Gain prowess through Spiritual Practice and then strive for Hindutva !

Contents


O supporters of Hinduism, instead of practising Hindutva at the emotional level gain prowess through Spiritual Practice and then strive for Hindutva !

Introduction

‘There are many Hindus in our society who strive for Hindutva. They are very proud of Hinduism and are prepared to face any kind of hardships to protect it.They get agitated withHindu-haters and make all possible efforts to prevent harm to Hinduism and to stop denigration of Hindu Deities. What is important here is that, when we work for Hinduism or any other good cause, support from God is absolutely essential. Only then will our mission be successful. Even if we do not succeed due to an unfavourable period of time then our faith in Hinduism remains firm. I am enumerating some points below to show Hindu protagonists the significance of support from God, that is in other words, the importance of undertaking Spiritual Practice. – Sadhika[Jyeshtha Krushna Pratipada (27th June 2010)]

1.1 Ethics without Divine support is like a child deprived of parents

Mere ethics without Divine support is like a child deprived of parents. This means that in this frightful Kaliyug (era of strife) just being good, having good conduct, involvement in a good religious/righteous mission is not sufficient to attain success because the evil acts of evildoers during this period have reached a peak . Cruel evildoers are constantly hatching conspiracies to torment us. So not to prevent harm caused by them and to be able work for Hindutva at all times we need blessings from God and the grace of our Guru (spiritual guide) because finally only God and the Guru can ferry us through a crisis. To achieve that we have to undertake appropriate Spiritual Practice and seek their blessings. This is how we increase our spiritual prowess. [Sanstha and the Hindu Samiti are organisations which give proper guidance on Spiritual Practice ! – Compiler]

1.2 Following Dharma (righteousness) enhances the Sattva component and consequently the spiritual prowess

We do not want Hindutva to be practised at the emotional level. We want it to become our attitude as a result of continuous practice of achar (code of conduct) prescribed in Hinduism. This way Hindutva becomes powerful because by following the principles of Dharma we receive Divine blessings. Hence for all those who wish to participate in the mission of conserving Hindutva there is no alternative to Spiritual Practice , it is a must. Spiritual Practice enhances the Sattva component in you, creating spiritual prowess. This helps you to face any difficult situation in life with Divine protection. Also anti-Hindus and evildoers feel terrorised with the grace of God and they are prevented from harming us.

1.3 Spiritual experiences of being able to achieve impossible tasks with Divine support

You can get spiritual experiences of achieving impossible tasks with Divine support as energy from God is limitless. If we are devoted unto Him then when we call out to Him He rushes to our rescue and takes the task to successful completion. Hence the task is accomplished beyond our expectations. This in turn enhances our devotion unto Him . Actually He gets His own task done with us as mere participants. Yet He showers His grace upon us. In this way by surrendering doership to God if you strive for Hinduism then the mission will become even more expansive.

1.4 The true objective is not working for protection of the Hindu Dharma rather to win the grace of God

Our aim is not to protect the Hindu Dharma; it is to win the grace of God. To carry out a mission for Dharma you need tremendous spiritual prowess. As Saints possess this they can accomplish great missions by their sankalp (resolve) and even their presence. How much strength can we average humans possess and how much can we achieve with that ? Hence if we perform the task with the blessings and guidance from a Saint, we do not claim doership for it and the task is accomplished even more successfully . In addition we also receive Divine grace. Hence instead of working at the emotional level it is necessary to act after contemplation, with spiritual strength .

1.5 Importance of Divine support and grace of Saints !

Let us study a few incidents in the life of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to understand this .

Slaying of Afzal Khan by Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj

Slaying of Afzal Khan by Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj

A. For two months before the meeting of Afzal Khan and Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj at Pratapgad, Samarth Ramdasswami, his Guru, would offer abhishek (ritualistic bathing with water or milk) to the Linga (Divine Phallus) of Deity Rudra (Shiva) every day at Mahabaleshwar. That protected Shivaji Maharaj and the enemy got killed. This shows that mere planning and expertise in warfare is insufficient. Spiritual strength is also necessary to achieve success.

B. Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj could easily escape from Aurangzeb’s prison because of blessings from two Saints and for his observing achardharma.

C. Merely with the blessings of Saints and the tej (radiance) generated in him due to Spiritual Practice Shivaji Maharaj could defeat the huge Mughal army and establish his own kingdom known as Hindavi Swarajya.

This makes it clear that to fight the cruel evildoers it is not sufficient to have only physical and mental strength or dedication unto a cause. To achieve success in the mission spiritual strength is very much essential .

It is my humble request to all Hindu protagonists to contemplate on this article and commence Spiritual Practice immediately to augment their spiritual prowess so that they can dedicate their lives for the Hindu cause wholeheartedly. I pray unto God and H.H.Doctor to give all Hindus protaganists the strength and wisdom to undertake Spiritual Practice !’

 

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Foster spiritual emotion (bhav), not mere emotions for the Nation !

 

Index

 

 

 
 

Introduction

 

Often we feel dejected and at times also become emotional about the scenario of life-threatening acts, poverty and corruption in the Nation. We dream about an ideal Nation; but it only remains a dream.  We do feel intensely for our nation in waves but with passage of time this feeling dies down. Only if we feel bhav towards our Nation then do we feel like doing something to improve the circumstances  in the  country. Here an attempt has been made to explain the meaning of bhav why it is necessary and how to awaken it to some extent. 

Bhav is superior to emotion !

Emotions are perceived at the mental level. Emotion developed spontaneously in response  to a situation is temporary. On the other hand bhav is awakened in the subconscious mind. Though bhav is also generated spontaneously in response to a situation its awareness lasts for a long time. That is why  bhav is superior to mere emotion.

Contemplate on whether you have bhav for the nation by turning inwards!

Feeling dejected about our countrymen suffering due to starvation, the atrocities on our women, Hindu brethren getting killed in communal riots etc and worrying about the pathetic state of the country and wondering when its transformation will occur  are but transient emotions for the country.

  •  
    • Do you ever eat less thinking of those crores of your countrymen who starve ?
    • Have you ever shed tears for the injustice inflicted on your brethren in communal riots?
    • Have you ever felt disgusted towards the comforts and pleasures you are enjoying after knowing about the pitiable condition of the Kashmiri Hindus who were forced to leave Kashmir due to terrorism?

—– if you get such feelings then  you have some amount of bhav for the Nation.

Bhav arises from Sacrifice and Divine support  !

Many mawlas (Shivaji Maharaj’s soldiers) helped Chattrapati Shivaj Maharaj to establish a Hindavi Swarajya.  Every mawla  would hold a tulsi (Holybasil) leaf in one hand and a burning coal in the other and ask Shivaji Maharaj ‘Tell me o king what shall I choose between the basil leaf and  the burning coal to get Swarajya (independence). I shall do as you say.’
The foundation of Hindu culture is  sacrifice . An accomplished state is  a part of the fruit of Hindu culture. So it is but natural  to develop bhav for the Nation through an attitude of sacrifice.
Bhav is a reaction at the  spiritual level. Pure bhav for the Nation can develop only through Divine support . ‘O youth, if you are struggling for the survival of  the Nation then it should accept  the Hindu religious code of conduct completely ’, said Swami Vivekanand. There is total surrender in bhav. Only in total surrender does God bless us. Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj had to face several  obstacles when establishing Hindavi Swarajya but he was able to overcome all of them because of his intense faith in  Deity Bhavanimata and also his righteous conduct .

To develop bhav for the Nation perform your duties for Dharma (religion) or do sadhana !

Only if one has bhav  for the  Nation then  his actions will  be in the interest of the Nation. Though this is an undisputed fact   it is equally true that if you  do something for the  Nation as your duty unto Dharma or simply as sadhana then  you will gradually develop bhav for the Nation. What can you do to achieve  this? Follow the guidance of  Saints who have  deep concern for the Nation, give donations to organisations doing selfless social service for national welfare and above all  become a part of  their mission !

The Desirable Mission of H.H. Dr. of creating social awareness about the Nation

A Saint who is perpetually engaged in the mission of giving spiritual guidance along with  guidance for protecting the Nation, to  society and Himself is  striving for the sake of the Nation incessantly, is H.H. Dr.! Each and everyone of us  thinks about the Nation in some way or the other. H.H.Dr. has undertaken this supreme task of enhancing these thoughts in society, for the last fifteen  years. He started the periodicals of ‘ Prabhat’ to create social awareness by  publishing fiery  articles. He was their editor for a year. Today the recognition that the periodicals are receiving as ‘the Daily expressing the feelings of patriotic Hindus’, is solely due to the merits behind the thoughts of H.H.Dr. ! He wrote Holy texts  on, ‘The Kashmir issue’, ‘The mentality of Pakistan’, ‘Pakistan’s Strategic Superiority over  Bharat’,  ‘The Kargil War’ and ‘Social Upliftment, National Security  and Awareness of Righteousness’, to awaken the Nation.  He has also compiled hundreds of series of articles relating to corruption, journalism, justice, etc. to create social awareness.

The Sanstha and Hindu Samiti are striving to awaken the nation

By founding the Sanstha H.H. Dr. opened the doors of spiritual progress to sadhaks. When guiding them on sadhana He also kindled national pride in them. That is why today Sanstha’s sadhaks organise discourses  on national security, at various places. In schools awareness is created on the Nation through lectures followed by questionnaires to students. Through  street plays, rallies for promoting Dharma, etc. they involve both young and old in this national mission. The Hindu Samiti striving for uniting Hindus and creating awareness plays an equally important role in the mission of national security by launching campaigns  to stop dishonour  of national emblems such as  the national flag, national anthem etc. stopping the fabrication of the map of Bharat, the deliberate changes in history books in school textbooks and the deliberate degradation of freedom fighters and revolutionaries in the textbooks. Through such campaigns,  the Samiti is doing great work for the Nation. That is why participation in the activities of the Hindu Samiti and Sanstha would amount to rendering service unto the Nation.

It will be possible to establish a Divine Kingdom only with bhav

One fostering bhav for  the Nation is a true patriot. An extremely beautiful Divine Kingdom will be established with  the guidance of Saints through such patriots. God is giving you an invaluable opportunity to participate in this mission of his by becoming a patriot. Do not let go of this opportunity !

 

How does pranayam facilitate activation of the kundalini?

Contents


Pranayam

Pranayam is included in Hathayoga. The eight parts of Ashtangyoga (Eight fold Yoga) advocated by Patanjali are 1. Yam (restraints), 2. Niyam (regulations), 3. Asans (postures), 4. Pranayam (controlled breathing), 5. Pratyahar (introversion), 6. Dharana (concentration), 7. Dhyan (meditation) and 8. Samadhi (superconscious state). Pranayam is the fourth part among them.

1. Origin, definition and vital energy

A. The word pranayam (प्राणायाम) is derived from two words pran (प्राण) and ayam (आयाम). Ayam means to regulate or suppress. Pranayam means regulating the vital energies (pran) in the body.

B. The word pranayam is formed from pran (प्राण) + ayam (अयाम). Ayam means to increase. Pranayam means increasing the vital energy.

C. Out of the subtle (subtle means those which cannot be perceived by the five senses, mind and intellect) frequencies in the atmosphere the proportion of the 360 tama predominant frequencies emitted from the earth is 40%. These are gross among the subtle frequencies. The 108 sattva predominant frequencies coming from the ajanaj or the star region (nakshatralok) too are 40% (refer ‘Science of Spirituality : Chapter 25 – Composition of the Universe). These are most subtle. In pranayam the word ayam is derived from a (to come/to absorb) and yam (continuously). 360 tama frequencies and 108 sattva frequencies are continuously entering the body. The main aim of pranayam is to increase the ability to face these 360 tama frequencies. ‘Science of Spirituality : Chapter 26 – Man’ provides information on the vital body (prandeha). Acquiring control over that vital body, that is vital energy is itself pranayam.

     The vital energies performing various functions in the body have various names. The main among them are the panchapran (five main units of vital energy) and the panchaupapran (the five sub-units of vital energy). Actually there is only one vital energy but according to its functions they are named as panchapran and panchaupapran. With every breath and thought the total oxygen leaves its position in the Brahmarandhra. During inspiration it descends from the Brahmarandhra and on expiration resumes its place in the Brahmarandhra. So also in the interval between two thoughts it goes to the Brahmarandhra.

D. Out of the nine serpents (navanag) – the nine groups of pure spiritual particles, five serpents move within the body as the five internal energies (five vital energies, panchapran). The remaining four are not present in the body of an average person and do so only with spiritual progress, that is all the principles in the universe (brahmanda) enter the subtle body (pinda).

1.1 Panchapran (the five main units of vital energy)

  • 1. Pran: The act of inspiration and the process of incorporation of oxygen into every cell occur because of the ‘pran’ vital energy. Both, the energy performing these functions and the total vital energy too is called ‘pranshakti’. Hence there is a possibility of confusion in the meaning. To avoid such confusion one should remember the simple rule that when words like pran, apan, udan, etc. are used, in that context it refers to the ‘pran’ energy causing inspiration. Otherwise one should consider it as the total vital energy. The main seat of pran is in the heart.
  • 2. Udan: This energy flows upwards. The act of expiration and speaking occur because of this energy. Actually inspiration is an action and expiration a reaction. Its main site is the throat.
  • 3. Saman: Intestinal movements occur because of this energy. To experience the saman energy place the tip of the middle finger of the right or left hand on the navel, note the experience and then read the following section. The moment the finger touches the navel, inspiration or expiration stops, that is, kumbhak occurs. To activate the kundalini (spiritual energy) movement of the saman energy is required. To achieve that, nadibandha (blocking of the channels) is performed. The energy causing nadibandha is called kilak. Kilak is the energy produced by expulsion of saman energy. Its main seat is the navel.
  • 4. Vyan: Most of the voluntary and involuntary actions in the body (beating of the heart, etc.) occur because of this energy. It has no specific seat and is distributed throughout the body.
  • 5. Apan: Excretory functions of the body such as sweating, urination and defaecation, passing flatus, ejaculation, delivery of a baby, etc. occur due to this energy. Its main site is the anus.

स्‍पर्शान्‌ कृत्‍वा बहिर्बाह्यांश्चक्षुश्चैवान्‍तरे भ्रुवो: ।
प्राणापानौ समौ कृत्‍वा नासाभ्‍यन्‍तरचारिणौ ।। – श्रीमद्‌भगवद्‌गीता ५:२७

Meaning: Rejecting external objects and concentrating the gaze midway between the two eyebrows, sages equalise the pran and apan within the nose, keeping only the Final Liberation (Moksha) as their ultimate target. – Shrimadbhagvadgita 5 : 27.

An offering is made unto these vital energies prior to commencing a meal.

The function of some vital energies in relation to the universe is as follows:

  • Pran: the sun
  • Apan: the earth
  • Saman: the hollow/cavity between the sun and the earth.

1.2 Panchaupapran (the five sub-units of vital energy)

  • 1. Nag: causes belching
  • 2. Kurma: causes blinking
  • 3. Krukal: causes sneezing
  • 4. Devdatta: causes yawning
  • 5. Dhananjay: This energy is spread throughout the body and persists in the individual’s body for sometime even after death.

2. Breathing

2.1 Definition and meaning

Everything that is done to maintain one’s existence and form is called breathing. Breathing starts from the time of conception. The act of absorption of air, water, and food by the body cells is referred to as ‘chay (चय)’ and that of excretion as ‘apachay (अपचय)’. The word chayapachay (चयापचय) is derived from the combination of the words chay and apachay.

