Soul Culture Journal - Spring 2009

Contents

GuruDev

Paramahamsa Prajnanananda

Scriptures

Kriya Yoga News

Greetings to all:

April 1-5, 2009 the Retreat on Higher Kriyas was held at the Mother Center.

Shri Lahiri Mahasaya used to say that a disciple should spend at least a few days each year in the company of his or her master. This unique retreat at the Miami Ashram is a rare opportunity to not only be in the presence of our divine master, Paramahamsa Prajnananandaji, but also to learn and deepen your practice of the higher Kriyas. Kriyavans will have the opportunity to learn and practice the advanced Kriyas, obtain clarification about the techniques, as well as receive spiritual teachings and gain insight into the deeper wisdom hidden in scriptural texts.

We also celebrated Easter holiday is April. Below is Guruji's Easter message:

In Truth There is Unity

Loving and Divine Soul,

On the occasion of Easter and Good Friday I pray to God and masters for all of you. These days are considered holy and spiritually significant. Beginning with the Last Supper, then on Good Friday, and Easter Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, people try to remain in Christ consciousness and intensify their deep love for God. Jesus, in his short span of life, just over thirty years, and teaching for only three years, has inspired and motivated people to the spiritual path, even 2000 years later. His teachings are beautiful, metaphorical, and at the same time, practical. His life was filled with love, compassion, and service.

During human civilization many incarnations, prophets, saints, and sages have enriched human life. Nevertheless, many people are not able to understand their teachings and accept that although God is one, there can be many paths to know and love God. There are apparent and visible differences and diversities, but many people become fanatic and dogmatic. In the past it was not easy to communicate due to distance and apparent differences, but now in modern times with information technology we can easily communicate and have dialogues and spread the message of unity easily. We must relinquish apparent differences through understanding and love. The Mahabharata says:

shrutir vibhinna smritayas ca bhinna
naiko munir yasya vacah pramanam
dharmasya tattwam nihitam guhayam
mahajano yena gatah sa panthah

         – Mahabharata, Vanaparva, 3:12:315

"There are many Vedas and other holy books, law books. There is not a single holy man who has the same view as another. The secret of dharma, spirituality, is hidden. That is the path directed by the realized."

When people realize the ultimate truth, differences disappear; there is only unity. This experience of truth needs sincere and committed practice for inner transformation. Practical spirituality results in the manifestation of love, tolerance, and compassion towards God's creation. This is the time to engender peace and harmony by eliminating apparent differences.

Jesus, the prince of peace, led an exemplary life of sacrifice to redeem human misery. He is still watching each one of us to see whether we have understood His message and brought it into our lives. This is the time to love Him with prayer, meditation, and selfless service.

On this holy occasion I perceive His presence in every breath, and I humbly request you all to pray and meditate with love and devotion. Do not waste time. Try to change your lives.

Again, I am praying for all of you.

With Love
Prajnanananda

Easter, 2009

There was a special lecture series given in Los Angeles:
The Sheila Kar Health Foundation hosts a continuing event on stress reduction featuring Spiritual Master Paramahamsa Prajnanananda who will talk on:

Stress Reduction
through Meditation & Spirituality

Paramahamsa Prajnananda is a realized monk and author of several original and translated spiritual books. Through his profound and extensive knowledge of the scriptures, he skillfully interprets ageless philosophies in context to modern science and technology. His wisdom and divinity impart knowledge, peace, and calmness, and bring out the Godliness in all.

In May Mother's Day was celebrated. Below is Guruji's Mother's Day Message:

Loving and Divine Soul

On this Mother's Day, I bow to God as the Divine Mother. I bow to Mother Mary as a personification of divine motherhood on this earth. I bow to all the female saints that humanity has been gifted with. I bow to my master as my spiritual mother. I bow to all mothers, not only in human forms, but in all forms of creation. And above all, I bow to the mother who with so much love and care brought me to this world, trained me, and taught me a lot in the journey of my life. Happy Mother's Day to you all.

I remember a beautiful verse in Sanskrit that describes the noble nature of human beings, especially mothers:

ghrishtam ghrishtam punarapi punah chandanam charugandham
chinnam chinnam punarapi punah svadu chaivekshu-kandam
dagdham dagdham punarapi punah kanchanam kanta-varnam
pranante'pi prakriti-vikritir jayate nottamanam


"Again and again you rub the sandalwood on the stone, it produces only a fragrant paste. Cut the sugar cane again and again, it provides only sweetness. Burn again and again a piece of gold, it always shines. In the same way, when noble people are put into different situations, they do not change."

