October 2009

Unite in self realisation + Dedication to Swami Murugesu + Dedication to Bro.Haridas Acharya + Inner Meaning of the Bhagavad Gita + Growing Together + Vittel Asanam (Grasshopper Pose) + Healing Pears + Expanding Understanding + Unakite + Turn Stress into Joy + Collective Unconscious + FEATURE: Swami Vivekananda + Modern Yogism vs True Yoga Part 1 + Questions answered + Deepavali: a time for reconciliation + Stillness + Spirituality and The Secret + The Divine Essence + Bhagavad Gita Essentials + Gayathri Sadhana by Women in Ancient Times + Chidambaram Part 2 + Truth 4 Youth + Meditation for Kids

Cover image: Swami Murugesu Maharishi, Sri Lanka 2005

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Namasté all.
Wow! What an amazing month of prayer and devotion September was. The Sacred Chant visit to Bloemfontein was a great success, the Jadatharaya Annual Yogathon saw Gurudeva’s yoga students from across the country all together in one place to celebrate yoga. The Gayathri Peedam Navarathri evenings were well attended and culminated in a Chariot Procession which, despite a number of glitches due to incomplete preparation, turned out to be a beautiful day. And the Mahasamadhi Service of Swami Murugesu was also an inspirational experience for those who attended.

October Transcendence is dedicated to two great spiritual masters: Brother Haridas Acharya whose Special Mahasamadhi memorial service and procession is on the 10th; and Swami Murugesu Maharishi, whose birthday anniversary prayer falls on the 26th. So please take the time this month to explore the teachings of these two divine souls, some of which are included in this issue.

Then, on Sunday the 8th November, the Gayathri Peedam will be holding a Spirit Fair at the Day Care Centre. Entrance to the public will be free and there will be many tables available for storeholders to promote and sell their spiritual goods for only R200 per table. Please tell your friends and colleagues and contact me on 083 459 5852 for more details (also see advert on the back cover of this issue).

Last week, during Navarathri, Gurudeva asked an important question: “Which is more powerful - light or dark?” Most devotees answered ‘light’ because it dispels the darkness but Guru reminded us that the darkness is always there, even when there is no light so the darkness is more powerful. This may be a disturbing thought for many but for those aspiring to self-realisation, it is an extremely pertinent statement and should prompt us to be continuously aware of that darker, illusory human nature which keeps us from knowing God. Like maya, darkness viewed through the physical eyes is merely a mirage. As long as we are living in materialism our ‘darkness’ will be predominant and, in order to overcome such personal illusion, it is absolutely necessary to watch our every thought, word and action, ensuring they only reflect light and love at all times so that when we transcend this physical realm we will no longer be drawn to the darkness of material delusion.

In Love and Service always, jo.petzer@mweb.co.za

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Unite in self-realization

“Meet together, talk together, let your minds apprehend alike. Common be your prayer, common be your assembly’s end and aim, common be your purpose, common be your deliberation and common your policy. Common be your desires, united be your hearts, united be your intention so that there may be a thorough union among you,” says the Rig Veda.

Create some spiritual atmosphere here, there and everywhere. Some silent spiritual work, a loving heart with the spirit of selfless service will be more than sufficient. The spiritual contagion will spread like wildfire and the whole surroundings will take part in spiritual activities, in course of time. It is the duty of every aspirant to equip himself with the sinews for spiritual conquest and to deliver the death of death. The goal of life is Self-realization. It means that we should know God or Self. No true or permanent satisfaction can be had through a pursuit other than this.

Om Kriya Babaji Nama Om.

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Dedication to Swami Murugesu Maharishi

Blessed is the one who comes across the dynamic spiritual teachings of a great sage and maharishi of the nature and diversity of Swami Murugesu. Swami walks, talks and laughs among the common beings as though He is one of them, continuously rendering selfless service without them even knowing His divine potential. I consider myself to be a privileged, fortunate and blessed individual to have had the opportunity not only to associate myself with Swami, but more to have been able to understand his philosophy and teachings. The purpose of the vibrant temple in Nuwara Eliya is to render selfless service to the suffering masses and to guide truth-seekers, like myself, to achieve life’s goal.

