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A Positive Affirmation Of Life

Times Of India – 21 August 2016 – Sunday Supplement

A Positive Affirmation Of Life

– SWAMI ANUBHAVANANDA

Attitude determines the lifestyle of a person and it develops when perception is followed by projection. Positive and negative attitudes are acquired by individuals over time and according to their development, humans fall into three categories: Those who imagine and project difficulties in any undertaking even before they start work and end up doing nothing. They are like cars that will not start unless given a push. The second kind are Prarambh Shuras. They are inspired initially, but give up for lack of perseverance. The third become more and more inspired to execute a job, the more they face challenges and difficulties.
Even if you are successful, negativity in attitude can crop up at any time for unknown reasons.
Remember:
1. You alone are responsible for your attitude.
2. As is your attitude, so are your perceptions.
3. As is your perception, so is your interaction with the world.
4. As is the interaction, so is the experience of life and,
5. As is the experience, so is the quality of life.

During camps for children, I often hear this complaint: “Swamiji, before and after and examination, I remember everything but in the exam, I forget.” This happens because of the attitude problem. People with negative attitude think and project negative things and they develop it to such and extent that even a positive-thinking person can become a victim of their presence. Such negative people can do nothing and won’t allow others to do anything.

Negative attitudes are the result of a weak personality at the physical, emotional and intellectual level.

  • Physical strength can be gained by proper intake of food and regular exercise. Some are obsessed with their figure. They torture their bodies. They get cranky and misunderstand what their parents say. This is a negative attitude, the reason being that when you do not eat properly, you think about food. When you do this, food goes to your head. Good health helps us come out of negativity.
  • Emotional stamina too is a must. Emotional strength is gained by discovering some altar in life – it could be God, your guru, an idea; surrender yourself at that altar with total involvement and faith. Put logic away because by logic no problems are solved. By love alone all problems get dissolved.
  • When we apply our faculty of intellect and enquiry in doing a job successfully, it is vital to get things done not ‘because of all odds’ but ‘despite all odds’. Enquire into ‘how a thing is possible’. Remember life is not about being successful; it is also the ability to go through both success and failure with grace. In success, we enjoy. From failure, we learn. When we have mastered the art of learning from failures, it leads to success. This attitude towards failure is a positive one.

When these three aspects of your personality are cultivated and developed systematically, you grow and develop Atman balam – inner strength. With inner strength, positivity becomes the foundation of our expression.
The Mundaka Upanishad says Truth is not revealed to cowards. Success is not for weaklings.
When you have physical strength, emotional beauty and intellectual capacity, your attitude becomes positive. With this positive attitude, you jump into the battle of life, success is bound to happen.

Summary: WHEN WE MASTER THE ART OF LEARNING FROM FAILURES, IT LEADS TO SUCCESS. THIS ATTITUDE TOWARDS FAILURE IS A POSITIVE ONE. WHEN THIS ASPECT OF OUR PERSONALITY IS CULTIVATED, WE DEVELOP INNER STRENGTH.

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Swami Anubhavanandaji’s Guru Poornima Message 2016 – Transcription

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENQx8TPSCzw

Guru Poornima Message 2016 (English)20160717

Wise are not miserable. Otherwise are not happy!

Guru Purnima is coming. Every year Guru Purnima comes and goes. We like the Kutastha Chaitanya (kutastha= “that which remains unchanged” Chaitanya=”consciousness”), we don’t change. And we listen to satsangh like the professional satsanghi. A challenge to the mahatma. So-many have come and gone, now you try. See. So many Guru Purnimas have come and gone. See friends, please remember, whole Bhagavad Gita was heard by Arjun. The situation of battle or the war did not change, it was Arjuna who changed.

Guru Purnima is this reminder, that are we changing OURSELF or not? Not the body level, not the mind level, but are we changing ourself properly so that body, mind and spiritual practice is perfectly balanced. Bhagavad Gita 2:48 “….samatva? yoga ucyate”. This we have to constantly understand. And don’t push the guru outside. Guru is our ability to learn from every experience. When we learn from any experience, that experience does not precipitate in the form of an impression on our mind. For example:- in our childhood we have all sometime or the other touched the fire and we have got our hand burnt. Se we have learnt, that the fire burns. And therefore we do not have hatred towards the fire. We know fire burns, we have learnt it. And therefore after learning this, then what do we do, now we use the same burning capacity of the fire to our benefit.

Now apply the same principle in life. We have fulfilled so many desires right from childhood. Have we discovered fulfillment in life? No. So have we learnt anything from it? No. So we have not celebrated Guru Purnima. Guru Purnima celebration is, we learn from every experience of our life. And the guru who is outside, he can do nothing. In the relationship of the guru and shisya, the shisya is important, not Guru. Guru is like the sun, available for everyone, freely, equally. But if somebody is sitting inside the room and complains, oh the sun is biased to that person, is giving more light to him and to me not giving enough light. Who is responsible? Not the sun. In the same manner guru principle is common for everyone. The real guru manifests in our heart, as our learning ability from every passing message. That is Guru Purnima celebration.

I will give one homework to you and I promise, you you will not do it. The homework is, everyday you write a beautiful diary, don’t write thesis, only one liner or 2 liner. Write down what I have learnt today from my life. Only 1 line. And see by the time 365 days are over, you will say, Oh My God I never knew I am so wise. And slowly slowly the change will start coming in. That is the celebration of Guru Purnima.

