Sunday, December 14, 2014

Hindus, the Deity Worshipers

आत्मैव परमो देवः - The Self is the Highest Deity

The debate on religious conversions has occupied the public mind-space in India. More or less all over the world idea of religion, views and counter-views on religion, religious conflicts etc. constantly appear in the news. depending on ones understanding of religion, based on ones affiliation to some religious group, based on benefits from associating to some religious viewpoint, one tries make his case in such debates.

In India, one major point discussed during religious debates is 'worship of deity'. Sanatan Dharma (so called Hinduism) has an option of worshiping a deity by the seeker or religious practitioner. Other semitic religions generally differentiate themselves from Sanatan Dharma on the point of 'not believing in deity worship'. So is 'Deity Worship' the prime differentiator of Sanatan Dharma from other religions?

Well, Sanatan Dharma, as the literal meaning of the term suggests, is the way of life since eternity. Its not just living a specific lifestyle but also philosophy of lifestyle. And the basic philosophy says that the purpose of life is to 'do away with the sorrows' of life. And the sorrows of life occur because of disconnect or imbalance in the understanding of basic elements of Supreme Soul (Paramatma), Soul (Atma) & the universe (Prakriti). To do away the sorrow, one should seek higher knowledge, engage in actions those bridge the disconnect in the above three.

Simplest means to reach the balance or unison of these three is mediation - where the seeker tries to rise above the state of 'bodily being' to the state of 'Soul Existence' and then reaches and remains in the state of Samadhi where the 'oneness' with the supreme soul is attained.

What appears simplest in the above method of raising consciousness is sometimes the most difficult thing to do for many practitioners - i. e. going beyond the state of bodily being. Worldly attachments, various distractions, lack of focus, bodily ailments, lack of primary knowledge etc. act as hindrance in raising the consciousness beyond the body. As one can imagine large number of people will fall in this category because they are so deeply attached to their family, jobs, emotions, friends, social issues etc. For such seekers option of 'deity worship' is recommended. 

Worship of Lord Shri Jagannatha

The worship is not only of a statue made of stone or metal but of the nature, of the river, of mountains, of the sky, of the Sun, the moon, of living person (Guru), of parents, of the animals like Cow, Bull etc.

Yoga Vaashishtha says, For those who have not known the essential nature of the Deity, the worship of form and the like has been prescribed. To one who is not capable of traveling the distance of Yojana (eight miles), the distance of one Krosha (two miles) is prescribed.

Deity worship is creation of an environment. Its a conducive environment that will help one raise his consciousness. When the distracted mind would find it difficult to focus on the supreme consciousness, the medium of deity is provided here. The deity, style of worship, its relationship with five elements, chanting of mantras, burning of incense, decorating the deity as a human being, sense of purity and faith involved in the whole ritual helps one to calm down his mind. It helps to transcend to a higher level of consciousness. The sense gets generated that some power is there which is above my bodily being. Continuous engagement is such ritual (pooja) helps the mind to settle & forms a take off ground for the mind fly high. 

Yoga Vaashishta explains further journey of the devotee very beautifully. It says, आत्मैव परमो देवः  (Aatmaiv Paramo Devah) - The Self itself is the highest deity. Worship it. Nourish it so that the union with the Supreme Soul could be attained. It says further, "The lotus eyed Vishnu is not the deity, the three eyed Shiva is not the deity. For the deity is not incarnate in the body, nor is the Deity of the form of the mind. The splendor which is not artificial and which is without beginning and the end is called deity. 

Patanjali, in his Yoga Sutras says that the Deity, or God or Ishwar is the one who is beyond the sufferings, bondage of karma, remnants of Karma that cause suffering or the desires. Such special being is God!

क्लेशकर्मविपाकाशयैरपरामृष्टः पुरुषविशेष ईश्वरः॥२४॥

Yoga Vaashishtha says, Pure Consciousness, which is beyond any fragmentation and which is of the nature of generality of existence, attaining to the nature of vast existence (totality of the being) is described by the word 'Deva'(Deity).

Yoga vaashishtha explains the relationship beween God and 'I'. The Supreme Consciousness gradually moved by the splendor of energies of space, time and the like, having become the Jeeva (Individual Soul or Individual Consciousness) soon becomes the Buddhi (Intellect). Thereafter it becomes the sense of 'I'. Then attaining the state of the mind, it clings to worldly existence. 

This pure consciousness experiences sorrow abiding in the body due to this idea of "I am". This unhappiness which is nourished by mere imagination is destroyed only by the absence of imagination (the thought). 

Coming back to the current affairs, the deity worship in the form of 'Worship of the form' is helpful to keep ignorant, illusionary souls engaged in the spiritual journey. If they are not directed to such endeavors, they will engage more into body dominant enterprise like acquisition of things, competing for acquisition, fighting for acquisition for bodily gratification. To keep masses engaged in 'good deeds' religion can play good role. Good deed of 'Deity worship'is one such remedy to help raise consciousness of the masses. 


Shubham Bhavatu.

Yogi Arwind
(Rangi Arwind)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

History of Yoga

Soon International Yoga Day will be a reality reflecting increased enthusiasm towards this science and art of integrated lifestyle. Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed for International Yoga Day during his maiden speech in the United Nations general assembly. As of now 130 nations have supported this move. Modi's proposal is just a reflection of last few decades of increased awareness about Yoga all over the world.

