Saturday, April 2, 2011





Palamaner is a municipality in Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh, India. What is special about it - is its beautiful, cool climate and, in recent past, its obsession with Yoga and Meditation.

WIKIPEDIA has this to say further about Palamaner :

“It is located on the National Highway 4 which connects Bangalore and Chennai. Being on the border of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, Palamaner has a mixture of languages and cultures. In the year 2010, population was around 47000.

Palamaner is surrounded by valleys, hills, waterfalls and forests. The forest around the town is the only place in Andhra Pradesh with wild elephants. The forests of Palmaner have been declared as an elephant sanctuary, the Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary, by the Government of AP; assisted by the Government of India.

Palamaner is a starting spot for trekking in the forests spread 200 km around the borders of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu which covers forest areas containing wildlife, waterfalls and hilly regions for rock climbing and river rafting.”

I was associated with many places in this District in my childhood and one of them was Palamaner.

I was therefore pleasantly surprised by an invitation to me by “the  world pyramid spiritual society, Palamaner” to conduct a Sathsang on Meditation (Dhyanam)  on April,1st,2011.

I agreed, finding the huge enthusiasm among the organizers of the Sathsang irresistible.

They are conducting a  meditation festival for 45 days (one mandala) starting from 19-3-2011. Each day, a temple premises or a convenient location is selected for Group Meditation (for about an hour). From what I heard in today’s Sathsang, there are 500 regular meditators in this town, though the group meditation is done with about 70 persons daily – possibly due to space and other logistical constraints at different places. The selection of a different temple on each day so far (14 days so far) shows that there a good number of temples at this place – which provide adequate space for group Meditations.

This makes Palamaner certainly special among the many towns of Andhra Pradesh (and India) where this ancient science of India is not yet  such a living science.

SATHSANG (Dated 01-04-2011)

This day’s Sathsang is scheduled at the open top of a house on which they had established a pyramid meditation centre.

Today’s group consists of 85 (plus) people. The age of participants ranges from small kids of 10 Yrs age to those around 70 years of age. Males and Females were equal in number with a slight bias in favour of women.

People from nearby villages also had assembled for the group meditation and the Sathsang. After all the group members finished their meditation, we started the Sathsang on Meditation.

Here are some Questions I explained at the Sathsang :

How is it that 85 people could come together for the Sathsang?

Lord Krishna has explained in Dhyana Yoga chapter of Gita that whatever Dhyana yoga you have practiced in your previous Birth does not go waste. It comes along with you into the next birth. You will  be given opportunity to start off where you left off – by finishing your first lessons quickly. You may even be born in a yogi’s family. So, here are you all – possibly continuing your association with yoga and meditation from your previous birth and who knows, possibly associated in some way with each other in such previous births. Now, is the opportunity to go to greater heights in this unique science.

Your experience now is with your physical body, your thoughts and your emotions . How much do you know them?

Your knowledge and experience of your physical body is limited to the outermost layer of your skin. You have not seen or any way experienced even the second layer of your skin or any thing below that – like your blood vessels, nerves, bones, internal organs etc. You also do not even want to see any of them. How they all function – you know from science books – not from personal experience.

When you get up in the morning – it is not because of your decision, but, because, of an unseen force prompting you, that makes you wake up.

When you go to sleep, you do not go to sleep on your decision. An unseen force of Nature draws you into sleep. When you become hungry, it is not your decision. When you feel the urge of nature’s calls, like urination, defecation, sex etc, all these are unseen forces of Nature acting on you and not your conscious decisions.

The heart beats, the lungs breathe – not on your orders, but independent of them.

Suppose, Nature gives one day free TO YOU TO ORDER your heart, lungs, and all other organs to function better than they are doing at present – that day, no, that minute, you are dead. You can’t, even a few minutes, efficiently order a single organ to perform well or ill. Your capabilities are just not enough to run this magnificent machine called your physical body. There are also many different  types of tiny living cells inside us. It is a whole world living inside our physical body. There are also many invisible organs functioning inside. All of them are programmed to function in particular ways, for particular purposes, for particular duration.

There are so many, secrets associated with this body, which can be unraveled, only through the science of Yoga and not through any physical sciences. Our experience and direct perception of our own physical bodies is however limited to the outermost layer of the skin – which constitutes perhaps less than 1 / 1000th part of our body.

Think of your mind – your thoughts, now.

When you get up, do you put some switch on and say – now on, I am going to think. When you fall asleep, do you put some switch off and say – now, I am stopping to think. No, there is no such on-off switch in your control. The thoughts start on their own automatically or on the prompting of some other force (not you) and stop only when you fall off totally asleep. Likewise, you can’t stop thinking of a Guerilla you see by your decision. The more you try to forget, the more you remember it. On the other hand, some times you forget, not by your decision, but by an independent mechanism inside. Your thoughts are really not your thoughts. It is an independent stream of thoughts on which you have little control. It is this uncontrollable thought mechanism that we wish to bring under some control through the process of meditation.

Our Emotions –Now.

Do we want to get angry? We do not, perhaps. But, we do get angry. We become jealous; We hate; We are swamped by desires, by lust, by pride and by greed.

