Function Disabled

Τετάρτη, 24 Σεπτεμβρίου 2014

Let Thy Will Be Done (Surrender) - Cultivating Spiritual Awareness

'Ishwara Pranidhana' – ‘Let Thy Will Be Done’ (Surrender)

Ishwara Pranidhana Indicates a level of Surrender where we are not subject to Our Mental Whims and Desires. In normal life we find it difficult to surrender to something that is different from us. It is even difficult to surrender to God or to Guru.

If we try, certain thoughts come, certain influences affect our belief, doubt creeps in, questioning begins and we again fall prey to the mental influences.

Spiritual Aspirants who are trying to follow a Spiritual Lifestyle have to face those confusions and doubts, because Surrender is never complete in our Lives.

Surrender Simply means 'Not being a SLAVE to the Mental Whims, Fantasies and Desires'.
Right now we have Surrendered Ourselves to Our Mind.

The Mind says, “Do this” – 'We Do It'. The Mind says, “Say this” – We Say it'. The Mind Says, “Desire this” – 'We Desire It'. The Mind says, “Reject that” – 'We Reject It'. We have Become Slaves of Our Mind.

The Real meaning of 'Surrender' is coming out of this Situation and Surrendering to the Cosmic Divine Nature', becoming 'Master of the Mind' and tuning oneself with the Higher Self. 
This Surrender is the First Step of 'Ishwara Pranidhana' – ‘Let Thy Will Be Done’.

It is also a Philosophy, a Concept, an Idea, that we try to Develop. One who can develop this Philosophy and Live accordingly, who can Cultivate that Spiritual Strength and Energy Within, is recognized as a 'Disciple' and eventually, in the course of time, as an 'Enlightened Being'.

The 'Highest Spiritual Value' to be cultivated in life is 'Ishwara Pranidhana'. The Moment You live that, Your Yoga also reaches its Point of Culmination. Ishwara Pranidhana is Identifying with the 'Inner Pure Nature'.

~ Swami Niranjanananda (Bihar School of Yoga)

Cultivating Spiritual Awareness

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

How can we live in the presence of guru and God in our daily lives?

Swami NIranjanananda Saraswati. There are no guidelines on how to practise and live spiritual life. The basic framework has been given in the yogic, tantric and vedic traditions, but ultimately we have to manage our own thoughts, ideas, beliefs and convictions. Until we do that, there is no spiritual development.

Spiritual development is not mechanical. It does not mean that if we do a certain practice, we will get a definite result. As long as we are doing something physical or mental, that is fine, because we know what the end result of asana and pranayama, or mantra practice, or meditation practice will be. However, it must be emphasized that the practices can only lead us to a certain point. Beyond that we have to adjust, modify and alter our mental expressions and develop a new perspective. Developing a new vision marks the awakening of the spiritual faculty within us. Hatha yoga or raja yoga do not indicate the awakening of spiritual faculties. Understanding, modifying and changing the mental vrittis indicates the beginning of spiritual awareness.

How do we modify or fine-tune our ideas, thoughts, convictions and beliefs, which are the basic building blocks of our nature? The answer has been given in the Yoga Sutras. The yamas and niyamas have to be lived. It is not necessary to practise all five yamas or all five niyamas, but it is important to master one yama or one niyama.

The highest practice one can do to cultivate spiritual awareness is ishwara pranidhana, which is the final niyama. Ishwara pranidhana means ‘let thy will be done’. Allowing oneself to be the recipient of the divine will is the highest virtue that can be cultivated. It is the highest state of mind that can be developed and experienced. It is the culmination of jnana, the culmination of bhakti and the culmination of karma. When jnana, knowledge, bhakti, faith or devotion, and karma, behaviour or performance, fuse into one and are directed to fulfilment of the divine will, ishwara pranidhana, then that would be the highest state we can aspire for as spiritual aspirants. Ishwara pranidhana indicates letting go of the personal hang-ups, the personal attachments and the holding onto things that we consider dear. Remember that contentment, santosha, comes before ishwara pranidhana.

Ishwara pranidhana is the last of the niyamas. If you follow the sequence of the yamas and niyamas, it is number ten. Beyond that there is no other yama or niyama. Being number ten, ishwara pranidhana indicates that a certain amount of preparation has taken place already and you are experiencing the divine will. Through the generation of faith and innocence, letting go of the self-oriented, self-centred awareness, one is able to finally tune oneself to God’s energy or guru’s energy.

Ishwara pranidhana also indicates a level of surrender where we are not subject to our mental whims and desires. In normal life we find it difficult to surrender to something that is different from us. It is even difficult to surrender to God or to guru. If we try, certain thoughts come, certain influences affect our belief, doubt creeps in, questioning begins and we again fall prey to the mental influences. Christ’s disciples had to face doubts. Spiritual aspirants who are trying to follow a spiritual lifestyle have to face those confusions and doubts, because surrender is never complete in our lives.