2.2 Through the nine openings (navadvars) and the skin

In living organisms, tama and sattva predominant frequencies, that is energy enters and leaves the body through the nine openings and the skin. These nine openings are also called the nine centres (navachakras).

The nine openings in
the body and the skin
The amount of
energy entering
the body in all
organisms %
The amount of
energy expelled
by the body in
all organisms %
1. The opening Number    
   a. Eyes 2 2 2
   b. Ears 2 2 1
   c. Nostrils (through the
      medium of air)
2 64 50
   d. Mouth (through the
      medium of food and
      water)
1 30 2
   e. Penis 1 1 1
   f. Anus 1 1 1
2. Skin 43
Total 9 100 100

2.3 Account of the energy

  Amount of energy %
Average
person
Saint of
70% level
Saint of
90% level
1. Input      
   A. Absorption of energy from
        outside the body
     
      1. Through air (nose) 50 30 5
      2. Through water (mouth) 20 10 5
      3. Through food (mouth) 20 10 5
      4. Through eyes, ears,
          penis and anus
10 10 5
   B. Energy produced in
        the body
0 40 70
Total accumulated energy 100 100 90
2. Output / Expenditure      
   A. Use of energy for oneself 10 5 2
   B. Release of energy 90 50 20
Total accumulated energy 100 55 22
3. Accumulated energy =
    Input – expenditure
0 45 68

With practice of pranayam since less energy is spent on oneself it could result in accumulation of energy.

2.4 Breathing in unison (samashvasan)

The expulsion and absorption of energy by all the cells in the body simultaneously, is called breathing in unison. Such breathing occurs because of pranayam. As a result of breathing in unison since unified energy is used, less energy is utilised and thus it accumulates in the body. Similarly if one synchronises one’s breathing with that of any person or animal then one can come to know his or its thoughts and emotions. So also one can control him. These two can be achieved with pranayam.

3. Types

There are several types of pranayams. Information on them can be obtained from a number of books on the subject. Since information on pranayam only from the spiritual viewpoint is discussed here all the types have not been explained in detail.

Slow breathing [is referred to as purak, abhyantarvrutti (attitude) or Brahma], holding it for sometime in the chest [is called purak kumbhak or antar kumbhak, stambhavrutti (pillar attitude) or Vishnu], slow expiration [is called rechak, bahyavrutti (external attitude) or Mahesh] and finally holding the breath for sometime (is called rechak kumbhak or bahya kumbhak). Kumbhak not related to internal or external is called ‘keval (simple) kumbhak’. When kumbhak is practised controlling one’s breath it is called ‘sahit kumbhak’. When kumbhak occurs automatically, without any effort it is called ‘simple kumbhak’.

3.1 Focussing one’s attention on the breath

On an average one breathes 21,600 times per day. Focussing one’s attention on the breath is considered as continuous chanting (ajapajap) of the ‘So’ham (सोऽहं)’ (He is I) mantra. Continuous chanting is that which occurs without one’s own efforts.

3.2 Anulom-vilom pranayam

The word anukaran (अनुकरण) is formed from two words ‘anu (अनु) + karan (करण). ‘Anu’ means that which is already existing and ‘karan’ means an action. With reference to this, anulom means the act of breathing as one usually does. In ‘pratilom (प्रतिलोम)’, ‘prati (प्रति)’ means opposite and ‘pratilom’ means doing the opposite of inspiration, that is expiration.

There is no need to contemplate on how many seconds purak, kumbhak and rechak take because as one reduces the breath gradually, after some years one can practise kumbhak for a maximum period of time. This is the very motive of pranayam. Generally, the duration of inspiration is thrice that of expiration. One should try to equalise the two. In the final stage, the duration of expiration should be a little more than that of inspiration.

A. Chandranulom (Chandrabhed): In this, both the inspiration and expiration are done through the left nostril [through the moon (Chandra) or Ida channel]. The right nostril is closed with the thumb of the right hand. In the beginning one should perform nine such rounds (avartans). Later as one gets habituated to them one should perform twenty-five to thirty rounds. At such times the duration of purak and rechak should be equal. When performing them one should chant a long Omkar in one’s mind.

B. Suryanulom (Suryabhed): In this, both the inspiration and expiration are done through the right nostril [through the sun (Surya) or Pingala channel]. The ring or little finger of the right hand is used to close the left nostril.

The benefits of these types of pranayam are as follows. Usually breathing occurs as follows. Breathing occurs for about an hour through the right nostril. Then for two to four minutes through both the nostrils. Then again through the left nostril for an hour and later for two to four minutes through both. Then again through the right nostril. This cycle goes on continuously. By practising anulom-vilom pranayam one gradually gets used to breathing through both nostrils. This facilitates the opening of the Sushumna channel.

3.3 Antar (internal) kumbhak pranayam

The act: Slow inspiration (purak) – holding the breath for sometime (kumbhak) – slow expiration (rechak).

3.4 Bahya (external) kumbhak pranayam

The act : slow inspiration (purak) – slow expiration (rechak) – holding the breath for sometime (kumbhak).

Besides getting habituated to surviving without oxygen the benefits of pranayam are obtained faster with bahya kumbhak than with antar kumbhak. However the risk in pranayam is higher with bahya kumbhak.

Bandha and kumbhak: ‘In the science of Hathayoga some bandhas from among the types of postures (asans) have been mentioned. They are yogabandha, mahabandha, mahavedha, uddiyan, mulbandha, jalandharbandha, etc. While holding the breath during kumbhak one needs to close some openings out of the nine openings in the body. These yogic bandhas prove very useful for that purpose. A bandha is also useful in directing vital energy from a specific part of the body into another. If one wishes to acquire mastery over pranayam then one should practise bandhas.’(1) Kumbhak (breath holding) performed without bandha may cause headaches, a paunch, etc. Information on various bandhas is given in ‘Chapter 24 : Asan, Bandha and Mudra’.

3.5 Sammishra pranayam

The act : slow inspiration (purak) – holding the breath for sometime (kumbhak) – slow expiration (rechak) – holding the breath for sometime (kumbhak).

3.6 Shuddhikriya pranayam

A. Kapalbhati: Kapal (कपाळ) means the forehead and bhati (भाती) to illuminate. Since the cavities in the bones of the nose and forehead are purified by it, this type of pranayam is called kapalbhati (कपालभाती). It is performed by inspiration followed by sudden contraction of the abdomen, expiration and then inspiration while relaxing the abdomen.

B. Bhasrika: Bhasrika means the bellows of the blacksmith. This is a mixture of kapalbhati and ujjayi pranayams.

C. Normal breathing, kapalbhati and bhasrika: In normal breathing, inspiration is active while expiration is passive. In bhasrika both inspiration and expiration are active. In kapalbhati, as usual the inspiration is active but expiration is more active. Generally, the rate of respiration is sixteen to eighteen breaths per minute. In both, bhasrika and kapalbhati the rate rises to fifty to hundred per minute. There is a higher chance of hyperventilation with carbon dioxide when performing bhasrika rather than with kapalbhati.

3.7 Nadishuddhi (Nadishodhan) – Purification of channels

Nadishuddhi can be done in two ways as follows.

  • 1. Samanu – that is by chanting a bijamantra
  • 2. Nirmanu – that is by some physical action without chanting a bijamantra.

A. Technique

  • 1. Close the right nostril with the right thumb.
  • 2. Breathe in very slowly, silently and regularly through the left nostril (purak).
  • 3. Close the left nostril with the little finger and / or the ring finger.
  • 4. Hold the breath for as long as possible without effort (purak kumbhak). (Some do not advocate holding the breath.)
  • 5. Remove the thumb of the right hand from the right nostril and breathe out very slowly, silently and gradually through the right nostril (rechak).
  • 6. Hold the breath for as long as possible, without effort (rechak kumbhak). (Some do not advocate holding of the breath.)
  • 7. Breathe in slowly, silently and gradually through the right nostril.
  • 8. Close the right nostril with the right thumb.
  • 9. Hold the breath for as long as possible without effort. (Some do not advocate holding the breath.)
  • 10. Remove the little and/or ring finger and breathe out very slowly, silently and gradually through the left nostril.
  • 11. Do not breathe in for as long as possible without effort. (Some do not advocate holding of the breath.)

This is called one round (avartan) of nadishuddhi. Inspiration and expiration are acts to be performed steadily in one rhythm. In the beginning, one should perform seven to eight rounds of nadishuddhi practising the steps from numbers 2 to 11.

B. Benefits

  • Generally breathing occurs as follows. Inspiration and expiration takes three to four seconds. Hence respiration occurs fifteen to twenty times in one minute. When practising pranayam both the acts of inspiration and expiration should be performed slowly, that is, both should take ten to fifteen seconds instead of three to four seconds each. Initially no matter how hard a seeker tries to breathe slowly, the lungs get filled with air within five to seven seconds of breathing through both the nostrils. However if one tries to breathe in slowly through one nostril then it takes ten to fifteen seconds for the lungs to get filled up with air. The same holds good for expiration. No matter how slowly one expires through both the nostrils it takes atleast five to seven seconds. On the contrary, if one expires slowly through one nostril, it takes ten to fifteen seconds. Thus breathing occurs slowly. Hence when practising pranayam initially, to develop the habit of breathing extremely slowly, this technique is useful.
  • Ida and Pingala [refer ‘Science of Spirituality : Chapter 38 – Path of Activation of Spiritual Energy (Kundaliniyoga).] This technique is useful for regulating the energy flow through these channels and to facilitate the activation of the Sushumna channel. By practising this pranayam one is also able to activate either the Ida or Pingala, as desired.

C. Limitations: Once one is able to breathe slowly one should stop using the nirmanu technique, since it involves the movement of hands and consequently the mind cannot concentrate fully.

D. Anulom-vilom and nadishuddhi pranayam

  Anulom-vilom
pranayam
Nadishuddhi
pranayam
1. Breathing extremely slowly Efforts are required Occurs naturally
2. Increasing or decreasing the
    sattva and raja components
    according to the requirement
Impossible Possible
3. Altering the flow of vital energy
    through the IdaPingala
    channels so as to facilitate
    worldly activities.
Impossible Possible
4. Obstacles in meditation due to
    movement of fingers
Meditation becomes
easier since there
are no movements
of fingers
Possible

E. Other techniques

  • When inspiring through the left nostril utter the vayubijamantrayam’ in the mind, sixteen times. Do not expire till it is chanted sixty-four times and after thirty-two times expire through the right nostril. Later when inspiring through the right nostril chant the agnibijamantraram’ in the mind sixteen times. Do not expire till it is chanted sixty-four times and expire slowly through the left nostril after chanting it thirty-two times.
  • When inspiring through the left nostril chant the vahnibijamantratham’ sixteen times. Do not expire till the vayu bijamantrayam’ is chanted sixty-four times. Then chanting ‘lam’ the amrutbija or pruthvibijamantra thirty-two times gradually expire through the right nostril. Then when inspiring chant ‘lam’, when holding the breath ‘yam’ and when expiring ‘tham’ in the mind in the same proportion as given above.
  • Inspire till Lord Brahma’s bijamantraa’ is chanted slowly, sixteen times in the mind. After inspiration chant Vishnu’s bijamantraou’ sixty-four times. When expiring chant Shiva’s bijamantram’ thirty-two times.

In the above three techniques the proportion of purak, kumbhak and rechak is 1:4:2.

3.8 Shitalikaran pranayam

This pranayam overcomes anxiety, stress and helps in keeping the mind calm along with physical relaxation. It also increases the immunity of the respiratory system against disease. Out of these pranayams, sadant pranayam is useful for those suffering from pyorrhoea (pus in the gums).

A. Sitkari: First expire. Then turning the tongue inwards press its tip below the upper teeth. Hold the lips as they remain when one is smiling. Cavities are created between the edges of the lips and the twisted tongue. Inspire air through these cavities making the sound ‘si’. Once the chest is filled with air, stop purak, close the mouth and do rechak. Repeat this four to five times.

B. Shitali: First put the tongue out a little, from in between the lips, and lift it on both sides. Thus the tongue assumes the shape of a canoe. Then compress the tip of the tongue with the lips, creating a cavity there. Gradually inhale air through this cavity. The air passing over the tongue becomes cool and enters the chest. After purak is complete close the mouth and do rechak through the nose. This constitutes one round (avartan). Perform three to four such rounds.

C. Sadant: First press the teeth against each other and mould the lips, as if smiling. Then inhale air slowly, making a sound through the space between the teeth. When inspiration stops, perform rechak through the nose. This is one round. Perform three to four such rounds.

3.9 Mudra pranayam: Bhagshaha shvasan (breathing with various parts of the body)

‘This is a type of breathing to be done before doing pranayam. This breathing proves useful to facilitate proper breathing and to make full use of the functional capacity of the lungs.

A. Adham (breathing through the abdomen): Perform the chit mudra. Sit erect either in sukhasan (the ease posture), vajrasan (the adamant posture) or padmasan (the lotus posture ). Take a deep, slow breath (purak). Let the abdomen relax slowly during inspiration. Hold the breath only for a second (antar kumbhak) and then contracting the abdomen gradually expire (rechak). Before taking the next breath, hold it again for a second in this state itself (bahya kumbhak). Then gradually relaxing the abdomen perform purak. Continue this slow cycle of inspiration-expiration. Do not give jerks or apply pressure. Let the breathing be continuous and regular.

    When performing purak since the abdomen is relaxed, the diaphragm between the chest and abdomen is reduced. As a result, a cavity develops in the lungs (specially the lower zones). Naturally the external air does not reach these zones. Due to the rhythmic movement between the abdomen and diaphragm, the abdominal organs receive equal massage and the blood circulation too increases.

B. Madhyam (chest breathing): Perform the chinmay mudra. The posture adopted should be the same as above. When performing purak instead of the abdomen, relax the chest to a greater extent but gradually. When performing rechak contract it slowly. Do not allow abdominal movements to occur. With this type of breathing, air enters the middle zone of the lungs.

C. Adya (breathing with the help of shoulders): Perform the adi mudra with the hands. The posture adopted should be the same as above. When performing purak slowly raise the shoulders, anteriorly. When performing rechak lower them posteriorly.

     Raising the shoulders creates a cavity in the upper zone of the lungs and the air inhaled enters that part. Otherwise since one’s respiration is superficial that part of the lung is not used much.

D. Yogic breathing: Perform the Brahma mudra with the hands. “Yogic breathing” is a combination of the above three types of breathing. Breathing should be done first with the help of the abdomen, then the chest and finally with the help of the shoulders. During expiration too the same organs should be contracted in the same sequence. This breathing should be performed calmly and regularly without strain on any part or tightening of the face.’(2)

3.10 Other pranayams

A. Ujjayi

  • ‘Expire completely and wait for a moment. Then start inspiring slowly through both the nostrils. Let the soft palate feel the air entering. When breathing let the glottis close the food pipe and wind pipe equally so that the air flowing through the half closed wind pipe makes a hissing “s” sound.
  • Making a gesture of swallowing, bend the neck and let the breath be held automatically. Maintaining this state for some moments make attempts to be aware of the breath held below the throat.
  • Then keeping the glottis half open and making the hissing sound “s” let the air be exhaled through the left nostril.
  • Let the glottis open completely and expel all the air.
  • This constitutes one round (avartan): Do 4 to 5 such rounds.

    In the other types of ujjayi, inspiration-expiration is done through each nostril. The importance in this type is attributed to decreasing the respiratory rate by compressing the palate upwards.’(3)

B. Bhramari

  • ‘Inhale through both the nostrils and let the air circulate in the mouth imitating the sound of a drone. Let the entire body feel the vibrations generated. Then let the breath stop automatically.
  • While exhaling, mimic the melodious sound of a female honeybee. Now it becomes easier. Wait after exhalation for a second. Repeat these rounds several times.