When I come across practicing yogis from India and from the West, an interesting fact I come across is, their ignorance about the history and tradition of Yoga. Western approach to yoga ranges from physical exercises to body stretches with the funniest variations - like vikram yoga, hot yoga, power yoga - brought out recently to make the 'sale' of yoga training an attractive proposition.

Indian tradition has always treated Yoga as a lifetime commitment to evolve more conscious. It is the methodology & practice that helps one reach supreme consciousness. Yog Shastra (Science of Yoga) is part of six Darshans of Vedic knowledgebase that help us understand the complexity of life.

All the learned yogis & sadhus I have met in my life have always mentioned Samkhya & Yoga together. And they believe Kapil is the originator of Samkhya Yoga. While first teacher of Yoga is called as Hiranyagarbha (The Sun). And Kapil is one of the most ancient Rishis known to us. He finds mention in the Rigveda verses. So Kapil is from Vedic period. Thus Yoga was a popular practice and philosophy during the Vedic period. The term Ýoga'has been mentioned in the all four Vedas namely; Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samveda, Atharveda. Time of Rigveda is considered as 8000 years old.

References of Yoga in Rigveda, Samveda & Atharvveda

Many Upnishads also have reference of Yoga with details of philosophy and practice. योगप्रवृत्तिं प्रथमां वदन्ति says Shwetashvatar Upanishad, which means 'First salutations to the commitment for Yoga'. This same Upnishad says, न तस्य रोगो न जरा न मृत्युः प्राप्तस्य योगाग्निमयं शरीरम् which means 'the one who burns his body in the fire of Yoga, he will be free from the diseases, ageing and death'. Maitrayani Upanishad, Garbhopanishad, Brihadaranyak Upanishad, Kathakopnishad have not only mentioned yoga but have praised the practice as an ultimate means of liberation.

Practice of Yoga took a different form after Upanishadic period as it slowly got disassociated from Samkhya and focused more on Samadhi aspect. The same trend reached its peack during the time of Mahavira & Buddha. Bhagvat Geeta also mentions about loss of some aspects of Yogic theory of Kapil Muni with the passage of time.

एवं परम्पराप्राप्तमिमं राजर्षयो विदुः I
स कालेनेह महता योगो नष्टः परन्तप II

Patanjali is the most important name after Kapil Muni in the field of Yoga. There are different opinions about the time period of Patanjali. Dr S N Dasgupta, Shri Jwalaprasad, Richard Grabey,
Mircea Eliade have given multiple references and opinions. After studying various references one can come to conclusion that the time of Patanjali was 200 BC. I don't like to go into dates of existence of great people as their work should inspire us and not their birthdates or death dates. Patanjali was such a great saint that he is considered as the most knowledgeable authority on Yoga, Grammar & Medicine (Ayurveda). One interesting tradition is important to be referred in this regard:

In the gurukuls, which follow the ancient tradition of learning Sanskrit, the students offer the yellow mustard & yogurt in the name of Patanjali before the start of learning of 'Mahabhashya' . The mantra recited during the offering is as follows:
वाक्यकारं वररुचिं भाष्यकारं पतञ्जलिम्
पाणिनिं सूत्रकारं च प्रणतोऽस्मि मुनित्रयम्
योगेन चित्तस्य पदेन वाचां मलं शरीरस्य च वैद्यकेन
योऽपाकरोत्तं प्रवरं मुनीनां पतञ्जलिं प्राञ्जलिरानतोऽस्मि
These shlokas help us confirm that Patanjali is the great sage who authoritatively wrote the three scriptures of Yoga Sutra, Maha Bhashya & Charak Samhita. Yoga Sutras are the most famous compilation of Yogic science aphorisms by Patanjali. And one must not forget that study of other darshans; namely, Purva Mimansa, Uttar Mimansa, Nyaya, Vaisheshik & Samkhya is necessary before studying Yoga Sutras.
Patanjali Muni (who is considered as a snake with 1000 hoods because of his intelligence and authority over many subjects)
Some of the major philosophers and practitioners of Yoga after Patanjali include:  
Bhashyakar Vyasa (2nd Century)
Vachaspati Mishra (Tattva Vaisharadi) (841 AC)
King Bhoj (11th Century)
Vijnanbhikshu (Yoga Vartik)(16th Century)
Bhavaganesh (Vritti)(17th Century)
Nagoji Bhatta (Chhayaa) (17th Century)
Ramananda Yati (Maniprabha) (18th Century)
Narayan Teertha (Sootrarthprabodhini) (18th Century)
Apart from this lineage of Kapil school of Yoga, which invariably is a culmination of Samkhya philosophy, various other proponents of time specific philosophies and practioners have entriched the field of Yoga. They include: Matsyendra Nath, Gorakh Nath, Swatmaram etc.
Modern yogis who followed philosophy as well as practice include: Paramahansa Yogananda, Lahiri Mahashaya, Vivekananda,Yukteshwar, Krishanammacharya, Pattabhi Jois, BKS Iyengar, Baba Ramdev etc.
The flow of Yoga brought to us by these great masters is the best gift to mankind. May the practice of yoga help you experience the supreme consciousness.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

