2007 April


Editorial + Changing Times + Creativity + Inspired & Guided Living + Swami Replies + Understanding Each Other + Pranamasana + Carnelian + The Human Biofield + The Art of Leadership + Feature: Shivabala Yogi + Science of Mental Materialisation + Expanding Understanding + Off the Shelf + Hinduism + G is for Gratitude + The Fulfilment of Religion + Easter Traditions + Inspiration + Letters from Heaven + Gitascendence + Truth 4 Youth

Selected Articles


Namasté all.
Welcome to the month of Easter. We hope that you use the time given over the Easter long-weekend constructively. All those who prayed for Swami Murugesu will be pleased to know that He is doing much better. Keep up the good work!

We have a few changes in this edition. Firstly, the inclusion of a Siddha in our feature article has been postponed until May because we received an instructed to supply more information on Shivabala Yogi, who features in our main article this month - with His MasterCard included for your altar.

We have also replaced the Wordsearch with a Sudoku puzzle at Guru’s request, mainly to help all the students who need extra maths practise! For those who still think that Hinduism is a Polytheistic Spiritual Path (one which includes the worship of many gods), we have included an interesting article in Faith to help expand your awareness.

Yoga continues with Surya Namaskaram and we learn about our different spatial abilities in Understanding Each Other. Yvonne Jarvis provides interesting information on the Human Biofield and Swami Murugesu teaches us about the Science of Mental Materialisation. We find out how bananas can benefit our health and how we can use the Carnelian stone to improve our well-being. Being the month of Easter, an article on Easter Traditions is also included on page 24 and while Suren includes an interesting article on Religious Fulfilment in Meditation.

Swami Shankarananda has informed us that He will be putting together group tours to India, during the year, so anyone who would like to Experience India with a Master can have a look at the front inside cover of this mag to find out more. It is an experience that is guaranteed to be both spiritually informative and enlightening.

Finally, we know that you are all busy and caught-up in your different material ‘realities’, but please can readers keep in touch and remember to send contributions. We have had no contributions for the past two months, besides the usual regulars. Thank you.
In Love and Service always,

The Editor

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Message from the Master
Changing Times

I call to all of you. Come, mothers and fathers of this land. Do not criticise others and the children of those others. Do not find faults in what you do not know or understand.

In the words of Bob Dylan, ‘Your own children are beyond your control and command, for the times they are a-changing’. It is not a generation gap, it is a changing gap. Life moves on but love is the same, trust is the same. Why then the change? Our needs and wants are the same, so why change? Put both your feet on the ground. Help will come.

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My Beloved
Each day is a battle, therefore last thing at night practice introspection, did you loose your temper today, did you make an effort to see the divine in all you saw and experienced today? did you make an effort to share your divine love and inspiration with another soul today?
by Deenadayalan

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by Paramahansa Yogananda

Tune yourself with the creative power of Spirit. You will be in contact with the Infinite Intelligence that is able to guide you and to solve all problems. Power from the dynamic Source of your being will flow uninterruptedly so that you will be able to perform creatively in any sphere of activity. Ask yourself this question: ‘Have I ever tried to do anything that nobody else has done?’ That is the starting point in the application of initiative. If you haven’t thought that far, you are like hundreds of others who erroneously think they have no power to act differently than they do. They are like sleepwalkers; the suggestions coming from their subconscious mind have given the consciousness of one-horsepower people. If you have been going through life in this somnambulistic state, you must wake yourself by affirming, ‘I have man’s greatest quality - initiative’. Every human being has some spark of power by which he can create something that has not been created before. Yet I see how easily I could be deluded with the mortal consciousness of limitation that pervades the world, if I allowed myself to be hypnotised by the environment!’. What is initiative? It is a creative faculty within you, a spark of the Infinite Creator. It may give you the power to create something on one else has ever created. It urges you to do things in new ways. The accomplishments of a person of initiative may be as spectacular as a shooting star. Apparently creating something from nothing, he demonstrates that the seemingly impossible may become possible by one’s employment of the great inventive power of the Spirit. The one who creates does not wait for an opportunity, blaming circumstances, the fates and the gods. He seizes opportunities or creates them with the magic wand of his will, effort, and searching discrimination.

