Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Experiences and Obstacles During Meditation

 

by Swami Sivananda
WHAT HAPPENS DURING MEDITATION

In meditation, new grooves are formed in the brain and the mind moves upwards in the new spiritual grooves. When the mind becomes steady in meditation, the eyeballs also become steady. A Yogi whose mind is calm will have a steady eye. There will be no winking at all. The eyes will be lustrous, red or pure white. When you enter into very deep, silent meditation, the breath will not come out of the nostrils. There may be occasional slow movement of the lungs and the abdomen. During normal exhalation the air comes out 16 digits. When the mind gets concentrated, it will become less and less. It will come to 15 then 14, 13, 12, 10, 8 and so on. From the nature of the breathing, you can infer the degree of concentration of an aspirant. Watch the breath very carefully.

Man tries to grasp the abstract through forms. After the mind has been purified, an abstract image is formed in the purified mind by Sravana (listening to spiritual discourses and holy scriptures) and Brahma-Chintana. This abstract image melts later on into deep Nididhyasana. What is left behind is Chinmatra or Kevala Asti (pure Existence alone).
In Nididhyasana or profound and continued meditation, thinking ceases. There is only one idea of "Aham Brahmasmi." When this idea also is given up, Nirvikalpa Samadhi or Sahaja Advaita-Nishtha ensues. Just as salt melts in water, the Sattvic mind melts in silence in Brahman-its Adhishthana (substratum).


EXPERIENCES IN MEDITATION


Various persons get various spiritual experiences. There cannot be a common experience for all. It depends upon the temperament, mode of Sadhana, place of concentration and various other factors. Some hear melodious sounds in the ears. Some see lights. Some get Ananda (spiritual bliss). Some get both Prakasa and Ananda. During meditation, you may experience that you are rising from your seat. Some experience that they fly in the air.


LIGHTS


The Divine light comes not through open doors, but only through narrow slits. The aspirant sees the Divine Ray as a sunbeam passing through a chick into a dark room. It is like a 'flash of lightning.' This sudden illumination chokes all sounds of words. The aspirant is spell-bound in ecstasy and awe. He trembles with love and awe, just as Arjuna did when he had the Virat-Visvarupa-Darsana of Lord Krishna. So bright and glorious is the Light environing the Divine that the initiate is dazzled and bewildered.
During meditation, the colour of lights that you see varies according to the Tattva that flows through the nostrils. If there is Agni-Tattva, you will see red-coloured lights. If Akasa-Tattva flows, you will have blue-coloured lights. If Apas-Tattva (water) prevails, you will see white-coloured lights. If there is Prithvi-Tattva, you will have yellow lights. If there is Vayu-Tattva, you will see black colour. You can change the Tattva by various ways. But the best way is by thought. "As you think, so you also become." When the Agni-Tattva flows, think intently of Apas-Tattva. Apas-Tattva will begin to flow soon.


RAPTURE


During meditation, you get rapture or ecstasy. It is of five kinds viz., the lesser thrill, momentary rapture, flooding rapture, transporting rapture and all-pervading rapture. The lesser thrill is only able to raise the hairs of the body (like the goose skin). The momentary rapture is like the productions of lightning, moment by moment. Like waves breaking on the seashore, the flooding rapture descends rapidly on the body and breaks. Transporting rapture is strong and lifts the body up to the extent of launching it into the air. When the all-pervading rapture arises, the whole body is completely surcharged, blown like a full-bladder.


CROSSING THE BODY-CONSCIOUSNESS


Aspirants are eager to get spiritual experiences soon. As soon as they get them, they are afraid. They are awfully alarmed when they go above the body-consciousness. They entertain a passing wonder whether they will come back again or not. Why should they be afraid at all? It does not matter much whether they return to body-consciousness or not. All our attempts are mainly directed towards getting over this body-consciousness. We are used to certain limitations. When these limitations suddenly drop away, we feel that there is no definite base left to stand upon. That is the reason why we are afraid when we go above the body-consciousness. That is a novel experience. Courage is needed. Bravery is an indispensable requisite. Sruti says, "Nayam-atma balahinena labhyah-This Atman can hardly be attained by weak (timid) persons." All sorts of forces have to be encountered on the way. A dacoit or an anarchist can easily realise God, because he is fearless. A push in the right direction is only necessary for him. How Jagai and Madhai, rogues of the first water, became very good saints! They pelted stones at Nityananda, the disciple of Lord Gouranga. Nityananda won them by pure divine love. Dacoit Ratnakara became Sage Valmiki.


VISIONS OF SPIRITS


Sometimes, bad spirits will trouble you. They may have ugly, fierce faces with long teeth. Drive them with your strong will. Give the word of command: "Get out." They will go away. They are vampires. They are elementals. They will not do any harm to the Sadhakas. Your courage will be tested here. If you are timid, you cannot march further. Draw power and courage from the Atman within, the inexhaustible Source (Avyaya). You will come across very good spirits also. They will help you a lot in your onward march.
There is a kind of vision one occasionally gets during meditation. You may behold a dazzling light with abrupt motion. You may behold a head of marvellous form, of the colour of a flame, red as fire and very awful to look at. It has three wings of marvellous length and breadth, white as a dazzling cloud. At times they would beat terribly and again would be still. The head never utters a word, but remains altogether still. Now and again, there is beating with its extended wings.
During meditation, some of the visions that you see are your own materialised thoughts, while some others are real, objective visions.


