EXTRACTS FROM HAMSA YOGA
To Hamsa Yoga Members
Because of shortage of manpower, non-proximity of printing facilities, lack of infrastructure, apathy of members, Swamishree becoming antharmukha etc. we feel that publication of Hamsa Yoga can not be continued fro long.
Swamishree, the strength behind all matters, being alone and aged is inclined to remain antharmukha and as such becoming indifferent to all ashramam activities including this publication consequently this may be the last issue of Hamsa Yoga.
You have been our valuable member. We appreciate your patronage and encouragement, and hope to be excused for the disappointment of not receiving Hamsa Yoga, which we are sure you enjoyed reading. We welcome you to continue your association with this ashramam, participate in and take advantage of our activities and services. We also wish to inform all our members that those who want to get back the unexpired portion of their membership fee, may kindly intimate us the amount due to them and we will arrange to remit the refund.
On behalf of Swami shree we would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have been specially helpful in one way or the other to the Ashramam.
I can meditate for half an hour. Beyond that it is difficult. With recitation of Veda or reflecting on the mantras it is not so difficult. I can sit for an hour or more. But how do you sit and meditate for two three hours? It is just impossible for us to sit that long. Mind does not allow to sit.
Hamsa: It needs practice. Abhyasena vairagyena cha grihyate (Gita) - by constant practice and by dispassion, disinterestedness, in mundane matters one can train the mind to sit long time. You have to make the mind understand that meditation is for its own good (shreyas) and the worldly matters though appear pleasant (priya) are not really good and thus train yourself gradually to increase the time. The problem arises only until you reach Samadhi. Once you are in Samadhi, you are beyond mind and beyond time (Kalatita). It is the mind that counts time and gets tired or bored. It wants variety; that is why it hops from object to object. In Jnana Samadhi mind does not exist to count time, and as in sleep you don't know how the time passes, and you are in timeless eternity. You get bliss and more refreshed in samadhi than the sound sleep.
What is important is, steadiness and concentration of the mind in meditation, and not how long you sit. If the mind stays steady it is worth sitting longer, if it does not, then it is no use sitting more than an hour.
Karma yoga is suggested for those who cannot concentrate. Keep the mind fixed on the karma (work) you are doing, don't let it wander elsewhare. Usually you will be doing physical work, but mind will be wandering somewhare else. For example if you are doing puja keep the mind fixed in puja. Most people will be worshipping mechanically, (hand will be ringing the bell, tongue chanting mantras), but the mind will be playing havoc sometimes in the city market. Keep the mind attentive to the work at hand, don't let it wander, then when you meditate (which is also a kind of work for the mind) your mind will be attentive to meditation and won't get bored.
1. You have appeared in my dreams many times, and many times my problems have disappeared following the visions. For example, once I had slept with a heavy back ache. You came in dream, held me on my shoulders from back side and gave a sharp jerk. Then when I woke up all my back ache had disappeared. What is this? Do you really come in the dream or is it all my imagination? I had not remembered you before sleeping either.
Hamsa: This happens because of your faith and devotion in Guru. The Self in you and in this body (in me) is the same universal consciousness which pervades the entire universe. Although you are THAT, you are not aware of it and do not know of it. The Self in this body (me) is also the same but it is aware of it and is one with it. That Universal Consciousness (Brahma), being very kind to you due to your faith takes pity on you. It projects the dream scenery from within you and appears in this (my) body form and helps you in your trouble, because you deserve it.
Gururbrahma gururvishnu gururdevo maheshwarah|
guruh sakshat parabrahma tasmai shri gurave namah||
You have that kind of firm faith in Guru as explained in this sloka. Guru's grace is the same as God's grace. Therefore God, who is your own Real Self but is veiled from you, comes in the form of Guru, who is Parabrahma himself, and favours you. Because Guru and God are one. This mortal frame, really did not come to you in dream or thought of helping you in dream.
2. Now this is not a dream. Once I was driving to the Ashramam. I had no petrol when I started, and I could not get petrol anywhere on the way. I came to the Ashramam and on return journey I forgot all about petrol and went back home all the way (about 140 Km) quite safe without fuel. That was a miracle, a real experience. How did it happen?
Hamsa: That again is God's grace and a blessing, a divine act, because of your faith. Similar experience was reported by some people who came from Chennai. They started at night, also could not get petrol anywhere on the way, even then they drove all night, without petrol and without getting stranded on the way. When they reached here in the morning there was still some fuel left; they were all wonders. To another sincere devotee Bhagavan appeared in physical form to protect and avert his imminent death. God has special ways to help His devotees in order to increase their faith and devotion so that they do not get dismayed and lose faith. He only knows what happens where and when, and who deserves His help.
Do the sages who had sakshatkara (God realisation) come to know the future? Ancient Rishis are said to have Trikala Jnana (Knowledge of past, present and future).
Hamsa: First you should know what is sakshatkara and what is trikala jnana. Appearance of the Ista Devata (favourite diety) in human form to a devotee and blessing him, called Sakar or saguna manifestation is one kind. In this the devotee retains his individuality; he remains separate from God. This is the way Lord Vishnu appeared before Prahlada, Dhruva and many others.
