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Aatmasutra-Unveiling the Soul

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aatma sutra

…UNVEILING THE SOUL!

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www.aatmasutra.com

Edited by

Sapna Sawant

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Yashasvi Vachhani

Cover Design

Devika Choudhuri

Illustrations and Book Design

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The content of this book may not be reproduced, stored or copied in any form; printed (electronic, photocopied, or otherwise) except for excerpts used in review, without the written permission of the publisher.

Printed in India by Sagar Unlimited,

Andheri East, Mumbai 400059

 

Conceptual sketch of the Atmaram, a bone in which the Jivaatma dwells.

 

GURUDEV

 

A Spiritual Icon

 

Gurudev was a man who made mountains out of mountains, who thought they were molehills.

 

Born as Rajinder Chanan, he started his life as any kid next door, in Hariana, a village 17kms from Hoshiyarpur, in Punjab.

 

One of six children, he was born to a trader and a housewife. Brought up in a humble home, he completed his schooling at DAV school, making a mark as one of the naughty students. Quite mischievous as a young boy, he and his friends plucked radish and carrots from fields and were often chased away. The only unique thing about him was that he lit an earthen oil lamp at a dargah every Thursday and spent hours at a temple near his house.

 

As he grew up, he got into the habit of disappearing for hours, spending time with holy men, much older than him. He completed many siddhis in order to acquire spiritual energy. After he managed to pass school, which was a surprise and shock to all alike, He sold pens and orange sweets in buses in Delhi. His father went through a financial crisis losing a lot of money in business. This put Gurudev in a tight spot with minimal financial help and support.

 

To complete his education he had to move to Delhi and live with his paternal aunt. In order to compensate for staying with his relatives he would undertake physical work as his contribution. At times he would carry 20kg sacks of wheat on his back to the mill to get it ground.

 

As luck would have it, he got admission to an overseer’s course at the PUSA Agricultural University in Delhi. After graduating, he joined the agricultural ministry and became a soil surveyor.

 

Till this point, his life followed a normal trajectory. At the age of 35, a spiritual somersault happened; an inner voice told him he needed to go to Hari ki Pawri at Haridwar and give up all his Siddhis in the Ganges river. When he finished doing this, he knew it marked the beginning of his spiritual life, but he knew not how it would happen.

 

Later he was told by the inner voice, that an Om was formed in his right palm, and he could see it visibly. As time went by, he acquired the symbols of Trishul, Shivling and Gileri, Ganpati, Nandi bull etc. He was asked to start healing people, and he did. Starting with a handful, there came a time when there were 35,000-40,000 people waiting in queue to meet him. The sthans (home temples), a concept that he established spread to all parts of the country and beyond.

 

He gave the power to heal to over a 100 people. They all ran these sthans in their homes. These disciples spread their wings further and trained others. This one-man tree became an orchard. In 20 years he and his spiritual family of shishyas had served millions of people (he cured my rheumatoid arthritis of over 10 years in less than a minute)! I was lucky to be one of the people he picked, trained and helped evolve. Without him, my life would not have been worth it.

 

Ordinary people who had very little to write home about spiritualism became giants under his tutelage. They saw themselves as molehills and he saw them as the mountains they became. They judged themselves in the present, he evaluated them from their past, present and future. They saw themselves as people. In his vision, they were beings. A part of the whole, and a part of him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Index

 

Introduction

Chapter 1 Learn to Accept Yourself

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p<>{color:#000;}. Obstacles to Accepting Yourself

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p<>{color:#000;}. Societal Norms of Evaluation

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p<>{color:#000;}. Things Beyond Our reach

Aham – Brahmasmi: Expanding Our Egos

Chapter 11 Knowledge is Power

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p<>{color:#000;}. Destiny

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p<>{color:#000;}. Astrology

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p<>{color:#000;}. Tarot

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p<>{color:#000;}. Psychic Predictions

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p<>{color:#000;}. Destiny: A fructification

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p<>{color:#000;}. Acceptance of Destiny

Purusharth

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p<>{color:#000;}. Life Extended but Lost

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p<>{color:#000;}. After Death Purusharth

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p<>{color:#000;}. A Hypothetical Purusharth Study

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p<>{color:#000;}. Reverse Purusharth

Shraaps and Vardaans: Power Manifestation

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p<>{color:#000;}. Use of Power

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p<>{color:#000;}. The Sharp Edge of Power

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p<>{color:#000;}. Punishing Indiscreet Cameras

Aura

Citta Vrittis

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p<>{color:#000;}. Divinity is Not Easy Business

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p<>{color:#000;}. Vitarkas and Vicharas

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p<>{color:#000;}. My Experience with Vitarkas

Gunas: Infrastructure of Our Thoughts

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p<>{color:#000;}. Types of Gunas

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p<>{color:#000;}. Change Your Guna Mix

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p<>{color:#000;}. Gunas of Spiritual Practice

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p<>{color:#000;}. Guna Analysis

 

Chapter 111 Falling in Love With Yourself

Why We Should Love Ourselves

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p<>{color:#000;}. Understanding the Goal of Each Body

Aura

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p<>{color:#000;}. Energy Ball

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p<>{color:#000;}. Why People Have Poor Auras

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p<>{color:#000;}. How to Protect and Enhance Your Aura

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p<>{color:#000;}. Contamination of Aura

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p<>{color:#000;}. Significance of Aura

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p<>{color:#000;}. Black Magic on Aura

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p<>{color:#000;}. Seva and Aura

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p<>{color:#000;}. Gurudev’s Thursday Aura Restrictions

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p<>{color:#000;}. Transmission of Aura

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p<>{color:#000;}. Use of Animal Aura

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p<>{color:#000;}. An Aura Secret

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p<>{color:#000;}. Aura: A Cosmic Currency

Significance of Our Spirit Bodies

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p<>{color:#000;}. Astral Travel

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p<>{color:#000;}. Karmashaya and Kaarna Sharir

 

Five Magic Attitudes for Evolution

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p<>{color:#000;}. Empathy

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p<>{color:#000;}. Acceptance

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p<>{color:#000;}. Vairagya or Detachment

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p<>{color:#000;}. Role Play

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p<>{color:#000;}. Pratipakshbhavana

Watch Yourself Do Good

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p<>{color:#000;}. Seva: A Quickfire Solution

Spiritual Blessings

Life Score Card

 

Chapter IV On Examining Self-Worship

Multiple Levels of Mental Existence

Miracles by Animals

Dreams, Visions & Spiritual Experiences

A Misunderstanding of Self-Love

 

Chapter V Self-Worship – The Way Forward

Exercises for Self-Worship

Love

Karmamukta (Non-Doership)

Attitudes to Emulate

Cosmic Currency

This Book is a Guide

You May Not be You

Atmic Equality

On Second Thoughts-Maya

The Supreme Thought

Limitations of Perception

Glossary

 

SELF-SCULPTING – Redefining your persona, attitudes, habits.

Introduction

Through this text, I am going to try my best to present to you, the reader, several relevant spiritual concepts, interspersed with incidents and visions experienced by several of my spiritual friends and me. The purpose is to influence you to fall in love with yourself. This is of course, a colloquial way of saying, learn to accept, respect and revere yourself. No mean task this!

 

I will have to talk about the various stages that I went through on this journey. For that I will need to spell out my life in two pages as a reference to context. Do bear with me.

 

As today is Janmasthtami (the birthday of Lord Krishna) let me say in His honour, His was probably the most inspiring story of self-reverence in known history or mythology. I wish I could provide both you and myself a change–over switch that would instantly take us to the level of consciousness that Lord Krishna enjoyed. Though the technology for that may take lifetimes to acquire, let us see to it that a beginning is well made.

 

Lord Krishna will bear with me when I state that in eternal truth, there is no difference between Him and ourselves but one; the spell of our limitations. Though we share the same God Particle (colloquially speaking), we are limited by the cages of our bodies and minds to see ourselves, not as we TRULY are, but as we seem to be.

 

The story of my self-evaluation has been a jigsaw puzzle of likes, dislikes, acceptance, non-acceptance and rise and fall of my self-worth. Half my school life was spent being molly-coddled and monitored. I was handled with kid gloves, as I was an adopted child, acquired with great difficulty from the younger members of the family. The second half was spent in a boarding school. As I had joined half way, I was a misfit, average at a few subjects at best, but bad at most. Naturally, I saw myself as a loser – what was there to be proud of?

 

College presented an opportunity to show off and get attention. I wore clothes that attracted attention and got it. I made a bit of a spectacle of myself and got away with it. I stood for elections in college and won them. Who would not vote for a jester? And a jester I was! “Better a witty fool than a foolish wit,” as Shakespeare rightly said.

 

Later, I discovered my debating and acting talents that won me many trophies. I was confused – was I not such an idiot after all? Fortunately, I was not too unpopular with the girls. Maybe, I was better than I thought! Self-evaluation was so confusing and what was I evaluating myself on? Social Success?

During my early college days, I got an attack of rheumatoid arthritis. I had to undergo acupuncture daily, for years, to keep myself going. I was cured in one-and-a-half minutes by my future spiritual guide, Gurudev. He went on to accept me as a disciple.

It was time to learn. Actually unlearn!

 

I thought ‘discover yourself ’ meant understand yourself psycho-analytically. It was a lot more. It has been a journey of 35 years from trying not to dislike myself, to learning how to love myself and more.

Do join me in this story of understanding self-worth, shedding limitations and understanding your true nature.

 

If you are a part of the Consciousness Supreme, then how come you don’t know it?

Finally, how do you understand it?

 

That You Are (Tat Twam Asi)

 

In a slightly informal way this book describes the sentence ‘That You Are‘ in a deconstructed manner.

‘That’ stands for the Supreme Consciousness of which everybody is a part.

 

‘You’ stands for you the body, you the spirit, and you the jivatma or individual soul.

 

‘Are’ means that you are part of the Consciousness Supreme even if you don’t know it, even if you don’t feel it, even if you don’t want to believe it.

 

It’s a very intriguing sentence, though I must confess, quite impressive. The idea expressed through this book is that you need to understand

 

its meaning and to take up the concepts as a practice. I would suggest you take a pencil and highlight the concepts that interest you. After you have finished a couple of readings, do re-read the highlighted portions and see whether they are working for you.

 

While my spiritual associate, Rajeev, was reviewing this text for me, he happened to ask a question that I least expected. ‘But why should I love myself?’

 

On reading this text I hope most of you will discover, if you don’t already know it, that ‘yourself’ is a component of many entities and the ‘you’ who are reading this book is just one of them, mainly the physical incarnation. But the ‘myself ’ does not stop there. It includes all the components that go along with your individual self and end up in ‘you’, the physical body at the outermost level.

 

My answer to Rajeev is that he should learn to love the Consciousness Supreme which, at the subtlest level, is only a few steps away from his outer self.

 

Unfortunately, putting theory unto page is only a job of a few sentences. I could redesign the philosophy of the world in 30 pages, but what good would that do?

 

It is my prayer that we should move together through the pages of this book and its illustrations and reach some life changing conclusions. Firstly, that we are not who we think we are and secondly, we must look at some introspective mirrors that can showcase to us more than our outer-selves. This book is a deconstruction of the concept ‘Tat Twam Asi’. We need to examine why most of us would find it difficult to believe this sentence. Even if we do acknowledge it, why do we think that we are not capable of living it.

 

This book starts off with trying to understand patterns of disbelief, and breaking them down bit by bit. It takes you further, through examples and anecdotes to a stage where you question your disbelief. At many such crossroads you have to decide whether you are willing to invest in your faith, or would you rather take the easy way out and bury your ostrich head beneath the sands of illusion.

 

According to Albert Einstein, “A human being is part of the whole, called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive.”

 

The consciousness needs to break out of its sensory jail that holds it in delusion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading a book might be easy,

Understanding it is not.

Living it is a knights tale!

Wish you a good ride.

More often than not, the image is lesser than the self.

 

Learn to Accept Yourself =-Chapter 1

 

Obstacles to Accepting Yourself

 

Whether it is a matter of age or a set of circumstances, we often do not feel up to the image we would like to hold of ourselves.

 

We get the impression that we are falling short.

 

This does not apply across the board, but I am referring to 90 to 95% of commoners, like myself. The trouble is that not only do we have to deal with our own evaluation, but we also correlate it to the norms of the society we live in. And boy! Doesn’t that create a potpourri of self-images!

 

Societal Norms of Evaluation

 

Age

When you are below 20 years of age, you are not mature enough, uptil the age of 30 or 35 years you still have a lot to learn and you lack experience. Between 35 to 45 years, you are with it and in your prime, but your ambitions keep you preoccupied so you still have a long way to go before you can stabilize. By the time you are 50 to 55 years, you have all the experience but you are under the threat of getting out-dated. Technology has overtaken and the younger ones are more with it. Thereafter, you are over the hill. You never feel like you have a complete balance of maturity, experience and dynamism at any age.

 

 

Chapter I

 

Profession

Only 1% of the people at a workplace can get to Numero Uno, so the rest must feel seconds, at best. Reporting to people who are great leaders is a good experience, but few are leaders themselves. If you are satisfied with your job, you are lucky, but most people aspire to climb the ladder. The reasons can be many, but dissatisfaction is a common denominator.

 

We normally get a lot of negative feedback at the workplace. Either our seniors are not happy with our performance or we are forced to do what the owners want, or we are always told that things are not good enough. If we are the seniors, we do not get the productivity we need, things don’t go the way they should, people are not committed enough. We are not satisfied with our operations. One in a few is lucky to have a sense of balance and self-acceptance at the workplace.

 

Physical Appearance

 

One out of ten people is good looking (no statistical research this), a couple more look fairly good, some average, but half the world is not satisfied with their appearance. The other half would like it to be better. Being the second best-looker in college is still a step down. Physical appearances can give dissatisfactory self-opinions to most. As looks fade, self-opinions wane.

 

My grandfather always said “seerat ko dekho, surat ko nahi”. Look at the inner beauty of a person not the exterior.

 

Social Background

 

In India, social background, caste, community, religion, etc make a difference. If you are not from the upper caste, you are not treated equally. If you come from a simple social background, it shows, and you feel like the child of a lesser God. If you have an accent, that’s an embarrassment. If you are from a minority community you are not accepted as well. In short, your social background can be an obstacle to having a balanced self-opinion. If you are not highly educated, naturally, you don’t fit in and that is another downslide in the Snakes and Ladders game of self-evaluation.

 

Just to take stock of where we are going, I want to explore various reasons why most of us find it difficult to accept ourselves as people who ‘fit the bill’. This is mainly connected to our physical existence alone, so far.

 

Negative Feedback

 

From childhood to old age, we give and get negative feedback about ourselves. Our parents, who have not learned how to become professional parents, are mostly experimenting with parenthood. In their own frustration of how to do their job well, they often reprimand their kids, when they should be counseling them. When kids are suffering from insecurities, parents don’t know how to make them feel insulated. As children suffer from lack of knowledge, confidence is not an easy achievement. Parents need to assure them that things are normal and they should not feel incompetent. They don’t! Scolding a kid for all that is wrong with him or her, reprimanding the child, threatening them with consequences, does not do much for the child’s self-esteem.

 

The same is the case with most teachers. They keep showing the child where he/she is wrong, rather than what they need to do to improve.

 

Even friends are eager to give us negative feedback. They do not realise that “a rose for the living, is better than a wreath for the dead”. In short, as we grow up, we have had more than our share of negative feedback, which psyches us into disbelieving in ourselves. It is important for us to realise this process, and learn to discount it. We have been hypnotized into believing we are not all good. Before we take a look at all these obstacles and how to surmount them, we need to examine a few more issues that are beyond the realm of our physical bodies.

 

Things Beyond Our Reach

 

Frustrations and Fate

 

We will go into details on this subject in the next chapter as it is critical to self-acceptance (in my personal opinion, which is of course, open to debate). For now, it is sufficient to state that fate does not always allow our hopes and aspirations to be fulfilled the way we expect them to be. We are often frustrated with the result of our efforts. The ‘X’ factor kicks in and we cannot control the outcome. Very often, this leads to development of a sense of failure. Even people who are successful in their efforts, aspire to have continued success, if not healthy growth, and when this does not happen, they too feel a sense of falling short. In short, self-worth is always taking a hit. Guru Nanak’s famous quote “nanak dukhiya sab sansaar” (The world is always in a state of unhappiness) holds true.

 

On the other hand, tides of time change and lack of self-confidence can turn into pride. The success shown by time can change remorse into self-confidence. The Midas touch can make a person feel self-assured and self-important. Unfortunately, the tides are never constant and nor is the confidence. It is not, because it is normally based on only one aspect of life – material success.

 

Our Thoughts, an Impediment

 

Understanding thoughts is the first step to understanding feelings. Most of our karma or deeds are instigated by our feelings, which in turn are a by-product of our thoughts. (Vitarkas & Vicharas, explained later).

 

I once had a discussion with Gurudev about the problems I faced dealing with thoughts. I felt the kind of abilities he had honed in his disciples, of serving people, healing them and guiding them, was undermined by the fact that we were susceptible to negative thoughts (I speak for myself and several of my spiritual associates). It was a fear factor when we were dealing with the opposite gender, as we did not want negative thoughts to become an obstacle to the interaction. His answer was easy to hear, but hard to understand.

 

He said our thoughts were not our own and they came from external sources. So one should not acknowledge them and feel guilty about them. Just watch them pass like a traffic policeman watches the cars go by (That’s when I realised I would never make a good traffic constable).

 

Intellectually, I could understand his words, but practically, there were many problems. For example, if one gets sensuous thoughts about the opposite sex, how can that be an external thought? If this was shared by both parties, then was it not far-fetched to think that some external source was focusing on giving two people illegitimate thoughts about each other? That too at the same time?

 

Try and figure this out – for years I couldn’t.

 

I would keep trying to either agree or disagree with my thoughts – like them or dislike them. Some thoughts would take me on a wild-goose chase. Some creative thoughts could captivate me for hours on end. When lucky, certain thoughts were inspiring and made me ponder for extended periods. I enjoyed the negative and the inspiring ones. But more than half of them were related to my fears or other negative emotions. They unnerved me. Both the pleasant and the unpleasant, kept spinning in my mind and kept me absorbed. They generated opposite emotions. I suffered both. (I realised that even positive thoughts brought out emotions that became a burden for the mind to deal with.)

In spite of his good advice, I didn’t know how to deal with them.

I decided to resign to my fate and succumb to those 30,000 to 40,000 thoughts a day. Was there anything else one could do?

 

I didn’t think so, until I actually SAW a thought. Yes, there is no misprint. I actually SAW a thought. In those days, I used to meditate for hours at bedtime. During one such meditation, I was sitting down my eyes open, and I saw a ray come from the far-side wall of my room and hit a point that was approximately two-and-a-half inches above the centre of my forehead. As it hit that point, it dispersed into my head and I could understand the thought. It was a crystal-clear experience. There was no ambiguity. I now understood what Gurudev had said. It was time to re-study the subject.

 

If a part of the repertoire of thoughts were external rays received by the mind, then in what way was I responsible for them? A radio that has the capacity to receive several external signals is not responsible

 

 

WATCHING THOUGHTS GO BY

Like a traffic cop not allowing traffic jam.

Thoughts come from outside and are received at the level of the upper forehead.

 

 

for the type of signals it receives. It has no justification to feel either proud or embarrassed about the content of its signals. For me, this has been one of the greatest pearls of wisdom.

 

Guilt

 

One of the reasons we find it difficult to accept ourselves is guilt. We will refer to guilt in various chapters as it is a significant speed-breaker in our journey towards higher self-esteem.

 

Because we think thoughts are our own, we take ownership of them. This gets us into an awkward mess. If the thoughts are vulgar or degenerative, we judge ourselves. ‘How could I think like that?’ has been a common expression in my life. After marriage, if I had thoughts of attraction towards other women, I felt I had tendencies of infidelity. If I saw my wife looking at another man, naturally, I would think the same. Out of 30,000 thoughts on an average, at least 20 to 60% of them have to be unworthy (depending on your guna mix. A subject we will discuss later) but, does that make me unworthy? For most of my life, I believed-Yes! Today -No.

 

Today, I believe I am only an observer who watches his thoughts go by. Every car that crosses the traffic constable can’t be gleaming new. Some will be old, some damaged and some ugly. It takes all kinds. Why should the constable feel awkward about the passing cars?

 

But there is a problem. Most of the time we brew our thoughts, we think and rethink them, making a loop. They churn round and round in our head. They either inspire action or we allow them to take hold of our minds for extended periods. The Indian scriptures believe that what we do in our thoughts is also a deed, our karma.

 

(This is based on the concept of samskaras which get stored in our consciousness.)

