2007 June 30


Editorial+ Your Quota in Life + Swami Says: Seek Within + Swami Replies + Understanding Each Other + Ashwa Sanchalasana + Expanding Understanding + Citrine + The Body Talk System + The Art of Leadership + Feature: Lord Ganesha + Knowing Previous Incarnations + Off the Shelf + The Meaning of Hindu Rituals + Understanding Death + J is for Joy + The Power of Gratitude + Inspiration + Letters from Heaven + GitaScendence + Reiki Part III: + Vegetarianism + Science & Power of Gayathri + Truth 4 Youth

Selected Articles


Namasté all.
Now that we’ve passed the longest night and shortest day of the year, the dead of winter, we can start looking forward to warmer weather and longer days. In the same way, we should be discarding our negative, egotistical traits and focussing on enhancing the Light of our Souls through Love extended to all we meet.

The pournami prayer celebrated with the distribution of this issue of Transcendence is for the second full moon in June, termed a’ blue moon’. It is a rare occurrence and gives renewed understanding to the phrase, “Once in a blue moon ...”

This month we feature Lord Ganesha, the great remover of obstacles, with hope that He will help in removing the darkness that hides our Spiritual Light and prevents us from witnessing the Infinite Intelligence first-hand. We also learn about seeking within from Swami Shankarananda, and from Swami Murugesu how to access past life memories. Understanding Each Other explains why women are safer drivers, Tending the Temple gives us information on the healing properties of Brinjal and we find out more about Citrine in The Jewel Box.

Yvonne Jarvis explains what BodyTalk is and describes its effectiveness in the natural healing process. We review an extremely worthwhile book called Self-revealed Knowledge by Roy Eugene Davis in Off the Shelf, find out why we say Namaste and are informed of the Power of Gratitude by Suren in his regular article on Meditation.

On the 10th of June Swami Shankarananda gave an informative talk on the Bhagavad Gita. Sadly, it was poorly attended, causing us to wonder what is happening to spiritual interest in our community. Swami’s crystal shop in Cowies Hill, Kailash Crystals, was officially blessed and opened on the 16th June at a function that was fairly well-attended with some good sales. Thank you very much to all who supported us on that day.

Those who didn’t attend the Maha Navaghara on the 9th of June missed out on an incredible and unique prayer. Everyone really should try to attend these functions for their own benefit. On the 9th of August will be held the Gayathri Maha Yajna, another important prayer that should not be missed. Tickets will be available from Ashok during the June and July Pournami prayers. There will only be 200 tickets available so it is advised to obtain yours as soon as possible. Ashok can also be contacted for tickets on 032 944 4373, as can Jo Petzer on 083 459 5852.

Please remember that next Pournami, on the 30th July, is Guru Pournami so let’s see if we can have everyone here to celebrate and be blessed by our Guru, Swami Shankarananda.

In Love and Service always,

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Message from the Master
Your Quota in Life

Around all of you there is so much confusion, yet you claim that you are spiritual seekers. You do not know what you are seeking or what is to be sought. Many of you imagine or behave that you will attain enlightenment and be given supernatural, superhuman powers, and then consider yourselves as perfect human beings. This expectation is very unrealistic. Nobody is perfect. If such a situation existed, then the very basis of life which is the existence of the polar opposites of every kind, would cease to exist. Just pray with total contentment and dedication. That is all you need. Do not make praying or attending a prayer your ‘quota’ in life.

The Eye of the Beholder
by Swami Shankarananda

Look around you. Look at nature’s creations.
Everything you see out there is beautiful. Why?
Because that’s how you perceive it to be. So is it with you.
You are as beautiful as He intended you to be,
and as you perceive yourself to be.

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Why God is not Comprehensible
by Swami Sri Yukteswar

Man possesses eternal faith and believes intuitively in the existence of a Substance, of which the objects of sense - sound, touch, sight, taste and smell, the component parts of this visible world - are but properties. As man identifies himself with his material body, composed of the aforesaid properties, he is able to comprehend by these imperfect organs these properties only, and not the Substance to which these properties belong. The Eternal Father, God, the only Substance in the universe, is therefore not comprehensible by man of this material world, unless he becomes divine by lifting his Self above this creation of Darkness or Maya.