About bhramari it is said: “By practising pranayam this way the yogi experiences Bliss beyond description !” ’ (4)

3.11 According to the day and night

From sunrise to sunset one should inspire through the left nostril and expire through the right. From sunset to sunrise one should inspire through the right nostril and expire through the left.

During the day, when there is sunlight one should inspire through the left nostril so that the moon channel (Chandra nadi) is activated and at night, in the absence of the sun one should inspire through the right nostril so that the sun channel (Surya nadi) is operational. Thus if one performs acts contrary to the environment then the effects of the environment on oneself are reduced. Also with breathing through one nostril throughout the day one gets used to slow breathing, quickly.

3.12 Sanhita pranayam: Sagarbha and agarbha (nirgarbha) pranayams

The pranayam done chanting a mantra is called sagarbha and that done without a mantra is called agarbha (nirgarbha). The mantra is naturally chanted mentally because if done loudly then one will only be able to expire.

A. The three step (tripad) Gayatri: In this, Om (ॐ) appears twice as given below.

ॐ भूर्भुव: स्‍व: ।
ॐ तत्‌ सवितु: वरेण्‍यं भर्गो देवस्‍य धीमहि ।
ॐ धियो योन: प्रचोदयात्‌ ।

Om bhurbhuvaha svaha.
Om tat savituhu varenyam bhargo devasya dhimahi.
Om dhiyo yonaha prachodayat.

     In the three step Gayatri if one mentally chants the first step during inspiration, the second when holding the breath and the third during expiration then pranayam with purak, kumbhak and rechak in the proportion of l : 4 : 2, too occurs.

B. The four step (chatushpad) Gayatri: In this four step Gayatri besides the three Oms of the three step Gayatri, the fourth is added after ‘prachodayat’. Due to this fourth Om, kumbhak (breath holding) after rechak (expiration) also occurs.

Reference:

[1]. Vol 6. Pg. 33 First Edition, Bharatiya Sanskrutikosh. Publisher : Pandit Mahadevshastri Joshi, Secretary, Bharatiya Sanskrutikosh Mandal, 410 Shanivarpeth, Pune 411 030.

Yoga – Asane, Pranayam, Mudra, Kriya. First edition, June 1996. Publisher : V.N.Limaye, Sachiv – Vivekanand Kendra Prakashan, Marathi Section, 1890, Sadashiv Peth, Natubag, Pune – 411 030.
[2]. Pg. 53                  [3]. Pg.56
[4]. Pg. 58.

 

Righteousness – key to control desires

Contents


Control Over Sexual Desire

Generally that what is referred to as intercourse is the external union. This chapter is in relation to this union. The real union however, is that of the embodied soul (jiva) with The Supreme God (Shiva); it is the internal union.

1. Universal Sexuality

A. Sexual intercourse (sambhog): In ‘samyak bhogayati (सम्‍यक्‌ भोगयति)’, samyak (सम्‍यक्‌) means maintaining a balance and bhog [bhagaha (भग:)] means radiance. Thus sexual intercourse (sambhog) means that by means of which one maintains an equilibrium and acquires the experience of radiance. Sexual intercourse is thus any act performed with the motive of creation. The process of preparing a medicine (rasayan) by combining two chemicals is also called sambhog.

B. An universal sacrificial fire (vishvayadnya): A sacrificial fire (yadnya) is any process through which something is generated after offering an oblation in it. Sexual intercourse is the sacrificial fire of universal creation. The process of universal creation started through the vishvayadnya of the completely nude Earth and God and it still continues. Since sexual intercourse is a symbol of creation it is considered to be pure. In the universe, sexual intercourse goes on everywhere, continuously. The union (sambhog) of the air in a room and the rotating fan produces the offspring, breeze. The introduction of sacrificial offerings of radiance in the form of semen from the penis into the sacrificial pot of the fire (in the form) of the vagina is sambhog (sexual intercourse). Since there is generation of progeny from it, the vagina is called mahabhagoshtha or mahabhag and the uterus is called the garbha region (garbhalok).

2. The sex life of an animal, man and a progressed seeker or a saint

A. ‘There is a vast difference in sexual attitudes between man and other animals. In animals, intercourse occurs only during the fertile period (rutukal) and never during pregnancy, hence untimely ejaculation does not occur, and physical fitness never fails. The Supreme God created the Vedas in the same way as a father aware of the lamentable state of man arising from this relationship, wholeheartedly preaches essential knowledge to his son.’(1)

B. Since there is only physical union, intercourse in animals is in an unevolved state. In man however, it is evolved since along with the physical body there is union of the mind as well. Only this kind of intercourse has the right to be called ‘human intercourse’. Intercourse with a prostitute or without union of minds, is intercourse between animals.

C. When a progressed seeker or a saint has sexual intercourse, along with the body and mind the embodied soul (jiva) too is involved in it. There the emotion is that of surrender. Hence in that intercourse one may experience Bliss (Brahmanand). (Surrender is the preparedness to forget one’s existence, as otherwise each one struggles for one’s independent existence.) An embodied soul whose spiritual practice has been arrested (an evolved soul) enters the product of conception of such an intercourse.

3. Why is sexual desire the most powerful among all desires?

The table given below compares sexual desire and other desires. From this one will realise why sexual desire is the most powerful of all desires.

  Other desires Sexual desire
1. The sense organ Mostly, only one sense
organ fulfills a desire
e.g. desire to eat a
jalebi (an Indian sweet)
is satisfied by the
tongue
Most of the sense
organs are involved in
the fulfillment of this
desire e.g. the eyes,
ears, tongue, lips,
(skin), nose, etc.
2. Unfulfillment Less often Most often
3. Causes of unfulfillment    
   A. Dependence on another
     person for fulfillment of
     the desire
Absent Present
   B. Social inhibitions Absent e.g. a jalebi can
be eaten anywhere
Present e.g. one
cannot have sex
anywhere
   C. Opportunities for
     fulfillment
More Less

The analysis of happiness experienced at orgasm is given in ‘Science of Spirituality : Vol. 1B – Spirituality’ under ‘Happiness and Bliss’.

A quote from the Yogavasishtha (5.52.21) says

कुरङ्‌गालिपतङ्‌गेभमीनास्‍त्‍वेकैकशो हता: ।
सर्वैर्युक्‍तैरनर्थैस्‍तु व्‍याप्‍तस्‍याज्ञ कुत: सुखम्‌ ।

    Meaning: (Sage Uddalak preaches to Adnyachitta) sense objects such as words, speech, etc. are so disastrous that those embodied souls attached to a particular object like the deer, bumble-bee, kite, elephant and fish get destroyed. Then is it astonishing that man who gets engrossed in all these five objects is wrought with tragedy? How will he be happy?

Since man has intense sexual desire the Manusmruti (2.215) says

मात्रा स्‍वस्रा दुहित्रा वा न विविक्‍तासनो भवेत्‌ ।
बलवानिन्‍द्रियग्रामो विव्‍दांसमपि कर्षति ।।

     Meaning: A man should never sleep on the same bed or sit on the same seat along with his mother, sister or daughter because attraction of the sense organs is so strong that it could drive even a great scholar towards them.

4. Types of sexual desire

Good: Good sexual desire is not bad, instead is laudable, as it is necessary for procreation. Hence, the deity of sexual desire is called a deity, Kamadev and not an enemy.

Bad: Sexual desire in illicit relationships, rape, etc. is bad.

5. Benefits of acquiring control over sexual desire

One will agree that it is necessary to gain control over bad sexual desire but it will puzzle one as to why one should acquire control over good sexual desire. It is answered as follows:

A. The table below shows the percentage of obstacles various sexual acts pose to spiritual practice.

Sexual act Obstacle in spiritual
practice %
1. Thinking about a woman / man 0.5
2. Masturbation after a sexual thought 2
3. Exhibiting sex organs to others 5
4. Reciprocal masturbation 10
5. Intercourse due to other’s wish (parechcha) 30
6. Intercourse due to one’s own wish (svechcha) 100*

* 100% obstacle means loss of five turns of chanting of a mala (rosary) done with spiritual emotion (bhav).

B. Whatever be the motive of the sexual desire, the impression that ‘fulfillment of sexual desire means happiness’ develops in the subconscious mind and to be able to experience that happiness again and again, sexual desire gets aroused. Thus it hinders the speed of traversing from happiness to Bliss, that is spiritual progress.

C. By avoiding sexual pleasure not only is one able to control sexual desire but also the energy and time required for it is prevented from being wasted. This energy and time can be utilised benevolently, to make spiritual progress. The energy utilised in sexual intercourse is greater than in any other physical activity. Even modern science has proved this.

D. If short lasting happiness is experienced continuously then there will be no time left to devote to the study (spiritual practice) of everlasting happiness (Bliss). If one restricts the experiencing of object pleasure then one gets time for the study (spiritual practice) of unlimited happiness (Bliss). To achieve this while experiencing happiness within the limits of Righteousness (Dharma), one should remain more and more bound by limitations.

E. Even a drop of semen ejaculated has the potential to create an embodied soul (jiva) laden with divine consciousness (chaitanya). So, instead of ejaculating it if it is retained in the body then imagine how much divine consciousness the body will acquire.

F.  सुगंधो योगिनो देहे जायते बिंदुधारणात्‌ ।।
     यावद्‌ बिंदु: स्‍थिरो देहे तावत्‍कालभयं कुत: ।।१।।
     एवं संरक्षयेद्‌ बिंदुं मृत्‍युं जयति योगवित्‌ ।।
     मरणं बिंदुपातेन जीवनं बिंदुधारणात्‌ ।।२।। – योगप्रदीपिका

     Meaning: If the semen remains constant then strength of the body builds up, steadiness is achieved and there is no fear of life. Hence yogis conserve semen and win over death. Seminal loss means death and its conservation is the best possible way of attaining immortality.
                                                                  – Yogapradipika

6. Methods of acquiring control over sexual desire

‘Once Baba asked Shrikrushna, “Supposing I get attracted to a woman and the outcome is bad then is it my fault? O Lord, is it not You who have given me that desire?” Shrikrushna responded, “Yes, the fault is yours. Though the bad thought entered your mind you did not make use of the good intellect bestowed upon you. This is your fault”.’(2)

Some people feel that desire may decline after its fulfillment. For example one day if one devours jalebis till one is fed up, then from that day onwards one will never feel like eating jalebis again. However, the possibility of this occurrence is just one in one lakh. Hence, saying that one will acquire control over sexual desire by experiencing sexual pleasure is unreasonable. Therefore –

न जातु काम: कामानामुपभोगेन शाम्‍यति ।
हविषा कृष्‍णवर्त्‍मेव भूय एवाभिवर्धते ।। – श्रीमद्‌भागवत ९.१९.१४

According to this quote, from Shrimadbhagvat (9:19:14) if one continues to obtain gratification instead of the desire decreasing, it keeps increasing just like a fire which burns even more brilliantly after pouring clarified butter (ghee) into it.

The various methods of acquiring control over sexual desire are given below.

6.1 According to the Path of Action (Karmayoga)

A. Preventing arousal of sexual desire

द्रष्‍टा दृश्‍यवशात्‌ बद्ध: ।

     Meaning: Drashta (द्रष्‍टा) means the observer, drushyavashat (दृश्‍यवशात्‌) means because of the vision and baddhaha (बद्ध:) means being entrapped in bondage. Hence if a scene arousing sexual desire is present then the seeker will get entrapped in it. If not, then the possibility of sexual desire being aroused is less. However, usually one cannot have control over external scenes.

If a stimulus arousing sexual desire reaches the mind through the five senses, then there is a possibility of it being aroused. To prevent this from happening one should block one’s sense organs from receiving sexual stimuli. This itself is called pratyahar. It is well-known that Lakshman always looked at Sita’s feet. H.H. Saint’s Guru, H.H. Swami, never looked at women. When speaking to women He would fix His gaze on the tip of His nose. There is a rule in the Swaminarayan sect that male seekers should not remain in the proximity of women; the reason for this is the same.

B. Decreasing sexual activity stepwise: In context to acquiring control over sexual desire, first let us understand the stages in sexual desire and their fulfillment. In adolescence, a boy gets sexual desire for different women. Later, when he falls in love or marries a girl, sexual desire for only one woman is aroused instead of for many, or sexual activity is performed with only one woman. In view of reducing sexual activity with one’s wife, the scriptures state that one should not indulge in sexual activity on various auspicious days. As activity decreases, automatically desire too decreases. It is for this very reason that after entering the stage of the retired householder (vanaprasthashram) from that of the married householder (gruhasthashram), sexual activity is completely forbidden.

C. Path of Deliberate Rigour (Hathayoga): Sexual desire is of two types – voluntary and involuntary. By acquiring progressive control over acts such as breathing and blinking by doing spiritual practices such as pranayam and tratak respectively, one can acquire control over involuntary sexual desire. As a result, one can also acquire control over voluntary sexual desire.

D. Observing celibacy (brahmacharya): Brahmacharya (ब्रह्मचर्य) is derived from two words Brahman (ब्रह्म), towards Brahman and charya (चर्य), to walk. Thus it means going (from happiness) towards Bliss, because Brahman is Blissful. In the literal sense celibacy is applicable to all seekers, but conventionally it refers to a seeker who does spiritual practice avoiding the experience of sexual pleasure, since adolescence.

When defining brahmacharya a quote states that ‘ब्रह्मचर्याणां 
सर्वावस्‍थासु मनोवाक्‍कायकर्मभि: सर्वत्र मैथुनत्‍याग: ।’ meaning the sacrifice of intercourse in all states of the body, mind and speech is known as celibacy.

स्‍मरणं कीर्तनं केली श्रवणं गुह्यभाषणम्‌ ।
संकल्‍पोऽध्‍यवसायश्च क्रियानिष्‍पत्ति एव च ।
एतद्‌ मैथुनं अष्‍टांगं प्रवदन्‍ति मनैषिणा: ।

Meaning: 1. Thinking of a woman, 2. Description of her qualities, 3. Playing games with her, 4. Listening to her talk, 5. Speaking to her when alone, 6. Wishing to acquire her, 7. Trying to acquire her and 8. Actual intercourse are the eight types of sexual intercourse.

Hence a seeker should not indulge in any of the above activities. A seeker’s celibacy is destroyed by anyone of the above eight sexual acts. A married householder’s celibacy however is destroyed only by the actual sexual act. The more one progresses towards the sattva component the more are the restrictions.

‘A man should indulge in sexual activity for procreation only with his wife during the rutu period (on ten days excluding the first four days of menses), excluding the day and the three hours of the night (prahar), in his own home. With this behaviour celibacy is retained, steadiness develops and healthy and virtuous progeny is born.’ (3)

The holy texts state that a householder experiencing sexual pleasure only once a month can be considered a celibate.

When performing purashcharan (reading of holy texts, chanting of a mantra) it is essential to observe celibacy. During the recitation of the Gayatri purashcharan, periodic reading (parayan) of the Shri Gurucharitra, etc. along with the one performing the purashcharan, his wife, priest and other close acquaintances too should observe celibacy.

E. Emulating saints: Since there is a possibility that a seeker’s mind may wander he should follow the above rules. Some people are puzzled as to why saints too behave in that way. The answer is as follows:

  • One of the objectives of a saint is to set a good example to to seekers and His devotees. If the Guru looks at women, then a seeker in the primary stage will think ‘the Guru does not practise what He preaches’. Such thoughts may reduce his faith in the Guru.
  • ‘Question: Swami, why do You always look down?