 

Samskaras

 

When the fructified actions that we perform are viewed by us with an emotion, they are stored as samskaras and are due for re-fructification at some point in the future. Double Jeopardy! When our destiny is paired with the database, all those samskaras matching the trend that we are going through, under the auspices of the planets, fructify. So if at a particular time our destiny is meant to provide us with wealth, good looks, luxury and all that, the matching stored samskaras will fructify. On the other hand, if our destiny is supposed to provide us physical pain, losses in business, etcetera, the karmas matching this negative period will come to the fore (just like in a game of cards where you can only use the cards of the same colour on the table at that time).

So this waft and weft goes on and on. When emotion is added to the mixture and we take ownership of this fructified karma, the circle is formed. And a thought that was not ours to own, but only to receive and let go, lands up becoming a part of our karma. A part of the Profit & Loss (P&L) of our lives – to pay for or be paid for in the latter part of this life or in future lives. (more at www.karmasutra.co.in)

Quite messy!

 

Of course, the opposite is also true. This time, it’s not guilt, it’s pride of ownership. If our thoughts, which are not our own, lead to deeds that we perceive as worthy, we become proud of ourselves for having done something wonderful or great. Examples of worthy deeds include helping someone in need, practicing philanthropy or any other karma which is perceived as good karma.

 

And so swings the pendulum. Good, bad, right, wrong, blah, blah, blah. Now we like ourselves and now we don’t. Duality has its day. Delusion rules on!

 

Another thing to be said about thoughts is that Yes, the original thought might come from outside, but if we do not let it pass, it connects to the coded messages and experiences held in our karmashaya body (which is attached to the spirit body of a person. It’s like an external hard disk and is the cause for our destiny as it holds the samskaras that need to be fructified into karmas) and a chain of thoughts springs thereof. One connects to another and before you know it, you are the producer of a short film.

 

Thoughts from the Karmashaya

 

We must also take into consideration the rising of thoughts into our conscious awareness from the karmashaya (the hard disk of the kaarna sharir). The future chapter on Vitarkas & Vicharas will throw more light.

 

Here is the temptation to branch out into pleasurable thoughts; some acceptable, some not so acceptable. The critical point to be aware of is that we are not responsible for our thoughts. But, if we allow ourselves to dwell on them we will certainly find them turning into feelings or virtual deeds that will get stored in our kaarna (causal) body or karmashaya (The Third Body, a lot more is explained about this body in Chapter III).

 

Once again, we run the risk of these feelings becoming downers of self-esteem in our own mind’s eye. Though at the level of the intellect, we know how to discriminate, at the level of the mind, we are married to the senses. Our sense of taste, smell, touch, sound and sight brings us down to lower levels of consciousness. The mind misguides us with temptation and attachment.

 

It is the nature of the mind to lead us to value enjoyment. But please note, enjoyment is an expenditure of time and not an investment. ‘We spent a lovely evening today’ normally means we spent our time pleasurably and not productively. (Productivity vis-à-vis our inner selves, service to others, other forms of Good Karma).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reviewing thoughts through the bioscope of the common mind.

 

 

 

The word ‘spent’ explains itself.

 

Talking about unacceptable thoughts or dreams, here is an interesting story. Giri, who met Gurudev along with us in 1982, was a devout follower and spent a lot of time in Gurgaon. He would often drive Gurudev around to Delhi and back. One day he drove Gurudev to the farm and fell asleep soon after. He got a hot dream which unfortunately turned out to be a wet one. Embarrassed, he walked up to Gurudev and complained. Gurudev asked him not to feel awkward about it. He said after some time these things won’t happen. He was empathetic and asked Giri not to feel guilty (refer to Vitarkas in later chapters).

 

Another follower of Gurudev complained that he used to get wet dreams featuring his own mother. He was emotionally broken by this experience. Gurudev said just don’t think about this anymore. It will never happen again. It probably didn’t.

 

The point in both these examples is that both the recipients of these dreams felt guilty and had a low opinion of themselves. Gurudev did not want to allow that.

 

The key here is to realise that such thoughts or dreams or opinions that are embarrassing and self-defeating should not be allowed to become snakes in our Snakes and Ladders game of life. Acceptance of these negative thoughts without harbouring guilt is the way forward. Very often, we do not know how to deal with our thoughts so we try to douse them with intoxicants or music. We would rather dull the mind than face it, and it is not by any chance an easy proposition to deal with thousands of unnerving thoughts. They take us to a level of judging ourselves poorly and keep us there. We cannot tread where even Angels fear to tread. We cannot accept ourselves as part of the Consciousness Supreme. Our limitations (which are self-created) do not allow the luxury of self-worship. We can worship the water in the ocean, but not so in a glass of fresh lime soda – though the core of both is the same, the lime and the fizz are only adulterations and limitations. We need to accept ourselves on an ‘as is where is’ basis.

 

YES WE DO!

 

Besides the nature of thoughts that we have discussed above, there are reflections and reactions in our citta (the subconscious mind and more) to external stimuli. Like someone tossing an object towards you can make you duck with the thought that you might get hit. If somebody is explaining a concept to you, and you ponder on what they are saying that can be dubbed as a reflective thought. Reading out of a magazine or a book and watching a movie also leads to reflective or reactive thoughts which become a part of the citta as a nature of comprehension.

 

The focus of the paragraphs above was on significant thinking which leads to guilt, pride, inspiration and other such emotions. We have not gone overtly into indexing thoughts as that was not the criteria for our subject.

 

Aham Brahmasmi: Expanding Our Egos

 

Every one of us is God, the Consciousness Supreme, the ‘Father who Art in Heaven’. We have in us the same divine energy that Krishna had, that Jesus did.

 

 

The ups and downs of our self-assesment: a never-ending game!

Unfortunately, we have More! We have the existence of our ego consciousness, our adulterations of who we are, our individuality, our limitations, our self-impressions. If I am Hingori, then being Hingori brings with it its own baggage. She is my wife, this is my house, my son, my car, my place of work, my religion and finally, my body (actually bodies).

 

This is a case of where being ‘more’ makes us lesser. The question is how do we shed this ‘more’? Don’t you wish there was a spiritual laundry that we could go to. Where we could cleanse this extra baggage and get rid of it? Wish it were so simple. The tragedy is that our extra baggage includes a few things that we cannot contemplate, our samskaras, our desire to live in this life, beyond this life and forever (the Sanskrit name for this force or will to live is Asisa).

 

This will to exist in the human form or in the astral form keeps us bound and entangled with our samskaras. These samskaras are stored data (in coded form) of the impressions of our various lives. They could in some way be called the ‘memory’ of our existence.

 

Even though we can intellectually understand this concept, the process of getting rid of this ‘more’ involves elimination of the samskaras and our will to exist eternally.

 

Bit by bit we need to cleanse ourselves of our adulterations, our false perceptions of ourselves. It is only after Jesus realised that his identity of being a carpenter’s son is a delusion, could he think of himself as the ‘Son of God’. When he shed that ‘more’ he became a part of divinity in self reflection. It was the same with Gurudev or the Buddha or any other saint in history. Their career of divinity started only when they shed their perception of their physical and social reality.

 

One of the obstacles to our being able to shed the perceptions we hold of ourselves is our lack of knowledge of destiny. Until we understand this concept better, we will always blame ourselves for all our actions and often even our thoughts.

 

So lets examine it!

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A mahurat is the birth of a moment at a cross-section of time and space with its own future trends. Our lives are influenced by this.

 

Knowledge is Power – Chapter 2

Destiny

 

Astrology

 

Many people do not accept the concept of planets and their chemistry being co-related to ours. The subject of Astrology, which attempts to map this, is often scoffed at. Of course, there are a lot of quacks in the market who study the basics and become astrologers to earn a quick buck. There are others who scare gullible people into performing expensive pujas. Others do not have the talent, are plain lazy, and do not want to get into the finer details in order to predict with detailed analysis. Their impatience can make them miss out on some combinations that might help them analyse the chart accurately. But, a bad doctor does not the science of medicine unmake.

 

Let us understand the subject and see how it works. Let us also examine why it seems to not work.

 

The birth of a person is considered to be a mahurat. It is the moment of time corrected by adjusting the longitude, so that it is not IST or GMT but time at that specific place. At the mahurat of Birth, the planets are juxtaposed in a particular configuration. Both vis- a-vis the place of birth, as well as with reference to each other.

 

At this frozen moment of time, which is at a particular cross-section of time and space, a chart is made showing the position of the planets as placed in the zodiac, divided into 12 signs like Sagittarius, Libra, Scorpio, etc.

 

The position of each planet in different signs of the zodiac and their interaction with the other planets, both in the frozen birth chart and their movement thereafter, indicate the trends of a person’s future. The future is that of the mahurat, or the particular moment, and works congruently with the future of the person, animal, plant or anything taking birth at that mahurat in the physical plane. It could be the inauguration of a shop or the launch of an enterprise as well.

 

The frozen chart at the time of mahurat is called the Birth Chart or kundali and the movement of the planets as time goes by is called the transit. After the chart is frozen at the time of birth, the planets continue to move at their own pace thereafter, shifting their location as compared to the birth configuration. Just like the sun shifts each month to a different sign, so do other planets at a different pace. The Sun comes back to each sign in a year, Jupiter in 12 years, Saturn in several more as it stays in each sign for 2.5 to 3 years.

 

Due to the fact that the planets move at different paces, their chemistry does not remain the same as it was at the mahurat of Birth. It is dynamic and gives a number of configurations leading to innumerable results. This is what makes the subject hard to interpret. But it also makes life so variable and unpredictable.

 

I have tried to simplify the subject only for you to get a whiff of it. The method described above is called Vimshotri technique. In this there is the system of dasas or periods ruled by the planets. Whichever sign is rising in the N.E. (at your birth time) is called the ascendant. They have also devised a system of configuring how many years belong to each planet where it is considered the ruler of a dasa or a period of time. For example, each person’s life is divided into 120 years and the nine planets have a share of those 120 years. Some have less and some more.

 

Thus, the dasa or period of Jupiter (where it is the major influence) lasts 16 years, the Sun – 7 years, Moon – 9 years, Venus – 20 years, Rahu – 18 and so on. Each dasa unfolds a particular broad destiny trend of its own. This depends on where the planet is placed in your birth chart and which celestial bodies are influencing it. The influences could be other planets occupying a position near it in the same sign, or an aspect from an opposite or diagonally opposite sign. To complicate things further, the planet can be in a house or sign that is friendly or unfriendly. Each dasa is divided into sub-periods and inter-periods which are periods within periods, just like there are smaller gear wheels which turn larger ones. The trend of this period will vary based on these and many more factors. The pages above are not to help you become astrologers, they are a semi-detailed explanation to make you understand that the subject is far more intricate and deep than reading your Star Sign messages in the daily newspaper.

The analysis of how to judge the trends was discovered by ancient fathers who understood this science intuitively and left it behind as a legacy to future generations. Astrologers say that these scriptures were partial documents of a perfect science, propounded by Lord Shiva himself and passed on by his consort Parvati to the seven Rishis. They were re-documented later by Rishi Parashar and it is that knowledge that flows down to us today.

 

In spite of its missing links and shortcomings, the science of Astrology, Tarot or Palmistry can amaze people with the ability to predict events.

 

My wife’s classmate Maggie was standing for elections in a particular state. He was a second-generation politician, his father having a reputation of being honest. A lotus in the pond! Maggie had worked hard for over 10 years in his constituency. He was loved by friends, associates, and the public. He attended all marriages, death ceremonies and functions of villagers in his constituency and gave gifts to all the villagers out of his personal earnings. He was sure to win. I unfortunately, connected him to my friend, an astrologer in the U.S. After asking for his date of birth, place and time, he quickly calculated the position of the planets on his software and five minutes later, he said there was no chance Maggie could win this election. He said only if all other candidates died could he possibly win. Maggie had been told he was a sure winner. His face fell! The Astrologer called back a little later and said four years later his luck would change and Maggie would win the next election hands down. No question. Maggie lost the upcoming election! Four years later, he was appointed the State Secretary of his party. Five years later, he won despite heavy odds against him. Does Maggie believe in Astrology now? As this book goes into print, the astrologer says he has a great career ahead. Good luck Maggie!

 

Personally, I have had the opportunity of witnessing many predictions come true. Our friend was getting married to a member of our Club. They had been dating for four years. The Astrologer, mentioned earlier, was also a member of Otters Club. After reading her palm, he said she should not marry her fiancé. The marriage would not last. We all laughed, they got married, had a couple of kids, and then got divorced. Uncanny!

The lines on the palms are indicative of the future trends of our lives.

 

 

 

My brother-in-law was a senior executive of one of India’s largest multinationals. He was popular and liked by all his seniors. When my sister showed his horoscope to my friend, the Astrologer, he said he didn’t see a good future in my brother-in-law’s chart. He said my sister would be the bread earner. Unfortunately she is. He died in an air crash 20 years ago.

 

A senior executive in my company was looking disturbed for many months. I kept wondering what was bothering him. I called up my friend in New York and gave him the details of his birth chart. A few minutes later, he asked me what the matter was. I said my executive’s depression. I could not believe

 

what the Astrologer said next. He said my executive had been having an extra-marital affair which may have gone sour. That was the cause of his sadness. Hesitantly, I asked the executive if he was having an affair. He said “Sir, do you think I am that kind of person?” I said, “Not at all.” The astrologer had erred for sure. Six months later, the executive told me about his affair and wanted advice on what to do about it.

 

Tarot

 

If you look beyond Astrology and Palmistry, at Tarot, you will find a lot to mystify you. My wife’s sister-in-law is a brilliant Tarot Reader. My daughter was fed up of working with a real estate developing company and wanted to resign. She asked her aunt Bindu (the Tarot Reader) to do a reading. The Tarot Reader said it’s a good idea and my daughter should resign. She told my daughter not to worry, she may get another job the same day. I was irritated with those weirdly sized cards.

 

That evening had a story to tell. My daughter resigned and the M.D. of her company accepted, but offered her another job in the same company, with a completely different profile. Maybe they weren’t so weird, those Tarot cards.

 

Psychic Predictions – a personal experience

 

When I was in college, I liked a girl, but it just wasn’t working. I used every strategy in the book. The flowers, the violin, the charm. It worked and then it didn’t. I was depressed. I wasn’t used to the weight of that little word ‘No’. I visited a lady called ‘Mataji’ in Dadar. Many had praised her psychic abilities. My friend Gopal drove me there. He didn’t really ask where we were going. When we found the address and went into Mataji’s house, we saw an unimpressive lady seated on the floor. She said “Mee Mataji” in Marathi. Before we knew what to say, she said Gopal would be in bed for 15 days if he did not change his high-heeled boots. She also told him he was having an affair with a Muslim lady living a few houses away from him.

 

When he looked defiant, she said her name was Rehana or Rukshana, she had a round face and was married. Gopal was out of there. And he did trip, got a nasty sprain and was in bed for two weeks.

 

I was quite nervous and speechless. She told me to show her the photo. I did. It was in an envelope. How did she know? Anyway, she said you will have no relationship with this girl. There were several girls in the photo! She pointed to the one. She said her mother had asthma and ulcers. The next day, the young lady confirmed the mother’s ailments, but could not figure out how I knew. And nothing developed between us. Thank God for that! Finally I married a much nicer person (a little aggressive in old age, but nicer all the same).

 

Sabina’s Tryst with a Psychic

 

A well-known restaurateur’s girlfriend was working with British Airways. Her boyfriend was about to launch a high-profile restaurant in Mumbai. It was a huge gamble. She went to see a psychic in London to ask how this venture would fare. The psychic said it would do well and that she saw a small pond with fish in it. Her name was Ann Walker. She had a spirit guide whose name was White Arrow (I guess spirits need better branding agents!). Sabina disagreed. She said there was no fish tank at all. The psychic claimed she could see it and she was certain.

 

Sabina had not been to her boyfriend’s restaurant for a few days and had no clue about the open fish tank that had been suggested by their Vaastu Consultant. When she returned, she was surprised to see the fish tank. Her husband is one of India’s best-known restaurateurs. His name is A.D. Singh.

 

The most unique predictions I experienced were with Gurudev. Twenty-five to thirty years ago he had said Mumbai would be flooded, many would die and water levels would rise to a high point. It happened two decades after he passed on.

 

My father and I were going to Gurgaon from Chandigarh by road. We had a long argument between Ambala and Karnal. I insisted on meeting Gurudev on our way back and grudgingly my father accepted. He sat in the car and I walked into Gurudev’s house to take his blessings. He looked at me disappointed and asked if I’d argued with my father. I mumbled and said it was nothing. He went on to repeat both our conversations in exact words. Shocking! How? He then advised me to apologise and I did.

 

One of my college friends and I regularly met Gurudev together. He was a simple Chartered Accountant with a small practice, but a magnanimous heart. Gurudev would often say to him “I will make you a world famous leader and one of India’s best politicians.” We would be thrilled to hear this, but there was no sign to suggest that this might come true. He wasn’t even a member of any political group. Years passed and he rose in rank to become Chairman of a Public Limited Co. Three months before the Parliamentary elections, he was offered a seat by a party. He was a minister for seven years, holding four important portfolios. He is invited internationally to give talks on various platforms and admired for his humility and honesty. He acknowledges Guru’s grace, lives simply and does not take advantage of his position. Surprisingly, his wife and son are both humble and never try to impress. He knows what is today, was exactly what was meant to be. Hence the humility. He does his utmost to fulfil his duty and goes out of his way to be nice to his junior most workers. He considers his job an opportunity to serve people. That is his purusharth (self-effort). There are many more stories, but I guess the ones above are adequate to make a case. Is it possible to know the future?

 

Yes! Yes! Yes! A many times, Yes!

 

Later in this book, I will share some case studies about the predictions of the Bhrigu Samhita in Hoshiyarpur. Of how I saw them unfold as a witness. Add to this collection of my stories, the predictions of Nostradamus, the famous Indian astrologer B.V. Raman, and what does it spell? It spells Destiny.

 

So, and it’s a big so, if the trends of our life are predetermined and the future has already happened in a cross section of time and space that lies ahead, how do we examine the concept of Guilt? Nostradamus had predicted the life of Hitler, 400 years before Hitler was born. So did the little man have the choice of not being the architect of the Second World War? Could he have stopped the chain of events and misery that he seemed to have created? Could Alexander have become a trumpeter instead, Jesus, a star carpenter, Buddha, a benevolent King?

 

Life does not happen the way it logically should. Circumstances are not predictable through logic. We are destined to orchestrate those screw-ups. Say stupid things. Be selfish, be charitable, be indifferent or insensitive or we could be self-sacrificing and become Gandhis (not these political ones) or Martin Luther Kings or Guru Gobind Singhs.

 

The boy who went to study law in England, never planned to walk around in khadi and win a war of independence. He never planned to fast in protest. Destiny had it for him to become a Mahatma. There are many billionaires. How many turn around from being cut-throat businessmen to pure philanthropists? Why Bill Gates?

 

Why Azim Premji? Why Warren Buffet?

 

Destiny: A Fructification

 

Destiny is a result of the line-up of karmas waiting to fructify. They can do so only in sync with the chemistry of the planets. When the movement of planets is negative for you, your negative karmas will get fructified. And conversely, when you have a good star movement, you will have your desires fulfilled, be lucky in love, money, fame, war, or whatever seems to be positive (though it may not really be so).

 

Even the dreams you get during positive planetary movements can be good ones with spiritual visions and happy experiences.

 

These karmas are fruits of the stored up samskaras in the long-term memory of our inner consciousness.

 

For those who have not studied the meanings of samskaras and don’t understand the play of karmas, you may like to read a book called Karma Sutra (for details log on to karmadestinyguru.com). Understanding the subject of karma will help you understand destiny better.

 

For our subject here, it is important for us to accept that there is a destiny and things happen just as they are supposed to happen. It is understandable when the so-called intelligentsia disagree by saying life is what you make of it. They will turn out to be the czars of samskaras. They will have to take birth after birth to complete the circles they draw themselves. In order to become free from the circle of birth and death, they will have to surrender their intellect to realisation and wisdom.

 

‘If you sit at home and do nothing, will things happen for you?’ ‘It is effort that gives results.’ These are opinions I hear often. Naturally, the common person is going to defy the belief in fate. It has taken more than 30 years and thousands of experiences to make me believe in destiny. I am happy to have shared with you earlier and hereafter some interesting experiences that might influence your belief.

(Please refer to Purusharth, self-effort, a few pages ahead.) Though it seems to disagree with what is written above, on the face of it. If you go into the depth of it, you will realise that it does not.)