श्री वासुदेवानंद सरस्वती (टेम्बे स्वामी) द्वारा रचित अघोरकष्टोद्धरणस्तोत्र

आधुनिक काल (1854-1914) के महान योगी श्री वासुदेवानंद सरस्वती (टेम्बे स्वामी) द्वारा रचित अघोरकष्टोद्धरणस्तोत्र


श्रीपाद श्रीवल्लभ त्वं सदैव| श्री दत्तास्मान पाहि देवाधीदेव||
भावग्राह्य क्लेशहारिन सुकीर्ते| घोरात्कष्टादुद्धरास्मान्नमस्ते||

त्वं नो माता त्वं पिताप्तो दिपस्त्वं| त्रातायोगक्षेमकृसद्गुरुस्त्वम||
त्वं सर्वस्वं नो प्रभो विश्वमूर्ते| घोरात्कष्टादुद्धरास्मान्नमस्ते||

पापं तापं व्याधीमाधींच दैन्यम| भीतिं क्लेशं त्वं हरा$शुत्व दैन्यम||
त्रातारंनो वीक्ष इशास्त्र जूर्ते| घोरात्कष्टादुद्धरास्मान्नमस्ते||

नान्यस्त्राता नापि दाता न भर्ता| त्वत्तो देवं त्वं शरण्योकहर्ता|
कुर्वात्रेयानुग्रहं पुर्णराते| घोरात्कष्टादुद्धरास्मान्नमस्ते||

धर्मेप्रीतिं सन्मतिं देवभक्तिं| सत्संगाप्तिं देहि भुक्तिं च मुक्तिं
भावासक्तिंचाखिलानन्दमूर्ते| घोरात्कष्टादुद्धरास्मान्नमस्ते||

श्लोकपंचकमेतद्यो लोकमंगलवर्धनम|
प्रपठेन्नियतो भक्त्या स श्रीदत्तप्रियोभवेत||

||इति श्रीमत्वासुदेवानंदसरस्वतिविरचितं अघोरकष्टोद्धरणस्तोत्रम सम्पूर्णम||

श्री वासुदेवानंद सरस्वती (टेम्बे स्वामी)


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

रामपाल, सरकार, और मिडिया

हरियाणा में तथाकथित संत रामपाल की गिरफ़्तारी के लिए जो ड्रामा हो रहा हैं, एक देशवासी के नाते, अध्यात्मप्रधान जीवन जीनेवाले व्यक्ति के नाते मन को बहुत दुःख पहुंचता हैं.
                                   रामपाल, जो न्याय व्यवस्था से भाग रहा हैं, पुलिस से लड़ रहा हैं

रामपाल को एक खून के आरोप में न्यायलय में उपस्थित होना हैं और अपनी गिरफ़्तारी को टालने के लिए वो एक बड़ी टोली के सरगना के तरह पुलिस के साथ ही लड़ने की कोशिश कर रहा हैं. पेट्रोल बम, हथियार, हजारो समर्थक इनके सहारे रामपाल भारत की प्रस्थापित न्याय व्यवस्था को ही ललकार रहा हैं. उसकी इस कोशिश में अनेक बेगुनाह व्यक्तियोंकी मौत होना मन को अधिक दुखी करता हैं. इस पुरे प्रकरण ने भारत की न्याय व्यवस्था, सरकार चलने की पद्धति, धर्म व्यवस्था, मिडिया की भूमिका इनपर गहरे प्रश्न उपस्थित किये हैं. 

हम इस बात को भूल नहीं सकते की भारत में बाबा, संत, गुरु, स्वामी, योगी इन लोगोंका समाज के साथ बहुत गहरा रिश्ता हैं. ऐसे महानुभावोंके प्रति प्रायः आदर और सम्मान का माहौल देश में है. देश के ग्रामीण भागोंमे, दुर्गम क्षेत्रों में, इतना ही नहीं शहरों में भी समस्या को सुलझाने के लिए  लोग संतों के पास विश्वास के साथ जाते हैं. समर्पण, भक्ति, श्रद्धा, और विश्वास का यह माहौल अपने आप में इंसान को उच्च मनोवैज्ञानिक स्तर पर ले जाता हैं और आत्मविश्वास बढ़ाता हैं. इस प्रकार की व्यवस्था के फायदे मैंने मेरे बचपन से अनुभव किये हैं. मनोवैज्ञानिक दबाव को हल्का करनेवाली यह उत्कृष्ट व्यवस्था हैं.

विदेशोंमे मानसिक बिमरियोंका प्रमाण अधिक हैं. मैंने मेरी ब्राज़ील यात्रा के दरमयान अनुभव किया हैं की वहां का युवा वर्ग पूर्ण रूप से मनोवैज्ञानिक विशेषज्ञों पर निर्भर हैं. अधिकाधिक युवक हर सप्ताह साइकोलोजिस्ट को मिलने जाते हैं और केमिकल दवा का प्रयोग करते हैं. उनके लिए विश्वास और श्रद्धा की ऐसी कोई व्यवस्था उपलब्ध नहीं हैं. भारतीय योग परंपरा से प्रभावित कुछ स्थानीय बाबा मदद करने की कोशिश करते हैं परन्तु युवकोंका भारतीयोंपर अधिक विश्वास हैं. कुछ युवाओंको मैं इंटरनेट, स्काईप, फेसबुक के माध्यम से मार्गदर्शन करने की कोशिश करता हुँ.

