'Listening' is primary to enjoy blissfulness (part 1)

'Listening' is primary to enjoy blissfulness (part 1)

There are two types of understanding and bases for knowledge - the knowledge of the worldly things (Sansaar ka Gyaan), or the knowledge of the energy and light beyond the worldly (Parmatama ka Gyaan)

The worldly things are also are called padarath. All knoweldge about it exists outside of us.

The knowledge of Parmaatma exists inside us.

The knowledge outside of us is also called science (Vigyaan). The knowledge inside of us is Brahmgyan or Dharam.

A scientific aptitude requires very keen eye. Who looks in and through things and builds the knowledge about every aspect of it. A blind man cannot be a scientist. It one cannot look at material things, how will he or she reserach it.

But the one who cannot ‘hear/ listen’ will lack the Brahmgyaan..will lack Dharam.

"Alone time" is necessary

If one wants to give birth to the light in oneself, it is imperative to spend time alone.

In Ekaant (alone time) our own Mann (Mind-Soul) comes to the fore. We can look at ourselves more clearly. Our own fears come forward. How do we do away with them - good thoughts must replace them.

For example, if a woman must give birth, she does not do it in publicly and open. Only in Ekaant, aloneness. If too many people are there, there is sankoch (hesitation).

Painting by Nicolas Roerich from the Indian Himalayas.

Painting by Nicolas Roerich from the Indian Himalayas.

Similarly, if we have to give birth (ignite or reignite) to Paramatmaa (divine within us), it is imperative to spend time alone. The process can be in a community too, but it is extremely important to have your time alone as well as the presence of others can bring hesitation.

ANECDOTE

One day a person came to the temple in the mountains. He came across a Sadhu (Saint). The sadhu started screaming. He said he was starting to connect with his inner divine and the vibrations of the presence of another were disturbing.

Short Story: Learnings from the life of Bharthar Yogi

Short Story: Learnings from the life of Bharthar Yogi

Bharthari, also known as Bharthar Yogi was the king of Ujjain. He renounced his kingdom under the tutelage of Gur Gorakhnath, the founder of the Nath Panth Yogis and the founder of Hatha Yoga. The Nath Panth Yogis find mention in many Indian folklore. The word Nath which comes from Sanskrit; and literally means ‘protector’ or ‘master’.

THE STORY

King Bharthari’s queen was called Rani (queen) Pingla. It is said that the King was out for a hunt one day and he saw a woman jump into the funeral pyre of her husband (practice of Sati* in these times) as her grief would not let her stay alive. King Bharthari was moved and this incident stayed in his mind. When he returned to his palace, he told the story to Rani Pingala and asked her out of his curiosity if she would do the same.

Rani Pingala said that she would die on hearing the news itself. Bharthari decided to test her and went on a hunt once again and sent the news of his death back to the palace. The queen died on hearing the news as she had promised. The King was very grief-stricken about what he had done.

Gur Gorakhnath heard about the grief of the King and came to help him overcome his grief.

ASCETIC LIFE

The King gave up his kingdom and renounced the world. All that he was attached to could only give him sadness, so giving it up would take that possibility away.

During his ascetic life, Bharthar Yogi had to beg for alms from house to house. The first time feeling shame, he started to cry out loud. Till yesterday, he thought, he was a giver - a King - and now he had to go around asking small amounts of flour.

He was still a very determined man so he accepted all. He was the a very good sadhak (practitioner) under the tutelage of Gorakhnath. He found many Siddhis (unimaginable accomplishments) and was regular practitioner of Pranayama.

However, he had still not found his peacefulness.

RELAVANCE & MORAL

Guru Nanak explains the situation of Bharthar Yogi with the metaphor of a Lotus flower.

“Jal te upje, Jal te door

jal main jot reya bharpoor

sun Bhartar, Nanak kahe vichaar

Nirmal Naam mera aadhaar”

Learn from this Lotus flower, he says.

It is born from this water, it is living from this water - but it did not drown in it.

Guru Nanak had to say, you don’t have to leave your kingdom, your wife and renounce everything to be in a state of detachment from it.

--

* Sati was a an evil practice where women were to jump into the funeral pyre of the husband.

A 17th Century painting of female Nath Yoginis.  By Ms Sarah Welch - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46264292

A 17th Century painting of female Nath Yoginis.

By Ms Sarah Welch - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46264292

Dharam: The journey & its lessons (part 1)

Dharam: The journey & its lessons (part 1)

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. 

Bhaavna: To understand and walk the path...

Bhaavna: To understand and walk the path...

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

 

The 5-Sheaths of Body

The 5-Sheaths of Body

Our body has many hidden layers under. We are not only what we see each other on the outside.

Background

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.

Breathe less, NOT more…

Breathe less, NOT more…

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.  

Yogic breathing - Sports & daily lives

Yogic breathing - Sports & daily lives

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.

Happiness and more..

Happiness and more..

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.

Yoga for Bikers

Yoga for Bikers

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)