When I read this verse, I always remember my childhood and my mother. As little children we troubled our mothers so much, but she showered love, affection, compassion, and smiles in return. As a child I did not realize her greatness, but when I grew up, I saw the beauty of motherhood. It is really difficult to understand a mother's greatness in her love and sacrifice. On this special day, I adore all the mothers, including the mother earth. Let us all be good children, humble and disciplined, active and creative; let us reflect the mother's beauty in all our actions.

Please meditate nicely. Contemplate the beauty of the mother. Inherit the goodness of the mother, as a child inherits the wealth of the parents.

Again, I am praying for you all.

With Love,
Prajnanananda

Also in May were the Birthday Celebrations for GuruDev Paramahamsa Hariharananda.

Gurudev Baba Hariharananda's Birthday

Loving and Divine Soul

On this special day, Gurudev's 102nd birthday, I send my love, best wishes, and oneness to all of you. I pray to God and beloved Gurudev to bless each of us and the entire creation with peace, bliss, and joy.

It is said that God is the father and the guru is the mother. Through their love, kindness, compassion, and forgiveness, they create a new life for every seeker. We are all human beings, but Gurudev said we are not just human beings, but God in human beings. We have God-like potential — love, compassion, kindness, forgiveness — but these qualities must manifest in our thoughts, words, and actions.

God made us in His image. God gave us five powerful sense organs, not for our downfall or destruction, but for our evolution and realization. To achieve evolution, we must discipline our sense organs, otherwise there will be trouble and difficulty in every footstep. Gurudev often quoted a beautiful verse from the teachings of Shri Adi Shankara:

kuranga matanga patanga bhringa
mina hatah pancabhireva pancha
ekah pramadi sa katham na hanyate
ya sevate panchabhih eva pancha

         – Viveka Chudamani of Adi Shankara

"The deer, the elephant, the moth, the bee, and the fish: These five meet their end when they are attached to a sense object. Attachment to just one sense object causes a lot of trouble. What about a person who has five powerful sense organs?"

Gurudev taught us to use our eyes to seek the beauty of God in every name and form, to use our ears to remember God's presence in every sound, to be grateful for God's loving presence when our tongue tastes delicious food. Similarly, let our hands be always ready to love and serve, because God is everywhere. If we live in God consciousness during every breath, our lives will be beautiful. Yesterday Gurudev was physically present, teaching beautiful things in a loving way. With the passage of time he changed from form to formless. His teachings are here. Our evolution depends upon how much we practice. Let us love God and try to transform ourselves. Let each sense organ be a door to the divine temple of God's universe, as well as a door to perceiving divinity in the body temple. Let our eyes be the door to see the presence of God without and within.

On this special day, I request that each one of you meditates nicely and truly changes your life. Time is passing; let us make the best use of time.

Again, I am praying for you all.

With Love
Prajnanananda

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Invocation To The Guru


Om brahmanandam paramasukhadam kevalam jnanamurthim
dvandvatitam gaganasadrisham tattvamasyadilakshyam
ekam nityam vimalam acalam sarvadhi – sakshi-bhutam
bhavatitam-trigunarahitam sadguram tam namami

“He who is the source of all bliss, the source of eternal happiness, personification of wisdom, beyond all duality, formless, whose attention is always on the divine. Thou are that. Guru is one, eternal, pure, steady. Witness in consciousness in all, beyond all thought and beyond the three qualities of nature I bow to that sat guru. I bow to my guru and God, who is pure, eternal, beyond all forms – pure consciousness. I bow to my guru. “

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Message from the Master

Spiritual Life - July 2009 issue of Sthita Prajna

Without spirit you have no existence, anything you are doing is done by the soul only. If the soul is not with you then you are doing nothing. What will be your soul perception? – that you will be perfect, you will not be rude, you will never get irritation, you will feel liking for every human being, you are the divine in every moment and you are perceiving the inner self. God is always with you, so every moment you should watch him.

There is an invisible counterpart in your each body part. Without invisible body you are nothing. The invisible body is always functioning so everybody should earn more spirituality. You should be humble, you should be kind, loving and you should be divine every moment, because your quality is the same quality of God. You have God- like potential, potential for purity, potential for perfection, potential for love; it's the life of God.

