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Τρίτη, 31 Μαΐου 2016

Η Διαφορά ανάμεσα στην Πράνα και την Κουνταλίνι

Ποια είναι η διαφορά ανάμεσα στην πράνα και την κουνταλίνι;

Αυτή η ερώτηση είναι σαν να ζητάει κανείς τη διαφορά ανάμεσα στο σώμα, τα χέρια, τα πόδια και το κεφάλι. Τα χέρια, τα πόδια και το κεφάλι είναι μέρος του σώματος, αλλά το σώμα είναι μία σύνθεση όλων αυτών. Είναι μία σύνθεση ματιών, μύτης, αυτιών, στόματος, κεφαλιού, πλάτης, σπονδυλικής στήλης, χεριών, δακτύλων, ποδιών κ.λπ. Η κουνταλίνι μπορεί να περιγράφει παρόμοια. Είναι μία εμπειρία του συνδυασμού διαφόρων εκδηλωμένων και μη εκδηλωμένων ενεργειών.

Σύμφωνα με τη γιογκική φιλοσοφία, οι πράνες που ελέγχουν το σώμα χωρίζονται σε δύο ομάδες. Η μία είναι ζωτική ενέργεια και η άλλη είναι νοητική ενέργεια, Η ζωτική ενέργεια ξανά υποδιαιρείται σε πέντε ομάδες, γνωστές ως Βάγιους ή άνεμοι -πράνα, απάνα, σαμάνα, ουντάνα και βυάνα. Αυτοί οι πέντε άνεμοι διασυνδέονται με τα πέντε στοιχεία που εκδηλώνονται από το μουλαντάρα μέχρι το βισούντι τσάκρα.

Στην Κουνταλίνι Γιόγκα πρώτα λαμβάνει χώρα η αφύπνιση των διαφόρων μορφών της πράνα. Αποκτούμε γνώση των πράνας και έλεγχο πάνω στη ροή τους. Αφού έχουν αφυπνισθεί οι πράνες μέσα από πρακτικές όπως η πραναγιάμα, η Πράνα Βίντυα και άλλες τεχνικές της Κουνταλίνι Γιόγκα και Τάντρα, αρχίζουμε να διεγείρουμε και να αφυπνίζουμε τα παραψυχικά κέντρα.

Το πρώτο στάδιο στην αφύπνιση των παραψυχικών κέντρων είναι γνωστό ως Τάττουα Σούντι, εξαγνισμός των στοιχείων. Μετά από αυτό έρχεται το Τσάκρα Σούντι, εξαγνισμός των τσάκρας. Μετά έρχεται το Τσάκρα Ντυάνα, ή αφύπνιση των τσάκρας. Όταν όλα τα τσάκρας έχουν αφυπνισθεί δεν υπάρχει μπλοκάρισμα της ενέργειας.

Είμαστε σε θέση να βιώσουμε τα διαφορετικά στάδια του νου και δεν υπάρχει διαχωρισμός στις διάφορες εμπειρίες του νου. Αυτό το στάδιο είναι γνωστό ως η κατάσταση της κουνταλίνι, κατά την οποία οι διάφορες εκδηλώσεις της ενέργειας έχουν γίνει ένα. Η έννοια του δυϊσμού, πολλών διαφορετικών εμπειριών, δεν υφίσταται πια. Μόνο μία επίγνωση υπάρχει και σύμφωνα με την παράδοση αυτή είναι η σημασία της κουνταλίνι. Φυσικά, οι άνθρωποι μπορούν να την ερμηνεύσουν με πολλούς διαφορετικούς τρόπους και μπορεί αυτοί να είναι σωστοί.

Η κουνταλίνι είναι σίγουρα μία πολύ παρεξηγημένη και ταυτόχρονα μία πολύ επιθυμητή εμπειρία. Όλοι θέλουν να αφυπνίσουν την κουνταλίνι τους.

