Fearlessness and Faith

swamiji_teacher2

by Swami Rama

Fearlessness

Fears, if not examined, will develop strong roots, though they are often rootless. Fear invites danger.

Self-preservation is the instinct that remains always vigilant to protect the body. This instinct is useful up to a certain extent, but it should not become an obsession in life. When fear becomes an obsession, all spiritual potentials become dormant. Fears are never examined—that is why they are able to control human life. They should be examined boldly.

Fear has two faces: I might lose what I have, and I might not gain what I want. These two thoughts should not be entertained, and cannot be when you remember your mantra or the presence of the Lord within.

Fearlessness is very important. One should constantly remain in spiritual delight, so that no fear is entertained. Fearlessness comes from knowing that God is with us, and that we are with God.

Faith

Faith based on direct experience bestows the clarity of mind that is necessary for functioning in the world of objects, and for penetrating into the many unknown levels of life. Such faith can never be challenged, whereas blind faith is always subject to scrutiny.

Belief in God, and experiencing the presence of God at every moment, are two different things. Before the actual direct experience of the Truth, one may believe in the existence of God, but that belief remains imperfect.

True belief, which is known as faith, comes after direct experience. Faith born from direct experience becomes a part of the aspirant’s being, and such faith protects the aspirant like a mother protects her child.

A belief established on the solid foundation of the Truth is a source of strength. A belief based on the direct experience of the Truth, and not contradicted by logic and reasoning, is known as shraddha, or faith.

Such faith is established over an extended period of time. Repeated experiences add to the maturity of the faith. Direct experience of the Truth removes all doubts and leads an aspirant to a decisive understanding. Such an understanding becomes an inseparable part of his being. Knowledge becomes firm and he does not feel it necessary to seek verification from others. He knows that he knows. Such is his faith.

On the basis of that faith, he starts his quest and reaches his goal. Belief in God may lead one to a series of disappointments. Faith in God leads one to God.

Nitya-3x4
Kathopanishad

A Series of Contemplations

On Life and Death - #4


                                                                                                                                             by Swami Nitya

So we saw, that Nachiketa (a young boy in conversation with Lord Death), fulfilled his social duties to the family, or rather his father; he was thoroughly tested by Lord Death and he contemplated with Lord Death what the relationship was between life and death.

So having been thoroughly prepared, he now takes responsibility for his spiritual path. All the temptations of life have been let go of (he has obviously practiced detachment… and after all this, he focusses now on the spiritual quest, he originally set out for. He wants answers! Indeed “nothing else will satisfy” his quest. He has embraced the path of detachment and practices…(vairagya and abhyasa).

So being well prepared he can now ask Lord Death what it is that is the essence of all things which are neither limited by time, nor experience.

Lord Death first of all suggests to contemplate and practice OM.  Because OM is Brahman; is the identical all-encompassing vibration - as Brahman; and moreover That is what has been called “the Self”.                                                    Indeed the Self is that essence which never dies, and thus is never born, it is the essence of each being, the core, the heart, the Atman.

Meditation on That, reveals the impermanent amongst the permanent. Once one starts seeing the Self – there is no need to grief, or fear death because this essence, this Self is literally immortal (second Canto;23).

However one needs not just to “see”/understand this, but has to discover this Self in one-self and that’s were the difficulty is, because it’s not enough to comprehend the idea, not intellectually understand… but it needs to be experienced. Each human being needs to discover it for him/herself.

This Upanishad, says one can do that, through abhyasa and vairagya.. (detachment and practice).   Practice here means self-discipline; i.e. it means leading a self-disciplined life as well as practicing detachment from worldly things diligently.

With this advice, we enter the third “Canto” (chapter) of Part II where Lord Death explains, that all the blocks, all the activity, all that keeps us from realising that immortal Self… is simply the mind. He compares the mind to wild horses, and a Charioteer is needed to reign in the horses/senses and the mind so as to make the mind one pointed/discipline; focussed on the path of spiritual practices.

Lord Death extolls that the second tool needed on this path is a sharpened intellect. For that it says in the 13th.verse:  “The discriminating man should merge the (organ of) speech in the mind; he should merge that (mind) into the intelligent self; he should merge the intelligent self into the Great Soul (Self); he should merge the Great Soul into the peaceful Self.”

Woe… what does that mean!
Shakaracharya’s comment, explains: that it means when the mind becomes concentrated through meditation on a mantra or for example one of the Mahavakyas (sacred sentences, such as ‘Thou art That’; or ‘I am Brahman’ etc.) eventually the conviction comes that “this is so”; I really am That!.

Well, this is not easy… now we understand why “abhyasa” (self-disciplined) practices is given such importance.

