2005 August


Message from the Master on Love
Padma Prana Vanakum Mudra Asana
Shiva Lingam
Bach Flower Remedies part 2
Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri
The Science of Male and Female
The Divine Romance
Redefining Pleasure
Mohammed and Meditation

Selected Articles

Self Awareness
by Swami Shankarananda

In Yoga, self-awareness is called Atma Anubhuti Yoga. The technique of Atma Anubhuti Yoga must evolve slowly in stages, thereby ultimately leading to the attainment of realisation of the power within the innermost altar of the being. Initially, during the yogic practices of advanced japa and meditation, some development towards Atma Anubhuti Yoga may be experienced. After continued practices and an eagerness for proper development, Atma Anubhuti Yoga will definitely become a Divine experience and an absolute reality. Before getting carried away, there are some points to remember. There are six stages of conscious-ness of which you should be aware. These are:

1. Body Consciousness
2. Pranic Consciousness
3. Mental Consciousness
4. Astral Consciousness
5. Causal Consciousness
6. Higher (disembodied) Consciousness.

Remember these six phases.

The process to attaining Atma Anubhuti Yoga is as follows:

1. Sit comfortably. Regard this as your first posture and also the first consciousness as referred to above, Body Consciousness. Breathe in and out slowly. After some time your consciousness will be concentrated on your inhalation and exhalation only.

2. Body consciousness will diminish and the next level of consciousness, Pranic Consciousness, will become primary to the meditator. Pranic Consciousness will become more dominant as one becomes increasingly unconscious of the body. While in this state, mentally or verbally recite a mantra (such as Om or So-Ham) and let the awareness be focused on the mantra (e.g. inhale on the 'so' while exhaling on the 'ham'). After the continued regular practice of this aspect, remaining in the awareness is So-Ham, resulting in the total absence of knowledge of the two words.

3 & 4. Some visions may begin to develop as the stage of Mental Consciousness unfolds, slowly fusing into the Astral Consciousness. The experience of being beyond the mental state is forged.

5. The Causal State, the suspension of all other states of consciousness, takes place and a state of deep slumber may be experienced, the process possibly not even being acknowledged, after which the following may be experienced: cyclic movements, slumber, visions, dreams, the total unawareness of time and space with a complete state of tranquility of the mind.

6. Higher Consciousness is the total state above the foregoing states 1 to 5. No attachment to any aspect of knowing exists at this state in which the siddhis of the mind can be enhanced.

Note that a Guru is essential for an absolute experience of Atma Anubhuti Yoga.

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Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri
Extract from Self Realization magazine, Summer 2005

May 10, 2005 marked the 150th anniversary of the birth of Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri, guru of Paramahansa Yogananda. The following highlights the magnitude of Sri Yukteswar’s spiritual achievements and the historic role he played in the divine dispensation of Kriya Yoga and the restoration of the original truths of the scriptures of East and West. As children are like their parents, so disciples tend to resemble their gurus. Sri Yukteswariji was one of the greatest wise men of India of his time, if not of all times before him. He had such acute intellectual perception as well as intuitive insight that he surpassed everyone in being able to detect interpolated errors in the great scriptures of the world. Paramahansa Yogananda saw many miracles performed by his Master. Unlike charlatans who claim to have miraculous powers but possess none, Sri Yukteswariji was very conservative and avoided display in anything. His miracles came forth most mysteriously and yet very tangibly whenever there arose a situation which human methods could not meet.

Though born a mortal like all others, Sri Yukteswar achieved identity with the Ruler of time and space. This Master found no insuperable obstacle to the mergence of human and Divine. No such barrier exists, save in man’s spiritual unadventurousness. Sri Yukteswar constantly reminded his disciples of their need for Kriya Yoga. A new student occasionally expressed doubts regarding his own worthiness to engage in yoga practice. “Forget the past,” Sri Yukteswar would console him. “The vanished lives of all men are dark with many shames. Human conduct is ever unreliable until man is anchored in the Divine. Everything in future will improve if you are making a special effort now.”

