2007 May


Editorial + Understand who you are + Inspired and Guided Living + Swami Replies + Understanding Each Other + Hasta Utthanasana + Expanding Understanding + Celestite + Understanding Energy + The Art of Leadership + Feature: Lord Shiva Symbolism + The Science of Astral Travel + Off the Shelf + The Meaning of Hindu Rituals + ABC of Life + Attitudes & Spirituality + Inspiration + Letters from Heaven + Gitascendence + Reiki: Be a Vegetarian + Science and Power of Gayathri + Truth 4 Youth

Selected Articles


Namasté all
Yet another month of 2007 behind us and, hopefully, we are all managing to put our spiritual adjustments into action. The month of May sees noticeably cooler weather and our seasonal transition into Winter. During such outward seasonal changes we should be contemplating our own inner seasonal change from spiritual barrenness, to a summer of meditative bliss.

This edition of Transcendence is filled to the brim with interesting inspirational reads. Swami Shankarananda introduces a new regular article on Reiki. This month He discusses the importance of vegetarianism being practiced by any healing practitioner as well as the overall health benefits of a vegetarian diet. We also learn about the damage we are causing to ourselves and our environment by use of electronic equipment in Understanding Energy and Swami Murugesu explains the fascinating Science of Astral Travel in Food 4 Thought.

We find out how blueberries can drastically enhance our health and our Feature Article covers Symbolism of Lord Shiva with the respective MasterCard. In a similar vein, Faith reminds us of the important significance of Lighting the Lamp in Hindu ritual.

Please note that there are two Pournami prayers in June and so we will produce two different Transcendence newsletters during that month. Contributions have once again been scarce so please bear this in mind and email me any inspirational text, verse or experiences you would like to share with other readers.

Finally, it has come to the attention of Ashok Kassie, the current Spiritual Head of the Gayathri Peedam that certain requested specifications regarding dress code and behaviour are not being followed by devotees at the ashram (Swami’s home) and the temple. Although, many of you will argue that God doesn’t care how you dress, dressing properly is a sign of respect and devotion to both God and Guru. Why not show your respect by adhering to these simple requests?

Please see the enclosed letter detailing this and contact Ashok if you have any queries in this regard. Thanks.

In Love and Service always,

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Message from the Master

Understand Who You Are

I intend to remind you of your immortal and internal nature as mentioned by Krishna in the second chapter of the Bhagavad Gita. As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from childhood, to youth and to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. (2:13)

For the soul, there is neither birth nor death at any time. It has not come into being, does not come into being and will not come into being. It is unborn, eternal, ever-existing and primeval. It is not killed the body is killed. (2:20)

Just as man casts off his worn-out clothes and puts on new ones, similarly the embodied soul casts off its worn-out bodies and creates a new physical body each life-time. (2:22)

The soul can never be cut into pieces by any weapon, nor burnt by fire, nor moistened by water, nor withered by the wind. (2:23)

This individual soul is unbreakable and insoluble and can be neither burnt nor dried. It is ever-lasting, present everywhere, unchangeable, unmoveable and eternally the same. (2:24)

So understand who you are.

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My Beloved

by Deenadayalan

Remember we were given temptations to make us stronger and not weaker,
resist those things that bring you down. Associate only with uplifting people,
as the masters have said: environment is stronger than will.
If you associate with negative people they will make you negative too!

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Health Risks Associated with Electromagnetic Fields (EMF)

by Yvonne Jarvis

Your microwave and cellphone may have changed your life, but what is the radiation doing to your body? Since cellular phones were introduced to the commercial market in the early 1980s, there have been rumblings about the associated health risks, in particular that holding a cell phone so close to your head fries your brain … like a microwave cooks your dinner. Some have dismissed this as unfounded; after all, there are some 2 billion people using cell phones today, and they are an integral part of our daily lives. Surely they must have been tested for safety before being marketed!

The first lawsuit for death due to brain tumour (in the shape of the cell phone antenna) was filed in 1993, and the adverse publicity prompted the cell phone industry to fund a five year $25 million research study by Dr George Carlo, a respected public health scientist, epidemiologist and lawyer. The study was thorough and the results conclusive: there is a strong connection between cell phone use and brain tumours, neurological disease and genetic damage. His book Cell phones: Invisible hazards in the Wireless Age raises serious concerns about the integrity of the cell phone industry intent on selling its products, and describes how government agencies have failed to protect consumers. In 2004, neuro-scientist, Leif Salford, at Lund University linked cell phone radiation to brain damage. Rats exposed to two hours of cell phone radiation showed significant blood vessel leakage and damaged neurons.