We are doing our actions in the world only with intellect, and not by truth, not by spirit, not by sincerity, not by love. Is it not? If you cannot change yourself, then you have no spirituality. God is with you every moment and is giving you the opportunity to know thyself. Presume not God to scan, you are to perceive God; you are not to perceive just a form of God, you are to perceive everything is God.

What is your aim? Who are you? The proper expression of spirituality, will give rise to the real knowledge to mankind, by which they can come to know the divine. What is in Patanjali that is in Hariharananda, which is in Veda that is in Hariharananda, and what is in the Bhagavad Gita, in the Bible, in Torah, that is in Hariharananda.

How to remove your mind, thought intellect, ego and how to transform it? But by the practice of Kriya Yoga, you can explain it, that you can go beyond your mind, thought, intellect ego by practice of Kriya Yoga. Ask your conscience: “Who are you?” if you don't ask your conscience, if you don't remain alert, then you cannot progress.

Once thee lived a rich man who was very charitable and lived a strict disciplined life. As he was getting older he decided he did not need his wealth as it would only create trouble and quarrels after his death and distributed it to needy people, keeping what he thought was enough for him.

But in course of time, as fate would have it, he became extremely poor. But he was not unhappy. Once day the wife said, You have become old and are not able to work for a living, So why don't you go to the king to get some money.” He said that he would not be. The wife said, “If you do not like to take something for free, you could exchange some of the fruits of your meritorious actions for some money.”

This idea appealed to the husband and he set out on foot to go to the king. The wife packed a few chapattis in a piece of cloth for him to eat on the way. He walked the whole day and in the evening he sat down under the shade of a tree to eat.

A hungry dog with a few puppies approached him. The dog was very weak. She looked like she did not have food for a few days but was still trying to feed the puppies. He felt sorry to see this condition and thought I can go hungry for a day and fed the dog with his meal. The dog was happy and he was satisfied.

Next morning he reached the palace of the king. When the king found out what he came for, he asked the man if he could describe some of his good deeds. The man refused and said one should not boast of one's good deeds.

Then the king called a soothsayer and asked him what action of the man he should exchange for some money. The psychic said the best act performed by the old man was to fee the hungry dog at the expense of himself going hungry. By feeding the mother dog, the man also saved the puppies from death.

Satisfied, the king asked the psychic what the worth of that action would be. “Your whole kingdom Majesty” replied the psychic “would not be worth the merit of his act, as this man gave everything that he had.”

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An Excerpt from the Book 'Kriya Yoga'

Paramahamsa Hariharananda

Chapter IV – The Theory of Kriya Yoga pg 87 - 89

HOW TO SWITCH OFF YOUR MIND

Concentration of mind requires two things: (1) good environment and (2) removal of objects of distraction. A quiet place is not always required for meditation. When a person practices kriya yoga, he can switch off his five sense telephones and can get quietness or calmness wherever he is.

The activity of the lungs and heart is caused by physiological changes of a biological and biochemical nature. These activities are controlled by the life force, i.e. prãna, which is the electrical power in the sensory-motor nerves. The storehouse of prãna is in the brain, but it is guided from the medulla oblongata to the vagus nerves and other cranial nerves, which then give direct power to the heart, lungs, diaphragm and every part of the body; the cells, molecules, tissues and atoms.

The gross body is always feeling, “I am all in all, the invisible body is nothing to me,” but when a person comes to a divine environment, the Master teaches physiology and psychology side by side. He will learn that the knowledge body has thorough control over the mind and according to the guidance of a real kriyã yogi, he will learn, that the physiological forces are controlled by the three super powers: dharana, perception and conception of the soul; dhyana, the formless stage or adhyatma avasthã in which there is no mind, intellect, ego or thought and samädhi, the merging in soul. Then he can perceive that the invisible body is the real conductor of the visible body. Psychological forces are the force of soul that is the invisible and real ' I' (Purusa) and physiological forces are the force of the visible and unreal 'I' (prakrti). So, by the guidance of a good Master, if a man practices kriyã yoga, then he can control his lungs and heart and can withdraw his mind from the external world.

