्त प्रिय हो | गीता में १२वें अध्याय के १३वें से १९वें श्लोक तक भगवान् ने अपने प्रिय भक्त के लक्षणों का वर्णन किया है | और अंत में कहा है—
ये तु धर्म्यामृतमिदं यथोक्तं पर्युपासते।
श्रद्दधाना मत्परमा भक्तास्तेऽतीव मे प्रिया:॥
( गीता १२ | २०)
‘परन्तु जो श्रद्धायुक्त पुरुष मेरे परायण होकर इस ऊपर कहे हुए धर्ममय अमृत को निष्काम प्रेमभाव से सेवन करते हैं अर्थात् उस प्रकार का अपना जीवन बनाने में तत्पर होते हैं, वे भक्त मुझको अतिशय प्रिय हैं |’

इसलिए हमें अपने में उन सब भावों की दृढ़ स्थापना करनी चाहिए, जो भगवान् को प्रिय हैं | ऐसा होनेपर जब भगवान हमसे प्रेम करने लगेंगे, उनका मन हममें लगा रहेगा—(प्रेम तो वे अब भी करते हैं | परन्तु हमें उनका अनुभव नहीं होता, उनके अनुकूल आचरण करने से अर्थात् उन सब प्रिय गुणों को जीवन में उतरने से हमें भगवान् के प्रेम का अनुभव होने लगेगा) तब हमारा मन भी उसमें लगा रहेगा | हमें तो बस, विनोदपूर्वक भगवान् से यही भाव रखना चाहिए और यही मन-ही-मन कहना चाहिए कि ‘प्रभो ! न तो मैं दूसरों को देखूंगा और न आपको देखने दूंगा |’

आवहु मेरे नयन में पलक बन्द करि लेउँ |
ना मैं देखौं और कौं ना तोहि देखन देउँ ||
नारायण जाके हृदै सुन्दर श्याम समाय |
फूल-पात-फल-डार में ता कौं वही दिखाय ||

Om Namah Shivay

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प्रेम और शरणागति

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अतएव हमलोगों को संसार के सारे पदार्थों को लात मारकर प्रभु की शरण में जाना चाहिए | ऋद्धि-सिद्धि, मान-बड़ाई और प्रतिष्ठा आदि से भी वृतियां हटा लेनी चाहिए | यह अपार संसार एक अथाह सागर है | इसके पार जाने के दो ही साधन हैं—नाव से जाना अथवा तैरकर जाना | नाव प्रभु का प्रेम है और तैरना है सांख्योग यानी ज्ञान | कहने की आवश्यकता नहीं कि तैरने की अपेक्षा नाव में जाना सुगम, निश्चित और सुरक्षित है |

प्रेमरूपी नौका की प्राप्ति के लिए प्रभु की शरण जाना चाहिए | तैरने के लिए तो हिम्मत और त्याग की आवश्यकता है | तैरने में हाथ और पैर से लहरें चीरते हुए आगे बढ़ा जाता है | संसार-सागर में विषयरूपी जल को हाथ और पैर से फेंकते हुए हम तैर जा सकते हैं—उस पार जाने का लक्ष्य न भूलें और लहरों में हाथ-पैर न रुकें | तैरने के समय शरीर पर कुछ भी बोझ न होना चाहिए | इसी प्रकार विषयों की लहरों को चीरकर आगे बढ़ने के लिए हमारे भीतर तीव्र और दृढ़ वैराग्यरूपी उत्साह का होना आवश्यक है | इसके बिना तो एक हाथ भी बढ़ना असम्भव है | हाथों से लहरें चीरता जाय, पैरों से जल फेंकता जाय |

सच्चे आत्मसमर्पण में तो विषयासक्ति का त्याग अनिवार्य है ही | विषयों में प्रेम भी हो और भगवदर्पण भी हो, यह सम्भव नहीं |

काँचन-कामिनी से भी अधिक मीठी छुरी मान-बड़ाई है | इसने तो बहुत ही बड़े-बड़े साधकों फँसा दिया, रोक दिया और अंततोगत्वा डुबा दिया | इससे सदा बचे रहना चाहिए |

