March 2008

Swami Says + Healing Pomegranates + Rose Quartz + S is for Suppression + 18 Kriya Postures of Babaji + Hindu Traditions + Spiritual Energy + FEATURE: Kriya Master Swami Kriyananda + Transcending Traffic Terrors + Spiritual Success + Mental Energy in Horticulture + Journey to Palani

Cover: Shivarathri, 6 March 2008, Gayathri Peedam, South Africa

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Namasté all.
This year, Easter falls in March with the full moon prayer being celebrated on Good Friday. This is the day put aside by Christians to remember the selfless sacrifice of Christ. Let us in the same manner, put aside our negative tendencies that we may focus on selfless service to others and take the time to develop realisation of the Self. Easter Monday is celebrated in lieu of Christ's resurrection and to remind us to resurrect our higher selves after the sacrifice of our ego. Kavady falls on the Sunday before, giving us time to reflect on the lessons we can learn from the burdens we have to carry in this life, and the reasons we carry them so that we, too, may put aside our differences and petty attachments and resurrect the Christ Consciousness within.

Swami Shankarananda is back from another visit to Sri Lanka where plans are underway to upgrade the peedam in Nuwara Eliya to international standards in order to cater to overseas visitors. So, Shivarathri in South Africa was celebrated without the physical presence of Swami (see photos of this prayer at but awareness confirmed that He was here in spirit.

Swami has instructed that all Gayathri Peedam members receive a free issue of Transcendence on payment of their fees each month. Hopefully, this will allow more readers access to the inspiring articles offered – readers who would not ordinarily purchase the mini-mag. Response to our online Sudoko pole was dismal. Only one reader is interested in keeping the puzzle so it will be replaced by an additional article from this issue onwards.

Finally, we are wanting to start fund raising for the annual Yogathon as early as possible, so anyone who is prepared to help with this endeavour, please contact Ashok Kassie on 032 944 4373.

May Christ's Awakening Light be revealed to you this Easter.

In Love and Service always,

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Swami Shankarananda

Transcending Traffic Terrors
We all know the stress and irritation we face every day in our country, especially on the roads - with endless traffic jams, taxi drivers, slow trucks in the fast lane, truck drivers, no traffic lights because of load-shedding, which also accelerates the rate of smash-and-grab incidents, impossible accidents, unnecessary mudras and road rage, potholes (now known as sink-holes), endless road works and pollution. Basically, being on South African roads is not a nightmare.

What do we do about this? Do we retaliate or do we just ignore the situation? I have learnt something that I wish to share with you all. Just be calm. Do not tap your fingers on the dashboard or steering wheel. Be calm. This is possible by reciting a mantra. Any mantra? No, the Gayathri Mantra. Or, better and with less effort on your part, play a CD of the Gayathri Mantra every day while you are driving. In addition to this, create some kind of mini altar in your car.

You will find that travelling on our roads becomes stress-free and, when your vehicle is stationery, just breathe in and out through your mouth. This is pranayama, a simple but effective technique. Try it. It works.

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Yvonne Jarvis

Spiritual Energy
At the quantum level, between 10 and 100 thousand times smaller than an atom, everything that exists in the Universe is energy, vibrating at different rates. All energy exists on a continuum from the most dense and least conscious, what we call physical matter at one end, to the least dense and most conscious, which we refer to as spiritual energy or consciousness at the other end. At the quantum level, all energy is connected. Reiki is a spiritual energy vibrating at a very high rate, working at an energetic level with both the physical matter of the body and the electromagnetic field that surrounds and interpenetrates the physical body. This knowledge assists us in understanding why Reiki can heal on a range of levels, from physical through mental, and emotional to spiritual aspects.

If we relate this to the human body, comprising over 50 trillion cells, we find that the body does has the same physiological functions as a single cell, including a digestive, excretory, respiratory, musculo-skeletal, immune and reproductive system amongst others. Although we think of the cell as being physical matter, despite being too small to see with the naked eye, most of each cell is actually space, or energy at the quantum level.