See friends in “Kaivalya Upanishad” a mantra comes. The student approaches the teacher: –

adhiihi bhagavoo brahmavidyaam varishthaam sadaa sabdhihi sevyamaanaam nigoodhaam yayaachiraat sarvapaapam vyapohya paraatparam purusham yaati divyam tasmai sa hovaacha pitamahaascha shraddhaa bhakti dhyaana yogaadavaihi

To that Ashvalaayan, guru maharaj Brahmaji said, my dear, I cannot teach you “shraddhaa bhakti dhyaana yogaadavaihi“, you learn. Nobody can teach anybody anything. And if you are learning, nobody can stop you from learning. Invoke that ability, to learn from your experiences. And if we learn from every experience of our life, with every experience we will grow wise. If we don’t learn from our experiences we will grow old and otherwise. And old otherwise people have nothing but complains “Aajkalke bache badom ko aadar nahin dete – Nowadays the kids do not give respect to the elders”.

If you are old by age what is your contribution? What you have done to become old? It is the poor earth running around the sun and our age is growing. What is our contribution? A shudra buddhhi!

See friends, therefore let us celebrate the Guru Purnima with this wisdom. Everyday, yes, and don’t make it public, Facebook, today I learnt this thing, what about you?

Our spiritual practice should be extremely silent and secret. “yeh andar ki baat hai – This is inner matter”. Don’t have to make it public. Do you know, “aajkal mai meditation kar raha hoom, bada mazaa aa raha hai – nowadays I am doing meditation and I am enjoying it very much” arey!, is it an ice-cream or what? Mazaa aaa raha hai.

Make it subjective, silent. and when you start doing it, I will tell you, you will not know the change in you, the people around you will observe the change.

There is one lady, she asked me, “What I should do”? So I said, “take these series of talks, listen, write down, do DTP, edit whatever you can, send it to me”. She said, swamiji.. I said if you are going to talk, over. Do means do. She started doing it. And after 6 months when I went to their house, they have got dozens of servants, the servants came and told, swamiji our bibiji has changed so much. She did not know she has changed. Earlier she was shouting at every Tom, Dick and Harry. Picking on everything. Now she has stopped scolding us. And one day she was very disturbed, and her mother-in-law said, today you did not write swamiji’s lecture? See friends, we have to change. And the change comes when we keep on learning. And the learning process is so sweet, like a small baby, she doesn’t know she is growing. People around her know, oh! now she is grown up.

Give it a chance, in the next Guru Purnima, you will all be realised.

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Swami Anubhavanandaji’s Meditation Talk – Transcription

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qg88dIKxpSc&feature=youtu.be

Meditation session 2 of 2 @ Washington Retreat 2016 English20160821 065953 NR YT

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गुरु ब्रम्हा गुरु विष्णू Gurur Brahmaa Gurur Vishnu

गुरुः देवो महेश्वरा Gurur Devo Maheshwarah

गुरु शाक्षात परब्रम्हा Guru Saakshaata Parabrahma

तस्मै श्री गुरुवे नमः Tasmai Shri Guruve Namah

If we had a very good sleep at night, it means, we were nobody for a longer period of time and therefore the sleep was deep. Now this nobody status, we can encash – if we start our day early morning – the moment your sleep is over, get out of the bed, finish your morning necessities, and thereafter be SELF-oriented. One rule if we apply on ourselves – we will start living our everyday in meditation. And the rule is – WE DO NOT BECOME ANYBODY, unless our morning prayers or whatever we call is over. So you may be chanting or you may be reading or doing the japa or simply sitting quiet basking in the presence of the divine, whatever. DON’T BECOME ANYBODY. This status of remaining as Mr. NOBODY for a longer period of time is called as living in MEDITATION.

But normally what happens with us – we start our day and then so hectic. Because first of all we go to sleep very late and then in the morning when we get up there is the hangup of the sleep, and then we have to rush for the work, and our whole day is in a mess. And such a messy person, he wants to come and do meditation. See friends, we have to live our 24hrs in a proper mood. And the moods begin when we become somebody. Therefore remain as Mr. NOBODY as long as we can. So right in the morning, don’t start any discussions, questions, answers, arguments, logic, our experiences – no need. REMAIN AS NOBODY.

This remaining as nobody is indirectly – we are not yet getting identified with the body, although we are functioning through the body. The identification with the body becomes strong, because of the breathing process. Like if you go for a long run – marathon, your breathing increases tremendously, and therefore our identification with the body is extreme. Such a person who is intensely identified with the body, ask him to do meditation, he cannot.

But during the deep-sleep when we were remaining as NOBODY, that time our breathing was not heavy, our breathing was not fast. Because the mind and the body – they are glued together by the adhesive of breathing. Therefore death is when the mind and the body are separated. So this separation of the mind and the body happens under three conditions, yesterday I told you :

1] Compulsion called as death

2] Ignorance called as sleep and

3] Wisdom called as MEDITATION

It is for this purpose that the PRANAYAM is advocated in Yoga Shastra.

Pranayam1 is not basically an approach for healthy life, but it is primarily an approach for Spiritual life. Like you all know in India, we keep a cow also in our compound. That the cow is also one of the members of the family. Now what for we keep the cow? We don’t keep the cow for cow dung. We don’t keep the cow for the Go-mutra (Urine of the cow). We keep the cow for MILK. The cow-dung and the Go-mutra is a by-product.