BREAK VEIL AFTER VEIL


If you get experiences of the glimpses of Self during intense meditation, if you see a blazing light during meditation and if you get spiritual visions of angels, archangels, Rishis, Munis, Devatas and any other extraordinary spiritual experiences, do not fall back in terror. Do not mistake them for phantoms. Do not give up the Sadhana. Plod on. Persevere diligently. Break veil after veil.
If there is any error in Sadhana (meditation), at once consult the senior Sannyasins or realised souls and remove the mistake. If your general health is sound, if you are cheerful, happy and strong, physically and mentally, if the mind is peaceful and unruffled, if you get Ananda in meditation and if your will is growing strong, pure and irresistible, think that you are improving in meditation and everything is going all right.
March on boldly. Do not look back. Cross the intense void and darkness. Pierce the layer of Moha. Melt the subtle Ahankara now. Svarupa will shine by itself. You will experience the Turiya (Arudha state).


OBSTACLES TO MEDITATION


Obstacles to meditation are really from within. Environments are from within; you create your own environments. Try to be happy in whatever situation you are placed. Do not complain. Bear sufferings. You can conquer Nature. Maya is Tuchha (nothing) or Alpa (small or non-entity) for a Brahma-Jnani.
The obstacles to meditation are only from within. Sleepiness, passions, confused state of the mind, Manorajya (building castles in the air) are the chief obstacles that stand in the way of fixing the mind on God or Brahman. The five hindrances to meditation, viz., sense-desire, ill-will, sloth-torpor, flurry-worry and perplexity should be removed. For, when these are not removed, meditation cannot arise. The mind that lusts after many things through sense-desire is not concentrated on one object; or being overcome by sense-desire, it does not enter upon the progress of meditation in order to put away the sensuous element. The mind that is harassed by ill-will concerning an object does not proceed at once. The mind that is overcome by sloth and torpor is unwieldy. Obsessed by worry and flurry, it does not repose, but flirts about. Struck by perplexity, it does not go on the path that leads to the attainment of meditation and Samadhi. Obstacles to meditation are thus really from within. They are not from without. Train the mind properly.
Laya (sleep), Vikshepa (tossing of mind from one object to another), Kashaya (memory of sensual pleasures) and hidden Vasanas and Rasasvada (the happiness derived from Savikalpa Samadhi) are four stumbling blocks in meditation.


TANDRI AND MANORAJYA


When the mind has been withdrawn from objects through Vairagya and Uparati, do not allow it to go into sleep or Manorajya (fancies and wild imagination). When you constantly contemplate on the meaning of the Mahavakya 'Aham Brahmasmi' or 'Tat Tvam Asi' through the process of Mahavakyanusandhana, all the Vishayas (seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling) will stop. But, owing to the force of Samskaras, Manorajya (building castles in the air) will continue. Mind builds castles in the air. This is termed Manoratha in Sanskrit. This is a serious obstacle to meditation. It should be stopped by Vichara. Sometimes, during the course of meditation, the mind suddenly slips into its old grooves for sleeping. People think that they are meditating, while they are actually sleeping. A mixture of drowsiness (Tandri) and Manorajya (building castles in the air, reverie) is mistaken by aspirants for deep meditation and Samadhi. The mind appears to be established in concentration and free from Vikshepa (distraction). This is a mistake. Alasya and Stabdhata (stupefaction arising from fear or wonder, mental restlessness and mental depression) are other disturbing factors in meditation.
Closely watch the mind. Make it Ekagra (one-pointed) and allow it to rest on the Svarupa Brahman). Be thoughtful, careful and vigilant. Stand up for ten minutes and dash cold water on the face and head, if drowsiness comes in. Remove the two serious obstacles of Tandri and Manorajya by Vichara, Pranayama and light, Sattvic diet. Tandri and Alasya are removed by Pranayama, Sirshasana, Sarvangasana and Mayurasana and light, Sattvic diet. Find out the disturbing causes and remove them. Avoid the company of those whom your mind dislikes. Do not argue. Do not contradict. Do not try to convince persons who are unreasonable and undeveloped. Talk little. Observe Mouna. Live alone. In this way, you can avoid all sorts of excitements. Have constant Satsanga. Study elevating books such as the Yogavasishtha, the Upanishads, etc. Have Brahma-Bhavana. Repeat OM with meaning and feeling. All depressing thoughts will melt away.
If you are alert and if by protracted efforts and incessant, vigilant Svarupa-Chintana (meditation on Brahman), you get over the obstacles of sleep, Manorajya, etc., the steady Brahmakara Vritti and Brahma-Jnana will dawn in no time. Ajnana will vanish. You will be established in Sahaja Paramananda state. All Sanchita (accumulated) Karmas will be burnt up in the fire of wisdom.


DREAMS IN MEDITATION


Various sorts of fantastic dreams trouble some aspirants very much. Sometimes, there is a mixture of meditation and dreams. The presence of dreams denotes that you are not yet well-established in deep meditation, that you have not removed Vikshepa (tossing of the mind) and that you have not done constant, intense Sadhana. As the phenomenon of dreams is very peculiar and inexplicable, it is very difficult to control dreams unless you wipe out all the Samskaras in the Karana Sarira (causal body) and control all thoughts. As you grow in purity, Viveka and concentration, dreams will decrease.


DEPRESSION


Very often, depression comes in meditation in neophytes owing to previous Samskaras, influence of astral entities, evil spirits, bad company, cloudy days, bad stomach owing to indigestion and loaded bowels in constipation. It must be removed quickly by cheerful thoughts, a brisk walk, singing, laughing, prayer, Pranayama, etc.


