Faith and Hinduism are quite complex notions. The difficulty in understanding the concept of ‘faith’ is universal to all religions. ‘Faith’ is described by The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy as “the conviction of the truth of some doctrine which is the result of a voluntary act of will’. According to fideists, faith is far superior to reason. Rejecting faith is a sin. They are pessimistic about the role of reason in achieving knowledge of things divine, and about its role in understanding everything religious, theological and spiritual.
There is no synonym for faith in Sanskrit, or even in Hindi language. The terms used in the literature are: Shraddha (respect), Vishwas (trust), Aastha (belief), Nishtha (loyalty), Bhakti (devotion), Manyata (Assumption), Yakin, Bharosa (trust), Dharna (postulate), etc. None of them touches the essence of faith. Each one of these terms has a ‘family resemblance’ with the Semitic notion of faith. The difficulty in understanding the place of faith in Hinduism is further compounded by the term ‘Hinduism’ itself.
The term ‘Hinduism’ was conceived to designate the religion practised by the inhabitants of the region lying on the eastern side of the river Indus. The inhabitants of the region on the other side of river Indus called their region Bharata. Bharata is the term used in the classical Indian literature to represent the geographical region in which the people now popularly known as ‘Hindus’ lived. The inhabitants called themselves ‘Bharatis’—the inhabitants of Bharata.
According to Vishnu Purana, “The area which is to the north of the sea and extends up to the Himalayas is called Bharata and its inhabitants are known as Bharatis.” From this, it can be concluded that not only the foreigners identified the inhabitants of this region by the geographical region occupied by them but even the inhabitants of the region described themselves not in terms of the religion practised by them but in terms of the geographical contours of the physical area occupied by them.
In fact, the ‘Bharatwasis’ did not have a name for the religion practised by them. However, with the passage of time they started calling their religion sometimes Sanatan Dharma—eternal religion and at other times Vedic Dharma—the religion founded on Vedic teachings.
The use of the term ‘religion’ in the Indian context is itself problematic because there is no corresponding term for it in the traditional Sanskrit doxographies. However, some works do contain terms like Ishvarvada, the approximate translation of which would be ‘doctrine of God’. It was not until the sixteenth century that the Hindus started using the terms Hindu and Hinduism or Hindu Dharma to describe their own religious principles and practices.
Sanatan Dharma, Vedic Dharma or what is now known as Hinduism does not claim its allegiance to a single book or a doctrine. It does not have a unique set of religious practices or dogmas. Every doctrine in it has a rider in the form of apad dharma (exception to a rule in exigencies) attached to it.
A set idea of Godhead or form of worship has no place in Hinduism. Underlying the acceptance of multiplicity of Godheads and methods of worship is the principle that though the Truth, or God, or the Supreme may be one, yet we can, and in fact we do, see and apprehend it differently from different standpoints. This attitude not only removes antagonism but also promotes forbearance and sympathy for all religions.
One may believe in several scriptures, or not believe in any of them, so much so that like the Carvakas he may deny the authority even of the Vedas, yet he would be a Hindu. For a ‘Hindu’, the least important part of religion is its dogma. For him the religious spirit matters, not the theological credo. He, as Sri Aurobindo says, “knows that all the highest eternal verities are truths of the spirit. The supreme truths are neither the rigid conclusions of logical reasoning nor the affirmations of creedal statement, but fruits of the soul’s inner experience”.
Hinduism, as Arvind Sharma says, is “a religious tradition as something one possesses rather than as something one is possessed by”. Hindus are used to multiple identities and multiple loyalties, coming together in allegiance to a larger idea of Hinduism. The extended idea of Hinduism safeguards the common space available to each of its sects.
Hinduism broadly is a mixture of ‘commitment to pluralism or inclusivism’, ‘upholding the doctrine of purusharthas—the goals of life’, ‘the mindset of abhaya, asanga and ahimsa—freedom from fear, spirit of detachment, and non-violence’, ‘the doctrine of karma’ and ‘the doctrine of reincarnation’. However, the proportion of these constituents in the mixture may vary, depending upon the needs of the time.