In the same manner, pranayam is addressing the separation of the mind and the body through the control of Prana, and as a result of which whatever other things are happening – it is a by-product, like a cow-dung. So don’t give too much importance to this, if you do this thing, your Blood Pressure will go down, if you do this thing, your health will be good. Remove this health virus from the head. According to Yoga Shastra, every BODY (like you know we buy things they give us guarantee for 1month, 6months), in the same manner when every BODY is produced, it is having a particular number of breathings. This body is meant to breath ‘n’ number of times. You can’t change it. Those who are health oriented yogis, what they do, they go into pranayam, kumbhak for a long period of time, as a result, the number of breathing what they could have completed in ‘n’ number of years, that breathing they continue for ‘n +’, number of years. This is how the longevity of the body is increased. But that is not the purpose of life.

Therefore the PURPOSE of PRANAYAM is only ONE – that we are able to achieve FREEDOM from BODY-IDENTIFICATION.

Now what happens. When we breath normally our breathing is at a very superficial level, and therefore the cleansing of the blood does not happen. And what are the impurities in the blood that we are supposed to cleanse? Let us understand this also – very important. Whole day we keep on eating. The food that we eat has three functions. A part of the food goes into the formation of the tissues of the body. A part of the food goes in providing energy to the functioning of the body and the unwanted digestive and metabolic wastes, they are thrown out of the body which are not required. Now this waste is, being matter – of three kinds: solids, liquids and gaseous.

  • Solids are thrown through the faecal material.
  • The liquids are thrown through the urination.
  • And the gaseous toxins they keep on accumulating in our blood stream.

These gaseous toxins in the blood, they are responsible for the agitations of the mind. They act as a stimulus, and because of that the mind remains ever agitated. Therefore we have to remove these toxins consciously.

Like everyday we have to go to toilet, at least 2 -3 times a day. Suppose you are having constipation, you are not able to go to the restroom for 2 days – what is the condition of the mind? If the solids are making that uncomfortable preposition, these gaseous toxins are directly hitting the mind. And therefore the mind is ever agitated. And therein agitation becomes the second nature of the mind. Therefore like going to the toilet to remove the solid and liquid wastes from the body, pranayam is going to the toilet – removing the gaseous toxins. That important it is.

Now when we normally breath, the breathing is only superficial level. We have to remove the blood toxins – gaseous toxins, so we have to do a special type of breathing.

Special type of breathing will include:

1] One is Anulom Vilom which you all must be knowing

2] Or the second kind, without getting too much involved is deep breathing.

Deep breathing technique: Breath in slowly as much as you can. Fill in the lower and the upper lobes of the lungs and then breath out slowly fully squeezing the lungs by pulling the diaphragm inward and upward so the lungs are crushed and all the air is thrown out. And this has to be done very slow. No hurry.

Normally we breath 15 times per minute. But this Anolom Vilom Pranayam or deep breathing as I suggested, should reduce the frequency of breathing from 15 times per minute to 2, 3 times per minute. Lesser the frequency of breathing, the longevity increases. The tortoise breaths once in 4 minutes. Therefore the tortoise lives for 600, 700 years. The dogs and the cats they breathe very fast. Their life is very short. So this deep breathing or Anulom Vilom, it will cleanse our blood of all toxins. And if we don’t do it as we have never done it earlier, what happens? These toxins keep on accumulating in the blood, blood becomes saturated and therefore these toxins are thrown out of the blood, wherever there is a possibility. The possibility of throwing the toxins out of the blood is, the gaps between the two bones called as joints. So these toxins are thrown into those joints, and because they are gaseous they create tensions in the joints. And these toxins start eating the heads of the bone, if there is a cartilaginous disc in between – the disc it starts eating and the Synovial fluid which is the lubrication – that starts getting dried. As a result when the age is a lot then all the joint pain starts appearing. When you break your joins, nothing breaks, what is this sound? Because it was tense. The moment you break, the toxin gases which was accumulated gets relaxed. And therefore when you break your joints you feel relaxed. Keeping this in view, pranayam when it is practised it will slowly loosen, the hold of the mind and the body together.

Mind has two aspects.

  • One aspect is our common mind. The total creation has only one mind. There are not many minds. Just as the whole universe has only one electricity. It is not American electricity and communist electricity, no. In the same manner, there is only one mind. That mind is responsible for maintenance of life in the body. Because of that, life continues. That mind does not create sin or merit. That mind is not holy or unholy.
  • The second aspect of the mind is, the mind takes the shape and the form of a particular body. Like gold is common for all the ornaments. The name, the shape and the form of the ornament make the ornaments different from each other. Exactly the same way when our mind has taken the shape and size of a particular body, immediately, ‘I’ is separate from ‘you’.

See friends, so what is creating a problem? Common mind is not creating a problem. This specific mind, which is creating a separate entity is creating the problem. And separate entity is created only because of two things. One is the name and second is the form.

Therefore it is said, WHAT IS THE WORLD? World is nothing but names and forms. Mind cannot survive without names and forms. The moment mind reaches silence – no names, or the mind reaches absence of forms – the mind dissolves. And nobody wants to die! Therefore the mind is constantly throwing thoughts and each thought is nothing but mind+name and form with reference to our body.