    Answer: I am looking at Lord Rama’s image within Me !’

6.2 According to the Path of Devotion (Bhaktiyoga)

To prevent arousal of sexual desire due to sensations from the five sense organs one should develop the attitude of reacting to every sensation as if it were a sensation in relation to God. For example if one hears a song of one pining for her lover (like ‘when will my eyes meet yours O beloved?’), one should think or imagine that one is pining for God. Desires are destroyed by devotion alone and not by mantras. Destruction means its conversion to spiritual love. One cannot decipher whether love is erotic or spiritual, hence even great people sometimes falter. Spiritual love means love for the woman / man, devoid of desire.

If one attempts to see God in every individual then sexual desire does not get aroused.

6.3 According to the Path of Knowledge (Dnyanyoga)

One should think that everything one sees is Brahman.

6.4 According to the technique of autosuggestion

Refer to the technique of autosuggestions in ‘Science of Spirituality : Chapter 3 – Practice of Spirituality’.

A. To prevent sexual thoughts from entering the mind the autosuggestions to be given are ‘I will continuously think only about spiritual practice, for example ‘whenever I am not talking to anyone or thinking about a useful task, I will start chanting……’.

B. Using ‘the psychofeedback technique’ the suggestions that may be used are as follows :

  • ‘Whenever I get sexual thoughts I will become aware of them and will start thinking about spiritual practice’ can be given. Mostly the suggestion begins to take effect within three to four months.
  • If after three to four months there is still no effect with the above suggestion then give the following suggestion : ‘Whenever I get sexual thoughts I will become aware of them and pinch myself hard’. By using this technique, the usual impression that ‘sexual thoughts mean happiness’ is replaced by ‘sexual thoughts mean pain’ in the subconscious mind. Hence, sexual thoughts start decreasing.

C. To erase the association from the subconscious mind that sexual activity means happiness, the following suggestions can be given:

‘During sexual intercourse, specially during orgasm, thoughts about spiritual practice (e.g. chanting) will continue in my mind’. With such a suggestion when one does not derive happiness from sexual activity, eventually sexual thoughts start decreasing.

D. Imagery in a hypnotic trance : Using this technique of autosuggestion, one can give a suggestion like, ‘when walking on the road I was not distracted by beautiful women passing by or the exciting posters as I was thinking about spiritual practice or chanting’.

E. Thoughts regarding sexual activity : If one thinks about sexual activity with someone with whom it is impossible, then since the sexual act cannot be performed, naturally the gratification obtained at orgasm is not obtained. This facilitates reduction of sexual desire. To accomplish this, one can give suggestions like, ‘when masturbating instead of fantasizing that I am having sex with my spouse (lover), I will imagine that I am having sex with the woman / man I saw in the picture’. With such suggestions sexual desire for the spouse starts decreasing. Since it is impossible to indulge in sexual activity with the person in the picture, the overall sexual desire starts decreasing.

In brief, in most people, ‘in childhood there is no sexual desire -> later, sexual desire for many women / men develops -> more sexual desire for only one woman / man develops -> sexual activity is performed with only one woman / man. If one goes exactly in the reverse direction stepwise, that is sexual activity with only one woman / man -> more sexual desire for only one woman / man -> sexual desire for many women / men -> no sexual desire, then it is possible to acquire control over sexual desire. However, those who consider even thinking of another woman / man as sinful, should make use of other suggestions instead of these.

F. To increase the effectiveness of the other paths, the concepts from the respective path can be given as autosuggestions to impress them upon the mind. This facilitates their acceptance, for example :

  • According to the Path of Knowledge, to actually experience the concept that ‘everything that I see is Brahman’ this sentence should constantly be remembered as an autosuggestion.
  • To decrease the attraction for another’s body if the thought that ‘the body is just a mass of flesh, excreta and urine’ is impressed upon the mind through autosuggestions then sexual desire declines rapidly.

G. The following table shows how one can gain stepwise control over sexual desire. Going to the number, higher than the one applicable to oneself, by giving suggestions to oneself means completing one stage.

  • If the numbers 1, 16, 31 and 46 are applicable to one then one should give suggestions to oneself so as to achieve the motives under numbers 2, 17, 32 and 47. As a result, the frequency of those activities starts decreasing.
  • If it is not possible for one to reduce the frequency of the activities under numbers 1, 16, 31and 46 one should give auto-suggestions so as to achieve the motives under numbers 6, 21, 36 and 51. Hence even though the frequency of sexual activity does not decrease there is a qualitative improvement in the activity. For example, if instead of number 1 one is able to act according to number 6 then though the frequency of sexual activity is once or twice a week, it is only with one’s spouse instead of different women / men.
  Once or
twice a
week
Once or
twice a
month
5-6 times
a year
Only once
in several
years
1. Sexual intercourse        
    Different women/men 1 2 3 4
    Own spouse (wife/husband) 6 7 8 9
    Others (specify) 11 12 13 14
2. Sexual desire        
    Different women/men 16 17 18 19
    Own spouse (wife/husband) 21 22 23 24
    Others (specify) 26 27 28 29
3. Fantacy during masturbation        
    Different women/men 31 32 33 34
    Own spouse (wife/husband) 36 37 38 39
    Others (specify) 41 42 43 44
4. Experiencing orgasm when
    fantasizing about sex
       
    Different women/men 46 47 48 49
    Own spouse (wife/husband) 51 52 53 54
    Own spouse with someone
    else
56 57 58 59
    Any women with any man 61 62 63 64
    A nude woman/man 66 67 68 69
    A woman/man 71 72 73 74
    Vague 76 77 78 79
5. Noctural emissions        
    Ejaculation without being
    aware of the dream
81 82 83 84
    Realising that ejaculation
    had occurred, the next day
86 87 88 89
6. Others 91 92 93 94

6.5 Following Righteousness (Dharma)

The general tendency of people is to behave well with one who makes them happy. Average people tend to call a person who behaves nicely with them, good. Keeping exactly this secret of the attitude of an average person in mind, the code of the married householder has been framed. Moreover this secret itself lays the foundation of the religious code of the married householder’s life. The furthest limit of worldly happiness is sex. Hence in the Ayurveda intercourse is called the seat of Bliss (Anandsthan). In other words, though in the Satyayug carrying forward the lineage was the motive behind intercourse, gradually with the successive yugs it began to decline and the objective that intercourse should concomittantly result in progeny came into being. Mentally one has to go from the Kaliyug to the Satyayug, that is one has to make spiritual progress. Hence one should remember that life is not meant for enjoying material objects but these objects are necessary only to facilitate the journey of life. This is the very basis of our culture.

For one who is unable to love platonically, sexual intercourse is a means of uniting with the mind, by gradually developing physical attachment. Man acquires intense worldly happiness from the woman he marries. So also, the woman. Thus the implied meaning of marriage is that the couple should love each other deeply. The quality of love is that, as one starts loving someone and along with it follows Righteousness and remains in the holy company of renunciants, gradually it acquires a dimension of love without expectations. Love slowly shifts from the body to the mind. This itself is called widening of the horizons of love. Hence for the one who is unable to renounce material objects all of a sudden, the method of reducing it stepwise, is marriage. As the physical attachment of the couple starts decreasing they are able to love their children proportionately more and more. That is, they wish for the well-being of their children. Welfare means the fulfillment of human birth! From this one will realise how wrong is the belief that by following Righteousness, man becomes detached and more and more inactive day by day. Holy texts of great sages who have realised God will themselves illustrate how vastly expansive Their love for others is, that is how much They love the world.

The holy text Navanath Bhaktisar gives an apologue of King Bhartruharinath. To see how much Queen Pingala loved him, the king falsely informed her that he was dead. Upon hearing this, she became a sati (entered the pyre). When Bhartruharinath came to know of it he was about to jump into the pyre when the others stopped him. Then for twelve years he remained in the crematorium waiting for Queen Pingala. What is amusing is that inspite of having twelve hundred queens, his love had shifted from the body to the mind. Pingala too became a sati as her love had shifted onto the psychological plane. The twelve hundred queens were only physically attached and hence they did not become satis. Since the king was fed up of physical love he did not want their bodies but he wanted Pingala. Later Gorakhnath released the king from the Great Illusion (Maya). One gets sattvik (sattva predominant) Bliss in another’s company only when attachment for the physical body is reduced.

6.6 Satsang (holy company)

By remaining in satsang, due to an increase in the sattva component, atleast during that period sexual thoughts do not enter the mind.

6.7 The Guru’s grace (Gurukrupa)

So long as there is duality there will be sexual desire. Only when one reaches non-duality does it end. To accomplish it, there is definitely no better path than the Guru’s grace.

6.8 Realisation of God (Ishvarsakshatkar)

विषया विनिवर्तन्‍ते निराहारस्‍य देहिन: ।
रसवर्जं रसोऽप्‍यस्‍य परं दृष्‍ट्‌वा निवर्तते ।। – श्रीमद्‌भगवद्‌गीता (२.५९)

Meaning: A man who does not eat is liberated from all desires except the sexual desire. However after acquiring spiritual knowledge of The Supreme Brahman the attraction for all desires including sexual desire, disappears. – Shrimadbhagvadgita 2.59

Implied meaning: If man remains hungry, that is without food then one feels that his desire is dead, but this does not happen. Only since the body does not receive nourishment the desire appears to have died. Just as a tree dries up and appears lifeless if it does not receive sufficient water for many days and regains its freshness when the roots start receiving some water, so also if man remains without food then his sense organs become incapable of experiencing object pleasure. This however is not detachment. Once he starts eating again as earlier, the sense organs get attracted towards objects. Then ‘how to detach oneself from objects?’ ‘By eliminating the desire for them’, is the description given to express the purport. Then when will one be totally detached from objects ? It is answered as ‘with the realisation (sakshatkar) of The Supreme (Param) Brahman, the soul, the objects are destroyed totally and one acquires the realisation of God only with the Guru’s grace.

7. ‘Seminal loss means death’

Swami Vivekanand, Swami Shivanand, etc. have expressed concepts like ‘seminal loss means death’. Without considering in whose context they were said, in India two to three generations have accepted these statements as established facts and this has caused considerable loss to them. Doctors all over the world unanimously emphasize that loss of semen during intercourse, masturbation or in nocturnal emissions does not cause any harm and research has proved that seminal ejaculation is harmless. Inspite of this being so, how could Swami Vivekanand or Swami Shivanand make wrong statements? This is a doubt which many young people harbour. If one tries to understand the context of this statement, it will be clear that neither the doctor nor the Swami is wrong.

Intended for whom?: This statement was not directed towards the average person. It was meant for seekers desirous of spiritual progress.

The intention behind the statement: The intention behind making the statement was to wipe off the existing impression or to prevent the development of the impression that ‘ejaculation means happiness’ in the subconscious mind of a seeker following the path of Yoga. Other examples of this are famous statements like ‘the mother is a goddess (मातृदेवो भव ।)’ along with ‘a woman is just a mass of blood and flesh’. Such statements are meant to create aversion that is ‘dislike in the mind’ according to psychology. Only seekers should contemplate on these statements in this context. Others should not even read them.

8. Progress

A. Control according to the spiritual level: The table below explains how the sexual life at various spiritual levels is. From that a seeker will realise how much control over sexual desire he has acquired.

Spiritual
level %
Amount of sexual
activity %
Sexual thoughts and
happiness acquired
through sexual activity %
20 100 100
30 80 90
40 60 70
50 40 40
60 20 20
70 10 5
80 2
(Rarely in the dream)
2
90 0 0

B. Urdhvaretas: Urdhva (ऊर्ध्‍व) means the zenith and retas (रेतस्‌) means semen. Urdhvaretas (ऊर्ध्‍वरेतस्‌) means the one whose semen flows upwards. In an average person semen flows downwards. He is called adhoretas. Contrary to this, the semen of evolved people specially those following the path of Yoga gets converted into oja (precursor of divine energy), hence they are called urdhvaretas. The oja circulates throughout the body. Since the oja has an effect on the physical body, their physical bodies appear radiant and lustrous. A similar lustre is seen on the bodies of eunuchs who have been castrated. (Some acts in Yoga teach how the excreted semen, urine, etc. is to be reabsorbed.)

As one becomes an urdhvaretas gradually the passage of seminal excretion becomes narrow. Though the passage becomes narrow, the sexual desire is not reduced. If one indulges in sexual activity under such circumstances, then when semen is ejaculated through the narrowed seminal passage instead of happiness one experiences pain. This facilitates further reduction of sexual desire.

Reference:

Jivitvidya Athva Satyam Shivam Sundaram. Second edition, 1979. Author : Late Hari Ganesh Godbole. Publisher : Govind Yashvant Rane. G.Y. Rane Publishers, 2040 Sadashiv Peth, Tilak Road, Pune 400 030.
[1]. Pg. 42        [3]. Pg. 43

 

Chanting of Lord’s Name: Best tool for observing silence

Contents


1. Definition of Path of Silence (Mounyoga)

Achieving progressive control over the organs of speech, body and mind is moun (silence). According to the Path of Devotion (Bhaktimarg), ‘forgetting to speak as a result of remaining engrossed in contemplation of God’, is the real silence.

2. Types of Moun

2.1 According to the state

The table below gives information on the different types of silence (moun).

  Silence of speech
(Vak-moun). The
silence of hearing
(Karnamoun)
Silence as of
wood
(Kashta-moun)
Deep sleep
silence
(Sushupti
moun)
Great
silence
(Maha-
moun)
1. Signs Not uttering a
single word means
silence of speech
(Vak-moun) and
not even hearing
one’s own speech
is silence of hearing
(Karnamoun)
Remaining still
akin to wood
without any
expression,
gestures etc. (In
reality more
energy is wasted
in responding by
nodding gesturin-
g or saying ‘ham,
hum’ than in
speaking)
The silence
in all three
states,
waking,
dream and
sleep
One
who has
gone
beyond
speech
and
silence
2. The organ or
    body involved
    in the practice
    of silence
The organs of
speech
The physical
body
The mental
and causal
body
The
supra
causal
body
3. The spiritual
    level % after
    attaining the
    state
60 70 80 85
4. The mode of
    speech in
    operation*
Madhyama Pashyanti Pashyanti Pashyanti

* Information on the four modes of speech viz. Vaikhari, Madhyama, Pashyanti and Para is given in ‘Science of Spirituality: Chapter 9 – Path of Chanting The Lord’s Name (Namasankirtanyoga)’.

2.2 According to the cause

A. Incidental: If one feels that expressing one’s opinion will complicate the issue or will be unacceptable to the other, then under those circumstances, an individual observes silence.

B. Occasional

  • When performing ritualistic worship (puja), chanting, etc.
  • When eating
  • When performing religious observances on certain days of the week like Thursday, auspicious dates (tithis) like the eighth day (ashtami) and the eleventh day (ekadashi) of the Hindu lunar calendar and during the four months of Shravan, Bhadrapad, Ashvin, Kartik (chaturmas) of the Hindu lunar calendar.
  • When listening to the story of Mangalagouri
  • During menses

C. Daily ablutions

उत्‍सर्गे मैथुने चैव प्रस्रावे दन्‍तधावने ।
श्राद्धे भोजनकाले च षट्‌सु मौनं समाचरेत्‌ ।।

Meaning: During cleansing processes like defaecation, urination, blowing the nose, cleaning wax from the ears, removing discharge from the eyes, etc. and also during intercourse, when one has a bleeding wound, when brushing teeth, performing religious rites for the departed (shraddha) and when eating, one should maintain silence.