Excerpt from Where there is Light

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The Human Biofield
by Yvonne Jarvis

All living creatures depend on endogenous fields: internal electric and magnetic fields that send signals around the body to control nerves and muscles.

The human brain emits a magnetic field which is detectable using MEG (MagnetoEncephalo-Gram) probes. The body’s magnetic field was first measured in 1968 by David Cohen at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the results were reproduced in West Berlin in 1974. The main weak fields inside multi-cellular creatures are electric fields and the heartbeat is controlled by pulsating electric fields from the sino-atrial node of the heart. Electro-encephalogram (EEG) recordings measure the electric fields emitted by the brain, which were first discovered by Hans Berger in 1929 at the University of Jena in Germany. The pulses of different frequencies emitted by the brain are called alpha, beta and theta rhythms, and appear to be individual to each person. These patterns change when we are ill, and increase during the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep phase.

All physical objects have an aura, from a stone in a river to an eagle soaring in the sky above. The energy from non-living objects is fixed and does not change, however the human aura is an ever-changing electromagnetic field which oscillates around the body. It is described by healers and clairvoyants as an egg-shaped oval of colour and light which extends beyond the skin. A type of imaging called Kirlian photography reveals the colours of the auric field. Coghill Research Laboratories scientists found that each person’s endogenous field provides protection for the circulating white cells of their immune system. The endogenous field of another human being has no protective effect our fields are as individual to us as our DNA. The National Institute of Health (NIH) adopted the term "biofield" to describe this energy field at least 10 years ago.

Dutch scientist Ad Kalmijn at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in California researched how sharks sense electric fields through a part of their brain, the ampullae of Lorenzi. They are sensitive to fields as low as a quarter millionth of a volt per metre. The use is obvious sharks sense their prey by the electric fields all living creatures emit. This sensitivity to electric fields is not confined to water-based creatures; the Australian duck-billed platypus can sense earthworms underground in the same manner, enabling it to source food. Ulrich Warnke at the University of Saarland spent many years studying animal behaviour patterns, and believes that ducks create high electric fields through friction with the air, and birds in convoy position themselves to minimize electrical energy between each other, creating the classical V-shaped flying formation.

In the same way, humans are able to detect the electric fields of others (some call this the aura). This is quite in line with the laws of normal science one electric field will disturb another. This also means that our endogenous electric fields could be affected by external artificial electric fields, with adverse effects on the body's electrically controlled processes. Our technological world is dominated by appliances which generate electromagnetic fields, and these may be the underlying cause of conditions as diverse as insomnia, restlessness, anxiety, leukaemia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

References: The healing energy of magnets by Roger Coghill; 2005Enhancing your mind, body, spirit: Understanding your aura by Mamie Banks

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Shivabala Yogi

The great Yogi of Yogis remains present in the same ways he gave blessings and darshan while he was in his own physical body. His most striking presence is through bhava samadhi in which a devotee’s consciousness is temporarily immersed in the divine. Shri Swamiji once explained the phenomena as when he merges a devotee's soul into his own soul — soul can also be referred to as the astral body, the light body, or the subtle body. Bhava samadhi is a spiritual experience evoked by the presence and power of Shivabalayogi.The great yogi who called himself simply ‘Swamiji’ was named Sathyaraju by his parents. He was born on January 24th, 1935, into a family of weavers in Adivarapupeta, a small village in South India on the East Coast, near the mouth of the Godavari River. Poverty forced him to drop out of grade school to work at the family hand loom and at various odd jobs.