Όταν αρχίζουμε την άσκησή μας με σκοπό την αφύπνιση της κουνταλίνι, ίσως νοιώσουμε ορισμένα αισθήματα στην περιοχή των τσάκρας, τα οποία μπορούμε να θεωρήσουμε ότι είναι η εκδήλωση της κουνταλίνι. Τίναγμα ή τρεμούλιασμα του σώματος, σπασμοί, ρεύματα που ρέουν μέσα στο σώμα, μπορεί να βιωθούν. Μπορεί να δούμε διαφορετικές λάμψεις χρωμάτων και φωτός. Αλλά αυτή δεν είναι η πραγματική αφύπνιση της κουνταλίνι.

Όλα τα αισθήματα που μπορεί να βιώσει κανείς στο σώμα ή το νου αντιπροσωπεύουν μία κατάσταση μετασχηματισμού που λαμβάνει χώρα εσωτερικά και η οποία κινητοποιείται, κατευθύνεται και ελέγχεται από τις πράνες, τα τάττουας, τα στοιχεία και την αφύπνιση των τσάκρας.

Μόνο όταν οι θετικές και οι αρνητικές ενέργειες, τα συμπαθητικά και τα παρασυμπαθητικά νευρικά συστήματα βρίσκονται σε ισορροπία και αρμονία μεταξύ τους, αφυπνίζεται η ενέργεια της κουνταλίνι και τότε θα περάσει μέσα από τις καταστάσεις των τριών γκούνας: τάμας, ράτζας και σάτβα.

Αυτές οι τρεις καταστάσεις αντιπροσωπεύονται με τη μορφή του σιβαλίνγκα. Αν αναφερθείτε σε οποιαδήποτε παραδοσιακή περιγραφή ή σχέδιο των τσάκρας, θα δείτε ένα μαύρο σιβαλίνγκα στο μούλα ντάρα και το σουαντιστάνα. Αυτό το μαύρο σιβαλίνγκα αντιπροσωπεύει την ταμασική ή χονδροειδή κατάσταση της ζωής, την οποία ονομάζουμε εμπειρία, σθούλα.

Τα μανιπούρα, αναχάτα και βισούντι περιέχουν μέσα τους το ντουμραλίνγκα, το σταχτί σιβαλίνγκα. Αντιπροσωπεύουν τη ρατζασική κατάσταση.

Το άγια και το σαχασράρα περιέχουν το τζιοτιρλίνγκα, το λίνγκα του φωτός που είναι λαμπρό και άχρωμο. Αντιπροσωπεύουν τη σατβική κατάσταση του νου.

Με την αφύπνιση της κουνταλίνι τα τρία στάδια, χονδροειδές, λεπτό και αιτιατό ή ταμασικό, ρατζασικό και σατβικό ελέγχονται. Αυτός ο μετασχηματισμός ολόκληρης της συνειδητότητας είναι η αφύπνιση της κουνταλίνι και όχι η αφύπνιση της πράνα.

Μέσα μας υπάρχουν δύο πλευρές. Η μία είναι της ενέργειας και η άλλη είναι της συνειδητότητας. Η ενέργεια και η συνειδητότητα, τα δύο άκρα της ανθρώπινης εμπειρίας και έκφρασης, γίνονται ένα όταν η κουνταλίνι τελικά φτάσει τον προορισμό της, το σαχασράρα. Όταν δουλεύουμε με την πράνα, τα τάττουας και τα τσάκρας, απλώς προσπαθούμε να μετασχηματίσουμε την πράνα.

Με το μετασχηματισμό, τη μεταβολή και την αλλαγή αυτής της πρανικής ροής, καμιά φορά συμβαίνει επίσης μία φυσική, αυθόρμητη αλλαγή στη συνειδητότητα. Η κουνταλίνι, ωστόσο, είναι μία διαδικασία της συνειδητότητας και όχι της ενέργειας. Αυτή είναι η διαφορά ανάμεσα στην πράνα και την κουνταλίνι.

~ Παραμαχάμσα Σουάμι Νιραντζανανάντα Σαρασουάτι

πηγή: http://www.satyanandayoga.gr/


Δευτέρα, 16 Μαΐου 2016

ENHANCING THE ABILITY TO STUDY

ENHANCING THE ABILITY TO STUDY

SWAMI NIRANJANANANDA SARASWATI

Yoga is a very important subject for children. Just as we go to school to be educated and to increase the capacity of our intellect, when we practise yoga we increase our capacity to learn much more.