But cell phones are not the only culprits - all modern electronics emit electromagnetic radiation. Electrical appliances, high voltage power lines, wireless devices and microwave radiation from microwave ovens, television sets, telephones, computers signals and garage door openers all add to the load. Scientists believe we are exposed to 100 million times more electromagnetic radiation than two generations ago. Electro-pollution is invisible, odourless, silent and potentially deadly - it is everywhere, we cannot escape it.

The 100 trillion cells of the body communicate with each other by subtle low electromagnetic signals as well as through biochemical reactions. These pathways carry information which translates into biochemical and physiological processes of the body. Contin-uous exposure to electromagnetic radiation (EMR) can distort and disrupt these pathways resulting in abnormal cellular metabolism and ultimately, disease. Cell function deteriorates, cell membranes harden, nutrients can’t get in and toxins can’t get out. Hundreds of studies have shown the harmful effects of EMR on the immune system, enzyme synthesis, nervous system, learning, moods and behavioural patterns. All aspects of life at the cellular, molecular, physiological and biochemical levels can potentially be damaged by EMR exposure.

Did you know?
EMF disrupts your natural energy levels, causing stress response. This impairs the body’s natural ability to heal and contributes to energy depletion and fatigue, and causes significant increase in blood pressure. It impairs membranes of the circulatory and nervous system. Talking 500 minutes on a cell phone increases the probability of brain cancer by 140% (JAMA January 2001). There are 30,000 to 50,000 new cases of brain and eye cancer each year worldwide, that are attributed to cell phone usage (Epidemic curve, Safe Wireless Initiative). Younger people are more vulnerable due to skull thickness, which is still maturing and growing (Dr G Carlo, Safe Wireless Initiative).

Dr Carlo, who is now the chairman of the Science and Public Policy Institute says “Scientific studies continue to accumulate showing that information-carrying radio waves from mobile telephones and other wireless devices, now used by more than 2 billion people worldwide, are dangerous. The mobile phone industry has not addressed the problem; governments around the world continue to be burdened by entanglements with the industry that render them unable to protect consumers. Emerging science shows links to conditions ranging from learning and spectrum disorders to cancer. If unabated, the brunt of the disease burden will continue to be borne by our children and grandchildren.”

For more information, refer to the Safe Wireless Initiative project intended to promote safety and empower consumers to protect themselves and their families at: http://www.safewireless.org/ or look up http://www.bioenergeticsinstitute.com/ the website of the Research Institute for Applied Bioenergetics, their goal being to provide reliable scientific support for bioenergetic technologies that have proven public health and value. Refer to http://www.bioprotechnology.com/
for the good news - preventive interventions using proprietary ERT (Energy Resonance Technology) and patented nano-technology MRET (Molecular Resonance Effect Technology) to effectively deal with cumulative stress associated with living in today’s electronic environment.

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H is for Honesty

by Rod Briggs

Satyagraha (clinging to Truth) confers a matchless and Universal power on those who practise it!
Mahatma Ghandi

The starting point in rectifying any problem is identifying its components; you need to know what’s wrong before you can fix it!

Although we can all recognize the logic in the previous statement, many of us are not aware that in our ‘internal’ lives the same principles hold true. Once we start the journey of self discovery that is part of improving the way we interact with an ever more complex world, we quickly realise that our understanding of the way humanity works leaves much to be desired; we make bad choices, blame the wrong people and get angry at inappropriate times for the wrong reasons. The secret ingredient necessary to improve this situation is honesty; searching for the Truth in any situation.

By honesty I don’t just mean the external ‘I don’t lie, steal or cheat’ type but the most difficult to master: being honest with yourself. Most of us are not aware that we aren’t being true to ourselves simply because no one ever brings our attention to it. See if you can identify with this metaphor:

Someone brings you a gift of green balloons. You hate green and would have much preferred red ones but, being polite and not wanting to offend you rave about them and tell them how wonderful they are. The gift giver goes away thinking ‘Wow! She really loves green balloons; I must remember to tell all our mutual friends.’ The next birthday or celebration you are inundated by green balloons because everyone knows they are your favourite, aren’t they? Without appearing rude or ungrateful how do you tell them you really don’t like green? If nothing happens to change everyone’s belief that green balloons are your preference you will be cursed with ever more extravagant green balloon effects for the rest of your life.

