Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fearlessly I will sing...

Nirbhay Nirgun Gun re Gavunga...

Kabir is a fabulous teacher. He chooses such apt words and emotions to make us understand the complex of complex things. He explains how simple the spiritual journey is.

Saint Kabir weaving chadar...

In his one of the most mystic bhajans (Nirguni Bhajan) Nirbhay Nirgun Gun re Gavunga... Kabir says "O lord, I will sing your glory fearlessly. I will be fearless in singing your attributes O' the one without attributes (formless, colorless, odorless, can not be heard, tasted with tongue or be touched).

Spiritual journey is actually an inquiry into one's own existence. its an inquiry into existence and non-existence and the relationship between these two. Its realizing true existence. An inquiry has to be open without any fear in mind about the ability or outcome. So being fearless is the first step in the path of realization. We are always under the influence of some or other fear. The fear is an outcome of either illusion or weakness to understand and tackle the situation. Illusion can be overcome by acquiring knowledge while weakness can be overcome by acquiring strength. Fearlessness is prerequisite as well as an outcome of spiritual quest.

Hence, Kabir says be fearless to know god.

Once you are 'fearless' then further journey is simple. Merging with that ultimate "oneness' is easy. There are multiple ways, methods, techniques to achieve it. Sunk yourself into Bhakti and you are there. Acquire the pure knowledge and you are there. Do the karma without desire for the fruits from it and you are there...

Here Kabir explains about the path of Kundalini Yoga to reach the Truth.

"Mula Kamal Drudh Aasan Bandhu Ji Ulti Pawan Chadhaunga"

Which means I will sit firm with my back straight. Muladhar the base chakra is the first point for prana to travel upwards. Hence I will be firm in my sitting lotus posture (in padmasana) and then will pull the prana upwards from muladhara.

"Man Mamata ko dur karau ji pancho tatt milavunga"

Which means all the desires, affection arising in my mind, I will control them with efforts and will merge myself in all the five elements seamlessly. So the identity crisis is over. You feel part of a greater scheme. You experience the greater scheme. The ultimate one.

"Ingala Pingala Sukhaman naadi ji Tirveni pe ho nahavunga"

In my technique of pulling prana upwards, I will use ingala, Pingala and Sushumna naadi.I will enjoy the bliss where all these confluence.Ingala is the left naadi also called at Chandra Naadi. Pingala is the right naadi also known as surya Naadi. Sushumna is the central nadi around which the two other naadis intertwine.

"Panch Pacchiso pakad mangavu ji ek hi doh lagavunga"

Though the above few steps look simple, they require great understanding and effort in the beginning to master them. Hence Kabir says I will try it many times to achieve the result. And there will be one ultimate effort where I will experience the magic of upward movement of prana and meeting the confluence.

"Shunya Shikhar par anahat baje ji raag chattis sunavunga"

When I achieve this, I reach the summit point. The shunya shikhar. The point where there is nothing beyond or there is nothing within. That ultimate emptiness, void. At this point where I am slefless. I am the wider self My existence is so cosmic, so complete with knowledge, which I will continuously enjoy.

"Kahat Kabir Suno Bhai Saadho, jeet nishan ghuravunga"

Kabir says that this is the ultimate victory over desirous mind and I will wave the flag of victory from this summit point.

Wow Kabir - The Simple Buddha!

Samarth Yogi Arwind, Rishikesh

Friday, December 23, 2011

Who Am I?

During the recent travel from New Delhi to Haridwar in the train, a gentleman from Bhuvaneshwar, Odisha asked me a question, “ Who suffers? Whatever suffering happens, it is experienced by whom? Is it our body, our mind, our Atma or by the divine of which we are part of?”

Such precise question from a so called semi-literate person was the best trigger for a beautiful conversation that followed upon. Ultimately the Vedantic  take on suffering (Hey Dukkha) and its experience and the measures or experience of the ‘state of non-suffering’ (Haanopaay) was discussed. What was impressive was the immense knowledge of such complex subject by this group of people from rural Odisha.

All these questions ultimately led to the famous quest we all subject ourselves to: 

Who am I?

In a day to day life, chat on internet, registration on any website / forum, filing a complaint in the office, serious debate about religion, international forums and so on. This question of establishing ones identity comes up. It starts from name, then surname, religion, caste, geography, state, nation, city, ethnic group, body type, education, profession so on and on. The list is unending. In the world of ‘Naam-Roop’ (the world that is seen and experienced) these constant engagements with the ones own identity is a continuous exercise in today’s world. This exercise of identifying with something itself gives rise to confusion, creates dilemma and takes the quest to the further level: Who really am I?