शायद यह व्यवस्था सिर्फ़ भारत की विशेषता हैं जो हजारो वर्षोंसे चलती आ रही हैं. इस व्यवस्था के बल पर ही आज भी भारत में लाखों अनुयायियोंका समर्थन प्राप्त हुए अनेक बाबा और संत हैं. 

                योग और आयुर्वेद के माध्यम से करोडो लोगोंको स्वस्थ्य प्रदान करनेवाले योगऋषि बाबा रामदेव

इस विश्वास और श्रद्धा की परंपरा संत जीवन व्यतीत करनेवाले व्यक्ति को अधिक ज़िम्मेदारी से पेश आने के लिए बाध्य करती हैं. यदि ऐसे बाबा या संत अपने कर्तव्य भूलकर अहंकार के भाव में चले जाते हैं तो पूरी सुन्दर व्यवस्था की नींव खोखली हो जायेगी। दूसरी और संत जीवन जीनेवाले व्यक्ति अपने साथियोंके साथ ही स्पर्धा में चले जाते हैं. और फिर संसाधन जुटाने के पीछे लगते हैं. और आजकल राजनीती की चपेट में आनेवाले बाबाओंकी संख्या बढ़ रही हैं. ऐसे अहंकार, अज्ञान, स्पर्धा और राजनीतिक महत्वाकांक्षा के शिकार बाबाओंका प्रतिक हैं रामपाल।

रामपाल जैसे एक अहंकारी अभियुक्त को कानून के शिकंजे दायरे में लाने के लिए जो देरी हुयी हैं उसके लिए पिछले दशक से हरयाणा की शासन व्यवस्था को ही दोषी ठहराया जा सकता हैं. आज की शासन व्यवस्था को रामपाल को न्यायलय के सामने उपस्थित करवाने के सिवा अन्य कोई पर्याय उपलब्ध नहीं हैं. ऐसी अवस्था में रामपाल के बाहर एकदम युद्ध सदृश परिस्थिति उत्पन्न हुई हैं. न्याय व्यवस्था को ललकारने वाला गुंडा रामपाल और न्यायव्यवस्था को प्रस्थापित करने के लिए प्रयास करने वाली पुलिस ऐसा युद्ध का स्वरुप हैं.

इस युद्ध में मिडिया की भूमिका और मिडिया पर हुए हमले ने एक नया स्वरुप प्रदान किया हैं. इस पुरे प्रकारण ने मुझे २६/११ वाले मुंबई के आतंकवादी हमले की याद दिलायी। इस हमले में आतंकवादियोंको सहाय्यक साबित होनेवाली मिडिया की भूमिका पर गंभीर प्रश्न उपस्थित हुए थे. रामपाल मामले भी मिडिया रामपाल के आश्रम में उपस्थित गुंडोंको मददगार हो सके ऐसी योजना में तो नहीं थे? ऐसे गंभीर परिस्थिति में मिडिया वाले अधिक जिम्मेदारी से पेश आते हैं तो देश के लिए भला होगा। मेरा मानना यह हैं की यदि प्रशासन द्वारा गलती हुयी हैं तो अधिकारियोंके ऊपर सख़्त कार्रवाई होनी चाहिए।
ऐसे प्रकरणोंमे मिडिया बहाना बनाकर पुरे संत समाज को बदनाम करने की जो कोशिश करता हैं वह अत्यंत निंदनीय हैं. आज भारत की यदि कोई विशेष या अतिविशेष पहचान हैं तो वोह हैं संत परंपरा या योगी परंपरा। इस परंपरा के प्रति विश्व अधिकाधिक आकर्षित हो रहा हैं. इस परंपरा में ही विश्वशांति के बीज हैं. साईबाबा, सत्य साईं, माँ आनन्दमयी, कांची के परमाचार्य, रमण महर्षि, स्वामी विवेकानंद, परमहंस योगानंद और ऐसे अनेक संतोने पिछले दशकोंमे विश्व को शांति और ज्ञान का मार्ग दिखाया हैं. 


                                                                         श्री श्री रविशंकर

बाबा रामदेव, श्री श्री रविशंकर, माता अमृतानंदमयी और अनेक संत आज भी भारत की संत परंपरा का परचम विश्व में लहरा रहे हैं. योग आज विश्व धर्म के रूप में प्रस्तुत हुआ हैं. ऐसे समय योग भूमिका में रहकर जीवन जीनेवाले संत, बाबा, योगियोंको कलानुरूप ख़ुदको बदलने की ज़रूरत हैं और धर्मध्वजाको अधिक गर्व से फहराना चाहिए। ऐसे परिस्थिति में संतोंको मेरा सुझाव हैं की सक्रीय राजनीती से दूर रहें।

अर्थात भारत के प्रधान मंत्री श्री नरेंद्र मोदी राजनीती में संत जीवन व्यतित करनेवाले श्रेष्ठ आत्मा हैं
योगी अरविन्द

Monday, November 17, 2014

Hall of Gratitude

Hall of Gratitude...