इसमें तनिक भी संदेह नहीं कि ज्ञान से तैरने की अपेक्षा प्रेममयी नित्य-नवीन नौका में जाना सुखप्रद, सहज और आनन्ददायक है |

वह विशुद्ध प्रेम प्रभु की अनन्य शरण होने से ही प्राप्त होता है, अतएव अनन्य शरण होकर जाना ही नौका से जाना है | संसार-सागर को तो हर दशा में लाँघना ही पड़ेगा | ‘उस पार’ गये बिना तो प्राणवल्लभ की झाँकी होने की नहीं | फिर क्यों न उसी की शरण में जाकर उसी के हाथ का सहारा बनकर चल चलें | भगवान् ने स्वयं प्रतिज्ञा भी की है—
ये तू सर्वाणि कर्माणि मयि संयस्य मत्पराः |
अनन्येनैव योगेन मां ध्यायन्त उपासते ||
तेषामहं समुद्धर्ता मृत्युसंसारसागरात् |
भवामि नचिरात्पार्थ मय्यावेशितचेतसाम् ||
(गीता १२ | ६-७)
‘हे अर्जुन ! जो मेरे परायण हुए भक्तजन, सम्पूर्ण कर्मों को मेरे में अर्पण करके, मुझ सगुणरूप परमेश्वर को ही तैलधारा के सदृश अनन्य ध्यानयोग से निरन्तर चिंतन करते हुए भजते हैं, उन मेरे में चित्त को लगानेवाले प्रेमी भक्तों का मैं शीघ्र ही मृत्युरूप संसार-समुद्र से उद्धार करनेवाला होता हूँ |’ यह संसार-समुद्र बड़ा ही दुस्तर है, इससे तरने का सहज उपाय भगवान् की शरण ही है | भगवान् ने कहा है कि—
दैवी ह्येषा गुणमयी मम माया दुरत्यया |
मामेव ये प्रपद्यन्ते मायामेतां तरन्ति ते |
(गीता ७ | १४)
‘यह अलौकिक अर्थात् अति अद्भुत त्रिगुणमयी मेरी योगमाया बड़ी दुस्तर है; परन्तु जो पुरुष मुझको ही निरन्तर भजते हैं, वे इस माया को उल्लंघन कर जाते हैं अर्थात् संसार से तर जाते हैं |’

अतएव हमलोगों को प्रेम और प्रेममय भगवान् की प्राप्ति के लिए मनसा, वाचा, कर्मणा सब प्रकार भगवान् की अनन्य शरण* होना चाहिए |
· अनन्ययोग से उपासना, अव्यभिचारिणी भक्ति एवं अनन्यशरण—यह तीनों एक ही हैं |

Om Namah Shivay

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God, I don’t know why you want me to carry this load

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Brenda was a young woman who was invited to go rock climbing. Although she was scared to death, she went with her group to a tremendous granite cliff. In spite of her fear, she put on the gear, took hold on the rope and started up the face of that rock. Well, she got to a ledge where she could take a breather. As she was hanging on there, the safety rope snapped against Brenda’s eye and knocked out her contact lens.

Well, here she is on a rock ledge, with hundreds of feet Below her and hundreds of feet above her. Of course, she looked and looked and looked, hoping it had landed on the ledge, but it just wasn’t there. Here she was, far from home, her sight now blurry. She was desperate and began to get upset, so she prayed to the Lord to help her to find it.

When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but there was no contact lens to be found. She sat down, despondent, with the rest of the party, waiting for the rest of them to make it up the face of the cliff.

She looked out across range after range of mountains, thinking of that Bible verse that says, “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth.” She thought, “Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me.”

Finally, they walked down the trail to the bottom. At the bottom there was a new party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, “Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?” Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across the face of the rock, carrying it.

Brenda told me that when she told her father the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he of an ant lugging that contact lens with the words, “Lord, I don’t know why You want me to carry this thing. I can’t eat it, and it’s awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me do, I’ll carry it for You.” I think it would probably do some of us good to occasionally say, “God, I don’t know why you want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it’s awfully heavy.But, if you want Me to carry it, I will.”