VIKSHEPA


Scents, soft beds, novel-reading, dramas, theatres, cinemas, vulgar music, dancing, flowers, company of women, Rajasic diet-all these excite passions and cause disturbance of the mind. Too much salt, too much chillies, too much sweets cause intense thirst and disturb meditation. Too much talking, too much walking and too much mixing disturb the mind in meditation.
Impulses disturb meditation. All obscure subconscious impulses should be controlled by the intellect and will. Sex-impulse and ambition are two real disturbing factors in meditation. They carry on guerilla warfare. They attack the Sadhakas again and again. They appear to be thinned out for some time. They get revived often. They should be extirpated by great efforts, Vichara, Viveka (power of discrimination between Atman and Anatman, Self and non-Self) and Sivoham-Bhavana.
It is the sound that sets the mind in motion. It is the sound that makes the mind to think. Sound disturbs the mind a great deal in meditation. A sound with meaning disturbs more than a sound without meaning. A continuous sound as the silent murmur of a river is not so disturbing as an abrupt, sudden, sharp, broken sound. The mind does not feel a sound when it is used to it. You feel only when the clock stops.


TUSHNIMBHUTA AVASTHA


Tushnimbhuta Avastha is a quiet state of the mind wherein there is neither attraction nor repulsion for objects for a short time. It occurs in the Jagrat state. It is a neutral state of the mind. It is an obstacle to meditation. It should be avoided. It is mistaken by ignorant Sadhakas for Samadhi.


KASHAYA


Kashaya means colouring. Raga, Dvesha and Moha are the Kashaya or colouring of the mind. Kashaya is the subtle influence in the mind produced by enjoyment and left there to fructify in time to come and distract the mind from Samadhi. This is a serious obstacle to meditation. It does not allow the Sadhaka to enter into Samadhi-Nishtha. It induces the subtle memory of pleasures enjoyed. It is hidden Vasana. From the Samskara, Vasana originates. Samskara is the cause and Vasana is the effect. It is a kind of Mala (impurity of mind). Constant Vichara coupled with Brahma-Bhavana is the only potent remedy to eradicate this dire malady Kashaya.


SATTVIC VRITTIS


During meditation, when your mind is more Sattvic, you will be inspired. The mind will be composing fine poems and solving some problems of life. Stamp out these Sattvic Vrittis also. This is all dissipation of mental energy. Soar higher and higher to Atman only.


SAVIKALPA SAMADHI


Even the happiness of Savikalpa Samadhi is an obstacle, because it prevents you from entering into the Nirvikalpa state. It produces false Tushti (contentment) and you stop your further Sadhana.
The mind should be freed from all these obstacles. Then only will you enter into pure Advaita Nirvikalpa state. Vichara and Brahma-Bhavana are the only helps to attain this highest state.


MEDITATION AND WORK


He who meditates is not able to work. He who works is not able to meditate. This is not balance. This is not equanimity. The two principles, meditation and action, must be well-balanced. You must be able, if you are ready to follow the divine injunction, to take up whatever work you are given-even a stupendous work-and leave it the next day, with the same quietness with which you took it up and without feeling that the responsibility is yours. You must be able to work hard in the world with tremendous force and, when the work is over, you must be able to shut yourself up in a cave as an absolute recluse for a long time with great peace of mind. That is balance, that is real strength. Then only you have gone beyond the qualities (Gunatita). "He, O Pandava, who hateth not radiance (Sattva) nor outgoing energy (work), nor even sloth and slumber (Moha) when present, nor longeth after them when absent-he is said to have crossed over the qualities" (Gita, XIV-22).
When you advance in the spiritual practice, it will be very difficult for you to do meditation and office work at the same time, because the mind will undergo double strain. Those who practise meditation will find that they are more sensitive than the people who do not meditate and, because of that, the strain on the physical body is enormous. The mind works in different grooves and channels with different Samskaras during meditation. It finds it very difficult to adjust to different kinds of uncongenial activities. As soon as it comes down from the meditation, it gropes in darkness. It gets bewildered and puzzled. The Prana (energy) which moves inward in different grooves and channels and which is subtle during the meditation has to move in new, different channels during worldly activities. It becomes very gross during work. It has to work in different grooves and channels. When you again sit for meditation in the evening, you will have to struggle hard to wipe out the newly acquired Samskaras you have gathered during the course of the day and get calm and one-pointedness of mind. This struggle sometimes brings in headache.
It behoves, therefore, that advanced Grihastha Yogic students (householders) will have to stop all the worldly activities when they advance in meditation, if they desire to progress further. They themselves will be forced to give up all work, if they are really sincere. Work is a hindrance in meditation for advanced students. That is the reason why Lord Krishna says in the Gita, "For a sage who is seeking Yoga, action is called the means; for the same sage who is enthroned in Yoga (state of Yogarudha), serenity (Sama) is called the means." Then, work and meditation become incompatible like acid and alkali or fire and water or light and darkness.


REASONS FOR FAILURES IN MEDITATION


Some practise meditation for a period of 15 years and yet they have not made any real progress at all. Why? This is due to lack of earnestness, Vairagya, keen longing for liberation and intense, constant Sadhana. There is always a complaint amongst the aspirants, "I am meditating for the last 12 years. I have not made any improvement. I have no realisation." Why is it so? What is the reason? They have not plunged themselves in deep meditation into the innermost recesses of their hearts. They have not properly assimilated and saturated the mind with the thoughts of God. They have not done regular, systematic Sadhana. They have not disciplined the Indriyas perfectly. They have not collected all the outgoing rays of the mind. They have not made the self-determination, "I will realise this very second." They have not given the full 100% of the mind or 16 annas of the mind-their full mind-to God. They have not kept an increasing flow of Divine Consciousness like the flow of oil (Tailadharavat).
You will have to note very carefully whether you remain stationary in the spiritual path even after many years of spiritual practice or whether you are progressing. Sometimes, you may go downwards also, if you are not very vigilant and careful, if your Vairagya wanes and if you are slack in meditation. Reaction may set in.
Just as the man who foolishly run after two rabbits will not catch hold of any one of them, so also a meditator who runs after two conflicting thoughts will not get success in any one of the two thoughts. If he has divine thoughts for ten minutes and then worldly conflicting thoughts for the next ten minutes, he will not succeed in anything, in getting at the Divine Consciousness. You must run after one rabbit only with vigour, strength and one-pointedness. You are sure to catch it. You must have only divine thoughts at all times. Then you are sure to realise God soon.
You must not be too hasty in longing for the fruits at once, when you take to meditation. Haste makes waste. A young lady perambulated an Asvattha tree (Filicus religiosa) 108 times for getting an offspring and immediately touched her abdomen to see whether there was a child or not. It is simply foolishness. She will have to wait for some months. Even so, if those who read works dealing with Atma-Jnana and who do take delight therein will not be hasty in longing for the fruits at once, but will meditate regularly and gradually upon them, then the mind will, by degrees, be ripened and, in the end, the endless Atman will be reached; and they will get Atmasakshatkara (Self-realisation).
You will have to exert in the beginning to get an equilibrium of mind. Later on, you will have a habitual balanced state of mind. So is the case with meditation. After some years of practice, meditation becomes habitual.


