Bhagavad Puran – Adhyatma yoga

Bhagavad Puran – Skanda 2 – Chapter 25 – Kapil muni’s answers to Devbhuti’s questions.

Devbhuti mother of Kapil muni asks questions about salvation and liberation from the worldly pleasures. Kapil muni is incarnation of God Vishnu who took birth in Devbhuti’s house to preach the lessons of Sankhya yoga, Adhyatma yoga.

Devbhuti have spent years in upbringing of her 9 daughters and a son Kapil muni. Her life was like a normal woman, spent in kitchen, upbringing children and house keeping. She was far from the knowledge of Soul. What she can do to free her mind from the clutches of worldly pleasures, worries of life and family? With this question in her mind once she asks Kapil muni to preach her the lessons through which she can free her self from the clutches of worldly pleasures, worries of life and family (moha, maya, mamta) and attain salvation (moksha).

Kapil being pleased with her question narrates her the ‘Adhyatma yoga’. This form of yoga is the only way to liberate mind from the clutches of worldly pleasures, worries of life and family. This yoga helps one free themselves from the bonds of happiness and sadness. Mind/ heart is the only reason for forming clutches/ bonds and giving freedom/ salvation/ liberty. When Mind/ heart is surrounded by worldly pleasures/ entities/ subjects/ life/ family only forms clutches/ bonds with worldly pleasures/ entities/ subjects/ life/ family, and there by forms bonds of karma. This bonds of karma is a viscous circle which never ends until it is broken by the knowledge. The knowledge that we are in clutches/ bonds of worldly pleasures/ entities/ subjects/ life/ family. When Mind/ heart is surrounded by the knowledge of God, the knowledge of soul, the knowledge/ realization of oneself being a soul and not the body becomes reason for salvation/ liberty.

In Gita, Krishan says the same thing to Arjuna. Mind is very powerful. It can drive you in bonds of worldly pleasures/ entities/ subjects/ life/ family and it can also make you free from such bonds. But the condition is you have to be in the driver seat. Don’t let your mind/ heart to be in the driver seat. Don’t forget your real purpose of life. Don’t fall trap of ‘this is me and that is mine’. ‘Nothing in this world from earth to sky belongs to oneself. Nothing from the earth to sky is creation of oneself. The people whom one terms are family are just bonds created during a journey. These people either were there in the journey or they joined the journey for a while and may not be there in the journey.’

The feelings of happiness and sadness is just a face of situation. It depends on how one takes a situation. It is same as the theory of perception. You can be happy with half filled glass or you can cry for the half filled glass.

Step 1 of Adhyatma yoga – Free your mind/ heart from the bonds of worldly pleasures/ entities/ subjects/ life/ family. Free yourself from the trap of ‘this is me and that is mine’.

Result of Step1 – Your mind/ heart will be free from the feelings of happiness and sadness. Mind/ heart will be in neutral state. That is it start taking all situations neutrally. This will help mind/ heart to be filled with Knowledge, Detachment, Dispassion,  Devotion (Gyana, Vairagya, Bhakti) and see soul above nature (prakriti) and see this soul as a small light (jyoti).

Step 2 of Adhyatma yoga – Be in touch with people who have passed through Step 1.

Result of Step 2 – Such people will help you to maintain the state achieved in Step 1 and in long run one will realize that God is only in their soul.

Bhagavad Puran – Meditation process

Bhagavad Puran – Skanda 2 – Chapter 1 – answers King Parikshit’s question.

Parikshit asks a brilliant question – ‘what a person who is about to die should do to free himself from all sins? Also what a person whose death is not near should do through out their life to free themselves from sins or get salvation?’

Parikshit, who was cursed by Brahmin Son, while waiting for his death which is to come up in 7th day asks above question Shukdeva.

If I keep religious book aside and think for a while what a human does. A human is given a brilliant gift of speech and thoughts. We have brain which other species don’t have. We have well developed speech which other species don’t have. But when we see people around us and ourselves what we see, we just all our 24 hours in running behind work, tasks, bread, butter, money, lifestyle, family, social life. Work never ends even if we work for 24 hours. Needs of family, individual cannot be satisfied. Family, relatives, friends, dear ones never stay with an individual forever. A son stays with a person till he starts his family. A wife stays with a person till he dies. Emotionally and mentally none of these relatives, family, friends, dear ones are with an individual.