3. Benefits of observing Moun

3.1 According to physiology

A. According to physiology:

  • One can conserve the energy wasted in speaking by observing silence.

3.2 According to psychology

  • Several worldly problems are a consequence of speaking. By observing silence they are naturally avoided.
  • One can avoid telling lies.
  • Speaking is a result of thinking and emotions. If one does not express one’s thoughts and emotions like anger, then gradually they come under control and the impressions from the subconscious mind decrease. This means that observing silence with the body makes it easier to achieve silence of the mind.
  • Usually since one is not multilingual, the barrier of language can be overcome by speaking with gesticulations.
  • Concentration and contemplation are possible because of silence.

3.3 According to the science of Spirituality

  • It helps to develop an introverted attitude. Ritualistic worship (puja), reading holy books, periodic reading of holy texts (parayans), meditation and chanting The Lord’s Name are all a type of silence.‘Observing silence is of great importance in the study of establishing communion with The Lord. Since it is directly related to speech, when the mind wanders towards the world forgetting God, speech becomes one of its important media. Communion with God is not possible without introversion. Unless the mind gives up the habit of wandering outwards, which it does rapidly through the medium of speech it cannot become introverted. Hence when speech is curtailed, the extroverted nature of the mind automatically becomes feeble.’ (1)
  • The raja component begins to decrease and hence, the sattva component increases.
  • If a certain thing remains unused, it accumulates. For instance if money remains unspent, it gets accumulated and one becomes financially prosperous. Similarly, if one does not speak then the energy in words increases, that is one acquires the supernatural power of speech (vaksiddhi) by which whatever one speaks comes true. One also acquires the ability to bestow a curse or a boon.
  • After acquiring the supernatural power of speech, that is the state when whatever is spoken comes true, if one observes silence, one does not have to repent for that which has come true due to what was uttered accidentally.
  • The individual learns to maintain the stance of an observer. Due to these benefits, it is said ‘Silence can achieve everything (मौनं सर्वार्थसाधनम्‌ ।)’ (2)

4. Practical suggestions

A. The stages in silence of speech (vak-moun), silence of hearing (karnamoun)

  • Not speaking that which will hurt others
  • Avoiding useless discussions, chattering, arguments, etc.
  • Speaking less
  • Speaking only what is essential
  • Speaking only on Spirituality if one has to speak, at all.

B. Initially whilst observing silence, it is better not to remain in the proximity of others. Thus there is no question of either speaking by accident or getting thoughts about others. If it is not possible to practise silence in one’s home, then it should be practised in isolation. Since one cannot express any thoughts, initially one gets frustrated from within. Considering this point as well, remaining in solitude proves beneficial.

C. In the period of silence one should not read newspapers, listen to the radio, watch television, etc. as there is a possibility of getting distracted.

D. One should give prior instructions verbally or written, about what food one will eat, etc. as more energy is expended in expressing thoughts through gestures, rather than actual speaking. Besides, there is a possibility of misinterpretation by others.

E. One should practise silence for one to two hours on working days and five to six hours on holidays. Then the period of silence should be increased to one full day, a week, a fortnight, a month and so on. Each period of observance of silence consists of forty days. This is called an anushthan. After one anushthan one should break the period of silence for atleast two to four days. Subsequently one may observe another anushthan.

F. In the period of silence one should engage in chanting, concentration, meditation or introspection, so as to avoid thoughts in relation to speech.

    ‘The real support for silence is chanting The Lord’s Name itself. Without chanting, the one practising silence can get deluded. Chanting is the real secret of silence.’
                                                          – Saint

H. It is essential to observe silence when performing vowed religious observances (vrats, vaikalyas) and periodic reading of holy texts (parayans). As a result, the sattva component as well as the spiritual emotion (bhav) increases and the benefits derived from it are augmented.

5. Achieving silence of speech (vak-moun) automatically

In any path of Yoga, when desires and instincts and queries of the mind are over, the attitude becomes introverted and silence of speech is automatically achieved.

6. A sage (muni), a sage with steady intellect (sthitapradnya muni) and a great sage (mahamuni)

A. A sage (muni): The one who speaks on no subject other than Spirituality is referred to as a sage.

B. A sage with steady intellect (sthitapradnya muni)

Vachamyam is a seeker who observes silence. The description of such a saint is given in Shrimadbhagvadgita (2.56) as follows:

दु:खेष्‍वनुव्‍दिग्नमना: सुखेषु विगतस्‍पृह: ।
वीतरागभयक्रोध: स्‍थितधीर्मुनिरुच्‍यते ।।

Meaning: He who is unperturbed by sorrow, is unattached to happiness, love (affection), fear and anger is called a sage of steady intellect.’(2)

C. The great sage (mahamuni)

He who has renounced words is a mouni
Hence one can practise the Yogas with fervour
                                                   – Shri Dasbodh 17.5.9

Implied meaning: ‘Despite speaking, the liberated souls do not speak. Silence and spiritual knowledge are The Lord’s secret manifestations, all the others are expressed manifestations. Hence, silence (moun) is described as a psychological penance, instead of a vocal one. That is, as long as there is desire for objects the silence of speech cannot be considered to be the real silence. Brahman is described as the ‘Wordless Brahman’. Hence those who are liberated while still embodied and have experienced that ‘I am Brahman’ are said to be practising silence although they are speaking. Of the different types of silence, deep sleep silence (sushuptimoun) and great silence (mahamoun) are of this type. In short, speech is worldly, not speaking is Spirituality and silence is Brahman. In other words, losing awareness of one’s silence is the true silence !’ – Saint

7. Limitations

A. No great discomfort is caused by practising silence of speech (vak-moun) and silence as of wood (kashthamoun). Others however, are at a loss to understand the one practising it. In order to achieve silence of deep sleep (sushuptimoun) and great silence (mahamoun), one has to undertake spiritual practice as advised by the Guru. Silence of speech and silence as of wood are the tools, while deep sleep silence and great silence are the targets.

B. ‘In the science of Yoga who is a learned fool?

     The one who practises postures (asans), pranayam, etc. without following the restraints (yam) and regulations (niyam).’(3)

     The same tenet is also applicable to those practising silence of speech and silence as of wood. [Yam and niyam are the first two parts from the Ashtangyoga (Eightfold Yoga) of Patanjali and are related to the mind. Refer ‘Science of Spirituality: Chapter 36 – Path of Meditation (Dhyanyoga)’.]

8. Comparison with other paths of Yoga

Refer ‘Science of Spirituality : Chapter 40 – Comparison of the Various Paths of Yoga’.

Reference:

[1]. Svasvarup Anusandhan Athava Antaryatra, Pg. 105. Author : K.V. Belsare. Publisher – P.M. Tilak, Tridal Publications, Near Prarthana Samaj, Girgaon, Mumbai 400 004.

[2]. Bharatiya Sanskrutikosh. Vol. 7, First edition, Pg. 432. Editor and Publisher : Pandit Mahadevashastri Joshi, Secretary, Bharatiya Sanskrutikosh Mandal, 410, Shanivar Peth, Pune 411 030.

[3]. Sadhubodh : Shri Gulabrao Maharaj Virachit Prashnottarattmak Sukti Ratnavali. Ashtamayashti, Pg. 24. Publisher : Shri Dnyaneshvar Madhuradvait Sampradayik Mandal, Dahisath, Amravati.

 

How does mudra assist in meditation?

Contents


1. Asans (postures)

Asans are of two types, external (for example a seat made of wool, grass, deerskin, tiger skin, etc.) and physical (postures). Information on external asans (seats) is given in ‘Science of Spirituality: Chapter 3 – Practice of Spirituality’.

Definition: It is the ability to remain seated comfortably in one position for a considerable period of time (स्‍थिरसुखमासनम्‌ ।) [Patanjal Yogadarshan, 2/46].

Mastery over postures (asansiddhi): If one is able to sit still without any movement for upto half an hour then it is said that one is able to maintain a posture. If one acquires the ability to perform postures for upto three hours then he is said to have acquired mastery over them.

Types: There are eighty-four lakh types of postures, that is as many types as the species of living organisms. Only a few of them have been discussed here.

  • Postures useful for meditation: Padmasan (the lotus posture), vajrasan (the adamant posture), etc. Meditation becomes easy once one is able to sit still in one place according to the above definition.
  • Postures used as exercise: Paschimottanasan (the forward stretch), mayurasan (the peacock posture), etc.
  • Postures for relaxation: Shavasan (the corpse posture), makarasan (the crocodile posture), etc.

1.1 Benefits

A. According to physiology:

  • As a remedy for illnesses: Postures are useful in illnesses related to muscles and joints, the respiratory system and the heart.
  • Exercise: For instance with most abdominal postures internal organs are exercised.

    The distinctive feature of postures is that, when performing them instead of the body expending energy, it receives exercise. Not only this but when postures are practised, physical energy gets converted into mental energy and one feels refreshed and energetic rather than exhausted.

  • Relaxation: With some postures like shavasan (the corpse posture) the body gets relaxed.
  • Purification of the body: If one practises only postures as spiritual practice then the physical body can be purified at the most by 20%. Any other spiritual practice can bring about the same amount of purification. By practising postures the maximum purification that can occur in the various bodies is 7 % in the vital energy body (prandeha), 5% in the mental body (manodeha), 2% in the causal body (karandeha) and 1% in the supracausal body (mahakarandeha). With the Guru’s grace (Gurukrupa) the vital energy body can be purified upto 30% and all the other bodies upto 100%. For further information refer ‘Science of Spirituality : Chapter 40 – Comparison of the Various Paths of Yoga’.

B. According to psychology

  • A reduction in psychological stress: By performing postures 3% of people with mild stress recover and in 2% the stress decreases. The mechanism of reduction in psychological stress is elucidated in the following point.
  • An increase in concentration and Bliss: The body and mind influence one another. Whenever there is some anxiety in the mind, there is a rapidity of movements of the organs in the body, for example a person is unable to sit still in one place, his heart beats fast, breathing becomes rapid, etc. On the other hand, when the mind is calm, the movements of the organs in the body slow down. Similarly when the body movements are rapid, the mind too runs faster. Contrary to this, the less the movements of the body, the less are the thoughts in the mind. While maintaining a posture since the movements of the voluntary muscles in the body are completely at a standstill, the thoughts in the mind decrease markedly. In short, concentration of the mind increases and one experiences Bliss. Later, when the voluntary organs are brought under control, the involuntary organs too can be controlled. At that time the mind becomes thoughtless. The same concept can be explained in spiritual terminology as : without controlling the organs of action mastery over postures cannot be achieved. Once mastery over postures is gained, the seeker becomes a master of Yoga (yogarudh) and when he becomes a master of Yoga he can control his mind.

C. According to the science of Spirituality

  • Reduction in the raja component and consequent increase in the sattva component: Movements occur due to the raja component. Thus naturally, when movements are decreased, it facilitates a decrease in the raja component. Hence the proportion of sattva component rises.
  • Facilitation of clearance of the path of kundalini (spiritual energy): Several postures make the vertebrae of the spinal column strong and flexible. As a result the obstacles in the Sushumna channel running through their cavities are overcome.

1.2 Practical suggestions

A. Learning from an expert: ‘The loss that occurs to individuals, from practising Hathayoga is more than the benefits. For instance people who are underweight should not perform shirshasan (the head stand) and those practising it, should always perform it at the end of a session of postures. Thereafter one should not perform any other postures. After performing all the postures, to overcome the stress and exhaustion which the various bodily organs face, one should remain in shavasan (the corpse posture) for 15 minutes; thereafter practise shirshasan and then repeat shavasan for another fifteen minutes. No matter how skilled one may be in the yogic posture, as a rule, one should never perform shirshasan for more than four minutes.’

B. Avoiding the menace of insects: To avoid the menace of mosquitoes, houseflies, ants, etc. one should use a mosquito net, a fan, insect repellants, etc.

C. Preliminary exercise (warming up): In order to get rid of lethargy and to bring about flexibility, one may do spot jogging or jog for some distance and also perform all types of movements of each of the joints, four to five times. As a result of this it is easier to practise postures. After this preliminary exercise one should perform shavasan for fifteen to twenty minutes and then commence the other postures.

D. Other exercises and postures: A gap of atleast one hour should be maintained between postures and other exercises.

E. Empty stomach: If one has had a light meal (snacks) then for two hours after it or atleast three to four hours after lunch one should not perform postures. One should not eat or drink anything for one hour after performing postures.

G. Bath: Either of the two, bathing or postures may be done earlier. However there should be a gap of atleast half an hour between them.

H. The seat:

  • In the beginning one should sit on a mat so that the ground will not hurt.
  • Once one is able to maintain postures, the energy that is not utilised for the activity of the body is liberated and can enter the ground. To prevent this one should use a bad conductor of energy like grass, deerskin, wool, wood, etc. as a seat for the posture. (Saints use wooden slippers to prevent energy loss through the feet). The energy conserved in this way can be used for the purification of channels and to open the Sushumna channel. [Refer ‘Science of Spirituality : Chapter – 38 Path of Activation of Spiritual Energy (Kundaliniyoga).]

I. Direction: While performing postures one should sit facing the east or the north, as they are favourable for physical and spiritual progress.

J. Postures useful for meditation

  • When practising the posture, one may sit cross-legged. If one is able to sit in padmasan (the lotus posture) or ardhapadmasan (the half lotus posture), then it is ideal. However for those over forty, it is better to pay more attention to meditation than to waste time in mastering padmasan.
  • If it is not possible to sit with the legs crossed then one may sit leaning back in a chair or may lie down as in shavasan (the corpse posture).
  • When sitting one should sit erectly. Thus due to uniform distribution of weight on the vertebrae one is able to sit for a longer period.
  • As far as possible do not lean against anything. However if not possible then one may lean against something.

K. Avoid undue fatigue: One must feel exhilarated after performing postures. One should not practise too many postures such that they will cause fatigue.

L. Experiencing physical discomfort: Initially one experiences discomfort like tingling and numbness of feet, itching, pain, etc.

  • One should try to bear the discomfort.
  • If the discomfort is severe, then one may perform the postures for five minutes to begin with and gradually increase the duration.
  • Initially in order to distract the mind from discomfort one should perform postures while watching television, listening to the radio or during conversation. After a few weeks no discomfort is experienced.

M. Women and postures: One should not perform postures during menses and also from the fifth month of pregnancy till three months after delivery.

N. Meditation on chanting (japadhyan): Once one is able to maintain a posture, to keep the mind occupied in something, in the beginning one should do chanting and thereafter when one makes progress in postures one must meditate. During that time, therefore one can do chanting or meditation and one need not find separate time for them.

O. The timetable for daily practice: The following table gives the types of postures and their duration if one wishes to practise postures daily for 30 or 60 minutes.

