Saturday, December 31, 2011



India is fortunate to have Great saints as Gurus. One of the Greatest Saint cum Guru with us today is Sri Sri Ravishankar. His signpost is his smile. This smile is the proof of his inner calm and inner joy.

I collect his quotes from his various satsangs and speeches. You will find a few of his advices below. They are beautiful quotes – but, more than that, they are great statements of how one must live one’s life. I will follow up these with a lot more in the future posts. Here are the quotes :

Ø  During challenging times, have an attitude of sacrifice, face it, be with the knowledge that this will also change. During good times, have an attitude of service and serve everyone to your best capacity.(The Divine loves you dearly, Dec,22,2011)
Ø  Accept people as they are. We expect people to be like ourselves. Have you found anybody just like yourself? If you find such people, you cannot spend even five minutes with them. You will want to run away. So, however a person is, accept them. .(The Divine loves you dearly, Dec,22,2011)
Ø  Nobody has the time to think about you. Everybody is lost in their own world. You worry unnecessarily about what other people will think about you. Give people the freedom to think whatever they want about you. Opinions keep changing.(The Divine loves you dearly, Dec,22,2011)
Ø  If someone does a mistake, don't think they have done it intentionally. Similar to how you make mistakes, know that they made a mistake as well and move on. (The Divine loves you dearly, Dec,22,2011)
Ø  Live in the present moment. If you hold on to the past, neither can you be happy nor can you make others happy. Live like a child, in the present moment. .(The Divine loves you dearly, Dec,22,2011)
Ø  Corruption begins where belongingness ends. Nobody can be corrupt with people whom they feel connected to
Ø  Our country is in this state not because of bad people, but because good people are silent and are not doing anything about it. The number of bad people is just a few.
Ø  know what is permanent and what is ever-changing. When you know everything is changing it is because there is a reference point that does not change.
Ø  Whatever joy sex gives, Samadhi is thousand times more joyful because there is no effort, there is no action there. It is only Being and just Being. So just the Being consciousness, the play and display of consciousness comes to one’s awareness, comes to one’s experience. This is very beautiful. (13.12.2011. YOU ARE COMPLETE)
Ø  Don’t keep any corner of your existence away from Divinity. The Divine should be interwoven into every aspect of your life and this is called Brahmacharya, which means moving in the infinity, uniting with the infinity. (13.12.2011. YOU ARE COMPLETE).
Ø  Adi Shankar once said, ‘One who labels themselves as something is a fool and one who labels themselves as nothing is a bigger fool.’ One who is nothing does not talk, so just keep quiet. How can you say I am nothing when you are saying something?! There cannot be somebody there saying I am nothing. So keep quiet, shut up. If you are nothing then shut up. Be quiet. (13.12.2011. YOU ARE COMPLETE)
Ø  Light is the indication of life. Fire always goes up, even if you bend the torch. Similarly, there must be enthusiasm irrespective of the situations in life. People and situations may try to pull you down, but you must keep yourself enthusiastic. It indicates that you have to move ahead irrespective of the situations in life. (A disciple should be hollow and empty,12.12.2011)
Ø  "This New Year go to a place where everything is beautiful !
That place is within you!  Wherever you go after that, you will add beauty."
Ø  The ultimate truth of life is that we will leave everything behind. (The Divine loves you dearly, Dec,22,2011)
Ø  Your feet must be warm, your stomach should be soft and head should be cool. This is the sign of a healthy person. Unhealthiness is when your feet are cold, head is hot and stomach is like a stone. (The Divine loves you dearly, Dec,22,2011)
Ø  There is no greater penance than Pranayama.
- With meditation, the consciousness gets purified
- With bhajans, emotions get purified.So Listen to music
- With knowledge, the intellect gets purified. (The knowledge that everything and everyone is temporary)
- With charity, wealth gets purified.
-With Ghee(Clarified butter), food gets purified.
-With Exercise and Ayurveda, the body gets purified

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

PATANJALI = YOGA SUTRAS = Vs.2.41 :Soucha to Sathva to Cheerfulness to Concentration to Sense-control to Atma Darsana - A Smooth Jounrey for Sadhaka