WHAT KRIYA YOGA CAN GIVE YOU
Each person has some control over his breath and lungs, but no control over his heart. Controlling the lungs by the philosophical kriyã yoga technique, without pressing the nose or creating any disorder in the heart, a person gradually controls his tissues, molecules, muscles and atoms. The heartbeat and breath become weaker and slower. By the help of this, we can withdraw all thoughts and anxieties from the mind and brain and can get coolness in the brain. For example, when a pet dog runs for a long period, its tissues, muscles and molecules become tired, the dog takes rest and its mind becomes extremely cool; it sleeps immediately. Similarly, by the kriyã yoga technique we can make our brain and mind stuff free and with this single- minded state we can work perfectly.

Kriya yoga is based on physiology, psychology, astrology and philosophy. Its power is a great mystery. It places value on the mundane and the spiritual world equally. Kriya yoga power enables a person to get success in any field. It gives him all- around development. To the person remaining in the family and in the world, kriya yoga can give extreme inner peace, divineness and repose.

The tremendous power that is remaining within a person is the Lord's own power of creation. By that power anyone can perceive God, even through his delusion, illusion and error. The realized Master can awaken the kundalini sakti(Serpent Power) during the time of initiation. That is called saktipata. The student will get constant awareness of the Soul in him. That power gives skill and success in any field of research and beautiful tact in the practical life.

People get extreme energy and sound health because of the scientific nature of this technique. They take sufficient oxygen, which is the nutrition of the brain, lungs, heart and the whole system. The impure blood is purified by the oxygen. Kriya yoga can heal a sick mind and a sick body. If anyone eats any germ, he can digest it. He can get sound health by kriya yoga. Kriya yoga gives long life, peace, prosperity, fame and salvation. Educated and illiterate, men and women, boys and girls above thirteen years, rich and poor,. employers and employees can practice this kriya yoga to get balance of mind, prompt understanding, ready wit, amity, affection and oneness. Balance of mind is controlled by the lungs and heart and by deep breathing.

Ignorance and knowledge are both coming from the heart center. If we cannot control our breath, the heart and lungs, then we cannot switch off our mind stuff from our brain. But if we can control our breath by kriya yoga, we can go into divineness and can reach vijnanamaya kosa. So, the heart center is called vijnanamaya kosa.

In the yoga scriptures it is said:indriyanam manannathah. Manannathastu maruta maruta-stu laya-natha sa laya-na dam asritah. It means that the master of our five sense telephones is mind and the master of mind is deep inhalation. Through this we can switch off our mind center and we can switch on our knowledge center. Mind gives ignorance. Mind cannot judge anything. Mind brings destruction, so the mind is blind. Knowledge, however, leads to calmness and perfection; knowledge leads one's life from darkness to light. When the air (inhalation) is controlled, then we get the vacuum stage. When a person remains in the vacuum stage, he hears divine sound that is the talk of God. He can even feel the truth, emptiness and divine vibration all over the universe. He can see illumination everywhere; at that time he gradually goes from the dorsal center to the vacuum, i.e. cervical center. From the cervical center begins the real abode of the invisible God. That is called anandamaya kosa. If a person can remain in that center, then he can feel extreme detachment in the midst of attachment.

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Transforming Others through Love

From Sthita Prajna

Once Buddha was in a village sitting under a tree talking with some disciples. A very excited and angry man approached him. Buddha smiled and said, “My friend, do you want to say something?” The man was too angry to speak and spat on the face of Buddha and left.

Buddha cleaned himself with a piece of cloth and continued his talk. Ananda, a prominent disciple of Buddha, could not bear it. He said, “What are you doing? This man insulted you for no reason.” Buddha said, “Ananda, Sit down and listen to the talk.”

In the meantime the man who insulted Budha was undergoing an inner transformation. He was thinking, “How strange it is! That man did not get angry even when I spat on him. There was no reaction from him. One who is so completely egoless must be a great man.” The man repented for what he did and the next morning he set out in search of Buddha. He did not find him under the tree. He asked someone about his whereabouts and was told he had left for another village. So the man went to the next village to apologize.

Buddha was once again sitting under the shade of a tree surrounded by his disciples. The man came and holding the feet of Buddha and crying bitterly begged his forgiveness. Buddha looked at him and said, “My brother, Get up. Why do you cry? What happened to you?”

The man said, “Please forgive me.”

Buddha said, “You have not done any wrong to me. Why should I forgive you?” The man said “I spat on your face in a fit of anger yesterday in the other village.” Buddha said, “It is not the same village or the same tree or the same people. What is past is gone. Why do you carry yesterday into today? I left it then and there. I never accepted what you did and I sent my love to you."