‘Types Number Duration (Minutes)
30 60
A. Warming up exercises
1. Jogging or spot jogging     2
2. Bending forward and backward 10 1 1
3. Twisting the torso 10 1 1
4. Back stretch, forward stretch 10   1
   Shavasan (corpse posture)     2
   Agnisar (expiration in uddiyyan)
   and nouli (abdominal corrugator)
    3
   Suryanamaskar (solar bent posture)   3 6
B. Postures
1. Ardhakatichakrasan (side stretch)   2 2
2. Ardhachakrasan (half wheel posture)   0.5 0.5
3. Padahastasan (leghand posture)   1 1
4. Parivrutta trikonasan (reverse
    triangular posture)
    2
5. Pashchimottanasan (forward stretch)   1 2
6. Suptavajrasan (adamant posture)
    and ushtrasan (camel posture)
  0.5 1
7. Yogamudra and shashankasan
    (rabbit posture)
  2 2
8. Ardhamatsyendrasan (semi-master
    fish posture)
  2 2
9. Mayurasan (peacock posture)     1
    Relaxation in shavasan     3
10. Bhujangasan (serpent posture)   1 1
11. Shalabhasan (grasshopper posture)
      or Dhanurasan (bow posture)
  0.5 0.5
12. Sarvangasan (shoulder stand) and
      repetition in reverse order
  3 3
13. Halasan (plough posture)     2
14. Matsyasan (fish posture)   1 1
      Relaxation in shavasan   4 4
15. Shirshasan (head stand)     2
      Repetition of shavasan     6
C. Pranayam
1. Kapalbhati 60 0.5  
  120   1
2. Nadishuddhi (purification of channels
    of spiritual energy)
9 2 2
    Chanting of ‘Om’ thrice     1
D. Moun (silence)   2 2
    Prayer   2 2
    Total duration (Minutes)   30 60’(1)

1.3 Absorbing the sweat in one’s body

One school of thought advocates that one should not sweat while practising postures whereas the other says that the sweat should be absorbed in the body for the following reasons.

  • Everything has originated from Brahman (God) and man too was created from It. Since one has to go from man to Brahman again he has to do everything in the reverse manner for example shirshasan (head stand), take in water through the anus, take in urine or semen through the penis, vomiting, similarly absorbing sweat back into the body, etc.
  • Sweating is a function of the apan vital energy. Absorbing sweat back into the body is contrary to the action of apan. Hence it becomes possible ‘to combine pran and apan vital energies (प्राणापान समायुक्‍तो)’- Shrimadbhagvadgita 15:14.

1.4 Who should not practise yogic postures?

The postures contraindicated in various conditions (for instance a person suffering from cervical spondylosis should not practise shirshasan) are given in books on yogic postures.

‘In the science of Yoga who is a learned fool?

The one who practises postures (asans), pranayam, etc. without following the restraints (yam) and regulations (niyam).’(2) The same tenet is also applicable to those practising only postures. [Yam and niyam are the first two parts from the Ashtangyoga (Eightfold Yoga) of Patanjali and are related to the mind. Refer ‘Science of Spirituality : Chapter 36 – Path of Meditation (Dhyanyoga)’.]

1.5 Comparison with other paths of Yoga

Postures (asan), bandha, mudra and keval kumbhak: From the spiritual point of view postures, bandhas and mudras are hardly of 0.l% importance in comparison to keval kumbhak (spontaneous cessation of breathing).

2. Bandha

Origin: The word bandha [बन्‍ध्‌ (bondage)] is derived from the root word bandha [बन्‍ध (to tie)].

Definition: A bandha refers to stoppage of flow of the vital energy (pranshakti) in one of the channels, by obstructing it.

2.1 Effects and significance

When the supply of energy to an organ is reduced with a bandha it helps to decrease the desires of that organ.

When the vital energy flowing through one channel is stopped, it changes its path of flow, that is flows through another channel. For example when the triad of the bandhas, jalandhar bandha, uddiyan bandha and mulbandha is performed, the vital energy flowing through the Ida and Pingala channels starts flowing through the Sushumna, that is the energy flows upwards. This is elaborated in ‘Science of Spirituality : Chapter 38 – Path of Activation of Spiritual Energy (Kundaliniyoga)’. ‘In the science of Hathayoga some bandhas which are a type of postures have been described. They are yogabandha, mahabandha, mahavedha, uddiyan, mulbandha, jalandhar bandha, etc. During kumbhak (breath holding) one needs to close some of the openings from among the nine (navadvar) in the body. These yogic bandhas are very useful for that purpose. Bandhas are also useful for drawing vital energy from a specific part of the body and for stabilising it in another. The study of bandhas is necessary if one wishes to acquire mastery in pranayam.’(3) If kumbhak is practised without a bandha, ailments such as headache, abdominal distension, etc. can develop.

If a bandha is practised prior to practising kumbhak in pranayam, the kumbhak can be effectively practised for a longer duration because though no oxygen enters the body at that time, due to the bandha, the stored energy is utilised in the required place.

2.2 Types

A. Mulbandha: Here contraction of the anus is done for as long as possible sitting in sahajasan (the ease posture), padmasan (the lotus posture), etc. Due to the contraction there is pressure on the Muladhar chakra which helps to activate the kundalini (spiritual energy). According to the Gherand Sanhita (3/12, 13) mulbandha is practised in the following manner: The centre of the part between the anus and the sex organ is pressed with the left foot. The right foot is then placed over the sex organ. Thereafter the anus is contracted and the navel is drawn in. This bandha can be performed during various activities such as inspiration, breath holding, expiration, chanting The Lord’s Name, etc.

B. Uddiyan bandha: This word is derived from ut (उत्‌) and di (डी). The meaning of the root di is to fly. This helps the kundalini to ascend (fly) hence it is known as uddiyan bandha. Here the abdominal muscles are contracted inwards as much as possible for a maximum period of time. After practising kumbhak in expiration, this bandha is practised before inspiration. The uddiyan bandha changes the downward velocity of the apan vital energy and unites it with the pran and saman vital energies. As a result the dormant kundalini is activated and the udan vital energy helps the pran or kundalini to ascend through the Sushumna channel.

C. Jalandhar bandha: After breathing in, the chin is kept pressed to the chest for as long as possible. Consequently the energy flowing in the Ida and Pingala channels stops. In this bandha the vital energy cannot go below the Vishuddha chakra.

D. Tribandha: The triad of bandhas. Here the three bandhas mulbandha, uddiyan bandha and jalandhar bandha are performed simultaneously. Tribandha is also known as bandhatraya.

E. Mahabandha: ‘With the left ankle, pressure should be exerted on the anus. Subsequently the right ankle should be placed over the left.The jalandhar bandha should be performed after contracting the perineum.’ (Gherand Sanhita 3/14, 15).

2.3 Who should not practise bandhas?

If one is suffering from piles, fissures, etc. one should not practise mulbandha. Those suffering from peptic ulcer should not practise uddiyan bandha. In case of cervical spondylosis one should not practise the jalandhar bandha. One should not practise postures or bandhas without the guidance of experienced teachers of Yoga as it could be harmful.

3. Mudra

3.1 Origin and meaning

Mud (मुद्‌) means to impart Bliss. This is the root from which the word mudra (मुद्रा) is derived. The word mudra has two meanings viz. a symbol (e.g. abhaymudra – the sign of protection) and an act of imparting Bliss.

‘According to the spiritual practice and sects, mudras acquire various meanings.

  • The specific configuration of hands, feet, fingers and other parts of the body is known as a mudra. For example dhenumudra (mudra of the cow), ghantamudra (mudra of the bell), bhusparshamudra (mudra of touching the ground), abhaymudra (mudra of protection), etc.
  • The symbols of the instruments of Lord Vishnu such as the conch, discus, etc. sported on their bodies by Vaishnavites are also known as mudras.
  • The glass or crystal earrings worn by ascetics (sadhus) of the Gorakh sect.
  • Those practised in Hathayoga: Bhuchari, khechari, chachari, agochari, etc.
  • In secret tantrik spiritual practice, the woman who has sexual relations with a seeker posing as the companion seeker. (In the Tantra sect other mudras are also important.)
  • Certain postures of the hands adopted in dance, drama, sculpture are known as ordinary mudras.’(4) The science of dance was created by taking words from the Rugveda, music from the Samaveda, mudras from the Yajurveda and emotion (rasa) from the Atharvaveda. In dance, dramatic representation plays a very important role. One form of that representation is the mudra.
  • Specific physical actions performed during particular rituals in ritualistic worship (karmakand).

3.2 Effects and significance

  • The mudra imparts stability just like postures.
  • The various types of mudrapranayams have effects on various parts of the lungs.
  • Due to a mudra, vital energy (pranshakti) flows through a specific channel thus increasing the effect of vital energy on oneself or others, that is Bliss is experienced. For example in abhaymudra vital energy flow is directed towards another.

Those who can sense vibrations from the subtle dimension to some extent may perform the following experiment. Bring together the tips of all the five fingers of the hand and then separate them. Observe what vibrations one gets while drawing them close and separating them. Repeat this four to five times. Then hold the thumb and index finger as done by westerners when eating with a fork and spoon and release them. Repeat this four to five times. Observe what vibrations are experienced with both actions. After one is sure what vibrations were felt, read the following paragraph.

More energy is experienced when all the five finger tips are brought together than when the fingers adopt the posture of holding the fork and spoon. That is why when eating, Indians use fingers instead of a fork and spoon. Morsels of food thus charged with energy are put into the mouth; that extra energy helps in digestion.

3.3 Types

Some postures are also referred to as mudras, for example sinhamudra (mudra of a lion), Brahmamudra, viparitkarni mudra (reverse mudra). Here instead of these only the main mudras in which the mudra part is more important than the posture are discussed.

A. Mudras for physical purification

  • Yogamudra: Certain mudras are performed in some postures. They are referred to as yogamudras. Yogamudras are specially performed in order to exert pressure on the lower abdomen and thus change the direction of energy flow.
  • Mahamudra: ‘The anus is compressed with the left ankle and the right leg is extended. The big toe of the right foot is held with both the hands. The neck is contracted and the gaze fixed on the tip of the nose.’ (Gherand Sanhita 3/4)

B. Mudras associated with pranayam

  • Chit mudra
  • Chinmay mudra
  • Adi mudra
  • Brahma mudra

C. Mudras useful for meditation

  • Shanmukhi mudra: ‘Sit in a posture and spread the fingers of both hands. Shut the eyes with the index fingers, the nostrils with the middle fingers, the upper and lower lips consecutively with the fourth and little fingers and the orifices of both the ears with the thumbs. With the movement of the middle fingers close each nostril alternately and breathe as is done for nadishuddhi (purification of the channels of spiritual energy).

    By closing four out of the five sense organs (viz. eyes, nose, ears and tongue) the perception of external stimuli decreases and tranquility of the mind is facilitated.’(5) At that time if one concentrates on the rhythm of respiration (chanting a mantra along with it) then one begins to slip into meditation.

  • Khechari mudra: In this mudra the tip of the tongue is turned upwards and inwards towards the throat and the gaze is focussed between the eyebrows. ‘Kha (ख)’ in khechari (खेचरी) is associated with akash (absolute ether) and chari (चरी) indicates movement. This mudra can take the kundalini (spiritual energy) upto the akash in the Brahmarandhra. Hence it is named as khechari. Also due to this mudra, the body becomes healthy.
  • Shambhavi mudra: Sitting in a posture, the pupils should be moved upwards such that they lie below the upper eyelids and the eyes should be kept half open. At the same time the gaze should be fixed between the two eyebrows. The Adnya chakra is influenced by this mudra. One is also able to see light if one performs this mudra for a long time.
  • Dhyanmudra (samadhimudra): During meditation, if one sits in padmasan (the lotus posture) and places the palms of both hands with fingers apart on both the knees then one assumes the dhyanmudra.

D. Mudras mainly useful in spiritual practice with expectation

  • If an undertaken task appears impossible to accomplish then it can be achieved with chanting accompanied by certain mudras. The text Arya Manjushri Mul Kalpa mentions several such mudras.
  • To keep the body fit and healthy one should perform certain mudras along with bijamantras of the five cosmic elements in proximity to specific parts of the body.
  • For acquisition of mental peace and satisfaction the Sharadatilak recommends the bilvamudra along with the mantraklim”.
  • To combat disease the use of mainly the surabhi, pran, apan, vayu, pruthvi, apa, apanvayu, surya, linga, shankha and other mudras is prevalent.
  • To control desire, anger and insomnia the mudras kamajayi, shakat and dnyan have been recommended.
  • To develop an impressive personality the sarvavashankari, sarvankush and sarvakarshini mudras from the ritualistic worship (puja) of Shrividya are useful.
  • For spiritual progress and a spiritual code of conduct the pranapan, linga, surabhi, trikhanda, and yoni mudras are useful.
  • If mudras are to be used for overcoming anger then first one has to study the two sciences viz. classical music as spiritual practice (Svarasadhana) and examination of the pulse (Nadipariksha) and only then decide which mudra is to be used.’(6)

E. Twenty-four mudras of the hands: One will realise how innumerable the mudras are from the following mudras performed merely with the hands during certain rituals of worship.

सुमुखं संपुटं चैव विततं विस्‍तृतं तथा ।
व्‍दिमुखं त्रिमुखं चैव चतु: पंचमुखं तथा ।।

षण्‍मुखाऽधोमुखं चैव व्‍यापकाञ्‍जलिकं तथा ।
शकटं यमपाशं च ग्रंथितं चोन्‍मुखोन्‍मुखम्‌ ।। 

प्रलंबं मुष्‍टिकं चैव मत्‍स्‍यं कूर्मं वराहकम्‌ ।
सिंहाक्रांत महाक्रांतं मुद्‌गरं पल्‍लवं तथा ।।

एता मुद्रा न जानाति गायत्री निष्‍फला भवेत्‌ ।
एता मुद्रास्‍तु कर्तव्‍या गायत्री सुप्रतिष्‍ठिता ।।

Sumukham samputam chaiva vitatam vistrutam tatha
Dvimukham trimukham chaiva chatuhu
panchamukham tatha

Shanmukha’dhomukham chaiva vyapakanjalikam tatha
Shakatam yamapasham cha granthitham chonmukhonmukham

Pralambam mushtikam chaiva matsyam kurmam
varahakam Sinhakrant mahakrantam mudgaram
pallavam tatha

Eta mudra na janati Gayatri nishphala bhavet
Eta mudrastu kartavya Gayatri supratisthita