Surrender simply means not being a slave to the mental whims, fantasies and desires. Right now we have surrendered ourselves to our mind. The mind says, “Do this” – we do it. The mind says, “Say this” – we say it. The mind says, “Desire this” – we desire it. The mind says, “Reject that” – we reject it. We have become slaves of our mind. The real meaning of surrender is coming out of this situation and surrendering to the cosmic divine nature, becoming master of the mind and tuning oneself with the higher Self. This surrender is the first step of ishwara pranidhana – ‘let thy will be done’. It is also a philosophy, a concept, an idea, that we try to develop. One who can develop this philosophy and live accordingly, who can cultivate that spiritual strength and energy within, is recognized as a disciple and eventually, in the course of time, as an enlightened being. The highest spiritual value to be cultivated in life is ishwara pranidhana. The moment you live that, your yoga also reaches its point of culmination.

Ishwara pranidhana is identifying with the inner pure nature. Once you have identified with your inner nature, you have attained ishwara pranidhana, and you don’t remain you. That is the turning point in the aspirant’s life. Everything is guided by our ego. Our thoughts are guided by the ego, our expectations are motivated by the ego, our efforts are energized by the ego, our responses and reactions and identifications are associated with the ego.

If you have a confrontation with your enemy, do you react to the person or to the ideology that person conveys to you? There is a clash of egos, you both have different viewpoints, and the person and the ideology become separate. So most of the time you will react to the person because there is no acknowledgement of the ideology. If there was recognition of the ideology, then the person would be redundant, and become the follower of the ideology. But we always watch the person and we respond accordingly.

However, we don’t respond to the person, but to the reaction that we feel within us for that person – anger or hatred. So we are responding to our own emotion. We are reacting to our own anger. These are the traits that a psychologist or psychoanalyst tries to discover about the cause of a disturbance or imbalance. Again it is so coloured by the ego that it becomes impossible to know where we are reacting, with what we are identifying. We are identifying with ourselves and definitely not with the other person or with the situation.

The practice of ishwara pranidhana is identifying with your inner nature. If you experience ishwara pranidhana, then you have let go of the identification with jealousy and anger, with desires and passions, with all the so-called ‘normal’ responses. Once this identification is gone, one’s responses change and are no longer self-oriented. Instead of being focused on oneself, one is now focused outwards like the beam of a torch.

Ishwara pranidhana is not only a mental sadhana. Outer changes also help to attain ishwara pranidhana. What made St Francis of Assisi a saint? It was not his realization of God or Christ, or religion, or his compassion and love. It was the vow he had taken of poverty and chastity. To move from a life of luxury to a life of poverty and to maintain the discipline is very difficult. Do we have the capacity to make external changes in our life, to take a vow and live it, or are we too weak and infirm? A vow, or vrat, reflects a change in lifestyle. Test yourself. Undergo a little physical hardship. One night a week sleep on a mattress on the floor. One day a week miss one meal and have something light to eat for the next. In this manner by adjusting certain situations and conditions and disciplining yourself little by little, you will find that your lifestyle will influence your mind and your mental receptivity.

The yamas and niyamas are not a mental process only. They are a process by which you become aware of yourself. As you become aware of yourself, you have to fine-tune your channels. But at the same time, the outer external change and discipline is equally important. Without it the yamas and niyamas cannot be lived.

What are the components of meditation?

First of all, meditation is a process of removing stress from our personality. Meditation becomes a technique of stress management, through which the psychological and emotional frustrations are cleared.

After that, meditation becomes a way of providing the mind with a focus – concentration. This is the second component. The state of concentration is so fine that there are no distractions and dissipations from the senses affecting it. Concentration is not internalization. It is just taking control of the four wild runaway horses, holding the reins of manas, buddhi, chitta and ahamkara, and directing them to move on the path that you have decided.

Then the third component is the process of internalization, diving deep into the inner nature, and discovering what the building blocks of our personality are – the samskaras, the karmas, the influences, the impressions, the foundations of our mental, and psychological, emotional nature.

The fourth component is then connecting with the positive self, connecting with the creative strength. When we connect with this positive energy and cultivate positive qualities in our life, then meditation takes us from the conditioned nature to sattwa, the luminous nature of the self. And then meditation helps us to overcome our ego connections. The individual self is transcended.

After transcending the individuality, samadhi is experienced: absolute harmony and balance. In the second chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna asks Krishna, “Can you describe how a person who is realized lives, acts, walks, talks, sleeps, eats and moves?” Krishna replies, “That person’s actions are no different to ours. He moves like you and me, he eats like you and me, he sleeps like you and me, he thinks like you and me. The only difference is that he has overcome the duality of life. Whereas initially we do everything for ourselves and are the centre of the universe, now love and compassion have become the centre of the universe, and everything else revolves around that.”