Hinduism is not a static religion. It is a poignant religion which adapts itself to the changing social, economic, scientific and technological paradigms. It shows us the way to creative living and an efficacious ways of life fulfilment. Like an anthill, it seems to be passive and irrevocably and decisively shaped but a lot of activity is silently happening inside which gives it its ever-changing character.
After clarifying the notions of ‘faith’ and ‘Hinduism’ let me now analyse the notion of shraddha which is closest to the notion of faith than all other alternatives mentioned above. Shraddha represents faith not as a belief in something that cannot be explained by reason but represents an understanding based on one’s conviction. The Bhagvad Gita attaches so much importance to shraddha that it commands that all religious and secular actions, be it sacrifice, charity, or austerity, must be performed with shraddha. So much so that “whatever is done without faith (shraddha) is said to be of no avail”. The intensity and kind of shraddha one has, according to Gita, depends upon the person’s own inherent nature (svabhava).
Explaining it further, the Gita says, “The faith of all beings is in accordance with their minds. The person is made up of faith as the dominant factor. He is verily what his faith is”. That is, the faith of a person determines what his outlook in life is, what his choices are, and what he finally becomes.
Right views or Right faith is the first step in Buddha’s eightfold path for attaining nirvana. Right faith leads to right goals and right aspirations. Right faith is the faith that nirvana, the eternal peace can be achieved by human beings in this world itself. The wrong faith leads us to wrong choices, wrong aims. Patanjali too upholds that right faith is the foundation of the method for the realisation of God. In his Yoga sutras, he asserts, “The concentration of the true spiritual aspirant is attained through faith, strenuousness, recollectedness, absorption and illumination”.
According to Ramanuja, absolute faith is the prerequisite for God realisation and salvation. He calls it prappati—absolute self-surrender as explained the hymn: ‘You are my father and mother; You are my relative and friend; You are my learning and my wealth; You are all That I have, from beginning to end’. Mira puts it thus: ‘Mere to Giridhar Gopal Dusro na Koi’ (Lord Krishna is truly mine and there is no other). Tulsidas referring to faith as complete surrender explains thus: ‘Je vidh hoi nath hit mora karhu begi das main tohra’ (Oh Lord! Do that which is beneficial to me). Hinduism continues to uphold that complete, absolute and unconditional surrender is that which defines faith. It governs one’s lived life and is not just praxis.
The writer is former Professor of Philosophy, Delhi University, Delhi. The views expressed are personal.
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SEVEN STAGES OF PURIFICATION
There are seven stages of transcendental purification and elevation that take place when we chant the holy names of Krishna. Let’s understand the significance and relevance of these stages.
T here are seven stages of transcendental purification and elevation that takes place when we chant the Holy Names of Krishna. Those who are sincere to make progress in Krishna consciousness should carefully understand this.
