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The Conduct of the Absolute

Swami_Krishnananda.jpgBrahmacharya actually means the ‘conduct of the Absolute’. ‘Brahman’ is the Supreme Being; ‘Charya’ is conduct, or behaviour. How God behaves—that is called Brahmacharya, finally. The attitude of the Supreme Being towards the universe and all beings is Brahmacharya, and to the extent that we are able to participate in this attitude, it may be said that we are also following that canon. The idea behind this significant term Brahmacharya, translated as the conduct of the Absolute, is that it is a gradual adjustment of the powers of one’s personality towards larger and larger dimensions of impersonality, because, the Absolute or Brahman is the Supreme Impersonality conceivable and existent.

Whenever there is a specialized outlook in any particular direction, along the channel of an object or a group of objects, living or non-living, consciousness moves in that direction. No matter what our interest is in that direction, our mind moves. When the mind moves, the Prana also moves. When the Prana moves, the energy also moves. So, one follows the other. So, in some measure, we cease to be ourselves for the time being when we admire something, love something, or are attracted towards something. The object may be conceptual, visible or audible, it makes no difference; we get transferred.

In all these processes of sensory or intellectual absorption, outside oneself, there is a channelizing of force of which we are constituted and which forms our strength. As long as we do not sell ourselves to any outside object, do not participate in anything external, we stand by ourselves. Otherwise, in some percentage, we cease to be ourselves and become another. We are shaken up in our whole system, because of the desire of the personality to move outside itself. As milk gradually becomes curd by an internal shaking of itself, the subject can turn into the object. And love of any kind is nothing but the transference of the subject into the object in some measure, be that object perceptible or merely conceptual. The very thought of the object disturbs the mind.

The thought of an object is of two kinds, called the Aklishta Vritti and the Klishta Vritti by Patanjali. Anything we like or dislike evokes a Klishta Vritti in the mind. A thing in which we are not particularly interested either way evokes an Aklishta Vritti in the mind. For the purpose of Yoga, both these Vrittis have to be subdued. Neither the Klishta nor the Aklishta is a desirable thing from the point of view of Mano-nirodha (control of the mind) or Chitta-vritti-nirodha (control of thoughts), which is Yoga.

The objects of the world speak in a language which we understand in our own way. They get transformed into a meaning when they enter into the mind of individuals; and each ndividual has his own or her own reading of any particular object. Every object sings a song and we listen to this music, but its meaning is different for different persons.

Objects of the world are not intended for being loved or for being hated. They exist as we also exist. So, studying things in an impartial manner, we find that loves and hatreds are outside the scheme of things. They are not in the order of nature. They do not exist in nature at all.

So, a lack of Brahmacharya means nothing but the presence of interests other than the interest in Yoga. The distracting object may be anything. If we have got a strong interest in something which distracts our attention, the energy goes. Any kind of leakage of energy in any direction, caused by any object or any event or context, is a break in Brahmacharya. A burst of anger is a break in Brahmacharya, though one does not normally think so.

The Individual – A Pressure Center

We are centers of pressure or stress. Every individual is such a center, which seeks to break down this pressure, overcome this stress, by adopting some means which it thinks is the proper one under the circumstances. But, the understanding of the way in which this stress is to be removed depends upon one’s own stage of evolution. We are perpetually in a state of mental stress and nervous pressure from childhood to doom, and the whole of our life is spent only in trying to find out ways and means of relieving ourselves of these stresses and strains, and we have our own way of doing it. The way in which we try to relieve ourselves of these stresses and strains—this way is called the expression of desires. What is called desire is the method we adopt to relieve ourselves of our tensions, nervous and psychological.

The stress or the strain has arisen on account of a separation of the individual from Nature. The world has cast us out as exiles. Our internal desire, finally, is to unite ourselves with Nature which is our mother or our parent. The relief that we are seeking from our stresses and strains is ultimately a desire or a longing to become one with our parent, from whom we have been cut off or isolated. Our desire is to possess everything. And the desire to possess is called love. What goes by the name of love of any kind in this world is a desire to possess things, which are considered as instruments capable of relieving us of our stresses and strains. Forgetfulness of the tension or the stress for the time being is imagined to be a way of relief from the stress itself. When a larger stress swoops down upon us, the lesser stress is forgotten. All our pains, sorrows and complaints vanish in a minute, in a trite, when we are about to be drowned in a river, for instance. We do not complain about anything at that time. Everything would seem to be all right if only we could be saved from possible drowning. Because, that is a problem larger than all the other little problems about which we are constantly complaining in life. So is the case with our asking for the fulfillment of our desires by contact with things.