Sri Yukteswar never permitted Yogananda to read with mere theoretical interest any stanza of the Bhagavad Gita (or the aphorisms of Patanjali, India’s greatest exponent of Yoga), but made him meditate on the scriptural truths until he became one with them; then he would discuss them ... During those precious years in the blessed company of his master, Paramahansa was given the key to unlock the mystery of scripture. From his guru, a master of Vedic wisdom with a universal spiritual understanding, Yogananda received a new appreciation of the Christian Bible. He said the following about this: “Listening to Master expound the Christian scripture with the same natural ease he felt among the esoteric depths of his native Hindu heritage, I experienced a wondrous expansion in the realm of truth, which has no boundaries or religious demarcations.” Sri Yukteswar had written, at the request of his paramguru, Mahavatar Babaji, an amazingly compacted analysis of the unity of the Hindu and Christian scriptures: The Holy Science. That commission was the seed of Yogananda’s future mission - to show the harmony between the original science of yoga given by Bhagavan Krishna and the original teachings of Lord Jesus.

The true way to understand scripture is through intuition, attuning oneself to the inner realization of truth. Swami Sri Yukteshwar, Lahiri Mahasaya and Mahavatar Babaji are rishis of this present age, masters who themselves are God-realized living scriptures. They have bequeathed to the world - along with the long-lost scientific of Kriya Yoga - a new revelation of the holy Bhagavad Gita, relevant primarily to the science of yoga and to Kriya Yoga in particular. The evolution-quickening technique of Kriya is an ancient science. Lahiri Mahasaya received it from his guru, Babaji, who rediscovered and clarified the technique after it had been lost in the Dark Ages. At the time of imparting the technique of Kriya to Lahiri Mahasaya, Babaji said: “The Kriya Yoga that I am giving to the world through you in this nineteenth century is a revival of the same science that Krishna gave, millenniums ago, to Arjuna, and that was later known to Patanjali; and to Christ and his disciples, St John, St Paul and others.”

Babaji said the following to Swami Sri Yukteswar during their meeting at Kumbha Mela in Allahabad in 1894: “You, Swamiji, have a part to play in the coming harmonious exchange bet-ween Orient and Occident. Some hears hence I shall send you a disciple whom you can train for yoga dissemi-nation in the West. The vibrations there of many spiritually seeking souls come floodlike to me. I perceive potential saints in America and Europe, waiting to be awakened.” Paramahansa Yogananda was that disciple.

Sri Yukteswar’s intuition was penetrating; heedless of ermarks, he often replied to one’s unexpressed thoughts. The disclosures of divine insight are often painful to worldly ears; Yogananda said that his master was not popular with superficial students. The wise, always few in number, deeply revered him. I daresay Sri Yukteswar would have been the most sought-after guru in India had his speech not been so candid and so censorious. Although his undissembling speech prevented a large following during his years on earth, Sri Yukteswar nevertheless, through an ever-growing number of sincere students of his teachings, his spirit lives on in the world today. Warriors like Alexander the Great seek sovereignty over the soil; masters like Sri Yukteswar win a farther dominion - in men’s souls ...

In June 1936, three months after Sri Yukteswar’s mahamasamadi, he appeared in flesh and blood form to Paramahansaji as he sat in meditation in his room in a Bombay hotel. His words to his disciple were: “I have now told you, Yogananda, the truths of my life, death, and resurrection. Grieve not for me; rather broadcast everywhere the story of my resurrection from the God-dreamed earth of men to another God-dreamed planet of astrally garbed souls! New hope will be infused into the hearts of misery-mad, death-fearing dreamers of the world . . . My child, whenever you enter the door of nirbikalpa samadhi and call on me, I shall come to you in flesh and blood, even as today ... Tell all! Whosoever knows by nirbikalpa realization that your earth is a dream of God can come to the finer dream-created planet of Hiranyaloka, and there find me resurrected in a body exactly like my earthly one. Yogananda, tell all!”