Ceto darpanam marjanam Lord Caitanya begins by chanting Ceto darpanam marjanam. The congregational chanting of the Holy Names of the Lord cleanses the mirror of our consciousness. Originally we are all pure Krishna conscious entities. Mamai vamsa jiva loke, jiva bhuta sanatana. Jiva soul is part and parcel of the supreme soul, Krishna. As it is said, nithya, siddha, krsna, prema, sadhya, kabhu and naya. The pure love of Krishna is within the heart of every living being. Ecstatic bliss is waithin the heart of every living being. But somehow the consciousness, which is compared to the mirror, has been covered with layers and layers of dust. Why is Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu comparing consciousness to the mirror? It is because the function of the mirror is to reflect the true identity and the nature of our own self. When we look in the mirror, we do not expect to see someone else. It is reflecting the real beauty of our self. The soul is unlimitedly beautiful because it is qualitatively one with Krishna, Who is the supreme beauty. Krishna explains one spark of His beauty is creating all the intoxication for pleasure within this entire material existence. Far greater than the perverted reflection of the spark within this material universe is the soul. Factually the beauty of one infinitesimal jivatma within any species of life has more qualitative beauty and enchantment than all the things within this entire cosmic manifestation, all the way up to the Brahma loka. What is the beauty of a soul that we cannot even imagine? It is part and parcel of Krishna, the all beautiful. When we look into the mirror, we are supposed to see the reflection of our self. The nature of our consciousness is to be the mirror of the very nature of our soul. Our soul is meant to love Krishna and to feel the ecstasy of loving Krishna. But it is covered by layers and layers of dust that has been accumulated birth after birth. And so we cannot see who we are or what we are meant to be. All we see is that dust. Lord Caitanya explains what that dust is — it is all of our selfish, egoistic desires to want to enjoy this material existence. It is the dust of lust. We have so many ambitions, aspirations of how we will enjoy. We are intoxicated by the illusory phantasmagoria of so-called beautiful things of this world, which are compared to mirages. We are chasing after these mirages birth after birth looking for happiness but finding no real satisfaction. When that is unfulfilled, we often become very angry and frustrated. Our selfish desires are not satisfied, so we want to blame someone else or something. And we make so many offences. And if somehow or other we get a little bit of pleasure in this material world, we are not satisfied. We want more and more. So we become greedy which is another species of dust. Krishna explains, just like fire, what will satisfy a fire? The more fuel you put in, the hungrier it becomes. The more you have, the more you become greedy for more and more. And if somehow or another someone has something you want or something more than what you want, then the dust of envy manifests. You become hateful of that person. You are wishing and praying that this person will lose everything and suffer. You become envious. Why does he have? Why not me? I deserve. And through all of this — lust, anger, envy we become very proud of whatever little we have. Even the pauper is proud of his penny. We think we are very great and illusion we become mad by all this illusion. So this false ego, this desire to enjoy and all the by-products that come along with it and the reactions are the types of dust are that cover the mirror of the soul. Sometimes less intelligent people, frustrated in so many ways with the dissatisfaction of all the pursuits in the material life, take to a process of religion where they want to be liberated, by becoming God, which is another type of dust, bhukti, and mukti. Material enjoyment and the desire to be God are the dust that covers our heart and obscures the true blissful nature of the soul. So the first stage of chanting the holy names of the Lord removes all the dust from the mirror of the mind.
Bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam which means the chanting of the Holy Names extinguishes the forest fire of material suffering. This world is, Krishna says, dukhalayam asasvatam. It is a place of suffering. We are trying to be happy in a place of suffering. It is just like trying to be dry when you are submerged in the ocean. Is it possible? Can you get dry when you are in the ocean? If you want to get dry, you have to get out of the ocean. So if you want to enjoy, you need to get out of this material existence. We can have only little pleasure in this material world. That pleasure is actually not meant for happiness. That pleasure is meant to keep us suffering. It is maya’s trick. She gives you enough pleasure to make you never want to leave and then you never stop suffering. Because all you want to do is to get out of material existence. Chant the names of God and go back to Godhead. So why are we staying in this material existence? Maya’s great power is The only thing that keeps us here is our desire to stay here. And she gives us these few tokens of happiness just so that we can feel oh! I like it here. It’s worth all these miseries and sufferings death after death. Just to get some nice food, touch some soft object or just watch some television. It is worth it! In this way, she keeps us in this miserable situation. But actually, this material existence is compared to a burning forest fire. What can extinguish a burning forest fire? No fire brigade has any