By your love and behavior you can bring about transformation in others- to forget and forgive is a great gift. If someone has done something wrong to you don't bring up that memory again and again.

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An Excerpt from the Book 'River of Compassion'

Paramahamsa Prajnanananda

Chapter-7 The Company You Keep Pg 168-172

Two Flowers from the Same Tree One evening in Benares, the holy city on the banks of the Ganga, a swami and some Indian and Western disciples proceeded from the house of Shni Lahiri Mahasaya to the ashram of a renowned monk. When the ashram door opened, the visiting monk said, “We have come to see Thakur” (the founder of the ashram was popularly known by that name). But they were told that Swamiji was in seclusion and would not see anyone.

Then the monk said, “Please go to your Gurudev and inform him that Narayan of Karar Ashram is here.” Within a few minutes they returned, carrying garlands of flowers to honor the visiting monk and took him and his entourage to their Gurudev. It was a great joy to the devotees of both when these two spiritual souls embraced each other. One was Shri Thakur Sitaram Das Omkarnath, and the other was Swami Hariharananda Giri (whom the other called “Narayan of Karar Ashram”).

These two spiritual leaders had the same ancestors, but their families had been separated for three generations. After a few minutes of formal talk, Shri Sitaram Das Omkarnath said, “Narayani, I have a long-cherished desire. I know you from your early age, your renunciation, sadhana and spiritual practice, and your achievement of nirvikalpa samadhi, the pulseless and breathless state. I heard that you can go at will to that last stage and I, along with my disciples who do not believe it, want to witness it. Will you please fulfill my wish?” When this conversation was translated in English to Mr. Jos Ide of Belgium, a disciple of Swami Hariharanandaji, he objected, as it was getting late. After nirvikalpa samadhi, one loses normal body consciousness for a time, and the group still had to walk back. However, Shri Sitaram Das Omkarnath invited them to stay overnight at the ashram. Swami Hariharanandaji then sat for meditation and, with a few deep breaths, slowly entered into the state of samadhi where there was no detectable sign of breathing or heartbeat. He remained in this state for more than half an hour, his body radiant with divine illumination. Everyone present there touched this great yogi and bowed reverently at his feet. His disciples then massaged his feet, palms, and chest to help him regain normal circulation and breathing. Thakur Shri Sitaram Das Omkarnath was immensely delighted, and he offered sweets, fruit, and hot milk to all. He wanted them to stay for a few days, but they declined.

Shri Thakur Sitararn Das Omkarnath was born in the year 1891 on the western bank of the Ganga in the village of Dumurdaha, district of Hooghly, Bengal. His childhood name was Prabodh Chandra Chattopadhyay, the divine child of Pranahari Chattopadhyay (popularly known as Han Doctor) and Malyavati Devi. He lost his mother at the age of five. Human destiny is exhausted by either enjoying it, for better or worse, or transcending it through sincere meditation and prayer. Prabodha Chandra was preordained to be a householder. He married Siddheswari (also known as Kamala) in 1914, but in the year 1930, he lost his wife.

On January 14,1911, a householder guru, Shri Dasharathi Deva, initiated Prabodha Chandra. He developed his spiritual practice with great strength of mind. He learned the preliminary technique of Kriya from Ramdayal Mazumdar, a householder disciple, and great yogi and scholar of scriptures, who authored the interpretation of the Holy Gita in three volumes and wrote an introduction to the Gita. He was also the editor of the Bengali journal Utsav. He was a very close associate of Pandit Panchanan Bhattacharya, the founder of Arya Mission Institution.

In 1930, after surgery on his leg, Prabodh Chandra became partially disabled by nerve damage. When he heard about the great householder-sage Shri Bijoy Krishna of Howrah, who was extremely popular among spiritual seekers, Prabodh Chandra visited him and received his blessings. It was a natural coincidence that both Swamiji and Sitaram Das Omkarnath were graced by Shri Bijoy Krishna, and that both followed the path of Kriya. In 1936, Prabodh Chanidra took the vows of sannyasi (monks' vows), but with the approval of his guru, Swami Dhrubananda Giri, he did not change his name. The name, Sitaram Das Omkarnath, means “the servant of Sitaram, God and Lord of Om.”