CONDITIONS FOR SELF-REALISATION


Just as you saturate water with salt or sugar, you will have to saturate the mind with thoughts of God and Brahman, with divine glory, Divine Presence with sublime soul-awakening spiritual thoughts. Then only you will always be established in the Divine Consciousness. Before saturating the mind with thoughts of Brahman, you will have to assimilate the divine ideas first. Assimilation first and then saturation. Then comes realisation, at once, without a moment's delay. Remember the triplet always: "Assimilation-Saturation-Realisation."
Free yourself from the base thoughts of the mind, the various useless Sankalpas (imaginations). Just as you render the turbid water pure by the addition of clearing nut (strychnos potatorum), so also you will have to make the turbid mind, filled with Vasanas and false Sankalpas, pure by Brahma-Chintana (thinking and reflecting on the Absolute). If the mind constantly dwells on sensual objects, the conception of the reality of the universe will surely increase. If the mind ceaselessly thinks of Atman (Absolute), the world appears like a dream. Mark the word "ceaseless." This is important. Then only there will be true illumination. Then only there will be dawn of spiritual knowledge. The Jnana-Surya (the Sun of Knowledge) will rise in the firmament of Chidakasa (knowledge-space).
You will find very often these terms in the Gita: "Ananyachetah" "Matchittah" "Nityayuktah" "Manmanah" "Ekagramanah" "Sarvabhavah." These terms connote that you will have to give your full mind, entire 100% mind to God. Then only you will have Self-realisation. Even if one ray of mind runs outside, it is impossible to attain God-consciousness.

It is the actions of the mind that are truly termed Karmas. True liberation results from the disenthralment of the mind. Those who have freed themselves from the fluctuation of their minds come into possession of the supreme Nishtha (meditation). Should the mind be purged of all its impurities, then it will become very calm and all the worldly delusion, with its births and deaths, will be soon destroyed.
Mind exists on account of "I." "I" exists on account of mind. "I" is only an idea in the mind. "Mind" and "I" are identical. If "I" vanishes, mind will also vanish; and if mind vanishes, "I" will vanish. Destroy the mind through Tattva-Jnana. Destroy the "I" through "Aham Brahmasmi Bhavana," through constant and intense Nididhyasana. When mind vanishes or thoughts cease, Nama-Rupa will cease to exist and the Goal is reached.


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Other aspects on meditation by Swami Sivananda http://www.sivanandaonline.org/public_html/?cmd=archives-search&search_string=concentration


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Monday, 22 July 2013

The Unimaginable God..and the Brahma Kumaris Cosmology




 The knowledge of God is to detect the unimaginable God through the imaginable medium. If both God and medium are unimaginable, then it means both are non-existent.

If the medium is also unimaginable like the God entering it, then, you can never detect God. This results in the total non-existence of God. The medium must be imaginable, which is the basis for projecting the unimaginable nature unlike the other imaginable media, which project only the imaginable nature. The alive wire gives shock indicating the existence of electricity in it. Similarly, the imaginable medium containing God projects the unimaginable nature of God indicating the existence of unimaginable God. If the wire is also unseen like the unseen electricity, then, there is no basis for detecting the existence of unseen electricity. This means that there is no wire and no electricity. Similarly, if the medium is also unimaginable, there is no basis for the existence of unimaginable God to be indicated through imaginable medium. Therefore, for the projection of the existence of unimaginable God, the existence of imaginable medium is essential and this is the reason for creating this imaginable world through which only the unimaginable God can be detected. Such detection of unimaginable God in a specific imaginable medium is called as the knowledge of God or Brahmajnaanam.


An alternative framework used by the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual Organization to depict the world and the regions beyond describes 3 components as follows:


THE PHYSICAL WORLD - Corporeal World
This world is a vast amphitheatre of action in which embodied souls play their respective and various parts. Planet Earth exists in an extremely tiny portion of the physical universe and is governed by well-defined physical, chemical and biological laws.

In India, the world which we inhabit is called "karma kshetra" (the field of action), because it is here that we sow the seeds of actions and reap their fruits. It is here that the soul takes on flesh and bones and expresses the role that it has latent within itself, causing variations in the material environment. The state of the material world at any given moment is a direct reflection of the state of consciousness of the human beings which inhabit it. If there is peace and harmony within the soul this is reflected in nature. If there is conflict and confusion, nature responds accordingly.

It is a world of three dimensions of space and one of time. Its principal characteristics are sound, movement, colour and form. On this immense stage of deserts, forests, mountains and seas, illuminated by the sun, moon and stars, the drama of existence is enacted. In the drama, the actor-souls are subject to dualities; from pleasure to pain, birth to death, purity to impurity, happiness to sorrow, new to old, positive to negative; the vast pageant of history crawls along as indefatigable time devours all. A point is finally reached when the process is renewed and all souls and the elements of matter themselves move back to their points of origin, only to start again.


