March 2009

Swami Says: Learn to Share + Healing Grapes + Sugilite + The Law of Giving + The Power of Yanthra + Scriptural Wisdom + FEATURE: Sadhguru Jaggiswami Vasudev + Spiritual Education + The Purpose of Marriage + Faith + Meditation for Kids + much more ...

Cover image: Swami Shankarananda performing Shiva Abeshegam, at Shivarathri, 22 February 2009

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Namasté all.
Once of our readers contributions this month presents a very powerful statement: When the power of love replaces the love of power, man will have a new name: God. If more people in the world today took heed of this fact, the world would be a very different place. If spiritual Love was more important than power in today’s society there would be a lot more happier people around. Why don’t we make it a new daily priority to ask ourselves before taking any decision, ‘Am I doing this out of love, or to boost my ego?’ This will start the ball rolling towards creating an awareness of the motives behind each of our actions. Our future is determined by the choices we make to day.

This month we feature Sadhguru Jaggiswami Vasudev, whose ashram Swami Shankarananda visited while in India during January. The Isha Yoga Centre is the site of the huge mercury lingam that Swami has mentioned.

For those of you who regularly attend the monthly full moon service in Verulam, the article by Swami Murugesu on the Power of Yantra will be beneficial and enlightening. Find out about the healing power of Grapes and the benefits of the Sugilite stone. Swami Kriyananda offers a fresh outlook on the purpose of Marriage while Yvonne Jarvis writes on the Law of Giving. Suren’s contribution covers the importance of Scriptural Wisdom while Brother Haridas informs us on the basics of Spiritual Education, and we have included a new series of articles on Meditation for kids in Truth 4 Youth (which is not limited to kids!)

At April Pournami you can win a set of Swami Shankarananda’s 14 Contemplation Cards by being one of the first three to answer the following questions correctly: (a) Which element present in Sugilite helps to clear headaches? (b) Who was inspired by Shri Raghavendra Rao to study yoga? (c) What is the yogic term used to refer to the practise of ‘seeing for a few minutes’? Remember, we need your answers delivered verbally when receiving your monthly issue of Transcendence. Don’t fax, sms or email them as not everyone has access to these media and we want to offer equal opportunities to everyone.

To all Jadatharaya Yoga instructors: Please email or sms me your time, day of instruction, class venue and contact details. We want to update and advertise your classes so that more students can benefit from Kriya Yoga. (sms 083 459 5852 - email

Finally, Swami leaves for India on the 16th March. Let’s use this time constructively to continue devoting some of our time to improving the ashram while He is away. Contact Dean or Ashok for a list of tasks to be completed.

In Love and Service always, Ed.

Swami Shankarananda

Dearest children of Gayathri,
Maitreya attributes all our problems to non-sharing, our inability to share. He says that we do not want to share, we talk about sharing at home, we talk about sharing at work, and we talk about sharing in the country, in the world, in the universe. We have become very selfish and, as long as we are going to be selfish, we will not find happiness. So it is up to you now to start sharing.

There are many things that we don’t want in life, and many things we don’t need in life, but we still have them at home. Think about it: there are so many things we really don’t have a need for, that we’ll never use again, but we’ll still keep them, even though there might be somebody else who has a real need for such things but they cannot afford them. That is the kind of sharing I’m talking about. I’m not saying that you must go to the bank now, and give the guru five-hundred-thousand out of your one million. I’m not talking about that. What I’m talking about is basic things that, we really don’t need; not things that we don’t want because they are old or broken, but things that we don’t need. Every one of you has wants that are based on greed. Need is never based on greed. Need is based on lack. Maybe you need to replace the bed. If you say ‘I want to replace the bed,’ it means that there’s nothing wrong with the bed at all. You want to replace it because the neighbour said she’s got a fourteen-crown mattress and yours is only one-crown. That’s what we do; that’s the difference between a need and a want. We don’t have needs, we have wants, and as long as we have wants we will not share because we want everything. In the Bhagavad Gita Krishna says: “No matter how much you have, you are never satisfied, you’ll still want more”. Learn to differentiate between your needs and wants and start sharing.

Swami Murugesu

All things in the world manifest their characteristics in shapes and colours. A circle, triangle and square all differ in characteristics and energy. Psychologists tell us that a circular, square or triangular shape each influence the mind differently. If you draw the image of a tiger on a sheet of silver paper and ask someone what it is, they will tell you that it is the outline of a tiger. If some other animal or object is drawn, it will, likewise, be recognised by its shape. If nothing is drawn on the paper then the viewer will see nothing.

The outline that creates the shape of an object does not merely represent the shape of the object, but carries the energy of the object also. If we spend time focusing on the outline of an object and memorise the image in our minds, we also bring the energy of the object into our mental body. In yogic terms, this practise is referred to as ‘thratakam’ - meaning ‘seeing for a few minutes’. The eastern advice of ‘it is good to see good people and bad to see bad people’ was derived from this. When we view positive people, situations and objects our being is influenced accordingly. The same applies to negative situations.

So, if images have such individuality, what about letters? Every letter of every alphabet has a unique individuality and character. The ancient Rishis have written on palm-leaves explaining the characteristics of each letter and present-day language experts concur with their views. They have also discovered that people with different mother-tongue languages manifest different appearances. When two shapes are combined their characteristics combine. Similarly, when two letters join the energy created will contain the characteristics of both letters, resulting in a new energy. Each different combination of letters (i.e. different words) influences a person differently. The same applies to the science of colour. Different colours cause different energetic influences to occur in a person.