Today’s man has a great thirst to seek God. Many seekers from all parts of the world: north, south, east and west, from different countries, all needing spiritual guidance, have come to Swami after failing miserably, being misled by other gurus or masters. Under Swamiji’s guidance they achieve their spiritual goals in this life and enjoy Divine Bliss. Swamiji’s teachings are published in books for the benefit of all who seek that Supreme Being.

Being the founder of the vibrant temple in Nuwara Eliya, the Gayathri Peetham and the Lankeshwara Temple, Swamiji has always been a simple and divine being. It is mentioned that even great sages and maharishis are in continuous communication with Swami to tap the rich spiritual resources and tremendous spiritual powers lying hidden behind this simple being.

Swamiji’s most famous work, ‘The Great Science and Power of Gayathri’ holds the key to unleashing the door to the Kingdom of Bliss and knowledge. Other works of greatness by Swamiji are: ‘Meditation’, ‘Jnana Guru, the Divine Power in the Human Body’, ‘The significance of Gayathri Mantra,’ and ‘The Science of Human Magnetism’. These works appeal to any liberal-minded person seeking true knowledge, whatever their religion may be, for Swami’s writings are there only for advancement and enlightenment of the being. The ambrosia given in Swamiji’s teachings is to be shared by spiritual aspirants on the path of yoga and spirituality. The tremendous spiritual powers Swami possesses have come as a result of the rigorous spiritual sadhana Swamiji performed for many years with Khanniah Yogi, Swami’s Guru, a Supta Rishi. Under the guidance of Khanniah Yogi, Swami practised Gayathri Mystic Meditation, spending many years in the nilghiri forest hills of South India.

Swamiji’s greatest teaching and emphasis was that of meditation as an essential factor in spiritual sadhana for Self-realisation and God realisation. Many hours are spent in the presence of Swamiji, during which times Swamiji shares with all, displaying great and divine delight, the knowledge and experiences gained during his time with maharishis and saints in the dense forests.

I pray that all seekers enjoy this work and take a realistic step towards the spiritual goal, under Swamiji’s direct guidance. What you have read up to this stage means that your innate self will allow you to enjoy your journey. Swami is here now.

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Healing Fruit: Pears

Pears are an excellent source of water-soluble fibre. They contain vitamins A, B1, B2, C, E, folic acid and niacin and are also rich in copper, phosphorus and potassium, with lesser amounts of calcium, chlorine, iron, magnesium, sodium and sulfur. Often recommended as a hypo-allergenic fruit which is high in fiber but less likely to produce adverse reactions, pear juice is safe to be introduced to infants as it is mild, yet healthful.

Pears have anti-oxidant and anti-carcinogen glutathione which help prevent high blood pressure and stroke. The high vitamin C and copper content act as good anti-oxidants which protect cells from damage by free radicals. The high content of pectin in pears also makes them effective in helping lower cholesterol levels and the high level of boron helps the body retain calcium, helping to prevent osteoporosis.

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Swami Murugesu Maharishis

Modern Yogism vs True Yoga: Part One
Once I saw a signboard inscribed with the word ‘Yogashram’ so I entered the building and saw some sixty students assuming upside-down positions (Sirashasana), followed by many more asanas as I watched. After they had finished, I approached one of the students and asked him how long he had been practising for, what other sadhanas he was performing and what was the purpose of such training. His answer: “We have been staying here for the past two years and we regularly learn and practice yoga by which we retain sound health and live without disease”.

Some time later I visited another yoga training institute and witnessed some fifty students seated in Padmasana (lotus posture) and breathing in various ways. After the session was over, I asked one of the students what they were doing and what their aim and objective was of doing the exercises. The answer was: “We are learning and practising many kinds of pranayamas by which we lead healthier lives and are immune to disease. We are also practising pranic healing”.

Then I attended a meditational yoga centre where more than fifty students were sitting silently with their eyes closed. I waited until they concluded and asked one of them about their sadhanas. I was told that “This is what true yoga is. By this practice we develop psychic power by which we acquire many benefits”.