Extract from The Holy Science

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The Body Talk System
The Language of Health
by Yvonne Jarvis

Did you know that the human body undergoes billions (some research has pinned it down to 40 billion) of synchronized activities per second! Just imagine the orchestration required to keep these biochemical reactions happening in the right order, at the right time in just the right quantities. The mind boggles at the complexity of the energy systems of the human body. For them to function perfectly, the key is proper communication between all systems and body parts.

In many cases, the symptoms of disease are not located near the cause. So-called disease (a collection of symptoms which is assigned a name) is the tip of the iceberg, and the true underlying causes of disease are often a combination of many factors, such as stress, emotional imbalances, environmental relationship problems and toxins, diet and physical injuries. These all contribute to a breakdown in communication between cells, which needs to be re-established for optimal health. Practitioners cannot hope to fully grasp the complexity of these multiple relationships, and it is difficult to work out an optimal health formula for individuals. Only the innate inborn wisdom of the body that strives for health and balance is equal to this task (refer to last month’s article in Transcendence).

A revolutionary cutting-edge energy therapy called BodyTalk, which encompasses concepts drawn from Western medicine, acupuncture and Chinese medicine, osteopathy and chiropractic, and even modern physics and mathematics to address the body in an integrative holistic way, is now available in 38 countries and is taught in 6 languages. It recognizes that the body functions as a synchronicity (holistic model), not as a bundle of independently functioning parts (Cartesian model). BodyTalk uses no external substances, machines or devices, is non-invasive and does not prescribe, diagnose or ‘treat’ anything. BodyTalk acknowledges and utilises innate as an amazing tool for effective healing, and gets the body to recognize the issue, to stimulate the body to fix itself.

BodyTalk practitioners use neuromuscular biofeedback (asking a series of yes and no questions) and draw on the learned left brain knowledge of the BodyTalk protocol and right brain intuitive felt sense to establish the priority imbalance sequences that need to be addressed for each individual body-mind. The practitioner establishes the parts which need to be linked to re-establish good communication, and enhance the inborn healing ability. These parts are held, and a gentle tapping process is used on the head (brain) to register the linkage, and on the sternum (energic heart complex) to store the memory of the change.

BodyTalk is effective because it is simple, safe, and results are speedy. It can be integrated into any healthcare system to increase its effectiveness and accelerate healing. Because the client’s own healing abilities effect change, clients see long-lasting ongoing improvements in health rather than short term symptomatic relief. When the overall system is balanced, BodyTalk clients have shown measurable improvements in the areas of arthritis, headaches, phobias, pain, stress, viruses, infections, allergies, back pain, emotional disorders, learning disorders, digestive disorders, endocrine disorders, chronic fatigue, sports injuries and other ailments. BodyTalk will change the way you think about health.

Reference: The BodyTalk System literature
For more information, refer to

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Relaxation Technique
by Roy Eugene Davis

Suitable for anyone, to elicit the relaxation response for the purpose of experiencing the restorative, enlivening effects of mental calm and physiological rest. Sit for at least 20 minutes, mentally listening to a chosen word or word-phrase. Choose an agreeable word, such as peace, light, love, joy - any word with which you feel comfortable and has inspirational value to you. Or a word-phrase, such as, ‘I am peace’, ‘I am light’, ‘I am love’, ‘I am joy’ - or any words agreeable to you. In the latter instance, do not use the word-phrase as a self-suggestion for the purpose of trying to condition the mind or induce an emotional state. Use it only to focus your attention. When using a single word, sitting upright and still, with eyes closed and attention flowing to the higher brain, mentally repeat the word a few times, slowly and gently. Then, recalling the ‘sound’ of the mentally spoken word, ‘listen’ to that sound repeating itself in your field of awareness. That is, instead of continuing to mentally speak the word, let the word resonate in your field of awareness. Just give yourself to the listening process. Do this until your attention is internalized and still. Then, ignore the word and rest in the stillness until you feel inclined to conclude your practice session. A word-phrase is used the same way. With it, as a preliminary stage of practice, you can begin by listening to the words synchronised with your breathing rhythm. To do this, sitting relaxed and alert, let breathing flow naturally. When inhalation occurs, mentally listen to ‘I am’. When exhalation occurs, mentally listen to the second part of the word-phrase. Continue for a while until you are relaxed and attention is somewhat internalised, then disregard the body’s breathing process and give your attention only to the word-phrase which repeats in your field of awareness. As practice progresses, eventually disregard the word-phrase and rest in the deep silence until you feel inclined to conclude your practice session.