When the famous saint, Swami Vivekananda, was living in Chicago, USA, he used to go to the library, borrow large volumes of books, take them home and return them the next day. After some time the librarian became curious and asked him, "Why do you take out so many books when you can't possibly read them all in one day?" Swami Vivekananda replied that he read each and every page of every book. The librarian could not believe it, and so Swami Vivekananda asked her to test him. She opened a book, selected a page and paragraph, and asked him to tell her what was written there. Swami Vivekananda repeated the sentence exactly as it was written in the book, without looking at it. The librarian was astounded and did more tests. Each time Swami Vivekananda repeated the exact words written in the book.

Later the librarian discovered that Swami Vivekananda had a photographic memory. He did not have to read books. His eyes, his mind, would capture the image on the page, and whenever he wished, he could just recall a book, a page, a sentence. That was the capacity of his brain and mind. How did he develop this capacity? He did not have it when he was ordinary Narendra, before he became Swami Vivekananda. His life story tells us that he had many difficulties and problems in his early life. Yet when he started to practise yoga with sincerity, he was able to develop that quality of the brain known as photographic memory.

We can also develop the potential and quality of our brain and mind provided we know how to use and apply yoga. Yoga is not a subject for spiritual development or spiritual realisation. Rather, as the tradition says, yoga is a subject for dealing with the mind. As students, you have faced your mind. You know how difficult it is to focus on study, how difficult it is to remember things, how at examination time, despite being full of confidence, all the effort you have put into your studies suddenly dissipates and your mind becomes blank in the exam room. Most people have had that experience. We know that to deal with the brain and to develop its potential is very difficult. But yoga provides the solution.

Exams, memory and concentration

Students often ask how to develop concentration, how to face exams without getting nervous, and how to memorise. One of the faculties of mind is memory, another is intellect and another is understanding. Intellect, memory and understanding are the three faculties that students have to manage. In the past people have thought a lot about how to improve the quality of the body and mind. The yoga techniques were devised in accordance with the natural laws of the body. The body has many glands and in children the most important one is the pineal gland in the centre of the head, which is responsible for the development of the cerebral, mental faculty. Yoga says that if you can maintain the health of the pineal gland, which begins to decay after the age of eight, then the learning process, the capacity to retain information and the memory improve.

To maintain the health of the pineal gland, three techniques were devised. The first is surya namaskara, which most of you have practised. The second is trataka for developing concentration. The third is pranayama to balance the two hemispheres of the brain.

Surya namaskara

The practice of surya namaskara is composed of five different postures which influence different organs and glands in the body, ensuring they perform in an optimum manner. Surya namaskara means 'salute to the sun'. It is to be practised in the morning, when there is calm and quiet, when you are fresh and not under tension and stress from study. It is done to improve the circulation of the blood, to energise the different parts and organs of the body and to control the breath.

The breath plays a very important role. When you are angry, or tense, or frustrated, your breathing will become very shallow and very fast. When you are relaxed and peaceful, the breathing will be deep and long. Scientifically it has been proven that the breath controls many activities of the brain and that with control of the breath, we can alter the state of the mind, reduce the stress level in the brain and nervous system, and experience harmony and tranquillity.

Trataka

Trataka is the most effective practice for developing concentration. During exam time, if you do five minutes before you begin your studies, you will find it very useful. Light a candle and place it so that the flame is at eye level. Look straight at the flame without blinking the eyes for half a minute, or as long as you are able to keep your eyes open. When you feel the need, close your eyes and see the afterimage of the flame in front of the closed eyes. When the after image disappears, the screen in the forehead becomes black. Then open the eyes and again look at the flame without blinking the eyes. Whenever you close your eyes, you will see the afterimage of the flame, and you look at that. You will find that the image moves, it won't remain static. Sometimes it will move up, to the left, to the right, or down, it will keep moving. So you have to make an effort to hold that image fixed at one point and not allow it to move. Do this for five minutes before going to sleep and before you begin your studies. In a couple of days you will find you are able to memorise and retain whatever you read more easily. This practice develops mental concentration. It is most important for success in studies.

