Friday, May 04, 2007
From a recent talk by Nithyananda.
Why do we need Vedic renaissance? Let us first understand. For the first time in the history of the planet, human beings are enjoying so much luxury in the outer world. In the outer world, whether medicine, communications or technology, we have reached a peak. Just as we have reached a peak in the outer world luxury and comforts, we have reached a peak of suffering and misery in the inner world. Humanity has never suffered so much in the inner world. We are living in a world which is experiencing spiritual poverty. The Vedic tradition is a constant reminder, a constant inspiration to work on the inner world, to transform and to experience a different space, a different world. Only Vedic renaissance can do that, give you the experience of spiritual truth, the experience of the inner world, your own consciousness.
The first thing you need to do is become a seeker and understand the reason for living. When I use the word seeker, I mean a person who understands that the outer world is not everything; life is more than just the outer world. Whenever you feel that life is just more than what you experience through the senses you become a seeker. You start seeking the truth - in Sanskrit we call it mumukshutwa - seeking beyond he senses. Shankara, the great Master, spoke of the value of manushyatwa, mumukshutwa, Mahapurusha sangama, or having the human body, seeking the the Higher Self, and having the experience with an Enlightened being, having a touch or darshan of an Enlightened being. After having these three, if a person remains unenlightened, he is called... a fool!
Again and again, life reminds you of the truth, that life is beyond your control; especially when some near and dear ones die, or there is some accident, or you lose your job. Then, you are completely shaken, and don't know how to handle it. Either you fall into depression or you suffer. You have to then start seeking when you feel that your life is no longer in your control. The seeking should be a deep understanding, not just an emotional reaction. When understanding is added to the seeking, you will see that you will be transformed. Use only once scale to judge whether whatever you have been taught is the truth: Does it add more sat, honesty to you? Does it add more chit, consciousness to you? Does it add more ananda, bliss to you? If so, then you are traveling on the right path and, naturally, you will start experiencing enlightenment.
Once you create real sincere seeking, you will see that you are attracted to a spiritual community, and you attract a spiritual community around you. When a seeker attracts the same kind of people around him, it will create such a beautiful, peaceful community - no rules and regulations are necessary. All will live in Dharma, in the natural law of life. Each one will take charge of some work naturally. I call this Dharmic administration, administration through the natural law of life.
In the ancient Vedic Gurukulam, there was no community based on birth. It was purely based on activity. A person who doesn't have anything to share except his time is called a worker. A person who can share and create some products is called a vaishya, a merchant or businessman. A person who who inspires people in an ideology, who keeps things alive, is called kshatriya, or a warrior, an inspirer. A person who shares enlightenment, knowledge, is called a Brahmana, an Enlightened one. An important understanding you should have, is that you need to know when in your life to play these roles, of Brahmana, kshatriya, vaishya and worker. This will bring about Vedic renaissance in your own family. Your whole life will then become beautiful.
The truth is, life itself is a psychodrama. If you understand clearly that you are playing this drama again and again and again, you will realize that being a Brahmana is nothing great. If you do the job of the Brahmana, you will realize that it's just another job. Because you are sitting there, I am sitting here! Because disciples are there, the Guru is here. It is purely your choice. It is just a matter of who chooses to play what role.
I am not joyful not because I am playing the role of the Guru, but because I have understood that all roles are a drama. Joy is supposed to come from your own Being, not from any role. A person who can play all roles, and who has understood he is beyond all roles, who is not attached to any one role, is called a Paramahamsa, an Enlightened being. If you understand the utility and futility of all roles, you will really live life.
So, first, try to bring seeking into your life; then, realize the utility and futility of the roles you play. You will bring about Vedic renaissance in yourself, the whole community, and the whole world.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
It's all about transcendence. We dream, we fantasize, we get intoxicated with food and drink and physical contact, only to escape our own company if only for just a moment. Without those moments of ecstatic bliss of expansion which free us temporarily from our lives of quiet desperation, we may as well die. What is it that does it for you that lets your spirit soar high in the skies of purity? Can you remain flying in those skies, or does gravity pull you down unceremoniously?