Sitaram Das Omkarnath's own spiritual discipline was to observe silence for long periods of time. Although he taught meditation to a few people, he mostly taught chanting, singing God's name, and writing the name of God continuously in a notebook. He authored numerous books in Bengali which were translated into a variety of languages. Being a Vaishnava (worshipper of Vishnu), he came to Puri frequently. At the back of Karar Ashram he had a small cottage where he meditated, and where he had many spiritual experiences. In 1948, he established a beautiful ashram in Puri, known as Nilachala Ashram. He traveled all over India, propagating the love of God, establishing Vedic schools, renovating old temples, and opening charitable hospitals.

Swami Hariharananda was very dear to him. They were cousins from the same family who both embraced the path of renunciation, and this was a great bond between them. Sitaram Das Omkarnath was sixteen years older than his cousin, whom he loved and assisted in many ways, affectionately calling him “Narayan of Karar Ashram”

Many of the books published by Sitaram Das Omkarnath's organization mention the name of Brahmachari Rabinarayan, or Swami Hariharananda as he was later called. When Shri Daya Mata, the president and sanghamata of SRF and YSS visited Puri, she had the deep desire to meet the renowned, holy personalities of the city. Swamiji took her and others to many places in Purl, including a visit to Thakur Sitaram Das Omkarnath. He left his body at the age of 91 on the 6th of December, 1982, in a sitting position in full consciousness. The simplicity of his teaching and activities were appreciated by everyone.

A few of Sitaram Das Omkarnath's teachings are as follows:

  • Mam Namaskuru (“Bow to me”) is the essence of the Gita.
  • Everything in the world is transitory, only God is eternal.
  • God is, and people get God—realization even now.
  • Morality and spiritual food are essential for spiritual life.
  • Mind becomes tranquil with the increase of good qualities.
  • Practice perceiving God's presence everywhere.
  • The principal duty of the householder is to treat the guest as God.
  • Youth is an auspicious period for spiritual practice.
  • Do not waste time in vain.
  • Do not blame others and do not listen to others blaming people. If you do so you will receive their negativity.
  • There is nothing greater than listening to the divine sound and experiencing the inner light. Through this, one will attain Self-realization.

Sitaram Das Omkarnath sent many of his devotees to Swami Hariharananda to learn Kriya Yoga. These saints were two beautiful blossoms from the same family tree, and they attracted millions of true seekers with their spiritual fragrance.

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An Excerpt from the Book 'Path of Love'

Paramahamsa Prajnanananda

CH 9. CULTIVATING LOVE Page 76-79

8. Aathava jada laabha santosha sapanehu nahi dekhayi paradosha

Always be happy and content and even while you dream, do not blame or find fault in others.

In the Bhagavad Gita (IV.22) it is said, yadrcchālābhasamtuṣṭo
dvandvātīto vimatsaraḥ
samaḥ siddhāvasiddhau
ca kṛtvāpi na nibadhyate

“Those who are content with anything that comes automatically, who are free from the dualities of life (the pairs of opposites such as pleasure and pain), and from envy, who are steady in both success and failure, are never entangled in delusion while performing actions.”

A state of equanimity should be maintained in both pleasure and pain. Pairs of opposites, such as success and failure, pleasure or pain, summer or winter, are the law of nature. Some people complain that they pray all the time to God, and He does not seem to hear them. Because they fail to receive an immediate answer, they stop praying altogether, filled with despondency. This is like doing business with God. You do not get a return for your investment, so you cancel the deal. Learn to welcome opposites. On the road to spirituality this is called forbearance. When pleasure comes, welcome it. When pain comes, also welcome it. Welcome success as well as failure with the same balance of mind. A lover of God is deeply aware that everything happens because of the grace of God. Remember that every beginning has an end.

When the Mahabharata war was over, the Pandavas finally became kings and their problems were solved. Krishna came to his aunt Kunti, the mother of the Pandavas, and took his leave saying, “I will go now. You have become the Queen Mother, rest and be happy.” Kunti, full of tears, replied, “Krishna, please do not leave us. I will welcome any number of problems in life if you stay. I would much rather be unhappy and have you among us.”

Most people think of God only in difficult times.

Saint Kabir said,
dukh me sumiran sab kare, sukh me kare na koi
jo sukh me sumirankare dukh kaha ki hoye

“Everyone remembers God in adversity, no one does so in prosperity. One who does not forget God even while enjoying a happy moment, will not suffer as much in times of trouble. Love God in every situation.”