Pranayama

Bhramari pranayama, plugging the ears and humming like a bee, balances the two hemispheres of the brain. One part of the brain is known as the right brain, the other part is known as the left brain. Many times in the right brain there is nothing left and in the left brain there is nothing right! So when there is nothing left in the right brain and nothing right in the left brain, then you cannot focus, concentrate, study or succeed in life! In order to integrate the faculties of both hemispheres of the brain there is a practice known as nadi shodhana pranayama.

Nadi shodhana has to be done in a specific way. First of all, imagine a staircase. If we look at a staircase from the side, we will see the steps. We have to co-ordinate our breath as if we are climbing the steps. For example, if we have to climb seven steps in one breath, we visualise, we breathe in and step up, we hold the breath, we breathe in, step up, we hold the breath, we breathe in, step up, etc. So one inhalation is broken into seven steps. Then we breathe out in the same manner, so the exhalation is also in seven steps.

First close the right nostril. Breathe in - hold - breathe in - hold - breathe in - hold - breathe in - hold - breathe in -hold - breathe in - hold - breathe in - hold. You take seven steps in one breath. Then breathe out and come down the seven steps in the same way. Now, close the left nostril, open the right nostril, and again breathe in - hold - breathe in - hold - for a total of seven steps. Then breathe out and come all the way down the seven steps. If you feel any strain, reduce the number of steps.

Repeat the same pattern about five times with each nostril to complete the practice of nadi shodhana pranayama. If you understand and try this practice, you will find that the retention capacity of the brain will increase. You will be able to memorise and concentrate with much less effort.

To succeed in your studies and to develop control over the mind, these three practices are a must.

Bal Yoga Mitra Mandal

The children who have been demonstrating the practices today are from Bal Yoga Mitra Mandal (Children's Yoga Fellowship). BYMM has about 81,000 members aged between 8 and 14, and they look after their own organisation and manage their own affairs. After the age of 14, the children retire from this organisation and join another one for teenagers. Until the age of 14, we teach basic yoga practices only. Over the years we have found that many children who are weak in their studies initially are able to give excellent performances. There have been times when the children have been occupied in teaching yoga to other children in different parts of the country and have not had time for their own studies. Then just before the exams, they go through their books, take the exam and come in the merit list. We don't teach the children many practices, only the most basic ones that students can use to improve their studies and mind.

Yoga nidra

Here is a success story. Once a small boy came to the ashram and although he was never sent to school, he was taught science, arts, commerce, languages, etc. by a special practice known as yoga nidra. Yoga nidra is a technique that you can do before you fall asleep in bed at night, but you need a teacher to guide you. While the boy was sleeping, his teacher would give him instructions, which would be registered by the mind. Often the teacher would read chapters from books. The next day, when the boy was awake, he would read the same chapter and the boy would say, "I know that subject, I know the content," and he would be able to describe what was written in the chapter. This was an experiment which shows that our mind is able to register information even when we are asleep.

Later, we did an experiment where we gave a young German girl the practice of yoga nidra and taught her various things during this type of sleep. When her parents sent her to school, she came home on the first day and said, "I don't need to go anymore because I already know everything they are teaching there." When she was put into the next class, she said the same thing. Today that girl has attended school very little and still knows all the subjects. Tests have been taken and she has passed every one. She is only fourteen now, but last year was admitted into a college. This is an example of how the technique of yoga nidra can work on the human mind.

Make yoga a habit

This is the effect of yoga, and therefore you have to give yoga a chance in your life. If you are sincerely committed to the practice of yoga, within one year you will be a different student. If for one year you practise surya namaskara, trataka and nadi shodhana pranayama seriously, your problems will change. Whereas today you say you have difficulty in concentration and attention, next year you will be saying you have outgrown your school and can't obtain admission anywhere because you are too young. So, you decide which problem you want to face - lack of concentration or the problem of excellence.

The problem of excellence means you have committed yourself. Therefore, do not think of yoga as a set of physical exercises that we do for health or for eradicating disease or illness. Think of yoga as a way to improve and develop the strength and quality of the brain and the mind. Then you will have a very successful life all the way from your studies to your future life. This is the message of yoga for all of you -practise yoga with such determination and dedication that it becomes a habit in your life.