In this manner I surveyed several yoga institutions in various parts of India and found that most of them taught mainly yogasanas, mudras and bhandas of Hatha Yoga and that, in some institutions, additional methods of pranayama and meditation were also taught. After much enquiry I came to establish that the ideal of all these teachings was to maintain sound health, live without any disease, develop psychic powers, practice the art of healing and acquire enormous physical strength. I also visited many yogis and yoginis to find out more for myself. My numerous enquiries revealed the following:

One yogi was performing an act of levitation, hovering in a sitting position above the ground and many disciples were gazing at him in wonder. I waited until he resumed his normal position on the ground, approached him, bowing and asked what it was that he was practising. He replied: “This is a great achievement of yoga which can be attained only after many years of practice”.

Another yogi was lying prone on a bed of thorns and many devotees were paying tribute to him. After many hours when the yogi stood up, I bowed and asked him how it was he could lie down on thorns without hurting himself. He told me: “This is a great feat of yoga which proves that things like thorns will not harm yogis”.

Then one day I saw an advertisement about a great yogi who would be performing wonderful feats of yoga so I bought a ticket, entered the hall and took my seat. The yogi appeared and intrigued the audience by eating burning charcoal, drinking nitric acid, eating pieces of glass, piercing himself with a sharp dagger without shedding any blood, followed by many more wonderful acts. Afterwards I met him and asked how it was that the fire did not harm him, the acid not burn him and how he had perform such amazing feats. He said: “Oh, I learned from a great yogi”.

At yet another venue, I witnessed a large gathering in front of an ashram and asked someone in the crowd what was happening. He told me that a great yogi was going to produce an idol of God from his mouth. I joined the gathering and witnessed the yogi close his eyes and take a small idol from his mouth. Afterwards I approached him to find out more and was told: “This is a great achievement of yoga. Once a year I produce such an idol which is given to a staunch devotee”. I also met a yogini who manifests numerous idols and dolls every day and gives them to her devotees. She, too, told me that it was “a very great achievement of yoga”.

Another time I witnessed a yogi emerging from a closed pit in which he had been buried alive for fifteen days. He told me that “This is what great yogis of ancient times have performed by controlling prana”. Other yogis that I met and spoke to never ate, never sleep, grant boons, walk on water, walk on fire, visit other planets, appear in more than one place at the same time, can materialise or dematerialise objets, cure diseases and many other great feats.

After much thought and meditation I realised the unfortunate way in which yoga was being taught and used in the modern world. Even though yogis were able to perform wonderful miracles, their emotions were not controlled, their attachment to worldly pleasures had not been overcome and their spiritual faculties had not evolved. In addition, many of the ancient great yogis like Vashistha, Janaka, Mithreya, Mourya, Gargi or Kaththyayani never performed such feats for the simple reason that performing miracles does not constitute true yoga. What is true yoga then?

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Seelan Moodley

The conch echoed across the battlefield signalling the end of war. The fight for ultimate realization was over. The hundred sons had been destroyed for the last time. Elated, the soul transcended the worldly battlefield and merged with the Supreme to enjoy everlasting bliss.

12 months ago, Gurudev attained the highest states of bliss known to man and, as his soul became part of the vastness of the Supreme, it left me with mixed feelings. I felt joy that Gurudev had become eternal and eternally mine, but I also felt sad that my arrogance prevented me from understanding the working of his mind and his spirituality. I had only spent a few months with Gurudev: a few hours a day studying Vedic hymns and chatting about the current political affairs that plagued this country. Yet the time spent, for some reason, reminded me of a student sitting under a great banyan tree beside his Master’s feet, understanding the basics of spirituality and everything that goes with it. The bond between a Guru and his student is a bond that only God understands. In this physical world, none can fathom the attraction between a Guru and a student.

I honestly don’t know much about Gurudev’s life or his spiritual accomplishments. All I know is that I fell in love with him the moment I touched his feet and accepted him as my Vedic Guru. The Hindu tradition of Guru worship goes back a few thousand years and is still followed in this age of technology and worldly pleasures. This is solely because of a few dedicate masters whom have made it their life’s mission to propagate the gospels of God. Gurudev is among those great masters who have so profoundly dispersed the seeds of wisdom and nurtured them into a strong-rooted Banyan tree of knowledge. Even though there are but a few, there are a few nonetheless! Spiritual success is not measured in quantity, but in quality.