In verse 15, a way is shown that to me sounds simpler:  It alludes to the fact, that earth, or the world around us, is made up of 5 energy-fields, they express in five qualities and five organs of perceptions (earth, water, fire, air and space, giving us nose, tongue, eyes, skin and ears, so we can smell, taste, see, touch and hear).

With these we build the perception of our world. That world is ever changing.         So to understand “That” which is unchanging, without those qualities - we need to let go of the “glasses” through which we perceive the un-changing.

Hence detach from the ever-changing - in order to experience the “self-existing Lord”, the SELF, the ATMAN, the Life-force itself.

That Self… which is without attributes is hidden in all existence.

Swami Rama in his book “Sacred Journey” says that we are not so much body with souls, but souls with bodies. So we need to look after our tool: body and mind on this journey, which means practicing the yamas and niyamas and within these codes of conduct, especially we need to practice ahimsa (towards others and ourselves). He also says, we need to eat well and look after our body; and furthermore cultivate contentment etc.. Equally we need to work on being able to concentrate our mind, through disciplined focus on the immortal Self.

He says: The Self or Atman” is not recognized through the senses (i.e. our normal way of perception) and cannot be discovered through learning and not even through the sacred teachings (i.e. academic study) … the Atman is revealed only through the disciplines of concentration and meditation which purify the mind (p. 90).

Meditation for Swami Rama means sitting watching calmly the mind, what comes up.?  Then watching and inquiring what is it that makes me behave in certain compulsory patterns?

These patterns colour/ dim our mind, they hide the truth from us. They are stored in our unconscious mind (as he explains in the book: Happiness is your Creation).

They are stored in the ‘Cellar’ of our being, and influence…unnoticed, how we think, how we live.

Meditation, when the conscious mind is somewhat still, gives space for these impressions to surface, so we can see them… and let them go.                                  It is something like clearing the basement of our house, so we can move…into a new house (a new way of seeing).

So we need to look at our mind, clean its distortions, so that we are gradually looking through different, clearer glasses and thus seeing of the Self can dawn.

The biggest help with this difficult task, is what in Yogic tradition is called the Gu-Ru. But as Swami Rama says, this is not a person – but it is a force (an energy) driven by grace (p.96).                                                                 “There is an intelligent momentum that pervades the universe that is moving all human beings towards the perfection, we call God. GU-RU is that intelligence” that intelligent wisdom energy… the highest wisdom… and yes, it can be in a person, but equally it can be in a butterfly or a spider, in the air, in the earth etc. etc. It’s up to our inner sankalpa… our will to learn from it – where ever it speaks to us. That means we need to learn to listen… not to mundane sounds (which are nothing but distractions) but to the guidance which is undistorted inner wisdom, that arises from within.

Seeing this,  your whole life becomes -  yes, indeed the whole universe  is  - Gu-ru … that force that guides, sustains and nurtures  a soul to find “the Self” inside  one’s own being.

When we see (our whole personality) is nothing but a construct of the acquired patterns, the attachment dissolves, the limitation are seen through; we recognize the endless repetitions of behaviour… see them for what they are ; and once we do they lose importance.                                                                                             Who, in his right mind - wants to cling to such empty patterns and habits…?

As we start seeing, as we start being aware of - who we “assume we are”… the ‘my-ness”, the body identification drops.

When it drops, we see there is nothing to fear with death; “I-ness “drops; identification with personality and body drops.

It says somewhere: once we see that all ornaments are made from gold… what can the attachment be to any particular ornament? Our thoughts, stories and fears are always about the shell/ the temporary form? They are about the conditioned, habitual person and body… the Self has no thoughts, the Self is not suffering; the Self has no fear.

So as all the “mind made”, conditionings drop, as our attachment to these drop…what remains is the Self that is: free, timeless, unborn, undying, eternal.

So the Upanishad calls us to see “that very Brahman, that Aditi… who is manifesting in association with the elements...but is itself sitting within the “house” it has made… unattached. 

The spiritual path, means walking into a “washing machine”. Letting go of all acquired “stuff”…and seeing who we really are.

Once we see… fear of death does not exist; in fact it is impossible.

Why? Because only the Self exists. There is no other-ness!

The Being realizes: I am the unchanging Reality.

Consciousness, like rain falls down into the manifest world, and there takes on the colour of whatever it meets. So it seems as if there is duality or diversity, but underneath the colours and forms… there is the same Water!

