November 2009

Remove division by Meditating + Fall in love with God + Swami Replies + The inner meaning of the Bhagavad Gita + True Soul Union + Uruthi Oli Mudra Asanam + Healing peaches + Expanding understanding + Cathedral Quartz + Joy, your secret weapon + 12 Principles of transformation + Siddha Thirumoolar + Modern Yogism vs True Yoga Part 2 + Questions answered by Roy Eugene Davis + The way to God + Headless chickens vs laidback louts + The value of Commitment + Man’s duality: winning the battle with the animal inside + Inspiration by Swami Narayani + Letters from Heaven + Bhagavad Gita Essentials + Gayathri Sadhana by women in ancient times + Journey to Pondicherry + Truth for Youth + Meditation for kids

Cover image: Swami Shankarananda at Navarathri Chariot Procession, 26 September 2009

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Namasté all.
The full moon ceremony this month will not be the same without Gurudeva, who is away in Sri Lanka and India. Nevertheless, we should still make every effort to attend functions and support the Peedam while Guru is away as his energy and action is paramount behind all activities and prayers at the temple, ensuring things continue as usual from behind the scenes. This understanding can be carried through to our daily life in remembering that even though God may appear to elude us, He is ever present, behind our actions, thoughts and feelings, ensuring that our life continues to be filled with all that is good for us, and it is necessary for each of us to communicate with God directly in order to understand the greater view of the path on which we are travelling. Visiting the temple regularly and with devotion and sincerity, will play a great part in achieving this understanding.

October saw a lovely memorial service and chariot procession for Brother Haridas Acharya, Deepavali service and Birthday Prayer for Swami Murugesu Maharishi. Look forward to the following activities during November: Verulam Spirit Fair at the Day Care Centre to raise funds for the Peedam (see advert on back cover). Please spread the word. Guru will visit Joburg devotees on the 14th, Sacred Mantra Chanting in Richard’s Bay will hopefully take place on the 21st; the final Mahanavagraha prayer for 2009 on the 29th (at 3am) and the Westville Mind Body and Soul Fair on the 30th where you can support the Peedam shop and Kailash Crystals - a perfect opportunity to do some Christmas shopping.

As usual your latest issue of Transcendence is packed with inspirational articles. Keep an eye on our feature as we will be covering the lives of each of the 18 Siddhas over the next 18 issues, starting with this issue, and look forward to a major Transcendence revamp in 2010. Please send in your contributions each month (at least 10 days before Pournami), even if it is just something small. We like to know that you are reading and enjoying our mag.

We are in the process of renovating the temple kitchen and would like to have this finished before Guru gets back on the 4th of November. Tiles, cupboards and table tops are required. If you can help in any way, please contact Roy on 074 868 3216.

Please remember there will be two full moons and hence two Pournami prayers in December: one on the 1st and the second on New Year’s Eve. We understand that many devotees will be busy with ‘other things’ on the 31st, but what better way to enter the new year than in devotion to God. Please make a plan to attend - you will have the whole day on January 1st to celebrate the New Year!

In Love and Service always,

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Remove Division by Meditating

We need to settle the inner world, then the outer world will be easier to settle. Swami Rama says, “Love yourself first, then love others outside of yourself”. Only once we’ve done that then we can go outside and teach others to do the same thing.

We need to become masters of the body to do this. We need to meditate. Everything comes back to meditation. It is the only process to still the mind. As Yogiar tells us, “meditation is the scientific art of stilling the mind”. Once you still the mind then all this division by which we are so affected will stop. Division reduces the capability of any function. But once you start to unite we become our greater Self. Each one of us is a divine energy, a divine light.

Once we start to meditate on the inner self, there will be no more division in our body and we will see no division outside the body but will view everything in an equal light. We see bad and good in an equal light.

Om Kriya Babaji Nama Om.

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Swami Shankarananda

You must be able to announce openly: ‘I am in love with God; and God is in love with me. I am God’s lover”, and when you say that your body must go into a state of such great bliss that nothing prevails in this universe except you and God. And once you have attained that state, this physical state, then navagraha shanti, homa, yajna, are not necessary.

One of the greatest teachers of love was Jesus Christ. And even in his state of love, man was blind and crucified him because they knew that he would change the way they think, the way they accept this material plane and the way they enjoy the short term material plane. So the easiest way was for them to get rid of him and say that he died for our sins. We sinned in our killing. The human race in totality has sinned in killing. There is no point in now putting a cross around yr neck and saying: “I’m a Christian”. It means nothing. Am I in love with God? That’s what we need to ask. All can be Christians. It’s a way of life. Everyone of you can do that. But can everyone of you love God with an innate profound notion, a feeling of completeness, oneness and total eternity. Can you do that? Most of you can’t. And the only reason you can’t is that you’re so caught up in this plane that you have a fear of losing something if you follow that route, that path, that journey.