  • 1. Sumukh: Fold both the hands placing the corresponding fingers over each other (like namaskar made on the chest).
  • 2. Samput: The left hand should be placed with the palm up. The right hand should be placed on it with the palm down creating a hollow between the two. This shape resembles a pearl oyster with its shells enclosing each other.
  • 3. Vitat: The two hands should be held together at the wrists. The rest of the hands (that is the palms along with the fingers) should be kept open.
  • 4. Vistrut: The left hand should be held below and right above, parallel to each other with a distance of one foot between them, in an erect posture.
  • 5. Dvimukh: Both the hands should be held with the corresponding fingers touching each other such that two openings one above and one below are formed in the middle portion between the two palms.
  • 6. Trimukh: A third opening should be made by keeping a hollow between the two thumbs, in addition to the two mentioned above.
  • 7. Chaturmukh: A fourth opening should be made by creating a hollow between the index and middle fingers, in addition to the three given above.
  • 8. Panchamukh: A fifth opening should be kept in between the middle and fourth fingers, in addition to the above four.
  • 9. Shanmukh: A sixth opening should be kept in between the ring finger and the little finger, in addition to the five given above.
  • 10. Adhomukh: Both wrists should be held together keeping the open part facing the ground.
  • 11. Vyapakanjalik : Both the palms should be cupped together and rotated horizontally.
  • 12. Shakat : The thumbs and index fingers of both the hands should be held together. The left palm should be held facing downwards, the middle and ring finger of the right hand placed on the respective fingers of the left after placing the right hand facing downwards over the left hand. Then the little fingers of both the hands should be bent inwards.
  • 13. Vamapash : The middle and ring fingers of both the hands should be flexed. The corresponding thumbs should be flexed and held over them tightly. Then the right palm should be placed over the left held below such that the middle and ring fingers touch one another and the middle and ring finger of the left hand should be pressed with the left thumb.
  • 14. Granthit: All except the index fingers of both the hands should be kept pressed under the thumb. Then the left palm should be placed upturned and the right facing downwards and the index fingers of both should be joined like the joint of a chain.
  • 15. Unmukhonmukh: Joining the fingers of both the hands together and keeping the left hand down and the right hand on top one should place the tip of the fingers upon each other. Then in this state the hands should be rotated so that the right hand comes down and the left up and then vice versa.
  • 16. Pralamb: The left hand should be kept facing upwards horizontally towards the right side, the elbow of the right hand should be kept vertically on the open hand (this is akin to a right angle).
  • 17. Mushtik: Fists of both the hands should be made and that of the right should be placed over the left.
  • 18. Matsya: The fingers of both the hands should be straightened, the left hand should face down and the right should be placed over it such that the thumbs of both the hands point towards both the sides and the fifth finger of the left hand followed by the ring finger, middle finger, ring finger and fifth finger will follow sequentially. Then the thumbs of both the hands should be moved like the fins of a fish.
  • 19. Kurma: The fingers of both the hands should be facing downwards. Then placing the right hand over the left the corresponding fingers of both should be united over one another and a hollow should be made in between the palms.
  • 20. Varah: The corresponding fingers of both the hands should be touched to one another. Then the left hand should be kept facing upwards and the right facing downwards, over it. The tips of the four fingers should be kept in a fashion akin to the snout of a boar (varaha).
  • 21. Sinhakranta: The little fingers and thumbs of both the hands should be joined. Holding the wrists together the rest of the fingers should be kept wide open akin to the open jaw of a lion.
  • 22. Mahakranta: The left hand should be held straight facing upwards and the right should be held straight facing downwards maintaining a distance of one foot between them.
  • 23. Mudgar: The elbow of the right hand should be placed upon the left hand and making a fist of the right hand, the arm should be held straight, vertically upwards.
  • 24. Pallav: The thumb of the left hand should be held with that of the right and both the hands should be turned outwards such that the external surfaces of the hands join together while the thumbs remain united. Then the fingers of both the hands should be flapped like wings.’(7)

Reference:

Yoga – Asane, Pranayam, Mudra, Kriya. First edition, June 1996. Publisher : V. N. Limaye, Sachiv – Vivekanand Kendra Publications Marathi section, 1890, Sadashiv Peth, Natubag, Pune 411 030.
[1]. Pg. 64     [5]. Pg. 62

[2]. Sadhubodh : Shri Gulabrao Maharaj Virachit Prashnottarattmak Sukti Ratnavali. Ashtamayashti, Pg. 24. Publisher : Shri Dnyaneshvar Madhuradvait Sampradayik Mandal, Dahisath, Amravati.

Bharatiya Sanskrutikosh. Publisher : Pandit Mahadevashastri Joshi, Bharatiya Sanskrutikosh Mandal, 410, Shanivar Peth, Pune 411 030.
Vol.3 to 10 : First edition Vol.1 and 2 : Second edition
[3]. Vol. 6, Pg. 33     [4]. Vol. 7, Pg. 430

[6]. Hastamudra – Eka Daivi Vidnyanacha Parichay. Santakrupa Divali 1994 issue, Pg. 35. Author: Mr. V. R. Bapat

[7]. Shri Gurucharitra Kathamrut. First edition, Gurupratipada, 25 February 1986, Pg.770. Editor : Krushnabhakta Divakar Anant Ghaisas. Publisher : Dhananjay Balkrushna Dhavale, Samarth sadan, First Bhatvadi, Girgaon, Mumbai 400 004.

 

Why are spiritual experiences discussed during satsangs?

Spiritual experience

Contents


1. Some unique spiritual experiences about spiritual emotion (bhav)

At the satsangs (spiritual meetings) conducted by the Sanstha, spiritual experiences of seekers are discussed. The reason for this is as follows. The theoretical information delivered there only helps those curious about Spirituality to believe in it whereas spiritual experiences help to augment their faith. One gets inspired to undertake more spiritual practice with the faith that God will endow one with spiritual experiences. A seeker can also learn from the spiritual experiences of others. It is with this very objective that different spiritual experiences have been elucidated in this point as well as elsewhere in this holy text with regard to spiritual emotion. Often a spiritual experience in one seeker is repeated in another. This establishes that there is a science behind the spiritual experiences. Thus a spiritual experience of a seeker given in this holy text may also have been experienced by other seekers. So also, spiritual experiences other than those given here may also have been experienced by several seekers. However as they are voluminous, all of them cannot be accomodated in this holy text. All spiritual experiences in the context of spiritual emotion are given in separate holy texts on spiritual experiences.

2. Teachings on awakening spiritual emotion

2.1 In the waking state

Maharaj(Saint) subtly teaching about spiritual emotion, in the waking state: On 26th September 2002 after my morning bath, I was offering obeisance to the picture of Baba [H.H. Maharaj]. Just then Mr. Anand arrived with flowers and told me to offer them to Maharaj’s picture. I felt overjoyed. The flowers were of different types. I tried to sort out the different flowers and place them before Baba’s picture. Though I had begun this task with a prayer, H.H. Baba said, ‘Baby, your spiritual emotion today is not as usual’. This hurt me. So I prayed wholeheartedly again and amidst repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name offered the flowers in front of Baba’s picture. I offered the rest of the flowers to the other deities and wherever there were strips of the Names of deities. When I came to pay obeisance to Baba’s picture once again, He said, ‘See how well you did it now !’ – Sadhika, ashram

2.2 In meditation

A. Doctor’s assurance to a seeker during meditation about augmention of his spiritual emotion: On 18th October 2002 during meditation, despite the absence of an object of meditation, I experienced a lot of Bliss (Anand). When H.H. Doctor made a statement that ‘warrior seekers had to enhance their spiritual emotion (bhav)’, I realised that it was meant for me as well. I was very restless as I wanted this to happen quickly. This was unconsciously causing apprehension in me. During meditation I asked H.H. Doctor, ‘I feel intensely that my spiritual emotion should grow but I am getting tense about it. What should I do?’ and H.H. Doctor replied, ‘Do not worry. Everything will occur by itself.’ This lessened my anxiety and I experienced Bliss. – Sadhak

3. Awakening of sattvik (sattva predominant) spiritual emotion due to seekers

A. Awakening of sattvik spiritual emotion after getting an intuition about the arrival of a seeker: One day as I waited at the bus-stop to go to college, suddenly a trax approached me. It reminded me of Mr. Athlekar and I wept. This had never happened to me before, after seeing a trax. After returning home in the evening my mother told me that Mr. Javlekar had arrived in our town ! – Sadhika

B. Awakening of sattvik spiritual emotion in a seeker and perceiving herself to be performing the actions of other seekers at a get-together of seekers: A get-together of seekers was arranged at Karad on 23rd April 2000. I was allotted the responsibility of organising the programme of narrating spiritual experiences. Though I too could participate in it, I did not feel like doing so. Instead, I wished that Miss Amruta would narrate hers. On behalf of the local centre of the Sanstha she was felicitated there. At that time, I felt as if I were being felicitated. As I heard her spiritual experience the Bliss that I enjoyed was far more than what I experience when I narrate mine. My ego had become expansive at least for the sake of one individual.

     From 16th to 18th May 2000, I accompanied Mr. Athlekar on his Ichalkaranji-Kolhapur tour. The spiritual experiences that I got at Ichalkaranji are as follows. As Mr. Jathar jotted down the points I felt as if I were doing it. As Mrs. Koli conversed on the telephone I felt as if I were doing it. When Mrs. Magdum asked a query I felt as if I myself were asking it. I felt that Mr. Athlekar should explain the table on ‘Spiritual practice according to the class (varna) and the spiritual level’ to her. The next moment Mr. Athlekar told her that a Brahman (priest) has 60% desire to make spiritual progress. After the occurrence of all these incidents, my spiritual emotion for the Guru grew so tremendously that I was overwhelmed and speechless. This state lasted for approximately 15-20 minutes before I returned to normal. – Sadhika

4. Awakening of sattvik spiritual emotion due to the spiritually evolved

4.1 Through touch

A. Awakening of sattvik spiritual emotion on placing my head on Doctor’s feet: On 1st November 1997, H.H. Doctor arrived at the residence of Dr. Charudatta Pingale at around 12.30 p.m. There my desire to offer obeisance by placing my head on His holy feet was fulfilled. Sattvik spiritual emotion was awakened in me the moment my head touched His holy feet. For a few seconds I experienced Bliss and felt extremely pleasant. – Sadhika

B. Repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name commencing spontaneously, awakening of sattvik spiritual emotion and experiencing divine consciousness (chaitanya) and Bliss (Anand) after looking at the galvaniser machine touched by Doctor: A galvaniser machine belonging to Mrs. Aditi Joshi was placed in the bedroom of Dr. (Mrs.) Nanda Sawant in the ashram (hermitage). When H.H. Doctor entered that room to experiment on distressing energies, He touched the machine along with other objects over there. The next day that machine was packed in a box and sent to Sangli.

     Mrs. Aditi Joshi from Sangli district experienced the following after looking at the device.

  • Tears flowed from her eyes on opening the box.
  • She experienced Bliss.
  • The machine which she earlier perceived as devoid of divine consciousness (chaitanya) was now enriched with it.

     Dr. (Sadhika) from the same ashram experienced the following after looking at it.

  • The moment she opened the box, her repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name occurred spontaneously.
  • The machine appeared more radiant and enriched with divine consciousness than before.

4.2 By a discourse

Developing goose-flesh and entering a state just prior to meditation during Doctor’s discourse: Despite absence of chilly weather on 15th November 1997, when listening to H.H. Doctor’s discourse I developed goose-flesh. I was also yawning continuously. As I left the venue of the discourse the yawning stopped. – Sadhika

(Before entering into a meditative state from the waking state some people start yawning. – Compilers)

4.3 By a holy vision (darshan)

A. Awakening of sattvik spiritual emotion after a vision of Doctor: After H.H. Doctor arrived at Pophali on 2nd January 1997, Mr. Nalavade introduced seekers from different centres to Him. I too was invited. Though I offered obeisance to H.H. Doctor, I was speechless. All of a sudden my ear lobes became warm, my whole body became light and I felt as if I were floating in air. – Sadhak

B. Perceiving the affectionate touch and words of assurance from H.H. Doctor before the discourse, perception of Doctor’s countenance as expansive and radiant and awakening of sattvik spiritual emotion during the discourse: When I got the pleasant news of H.H. Doctor’s discourse to be held on 16th November 1997, I realised that it was a golden opportunity dawning in my life. Though I was elated I was also apprehensive about whether I would reach there in time for the discourse due to our scheduled trip to Rajasthan. My mind was riddled with doubts. No matter what, I should not miss H.H. Doctor’s discourse and the opportunity to pay obeisance to Him was what I felt. My repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name was going on. When in this restless state I felt an affectionate pat on my back trying to cool down my upset mind. Then I heard a voice saying, “I will not leave without meeting you, if not this time some other time, but I will certainly meet you.” I looked around but saw no one. Throughout the journey I repeated (chanted) The Lord’s Name continuously and the trip which was supposed to conclude on 18th or 19th ended on the 15th itself and we returned to Ichalkaranji. I was waiting for 16th November to dawn. Though I had lost the opportunity to render service, the chance of having the holy vision of a saint was no less important. I reached the venue long before the discourse began. I was very eager to see this saint. Then this extremely fortunate moment of my life arrived. His vision was such that I had never seen before. His countenance appeared expansive, divine and radiant. Thereafter I was unable to understand the reason why I began to feel like crying uncontrollably. Tears swelled in my eyes and I had to stuff a handkerchief into my mouth to prevent the sobs. This state and restlessness persisted for quite some time. Thereafter just as a stormy sea suddenly becomes tranquil, my body too became extremely serene and all these feelings ceased. Even today once in a while, H.H. Doctor’s face suddenly appears before me and the mind bows to Him in obeisance. Sometimes I also get restless and feel like crying aloud without any reason. There is only one goal in my mind – when will I be liberated? When will I attain the Final Liberation (Moksha)? – Sadhika

4.4 Due to the presence

Sattvik spiritual emotion remaining awakened for the entire week during Doctor’s visit to the district: It was only two months since I had begun repeating (chanting) the Name of my family deity when I got an opportunity to serve at H.H. Doctor’s programmes in Sangli. On 18th November 1997 from 6 a.m. onwards I was getting goose-flesh every two to five minutes. This continued till the completion of H.H. Doctor’s Sangli tour which lasted for a week. – Sadhak

4.5 By watching a video cassette

Weeping and feeling gratitude for Doctor on seeing His holy vision for the first time on a video cassette: When I saw H.H. Doctor on the video cassette for the first time I could not stop myself from crying. It continued for about 5 minutes and was totally beyond my control. I was really overcome by gratitude. – One seeker

4.6 By seeing a photograph

Awakening of sattvik spiritual emotion on seeing Doctor’s photograph and perceiving that He is speaking: A seeker gave me a copy of H.H. Doctor’s photograph which I kept in our showcase. Once when looking at the photograph amidst repetition (chanting) of the Name of my family deity, suddenly tears started flowing from my eyes. I also felt as if H.H. Doctor were conversing with me. – Master Hemant , Children’s moral education class

4.7 While reading, by a holy text

Awakening of sattvik spiritual emotion when reading a holy text compiled by Doctor and at other times as well: I was preparing a discourse with points 1 to 4 from the book ‘The Disciple’. I read the sections a second time. As I read the sentence, ‘However, since the Guru imparts knowledge of the soul principle (atmadnyan) no matter how much one does for Him, it is still far too little’ I was full of gratitude for the Guru and felt like weeping without any inhibition. [My basic personality being introverted I rarely remember having cried but ever since I began repeating (chanting) The Lord’s Name, I have cried on several occasions. Most of the times these were tears of Bliss (Anand).] This incident was followed by expansive love for others, especially for God (and the Guru). – One seeker 

4.8 By repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name

State of spiritual emotion when repeating (chanting) The Lord’s Name, looking at Doctor’s photograph and when thinking of Him: On 14th March 1998, in the morning when bathing, my eyes swelled with tears. It would happen to a greater extent when repeating (chanting) The Lord’s Name. Even merely remembering H.H. Doctor, thinking about Him or seeing His photograph would make my eyes swell with tears which would increase in intensity. I experienced a lot of Bliss at that time. Tears flowed uncontrollably. This continued for about 20 to 25 minutes. – Sadhak

4.9 Through remembrance

A. Awakening of sattvik spiritual emotion and experiencing a state of thoughtlessness on remembering Doctor: After Gurupaurnima, I no longer experienced the Bliss that I felt for several days. I now felt very serene. My eyes would swell with tears after remembering H.H. Doctor. Throughout the celebrations and for 2 to 3 days thereafter I remained in this state and in between also experienced thoughtlessness. Often I would be totally unaware of what was going on around me. – Sadhika

B. Awakening of spiritual emotion after becoming aware that Doctor Himself was serving seekers through me: Once as I stood with a plate of food in front of a seeker in whom a distressing energy had manifested the thought that crossed my mind was, ‘See how much H.H. Doctor loves this seeker. He is standing in front of her with a plate of food.’ It was as if instead of me, H.H. Doctor Himself was doing the task and tears swelled in my eyes. – Sadhika