Identifying with something is a natural human tendency. I think some identities originate with the ‘sense of ego’. For example, an artiste starts considering himself larger than life or very special than others. It probably is reflection of his overgrown ego.

Some identities originate from the social compulsions/norms. Husband or wife of somebody obviously expects you to mould you in some social sanctions which approve you to be right or wrong. As a spouse you have a code of conduct to abide by. And in identifying with this role, one keeps himself / herself busy. When the role is demanding and encroaches upon personal wishes / ambitions then the ‘conflict’ starts. Then one goes into identity crisis. This crisis takes a toll in the form of end of that role or personal damage to an individual playing that role.

Religious identity is something that really keeps big population of the world engaged. People want to identify with a religion. A group following similar lifestyle. The interesting fact about this identity is it comes with birth. Very few in their lifetime, make it a matter of choice. Being born with some religious identity brings some sense of security / and insecurity to one. And both these feelings keep seriously engaged to the one who seriously identifies with a religious identity.

This ‘identity business’ with something, that our senses experience is a major determining factor of the worldly affairs. Some identify with something that is beyond senses. Something that is invisible, intangible still its authority can be experienced. And we hear terms like ‘one love’, 'peace', 'divine', 'Brahman' etc.

What to identify with, certainly has to do with ones intellectual, emotional, spiritual evolution. Some may find it easy to live with a religious identity as it suits his/her level of evolution. Some like to identify as ‘modern’ as it gives some sort of mileage / satisfaction to them. Not everybody in the world will understand or identify with the ‘Brahman’. Some chose identities, some follow identities they are born with, some don’t care about identities those have sanction. Some intentionally try to break away from given identities. 

Break Away to Pure Consciousness

In this world today, there are many identities and multiple sources keep adding. Also the vast, complex universal phenomenon creates conflict among identities. Many of my friends say they are not happy with the religion they are born in. Or with the caste they are born with or the economic situation to they identify with. I think these are superficial identities and if given sanction to, they will hardly give the experience of ultimate peace.

Then what identity will bring that peace?
It’s un-identifying!

Identity is a ‘conditioning’. And any conditioning brings its weight with it. So it brings stress or joy. Positive or negative conditioning. Best way to deal with this stress is to un-identify. Just not molding into something that adds layers of illusion on the core.

Any dialogue is a good opportunity to recognize what one identifies oneself with.
Dialogue with the self!

The Supreme Consciousness

Adi shankaracharya was once traveling in the Dakshin Bharat (South India). He reached a place Shri Veli. He met a dumb boy there. His name was Hastamalak.

Shri Adi Shankaracharya asked this boy, ‘O’ boy, who are you? From where are you coming? Where are you going? Who are your parents? Etc. All those questions which we face often.

Hastamalak replied,

“I am neither human, God, yaksha, brahmin, kshatriya,vaisya, sudra, brahmachari, householder, forest-dweller, nor sannyasi; but I am pure awareness alone. I am the eternal, single, conscious Self, reflected in various intellects, just as the sun is reflected on the surface of various sheets of water.”

I think this is a beautiful identity to live with. Pure awareness.
Or let's say it is a non-identity.

Let’s try to live with one such. Or without!

Shubham Bhavatu!

Samarth Yogi Arwind, Rishikesh

(Image Courtesy:  - Eric Pepin, psychedelic adventure)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ban on Bhagavad Gita? Why?

The controversy of ban of Shreemad Bhagavad Gita is uncalled for. In Siberia someone has filed a case in the court of law that the holy scripture should be banned as the local translation of it contains 'extremist views'.

For me, the perceived notion of extremist element in the Shreemad Bhagvad Gita, is fighting agains one's own evils. If that is an extremism then it is good for one's own sake. Isn't it?

I would like to put light on what Shreemad Bhagavad Gita means to me.

For me Shreemad Bhagavad Gita is a complete code to lead successful life from an illusion to light. This is such a incredible universal text that every individual born in any religious body - so called Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jew or any can follow the preaching of Gita and succeed the goal of self realization. Hence Gita is a guide of life for every single individual on the Earth.