 

Bhrigu’s Prophecy

 

A close friend of my father’s, Dr. Chandra, was a wonderful human being, and had three children. He visited the Bhrigu Nadi at Hoshiyarpur to know the future of his family. His son was a student at the film institute in Pune and his daughters were both lovely girls. The Bhrigu Nadi predicted his son’s career would not take off and he did not have a good material future at all. When the son graduated from the film institute he was one of the luckiest ones from his class and got himself a role as the hero in a film. The film was being made by a producer who had released several hit films in the last few years. The famous Dharmendra, who was a top star at the time, also had a prominent role in the film. People expected this film to do very well. It bombed at the box office! The young man was far more handsome than most heroes of his time, but luck was not his to benefit from. He got a few roles in small plays thereafter. Currently he teaches song and drama in a school in South India. A star was not made and Bhrigu knew it 2500 years ago.

 

Dr. Chandra’s elder daughter was unbelievably shy of talking to men and refused to meet potential suitors. Her parents, disheartened by her shy approach, tried to unsuccessfully introduce her to several prospective partners. She would always say no. I tried to hitch her with an acquaintance of mine from Abu Dhabi but as usual she said no, without even meeting the handsome suitor. Bhrigu had said, she will have two children. She got married at the age of 39 to a man who already had a son from his first wife. She had a child of her own, and Bhrigu was right, 2500 years ago.

 

Dr. Chandra called my mother and announced that he was going to die in August of a particular year. He was not unhealthy, and so my mother did not believe him. And Bhrigu was right 2500 years ago. He died a natural death in August.

 

Statutory Warning: The predictions I have cited are the ones which worked magically well, however, the same astrologers have made mistakes in other cases and not all their predictions have turned out accurate. So though the science is amazingly accurate, the practitioners are prone to making errors of judgement.

 

Acceptance of Destiny

 

Knowledge of the existence of destiny can provide the necessary shift from expecting to accepting.

 

Most people believe that they can make things happen. However, they feel that though they can make things happen, they probably don’t try hard enough, or they make mistakes, or someone else does not allow it, or a thousand other reasons why what we expect to make happen, doesn’t happen.

 

That we cannot accept. We have to find a fault. More often than not, our own.

 

We didn’t plan things well enough, got distracted, didn’t persevere enough, and so on, and so endlessly on!

 

Failure of our expectations leads to disappointments. We should have, could have, would have, are three famous quick fire excuses. There are 360 degrees of viewpoints from where you can look down upon yourself. Therefore inferiority complex is an easy infection to catch. We even pay to get convinced that we are idiots! Hard to believe isn’t it? These are some of the handicaps that you need to deal with on the journey towards self-acceptance and self-love

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This morning, I received a clip about a brilliant speaker, who seems to be drawing thousands of people to his lectures on life sciences etc. He gives a vivid example and at the end of the story he asks, ‘how many of you agree that the greatest obstacle in your lives is you?’ 5000-odd people raise their hands in acceptance.

 

Religious teachers convince us we are bad. We agree.

 

Management speakers show us how shallow we are. We agree. My belief is, if this is what I am, then this is what I am! I may not be a cool dude, nor the prettiest girl in town, nor the richest, nor the most intellectual, nor the smartest, nor the, nor the, nor the …….but this is what I was meant to be and this is what I am. This is me on an ‘as is where is’ basis. The created me, the intended, the destined me. The result of the Karmic Me. But not, the Guilty Me!

 

Surmounting Guilt

About 30 years ago, I was sitting in a room, locked from the inside. I had a meat chopper in my left hand. I was planning to chop off my right hand. I had slapped a worker with my right hand for having being insolent and insulting. He was a certified pain-in-the-neck, no doubt.

 

Having chosen the spiritual path, how could I do something like this?

 

I felt guilty. I was going to punish myself.

 

I was counselling myself that I would feel the pain and surely my family would hospitalise me. I would lose a lot of blood but I guess I would survive. But what I was about to do was only fair and well-deserved. The only problem was, would my left hand have the strength to chop off my right hand? I was working out the logistics in a kind of dazed, emotional upheaval, state of confusion, fear, whatever, when all of a sudden, I heard a silent voice in my ears. It was like a voice without a sound. One-hundredth of a whisper, but clear and distinct. The voice said, “Who are you to blame me? You are my painting. I am the artist. By blaming yourself, you are blaming me.” I was shell-shocked.

 

I felt guilty about being guilty.

 

I am what I am because this is what I was meant to be. If I am guilty, then my destiny is guilty.

 

Does that mean this book is an advocacy to do whatever you like and blame it on the power supreme? It would seem so to people who want to think convenience. Not to people who think acceptance.

 

The advocacy here is Acceptance. I accept the fact that in a fit of anger, I slapped Khemchand, the domestic worker. I would hope and pray that such an act is not a part of my future karma. I would apologise and try and compensate Khemchand with a monetary reward, a gift, an apology. I would ensure that my mind was convinced to find other ways to react to such situations! The result would be the way in which future destiny manifests itself in the present. I was to be a changed man in the future and thus I would take the effort to make that difference in the present.

 

If the future was supposedly not to be as it is destined to be, my mind would have been inspired to think of behaving differently in the present. To explain this more simply, events of the present lead to effects in the future. What you sow today, fruits tomorrow.

 

So if you look at this in the reverse, what is fruiting today is because of what was sown in the past. The future would inspire thoughts in its past {Refer to later chapter on Reverse Purusharth}. I had to become a spiritual person and so I had to contract arthritis which would make me meet Gurudev. The seed for my spiritual fruit was arthritis.

 

Another line of thinking is, if my business had to fail in the future, I might be inspired to strategise wrongly in the present.

 

If destiny is a movie already made, then isn’t it wiser to be a witness? A viewer? The fact that Bhrigu & Nostradamus, Mataji & Gurudev had been able to predict the future, means the future has happened, but we haven’t reached there yet.

 

So, if you have reached the interval of the movie, you know for sure that after the popcorn, you are going to watch the second half. You know the movie is fully made. (Refer to Purusharth). So you can accept the second half as it comes, even though you have not seen the end. You are aware that the movie in every show has the same end.

You are not aspiring or fighting to change the end or the story as it is. But in a cricket match, you don’t know which way the match will go. So you are cheering and jeering and hoping and praying for your team to win. The results produce emotions either way. Would they do so if you were watching the replay? No! You know the future of the match. So there is acceptance.

 

The problem is ignorance. Avidya. If we were seers, we would know the future. Then we would accept and not expect. The words of Albert Einstein add another dimension to this concept. “I see a pattern, but my imagination cannot picture the maker of that pattern. I see a clock, but I cannot envision the clock-maker. The human mind is unable to conceive of the four dimensions, so how can it conceive of a God, before whom a thousand years and a thousand dimensions are as one?”

 

Self-Blame

 

Girls who cannot get married till a late age, for whatever reason, get depressed. ‘There is something wrong with me!’ A common strain of thought is the result of loss of self-esteem.

 

When marriages don’t work out, and break-ups happen, there has to be something wrong with him or her.

 

When a couple can’t conceive and the doctors don’t find a reason, again it leads to depression. ‘What have we done wrong?’ ‘Why can’t we have kids?’

 

This is a matter of destiny people! It has nothing to do with self-blame. Your karmas are already lined up to fructify, so you either watch them happen and accept them or you fight a battle to make them happen your way. A losing battle!

 

Rabia was one of the early Sufi Saints. She was sold to slavery when she was young and a great famine hit Basra. Her master made her work as a prostitute. She had great love for the divine and prayed a lot. One day her master saw her with a suspended lantern above her head, spreading light. He was in awe and freed her. She became a great saint. Could she have done that with guilt of the fact that she had been a prostitute and a slave? I doubt it! In spite of the odds, she had confidence in herself and faith in the power she worshipped. Can’t we do better than that?

 

To summarise the subject of guilt, one needs to emphasise that guilt is a corrective tool for social governance. If people felt that there was nothing wrong with telling lies, punishing others, making others suffer, etc., I guess there would not be any need for penal codes, courtrooms, intelligence agencies, child corrective facilities and other such.

 

It’s a double-edged sword. We teach our children to feel guilty. It’s important for them to know the consequences of lies, theft and the rest of the gambit. They have been taught the two sides of the coin since birth. In fact, since they got promoted to being human beings. Birth after birth. ‘You must give your children good samskaras.’

 

We even give our pets relevant samskaras like don’t pee in the house, don’t jump on the guests and we call this dog training or cat training. “Don’t eat the neighbour”, I guess, must be tiger training.

 

The short of it is that for civilisation to exist, sure, we need to define right and wrong. But for a person who wants to go ‘beyond’ what we call a normal person, the rules need to be different. Self rules, not society rules.

For people who don’t want to be governed by the laws of karma, who want to walk on the path of identifying themselves not merely as social individuals, who want to realise within themselves, more than just their physical and social identities, the rules that they follow in self-perception have to be different.

 

Rama: Beyond Guilt

 

The story of Rama showed his difference in perceptions. He rose far beyond guilt, beyond duality of good and bad, right and wrong, black and white, God and devil, heaven and hell. Yes, He did!

 

Several of his actions would not be judged by mere mortals as ‘acceptable’. One of the very controversial stories in the epic Ramayana is where Rama shoots King Bali who was the brother and adversary of Rama’s ally, Sughreev. King Bali had the blessing that he could capture half the power of anybody who fights him face-to-face. No one could face him, with half their power amalgamated in his, thus he was undefeated. So Lord Rama hid behind a tree and shot an arrow into the back of King Bali, thereby ending his reign.

 

Readers of this epic have criticised Lord Rama for killing a man in the back, by no means considered an act of valour in any society or form of warfare. Actually it was considered an act of cowardice. But Lord Rama was a student of Guru Vashisht, who had taught him that this world was a delusion of the mind. Nothing was real, and everything was a figment of imagination, thereby making duality unworthy of merit. He was beyond guilt. And therefore did not feel guilty or embarrassed by his action. It is only when you reach a level ‘X’ in your evolution can you harbour that philosophy. If Rama had not thought like that, would he not be susceptible to loss of self-esteem?

 

Another story in the Ramayana, is the one where a mere washerman challenges the chastity of the Lady Sita, the divine wife of Rama. Even though Sita had faced a trial by fire, where she sat in a fire to prove that her chastity was sacrosanct, the washerman opined that Sita should give a trial by fire in the capital.

 

Being the king, Lord Rama could easily have ignored this comment but he did not. He asked her to sit again in another trial by fire to satisfy the doubts raised by the washerman. Was there any logic in that? Doesn’t make Lord Rama look either wise or intelligent, does it? And yet he did ask this of her and she, disappointed by his judgement, asked for Mother Earth to consume her. Evidently, or as myth has it, this happened at a place which has now been called Sitamari, somewhere between Varanasi and Allahabad.

 

To the hero of the Ramayana there was nothing right or wrong, so he just went about doing whatever he thought was needed, without looking at two sides of the coin: right and wrong, good and bad. When one of the poorest people in his land wanted him to request his wife to give another trial by fire, he decided to accept it. He realised that if people did not see him as a champion of moral values, they could resort to immorality as a backlash, so in order to sustain moral values (which were far from relevant in my personal opinion), he made this demand of his wife and lost her. He did punish King Ravana for abducting his wife but held no malice towards him because he understood the whole series of events as nothing more than maya.

 

You may have your own take on this subject and you are entitled to. Personally, I always looked upon Lord Rama without much respect. I thought he was a character unworthy of worship. These examples and more that I have cited above were enough justification for my disrespect. But when I read the teachings that he had undergone as a pupil of Guru Vashisht, I understood the man and learned to look up to him. (I have not forgotten that the divine spark in Rama is no different than the divine spark in you or me – there is only a difference in stages of refinement. Different timing, different level, and different destiny).

 

Then Vashisht asked Rama:

 

‘O Rama, what else do you want to hear from me? How do you perceive the world-appearance now? What is your inner experience?’

 

Rama replied:

 

‘By your grace I have attained supreme purity, all the impurities have cleared away. All my misunderstandings and delusions have been dispelled. My bondage has been cut. My intelligence is pure like a crystal. My mind does not crave for more instructions, I have nothing to do with anything – neither instructions nor any objects, neither relatives nor scriptures, nor even renunciation. I behold the world as the pure, infinite, indivisible consciousness. The world is otherwise a void which disappears the moment the illusion vanishes. I shall do whatever you wish that I should do, and I shall live doing whatever I have to do or wish to do, without exultation or depression, for my delusion has been dispelled. Whether this creation becomes something else, whether the winds of cosmic dissolution blow or whether this country be prosperous, I am established in self-knowledge. I am at peace. My vision is clear. It is difficult for my real state to be seen and understood. I am free from hopes and desires. I shall live and rule like other kings; whether they are enlightened or ignorant, but without mental agitation and endowed with equal vision. As long as this body lasts I shall rule this kingdom, endowed with a pure vision and freed from all doubts concerning the nature of this samsara, just as a child engages itself in play.’ (from Supreme Yoga by Venkateshananda)

 

The path to a spiritual climb has to be off the beaten one. If there is no difference in your approach, how will there be a difference in your destination?

 

You do not need to wear a placard of MISFIT. You just have to be a different fit. Climbing Mt. Everest is not a walk in the park.

 

Guilt brings you down to self non-acceptance. It blinds you to the reality of who and what each human being has the potential for. You will need to follow societal norms when you live in society. You will need to heed social governance, undoubtedly. You may pay fines for breaking traffic rules, but you cannot burden yourself with that guilt. It will end up becoming a samskara for one, and it will not allow you to realise your self-worth either. We have to lead our lives at multiple levels even as some of those levels will contradict each other. When at work we get paid for achieving productivity. We may need to punish others or reprimand them. This may not suit our spiritual nature, but it’s just role play. There are many such examples: on one hand you like to help people but on the other, you may have to reduce their perks or salaries in order to make the organisation profitable. My company has tenants who are not willing to give back our premises. They are demanding ridiculous amounts as compensation. It did not hurt me spiritually to get our company to file a court case against them for receiving justice.

 

We have to do what we have to do.

 

Our lives have to be practical but fair. If we behave like teddy bears, we will be treated as such. A snake needs to show its fangs to keep others in awe otherwise people will just trample it (old Indian saying). We have to have double standards for self-evaluation. Many of you who read this may disagree. Accepted!

 

Don’t forget, climbing a mountain involves not a straight path, but several twists and turns. The choice is yours. But regardless, surmount GUILT

 

Two Guilts Become None

 

A distant cousin of mine, Neena, got married to a cousin of my wife. The marriage didn’t work and she wanted out. She asked me to help her get out of the relationship but naturally it was an awkward situation for me. She had not played fair in that marriage. I had no right to ask my wife’s cousin to grant her a divorce. Being a shrewd woman she tried to influence me by talking to one of my spiritual associates. This did not work. I refused to get involved. Being shrewder than I had calculated, she went to Gurudev and begged him to get me to do her this favour. We were all in Gurgaon and I met her there. Earlier I had met Gurudev and paid him my respects. There was no talk of Neena even though I knew that she had approached him to instruct me to do her bidding. She visited me at the sthan in Mumbai, a few days later. Without batting an eyelid, with a straight face, I told her an absolute lie. I said that Gurudev had already spoken to me about the subject and I would do the needful. She said, ‘Yes, I know. He already told me that he had a conversation with you that very day, in Gurgaon, and that you had agreed to fulfil my request.’

 

How was this possible? I had lied but my lie turned out to be a truth. The guilt I felt during the moments that I was telling her the lie vanished. I remember Gurudev once told me that we have to go beyond lies and the truth, but I never understood what that meant.

What that means is that as long as we speak from the level of our inner consciousness, what emerges is beyond the perceived truth. I realise that the truth cannot be limited to the five senses and how they interpret the truth. Being pronounced guilty by reference only to the senses probably lacks perfection.

The point I’m trying to make is guilt gives us a complex about being inferior, about having been wrong. At a subconscious level there arises the emotion of correcting the wrong, about making it right. Inadvertently, you programme a punishment in your samskaras and have to bear it later. Guilt at a conscious level makes you dislike yourself and is an insurmountable obstacle to self-love.

 

You need to learn to love yourself despite guilt. The coffee may be guilty because it has lost its purity of being pure water, but coffee needs to love itself as pure water, by being able to see pure water as its core ingredient and accepting the fact that coffee, milk and sugar are adulterations that can be removed by a process of cleansing or Shuddhi and once removed the purity can be restored.

 

Purusharth

 

So then what is purusharth?

 

Guru Vashisht, in his discourse to Rama, talks about purusharth. This means self-effort, freezing on intent and chasing the mind to work towards it. In simpler words, if we were to create a desire to attain something and continue to sustain that desire on a long term basis, that would qualify as intent. In the words of Don Juan, a yaqui Indian sorcerer, the best way to do something is by the ‘not doing’ of it.

 

Sustaining of desire and not making physical efforts to achieve the desire, making it an ambition of the citta and not of the mind alone, ensures the use of a lot more power for its attainment. This is a method far more effective than the normal effort made actively by the body inspired by the motivation of the mind. Efforts of the past fructify in the present and are called fate. Even in the past, our lives have been lived, influenced by the tendencies of destiny. In those lives, we have used our minds, referred to our intellect and formulated a certain intent towards our self-evolution. This intent has been sustained through prayers, penance and constant sustenance of our will-power. Most of this never happened in that life and remained an intent. It was a desire backed by emotion, so it became a seed called samskara, which was stored in our long term memory, and will fructify or has fructified as a karma in this life. A sequence of these fructifications, follow the tendencies that arise within us and lead to actions, called karma.

 

If you take ownership of this act, it is like taking the seeds out of the fruit and replanting them. They will again wait to fructify into actions or karma. In a future life, you will call it destiny. A good astrologer will be able to predict the trend of your life because it is programmed with the movement of the planets. It is also correlated with the destiny of others. Synchronisation – hard to fathom, yet there to experience.

 

The samskaras stored in your hard disk are in millions. Depending on your destiny trend, the samskaras will fructify. For example, if ill health is the trend, negative samskaras will fructify to give you ill health and make you suffer physically. If Venus is shining brightly, you may experience love, luxury, comfort and correspondingly, several thousands of positive samskaras will fructify to match this trend of your destiny. A kind of ethereal Mathematics! (I recommend you read the paragraph one more time).

 

This life’s movie is already made. The sequel can be more interesting thanks to purusharth. In this movie, some shots can be reshot. Some shots can get exhausted in a dream-state and therefore never happen in a physical state (the grace of the guru can provide this manipulation).

Guru Vashisht’s explanation, and my understanding and experience of it, is that he who makes the effort of intent today, shall enjoy the fruit another day!

 

It is not a hard and fast rule that purusharth will have to fructify only in another life. It could happen in this one. Often the grace of the guru, or a boon by any other power, can make the fructification happen in this life. tapasya (self-discipline and effort to achieve self-realisation), intense meditation, some tantrik kriyas, a lot of seva or service, mantra vidya are some of the ways whereby exceptions to the rule can happen.

 

A Siddha Guru can, if he chooses in extreme cases, give the benefits of the next life partially, in this one. I have seen Gurudev do that in many instances. He said that by making people wait in queues for hours together, he could count that as their tapasya and reward them for that. In very few cases he would give an extension of life by a couple of years or five at the most. This was often based on a person’s need to live either for seva or for some other extreme requirement.

 

Life Extended but Lost

 

During my initial days at the sthan in the early 80s, I spent a lot of time with Veerji (Mr.Kulbir Sethi, a senior disciple of Gurudev). One day, when I was on my way home with Veerji, I requested him if I could hop in and see Mr. Chaudhary, my father’s friend, who was hospitalised and supposed to be discharged the next day.

 

He accepted and I ran in and said hello. Mr. Chaudhary was declared fit and fine by the doctors. When I returned to the car, Veerji said in a serious tone that Mr. Chaudhary’s time was up. But, I said, he is being sent home as absolutely fit. “I’m afraid that’s not true. His time is up,” he said. Mr. Chaudhary went home the next day and was fine for three to four days, after which he was back in a critical condition. His daughter begged Veerji to help him recover. Veerji blessed her on behalf of Gurudev and said her father’s life may be extended, but he would have to go to Gurgaon every Guru Purnima. He came the first year but not the second. He died that year after Guru Purnima.

 

A Siddha Guru can sometimes make a karma happen even in your dream-state. It will qualify as extinguishment of a karma and you will escape it in your physical existence. Sometimes this phenomenon can take place even without a guru. People see someone close die in their dreams and the person lives on. Not everyone can benefit from the manipulation of deeds without the power of a guru or the power of intent and will power.

 

Purusharth of the past becomes a part of destiny as well. When better times lie ahead, a person starts thinking of personal growth. Of life after death. Of spiritual accomplishments.