Like when I say one word, see what comes to your mind. When I say mother, the moment I say mother what has come to your mind is your mother. I did not say your mother. Think. When I say health, immediately my health. See friends, our mind, because we have take a particular shape always thinks in relation to that particular body. Therefore when we are practising this (pranayam), what SHOULD happen is freedom from body identification. And this is not just theoretical but we can definitely achieve it by a proper way if we do it on a regular basis. Don’t expect things to happen overnight. In Yoga Vasistha it is said, Vasisthaji tells Rama, Hey Rama, you have been carrying these wrong notions for millions of lives. Don’t expect, it will be over, overnight.

Therefore two things are necessary. These two things are told by our Shirdi Sai Baba.

  • One is Shraddha the FAITH.
  • Second is Saburi the PATIENCE.

Without patience and faith if you start your any practice, the guarantee is you will be utter failure.

Shraddha in four places:

  • Shraddha in GOD
  • Faith in the TEACHER
  • Faith in the SCRIPTURES
  • and faith in ONESELF.

God’s grace definitely takes care of us. Like the sun cannot throw darkness, in the same manner, the lord is always careful of us. Have full faith in him. How do we know God’s grace is showering on us? -‘IswarAnugraht eva pumsAm advaita vAsanA’2. When God’s grace showers on us we are naturally motivated for something higher in life. The same routine type of life, going for parties and drinking and dance and stock market and politics and all.. routine.

And how do we go into this path by God’s grace? We come across satsangh and sadhu santa.

“Binu Hari krupa mile nahi santa”. See friends, many people have this notion that, because of our earlier good deeds in the last life we are going for satsangh. It is totally wrong understanding. Satsangh is not the result of karma phala, no. It is Ishwara Anugraha.

And when we go to satsangh or attain the sadhu santa what happens? They do not talk about the world, they will be talking about the authority and the knowledge given in the scriptures. So the grace of the teacher is in the form of exposing us to the scriptural wisdom.

See friends, Kabirji says: “Jaati na pucho sadhu ki, puch lijiye gyan mole karo talvar ka, pada renan do myan – don’t worry about who is what, focus your attention on the TRUTH“. That is why anybody who has to do anything in this world will use us, he will never guide us. See friends. So God’s grace is without any reason. As a result of the God’s grace we come across sadhu sant.

Sadhu sant expose us to the scriptures, that is scripture’s grace.

And what does scriptures do? They give us a vision. This vision that the body and the mind, they are held together by the adhesive of prana.

All these medical doctors etc they will never tell you this thing. They will tell, take a pain killer and die without pain. See friends.

So what is required now? This adhesive has to be removed.

Like if you have, let us take a stamp and fix on an envelope and it has dried. Then you come to know it was a wrong envelope, and if you have to peel off that stamp it will be torn. Now what do we do? We put that envelope without the content right into the water. Give Jala Samadhi. As a result of this, adhesive will be dissolved and you peel off the stamp without tearing it. Exactly the same way the adhesive of prana, which is keeping the mind and the body together, that is loosened. And when it is loosened sufficiently, be attentive, your experience will be body-free existence. And we all have this experience in dream and in deep sleep. This experience, when it remains while we are awake, then we are living in MEDITATION. This is how the great masters, they live through the body. They don’t live as the body.

See friends, this Yoga Shastra is meant for something higher. Yoga for early pregnancy, yoga for spondylitis. These are the cartoons. It is something like you know, somebody gave me an Elephant as a gift. Then I was thinking what for shall I use this Elephant. Then I remembered, Oh I have got a kitchen garden. Let me plough the kitchen garden by the strength of the Elephant. Kitchen garden can be ploughed by your own fingers. And there you want to use the elephant power. In the same manner these worldly things can be tackled by anything, but to know one’s essential nature you require tremendous energy. 8 hrs of work = 1 hr of talk. 8 hrs of talks = 15 minutes of intense thinking. See the quantity of energy consumed. See friends, and if we do not conserve our energy we can never never be at peace. It is for this purpose pranayam is done so that we are separated from the body.

If this is true then first I will demonstrate, and you simply see. Don’t do when I am telling you, afterwards you start doing.

Deep Breathing Technique:

(Please perform steps 1 to 4 below whenever deep breathing is suggested hereafter)

1] First of all breath out from your stomach by squeezing your diaphragm inside upward.

2] After that is done fully, then breath in again first fill in the lower lobes of the lungs. Stomach does not get air it is the lungs. So when we breath in, breath in slowly. Not in a hurry. Our stomach is full.

3] Thereafter fill in the chest. Now your lungs are filled with air.

4] Thereafter breath out first from the chest and then from the stomach by squeezing it inside upwards.

This exercise will slowly take out all the unwanted toxins from the blood.

In Yājñavalkya SmṛtiPatanjali doesn’t talk about this -; this leads to Nadi Shodhanam. Nadi Shodhanam means purification of the blood. Blood is containing a lot of unwanted stuff, it has to be removed. One of the techniques is this.