Think of how many times in your life you have been trapped into the above scenario. This doesn’t mean that you should always be cuttingly honest with no thought for the feelings of others, but there are times, especially with our nearest and dearest, when a little bit of honesty goes a long, long way. Commit yourself to not accepting green balloons without letting the giver know that ‘although I normally prefer red ones, these are beautiful’.

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Attitudes and Spirituality

by Suren Pillay

In search of happiness, men go to so many extremes in life. A man gambles his car and house away in pursuit of that million that seemingly never comes. Saints have reminded us over and over again that the more one becomes desirous of material gains for selfish purpose ,the more one is bound to experience pain. This remark of the sages is endowed with wisdom and experience.

The siddhas of yore were accomplished in the development of body and mind. They were well aware that the key to happiness remains within oneself and not outside of oneself. It his helpful at this moment to comprehend the wisdom of Patanjali, arguably one of the greatest siddas of all time. In his eightfold path of yoga, contentment, purity and moral observances are given priority ascending the ladder of yoga. The foundation of the eightfold path of yoga is found in the first two steps, and these emphasize strict moral observances. In this day and age it is arguably one of the most difficult tasks to observe these spiritual observances completely.

In order to progress, therefore, in spirituality, it thus seems the odds are stacked against us. Shall the novice seeker have no refuge save the Lord himself? Not so, apparently, as the Lord has conveniently allowed for God-realized masters to roam this Earth and guide young seekers to find the infinite beloved within themselves. With the guidance of the Guru and the devotees’ own spiritual practices, the devotee can progress on the spiritual path and, after awhile, the observances and restrictions which appeared so difficult at first will seem a lot easier. In my own life I have found this to be true in many ways. The trick to spiritual progress, I have found, is to have the right attitude. There is a saying that attitude determines experience, and there is a lot of truth in that.

Human beings are born to experience , grow and evolve until they can evolve no more. Yet in the early stages, the primary obstacle to spiritual growth seems to be one of attitude. The more we are able to see the positive in every situation, the less painful life will be. The Dalai Lama has mentioned that this is one way to overcome mental pain in life. Besides seeing the positive in every situation, another attitude that will prove helpful to spiritual growth is to surrender to higher wisdom.

In other words, surrender to your Guru, and your higher intuition, as the knowledge they express comes directly from the soul. The Guru being one with spirit knows what is best for His disciple, whatever the disciple’s disposition. The disciple who is receptive to his Guru’s wisdom progresses rapidly on the spiritual path, allowing for his own soul intuition to be highly developed.

Such are life’s truths on the spiritual path. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing remember that there is a positive side to everything. By being open to the forces that support soul evolution, you will attract the Grace of God and Guru and will find what most men cannot imagine!

Driving on the Spiritual path
by Suren

In the wheel of life many are not aware of the difference between the driver and the vehicle. Is the vehicle to dictate to the driver or the driver to the vehicle? If you let the vehicle dictate to the driver, an accident is certain. So is it with body and mind. Don’t let the body dictate, lest you find yourself in an accident!

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Knowing God Scientifically

by Paramahansa Yogananda

Once Occidentals know real communion with God, their whole attitude toward religion and the church will change. No sermon will be dull then, no church empty. Seekers will hold the key to prove the truth of His existence. They will be listening to words about One whom they have experienced and know to be true, to be near, to be living. They will be devotees of God because they have met Him, and not because theoretically it seems that such a Being exists and should be worshipped.

Nothing can ever fully satisfy the heart of man except living proof. Yoga brings that proof to man’s door. Just as it is necessary for the astronomer to look through a telescope in order to see distant stars, so it is necessary for the questioner of God’s existence to look for Him through the instrument of scientific meditation. If one proclaimed or denied the existence of a distant star, and yet would not look through the telescope to see if he were wrong or not, his opinion would be worthless. He cannot prove his stand unless he has confirmed it through available instruments of knowledge. Similarly, no one may rightfully deny, or positively affirm, the existence of God unless he has practised the methods of approaching Him.

Meditation is a telescope through which you can see God. Without it, you must rest one’s belief in God on unproved faith alone. With it, you can challenge anyone to disprove that God can be known.

To control the mind by psycho-physiological methods, to direct it Godward, to be its leader, not its slave - that is the teaching imparted by yoga., whether you give it that name or not. All life’s labours are in vain unless you know how to shift your attention from failure to success, from worry to calmness, from mental wanderings to concentration, from restlessness to peace, from peace to conscious Divine Bliss within. If you have attained this control, then the purpose of life has been gloriously fulfilled.
Excerpt from The Divine Romance

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