 

A friend of mine from school is the police commissioner of a large city. He did a lot of service for police personnel and helped raise funds for cancer patients of police families. He was a devotee of Shakti. We were having lunch amongst a few batchmates and he said all he wanted in life was to find a Siddha Guru. He said, “Once I do that, my guru will take care of the rest. He will ensure my spiritual evolution and grant me salvation.” To him this was purusharth. He had faith that the power of the guru would ensure salvation for him. He felt this would be an outcome of purusharth.

 

When you have certain planets placed in beneficial positions, purusharth happens by default. With a good placement of planets which creates the tendencies of good deeds and evolved thoughts, a person is led by that destiny, to desire and intent to play the role of a benevolent, generous and spiritually-inclined person.

 

After Death Purusharth

 

Spirits in the interim period between one birth and another, go through a phase of reflection and desired correction of their negative qualities and shortcomings. I am assuming this is the story of at least some spirits on their way to evolution, if not all. They need to reverse the pitfalls, that brought them down in their last life, as corrective measures in the next one. Gurudev had a pet phrase “tapo raj, rajo narak”, which means tapasya in one life, leads to another life of good luck, which includes wealth of all kinds. However, misuse of that good luck leads to a future life of correction and suffering.

 

An excellent example is the story of a dear friend. He had a reading done by one of the very famous Nadis in the South. The reading said, ‘He was a greedy man in his last life who acquired a lot of property by hook or crook, including using unfair means to do so’. Today, in this life, he does not own any property and lives in the house provided to him by the government. He is a senior government official. His entire mission in this life is to work honestly and sincerely and to do as much good as he can for the public. I have no way of authenticating this besides the fact that I know him well and the reading seems to be pretty accurate. It is therefore, deductive logic that those of us who live with good luck should ensure that we do a lot of good in this life so that we can continue to sustain that luck over future lifetimes.

 

Before I was cured by Gurudev, I used to take homeopathic therapy from a healer called Mr. Marshal, a retired railway officer from Malkaunsbagh, Andheri . He had a planchet with a pendulum that would guide him on the kind of medication needed. He later disclosed that his late guru was the one who guided him and asked him not to charge patients. For both Mr. Marshal and his guru, this was purusharth, for the guru it was after death purusharth.

 

A Hypothetical Purusharth Study

 

To demonstrate how I best understand this subject, I would like you to imagine you are travelling from Mumbai to Delhi by train. The train departs and arrives at a designated time. It has a predetermined route. Your co-passengers are defined. Passenger 1 gets in, changes, enjoys the view out from the window, plays cards with his neighbour, has lunch, chats with his wife, is busy on Facebook, goes to the loo, spreads his bedding and at night, goes to sleep. In the morning, he does his chores and Delhi, here I come! That was Destiny for him, to travel to Delhi and have a nice, relaxed, pleasurable and luxurious journey.

 

Passenger 4, who is sitting on the top berth, does exactly the same kind of stuff, but he also spends three hours in meditation. He chants his mantra silently for another three to four hours during the journey. He gets out at the railway station and distributes biscuits to beggars on the platform. He helps to make the bed for passenger No. 3, an old lady. He has a box of Indian sweets that he shares with all the passengers. Some accept, some don’t. He offers some to the Ticket Collector, who is amused and embarrassed, but accepts. There is a slight argument between passengers 2 & 1. He helps to resolve that argument. This man has practised purusharth.

 

Controlling the cravings of the mind by curbing the senses is purusharth. If you are rich and have the money to buy expensive things and spend lavishly on yourself, you may find yourself being played by the senses. You might consider acquisition of the best cars, expensive art and vintage wines to be in good taste, but gyan or internal wisdom, may make you realise otherwise. But if your destiny is to be rich, controlling these cravings and practising frugality may be against the prevailing trend of the mind. At such times, it is purusharth or self-effort that will make you victorious.

There are umpteen number of situations in your day-to-day existence where you need purusharth to deflect the trends of destiny.

 

What I am trying to say is this: Negative thoughts either come to us from outside, or are a reaction by our minds, or they flow upwards from our long-term memory, and are later churned in our minds to become feelings. These feelings, if continuously sustained, develop into intent. This intent promotes action. That’s what I mean by trends of destiny. It is intense effort from within that helps deflect these trends of destiny. The reason why intense intent has miraculous results is because thoughts are energy; sustained thoughts amalgamate energy based on the reserves of a person. Therefore purusharth is backed by energy being continuously allocated to a particular desire or intent as long as this intent is worthy. But if one is pandering to whims and fancies, then it is not purusharth.

 

So either with luck, by the right guidance, or by pure intent, work towards purusharth and reap its fruit in the distant future. Or just watch the future unfold in the present and be an observer, and do not practice purusharth or self-effort. If you can do this with complete dispassion and in a fully detached way, that too will do. It’s tough but is also a path to exhausting samskaras. (Read the note on Karmamukta in Chap V)

 

There is a poem that came to Gita Bajaj in the form of messages, intuitively. Being a journalist in USA, she was very fond of writing about spiritual subjects. Some of these writings were not her own and she heard them in her inner ear. I quote a part of her poem called “The stranger who knocked on my door”. This is a conversation between the Future and the Present.

 

The stranger who knocked on my door

“I am the hopes of your mother and the dreams of your father.

I am the wishes of your brother and the concern of your sister.

I am yesterday’s secrets and today’s aspirations.

I am the nightmares that have vanished and the dreams that are no more.

I am the souls you will revere and the hearts you will transform.

I am the people you will serve and the loved ones with whom you will be reunited.

I am the laughter that will refill the sadness.

I am the frustration of encountering feeble minds and petty temperaments.

I am the outrage that responds to injustice.

I am the forgiveness that melts away the anger.

I am the healing of the wounded.

I am the redemption that meets repentance.

I am also the price you pay for your follies.

I am the lessons you have learned.

I am the recognition of your worth.

I am the reward for your tireless striving.

I am what duty caused you to sacrifice.

I am what diligence helped you achieve.

I am the purpose of what you do.

I am the reason you do not.

I am the fulfillment of desires.

I am also what was never meant to Be.

I am despair and disappointment.

I am life, I am its end. I am also its renewal.

I am knowledge. I am realization.

I am the Future.”

 

She received in her mind a reply from the Present……

All my life, it is I who have looked up to you. All my life, it is I who have looked ahead at you. All my life, I have believed that it is you who holds the rewards for humanity’s tireless striving, that it is you who hold the promise of a better world.

 

All my life, I have believed that what is conceived in me, will be born in you, what I give birth, will grow in you, what dies in me, will be renewed in you. All my life, I have believed, you are the father of all my children.

 

It is you who have the infinite possibilities.

It is you who unravel the mysteries.

It is you who holds the answers to humanity’s endless questions.

It is about you that prayers are made.

It is about you that men and women have dreams.

It is in you that goals are set.

I am What Is. You are what Can Be.

I am limited by reality. You are limitless by possibilities.

 

Reverse Purusharth

 

What I call Reverse Purusharth is the intent to do negative things – to take revenge against someone, to have power and control over others can be called Negative Intent. These too become samskaras and fructify into karma which will be a result of our intense unfulfilled desires, but in negative areas. These can be the samskaras that form the roots of villainous and negative personalities. A weak and docile person, if troubled and bullied starts to desire an aggressive nature, physical strength and ability to defeat others in a physical contest. Such an intent could be classified as negative purusharth (or reverse purusharth). His intent to be vengeful, take it out on his enemies, pray for punishment for those whom he hates, or those who trouble him can become negative samskaras that manifest in the future. A victim of today can become an oppressor of tomorrow.

 

A young man I know, is very successful in his ability to charm young ladies. He is almost instantly successful, enjoys the continuity but faces painful closure in almost every relationship. In one of the Nadi readings done for him, the Nadi says that in his past life, he had hurt a widow who had fallen for his charms. Being jilted by him, she had cursed him. Today he is living and bearing the brunt of that curse. So the Nadi says. Her curse was her intention for him to pay the price of rejecting her. He does, in this life. I have seen him suffer a lot due to his romantic escapades.

 

In India there are over 26 Nadis which are predictions made by sages thousands of years ago on leaves. These predictions are about people living today and earlier. If a Nadi reading matches your horoscope, it will tell you a lot about your past life, your present life and future events in this life as well.

 

The way to deal with the reverse purusharth is to pick a page out of Maharishi Patanjali’s verse where he talks about pratipakshabhavana or reversal of intent. (Maharishi Patanjali is considered the father of modern yoga and the author of Yoga Sutras). If the trend of your thinking and feelings is negative, you need to think of the opposite intent or visualise the positive of the negative feelings that flow through you. Like two minuses make a plus. If you are getting vengeful thoughts against say person X, you need to allow your buddhi or intellect to use its discrimination to show you the various reasons that taking revenge is not a good idea. That maybe it was circumstances that led to the actions of X.

 

That it is in your interest to forgive and overcome the anger – that maybe time may rectify the damage and balance things. That it was your destiny and X was the instrument. That X will pay for his negative deeds through his karma. (That X has already punished himself in the future by recording the samskara in his karmashaya or long term memory hard disk, and so will suffer the result in the future – near or distant. In this life or the next. The judge within has already pronounced the sentence!

 

That acceptance for you is a path to evolution. Such positives will make your intent that is forming into negative, turn positive or get neutralised. It will, if nothing else, take away the emotion from your reaction. (The judge within you will also pronounce the sentence. The sentence will be a positive appraisal – that you have the evolved status to forgive. That you have reached a higher level of consciousness. That your gunas have now achieved a higher content of sattvic qualities).

 

It may not always work, but a 60% result in the positive direction is a fair result. Over time, this kind of intellectual discrimination will become a habit. You will find it easier to deal with your negative thoughts and feelings. Generating the opposite thoughts and intent to negative thoughts and intent is a known yogic technique. Almost all know it. Most don’t use it. Why not try?

 

These are all steps in the process of going forward from accepting yourself to loving yourself and at a later date dealing with the idea of even worshipping yourself. I have included a few sidesteps, which may not seem directly relevant to the subject at hand, but in the final analysis you do need to see yourself making that self-effort or purusharth towards self-love and self-worship.

 

Shraaps and Vardaans:

 

An additional fuel to self-effort is the additional energy of blessings or curses. It is important to know that both blessings and curses carry with them an energy of whoever gives them. Indian epics are full of examples of curses and blessings that made significant differences to the stories of both the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Of course, a curse (shraap) can go as far as the power that propels it. This further depends on the power of the person giving it and the seriousness of intent. There are mantras to solidify a curse and make it irrevocable.

 

What is important for you to know is that the curses we give are a double-edged sword. The energy that accompanies them hurts the recipient and also subtracts from the transmitter. Yes! You lose energy or a part of your aura every-time you curse someone. If it is successful, depending on your strength and intent, and also on the other person’s power to dilute its effect through their own aura and other means, then you pay for the success by weakening your strength and reducing the relevant energy from your aura.

 

There is a double whammy effect as you also pile up your negative samskaras that will fructify into negative karmas at point X in the future. It is also the same with blessings and boons. Unfortunately or fortunately, neither of these work rather effectively in our day and age because most people do not have the power or energy to spare, to intensify their effect.

 

Often we curse people who are close friends and family. Do they work? A bit. But again, that depends on the strength of the intent and the energy of the person delivering that curse. Naturally, the same applies to blessings. It is therefore, dangerous to be cursed by powerful people and beneficial to be blessed by them.

 

Use of Power

 

To give you an example of what is the use of energy when it is used against someone, I remember Gurudev had once invited me to his camp where I spent a few blissful days. At that camp, I had given some money to his cook, provided by the government. I didn’t know that the guy was a bit of a sly fellow and kept taking money from all of Gurudev’s disciples, as and when they came. I had given him some money and left the camp. (He told me that he had to get his sister married and was falling short of funds. He had aroused sympathy in me, and besides, he was Gurudev’s cook). Many days later, Gurudev asked me whether I had given this kitchen help any money? Normally, I would have said yes, and told him the exact amount, but Mohna, my gurubhai who accompanied Gurudev to his camps of the Soil & Survey department, felt that the help will lose his job if I were to tell Gurudev about this loan or rather a gift of a few thousand rupees. So in order to save the employee from getting into trouble, I lied and said I gave him nothing. Gurudev looked at me very seriously and said that in case you did, please tell me and never lie to your guru. I still said no, having studied in a boarding school in Ajmer, I had learned not to sneak. Gurudev sniggered. I decided to go for a jog the next morning, something that I had not done in Gurgaon. So I borrowed the sneakers belonging to Gurudev’s son, Pravesh Chanan, better known as Babbe. I woke up the next morning at 5 am and went for a jog. Before I had crossed a couple of hundred yards, my foot sunk into a ditch and I got myself a painful sprain. The pain was unbearable, and yet every time I saw Gurudev I stood still and pretended that nothing had happened.

 

The agony continued for two to three days. There was no way I could reduce the pain. On the fourth day Gurudev laughed at me and said come on get into the car. He dropped me off on the way to his office and I waited for him at his Govt. allotted house in Delhi, where he normally rested for a few

Blessings when genuine carry with them a charge of

electro-magnetic force or Shakti.

hours. He asked me again. He said, “Beta, never be deceptive with your guru. That is considered to be Guru Awhelna or disregard for your guru and unfortunately it calls for punishment.” I realised my sprain was connected to my lie and found it appropriate to tell him the entire story. He laughed again and had my sprain set right in a couple of minutes by one of his disciples, Mr. F.C. Sharma (probably his humblest) and warned me for the last time, “never ever lie to your guru”. This is an example of a different version of a curse having worked.

 

The Sharp Edge of Power

 

I remember an incident where the owner of a hotel in Dehradun, who catered to a particular charitable institute, true to his reputation, behaved badly and slapped a security guard. People complained and said that I should never have given him the contract. When the gentleman came to ask for his bill, I recounted the incident to him and said “Sorry but I will have to punish you. When I come to Dehradun next, you will have to come on a crutch with a broken leg, which you will break yourself, and that is punishment for your bad behaviour.” Of course he laughed and said a little this and a little that. But six months later, when I did go to Dehradun, he came to beg forgiveness. He had fractured his leg. I said, “I want you to not be a bully and to turn into a nice man, if it is possible to do that.” He promised. He committed. He swore. That was one of the few cases where I had actually used a curse to punish someone. (I am not saying that I have the right to do that and I consider it a mistake that people will hopefully never make).

 

Another humorous anecdote, was of a punishment delivered to my friend Udhav Kirtikar in Mumbai. Udhav was a spiritual darling and a brat, all in one. He had acquired a good amount of power and practised healing with great enthusiasm. Unfortunately for him, he was too impatient to understand the mysteries of the universe and hungry for gyan or internal knowledge. He kept arguing in order to gain Gurudev’s attention and special coaching. He challenged Gurudev to wake him up during his sleep or give him a sign to showcase the power. A few nights later, Udhav’s brother (who looked a lot like him) woke up on the floor while he had gone to sleep on the bed. The bed was found standing against the wall. Gurudev had reacted to young Udhav’s petition for proof, and pulled his leg with only one small flaw, the wrong bed had been lifted off the ground because of the similarity of looks of the two brothers. It served Udhav right and the prankster had a prank played on him. The poor brother would never figure out what happened to him that night and I’m sure Udhav must have felt quite dumb and kept his mouth shut about this.

 

Punishing Indiscreet Cameras

 

Gurudev also had a rule that you could not take his photograph unless he gave permission. I was one of the several hundred people whose cameras got stuck when we tried to click his photograph without permission. My friend, Shri Krishna Deolekar in Mumbai, had the same shocking experience. Another friend, Nitin Gadekar from Mumbai had a similar experience. All at different times, without having concurred with each other. This is a very common tale that went around. If a photograph was taken without permission, the camera either hung or the roll turned out to be blank. The above examples are cases where power was used in small measure to punish, correct or regulate people.

 

These punishments were meted out purely by willing them and not by resorting to black magic or tantric kriyas. When it came to blessings, that was Gurudev’s main business. Many of his blessings fructified overnight. There are many examples of things he said to people, in the form of a blessing, that came true in a short while.

 

This of course included people getting cured of diseases, of having their wishes met, receiving protection from physical and non-physical threats, and boons unlimited. He committed the film award to Mithun for his film Mrigaya, before the award ceremony. I believe Mithun still wears the copper kada. He promised a friend that he would make him a famous speaker across the world and a successful politician. He did and he is! Gurudev used to call him Mahaprabhu.

 

Aura

 

You might find it interesting to know that an Indo-Soviet experiment was conducted about 25 years ago at Rishikesh, where 60,000 people were photographed through Kirilian photography. (Kirilian was a Soviet scientist who discovered how to photograph the aura of an individual and examine the depth and colours of their aura or electromagnetic energy. You can read more about this in ‘Supernature’ by Lyall Watson, if it interests you).

 

A broad analysis showed that a human aura could vary from a thickness of half an inch to 12 inches. The corporate executives and businessmen who were photographed had the least depth. Farmers and gardeners fared better. Yogis and philanthropists had even greater depth. Saints and people who were practitioners of intense meditation and spiritual practice had the deepest auras. The depth and the colours present in the aura at the time a blessing or curse is delivered, determine the impact of the blessing or curse. It also depends on the mood and level of intent of the person delivering the curse.

 

That is why people feel very lucky when they get the blessings of a saint. They are enriched. The practice of touching the feet of saints is by no means a social practice. It has within its action, the transference and exchange of energies.

 

How do we enhance our aura to grow in quantum of energy (shakti) or grow in spiritual status? Let’s talk about it in Chapter III later in this book.

 

Citta Vrittis

 

The word cit means to incite, make aware. That which is incited or made aware or conscious, the citta, is not just the mind that perceives through the senses; it is also the intellect that discriminates. It includes the mind of the ethereal body/spirit body. It also includes the intuitive faculty, the iCloud that is available to the jivatma or our innermost level of consciousness. At different levels of existence, it is the citta that provides awareness to different bodies within us.

 

The citta in each of us is dynamic. It is ideally meant to be a still lake, but it is not. Ripples that activate or modify its equanimity or stillness continuously disturb it. These ripples or modifications are called vrittis. Reducing these ripples in the citta is supposed to be the ambition of every knowledgeable individual. Unfortunately, most individuals have never even heard of these concepts. These vrittis are Perceptive Knowledge, Delusionary Knowledge, Testimonial or Accepted Knowledge, Sleep and Memory (they are explained ahead). Try to focus on these vrittis and see if becoming aware of them can help you control them. Reduce them at least. These vrittis are alterations in the function of the mind, they are certainly not different states of mind, they are temporary and sometimes just flashes and at other times they can be longer lasting. Like memory can be a flash or a spark in the citta, whereas imagination can be a series of spark connects. Sage Patanjali documented the concept of Citta Vritti Nirodha, subjugation of these modifications of the mind, or alterations in the functional state of the mind, or activity of the mind state. More than one vritti can be functional at any particular time or there can be one vritti that may absorb and obsess the mind.

 

In later stages of evolution, you will find that you might often be interested in focusing on only one thought process, in business jargon, single-mindedness, and that of course would enhance your effort and the result. The word in the Indian scriptures for this is called ekagratta. The reason why we are talking about vrittis is that during the process of accepting and loving ourselves, we are also preparing to be the divinity in our lives. Naturally we need to focus our attention on that status and therefore ekagratta or single-mindedness helps. Once we see the light within ourselves, we need to focus on the fact that everything about us is divine, both what looks divine and what doesn’t.

 

Divinity Is Not Easy Business

 

When you start seeing the spark of divinity within, you have to find reasons to make it stick and to make it grow. If someone insults you, see divinity in yourself for not responding in a negative manner. If you do respond in a negative manner, see divinity in the fact that it was a milder response than normal, see divinity in the fact that you empathise with that person and also practice the divine art of forgiveness. Positives and negatives all need to be linked to divinity. In short you have to psyche yourself!

 

When I do something that seems right, it is divine. When I do something that does not seem right that too is divine. Whatever is, is divine. I may not understand this justification of divinity, but my lack of understanding or my limited understanding does not discredit divinity.

 

Our reason for discussing vrittis is that we do not wish to be disenchanted by these mental activities. If you go to the beach there will be dust and sand in the air. Similarly, where the citta is an instrument of awareness and consciousness, it has to receive and analyse signals despite the fact that these modifications of the state of mind are not ideally desirable, but by default are probable.

 

Patanjali is crisp when he says, “The real Self, the Atman, remains forever outside the power of thought-waves. It is eternally pure, enlightened and free- the only true, unchanging happiness. It follows, therefore, that man can never know his real Self as long as the thought-waves and the egosense are being identified. In order to become enlightened we must bring the thought-waves under control, so that this false identification may cease.”

