In India, prayer and spiritual chanting is done on a rosary of Rudraksha by many people and Rudraksha bead is believed to be the tear drop of Lord Shiva, the destroyer of sins. The dedicated ones believe that Rudraksha grants them boons as it has been used since time unknown in assisting the sadhus, yogis, monks, swamis and also householders in their spiritual uplifting and ascension. It is the devotee’s strong belief that the more ‘naam japa’ or repeated chanting we do on Rudraksha mala, the more our past sins get washed away. As for me, I believe it to be true as some trees are granted special powers by Nature and are divinely gifted to help mankind take leaps in their spiritual evolution. From time immemorial, the Rudraksha tree is held sacred by the believers especially by the devotees of Lord Shiva in India and this very special tree grows in the foothills of the Himalayan forests and other neighbouring Asian countries.
(Young Rudrakhsha tree with flowers and buds at someone’s home)
I can speak for its unique healing, therapeutic as well as peace giving abilities and qualities as I have had the splendid opportunity of not just getting to see the Rudraksha tree in Haridwar, but I also had the good fortune of breathing under the shade of its foliage by sitting at the feet of this sacred tree. I remember feeling so fresh and alive as I sat for a while there. Even until today, whenever I revisit the site mentally, I get the same celestial feelings.
Just a few days back, on 10th Dec, after I rose from my morning meditation, I thought of relaxing for some time. So I went and sat on a settee which is placed just below the photo of my Param Guru, Shri Mahavatar Babaji and I shut my eyes. Many a times I come here to sit, thinking to myself that I am sitting at the Holy feet of the great Master, the Immortal Guru, and the giver of Light to this world. In this way, I pay my homage and acknowledgement and thank Him in my heart for his constant Grace and spiritual assistance that I keep receiving in so many unvoiced ways practically everyday. As my eyes closed effortlessly, I was disconnected from the exterior environment as I entered into a short phase of transcendental meditation unpremeditatedly. I slipped into an unspoken and indescribable peace which lingered for only a few short moments, but nevertheless made me qualitatively so enriched that the next few days were full of ananda or joy, enthusiasm and sharpened creativity.
The joy and peace was heightened and so soul enriching during the super conscious state that I broke into a spell of invocation as I implored to God and asked to grant me a wish -That I should neither lose the smriti or memory of God which has been kindled and re- awakened after such a long time in the form of illumination and elucidation in me, nor should it fade away in this life. It should be etched indelibly in my consciousness. As I begged earnestly, the peace became more and more intensified and I further moved quietly into higher and higher realms of quietude or transcendental state. And then, all at once there was a complete silence within me as though the screen of my conscious mind was cleared and became vacant for something higher and bigger. I sat in that peerless state for a while when I saw with my inner eye a well spread Rudraksha tree and a rosary of Rudrakh beads. The tree was the same one that I saw in Haridwar some years ago incidentally.
The tree drew a picture of being robust and healthy and the Rudraksha berries swinging on the branches were very soft, supple and pristine in their appearance. I saw myself sitting under this tree in a meditative pose in scattering bright light. The benevolent tree’s kind gesture was cascading over me in the form of its profuse foliage and swaying branches. And as I meditated under the tree a little longer, unalloyed peace and joy began to instill in me which left me in raptures of unknown ecstasy!! And the more ecstatic I got, the more I wished to stay in that state of elation. I was gently melting away like a weightless bubble in a fathomless sea and yearned earnestly to remain dissolved in that sea till unheard eternity!!!
It was during these very fine moments that a one sided conversation took place between me and the tree. It was a one-sided conversation because I was a passive listener since my mind acknowledged everything and there was no reason for me to doubt or counteract. How can the mind chatter when such a deep connection is established with the centre of Light ? I took great delight in observing my magnificent soul being unfolded peal after peal in presence of the ever-present Spirit manifested in the form of a Rudraksha tree and imparting me the sacred knowledge of spirituality? It spoke to me mainly in my language Hindi, which I shall translate in English for the convenience of others to read and understand. This is what I was told-
“Brahma or Spirit is thoughtless without a sankalp or a will of its own. While the individual soul or jeeva has its will or sankalp. When there is a wave of will in Brahma, it manifests itself as individual self or jeeva. The cosmic creation is born out of sankalp or will. So have a will to do good and very good karmas to rewrite your life. Those beings who are in a slumber lack the ability to will and do not exercise their right to will. There is enormous power in our will therefore use this power for performing good acts and fulfilling good purposes. God will be able to help you only when you initiate your will.
There are 3 types of actions or karmas:-
1) Undesirable actions or ashubh karmas
2) Meritorious actions or shubh karmas
3) Highly meritorious actions or ati shubh karmas.
When one performs meritorious or very meritorious actions, the past sins are washed away from the accumulated actions of many lives. The short cut to gateway of peace and heaven is through doing good and very good actions. Whenever a will to do harmful and detrimental karmas is aroused in you, immediately erase that will and in its place develop and substitute a strong will to do either good or very good actions. The tree further blessed me and everyone else copiously by saying that there is an original and causal power concealed in the mantra ‘Om Namah Shivaya’. If one chants this mantra reverentially as well as faithfully, he will soon find his path of salvation. Those who wish to have a Guru, will find a guru. If the person decides to meditate, sooner or later he will surely find his steps and methods of sadhana including specific meditation techniques. And if someone wishes to increase his power of will, he will achieve that too. Who so ever reads this write-up with belief and adoration will benefit in some or the other way. So in this way everyone will receive something or the other if he has faith and belief in all-pervading Spirit residing in us.