You know these Ayurvedic people, when they take your nadi / pulse and see, what they do is this only, what they see is the quality of your blood, without taking it out. Because the type of impurities which are in the blood, they influence the blood flow, the heart beat, the pressure and the different aspects of the blood flow. And therefore they say, Oh, your Kapha, Vata, Pitta balance is upset. Meaning what? Your blood is extremely impure. So what they do? They will be giving us the medicine, first of all to settle the balance between Kapha, Vata, Pitta. The moment the balance is settled, majority of your metabolic problems are settled. Majority. Ayurveda’s approach is totally different. Allopathy will not understand it and they do not want to understand it. So Allopathy is for earning money. That’s why when an Allopath holds the pulse, he does not hold the pulse, he holds the purse. Do you have insurance? Yes. Then please sit down. Directly holding the purse.

So let us understand this and slowly whatever are the subsequent steps, we will see them.

Sitting for Meditation:

So like yesterday I told you, to sit properly:

1] Let the weight of your body land equally on your sitting bones.

2] Let your hands land in your lap.

First, psychological adjustments:

1] We are here by our own choice. We are not here under compulsion.

2] Therefore we are cheerful and happy. Cheerful and happy means we have neither complaints nor regrets.

Second adjustment:

1] Our lord and guru maharaj, he is in our heart.

2] The lord protects us from within, guru guides us from within.

3] At this moment we are Mr. NOBODY. Thereby we have closed our total past. This moment we are like a day old chick. We are so fresh, like a small child.

4] We don’t plan anything, what we will do after meditation. Thereby we have closed the future.

Now we come to the process of Pranayam:

Like a banana fruit:

  • In place of the skin of banana, imagine that is how the mind is.
  • In place of the fruit that we eat, think the body is.
  • Between the skin and the fruit there are those threads which hold the fruit and the skin together, imagine that to be the breath or prana.

When the banana is not fully ripe and if we forcibly want to remove the skin, it tears off. It does not open the fruit fully. But when the same banana become ripe in due time then the skin comes out very easy. The skin takes the shape of the fruit inside. When the skin is removed there is no particular shape. If this is clear, in the same manner the ripening of this experience (freedom from body identification), whereby we can separate the mind and the body, without attaining death or going to sleep.

1] Now as I told you, do the deep breathing slower for sometime. Then the next step I will tell you.

( 5 minutes silence..)

Please continue and listen.

  • The time required for breathing in and breathing out may be equal.
    • So don’t have to count, but you will get a proper rhythm.
  • After sometime the breathing will start happening from both the nostrils.
    • Initially it is either the left or the right.
  • Third thing – do not hold the breath either inside or outside.
    • Let it be a continuous process of cleansing.
  • Initially one may not be able to achieve a proper rhythm and sequence.
    • But have patience. In due time it happens.

(2 minutes silence…)

  • Many times a lot of thoughts come.
    • Instead of fighting with the mind, go to the source of the thoughts and you will discover, there is somebody sitting there.
    • Like the soap bubbles, the somebody is throwing the thoughts.
    • Remind yourself, not now; for I am NOBODY.

(-After an interval of 1 minute Swamiji continues…)

  • Remain simply aware that breathing is happening.

(After an interval of 35 seconds Swamiji continues…)

  • Every single breathing must be recorded.

By this practice, we start remaining as NOBODY in the present. Because breathing happens only in the present. And if we remain aware of this breathing that is going on, we will be able to effortlessly remain in the present.

2] Now you may breathe normally.

3] See your breathing is now extremely slow and extremely shallow.

(After an interval of 35 seconds Swamiji continues…)

Do Bhavana (Meditation) on Mind Space:

At this moment the shape, size of the body has become almost non-perceptible. Therefore the concept that I am inside the body, the world is outside, this division of in and out has almost disappeared.

Now our experience is like the space. Space contains everything, but doesn’t get influenced by anything.

1] At this stage, now do this bhavana, think yourself to be like the vast infinite space.

  • Like the gross contents do not touch the gross space, similarly none of the thoughts influence the mind space.
  • We come to realise this fact, that presence or absence of thoughts in the mind have no impact on the mind. And therefore we remain undisturbed.
  • We are one with the total mind. Our individual mind has disappeared.
    • Like, when the pot breaks – a pot-space merges in the total space, even when the pot was – the pot space was never disturbed by the contents of the pot.
  • Now the thoughts will not cover the mind.

Last Step – Living as Chidākāsha (Conscious space)

1] When we start living as the mind space, last step is living as the conscious space referred as Chidākāsha.

  • This conscious space supports WAKER with the waking world, DREAMER with the dream world and so on, but without becoming a WAKER, a DREAMER etc.

This is what bhagavan says “vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo”3. All the scriptures ultimately point to THIS, as worthy of knowing. All other things are secondary.

(After an interval of approximately 5 minutes Swamiji continues…)

Conclusion: Once again include the body in the Mind

1] Breathe slowly, deep and see how the body is included in the mind.

2] Now the whole body is included in the mind.

3] Move your toes and fingers.

Now this concept is clear – I am inside the body, the world is outside. And our samsar (world) begins.

  • This inclusion of the body in the mind and
    • thereby enlivening the mind as somebody and
      • when tired the mind drops the body, meaning mind gives up the shape of the body and merges with the total mind,
        • thereby again gets recharged and this is going on for millions of years.
        • But we are never aware of this.

4] Be aware of this phenomena, then we come to know, never we were born never do we die. Like the waves coming and disappearing; the waker, dreamer, deep-sleeper they come and go, we are the same.

5] Offer everything at the feet of the Lord.

