October 2008

Swami Says + Healing Tomatoes + Secret of Pyramids + Work with Energy Consciously + Himalayan Salt Crystal + FEATURE: Inner Significance of Navarathri +Offering Coconut + Truth and Philosophy + Journey to Guruvayar + Sarvangasanam + much more ...

Cover image: Swami Murugesu Maharishi Mahasamadhi Shrine 24 September 2008

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Namasté all.
The last 28 days have been decidedly busy, as I’m sure that all who have been involved in the Gayathri Peedam activities will agree. The Annual Yogathon of the Jadatharaya Institute was held on the 27 September and was a great success. You can see photos on the jadatharaya website. Thanks to everyone who made the event possible and who took part. Swami Murugesu’s Mahasamadhi Prayer was held on the 24th of September. The Mahasamadhi shrine was beautifully decorated (see cover pic) with a promise to keep it so endowed throughout the year. More photos of this divine prayer can be seen on Swami Murugesu’s blogsite.

Then Navarathri celebrations started on the 30th September during which service was held every evening at the Peedam, hosting a variety of visiting bhajan groups, and building up to an incredible chariot procession on the 4th of October. There is a great write-up on this event by Vish starting on page 7. Additional pics can be seen on the Peedam website. Be sure to read our feature article on the Inner Significance of Navarathri. Other articles this month include an interesting explanation on The Secret of Pyramids by Swami Murugesu, with instructions on how to make your own pyramid. We find out about the healing properties of tomatoes and Himalayan salt crystal, Yvonne Jarvis enlightens readers on the Mind-Body Connection and we learn the reasons behind offering coconuts at the temple.

Deepavali falls on the 28th October so be sure to read the Deepavali message from Brother Haridas Archarya. Suren explains Truth and Philosophy to us while Vish takes us on a journey to Guruvayur.

I’m sure that everyone who attends the temple in Verulam has seen the many changes that have taken place recently, including a new coat of paint, lights, fencing, lovely entrance gates and paving. Much of this has been due to your regular payment of monthly membership fees which are greatly appreciated. Nevertheless, there is still a long list of tasks to undertake before the ashram is completed, and which it is our aim to finish before Guru arrives back from India on around the 20th October. A list of these tasks will be sent out to all members and also placed onto the noticeboard for everyone to see. Please help us to reach this goal by offering your time and services (and extra funds if you have available) so that the Gayathri Peedam can be completed. Either Dean (082 825 3202) or Ashok (032 944 4373) can be contact in this regard.

In Love and Service always, Ed.

Swami Shankarananda

We can direct our prayer-field to act on the world in various ways. We do this by using our expectations. Expect that the energy keeps flowing through you. Set your field with other expectations and do so with true discipline, otherwise all your energy can quickly collapse in fear and anger. Guilt erodes energy. At higher levels of energy, our prayer-fields are quick to bring to us exactly what we expect. If we fear, it brings us what we fear. If we hate, it brings us more of what we hate. Thankfully, when we go into these negative expectations, our prayer-fields collapse rather quickly because we loose our connection with the divine and are no longer out-flowing love. However, a fear expectation can still be powerful. That is why you must monitor your expectations carefully and set your field consciously. Watch your thoughts carefully, it is important. Set your field to stay in the synchronistic process, to bring the intuitions, the coincidences.

Be certain the energy is flowing into you and out into the world. Feel the measures. Set your expectations for this energy to be constant. Expect your prayer-field will act to bring forth just the thoughts and events necessary for your best destiny to unfold. In order to set this field around you, you must keep yourself in a state of conscious alertness. Be alert for synchronicity. Keep yourself in a state where you are constantly looking for the next mysterious bit of information that helps you toward your destiny. Some synchronicity will come to you no matter what you do, but you can increase the occurrence if you set up a constant field by always expecting it.

You kill the synchronicity with the misuse of your prayer-field when you set your field with fearful expectations. Setting your synchronicity is a matter of putting yourself in a particular state of mind. It is easy to think about synchronicity intellectually, but unless you enter the state of mind where your prayer-field will help, all you will do is glimpse the coincidences every once in a while. In some situations that is enough and you will be led forward for a time, but eventually you will lose your direction. The only way to establish a constant flow of synchronicity is to stay in a state of alertness. Remind yourself to assume an attitude of alertness every moment. Visualise your energy going out and bringing just the right hunches to you, the right events. Expect the to occur at any moment. The more you stay in this state of mind, the more the synchronicity will increase. Eventually you will keep your energy high. This posture of conscious alertness will become your prevailing attitude towards life, a second nature.

Excerpt from Secrets of Shambala by James Redfield

Yvonne Jarvis

Suffering comes from mistaking our mental representation of reality for reality itself, or as Alfred Korzybski taught, “the map is not the territory”. We, as eternal beings, lose awareness of our true nature and begin to identify ourselves with material, transient forms such as our bodies, possessions and feelings. Our life, however, is not an illusion, and we have an opportunity to exercise free will. This implies being responsible for whatever we do and experience. On the path to alleviate suffering, we need to begin by exploring our beliefs. Letting go of our treasured beliefs is not as easy as it sounds, because some of them are so embedded we are not even aware of them.