In the ancient days – the sages said “kama, krodha, lobha,moha,madha,mathsyaraanaam, dehe thistathi thaskaraah… thasmaath jaagaratha, jaagrathaah”  

It means :beware of the six internal thieves in you, your desire, anger, greed, lust, pride and hate; they are constantly stealing away your most precious treasure - your happiness; beware of them always..”

Now, see – your body is not under your control; your thoughts are not under your control; your emotions are also not under your control. And, these are the only three which are within your conscious experience.

What does Yoga & Meditation do in this context?

Meditation gives you a much greater awareness of your body’s internal functioning, and a lot more efficiency to your internal organs. That way, it gives you much greater Health and happiness. It gives you much greater control on your thought processes and on your emotions.

It gives you better relationship with all people around you. A greater calmness within you. A greater capability to enjoy life. A much lesser inclination to yield to the six internal thieves.

You will live longer, more healthily and more happily. You will lose all of your fears gradually – including the fear of disease and death. Therefore, when death comes, you go as happily as you lived. Death will be very graceful and kind to you when it comes.

Now– a few pointers to a successful meditation experience:

1.   Sit comfortably. Any asana which is comfortable for you will do. Patanjali says – sukham, sthiram asanam. Lord Krishna said the same thing too.
2.   Keep your head, neck and spine in a straight line – but comfortably, not with stiffness.
3.   Sit in a calm, clean place, preferably alone.
4.   A Sathsang of meditators, is, of course, a great help, in the initial stages. Adi Sankara has commended Sathsang in many ways.
5.   Watch your breathe.This is a good method.
6.   Another good method is - Watch your thoughts. Watch them calmly as they pass through your mind. Do not generate thoughts by your efforts. Do not go behind those thoughts. Just watch them as a silent witness. As a watcher. Be a comfortable watcher. Be a joyful watcher. Do not make efforts to watch.
7.   Just watch – and your thought stream will slowly slow down and may die down.
8.   Do not expect any experiences. Do not be taken back or taken away by any experiences. Be there as a comfortable watcher or witness. Let things happen.
9.   Do not seek progress. Things will happen on their own. When the strong Police man is watchful, the thief becomes weak and runs away on his own. You will be successful.

At the end I asked them to adopt a few Life style changes – being Sadhakas and meditators.
1.   In future, never say a meaningless word like Hello on the Phone. Say a beautiful “Namaskaram”, (on the phone) which is the meditators’ way; preferably with folded hands, if you are meeting the person. Let this change take the town by storm and  be the beginning of a cultural change.
2.   Make it a point to appreciate and praise openly, any good deed done any where by any one. This is the way to encourage every one to do good deeds.
3.   If your wife cooks a good dish today – make it a point to appreciate. It is usual to point out shortcomings in meals to the one who prepared it; but, it is becoming rare to appreciate a good meal / good dish.
4.   If your husband does a good deed to you, appreciate. If any one wears a good dress which you like within, say that openly. If some one does you a good turn in some way, or to some one you know – appreciate.
5.   If your wife / husband looks more beautiful / handsome, appreciate. Age, or length of your marital life must not matter. Keep your love of your partner always alive. Find goodness and beauty in every one and in nature and develop an appreciative heart. This is the meditators’ way.
6.   The great Sage Vasista and his wife Arundhati, had over 100 sons. Almost every sage lived in forests with his wife and marriage was never an obstruction for meditation, to them. What obstructs – is the non-dharmic ways of sense pleasures.
7.   Bad things don’t go away if you ask them to go away. Filling good things in you is the way to drive out bad things. Fill your life with all good things.
8.   And, achieve all success in your Meditation and Yoga.

At the end – I taught them a simple meditation for promoting their health. The Sathsang was thus an exceptional success. I heartily wish all meditators of Palamaner all success in their yogic sojourn.
Why I write this here is – Here is a good example for all others to emulate. My dear readers - Please Come together in your town too and form Meditation societies.  Organize mediation trainings and Sathsangs. Let this wonderful cultural change sweep through the entire world. Let there be Health and happiness and great awareness in living in all people. Let there be Joy and Love in all.
Let each home turn into a heaven on earth. Let each heart become big enough to contain and protect the whole world in it.

Sarve Janah Sukhino Bhavanthu

Lokah Samasthah sukhino Bhavanthu

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  1. Very well written Naanna :)
    Nice, simple and effective!

  2. Dear Abi

    Thanks for your encouraging comment.

    The enthusiasm displayed by the 70 years old and the 15 years old and all those in between - is a great inspiration for any one conducting such a Sathsang.

    Somewhere, some one is taking it on himself to bring people together and bring happiness and peace to all of them through Yoga.

  3. its really superb.... and making us to know many things about yogam and dhyanam.... not only that the people in a small town are really appreciable and the organizers effort is to be encouraged,...
    peddananna.... ur effort on this is really great and the future generations should know this and youngsters like me have a great chance to know these things...

  4. Thanks, dear sriharsha,

    Keep following up the Posts.

    The ones on Patanjali Yoga sutras will be a little more technical. But, i am simplifying it as much as possible. And making them practical and useful.

    All the Best