This statement indicates the progression of meditation from the management of anger, frustration, stress and phobias to the development of self-awareness, to connecting with the positive nature and discovering peace and harmony, to living a complete life by not connecting with ourselves but with the world around us. That is the relevance of meditation today.

Self-realization is attainable, but not necessarily needed. What is needed is the ability to manage ourselves in a better way. Let us start with that. If we can learn how to handle ourselves in a better way, maybe we will discover that we don’t need to be realized, that we are in that state of realization all the time.

~ Swami Niranjanananda (Bihar School of Yoga)

Τρίτη, 16 Σεπτεμβρίου 2014

Kriya Yoga The Real - An Introduction

Kriya Yoga the Ancient system of Tantra
By Paramahamsa Satyananda Saraswati

All of us have potential which is beyond even
our wildest dreams, but most of this potential
remains untapped. Each person has the
capacity to experience different planes of
consciousness, yet most of us live in the lower
planes, without experiencing higher levels of
existence, or even believing that they exist.

Many people are unhappy in the world,
dissatisfied and yet not sure what is lacking in
their lives. The basic reason for this unhappiness
is our attachment to the material plane
of existence. Once we gain a glimpse of higher
spheres of consciousness, then our unhappiness
and discontent automatically fade away.
There are various systems of yoga, such as
raja yoga, kundalini yoga, etc., which are widely
propagated throughout the world. All are
aiming at transcendental states where one
starts to commune with one's inner being.
Most of the systems emphasize the importance
of concentration as a means of withdrawing
consciousness from the outside surroundings
and directing it into the innermost realms of
the mind.

Without becoming too involved in the field
of semantics, let us first of all define what is
commonly understood by concentration
implies the focussing of one's
consciousness towards one point, either external
or internal, to the exclusion of all other
subjects or thoughts. Now this is not such an
easv process, for our consciousness in connection
with our minds is habituated to movement
from one point to the next, from one object to
another. Any attempt on our part to subjugate
the consciousness and make it dwell on one
point imposes strain on the mind resulting in
tension and frustration at our failure to curb
its wandering tendency.

If you observe yourself you will find that
your consciousness has a natural tendency to
have a diverse perception and to move from
one object to the next. Try to concentrate on
one thing for a few minutes and you will
convince yourself of this fact. You will be conscious
of a never-ending stream of thoughts,
some that seem related to each other and
others that seem totally unconnected. This
occurrence of unconnected thoughts is known
as distraction (vikshepa) and is a limitation of
the mind.

Many systems of yoga tell you to place an
object in front of you or to visualize an internal
image, concentrate on it, and lo and behold
you will start to explore the subconscious
depths of the mind. Although the method is
correct and can bring wonderful experiences,
it takes no consideration of the wandering
tendency of our consciousness, which makes
concentration impossible for most people.

Concentration is possible only if a person is
very relaxed mentally and physically. Most
people cannot relax, or if they do it is on rare
occasions. For this reason the mind continually
projects streams of differing thoughts to
conscious perception. As such, to ask most
people to concentrate is impossible. And if
they try to concentrate, they will tend to try to
suppress the disturbing factors in the mind
and create more tension in themselves.

Concentration is something that occurs
spontaneously in a very relaxed mind and
body. Until relaxation is achieved, concentration,
real concentration that is, remains
impossible. A system is required which progressively
leads a person to deeper states of
relaxation, until concentration becomes the
spontaneous activity of consciousness. This
system is the system of kriya yoga.

Before we talk about kriya yoga, let us briefly
discuss where concentration, relaxed concentration
that is, will lead us. The fruit or
culmination of deep one-pointed concentration
is the occurrence of the spontaneous state of
meditation. Most people have heard of meditation,
yet very few people have actually
experienced it. It arises only under conditions
of almost abnormal relaxation (yes, abnormal
is the right word, for most people never
experience deep states of relaxation; even
during sleep they are plagued by subconscious
worries, phobias, fears, etc.) of both mind and
body, together with a high state of conscious
alertness. Many people think that they are
meditating, but in fact they are probably not.

Modern scientific instruments can even show
whether a person is in a state of meditation or
not. These instruments measure electrical wave
patterns emitted from the brain. The frequency
and amplitude of these brain waves
indicate the inner state of mind.

During concentration there is a continuity
of consciousness and this condition allows our
subconscious forces to rise up. The hidden
psychological patterns in the subconscious
mind start to manifest. Normally, because of
our mental distractions, we are totally unable
to contact or express our inner power. During
deep periods of concentration we start to
understand the deeper aspects of our being.
So the fruits of concentration are substantial.