 

The five vrittis commonly classified are:

 

1. Right knowledge: This is data or information as perceived by the five senses. ‘Seeing is believing’; ‘I heard it quite clearly’; ‘The scent was distinct’; ‘I felt it with my own hands’; ‘I know the taste very well’. These are reactions to vritti no. 1

.

Perception, analysis and the involvement of the citta in any kind of mental activity, is one of the waves or ripples that positively modifies the citta. Both positive and negative action in thought are vrittis.

The other ways of attaining right knowledge besides what is perceived by the senses are:

 

Deductive Logic

 

When we benchmark something that has been done in the past, or the background knowledge already exists in our past experience, we can compare the results. This is common in mathematics, scientific theories, day-to-day inferences, astrological analysis, astronomical movements, weather predictions, etc.

 

Testimonials

 

Another way we decipher knowledge is through testimonials; learning things that have been established as correct information. Almost all studies of various subjects in school or college, can fit this category. While I am writing this book, I believe this is right knowledge as it is based on my own perceptions, study of the subject, guidance by my guru, etc. If you were to believe these words, for you it would be a testimonial. You would quote ‘Hingori said this or that’. For you too, this would be a vritti of right knowledge. For knowing this concept, the task of processing information needs to be carried out. The processing needs a use of energy, just like your phone uses from its battery. In case of the citta, this creates a ripple or spark that affects the equanimity of the citta. When I remember something for the second time or a third, the vritti occurs again. I need to use the mechanism of mental activity to recollect and to re-paste. The additional process of recollection also disturbs the citta.

 

2. Wrong Knowledge: One of the extreme examples of incorrect perception is a mirage. It looks like water on the ground until you reach it and find it was an illusion. But, perceiving things incorrectly through the senses is also a vritti. Incorrect information of any kind, entering wrong codes, mistakes of data processing, incorrect guidance, are reasons for the citta to suffer from not being able to have equanimity.

 

Mistakes that we make, or our misconceptions, act as disturbances. For example, even during a dream state, we might get a dream that is misleading and incorrect, that we wrongly interpret. Take Yoga or any other form of exercise. Misunderstanding these exercises and later on finding out that we are doing it incorrectly and that it is affecting us negatively leads to the mental disturbance of wrong knowledge or misconception. All my life I have been a prominent member of the misconception club. If there was a chance of getting it wrong, I did. It took me a long time to learn how to ride a bicycle. Learning languages and sciences gave my citta plenty of traas or stress. Being a businessman has made this vritti a very common denominator in my life. My younger son has dyscalculia and dyslexia, so for him the energy generated in figuring out that his thought process is not accurate and to be aware of the fact that he is misconceiving things, is a vritti. The process of analysing is an act of the mind and that uses energy. The use of energy creates a ripple.

3. Imaginary Perception: The reality that we perceive in an imaginary state is another modification of citta. Most of us live in a partial day-dream world. When we are angry with someone, we slap them, hit them or even shoot them in our state of imagination. If young people are attracted to someone, even if nothing happens in the world of five elements, a lot happens in the world of imagination. These states of imaginary existence are ripples in the still water of citta. This vritti of imagination also covers the sleeping state, which is not the deep sleep state, for example the dream state, the state in the process of meditation till you have not reached the state of dhyan or one-pointedness. Imagination or creative visualisation again needs use of energy by the citta, that becomes a vritti as it does create the ripple effect.

 

4. Sleep State: In sleep state or dream-state, the citta is again involved in mental activity. Visions, nightmares, disturbed sleep, are all movements in the stillness of citta. The attention of the citta is withdrawn from the body and the senses, shifts to the inner bodies including the karmashaya (or body of Memories) and we live in a separate reality of our dream state. The physical senses are non-functional at such a time. The moments of going into the deep sleep state and coming out of the deep sleep state are, really speaking, the vritti.

 

5. Memory: Trying to recall, flashbacks, or data coming into the citta voluntarily or involuntarily, lapses of being able to remember things, or involuntarily remembering things that you would rather forget, are all mental activities in the citta.

 

It is a part of the citta’s Ops-manual that it should move inwards by becoming one-pointed and achieve higher levels of consciousness (forgive the oxymoron). For people who are practitioners of meditation, understand the process of Dharna, Dhyan and Samadhi, the last three major phases of the eight-fold path of yoga, these words are common and you can read more about them online.

 

What we want to understand here is another concept. How the citta has to pass through four different levels of mental activity to get to the point of flag-hoisting on its ‘Everest’. These vrittis do not allow an average mind to attain quietude. When we talk about seeing the divinity within us, we might assume quietude of the mind is a necessity. The point to understand here is these vrittis are a natural phenomena and by accepting them as such we can continue our climb up the ladder of realising self-worth and practising self-worship.

 

The four levels the citta has to cross (negative thoughts, etc.) are Vitarkas, Vicharas, Ananda (bliss and quiet attitude of mind) and Asmita (the Identified Self). Crossing the hemisphere of the first two Vs can take us to base camp.

 

Vitarkas and Vicharas

 

While we are in the process of learning to love ourselves, we are often disturbed by troublesome thoughts and sometimes by regular thoughts or even pleasing thoughts. These thoughts that keep popping up into our citta are called vitarkas and vicharas.

 

The question therefore arises as to where these vitarkas and vicharas come from. These are actually stored impressions in our karmashaya (the hard disk attached to our spirit bodies. These samskaras have existed ever since we have existed as individual beings. These have also been generated by us, by adding emotion and feeling to the reactions that we had to external thoughts. These too get stored into our karmashaya as impressions or samskaras. Too much of sensual thinking or anger as a constant emotion or reaction, can get stored into the karmashaya and keep popping out of the bag all through our lives until, over a period of time, the extent of these stored samskaras reduce. The vitarkas are considered to be the slightly more negative version of the Vicharas though in reality they are both almost the same thing (we do not wish to get too technical about it).

 

Naturally the vitarkas, having the trend of negative notions, mental chatter and reverse inclinations to our positive intent, will act like a counterbalance to our spirit of evolution. They act like an impediment to people who want to meditate or have a calm and collected state of mind. This can be quite disturbing for someone who is new to meditation.

 

New seekers are hopeful that they can sit in a cross-legged position and focus on a spiritual symbol or a human icon and get into a state of meditation as they imagine it. Unfortunately, these vitarkas are a constant disturbance and do not allow the mind to either focus or defocus in an attempt to attain a meditative state.

 

A marginally more pleasurable form of disturbance are vicharas. They are considered to be more rational thoughts, reactions and notions. Because they are more subtle we are slightly less disturbed and find them easier to deal with.

 

The way forward for a person who wants to meditate or quieten his/ her mind is to accept these and let them pass. They have to pass. They are stored and they need to be exhausted. The steam has to be let out of the pressure cooker. That is how they are extinguished and steadily phased out. A positive effect of acceptance is the reduction of the load of the samskaras and cleansing of the citta. People often form a bad impression of themselves because they feel that their attempts at meditation are a flop. It is frustrating and often de-motivates people who practise meditation. But this isn’t true. You just have to let the steam out of the pressure cooker, as this is a part of the natural process. So it is better to hold your horses, play the game of patience and let these vicharas and vitarkas die a natural death.

 

But you must be careful not to store your frustration by adding emotions and feelings, thereby storing them a second time into the karmashaya. The two points to take away from this are: 1) acceptance of these is the long-term solution and 2) understanding this concept will help you be patient and say pass.

 

When both, the vitarkas and vicharas are fairly exhausted, we can look forward to a quieter mind, a stiller citta and a more effective meditation experience.

 

My Experience with Vitarkas

 

I was travelling with Gurudev to one of his Soil and Survey Department camps in Madhya Pradesh. It was a long journey. On the way, I had confided to him that I suffered a lot from negative thoughts and asked if he could help me. He had a wicked smile. We got into the jeep and away. Oops! What a bumpy ride.

 

I started thinking of very strange things. I got thoughts of Gurudev urinating, of behaving badly with him, getting nasty feelings towards him. I got thoughts of profanity, more profanity, and even more profanity. It was 30 years back, so I don’t recall every thought, but it was nothing short of disaster in my mind. The thoughts were worse than I had ever remembered. Their speed was supersonic. One after the other. One worse than the other. I was doomed. I wished I could jump out of the pathetic jeep (never have I felt worse shock absorbers). Relentless. Merciless. The state of my mental activity! How to stop it? No way out!

 

It felt like a few thousand years had passed by the time we made it to the camp and got to the tents.

I could not stand being near Gurudev so I took his permission to go to bed early. . The next morning, I woke early. To use store terminology, I was first in, first out. I could hardly think!

 

It was so quiet in my mind. I could feel the crispness of the air, smell the leaves, the mud. It was abnormal. Too good to be normal. Was this peace of mind? It had to be. There were lesser thoughts and more observations. A complete flip from the last evening’s jeep ride (I hate jeeps!).

 

The vitarkas had faded for that morning, giving me some relief. Probably due to over-exhaustion the evening before.

 

A man who had mastered the knowledge on thought waves was Maharishi Patanjali. According to him there are five kinds of thought-waves – some painful, others not painful.

 

A “painful” wave, according to Patanjali’s use of the term, is not necessarily a wave which seems painful when it first arises in the mind; it is a wave which brings with it an increased degree of ignorance, addiction and bondage. Similarly, a wave which seems painful at first may actually belong to the category of those which are “not painful”, provided that it impels the mind towards greater freedom and knowledge. For example, Patanjali would describe a lustful thought-wave as “painful”, because lust, even when pleasantly satisfied, causes addiction, jealousy and bondage to the person desired. A wave of pity, on the other hand, would be described as “not painful”, because pity is an unselfish emotion which loosens the bonds of our own egotism. We may suffer deeply when we see others suffering, but our pity will teach us understanding and, hence, freedom.

 

This distinction between the two kinds of thought-waves is very important when we come to the actual practice of yoga discipline. For the thought-waves cannot all be controlled at once. First, we have to overcome the “painful” thought-waves by raising waves which are “not painful.” To our thoughts of anger, desire and delusion we must oppose with thoughts of love, generosity and truth. Only much later, when the “painful” thought-waves have been completely stilled, can we proceed to the second stage of discipline; the stilling of the “not painful” waves which we have deliberately created.” (Yoga Sutras by Swami Pravananda and Chistopher Isherwood)

 

Gunas – Infrastructure of Our Thoughts

 

Types of Gunas

 

You can call them qualities of matter, mind, body and astral body.

1. Tamas

2. Rajas

3. Sattva

 

These qualities or classifications are present in different variables in nature. Nature includes the physical and mental. This includes temperaments, attitudes, attributes, etc.

 

Tamas can be described as inaction, procrastination and confusion.

Rajas can be called action, movement, dynamism, attachments and desire.

Sattva is contentment, equanimity, duty, dispassion and detachment.

 

The combination of these three qualities and their respective percentages define the nature of people and things. For example, a person would have the predominance of one guna over the other two. This could change and alter from time to time. A typical tamasic person would be quite different from a rajasic or sattvic one.

 

The trends and inclinations of our thoughts are often based on our guna mix. People with more tamasic qualities will have inclinations that are largely tamasic in nature. The same goes with people who have more rajasic or sattvic qualities. These inclinations come to us in the form of thoughts.

 

Naturally, if we want our thoughts to be less tamasic or rajasic, we need to work towards acquiring more sattvic qualities. We also need to live a more sattvic life and reduce the tamasic and rajasic qualities. To do that we need to correct our tamasic and rajasic lifestyles.

 

Haha! That is easier said than done. But, try we must. This effort is also purusharth. Difficult, but doable. The pages below will clarify ‘What’ and ‘How’. Read on!

 

Let us look at a few aspects of each guna and finally, let us examine how they can help us better our karmas. How they can help take us closer to our final Goal.

 

Tamasic People

 

Nature of work: The kind of work that tamasic people are involved with leans towards lower-end sensual pleasures, degenerative thinking and behaviour – people in the business of selling sexual favours, bribery, corruption, owners and patrons of casinos, bars, brothels, thieves, terrorists, corrupt cops, pimps, prostitutes, cheats, conmen and drug dealers. Further drug addicts, alcoholics, religious perverts, compulsive liars, all are honorary members of the Tamasic Club. Notwithstanding, they would have a few rajasic and sattvic qualities too.

 

Nature of Deeds: They would be the kind of people who would do less than they can. Their attitude would be negative, heedless of the consequences, blissfully confused, prone to procrastination, inattentive, insulting and badly behaved. They would not bat an eyelid knowing that their actions would be harmful to others. Killing and butchering animals, physically assaulting others, hurting other people mentally, would not be an obstacle to their behaviour. Even when it comes to religion, they would be dogmatic, inflexible, harmfully ritualistic, partaking in black magic, voodoo and such.

 

Nature of personality: Their attitudes would be careless, unfair, vicious. They would have harsh looks, deceptive body language and acidity of tongue. They could be depressive, schizophrenic, have character defects. tamasic people have a defective power of discrimination and an unfocused intellect.

 

Rajasic People

 

Nature of work: They are businessmen, corporate executives, warriors, kings, rulers and people with power. Growth, success, competitiveness, glory, self-projection, strategic thinking, are some of their attributes.

 

Nature of deeds: Their aim is self-gratification and profit. Doing things that will give them an edge over others and negotiating circumstances in their best interest. Expanding their line of work and creating solid institutions. In a worldly way, they are brilliant. Religiously they are contributors to charitable institutions, builders of schools, hospitals and other such institutions.

 

Nature of personality: They are quite impressive, inclined towards the fruit of their actions. They could be self-absorbed and want as much attention and praise. They would normally be hard-working, committed and sincere in their work. They are magnetised by desire and rewards. They are obsessive and bonded to their ambitions. Their sense of entitlement is another aspect of their beings. Shrewdness and craftiness mostly go with their traits. They could be very good as friends and oblige others. They have a clever and agile mind and a focused intellect. Unfortunately, it is not focused in the best possible direction.

 

Sattvic People

 

Nature of work: People of all three gunas may do the same job, but they would do it differently. In sattvic people, the sense of creditability and fair-play is high. They are highly motivated, with a sense of duty, and fulfil their obligations. Artists, research scholars, Nobel laureates, spiritual people, teachers, doctors, philanthropists, and such others, normally have a sattvic mindset. Good human relation managers, benevolent heads of organisations, motivators, example-setters have a lot of sattvic qualities.

 

Nature of deeds: Working for the benefit of others and not only for themselves, fulfilling their obligations, trying to find solutions, helping others fulfill their goals and pushing people upwards are sattvic actions. Religiously, they believe in higher values and are willing to evolve to greater levels by investing their time and effort. They are great philosophers, philanthropists and do-gooders. They do a lot of seva and at more evolved levels, they do not even credit themselves for it.

 

Nature of personality: Kabir, the great saint who was sattvic in nature, clarifies his philosophy in one amazing sentence.

 

“Kabira khada bazaar mein, mange sabki kher. Na kahun se prem aur no kahun se baer.” (Kabira stands in the market and asks the Almighty for His grace on all mankind. He neither loves anyone specifically nor hates anybody.) His is an attitude of emotionlessness and non-duality. This shows his transcending relationships connected only to his physical incarnation, sensing a relationship with everyone, everywhere. He identifies beyond himself. One phrase I heard my grandfather repeat a few hundred times was “Neki kar aur daryah mein daal” (do a good deed and bury it in the sea). Sattvic people are not arrogant or egoistic people. Humility is a strong point. Their power of discrimination is highly advanced. Their conscience is loud and clear. Wisdom goes hand-in-hand with sattva.

 

Change your Guna Mix

 

The three gunas are knots or binding forces that bind the atman (individual consciousness) to matter. For final emancipation, it is important to transcend the three gunas, sattvic included. Phase I of the process is to watch yourself from the outside and become aware of your gunas. Judge Thyself! Notice the play of tamas and rajas and the stability of sattva. You need to change some of your tamasic qualities to rajasic ones and sattvic ones. You have to work towards pure or almost pure sattvic qualities.

 

Watch your thoughts!

 

It is the seed of your action or inaction. If you allow thoughts to turn into feelings, the deed may not be far behind. The eight-fold path of yoga, as outlined in the Yogasutras of Patanjali, is a great way ahead. If you refer to the subject of kleshas, you will notice that ragas and dweshas i.e. attractions and aversions are fuel injections for rajas and tamas and obstacles to sattva. Following of niyams and asanas as listed in Yogasutras, can help in reducing the tamas and rajas content in your gunas.

 

Pratyahara, or withdrawal of consciousness from your senses, can take you on a fast track to sattva. In order to evolve to sattva predominance, you need intent, effort and prayer. When you are mostly sattva in your guna quotient, the sattva itself will someday propel you beyond itself. Help you achieve great sadhna and transcend your mind and intellect. In a gyan capsule that talks about samskaras, purusharth and gunas all in one, Guru Vashishtha (Lord Rama’s teacher) captures the essence beautifully when he says:

 

“Rama, the tendencies brought forward from past incarnations are of two kinds – pure and impure. The pure ones lead you towards liberation, and the impure ones invite trouble. You are indeed consciousness itself, not inert physical matter. You are not impelled to action by anything other than yourself. Hence you are free to strengthen the pure latent tendencies in preference to the impure ones. The impure ones have to be abandoned gradually and the mind turned away from them little by little, lest there should be violent reaction. By encouraging the good tendencies to act repeatedly, strengthen them, the impure ones will weaken by disuse. You will soon become absorbed in the expression of the good tendencies, in good actions. When thus you have overcome the force of the evil tendencies, then you will have to abandon even the good ones. You will then experience the supreme truth with the intelligence that rises from the good tendencies.”

 

I wish you luck. Do bless yourself with the good fortune.

 

Gunas of Spiritual Practice

 

The kind of spiritual practice a person indulges in also depends on his or her guna mix. People who have more of the tamasic qualities will probably be attracted to lower levels of spiritual practices like black magic, tantric practices, voodoo, using mantras that are meant to get quick attainments and selfish results. Using drugs to get a high, they practise more of the Dark Arts for the purpose of personal gain. In the villages of India, Africa, South America these are common practices.

 

People with a rajasic background, add their dynamism and adornment even to their spiritual practice. They believe in religious events, impressive-looking temples and musical incantations. There is a lot of ritualism and religiousness in their practice. Weighing their spiritual leader in gold or giving their leaders expensive gifts are part of the rajasic practice.

 

People who are sattvic in nature, know for a fact that sense pleasures, which include sensuality, are certainly not beneficial to their process of evolution. They do not indulge in music and get into the trap of the sense of hearing. That is why their prayers are soft and mental and do not consist of Holy songs with music. They do not adorn their place of worship with multiple colourful flowers and religious artefacts. They do not give value to aesthetics and stay away from the sense of sight and its entrapment. They eat to live and therefore food is a matter of sustenance, not a doorway to indulgence.

 

Self-evolution, self-analysis, self-cleansing, tapasya, are some of the common sattvic practices.

 

People with rajasic temperament normally ask for wealth, luxury and material gains. People with a sattvic temperament aspire to attain aatmic heights and spiritual gains. People with tamasic temperament may ask for vengeance, sustenance and selfish gains. It’s time to look at your own petitions to the Consciousness Supreme and figure out what you should really pray for, short-term or long-term gains?

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Score of 18-27 = Sattvic personality

Score of 28-36 = Rajasic personality

Score of 37 or above = Tamasic personality

 

Gurudev used every trick in the book to help us to change our guna mix, though he may not have used the term. He would say “apni niyat ko saaf rakho” or keep your intentions pure.

 

Self-improvement or appreciation is an obsession to acquire naturally, it’s not a matter of ‘read and play’. Work on your gunas like you would on the profitability of a business, for it is business – the business of life!

Falling in Love with Yourself – Chapter 3

Why We Should Love Ourselves

Most women believe that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Similarly, the way to the Consciousness Supreme begins with your physical incarnation. You need to love yourself at a physical level, at a spirit level, at a memory level, before you can reach the point of loving your individual soul or jivatma. Therefore let us start at the very beginning.

 

Statutory Warning: The inroad to this journey might be through the physical incarnation, but let’s not become a part of the Carly Simon song, which goes, “You’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you.”

Please do not misunderstand ‘falling in love with yourself ’ as a case of vanity or self-admiration. Nor is it the case of how impressed you can be by your personality and your ability to dazzle people. Neither is it a study on how popular you are nor how many people hero-worship you and that being the reason you should fall in love with yourself. No!