When we enter the space of deep frustration that human existence brings, and enter the vacuous emptiness that escapism through sensory excitement leaves in its wake, a new space opens. A space of bliss eternal, ever renewing, ever nurturing. A space of bliss which is not polluted, corrupted, by insiduous thoughts, or feelings, or actions. A space of bliss which has always been ours. In that space we realize, we are home.
Monday, December 18, 2006
Our world and our lives in this present age predominantly express the qualities of vaata as described in Ayurveda. The essential nature of vaata is motion and aggravation of vaata leads to a sort of nervous, edgy energy which creates excitement in the superficial layers of Self, the annamaya kosha (the physical layer), pranamaya kosha (the pranic layer), and manomaya kosha (mental layer) but stirs up deep agitation in the mind-body-awareness connection and leaves us with a feeling of stress and burnout.
A holistic approach to our work on ourselves in the physical realm in order to start experiencing the deeper nature of the real Self or atman is necessary. The concept of dinacharya, or a daily routine praised in Ayurveda, is an excellent way to create a deep restfulness that is necessary to experience the bliss of our Being. Some key approaches I have found useful are outlined here.
Oil pulling: Squishing a small quantity of sesame oil in the mouth after waking up reduces vaata in the brain and mind.
Diet: A sattvic diet truly helps begin the process of restoring harmony to the bodily tissues and mental state. All vegetarian food, freshly cooked, lightly seasoned, with a touch of ghee are yogic in nature. Nuts, warm milk (with saffron) and lentil soups are also included in this category. Tea made from Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) and Brahmi (Gotu kola) also promote sattva, or purity, peace and a rested nervous system.
Abhyanga: A whole body massage with warm sesame oil before a shower has been praised by Charaka, the great Seer of Ayurveda as a means of promoting life and bliss.
Hatha Yoga: Most simple, gentle postures (surya namaskar is excellent) allow healthy functioning of naadis or subtle channels for flow of ojas, or the vital essence of the body. This results in feeling of exhilaration. Nithyananda has offered a simple idea to follow while performing any asana thus, "Imagine that your entire body is a bliss bag. Whenever you bend or move your body for any purpose, that memory, that idea, will be completely inserted and recorded in your body and mind. That intent or samskara will start expressing in your body."
Meditating in the presence of a living Buddha: As recognized and extolled by the Vedic tradition, this is one simple, effortless, direct means of experiencing the profound awareness beyond time and space, of nirvikalpa samadhi, or bliss without form. I meditated on my own for years, but never had the sort of shift in awareness that meditating for a day in my Master's presence had, leading to the no-mind zone. A quantum shift in intelligence is greatly accelerated through this process, which is as mysterious as it is thrilling.
The above approaches can greatly enhance the state of being grounded and help propel the body and mind into bliss. As Nithyananda says, "When your shoe fits well, you lose awareness of the shoe. When the belt fits well, you lose awareness of the belt. And, when the body fits well, you lose awareness of the body!" This settling into the body ends in settling into bliss. Then the mind can enter the gap between thoughts, and the gap between breaths, which is the home of samadhi, or pure bliss.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Q: How can we surrender the ego, when this wanting to surrender is itself an expression of the ego?
Nithyananda: How are you going to surrender the ego, when it does not exist? Suppose you are sitting in a dark room. You want the darkness to disappear. But can you push it out? Can you fight darkness and force it to leave the room? No! No matter how long you keep trying, you are ultimately going to be defeated - and that too by something which does not exist!
The ego is like darkness, it has no positive existence. Just like darkness is simply the absence of light, the ego is nothing but the absence of awareness. To struggle to kill the ego is like struggling to push the darkness out of the room. To really expel the darkness, what you need to do is to forget all about dealing with the darkness. Focus your energy on Light instead. Just bring a small lamp into the room, and you will find that the darkness has fled on its own! So, I tell you to forget all about the ego. Instead, focus on bringing a lamp of awareness into your being. When your entire consciousness has become a flame, you will find that the ego is no more.