Tomorrow on 19 November 2014, is the 5th anniversary of my spiritual calling.
on this occasion, I would like to express my gratitude to all those souls who have crossed path and have influenced greatly to shape who I am today.
I call this as 'The Hall of Gratitude'

Lalita Devi (My Mother), 
Keshavrao (My Father), 
Ashutosh (My brother) 
Usha & Uma (My sisters)

Ayesha Thapar, 
Aditya Khanna,
Samir Thapar, 
Anil Diggikar, 
Mandar Patil,
Prajakta Fadanvis
Ashutosh Baranwal, 
Karun ji Shrivastav,
Abhinav Kumar,
Sharad Datt,
Apurve Mehra,
Dev Gupta,
Akhil Lakhanpal,
Gita Soto,
Graciela Pischner
Teena Singh
Rajeev Shrivastava,
Dada Maharaj Khadkikar, 
Digambar Shankar Giri ji maharaj,
Swami Shyam ji
Devendra Vigyani ji
Lola Montes Schnabel,
Amar Bharti ji Maharaj
Dayanand Puri
Rajrajeshwar Giri
Baba Rampuri
Santoshanand Giri ji
Prahlad Singh ji Tipanya
Deepak Bidkar,
Pramod Kulkarni,
Rajendra Hiremath,
Vinay Sahasrabuddhe,
H Dattatreya ji
Jayant Kulkarni
Chandrakant dada Patil
Shyam Jaju 
Vinod Tawde,
Rajesh Pande,
Prakash Pohare
Prasenjeet Fadanvis
Dileep Kamble,
Sunil Kamble,
Ramesh Kale,
Chidambar Dikshit,
Saum Shrivastav
Silvia Ferrari
Luis Ferrari,
Guta Gali,
Pollyana Degan,
Soniyya Punjabi
Shivani Yogini
Suparna Mandke
Sameer Athalye
Nana Mhaske
Abhijeet Gaikwad
Atul Salve,
Sagar Newase,
Shashank Deshpande,
Satish Kulkarni,
Parag Vedak,
Dr Kantu Diggikar
Madan Kulkarni,
Ravi Pawar,
Dr Sachin Mule
Anil Deshpande,
Gorakh Deshmane,
Shreerang Kulkarni
Ajit Joshi
Vijay Agrawal
Asheem Agrawal
Dr Prashant Patil
Dr Ashutosh Yardi
Ashok Doshing
Milind Bhanage
Ajay Shukla
Jawahar Lal  Kaul
Aruna Narayan
Gayatri Shakti Chaliha
Rajesh Prabhu
Atul Vaze
Sajjan Jain
Asha Jain
Rajeev Tiwari
Rajendra Bhandari
Kailash Kher
Sheetal Kher
Nutan Kher
Kabir Kher
Julia Gorksaya
Julia Disini
Ajithkumar Gopalan
Sunil Umrao
Nina Angelica Stone
Evelyn Lewis
Ramesh Mhalge 
Vinay Date
Nisha Kulkarni
Nishant Verma
Narasimha Murthy
Jayalakshmi Murthy
Andre Blas
Joan Marie Hyman
Vikas Panwar
Gusain ji
Yogi Avatar Nath ji

Such shining galaxy of friends & well wishers!
I express my deepest gratitude for enriching my life with every experience that you could contribute.
I thank my all friends whose name doesn't appear above.
Maitra Yoga is all about friends.
And this is the treasure I possess.

lots of love.
Shubham Bhavatu.

Yogi Arwind

(I just closed eyes and the names appeared. The sequence is random.)

Friday, June 20, 2014

श्री श्री गंगा स्तोत्रम् (Sri Sri Ganga Stotram)

श्री श्री गंगा स्तोत्रम् (Sri Sri Ganga Stotram)
रचना: आदि शंकराचार्य (Author: Adi Shankaracarya)

Shri Yogi Arwind on the banks of Ganga in the Himalayas

देवि! सुरेश्वरि! भगवति! गंगे त्रिभुवनतारिणि तरलतरंगे ।
शंकरमौलिविहारिणि विमले मम मतिरास्तां तव पदकमले ॥ १ ॥

devi sureśvari bhagavati gańge
tribhuvana-tāriṇi tarala tarańge
śańkara-mauli-vihāriṇi vimale
mama matir āstāṁ tava pada-kamale

O Goddess Ganga! You are the divine river from heaven, you are the saviour of all the three worlds, you are pure and restless, you adorn Lord Shiva’s head. O Mother! may my mind always rest at your lotus feet.

भागीरथिसुखदायिनि मातस्तव जलमहिमा निगमे ख्यातः ।
नाहं जाने तव महिमानं पाहि कृपामयि मामज्ञानम् ॥ २ ॥

bhāgirathi sukha-dāyini mātas
tava jala-mahimā nigame khyātaḥ
nāhaṁ jāne tava mahimānaṁ
pāhi kṛpāmayi mām ajnānam

O Mother Bhagirathi! You give happiness to everyone. The significance of your holy waters is sung in the Vedas. I am ignorant and am not capable to comprehend your importance. O Devi! you are full of mercy. Please protect me.