Sathva Shuddhi Saumanasya
Ekaagra indriya-jaya
atma darshana yogyatvani cha

Ø  sathva = self;
Ø  shuddhi = purification of
Ø  saumanasya = cheerfulness
Ø  ekaagra = with concentration or single-aim
Ø  indriya-jaya = victory over or control of the senses
Ø  atma = the Self
Ø  darshana = realization
Ø  yogyatvani = Being fit for
Ø  cha = and

Being too much attached to body is a cause of constant worry – that something may affect our body here or there. The effort for external purity, in due course, removes that too-much attention from the body, which is what jugupsa really meant in the previous sutra. The body and mind, when hale and healthy, become very light for us to carry. But Soucha is advised by Patanjali in previous sutra as it removes  body concentration and brings us the best of all Gunas, the Satva.

Purity of the self (or Soucha) thus brings us Sathva Suddhi – that is, purification of Gunas in us. We may not conquer all Gunas, but we come to the purest Guna of all, the Sathva, and stay in pure Sathva and shine in it.

From Sathva Suddhi, arises cheerfulness, a delight in the self – as the natural effect of Sathva is to create such cheerfulness in us.

This cheerfulness that arises in us - is not due to the body and mind; and not due to contact with others. The cheerfulness is inborn and is independent of senses and sense objects.

Rogi has a diseased body; He has a heaviness in body and mind which are constantly putting pressure on him. Bhogi is not presently diseased but is enjoying the body and mind; but his body and mind are in the process of becoming sick in due course; Bhoga is a cause of roga.  But yogi is the one who keeps his body and mind very light on him; and therefore, he is blissful.

Lightness of body and mind brings Sadhaka cheerfulness; while cheerfulness in its turn brings lightness of body and mind. Cheerfulness and lightness of body and mind are thus circular in being cause and effect. One is the cause of the other at one level and the effect of the other at another.

From the cheerfulness comes Powers of concentration. The freedom from body and mind, and from their pressure on the self – makes it easy for sadhaka to concentrate on any goal he feels fit. There is nothing that can distract his senses.

There are many practical displays of the Powers of concentration  by Yogis in the Past. Swami Vivekananda’s powers of concentration and remembrance used to astonish all the people around him.

From such powers of concentration comes control over senses. When the goal is wisely selected by the sadhaka, who has immense powers of concentration,  control over senses and directing all of their power on the goal becomes very easy for him.

This immense control over senses gives the Sadhaka the eligibility and fitness for self experience or self realization. 

This is Atma Darsana.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

PATANJALI = YOGA SUTRAS = Vs.2.40 :Soucha = Effort to clean body & mind creates aversion to them finally


Verse.2.40 :Soucha

sauchaath sva-anga jugupsaa

paraih asamsargah

Ø  sauchaata = Because of the keeping of body and mind always clean and pure
Ø  sva-anga = (on or about) one's own body and body parts
Ø  jugupsaa = a feeling of  distaste / aversion
Ø  paraih = with the bodies of others
Ø  asamsargah = disinclined for close contact or association

This is a peculiar, puzzling sutra – but only until we understand its inner significance. It says, as you strive and keep your body clean – you develop disinclination and aversion towards it. Not only for your body, but also for any contact with the bodies of others.

Soucha involves purity of both bodies and minds. But, first let us understand about the effect of striving to keep our bodies clean.

How long can you keep your body clean by any effort? An hour maximum. Again, it gets dirty and requires cleaning. Again. And again. And again. Any number of times you clean the body – with anything that you know of – it again and again becomes dirty and foul smelling.

So, keeping body clean is a continuous, herculean and yet largely futile  task in the long run. It looks so wonderful and beautiful one day – but next day, you will find that - something destroying that beauty is cropping up from inside the body itself.

As age progresses, all beautiful bodies become slowly but surely, ugly bodies. It happens to everyone. The smooth, flawless skin disappears and becomes wrinkled. The inner parts of body start troubling you more and more often, with diseases and weaknesses. Hair falls off and changes colour. Teeth fall off. Eyes lose their colour, Power and smile. Every part of the body starts defying your efforts to keep them clean and pure.

Cleanliness and purity of body is of course an important part of Niyama – the second anga of Yoga sutras.

But, the effort to keep it clean - itself reveals to us the true, ephemeral nature of the body. Beauty and strength are temporary. Even Health is temporary.  Your own body starts creating in you a feeling of distaste and disinclination towards itself.