The ego is an illusion. You cannot surrender it when you are unaware - because you don't know how. Of course, you cannot surrender it when you become aware either - because then you realize that there is nothing left to surrender! What you have heard, read, been taught - 'Surrender the ego in order to attain Self-realization' - this is an utterly nonsensical idea. It can happen only the other way round. Self-realization dawns, and suddenly you cannot find the ego anymore. The surrender has aleady happened, just like that.
However, I am glad that the question has arisen in your being. The ego is the root cause for all your anxieties, sorrows, tensions. It is your doorway to hell. To actively feel that you want to drop the ego, to feel the the need to be rid of this burden is itself a step towards awareness. It shows that you are stirring from your sleep!
Q: Whenever I am in your presence all questions disappear and everything seems possible. But when I am away from you, all the familiar doubts creep in. Why does this happen and what can I do about it?
Nithyananda: If a question disappears on its own in my presence, then it is time to realize that it was not a true question at all; it was merely a play of the mind. When you are with me, the mind is no more in control - you simply flow into meditation. You become a loving, serene silence. In this state, only a question that is truly your question, one that is completely relevant to you, will still remain with you.
In my presence, you become so intensely aware, so completely present that there is no space for questions to arise. When you leave my presence, the mind is free to impose the past and the future upon your present - for what else are your questions but the play of the past and the future upon your present? Just like the ego, there is no point in fighting with or condemning the mind. It is a pointless struggle which you are sure to lose. Instead, it is enough to be aware that this is the very nature of the mind; it can be expected to behave in no other way. It is bound to bring in anxiety, confusion, doubt. Just to be conscious of this is enough.
Do not pass judgement on the mind - even to get angry with your mind is to lose your energy to it. As you witness the workings of the mind, you will slowly become aware that you are not the mind - you are more than the mind, you are the watcher. Once deprived of your energy, the mind cannot go on! In the place of the chaos of thoughts that you call your mind, a clear, intense consciousness will arise. At that moment, all questions dissolve and the mind is no more.
This is the experience you find yourself having in my presence. And what I have just told you is the way to make it stay with you always - even when you are not with me! It is a slow process - give it time. It will happen.
Q:You ask us not to suppress our natural passions. But is it right to indulge in these passions?
Nithyananda: On this path, you will time and again come across apparent dualities: good/bad, false/true, attachment/aversion, suppression/indulgence. In fact, raging inside your being is this constant conflict of opposites. Whenever a duality asserts itself, remember this thumbrule: Existence is nondual. Opposites do not exist. To cling to either suppression or indulgence is a sign of ignorance. After all, suppression is nothing but a reaction to indulgence. What is essential is the awareness of one’s own tendencies.
Recognize anger, recognize jealousy, recognize lust and greed. Neither give in to these emotions nor try to suppress them. Simply attempt to know them for what they are. Keep your distance, and view your emotions as if they were strangers. You will be surprised to find that without your support, they cannot exist, they simply drop away! This may not make much sense to you when it is just someone else’s experience - but through constant practice you will experience the truth for yourself. It is only this awareness that can awaken Self-knowledge, and free you of these concepts of all dualities!
Q: You say that skepticism is a big hindrance to learning. But you also urge us to voice our doubts. Why?
Nithyananda: You can raise questions due to either skepticism or doubt. But there is a world of difference between the two.
Skepticism is a state where one refuses to believe in anything at all. Just like that! The skeptic will raise arguments just for the sake of raising them. Skepticism itself is an unconscious belief; it is a foregone negative conclusion against anything and everything. The skeptic has no ideology of his own, he only has an argument against whatever idea you place before him. He will argue against an idea for hours, and if you present another idea that is just the opposite, he will argue against it equally emphatically! Actually, he has already settled into a permanent attitude of "no!" towards everything. Truly, skepticism marks the end of the journey for the learner, because with this attitude it is impossible to get anywhere. The skeptic has closed himself to all possibility of change.