The second kind is the realisation of the Self as Parabrahma. Here the devotee loses his individuality and merges and becomes one with Parabrahma. Everything including himself, his body and mind, the universe all become Brahma. He realises that out of ignorance or Maya he had thought himself separate from God. Now God is not different from him. This is Nirguna or nirakar Realisation. Now that Maya is destroyed he perceives the world as one continuous Brahma swarupa. Such a Jnani is beyond kala or time, because time is also a deluding potency of Brahma. The past present and the future affect him who is under the sway of Maya; but a Jnani is beyond Maya and the influence of time, he is Kalatiee (beyond time) and therefore time has no meaning to him. The knowledge that there is only Brahma; name, form and time, past, present and future are mere illusions of the ignorant mind, they really do not exist except in the deluded mind is the trikaala jnana. Ancient Rishis were beyond the limitations of time and therefore were trikala Jnanis. Telling the future of some worldly person is not the trikala jnana, that is only ajnana. Such fortune tellers predict only ignorance and enter into deeper bondage.
What is Brahma? Satyam Jnanam Anantam is Brahma. Satyam or Sat means existence, Jnanam knowledge, not the means mundane knowledge, but awareness as witness, and anantam means unlimited. There is no time factor in it, so only the created world has the time factor in it. What is created is Maya. A Jnani is beyond Maya, he exists (lives) in timeless eternity.
1. Two terms in the book 'Scientist's Search for Truth', Antharmukha and Ananya bhakti were asked to be explained.
Hamsa: Antharmukha means Self - non-self enquiry (Atma - Anatma vichara). Our sense organs go outward to receive the external stimuli. They are made out-going for the purpose of protection of the body, like for example, you use eyes to watch your path so that you don't fall in a ditch, and tongue to taste the food so that you don't take poison and die, use hearing to listen and educate yourself. Senses and the mind examine the external appearance of the objects, and decide their utility to the body. But mind goes a step further and examines everything in narrow minded selfishness for one's own enjoyment at the expense of or doing harm to others. This is called Bahirmukha (looking things at their face value). Antharmukha - looking inward, means to look inside, going beyond the face value, and examining their worth in terms of their permanence and Reality. When you look superficially everything appears real, world is as real as you see through your physical eyes. Your sensual experiene, your passions, emotions are all real. But when you analyse and look inside, everything becomes perishable and unreal. Analyse your own body; the birth, growth, decay and the death; the three states of experience it undergoes - waking, dream and deep sleep, pain and pleasure. Nothing is permanent, everything is fleeting and perishable. The whole universe becomes unreal. Then you wonder if there is anything real in this world, and search for what is Real. The sriptures and the sages tell you that Atma, the Self, who has no changes, who pervades everything, who is the witness of the changing world, alone is Eternal and Real. An enquiry into that Atma who is the essence and the substrate on which the universe stands, and perceiving Him in everything in the universe including yourself, realising the non-dual Self and dwelling in the Self, is being antharmukha.
2. Ananya Bhakti.
Hamsa: Ananya means undivided, devoted to no one else. Anya means other, na anya is anaya which means one else. Bhakti is devotion. Devotion, care, attention to another person or thing is possible if another person or thing exists. A Self Realised person sees only the Self in everything and everything, in the Self, so there is none other than the Self. So his attention is undivided. He sees only the Self and abides in the Self all the time. This is Ananya Bhakti, undivided or uninterrupted dwelling in the Self. It is same as antharmukha.
When and how will I see God?
Hamsa: You are already seeing Hin and living in Him. He is within you and you are talking (and doing whatever you do), only because of His presence in you. You as an individual do not exist without Him. This whole world is God. There is nothing but God everywhere. You may be thinking that a Human figure with four hands, two heads, four eyes etc. is God and in that form He should come and stand before you and declare, "ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â am God". That is grossly limiting the limitless God to a tiny creature; and that is wrong understanding. Standing in the middle of mighty ocean and you are saying "This is not water, I want to see water in a drop". See God in everything and everywhere, see His shakti in every action even in the movement of a blade of grass, see His movement in every second (time); then you will find Him all the time. There are three stages in man's evolution and understanding the world. First he thinks the world is real as it appears. He (the body), his relations, his possessions, are all objects for his enjoyment and he should make best use of it and enjoy life fully. In the second stage after studying scriptures and listening to sages he begins to doubt the reality of the objective world, and thinks they are illusory. The third stage comes after long sadhana and realising the Self. Then he sees everything, including himself as God and nothing but God and there is nothing to enjoy in this world. He feels normal enjoyment in suffering in disguise. Nothing changes during man's evolution through these three stages. God does not change, the world does not change, man also does not change. What changes is only his knowledge, his understanding of the universe. He changes from ignorance to wisdom (jnana), from darkenss to light and an ordinary man becomes a sage.
Is renunciation also a form of tapasya?
Hamsa: Indeed it is. Mind does not like to give up its possessions. Mind desires all the objects of enjoyment, comforts of the body, self esteem, whatever it already possess and aspires to possess. Mind and senses oppose and fight against their deprivation and this fight generates heat in the mind. Tapah means heat. Renunciation involves forcing the mind to divest of its desires; which does require considerable courage. Only a strong person can do it, weak person cannot renounce. Renunciation of ego, which is equivalent to surrender, is the most difficult thing to do; it is the highest form of tapasya, the greatest achievement.