Why is it important to know our soul?-I

December 30, 2012

Part-I

The series of ‘Who are you?’ posts was wrapped up beautifully and the results rewarding. In the process  of its completion which lasted for more than three weeks, I too have been floating in benign sublime thoughts because it pertained to issues such as our beautiful divine soul.

The theme of this new segment is about our soul and how to find it; it is critical. We began with who we are in this new segment and it will gradually lead us to how to find our soul. However, in between these two themes, we take a halt and will focus on an important issue-Why is it important to know our soul?

The next subject matter of why is it so  important to know our soul is a very gentle one. This will demand our sensitivity to understand the sublime ideas and require enough mental strength to hold on to those sublime thoughts long enough.  And by doing so when we are successful in these attempts, it will enable us to catch hold of the unseen, our secret Self, our own Soul.

 About two weeks ago, when I returned from Pondicherry, I randomly turned the leaves and  read a few beautiful lines from the epic Savitri by Sri Aurobindo. It is Sri Aurobindo’s major literary work inspired by a narrative in Mahabharat. It is based on the mythological story of Savitri and Satyavan where Savitri brings back her dead husband from the clutches of Yama, the lord of death in a forest. The return of Satyavan to life  was possible only because of her austerity, nobility, penance, purity, devotion and strength of character.

Through the story as a backdrop, the poet conveys how the soul degenerates and falls because of covering of the Supreme Truth. The degeneration is caused   because of darkness produced by ignorance. But with the arrival of Supreme knowledge, the darkness disintegrates slowly and progressively and  the soul ascends towards the bright Sun or the Truth of God.

Quoting just two lines for you as each word is enough to convey the theme.

The Absolute, the Perfect, the Immune,

One who is in us as our secret Self-the Absolute .

Part-B

Dear friends, I leave this post at this point only to finish it in the next one as I have just returned home a few hours ago. I visited a place that is connected to Shri Mahavatar Babaji’s spiritual life called Palani in Tamil Nadu near Madurai. It is the resting place or samadhi of Shri Boganathar. The mountain top in Palani has a big temple of Murugan Swami as well in the same place. Shri Boganathar was the disciple of Swami Murugan and he has installed the idol of Swami Murugan there and had worshipped him. Shri Mahavatar Babaji took deeksha from these two great spiritual luminaries during his early years. I meditated for only a short while in the cave of Shri Boganathar as there was a big population visiting the temple from neighbouring states.

I have visited Kanya Kumari as well, it is one of the char dhams or places of liberation and mukti of India.  Kanya Kumari has an ancient rock temple of Goddess Parvati as a young girl or kanya called the Kanyakumari temple. I visited the Vivekananda Memorial Rock and the nearby rock where Goddess Parvati did penance  to get Yogeshwar, the Lord of Yoga, Lord Shiva as her husband- oh my God! what a dynamic place  this is inspite of  countless visitors thronging everyday!!!

 I am unable to write more than this today, nonetheless  I would like to  share with you some pictures of KanyaKumari only. Photography was prohibited in Palani and other temples.  I can show the full moon- light pictures of Kanya Kumari  and hazy sunrise as well as   Swami Vivekananda’s Rock Memorial too- please enjoy them!

IMG_1415

IMG_1421

IMG_1431

IMG_1385

A view of Swami Vivekananda’s Memorial in the early hours.

IMG_1399

IMG_1475

Emerald sea…

IMG_1505

We are at the steps of Pada mandapam. It is this place where Mother Parvati as a kanya, girl did penance to obtain the hand of Shiva in marriage. Behind us is the memorial where Swami Vivekananda meditated for three days before he went to the West in Chicago to give sermons and lectures on ancient Vedant knowledge to the world.

IMG_1539

A cute baby singing and dancing to the chant of ‘Swami Ayyapa’ with grace, joy and pure devotion

IMG_1521

The outside view of Kanya Kumari temple. It was not affected by tsunami!

IMG_1589

A Gothic style church seen from my balcony.

IMG_1436

A sparrow warms up in the first rays of the Sun on the window sill.