Then who is with an individual? Still keeping aside the religious books, the answer that comes to my mind is Individual’s soul, Consciousness. Now in the light of Gita and Bhagavad Puran, Soul and Consciousness is God.

To prove my above written words I would like to take base of Bhagavad Puran – Skanda 2 – Chapter 1.

In order to learn or understand the true form of soul and consciousness or God, one need to meditate.

What is meditation? We will learn about it later.

If one cannot do meditation then how to knowledge of soul or consciousness or  God? Answer to this question is, such individual is not required to leave social life, family, friends, society but spend atleast 1 minute or 1 hour or days in the knowledge, bhakti (which is not only worshiping idols or religious preachers) or stick to their dharma (honest work) and remember God.

This is most important line of this chapter. I understand this line as, any good or bad events of the life, the brightness of sun, darkness of night, green gardens, cold and warm water, types of food is all creation of God. No doubt good or ba events are part of individual’s karma. But karma is also God. Which is clearly written in the above mentioned chapter. So an individual is not creator but a performer. When an individual is performer then how can an individual take responsibility of anything they do. I think one cannot say that ‘I made this.’ or ‘I have saved life of …’ or ‘without me they wont be…’ The knowledge of the fact you are just a ‘performer’ and not director is important knowledge one must carry every day, every minute throughout their life.

The term bhakti used in the above paragraph is not working idols or religious preachers but to devote all activities performed every day, every hour to the one who is the director. A perform is to obey with faith, whole heart to the director. No matter how good or bad the situations are, one should face it with courage, accept all situations and take the responsibility of performer. If any performer can meet director only by praying a type of prayer 1000 times or offering flowers, milk, water, etc to idols then many would have met director by now. There would be piles of books on such people claiming their achievement. Narsinh Mehta, Meerabai, Tulsidas, Surdas and many like them have followed the path of bhakti where they were conscious that they are performer, their deeds were in the wellbeing of others, they lived their social life with this knowledge and recited glory of God.

 

We can do one thing definitely, start giving ourselves the knowledge – ‘You are a performer’. This is the first step towards the meditation.

Now, I would like to answer the question about meditation here. Meditation is not sitting under a tree or some place for hours with closed eyes. One cannot meditate until their mind is not stable. A mind is powerful to take an individual to any place without any physical movement.

After one have practiced the knowledge ‘You are a performer’ and when this knowledge becomes consciousness then one should focus on ‘ohm’ ohmThen focus on the breathing. Slowly breathing and ‘ohm’ will get in sync. When breathing and ‘ohm’ is in sync, learn to detach mind, thoughts from celestial pleasures, bonds of family, friends, relatives, dear ones and bring focus on the form of God.

Beaware of Lust Infatuation and Wrath

There is no disease (so destructive) as lust; no enemy like infatuation; no fire like wrath; and no happiness like spiritual knowledge

I was reading a script and came across the above stated quote. All most every one knows about this but still many of us are slaves of these three things.

It is truly said that Lust is a disease. Disease of mind which kills soul and happiness. While creating life God had placed a system in every life to reproduce life. And to generate interest in reproduction or encourage life for reproduction  God have kept an attraction between lives. This attraction gives birth to desire and with the good efforts of good thoughts life gets regenerated. But if one forgets to control the horse of desire and attraction, he finds himself lost in the desert of Lust. There is an industry which is like desert where people come in search of happiness and or love but get lost in the winds of desert. 100 bottles of liquor may not damage you much but Lust will damage your thought and soul within a very short time period. It is like a paralysis of thought.

Another thing that harms your good thinking and stops your mind from thinking big is Infatuation. Infatuation is a feeling. Many have told me that they are in love but when i ask them the reason or check their commitment then i see that they are infatuated and not in real love. Real love is commitment. It is divine and brings two soul together not only the two bodies together. Infatuation becomes your enemy when you get totally absorbed with the thought and get attracted to someone or something. You loose the sense of what is true and false and try to please the other in the best possible manner. In this you create a lot of enemies. An infatuated person loses himself. And when you are not in you, you are like a dead body. You loose sense of what is good and what is bad.

Anger or Wrath is worst, yes, it burns not only your soul but others mood and happiness. A spark of anger is enough to burn you in full and others. Anger is chronic in itself. It starts with a small spark and encourages itself to grow. It then burns your energy and happiness within you. This fire cant be seen with eyes but could be felt. This fire is like a fire in forest, it catches others soon and the more it catch holds of others it becomes furious.