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The Divine Romance
by Paramhansa Yogananda
Self Realization Fellowship
ISBN: 0-87612-241-1

If you could feel even a particle of divine love, so great would be your joy - so overpowering - you could not contain it. Paramahansa Yogananda

In this anthology of talks, Paramahansa Yogananda speaks to the deepest needs of the human heart and soul. He shows how we can meet the daily challenges to our physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual wellbeing - by awakening our divine nature, the neglected reality at the core of our being. Revealing the deep metaphysical roots of our closest personal relationships - between husband and wife, parent and child, friend and friend - The Divine Romance explains how the invisible, universal thread of love that unites these relationships is drawing us back to the Source from which all love comes.

Today, as perhaps never before, humanity is searching for peace and security in a world profoundly shaken by the turbulent results of inharmonious thoughts and behaviour. The practical, ‘how-to-live’ talks in this volume show how each of us can discover the limitless inner resources already present within our souls, and bring greater harmony to ourselves, our homes, our communities and our world.

"Yogananda was a God-filled seer and saint, philosopher and poet who experienced a multitude of the innumerable aspects of Ultimate Reality ... a rare genius who has penetrated further than most men into the secrets of spiritual existence.” Raymond Piper, professor emeritus of philosophy, Syracuse University, New York.

"Unlike any other purveyor of transformative thinking before or since, Yogananda was one of the most respected and accepted Eastern mystics in America. Perhaps best known for his Autobiography of a Yogi, which has inspired countless millions around the world, Paramahansa Yogananda, like Gandhi, brought spirituality into the mainstream of society." New Frontier Magazine.

While attempting healing, one often concentrates more on the gripping power of the disease than on the possibility of cure, thus permitting the illness to be a mental as well as a physical habit. This is especially true in most cases of nervous-ness. Each thought of depression or happiness, irritability or calmness, cuts subtle grooves in the brain cells and strengthens the tendencies toward sickness or well-being. Paramahansa Yogananda
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Redefining Pleasure
by Suren Pillay

The basic truth of all life is that humans will continually do what makes them happy. Spiritualists, moralists and scientists will all put their beliefs forward, yet at the end of the day a man makes his choice in accordance with his own wisdom. Each choice is unique and significant as it defines the person for that moment. So human beings are continually in the process of rediscovering and redefining themselves and each other in a new and vibrant way with each second of life.

Man will do what brings him pleasure, and it is this pleasure that breaks or makes the world. If man seeks only food or property as his form of pleasure, the world doesn’t benefit by his pleasure because the same food that is wasted could be used to feed the many hungry people in the world. One has to ponder at how so many developed countries in the world today are throwing away enough food daily to feed the millions starving across the world. This leads us to the conclusion that the question of the millions starving in the world is not a matter of having enough resources, but of having enough compassion and selflessness in the world.

People believe the more they have, the happier they will be. This conscious thought emanates from a deeper subconscious thought process which says, ‘I don’t have enough’. The solution seems to be to change the subconscious thoughts to say ‘I have’ rather than ‘I don’t have’. This means adopting contentment and a more simple way of life, which has been ceaselessly emphasised by the world’s scriptures.

The ‘I have’ paradigm is important as it redefines mans pleasure. Instead of using the thousand rand to gamble and obtain a million rand, man now realises that he doesn’t require the million rand to be happy, and uses the thousand rand to feed the poor. If every man in the world acted this way, there would be no one starving and, indeed, in higher planets than our own, such a situation is a reality! It is man, not God, who has created wars, famine, poverty and destruction. In some instances he has even justified such actions in God’s name. I hardly think God would approve of such behaviour yet, with every mistake the possibility of wisdom dawning upon an individual is increased.

Dear brothers and sisters, my message to you this month is to examine your thought, word and deed. Do they really serve you? Do those actions bring peace, happiness and joy to others? If they do, then do not let go of them for they are the key to your true happiness. The ego cannot hold you forever. Spirit must ultimately prevail. ‘Every saint was a sinner at some point in their journey’, I heard once. Let us extract the positive from this statement and live our life in the highest way, to our greatest potential, and to our grandest vision! And when it is time for us to leave planet Earth, let us rejoice and say to God, ‘thank you for allowing me to give what I’ve always know myself to be!

Love, joy and truth to all, eternally!