Remember the story of Buddha. After seeing the old man, the dead body and the diseased man – Buddha could no more love the body of Yasodhara, his beautiful wife, who was sleeping by his side. One day, this body too – will be like that…diseased, dead, old bodies. It is already progressing towards that end. This realization creates aversion and disinclination towards the bodies.

Yet, one must keep it clean. Why so? “deho devaalayo prokthah” . The body is a temple and Jeeva residing inside is God himself. Therefore the effort for cleanliness and purity will continue, but there will be no more attachment to it as – this is myself, this is beautiful and so on. Same with the body of the wife, husband, son, parents, friends and so on.

The mind is no better. The more you try to keep it clean and pure, the more, it looks impure and uncontrollable for you. The effort of Yoga is to conquer the mind – and keep it free of chittha vritthis.

Now, when there are no Chittha Vritthis , the mind itself disappears. You are no more interested in it. Therefore, the greatest use of Soucha (inner and external cleanliness and purity) – is to create total aversion towards the body and mind finally.

This path of progress leads you towards the real YOU. The real you, which transcends both body and mind has no need for soucha. It is always unchanging, and never in need of soucha. As we progress towards our real self, the interest in the body and mind and their purity and cleanliness wears off.

If this is the case with our own bodies, will it be different with the bodies of others? The same distaste and aversion towards bodies and minds – of others too is bound to take roots in the mind of the Sadhaka, when he practices Niyama.

We must understand that – as the bodies and mind cease to have attraction for theSadhaka, the Sadhanas of Sadhaka become more centred on the object of Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi – by enabling the Sadhaka to practice Pratyahara effortlessly and easily. Soucha is thus a great enabling factor for future Sadhyanas.

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

PATANJALI YOGA SUTRAS=Verse.2.38 &2.39 = Benefits of Brahmacharyam & Aparigraha = Great Energy & knowledge of previous Births



brahmacharya pratisthayam
virya labhah

Ø  brahmacharya = 2 meanings ; (i) celibacy in thought, word and deed (ii) practicing the path of the absolute truth or divine
Ø  pratishtaayaam = having firmly established, being well grounded in
Ø  veerya = strength, vigor, vitality, courage
Ø  laabhah = is acquired, attained, gained

We have already examined the importance of Brahmacharya in both of its meanings in Vs.2.30. The sex thought (and word, and deed) makes a Sadhaka go out of one’s own control. This thought passes the control of the Sadhaka’s mind to the persons / person on whom the thought is centred.

The Yoga Sadhaka cannot retain his chittha Vritthi Nirodha when he does not practice Brahmacharya and his mind is riveted on some other person.

The second meaning is not alternative but is additive. Not thinking of Sex is not enough. Sadhaka must practice the path of the absolute truth or Brahman. A lot is written about the Brahmacharya vratham.

In ancient days – one used to be introduced to Brahmacharya vratham as a young Boy, who was placed under a Guru for his studies. Until his studies and certain other formalities are over, he remains a Brahmachari and remains usually in the Ashram of the Guru.

Yogi comes very easily for such a Brahmachari, without any Distraction. Once he attains strong control over his mind, he becomes fit for marriage or Grihasthaasrama.

A note from other puraanas and itihaasaas here will be appropriate. Involving in Dharmic sex with the spouse as a Grihastha after achieving mind-control as Brahmachari - makes it effortless for practicing Yoga even as Grihastha. During Grihstha Aashrama – there is no absolute abstinence from sex but Yoga can be continued easily as Dharmic sex will pose least disturbance to Yoga. Dharmic sex is practiced in a way that it becomes a devotee’s surrender (by both spouses) to the almighty. There are countless examples of Great Rishis practicing Yoga even as Grihasta.

Subsequently in Vaanaprastha and sanyaasa, when the couple goes away to seclusion together and thereafter one of them leaves the earthly body - Brahmacharyam is continued.

When Brahmacharyam is practiced in thought, word and deed, the Sadhaka derives huge benefits of strength and energy – for his Sadhanas. It is a direct benefit for his Yoga Sadhana.