hope. Only by the power of God, when He sends rain showers it is possible. So the chanting of the Holy Names of Krishna is like that rainstorm. What is impossible for us to do individually or what is impossible for the whole collective human society and earth to do, extinguish forest fire, can be done by Krishna’s mercy alone. Sometimes there are big forest fires. America is a very prominent country. Just a few years ago there was such a big forest fire. Thousands of acres just burned and burned. The US Army, the Navy, and all the politicians in Washington DC and the whole population of so many hundreds of millions of people in America yoga collectively and individually — there was nothing they could do about the forest fire. It was out of control. A fire that is millions of times greater is burning within our hearts. And the flames of that fire implicate us in the threefold miseries of material existence: Adhiatmika — miseries of our own body. Which has so many inconveniences, and discomforts. Like the trains in Bombay — It is Adhyatmika express. People are not happy. Rarely do you see smiling blissful faces? Everyone is hoping to get out. There is the disease. One little creature enters your body and can cause so much misery. And then there are the miseries of the mind — mental anxiety and distress and lamentation and disappointment. So many tears flow from tour eyes due to these miseries of adhyatmika. Then there are the miseries caused by others — may be our brothers and sisters, our families. Oftentimes — husbands and wives. Sometimes politicians and insects, there are so many other living beings that create suffering to the conditioned soul. Then there is adhybhautika — the miseries caused by natural disturbances be it too much heat, too much cold, too much rain or too little rain. In this material world, too much or too little of anything and you suffer. Everything has to be just right in the middle for there to be any relief or happiness. When there is a drought we pray for rain; when there is a flood we pray for drought. Let the rain come, no I changed my mind, let the rain stop. When it is too hot we are praying let there be a nice breeze. And then a frigid cyclone comes and no I changed my mind, I don’t want this breeze, let it be hot. The dualities of material existence are always there. Earthquakes, cyclones, tornados, floods etc. These are all the miseries of material nature. No one can control the infliction of the threefold misery upon us. And therefore birth after birth after birth there is so much pain, miseries. So the second stage of chanting of the Holy Name is bhava maha davagni nirvapanam. Krishna’s mercy flows as reciprocation to the chanting of the holy name, just like a rainstorm that completely extinguishes the blazing forest fire of material existence and we achieve mukti in the truest sense — in the sense, we are alleviated from all suffering forever from material existence.
This is part 1 of the three-part series.
Gauranga Sundar Das is Iskconinc Communication Director and SM IT Head.
SUTRAS TO GO BEYOND THE ARTIFICIALITY OF HUMAN LIFE
Man is born as an organic individual. Individual means that who cannot be divided by divisible. Science says man is a colony of 90 trillion cells and each cell engaged in a pre-programmed code embedded and has its life cycle and death. Together these trillions of cells form the human body and it has a singularity-individuality which religions call soul. Religion says that man carries the whole universe inside. Mesmerised by the results of quantum physics, science agrees that it could be one way of looking at it.
Life is not a division but everything in life seems to be divided. Popular belief says that man is body and soul, a combination of the two. Science calls man crafted of matter and that also formed the mind but it rejects the existence of the soul incarnating consciousness in beings. Both religion and science agree that body and consciousness are one and not two because science considers consciousness as part of the mind which is made of body matter. But religion says that the body is a visibly manifested soul and the soul is an invisible un-manifested body. Therefore, the world is the extended body of the visibly manifested That-Which-Is and God is extended consciousness of the invisible un-manifested infinitely extended consciousness in which creation and destruction happen. Science calls it dark matter, Hindus say Shiva is the dark matter. But how’s that even possible, one may argue?
When a chromosome is conceived in the womb, that moment ‘the being’ arrives in the womb and the fetus is formed. How does that happen? The chromosome is matter but ‘the being’ incarnates the matter to shape a form. The matter comes from the body but ‘the being’ comes from nothingness, the emptiness that creates the entire world, creates invisible consciousness. Marriage of matter and being is the most amazing occurrence that forms life. Understand it like this when a light is lit by a matchstick, suddenly the light is lit. From where does it come from, it comes from nothingness. A mystic once saw a small boy carrying a candle in the dark night. Mystic doused the light and asked the boy to tell where did light disappear and into what? It was a dark night. The little boy replied by lighting up the light again and said it goes to the same place from where it comes from. When a child is seeded in the womb it comes from nothingness and when a man dies he goes to nothingness. After conception in the womb, the body of a child is embodied with things of matter. On death, the body is disembodied into the matter and becomes a mystery beyond the comprehension of science.