Let me tell you, there is little to lose and lot to gain. That is what you all need to understand. Every loss on this plane should be a lesson on the journey. No matter what your loss is, it should be a lesson on this journey. Loss of a dear one, loss of a material aspect of this life, that should be the lesson throughout this journey. Can we all just laugh? We can’t because we’re worried somebody else will think that something’s wrong with us. We live to please others but never to please God. We want to please others and in that path of our lives we miss the greatest point of God. So, why live a dog’s life when you can live a God’s life.

We have no peace of mind. In God’s life you have peace of mind. You can sit in a car, a plane, a boat, close your eyes and be one with God. When you open your eyes again you’ve reached your final destination. But are you ready for that final destination? Many of you will say yes, but if I had to ask you to die now and even give you a method to help you die now, for the love of God, everyone of you will take steps back.

You must be so in love with God that when He takes you to the edge of a cliff and pushes you off, you know He’ll catch you. That is the love that I’m dying to see in each one of you and every time I look for it, the writing comes up ... ‘failure’. I’m at my journey’s end now. My book has been written. The last page is almost there. Do yourself a favour. Fall in love with God and love God.

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Yvonne Jarvis

Experts tell us we are emotional creatures, designed to experience pleasure. Pursuing and allowing ourselves to receive it on a regular basis are vitally important to build and sustain vibrant physical and emotional health.

We all have a pleasure profile, a state of both body and mind, and our senses tell us when we have tapped into ours. When we are lost in joy and pleasure, our bodies are actively renewing cells, increasing circulation and in the process of creating health on all levels – body, mind and spirit.

When we cannot find joy or pleasure in life, this is a danger signal. When we are burned out, we are deficient not only in energy, but in vital life-force. Dr Christiane Northrup, best-selling author, explains that energy is what it takes to get through the day, and vital life-force is what it takes to put a spring in your step as you get through the day.

Experiencing pleasure and indulging in things that bring us joy improves our blood flow. This is crucial for optimum wellness, as the blood keeps the body functioning. It delivers nutrients to the cells of the body, and takes away the waste products. Dr Northrup believes that your secret weapon is a gas known as nitric oxide which is produced by the lining of the blood vessels, as well as lung cells, white blood cells and nerve cells in your brain. When you are experiencing pleasure of feeling calm, lively and well, nitric oxide is released in tiny amounts.

Because it is a gas, it diffuses quickly in all directions. This results in increased circulation, and switches on chemicals called neurotransmitters, which carry many massages between the brain and nervous system to help the body work and feel better. Dr Ferid Murad is the scientist whose research led to the nitric oxide discovery. His theory is that if your body makes enough nitric oxide, your cells will stay healthy and function well. However, if the levels are too low, the cells degenerate and this leads to pain and chronic degenerative conditions associated with ageing.

Nitric oxide causes the smooth muscles in the blood vessel walls to relax, which dilates the blood vessels and allows oxygen and other nutrients to get to the vital organs. How many of us take the time to actively pursue things that we enjoy? All too often we feel we have more important priorities, and we do not have time for ourselves. If we lead stressful lives without regularly bringing pleasure into it, stress hormones restrict blood flow and reduce nitric oxide levels. This can lead to feelings of frustration, anger, sadness and depression, and we tend to turn to comfort food or other vices to make us feel better. This is a temporary fix, and not ideal.

The answer is simple – invite joy into your life and maintain that supply of nitric oxide for your brain and tissues. This means different things to different people, including exercise, meditation, hobbies, fun with friends and family, listening to music, being in nature or a host of other things. Being joyful, your secret weapon, can release your potential to express your creativity in unique new ways and give your life more meaning.

Reference: Longevity June 09, article by Kim Bell

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Swami Murugesu Maharishi

What is yoga? In the Patanjali Yoga Sutra, it is said: “Yoga is to subdue the functions of Chitha. Then only can a yogi realise his true nature.” In the Bhagavad Gita it is said: “Yoga is maintaining equilibrium or being unaffected by pain or pleasure”.

The aim and object of yoga is to get relief from the chain of illusion and ignorance and ‘know oneself’; in which state one enjoys bliss or ananda. The purpose of yoga is to break the link in the cycle of birth and death. A true yogi’s consciousness never flows outside towards the senses and body. Although the senses and body function by the power of prana, he or his consciousness is always pure. Though his body begets children, he will not have any knowledge of attachment in that act. He may be engaged in business or working in a factory or may even be taking an active part in politics, but he will actually have no attachment to any of these things or actions. His personality or ego lives in the world, but the world does not live in him. He performs all his duties and does all his work. The Gita says, “Yogasathaha Kurukarmani,” which means, “Keep yourself in a state of yoga and perform all your worldly acts”.

