Posted in Best things in the world, Books, Diary, Fun, Knowledge, Spirituality

Vashistha’s teachings

Ashram days were filled with many interesting things including the sessions on Yoga Vashishtha by Nakul Bhaiyya . Movies like matrix, inception are inspired from this scripture. but careful! If you are not meditating regularly, this book is not for you, except for chapter one may be! Else you will go coockoo or think like you are playing jumanji. You can see the videos of talks by Nakul bhaiyya here. The original scripture is huge and the english translation is available in this book.Page 87 is particularly interesting! I laugh out loud reading it 🙂 Only a saint can think or write like that !

The book with its perplexing stories and words of wisdom about brahman takes you out of misery of mind caught up in small small things and concepts about life. The dialogue of this scripture happened between Lord Shri Ram and Vashishta Rishi in the royal court of King Dasharatha. The maturity of questions asked by Ram at the age of 16 and detailed answers by the sages are of great value and wisdom at today’s world too.

Posted in Diary, Spirituality, Travel

Shivamogga Trip – 2

Next day we woke up early for the Bhadra river dam, place where Guruji Meditated. The climb was bit unexpected but became pleasant when I saw Guruji walking around with a hundred plus crowd! I joined them too and we had a great stroll around the place. the Dam has some wonderfully lush green islands with resorts on them. the breeze flew so well, and masters gestures and smiles were all too good!

After a truly close meet with him, we did the long sudarshan kriya, and took a bath in the river. the water was so inviting, first I thought I wont take the whole bath, but after wetting feet, I just got into it fully and enjoyed the cold water thoroughly, splashing water on those next to me! we also took a darshan of the temple there.

Whole trip I had the stomach upset, emphasizing to me how much more sadhana I need to do for fitness! Especially the stomach related exercises are getting missed out, so will add them.

The bus returned to Shivamogga town, where we rested and had meals.  Evening we went to another town Sirsi, this time the bus had an added flavour of Truth and Dare game challenging the people beyond their comfort zones! We reached the place just when Satsang got over. The view of Jog falls on the way was awesome. In Sirsi, we visited Marikamba Temple, where it was so wonderful to sing the Devi songs we sing in Satsang. The temple has such serene blissful energy, and the deity has such innocence and beauty!After meals we returned to Bangalore with a fully filled trip and a truckload of Sattva !

Posted in Diary, Spirituality, Travel

Shivamogga trip – 1

The Art of Living foundation is celebrating its 30th Anniversary. We visited Guruji’s mahasatsangs in Karnataka last two days. The journey began from an early morning bus in Bangalore, packed with some 50 YES!+ graduates, volunteers and teachers. The bus carried with it laughters, singing, puzzles and stories ranging from ghost stories to Guru stories! The first stop was at Arasikere, a town north to bangalore. The school grounds was packed with seats under a shamiana, and we had lovely music by Chayanna – Swami Suryapada going on. His singing is like fresh water in the fast flowing river! The songs, samskrit shlokas, just flow through him.

Guruji soon arrived and after a couple of formalities, and songs, spoke about keeping cleanliness, removing ignorance, fighting against corruption and such important things. He said by practicing pranayama, meditation, one automatically gets into doing good work effortlessly.

After Satsang we had delicious curd rice made with hot boiled rice and some other dish, served with love by the volunteers for all the satsangees. They must have served thousands of people that day!

Then we moved on to Shivamogga, often called as Shimoga for short, and got into our lodges which were booked by our local organizing team there. It was all made so much comfortable!

Shivamogga satsang started at 6 pm in a huge ground again filled with chairs. Guruji made it a point to invite and give seats to all the Math incharge swamis, who had came to grace the occasion.

Posted in Best things in the world, Spirituality

Shrimad Bhagawad Geetha :- Chapter 2

Geeta Ch.2 v.1-10:- Krishna tells him to wake up,shake up and get going.but Arjuna gives some more reasons of not fighting. Then, as if smiling, Krishna spoke thus,”You grieve over those who should not be grieved for and yet speak like learned. Wise men do not sorrow over the dead or the living”.