Maintain a state of equanimity. Winter does not last forever. Any problem gets solved in time. If it does not, accept it and try to overcome it. Remember that the purpose of life is to love God, and manifest that love in everything you do. Be free from the dualities of nature; the pairs of opposites like good and bad, pleasure and pain, heat and cold. Do not be affected by blame or praise. Even great Souls like Jesus and Krishna were blamed and misunderstood during their lifetime. If someone says something bad, let them pollute their tongue but do not pollute your ear. Mahatma Gandhi was shot to death and as he was dying, he uttered the following words, “Hey Ram”, “Oh God”.

Life should be full of love and God-consciousness. Let your life be full of love, no matter what others do or say around you.

We are human beings. We all have our faults. When you point a finger at another you are pointing three fingers at yourself. A good friend helps us to see our mistakes in a kind and clear way. But friends who praise and flatter us, do not help us to correct our mistakes and grow. A person who loves God, will realize his own mistakes through introspection and become strong enough to overcome them. If someone points out what you have done wrong, be grateful to them.

Narada said,
vadam parityajyatam
Avoid conflict and arguments.

vade vade vardhate vaira vahni
The fire of enmity increases with arguments.

ksama sästra kare yasya durjanah kim karisyati
One who is protected by an armor of forgiveness, cannot be touched by a wicked person.

atrune patita vanhi svayameva vinasyati
When a burning splinter falls on dry grass, which acts as fuel, it catches fire and burns, but if it has no fuel, it goes out on its own. Conflicts are quarrels only when you reciprocate.

mauninam kalaham nästi
Observing silence can free you from many negatives.

In the Bhagavad Gita (X:38) the Lord extols silence as Himself.
maunam caivasmi guhyanam

Silence is an art of living, an art of learning and an art of exploring the source of peace through experiencing Divine Love. Silence, through love, is the best art of communication. Nature speaks in silence. The sun and the moon radiate the light of love and knowledge in silence. Silence is divine.

Entering into the Temple of Silence, in the innermost chamber of one's own self, one's heart is filled with love and devotion. God's love is manifested more in our life during silence. We get more charged with energy, when we sleep in the lap of the Divine, during the calmness of the night. Similarly silence brings vigor and vitality in every aspect of life.

But unfortunately, man is not able to recognize the true value of silence and wastes a lot of time and energy. Silence increases real creativity and skills in life. Meditation is the real way of walking on the Path of Silence, inside and outside. Inner silence is possible when we have control over our tongue, while talking and eating which is a part of self-control.

Enter into the Temple of Silence, sit in front of the altar of peace, offer to the Divine the flower of love and enjoy ecstatic, perennial joy. For this you require nothing, but your strong desire. Nothing can obstruct you, if your wish is great enough. Once you enter the Temple of Silence, then your life becomes transformed with spiritual beauty and radiance.

Observing silence is a good spiritual practice in the Path of Love. There is ample opportunity to be silent. Mahatma Gandhi observed silence on every Monday. When I was around twelve years old, I read a lot of books on Gandhi and was greatly influenced by him. From the age of thirteen onwards, I started fasting and observing silence on Sundays. It is a good practice to have a fixed period of time to observe silence. This gives you control over the tongue. When someone makes a hostile comment, do not reply immediately.

Once Buddha was standing in front of a rich man's house, begging. The lady of the house was calling him a parasite. Buddha did not reply but he did not leave either. Finally, in exasperation, the lady came out to give him alms, just to get rid of him. Only then did Buddha speak, with a smile he asked, “What would you do if I refuse your gift?” Surprised, she answered, “I will take it back.” Then he said, “If I refuse to take the words that you have uttered, would you not have to take them back too?” The lady realized the impact of her words and was transformed. When someone is angry, do not reply immediately. Later, when that person becomes more reasonable and is ready to listen, then you can make your point.

Only weak people quarrel. A person who quarrels within, quarrels externally. One, who has conflict inside, creates conflicts outside. If someone is trying to harm you, keep your distance from them. Closeness to such a person is only a source of conflict.

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The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 18, Verse 10)

Paramahamsa Hariharananda
na dveṣṭy akuśalam karma
kuśale nānuṣajjate
tyāgī sattvasamāviṣṭo
medhāvī chinnasamśayaḥ

Translation

The man of renunciation, the wise man, whoe doubt is cut away is full of goodness and neither hates disagreeable action , nor is he attached ot auspicious action.