On August 7, 1949, when Sathyaraju was a boy of about fourteen years, he was playing with his friends on the banks of a canal of the River Godavari. They had a little swim, then they came out and they wanted to have some palmyra fruit. They found some fruit that had fallen to the ground and they distributed them among themselves. Swamiji started to squeeze the fruit to get out the juice. The sound of Omkara [Om] emerged from the fruit. Then his body started shaking and shivering. Then he saw a light coming out of the fruit, and out of the light he saw a Shivalinga. Then the Shivalinga split into half, and out of that emerged a well built person. It was he who made Swamiji sit in tapas.”

The man was dressed in the attire of a jangama devara, an ascetic devoted to Shiva who lives by begging, wears his hair matted, and smears his body with ash. He was well over seven feet tall, with a strong, well knit and beautifully proportioned body. He had a dark complexion and an extremely handsome and attractive appearance, with large and beautiful eyes. His long matted hair was piled up on his head in the manner of the ancient rishis. He had a necklace of rudraksha beads with a small Shivalinga resting on his broad chest. He wore a white dhoti, again in the manner of the old rishis. A bright light came from him that blotted out all other vision. All Sathyaraju could see was the yogi surrounded by a bright radiance.He asked the boy to sit. Sathyaraju, who at that time was only a child, asked, ‘Why should I sit?’ ”‘Just shut your mouth and sit down.’ was the answer.‘After that, after sitting down, then what should I do?’ the boy asked.‘First you sit. Then I will let you know.’After Sathyaraju was made to sit, he was asked to close his eyes, but not before asking, ‘What should I do closing the eyes?’‘You first close your eyes,’ was the answer, after which the boy closed his eyes. The incarnation of Shiva then touched Sathyaraju with His hand at the point between the boy’s eyebrows before also hitting him on the head, after which Sathyaraju lost consciousness and entered samadhi.

In this way did the balayogi (boy yogi) began twelve years of tapas, a spiritual austerity and purification to attain Self realization. He meditated in samadhi for twenty-three hours every day for eight years, returning to ordinary consciousness at midnight long enough to wash himself and perhaps drink a cup of milk. In those eight years he mastered meditation in all four cardinal directions: East, North, West and South. Then he meditated twelve hours every day for another four years. There were times when he remained in continuous samadhi for months.

Upon attaining Self realization (or God realization; Sathyaraju regarded them to be the same), his Divine Guru gave him the name Shiva Bala Yogishwara, meaning Lord of Yogis devoted to Shiva and Bala (the male and female aspects of God the Holy Spirit). He shortened the name to Shivabalayogi to avoid any suggestion that he equated himself with Ishwara, a name of God. He was instructed to use the powers he attained through tapas (tapas shakti) to comfort the grieving, heal the sick and bring enlightenment to those who seek God.

Shivabalayogi often told devotees that he had successfully performed tapas in many previous lifetimes. He had no personal need to do tapas again, but he incarnated and completed an unusually severe tapas at the instructions of the Divine Guru.

Shivabalayogi is regarded as one of India’s greatest spiritual souls. His tapas was difficult because it was done for the sake of others. If we do ten percent of the work, he would often say, he will do the remaining ninety percent.

Shivabalayogi emerged from twelve years of tapas on August 7, 1961, before a crowd estimated by the press at several hundred thousand. They saw a body weak and scarred from twelve years of unusually intense meditation and extreme physical hardship. But witnesses described how he shone with a divine luster and his face glowed with the peace and divine grace inherent in his complete Self realization. His mere presence calmed the pushing and jostling multitude. Four decades later he continues to bring peace to those who come into his presence (darshan).

The intensity of his tapas, the many public witnesses to it, and his extensive travels make Shivabalayogi unusual even among yogis. He traveled throughout India and Sri Lanka and initiated over ten million people into dhyana meditation. He has bestowed spiritual trance and bhava on scores at a time during bhajans. Many ashrams have been established for his work, including the first ashram in Adivarapupeta and the International Center for Indian Culture in Bangalore. From 1987 to 1991, Shivabalayogi traveled extensively in England and the United States.