A human baby starts as a single fertilized cell, which divides, and differentiates into different cells, cells that become brain cells, bone cells and so on. These cells ‘remember’ what type of cell they are and replicate as their particular type, not as general cells. Some scientists describe this as cellular consciousness and theorise that every person’s knowledge, experience and memories are stored in every cell of their bodies. This may explain why organ recipients develop likes and dislikes and even memory flashes of their organ donor.

If each cell knows everything you have ever thought, said, or done, then it is no surprise that the body acts as a signaling device to give you disease messages to reflect what is going on in your mind and life.

The physical body is something we can see and feel, yet every cell within it is actually energy or light vibrating at a low enough rate to make it into visible physical matter. The human body and energy field surrounding it is made of electromagnetic energy, and each person has a unique vibrational energy frequency, in the same way we each have unique fingerprints. Electromagnetic output of a person’s whole body can be measured using electromyo-graphy, much as it can be measured for specific parts such as the brain or heart. Dr Valerie Hunt, author of Infinite Mind: The Science of Human Vibrations recorded output at high energy chakra sites and found fascinating results. Most people recorded the normal range of 250 cps (cycles per second), however people who used healing energies and psychic ability registered 400 – 800 cps. People who meditated regularly and followed a very spiritual path registered even higher frequencies of over 900 cps!

It therefore seems that drawing more spiritual energy such as Reiki into the body raises the energetic vibrations of the whole body to a higher level; and because the higher the frequency, the less dense and more conscious the energy will be, which facilitates spiritual awareness.

Reference: Self-healing with Reiki by Penelope Quest

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Swami Murugesu

Mental Energy in Horticulture
Plants, like other living things are not only alive, but have feelings to a limited extent. This has been proven by Dr Bose. Hence, if plants have feelings, like humans, they must have some sort of mind capability in which the feelings rise. In a big tree, there are not only feelings, but also a soul, according to ancient wisdom. The tree-souls are said to be able to leave the trees and share in the joys and sorrows of people around them, in the same way that a person might leave their body during astral travel. Some plants, by premonition, can indicate to their masters negative or positive events that may come about, by fading or blooming. It is on account of these factors that many consider trees to be gods.

From the foregoing it can be understood that plants have a mind, feelings and a soul. They also experience pain and pleasure and are subject to emotion and sharing the emotions of those close by. It is a fact that a child will be healthier when under the loving care of his mother, and that a child without a mother will be weaker in many aspects. There is nothing greater for a child than the love and care of its mother, which cannot be replaced by any medicine or tonic. This is equally applicable to all plants. A garden tended by a gardener with love will be fertile and attractive. A garden kept by a gardener without love for the plants will appear gloomy, and the plants will not grow strong. Those who are able to understand the feelings of plants will appreciate this fact. How can we make plants fertile by our love and affection? By this we do not mean verbal praise, but rather a wave of affection from us should flow to the plants. This can be accomplished in many ways, for example, the simple method that follows: Sit before the plant or plants with your eyes closed. Visualise the entire garden until the image is clear and steady in your mind. Now, mentally shower love and affection on the plants. Do this twice a day and you will see a change in the attraction of your garden. If possible, in addition to mental energy, pass on your magnetism to the plants and you will be pleasantly surprised by the changes that will take place. By passing on your love to your plants, people will visit your garden frequently and find peace and calm there because of your efforts.

Editor's Note: For more scientific validation of the intelligence of plants, read Lyall Watson's classic, Supernature.

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Rod Briggs

S is for Suppression
We all know people who bottle up their emotions and contain their feelings, and the current medical wisdom is that it is dangerous in the ‘Joe bottles stuff up so much he’ll make himself ill’ mode.

We also know the other extreme, those tinderbox individuals who explode at the drop of a hat and excuse it by virtue of the same current wisdom: “at least I’m not bottling it up”. The truth is that both of these extremes are damaging and need to be addressed.