The only thing that can help one go stay away from all these things is Spiritual Knowledge and Wisdom. Making a habit to read at-least one word of such scripts can help you cultivate your mind and thoughts. With such mind you will be able to keep away from such evils.

My personal experiment to learn about Ashraya Dosh

I had spent one month with a family which

— Don’t unite to lite lamp atleast once a day. Though each of them pray individually if they wish to pray.

— Don’t care to choose good vegetables and food.

— Don’t clean food before cooking and don’t get time to clean dinning table

— Don’t get time to clean temple placed in the house nor time to clean vessels used at the time on Pooja (worshiping God). The greatness is they don’t have time to Clean God’s Statue.

All these was making eligible for Ashraya Dosh, if we take reference of those books and writings.

Effects I have seen in that family

— Children didn’t have sense of talking with elders.

— Food use to get stale within short time period (after all without keeping surrounding clean how can you keep food in the same state for a long time period)

— Minds were restless and were indulged in finding shortcuts to success. (though there is no shortcut to success)

— Thoughts and Acts were Wicked.

— Always making plans to acquire food and funds with unfair means. (cheating, lie, fraud were in blood)

Another Family with whom I spent one month, which

— Use to unite without fail to lite lamp atleast once a day

— Use to eat food together

— Even if they had less Rupees in pocket, they use to make sure they get good quality food

— Put extra efforts to clean food and vegetables.

— Keep kitchen, vessels and dinning table crystal clean.

— Didn’t strictly follow religion but use to clean Statue of God everyday.

Effects I have felt in this house

— As soon as you enter in this house all your senses get calm.

— Mind and thoughts gets filled with fresh thoughts. A sort of peace is being felt.

— Children use to give respect to elders and were ready to serve elders at their best.

— People were pure from heart and were not involved in any cheating and unfair means.

— Truth was their strength and their thoughts were not wicked.

— They were able to happily manage their family budget with their work.

Now from all these posts on Ashraya Dosh, its up to you What you learn and What you follow?

Ashraya and Dosh by Shruti, Ramanuja

Shruti :– “आहारशुद्धौ सत्त्वशुद्धिः सत्त्वशुद्धौ ध्रुव स्मृतिः—When the food is pure, then the inner-sense gets purified; on the purification of the innersense, memory (of the soul’s perfection) becomes steady.”

Ahara means the sense-perceptions

Everyone knows by experience that impure food weakens the power of receptivity of the Indriyas or makes them act in opposition to the will. It is a well-known fact that indigestion distorts the vision of things and makes one thing appeal as another, and that want of food makes the eyesight and other powers of the senses dim and weak. Similarly, it is often seen that some particular kind of food brings on some particular state of the body and the mind. This principle is at the root of those many rules which are so strictly enjoined in Hindu society—that we should take this sort and avoid that sort of food—though in many cases, forgetting their essential substance, the kernel, we are now busy only with quarelling about the shell and keeping watch and ward over it.

Râmânujâchârya asks us to avoid three sorts at defects which, according to him, make food impure.

The first defect is that of the Jâti, i.e. the very nature or the species to which the food belongs, as onion, garlic, and so on. These have an exciting tendency and, when taken, produce restlessness of the mind, or in other words perturb the intellect. The next is that of Âshraya, i.e. the nature of the person from whom the food comes. The food coming from a wicked person will make one impure and think wicked thoughts, while the food coming from a good man will elevate one’s thoughts. Then the other is Nimitta-dosha, i.e. impurity in food due to such agents in it as dirt and dust, worms or hair; taking such food also makes the mind impure. Of these three defects, anyone can eschew the Jati and the Nimitta, but it is not easy for all to avoid the Ashraya.

This is the part of the writings on Shruti and Ramanuja.

Ashraya Dosh — Part 3

The food that you eat generated blood and this blood affects your thinking. Go through some of science white papers and you will learn that its not just a statement but fact. What ever food you eat affects your thinking.

A meat eater is said to be aggressive and a vegetable eater is said to be non-aggressive person. The former’s blood would be hot while the latter’s blood would be cold. Which means, with his thoughts he would be angry person while the other will not be that much angry. Many would jump here telling that they are vegetarian but get anger seats on their nose tips. They would be always ready to kill anyone who makes them angry. Then I would say, please go and read the “Part 2” of this sequence. I bet you would be missing one of the points mentioned in the “Part 2”.