Many people, whether they have experienced
meditation or not, know that great things are
in store for them if only they can concentrate
deeply. Because they are not relaxed, however,
they force their consciousness to dwell on one
point. Of course they are only following the
instructions of most systems of yoga or yoga
teachers. They don't realize that the systems
of yoga are correct, but that they presuppose
a reasonable level of relaxation, something
that is not attained by most people todav. The
result of this forced concentration is greater
tension and frustration. Meditation eludes
them. To repeat: it is not the method that is
wrong; its failure to bring results in most cases
is due to the fact that people are not ready for
the system. Most people have too many
disturbances in their minds to be able to
concentrate. Once the deep-rooted complexes
have been removed, the ones that most of us
are not aware of, then relaxation becomes
possible; it becomes natural and deep. 
Meditation starts to occur spontaneously. 
No effort is required.

Questions arise such as "How can most
people learn to explore their minds?" "If they
cannot concentrate what should they do?"
"How can one attain meditational experience?"
This is where kriya yoga comes to the rescue.

Kriya yoga seems to defy or contradict the
basic rules of yoga. It says that you should not
try to concentrate your mind. Don't make any
effort to bring about one-pointedness. Leave
your consciousness freedom of movement, but
let it tiy to follow prescribed internal movements.

Kriya yoga accepts most people's
limitations; if you are unable to concentrate
then another method must be used to accomplish
the same final result.

Kriya yoga is more interested in awareness
than concentration. What do we mean by awareness?
By awareness we mean conscious
attention of thoughts or of objects, either
external or internal, without necessarily being
one-pointed. Simultaneously, and this is most
important, the word awareness implies that
the individual knows that his attention is at a
particular place or on a train of thought. The
word implies a relationship between the activity
of perception and the perceiver. If a person
does not know he is perceiving something,
then he is not aware. Awareness implies that
the individual does not try to suppress an
ever-arising stream of thoughts, even if they
have nothing to do with his direction of
perception; he merely lets the thoughts arise
and disappear, remaining as a witness to them.
Other people might understand something
different by the word awareness, but the previous
explanation is what we mean. When a
person is sufficiently relaxed, especially in the
deeper layers of the subconscious mind, then
awareness will lead to one-pointedness or

Kriya yoga does not presuppose concentration
or even withdrawal of your awareness
from the outside surroundings. As such, it is
more suitable for most people today, since
they are habituated to extroversion and to an
awareness which tends to move here and there,
and not dwell on one point to the exclusion of
others. If you cannot concentrate and your
conscious perception jumps here and there, it
doesn't matter - just carry on your kriya yoga
practices without becoming worried or frustrated.
Kriya yoga doesn't ask you to withdraw
your mind to one point; it asks you to do just
the opposite - to actually move your awareness,
to rotate your consciousness from one
point to another.

The very word kriya means activity or movement,
and in this context activity or movement
of awareness or consciousness. The word kriya
also means practical or preliminary and in this
sense it means the preliminary practice which
leads to yoga; yoga here meaning the culmination,
the union, the final result of practice, not
the process as we normally understand it. Thus
as we have already explained, in contrast to
other forms of yoga, kriya yoga does not ask
you to curb your mental fluctuations, but asks
you to purposely create activity in your consciousness.
In this way, mental faculties are
harmonized and flower into their fullest
potential, and coordination is brought about
between the nervous system and the brain.

The source of the practices of kriya yoga
goes back into antiquity and slowly evolved
over a period of time through practice and
experience. Eventually the practices, or kriyas,
were written down and can still be found in the
numerous tantric texts. These were written in
Sanskrit, and to date only a few have been
translated into other languages. The full form
of kriya yoga consists of a combination of over
seventy kriyas. Out of these kriyas, about
twenty or so are commonly known.

Kriya yoga has been taught to large numbers
of people throughout the world. Many
people have gained wonderful benefits, yet
others have gained little or nothing even
though they might have practised regularly
and with enthusiasm. The fault generally lies
in the sequence of the practices. If the sequence
is wrong, then the system of kriya yoga loses
its full power, for the different kriyas bear a
close relationship to each other. As an analogy,
consider music. There are a certain number of
musical notes. If these notes are played in a
certain order, then beautiful music can result.

If they are played in another sequence, then
ear-jarring noise can result. The sequence is
of the utmost importance. It is the same with
the kriya yoga practices.

Another important requirement of successful
practice of kriya yoga is the correct preparation. 

Again, many people learn kriya
yoga as their first introduction to yoga practices
in general, and so gain little or no benefit
because their bodies and minds are not ready
and they lack the ability to perform basic yogic

A full preparation is essential and
includes the following:

1. Body control and sound health. This is a
basic aim and is achieved through hatha yoga.
by body control we do not mean the type of
control that people in circuses have developed,
but sufficient to perform yogic practices,
including kriya yoga, with ease. Health, needless
to say, is of utmost importance, not only
for more advanced kriya yoga practices but
for everyday life. If you have some disease or
pain it is very difficult to think of anything else,
let alone try to practise kriya yoga or any
other higher form of yoga practice. For this
reason, the initial aim of yoga should be to
make you radiate health by removing existing
ailments or by improving your present condition
of health. It is by doing asanas, pranayama
and various body cleansing techniques, as
outlined in Book I and II, that we can attain
this required state of vitality.