The person who suppresses things will not only be at a heightened risk of major disease (the New England Journal of Medicine reports a 550% increase in Cancers due to stress and depression) but is also likely, sooner or later, to fly off the handle in inappropriate ways as the pent up “stuff” chooses the path of least resistance and gets dumped on the wrong person for the wrong reason. Think for a moment of all the arguments you have had over trivia, all the people who you shouted at when they were not the one at fault, all the domestic squabbles which escalate into a big bang but leave you at a loss as to what started it when you try and recall. All this leads to more pent up frustration due to your guilt once you realise you acted inappropriately – it becomes a vicious circle of suppression leading to inappropriate outbursts followed by suppression.

The other extreme, of saying exactly what you feel, when you feel it, whilst not carrying direct health implications can have a severely damaging effect on those around us which in turn can lead to deteriorations in our interpersonal relationships. This is a major stressor which will impact on our state of health. So there we have it: if you suppress stuff it’s bad for you, if you don’t it is still bad for you! What is the answer?

As in most things in life there is a middle path which is more efficient than either of the two extremes. The inhibited personality needs to open up a little by finding an appropriate time and place to discuss their feelings; this is often best achieved by writing down the problem in detail and using this as an agenda for discussion with the parties concerned. The explosive type needs to pull back by following “granny’s” advice to count to ten (or twenty, or thirty, or…) before responding. During the count bring to mind the consequences of any response and mentally modify them for a better outcome.

Both of these need practise until they become habitual but the results far outweigh the effort.

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Suren Pillay

Spiritual Success
I have heard the saying that what you think about most you actually become. That saying has dominated the philosophy of success and wealth-attainment in the modern era. Yet I believe this fundamental truth can be applied equally in the spiritual arena. In recent times The Secret movie and book has done much to promote this fundamental truth. For those of you who do not know what the secret is, it a message stating that whatever we think about and feel positively about, we will attract into our lives. The law of attraction according to The Secret is always working and all great leaders and scientist knew about it either consciously and unconsciously.

One who thinks himself to be poor and unworthy of praise will always attract poverty and disrespect into his life. His conscious thoughts reverberate in the ether and attract an outcome in accordance with the nature of his thoughts. Likewise the individual who constantly thinks himself to be joyful and spiritually abundant can attract such outcomes by thinking and feeling those thoughts of joyfulness and abundance into his life.

The Secret has attracted both popularity and criticism around the world. Many spiritual movements have criticised the message saying that it concentrates too much on material objects and desires. Many have applauded the message saying it gives people a hope that they can live fulfilling and productive lives. I believe the law of attraction can be used for both spiritual and material advantage.

If one chooses to live in joy and spiritual awakening he can consciously think those thoughts of being joyful and spiritual awakened and attract opportunities, events and circumstance for the experiencing of that joy and spiritual awakening. Being successful in the material and spiritual realm thus becomes a matter of deeply desiring what one truly wants and thinking the right thoughts to receive what one truly wants.

In the case of spiritual enlightenment, all one has to do, is imagine what it is feel like to be enlightened, to feel the joy and bliss of spiritual realisation, the ecstasy of God-communion and the wisdom that one knows all that needs to be known. In recent times, the increased cost of living, higher crime levels and political uncertainty have influenced people’s minds into a state of fear. This fear has in many instances increased pessimism and doubt about the future of our world.

The wise have said that you cannot change the world without changing yourself first. To begin to explore the depths of one own potential is a journey that few choose to embark upon. I say that success begins in the mind, and that every thought and feeling truly affects the reality we live in. By thinking and feeling spiritual success continuously, we can slowly begin to become spiritually successful and experience the everlasting bliss that we all wish to attain!

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by Mahavishnu

It is said that wherever there is a hill (malai in Tamil), there should be a temple dedicated to Muruga, the Lord of beauty and youth. Palani is situated at an elevation of 1500 feet above sea level. The breathtaking view atop this divine hill includes the greenery of paddy fields, rivers and nearby temples. Six temples in India are distinguished Muruga shrines. They are collectively known as Aarupadai Veedu, and Palani is number three. Famous at this temple is the golden chariot festival, in which the gold image of Muruga is paraded in a golden chariot.