 

This is a study of how you can fall in love with all your ‘selves’, which are body, citta and the spirit within. Assuming by now you have understood the fact that we need to accept ourselves on an ‘as is where is’ basis, with all our defects, flaws, faults with our destiny and our thoughts, good and bad. We have three bodies:

The physical body, which consists of our physical incarnation, our mind and our intellect.

 

The spirit or the ghost within or the sukshma sharira (the body that exists before, during and after we take birth in this life).

The kaarna sharira or causal body, which is always attached to the spirit body and contains the hard disk of our samskaras.

 

People who exist in the spirit bodies, after death, live in a particular dimension for extended periods of time. Those are the lucky ones. Many times, the unlucky ones are stuck in our realm as they do not have the ability, capability or the karma to take to them to these different dimensions. They get stuck in their homes or on a neighbouring tree in the village, or at the place of their death. These are normally referred to in colloquial terms as bhoots or haunting spirits. Some of these spirits do haunt and trouble others, while some don’t haunt anyone but try to improve themselves and help others. Some just exist in waiting, waiting for a time when they can be reborn or for their descendants to do some good deeds in their name, so they can get some brownie points and move on. Or just waiting and existing in a parallel life in this very dimension.

 

Science today has recorded these poltergeists as explainable and existing in our atmosphere. The more unfortunate of these spirits get captured by black magicians and are used by them to do their bidding. Some of them are captured by more powerful spirits, the Hindi word for them, is jin or jinn. These jinns are like spirit dons who control several spirits who serve them.

Besides our physical bodies, we need to fall in love with the spirit bodies that are manifested within our physical bodies. We need to think, not only about our physical body’s future, which is limited to a maximum of 80 to 100 years but also about the future of our spirit bodies, whose future can last for several hundred years at a time. Very often between one physical incarnation and the other there could be a waiting period of 100 years or more, depending on your spiritual status, your place of pre-birth existence. To get rebirth that will provide you a destiny that will match the fructification of your samskaras or at least a large part of them is by no means an easy task. That is why sometimes rebirth can be deferred when due till such time that a matching mahurat is obtainable. Sometimes the spirit takes birth in its own kul or family, but then it has to wait for the right opportunity. There has to be a delivery of a child scheduled to match the spirit’s timing for taking birth.

A very unique case study is the rebirth of the Buddhist Lamas (teachers of the Dharma in Tibetan Buddhism), who are in the cycle of being reborn in order to evolve further, even if they are born outside the families, as many of their family members are celibate. They are found through certain signs by the senior Lamas and brought into the fold to be reared again in continuity of where they left off in their last lives.

 

It is not a joke but a 30-year-old Lama in Ladakh, Thuksey Rinpoche, managed to get the property that belonged to him in his last life transferred to his current life, following a legal process. The public ceremony to formally acknowledge five-year-old Thuksey Rinpoche, as a reincarnation of his past life as Thuksey Rinpoche, was akin to a king’s coronation with all its grandeur and protocol.

 

Uncanny, but true!

 

Judging from the dress of my son’s spirit body, (that I encountered a few months before my wife got pregnant), I would say that he looked like he was from the 19th century.

 

Abhay Taneja the yogi of yore, whose negotiations of birth I was a witness to, had waited 100 years in Bathri (near Dalhousie) for Gurudev to come along and grant him a rebirth. There are many other accounts of spirit messages that say similar things. The fact that 2500 to 3000 years back, Rishi Bhrigu wrote the future of the lives of people who are living today, is justification of the fact that those people existed in some human form at that time.

 

I saw myself in a vision state, in existence several thousand years ago, dressed in clothes befitting the Mahabharat era and using mantras to move chariots 20 to 30 feet high in the air, during a war scene. First, I was given the mantra in my dream state and then shown the scene of my past self using it in a battle. I assume it was a mantra from my past, re-taught now.

 

Further, there is an account of Lord Parshuram who is supposed to be in existence even today in the abode of Himachal Pradesh in the form of an immortal. I for one, have had the honour of being attacked and beaten up by him on a trip to Renukaji. I was saved by his mother, Renukaji, in the nick of time. To my shock, Gurudev 100 explained this to me on my return to his camp. As usual, it was always a case of ‘How did he know?’ (Of course I had done something wrong at a place of worship of Lord Parshuram and deserved his wrath).

 

There are accounts of several great saints who have left this human existence seh sharir – meaning alongwith their bodies. Better known among such saints were Guru Nanak, Guru Gorakhanath, Sant Kabir and Jesus.

 

According to Ramesh Chand Malhotra, Gurudev’s seniormost disciple from Delhi, one of Gurudev’s ancestors, Sitaramji, died in the 19th century and passed on seh sharir.

 

I have been closely associated with the practice of spiritualism for several years now and from my experience, and that of Gurudev’s, I have come to the conclusion that spirits can exist for several thousand years. So, in order to avoid the ‘waiting’, ‘drifting’ and ‘hanging’ indefinitely, we should begin work on a long term plan for our ‘inner’selves.

 

 

 

 

To make an elephant from a block of wood; chip away all that doesn’t look like the elephant!

 

Understanding the Goal of Each Body

It may be the goal of the physical body to work towards economic, social and intellectual accomplishment, however, one of the important aims is to shed its adulterations and indulge in self-purification. Somebody once asked a carpenter “how do you make an elephant from a block of wood?” He said, “Simple, you just chip away all that doesn’t look like an elephant.”

 

Naturally, in order to do that, one of the aims of the physical body should be to change its guna mix to sattvic, reducing the other two gunas substantially. For the physical body to be purified it needs to surmount attachments, fears, likes, dislikes, and passions. It needs to work towards contentment and bliss. Bliss being very different from the regular perception of happiness. Normally happiness is considered to be synonymous with joy. Unfortunately, that is a state of emotion that is always accompanied by sorrow. It’s like sitting on a see-saw where joy is on one side, which goes up and sometimes it goes down. Bliss is the spot at the centre of the see-saw where emotion is almost non-existent. To me that is happiness. Actually we should call it Happylessness. In 2070 the Oxford and Cambridge dictionaries would describe it as a word that means bliss, which is not joy, nor sorrow. Therefore, I infer, mankind’s pursuit of happiness would have been far more rewarding with a spelling change.

 

The goal for the spirit body or sukshma sharira, is the attainment of wealth that can be used when it exists purely in its non-physical incarnation. This is energy called shakti and commonly known as aura. Because the spirit bodies are made of ethereal material, the vibration of that body is much more subtle than the vibration of the physical or material body. The physical, material body can magnetise subtly vibrating products, including energy, more effectively.

 

During its existence as a spirit body, an entity needs that energy for movement and sustenance. Therefore it is the goal of the spirit body to use its physical body counterpart to work towards the collection of more energy.The third body, as it is called, is the kaarna sharira or the causal body. It includes the hard disk also called karmashaya which is attached to the spirit body. It is the aim of this body to reduce the baggage of its data which consists of samskaras (also understood as long-term and short-term memory). It is only when this hard disk has managed to delete or cleanse its stored data, can a person be free of life and death, and attain mukti.

 

The aim of the jivatma is to be unburdened by the delusion of all the bodies that surround it. To learn to disbelieve in the existence of the reality that it is forced to see under the influence of the power called maya. When the jivatma becomes disillusioned and comes to terms with its reality of not being an independent entity, but a part of the Supreme Consciousness, then and only then can it attain moksha.

 

As moksha is a very high-flown aim and objective, let us look at lower levels of attainment. When the karmashaya has a reduced amount of baggage and data, there are fewer vitkaras or negative thoughts that would come to fore on a regular basis. There would be lesser lives to lead and longer intervals, where the spirit body could live in greater dimensions than Earth.

 

Earth is a dimension of matter at a particular gross level. There are other dimensions that exist at different vibrations of energy which are easier to live in, and where the mind of the entity is not so troubled or stressed. There are innumerable such dimensions or lokas where spirits dwell. Many of them are much more blissful than earth, whilst many are more bothersome. The dimension a particular entity dwells in depends on a person’s attainments and spiritual levels in their physical avatar. Many spirits get stuck in this dimension itself and either try and help humans or haunt them.

 

Aura

The aura is the electromagnetic field that encompasses all life forms. As mentioned earlier, the thicker the aura, more spiritually powerful the person. Most viral diseases that we contract first infect the aura before they infect the body. The aura acts like a protection layer to the body. It also protects people from attack by negative spirits who normally cannot penetrate the aura of averagely powerful beings.

 

On one of my journeys out of the body, I saw my wife sleeping on the floor. My out-of-the-box sense of humour compelled me to pull her leg. I thought I would bounce on her and scare her. It was around 4 am. What happened next was a great learning. Every time I tried to jump on her, I would bounce off. I could not touch her. She seemed to be enveloped by a blue light, of conical shape, since she was lying down. It extended to at least a foot off her body. She did not move an inch in spite of my efforts to wake her up. I realised then that the human aura is a very powerful protective shield.

 

It is a sorry state of affairs that out of six billion people alive on this planet, not even ten per cent know much about the aura. And only one per cent of that ten know enough. The rest are only familiar with the word. It is important to know how to protect one’s aura and learn how to expand it. There are three kinds of wealth that people can attain:

 

1. Physical and Material Wealth

2. Mental Evolution and Emotional Strength

3. Spiritual Evolution and Attainments

 

The last point includes depth of aura, the positive karmic balance yet to fructify, special attainments and siddhis that the spirit might have qualified for, during its various incarnations, etc.

 

Most saints and deities are depicted with halos around their heads, to signify their powerful auras.

 

Let us examine the factors that lead to enhancement of the aura. Let us work towards attaining greater wealth, a wealth that will last thousands of years, as against material wealth that becomes immaterial after our death.

 

The word gati in Hindi means speed. The speed this word refers to is the speed that the spirit body can acquire for its movement. For bodies that travel in astral space, speed is an important aspect for movement. This gati is required for the spirit to cross certain barriers and travel to other dimensions. For attaining this speed, aura is the energy required

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Energy Ball

 

The basic ingredient of aura is shakti or energy. I have actually seen shakti in the form of a ball of energy and I’m happy to share the experience with you. Energy imploding in a dynamic way – If it is absorbed into a person, it adds to his AURA. A visitor to the sthan for several years, Nandlal, who did a lot of seva, had a problem. His shops could not get rented out. Something would always go wrong before an agreement was finalized. He wanted us to clear this. He felt there was a spiritual problem acting as a hindrance. I was new to spiritual healing, so in an experimental mood, I sat down in meditation and asked Gurudev to give this gentleman the power to solve this problem.

 

In the meditation, I saw three characters appear – Nandlal, Gurudev and myself. Gurudev threw a ball of energy at me. It was dynamic, translucent white in colour, about a foot in diameter and almost alive. It kept expanding and contracting, like a small cloud that moves inwards. I knew it was a ball of energy.

 

 

Energy imploding in a dynamic way – If it is absorbed into a person, it adds to his AURA.

 

threw it at Nandlal who accepted it and the ball got absorbed within him. A few days later, Nandlal told me that he met someone in the train and the person was suffering from pain. He touched him and the pain vanished. Nandlal became a healer. He was responsible for treating many patients in the years to come. This power helped him clear his shop of the negative energies that were stopping its progress. Nandlal became fairly spiritually powerful. He died a few years ago.

 

A very interesting incident in Nandlal’s spiritual journey was that once he was throwing energised water into a lady patient’s eyes to heal her (one of the processes taught by Gurudev). But he made the mistake of doing this egotistically. The lady herself was a spiritually advanced person, who had practiced many mighty mantras for years. Because of his ego and not doing this on behalf of the power of the sthan, Nandlal’s hand got drained of energy. The water, which is a carrier of energy, was being thrown into the eyes of a powerful person. The eyes are also magnets that can both take in and give out energy. So the energy that was thrown into the eyes, through the holy water, got enhanced as the receiver of the energy was probably more powerful than the hand of the transmitter. He confessed his mistake. For six months he had dullness in his right hand. He had lost a part of his aura energy there. It was a learning for us all.

Why People Have Poor Auras

 

Let us examine why most people who are rich materially, or even those who are clever at their jobs, don’t have thick auras? Listed below are some of the ways in which auras get depleted.

(1) Forward bending exercises and also weight training. Very often when you bend forward or backward and drop the weights, there is loss of aura.

(2) Massages where the masseur pulls your fingers outward in a jerky movement, lead to loss of energy.

(3) Attraction towards the opposite sex involves transference of an X amount of energy. That is why, in the past, women practiced shringar (the art of adornment) to attract energy from the opposite gender.

(4) Sexual interaction involves the exchange of energy and one partner gets more than the other.

(5) Shaking hands with more powerful people leads to loss of energy from the less powerful to the more. Namaste is an insurance against that.

(6) Blessings and aashirwad given by the right hand to the head of a devotee can lead to transference, if the blessings are heartfelt.

(7) Conversely, curses do drain a lot of energy, if they manifest.

(8) Desires and emotional attachments are transference of energy from one to the other. The bonding (moh) that a mother has for her child is a source of earning for the child.

(9) Anger can be loss of aura as the fire within rises to the head and consumes more energy. Hatred is even worse as it is a continuous drain for a long period of time.

(10) Sustenance of life is both an investment and also a gain of energy and therefore the ebb and flow of energy have to be positive.

(11) Speaking too much is also a waste of energy, thus it is nice to remember that there is a cost to each word. So why not economize. Remember the old phrase ‘Brevity thy name is wit’.

 

How to Protect and Enhance the Aura

 

1. Mantra Vidya: Chanting silently in the mind in a meditative pose helps increase the aura. It helps if you cross your hands and feet so that the vibration remains within. Many sadhus keep their malas or rosaries in a cloth bag in which they do their counting. The idea is to keep their rosaries hidden and save the leakage of any vibration or energy. A glass of water kept in front while you are doing mantras in a cross-legged pose helps to capture the energy in the water as well.

 

2. Purification of the mind: A change of the guna mix in an indirect way increases the capacity of a person to hold more aura. People with a sattvic nature have a potential for a larger aura.

 

3. Seva: Serving people, animals and other life forms helps enhance the aura.

 

4. Spiritual Healing: Magnetising away the pain from a patient helps to add some aura which could have been negative to that person. The patient suffering from pain, could be healed by a healer taking away some of the negative energy from the patient’s aura and laundering it into positive energy. This may result in the healer absorbing some of the negative energy in the transitive period. Sometimes, of course the healer has to bear the negative energy in a small measure before it gets converted to positive. To cite a personal example, a patient in Mumbai had blisters in his mouth and throat. I was influenced by his entire family to help him with quick relief. I did not think that was what I should do, but we are all prone to influence and so was I. My son got blisters in his mouth and so did I! They lasted a few days. The lesson I learnt was an important one. I realised the value of surrender to a higher power (here, surrendering the patient’s pain to the higher power of the sthan). We call that arpan.

 

5. Greening Places: Watering plants and greening places helps add to the aura balance. Gardeners are normally richer in aura than their employers.

 

6. Accidental Aura Attainment: Very often we are not in a position to understand the magnetic level in a particular location. However each location has its own magnetic value. Places like temples and other religious places, cowsheds, crossings, caves, have higher magnetic energies than other areas. Homes of people where worship is carried out become magnetically more powerful than normal homes.

When people meditate in such places, they naturally interact with a higher level of spiritual energy. If they are more magnetic or more powerful, they will attain or absorb some of that energy as a part of the interaction. This, of course, is something that should not be practiced commonly unless the practitioner knows what he or she is doing. If one were to try and magnetise energy from a place where worship is practiced it may not be taken kindly by the priest of that institution or by the energy itself.

 

I remember a couple of incidents where I thought I could take some power from a particular location. It was at a private temple of one of Gurudev’s disciples in Renuka. While I was praying at the altar I had a desire to attain some of that energy. Suddenly, I felt as if some power had attacked me. I got a feeling of uneasiness which I could not get rid of. Sitting in the car was a horrifying experience; I felt something was destabilising my mind and body. I felt a kind of heaviness around my head and I knew from past experiences that some force was attacking me. Unfortunately, it did not seem to be a minor force. I couldn’t sit in the car, so I got out and walked towards the Renuka Lake. The uneasiness persisted, though it was slightly less as I was walking on the ground and being earthed (as my feet were planted firmly on the ground possibly the attack of the negative energy may have been partially transmitted to the ground and absorbed by the earth). I could not think of any other option so I prayed to Devi Renuka (the mother of Sage Parshuram), and asked her to protect me from this attack. What happened next is something I still can’t believe, though of course I did see it happen. It was like watching a television screen on my forehead. I saw a beautiful woman, dressed in white, wearing many ornaments and a crown on her head. She looked like a glorious being; I assumed it was the Devi Renuka.

 

I saw myself requesting her for help and she touched my head. The moment she touched my head the heaviness disappeared. The attack was warded off. I felt absolutely normal again. I shall never forget that show of grace. I have always kept the holy water of the Renuka lake in my place of worship as a kind of connection with that charming glorified Devi. I had learned my lesson; energy was better earned, than stolen.

 

Some of the places where magnetic values are higher than at other places:

 

1. Busy gymnasiums or yoga studios

2. Frequently used crossings

3. Pyramids

4. Forests

 

Contamination of Aura

 

Often, the exchange of aura can lead to contamination. Swimming in a pool which is frequented by people with different types of auras, where many of them may be of the tamasic and rajasic quality, we might acquire some of those qualities and magnetise them. Further, wearing people’s clothes which have been recently worn by them, sitting on seats in a bus or a taxi where people with a lower quality of guna mix have recently sat, sleeping on beds in hotels which have been slept on by people who are not of your guna type, are some of the ways in which your aura could get a little polluted.

 

I was a fairly good swimmer especially in the backstroke, but for years I have avoided getting into a pool.

 

I am not saying that you follow these suggestions to the last word. I wanted to exaggerate this point just so that you could understand it better.

 

Another thing that I have realised over the years is that drinking other people’s drunk water or liquid (jhootha) or eating out of someone else’s plate, where there is the chance of someone else’s saliva getting mixed with yours, is dangerous business in aura exchange. Of course this covers kissing. Another person’s saliva brings to you in a very direct way, their qualities, good or bad. People, therefore, want to drink the liquid sipped by a saintly person in order to acquire some of his or her qualities. The next time you have to kiss someone, do an x-ray of their qualities and then decide. Besides, the aura transmitted through the eyes of an individual can affect the food that they are cooking or staring at. If their qualities at that moment are more negative then that would infect the people eating the food. That is why prasad or food distributed at spiritual places of worship has to be cooked by evolved people, known for higher level of thinking and greater qualities. Even what they are thinking whilst cooking matters. The food catches the energy that is generated in the mind of the cook.

 

Different materials react differently to the human aura or human energy. Good conductors of electricity attract (but also discharge) aura much quicker than bad conductors of electricity. If you look at some of the religions, especially Sikhism, you find that the Sikhs always wear a kada (bracelet) or steel bangle on their right hand. Gurudev made people wear copper kadas with silver joints. These kadas if blessed by someone with a powerful aura, manage to retain the aura which revolves around the bracelet in a dynamic way. I have heard accounts of hundreds of people who claim that wearing the kada protected them as it seemed to have established some kind of a connection with a much larger or greater energy. One such person is me.

 

I am too embarrassed to tell you how this kada helped me during my visit to Nairobi over 30 years ago. For twenty days I tried to do something which my conscience considered wrong. But every time I tried to make a moral mistake something would go wrong with my adventurous attempts. I failed constantly and consistently. Logically, it is not possible to fail so many times. I knew there was something odd, something was forcing me to follow the right path. I was wearing a kada that had been given to me by Gurudev, and it kept flashing in my mind every time I failed. By the end of my month-long trip, I knew

 

 

 

The strength and width of the aura determines the power of a human being.

that this bracelet had something to do with my decision-making. I would go as far as saying, it actually manipulated my mind!

 

Significance of Aura

The Ramayana talks very significantly of the Lakshman Rekha, a line drawn by Lakshman around Sita’s hut in the forest during Lord Rama’s exile. Her young brother-in-law was going to leave her alone to find his brother who had gone to chase a golden deer that had captured her fancy. In order to protect her, he drew a line around the hut and energised it with the power of mantras, thereby creating an impenetrable energy field.

 

It is possible for anyone who has a strong aura and spiritual energy to be able to create such a circle of power. Someone who creates this circle needs to be spiritually powerful because you need to sustain that energy with your own. It lasts as long as you will it to last. Very often, when there are spirits in any house or in any particular room, we can capture them with this energy circle. Being trapped within that circle of energy they are not in a position to escape till such time that we allow them to, or till the energy circle remains. In Hindi it is called keelna.

 

Black Magic on Aura

 

Something that one needs to be aware of, but not necessarily fear, is that people can take items which have traces of your aura and perform black magic on you. I remember a young child whose swimming trunks were stolen from the CCI club in Mumbai and black magic was performed. The child lost all energy from waist downwards. This was a case of tantric negative energy being used.