Many do not realize that Sex thought itself is a very big distraction – and consumes a large part of the thinking and emotional time of any Sadhaka – and therefore the sadhaka needs to conserve his thinking and emotional energy by abstaining from such thoughts – and this abstinence also adds hugely to his  physical energy and strength of character. Many commentators also opine that the Yogi who is well established in Brahmacharya – gains tremendous attraction and control over other human beings.


aparigraha sthairye
janma kathaanta sambodhah

Ø  aparigraha = Being non-greedy / non-acquisitive;non-attachment to Possessions
Ø  sthairye = in such stability
Ø  janma = birth
Ø  kathaanta = wherefrom and whereto
Ø  sambodhah = gaining knowledge

When a Sadhaka refuses to keep possessions beyond absolute need, does not receive any thing from any one without paying him its proper value and remains unattached to any possessions absolutely needed for day-to-day needs – in other words, when he practices aparigraha steadfastly – he gains knowledge of his  various previous births, where he was born and how he lived and died in such earlier births.

We may not be able to talk of future births, though. Because, Yogi’s aim is to burn away all future births and come out of the birth-death cycle.

The very knowledge of his previous Births makes him more stead fast as Yoga Sadhaka, as he knows now the ephemeral nature of the body-mind complex completely.

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PATANJALI = YOGA SUTRAS = 2.37 = Benefits of Astheyam (Non-stealing) to the Yogi



astheya prathishtaayaam
sarva rathna upasthaanam

Ø  astheya = (In) non-stealing
Ø  pratishtaayaam = if (yogi is) firmly established
Ø  sarva = all
Ø  rathna = diamonds, treasures
Ø  upasthaanam =  become available (to him)

Astheyam simply means – non-stealing. We have seen about astheyam in detail, in verse.2.30. When astheyam becomes firmly established in the yogi, in thought, word and deed,  the need for money and treasures is itself removed from him by the nature.

Nature or Prakruthi becomes a faithful servant and friend of the Yogis – when it discovers that their sadhanas are sincere and approaching perfection. As sadhana progresses, the results flow towards the yogis automatically.

We can listen to many yogis narrating how they go from place to place and country to country, without carrying a single rupee (or dollar) – but, somehow, their needs are met.

This has been the experience of many yogis, including Swami Vivekananda. But, Sadhakas must carry their Sadhanas also - on unmindful of these benefits. If they are distracted by these benefits which nature is providing to them – their sadhanas will suffer to that extent.

As we have seen in the first chapter itself – a Sadhaka starts out his Sadhana to achieve a particular goal or aim, which is called the Siddhi. When he achieves his actual goal, he is called a Siddha. But, on the path, nature provides many types of help, which can become allurements also.

They are a great help – if Sadhaka takes their help and moves further ahead with his Sadhanas towards his final goal, or, Siddhi. But, if he is satisfied with the great help being provided by nature, he gets distracted from his Siddhi. Many Sadhakas do get temporarily distracted and get tempted to use them as special powers that he has got from his Sadhanas. They may not be doing anything bad or immoral thereby. But, they are deviating from their chosen path to the final goal.

As long as they continue their Sadhanas without interruption – Nature looks to them as master and friend.

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Friday, December 16, 2011

PATANJALI YOGA SUTRAS = Verse.2.36 = Yogi's words come true = Seek his blessing



Sathya pratishtaayaam
kriyaa phala asrayathvam

Ø  sathya = truthfulness
Ø  pratishtaayaam = firmly established in
Ø  kriyaa phala = Results of actions
Ø  ashrayatvam = depend on, serve

When truthfulness is adopted as Mahaa vratam by the Sadhaka and adhered to, very strictly – the Yogi (Sadhaka) becomes truthfulness itself. Now, it is not that he is following truthfulness – but is truth himself.

There are many yogis – who by incessant practice of yama and niyama principles, become that which they have adopted as maha vratam.

For such yogis, results of efforts are automatic. What comes out of their tongue – happens. Nature puts together all of its powers to make things happen according to the words of such Maha Yogis. Nature becomes a faithful servant of the yogi and not his master.

It is not that, nature  one day suddenly decides to become the yogi’s faithful servant – after ensuring that the yogi is fully established in Sathya as his mahavratham. As the yogi progresses in his Sadhanas,  nature progressively starts becoming his faithful servant. This is happening all the time with the Sadhakas.

