December 08 / January 09

Swami Says + Healing Cranberries + Mental Telepathy + The Futility of trying to find ourselves through ‘things’ + FEATURE: Sri Agastiyar & the Sapta-Rishis + Dhyanalinga + The Power of Values + Cradle of Christ-consciousness + much more ...

Cover image: Mahavishnu performing Babaji Abeshegam, 14 November 08

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Namasté all.
Following usual Transcendence Tradition, the December and January issues of your favourite spiritual mini-mag will be combined in one issue. This means that at the January 11th full-moon prayer there will be no free Transcendence mag given out when you pay your monthly Peedam subs - this doesn’t mean that members are exempt from subs during January! Members who are present and who contribute as usual at the January Pournami, will receive another surprise gift instead!

The long-awaited Sapta Rishi Linga Temple Consecration and installation of Swami Murugesu Maharishi’s Dhyana Linga will be happening over the 18th, 19th and 20th December (see invitation on pg 5). As well as accommodating the many local guests over these days with meals, the Peedam will be hosting guests from India, Sri Lanka and Germany so any funding donated towards this event will be greatly appreciated. It is a sad fact that Swami Shankarananda has had to actually visit devotees from house-to-house asking for donations for this prayer.

We’ve tried to squeeze as much insightful and thought-provoking info as possible into this edition to give you an extended read over the holiday season. Our feature this month, inspired by the Sapta-Rishi Consecration ceremony, is about Sri Agustiya and the Sapta Rishis. Swami Shankarananda makes suggestions for reviewing 2009 and we learn about the search for meaning vs corporate striving in Spiritual Capital. The Spiritual Scheme of Vedanta is explained in an article by Bro. Haridas Archarya, Suren tells us about the Power of Values and Swami Murugesu explains the workings of Mental Telepathy. With Mahavishnu we visit Dhyanalinga, the mercury-based lingam of Sadguru Jaggiswami Vasudev, and are offered some very thought-provoking questions in the Truth For Youth Article, Is God for Everyone?. This article will be invaluable to young people who are at a stage in their lives of questioning their own spiritual values and path and. The article promotes an understanding that God cannot be limited.

Being the Christmas season, we learn about the health-benefits of Cranberries, the properties of the Serpentine stone and the Futility of trying to find ourselves in ‘things’ by Yvonne Jarvis - an important aspect to consider when receiving and purchasing gifts over the festive period. While on the subject of gifts, please remember to support the temple if you are purchasing presents for friends and family. There is a lovely selection of books and other spiritual and temple products, with all proceeds going towards the Peedam upkeep.

Finally, remember to kick-start your new year by attending the 1008 Gayathri Mantra recital on the 31 December 2008. Until February 2009, we at Transcendence wish you a divinely blessed holiday and a joyous, prosperous and enlightening new year.

In Love and Service always, Ed.

Swami Shankarananda

Dearest children of Gayathri,
Here we are at the end of this year 2008, and the last transcendence for 2008. Now is the time to look back and record accountabilities for actions good or bad initiated by you. Ask yourself these questions: Have I accomplished what I resolved to undertake for this year? Have I saved enough for the rainy days ahead? Have I maintained my sadhana for 2008? Have I given due respect to my elders and, if not, why? Have I controlled my temper during 2008? And, above all, have I remembered God in the manner I promised to?

There are 10 specific things you should know about God:
1. You are created in his image; God is therefore your creator.
2. The natural laws are from God; therefore God is the supreme lawmaker and giver.
3. You are in his image because he loves you, there God is love.
4. He is a merciful God; therefore God is full of mercy and justice.
5. He is everlasting, therefore God is eternal.
6. He is one of you; therefore God is the head of the family.
7. He is the cosmic doctor; therefore God is the great healer.
8. He plans everything for you; therefore God is the ultimate planner.
9. He holds our future; therefore by worshipping him, God reveals the future.
10. He is the ultimate care giver, therefore God cares for you.

For 2009 remember these 10 specific points about God.

Swami Murugesu Maharishi

In the many stories of religions around the world are found instances of great people accurately ‘knowing’ certain things before they occur, or ‘knowing’ that something has occurred in a distant place without having been told about it. For example, suppose a person’s father has amassed huge wealth and has hidden it without his son’s knowledge, then dies suddenly. Although this money exists, the son suffers because he does not know where his father has placed the money. So the son asks his dead father daily, where he has hidden the money. One night when the son is half-asleep, he ‘hears’ his father telling him that the money is being kept by a certain person and, on waking in the morning, the son contacts the person and establishes the truth of his ‘dream’. This is a true story that happened at Tinnevelly. Similar instances of dead people conveying messages to the living are many and from this we can conclude that thoughts arising in the mind of another can be known. In order to acquire this ability, we must first understand the basic principles of the workings of the brain, mind, prana, nerves and space.