Train your mind to see the commonness - no differences.That is to see the Self. And so it says in the Kathopanishad at the end of the 2nd Part (1st.canto; 15)

“Oh Gautama, as pure water poured on pure water is the same, so also the Self of the man of knowledge….”, the individual Self is none other than the universal All-Self;  (call it)  Brahman, the Totality or whatever name  you choose to give it.

Hari Omt

SVB_Namaste_cleaned
Dear loving Spiritual Parent,

All parents like to have their children grow up with spiritual values but do not always have the opportunity to make their wish fulfilled.

So far we have had two children’s retreats at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama. It had children of all ages; there was even one 82 year old child by the name of Swami Veda Bharati!

We all had a great silence, learning, inspiration, laughter and fun.

One parent donated 40 trees and the children planted these and they gave names to the trees. Come see!

On the last day all the children gathered around me and begged me to have such a retreat every year and I agreed.

Attached herewith please find a book list suitable for parents who want to raise children with a glow of divinity.

So, will you bring or send your children this year from 22nd to 31st December. Please write to ahymsin@gmail.com and childrensretreat@gmail.com 

Please give my love to your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Do please write soon. I cannot manage without seeing children for so long.

Always in your service
and in Service of Gurudeva

Swami Veda Bharati

Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama, Virbhadra Road, Virpur Khurd, Rishikesh -249203, Uttarakhand. Tel: +91 (0)135 245 0093

 

   Can We Learn To Forgive?


Dr Dinesh Sharma




Bhrigu, one of the seven great Indian sages, the Saptarshis, was once given a difficult task of
electing the most compassionate among Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. So, the sage decided to
visit them one by one. First he met Brahma and spoke to him impolitely. Soon, Brahma lost
temper and asked him to leave theBrahma Loka.
Bhrigu, thereafter, paid a visit to Shiva. He reached the Kailash at odd hours, and was stopped
by Nandi, the Lord’s loyal guard, at the gates. Bhrigu, however, insisted on meeting him at that
time. Shiva got enraged and shot his trident at him when, despite Nandi’s protests, the sage
forced entry into his private chamber. Bhrigu saved his life with great difficulty by running away
from Kailash.
By the time Bhrigu reached Baikunth Loka, Lord Vishnu’s abode, he had lost his temper.
Vishnu’s two guards, Jay and Vijay, bore the brunt of his salvo when they tried to stop him.
Loudly he cursed them to be born as ordinary humans. They made no protest, stood humbly
and let him enter Vishnu’s private quarter.
Vishnu was lying in a meditative sleep. Having lost his mind completely, Bhrigu assumed that
Vishnu was pretending to be asleep. In a fit of anger, he kicked Vishnu hard on his chest. A
dazed Vishnu woke up and saw a fuming Bhrigu cursing him. He understood the whole matter
and started gently caressing Bhrigu’s feet, saying: “O exalted sage! Kindly forgive me to be
ignorant of your arrival. Sure you must have hurt your soft foot by hitting my rock-like chest.
Please allow me to take care of it.”
Bhrigu, realising his incoherent behaviour, cooled down. He understood the whole divine
conspiracy, and sought exoneration for his impervious behaviour. The sage, then, proclaimed
Vishnu to be the most compassionate of all gods.
“If we can’t forgive others, then we break the bridge over which we must pass ourselves since
every man needs to be forgiven. Humanity is never so beautiful as when praying for
forgiveness, or else forgiving others. Forgiveness is divine and the final form of love.” Such
words of divine wisdom continue to echo through different enlightened souls everywhere on
this planet.
Forgiveness is a gift we give to ourselves. Cultivating forgiveness is the highest form of non-
violence. Until we forgive others for what they did to us, we shall keep nurturing negative
thoughts. This harms us as the other person may not even remember his or her action.
Forgiving others may be easy, but to seek forgiveness is the virtue of the brave. When we seek
forgiveness we may not change the past but can definitely change the future.
Till we remain pure and innocent like a child, we remain unmindful to the guilt and permanent
pain of hurt. Kids do fight each other all the time but hold no grudge for long. But when we grow
as adults, our ego also grows and gets embedded subtly in our subconsciousness. Then it
becomes a great hurdle in seeking forgiveness.
Forgiveness purges a karma-constipated and guilt-ridden soul and makes one feel like a newly
born.
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” — only a compassionate and
beautiful soul like Jesus Christ could seek forgiveness even for the oppressors and
executioners, who were crucifying him.
.

Ammaji

F
Korean Group

SRSG ASHRAM NEWS – February 2015

The Lovely Korean Ladies.The winter session from November 2014 – New Year 2015 has seen many visitors, students and guests from all over the world. Recently we had a lively Korean group who attended the various programs offered by SRSG staff.