But those people who have hidden desires of greed and materialistic selfish goals will be disappointed because even though people follow different religions or paths, they must realize that the real purpose of rudraksha mala, or any rosary, crystals, beads or semi precious gems and stones is not for money or acquisitive purposes. They are meant merely as tools for empowering and assisting us in our activities of promoting and advancing spiritual efforts to make the path easier and smoother for Self realization”.
So what is will? Will is the initiative power existing in us. The power to initiate, to start, to pursue and sustain and to accomplish something is called sankalp or will. Without the presence of will, we will not live well enough and will become lifeless, inert, lazy or ill defined in our direction. People who lack the power of will, do not perform well in carrying out their responsibilities and given roles. Our will is the deciding factor in humans which decides whether we wish to continue living or not.
The best example in sight is of Bhishma Pitamaha in Mahabaharat who saw many generations and died only when he had the will to relinquish his body at long last. It is for the same explanation that a person does not become alright again when he is ailing because he wishes to live no further. And then there are small children and other individuals who are found alive under the debris but still manage to pull through after earthquake simply for the reason that they had a very strong will to live and so they survived the disaster.
If the humans did not have a strong will nestling in them, this planet would not have witnessed resurrection of spirit, revival, reinvention, reconstruction and creativity in every possible form in spite of so much destruction, zonal wars, drastic climatic changes and natural calamities. The same will in man is resorted to when he decides to resurrect his lost divinity and glory.
In practical life what should we do to increase this power of will existing in all of us? A few points are being mentioned below for the sake of the spiritual aspirants and others too.
1. Learn to listen more to people. They teach us a lot. Save energy. People around us keep us busy the whole day by talking to us needlessly. If you do not disconnect your mind and speech from them, you will receive their thoughts which will occupy and fill up your mental space. Their conversations mostly involves outmoded, repetitive or immature talk. Sometimes their mood is irritated or they are not at ease and they pass on their feelings to you. So just listen, be a passive listener. When we associate a lot with all types of people in a day, there is a possibility of absorbing their mediocre qualities or even demerits to say.
Listen more, think more. Talk less, eat less. If you eat less, you will talk less.If you talk less, you will listen more.
2. Do not think negative thoughts. Believe in yourself completely. Whenever your mind thinks of impossibilities, tell yourself by affirming sincerely that it is very much possible for you to accomplish that task because you have the inborn power and the will of God with you. Positive thoughts give power to mind, body as well as the soul. Refrain from people who are pessimistic in their thoughts, attitude and outlook.
3. Choose the right things. Stop meandering. In most situations we have a choice so learn to listen to that voice which tells you what to do at that moment in time. At the start it may look easier said than done and you may be confused and unsure of yourself but with the kind blessings of the guiding Masters, the path will be cleared and clarity of mind will develop. Before long you agree that though the tasks looked daunting and challenging or even impossible before you set off, the decision that you took was correct. So do not be afraid of new life situations and undertake new ventures from time to time.
4. Attempt and perform extra ordinary deeds Think of those things which your subconscious mind denies you by making you believe imperfectly that you are not in the capacity to perform independently that particular activity, venture or enterprise. Do not listen to that shaky voice which disregards your inherent powers of all powerful Spirit. And once you accomplish that goal, your mind will become braver and stronger and the will power is going to be infused and heightened. What is the difference between Edmund Hillary who was one of the first known man to conquer the highest peak of Mt. Everest and an ordinary man? It is their will power. If you will something stoutly, you will accomplish it without any doubt. Therefore, stretch your limits to the point where you are totally involved with a new intimidating and overwhelming project after every few weeks or months and years!! Do not become complacent and satisfied.
5. Take proper, healthy nourishment and diet. Have nerves of steel but to have them you need to build them!. The nerves of the sadhak or an achiever cannot be made of less or inferior quality of building material because the sadhak pursues goals which are profound and unfathomable by layman. Our mind is a powerhouse and tremendous energy flows out from the brain in the act of willing to do something special or extraordinary. So eat those foods which will not only give nourishment to the frayed nerves but will also give strength and nourishment to them in rich supply. Some ayurvedic herbs like Shankhpushpi, Aswagandha, Brahmi are memory enhancers and rich in nutrients for regeneration and rejuvenation. Have regular supplies of good quality plant proteins, dairy products, walnuts, almonds, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins found lavishly in vegetables, dry fruits and fresh fruits without skipping if you are storming your mind with robust will and simultaneously executing those ideals. Stress on quality rather than quantity of food.
Apart from solid foods, energy through the channel of respiration can also be supplied to our whole system which gives tremendous amount of oxygen supply to the brain. (Refer Food and breath control)
6. Learn meditation. Learn and practice some kind of meditation technique to refresh, rejuvenate and consolidate the mind. A mind that meditates everyday has incredible amount of pranic force or life force and spiritual energies. The mind gets a great amount of rest and relaxation if we meditate daily.
Energy in us which is saved by many ways is stored in the cells of the brain. So much of our energy is spent throughout the day through the five senses, specially senses of the mouth and the eyes. Speaking less contributes to a good amount of surplus energy. Over a period of time, a significant amount of energy is saved in this way and accumulated in the nervous system. And once after arousing the dormant primordial energy commonly referred to as Kundalini Shakti in India, all the stored energy in the brain and the area near the navel is utilized for breaking the ages long, deep, slumber of ignorance or avidya to stir up and awaken the Spirit in man!!
Awakening of lost Divinity asks for a lot of determination, and self effort and it begins with the person’s own will. One must have a very strong urge and indomitable will to regain the kingdom of God and lost divinity through the secret and sacred knowledge of the Supreme.
Unless you will it, you cannot achieve it!