Why should a yogi interfere with the evolution of other souls? He has no right to either hasten or retard the progress of others by blessing or cursing them. If God wills to make one man rich and another poor, how long will it take? But he will never do it. He only assists souls in the march forward along their path of evolution. This being the factual state of the matter, why do these yogis misuse the divine power by hastening or retarding the course of evolution by granting boons or cursing people?

Performing miracles and attracting people is not yoga but only an exhibition of talent. Bestowing boons is not yoga, but yogic magic and a means of earning enormous wealth. Cursing is not yoga but is only a way of giving vent to one’s anger and emotions. Ye Truth seekers, get out of this false idea of so-called yogic miracles and march on the correct path of yoga which is the Realisation of Self.

From time immemorial, realised souls in every nation have proclaimed the intense pleasure that is experienced in the blissful state of Self-realisation. No one can test it because none can understand it by hearing or reading about it. The masses not only throng to yoga institutions, but also flock to temples to perform religious ceremonies, not carking to know their Self or to experience God. All of them only wish a long life, prosperity, enormous wealth, authority and worldly possessions. Devotees who always chant God’s name, perform poojas daily and go regularly to temples, churches and mosques, praying to God frequently, do not perform them for the sake of knowing themselves or the Almighty, but only for the sake of their worldly pleasures.

Until (and unless) one, in some way or another, touches the level of Self-realisation, one will not understand it clearly by hearing or reading about it: hence, neither good books nor eloquent speakers can convince them. That is why rishis of ancient wisdom, after studying in depth the true desires of their disciples, took hold of their consciousness and turned it towards their own Selves. The disciple then directly attains realisation of his Self. After this experience he only desires to seek the inner pleasure and never desires to possess worldly pleasure. Then the guru teaches him the way to pass to that level and attain that realisation permanently.

This is the aim and object of Yoga Vidya. Then, why must one lable this modern yogism ad ‘Yoga’? Modern yogism does not explain true yoga, but teaches the way of increasing one’s powers, ahankara and maya by preaching the ways to acquire worldly pleasures in the name of God, yoga and devotion.

The proof of the pudding should be in the eating. The effect of devotion, yoga, or any other sadhana should cause some change in the way of life of the sadhak. But what we see is that, every month, the guru repeats the same sathyanarayana katha, and the devotee hears the same katha every month. Both perform the same ceremonies every month but we do not see any change in their way of life. The guru is the same in all respects, and the devotee remains the same too. The same is the position of modernyogis. The modern yoga sadhaks develop physical strength and worldly possessions which pull them down fro the real path of self-realisation.

I am full of pity for them and pray that the modern yoga follows will seek the right path and practice true Yoga. Yoga is not a commercial proposition. Yoga is for the inner Self. Let the inner light, joy and bliss dispel all darkness and ignorance.

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Brother Haridas Archarya

How many of us are engaged in family traditions and blind rituals as a way to God Realisation? Has this way to God brought about spiritual fulfilment? Many have confessed that engaging in such family traditions and blind rituals do very little for one’s personal relationship with God. They have realised that the pure way to God realisation is not just by admitting that this or that is my God, but by committing one’s individual life to an exclusive relationship with God. They have realised that the way to God is one of constant spiritual growth and purity. It is a way that is underpinned with profound meaning and purpose.

Our family traditions and rituals, such as conforming to special types of prayers throughout the year, when they are absent of a genuine spiritual basis, can become an obstacles in our way to God. Instead of these practices stimulating spiritual growth, they inhibit such growth and there are many reasons for this. Firstly, many of these family traditions and rituals are based on irrational intention. Many of us who practise them are not clear of its precise meaning or purpose. We very often concoct our restricted meanings into these practices which reflect our need to satisfy our own selfish ends rather than being inspired to God realisation. Secondly, many of these practices we have inherited as family vows and we commit ourselves to conforming them even though they have very little spiritual meaning to our own personal life. As a result of this attitude, many of these practises have become mere mechanical practises. This inevitably leads to an emptiness in our spiritual life and we become lost in the way of God.

Are we then trapped for the rest of our lives in this situation? Is there no way to be freed from this bondage? The Hindu religion, form the most ancient times, and through the grace of the great saints and sages, has declared: “ Lead me from the untruth unto the truth; lead me from darkness unto the Light”. IN this great revelation, the sages have pointed out hat one’s spiritual life is a journey. The way to God is a spiritual adventure, an experience of moving from the lower to the higher. The way to God embodies this Divine purpose of personal experience of God. It is this experience, this personal relationship, that produces the fulfilment, joy and happiness in being with God.