Dualistic (separateness) thinking created by society – parents, peers, media – can produce suffering. Bad thoughts can cause misperceptions that produce emotional suffering. Unstable emotions rise up inside and create states of illness and depression. Unpleasant and uncontrollable thoughts and circumstances are very damaging. Thoughts and feelings create neuropeptides that travel throughout the body to affect organs and our immune system. Candace Pert, research professor and author of Molecules of Emotion, tells us that physical and emotional stress can cause changes in the body. Emotional stress from suffering or negative thoughts translates into feelings of hopelessness, which inhibits the immune system. Our perception of information coming to us from the “outside” environment can directly suppress our immune system, making us sick.

This is an opportunity to learn from the experience, where the body is the teacher. In discovering our greater Self, or wisdom mind, we learn how to maintain balance to alleviate mental and physical suffering. We learn to let go of expectations and treasured outcomes and create space for higher truths. By living in the moment, we learn to surrender the small self and start the process of letting go to discover the Divine spaciousness, joy and peace within.

Complete healing and relief from suffering in the mind is a pipe dream until we participate in a more self-aware universe. But how do we begin to overcome the cycle of fear and injustice, and discover who we really are? The challenge is to rise above the negativity, to overcome moments of fear, anger and doubt. We discover that the source of pain is our feeling of separation and isolation from meaning and from the Divine. In reality, we cannot be separated, because we are made in the image of God, constituted of his substance. The sense of separation is an illusion of our own making. We must therefore learn to change our mind. The real source of our suffering is almost never external.

Ultimately, we awaken to a new reality that acknowledges the existence of a greater mental, emotional and spiritual unity. We realize that the real purpose of life is to be one with the greater universal consciousness, which is in and of all things, and to help others share in this profound unitive experience. By removing apparent conflicts, one realizes harmony and an end to suffering. This is also called self-realisation, so much more than self-improvement.

Reference: The End of Suffering by Russell Targ and JJ Hurtak

Suren Pillay

Today the world is filled with different philosophies of how life should be lived. In recent times new age thinkers have propounded various philosophies about the truth of life and the meaning of existence. In my opinion every philosophy should be considered in its own context with due regard to the age in which it was propounded as well societal values predominating at the time such philosophy was expressed. Life philosophies are sometimes inspiring and sometimes contradictory. The validity of a philosophy can be best tested by means of practical application. If we apply the philosophy in real life and derive positive results for ourselves and the world we are a part of, than that philosophy certainly has value.

Spirituality has, in many cases, been regarded as the most practical philosophy for it bears testimony to wisdom that has stood the test of time. Authentic spirituality is without bias, dogma, provincialism and negativity. Its true basis lies in the wisdom of the soul and the awareness of the permeating nature of consciousness. In the Vedanta it has been noted there are eight primary systems of Vedic philosophy, these systems all offer a unique understanding of God. These systems are of benefit to the man who wishes to know himself a little deeper. Even these philosophies can promote interest and spiritual vigour in the spiritual process, they cannot be confused with the goal of spirituality itself.

The experience of God-consciousness lies at the heart of every spiritual tradition and even though philosophies go a long way to convince man of this eternal truth, mere intellectual understanding of this truth through philosophy in no way confers the inner realisation to the reader of such philosophies. I recently heard a saint reiterating that philosophers are those people that criticise everything but offer no real solution to any problem. On my own spiritual journey I have met many who were great in their intellectual ability to propound philosophies, I have also been fortunate to meet men of true God-realisation who speak of life in the simplest of terms and convey such truths with the greatest of humility. The real value of intellectual ability lies in being able to communicate deep internal truths in understandable terms to the general public. The intellect, if used wisely, can disseminate abstract truths into perceptible wisdom for the ordinary man. However, if the intellect is used to create even more abstract, dogmatic or provincial philosophies then it has served no useful purpose for it will only result in more spiritual confusion.

In the modern age we may find so many books and philosophies for the attainment of success. The spiritual novice is confounded by an array of different views, most too complicated for his limited mind to understand. The issue is whether these books and philosophies can be of any real benefit to one who is treading the spiritual path. In my experience the test for assessing the validity of such philosophies is to use on owns faculty and common sense. If the philosophy can be tested and one believes it can work logically, then one should test it and experience the results for themselves.

With the advent of the information age, spiritual information has never been so easy to obtain. More efficient communication channels have opened the possibility for rapid understanding of different spiritual truths in a relatively short period of time. My message to you this month, dear readers, is that every philosophy has the potential to convey the truth to you. By the use of your common sense, logical analysis and intuitive wisdom every door of truth can be opened to you. Read with introspection, contemplation and focused attention, and let the results of divine grace flood your being with the wisdom of the universe!