December 2007 / January 2008

Swami Says + Healing Peaches + Pyrite + Secret of Silence + Breath of Life + Magnetism + Emotions in men & women + FEATURE: Divine Mother Mary + Flexibility in Leadership + Hindu Traditions + P is for Passion + The Beat of God's Heart

Cover: Babaji Hawan, Gayathri Peedam, South Africa.


Namasté all.
May this issue of Transcendence bring inspiration over the holiday season - a time which many will spend alone, without food and family - and initiate gratitude for all our blessings, a gratitude that will extend over the year to come, and bring with it new insight and realization into the unique spiritual journey undertaken by each individual.

At the time of writing Swami Shanarananda is in India but will be back in time for the December Pournami and Christmas eve service where those of you lucky enough to attend, can enjoy His inspiring presence.

During this month of the anniversary of Christ’s birth, we celebrate Mary, the Divine Mother of Christ in our feature article and MasterCard. So, take the time to ponder on Her role not only as the mother of Christ, but as the Universal Mother of us all. Swami Shankarananda explains one way of doing this by the invocation of Gayathrideva in Swami Says; while Swami Murugesu’s article on the Science of Gayathri expands our understanding of the Mother to another level. Swami Murugesu also explains to us the Secret of Silence in Food for Thought.

We learn about the healing properties of peaches and pyrite; Yvonne Jarvis explains the importance of The Breath of Life and the effect it has on the environment; Rod Briggs motivates us with his article on P is for Passion and we find out the reasons for Hindu Fasting in Faith. Finally, Suren reminds us about the importance of World Spirituality while Vish emphasises the power of thought in our daily living (Truth 4 Youth).

An appeal for your contribution: Swami Shankarananda is in the process of compiling the biography of Swami Murugesu Maharishi so we ask to all readers who would like to donate stories or experiences to please send them either to Swami Shankarananda or myself.

Please remember that the cost of your favourite mini-mag will be changing from February 2008. Rates are included on the back cover of this issue for your convenience. And, remember to keep an eye on the our websites over your break, we will be adding articles to all of them.

Until February next year, may you be blessed with love, light, joy and abundant wealth in body, mind and spirit.

In Love and Service always,


Invoking the Divine Mother
The whole universe vibrates with female energy. The first word that a child ever utters is ‘ma-ma’ because that is the energy that is always there and is so effortless to absorb. Many of us look for God everywhere else but where we should be looking. That energy resides within each of us. Body is matter or prakriti; energy required to move mass is called shakti, the female energy. No matter where you go in the world you will find that mother takes the first place in everyone’s life. A child calls their mother when they are hurt. This is a natural occurrence. On the surface this is a call to the physical mother, but unconsciously it is a call to the Supreme Mother. So when we have some kind of injury we say, ‘ma’. If a child needs something he’ll shout for his mother first.

Gayathri has many forms. One form is Hamsa Gayathri, who sits on a swan and is followed by a movement called Gayathri Pariwar; the Gayathri we follow is called Kabala Brahma Gayathri. She sits upon a lotus flower, has five heads and holds a skull in her right hand. What does this mean? This means that our five senses, our five sheaths, or five bodies are all the same, if the principles of spirituality are followed. There are no differences between the bodies, if you follow universal spiritual principles with regard to female veneration of God. It also means we should not be egoistic when we worship Mother Gayathri. The mantra, and the tantra mantra (reversed mantra), is said to be the mantra of all Vedas. Just by reciting this powerful Gayathri mantra, no matter what you want, you will attain. We have devotees who are perfect examples and who, by following the sadhana of reciting the Gayathri Mantra, 64 times in the morning 108 times at lunch and 64 times in the evening, attain whatever their focus allows, without exception. I, too am a perfect example of reciting the mantra and attaining, both spiritually and materially. But the minimum required number of manthras must be recited daily. Do not do them all at one time, but three times during day, as suggested.

The easiest way to do this is with a string of 108 beads with two merus, so that you don’t have to count physically. Put a meru at the 64th bead. So you’ll find that the morning and evening numbers are 1 and at midday they are 9. these numbers are the most important numbers to follow.

by Yvonne Jarvis

Breath of Life
All spiritual traditions acknowledge the spiritual importance of the breath. Indeed, the word 'spirit' comes from a Latin word meaning 'breath'. Our way of breathing affects our state of consciousness, directly and indirectly, by influencing our subtle bodies. There is a saying that we all breathe the same air but each must take his breath individually. This is a wonderful metaphor for both our separateness and our inter-connectedness.

People, even those who are seriously interested in growth, tend to choose breathing methods which perpetuate their blocks and patterns of holding emotion, as sometimes these are too painful to express. Through the holding patterns in our breathing we repress emotions, and as these patterns are freed, the emotions begin to surface. We should be aiming to release holding patterns in the nervous system which prevent us from breathing in more varied ways. Consciously working with breathing is helpful however there is no one correct way to breathe.