Once we have attained sufficient body control
and health, then the practices of kriya yoga
become very easy, for your awareness can
follow the kriya yoga techniques without being
continually disturbed by body discomfort or
illness. We can actually forget the body and
direct our awareness in other directions.

2. Proficiency in mudras and bandhas. These
will be fully discussed in forthcoming lessons.
However, as a brief description, we can say
that both mudras and bandhas are methods
of stimulating nerve plexuses and endocrinal
secretions and for activating bio-energies in
the body. Mudras are also sometimes intended
as symbolic expressions of inner mental or
psychic feelings. This is a very basic description.

3. Development of breath consciousness. What is
breath consciousness? It is very easy and can
be developed by anyone with practice. It is
merely being aware of the fact that: "I am
breathing in and I am breathing out". This can
be done even while you are talking, or working,
or when the mind is engaged in other
directions, as well as when you are sitting
comfortably with your eyes closed. It can be
done at any time and under any circumstances,
even while you are reading these words and
simultaneously understanding everything that
is written. With practice it is possible to
undertake all your daily activities and still
maintain this breath awareness.

Awareness of your breath implies that you
are simultaneously aware of your consciousness.
In other words, if you are aware that you
are breathing then you are automatically aware
of your own awareness. Most people forget
the fact that they are aware or conscious; they
are so wrapped up in their thought processes
and actions that they do these things automatically.
So by being aware of your breath
you continually know that you are aware of
your conscious being; you no longer lose
yourself in mental and physical activity. This is
a very important point to remember.

As a slight digression, consider the difference
between an animal and a human being.
An animal eats food, sleeps and performs
various other activities during the course of its
life. A human being also eats food, sleeps, etc.
but has one distinctive feature: the capacity to
know that he is acting, whereas an animal
performs various actions without knowing it.
There is also a distinct difference between
various stages of human development. All
humans think, yet some who are more aware
are able to watch themselves thinking. They
are able to stand outside themselves and watch
the thinking process occurring within their
mind. This is the aim of breath awareness: to
continually remind you of your ability to be
aware of your consciousness and to be a witness
or a spectator of your mental and physical
activities. Breath awareness is an essential part
of kriya yoga.

4. Location and familiarity with the psychic
passages and chakras. A psychic passage is a
pathway or channel in which your breath
awareness, or psychic consciousness can flow
or move. There are various different pathways,
one of which is in the centre of the spinal
column, from top to bottom. It is easy to
describe the route of the psychic pathway, but
the practitioner must develop and experience
the flow of breath consciousness in the psychic
pathway for himself. One must be aware of the
breath and feel the movement of breath in the

There is a good reason why this rotation or
movement of consciousness is an integral part
of kriya yoga. These psychic passages pass
through various nerve plexuses in the body,
particularly those pertaining to the sympathetic
and parasympathetic nervous systems.

The mere fact that you are aware of these
places has a stimulating influence which
awakens nerve impulses, which bring about
psychological and biochemical changes in the
body. This can be experienced even after a
short period of practice in the form of calmness,
tranquillity and clarity of thought. The reason
for this result is that these plexuses are
connected directly to brain centres and to
endocrinal glands. Of particular significance
are the two parasympathetic nerve outflows in
the region of the base of the spine and the top
of the spine. The parasympathetic nervous
system tends to reduce nervous tension, in
opposition to the sympathetic nervous system,
which tries to produce tension and the readiness
of the mind and body to withstand
external events. 
Awareness of the lower and
upper parts of the spine or the spinal psychic
passages is an important part of kriya yoga.
This brings about relaxation of the body and
mind by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous
system. Additionally there are many other
factors involved, however they will be explained

Kriya yoga has been traditionally associated
with secrecy, since its methods were always
passed on from guru to disciple by word of
mouth. Because of this system of teaching,
many myths have arisen. People have come to
the conclusion that kriya yoga is a secret system,
meant only for the few. Some people have
begun to believe that one must possess many
special qualifications to learn and practise kriya
yoga and that one must be a celibate with strict
abstention from sexual life. All these ideas are
totally wrong. 

Kriya yoga can be practised by
all people without exception. Why should it be
limited to a few chosen persons? We do,
however, emphasize that adequate preparation
is essential for positive results; but in this sense
it is no different from anything else that you
learn or study in life. If you want to perfect any
skill, whether it is mechanical, medical or
whatever, you have to start from basic principles
and techniques.

Kriya yoga does not ask you to abstain from
your sexual life. Why should it? Sexual activity
is a natural part of life, so why abstain from it?