IMG_1591

A crow sitting on the next balcony without moving for quite sometime as if in contemplation, inspired me to take his photo….

IMG_1251

Hazy yet tranquil sunset time. KanyaKumari is a place where one can see distinct sunrise and sunset without any obstruction in our view. This place is called sunset point

IMG_1252

IMG_1356

Silvery waters, dancing boats and effulgent rays of the moon falling on the singing sea- surely a very mystic night.

IMG_1301

This place looked like a fine piece of glittering jewellery when the houses were shining with dim yellow lights on a full moon light. Wow!


Who are you?-III

December 20, 2012

Thank you dear friends, for the warmth, love and confidence that you have exuded through your comments and mails after the last post was out. Subsequently, after receiving your responses, one is likely to understand that you are now being prepared for the next step in your journey.

IMG_0381

Some of you are already showing signs of sparks and brilliance while others are on the threshold of spiritual awakening. Whatever the case may be, I am certain that most of you are progressing fast on the path that you have chosen with the constant grace, supervision and assistance of our beloved holy Param Guru Shri Mahavatar Babaji and others. Our weblog Spiritinlife is now  a garden of holy companionship, mutual support and sharing intense knowledge. The beautiful flowers are blossoming here. My sincere prayers to the Almighty God to help us all in our future endeavours and efforts in order to achieve what we had set out to do- to know who we are; to know our souls.

I have just returned from a short pilgrimage to South India and I am still reeling under the dizzying impacts of the Divine Forces present in those sites. After a considerable gap of more than four years, I visited Mahavatar Babaji’s birthplace in Parangipettai and Shri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry.  They both are situated close to each other. My purpose was to revive myself and renew my enthusiasm for further higher spiritual developments. We would be really fortunate to be visiting these places because one does not have to try hard as the huge Forces emanating from these two sites do their work on us automatically. A massive work is done on us when the inertia that we accumulate over the time is driven out by the Divine Forces of these places.

IMG_0648

Not much is known about Babaji’s birthplace and it is so cut off from the world. It is in a very small, obscure village in Tamil Nadu on the sea side. Nevertheless, Parangipettai is very close to my heart! I like to visit it whenever I can. I visualize how Babaji must have lived here as a child and how he must have greatly influenced others even at that tender age before he renounced the world.

Babaji’s birthplace is so simple, minimal and devoid of any decorations yet the very powerful spiritual radiations that are still beaming out brilliantly is something one has to experience himself to believe this. The power of Ichcha Shakti or will is very prominent there.

IMG_0599

(A yantra, a geometrical grid is made on the spot where Shri Mahavatar Babaji was born)

Even if we go there many times, it takes quite a long time for somebody to do acute in-depth analysis and thus draw the conclusion regarding the similarities that I always notice between God and Babaji’s birthplace. I each time have a feeling when I visit this place that Babaji’s birthplace is so humble and simple just like him. As I was meditating there in the very calm environment, I really thought seriously  that  Babaji asks nothing from us, he says nothing  to us, does not demand anything, he is so calm and quiet and yet he is so, so influential. His divine energies are influencing the whole of world ever since he was born almost two thousand years ago!

IMG_0614

Likewise, God is also so reclusive, so away from the madness of this world yet it is all powerful, controlling this entire Universe. God is also never exhibiting any signs of being ostentatious.

They both are concealed and hidden away from the vision of the world; silent and hushed, yet powerful, very powerful. God is so wonderful, so simple, so powerful and without any outer adornments and any propaganda. The silent energies should be felt by us if we can visit that place and  more commonalities will emerge if one concentrates on that holy place.

These thoughts inspire me a lot every time I visit the birth place and I begin to get these ideas that we should also aspire to be like God and the birthplace of Babaji- so lovely, so quiet, so powerful, so great, yet shying away from the world and never craving for any propaganda to prove their worth to the world! They are quiet, peaceful, reclusive, resourceful, and yet very great.

Also these are divine traits, our Soul qualities and must be acquired to make our lives simple, happy and modest, great and noble…..

These were my reflections at that holy spot.