Shri Krishna and Arjuna in the Kurukshetra - Shreemad Bhagvad Gita

We must understand that with the flow of time, with the change in lifestyle, it became difficult to learn Vedas (Ultimate Source of Knowledge) for everybody. As it used to happen ancient times. So the sages interpreted them to suit to the changing times and three texts got importance as 'guides of life' which were, Upnishads, Brahmasutra and Shreemad Bhagvad Gita which is called as Prasthan Trayee. Prasthan Trayee literally means the three that lead to successful departure. i.e. successful departure of the soul from human body after self realization. So study of all these three help in liberation of the soul.

We must understand that Shreemad Bhagvad Gita is not a religious text on the basis of definition of modern religion. Modern religion is more a political manifestation to group and regroup people. Shreemad Bhagvad Gita has wider role to play. It speaks of cosmic law. The law of nature. The eternal law. The divine law. This law is all prevalent irrespective of changing times and situations. Hence Shreemad Bhagvad Gita is the guide to know and follow the law of eternal.

Shreemad Bhagvad Gita speaks of Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga etc. All these are the means of self-realization. The god himself is communicating these means to his creation. Hence Shreemad Bhagvad Gita is the communication from the God, the divine itself.

Shreemad Bhagvad Gita by AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Another argument which is normally made against Shreemad Bhagvad Gita is that it speaks of caste system. Any intelligent researcher of Shreemad Bhagvad Gita will agree that it does not support the caste system based on birth. It only mentions the division on the basis of skills and karma one carries. Such division we find in every sphere of life.

One single verse of Shreemad Bhagvad Gita, 'Karmanyevadhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kadachana' (Karma is my right and not the fruits from it) if followed faithfully, the whole world will become stress-free.

From Mahatma Gandhi to Albert Einstein, the World's great thinkers have vouched by the supremacy of Shreemad Bhagavad Gita. The message of 'rise, unite and fight' from Shreemad Bhagavad Gita is given by Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.  Shreemad Bhagavad Gita simply gives the message of fight against adharma for the establishment of 'dharma' - the cosmic law.

With these facts about Shreemad Bhagvad Gita, the controversy about it is creation of some unsettled mind. When the world is going through the difficult phase today, teachings from Shreemad Bhagvad Gita is the solution for every single problem. Its the best medicine to cure whole world today.

The beauty about Shreemad Bhagvad Gita is one can interpret is as per his / her own situation and find a right solution for his problem. Such universal applicability of Shreemad Bhagvad Gita in itself underlines the eternal value it represents.

When the divisive forces in the world are falling apart one by one. When the layers of illusion are tearing away fast as a divine course, when the rays of light are reaching uninterrupted to the souls, Shreemad Bhagvad Gita has played important role in this awakening. Shreemad Bhagvad Gita has become popular text of life for billions on this planet.

If this movement of awakening has to be strengthened for the better sake of the universe, Shreemad Bhagvad Gita needs to be taught to every one. Not banned.

What needs to be banned is the 'systems of illusion', developing sense of 'one upmanship', 'increasing greed and tendency of hoarding', 'mechanisms that give rise to false ego', 'divisive techniques in the name of religion, pseudo patriotism, misleading governance  that lead to misery and suffering of masses'.

Every single soul on this planet has a right to walk the path of light. Shreemad Bhagavad Gita ushers this path so flawlessly.

Shubham Bhavatu!

Samarth Yogi Arwind, Rishikesh 

Some great thinkers on Shreemad Bhagavad Gita:

1. "When I read the Bhagavad-Gita and reflect about how God created this universe everything else seems so superfluous." - Albert Einstein

2. "In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagvad-Gita, in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seem puny and trivial." - Henry David Thoreau

3. “It is meant to lift the aspirant from the lower levels of renunciation, where objects are renounced, to the loftier heights where desires are dead, and where the yogi dwells in calm and ceaseless contemplation while his body and mind are actively employed in discharging the duties that fell to his lot in life.” - Dr. Annie Besant

4. "The Gita is one of the clearest and most comprehensive summaries of the perennial philosophy ever to have been done. Hence its enduring value, not only for the Indians, but also for all mankind.  It is perhaps the most systematic spiritual statement of the perennial philosophy." - Aldous Huxley

5. "The Bhagavad-Gita is a true scripture of the human race a living creation rather than a book, with a new message for every age and a new meaning for every civilization." ~ Shri Aurobindo 

6. "The Bhagavad-Gita has a profound influence on the spirit of mankind by its devotion to God which is manifested by actions." ~ Dr. Albert Schweizer 

7. "When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and I see not one ray of hope on the horizon, I turn to Bhagavad-Gita and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. Those who meditate on the Gita will derive fresh joy and new meanings from it every day." ~ Mahatma Gandhi 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rig Veda (ऋग्वेद) Theory of Origin of the Universe

Recently I came across an article about research going on Higgs boson (that Gods Particle) and Indian scientist leading the effort. They are doing research on the Theory of the Origin of the Universe as mentioned in the Rig Veda.