The Regions Beyond
Beyond the limits of this vast expanse of the solar system and galaxies there are regions of non-material light. They are not reached by any physical means because it is simply not a question of light years or kilometres. They are regions which "transcend" the physical plane and therefore can only be experienced through divine vision, perceivable to the "third eye". Through deep meditation the soul can "travel" to these regions and experience the bliss of being free from the limits of anything earthly.


THE SUBTLE REGIONS
These regions are like three subtle "layers" around the physical plane which are absolutely necessary for the roles of creation, its sustenance and the destruction of that which is old and impure. Thus they have an important part in world transformation (this part will be explained in - The Human World Tree). Those who have the gift of divine trance are able to have a vision of these regions. Such souls see the scenes much in the manner as one experiences a dream, yet much more vividly. Since the bodies there are of light and not matter, there is movement but no sound. The scenes seen in trance are like silent movies in which communication is by gesture and thought.


THE SOUL WORLD - THE HOME
Further beyond the subtle regions is another region. It is pervaded by golden-red, divine light, which is the sixth element called "brahm". It is the region from which all souls have descended onto this earth. The conscient entities, the souls, have neither bodies of matter nor bodies of light. There exists neither thought, word nor action; just complete stillness, silence and peace. Just as this world occupies a tiny part of this physical universe, so too the souls occupy just a tiny portion of this infinite golden-red light.

This is the highest region, the original home of souls and the Supreme Soul, God. This is the region which human beings, irrespective of culture or religion, have tried to reach in thoughts, prayers, etc.. It is called Heaven by Christians. Nirvana by Buddhists, Shantidham, Paramdham or Brahmand by Hindus. Before I came to this earth, I was there with all other souls, my brothers. The experience of complete and utter peace, purity and silence is there in my sweet home. There the soul is untainted by matter. Souls abide there as star-like points of light. They remain dormant, with their roles in the physical world merged or latent within them.

The souls stay in the soul world in well-defined groups. They descend onto this earth in a certain chronological order, according to the quality of sanskaras. At the apex of this configuration of souls is the Supreme Soul, whom the other souls call God, Allah, Jehovah, Shiva, etc. Beneath Him the souls are positioned numberwise according to their degree of similarity to God. Depending on the quality and the part the soul has to play, it emerges in the human world, taking the body of a developing baby in a mother's womb. It then continues through the cycle of birth and rebirth according to the role that it has. When the parts are over, souls again return to this world of light, peace, liberation and complete purity.

The deep rest the soul has had in the "home" has such an effect on it that even though it forgets the details about that world, there is always the impetus to search for that peace and silence when it becomes lost and confused in the world of matter. In that supreme region only, souls remain in their completely original, natural state, which can be experienced through Raja Yoga meditation.

Perhaps others here have additional frameworks they would also like to share.

Monday, 24 June 2013

The Aum of All Things

Maa
We are pleased to announce the publication of our new book with the name of The Aum of All Things, by Ruzbeh N. Bharucha author of The Fakir Trilogy and the Last Marathon. The aspects and philosophy is said and given by “Bapuji” . This book unfolds various aspects of life related to human kind and beyond the finite, and many more which is general quest of every being. Today all of us ponder where the hell life is taking all of us. Each of us confines ourselves to this materialistic world. We all are living in illusion, and believe that what we see is everything. But as said by Lord Krishna, “What all you see is Nashwan and what is not seen with the earthly vision is actual and real.” We usually forget this fact and engaged our self in fulfilling our desires and wishes and trap our self to the bondage of physical matter. This book will take you to the journey within our self and the way to connect with the Almighty. It will help an individual to destroy all the attachments to discover the spiritual progress; divine knowledge thy sole quest. It will give you an understanding of Mukti and jeevan mukti and gives everybody the aim towards mankind. While going through this magnificent book you will know the clutches of Death and Karma. It will also give you an experience of attaining the divine power by bringing the light or param tatva within and enlighten your soul. This divinity will disseminate in the cosmos and will eventually change the universe just with the power of our thoughts or sankalp, and the energy defuse on the whole globe and everywhere would light light and light, and the universe will be blessed with divinity. This book will help you to get answers to all minute questions, who am I, Life after Death, Karma Theory, Summary of all the Vedas and shastra and last but not the least will know about The Aum tatva and its power.

To sum up, The Aum of all Things is a book about Oneness, and is a sublime and enchanting journey of time spent by the author with the recluse hermit, Dashrathbhai Patel, lovingly called Bapuji and Sushma Tandon with respect called Mataji.

The Aum of All Things can change your life and help you to achieve internal peace. It reveals to us how to overcome the limitations of the gross body and ascend to great spiritual heights.

May the Oneness walk with you, paying you path with Light, a song in your heart, joy in your eyes and wellbeing in your soul.

Be blessed always

Param Shanti

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The book is available in Pune, Mumbai , Delhi and Ahmedabad, coming soon all over india . It is available on the stores of Crossword across the all major cities.