They liked the improvement in the menus offered in the dining room to suit international tastes, were seen clicking away at the magnificent sceneries presented at the ashram even though some days fog clouded the mountains.

We shared tea, samosas and jalebis with the lovely ladies, who promised to be back again.

2. Ashram Resident Children

The families who live at the ashram serve in various capacities to keep the ashram functional. Most parents are working all day while their children are in school. At the present time there are 9 children from ages 5 – 13 including males and females. From time to time they participate in some of the programs and attend evening prayers when possible.

When these children come home from school, there is not much to keep them active and they are seen riding their bikes, going for walks as they try to keep themselves busy while parents are still at work until about 5pm, except for Sundays. Occasionally I have tried to have them over for art sessions, tea and just chat. Recently Swami Veda handed me a note from some of the children asking for “ swings to ride, classes on Saturdays and movies on Sundays”!! I was not surprised and glad that they took the initiative to voice their needs.

So we had them all over to a tea session at my home at the ashram where we discussed their little note. 

We were able to organize classes on Martial Arts with Yoga philosophy to be led by John Sillinger, who has studied this from age 14 -21 with a Chinese master.  Also Prakashji who resides and teaches yoga classes has agreed to do yoga with the children starting from April as they have exams in March. We are now researching a suitable space on ashram grounds for a small play area, and checking into safe swings, slides etc to be installed there.

Khel logo

KHEL NEWS

 

4. KHEL School Buddy Project

TLDA Buddies

In September 2014, KHEL started a new program to foster good relationships between the younger and older students at LDA. Once a week, our 5-8th grade students meet with a 1-4th grade student to work on a project together, share a snack, help with homework or just chat about their lives and their families. Recently the Buddies got together to make thank you cards for KHEL’s friends and donors. Shalini, a long time KHEL volunteer, designed this program by drawing on her experience as a mentor to under served middle school students in New Orleans when she was a college student at Tulane University. The program has been running for several months and the kids look forward to the days when they get to hang out with their Buddies.

 

LDA is more than just a school. It is a gathering space that fosters good relationships among diverse groups in a small and densely populated community. Programs like the Buddy Project help the kids to develop empathy for each other from a young age and teach them much needed mentoring skills for adulthood. They learn that, no matter how poor they are, they have something of value to share with someone else.
 

                                               

“Nurturing Spirituality in the Family” Conference

to preserve the knowledge and teachings of the ancient lineage of the Himalayan Masters in order to develop and promote spirituality within ourselves, our children, and the world

20th – 25th February 2013

At Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama (SRSG)

How have sadhakas managed to create spiritual families in these modern times? And what guidelines can emerge from mutual exchange and discussion with others?

Join us for five days of  learning simple philosophy of living and practical guidelines to develop and cultivate a healthy and happy family life. Topics will include:

        Sattvic Diet: Shifting from a Rajasic diet into a nutritional food regimen that supports a balanced mind and peaceful nature.

        Indian Cuisine and the health benefits of Indian Spices

        The art of joyful living techniques for children: Practical spirituality in raising happy and healthy children

        An Intercultural panel discussion: How to successfully cultivate a spiritual family during modern times

For further information, please contact: spiritualfamilyretreatfeb2013@gmail.com

 

Editor's Note:

Courtesy of Lela Pierce, "Parents who wish to stay in touch with each other and lead their own virtual discussions on any topic can join the new ‘Ahymsin: Yogic Parenting group’ on Facebook."  Please see: https://www.facebook.com/groups/346742485366079/  

Suggested reading:

Love and Family Life by Swami Rama and Let the Bud of Life Bloom by Swami Rama.  The books are available from The Meditation Center's online bookstore that ships nationally and internationally  http://www.themeditationcenter.org/jnana/index.php?    In Europe, you can inquire at http://www.yogaineurope.eu/contact/ .  In India, inquire at AHYMSIN Publishers http://www.ahymsin.org/main/index.php/Contact-Us/Book-and-DVD-Orders.html. They are also available through Amazon.com.

Educating and Parenting for Peace booklet by Swami Veda Bharati is available through The Meditation Center and at AHYMSIN Publishers. It is also available at Dan’s Digital Bookstore http://dansdigitalbooks.com/products-page/swami-vedas-complete-books

Diet and Nutrition, A Holistic Approach and Transition to Vegetarianism: An Evolutionary Step by Dr. Rudolph Ballentine.

Guest Programmes at SRSG

Individual Spiritual Retreats, Silence Retreats and Group Retreats 

Foundational Instructions of the guest programmes:

          To experience some level of calm mind, relaxation, or stillness while at the ashram

          To know how to sit properly and how to meditate

          To know about the “Himalayan Tradition”: foundation, history, and basic theory etc.