Nasadiya Sukta of Rig Veda is the theory of origin of the universe. Here is the Sukta and its translation:

नास॑दासी॒न्नो सदा॑सीत्त॒दानीं॒ नासी॒द्रजो॒ नो व्यो॑मा प॒रो यत्।
किमाव॑रीव॒ कुह॒ कस्य॒ शर्म॒न्नम्भ॒ किमा॑सी॒द्गह॑नं गभी॒रम्॥

Then there was neither existence nor non-existence.
There was no space(air?) nor sky beyond.
What covered everything? Where? In whose protection?
Was there water, deep and bottomless?

न मृ॒त्युरा॑सीद॒मृतं॒ न तर्हि॒ न रात्र्या॒ अह्न॑ आसीत्प्रके॒तः।
आनी॑दवा॒तं स्व॒धया॒ तदेकं॒ तस्मा॑द्धा॒न्यन्न प॒रः किं च॒नास॑॥

There was neither death nor immortality then,
There was no sign of night or day.
That One breathed all by self without any outside support,
Other than that there was nothing else beyond.

तम॑ आसी॒त्तम॑सा गू॒ळ्हमग्रे॑ऽप्रके॒तं स॑लि॒लं सर्व॑मा इ॒दम्।
तु॒च्छ्येना॒भ्वपि॑हितं॒ यदासी॒त्तप॑स॒स्तन्म॑हि॒नाजा॑य॒तैक॑म्॥

There was darkness all wrapped around by darkness,
and all was water then.
The life force which was covered with void arose through
the power of heat(Tapas).

काम॒स्तदग्रे॒ सम॑वर्त॒ताधि॒ मन॑सो॒ रेत॑ प्रथ॒मं यदासी॑त्।
स॒तो बन्धु॒मस॑ति॒ निर॑विन्दन्हृ॒दि प्र॒तीष्या॑ क॒वयो॑ मनी॒षा॥

Then arose desire (Love?) which was the primal seed of mind,
Seers searching for knowledge in their heart
found existence in non-existence.

ति॒र॒श्चीनो॒ वित॑तो र॒श्मिरे॑षाम॒धः स्वि॑दा॒सी३दु॒परि॑ स्विदासी३त्।
रे॒तो॒धा आ॑सन्महि॒मान॑ आसन्स्व॒धा अ॒वस्ता॒त्प्रय॑तिः प॒रस्ता॑त्॥

A ray of light energy cut across the dark and gloomy abyss.
Was it beneath? Was it above? who can answer this?
There were bearers of seed and mighty forces,
Pushed from below and forward move above.

को अ॒द्धा वे॑द॒ क इ॒ह प्र वो॑च॒त्कुत॒ आजा॑ता॒ कुत॑ इ॒यं विसृ॑ष्टिः।
अ॒र्वाग्दे॒वा अ॒स्य वि॒सर्ज॑ने॒नाथा॒ को वे॑द॒ यत॑ आब॒भूव॑॥

Who really knows? Who can confidently declare it?
From which was it born? Who gave raise to this creation?
Even the Gods came subsequent to creation,
Then who can reveal from whence it arose?

इ॒यं विसृ॑ष्टि॒र्यत॑ आब॒भूव॒ यदि॑ वा द॒धे यदि॑ वा॒ न।
यो अ॒स्याध्य॑क्षः पर॒मे व्यो॑म॒न्सो अ॒ङ्ग वे॑द॒ यदि॑ वा॒ न वेद॑॥

That out of which creation arose,
whether it formed by itself or it did not,
He who oversees it from the highest heaven,
only he knows or maybe He does not.

Another Theory of the Origin of the Universe, that fascinates me is from Shiva AtharvaShirsha. Soon I will write about it.

Shubham Bhavatu!

Samarth Yogi Arwind (Rishikesh)

References: Rig Veda text, Atharva Shirsha, The Telegraph, Kolkata, desiteep