ॐ पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदम् पूर्णात् पूर्णमुदच्यते | Om poornamadah poornamidam poornaat poornamudachyate

पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते || Poornasya poornamaadaaya poornamevaavashishṣyate

ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः || Om shaantih shaantih shaantih

Hari Om Sri Gurubhyo Namah Hari Om

1 Pranayam is basically a means to Nadi Shodhanam or purification of blood from metabolic gaseous toxins – which helps the seeker to detach himself from body-identification. This is the main purpose of Pranayam and the health aspects are just a by-product. So with regards to Pranayam, it is the spiritual dimension that is primary, while the health dimension is secondary.

2 (Dattatreya says in the AvadhUta Gita)

3 Bhagavad Gita 15.15

sarvasya cāhaḿ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo

mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaḿ ca

vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo

vedānta-kṛd veda-vid eva cāham

I am seated in everyone’s heart,

and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness.

By all the Vedas, I am to be known.

Indeed, I am the compiler of Vedanta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.

 

 

MeditationTalk2of2@WashingtonRetreat2016

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Source of Happiness

Friends, anything what we do  – ends. Be very attentive, Spiritual life is not doing anything. It is undoing all that we have been doing our whole life. It is not becoming someone, it is unbecoming. See this is the basic error on the spiritual path. We are already carrying huge burden of so many specialties on ourselves. That I am man – I am woman, I am old – I am young, I am educated – I am over-educated, I am smart – I am not-smart, I am beautiful – I am awful. One more feather, I am Spiritual. One more burden.
Friends spiritual life is unbecoming and undoing. See Friends. And in the spiritual practices, one of the most popular, common and misunderstood practice is meditation. It has become a fashion. So let us try to undo meditation. When you will learn the art of undoing you will merge in the absolute, see friends. Now let us understand one basic principle of spiritual life. Spiritual life is learning from our own experiences. This is the fundamental of spiritual life. A person who cannot learn from his own experiences, even God cannot teach him or her. We have to learn from our own experiences. Now the Question comes, where do we begin? Without having any knowledge, because everybody is doing, we also go and join – crash course in meditation. See! Crash course – in that course you are crushed; Meditation! See friends. So instead of that let us learn from our own experiences, that we have been looking outside – for what? Whatever we do or we don’t do – the purpose is only one. TO GAIN HAPPINESS.
A person gets married to get happiness. Another gets separation to gain happiness. One person
eats a lot to gain happiness. The other one is observing fast to gain happiness. One person wakes up early in the morning to gain happiness. The other one keeps sleeping unto 10 o’ clock – gain happiness.  In short all our efforts in life are directed towards one principle – and that to gain happiness. Alas we have never looked within. Did we succeed in or life? The same thing mechanically we are doing in our life. Because we are not analysing and learning from our experiences of life. Now one example I will give you how we learn from our experiences. I get up early in the morning. Now first thing you want in the morning is a cup of tea. So the mind starts the japa sadhana tea, tea, tea, tea, tea. Till I get a cup of tea my mind is agitated. Then I get a cup of tea somehow or the other. The moment I get a cup of tea – Ahhaa maja aa gaya. Conclusion – happiness has come from tea. See – analyse our experience. If happiness is coming from tea, everybody in this world should feel happy after taking a cup of tea, but this does not happen. But then we cannot deny our experience that I really enjoyed the cup of tea in the morning.
Now analyse – Before I got no tea I was disturbed. After I got the tea I wanted I was happy. Meaning what? There was no disturbance in the mind. So disturbed mind is misery, undisturbed mind is happiness. How simple it is.
So what should be our approach now to life?
1] See approach to life should be very simple – when we interact with the world where is our attention? Our attention is to gain happiness out of action, out of speech, out of thoughts. Instead of that, change the attitude. Don’t do anything in life to get happiness, whatever we are supposed to do, do it happily. Everything will change in life.
2] Similarly, don’t talk so you will get appreciation and then you will become happy. No, talk happily. You would have seen many times in God’s creation there are people, they don’t talk, they bark. Why have you come? Why are you standing? wow wow wow.. Arey Ram Ram Ram. Talk cheerfully, happily. Then you have done everything.
3] Similarly thinking happily. When you think happily you cannot be destructive.  See – nobody can go and tell his friend, hey I am so happy today, I just want to kill you. Not possible, because Happiness is not a destructive force.
Therefore 1st  step on the spiritual path is,
  • whatever you do,
  • whatever you talk,
  • whatever you think, let that be a channel of expression of your inherent happiness.

Don’t do anything to oblige the world. Know that it should become a channel through which happiness is expressed.

See friends. When you do anything happily you don’t get tired. When you do anything happily , you don’t expect anybody to say something. Like you know I am talking to you happily. If you suffer it is your problem, but I am happy. 15:15
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Apna Vidya Bhavan – An Introduction

Apna Vidya Bhavan is a rural school in the lush green town of Wakro in Lohit district of Arunachal Pradesh, which is home to the Mishmi tribe. Tucked in the laps of calm verdant hills, the school immediately appeals as an idyllic seat of learning. With the motto “Grow Wise”, the school was founded as per the desire and vision of His Holiness Shri Shri Swami Anubhavananda Saraswati. Swami Anu, as he is addressed affectionately, strongly felt the need for a good school in this educationally backward area. A school which in the future will turn out to be the very back-bone of a strong, self-reliant, local community. With this vision in mind, the school started functioning on the 16th February, 2003. The Apna Vidya bhavan was inaugurated by a literary luminary Sri Y.D. Thongchi, IAS, the then Deputy Commissioner of Lohit district in the presence of Lt. Col Vinod Kumar Painyuli, Commanding Officer, 110 Field Security and Intelligence unit of the 2 Mountain Division of Indian Army, Er. S.K. Pradhan, Officer Commanding, 1444 BCC of the Border Roads Organization, Sri Babu Taloh, DSP, Arunachal Pradesh Police and a host of village heads and community members.