Lord Shiva, the playful and mysterious held a contest between His two sons, Ganesha and Muruga. Whoever went around the world and returned first would win the prized mango. Speedily, Muruga rode away on his peacock. Ganesha, looking at his tiny mouse, gave the situation more thought. He then circumambulated Shiva and Parvati, saying that they are his world. Satisfied, Shiva gifted the mango away. When Muruga returned and learned that his elder brother had won the fruit, he became angry and in frustration, renounced everything, including his clothes, and left his parents to come to Thiru-Avinankudi. A good father indeed, Shiva came down and pacified Muruga, saying that he is the fruit of all wisdom, Pazham nee in Tamil. Hence the holy hill became known as Pazham Nee or Palani.

Muruga is embodied at Palani in the form of Arulmigu Dandayudhapani Swami, meaning the Lord who holds a staff in His hands. He has the look of one who has renounced all material pomp, and is clothed in nothing but a loincloth and holding a baton in a standing position. The Messiah is a mute example of the age-old dictum, “Renounce all to reach Me.” The murti of Dandayudhapani Swami is unique – nowhere else can this image be imitated. It owes its uniqueness to Siddha Bogar, a great sage who by any person’s measure, was extraordinary. Yet, none can even measure this pivot. A diplomat of great caliber, an expert in the field of medicine and a rare mathematical genius, Bogar realized the importance of worshipping Muruga. He convened with many siddhas, and they concluded that the best means for humanity to adhere to the spiritual path in the coming era of darkness was Bhakti Yoga, the yoga of love and devotion. Bogar was entrusted with the duty of defining the rituals for the worship of the siddhas’ favourite deity, Muruga. The icon of Muruga had to be made from a resilient substance that would last throughout Kali Yuga, the present era. After many rituals, including abishegam, even granite is said to crack. Using eight special herbal substances and adding a ninth substance as a catalyst, Bogar moulded the murti with His own hands. That form of Muruga, Dandayudhapani Swami is installed at Palani. Recently, scientists were astonished to discover that as soon as a portion of the material that the icon is made of is heated, it sublimates (changes into a vapour). Hence, its composition is still a mystery. Traces of the substance is contained in the panchamritham, the five ingredients used to bathe the Lord. Consuming the pan-chamritham enhances spiritual progress.

Bogar chose Palanimalai as the location for His tapas, intense and strict yogic practices. Through the grace of Kumara-swami, the eternally young Muruga, Bogar attained Swarupa Samadhi. His body rests at Palani, and the images of Bhuvaneshwari and the emerald lingam He worshipped are installed at His Samadhi. An underground passage is said to link the Bogar shrine to the sanctum sanctorum.

Kavady has its roots in Palani. Agastya Muni, the father of the Tamil language and “chairperson” of the eighteen Tamil Yoga siddhas, desired to move two hills, Sivagiri and Shaktigiri to His residence in the South. He instructed Idumban, His disciple to perform the task. Across his two shoulders, Idumban carried the hills in the form of a kavady. Becoming tired along the way, he placed the hills to rest at Palani. Once refreshed, he attempted to lift the hills, but to no avail. Muruga, in His mischievous play, had made the hills too heavy to lift. Idumban challenged Muruga, and the fierce battle resulted in Idumban’s death. The compassionate Lord then resurrected him. Idumban then requested the Lord to grant him two boons: 1. whoever undertook the penance of kavady should have their vow or wish fulfilled and 2. he (Idumban) should be allowed to stand guard at the entrance to Palani. His wishes were granted, and countless pilgrims carry kavady, or their offerings as a kavady, at Palani. This has spread to Muruga temples the world over. Till today, devotees pay respects to Idumban first, offering him a coconut before entering the main temple.

“O Lord Muruga! Am I anything more than a piece of foil reflecting Your radiance? O darling of the siddhas, in Your presence even the unsweetened become concen-trated, the suspicious become roses dipped in devotion. Eternally-young Kumara-swami, penetrate my core with your spear of knowledge . .. the Unknowable becomes faintly familiar! Arogara!”