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Discovery of a New World

MaaEvery soul on the earth is in dilemma about what will happen next? What will happen to us? Who will save us? What will we do? Where will we go? Because no human being is happy in this universe which is made up of 5 Elements (Tatvas) and every human being is always in search of truth. We try to find pleasures in this 5 Elements (Tatvas) Universe but all the human beings are unhappy within their soul. This is because he is unable to secure all the worldly necessities but he wanders in search of truth.With the help of DISCOVERY OF NEW WORLD we are trying to take you on the true path and that truth is seeked by the whole humankind for centuries. Those 33 crore gods-godesses whom we pray are now transformed to human beings and today they worship themselves only. But when the kalpna ends and sins grow more the all mighty god gives man a divine vision to make him Detiy himself and take him to the divine world from mrityulok.
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Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Kumbh Mela

Kumbh Mela
2001 Kumbh Mela at Allahabad
Official nameKumbh Mela, Maha Kumbha Mela
Observed byHindus
TypeHinduism
An article related to
Hinduism
Om.svg


The Triveni Sangam, or the intersection of Yamuna River and Ganges River and the mythical Sarasvati River, where devotees perform rituals.
Kumbh Mela (/ˌkʊm ˈmlə/ or /ˌkʊm məˈlɑː/; Devanagari: कुम्भ मेला) is a mass Hindu pilgrimage in which Hindus gather at the Ganges, river Godavari and river Kshipra, where bathing for purification from sin is considered especially efficacious.
The festival is billed as the biggest religious gathering in the world. In 2001, more than 40 million people gathered on the main bathing day at Allahabad, breaking a world record for the biggest human gathering.[1]
The Ardh (half) Kumbh Mela is celebrated every six years at Haridwar and Allahabad, the Purna (complete) Kumbh takes place every twelve years,[2] at four places Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain, and Nashik. The Maha (great) Kumbh Mela which comes after 12 'Purna Kumbh Melas', or 144 years, is held at Allahabad.[2][3]
According to the Mela Administration's estimates, around 70 million people participated in the 45-day Ardh Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, in 2007.[4]
The previous Kumbh Mela, held in 2001 in Haridwar, was, before it occurred, estimated by the authorities to attract between 30 and 70 million people.[5][6][7][8] Next Maha Kumbh Mela will start on 27-January-2013 at Allahabad. [9]

Contents

 [hide

[edit] Timing

Kumbh Mela is celebrated at different locations depending on the position of the planet of Bṛhaspati (Jupiter) and the sun. When Jupiter and the sun are in the zodiac sign Leo (Simha Rashi) it is held in Trimbakeshwar, Nashik; when the sun is in Aries (Mesha Rashi) it is celebrated at Haridwar; when Jupiter is in Taurus (Vrishabha Rashi ) and the sun is in Capricorn (Makar Rashi) Kumbha Mela is celebrated at Prayag; and Jupiter and the sun are in Scorpio (Vrishchik Rashi) the Mela is celebrated at Ujjain.[10][11] Each site's celebration dates are calculated in advance according to a special combination of zodiacal positions of Sun, Moon, and Jupiter.[12]

[edit] History

The first written evidence of the Kumbha Mela can be found in the accounts of Chinese traveler, Huan Tsang or Xuanzang (602 - 664 A.D.) who visited India in 629 -645 CE, during the reign of King Harshavardhana.[13][14] However, similar observances date back many centuries, where the river festivals first started getting organised. According to medieval Hindu theology, its origin is found in one of the most popular medieval puranas, the Bhagavata Purana. The Samudra manthan episode (Churning of the ocean of milk), is mentioned in the Bhagavata Purana, Vishnu Purana, the Mahabharata, and the Ramayana.[15]
The account goes that the demigods had lost their strength by the curse of Durväsä Muni, and to regain it, they approach Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva than they directed all demigods to Supreme Personalty of Godhead Lord Visnu[16] (full story on kumbh mela) and after praying to Lord Visnu, He instructed them for churning ocean of milk Ksheera Sagara (primordial ocean of milk) for amrita (the nectar of immortality). This required them to make a temporary agreement with their arch enemies, the demons or Asuras, to work together with a promise of sharing the wealth equally thereafter.[17] However, when the Kumbha (urn) containing the amrita appeared, a fight ensued. For twelve days and twelve nights (equivalent to twelve human years) the gods and demons fought in the sky for the pot of amrita. It is believed that during the battle, Lord Vishnu(Incarnates as Mohini-Mürti) flew away with the Kumbha of elixir spilling drops of amrita at four places: Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nashik.[18]

[edit] Attendance

According to The Imperial Gazetteer of India, an outbreak of cholera occurred at the 1892 Mela at Haridwar leading to the rapid improvement of arrangements by the authorities and to the formation of Haridwar Improvement Society. In 1903 about 400,000 people are recorded as attending the fair.[11] During the 1954 Kumbh Mela stampede at Prayag, around 500 people were killed, and scores were injured. Ten million people gathered at Haridwar for the Kumbh on April 14, 1998.[13]
The 1998 Kumbh Mela saw over 10 million pilgrims visiting Hardwar, to take a dip in the holy Ganges river.[19] In 2001, around 1 million people from outside of India and from around the world participated in the Maha Kumbh Mela at Allahabad, with a total participation of approximately 60 million. This mela was unusually significant due to the planetary positions at the time, a pattern that repeats only once every 144 years.[20]

[edit] The ritual


Naga Sadhu procession 1998 Kumbh Mela
The major event of the festival is ritual bathing at the banks of the river in whichever town it is being held that is, Ganga in Haridwar, Godavari in Nasik, Kshipra in Ujjain and Sangam (confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati) in Prayag (Allahabad). Nasik has registered maximum visitor to 75 million. Other activities include religious discussions, devotional singing, mass feeding of holy men and women and the poor, and religious assemblies where doctrines are debated and standardized. Kumbh Mela is the most sacred of all the pilgrimages.[citation needed] Thousands of holy men and women attend, and the auspiciousness of the festival is in part attributable to this. The sadhus are seen clad in saffron sheets with ashes and powder dabbed on their skin as per the requirements of ancient traditions. Some, called naga sanyasis, may not wear any clothes even in severe winter.[citation needed]
After visiting the Kumbh Mela of 1895, Mark Twain wrote:
It is wonderful, the power of a faith like that, that can make multitudes upon multitudes of the old and weak and the young and frail enter without hesitation or complaint upon such incredible journeys and endure the resultant miseries without repining. It is done in love, or it is done in fear; I do not know which it is. No matter what the impulse is, the act born of it is beyond imagination, marvelous to our kind of people, the cold whites.[21]