हरिपदपाद्यतरंगिणि गंगे हिमविधुमुक्ताधवलतरंगे ।
दूरीकुरु मम दुष्कृतिभारं कुरु कृपया भवसागरपारम् ॥ ३ ॥

hari-pada-pādya-tarańgiṇi gańge
dūrīkuru mama duṣkṛti-bhāraṁ
kuru kṛpayā bhava-sāgara-pāram

O Devi! Your waters are as sacred as “Charanamriti” of Sri Hari. Your waves are white like snow, moon and pearls. Please wash away all my sins and help me cross this ocean of Samsara.

तव जलममलं येन निपीतं परमपदं खलु तेन गृहीतम् ।
मातर्गंगे त्वयि यो भक्तः किल तं द्रष्टुं न यमः शक्तः ॥ ४ ॥

tava jalam amalaṁ yena nipītaṁ
parama-padaṁ khalu tena gṛhītam
mātar gańge tvayi yo bhaktaḥ
kila taṁ draṣṭuṁ na yamaḥ śaktaḥ

O Mother! those who partake of your pure waters, definitely attain the highest state. O Mother Ganga! Yama, the Lord of death cannot harm your devotees.

पतितोद्धारिणि जाह्नवि गंगे खंडित गिरिवरमंडित भंगे ।
भीष्मजननि हे मुनिवरकन्ये पतितनिवारिणि त्रिभुवन धन्ये ॥ ५ ॥

patitoddhāriṇi jāhnavi gańge
bhīṣma janani he muni-vara-kanye
patita-nivāriṇi tribhuvana-dhanye

O Jahnavi! your waters flowing through the Himalayas make you even more beautiful. You are Bhishma’s mother and sage Jahnu’s daughter. You are saviour of the people fallen from their path, and so you are revered in all three worlds.

कल्पलतामिव फलदां लोके प्रणमति यस्त्वां न पतति शोके ।
पारावारविहारिणि गंगे विमुखयुवति कृततरलापांगे ॥ ६ ॥

kalpa-latām iva phaladām loke
praṇamati yas tvāṁ na patati śoke
pārāvāra-vihāriṇi gańge

O Mother! You fulfill all the desires of the ones devoted to you. Those who bow down to you do not have to grieve. O Ganga! You are restless to merge with the ocean, just like a young lady anxious to meet her beloved.

तव चेन्मातः स्रोतः स्नातः पुनरपि जठरे सोपि न जातः ।
नरकनिवारिणि जाह्नवि गंगे कलुषविनाशिनि महिमोत्तुंगे ॥ ७ ॥

tava cen mātaḥ srotaḥ-snātaḥ
punar api jaṭhare so’pi na jātaḥ
naraka-nivāriṇi jāhnavi gańge
kaluṣa-vināśini mahimottuńge

O Mother! those who bathe in your waters do not have to take birth again. O Jahnavi! You are held in the highest esteem. You destroy your devotee’s sins and save them from hell.

पुनरसदंगे पुण्यतरंगे जय जय जाह्नवि करुणापांगे ।
इंद्रमुकुटमणिराजितचरणे सुखदे शुभदे भृत्यशरण्ये ॥ ८ ॥

punar asad-ańge puṇya-tarańge
jaya jaya jāhnavi karuṇāpāńge
sukhade śubhade bhṛtya-śaraṇye

O Jahnavi! You are full of compassion. You purify your devotees with your holy waters. Your feet are adorned with the gems of Indra’s crown. Those who seek refuge in you are blessed with happiness.

रोगं शोकं तापं पापं हर मे भगवति कुमतिकलापम् ।
त्रिभुवनसारे वसुधाहारे त्वमसि गतिर्मम खलु संसारे ॥ ९ ॥

rogaṁ śokaṁ tāpaṁ pāpaṁ
hara me bhagavati kumati-kalāpam
tribhuvana-sāre vasudhāhāre
tvam asi gatir mama khalu saṁsāre

O Bhagavati! Take away my diseases, sorrows, difficulties, sins and wrong attitudes. You are the essence of the three worlds and you are like a necklace around the Earth. O Devi! You alone are my refuge in this Samsara.

अलकानंदे परमानंदे कुरु करुणामयि कातरवंद्ये ।
तव तटनिकटे यस्य निवासः खलु वैकुंठे तस्य निवासः ॥ १० ॥

alakānande paramānande
kuru karuṇāmayi kātara-vandye
tava taṭa-nikaṭe yasya nivāsaḥ
khalu vaikuṇṭhe tasya nivāsaḥ

O Ganga! those who seek happiness worship you. You are the source of happiness for Alkapuri and source of eternal bliss. Those who reside on your banks are as privileged as those living in Vaikunta.

वरमिह नीरे कमठो मीनः किं वा तीरे शरटः क्षीणः ।
अथवाश्वपचो मलिनो दीनस्तव न हि दूरे नृपतिकुलीनः ॥ ११ ॥

varam iha nīre kamaṭho mīnaḥ
kiṁ vā tīre śaraṭaḥ kṣīṇaḥ
athavā śvapaco malino dīnaḥ
tava na hi dūre nṛpatiḥ kulīnaḥ

O Devi ! It is better to live in your waters as turtle or fish, or live on your banks as poor “candal” rather than to live away from you as a wealthy king.