Extract from An Easy Guide to Meditation

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Understanding Death
by Paramahansa Yogananda

Though the ordinary man looks upon death with dread and sadness, those who have gone before know it is a wondrous experience of peace and freedom.

Perhaps we wonder most of all about those we love. Where are they? Why are they spirited away from us? A brief goodbye, and they disappear behind the veil of death. We feel so helpless and sad; and there is nothing we can do about it. When someone is dying, though he cannot speak, a desire is expressed in his consciousness. He is thinking, “I am leaving my loved ones; will I ever see them again?” And those whom he is leaving behind also think, “I am losing him. Will he remember me? Will we meet again?”

When I lost my mother in this life, I promised myself that I would never again be attached to anyone. I gave my love to God. That first experience with death was very serious for me. But through it I learned much. I searched undaunted for months and years until I found the answer to the mystery of life and death ... What I tell you, I have experienced.

At death, you forget all the limitations of the physical body and realise how free you are. For the first few seconds there is a sense of fear – fear of the unknown, of something unfamiliar to the consciousness. But after that comes a great realisation: the soul feels a joyous sense of relief and freedom. You know that you exist apart from the mortal body. Every one of us is going to die someday, so there is no use in being afraid of death. You don't feel miserable at the prospect of losing consciousness of your body in sleep; you accept it as a state of freedom to look forward to. So is death; it is a state of rest, a pension from this life. There is nothing to fear. When death comes, laugh at it. Death is only an experience through which you are meant to learn a great lesson: you cannot die. Our real self, the soul, is immortal. We may sleep for a little while in that change called death, but we can never be destroyed. We exist, and that existence is eternal.

The wave comes to the shore, and then goes back to the sea; it is not lost. It becomes one with the ocean, or returns again in the form of another wave. This body has come, and it will vanish; but the soul essence within it will never cease to exist. Nothing can terminate that eternal consciousness. Even a particle of matter or a wave of energy is indestructible, as science has proved; the soul or spiritual essence of man is also indestructible. Matter undergoes change; the soul undergoes changing experiences. Radical changes are termed death, but death or a change in form does not change or destroy the spiritual essence. The body is only a garment. How many times you have changed your clothing in this life, yet because of this, you would not say that YOU have changed. Similarly, when you give up this bodily dress at death, you do not change. You are just the same, an immortal soul, a child of God. The word 'death' is a great misnomer, for there is no death; when you are tired of life, you simply take off the overcoat of flesh and go back to the astral world. The Bhagavad Gita speaks beautifully and solacingly of the immortality of the soul: Never the spirit was born; the spirit shall cease to be never. Never was time it was not; end and beginning are dreams! Birthless and deathless and changeless remaineth the spirit forever. Death hath not touched it all, dead though the house of it seems.

Death is not the end: it is a temporary emancipation, given to you when karma, the law of justice, determines that your present body and environment have served their purpose, or when you are too weary or exhausted by suffering to bear the burden of physical existence any longer. To those who are suffering, death is resurrection from the painful tortures of flesh into awakened peace and calmness. To the elderly, it is a pension earned by years of struggling through life. For all, it is a welcome rest.

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J is for Joy
by Rod Briggs

What is your definition of joy or happiness? What do you think you have to achieve before you deserve fulfillment?

In the lesson on ‘G is for Gratitude’ we touched on the fact that we fall into the trap of equating things with joy. It seems the more sophisticated we become, the more we need external trappings; how could you possibly be happy if you didn’t have the nice house, fancy car, designer this and ‘bling’ that. By the very nature of haute couture this seasons big things are next years ‘over its’ and so we just have to have the next big thing as well. The hamster is on the wheel! ‘Keeping up with the Jones’ is buying things you don’t need, with money you don’t have, to impress people you don’t like. But if accumulating is not the pathway to joy, what is?