Kriya originated from the ancient system of
tantra, and of all the spiritual systems tantra is
the most understanding regarding sexual life.
In fact, under correct circumstances tantra has
encouraged the use of sex as a means to evolve
spiritually. Of course there is much written
about the conservation of sexual energy and
its sublimation into spiritual power. This idea
has been sadly misunderstood. When people
write about sublimating sexual energy and
directing it into higher channels they generally
miss the whole point. The transformation of
seminal fluid into ojas or spiritual power is
often mentioned but again misunderstood.

Actually it is the transformation of sexual
thoughts into spiritual directions that is implied
here. Many people waste enormous amounts
of mental power and energy continually
dwelling on sexual fantasies and so on. If this
same energy could be channelled into spiritual
pursuits, then many fruits could be gained.
It is not necessary to abstain from sexual
relations. Continue your sexual relations, but
don't dwell continually on sexual thoughts.

Direct your mind in other directions, not
necessarily spiritual; towards work, study or
whatever you are interested in. In this way you
will find new dimensions of power in your
thinking and physical activities. This is the
meaning of sublimation of sexual energy. The
practice of kriya yoga definitely does not ask
you to change your way of life.

From the experience of teaching different
techniques of yoga, we have noticed a distinct
and remarkable difference between people's
reaction to kriya yoga and other systems that
require concentrated effort. When people try
to concentrate they tend to become more tense
and develop headaches, the opposite, of
course, to what is intended. After a short time
they become frustrated, start to lose interest
in the practices and start to scratch, fidget and
generally feel uncomfortable. They start to
pen their eyes and their awareness begins to
wander more than it did before the start of the
practices. There seems to be a reaction to this
concentration and their mind rebels and does
exactly the opposite to what is intended. With
kriva yoga, however, there is a noticeable
difference. Because they are not asked to
concentrate deeply, only to do their practices,
the awareness seems to spontaneously become
one-pointed and relaxed. The mind is like a
naughty child. If you tell it to do one thing it
will do exactly the opposite. So by asking it to
concentrate, it wanders. In kriya yoga, by
asking it to wander if it wishes, it seems to want
to become one-pointed. From this state,
meditation can spontaneously arise and your
awareness can start to explore the vast layers
of the subconscious and unconscious mind.

When you begin to understand and to know
what lies in the deeper recesses of your mind,
the vast mental reservoir about which you are
not normally aware, it is then that you can
start to eradicate the phobias and fears, complexes
and tensions which make your life
unhappy. It is these subconscious, negative
mental samskaras (impressions) which continually
act below the surface of your normal
consciousness and cause mental disturbances.

Often you feel unhappy and depressed.
Sometimes you may know, but generally you
don't understand why you feel this way, only
that you do. The cause lies with these fears,
phobias, bad memories, etc. By becoming
aware of them, by delving into the mind you
automatically start to neutralize their negative
influence on your life. If you don't know what
the root cause of your unhappiness is, how
can you rectify the situation? The more of
these problems that you remove, the happier
your life will become. This is also the way to
cure emotional imbalances, nervous disorders
and all the different types of psychological
problems that plague people throughout the
world. Other methods of making people's lives
happier have been tried but there is only one
sure way - relax your mind, know your mind
and throw out the rubbish that exists there.

The first obstacle in yoga is relaxation of
the mind while being fully aware. If you can
attain a sufficient degree of mental relaxation,
then automatically your awareness will start to
introvert, to explore the mind. This will
probably occur on the superficial levels at first,
but eventually you will start to see your deeper
problems in the form of symbolic visions. This
is the stage at which you really begin to remove
your deeper problems. If you relax the mind
and then sleep, you will gain nothing because
you will not be conscious of your mind and its
contents. Your awareness is not there.

We have found that the ideal method for
the man of today is kriya yoga. Without
suppressing the wandering tendency of the
awareness and thereby causing more tension
in the mind than was there to begin with, kriya
yoga aims at making your awareness spontaneously
one-pointed. In this way, your
awareness automatically introverts and so
starts to reshape the activities of the mind to
eventually bring about a state of equanimity
or tranquillity. Kriya yoga allows you to filter
out the morass, the quagmire of complexes,
fears, etc. in your mind which make life an
unhappy affair. No strain or mental effort is
required to remove these problems. You
merely do your practices and in the course of
time your mind will become clearer.

There are no restrictions or barriers to those
who want to practise kriya yoga. Your age,
diet, social position, religion or whatever, will
not bar you from practising. All you need is
the interest and effort to change your life.
It is our intention to make the system of
kriya yoga available to everyone who is
interested, because large numbers of people
are now ready to reap the benefits of kriya
yoga, yet cannot because they lack knowledge
of the system. If you feel that kriya yoga is for
you, then we hope that you will sincerely take
up the practices systematically illumined in this
book, and will start today to prepare yourself
for the subtle science of kriya yoga.