 

I was a victim of black magic performed on me by my watchman in Gurgaon. I had left my shirt behind by mistake and my watchman, who was normally a very nice man, felt the urgent need to make me come back to Gurgaon because he wanted me to help him with a small loan. He got one of his villagers to perform black magic on my shirt (a worn shirt). The beauty of this story is that when I reached Gurgaon, he was the one who told me about his trickery, expecting that I would be amused and impressed. No doubt it was a funny story, and the fact that he confessed made me feel less of a victim and more of a learner.

 

I was once again the victim of black magic performed on me through white Indian sweetmeats called pedas. This led to me suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis for several years. Finally, I was cured by Gurudev around a minute. One of Gurudev’s disciples was shown, in a vision state, who was the culprit and how he had managed to do this.

 

Thanks to Gurudev and the powers he has bestowed on his disciples, hundreds of thousands of people across the globe have received relief. I am personally a witness to a patient called Kamlesh who was made to stay at the sthan for several months. She would get excruciating pain in her stomach and wriggle on the floor like a fish out of water, until she would faint. I saw her vomit out broken pieces of glass bangles tied to black thread on several occasions. The disciple treating her (Mohna) would wash the glass pieces and stick them on a piece of paper, finally to form a full bangle. I was told that some black magic practitioner had given her a taveez (locket) by mixing it in a glass of Rose milk. Gurudev had said she would be fully cured only once the taveez came out of her. Luckily this happened in my presence when she said to Gurudev that she was feeling choked. He hit her back a couple of times and out popped a taveez from her mouth. Kamlesh was finally cured, she now lives in Delhi, is married and has kids. The attempt to kill her was foiled.

 

The moral of the story is that your aura can be hurt and manipulated by practitioners of black magic, voodoo, negative tantric vidya and the like.

 

Seva and Aura

When disciples of Gurudev, who have the gift of healing, practice healing through their aura, they can literally feel the vibration of the negative energy.

 

When a spiritual healer uses his or her power to remove negative energy from the aura, it gets magnetised into their hand. They can either get rid of it by washing it off, as it is newly acquired and therefore not mingled with their own, or absorb it. They also have the wiser option of offering the negative energy to the sthan or temple which is their source of power. That source of power absorbs all these negative energies, which may be negative for some but not negative for all, and amalgamates it within itself. Like it is rightly said, ‘one man’s food is another man’s poison,’ or vice versa. Sometimes, spiritual healers do have to suffer from the negative energies that they may have absorbed, and bear with them till such time that they have managed to launder them. Spiritual practices and reciting of mantras can provide relief.

 

An interesting case that comes to mind is of a lady who was a friend of my mother’s. She kept complaining that someone had performed black magic on her family and that they felt uncomfortable in their home. After hearing her requests several times, I decided to take a couple of my spiritual associates and help her out. While two of us stood at the gate to block the escape of the negative energy, I asked my friend Giri to go and sprinkle magnetised water or jal in the house, and to assess if there was any place that gave him a heavy feeling in the head. He located a part in one of the bedrooms where he was getting a very heavy, negative feeling. We used the specific mantras required to magnetise some more water and asked him to sprinkle it in that specific location. He had to do that a couple of times as the energy was not easy to get rid of.

 

What transpired next was shocking! A huge blister, around one-and-a-half inches in size appeared on his left hand, just below his thumb. It had the shape of a face, like that outlined by a child, and was around one mm thick. As we stood there and watched in awe, the blister slowly started getting absorbed into his hand and finally disappeared. It took about five minutes. The negative energy had got magnetised into his hand and was therefore cleared from the lady’s house.

 

Gurudev’s Thursday Aura Restrictions

 

On Thursdays Gurudev’s followers are asked to follow a few restrictions.

 

Not to shampoo their hair, not to wash their clothes, not to cut their nails and hair, not to consume non-vegetarian food, alcohol, etc.

 

All these restrictions were based on disturbance of the aura on a day when Jupiter’s rays are most powerful. That is why we call it Guruvar or attack by the rays of Guru/Jupiter. The putting of shampoo in the hair has not much to do with the shampoo but with scratching of the hair, the aura of the hand disturbing the aura of the head.

 

Eating non-vegetarian food is consumption of animal aura of a lower variety, which gets mingled with the aura influenced by the rays of Jupiter on that day. The aura that remains behind in the clothes would also be disturbed if they were washed (aura of a person has a particular electromagnetic character, therefore the cloth absorbs it and worn clothes contain the aura through this mechanism).

Transmission of Aura

 

There is some science in old grandma’s tales. Every new mother is told that the white milk she feeds her child should not catch ‘nazar’ or be infected by sight. What does this really mean? It means that our eyes are two-way transmitters of energy. The energy that comes out of the eyes can be positive or negative. White being a colour that is most susceptible to energy, can capture the negative energy and deliver it to a person internally. That is why the old grandmas believed that one should not consume anything pure white seen by another person or for that matter an existing spirit (Gurudev often asked us to mix a different coloured object with rice, curd or milk and not consume it in its pure white form).

The outward transmission of aura also happens in cases like telepathy/desires towards external objects, intense affection or attraction towards a person etc. Creating an energy field outside a house or another object also falls in the outward transmission category. Naturally, the outward transmission of aura depletes our aura balance and that is why most saints of the past have said ‘internalise rather that externalise your thoughts and feelings’. Many spiritual teachers realised that sharing of wisdom is transfer of aura outwards and are hesitant to transfer their realisations. Those who are more evolved realise that it’s a loss worth making and is in the nature of sacrifice. Over a process of time, with the evolution of the person, this loss turns into a profit as people are greatly benefitted by this knowledge and are grateful for their learning.

 

The last few lines consist of a few hundred words only, but are secrets worth millions of $$ in cosmic currency. So, don’t just forget them.

 

Use of Animal Aura

 

What is hardly known to people in the modern age is that even the aura of animals can be used for the benefit of people. When my son was born with weak legs, Gurudev asked me to give him a bath under a bear in such a way that the water would first fall on the bear and after that it would wash the legs of my son. Naturally, this defied logic, and shall we say my (lack of) intelligence. I somehow couldn’t manage to get myself to do this, but now that I understand the subject, I know that it would have worked very well.

 

When I was a couple of years old, my mother had a complaint that I could not speak like other children my age. I was a late starter. One of the village women advised her to make me eat curd that had first been eaten by a crow. She was to make me do that a few times, and she did. And oh God! Why did that work? I would have preferred to be a more silent type, but the crow had to have its victory, and my wife had to suffer it!

 

Gurudev used to say that a black dog absorbs a lot of the negative energies in the house. I have recommended this to several people and most of them have had similar positive experiences.

 

I do not believe much research has been done in this field, therefore there is not much data on the subject of how to use an animal’s aura for the benefit of human beings. However, it is considered by many, that people often acquire the qualities of animals they have lived with.

 

Side-stepping a little into the plant life-form, let us look at how different images on the outside are connected to images on the inside. For example why are walnuts good for the brain? Why are Papayas good for the stomach? Why are almonds good for the eyes? These examples of whether it is aura of vegetables or animals or their form, show the connectivity between all life forms. As evolution takes place, the centre of gravity within you also rises to higher points of consciousness (people often refer to this as the rising of the kundalini). This enables you to hold more energy, and therefore be potentially wealthier than what you were. (How to acquire that extra energy is a subject that we have taken up separately).

 

An Aura Secret (Don’t tell anyone!!)

 

When you think of someone or something, a remote bluetooth connection is established. The subject I want to talk about is criticism or praise. When you criticize someone and their qualities, and you do this often, unwittingly, you magnetise a fraction of those qualities from the person concerned towards yourself. Therefore, regularly criticizing someone will at a point of time X, instil within you the very qualities that you criticized.

 

The same rule would apply if you were to praise or admire another entity. In yogic teachings, if you want to acquire speed, meditate upon a horse, similarly, meditate on the strength of an elephant; courage of a lion; patience of the spider and so on. The moral of the story is what you meditate upon, that you become.

 

Aura: A Cosmic Currency

 

Your aura is your cosmic currency and you need to own a lot of it in order to be rich. It is the only asset that you can carry forward to your future incarnation. It is also the armour that protects you from invasion by other energies including illness and spiritual attacks. Do work hard towards earning as much of it as you can. That is your final status. One of the measurements of your wealth. The stock in trade of your final balance sheet (the other indicators of your cosmic currency include – your samskaras, your seva – both qualitative and quantitative, your realization or gyan and your bhakti – your ability to connect to your inner self and through your inner self to the cosmic consciousness).

 

In case you have questions on the subject, you can write to

[email protected]

 

We can work together to answer common questions and do more research on this subject. Fortunately, spiritual healing deals a lot with the aura and therefore I might be able to provide leads more often than not.

 

Significance of Our Spirit Bodies

 

In the process of loving yourself, your spirit body becomes a significant factor. It is therefore important to get better acquainted with it and understand some of its facets.

 

It is important for us to know and understand the infrastructure of our spirit bodies. As we dwell in the spirit body much longer than in our physical bodies in terms of numbers of years, it becomes significant to pay attention to what I might call a long term asset. To explain further, if an average life is about 80 years in the physical form, existence of the spirit body in the interim period can be much longer. Sometimes spirits wait for hundreds of years to attain a physical form. Of course the physical body also contains the spirit body, whose existence is in continuity both in physical and in spirit form. It is conjecture, but I estimate that people exist in spirit bodies for thousands of years. For example, the Bhrigu Samhita (a set of leaves predicting the future of people alive today), was written 2500 – 3500 years ago. Spirit bodies have existed long before that. Some of my dream sequences showed me my own existence from several thousand years ago, judging from the attire, type of weaponry, use of vibrations to fire arrows etc.

 

Though I am not an absolute authority on the subject, I have had several escapades out of the body and with spirits so what I’m going to state further is what I have learned from these experiences.

 

The spirit body is made out of a substance like ether, almost like a smoke body (one-tenth as dense as smoke) slightly lit from within. Because of its light weight and subtle vibration it does not need to move slowly like its physical counterpart. It can fly through air using its will. It hardly receives any thoughts and thinking is substituted with observation. It has a mind which is different from the human mind as we know it, because it does not receive and churn thoughts and attain the same level of feelings like the physical body. It observes mainly dispassionately, subject to its evolved citta.

The currency this body requires for its survival and well-being is something that we could call cosmic currency or simply, energy or shakti. For this body to be able to travel to different dimensions, it needs to attain that speed for which it requires a lot of energy. The energy this body has accumulated or is in possession of also helps protect the spirit body from being bullied or captured by other spirit bodies. The level of energy is its measure of strength.

 

Even while we are alive there are opportunities for our spirit bodies to do things independent of their physical bodies: Spirit bodies can be used to burn out the karma and events that were meant to be, and these may happen in the spirit bodies instead of physical ones. In fact there are yogis who can create additional spirit bodies out of their own energies (called nirman kaya). They use these second bodies for the fructification of the stored karmas in the karmashaya, in order to exhaust their karmas quicker (this is possible only by advanced spiritualists).

 

I know this sounds like a sci-fi movie, maybe the yogic version of the Matrix Reloaded, but I have seen and experienced similar things in my life and therefore I am convinced that this can be true.

 

Astral Travel

 

On the subject of out-of-body experiences, I have not only had several personal experiences, but have also been the understudy of a man who travelled astrally, at least thrice a week, and for several hours on end.

 

If the subject interests you, let me share the experiences I had in that astral form. My astral travel started when Gurudev talked about it to me very casually. He said he would take me for a long tour out of the body. He asked me to go sleep while he lay down on paath

 

(that was when he was going to travel astrally). While I was sleeping, I saw his emissary appear and say come, Gurudev is calling you. Being so physically oriented, I never realised that I should take the help of the emissary (one of his favourite disciples called Puranji), walk out of the body and follow him. Instead, I forced myself to physically wake up and go to his room. There I found Puranji pressing his feet whilst he was up, up and away (had left his body).

 

However, all was not lost. Gurudev would make me sleep in the sthan room and had taught me some advanced mantras. On one of these nights, I felt myself awake from within but asleep physically. I could float from the bed but was restrained to the sphere of my body. That means that I could float about three to four inches above the bed or sideways but was restricted to my body’s boundary. I could figure out that the floating me was awake whilst the physical me was fast asleep. This happened a few times. From my point of view the plumbing within me was getting forced to have a cleaner and unobstructed path. Thereafter I would see him very often in my dream state. This was preparation for my spirit body to exit my physical body in time to come.

 

 

An artist’s impessions of the spirit body departing at death when kundalini rises to the sahasra or back of the head.

 

During the dream state and vision state, I would find myself travelling with Gurudev to different locations and everything seemed so real that I could even feel the breeze and touch things. The visits sometimes included going to a couple of well known temples that I had never seen. In fact he took me to a temple in Lonavala which was built by one of his young disciples. I saw the temple structure and the idols therein, they were in colours of grey and black, not very common colours this side of the country. When I saw this temple with Gurudev, I had no clue as to where it was or that this experience lasted only for a couple of minutes.

 

Act 1. scene 2 – A few days later, Gurudev’s disciple who had built this temple, ran into me on the road at Lonavala and requested me to come and see the temple with him. When we reached I was amazed. It was the same temple that Gurudev had taken me to a few months back, and exactly as I had seen it!

 

More Alive Than Dead

 

Many spiritual saints appear in the spirit form to help and guide human beings. Gurudev has been doing this for several decades. I was quite shocked to meet my class mate from boarding school at the sthan in Gurgaon. It was definitely unexpected, the man was a fancy international businessman, who had become an alcoholic; fortunately he gave up alcohol after a few years. When I asked him what he was doing there and how he had come there, he told this story.

 

He was living in DLF, Gurgaon, under a lot of stress, both financially and emotionally.

 

We’re talking about an incident that happened somewhere in 2010, approximately 20 years after Gurudev had expired. So in the early hours of the morning, he got a vision with his eyes open like in a dream. He saw a man standing in front of him and the man said, “Don’t worry I will solve your problems.” In the background he heard, ‘Come to Guruji of Gurgaon in Sector 7.’ He had never heard of any such person so he googled it. He was amazed that the man he saw in vision state was the same man on the website Guruji of Gurgaon. When he reached the sthan in sector 7 in the prayer room he saw photographs of Gurudev hanging on the wall, and the disciples there told him about Gurudev. Boy! How freaked he was!

 

Matter with a Different Vibration

What was really perplexing in these out-of-body experiences was that everything ‘solid’ in the physical world was ‘subtle’ in form and matter in the spirit world. I found myself being able to go through walls, almost crossing the barrier like it was made of the thinnest paper. I could see the dimensions of the room in the physical form, but I could go up through the ceiling and through the walls without any resistance. The other thing that I found unique was that even in the middle of the night, the lighting in the room was not pitch dark. The light outside was exactly what it is 20 minutes after sunset, the light inside was a few shades darker.

 

Flying Through the Fan

I did manage to hurt myself during one of these experiments. I was amused to see myself fly through the fan into the flat above. When I saw people sleeping there, I came back the same way I had gone. However this time I stopped on the way down through the fan, at the level of my ankles. I was almost hanging halfway between the rooms, with my ankles at the level of the fan blades. As I had frozen there for a few seconds, I heard a click sound in the area of my ankles and felt myself get hurt. When I woke up the next morning, I had pain in the exact spot and had to limp with it for 15 days.

 

Witness to a Duplicate Body

 

Ashish, a young spiritualist, was sitting at the Lemon Tree Resort in Goa. He was there with his cousin having lunch on a Thursday. He had asked for the menu card and was going to order prawns, while his cousin had gone to the restroom. Suddenly, he heard a voice from across the table. He saw his spiritual teacher sitting there, in gross material form. He told him that he should not eat non-vegetarian on Thursdays. Then the figure disappeared and Ashish had a vegetarian meal. He will never forget this to his dying day. This was a case-study of a nirman kaya or duplicate body. Physically, the teacher was present in another city and wasn’t even aware of the incident. His second body seemed to have a will of its own.

Uninvited Guests

 

Virenderji a judge in Haryana and a respected human being, was a spiritual disciple of Gurudev. Once, he had unexpected guests for breakfast. He had overslept that morning and missed going to the park for his morning walk. Three of his friends came over at 8:30am and told him that he had met them that very morning at 6:30am and asked them to come over for breakfast. That man had just woken up and did not know how to figure this one, but breakfast he certainly did arrange. This example was meant to show that another version of you can exist whilst on a path of self-evolution

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The resurrection of Jesus, who went on to appear in his physical body after crucifixion, is a similar example.

 

Gati – the speed of the spirit body

In order to travel faster than it normally can, the spirit body requires extra spiritual energy. This energy gives the spirit body the power of motion. Which means that it can use that energy to travel at super speed from one place to another, faster than spirits can at their normal pace (if they do not have gati). This extra energy also enables the spirit body to be able to pass through barriers and reach other dimensions, a long distance away.

You’ve probably guessed that the way to attain this energy is to follow the same practices that you need to follow to increase the depth of your aura. It was about 25 years ago, in a vision state, that I found I was being taught the science of speed of travel by one of Gurudev’s disciples. He said that he had been asked to come in order to help me learn this technique of superfast travel. I woke up to the fact that I had attained or rather been made to attain gati. There is an old adage in Hindi: ‘Guru bin gati kahan?’ (It is not easy to acquire superfast travelling speed without the grace of the guru).

 

After this attainment, I have experienced a few travels, where I felt my spirit body move like a rocket, in the sense that I could not see whilst I was travelling astrally. It was like a “zzzz” sound and the speed was too fast for vision to comply. I could sense that I was travelling, but there was no sight, only movement. This was in an out-of-the-body state and not in a dream state.

 

Karmashaya and Kaarna Sharira

(Component of the Spirit Body)

 

The inner body of the sukshma sharira or the spirit body is called the kaarna sharira. It is called the causal body and that is exactly what the word kaarna means, the reason for existence. This is the third body connected to our jivatma, and separate from our physical and astral bodies.

The karmashaya is the Pot that contains the long-term and short-term memories, the samkaras and therefore I have referred to it in several places as the ‘hard disk’ from where our samskaras surface to become karmas. The karmashaya is attached to the kaarna sharira (many believe it is a part of the sukshama sharir but the controversy does not affect us). So let us not go down the theory route.

The samskaras can also be divided into the three gunas. And naturally they will create matching trends of thought and resultant deeds or karmas. An energy called vasna takes the stored information and brings it out of the database at relevant times to the relevant place. This is something like the electrical energy that is used by a laptop or a computer to bring out the database to the screen on receiving a command. And do remember this command is more like a search option because the database is so vast and unending.

Read more at www.karmasutra.co.in

Our Aatma + Ego = Our Jivatma.

Jivatma + Kaarna Sharira + Sukshma Sharir (including Karmashaya) + Physical body = Us.

 

A common connect for jivatma and kaarna sharira and Sukshma Sharir & Physical Sharir is the citta).

Our thoughts and feelings, including aversions, passions, inspirations, our reactions and several such sentiments flow from this karmashaya to our human minds.

 

Cleansing of this karmashaya and reducing the data on it is one of the critical missions of our lives.

 

On the other hand, we may need to feed in some data into this karmashaya in order to change our attitudes and reactions. Let’s look at a few examples.

If we are seeing a lot of tamasic samskaras come to fore, we can focus on sattvic samskara building, in order to ensure future karmas are in the sattvic direction. Spiritualism leads to that and so does philosophy, philanthropy and so forth.

 

Sattvic samskaras lead to sattvic feelings and trends which in turn lead to sattvic karmas. We need to build sattva in greater proportion to tamas and rajas. We need a major change in attitude. A famous management quote says ‘It is by a person’s attitude that you can judge their altitude.’

Every spiritual discipline teaches us to improve our character. Indian philosophy, especially yoga, talks about the eight-fold path of evolution. So does Buddhism. All these strategies for evolution are meant to achieve similar results. In simple terms, a change in our guna mix.

 

Five Magic Attitudes for Evolution

1. Empathy

 

The word empathy goes around as a common word and is often used in many of our conversations. However, being able to empathise with others in your day-to-day life is no easy task.

Despite the fact that I had taken to spiritualism in a serious way, I still found it easy to find fault with many of the people I met. I would detect shortcomings even in my spiritual batch-mates and associates. I realised that it was the way I looked at things. I could almost assess the rights and wrongs, instinctively.

 

My friend Saturn, the planet that the entire universe is afraid of, decided to teach me a lesson; understanding the value of empathy. I was down in bed for over two months, and this gave me time to contemplate many of my personal philosophies. I was going through a short negative period of effects of the movement of Saturn in my personal horoscope.