On this day of joyous celebration, I would like to take this opportunity to pay respects to HIM, Yogeswara Haridas Archarya, my Gurudev. Prostrations to Shiva and his various manifestations on this earth, salutations to the Gurus of the Gayathri Peedam and to Maharaj Shivabalayogi. Let today be the day that you are inspired by the life and word of Yogeswara - such intense inspiration that your inner being vibrates in oscillating motions of ecstasy and you become an ambassador of Cosmic Love, emotion and spirit. Let today be the day that you find that eternal love that we all search for in God or Guru. Let today be the day that we transform our mind’s eye into the spiritual eye. On this day see God in all and all in God. Shivo Hum Shivo Hum!

Om sri gurubhyo namaha, Hari i OM.

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Suren Pillay

In the working world the idea of success brings different ideas to different people. Many see success as having a million rand in their bank account or as having their dream house and dream car. In accordance with their own idea of success people invest their time and energy in the pursuit of such goals. Spiritual success is an ambition of many sadhakas and yogis. Many yogis and sadhakas alike are striving for the state of spiritual bliss or Samadhi, and this idea of success drives them towards their goal.

One of the most effective methods of attaining what one wants is to use visualisation coupled with the feeling of actually experiencing what you want. The energy vibrations that are expressed from such practices attract the circumstance which the individual wants to experience. Recently, this process has been described as the law of attraction or the ‘secret’. Yet this three-step process of ask, believe and receive has been in existence for centuries.

In recent times many have criticised the law of attraction as being materialistic in nature and not offering any form of spiritual benefit to anyone. Yet the law can be used for spiritual advantage by simply imagining what it would be like to be perfectly enlightened and living a life completely in tune with natural law.

The visualisation process is the beginning of a new journey for every individual who wishes to expand his state of awareness and outlook on life. Spiritual sadhana, forms the crux of devotees’ ammunition against the negative environmental influences that often tempt even the most sincere spiritual aspirant. If one’s sadhana is not transformative in nature (that is it does not give one any real experience of joy or calm) its benefit is minimal. To the sadhaka who is successful in sadhana, temptations are not attractive since his sense of bliss is from a source much deeper and greater than that from which any temptations are born.

The ideal of spiritual success thus lies in an aspirant’s ability to transform his consciousness daily by spiritual practice; such that he remains in a state of blissful consciousness, immune to the trappings and temptations of daily existence. This may seem difficult or even impossible yet, even after sadhana, if a sadhaka can remember God his path to bliss is that much easier and faster.

On the nine-fold path of bhakti yoga, ‘smaranam’ or remembering of God is an extremely important aspect in attaining the state of ‘bhav’ or spiritual ecstasy. Dear readers, my message to you this month is that sadhana should be practised with such devotion that it transforms your consciousness. Such consciousness should be retained by thoughts of God, talking to God, and remembering who you really are.

Aum, Shanti, Shalom, Amen!

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Swami Shankarananda

The origination of sacred, secret knowledge of God was passed down from generation to generation, but was lost on earth through time

God is the One Truth in 3 forms who is both the creator and the destroyer of everything in existence.

Knowledge of God is a righteous secret which is purifying and can be understood only by communion with God.

God is the Source of all in existence, material and physical. God is the Word (OM) that caused the creation of the universe.

Spiritual individuals realise the Truth of God and worship Him.

We must act according to the rules and regulations of the Scriptures if we want to become purified and liberated.

Everything in existence depends on God whose power upholds the universe.

When God descends in physical form He is unrecognised as the Supreme. These great souls know the path to God and have gained eternal life.

Knowledge of God is concealed in man’s illusion of material existence. Those who surrender to God will overcome this illusion and realise God. God exists even when all physical things no longer exist.

The Spirit (energy) of God enters into every individual at birth and leaves it at death.

By sincere, humble and pure devotion to God in everything we do, we can consciously realise His presence.