Δευτέρα, 8 Σεπτεμβρίου 2014

The View of Sannyas

Paramahamsa Satyananda's Views on Sannyas

"O Bhiku"
Keep on Moving
With compassion and love
For the happiness of many
For the well-being of many"

Let people come forward for sannyas and karma sannyas. Respect all systems, all philosophies and all religions; that is the only way for growth in spiritual life. You should see no difference in the different paths, and that is how you go ahead in spiritual life.

For a sannyasin, all the funeral ceremonies are done at the time of initiation, because when you take sannyas you are supposed to die and get reborn immediately in the same body.

Sannyas is not only for those who have exhausted their desires. It is the key to a fuller life, it is the universal path on which we are able to fulfil our basic need to expand our experience and awareness of life by working in the world for the evolution of all beings.

When a sannyasin realises that his body, his mind, his intellect and his resources are for one particular purpose, then everything is solved. He begins to feel, "This body is net mine and everything I have is not mine", and then he becomes a sannyasin.

Sannyas is not for perfect people. It Is for those who want to make their life spiritually dynamic.

Whenever you want to take sannyas you are ready.

Whatever my sannyasins are they are dearest to me, and those who have worn this geru dress even for one night, I consider be blessed.

Once you have taken sannyas everything is booked. You can not, you should not, use any of yourself for your own pleasure. Therefore a sannyasin is one who has created an endowment, a trust, of all his physical, mental, emotional, social end economic, resources, and all those resources are directed for one purpose. That purpose is the Guru's order. Whatever your Guru decides far you, you are to do it.

Sannyas is the ultimate point of evolution. It is there that you dedicate yourself to the path of enlightenment, wholly and completely.

Even if you only live the life of a sannyasin for fifteen days, it will enrich you with very deep and abiding experiences, it will create a new type of mind, personality and man.

The lives of sannyasins are a moving panorama of success through struggle, harmony through conflict, of noble attainment through selfless service. Their lives act as printers and are an assurance to all seekers, no matter what their nationality, religion or creed, as in their lives is seen what all men of all nations, of all countries call great. Their lives offer a message to strife-ridden humanity, a message of love and service, of hope and courage and burning optimism, a message for now!

A sannyasin tries to flow with the river of life, to let things happen in the way that they must.

A sannyasin tries to accept whatever is; he takes whatever comes and responds accordingly.

The Sannyasin should see all things equally.

A sannyasin should be realistic.

A sannyasin's life should be based on experience and not on blind belief. A sannyasin should not accept blindly other people's words. He should listen and try to find out the truth behind the words for himself.

A sannyasin must be like a phoenix and arise to a renewed life.

The sannyasi alone lives for the world. The world looks to its own happiness, whereas the Sannyasi looks to the happiness of the world.

Remember that the status of a sannyasi is an immortal one. It is eternal and full of bliss.

Remember that there has never been a sannyasin, nor will there aver be one, who has not had samskaras, karma and dharma to work through. Please know that when you are working through these times, they may not be pleasant, they may be very hard times, but they can be overcome. You can overcome any and all of them. It depends on you. You must be strong. Do not let them take hold of you. You should know that you can rise above them.

After one has accepted sannyas he belongs to all, not to any particular group or individual.

The moment you take sannyas, forget that you were born to family. Forget that you were meant to love or be loved.

The geru colour is a symbol of detachment and trial dedication. It also represents the calm, peaceful, serene, dynamism in one's personality. Nowadays, when we wear geru. It represents our spiritual tradition and symbolises our renunciation.

The sannyasin must face everything within him.

The traditional period for sannyas training is twelve years, as that is the time required for changing or transmuting the mental patterns and samskaras from gross to subtle; from mundane to spiritual.

In sannyas you have no protection, you have no defences, you have no bunkers there. All the evil propensities of mind attack you on the open ground - you do not know where to hide!

A sannyasin cannot escape from the dark and naked and cruel realities of the mind,

There has to be a fundamental and qualitative change, if not a complete change, in the structure of the thinking of a sannyasin.

A sannyasin does not care what is happening. Death and birth mean nothing to him. Prosperity and poverty mean nothing to him. Tragedy and comedy mean nothing to him. For the sannyasin both are a kind of dream.

Swami Sivanandaji said on the day of my sannyas: "A sannyasin can repeat any mantra, any time, according to his whim. He can practise 'Om' one day, 'Om Namah Shivaya' another day. Shakti mantra on the third day, because a sannyasin sees oneness in all.

Duty to your own spiritual evolution, and duty to the spiritual evolution of the community, are equally important.

Irregularity in practice is the main obstacle in yoga sadhana. Some means must be found to remove it. If in everyday activities and performance of social duties you cannot find time, you should do japa mentally and remember God’s name anywhere, anytime. External causes do not obstruct the sadhana. Laziness and indifference constitute the chief obstacles to one’s practice of yoga. You are aware that the path of spiritual practice and attainment of perfection is at first difficult; in the middle it becomes active and energizing and finally it becomes successful. This is not true in regard to you alone, but it is true in respect of practitioners of philosophical mysticism, who also find their way difficult in the early stages. You are inclined towards the study of yoga. You have only to continue to practice it slowly and steadily. Gradually your practice will advance automatically.