The school is today managed by Anu Shiksha Seva Trust (ASSET). Chairman of ASSET, an ardent follower of Swamiji explains how the patron saint convinced him to start the school, “He said, if you start the school for rural children I am with you, otherwise also I am with you. It is this unconditional love, which Swamiji imbues that truly became the foundation of the school. And true to his assurance, right from choosing the name of the school to adding various facilities and infrastructure, his help has been pouring ceaselessly and his ever soothing presence felt endlessly by the ASSET and community members”. A member recalls, “The only instruction Swamiji ever gave to us was that before we start serving people, we must cultivate genuine respect in our minds and nurture true love in our hearts for the ones we serve. And this is the sole guiding motto of ASSET- LOVE RESPECT SERVE”.

Starting with just KG classes in a single room and a member’s home serving as the hostel, the school has now flourished into a fine double storied building, with two hostels. Now it holds classes up-till 8th standard. The school enjoys lavish support from the local community, with many local members on its advisory board. The school also receives the patronage of many organizations and well wishers like the Army, Print Media, VT-AWIC Youth Library Network, Border Roads Organization, Arunachal Pradesh Police, Indo Tibetian Border Police, Central Reserve Police Force, the Oil India Limited etc.

The officers of Indian Army are amongst the distinguished friends that the Apnes, children of Apna Vidya Bhavan can boast of. Ever since 2003, when the school was introduced to the Lohit Brigade by Mrs Shraddha Prakash and Brig (Retd) Ajai Prakash, the Army has taken a keen loving interest in the growth of the school and has recognized the relevance of a grounded educational institution such as this. It is worth mentioning here that the Army which is tasked with the responsibility of counter-balancing anti-social elements rampant in the area, always finds time for welfare activities. The Army has contributed by constructing classrooms for the school. They also regularly participate in every occasion of joy and celebration in the school.

Leaders from print media in Arunachal and Assam like The Arunachal Times, Echo of Arunachal, Arunachal Front, Dawnlit Post, Eastern Sentinel and The Far Eastern Review have rendered great encouragement and support to the school. Sri Ranjit Sinha ( Arunachal Times), Sri Jarpum Gamlin (Eastern Sentinel), Sri Arindam Das (Times Now), Sri Ripunjoy Das (The Far Eastern Review), Sri Pradeep Kumar, Sri Ravindranji and Sri Tapan Das are senior journalists who have taken keen interest all these years to care for and connect with the Apnes. They have heartily supported the educational and social efforts of the school by dedicating prestigious space in their papers regularly. Moreover, the school is also featured in many illustrious books like ‘The North-East Trilogy’ by renowned photo-journalists Dipti Bhalla and Kunal Verma and ‘Wakro-The Land of Mishmis and Oranges’ by traveller Seema Bhatt on behalf of Purvidiscovery.

The APNES have a unique way of remembering their well-wishers. All their school and hostel buildings and each of their school-meets and social ventures is named after one of their beloved patrons and well-wishers. The first day of the academic session on the 13th June every year is celebrated as Anudin in gratitude to our founder Swami Anu. Apna Parent’s Day the “Meeta Meet” on 28th January is named in honour of Ms Meeta Bardalai. The “Vineeta games and sports meet” held in the month of November is named in honour of Mr Manoj Jalan and Ms Vineeta Jalan. The Jalans are corporate leaders from Assam who guide the ASSET members on many of their social initiatives. The Jalan family always takes care to introduce the humble rural educational effort to leaders and well wishers, winning us friends from all over the world.

The visitors and friends who come to meet the Apnes are welcomed at the “Manjeet gate”, constructed in gratitude to the Army and print media houses and named in honour of Ms Ritu and Brig Manjeet Mehta, both very close to Apne hearts. The Apnes break for the summer holidays observing the last sessions day as Apurba Diwas in remembering the kindness of Maj Gen A K Bardalai an inspiring and distinguished military leader in the Indian army. The school greets our leaders, friends and patrons on important occasions through the Ajai Cards crafted in affectionately remembering Ms Shraddha Prakash and Brig (Retd) Ajai Prakash.

A Planning Commission team led by Dr Syeda Hameed, Member, Planning Commission recorded their appreciation in 2008 saying, “It has been a unique experience to see a well run school in an aesthetic surrounding. It needs to be used as an example and replicated across the country. Kudos for the dedication and initiative.”

The school also has partnerships with many other social and educational causes, the prominent of them being the VT-AWIC library network that has started a library movement in the Lohit district. The children regularly take part in library activities and have even joined a reading brigade that goes to other schools and encourages reading habits in rural children. The APNE Library in Wakro is truly a state-of-the-art children’s library that not many schools can boast to have access to.