Shivabalayogi left his physical body on March 28, 1994 and it was interred in the Samadhi at Adivarapupeta on April 2, 1994. Since then, he continues to give darshan and blessings in the same ways he had over the three previous decades: through meditation, vibhuti, visions, dreams, and bhava samadhi.

In the words of Shivabala Yogi
“If I am not within the bounds of my body I am more available to you. If I am in samadhi, I am very easily available. Answers are very easily available.”

“Nobody can do anything to Buddha or to Christ. They will live forever. Even if somebody tries to do anything to them, nothing will happen. Even if it appears as though they are affected, that effect will remain for only a small time and again they will continue. They are like rivers that keep flowing forever. Sometimes you get bad water in the river, but with new rains, the water again will be pure.”

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G is for Gratitude
by Rod Briggs

When we get what we want, we want something else!

We have all, at some stage in our lives, fallen into the trap of thinking that we would be happy if only we could get that new job, car, dress, swimming pool, house or relationship. We have all also experienced the disappointment when the illusion is revealed and we find that the item in question does not bring long term happiness but only a quick rush. In stead of looking at all the things we have, we focus on what we don't have. If you think this makes us spoilt brats you are correct; we are, or at least our genes are.

The genetic coding which makes us strive for greater accumulation is part of our ancestral heritage that kept our forbears alive and kicking during some extremely tough periods in our history. Like many of our traits that prove long-term beneficial, this drive is a subconscious function inbred because it has survival value but, like many of our older programmes it continues to drive us even when not strictly necessary. This results in us never being satisfied, always striving for that next great thing; a by-product of this is the taking for granted of what we do have. We come to equate happiness with new acquisitions or external stimulations; once this happens we have confused our wants with our needs. As far as the great majority of the Western world is concerned, our needs have already been met but, by definition, our wants never can.

All it takes for us to see the truth of this in our lives is for something unforeseen to "rob" us of something we have taken for granted; this can be having your car in for repairs, an illness or injury, a spell of inclement weather, a power or water supply interruption, or staff not turning up for work over a busy period - literally any of life's little set backs. We immediately become aware of how great life was before the problem occurred and swear that we will never take things for granted again but, of course, we do.

By training ourselves to appreciate the wonderful journey we call life, we are not only giving ourselves the gift of joy and contentment but are enhancing our physical wellbeing. Tests in Japan and the USA have repeatedly shown that the emotion of gratitude automatically increases the endorphin levels in our systems which in turn speed up our healing capacities and counter stress better than most other things in life. Get into the habit of pausing daily and mentally - better yet, physically. Make a list of all the wonderful things in your life, from the joy of family and friends to the sunrise and the smell of rain. Enjoy.

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The Fulfilment of Religion
by Suren Pillay

In modern times the fulfilment of religion has become a difficult task. So many people are trying very hard to live the perfect life that their religion asks of them. Yet, why is it that the general mass of people are either not interested in religion or do not follow the principles completely? In these modern times, as predicted by VEDIC astrologers, vice, to a large degree will be predominant, this is due to the geographical location of the earth and the sun in relation to the centre of he universe. The cosmology of the modern era is thus not ideal for spiritual enlightenment. However there will always be sages appearing in whichever age we live, no matter how spiritually bereft the world may appear to be.

The negative environmental influence has negative effects on the spinal chakras and, consequently, on man's thoughts ,actions and behaviour. Besides negative cosmological influences, we find that other influences such as company and food also affect the ordinary person in a negative way. In spite of these obstacles, God-realized individuals have still emerged to lead us away from darkness and into the light.

These souls, fully awake, are the guides of humanity and the refuge of many serious God-seekers. In the absence of such beings, one can still pray to God sincerely and look to his own spirit for guidance. The key question is: how can religion be truly fulfilled in the modern age? With so much hypocrisy seen in almost every form of traditional religion, one might think that, for the ordinary man, the task of living righteously is almost an impossible one.

Often at work and in other places I am stunned to see people thinking that rules and regulations of religion are impossible to attain, and that only superhuman people can live up to them. The solution to overcoming the obstacles to righteousness must be an integrated one, for these obstacles are multifaceted.