The human body is made up of very minute living cells which are not visible to the naked eye. In the same way that inanimate things are made up of atoms, the body is made up of living cells. As the combination of atoms cause various substances to come into existence, so does the combination of live cells in the body cause the different types of body tissues: fat, bone, skin and nerves. Similarly, the brain is also a combination of live cells. Every kind of action originates from a part of the brain, for example, the pronunciation of words stems from a specific group of brain-cells, mathematical ability from another. The connection between mind and brain may be explained in several ways. Each act will be a secret of Yoga Vidya, but we will not go into detail here. Every area of the brain does not function all the time. Certain areas of the brain are dormant much of the time. When there is no action, brain cells remain a minute distance away from each other and when action takes place in that part of the brain, the cells move closer together. Thus thoughts arising in quick succession cause a relaxation and contraction to take place in the cells of the brain.

As our attention will be on the upper thoughts in our mind, we do not notice the subsidiary (associated) thoughts that arise. When we are not thinking deeply, random thoughts occur because of the functioning of other brain cells. A living man’s brain cells continue to function whether he is thinking or not. When we are trying to calm the mind, thoughts continue to rise without our conscious effort. Why is this? Whether or not we switch on a radio, radio waves are still present in the atmosphere. Only by tuning the radio to a specific frequency can the radio waves be converted into sound-waves that we can hear. Similarly, the mental waves of a person extend to the surrounding ether as thought waves. When we focus our attention on particular mental waves, then we can perceive them. This is one of the secret Yogic Vidyas.

The thought waves of others are continually emanated into the universe and if we engage our attention on that thought force, we can know the minds of others. The function is similar to radio-tuning. Although many radio-waves exist, if you tune to a particular frequency or station, you will be able to hear the broadcast emitted over that frequency. Likewise, there are various thought waves of different frequencies, but if you attune your frequency to a person, by focusing on them and their thought-emanations, you will be able to know their thoughts.

Reference: Spiritual Compendium by Swami Murugesu

Suren Pillay

When I look at the sages and saints in the world I see a common factor in all of them. They all express a unique sense of belief in what they do, and express values that are in accordance with the universal laws of success. Values such as integrity, honesty, truthfulness, humility and simplicity are often seen as the core principles of spirituality. Most spiritual leaders of today express these qualities with little or no effort. For many of us, though, these qualities are difficult of inculcate.

Habits thus a form a crucial aspect of our spiritual evolution; and the cultivation of habits which are in line with the spiritual values mentioned are key to ones spiritual journey. Negative habits may thus be seen as an obstacle to spirituality. The main question is thus: how do we cultivate and express the universal values of spirituality such that our growth is not hindered in any way?

It is said that it takes twenty-one days to form a habit. To cultivate all the virtues in twenty-one days may be a task too difficult for many. The best method is to take one virtue, the one that you are most lacking, and to develop that virtue over twenty-one days. Once that value has been inculcated in ones mind, it becomes a habit and its expression in ones ordinary life becomes automatic and spontaneous.

Another way is to engage in superconscious meditation. Meditation is often seen as the scientific art of mastering the mind. In meditation the negative subconscious and subliminal impressions, which are the source of ones negative actions and behaviours, are eliminated by refined spiritual perceptions. With meditation ones actions are automatically positive and in harmony with the universe. These is little or no effort on the part of the individual for his mind is purified by the Cosmic Spirit which pervades every animate and inanimate object in the world.

A very important point to note is that every positive value inculcated has a synergistic effect on one’s spiritual life. When one becomes more truthful in life, he chooses to live more in harmony with the natural laws of life. Living more in tune with natural law will have a positive effect in his meditation and other spiritual practices. The positive effects experienced in meditation and other spiritual practices will serve to accelerate ones progress toward the goal of enlightenment.

My message to you this month, dear readers, is that spiritual growth is dependant to a large degree on the values we choose to live by and express. Those values may be cultivated consciously by promoting them in ones every day life or through the process of meditation in which they automatically become expressive.

Om is one of the most chanted sound symbols in India. It has a profound effect on the body and mind of the one who chants and also on the surroundings. Most mantras and Vedic prayers start with Om. All auspicious actions begin with Om. It is even used as a greeting - Om, Hari Om etc. It is repeated as a mantra or meditated upon. Its form is worshipped, contemplated upon or used as an auspicious sign. Om is the universal name of the Lord. It is made up of the letters A (phonetically as in ‘around’), U (phonetically as in ‘put’) and M (phonetically as in ‘mum’). The sound emerging from the vocal chords starts from the base of the throat as A. With the coming together of the lips, U is formed and when the lips are closed, all sounds end in M.

The three letters symbolize the three states (waking, dream and deep sleep), the three deities (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva), the three Vedas (Rig, Yajur and Sama) the three worlds (Bhuh, Bhuvah, Suvah) etc. The Lord is all these and beyond.

The formless, attributeless Lord (Brahman) is represented by the silence between two Om Chants. Om is also called pranava which means, ‘that (symbol or sound) by which the Lord is praised’. The entire essence of the Vedas is enshrined in the word Om. It is said that the Lord started creating the world after chanting Om and atha. Hence its sound is considered to create an auspicious beginning for any task that we undertake. The Om chant should have the resounding sound of a bell (aaooommm).

Om is written in different ways in different places. The most common form symbolizes Lord Ganesha's. The upper curve is the head; the lower large one, the stomach; the side one, the trunk; and the semi-circular mark with the dot, the sweetmeat ball (modaka) in Lord Ganesha's hand. Thus Om symbolizes everything - the means and the goal of life, the world and the Truth behind it, the material and the Sacred, all form and the Formless.