Our desire is not for the contact. That is the whole point, though it appears that the senses tell us to come in contact with various things in the world for the relief of our tension. We are not asking for things. Nobody wants anything in this world finally. But, it appears as if we are wanting them, due to a mischievous interpretation given to these circumstances by our senses, by externalizing our internal anguish for a communion with all things. All loves, all desires, are urges for communion with things. While our urge within is a holy and pious impulse to come in union with all things, with Nature as a whole, this impulse is thrown in the direction of space and time and is externalized by the powers of the senses. The senses have only one work to do, to externalize everything. So, even our desires are externalized, while really our desire is for something else. That is the reason why we are not satisfied, no matter what objects are given to us, we are always disillusioned in the end. Whatever be our possession, it is not going to satisfy us finally.

There is a basic blunder in the very attitude of the mind in imagining that what it seeks through the fulfillment of desires lies outside it. The other blunder is, that in its movement towards the so-called external things, it has lost its energies. It has weakened itself. The Self, when it becomes the non-self, becomes a corpse, becomes dead. So, a person who has desires is a weakling. He has no strength at all. He has neither physical strength nor mental strength. The more the unfulfilled desires, the greater is the weakness of the body and the mind.

By Swami Krishnananda

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Message of Prem


Prem or Bhakti is intense love or highest form of devotion to God. There is not a bit of effort. There is a genuine, natural, spontaneous longing to meet God in the heart. Just as fish cannot live without water, just as the sun-flower cannot live without the sun, just as the chaste wife cannot live without her husband, so also a true Bhakta cannot live without God even for a moment.Swami Sivananda

Physical love is passion or Moha. Universal Love is Divine Love. Cosmic Love, Visva Prem, Universal Love are all synonymous terms. God is Love. Love is God. Selfishness, greed, egoism, vanity, pride, jealousy and anger contract the heart and stand in the way of developing Universal Love.

Just as taking of food brings Tushti (satisfaction), Pushti (nourishment to the body) and cessation of hunger, so also Bhakti brings Vairagya and Jnana.

No development of Prem or Bhakti is possible without right conduct (Sadachara). Just as a disease can be cured by medicine as well as dietetic adjustment, so also realisation of God can be had by devotion and Sadachara. Bhakti is the medicine. Sadachara represents dietetic adjustment or Pathya.

What is Sadachara then? To speak the truth, to practise Ahimsa, not to hurt the feelings of others in thought, word and deed, not to speak harsh words to anyone, not to show any anger towards anybody, not to abuse others or speak ill of others and to see God in all living beings is Sadachara. If you abuse anyone, if you hurt the feelings of others, really you are abusing yourself and hurting the feelings of God only. Himsa (injuring) is a deadly enemy of Bhakti and Jnana. It separates and divides. It stands in the way of realising unity or oneness of Self. You begin to injure others the moment you forget to see God in others.

Make hay while the sun shines. Winnow the corn while the wind blows. Sow the spiritual seeds when you are young. In old age you will have no strength of body and mind to do rigorous Sadhana.

That from which this universe has evolved, That in which this universe subsists and That in which this universe involves should be understood as Brahman, Atman or God or Supreme Being.

That in which there is neither East nor West, neither light nor darkness should be understood as Brahman.

The highest end of human existence than gaining which there is no greater gain, than whose bliss there is no greater bliss, than knowing which there is no higher knowledge-that should be understood as Svaroopa or Brahman or God.

A drunkard is not one who drinks liquors, but one who is intoxicated with the pride of wealth, power, position, rank, intelligence and false learning from books and passion. A blind man is not one who is not able to see with these physical eyes, but one who is not able to perceive the One Imperishable Essence “Avinasi Vastu” that is seated equally in all these beings through the inner eye of intuition or Divya Chakshus. A dead man is not one whose Pranas have departed from his physical body, but one who spends his life in eating, drinking and sleeping only and who is not doing worship of God for his liberation. 

There are two ways for attaining God-Consciousness. They are the Pravritti Marga and Nivritti Marga. Pravritti Marga is the path of action or Karma Yoga. Nivritti Marga is the path of renunciation or Jnana Yoga.

Let me say a word on practical Sadhana. The Sastras are endless; there is much to be known; time is short, obstacles are many; That which is the Essence should be grasped, just as the swan does in the case of milk mixed with water.