Conclusion- These three posts on ‘Who are you?’ should prove to be  very beneficial for all the seekers whether they are already practicing their sadhana or if they have just begun. After recognizing that we are a Soul and not a perishable body, we should pursue our goal of experiencing it and should follow these three D’s in our everyday lives to reach our ultimate goal of God realization.

A. Determination

Seek with determination. What you wish to know and realize, seek with determination. Do whatever is required to know God, but do not give up your goal of Self-Realization. The influence of Maya will dissuade you from the desired goal, but do not give up your resolve. Only those who are determined in life till the end achieve great things in life.

B. Discipline

The great mission of awakening and illumination requires two types of discipline. They are physical discipline and mental discipline. To achieve something phenomenal, one should aspire to have a great body and a great mind.

A fit and healthy body is a must to pursue the noble cause of awakening and living a divine life. The senses can be controlled with ease if the body is disciplined daily through various forms of health disciplines and exercises. A disciplined body will be in control of the seeker and thus make his triumphs easy to achieve.

The senses likewise, should be trained in such a way that the yogi should not suffer because of their senseless actions and undertakings. Mental sadhana  is controlling of senses and mind.

If you wish to know yourself, go within, touch your inner silent depths, remain quiet mentally, maintain silence for sometime in the day, meditate deeply and remain in the God given bliss……

C. Daily prayers and meditations

Daily prayers and meditation will help you to go within. They are the tools of God contact. A peaceful mind is able to have a longer duration of God communion, while a shallow and agitated mind will remain on the surface only. A few verses or shlokas  from the holy scripture reinforces these thoughts once again.

In Bhagwat Geeta, Arjuna faces a similar dilemma when he tells Lord Krishna in chapter 6 verses 34 and 35.

Chanchalam hi mana Krishna pramathi balvadhadham I

Tasyaham nighraham manye vayoriv sudushkaram II

For Krishna, the mind is very unsteady, turbulent, tenacious and powerful; therefore I consider it as difficult to control as the wind.

Shri Bhagwanuvach

Asanshayam mahabaho mano durnighrham chalam I

Abhyasen tu kaunteya vairagyen ch grihate II

Shri Bhagwan said: The mind is restless no doubt and difficult to curb, Arjuna; but it can be brought under control by repeated practice of meditation and by the exercise of dispassion, O son of Kunti.

IMG_0499

Modesty, humility and simplicity are the qualities of the Soul, inculcate them. Invoke God with love and simplicity. Meditate daily with all your devotion and consecrate your whole being in moments of prayers and meditations…….

Hari Om Tatsat, Hari Om Tatsat, Hari Om Tatsat!

IMG_0983


Who are you?-II

December 10, 2012

Welcome back dear friends,.  If you remember  on 30th Nov,  Shri Mahavatar Babaji had asked us many questions which are reflecting  in the last post Who are you?-I. I suggest it will be good for us if you go back to the previous post to recall what the main theme was in case you can’t get it right away. In any case, it is advised that once you read this post and absorb it well, some time later you should read both posts in line so that there is a continuity in thought and we can hold the philosphy of Vedas firmly in our minds.

We continue from there and will try to bridge the following text with the significance  of previous questions.  Hope you must have contemplated on those grave issues during this period. I agree the questions were tough and getting their complete answers tougher. Many must have abandoned those questions in their minds in the first place because of ambiguity about this deep philosphy. And some may have attempted but may have not been able to crack and untangle the hard questions if they are already familiar with this knowledge.

One blog reader showed interest in self enquiry and had commented on previous post that he has probed within himself to know who he was and what was his purpose here. Yet he was not able to know about himself. My reply was that his query could be the question of a few other good seekers at  present or in future and therefore the reply would come as a new post instead as a reply to his comment. Indeed every sincere thinker, philospher and spiritualist has arrived at a certain stage sometime during his/her journey when these questions boggle him/her. I have tried to satisfy those baffling questions as I too had similar inquiry after I read the story of Nachiketa in Kathopanishada. It was in 1999, that I had got very fascinated by Upanishadas when Nachiketa’s story came up in Swami Viviekananda’s book pertaining to Oriental knowledge. After reading Swami Vivekananda’s reference, I read the summaries of a few Upanishadas by a local author and it was later when I read Yoga Vashishitha again in 1999 that I spent hours trying to analyse my personality and identity with self-examination in afternoons.