True religion is fulfilled when one acts with the purpose of religion, with little or no effort on his part. He does so naturally, effortlessly and with joy; for he has the experience of cosmic consciousness, and so acts harmoniously in accordance with all the laws that uphold spiritual evolution and righteousness. Such a person's presence in the world is truly a blessing, for he fulfills all the tenets of every religion and, in so doing, influences others in a positive way.

Negative astrological influences usually result in a descent of energy in the spine, from the brain and neck to the coccyx. This negative effect can be countered by practising scientific techniques of breathing and meditation to raise ones consciousness back to higher centres of awareness. By this, one automatically becomes more receptive to the intuitive wisdom that pervades the entire universe. One then fulfills religion effortlessly, and is able to comprehend the wisdom from which every religious principal is borne. Every action of such an individual inspires divinity in his fellow beings, with every word inspiring higher consciousness in his brethren and every thought elevating the entire cosmos with harmony and love. Such a soul shines forth as a true expression of Spirit and a child of God fulfilling the requirements of all religions in the highest way!

by Suren

In the arms of destiny, may the light of wisdom guide me eternally.Like a babe, may I follow Thy guidance every day and in every way.Blessed are those who shall tread this path ,for they shall meet thee!

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Everyday Enlightenment
by Mahavishnu Moodley

Ramayan Week celebrates the epic of Sri Ram, the exalted seventh incarnation of Mahavishnu. Speaking of incarnation, Sri Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita, “Whenever religion decays and irreligion prevails, then I manifest myself. For the protection of the good, for the destruction of the evil, for the firm establishment of the truth, I am born again and again.” If Krishna is manifesting Himself in this world, why then is there so much chaos?
Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a leading cause of death worldwide. The pancreas of such patients produces enough insulin (the hormone that reduces blood glucose levels), but the tissues become insulin-resistant, that is, they desensitize over time. And that’s exactly what is happening in our world today. There are thousands of ‘Krishnas’, maybe millions, but the world has become Krishna-resistant. So many illumined masters, yet so much ignorance. So many temples, yet so few devotees.

When Lakshman, the younger brother of Ram approached Him and asked, “The people are saying that you are an incarnation of Vishnu. Is this true?” And the Lord in His cosmic play says, “Are they saying that only I am an incarnation of God? Did they not say that you too are an incarnation of God? Within you is God, and when you realize this, you will become an incarnation of God. The same sun that shines on the vast sea can illumine small pots of water!”

Swami has taken ill and whilst some devotees are praying for his speedy recovery, others are possibly wondering, “If he is indeed a man of God, why then isn’t he healing himself?” Paramahansa Yogananda says in his autobiography, “A sickly body does not indicate that a guru is lacking in divine powers, anymore than lifelong health necessarily indicates inner illumination!” what an apt summary! When we meet a healthy person, we do not say that he is healthy because he is spiritual. So why then do we question the spirituality of a Swami who has taken ill? Even Ram, who was God-incarnate, endured pain, not because He didn’t have the power to suppress it or make it come to an end, but because it was His duty to live as an ordinary mortal. Ram was a man of one word, one woman, and one arrow – the perfect epitome of what the modern man should be. Therefore, when beholding the great gurus of our current society, don’t fall into the trap - nay, the sin, - of judging them. Most of us don’t even have our third eye open, yet we are busy deciding which gurus are true or not! Does this make sense?

It cannot be denied that in this morally-degenerative time, charlatan gurus do surface. How then can one distinguish an authentic Guru from one parading as a guru? Paramahansa Yogananda says, “Just as a rich man relinquishes some of his money when he pays off a large debt for his prodigal son, who is thus solved from the dire consequences of his folly, so a master willingly sacrifices a portion of his bodily wealth to lighten the misery of his disciples!” And is this not what Swami Murugesu is doing? He is a God-illumined master – what more could his devotees possibly want?

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