Comments:- Notice that Krishna is saying this with a smile! often consoling/guiding a friend in trouble, we get involved in that person’s emotions and lose our peace of mind. Madhusudan is completely centred within himself.

And he tells not to grieve on the dead or the living. how many times a day do we say oh I am sad because of this pain in body or that person said this, or some trouble at work, and so on, which is nothing but lamenting for the living. He even says not to grieve over those who have left the body.

Geetha Ch.2 v.11-12:- In fact there was never a time when I was not,or when you and these kings were not. Nor is it a fact that hereafter we shall all cease to be.Just as boy hood youth and old age are attributed to the soul through this body,even so it attains another body.The wise man does not get deluded by this.

Comments:- A firm establishment in understanding of re-birth puts down all cravings and aversions for something in this lifetime. The re-birth is phenomenally described akin to the simple natural transition from childhood to youth and old age. The mistake of my aging , because body is aging, is also pointed out.

Geeta Ch 2:- 14:15 Arjuna have forbearance with respect to the transient experience of objects of senses, which give feelings of opposite like hot and cold, happiness and unhappiness. One who keeps joy and sorrow on same footing, he is eligible for immortality.

Comments:- How long does the taste of your most favorite dish last on your tongue or the joy lasts in the mind!? few minutes? That’s what is the transient nature of the experience of the objects of senses.

Geeta Ch2,16:17-The unreal has no existence, and the real never ceases to be; the reality of both has thus been perceived by the seers of Truth.Know that alone to be imperishable which pervades this universe; for no one has power to destroy this indestructible substance.

Geeta Ch2 v.17-22. The body is perishable, and the soul is imperishable, indestructible. Like one changes from old clothes to new ones, soul takes a new body in next birth.

Comments:- How long is the shelf life of the human body!? ? 30-60 years… may be 100! then what! where will you be 100 years from now.
Those who feel sad about terminally ill patients also need to know that everyone is terminally ill! going to go sometime!
I recall a joke. a patient was told by a doc that he is going to live only 6 more months. the patient became happy and smiling and doctor asked, why are you happy? he said, I have 6 months to live, you could even die tomorrow, who knows! 🙂 😉

Geeta ch2.23-27:- the soul is indestructible. And, Arjuna, if you should suppose this soul to be subject to constant birth and death, even then you should not grieve like this.For, in that case death is certain for the born, and rebirth is inevitable for the dead. You should not, therefore, grieve over the inevitable.

Comments:- So many child prodigies are clear examples of re-births. So many cases children recognize their “previous” address and tell the exact details there. Past regression therapy is a well accepted past life therapy now.  So that means past lives exist. So also future lives exist coz life is an expression of energy and energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only be transformed from one form to another.

Geeta ch2:28-19:- Krishna tells of life as a journey from unmanifest to manifest and back to unmanifest again. He tells that very few look at the soul with wonder, some talk about it with wonder, some listen about it with wonder, and some other do not know it even after listening about it.

Comments:- Two interesting recollections.

One, Q:- Guruji, if the souls are born again, how come population of is increasing. A:- because some other species like birds are getting extinct.
Also, its like a neon light sign board on the streets. It is a set of light bulbs. At some time some of them glow, and you see the advertise of Colgate. other time you see Ad of Reliance. Like that, some souls shine at some point of time. Others remain unmanifest. We are in Air like the fish in the water. Our bodies are floating in the ocean of consciousness.

One day two fish were talking:- Have you seen ocean? Other said, No, but my grandfather said he saw it!

Like that we talk of the eternal ever pervading consciousness with astonishment.

Geeta ch2.30-41. Madhusudan tells Arjuna to fight for the reasons of reputation, duty and others. Since he is still not ready to do so, he speaks about Karma this Yoga of action the intellect is determinate and directed singly towards one ideal; whereas the intellect of the undecided (ignorant men moved by desires) wanders in all directions, after innumerable aims.