How can we settle a fight with a friend without drifting apart as a result?

There is a simple solution. When the fight is over, don't carry it with you. Let it be. Drifting apart happens when you carry the frustration with you. You fought this morning, but you are still carrying the effect of the fight this evening. If you carry the impression of the fight tomorrow, then the day after it will give birth to more hatred and jealousy and you will drift apart. If you do fight with someone, in the next second look at them, smile and shake hands. Finish the fight and become friends again. We can fight ten times in a day, but also make friends ten times in the day. If you can develop this ability, that quality will be recognised by others as a virtue, as a strength, and people will appreciate you.

How can I control anger?

The easiest way to control anger is to practise shashankasana. This practice controls the adrenaline and then the aggression and anger vanish. Anyone who gets angry should do this asana at night and then go to sleep immediately afterwards. The anger will become controlled within a week.

How can I increase my height?


There are two things you can do. When I came to the ashram, my guru taught me two postures. One was sarvangasana, where the legs and trunk go up when you are lying down, and the other was tadasana. Both practices are very good for improving height. Practise sarvangasana first. Stay in the posture for at least two minutes, because when the neck is bent in this asana, it affects the thyroid gland, which is responsible for our physical growth. When there is a problem in its functioning either the body is swollen, which is the state of hypo-thyroid, or the body becomes thin, which is the state of hyperthyroid. So practise sarvangasana to regulate and maintain the thyroid gland. After this practice, lie on your back and rest for a while, then come to your feet for tadasana in which you should try to stretch as high as possible. The more you stretch, the greater the effect on your height.





Τρίτη, 3 Μαΐου 2016

Become Fearless

Become Fearless
Satsang by Swami Satyananda Saraswati

To develop fearlessness, do not be afraid of anyone. One who is frightened is constantly plagued by fear. People lock the doors at night and then sleep. Why do they do this? What are they afraid of when the walls are built up so high all around the house? They are scared even when there is nothing to lose. But there are many other reasons for fear as well, such as death and disrepute.

Right from childhood I was never afraid of anything. There were thick forests where I lived and I used to walk straight into them. I was fond of hunting and even at the age of eight I used to go on hunting expeditions. I used to walk through the forest in the dark. I had the desire to kill a tiger and was never afraid of death. What is there in death? Everyone has to die one day. I did not agree with the philosophy of fear. I think a man's samskara is imprinted on him from birth itself. When I was born, a gun was brought for me to touch, not a mala. I was given wine to drink, not honey.

When parents give certain samskaras to a child, he is bound to develop along these lines. It is because of this background in my childhood that people call me names and spread rumours about me, but I am not the least bothered. Those who are writing my true life story will see that it survives the ravages of time. I think in this way.

Science tells us that nobody dies of hunger. People die of overeating, not hunger. The death rate is higher among the eaters than among the starved. In the Jain religion you are told not to drink milk. I lived on milk for many days and nothing happened to me. Once in Swami Sivananda's ashram I decided to fast for forty days and take only fresh limewater, but my vow was broken on the occasion of Swami Sivananda's birthday. For prasad distribution, boondi laddoos, a type of sweet, were brought from the local market and stored in a room. I was made the in-charge of that room. In the beginning I helped myself to a little bit of boondi, then I took, another helping, and thus my fast was broken. But I never thought that one would die of starvation.

Fearlessness has to be imparted by parents as a samskara during childhood. The mother plays a crucial role in this area. Many mothers threaten their child, saying, "Keep quiet or I'll beat you. Stop crying or I won't give you any food to eat." When the child does not stop crying, the mother says, "I will go and tell your father." Such threats should not be uttered to a child. Children are bound to be naughty. If they do not make mischief in your presence, they will do so behind your back. You should never give any suggestion which will create fear in the child's mind. If the child jumps from the wall, what will happen? He will die. So what? Death is not such a big thing.

Being born is a big thing. To take birth there has to be a long preparation. There is no problem in dying. People are so scared of death. I do not understand this fear. The body is a decrepit flat, seventy years old, parts of which are wobbling and falling apart. There is heat, there is cold, the window is coming apart, white ants are eating into the wood. You go on living in the same flat and cannot even move around properly. You cannot eat, you cannot drink, you cannot throw out the wastes from the body. Won't you think, let me die quickly so I can get a new model in the next birth?