Om Namah Shivay

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Shouldering The Burden Of Others

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Is the misery less even if one is bound with chains made of gold?

No, bondage is bondage whether chains are made of gold or iron.The bondage of satkarma, good actions, is that of gold, and that of asatkarma, bad actions, iron. Both are to be broken off. One has to refrain from bad actions so that iron chains might not be forged; and good actions are to be effected, but offer the golden chains at the feet of Paramatma, saying: “I do not desire the fruits of my good actions, I offer them to You.“

As long as the physical body exists, some actions are bound to be performed. No one can help doing actions.Respiration is itself an action. Even if one does not desire any action and sleeps, then that sleep, too, is an action. Good, and not bad actions, must be performed, which too are to be offered to the Supreme. Now the question arises whether the reactions will be just (equal) to the actions, or less, or more. Equal and opposite reaction is the rule, but then, whether the enjoyment of the reaction of actions is purely psychic or physicopsychic is to be seen.

Where the action is purely mental, the reaction will be just equal to it. But the reaction of physico-psychic action does not affect the mind cent per cent. If the mind is not affected by physico-psychic action, nothing happens. If there be some quantity of the reaction of physico-psychic action (that affects the body), in that case, the reaction will be much more than the action performed. The mind will be affected just according to the psychic action ­ that is the case with psychic actions. Action in the pure physical sphere does not affect the mind. The pure psychic coupled with the physical of a physico-psychic reaction, add up to produce a greater reaction. So the quantity of reaction in case of a physico-psychic action becomes much greater. Hence one should be careful.

There are so many grades of spiritual practitioner. Some wish to exhaust their samskaras as soon as possible and accept whatever is due. Others say , “I am ready to bear the fruits of my own actions and bear the samskaras (reactions to past actions) of others.“

Some want to carry the burdens of others so that others might not be in trouble. The practitioner reaches a stage where complete devotion is aroused for the Supreme. Then one remains unaffected even if a cyclone of misery attacks him. The sadhaka of that stage is called `dagdhabiija’ or `burnt seed’. A dagdhabiija comes within the range of the psychic directly .

Biija means `seed’. Wherever a seed is sown, it sprouts into a plant; but where the seed is burnt, a plant is not produced. A sadhaka becomes dagdhabiija when he has no more pain or pleasure of his own. One who has surrendered in toto is dagdhabiija. All carry their own burdens, but if a dagdhabiija sadhaka so desires, he can carry the burdens of others also. And those who want to carry the burden of others do lessen the burden of Paramatma indirectly .You should remember this.

Do not remain worried about your individual problems at all. Be prepared to carry your own burden and be prepared also to carry the burdens of others. Then alone are you brave. Be dagdhabiija.

Om Namah Shivay

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Inscrutable Shiva And Shaiva Siddhanta 

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As the curtain is pulled back to reveal the inner sanctum, one is drawn into the world of Nirakara Shiva, beyond even the physical symbolism of a Linga, where the vast expanse of the sky above and the ether zone are mirrored in the `Akasha Linga’ of Chidambaram. Shiva takes his devotees into an interiorised world of consciousness, mapping out the Akasha or sky-ether of the mind, beyond the noumenal world of names and forms.

But is it as abstract as it seems, I wonder, for the Thillai (mangrove) forest ground of the Chidambaram temple is witness to the ananda tandava dance of Shiva, in one of his most beautiful forms as Nataraja, the fountainhead of the creative impulse. Traditional lore views Chidambaram as the site of the original Cosmic Linga, an ellipsoid around which the rest of the universe rotates. This dance of creative bliss is said to have been performed by Shiva for the two sages, Vyghrapada and Patanjali, who had asked for the boon to witness the dance.

Which one is the more seminal attribute of Shiva, I wonder ­ is it the ascetic yogic aspect of Shiva characterised by dispassionate withdrawal and penance, or is it the creatively pulsating energy of Shiva, which calls for an active engagement with the world, in the realisation that the outer embodied universe reflects the disembodied One, that the materiality is also actually spiritual only? As I move into the main dance hall of the Chidambaram complex, I marvel at the persona of Shiva, where different attributes complement each other, not contradict. His all-encompassing compassion and love for devas and asuras alike, without discriminating between the two, reveals a Being in love with creation, not a destroyer. Perhaps what he seeks to destroy is the negativity and the baser elements of our nature.