Geeta ch.2.42-47:-Next Keshava told Arjuna to have a determined intellect concentrated on the Divine. And the famous verse of Karmanyevadhikaraste:- ” Your right is to work only and never to the fruit thereof. Do not be the cause of the fruit of action; nor let your attachment be to inaction.”

Comments:- Its been a constant reminder of this verse. Went to talk about part one course, and got registrations for part two! The fruit of action is His job, ours is to do the action!

Geeta Ch.2,48:54:-How to do the action? By being centered, with steady mind and intellect. Yoga is skill in Action. Yoagh Karmasu Kaushalam. Then Arjuna asks, what is the definition (mark) of a God-realized soul, stable of mind and established in Samådhi (perfect tranquillity of mind)? How does the man of stable mind speak, how does he sit, how does he walk?

Geetha ch2:55-57. What follows is a amazing description by Krishna on the mind of one whose intellect is steady. He has totally dropped all desires and is content with himself. He is unperturbed by sorrow, unexcited in happiness, and anger, fear and cravings have left him. He is unmoved by ups and downs and neither hates nor rejoices in them.

Comments:- Guruji had spoken on these verses too. long back. he took these verses 3 at a time, and even made us recite!

Geetha ch2. 58:60- The way tortoise takes in all his limbs when hit by something, one whose mind is steady, he retrieves his senses from the objects. One who is not having food, his desires leave him. Also when one gets a taste of the highest (the divine), the taste in sense objects leaves him. Even for one who is practicing self control, the forceful senses take away the pleasantness of the mind.

Sam John and Ashutosh Jogalekar like this.

Abhay Karnataki Love you Sam! A Hindu liking and appreciating Gita is good of course, but a Christian liking it is fantastic!! I would anytime like to listen to Bible and Jesus stories from you! cheers!

Geetha ch2:61-63: Controlling those all (senses) be focussed on me (divine). For one who has a say over senses, his intellect is well established. The man dwelling on sense-objects develops attachment for them; from attachment springs up desire,and from desire comes anger.From anger arises delusion; from delusion,loss of memory(of the self); from that loss of intelligence; and from that one goes to complete ruin.

This downward flow of life force energy is easily seen in all teenager heartbreak suicides.

Geetha ch2:64-65: [So does it mean that one needs to completely keep away from all objects of senses? Not quite], One who experiences the objects of senses, Being with oneself, devoid of cravings and aversions, grace bestows on him. Grace removes all the sorrow and any harm done. Then there is pleasantness of mind and the intelligence downs.

Geetha ch 2:66-68:One who is not united with the self has neither the feelings nor the intelligence.Without (proper) feelings,how can one have peace and without peace,how can one be happy?One whose mind keeps following the sense objects,his intelligence is swayed away like a ship in a storm.That’s why O powerful Arjuna, one who has withdrawn the senses from the sense objects,his intelligence is well established.

Next two verses are each worth chewing on for one whole day! Geetha ch.2: 69:- That which is night for all the beings, There the wise ones are awake. That which beings are awake into, is considered night by the seers.

Geetha Ch.2 70:-As the waters of different rivers enter the ocean, which, though full on all sides, remains undisturbed; likewise, he, in whom all enjoyments merge themselves without causing disturbance, attains peace; not he who hankers after such enjoyments.

Comments:- I would translate it slightly differently:- one who hankers over desires doesn’t get them fulfilled, but one who is unperturbed like an ocean, the way rivers flow into ocean, his desires get fulfilled by themselves, even before arising. Its like someone wanting to feed you even before you are hungry.

Ashutosh and Maitrayee like this.

Cheers Ashutosh, Maitrayee! I guess the geeta press gorakhpur book needs some corrections. Some places, the author has written the exact literal translation, leaving aside the inner meaning, and some places he has gone overboard in the spiritual meaning!