Metaphorical Interpretation

Every person is endowed with triple qualities of nature; sattva (spiritual), rajas (material), and tamas (laziness), but in different proportions. To be active on the spiritual path, you must sincerely try to overcome the plurality of rajas and tamas – restlessness and idleness. When you become established in sattvic nature, life is full of illumination.

Those who are spiritual have steadiness of mind. They are free from all doubt and duality. They constantly search for God in every breath. They are liberated souls. If they encounter troubles when working, they are not disturbed, unhappy, or annoyed; they maintain equanimity.

Equanimity comes only through regulation of breath. By breath regulation you achieve self regulation. While performing any action, a spiritual person is thinking of the almighty Lord, trying to be compassionately detached.

Rajas is the state of intense worldly activity that leads to anxiety, tension, and restlessness. Tamas is doubt, laziness, and dwindling nature. Those who are free from rajas and tamas, who are proceeding toward sattva, calmness, and spirituality, meditate sincerely and follow the teachings of their guru preceptor, the spiritual guide. They follow the master one hundred percent. They become more introvert and calmer. Restlessness disappears. Their minds are settled by breath control.

True spiritual seekers develop strong determination and willpower through regular meditation and spiritual practices. They lead lives of extreme detachment, just like the soul This is the sign of liberation. Free from desire and craving, in the state of constant God communion, they are ever free, liberated, and in sa (soul) consciousness.

To spiritual people, happiness and unhappiness are equal. They are steady in their dispositions and alert during every breath. They are free from duality and absorbed in the imperishable soul and the supreme Almighty Father. The ideal renunciant is established in God consciousness, free from doubt, delusion, and degeneration. Through regular practice of meditation they become ever more deeply absorbed into this divine state.

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Patanjali Yoga Sutra 50

Paramahamsa Prajnanananda
tatjaḥ samskāro'nya samskāra pratibandhī

Word meaning:

Tat –jah – born from that
Samskara – impression
Anya- samskara- other impression
Pratibandhi – preventor, stands as an obstacle, hurdle

Translation:
Impression from that (wisdom, ritambhara prajna) eliminates or prevents all other impressions.

Commentary of Shri Lahiri Mahashaya:
When the effect/impression of the wisdom due to Samadhi arises, it is impossible for all other impressions to exits.

Metaphorical interpretation:
Samskara or impression is a beautiful concept that every seeker should be aware of. Any activity, thought, ideas or happening leaves an impression in the brain or the store house of memory. When these repeatation of specific activity, then the impressions becomes stronger. These impressions create likes and dislikes. This is ignorance. This is bondage.

In this sutra, the sage is speaking of two types of samskaras:
  1. tat-jah samskara – impression of direct experience of truth
  2. anya – samskara – impression through sensory and mental perception.

Tat –jah- samksara – The impression arising out of ritambhara- prajña is obtained through the grace of the master and ultimately of God. It gives the experience of unity, amity and love. This state is rarest of the rare. Here this wisdom becomes the guide that leads to the ultimate state.

When this state of meditation or samadhi recurs, then it leaves an impression of all pervasive pure consciousness, which grants peace, bliss and joy.

This impression is completely different from other impressions which are described in previous sutras. The impression of pure love and cosmic consciousness swallows up all other heterogenous impressions of the path.

Anya- samskara – all other impressions stored in one's life are bondage, ignorance and darkness. This is aham or ego. But pure knowledge is eko'ham – I am the one and the same. When this impression arising out of repeated experience of pure consciousness, filled in truth (ritambhara prajna), one is free from all other distracting and disturbing impressions.

Example is better than precept. Light is an obstacle of darkness. Love is obstacle of hatred. When one is again and again entering into this state of experience, one is free from the past, free from all distractions and impressions. This is the state of unity, perfection is love, entering the kingdom of heaven or merged in cosmic consciousness and wisdom.

O seeker!
Remember that you are protected by the grace of God and Masters.
Be humble and eliminate distracting ego, stubbornness and ignorance.
Cultivate love, devotion and deep concentration. Maintain implicit faith in the path and in the words of the scriptures and the Masters.
Bow and merge in infinity. You will be free. You will taste the nectar of love and freedom. This is the samskara and impression of Ritambhara –prajna.

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