June 2009

Swami Says: Are we in a worse prison? + Healing Papaya + Topaz + The Law of Intention & Desire + Where is mankind going? + FEATURE: The Dalai Lama +Advantages of Gayathri Jap + Mysore + Sakthi Worship + Perfection in Love + Kids Meditation on Unity + much more ...

Cover image: Mahanavagraha Pooja, Gayathri Peedam Verulam, 28 March 2009

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Namasté all.
Paramahansa Yogananda tells us that: “Just as dew helps the flower to grow, so inner and outer sweetness fosters the growth of friendship”. Let’s all try to keep this simple idea in mind in our communication with each other. Let us do our best to say only to others what we would say to ourselves, and to think only of others what we’d think of ourselves. If you don’t think very much of yourself then the tendency will be to think likewise of others and reflect this in your thought, words and deeds. So start with yourself: realise that you are just as deserving and capable of happiness and unbounded love as anyone else and that by merely ‘acting’ this way, even if you don’t feel it yet, you can manifest complete joy and compassion, and the love and humble respect that you have for yourself will flow over into your relationships.

June is a fairly busy month for the Gayathri Peedam and the Jadatharaya Institute. Next weekend (12th to 14th June) is our annual meditation retreat in the Drakensberg. There are only two places left so please speak to Sundrie if you want to attend. Swami will be teaching a number of practical meditation methods to help clear the mind of unnecessary thoughts, transcend the distractions of the senses and enter states of higher consciousness. This will be an extremely valuable weekend for anyone wanting to learn to meditate properly.

On the 20th June will be held the next Mahanavagraha prayer at the Gayathri Peedam, so remember to let Ashok know if you will be attending or not. The Mahanavagraha prayer is one of the best methods of counteracting negative effects of planetary influences and has demonstrated some amazing results in the past for many devotees.

Swami Shankarananda will be conducting a workshop on Telepathy Through the Pendulum on June 21st in Cowies Hill. See the advert on page 5 and contact Jo if you’re interested. Space is limited.

Peedam committee members extend heartfelt thanks to all devotees who contributed extra towards May’s monthly subs at such late notice. This was a request to raise extra funds for increasing costs and to accelerate the upgrading of the Peedam. For those who can afford the extra R50 per month (per family), please continue with this.

Then another thank-you is due to all who attended the fundraising dinner at Little India on the 30th May. About 70 guests attended and a lot of fun was had by all. Thank you, especially, to Swamiji who made the evening possible.

In Love and Service always, Ed.

Yvonne Jarvis

This is the fifth article in the series of the seven laws of spiritual success, as indexed by Deepak Chopra.

“Inherent in every intention and desire is the mechanics for its fulfillment .... intention and desire in the field of pure potentiality have infinite organizing power. When we introduce an intention in the fertile ground of pure potentiality, we put this infinite organizing power to work for us.”

The scientific community is now recognizing the field of infinite possibility, of pure consciousness, as the Quantum Field or Quantum Physics. Physicists have proved that putting consciousness onto this field, or the energetic field of anything, causes change, and causes a shift in that energy.

Our universe, our reality, can be reduced down to energy and information in constant movement. Evolution is based on movement, and this energy and information is influenced by consciousness.

Our nervous system is a mechanism which is aware of the energy field that gives rise to our physical bodies. It experiences this energy and information as feelings, emotions, desires, thoughts, memories, instincts and beliefs. There is no difference between the energy field of your body and that of the universe, and each may be influenced by attention and intention. Attention energises and intention transforms. What you put your attention on grows stronger, and taking attention away causes dissipation.

Intention triggers transformation. Intention must be based on desire without attachment to an outcome. Intention must be done by placing your attention in the present moment, and intending something for the future. It must be done in the now moment. The future can only be created in the present moment.

So if you wish to manifest something in the future, put your attention in the present, for example go into the gap between thoughts, focus on the breathing, listen to the sounds around you, feel the sensations on the skin, such as pressure, cold or heat. While in this state, feel that you already have the object of your desire, have the thoughts, feelings and emotions that you would have if it were already yours. Become that which you desire. One has to energise attention with feeling. This is the key to manifesting that which you desire. The magnetic attraction of the emotions or feeling body draws energy to energise a thoughtform.

It is recommended that you do not share your creation intentions with others, as their thoughts may have a negative effect on the thoughtform and cause obstruction.

The next stage is to relinquish attachment to the outcome, and let go of the ego, which carries judgements, fear, doubt and worry. Doubting or worrying about the outcome will un-energise the thoughtform, and cause it to fail. The last stage of practicing this law is to trust the infinite possibility of all things. Trust the universe to take care of the creation in the most perfect way, by using its infinite organizing power. If you limit the way in which you expect it to happen, you will limit the possibilities of how it will manifest.