A child in the womb is simply an embodiment of a mother. When a child is born into this world his lifeline begins by ending his existence on the umbilical cord that embraced him with the mother. That embracing umbilical cord is the love. A child breathes his first only when the umbilical cord is severed. Once removed, a child comes to this life to fend for himself. Doctor pats him a cruel occurrence of violence but that is a trick to begin breathing. To cry, a child has to take the first breath. A child becomes an individual and a part of the human civilisation which will train him to be a civil being.
A child is an individual pulsating being. Science trains his mind by school, behaviour, education, language, and ego. Not that he has to live but he is burdened with an overwhelming sense of learning artificiality of human beings. That takes him away from the reality of his being. In the name of being human, the real being is lost and an artificial civil being is born. Civilisation is training to make you unreal what you are never ought to be.
The human mind has been trained to speak languages. But languages breed thoughts. If one remains silent or speaks as much as is needed to communicate that will also be done by your senses, after all, we the sapiens have survived with it and lived in society being real.
We train the child to be a scholar of languages a master of sciences and mathematics. He is tricked to learn information learnt by comprehension and logic. He learns all that with his intelligence that breeds his intellect to grow and there grows his logical thinking and an ability to communicate in complex languages breeding complexities to make the world a more complex complicated place.
In a bid to understand what remains unknown to humans, humans have bred a complex mind that gives them a false sense of being the centre of the world. This false sense forms ego. The ego is fortified by the civilisation which is the refined model for training the ego. Ego and intellect divide life into body mind and soul. Mind that is part of the body assumes itself to be the soul. The mind creates a wedge between body and soul. In the name of religion, politics, society, civilisation, ethnicity, race, country, castes, city, and class, the mind has wrought mindless divisions on man. That has caused war, devastation, violence and holocaust. This has made humans schizophrenic.
The body that is part of nature and existence is separated from the mind that lives the ego and thoughts. Body senses are natural. Hunger, thirst, sleep, love, and seeking are needed by an individual. But mind that is immersed in the artificiality of humans life abodes at the outer periphery of life and senses remain deeply embedded in the centre where the being resides. That creates division and man is not able to be one with his body and soul. For example, love is non-logical but the mind deals with it with logic and reasoning. Senses keep demanding the basics but the mind keeps controlling them, bipolarity is bred.
Matt Ridley has written a book ‘The Rational Optimist’. He argues that from stone-age to the internet age, life has prospered and prosperity buys survival. A man may be an optimist but not rational. What do all men do is rationalisation. Man rationalises everything that he does to fortify his ego. Whatever right or wrong man only rationalises. Even Hitler rationalises like Gandhi does no matter the consequences, rationalisation should be perfect even to sanctify the most irrational acts the rational way.
Our face becomes distorted. Buddha’s intelligence flowers when you are one with your senses and be there in the being. Buddha the most intelligent disentangled himself from the bane of human artificial life and went in search of life. After six years, That-Which-Is that is the existence that is the one who is the creator of all becomes one with Buddha that endowed on him greatest sense of being and spring of compassion sprouted out of him. A compassion that brings the ability to heal all wounds of the earth.
Buddha’s intelligence springs when you begin understanding the mystic nature of life and when you become sensitive to your senses. If you are walking just become the walk. If you are hearing just become the ears. If you are seeing just become the eyes.
To become one with the oneness of That-Which-Is who resides in your being, begin to feel him not by words but feeling your own presence in the being-ness of the being. To do that inhale your breath right till your navel which is the source of life. Two inches below your navel is the Centre that Zen masters in Japan call Hara. Attain your Hara.