One of the many benefits of my lifestyle is that I get to spend lots of time leading retreats in the wild and woolly places of the earth and a couple of years ago I found myself in an unexplored corner of Northern Pondoland with a group of Irish retreatees. These well-travelled, sophisticated travellers had experienced the affluent side of South Africa with five-star accommodation, private bush camps and champagne helicopter trips into the mountains. But this tiny, unnamed, uncharted hovel blew them away. The village – actually half a dozen lean-to shelters made of wood and filth - had an inordinate quantity of smiling, happy, bubbly children running around playing amazingly complex games with stones, sticks, bones and each other. From the youngest, who was just walking, to the eldest of about ten years old, they were all absolutely naked – there was not even money for clothes; but the fun and laughter that filled the place was infectious and the short while we spent there was enough to gain them a place in all our hearts. The Irish later told me that the people in that Village were the happiest that they had seen anywhere on their extensive trip.

You can see this spontaneous outpouring of joy when a toddler ignores its new expensive present and spends hours playing with the box instead. This is so because, when we are in balance, Joy is a product of our natural state. Scrambling for external ‘fixes’ only hampers our access to it but joy can be found in sunrises, sunsets, music, the way a leaf moves on the breeze, children’s laughter and . . . ( Make your own list and try it out).

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The Power of Gratitude
by Suren Pillay

When I see people around me I often wonder what is it that drives them to be who they are. In many instances I begin to realize that many people are totally unconscious of the fact that who they are, is exactly who they are choosing to be. If a person is arrogant and resentful toward his fellow man and himself, he is consciously making that choice and suffering the consequences of such misdirected choices. So the question becomes: how do we improve our choices so that we do not experience pain and suffering?

Suffering and joy has been known to man since the dawn of time yet few have pondered how to overcome suffering. Many walk the path of life with little contemplation, and a lot of fear, not knowing what card the world is going to give them next. Creating an atmosphere and culture of joy and contentment is the key to a fulfilling life. Physically, when we experience joy, our immune system responds positively and we have a lower chance of succumbing to disease. Mentally, when we feel joy, our minds are fully awake and vitalized. We are full of enthusiasm and confidence. Spiritual joy is your souls true nature.

We can see by the power of observation that certain types of joy are short lived and that other joys are long-lived. The joy of eating a chocolate may be shorter than joy of a beautiful piece of music that plays over and over in your mind. In general, we might observe that the less physical the source of joy, the longer the joy remains with us. The beautiful music that you enjoyed has no physical form and even after it has played in the physical plane it becomes a form of joy in the mental plane for a longer period.

It thus becomes evident that to live in happiness and joy we must continually make choices that lead us to joy. Such joy should not be temporary but long-lasting, if we want to be truly fulfilled. The yoga science of ancient times teaches all of mankind that the greatest happiness and joy of a lasting nature is highly subtle and is within every human being. This inner joy can first only come to one who is content to some degree. If the individual is highly desirous of physical objects, a state of want and emptiness will predominate his awareness as his desires cannot be perpetually fulfilled.

The great challenge for humanity is that of developing inner contentment in a world of restlessness and desire. One of the most powerful and practical ways to do this is to practice gratitude. Be grateful for the food that you have, the shelter over your head, the clothes that you wear and the health given to you by the infinite. By acknowledging what you have, your desires take a back seat, and your mind becomes more happy and calm within. To deepen this calmness and increase the intensity of this joy to make it more enduring, one should immediately proceed into meditation or deep contemplation. This will awaken ones consciousness to new levels of awareness and inner joy.

If one can maintain that level of awakened consciousness and joy everyday, then he is living the life that has been ordained by the Universal Spirit ,present within every human being as the silent witness. I ask all children of God to practice gratitude in their everyday life and experience the joy that has been waiting for you since time immemorial.


by Suren

When I was young I dreamed of a place called eternity.
Its dazzling lights and celestial sounds churned my soul to greatness.
When I grew older I realized that eternity was not in the world, but in a universe more beautiful and complex than I had ever dreamed of. When I left life I realized I was eternity!

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