The school is participating in the Green School campaign initiated by the Down to Earth magazine, under which the students have taken up eco-friendly practices like segregation & control of waste and avenue tree plantation in the locality. The Apnes are implementing the RoBin Clean and Green campaign by ASSET under which trees are planted and maintained. The campaign is started in gratitude to Ms Deepa and Deven Singh of EverAssam Tea, Laipuli and named in honour of Mr Binod Saharia, corporate leader from Dibrugarh and Mr Robin Hibu, IPS. Ms Pradnya Ambre and Maj Gen Ashok Ambre, GOC, 2 Mountain Division of the Indian Army formally dedicated the RoBin clean and green campaign on 10th August 2013. The school also engages in other voluntary services like medical camps and environmental activities of ASSET, shouldering various social responsibilities.

Coming to know of the low female literacy rate in the area, the Apna Vidya Bhavan has successfully championed the cause of girl’s education. The school is providing free education to forty children who are mostly girls. The Apnes received great partners in the Lohit Brigade and the 2 Mountain Division of the Army, both sponsoring free education of one girl student each. Sri R.S. Joshi, Smt Jija Madhavan Hari Singh, IPS (Retd), Smt Savita Nagananda, Sat Bhavana Trust, Mumbai, Art Mantram, Banglore, Mr Binod Saharia, Smt Deepa Agarwal and many friends pitch in to support the cause. Geeta Girl’s Education Campaign (GEC) has been launched by the ASSET to further strengthen promotion of girl’s education. The scheme under which book gifts are extended to school libraries and leaders in campaigning for girl’s education is named in honour of Ms Geeta Katoch and Lt Gen G S Katoch. The Apnes and all in ASSET were delighted when Ms Pradnya Ambre and Maj Gen Ashok Ambre dedicated the GEC in the service of the society. Currently ASSET has chosen the North East Trilogy by Dipti Bhalla & Kunal Verma and beautiful country, STORIES FROM ANOTHER INDIA by Dr Syeda Hameed & Gunjan Veda for the campaign. It was a momentous occasion when Brig Rajwant Singh, SM, Commander of 82 Mountain Brigade announced adoption of an orphan girl child for free education to be sponsored by the Army.

Since the school believes in continuous self-assessment and updation, it holds regular Teacher’s Orientation Programs (TOP) for which teachers of other schools are also invited. Mr K K Rao, Principal Delhi Public School, Duliajan, Mr M N Chaturvedi a renowned mathematician, Sri Satyanarayanan Mundayoor, distinguished educationist cum social activist, Ms Anjali Dave and Revathi Shankar, both from Strategies and Solutions, Vadodara have been volunteering their services for the numerous TOPs organized so far. The school also receives the services of voluntary teachers from other parts of the country regularly.

The educators in this school are well aware that being in tribal communities, they must bear a critical awareness about what is passed off in the name of “education”. Spiritual master Sri Sri Kulavadhuta Satpurananda says that “Education comes loaded with certain cultural values of the mainstream that subtly yet strongly undermines one’s way of life. It sometimes makes the learners feel inferior in their own skin and lose confidence in their own culture. Thus education to many, as we see, becomes a passport to flee from one’s own identity into the lure of false “modernity”. The country is full of such cultural misfits”. Guiding the school management thus Sri Sri Kulavadhuta Satpurananda appreciated the school saying, ‘Apna Vidya Bhavan is the manasputra of Swami Anubhavananda, an egg of divine service hatched and getting into form under the wings of teacher fathers and mothers. It is really an asset of ASSET.”

The spiritual master further adds “What we must tap from our education system is the knowledge and the scientific temperament it inculcates. What we would like to retain, in all its originality, is our strongly rooted heritage and natural simplicity. This is our education programme. Tomorrow’s generation must be strengthened to guard their heritage, not “empowered” to abandon them. We favour simplicity rather than smartness, wholesomeness rather than perfection”.

The answer that the school found to this conundrum is vocational training that encourages children ‘to be fit to fit everywhere’. Tribal way of life is about connecting with nature and mother earth. Hence the school focuses on teaching the children vocations like farming, cultivation and other unique tribal skills like traditional knitting, weaving etc. The most recent life-skills workshop the students attended was on the installation and maintenance of solar lamps which was conducted by Mr Christian Casillas. Such training will certainly do a great good to the socio-economic structure of the community. It will help produce skilled human resource and reduce the number of frustrated youth in a meaningless rat-race to get white-collared jobs.

Under the canopy of Swamiji’s blessings and loving nourishment of motivated teachers and hostel staff, the children here are well taken care of. Free from the burden of meaningless academic rote, every child is allowed here to bloom at her own pace, taking her own time. Here you have a school that only cares about nurturing good human beings rather than smart ones, guiding and grooming them to value humanity above everything else.

New Developments
Thanks to the kindness of Smt Deepa and Sri Deven Singh of Laipuli, Assam, the school will soon have a grand auditorium with state-of-the art indoor sporting facility.

Sat Bhavana Trust, Mumbai has literally taken us from darkness to light by gifting the school its own Apna power house with 2 gensets. Wakro area, due to its long monsoon spells and closeness to the dense Kamlang forest reserve, is perennially hassled by erratic power supplies. At such times the gift of electricity is the most valuable for children and their caretakers.

Maiyya Shanta Girls’ Hostel, a well furnished home for the Apnes, is nearing completion with and will be soon pressed into service, thanks to the kind assistance of Smt Savita Nagananda .

All these projects have been carried out upon Swamiji’s recommendations and his blessings permeate and multiply their splendour.