There is an important energy centre in the body near the top of the occipital bone (the bump slightly above the base of the skull). This centre, named the Jade Pillow in Taoism, The Gate of the Four Winds in the Huna tradition, and the Moon Centre in Hinduism, helps to control breathing. The yin (feminine) energy of this centre balances the overall yang (masculine) energy of the brain (the brain is more yang because of its function – to control and manipulate our environment, which makes it more assertive than receptive). There is a resonance between this energy centre and the medulla oblongata, which is the part of the brain which regulates respiration and circulation. Breathing is controlled to vary naturally to fit the situation – we breathe differently when we are sitting, standing, running, swimming, meditating, etc. This energy centre is also closely connected to your Higher Self, which can then work with you in an ongoing way to facilitate breathing in the interest of personal and spiritual growth.

Spiritual traditions teach breathing techniques associated with the state of consciousness they consider to be “enlightenment”. The breath is the doorway to the Divine, and proper breathing, as well as opening the heart chakra, will facilitate the development of Christ Conscious-ness. It is therefore important to utilize breathing patterns which support opening the heart chakra. The chest must be relaxed to allow for a free flow of energy through the heart chakra.

There are many reasons why different folk have different breathing patterns and different problems in breathing, eg asthma and emphysema. The openness and functioning of the Jade Pillow centre is a major factor, however there could be other physical reasons such as exposure to environmental stressors such as asbestos.

No amount of subtle energy can make up for air which has been tainted by environmental toxins. Human and animal life is jeopardized when we do not take responsibility for earth’s oxygen. We are global citizens, and toxic air in one area can affect vast numbers of people as air knows no borders. We are stewards responsible for maintaining Earth’s pristine nature, and this includes concern about air quality. Governments also need to co-operate to conserve trees which exchange our exhaled carbon dioxide with pure oxygen from the plant kingdom.

Reference: Energy Blessings from the Stars – Virginia Essene and Irving Feurst

Swami Murugesu Maharishi

The Secret of Silence
To the question posed in the Upanishads as to the nature of God. It is explained that God is silence (Maunam Thu Thasya Vihakyanam), meaning that only those who maintain silence can realise God. In India, many swamis maintain silence continually. Many others are under the impression that such swamis are realised souls. It all that was required to realise God was the maintenance of a state of silence, then many would have attained this ultimate goal. Most can observe silence for short periods and learn to realise God in this way.

Everything in the universe is continually moving. Even within a diamond or crystal, there is movement in the form of molecular activity. Today’s scientists tell us that different matter is produced by energy vibrations within the object, from the smallest atom, to the largest heavenly body. Man’s organs are also all in continuous movement in the same way. Not only living and working organs like the heart and lungs, but even ‘dead’ matter like hair, nails, skin and teeth. These are also continually undergoing molecular activity and change, even when one is asleep.

One cannot see a clear reflection through the ripples in a pond, neither can the floor of the pond be seen, but the reflection and anything in the pond will appear to be moving because of the ripples. In a physical body, the mind, emotions and other subtle bodies all vibrate, but beyond these, the soul or Jivanma, is motionless. Behind the movement of the physical, emotional and mental bodies, lies the Paramatma, which causes the movement of everything in the universe. The Jivatma and Paratma in themselves do not move, but together cause the entire universe to vibrate. As it says in the Upanishads, ‘Tatejathi Thannai Jathi’, ‘it moves but does not move’.

The floor of the pond and the face reflected on the surface are motionless, just as the mind and other faculties are in vibration and the Jivatma and Paramatma appear to be moving but do not move. An electric train runs on electricity, but the electricity does not run, but causes the train to move. Similarly with an electric fan. The electricity is not moving to cool the air, but causes the fan to move.

In the same way Jivatma and paramatma do not move, but cause other things to move. If a person wants to see his reflection or the bottom of the pond clearly, he must stop the waves appearing on the surface. As long as the water in the pond keeps moving, the bottom of the pond and reflection will be distorted. Similarly if a person wants to know the true Jivatma, the body, mind and emotions which are always in motion due to the force of Jivatma, this force has to be arrested. Stopping the vibrations of body, mind and emotions is silence.

By the above process, one knows the real Athma Satshathkara and will understand what is meant when yogis say that if one stops the vibration of the universe, he will be able to see God. But those who have realised God ask, “Have all those who have witnessed God, been able to stop the movement of the universe?” Before answering this question, let us first understand how we can stop the vibrations of the individual body, mind and emotions. It has already been explained that motionless Jivatma causes motion in other objects. In other words, the soul force (Athma Sakthi) expresses itself and causes vibrations. Therefore, if the soul force is not allowed to manifest it, the movement will stop. If electricity is cut, then an appliance will not work. The first two slokas in the Yoga Sutras explains only that ‘Yoga Chitta Viruddhi Nirodha: Tha: Drushta: Swaroope Avasthanam’. That is Yoga means to stop the vibrations of chitta as it is at this time during which the soul realises its true position. This is the secret of yoga practise. The soul force is slowly separated from the body, emotions and mind and instead is retained within the soul.