Reference: Christine and Kevin Core; Deepak Chopra - The seven laws of spiritual success

Brother Haridas

The aim of this article is to explain the nature of Self Consecration through the process of the Yajna. Self consecration, in this context, is understood as the transformation of oneself from the lower natures of material existence towards the highest Divine Reality. It is suggested that the Vedic Yajna can serve as an aid towards such a transformation. Firstly, Hindu saints and sages have concluded, through years of self mastery and spiritual experience, that there is an inward necessity in the human existence to transform towards a higher spiritual consciousness. It is consummated by observers and practioners of Hindu Dharma that this transformation towards a higher spiritual consciousness or the Ultimate Divine Reality is the central goal of Hindu spirituality. It can be claimed that the Vedic Yajna will assume immense significance within Hindu practice if its role in this process of Self Consecration can be demonstrated.

It must be confirmed that the concept ‘Yajna’ literally alludes to a linking or joining of one reality to another. In this case it can be presupposed that one level of reality refers to the ‘lower material self’ and the other is ‘the higher spiritual self’. It can be conscientiously asserted that through the practice of the Vedic Yajna, both these realities are brought into a culture of spiritual relationship. It is further substantiated that through the process of the Yajna the spiritual transformation or self consecration of the lower material nature takes place. The Yajamana (the performer of the Yajna) engages in the process of the Yajna with his whole self viz. soul, mind, senses, heart, will and body. Because all of these constituents of the human existence are immersed in the qualitative natures of material living viz. sattva, rajas and tamas it requires or is in need of purification. The Yajur Veda declares that the ‘Yajna acts as a purifier’ (1.2). This means that the Yajamana must aim to purify all these constituencies during the process of the Yajna. It is admissibly inferred that through the pressures of outward circumstances and the demand of the inward self that the Yajamana is faced with the choice of either delighting in the material life or aiming towards slow spiritual illumination of his existence. It can be argued that the Vedic Yajna serves as a new spiritual force in consecrating the Yajamana towards God.

It is denoted that the act of ‘sankalpa’ or spiritual resolution which is taken during the process of the Yajna aids the Yajamana to concentrate his divided will and hesitating mind on the One Spiritual Reality ie. God, thereby bringing about a unified single mindedness in him. It is emphasized that through the act of ‘sankalpa’ the Yajamana consolidates all his mental and physical difficulties and hesitations and makes the goal of the Yajna, which is self consecration, as his mind’s leading preoccupation. Through the actual sankalpa the Yajamana brings his lower material circumstances under control and starts to turn the mind towards the spiritual inner Being. It is also propitiated that the period of observing fast for the Yajna is a long period of mental preparation which generates sufficient discipline to attain the goals of the ‘sankalpa’. The content of the ‘sankalpa’, which can be profoundly persuaded, generates intellectual interest in the capacity of the mind and creates a forcible attraction on the upward effort of the mind. The daily taking of the ‘sankalpa’ during the performance of the agnihotra and the Vedic Yajna is a regular pursuit of the mind towards the unforsakable ideal of attaining the highest spiritual consciousness. It is critical to note that the content of the sankalpa produces a self dedication towards the universal self and stands as a mental force against the powers that oppose progress towards this universal self. Therefore it can be testified that the act of ‘sankalpa’ contributes to the process of self consecration.

Rod Briggs

Thirty odd years ago, and some would say very odd indeed, I first confronted the phenomena I came to call Legend Road and which keeps re-affirming itself in my life. It happened one Saturday morning in my home town of Benoni; I had been away for a couple of years and had gone into the ‘local’ for a sociable drink and to catch up on the minutiae of small town life. Although no one I knew was in the bar I sat and listened to a couple of youngsters discussing what must have been the pugilistic event of the century. They described, in graphic detail, how one particular martial artist had single handedly routed the local gang, taken dangerous weapons away from them and disabled the gang leaders. The man sounded like an amalgam of Bruce Lee and Batman and I was very glad I had never crossed him. Imagine my surprise when one of the storytellers said “yeah, that Rod Briggs was somethin’ else!” Although I had been the local Karate instructor I neither recognised the events, or villains, portrayed in the story, nor had any recollection of being in the area concerned at the time.

The above incident caused me to analyse the way society spreads information. I started to find, time and time again, similar instances of mountains being made out of molehills. Events being played down, or up, to suit the circumstances. This, in turn, led me to wonder how many of histories villains had actually been as dark as portrayed, how many heroes as full of the qualities we know and admire. How many times have we compared ourselves, unfairly as it turns out, to our particular heroes and mentors and failed to live up to their stories simply because we didn’t realise that they were on Legend Road and their stories had grown over the years.