          To understand the meaning of “YOGA” and “MEDITATION” fully

          To apply yoga and meditation into daily life.

          To deepen their practice

          To keep the connection via full moon meditations and/or home centers

 

Individual Spiritual Retreats :

Guests are offered a daily schedule of instruction in meditation, pranayama (breathing practices), relaxation, Hatha Yoga, and Yoga philosophy in accordance with their individual goals. With the welcome interview, the programme is tailored for an individual. Every guest can experience of one day silence retreat through ashram official silence day (every Thursday).

 

Silence Retreats :

SRSG is the perfect setting for a guided period of silence, whether for three days or for three months.

Silence is not merely an absence of speech. It is a fullness of the mind; the mind filled with the flow of energy from within. For such a silence one needs guidance, because there is a science to practicing silence that many are not aware of. A systematic series of practices is given under the guidance of Swami Veda.

 

Group Retreats :

The SRSG staff will also help design programs for groups to meet their specific needs. The campus can accommodate up to 100 participants.

 

Schedule

Participants in all the programmes follow the daily ashram schedule which begins at 5:00 AM and runs until 9:30 PM. Time for reading, journaling, and reflection is always available.

Classes on the basic yoga practices are regularly scheduled as well as lecture courses for Gurukulam which guests may attend as appropriate. Guests also attend Swami Veda’s classes when he is in residence.

Video recordings of Swami Rama lecture series on topics such Yoga Sutras and Upanishads are featured on a regular basis.

Programmes are available all year; however, since Gurukulam is on holiday from June to August, no regular classes are scheduled.

 

Daily Ashram Schedulethat includes individual programs—classes to meet needs

 

04:15  Bell Ring

05:00  Morning Prayer

05:15  Joints & Glands Exercise / Asanas

07:00  Breathing Practices / Nadi-Shodhanam

07:30  Meditation

08:30  Breakfast

10:00  Class 1

11:30  Class 2

12:30  Breathing Practices / Nadi-Shodhanam

01:00  Lunch

02:00  Digestive Breathing

04:00  Tea

04:15  Hatha Yoga

05:30  Guided Relaxation

06:00 Meditation with Swami Veda

06:30  Japa & Breathing Practices

07:00  Dinner

08:00  Night program (Lecture/Satsang)

09:00  Evening Prayer

 

Service Opportunities

All campus residents participate in service for the Ashram. Service includes a variety of tasks from meal service and cleaning to transcribing lectures, helping with mailings and so forth. Inquire at the Mandala Office(Reception Office).

 

Accommodations

Participants live in one of 35 spacious double or triple occupancy guest cottages, each with kitchenette and bathroom with hot shower.

 

For Fees and other information

Please write to sadhakagrama@gmail.com

DEPARTMENTAL EMAIL DIRECTORY:

ASSOCIATION OF HIMALAYAN YOGA MEDITATION SOCIETIES INTERNATIONAL (AHYMSIN):

ahymsin@ahymsin.org (Email)

www.ahymsin.org(Website)

AHYMSIN Introduction Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrxLZw3z24s

SRSG MANDALA RECEPTION AND FRONT OFFICE:

Dr. Manju Talekar, Managing Director of SRSG

sadhakagrama@gmail.com (Guest information, reservations & bookings: Silvia Baratta)

dhyanamandiram@gmail.com (Accounts & book keeping, D.M.T. Office: Bhupendra)

SWAMI RAMA DHYANA GURUKULAM: vidyamandiram@gmail.com

AHYMSIN PUBLISHERS:

Bhola Shankar Dabral, Director

ahymsinpublishers@gmail.com (Publications and bookstore: Deepti)

HIMALAYAN YOGA TRADITION - TEACHER TRAINING PROGRAM (HYT-TTP):

Chuck Linke, Director

Carolyn Hodges and Maryon Maass, HYT-TTP Office

www.himalayanyogatradition.com (Website)

info@himalayanyogatradition.com (Email)

hyt.ttp@gmail.com(Email)

Himalayan Yoga Tradition - Teacher Training Program:

Chuck Linke – Director

Stephanie Sulpy: US Office Manager and Treasurer

www.himalayanyogatradition.com (Website)

info@himalayanyogatradition.com   (Email)

Welcome to Swami Veda’s World-Wide Newsletter. Your photos and input are important to us, and we welcome news from any one of SVBs centers around the world. Send photos, and news items to the editor: dan@prideaux.com for inclusion in future editions. We hope you enjoy this edition, and we ask for your comments. Your friends may subscribe to this newsletter by filling in the data at www.swamiveda.org - as well as email address changes.

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