Everything in the world radiates its own unique characteristics into the surrounding ether. A jasmine flower emanates its scent continually until it fades away and dies. The clothes we wear will continue to radiate our magnetic energy radiation. The energy of crystals and stones affect us in the same way and different combinations of stones worn can cause varied effects in the wearer.

The basic principle behind the yanthra is the same. A yanthra is a plate made of gold, silver, brass, copper, or a combination of these, into which is etched a series of geometric shapes and/or letters which emanate a specific energy, according to those which are used. These letters (in the form of mantras) and shapes emanate combined energy rays which cause changes in the user’s mind and subtle being, suitably giving the desired effect. The plates onto which the yanthras are designed, continue radiating indefinitely. In this way many illnesses and negative situations can be rectified. The yanthra utilises pranic energy which it absorbs and emanates in a cyclic process. Understanding which mantras and shapes emanate which energy frequencies for specific conditions or situations is an ancient science, practised by few today. There is nothing impossible to attain when the forces of yanthra and manthra act in unison. No benefit is beyond one’s reach.

To find out more about the Power of Yanthra, contact Swami Shankarananda at the Gayathri Peedam. (Email

Bro. Haridas Archarya

Today, parents face one of the most ghastly fears of worrying about the challenges that their children face and their ability to cope with them. Social Statistics show that there are larger number of youth, both girls and boys, that are engaging in drugs, alcohol, drinking and many other anti-social behaviours. In fact, these social tendencies are becoming expressive behaviours for a modern day image of a youth. If you are not in then you are not “cool” or you are a “chicken”. Many parents are left helpless when it comes to supporting their children or finding help for them to get over their drug or drinking habits. Furthermore, there are many youth who have observed that their generation is becoming more disrespectful, discourteous, and indifferent to positive values. While there may be many theories and explanations for this state of affairs, studies have found that where there is spiritual, moral and ethical nurturing, children and youth were more empowered to take informed decisions when faced with difficult choices.

Spiritual education, from the general Hindu perspective and especially in the context of the spiritual education programme of the Shree Bhagavata Vedanta Gurukula, aims towards understanding our source, our make up, our challenges and potentials, our destiny and the techniques that lead to this destiny. It is a system based on universal spiritual values targeting the development of the human potential towards realising and become Divine souls. The universal spiritual values on which spiritual education is rooted is common to most religious traditions and contributes to the enhancement of the civic values of a nation. Civic or constitutional values within the human rights culture is correlated with the vision of the universal spiritual values. There is no conflict of interest, socially, politically or culturally, in both these value systems. Therefore, any child that is brought up through this programme is guided towards acceptance and respect for all religions; to contribute to the national development of his/her country and to live peacefully and harmoniously within a community. Spiritual education is therefore integral to the National Moral Regeneration Programme of the State.

Our children need spiritual education because it contributes to refinement and character development. Each one of us has certain instinctive impulses and cravings within us and more often we become trapped by these impulses and cravings. We are, from a very young age drawn towards our crude and primitive plane of anti-social inclinations. It is these anti-social inclinations that deliver us towards habit formations either through drugs, alcohol, violence etc. It is a misnomer to assume that these anti-social inclinations are a source of one’s happiness. In fact they reflect the depth of human degradation and it reveals the face of human suffering. There is no positive side to drugs, alcohol and violence. Through spiritual education, cultural and spiritual refinement takes place. Such refinement leads towards development of positivity in sentiments, thought and conduct. Our sentiments, thought and conduct are central to our personality and character and it is the true reflector of one’s image and self-identity. Through this refinement, there is a generation of a spiritual appetite in every person, which makes one hunger for spiritual knowledge and moral satisfaction.

Suren Pillay

Today we live in a world of technological advancement, enhanced communication networks and extensive globalisation. Yet, despite these improvements in technology, communication and commerce, more people are hungry, sick and in poverty. Explanations for the above phenomenon range from selfishness expressed by the richer countries of the world, to lack of consideration and foresight by world leaders.

The answer the world’s problems today seem go much deeper, however, than trade restrictions and lack of foresight. The solutions to today’s problems, I believe, can be found in the ancient scriptures that governed an arguably more civilised society in ancient times than the society we live in today. The timeless wisdom contained in ancient scriptures provide solutions for every problem encountered by modern man. From an ordinary reading of the scriptures, one infers that the concept of prosperity is an inner one not an outer one. In India, there have been sages who walked their entire lives in apparent poverty, but living in an inner heaven, inaccessible to the ordinary man.

These extraordinary men have given their wisdom in various teaching as to how one can live in the world but not suffer the apparent pains and worries that haunt most individuals on the planet. The essence of these teachings, as expressed in various scriptures, is that one needs to master ones own mind in order to attain inner bliss. Sages have repeatedly said that an individual’s mind may lie to him a thousand times.

When one has mastered his mind, and is no longer influenced by sense cravings and materialistic desires, he lives freely in the world, without negative influences that cloud judgement and result in pain. The states of freedom or consciousness experienced by various sages have been expressed in various scriptures, notably Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra. For most materialistic men, this scripture is considered too abstract and esoteric to have any practical value in modern life.

Yet all secrets to enlightened living have been given in this scripture. Many consider the fact that one works in the world to be an insurmountable obstacle to spiritual enlightenment. The scriptures reassure us here that, even if one is working in the world, one may become enlightened by practising non-attachment and reinforcing constructive spiritual desires in ones mind.

Dear readers, my message to you this month is that the biggest obstacle and greatest asset on the spiritual path is your own mind. The spiritual wisdom contained in our ancient scriptures have given us potent techniques to attain heightened inner joy and fulfilment. All we have to do is commit ourselves to this path, with dedication and love, in order to reach this goal.

Aum, Shanti, Shalom, Amen!