भो भुवनेश्वरि पुण्ये धन्ये देवि द्रवमयि मुनिवरकन्ये ।
गंगास्तवमिमममलं नित्यं पठति नरो यः स जयति सत्यम् ॥ १२ ॥

bho bhuvaneśvari puṇye dhanye
devi dravamayi muni-vara-kanye
gańgā-stavam imam amalaṁ nityaṁ
paṭhati naro yaḥ sa jayati satyam

O Godess of Universe! You purify us. O daughter of muni Jahnu! one who recites this Ganga Stotram everyday, definitely achieves success.

येषां हृदये गंगा भक्तिस्तेषां भवति सदा सुखमुक्तिः ।
मधुराकंता पंझटिकाभिः परमानंदकलितललिताभिः ॥ १३ ॥

yeṣāṁ hṛdaye gańgā bhaktis
teṣāṁ bhavati sadā sukha-muktiḥ

Those who have devotion for Mother Ganga, always get happiness and they attain liberation. This beautiful and lyrical Gangastuti is a source of Supreme bliss.

गंगास्तोत्रमिदं भवसारं वांछितफलदं विमलं सारम् ।
शंकरसेवक शंकर रचितं पठति सुखीः तव इति च समाप्तः ॥ १४ ॥

gańgā-stotram idaṁ bhava-sāraṁ
vāñchitaphaladam vimalaṁ sāram
paṭhati ca vinayīdam iti samāptam

This Ganga Stotram, written by Sri Adi Shankaracharya, devotee of Lord Shiva, purifies us and fulfills all our desires.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Arrogance of a Yogi

Well, every single impression on the canvass of life generates questions. The most generic form of this question could be ' who am I?' Or what is the purpose of life?

If one asks me was I not a yogi before the wandering that I undertook, I won't answer in affirmation or denial. I would say, my enquiry was on even before the wandering. Yes the backdrop was different. The setting of life was different.

And what does a yogi mean?
Is it about his attire?
Is it about the affiliation to a religious sect?
Is it about subscription to some established ideology?

Well, yogi is an enquirer.
A persistent enquirer.
Enquiry into the self.
And this enquiry can happen in any situation.
So the asceticism, or materialistically indulgent or any other way of life is not a prerequisite to be a yogi.

This enquiry into the Self generates answers that makes one fearless, confident, well tuned with the divine arrangement.

And when you are in tune with or in sync with the divine plan, things happen as a flow. Efforts are reduced. Wisdom drives the decision making.

With less effort when results are achieved, there is always possibility of judgemental folly.

And you start getting used to achieving with less effort and subscribing it to 'your own ability'. So the achievements which are product of divine grace and result of your non-karma existence, you start ascribing it to your actions!

This judgemental anomaly leads to the rise of arrogance of a yogi!

The thin lines between Karma and non-karma vanish and slowly the yogis starts believing that's the superficial means that are followed by him are the factors that are leading to the results which many a time appear as miracles. So the happening of a miracle which is purely due to divine grace, a yogi starts believing that it is by the grace of his actions!

This elevates the arrogance of a yogi.  The self enquiry gets shadowed by this rise of arrogance. The wisdom gets eclipsed and the Maya succeeds in bringing back the yogi into her fold from the state of self realisation.

If a yogi doesn't acknowledge and respond to this problem, of course he invites a bigger mess in his journey of the supreme union. The union is far away, even the walk there becomes tiring and full of obstacles.

Yogi has to be blissfully one with the god. Apparently there may be different colours of his life perceived by the world around. Yogi is his self. How the world perceives him is not his business. The moment he tries to associate with perceptions, his arrogance is going to to rise as he may falsely believe that I have been doing so much for people but it's not acknowledged by society.

Yogi shall resort to the basics. He shall go back to the initial stages of enquiry where supreme belief in the godly consciousness Is the only reality of his existentially. To reach there, a yogi must shed away all the illusionary relations that have affected his process of enquiry adversely.

Yogi must surrender.
Yogi shall just deny his illusionary supremacy.
Yogi shall simply acknowledge his ordinary being.
Yogi shall temporarily wear the veil of swadhyay - spiritual practice.
Yogi shall go back to his penance.
Yogi shall delve into the supreme oneness only and nothing else.
And all this should happen in any given surrounding.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The next door yogi

Five years gone...
It's a step by step gathering of wisdom, agony, joy, pain, suffering, happiness, stillness...
I stepped out of home for wandering.
It was not planned. It was not spontaneous.
It was a guided journey!
The wandering was by invitation. 
The invitation was through disappearance of my father.
My great father left the house on the morning of June 4, 2009 for never to come back home.
I was awake at 5.45 am that day. Got the feeling that he is not in his bed. Came out of my bedroom, he was quietly sleeping in this bed. I went back to sleep. At 6.15 am again got the intuitive message that he is not in the bed. I woke up. Went to see him. He was not there.
I went to the balcony, asked the watchman to look for my father. He said he is not downstairs, where in the garden he used to take his morning walk usually. 