This subject is vast, deep and very vital. Yet I am attempting it as it is the wish of God. I  have also tried to make a prècis of what was given to me by my Great Master two days ago. The reason why they are concise is because the posts here are not for our intellectualizing attempts but rather for just self enquiry. So after reading  the post, go over it a few more times, think about it and if there is anything that needs clarification and elaboration, we shall discuss it in this forum. Everybody is welcome to express themselves freely. There can be some shortcomings in describing this post  from  my side because it is a difficult and very subtle  topic. If something is missed out or not discussed in detail, we will carry it forward in the next post.

Please know that the posts that are coming up at this time are going to have minimal embellishments. The Great Master will create  his magic by his mere words!! Master in his elements again is unstoppable and will seek our attention with this high philosphy meant to release souls from their long, long slavery from mental and physical confinements! So meditate and release yourself from the suffering that you have encountered over the years.

The next posts will be brief, grave, investigative and ruminative in nature. So get prepared for more of thinking and side by side many new things will unfold in you automatically.  I anticipate many new horizons  being  touched and many  new insights will be arrived at after groping and speculation by you. Deep learning comes only with churning and thinking.

Unlike earlier posts, the new posts will be instructive in nature and will have some steps to follow apart from self enquiry and investigation within. Therefore,  bring your focus on yourself once again and get started.  Should we start please?  We need some preparation before we read the prepared text. We need to do this…….Relax…. Get light.

 Take a few deep breaths and fill your mind with some fresh air.

 Please calm your mind completely, relax your body by loosening it. The more you relax, the lighter you shall be. And if you are completely calm by now; if your mind dissolves wholly and becomes one with the void sky, then you have to listen to this. Once you have become as light as the sky akashvat, only then you should start listening to what I have to say.

Today introduce yourself to your own self! Know yourself very well today.

And before we begin our enquiry, we should  be taking the blessings of His Holiness Shri Mahavatar Babaji.  And by touching the holy feet of all the other blessed saints, sages and holy souls, we will begin a new chapter and a new lesson whose title will be, who am I?

So here we begin…..

When the cool and light breeze caresses your face, have you ever asked yourself, who likes it? Is it your skin or your mind?

It is your mana or mind.

So are you the mind?

You are able to observe your mind when you are unhappy or unsettled. This means that the mind has no power of itself; there is some other power above it that can watch it. Who is the observer of this duality of joy and grief?  Who is it?  Know that.

You are not this body; it is perishable. The body is composed of five elements*and is acquired as per our destiny. Therefore do not love your body more than you should or else your mind will also become inert. The body is inert and the mind conscious; but then you are unaware of the controlling power that rules both- the body and the mind. What is the controlling power?

Your physical body has five senses**, five karma-indriyas** * or the organs of actions and also five gyan indriyas**** or the senses of knowledge.  You are not the senses or the sense organs.

The food that you intake also has five elements that are present in the Universe-water, earth, space, fire and air. Because  the physical body is made up of food, the five elements are also present in your body because of the food that you eat. Obviously you are not the five elements.

So after knowing all this, you must have by now understood that you are the seer and non-doer of these five elements. All the five elements on their own work outside and inside you. Our job is to balance these elements which are inside our body and outside in the Universe by eating right foods and striking a balance by leading a regulated life.

Therefore your mana or mind is above the five elements, five senses and five sense organs.

The intelligence in humans help them to decide, judge or reason. So many times, the intelligence in humans fails or lacks full strength because it is covered by his ego, lust or desire.

But there is a force that governs the intelligence and illumines us. Which force is that? With which force does man’s vast intelligence gets sharper and brighter? Reflect on this.

Are you the ego? No, surely not. Then what are you?

The mind is a fragment or a part of God’s Light which is present in humans and other living beings.

 Ripples are formed in the mind; from ripples are born currents or waves and with  those currents, thoughts are formed. Thoughts make up the mind.