In Bhagavad Puran in the end verses of 1st chapter, you will learn about the formation of human body. In that you will learn who each part gets nourished. If you can’t read or understand it. Here is in simple language. Each part, be it mind, eye, ears, nose, hands, legs, heart any body part, gets nourished with the “QUALITY” of food you take.  So if you miss any quality standard you are prone to “ASHRAYA DOSH”.

Now question will come what will happen if I am prone to “ASHRAYA DOSH”?

1) Your Thoughts would be degraded.

2) Your Speach would be degraded.

3) Your Act would be degraded.

4) You would be indulged in getting money from unfair means.

5) Your words won’t be giving anyone peace and no one would like to be with you.

Many would be speaking bad words, addressing others and elders with bad words, thinking that they are supreme power. Such people are suffering from Ashraya Dosh.  A unhealthy mind results in unhealthy body and unhealthy body, mind together results in unhealthy society.

Ashraya Dosha — Part 2

In the previous post you learnt about few habit of ours or most of us. Here you will learn how these habits leads you to Ashraya Dosha.

1) Type of Food:– The food which you eat turns into blood in your body. This blood nourishes each and every body part. One of the important part of your body is your brain, which controls your thoughts, behavior and your activities. Impurities in food effects the creation of blood. Let the scientists comment on how impurities affect creation of blood?

Let me continue here with the main topic, do you remember why our grandparents insist on getting good food? If not, they were aware of the fact that good food can make a healthy body and brain. Do you notice, our grandparents at the age of 90 was able to do their work on their own. Many was able to walk without support and needed glasses very late, while today, a child of class 1st, ie, 6-7 years need glasses and shout with body pain at night.

Believe it or not, it is because of food. Stale food, Rotten food contains germs, these germs make the food impure (Dushita). In ancient time, till the age of our grandparents, before serving food to house members, food was being served to God. Every house use to have a small temple or statue of God in their house. Where they use to serve food before serving to other members of house. Today hardly we follow this. In order to serve food to God, you should choose best vegetables. If you keep this religious part away, the best vegetables you choose was consumed by members of family. Which was building their health. And a healthy family builds healthy society.

According to Gita, Tulsidas and people like him, God is no where else, he is in you, a healthy body, a healthy soul and a healthy soul is the place of God.

If you forget this, you get impurities in your blood. This impure blood makes your thoughts impure. Will tell you later how?

2) Method of Cooking:– Do you remember our grandma use to take special care to preserve food, while cutting vegetables she use to keep her complete concentration on vegetables and use to take care to pick smallest weeds, insects or any unwanted particle from vegetables and pulses.

But I have seen many don’t dare to clean vegetables before cutting. Don’t you know that there could be pesticides on the skin of vegetables which goes in your stomach and may fall you sick? Many don’t lend eyes on leaves of certain vegetables and cut them blindly. Can’t you see or are you such lazy that you can’t notice, left overs of insects on leaves, half eaten leafs by insects? Many would tell me, who care of it, its a small thing, why do we waste time in it, we have number of work to do.

You get water on your door step, vegetables on your door step, you have oven to cook food, servants to clean house, air conditioner to chill. Did your grandma had all these facilities, still she use to take care of cleanliness. She was not going to job but she was required to take food to field on time. Don’t you remember?

Keeping that aside, food containing weeds, insects cooked together with food, left overs cooked with food spoil your health and your family member health. God (which I will refer here as your good thoughts) will not be happy with such food. If no evil thought come to you, you are trapped in Ashraya Dosha.

3) Place of Cooking:– Do you remember how our grandma use to cook food? She use to first clean kitchen, wipe floor with mud (ancient houses had floors made of mud + cow dung), then she use to take bath, put on fresh clothes, clean vegetables, pulses, clean utensils used for cooking food, clean wood used in fire. And remember she would have brought water after taking bath. While cooking she will not touch anyone who has not taken bath nor even let kids or people walk in the kitchen. Do you remember how tasty that food was? yummy, yummy… Right?

But today what we do, we don’t even clean our platform or stove which we use to cook food. In some house, women don’t even wipe out floor from the platform or stove for whole year till Diwali and keep on cooking or sometimes till they change house. Do you know how many insects would pill up on this dirty place? Do you know how many infections you will invite through such poor platforms? Some are lazy and some don’t have time and some simply don’t like this job.