Many of us want to remain trapped in these family traditions and blind rituals because of fear. We fear that if we change or transform our spiritual habits, bad or misfortune will befall us. To change for th e personal experience o f God is spiritually rewarding and not a punishment. In fact, it is these blind practises that bring us to the punishment. The reason for this is that none of what we do through these blind practices provides us the inner spiritual comfort and peace. In many instances people have escaped it by changing to other religions, and many have given it up and replaced it with nothing. Lord Krisnha says to Arjuna in the Gita: “Do not fear. Take refuge in Me”. (18:66)

It is important that we take refuge in God. He is our protector, our Guide. When we commit our heart to His Divine way, then there is no place for fear. In fact, the moment we accept God in our heart, the moment we feel His presence in the depths of our self, the we have no reason to fear at all. In fact, it is the blind and ignorant who put fear into us. Therefore, do not fear. Fill your heart and mind with God’s Holy Presence.

If we choose to remain in the way of the family traditions and blind rituals, know then that we are deluding ourselves. We are depriving ourselves from a pure relationship with God. We will experience the emptiness of God. Such people that pursue this way of blindness seldom take God seriously in their lives. They are disrespectful to the pure ways of God, and to the messengers of God. They are full of cruel and unrighteous ways. Those who do not want to take to the way of God rarely want God as a central part of their lives. For them, conforming to these ritual practices is a way of satisfying their own personal selfish desires. Their lives will be in a spiritual void and be absent of true happiness.

We must realise that the way to God is through His Divine Will which is revealed in the Holy Scriptures, through the grace of the sages, namely the Vedas. The way to God will have to be by the way God wants us to come to Him and not by our own whims and fancies. It is our own whims and fancies which have resulted in the array of family traditions and blind ritual practices. That is why there is very little inspiration derived form these practices for God-realisation. We need to recommit ourselves, our families, our community to the way of our Lord. We need to reaffirm His role in our lives.

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Suren Pillay

Many seekers of the truth are often endowed with a high level of spiritual knowledge, certainly an acute awareness of the divine and love for God. However, there appears to be a difference between the seeker who attains complete spiritual victory and the seeker who remains unrealised his entire lifetime. The saint’s commitment to his goal of attaining union with the infinite is unwavering and undeterred in every respect. He puts aside all mundane issues and concentrates on the goal of attaining the everlasting, eternal bliss of God. Gossip, propaganda and worldly debates have no real value for such an individual, for they do not assist him in any meaningful way.

In loose terms it could be said that a saint’s commitment to the journey is 100%. The moral and ethical principles of life summarised as yama and niyama in Patanjali Yoga Sutra (these include truth, non-violence; non-greed, non-stealing; celibacy; penance, study of scriptures, cleanliness, contentment and surrender) are the creed of the saints. Their lives are built on a solid spiritual foundation and all that is left is for them in order to attain God to is to practice spiritual sadhana with 100% commitment.

Unwavering commitment to an ideal has value not only on the spiritual path but in every aspect of one’s life. If one desires to be highly educated, one has to have the commitment to be able to study for the required hours order to attain that goal. And if one desires to be extremely wealthy the required commitment will be necessary in the form of working the required hours in order to attain that level of wealth. Goal-setting seems to be useless exercise if an individual is not prepared to make the commitment towards attaining the goal. Swamis and Masters alike knew what the required commitment level was in order for them to attain the goal. Unlike many devotees who did not attain God, the Masters had the required commitment to make those goals a reality.

For many, commitment is a difficult issue: the obligations of the material world seem all-too-important to ignore, and spirituality often takes a back seat to material affairs. Material issues, no matter how mundane they might be, are always expressed on the physical plane and are immediately identifiable to individuals, whereas spiritual matters are subtle and often ignored by people. The idea to commit to an ideal that is subtle and not tangible is the primary difficulty for most people in the world. The key issue in this regard thus appears to be a matter of faith. For it is our faith in the Gurus and God, that ultimately strengthens our commitment to our spiritual ideals in life.

Living our best life lies in realising that prosperity cannot be found in concentrating on one sphere of life alone. Prosperity is an integrated concept and thus requires an integrated approach (ie spiritual, material, physical, mental and intellectual action) in order to for it realise its greatest value.

Dear brothers and sisters of Gayathri, my message to you this month is that nothing, on either the material or physical plane, is possible without commitment. Make your commitment to a goal that you feel you need to attain and may you blessed with the results that follow in abundance.

Aum, Shanti, Shalom, Amen!