Dharam & its first lessons
The meaning of the letter dharma means to adopt (dhaaran karna), to see it as our own.
Like the foundation has adopted the building, on this foundation is standing the house.
Like on the roots is standing the tree. The roots have adopted completely the trunk, the branches, the leafs and the fruits of the tree. In the same way dharma has adopted the whole of what exists in this universe and beyond. And in this sense the meaning of Dharam becomes the maryada (or rules regulating everything).
Everything happens according to a certain system. It is such a rule / discipline on which the whole universe is working. When we understand this that the whole universe is standing on this regulation; that is Dharmic.
We have been blessed with many powers & gifts – writing, hearing, speaking, walking, touching, smelling – but among all, the saintly believe the following two powers to be of greatest value:
1 Bhaavna(...to do with feelings, emotions & sentiments) – Jazbaa/Fire
2 Baudhakta (...to do with intelligence & understanding) – akal – soch
Our body has many hidden layers under. We are not only what we see each other on the outside.
The vedic text of Taittiriya Upanishad embedded in Yajurveda first gives us this Ananda Valli. The Ananda Valli asserts that knowing one's Self is the path to freedom from all concerns, fears and to a state of blissful living.
The Ananda Valli classifies these as concentric layers (sheaths) of knowledge-seeking.
1. Annamayi Kosh
2. Pranamayi Kosh
3. Manomayi Kosh
4. Vijnanamayi Kosh
5. Anandmayi Kosh
We have the journey towards Anand (Bliss) after crossing everything. Anand is the core inside and the layers outside reaching to Annamayi Kosh. What we see each other at a bodily level – this is Annamayi Kosh. Every kosh (Sarir) has its own food and demands and character.
Of the five Sarirs (Sheaths) the 5th Sarir is identified as mool – it is Source (aadhaar) of blissful being.
Conventional wisdom suggests “Don’t use a lot where a little will do.”“
How does it make you feel when you consciously think about your breath? Breathing is after all just normal stuff which works automatically without a person’s conscious effort.
A few years ago, my breath used to only catch my attention, if at all, when in a stressful situation I would take a few deep breaths and get on with my work again. Other moments I was reminded of my breathing was in high altitude (upwards of 3000 meters), when each step becomes a sort of a rhythmic play of breath & steps. One step after the other, you learn to take it in your stride.
Since my own practice of Pranayama (yogic-breathing), which has brought long term improvements to my respiratory system including lung capacity, strengthening of the breathing muscles and improvement in efficiency of breathing, I have rediscovered my rhythmic play of breath & steps.
How are you breathing today?
Breath bring us in touch with ourselves immediately. Awareness of how we breathe is the first step to meditativeness. Yogic breathing is focussed on the Diaphragm, the muscle responsible for breathing.
What is attained at the state of body (sareer), is called „Sukh“ (Happiness / Comfortableness).
What is attained at the state of mind-soul (mann), is called „Anand“ (Blissfulness).
One is Sukh, the other is Anand. They are two vastly apart things like earth and sky. Sukh, if any, will turn to Dukh (unhappiness) at some point. Youth may bring Sukh, but one day it will turn into Old Age (Budhaapa – read Dukh). Birth of a child may be Sukh, but death will turn it into unhappiness. Sukh will eventually turn into Dukh, it has its opposite.
On the other hand „Anand“ is blissfulness. There is no other state opposite of Anand.
We recently conducted workshops on "Yoga for Bikers" at the Eurobike Trade Show.
The objective of these workshops was to highlight the importance of Yoga as
– a pre training tool for conditioning
– increasing effectiveness of training and improving performance on the bike (athletes; hobbyists), and,
– help in prevention of injuries & recovery from injuries
Through practice of certain yoga asanas (postures) we can achieve long term benefits of musco-skeletal movement that balances strength & flexibility. Besides that, focussing on breath regulation & benefits that can be directly transferred from our Yoga practice to Biking.
Read the full post (with Photos)