The author is a spiritual teacher and advisor on policy, governance and leadership. He can be contacted at email@example.com
WHY YOGA IS A WAY OF LIFE
Children, yogais a precious boon given to humankind by the ancient rishis of Bharat. Today, crores of people from all over the globe are regularly practising yoga in their daily lives. However, we should remember that yoga is like other forms of physical. To gain yoga’s complete benefits, we have to cultivate mental purity as well as mental and sensory discipline. Just as someone who is chronically ill not only has to take the prescribed medicine but also must follow the doctor’s dietary regiment to get better, so if one’s yoga asanas are to bear the desired fruit, we must follow a disciplined and value-based lifestyle.
One of the primary causes of modern society’s physical and mental problems is their lifestyle. Today, all physical comforts are always within our reach. Lying in bed, one can switch on the television, flip on and off the AC, buy train and plane tickets, and order food from hotels. As such comforts increase, our body fails to get the exercise it needs to remain in shape. Moreover, what is the state of the people’s minds? They are constantly racing back and forth, fixated on worries about the future and regrets about the past. The mind is saturated with thousands of such thoughts. Be it at home or work, people don’t have a single moment devoid of stress. Just as our body requires exercise, our mind requires stillness if it is to remain fit and healthy. For some time every day, we have to be able to completely still our mind — at least for a few moments. But typically people do just the opposite: they give their body plenty of rest and they allow their mind to constantly race all over the place.
Thus, yoga is a tremendous blessing. It rejuvenates and tones our physical body. At the same time, it reduces tension and helps the mind to become calmer and more efficient.
Moreover, yoga helps us develop a healthier outlook about life. It teaches us that the ultimate wellspring of peace and bliss is within. Yoga helps us to bring about positive changes in our diet and lifestyle, as well as in our behaviour and relationships. The food we eat not only impacts our physical health but also our mental health as well. This is why we should eat a healthy, nutritiously balanced diet, without overeating. Those who wish to progress in yoga should strictly try to adhere to a sattvic diet, eating pure and wholesome foods.
Practising such a comprehensive lifestyle can bring about astonishing mental and physical transformations. Thus, yoga is a tremendous blessing, especially for those suffering from chronic diseases arising from a sedentary lifestyle. yoga opens the gates to a healthy, tension-free life, full of joy and equanimity.
Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma) is a spiritual leader, guru and humanitarian who is revered as the hugging saint by her followers.
THE BEST WAY TO MAKE LIFE EASY
An easy-going nature and living life in a relaxed manner bring several benefits. One who is equable is free and light in their behaviour, and this is reflected in their relationships; their physical ailments are easily managed; their problems are not complicated; and since they are not much distracted or stressed, they have better mental focus.
Living life easily is an art. Some people become flustered every time they have an important task on hand, and their mind goes into overdrive. Being relaxed means being patient. This makes our speech and actions more mature and wise. It slows down the speed of our thoughts from the normal level of 25 a minute to 15-20 a minute, which increases our efficiency, enabling us to finish tasks faster.
Those who are relaxed enjoy their work as they do not feel burdened by it. In the absence of stress created by worry and overthinking, they also make fewer mistakes.
How does a laid-back attitude help during illness? Some people are alarmed by a minor ailment: they keep thinking and talking about it and end up feeling worse. Our state of mind affects the body — fear, anxiety and agitation sap our energy and reduce our immunity, making us more susceptible to disease and slowing our recovery. Remaining calm and positive, on the other hand, provides a psychological boost that moderates the force of the illness.
The same happens when we are faced with a difficulty. Instead of getting disturbed, if we quietly consider our situation, focusing on the possible solutions rather than the problem, we will find a way out of it.
Being easy and light makes for harmonious relationships. Such a person readily cooperates and adjusts to different kinds of people and circumstances. Because of their accommodativeness they make fewer demands, which also helps them get along with others. Even in a difficult relationship, a relaxed attitude helps us take harsh words or behaviour from others in our stride. Otherwise we can react immediately and make matters worse.
An easy-going nature, thus, makes our whole life easy, and brings success without any seeming effort.
B.K. Surya is a Rajyoga teacher at the Brahma Kumaris headquarters in Mount Abu, Rajasthan.