John Marshall saw a Proto-Shiva in the famous Pashupati seal of Mohenjodaro where four wild animals ­ tiger, buffalo, elephant and rhinoceros ­ surround the yogi-God sitting in the meditation pose, the three faces representing Time in its past, present and future dimensions.

The Mahakal, Controller of Time, the Rudra, God of wild beasts and Yogeswara, the Supreme Yogi aspects of Shiva appear to coalesce in this Indus seal. Other traditions like the Tevaram hymns and the Tirumurai compendium of songs in Tamil eulogise the Ashutosh svarupa of Shiva the God who melts at the call of a sincere prayer.

The Tirumurai tradition maps out the philosophy of Shaiva Siddhanta , with its formulation of three eternal entities of God, soul and bondage ­ Pati, pasu and pasam. The Shaiva Siddhanta states that God is One, souls are many and bondage happens because of the three impurities of anava which causes the negativity of soul ­ karma, the law of action-reaction and Maya the cause of all materiality . Maya is real in Shaiva Siddhanta and not an illusion as in Vedanta. Shiva’s Grace alone can help in breaking this bondage and evolution of the Soul to an understanding of the relationship between the Nirakara aspect of the Self and the dynamic aspect of the Self ‘s energy as it manifests .

They say that Shiva is finally within only . But the inscrutable and beautiful outer form of Shiva gives as much solace.

Om Namah Shivay

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Are You Disconnected From Your Power Source?

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When we play a game, we often become so engrossed in it that we forget everything else. Similarly, we become so engrossed in our daily lives that we forget who we really are. That forgetfulness cuts us off from our true power.
In a parable, the vine provides nutrients and life to a branch without which the branch can’t produce fruit.

A branch without its vine is merely a dead twig. We, too, must connect to a flow of energy from a power greater than our own.

For those of us connected to a spiritual path, the guru is the vine, the source of the power that sustains us.

When we cut ourselves off from the source that sustains us, we are left with only the power of ego. The ego has its realm, mainly in a small area of human activity involving will power, intellect, choice and the ability to function in society. But if we consider the many basic bodily processes that aren’t under our conscious control, such as breathing, circulation, digestion, and the beating of the heart, we see that there is a deeper power sustaining us. God does nearly everything, leaving only the tiniest part to us.

It reminds me of my granddaughter when she was three years old. We’d assemble all the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle except the last one. She would then turn that final piece many different ways and eventually , with a sense of great accomplishment, put it in place and say, “I’ve done the puzzle!“ We’re like that. God does 999 pieces of the puzzle, and when we put the last piece in place we say , “I did it all myself.“

Our egos are like little jets of flame on a gas burner: each one has the appearance of individuality; each is, in fact, but a spurt of the unifying gas underneath. As our consciousness expands, we become more and more aware of our connection to the Divine Source. Real spiritual growth begins when we recognise that true source.

To open ourselves more fully to that source, we need to realise first that we have much more inner strength when we realise ­ that the energy , intelligence and will we’re using come from an infinite ocean. Our will power is like a faucet. As we open up the valve, more and more water flows through.

Second, we have to connect to the deeper, more expansive parts of ourselves. This we can do by overcoming the delusion that we alone are the doer. God is the Doer through us. Third, we need to attune our consciousness to the guru who could help us realise our divinity . By attuning to his consciousness, we draw his grace.

Fourth, we need devotion. It is through the love of our hearts that we open a channel to that sustaining power. Grace then comes in, like sunlight through a window, and changes our consciousness.

Finally , we need to meditate deeply .In meditation we can experience God’s energy as the sound of Aum or as light. We expand not only by contacting that power, but also by offering ourselves into it. It’s like the branch and its leaves offering energy back to the vine that sustains it.

As we deepen our connection with the Divine, finally , we learn that there is no “I and Thou“. There is only the one Source. Then, with a flood of love, we re-establish our union with God and find our true power.

Om Namah Shivay

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