Food cooked in such place is offered to your body (which I will refer here as God). If you look at such place, you start commenting and making publicity of such house and lady without looking at yourself and even advice others not to eat that house. If you avoid such place, then how God (evil thoughts) can come to you? If no evil thought come to you, you are trapped in Ashraya Dosha.

4) Place of Serving Food and Plate:– The environment where you eat food also affects your thinking and attitude. Many don’t use their eyes before the take food in their plate and start eating food. I have observed in many houses people wash vessels and keep them out in sun or wherever they wash them. Don’t dare to dry them and arrange them at place. They will arrange all vessels at the end of the day or sometimes whenever required. After all they would be missing their favorite (stupid type) daily soaps or would be getting late to chat with friend or getting late to reach office. Such left out vessels are prone to attract germs. HOW? If vessels are left out, they will attract animals like cats or dogs or monkey to lick them. Such animals would leave back germs on these vessels. As you would have removed all leftovers from the vessels, you usually never think of cleaning them (again you would be hurry in reach out daily soap or friends or office).

Now it is seem many don’t think of cleaning place at which they take food. If it would be floor (ancient style) then without thinking about the floor and using eyes to notice dirt on floor, plate would be placed and food would be served. If its dinning table we don’t think of cleaning the mats. I have heard people telling, “XYZ, we don’t find any dirt, it all happens, we are busy and we don’t have time to do such things, we will inform servant.” and some would say “one day we are going to get mixed in this mud, mud is everywhere, outside body and inside body, let it be there”. I would say GREAT PEOPLE.

Then comes the clothes of cook and the person who serves. If its house or hotel, both cook and serve if both are different or same person, they should think of cleaning clothes before cooking and serving. If is seen that many people wipe their hands with clothes while cooking. And many GREAT ladies clean many things with that “pallu of sari” (an edge of Sari) and then when cooking clean hands and vessels with that “pallu” (remembering those scenes make me feel vomit at this moment).

Again I would say, if you are cooking food for GOD (here I refer it as your body) then don’t you think, food should be of good quality? Don’t you think, the method of cooking should maintain quality? and Don’t you think the place where you eat food and the plate you use should be clean and pure?

Ashraya Dosh

What is Ashraya and What is Ashraya Dosh? How it affects any individual and community in whole?

These were questions when I first learned years back about ashraya. Simple meaning of Ashraya is Shelter and Dosh means Fault. Now the question comes is, is it the fault of the person who gives you shelter? or fault from taking shelter from wrong person? But the term “Ashraya Dosh” is not exactly related to shelter, it is related to our food habits, cooking of food, place where we eat food, method we used to cook food. Thus it is related to dosha which we fall into through food we take.

First let me explain how one falls in this dosha.

First thing we need to take into notice is which kind of food we bring in our house? Many of us or most of us, go to market, look for cheap vegetables and bring that home. Some time or most of the time people go to the market when its time to close market. At that time vendor would be closing his shop and would be interested in selling remaining vegetables at the lowest cost you ask. You will be able to buy the bulk in a low cost. Isn’t it? You bring that bulk home with happy face. Right?

Second thing to notice is the method of cooking. Some times or many of us cut vegetables first and then clean them, Right? While cutting vegetables we would be busy watching our favorite show on Television, Right? In that important show where in-law would be harassing a poor lady, we might cut some worms as well or forget to remove weeds from the vegetable, have you noticed this? or you have just ignored it!!!!

Third thing to notice is where you cook and how you cook? Many or most of us don’t dare to clean platform or floor where we cook food, what difference it makes it is clean only, Right? When we are lazy in cleaning platform, why do we dare to clean or wipe utensils to cook food, Right? All these things are far away from thought as we are always in rush to reach our favorite show or meet friends or reach office, and in all these important work we forget to wash our hands before cooking, Right? Some would ask a question, Now whats the need to wash hands? When we don’t think of washing hands why will we think of changing clothes before thinking, Right?

Fourth thing to consider is the place where the food is served and the plate in which food is served. When we have schedule for crazy television shows and or for office, work or job, how can we spend time on cleaning utensils we eat into, Right? We pass this job to our servant or leave them out in heat to dry on its own, Right? And in all these hectic schedule, how can we get time to notice that, our uncleaned utensils are being licked by cats or dogs, Right? (this might be common at many places in India, Right? Please readers of other Nations don’t rush washroom to vomit or curse Indian people…. Please)

See how these habits of yours can lead to Ashraya Dosh, here……