[edit] Most Significant Days During The Kumbh Mela

Makar Sankranti
A Holy bath during this period carries special significance. Those who take a holy bath in the rivers Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Krishna and Kaveri acquire pious credits.
Paush Purnima
The day occurs when the moon is full in the Hindu month of Paush. This is the last full moon of winter. By this time, the sadhu and hundreds of thousands of pilgrims arrive at the Kumbh Mela.
Mauni Amavasya Snan
For the holy men and women, this is the main bathing day. New members to various holy monastic orders receive their first initiation on this day.
Basant Panchami Snan
This is the fifth day of the luminous half of the lunar month and is the beginning of spring in North India.
Rath Saptami Snan
Rath Saptami festival is observed on the seventh day of Shukla Paksha in the Magh Month (January – February) in the traditional Hindu calendar.
Bhishma Ekadasi Snan
On this day, Bhishma Pithamaha, the oldest, wisest, most powerful and most righteous person belonging to the Kuru dynasty (approx. over 5000 years ago), narrated the greatness of Lord Krishna through Sri Vishnu Sahasranama to Yudhishtira, the oldest brother of Pandavas.[22]

[edit] Recent Kumbha Melas

[edit] 1894

According to Paramahansa Yogananda in his work the Autobiography of a Yogi, it was on the Kumbha Mela in January 1894 at Allahabad that his Guru Sri Yukteswar met Mahavatar Babaji for the first time.[23]

[edit] 2001


A procession of Akharas marching over a makeshift bridge over the Ganges river, Kumbh Mela at Prayag, 2001
In 2001, the Kumbh Mela was held in Prayag, aka Allahabad. The India government estimates that about 70 million people came to this festival in north India to bathe in the holy river Ganges where it meets with the also holy Yamuna river. Bathing in the holy waters at this auspicious time is said to wash away your karmic debt. Therefore, it is literally a shortcut to spiritual liberation (moksha), the liberation from the cycle of birth and death.

[edit] 2003

When the Kumbha Mela was held in Nashik, India, from July 27 to September 7, 2003, 39 pilgrims (28 women and 11 men) were trampled to death and 57 were injured. Devotees had gathered on the banks of the Godavari river for the maha snaan or holy bath. Over 30,000 pilgrims were being held back by barricades in a narrow street leading to the Ramkund, a holy spot, so the sadhus could take the first ceremonial bath. Reportedly, a sadhu threw some silver coins into the crowd and the subsequent scramble led to the stampede.[24][25]

[edit] 2007

More than 30 million people visited Ardh Kumbh Mela at Prayag.

[edit] 2010


Haridwar April 14th 2010: Pilgrims gather at the third Shahi Snan in Har ki Pauri to take the Royal Bath in the Ganges. Video still from the documentary "Amrit Nectar of Immortality"[26]
Haridwar hosted the Purna Kumbha mela from Makar Sankranti (14 January 2010) to Shakh Purnima Snan (28 April 2010). Millions of Hindu pilgrims attended the mela. On April 14, 2010, alone approximately 10 million people bathed in the Ganges river.[27] According to officials by mid April about 40 million people had bathed since January 14, 2010.[28] Hundreds of foreigners joined Indian pilgrims in the festival which is thought to be the largest religious gathering in the world.[28][29] To accommodate the large number of pilgrims Indian Railways ran special trains.[30] At least 5 people died in a stampede after clashes between holy men and devotees.[31]
Indian Space Research Organisation took satellite pictures of the crowds with the hope of improving the conduct of the festival in the future.[32]

[edit] Future Venues

YearAllahabadNashikUjjainHaridwar
1983Ardh Kumbh---
1986---Kumbh
1989Kumbh---
1991-Kumbh--
1992--KumbhArdh Kumbh
1995Ardh Kumbh---
1998---Kumbh
2001Kumbh---
2003-Kumbh--
2004--KumbhArdh Kumbh
2007Ardh Kumbh---
2010---Kumbh
2013Maha Kumbh---
2015-Kumbh--
2016--KumbhArdh Kumbh
2019Ardh Kumbh---
2022---Kumbh

  • Upcoming Kumbh Mela festivals will be held in Allahabad in 2013 (January 27 to February 25), Nasik in 2015 (August 15 to September 13), and Ujjain in 2016 (April 22 to May 21).
  • The Purna Kumbha Mela will again be held at Prayag in the year 2013 (January 27 to February 25).
Here is the details of most auspicious days (Bathing Dates)in year 2013 during Maha Kumbh Festival (mela).[33]
14 January 2013 (Monday) – Makar Sankranti
27 January 2013 (Sunday) – Paush Purnima
6 February 2013 (Wednesday) – Ekadashi Snan
10 February 2013 (Sunday) – Mauni Amavasya Snan (Main Bathing Day)
15 February 2013 (Friday) – Basant Panchami Snan
17 February 2013 (Sunday) – Rath Saptami Snan
21 February 2013 (Thursday) – Bhisma Ekadashi Snan
25 February 2013 (Monday) – Maghi Purnima Snan
  • Nasik will host the Kumbha Mela in 2015 (Also Known as Simhasth at Nashik as Guru is in Sigh Rashi) (August 15 to September 13).
  • Ujjain Purna Kumbh Mela 2016 (April 22 to May 21).