Doubt, on the other hand, is a state of openness and receptivity. Doubt is an acceptance of "I don’t know, but I can learn." This marks the beginning of the learner's pilgrimage. Doubt is the path of the seeker. It simply seeks to eliminate all that is untrue in order to perceive the Truth. A man with a doubt listens with respect, not with defiance. He possesses the humility of the ignorant. His is the attitude of "yes!"; he is only waiting to experience so that he can trust.
When a person with a sharp intellect turns to skepticism, it is a dangerous sign - because it can be very ego-fulfilling to put down all ideas in an effective manner. But ultimately, the skeptic is only burning his own bridges. This is especially true of skepticism with a Master; if you adopt the attitude of skepticism, there is just no way the Master can get through to you. There is no point in going to a doctor just to question the value of every pill in his prescription, is there?
So ask your questions, by all means. Just watch the attitude with which you ask them!
Monday, October 09, 2006
From talks on the Shiva Sutras by Nithyananda.
Tayaapooryaashu moordhaantam bhanktvaa bhrookshepasetunaa;
Nirvikalpam manah kritvaa sarvordhve sarvagodgamah.
With attention between the eyebrows, let the mind be before thought. Then, the inner energy rises, fills awareness and omnipresence prevails.
"During my travels as a parivrajaka (wandering renunciant), I stayed with and had the opportunity to learn from a great Master, a Naga Baba, in the Himalayas. He had a unique method of teaching. Whenever people came to him to learn, he would stick his trishul, the trident which Shiva carries, in the ground, and he would ask them to look at all three tips simultaneously. I had seen, that sometimes his students would sit for three months staring at the trishul all day, trying to perfect themselves. It is much harder than it appears. One moment you can see one tip in your vision, and the next moment the next tip and the next moment the third tip. I first thought it was easy! But when I started practising, I was shocked, 'Oh God, I can't even see this small trishul, entirely, all at once!' Only then did I understand, that without moving the eyeballs, without shifting the gaze, we cannot really see more than one point.
The trishul is a great weapon to to create awareness of the third eye; a great way to expand awareness. Right now, your field of vision is 120 degrees. If you start concentrating at one particular point, it will slowly become 30 degrees. The more you concentrate, the narrower the field of vision becomes, but if you center yourself on the third eye, slowly your awareness will expand beyond 120 degrees, and you will be able to first see 180 degrees, then 240 degrees and ultimately 360 degrees. To create awareness by centering yourself on the third eye means to awaken your consciousness.
The second line of the sutra is 'Let the mind be before thought'. Being aware before thought arises is the greatest liberation! Try this simple experiment. Look at a rose without creating any words, without creating any words about it in your inner space. Do not think that it is a rose, that it is red, or that it is beautiful. Do not create any thoughts at all! Just look at it. Just try to relate with it without any words. Suddenly, you will see that you are in a different space! You are able to connect with the flower more deeply than you ever imagined. Please be very clear, you do not relate with the world as it is. If you look with the two physical eyes, it is equivalent to blindness. According to Tantra, either you use one eye or three eyes. According to me, either you use three eyes or no eyes at all. Even if you see with your eyes, you do not see what is, you just play with words. The moment you create a word, you are no more connected to the world. And once you create words, joy is lost; the moment you verbalize, all joy is lost.
The third eye, the ajna chakra, is the energy center for intuition. Once this third eye is opened, you will start awakening and living a life of freedom. You will be liberated from your inner chatter. You will live with what is. Your vision disturbed by your samskaras (embedded engrams) is what I call maya. If your third eye is awakened, your vision will be clear. With the third eye you can burn the false appearance of reality and be liberated from it. You will live like Shiva. You will live like Mahadeva!"