Then started the great search.
Many vehicles move in different directions to look for him.
Friends and relatives searched the locality relentlessly.
Posters and notices pasted on the walls.

But in vain. No trace of him.
Then the police were reported.
They suggested to look into the dead body house of the government hospital.
Every morning and evening, the ritual of dead body search started. 
The keeper of the dead house would parade me in front the racks that hold the bodies. 
He would open faces one by one in the dim light. The faces darkened, young and old, with scars, pale, lifeless, stinking... 
With negation I would walk behind him after every body being searched. 
I would give him some money for his help. 
It went on for days & weeks.
While the eyes were searching for his body, feet were walking in his search, thoughts were jumping to the higher dimension.
Is this body the human existence? 
What's the use of life and it's comforts when each human has to meet the fate of the dead body in the dead house?
What's the significance of karma, when a pious man like my father must be suffering somewhere despite his able relations around?
What's the meaning of relations?
What are human bandages? 

My consciousness had already transcended to a next level. 
Then the search for him became mechanical process.
Then slowly it started becoming aimless wandering.
Then the result oriented effort seized. 
Started then the amusement of experiencing the universe without any goal in mind.
Business started getting hampered. 
There was no interest in attending office activities.
All started appearing mirage. 

Still the push by materialistic considerations was on.
Pre planned visits to various countries were  to happen.
As a part of this, went to Ghana in west Africa.
There happened miracle!
Deep spiritual calling!
Aggregation of contemplative thoughts resulted into one divine moment that changed dimensions of life.
Then it was all light! 

Came back to India, went to Shri Lanka, but the urge to earn had died.
All that was happening was a curious wandering. 
From malls, to hotels, to shopping streets, to temples, to Buddhist temples, to the churches, to the mosques, to the sea shores, to the river banks, to the paddy fields, to the mountains...
Everywhere life was seen in abundance.
No attachment anywhere. 
So it was witnessing. Beautiful witnessing.

Came back to India.
Wandered the South. 
Then to the north. In the trains, in buses, by walk, in the trucks, taking lift in the cars...
Penniless journeys.
People would feed.
They would care.
They would scold.
They would shoo away as beggar.
They would taunt.
They would offer physical labour.
They would get surprised.
They would experience calmness in the presence of a bearded man.
Some would put their palms before, requesting to read. 
I would read with my limited knowledge.
Then would give some advise.
People started believing.
Some would consult for family issues.
Some would bring alms confirming that my remedies have worked.
Some would donate money.
Rituals were done for people, meditations taught, knowledge breathing practices imparted, counselling sessions done, blessings were given.
All that knowledge that was imparted by my parents & brother came handy!

So the wanderer Arvind assumed the role of Yogi Arwind, in a flow.  
Without any directed efforts.
The religious community of various sects of babas, yogis and swamis got in acquaintance. We sang the bhajans together. We danced with divine euphoria. We dipped in Ganga. We meditated together.
Some would respect and offer higher seat to sit.
Some would deny the higher seat.
Some would force to smoke Chillum.
Some would get inspired by my non-smoking.
Some would say I am a born yogi.
Some would say I am fake.
Some would question my religious affiliations.
Some attempted on life twice out of ignorance! 

Journeyed from South to North. By walk. Barefoot. By bus, by train. By air. By any means.
Walked on the desert barefoot. Walked on the snow barefoot. Ran on the stones on the banks of Ganga barefoot. On the cemented road, tar road, walked barefoot. In the filth and in the gardens, walked barefoot. Walked barefoot in the crematoriums, cemeteries. To the temples.

Beautiful souls steadily crossed the path while walking.
On the peak of Mount Parashar in Himalayas met one exceptional sadhu who passed on the light. In Mandi in Himachal, met the Narayan himself in the form of the sadhu, Shiva walked with me on the banks of Ganga. Secret knowledge was passed on. 

Miraculous programs were conducted. Leher Leher Kabir happened. Yogi Arwind Foundation was formed, clean Ganga campaign was launched, awards for Ayurveda and environment were given, knowledge camps organised, health camps were organised, free food distributed, blankets distributed. Retreats organised.

Amazing wonderful souls supported all the way. Divine arrangement was, make a wish and money and resources will come. And the yoga of friendship was established, Maitrā Yoga! Now that 1800 days consciousness workshop is over.

As Nisargadatta Maharaj says, 
"Stay without ambition, without the least desire, exposed, vulnerable,
unprotected, uncertain and alone, completely open to and welcoming life as it happens, without the selfish conviction that all must yield you pleasure or profit, material or so-called spiritual."
Literally lived these lines!

Now the identity is thickening. 
The journey that started with evaporation of various identities like of Son, brother, business person etc has reached at the new identity of spiritual person, a yogi. This obviously brings the religious colour in the minds of people.

And the identity brings ego with it.
So obvious ego and arrogance is developing.
That beautiful connect is missing and getting covered under this identity.
Heart has become like stone in the process of restraining emotions.
The flow of love is getting blocked.

So it's a warning bell. 
It's an invitation -
to the next phase of journey.
To that shading of ego.
To dropping down the arrogance.
To be in the service.
To be ordinary.
To be a commoner again!
The next door yogi.