It is for this reason that – many people in India go and prostrate before yogis and seek their blessings. These blessings do come true in a large measure depending on the adherence to their mahavrathams by the yogis. Young children are especially taken to Yogis for their blessing – for ensuring their health, education and prosperity.

A blessing like “ayuraarogya, aiswarya vidya, praapti rastu” from such yogis is considered a great boon to the child’s future. Why so? The full force of the entire nature is backing the words of these Maha yogis. Not only the live yogis, but, even of the dead Yogis! You can find many parents putting their children in the lap of Sai Baba stone Idol and seeking his blessings. People believe that a Yogi’s powers continue for a long time – even after his physical demise.

Kings used to invite and honour the yogis – in the belief that  rains will fall in time and to the required level and ensure the prosperity of people of the kingdom. The story of sage Rishya Sringa is mentioned in the Yitihaasaas in this context.

At the same time, even a word of anguish or pain emanating from a yogi can have disastrous effects on the people who were responsible for it. A word of curse – from a Yogi is too very powerful – and therefore, no one should harm any yogis. It is said – that where the great yogis are harmed, the kingdom will turn into a desert soon.

Even in modern days – we can all observe this phenomenon.

People foisting false cases on yogis, or putting yogis in custody, or torturing them -  die for no reason suddenly, or get into serious physical, mental and financial problems – with no apparent cause. It happens. The cause-and-effect sequence of Nature works much faster in such cases. This writer has observed this phenomenon in several such instances. The readers also can recall many such cases. The Yogi himself however takes it as a test for his mahavratham and remains unperturbed.

Even a chance word of curse from a maha yogi – will bring in great disasters to the doorstep of the perpetrator of problems to the yogi. It is not that the Yogi needs to curse. His discomfort itself gets transformed into a curse. This phenomenon has been illustrated and elucidated in many anecdotes in many ancient itihasaas and puranas as well.

A blessing from a yogi works equally powerfully on the recipient. A good deed done to a Yogi works even better. It is not for no reason that crores of people follow great yogis even today. They instantly become happier and blissful – a happiness that they can find nowhere else.

The writer urges all young and old people of both sexes to adopt any great yogi as Guru, visit him periodically, seek his blessings and contribute liberally to whatever  causes he is undertaking and put your effort too, into such causes of the Yogi. You won’t be disappointed by the results that occur in your own life.

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Monday, December 12, 2011

PATANJALI YOGA SUTRAS = Verse.2.35 = Extraordinary Powers of Non-violence = what others become near a Yogi ?



Ahimsaa Pratishtaayaam
Thath  Sannidhou Vaira Thyaagah

Ø  ahimsaa = In non-violence ( by thought, word and deed)
Ø  pratishtaayaam =  firmly established
Ø  vaira-tyagah = (Others) give up enmity towards him

This is an extraordinary but often observed truth – now coming from Patanjali himself.

If a Yoga Sadhaka steadfastly observes non-violence in thought, word and deed, after some time – all the people around him lose all interest in picking up quarrels with him; lose all enmity towards him – and will even look up to him with great reverence.

This has been observed in the lives of many Yogis. Most Yogis used to live in deep forests, mountain caves and places of such solitary nature – where wild animals and poisonous reptiles abound. But, even they turned most friendly and obedient towards such yogis. Even now – this phenomenon can be observed in many Ashrams of great yogis.

Non-human beings sense the harmless, loving, protectionist nature of the yogi more quickly than human beings. Human beings are a trifle slow – but will gather in large number around such yogis to take the benefit of their teachings.

In modern times – people wonder, why yogis have so many lakhs and crores of almost blind followers, when even the great prophets and incarnations did not have so many followers. It is in the nature of their Yoga Sadhanas. Words and actions of love, compassion, consideration and generosity pouring out from these Yogis draws any person towards them. Some are quick to go and take the benefit of their teaching. 

Some, of course, stay far away from all Yogis (and Yoga), suspicious and fearful that the Yogi may draw them also out of the quagmire of dirty minds they are seeped in.

At one stage of sadhana, the Sadhaka becomes not non-violent – but non-violence himself; not truthful but truth himself, not generous, but generosity himself. It is said – that when such a yogi inadvertently says some thing, nature tries to ensure that his words become the truth!

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