[edit] Places


[edit] Kumbha Mela in Media

Amrita Kumbher Sandhane, a 1982 Bengali feature film directed by Dilip Roy, documents the Kumbh Mela. Kumbha Mela has been theme for many a documentaries, including "Kumbh Mela: The Greatest Show on Earth" (2001) directed by Graham Day,[34] On 24 Sept, The Hindu reported the great faith in god displayed in kumbh mela at Nasik which had more than 70 million visitors in 2003 kumbh mela. (2004), by Maurizio Benazzo and Nick Day,[35][36] Kumbh Mela: Songs of the River (2004), by Nadeem Uddin,[37] and Invocation, Kumbha Mela (2008).[38]
On April 18, 2010, a popular American morning show The CBS Sunday Morning gave an extensive coverage on Haridwar's Kumbh Mela "The Largest Pilgrimage on Earth". Calling it "one of the most extraordinary displays of faith on Earth, a spectacular journey drawing tens of millions of people".
Short Cut to Nirvana: Kumbh Mela is a 2004 documentary film was set in the 2001 Maha Kumbh Mela at Allahabad. This film is directed by Nick Day and produced by "Maurizio Benazzo".[39]
On April 28, 2010, BBC reported an audio and a video report on Kumbh Mela, titled "Kumbh Mela 'greatest show on earth'.
On September 30, 2010, the Kumbh Mela featured in the second episode of the Sky One TV series "An Idiot Abroad" with Karl Pilkington visiting the festival.
"Amrit Nectar of Immortality" (2012) is a documentary which was shot at the Kumbh Mela 2010 in Haridwar, this film is directed by Jonas Scheu and Philipp Eyer.[40]

[edit] See also


[edit] References

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ a b K Shadananan Nair, "Role of water in the development of civilization of India: A review of ancient literature, traditional practices and beliefs", pp. 160–166 of The Basis of Civilization: Water Science?, ed. J. C. Rodda and Lucio Ubertini (Wallingford, Oxon: International Association of Hydrological Science, 2004. ISBN 1-901502-57-0), p.165. Here at Google Books.
  3. ^ The Maha Kumbh Mela 2001 indianembassy.org.
  4. ^ "Ardha Kumbh - 2007: The Ganges River". Mela Administration. http://ardhkumbh.up.nic.in/ganga.htm. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  5. ^ Millions bathe at Hindu festival BBC News, January 3, 2007.
  6. ^ Kumbh Mela pictured from space - probably the largest human gathering in history BBC News, January 26, 2001.
  7. ^ Kumbh Mela: the largest pilgrimage - Pictures: Kumbh Mela by Karoki Lewis The Times, March 22, 2008. Behind paywall.
  8. ^ Kumbh Mela - 25 January 2001 - New Scientist
  9. ^ http://www.mahakumbhfestival.com/kumbh-mela/kumbh-mela-allahabad/
  10. ^ Kumbha Mela Students' Britannica India, by Dale Hoiberg, Indu Ramchandani. Published by Popular Prakashan, 2000. ISBN 0-85229-760-2.Page 259-260.
  11. ^ a b Haridwar The Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1909, v. 13, p. 52.
  12. ^ Kumbh Mela 'Britannica.com.
  13. ^ a b Kumbh Mela - Timeline What Is Hinduism?: Modern Adventures Into a Profound Global Faith, by Editors of Hinduism Today, Hinduism Today Magazine Editors. Published by Himalayan Academy Publications, 2007. ISBN 1-934145-00-9. 242-243.
  14. ^ Kumbh Mela Channel 4.
  15. ^ Ramayana, Book I; Canto: XLV - The Quest for the Amrit Ramayana of Valmiki.
  16. ^ Story of Maha Kumbh Mela from Srimad Bhagvatam
  17. ^ The Holiest Day in History TIME, Jan 31, 1977.
  18. ^ Urn Festival TIME, May 1, 1950.
  19. ^ "Kumbh Mela, a study". Missouri State University. http://courses.missouristate.edu/JLlewellyn/kumbhmela.html.
  20. ^ "Maha Kumbh Mela concludes". The Hindu. http://www.hinduonnet.com/2001/02/22/stories/0222000p.htm.
  21. ^ Mark Twain, "Following the Equator: A journey around the world"
  22. ^ "Kumbh Mela – Expert Bulletin". Expertbulletin.com. http://expertbulletin.com/most-significant-days-during-the-kumbh-festival/.
  23. ^ Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda Chapter 36 Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda, wikisource.
  24. ^ 39 killed in Kumbh Mela stampede The Hindu, Aug 28, 2003
  25. ^ Holy man's gift blamed for 39 dead in stampede The Guardian, August 28, 2003.
  26. ^ http://www.amritfilm.net
  27. ^ Yardley, Jim; Kumar,Hari (2010-04-14). "Taking a Sacred Plunge, One Wave of Humanity at a Time". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/15/world/asia/15india.html. Retrieved 15 April 2010.
  28. ^ a b Millions dip in Ganges at world's biggest festival, Agence France-Presse, 2010-04-13
  29. ^ Foreigners join huge crowds at India’s holy river festival, The Gazette (Montreal), 2010-04-14
  30. ^ "More trains during Kumbh Mela". The Times of India. 2010-04-11. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/More-trains-during-Kumbh-Mela/articleshow/5783377.cms. Retrieved 16 April 2010.
  31. ^ Five die in stampede at Hindu bathing festival, BBC, 2010-04-14
  32. ^ ISRO taking satellite pictures of Mahakumbh mela, Press Trust of India, 2010-04-13
  33. ^ Allahabad Maha Kumbh 2013 Bathing Dates
  34. ^ Kumbh Mela: The Greatest Show on Earth at the Internet Movie Database
  35. ^ Short Cut to Nirvana at the Internet Movie Database
  36. ^ Mela films
  37. ^ Kumbh Mela: Songs of the River at the Internet Movie Database
  38. ^ Invocation, Kumbha Mela at the Internet Movie Database
  39. ^ http://melafilms.com
  40. ^ http://amritfilm.net, Amrit Nectar of Immortality Website

[edit] External links