Paramathma is pervasive due to its universal energy. It is, therefore, pervading in Jivatma. When the soul force does not allow it’s energy to manifest outside, it finds a resting place in the soul itself and the God force which is responsible for the soul force also rests within itself and stabilises. The soul, therefore, realises itself and at the same time the Paramatma force which causes the energy to stabilise without vibrations sees its true form in bliss. Those who want to see God do not have to stop the vibrations of the universe. Once their soul force is contained within itself without manifesting itself outside, the universal force is also automatically contained within itself and becomes devoid of all vibrations in the state of bliss.

Silence, therefore, means to stop the vibrations of the body, mind, emotions and ahankara and contain and maintain them within one’s self. The body and mind of such individuals who have attained this state may be functioning due to their inherent nature, but such realised souls may not be aware of what their body, mind and emotions are doing. They may be acting on their own, so it is wrong to conclude that those who have realised God are silent. Even those who continue to speak may be enjoying inner silence and may not manifest their soul force. There is no connection between silence and not speaking. Lord Krishna in the Gita, says that one may be speaking, eating, seeing and carrying out all normal activities, and still be silent.

Those who observe silence are like water on a lotus leaf, they will be in the world, but the world will not be in them.

by Rod Briggs

P is for Passion
In this high tech, high performance, up and at ‘em environment we increasingly find ourselves in, we are continually being extolled to “find our passion.”

It is the central message of motivational speakers, personal development coaches and high achievers globally, and often one of the few things they all agree on. So what is it exactly, and why is it so important?

The root of the word lies in the Latin Passionatus which deals with strong emotions, the stem of which comes from pati – to suffer. Herein lies the clue as to the power of the thing. When our neurology experiences suffering, all the body’s resources are brought to bear to rectify the situation. This includes endorphin and hormonal changes which, in turn, cause a change in brain function from simple linear thought to spatial activity.

The same neurological modification happens whenever we are passionately focussed on something or someone; we experience this as a ‘flow’ state when our sense of time seems to warp, the task we are doing seems effortless and we don’t get tired. Albert Einstein used this shifting of time as an example of relativity when he said that “One minute spent looking at a beautiful girl is not as nearly as long as one minute sat on a hot stove”. This ‘whole brain’ experience, so called because during this state we use both hemispheres of our brains instead of just the dominant left (logical) side, gives us an average increase in efficiency of 30–40 %, physically, emotionally and mentally. This is possible because we are accessing more of the brain’s deep conscious function and its 400 billion bits of information as opposed to the normal conscious availability of 200 bits (accessing this is why you are told to ‘sleep on it’ when you can’t make a decision, or why you remember where you put the car keys once you have stopped consciously looking for them).

People who have to get up early to go to work often move around like zombies and have to force themselves into top gear but if the same people had to get up at dawn, or earlier, to go on holiday they would be ‘buzzing’ with excitement for the day ahead. How do you feel about your day when you first wake? If you can’t wait for the day to start chances are you’ve got passion. If you don’t have passion you have to find other psychological motivators to enable you to operate at comparable levels of efficiency.

If you can find passion in what you do for a living every day will feel like going on holiday and your life will flow, as it should.

by Suren Pillay

World Spirituality
Today when I look at the world, it certainly is not what it was fifty years ago. The transformation achieved in a space of fifty years in the spheres of science, technology, business and communications is astronomical. Such an evolution in man's outer creativity and intellectual expression however has not been matched by any significant growth in the spiritual sphere. On the contrary, wars, famine, violence and crimes as well as disease have been ever-increasing since the turn of the century.

According to a great philosopher, there are always two forces in the universe, one is expansion, creativity and evolution; and the other is decline, disintegration and decay. These two forces are continually at war with each other, and their effect we see in the world today are the collective result of these forces within the mind of every individual on the planet. As individuals, these two forces are at war within our mind every day.

Our actions represent our state of mind and, in general, are an indicator of whether the positive forces of evolution and prosperity are winning or whether the forces of decay and disintegration are dominant. An objective look at the world today provides evidence that man's state of intellectual growth is far exceeding his spiritual evolution. Although we find an increase in the thinking capacity of man, the forces of decay are still present within the consciousness of man.

This becomes evident when we look at the level of poverty, disease, violence and intolerance still present in the world today. A sage once said that society is only truly civilised when medical care for human beings is for free. At the moment human beings still have to pay a considerable fee for medical treatment in most parts of the world.