C. Spiritual experience of Doctor coming for lunch when one harbours such a spiritual emotion and Doctor speaking to me: On 15th October 2002, the day of Dasra, I offered food unto God. At that time, I perceived that H.H. Doctor was none other than God and that he would manifest simultaneously that day in four places, viz. the four ashrams (hermitages) of the Sanstha at Phonda, Devad, Thane and Sion. I know that my Guru eats lunch at about 12.30 p.m. If food is not served to Him on time then after lunch time elapses, He hardly eats. Keeping this in mind, I quickly cooked for Him from 12 noon to 12.30 p.m. and was totally engrossed in it. Then I served the holy sacrament (naivedya) in two plates for H.H. Doctor and H.H. Maharaj because the latter led the former to Absoluteness, who became my Guru. I then informed Mr. Dinesh Shinde about the food being ready. Mr. Shinde requested me to offer the food myself. The moment I stepped back into the kitchen, I became aware of the presence of H.H. Doctor seated in a chair to eat. ‘I’ stood next to Him to serve Him. About 15 seconds later, H.H. Doctor told me to go about my chores and that He would help Himself. It was only then that I realised that ‘I’ had been standing there to serve Him. – Sadhika

4.10 Spiritual experiences during meditation of seekers having spiritual emotion

A. Aura of flowers surrounding Doctor seen in meditation by a seeker, after a prayer unto Him: On 11th January 2003 during meditation, I perceived red and white flowers alternately sticking onto the body of H.H. Doctor. I prayed to the flowers not to trouble H.H. Doctor in this way. That very moment, an aura of the flowers formed around H.H. Doctor. – Sadhika

B. When praying to Doctor in meditation, seeing His feet and hibiscus flowers falling onto them and the seeker cutting their stalks to prevent them from hurting Doctor: On 12th October 2002, I was repeating (chanting) the Name of Lord Ganapati. All of a sudden, the thought whether my repetition (chanting) was reaching The Lord entered my mind. I recollected that on the previous day we had been told that if we offer the repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name unto the Guru then He delivers it to The Lord. So I prayed unto H.H. Doctor to deliver it unto Lord Ganapati. At that point, I saw the holy feet of H.H. Doctor and red hibiscus flowers falling onto them. These flowers had long stalks which would hurt H.H. Doctor’s feet. So I prayed that they first fall in my hands so that I could shorten the stalks and then offer them unto H.H. Doctor’s feet. As I offered one flower, the previous one would vanish from there. This continued for half an hour. During this period, tears continuously flowed from my eyes and my eyes felt cool and serene. – Sadhika

C. When a seeker doubted during meditation whether her heart was deserving of Doctor’s presence, her getting a vision of Maharaj and Doctor seated on a carpet of flowers therein: On 13th October 2002 during meditation, I felt that I should request H.H. Doctor to assume a seat in my heart despite a chair being reserved for H.H. Doctor in the meditation room. The next thought in my mind was, is my heart pure and clean enough for H.H. Doctor to assume a seat in it? That very moment I saw yellow and red flowers being spread in abundance all over my heart and H.H. Maharaj and H.H. Doctor sitting on them. – Sadhika

D. Awakening of spiritual emotion during meditation after a prayer for Doctor due to realisation that the Gurus in the hierarchy are keeping a watch over Him: On 18th October 2002, I was meditating at the Ratnagiri ashram (hermitage) at about 7.30 a.m. During meditation, I entered H.H. Doctor’s room and placed my head on His feet. The moment I did that I realised that He was not well. Usually after worshipping His feet by repeating (chanting) The Lord’s Name, I would go to the Dhamse ashram to pay obeisance to the deities there but that day I just could not let go of H.H. Doctor’s feet though I was well aware that I could do nothing for Him. Then I fervently started praying unto H.H. Maharaj (the Guru of H.H. Doctor) and H.H. Saish (the Guru of H.H. Maharaj). After sometime, I was overwhelmed realising from within that They were all keeping a watch on Him. It also dawned upon me that other than acquiring His grace, there can be no other mission or objective in life. His grace bestows one with everything in the world. If one achieves everything in life but not the Guru’s grace then it is all in vain. Ever since, when repeating (chanting) The Lord’s Name or meditating I cannot leave His feet and go elsewhere. Whenever I think of The Lord’s Name, I realise that I am at the feet of H.H. Doctor. – Sadhika

E. Awakening of spiritual emotion after realising that Doctor was teaching me during meditation: On 11th October 2002 at 10 p.m. during meditation, I realised that a combat with distressing energies was going on outside. I prayed once again so that I could meditate with concentration and also that my prayer should reach H.H. Doctor and that I should get a vision of His holy feet. Yet H.H. Doctor did not come. Then I prayed, ‘May things occur as Your wish.’ Thereafter I felt the presence of a tremendous benevolent energy. From within, it was suggested that I should repeat (chant) the Name of Lord Maruti. When I complied, Lord Maruti assumed my place. I could perceive His tremendous effulgence. I was not distinct from Him. But I wondered why H.H. Doctor had done this and what He wished to teach through this. At that moment, I thought about Kolhapur and H.H. Doctor uttered ‘Dr. Surendra’ (the Sanstha’s in-charge of propagating Spirituality in Kolhapur). Then all of a sudden during meditation I began to cry. When I prayed unto Lord Maruti, He took me to Kolhapur and in the meditative state itself, spiritual emotion was awakened within me. – Sadhak

F. Doctor telling me during meditation that He would speak to me when I begin repeating (chanting) The Lord’s Name with spiritual emotion: On 17th October 2002 during meditation, H.H. Doctor said, ‘If you wish to converse with Me then repeat (chant) the Name of Lord Ganesh with spiritual emotion.’ After doing so, a red light from my head advanced towards the picture of H.H. Maharaj and then H.H. Doctor began to converse with me. I realised that H.H. Doctor was experiencing distress. Later I learnt that that day at the Phonda ashram (hermitage) in Goa where H.H. Doctor resides, the attack by distressing energies had grown. – Sadhak

G. Due to spiritual emotion, Doctor proving to a seeker during meditation that her repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name was being delivered unto Lord Shiva by causing her subtle body to travel: On 11th October 2002, when in the Dhamse ashram, I was told to repeat (chant) ‘Om namaha Shivaya’. When repeating (chanting) it during the meditation hour in the afternoon, I saw myself entering H.H. Doctor’s room as usual and offering obeisance unto His holy feet before I began repeating (chanting) The Lord’s Name. The thought that crossed by mind then was, ‘How can I offer red flowers and tulsi leaves unto Lord Shiva?’ Then I noticed that my worship platter had large white lotuses in it ! With repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name each time, I would offer one flower unto H.H. Doctor’s holy feet. The next thought in my mind was, ‘Is it appropriate to offer these flowers which grow in the muck to H.H. Doctor?’ From within, the answer that I received was, ‘Offer the lotus of Your heart’ and lo and behold, there was a beautiful lotus in place of my heart. I offered it at H.H. Doctor’s feet with intense spiritual emotion. Just then I wondered whether the repetition (chanting) I was doing was reaching Lord Shiva and looked upto H.H. Doctor. Though I did not speak a word, He smiled sweetly and pointing upwards said, ‘See for yourself’. When I did so, just as a rocket leaves the ground at high speed I began to rise. Despite travelling at such a high speed, there were no bodily movements. I cannot tell exactly where I reached but there from above there was a continuous flow of serene yellow light descending. I bathed in it and then automatically felt assured that my repetition (chanting) was being delivered to Lord Shiva. (I wonder how I was convinced of this when normally I analyse everything with my intellect.) – Sadhika

5. Awakening of spiritual emotion (bhav) due to deities

A. Awakening of sattvik (sattva predominant) spiritual emotion through prayer: I prayed to The Lord to manifest Himself and instantaneously experienced an internal upsurge of devotion and love. – One Seeker

B. Losing awareness of the body before offering obeisance to the family deity, awakening of sattvik spiritual emotion while offering obeisance and repetition (chanting) of Her Name occurring instead of hymns (arti): It was our first visit to the temple of the family deity at Tuljapur after coming to know that She was our family deity. As I stood in a queue waiting to pay obeisance to Her my repetition (chanting) of Her Name was going on. Gradually as the queue moved ahead we approached the entrance. At that time my repetition (chanting) of Her Name began to occur rapidly. I was not aware of when the people ahead of me in the queue moved 5 feet ahead. It was only when the other devotees behind called out to me that I came to my senses. I entered the temple and consecrated Her idol by sprinkling water (abhishek). I then came out and thinking of H.H. Doctor, offered obeisance to the deity. The Bliss that I experienced when I saw Her idol is indescribable. My eyes swelled with tears. After the ritualistic worship (puja) the priest asked us to sing a hymn (arti) in praise of the deity which I began as I knew it by rote. I somehow managed to sing the first two lines but thereafter instead of the hymn I began rapidly repeating (chanting) the Name of the deity. – Sadhak

C. Subtle fragrance emanating from the picture of Lord Datta, awakening of sattvik spiritual emotion by repeating (chanting) His Name and seeing the deities Brahma, Shrivishnu and Mahesh conversing in the picture of Lord Datta: Once I perceived fragrance emanating from the picture of Lord Datta. As I repeated (chanted) ‘Shri Gurudev Datta’ seated in front of the picture, no sooner had I finished half of the first turn of the mala (Hindu rosary) than all of a sudden I began to sob. The tears that fell on my left hand were cold. As I reached the eight and ninth turn of the mala, the idol of Lord Datta in the picture appeared to smile at me. I too smiled. Thereafter Brahma, Shrivishnu and Mahesh separated from the idol and began to discuss something loudly and pointing towards me, laughed aloud. The Bliss (Anand) which I experienced after repeating (chanting) the ninth turn of the mala is beyond verbal description. – Sadhika   (Sattvik tears are cold and while tears of grief are warm. – Compilers)

6. Awakening of spiritual emotion due to Sanstha

6.1 Sanstha Prabhat

Awakening of sattvik (sattva predominant) spiritual emotion by the Sanstha Prabhat: As usual, on waking up in the morning, I opened the door to see if the ‘Daily Sanstha Prabhat’ had been delivered. Just then I saw a seeker of the Sanstha coming to deliver it. When I held the Gurupaurnima special issue in my hand, I experienced something quite unusual. As I browsed through its four pages, I experienced a different kind of Bliss and felt pleasant. As I kept it on the table, unknowingly I folded my hands in obeisance. Perception of the divine consciousness (chaitanya) in it brought tears to my eyes. The same spiritual emotion which was awakened within me when I offered the ritual of waving lit lamps (arti) unto H.H. Anand Maharaj last month, was aroused once again. – Sadhak

6.2 Demonstration of the spiritual practice of protecting seekers and destroying evildoers (kshatradharma)

Awakening of sattvik spiritual emotion during a rally demonstrating the spiritual practice of protecting seekers and destroying evildoers and feeling assured about the destruction of evildoers: The display of karate and stick (lathi) fighting was held at the December 1999 rally for the first time. After seeing the rally, I just could not control my sobs. My eyes swelled with tears again and again. My ears became hot and there was goose-flesh all over my body. This is the first instance in my life when I have been aroused by patriotism. I could perceive a great deal of divine consciousness in the atmosphere. The faith that evildoers would be certainly destroyed was strengthened further. – Sadhika

6.3 Ashram (hermitage)

A. Developing goose-flesh and hearing war songs (kshatragit) when viewing a photograph of the model of the Sanstha ashram: When I saw a photograph of the model of the Sanstha ashram made by Mr. Patil, a seeker of the Sanstha, in the daily Sanstha Prabhat, I developed goose-flesh and heard the lines ‘there is no injustice or corruption here’ and ‘all are one here; none is great or small’ from the war song ‘Hail Sanstha, Hail Sanstha’, ring in my ears (as if an audio cassette were being played in the ashram) and my eyes swelled with tears. Though I had developed goose-flesh and experienced divine consciousness (chaitanya) when I had looked at the photograph of the model of the ashram (hermitage) in the souvenir, seeing the picture of the model in the daily induced more goose-flesh in me. – Sadhak

B. Overcoming exhaustion after arrival at the office of the Sanstha Prabhat and perceiving the ambience there to be akin to that in a temple: We reached the office of the Sanstha Prabhat after travelling by bus continuously, without any sleep for two days. We were exhausted as we had been sleepless. The moment we stepped into the office we felt as if we had entered a temple. There was a lot of purity and sattvikta (sattva predominant atmosphere) there. This pleasantness got rid of our exhaustion instantaneously and we began to feel fresh once again. – Prof. Shrikant Bhat, Akola

7. Awakening of spiritual emotion at a saint’s tomb / temple

A. Seeker being able to see the state of spiritual emotion in another seeker at a saint’s tomb (samadhi) despite his eyes being closed: I was travelling to Sangli along with my wife and mother-in-law. On the way we halted at the tomb (samadhi) of the Saint to pay obeisance. When we reached there it was time for performing the ritual of waving lit lamps (arti) and singing hymns. Unexpectedly I was endowed with the opportunity of performing it by the priest. As I performed the ritual with my eyes shut, I could clearly see  mother-in-laws serene face. When I opened my eyes in amazement, I saw tears rolling down her cheeks due to awakening of spiritual emotion (bhav). – One seeker

B. Perceiving that a seeker is accompanying me at the Ramnathi temple in Goa, so also while travelling and awakening of sattvik (sattva predominant) spiritual emotion: When I went to the Ramnathi temple, I felt a surge of spiritual emotion and tears started flowing from my eyes. At that time I sensed the presence of one seeker with me and realised what they must have experienced at the Gurupaurnima of 1993. – One seeker

8. Awakening of spiritual emotion during Gurupaurnima

A. A vision of H.H. Maharaj, awakening of sattvik spiritual emotion and the holy water tasting like the water from the ritualistic worship of the holy feet of H.H. Maharaj: We were allotted the service of performing ritualistic worship of the Guru at the Gurupaurnima of 2000 A.D. As the worship began, I alternately saw holy visions of H.H. Maharaj and H.H. Dr. along with their holy feet. This induced goose-flesh all over my body and my eyes swelled with tears. After completion of all rituals, we began singing hymns amidst waving of lit lamps (arti). My husband was waving a lamp lit with five wicks in front of the top of the temple rather than the photograph of Baba. When I whispered to Him and asked about it, he said he could see Baba. After completion of the concluding ritual in the ritualistic worship (uttar puja), I offered my husband the holy water from the metal pot (kalash). After partaking of it he said, “At the Dhule Gurupaurnima, I had partaken of the holy water from the feet of H.H. Maharaj and that tasted exactly like this.” – Sadhika

B. Seeing Doctor actually sitting in front of me and performing the ritualistic worship of His holy feet (padyapuja) with spiritual emotion as the audio cassette of ritualistic worship was being played at the Gurupaurnima celebrations: As I heard the audio cassette of the ritualistic worship of the Guru, spontaneously my hands got folded in obeisance and my eyes closed. Thereafter I did not perceive anyone’s presence around me. I felt that Doctor was seated in a chair clothed in a white kurta and that I was performing ritualistic worship as per instructions given in the cassette. – Sadhika

9. Awakening of spiritual emotion due to trees, flowers, etc.

Seeker experiencing that even plants and flowers were experiencing Bliss (Anand) from sattvikta (sattva predominant nature): On 13th April 2003, Dr. (Mrs.) Nanda Sawant had delivered a discourse at the Shrirang centre. After it concluded, as she was waiting to leave for the Thane centre of the Sanstha, I perceived that the flower buds behind her were bending forwards to touch her. After the buds touched her, the twig containing the buds appeared very Blissful. My eyes swelled with tears. This incident taught me for the first time that even flowers and plants too acquire Bliss and divine consciousness from sattvikta. – Sadhika