If you die today, you will be born next year; it is only a matter of one year. After that, you will get a good birth in which you will have a loving, caring mother who will feed you well. As you grow up everything will be available. You will go to school and college, play football, hockey, badminton and tennis. Now this old body can play nothing. Why should I keep this 1923 model which can do nothing? Fear of death is the root of all fear. Man is afraid of death. Desire for food, sleep and progeny are the first three instincts. Fear of death is the fourth.

The feeling of insecurity is deeply ingrained. Parents, especially the mother, play a vital role in imparting samskaras to the child. I do not give any importance to the father's role, which I consider to be only social, but the role of the mother is crucial and deeply significant. If the gurudom of the mother falters, the discipleship of the child gets shaky. The mother is the first and foremost teacher, but the mother may put many false ideas and beliefs into the child. I will tell you about my own childhood events in this connection.

Near where we lived there was a bamboo structure and it was widely believed that a ghost lived there at night. As I grew up I began to wonder about the truth of that belief and sometimes I was inclined to believe it. At first I hesitated to pass by there, but then I purposely decided to take that road and started going that way. I asked my family members about it. My father used to tell me that there was an ulterior motive in creating this kind of fear in people. He said that there was no need to be frightened and I could easily pass by on that road. He also suggested that I take a torch with me. My father explained, "There are rascals who spread such fear of ghosts in order to isolate a certain area. Then, after committing thefts in crowded areas, they use that lonely place as a hideout because they are sure that nobody would dare to go to that supposedly haunted place to catch them." My father was in the Police Department and he knew the ways of criminals. He was also influenced by the ideas of Arya Samaj, which stood against superstition and blind belief, even though the Arya Samajis themselves were not completely free of such false convictions.

When fear is completely uprooted we can get rid of the limitations of the personality, and in this way social limitations will also come to an end. For example, if there is no brake in a car it makes no difference as long as we can manage with the clutch and the accelerator. But suddenly when the need to apply the brake arises, then we realize there is a problem because the clutch and the accelerator are of no use. Here fear will come to our rescue. This limiting, natural instinct can also become our saving grace. Food, sleep, sex and fear are the switches that keep the life process under proper control. Just imagine what life would have been like if there had been no need for food or fear? Many problems, organizational complexities and limitations arise because of the need for food! These are the speed breakers on the road.

In the 8,400,000 species of man's evolution these instincts and the consequent limitations are essential for human development. When the heart is purified, the emotions purged, the antahkarana, the psyche, deconditioned, then it is right to become fearless. But today your heart is not pure and your mind is not clean. There are people whom you think are your enemies or your friends. If you become fearless at such a stage, it will be very difficult for the people around you. Fear is a necessary instinct. It is nature's defence mechanism working through you.

Fear, sex, sleep and hunger are instincts common to all beings, not only humans. You can find them everywhere. But why should these instincts be there? Why are you not free? In the process of evolution there are grades, just as there are grades in primary school, high school, college and university, and each grade has its own limitations. You can't have a college syllabus in primary school. You can't have an MA syllabus in high school. You can't teach higher mathematics to a child in seventh class. In seventh grade you have to teach that a yard is made up of three feet, a mile is made up of eight furlongs, but when the child goes to a higher grade and starts advanced maths, then inches, feet and yards become irrelevant. At that time you tell him that these are all false, but you do not tell him so in the lower grades.

In the same way, fear disappears on its own. There is no effort needed to eliminate it, but the real necessity is that man becomes self-aware. He must know what he is up to at every moment. If you misappropriate any item, the outcome is fear. If you pursue sensual enjoyment, fear of ill health and disease will crop up. If you have a lot of money, fear of taxation will creep in. If you are famous and enlightened, fear of being denigrated and downgraded will creep in. Everything in the world is governed by fear. There is only one thing that will not lead to fear - vairagya, or non-attachment, is outside fear. The outcome of delusion is fear; the outcome of learning and erudition is fear. All the assets of life give rise to fear, the only exception is vairagya.
Non-attachment in life generates fearlessness.


-Rikhia, 1996