I eventually came to the conclusion that our lives are all on Legend Road. We might never be aware of it but our stories are out there, being shared by friends, relatives and acquaintances who in turn pass it on, and on, and on…

In the day to day grind of life it is easy to forget that our actions live long after we do. In this way we write our own obituary while we are still here.

What will yours say?

Suren Pillay

In this modern age we find various approaches to God ,that are all different in so many ways. Each religion offers its own unique under-standing of the infinite and the practical approaches adopted by the various religions of the world offer us an opportunity to select a path that is best suited to ourselves. Yet many scholars of various traditions propose their tradition to be superior than others.

The writings of the saints and sages do not discriminate between the methods of attaining God. Indeed it is often viewed as an error to consider one path superior of inferior to another as God can be attained by any sincere spiritual aspirant provided the love, commitment and dedication are present in the in the aspirant.

A saint once said that the hallmarks of spirituality is purity, humility, simplicity and truth. These qualities are universal to any spiritual aspirant regardless of the religion or tradition that he follows. In addition, there seem to be certain characteristics that set apart the successful spiritual aspirant from the neophyte devotee.

Sadhana or spiritual practice is often viewed as a very important part of the spiritual journey. Indeed, for some it is considered the most important part of the journey. In the Yoga Sutras it is also mentioned that one must engage in repeated practices in order to attain spiritual enlightenment and liberation. For the spiritual novice, sadhana is done at a specific time for a specified period and with some level of intensity. For the advanced aspirant, sadhana is not confined to a specific time period of the day. He successfuly incorporates his daily work duties with his spiritual practices with the greatest dedication and love.

The name of the Lord is almost constantly recited and the thought of his Beloved never leaves him. It has been repeatedly confirmed by the sages that the way to inner realisation is through falling in love with God. Just as a boyfriend feels an intense love for his girlfriend or vice versa, so too the devotee should cultivate an inner love for the supreme intelligence in whatever form he chooses. The mastery of this practice will result in the perfection of prema or divine love.

Sometimes it is hard to understand exactly what people mean, and sometimes for the biggest questions in life everyone has a different answer. When people talk about God and what we are doing here on earth, for example, you'll find that most people don’t agree on very much at all. If you have heard of the word religion, you might know that there are many different beliefs about who God is or whether he or she exists at all. Atheists don’t believe in God. They say that there is no scientific proof for God's existence. Other people believe in a God that is like a really nice person who loves us all, or that God is just another name for the universe and existence - it just IS. But do you know what? We think every one is right. How can that be? Have you ever thought about all the names that water has? We know the liquid is called ‘water’, it is wet and it is easy for us to see. Then there is ‘ice’ – it is frozen water and it is so hard it can be like a rock. Then if you heat water up it becomes a ‘vapour’ or ‘steam’ and is practically invisible. Lets think about God like water for a minute. Sometimes he (or she, or it) is invisible like a vapour but if you were to stop and look really closely you would be able to see tiny water droplets in the vapour. Other times, God is like a liquid, that you can swim in and other times God is so real, it is like a block of ice right in front of you.

Sometimes you can’t actually see the water, but it still exists. Everything on earth needs water for life. Plants need it, animals need it. We are all like that too, we all need love for our lives too. To be simple, love is another name for God. So some people say that they don’t believe in God, but they still believe in love. So they experience God that is very hard to see, like vapour. Then there are others that say they can see God like an energy, swim in him, like a liquid. For them God is just as real as drinking water. Then there are still others that believe that God is as real as a block of ice. If you ran into a block of ice you would crash into it. For some people, God is like that, so real you can’t miss her. Then there other names for God. I might call God - ‘love’, but someone else says no is he is a person like you and me and his name is ‘God’, or ‘Supreme’, or ‘Allah’, or ‘Rama’ and others say that God is not a male or a female, that God is more like a ‘force’ or ‘energy’. Do you see what I mean about all the different names for water? ...and all the different ways people think of God?

Please close your eyes and imagine a warm summer’s day. You are walking along a beautiful sandy beach, and in front of you is a warm ocean. As you walk into the water, you notice the temperature and feel of the water like you have never felt it before. It is almost as if you are feeling it for the first time. You feel its wetness, the way it flows through your fingers and how it feels against your skin. Imagine that you are standing still and just feeling the water flowing around you. The little waves are passing by and you are not affected. Next try and imagine that there is a force or an energy that joins us all together and it is this water. Feel the water joining you in peace and love with everyone and everything that is also touching this water. Breathe long, slow deep breaths and feel yourself joining with the water and feeling more and more your connection with the entire ocean. When you are ready, relax a little but keep your eyes closed. Just for a few moments think about this connection we have with everything, and how it feels. When you are ready take a couple of deep breaths and relax – your meditation is finished.