The question is whether we, as individuals, have any power to change the course of the world's spiritual evolution. I believe the answer is an astounding ‘yes’ because we live in an ever-changing and evolving universe. Just by allowing yourself to consciously choose thought and actions which are spiritually elevating and positive, you are improving the world consciousness as others may be inspired by your actions; and the positive thoughts that you send out to the world will affect those who are receptive to such states of awareness.

My advice to you this month, dear brothers and sisters of Gayathri, is to introspect daily in your mind and determine whether positive spiritual thoughts dominate your awareness or whether negative thoughts are influencing your thinking and actions. Ask yourself if those thoughts truly serve you and humanity and whether they should be changed to allow for greater joy, prosperity and spiritual growth for yourself and others!

by Vish

Each person goes through a period in their lives in which they question, “Who am I?” What a powerful question indeed! Who am I exactly? Am I Mr. Moodley? This cannot be the truth, for as soon as I perish, people will refer to me as the body, not Mr. Moodley. Whilst other nations were hunting animals for food, the ancient seers of India asked this vital question. They came to realize that we are no more than Atman, soul. We are extracts from the Supreme Personality, Paramatman who is adored by so many names and forms. Swami Rama, author of Living with the Himalayan Masters, puts this into a beautiful analogy, “You are a wave of bliss and beauty. Just as waves are not separate from the ocean, you are not separate from that blissful divine being.” So you are verily the soul. Each morning when you look into the mirror, affirm, “I am a unit of pure consciousness.” Surely you will be just that!

In as much the same way the mind helps us, it can trouble us too. A parable of two monks illustrates this. Entering the monastery means that monks aren’t allowed to have contact with females. One day, the local river was flooded, and a girl needed to cross. Two monks approached, and the elder one offered to carry the lass across the river. On the other side of the river, the older monk lay down the girl, and the two monks continued their journey. The younger monk, completely disturbed by what he had witnessed, remarked, “How could you carry the little girl?” The older, and clearly wiser monk simply replied, “I left the girl on the riverbed. You are still carrying her in you mind!”

The older monk had not thought of the act as touching a female. He saw it as an act of love, perhaps duty. In his mind, he had not transgressed any monastic rule. The younger monk thought of it as a law being broken, and his mind bothered him. What you think, you become. He had troubled thoughts, so he became troubled. Hence, calming the mind is vital. Lord Krishna says, “The yogi who has completely calmed the mind and controlled the passions and freed them from all impurities, and who is one with spirit - verily he has attained supreme blessedness.” The mind can be controlled. It can be calmed. By practising yoga and divine chanting, we clear the mind of all negativity. As Hindus, we believe that both the body and mind are moved and dominated by a third, called the self. So if you become a unit of pure consciousness, you will have control over your mind.

The Secret is creating waves the world over. It’s the new buzz-word. Compiled by Rhonda Byrne, The Secret is a book and DVD combo based on the law of attraction. To simplify it, you are a human transmission tower, a powerful magnet that can transmit frequency in the form of your thoughts. Once theses thoughts are transmitted, the universe, acting as a genie, delivers to you that which you desire. Like attracts like. When you are unhappy, the more you think about it, the worse it gets. This is because you had one sustained thought, and that law of attraction brought more “like” thoughts to you, making you miserable. Bob Proctor, a teacher of The Secret concluded, “If you can see it in your mind, you’re going to hold it in your hand!” You become what you think about most, and you also attract to you what you think about most.

The truth is that The Secret was never really a secret in the Hindu Tradition. We have always affirmed that to attract good to you, you must think good thoughts. To be a good person, you must think of yourself as being good. If you constantly think, “I am good. I am good,” this vibration will seep into your consciousness and awareness and will, indeed, make you good! This is no secret. This phenomenon was always there, but you never explored it. “Shivo Hum” – I am Shiva. Continuously thinking this will make you Shiva. It will make you receptive to that awesome Nadaraja, whose thandava dance keeps this world in orbit. Yes! You become what you think about!

The mind is undoubtedly essential. In order to act, we must first think. Thought is so powerful. It can change your entire perspective on life, if we steer it in the right direction. The mind can be utilized to arouse passion, devise strategy, evaluate scenarios and much more. But that is not the purpose of you birth. You are here to connect with that Great Divine Electricity, whose current penetrates the very core of this appliance – your soul. You are a spiritual being. In order to establish and anchor yourself in God realization, calm your mind through meditation. Incessantly think of Krishna – surrender wholeheartedly unto Him, and He will surely deliver you from delusion. Think positive, constructive thoughts – this will aid you in connecting with that Highest Good, God. You are beyond this body. You are a large part of this Divine Love. Realize your purpose in this very birth. Come stand under the Govardhan mountain that Krishna is holding with a single finger. Become a better person. Become a unit of pure consciousness. Become Shiva. It all begins with a single thought!