The mind does not possess the power to control itself. In the beginning, it needs the power of the Guru and the power of God to stop its senseless running and rampaging. When for a very long duration, the mind’s consciousness goes on aligning and fraternizing with the divine consciousness, it then forsakes its old nature and become one with the Almighty Universal God. Example-when the iron rod is thrown in the hot furnace, it melts completely and becomes one with fire. In the end there is only fire and no iron as it melts fully.

The aim and purpose of Yoga becomes to calm and liquefy the mind. This goes to prove that you are not the mind but you possess the mind. If you possess the mind and are not the mind then who are you?

You are bright Light. You are everlasting ananda, joy. You are the utmost peace. You are an indestructible element. You are the ever present power which the Vedas have called Atma. You are that. Only remove the dust that covers your mind over many lives. You are that blazing Light which permeates everywhere but is silent. The calm and silent Force that governs the universe is present inside you. All we have to do is to acquire that…..

 Glossary

 *Five elements -water, earth, fire, sky and space

**Five senses – *** speech, smell, taste, sight, hearing and touch

***Karma-indriyas hands, legs, mouth or tongue and the organs of reproduction and excretion

****Gyan- indriyas or sense organs eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin

A note-

As I have been engaged in the last two days with the formation of this enlightening post, a beautiful chant has been playing non stop at the back of my mind on its own. It is Chidananda rupah, Shivoham Shivoham…. by Adi Shankaracharya. When I  first accidently heard this soulful rendition  by Purushottam Jalota in 1984 or so, I liked it immensely. The voice  of the singer made a deep impact and much, much deeper impact was made by the words of those verses.  It has never me left me ever since; it is so powerful. What Shri Mahavatar Babaji has taught us in a precise form today has been described at length by Adi Shankaracharya in Shivoham Chant called Atma Shatakam or Nirvana Shatakam.  The great Adi Shankaracharya of eighth century summarized the Advaita philosphy in six stanzas. When he was wandering in the Himalayas as a boy of only eight years in search of a guru, he encountered a wise sage who asked him, “Who are you?”. The young boy answered in those six stanzas which are called Atma Shatakam or Nirvana Shatakama. The sage was Swami Govindapada Acharya.

In his introduction, Adi Shankaracharya repeatedly says that he is eternal non- dying Consciousness which is bliss and not mind, body or senses. He is not even the five elements or five sheaths of bodies or five types of air that are present in one’s body. He is not even the five vices.  Neither will he  ever die as he was never born. He is Chidananda, he is bliss,  he is  mere pure Consciousness, pure Consciousness……..

This post is dedicted to Adi Shankaracharya from my side and I seek his blessings for all of us so that who ever reads this post is helped by him in pursuing self enquiry leading to self realization. I can mentally visualize his  grace and kindness helping us in our tough endeavours; so compassionate are the realized Masters.

An after thought

I just heard the shlokas of Chidananda rupah again just now. It was so calming and soothing. I travelled back in my past and began to cry out of gratitude. How far Babaji has got me! Today I understand these words and can identify with them, earlier they were just very close to my heart and I only dreamt of understanding them; if only I could understand them one day I thought…..As I heard the soulful words, I prayed to Babaji to kindly hide me and  instead he should come in front in the world because I am too small and young in soul in comparison to him. He is the best person to give us Advait knowledge. Why did he ask me to even attempt what Adi Shankaracharya has said at the age of eight? Imagine how aplogetic I feel when in the presence of these spiritual giants, Mahavatar Babaji asks me to write on who are you? Imagine who am I to write about Atma or Parmatma? How can we ever describe God in words? Or for that matter a state of Divine Consciousness of a very highly realized Guru or Jagadguru? These tears are my flowers of devotion, my offering for my Holy Shri Mahavatar Babaji, who was even Adi Shankaracharya’s master in the Himalayas.  I offer my  flowers of devotion along with all these words at his most sacred feet, my most humble Jagadguru, Jagat pita with all the gratitude that I have…….

Om shanti, shanti, shanti, Om.