Friday, September 29, 2006
Nithyananda touches upon the nature of the mind:
Whether you speak through voicing opinions, or continue the conversation in your minds, it is difficult to break from the unconscious habit of inner chatter. When you are alone, you begin talking to yourself. In sleep, you begin talking in your dreams. You are not able to remain at peace with yourself even in your sleep, because you indulge in talk 24/7! An analogy: you may not feel a thing if you run fast for one or two minutes. If you run for 30 minutes, you will be gasping for breath. But if you continue running past your imagined limit, what happens to the body? It runs on auto-pilot. In the same manner, it has become difficult to be in silence because of the habit of the mind.
A small story: A learned professor from the West went to meet a Zen Master in the East, in Japan. The professor was a scholar, and had done a lot of research in many areas of science. He went to meet the Master to acquire some spiritual knowledge, to discuss various subjects with him, and to understand spirituality better.
He arrived at the Master's place and found the Master brewing tea. The Master saw him and gestured for him to sit and continued to brew the tea. The professor sat down and after a while, started talking about his background, about all his studies, his discoveries, his travels all over the world, his experiences with different people, his conclusions on various subjects and what not.
The Master finished brewing the tea and placed two cups between them. He began pouring tea into the professor's cup. He poured and poured and slowly the cup started overflowing. The tea spilt over the saucer and flowed onto the table. The professor was watching what was happening. He could not contain himself any more. He screamed out, "Master, what are you doing? Stop pouring! The cup is overflowing!"
The Master stopped and calmly said, "So are you."
The professor was surprised but suddenly understood exactly what the Master was trying to convey. The professor was so full, just like the teacup that could not hold any more tea, that any words of wisdom from the Master would not have filled him, but would have only overflowed outside. There is no question of perfect health or a blissful life unless the galloping nature of the mind is reigned in and the never-ending debates stop.
Even in the case of spiritual matters, you have your minds packed with all sorts of information, the words of this Master and that. Your inner chatter is shaped based on this information, too. As a first step, throw away into the trash can of your mind all this stinking garbage which you have accumulated unnecessarily! More importantly, ensure that you do not accumulate any further garbage.
The beauty of your pure inner self will then be revealed in your face.
The beauty of your pure mind will then be revealed in your speech.
Cleanse your mind – your speech will automatically become attractive. Those who have hated you will begin to love you. It is the first step you can take towards spiritual growth.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
A traditional couplet sung in adoration of Existential Bliss:
Nithyanandam Paramasukhadam Kevalam Gnana Murtim
Dwandwatitam Gaganasadrisham Tattvamasyadi Lakshyam
Ekam Nithyam Vimalamachalam Sarvadhi Sakshibhutam
Bhavatitam Trigunarahitam Satgurum Tam Namami
Salutations (Tam Namami), to the Existential energy that dispels the darkness of illusion (Satgurum); the energy that is free, and beyond the three gunas, the modifications of matter: Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas (Trigunarahitam); that transcends all mental conception (Bhavatitam); that is so completely awake that there is no imprint left in the apparatus of memory - only movement of awareness of actuality, and no false assumptions, ascriptions and abstractions owing to the mind (Sarvadhi Sakshibhutam).
Salutations to the Existential energy of Awareness that is without any contamination from the divisiveness of embodied consciousness (Vimalam); and therefore extremely still and tranquil (Achalam); that is eternal, with neither beginning nor end (Nithyam); which is the aloneness or 'all-one'ness (Ekam) without the suffering of loneliness superimposed by illusion, and which is spoken of by the Mahavakya Tat Tvam Asi (Tatvamasyadi Lakshyam).
Salutations to this Energy-Intelligence, that is the emptiness and the wholeness, pervasive like the sky (Gaganasadrisham), beyond all duality, divisions, pairs of opposites, separations, fragmentations, and contradictions of the material universe (Dwandwatitam).
The manifestation and complete expression of this Energy and wisdom in a human body (Kevalam Gnana Murtim) brings supreme happiness (Paramasukhadam) and Eternal Bliss (Nithyanandam)!