Even in the midst of the distractions of daily life, you can bring before your mental vision the image of your desired deity. You can even practice japa, but you cannot practice sadhana with steadfast attention immediately. To make sadhana gradually more and more indwelling is the only remedy for people in active life.
The path of sadhana is not difficult. If you regard it as difficult, where else do you find smooth sailing in life? The conditions of life to which we are accustomed are hard indeed, but the mind is used to them and does not feel so. Sadhana is a new venture, the first step in the march by the divine to victory over the animal in man. Its practice will surely take some time. Merge this practice with your daily routine, with devotion and courage. Those who wish to move forward have to raise one foot at each advancing step.

As soon as the guru’s slap is received, luck takes a turn and one comes to one’s senses. You have not received diksha only, you have received raksha (protection) also from me. Do not be afraid. No soul of a lower category will be able to make you its medium. For you are already reserved for the descent of the divine spirit. You need not think when and how the divine spirit will enter into your being. If you are afraid by night, sleep in your pooja room. If this is not possible, sleep upstairs every Thursday, for this day is earmarked for you to receive knowledge.
Let your inner consciousness be natural in meditation. First of all, there should be an attitude of indwelling, then experience of consciousness and finally pure consciousness alone. This practice easily succeeds. All this will automatically take place during the practice of ajapa. Get ready for shaktipat. But it has no relation to spiritual illumination. Do not think that after shaktipat you have reached the goal. Even after this you have to begin at the beginning. You may not be aware of the rules of shaktipat.

Before your initiation you practiced levitation. Do not begin it now, lest your nerve centres be destroyed by combustion, and your capillaries dilated for lack of vitality because of the family life you lead. You should be urdhwaretas for twelve years and then practice pranayama for levitation. Give up all ideas of levitation at the start.

On the plane of consciousness, guru and Govinda are one. But in yoga, a living guru is necessary, even though one may meditate on Govinda. The guru alone knows the way to the destination. His commands are heard in the causal body through ajna chakra. Consciousness may dwell deep within, supporting itself on Govinda, but who except the guru will show the way thereafter? Then the name will change, ajapa will change, devotion will change, nirati will change. Know this secret.

Give up living on the plane of intellect. How long this obsession? Let thoughts go; let intellect go. If this continues, I may not give you the key. Not only will you have to follow my instructions, but my unseen commands too. Even if I speak from above the sky you will have to listen through ajna chakra. You must get up when I wake you at three in the morning. Sometimes, you do follow my commands but your ego gets in the way and a higher life is forgotten. Nothing can be achieved if you ignore my commands.

There is selfishness in you, there is hypocrisy in you, there is cleverness in you – terrible storms are concealed within you. O seeker, know first of all that you can deceive everyone, but you cannot cheat yourself. Before initiating you, how often did I remonstrate you and tell you that my path was not the path of those who know how to whisper in the ears only, but that it is the path of the brave ones, of heroes, of proud men. It is the path of those who are prepared to die for it. In spite of my warnings you took initiation. Now let me see how you escape.

How long will you sleep in the night of infatuation? If you desire to accept the words of the guru, first pass the test. Those who have full pockets will one day find them empty; those who have intellect will remain unenlightened; those who are doubters will wander in darkness.

It is the duty of the disciple to go according to the oral, written or inspired commands of the guru. It is the duty of the disciple to think according to the spoken, written or inspired thoughts of the guru. Let me take into my hands the reins of each one of your thoughts and actions. When I call you to the tenth gate, come there quickly. Do not fear, this is not the secret yoga of the Himalayas. This is the word of God. I say it because I know it to be so. Do not treat me as if I am a book, or else you will grope in darkness.

If I make a determination to do something, I shall surely accomplish it. If I am unable to perform even an ordinary thing, how can I ever execute any great task? Great tasks have small beginnings. I desire you to become a dynamo and work for eighteen to twenty hours a day, move like a rocket, speak like a leader, think like me, sleep like Napoleon, live in the world like a jivanmukta, and move into every nook and corner of life like a hurricane. Give up your ideas about femininity. Like a soldier of god, be independent, frank, fearless and forward.

I have not made anyone my surety. I am my own surety. One who has faith in my credit will believe in me. One who hasn’t, won’t. Is the world to be my guarantee? Is my surety worth a trifle? Look at them; they do not believe in my credit and seek out strangers. Such persons who have eyes to see and yet behave like blind men are really stupid ones and deceive themselves. To prove their innocence, they simply proclaim that, “I am doing this work with faith in God.” But I declare that whatever I do, I do according to my inner convictions. Let those who wish to believe in me do so, or else remain where they are.