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.

To Forgive

We often advice people to forgive others. We knowingly or unknowingly hurt others by our words, act and attitude.

Casually we say “sorry”, “pardon me” and at times of festival we meet every friend and relative with a request to forgive us for knowingly or unknowingly being hurt. IS IT ENOUGH!!!!!

Can “Sorry” be enough? Does “Sorry” give us the license to do another mistake?

Or “sorry” teach us something….

It is not easy to forgive someone. If you have never given forgiveness, it would be difficult for you to forgive. Forgiving someone is not easy.

At first you will have to realize that you are equally responsible for the mistake though not in all cases but in few cases both are equally responsible.  How you could be responsible? You react with anger when someone hurt you and thus you become responsible of hurting the other. You reflect the act done by others to you and share the responsibility.

When you decide to forgive, you will first of all have to stop reacting. When you stop reacting over others actions, you will start remembering their wrong deeds. I would say, you will start revisiting those deeds again and again. In this act of revisiting you will again be trapped in anger and would like to react, would not like to forgive others. But be firm on the decision to forgive. You will keep on revisiting wrong deeds of others for some time, but every time you revisit those deeds, you would realize that those who did wrong to you were ignorant of what they are doing, you will find their behavior childish and your heat will be filled with pity on them. If not with pity you would realize that you can forgive them.

Slowly when you realize that you can forgive them you may even feel like you are good or better than them… a form of ego…

But while putting efforts in forgiving you will soon realize you are not better… neither you are best nor they… neither you are doing good to yourself or to them… you are working to free yourself from the fire of anger and the feeling to punish them.

Yes, when someone does something wrong to you, you will be filled with anger and you would find all the possible way to punish them. Unknowingly you keep on burning yourself in anger and the desire to punish.

We can say, to forgive someone is the best punishment.

I would say, when you forgive someone from heart, you will be in a state where the wrong deeds done by others will no more be painful to you, those deeds would not be important to you and later you would feel you find those people as creation of god, a creation like you, and would pray for their well-being and goodness.

I could say all this as I have reached to the state of forgiveness where I am able to pray for well-being and goodness of those who did wrong to me, who do wrong to me.

Vein Knowledge

Few days back I happen to meet a student whom his teacher has rewarded with knowledge. His face was shining bright. And why don’t his face shine for he had reason, he got knowledge from his teacher (Guru). It was pleasure to see him. Somehow a question came to my mind, for how many days will you be able to carry this gift? Will you be able to enhance this knowledge?

I remember in school days, we were taught, “Knowledge increases with its use”. True it is, knowledge will increase with its use, but with proper use. One can increase knowledge with its constructive thoughts, thoughtful and watchful use of knowledge.

When I met that student, I recalled the story of “Alchemist” by Paul Cohelo, very famous story. The boy who is the hero of the story meets a wise man, who gives him a spoon having few drops of oil and asks him to carry the spoon while he moves around the palace. The boy does what he was being told but when he returns to the wise man, there was no oil in the spoon.

Teachers give us knowledge and set us free to move around the palace. It is up to the student how much he preserves his knowledge, how much he use his knowledge and grow. The usual mistake a student does is to lose the knowledge like the boy lost the oil in the spoon.

Today after many days when I met that student again I can see he has lost the shining brightness. It was normal phenomena; till the student will realize that the shining brightness is lost a good amount of time would have been lost. The student will then have to put extra efforts to get that knowledge.  Our mind is like a spoon and the knowledge we receive is like oil. It is our duty to protect that oil while we move around the luxury of the palace.

brightness at the edge

“At the edge of darkness there is light, so train your eyes to see the edge”

During discussion with team members came this statement. One argument was the edge is the END. How can it be an end? End is the state where mind stops thinking, where we stop finding ways.

A dark tunnel leads to brightness. At the entrance of tunnel there is darkness and eyes may give the illusion that there is darkness ahead. But walking ahead in the tunnel clears all illusion.

Ram was standing at the shore of ocean with Lakshman and others. All were just able to see the water. But Ram stated, “look dear, we are near to Sita, on the side of this ocean there is Sita…..”. Eyes were giving illusion that edge is where sky and water meets, END. But Ram could see the other side of that ocean, Ram could see Sita waiting for him, Ram could see the brightness.

Walking on the path of life, we find hard times, which is merely our thinking. While passing those days, we think there is no brightness. This situation will continue and we will be there forever. But I say, how is it possible? It can be possible only if we dont make any efforts to come out of it. It can be possible only if we wish to stay there forever.

 

It is we just train our eyes to see within limits. We forget our goals and find ourself trapped in the temporary situation. Only training eyes can help us see the brightness waiting for us outside the dark tunnel and help us see what Ram could see.

Lesson from Summer

It is the hot summer day, the air is burning the skin. Life is exhausted.

But amidst of this atmosphere I see life blooming with fragrance. This life was soothing heart and was feast for eyes. With smile this life taught a lesson, “in the extreme heat if you maintain your patience, respect for others, love for others, you will bloom with eternal beauty and the fragrance of your deeds will sooth hearts.”

 

Think before pointing finger

Many people point finger on others, others’ work, others’ words, some times on whatever others do. Such people forget that when they are pointing one finger towards others other three fingers point towards them with the thumb down.

Those three fingers try to tell “dear you are also not perfect!” “check yourself in mirror” “your mirror image will also point something”. The down thumb try to tell that if you have not listened to other three fingers and so your comments are not appreciable.

We are gifted with good brain then too we don’t use it when we open mouth or use hands/legs, ears, eyes. The first lesson the Gita wants to teach us is control our “gyanandriya”, speech, eyes, ears along with hands and legs. All these are controlled by brain. If not controlled they are blind and run here and there like horse which has lost control.

What we get in pointing fingers on others? What we prove by pointing fingers on others? I think, nothing can be proved and we don’t get anything except a momentary pleasure. Which just lasts for fraction of second. Which is like sand in air.
By pointing finger on others we are encouraging our ego which is our first and most prominent enemy. Laughing at others, pointing fingers on others, trying to portrait dull others we show where we stand. One day when we will face our true self we will realize what we are? Our such deeds will make us feel shame.

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.