Excerpts from “Practice of Bhakti Yoga” by Swami Sivananda

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Meditation Point by Sankara

  1. Sri SankaracharyaThat which is beyond caste and creed, family and lineage; devoid of name and form, merit and demerit; transcending space, time and sense-objects; —that Brahman art thou, meditate on this in thy mind. 
  2. That Supreme Brahman which is beyond the range of all speech, but accessible to the eye of pure illumination; which is pure, the Embodiment of Knowledge, the beginningless entity;—that Brahman art thou, meditate on this in thy mind. 
  3. That which, though One only, is the cause of the many; which refutes all other causes; which is Itself without cause; distinct from Maya and its effect, the universe; and independent; — that Brahman art thou, meditate on this in thy mind 
  4. That which is free from duality; which is infinite and indestructible; distinct from the universe and Maya,— supreme, eternal; which is undying Bliss; taintless; — that Brahman art thou, meditate on this in thy mind 
  5. That Reality which (though One) appears variously owing to delusion,taking on names and forms, attributes and changes. Itself always unchanged, like gold in its modifications, — that Brahman art thou, meditate on this in thy mind 
  6. That beyond which there is nothing; which shines above Maya even, which again is superior to its effects, the universe; the inmost-Self of all. free from differentiation; the Real Self; the Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute; Infinite and immutable; — that Brahman art thou, meditate on this in thy mind 
  7. That which is free from birth, growth, development, waste, disease and death; which is indestructible; which is the cause of the projection, maintenance and dissolution of the universe;— that Brahman art thou, meditate on this in thy mind 
  8. That which is free from differentiation; whose essence is never non-existent; which is unmoved like the ocean without waves; the ever-free; of indivisible Form;— that Brahman art thou, meditate on this in thy mind 
  9. That which is untouched by the six-fold wave; meditated upon by the Yogi’s heart, but not grasped by the sense organs; which the Buddhi cannot know; and which is unimpeachable; — that Brahman art thou, meditate on this in thy mind. 
  10. On the Truth inculcated above, one must meditate in one’s mind, by means of the recognised arguments. By that means one will realize the Truth free from doubt etc., like water in the palm of one’s hand.

Sri Sankara “Vivekachudamani”

“Recognized arguments” — that are in harmony with the Vedas.

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A glimpse of Vedanta

Swastika - All is WellThroughout the long history of human existence the man has been wondering about his true nature and questioning the purpose of his presence on Earth. In his search for answers he came up with an idea that happiness is the reason why he comes into being and God is his true nature. Equipped with these bold believes and motivated to acquire infinite happiness the man manifests his God’s nature through modifying the surrounding and landscapes by building roads, constructing skyscrapers, blasting rock mountains, diverting rivers, creating damns, removing and implanting body organs, creating millions of food recipes to consume, changing climate by polluting oceans and atmosphere, applying chemicals to kill millions of lives, formulating new laws and religions to rule the Earth, creating more and more comforts and pleasures and still feeling unsatisfied, building air and space ships to be closer to his God, searching and researching, pushing limits far and wide, further and further, through competition winning and defeating simultaneously, growing resentment and attachment which explode into fears and hatred that in their turn lead to wars and depressions, acquiring multiple educations, digesting tremendous amounts of information and rarely discovering that the only path to omnipresent God of infinite and absolute love, dwelling within each and everything is from within and not without.

Yoga Light-House

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Siva Yogaswami speaks of life

Yogaswami_ASIf you want to commit suicide, one pin is sufficient. Similarly, in order to improve oneself, much study is not necessary.

You can go to the top by climbing up step by step. But exceptionally there are some who, with the help of Sruitis, the guru, and their own understanding and experience, can fly like birds.

 Don’t do things in order to please others.

We must demolish the fortress that we ourselves have built.

The railway engine pulls many coaches. Can it do so if it runs off the track? No. Great people have shown the path. We must follow it.

When you see the mountain you do not see the trees. When you see the trees
you do not see the mountain.

Very few have understood the teachings of Buddha.

Try to remain without taking any furthur births.

What is there to study? Man is mad.

The lotus is highly esteemed, even though it grows out of mud. Similarly,
knowers of the Self can be found anywhere.

On the highest level, where is the guru? Where is the disciple? Everything is
Brahman.

With one hand you must take hold of God, with the other you must hold on to
the world.

Satguru Siva Yogaswami