Geetha ch2. 71-72:-He who has given up all desires, and moves free from attachment, egotism and thirst for enjoyment attains peace.Arjuna, such is the state of the God-realized soul; having reached this state, he overcomes delusion. And established in this state, even at the last moment, he attains Brahmic Bliss.

Thus, in the Upanishad sung by the Lord, the Science of Brahma, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna, ends the 2nd chapter entitled Sankhya Yoga(the Yoga of Knowledge).




Posted in Diary, New avenues, Spirituality

Stress Free Teaching Workshop and Know Your Child Workshop

Yesterday it was a great time teaching a Stree Free Teaching workshop with Anupama in a school nearby, St. Paul School. Its being on the other side of an Art of Living course!  Its interesting to see how one after another participants opens up. They share this and that question and its all so relevant. It was a workshop for all school teachers.  They handle some 30-40 children in a nursery and lower kinder garden and upper kinder garden classes. I can imagine how challenging it will be!

And today we had one more Know Your Child Workshop with Mansi, in Mantri Tranquil near Gokulam on Kanakapura road. The parents had many queries and it was all well answered. We will soon be having programs for kids and other AoL programs there.

And Again, we had another Stress Free Teaching workshop for teachers of the Presidency school in Nandini Layout. Rama ji took the workshop with me assisting in yoga. It was nice to see how well she could connect to all the participating teachers. The travel to Nandini Layout, a place 20 km from my home, was an interesting one! Google maps work, albeit with a careful vigilant eye and a couple of road enquiries! I went on long long outer ring road, going at my top speeds!

Posted in Fun, Miscellaneous, Spirituality

Bizarre things in the world

A five hooded snake was found in Infosys campus in Mangalore. That leaves truth possible in the Kaliya destruction story of Krishna destroying a thousand hooded snake in Yamuna. Who knows, there could be such mutation/genetic transformation possible, in this world full of bizarre possibilities. There were dinosaurs in this world, and unless you had found their skeletons, you wouldn’t have believed that they existed. Now if that big size lizards were possible, then same big size birds could also have existed. And man being man, could have tamed even them, and could have used them to fly on, just like one rides on the horses. That leaves possibility for truth in happening of a Garuda carrying Rama.

The animals getting extinct is not so uncommon. How many sparrows and crows have you seen lately.

Another bizarre news, a snake bites a model’s breast in her sexy shoot where she was getting wrapped up by the snake. She got too close to the snake and got her silicon enhanced breast bitten. The snake died of the silicon peroxide poisoning, the model is alright after the medical care. Conclusion – don’t bite silicon enhanced breasts, you could get killed!

Seriously, what makes all these crazy things happen in the world. Who was this snake in last birth. What karma made this happen. Was it a craving in the mind of the snake in the previous birth. Anyways, we associate snakes to the physical desires!

A story says, Bheeshma was lying on the bed of arrows in the war of pandavas and kauravas. Through his vision, he looked into past 100 births and didn’t see a reason for such a thing happening to him. Krishna gave him extra yogic power, so that he could see even earlier births. The story goes that Bheeshma in his 105th previous birth, had thrown a snake out of the way, and the snake had landed in a thorny place. He had cursed Bheeshma that he should also suffer the same pain and death. And it happened.

Another bizarre thing is this case of Conjoined Twins. These are two children, twins, who have different heads, but share the vital parts like liver, heart and hence have the body joined to each other.

Another day, Guruji spoke about the process of birth. When does the particular soul/spirit gets associated with a particular body? Initially when the embryo gets formed, there is lot of competition for the body between the spirits. Normally, one of them wins, and then people like us are born. Sometimes, there is a joint winner, and both need to be given the body, so the split happens and the twins are born. Sometimes the competition for the body has run longer than expected and some parts of the body have already got formed, they can’t be separated. Then Conjoined Twins are born.

Back to the story of Kaliya destruction. Could it be a thousand souls bunched up together in the body of a snake. Who knows, it could be possible. Just like an octopus has eight limbs. Or a tree has several branches. This creation is full of possibilities.