IT’S TIME TO TAKE A SPIRITUAL BREATH OF LIFE
Yoga and meditation have many principles in common. Yoga tends to deal with exercises that stretch and strengthen the body, and meditation focuses more on the spiritual aspects of life, and strengthening the soul. For each modality to be successful, one has to learn how to control the mind.
TAKING THE BREATH
We talk about the breath of life… and yes, this works on a physical level… without breathing there is no life! But what is the breath of mind? At a spiritual level the breath of mind relates to the quality of our thoughts and therefore our experience of life. Inhale positive and powerful energy, and breathe in love and peace. As we generate those high-vibration thoughts, we are more easily able to exhale and expel negative and stressful thoughts and emotions. We definitely do not want those toxins to linger in our body or mind in any form.
Breathing is a recognition of the presence of the life force… the soul…the being… and that ‘I am the soul’, the one who is experiencing life through matter, through this body. But what does it mean to breathe spiritually? It means to take in every moment that we spend with quality thoughts like love, appreciation and gratitude as these will be both powerful and energising for the soul.
Only that which we take in with love will be nourishing for the soul, just as with the food that we eat. Both the body and soul can more easily digest that which is both wholesome and healthy; this enables us to grow and flourish.
Anything toxic that we take into ourselves will only damage us. It is very important for us to spiritually breathe with our soul lungs, just as we breathe with the physical lungs. Therefore, we have to be very mindful to maintain our good health in body, mind and spirit.
LEARNING TO SIT IN SILENCE
The poses of hatha yoga are there to make the body physically flexible and adaptable… malleable…. These postures help us to build up our muscles; to tone the body and increase our overall stamina. Likewise, meditation makes the mind strong and healthy and makes us tolerant and adjustable. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to both, our diet for the body and our mind.
The power of silence enables the soul to take time out; to re-adjust and become re-centred; and to find our natural poise and balance. Just as with physical yoga, many postures require the soul to have great focus, and to concentrate the mind with determination. These are admirable qualities used to balance the body and mind.
KEEPING THE THIRD EYE OPEN
This is the inner eye of understanding, where we are looking from deep within, from the dimension of spirit. As we become familiar with our inner wisdom, then we will begin to live more naturally from this spiritual place.
When we appreciate and value the practice of meditation, the yoga of the mind, it means that we will be careful to pay attention to the nature and quality of our thoughts throughout the day. We will check and change those thoughts when necessary, because our aim in life is to maintain clarity and balance. Ultimately, we have a desire to be peaceful, healthy and happy.
From a spiritual perspective, and as a spiritual being, I know that innate virtues and specialities form the foundation of ‘who I am’. When I practice affirmations, it is like I am breathing life back into these virtues. When I remember my original nature of the ‘self’ as a spiritual being, as pure energy and light, then I can experience some of these eternal truths.
I am love…. I am light… I am peace… I am happy… I am joy… I am wise… I am strong… and eternally… I am…. Om Shanti… I am a peaceful soul….
Courtesy of itstimetomeditate.org
Aruna Ladva is an author and the director of Rajyoga meditation centres in Kuwait and Egypt.
GOD’S ROLE IN THE DRAMA OF LIFE
We leave our original home (the soul world), come into the drama of life and eventually we forget the plot. God never comes into the drama, and therefore does not ever forget the plot. Thus, it is He alone who can give us an understanding of the whole play.
Only God possesses such knowledge; only He can come and give it. This is why He is the Supreme Soul. He is beyond, He is different; He is unique. He is the Father, and He gives us new life.
God is wonderful, you know. Even though He is not in the drama, He has the complete knowledge of the drama. He does not have to experience it to know it. He does not have eyes, but He sees our experiences. He gives us recognition so that we can ‘see’ and know Him.
Just as a generator sits in one place, continuously sending out an electric current, so the Almighty Father keeps sending us spiritual power. And we receive it — if, that is, we are linked properly and have taken care that no part has blown its fuse.
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