 

The thought came to me that I should reflect (in reverse) the inside, outside and the outside, inside. To explain this sentence simply, I realised that I needed to forgive others, if I wanted to forgive myself. That’s right. That if I kept looking at shortcomings in others, I would always see my own shortcomings and not be able to look at the light within. How can one see divinity in oneself, if one sees oneself with so many blemishes all the time? I found it necessary to alter a quotation from the Bible. I realised that “I need to do unto others as I would do unto myself.”

 

Think about it, when you care for other people, it becomes natural for you to care for yourself. A person who is in the habit of admiring others, doesn’t miss out on himself or herself. This is what I meant when I said, that you need to reflect the inside outside and vice versa.

 

Knowing that people need to play out their karma and to live out their pre-programmed destinies, knowing that people are what they are programmed to be, and reflect the attributes of their gunas, it is technically difficult to blame them for what they do and how they think. Jesus put it better than me when he said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”

 

I started looking at people in a different light. If sometimes, they behaved in a certain way to gain attention, instead of seeing this is as a fault, I started seeing this as a part of their nature, and something I needed to accept.

 

When my son behaved in the way he did, being pleasure-seeking, burning the candle at both ends, I realised he couldn’t help himself. It was his age. This was the period of his destiny that he had to live out. The planetary effects did not allow hard work, commitment, seriousness or sincerity. On the contrary they encouraged callousness, casualness, the constant desire for fun times. I had a choice. I could hate that and hold it against him, or I could empathise with him and accept the fact that he would change later. Probably I needed to hold my horses and be patient. My relationship with him changed. A better way to say it is, if you can’t beat them join them! He tries as much as he can, but not as much as I would like him to. I empathise with his state of being, and I empathise with myself, because I can’t make him do things the way I would like him to.

I am not surprised anymore, when I look at people who do not behave the way they should. Earlier, I would think they do not have a balanced mind, are reactive and immature. That would make me look down at most people and naturally, I would consider them lesser mortals. With my new-found empathy, I realised that the world is what it is for me, and the world is what it is for them. I do not try to superimpose my personal attitudes and style of thinking upon others.

 

Earlier, every time I went to a social gathering. I thought it was mental torture because people were trying to sound so profound about trivial things. They seriously discussed things that meant nothing to me, and possibly meant nothing to them too. An entire evening would vanish with conversation that sounded meaningless and left me frustrated. Today I realise, it is not the fault of the people I socialised with, it was my fault for not being empathetic enough to realise that my journey was different from theirs, and who is to say which is the right one? So now I can attend a social gathering and talk Greek in good English!

 

Many years ago, I walked over an old newspaper by accident. It had a photograph of Mr. J.R.D Tata. I respected this man a lot because he was a kind-hearted Indian industrialist. He was generous and charitable and wasn’t egoistic like so many others. The newspaper carried his interview. It quoted him saying, ”Many times we are disappointed with executives who work for us because we expect them to think the way we would and behave as we would expect ourselves to behave.” This was a learning of this business icon and he allowed himself to adapt to the fact that he needed to lower his expectations from the people who worked with him. His personal experience was that he found it easier to deal with people when he adopted that attitude. He is regarded as one of the most successful people in India, almost universally. I remembered that quote, but it took me some time to be able to put it to practice.

If you reflect upon what we have discussed so far, you will accept the fact that empathy is an important ingredient in dealing with ourselves.

 

a. Arrogance in Humility

 

Let us not forget that being empathetic does not mean we are not critical in our analysis of ourselves and our shortcomings. Empathy should not dull our observatory. We need to be aware of what is not correct in our own nature and behaviour and to create the intent to change.

Let me give you a strange example. While I was having lunch with a childhood friend, I happened to say something to another guest at the restaurant. The guest wanted to know whether I was the owner of this restaurant, and though I was, I said “No, I assist the manager here.” When I sat down again to continue our lunch she smiled at me and said that she thought I was rather arrogant. Excuse me! I thought that was a modest statement. Why did she think that was arrogant?

 

She explained, “It seems that you don’t care what people think of you and so you can talk about yourself as a nobody. It is like you are standing right up there, looking down at everybody here.” That was a pretty lopsided view, I thought. The discussion changed. But when I went home and reflected on her statement, I realised that there was some truth in her observation. Yes, I was arrogant!

 

I discussed my horoscope with my astrologer friend and asked him to decipher whether arrogance was shown to exist in my horoscope. On analysis, he seemed to agree with the fact that it was, and he gave me planetary justifications for it. Oops! It was not a savoury analysis to look at. I didn’t like the fact that I could be arrogant. However, what this did for me was, it made me conscious about my arrogance. Often now, I observe myself to see whether I’m sounding arrogant or behaving in an arrogant manner. Though this does not end the arrogance, as that is my nature, it certainly makes me conscious and aware. In fact, often in the middle of a conversation, I say, “Excuse me, am I sounding arrogant?” Of course everybody says no! It does add a little amusement to the discussion and people find me humble in my arrogance.

 

b. Sneh and Stage Fright

 

Sneh, who is helping me with this book, had an example to share. She admitted that she suffers from stage fright. She gets nervous when she is talking to people professionally, or on stage. Having worked a lot in this area, I asked her one magic question-, “Are you afraid of making a fool of yourself?” Bingo! That was it. The diagnosis was correct. On further discussion, she realised the reason for her shortcoming and committed that from then on she was not going to care about what people thought. This is going to make a change in Sneh’s life. She will say whatever she says but more confidently.

The amusing part of this story is that Sneh is a very beautiful woman with an impressive personality. She probably has no mirror in her house or else she would see how good-looking she is on a physical level. What Sneh needs to learn is how to empathise with herself.

Decades ago, I used to be a professional speaker at many events. I also conducted courses for Public Speaking at a well-known academy. Many senior Rotarians, who were about to become District Governors, would consult me on their speeches. Other businessmen and professionals did too. This was the LCM of their problems. They all cared about being impressive rather than being expressive. I used to make them perform exercises making fools of themselves. Like stand on a table and do a cabaret or some such nonsense, sometimes in groups. Those who followed my diktat, lost their stage fright in only a couple of sessions.

 

c. Envy or be Envied

 

Veena, an associate, shared her shortcoming of feeling envious. Because she has not been able to have a baby, she realised that she felt envious of others who did. She did not like that. It made her look down upon herself. I realised her predicament and spoke to her about the contents of the first half of this book, namely about destiny and thoughts. It was an hour-long discussion, but it seemed to have lifelong results. Veena was convinced that she had to change her way of thinking. She realised that she had a lot that others didn’t, so why can’t others have what she didn’t? She was laughing when she said, “I have such a lovely husband, and surely many women can’t be sure of that.” She spoke about her in-laws being supportive and helpful in every way. Again she felt that not many women were lucky enough. She said she enjoyed her job, and it seemed everything was in her favour except for one. At the end of the conversation, according to her, she needed to be envied, rather than her being the one who envied.

 

Learning to Empathise

 

Sneh admits that in her earlier years, while tending to sick people, she secretly felt that they were fussing. However when she herself was laid up in bed with a back problem, she learnt the value of empathy. Now, when she encounters someone who is unwell, it is easy for her to empathise with them and want to take care of them. A great learning at the age of 26.

Trust me when I say play the Empathy Card and win the Game of Cards.

I once attended a four-day seminar by Professor George Hadden from the USA. It was a life- changing seminar. One of the exercises he made us practise several times was as follows:

 

We would sit at a round table for eight. One person would stand and seven others had to pay him or her compliments for one minute each. Gosh! Was that difficult! Initially we could only see the attributes of the person that were skin deep – clothes, body, jewellery, smile. But as these sessions progressed and the groups changed, we could look at more subtle qualities of that person and the compliments were more genuine. By the end of the fourth day we could feel the vibrations of that person and sense their qualities rather than see them . A kind of a ‘sixth sense’ experience. Changed my life!

 

I suddenly started believing that I should home in on people’s positivity and likeable attributes. I felt that it was an investment. I ignored their negative vibrations which I thought was expenditure. Fortunately, I can look at a person and sometimes even their photograph and sense their quality mix and that helps me in my business of life.

 

Gurudev was almost a king of empathy. The fact that he could accept a bunch of dodos like us and convert us into spiritualists took some doing! There were times, during that learning process, when I had selfish thoughts, silly thoughts and thoughts that established my immaturity. I can now see, in retrospect, how he would bear with us and motivate us, despite our failings. He would say we human beings make hundreds of mistakes a day, so learn how to forget and move on. He would say “malik tera bhala kare” (may the Consciousness Supreme do you good).

 

His empathy helped in my reconstruction. After meeting him and spending time with him, I unwittingly started comparing myself with him. Naturally I was a goner. The ‘cool dude’ that was me, now saw himself as raw, selfish, complex and unenviable. I had lost confidence in myself. I saw myself as a fool. A well-manicured fool (thank God for small mercies). He, on the other hand, always said, “I know what you are and so will you. You have gyan (inner knowledge) and you will share it. You will write a book on it.”

 

I knew nothing. How could I even think of such a venture? These were just kind words, I thought.

He didn’t give up. “A horse gives birth to a horse,” he would say. “A son (disciple) of a Guru will be a Guru.” That made sense, but when? His empathy and confidence in us eventually did turn us around. By following his path we did realise our self-worth. I did write a book. In fact, more than just one. Sharing what I have learned with others has become a mission. But I never forget his encouragement. His empathy!

 

2. Acceptance

 

In a life of endless desires, unaccomplished goals, regular frustrations, and failed attempts, misery becomes the by-product. I have never been able to find a greater secret than acceptance to attain equilibrium of the mind. Acceptance can be taken in various aspects. Financial crises, business loss or closure, is hard to accept and a cause for stress. Naturally, one must use strategies of reduction, correction or any other method. At the end of the day, all said and done, there are only two options – acceptance or dejection.

 

When people behave or react to you in a manner, which is unacceptable to you, there are two options – reaction or acceptance. When you have done your best in a particular job and get no appreciation you have two options – rejection or acceptance.

 

When anything nice happens and you attain something in the material, intellectual or spiritual world there are two options – excitement or acceptance.

When you go out for a meal and it turns out to be unsavoury, again you have two options – disappointment or acceptance.

When a near one gets very sick or dies you have two options – lamentation or acceptance.

 

If your spouse were to abandon you, cheat on you or leave you due to disagreements, you have two options – rejection or acceptance

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A continuation of these options would lead to writing another book. So let us summarise: Acceptance does not mean non-action or making no efforts towards correction and change. But if you notice carefully, it is the only option devoid of emotion. Every other option instigates the brain and disturbs the mind. For thousands of years spiritual savants have spoken about CONTENTMENT. The root of contentment lies in ACCEPTANCE.

 

One of the well-known Sufi mystics was a woman called Rabia. Her approach to spiritual life won her respect from many of her contemporaries. When people asked her, “when are servants of God content?” She replied, “They are content when they are as grateful for pain as they are for pleasure.”

 

3. Vairagya or Detachment

Having acquired proficiency in the above two concepts, we can aim to practise the third. Let us examine what attachment does for us. Firstly, it puts us in the loop of pleasure and pain.

 

Secondly, we get connected to people and things – the destiny of those people or things which are not connected to us, now start affecting us. We therefore, buy into the equity of others’ pleasure and pain, and pain being a more widespread commodity, we become susceptible to lot of additional pain. Further, attachment leads to outward attention, we keep thinking about the people or products we are attached to and this can lead to outward transmission of the aura (as explained in the chapter on aura). It also takes attention away from ourselves and focuses on external objects.

 

Detachment leads to the balancing of emotions and is a critical tool required for the reduction of duality. To step towards higher levels of consciousness, we need to detach not only from family, friends and beloved products, we also have to detach from our own physical bodies, which are impermanent in nature.

 

Strangely, all of Gurudev’s followers felt they were the closest people to him, so did I. Each of us felt he favoured us more than the others. Over a hundred of us, felt that we were one of the eleven chosen disciples of his fraternity. We felt that he loved us much more than our parents did, and he was always thinking about our well-being and progress. He spent more time with us than he spent with his children. It was later, when I got to know him closely, that, I realised he belonged to everyone and to no one. He was ready to relieve your pain, but not feel it.

 

4. Role Play

 

There are two sides to role play. We can play the role of the characters that people want us to become or we can become the characters that are needed at the time. If you have seen ‘Godfather’ the film, you might want to know that Marlon Brando the lead actor got so absorbed in the character, that he needed six months of psychiatric help to get him back into his own. Rod Styger played the role of Napoleon in an epic saga called ‘War & Peace’. He too got into the role and needed psychiatric care to get out of it. I am sure many actors have gotten absorbed into the roles they play in films and theatre and become the characters they played, more than themselves.

 

Just imagine if you can reverse that. Ha Ha!! Think about it. If you could play the role of the husband that your wife wanted you to be, the role of the father your children wanted you to be, the role of the mother that your children wanted to see you as, and you could do this as a part of play-acting (but good acting mind you). Imagine the change in relationships! You would not need to believe in the role that you were playing. You would do it merely as an act. There would be no emotions attached. There would be no ego bashing. So why not ACT genuine instead of being genuine and not have to carry the baggage of emotions. Gurudev played almost every character in the book that I could imagine. He once told me that his relationship with me (and with others) was multiple. He said he was my guru, my father, my mother, a friend, a brother, all in one, but at different times. I noticed on many occasions that he responded to the role you assigned to him. If you treated him like a guru, he behaved with you like a teacher. If you gave him the role of the mother, he would indulge you. If you treated him like a friend, he would be cracking jokes and pulling your leg and using those famous Punjabi words that have been eternalised.

 

5. Pratipakshabhavana

 

One of the yogic techniques is the art of creating an opposite attitude to something you do not like. In simple words, looking at the opposite viewpoint. When your mind tends to give you thoughts, about something which your intellect does not find acceptable, you need to select an opposite thought to superimpose on the original one that you didn’t like. For example, if someone were to be rude to you, naturally you would develop animosity towards that person. This yogic technique tells you to look at it in an opposite manner. You can tell yourself that maybe the person who was rude to you was going through a period of stress and did not realise how he or she was speaking. You can tell yourself that maybe it was your luck to face a test of your reactivity. You can ask yourself if you said something that had instigated this reaction. There are many such opposite feelings that you can create to stop the rudeness of the other person and thereby, stop feeling bad about it. Maharishi Patanjali says – “Let us not forget, however, that, just as a sandbank may shift and change its shape if the tide or the current changes, so also the samskaras may be modified by the introduction of the other kinds of thought-waves into the mind.”

 

This is not a book that promises, but it does recommend consistent effort. I would like you to think about the art of learning how to play cricket. Technically, it is almost impossible to see a ball at 145 miles an hour and then decide how to play it. No batsman can do that. So how do they learn to play a ball that moves faster than you can think?

It’s called practice!

 

Maharishi Patanjali remarks – “Expose the mind to constant thoughts of anger and resentment, and you will find that these anger-waves build up anger-samkaras, which will predispose you to find occasions for anger throughout your daily life. A man with well-developed anger-samskaras is said to have ‘a bad temper’.”

 

You need to go to the nets and keep practising till you intuitively know what to do. You need to accept that improvement will happen, only a bit at a time, and not through any magic potion. And so it is with spiritual practices. Instead of looking at the rate of success, look at the rate of decreasing failure.

 

Even on the subject of loving yourself one can look at the flip side by saying, ‘these days I dislike myself less’ and then say ‘I hardly dislike myself ’, which will soon lead to the fact that you do not dislike yourself at all. From here it can be about how much you like yourself and at some point, it can be how much you love yourself and thereafter, that you love yourself completely.

 

It’s about eradication. A little bit at a time. It’s not about getting a distinction in your first attempt; it’s about improving your score consistently

.

I once went to Gurudev and said, “I feel embarrassed while treating ladies, what should I do if I get sensual thoughts?” He smiled as if he had been asked that question a few hundred times before. He said, “Give the women you are treating the form of a child or an old woman. See the person in your visualisation at the age of 4 or 5 and also of 75 or 80 years.” This was a unique example of pratipakshabhavana where you superimpose not an opposite emotion but variation of visualisations to a negative one.

Watch Yourself Do Good

(To Be Read Repeatedly)

 

The process of loving yourself cannot be restricted to the conscious mind, you have to love yourself at the level of the unconscious mind as well. The easiest way to do that is to watch yourself doing things that you find admirable, which will be justified in your mind as deeds of accomplishment.

When you see yourself doing things that you find likable or lovable your self-worth goes up. Conversely, when you see yourself doing things which you do not respect or find acceptable, you lose respect for yourself. The problem that most of us face is that our mind gets conditioned from childhood and the habits we form include the way we react to stimuli. This includes the way we analyse things. You can call this habitual thinking. Changing this habitual response needs consistent effort.

The solution lies in repetition. We need to superimpose multiple layers of impressions in order to erode existing ones. It is far more difficult than learning the 37 times-table in arithmetic. That is the reason for watching yourself do likable actions again and again. Just like practising cricket at the nets.

 

It is only through repetitive actions that we are convinced that:

Our deeds are worthy.

Our actions are likable.

Our attitude is lovable.

 

When you distance yourself from the deed by not being the doer, you automatically become free of the negative or positive emotion. This again needs multiple impressions and continuous reminding in a self hypnotic manner.

 

As you might have experienced, negating a deed, which you did not find palatable as an observer, required great effort and much self-counselling.

So, if you do a good deed or a not-so-good one, and do not negate it, it gets stored as a samskara which requires positive fructification. (At a higher level of consciousness than the stage that I am now referring to, you will probably not want to take benefit benefit of the good deeds as well. We will discuss this later under the heading of karmamukta).

 

Seva: A Quick Fire Solution

 

Seva works in many ways. As we have seen above, it is definitely a precursor to self-esteem. Besides that, it is also a demonstration to the inner bodies, of the efforts being made by the physical body to evolve itself and its spirit body. The status of the karmashaya also changes towards positive. Further, it elevates you in terms of your guna mix. Your sattva guna increases in proportion to your two lower gunas. It almost works like a collaboration between the various bodies and levels of consciousness of a particular being.

 

There are different levels of doing seva. Helping people with material necessities like food, shelter and clothing is very beneficial. Those who are in need will certainly be more than obliged and grateful. Whether they show gratitude or not at the physical level doesn’t matter. The gratitude will definitely be reflected at an unconscious level and the emotion attached will lead to transference of energy (in the form of their blessings) thereby making you slightly more aura rich.

 

Several Options for Seva

 

Another great service is education. Over a hundred years ago, someone helped educate my grandfather. This led to the education and improved lifestyle of several families. My father sponsored the education of several children. I continue to do the same. By the time I close the chapter on life the results will be as follows. The education of my grandfather would have led to the education of over 1000 children. A pretty good equation, don’t you think? Imagine how one family has shown gratitude. Add to that the gratitude felt by most of the members of this family for that one benefactor. I am convinced that the benefactor would not even know his spiritual earnings from the service. But the cosmic consciousness would know that. His unconscious mind and the hard disk namely the karmashaya would certainly be updated with this deed.

As you have guessed correctly, service or seva works as a multilevel marketing concept. There are direct benefits and there are additional benefits in the style of a commission that is accrued.

 

Providing healing to both men and animals/birds is enriching. Helping alleviate somebody from physical suffering results in a huge reward in terms of gratitude. The blessing that one can attain by helping free someone of the disease that is making them miserable in body and mind is not measurable (however at this point it is important to note, and note very carefully, that you should not accept the reward or gratification for any service performed if you want to retain its value).

 

In the ancient times people who gave their daughter’s hand in marriage, never ate either cereal or salt in the home of their married daughters. The reason is very simple. Giving a daughter’s hand in marriage to a family is called kanyadaan, and this is considered to be the greatest act or gift of charity. Gurudev instructed us never to eat or take obligations from someone to whom we offered a service or charity. His lesson was about doing service but never accepting anything in return. He also insisted that we should not take personal favours from such people. In fact, as we evolved in his eyes, his instructions changed to not eating anyone’s food besides our own and not accepting obligations and favours whenever possible.

 

There are two lessons in this for me, or for you, and that is never to accept a return for the service you render. The service you render should not have an agenda of a personal gain attached. Nor should the service you do be paid for, otherwise the accrual of the service gets diluted (I know this is not going to appeal to many readers who think that selling a product at a subsidised rate is a great service to the buyer. We will continue to have different opinions on this subject and that is justified).

 

At a more evolved level of consciousness, you may want to discard the idea of having done good deeds, or any deeds for that matter, and accept those as a part of your destiny and that of the recipient’s. This kicks in at the stage of non-doership (more on this in Chapter V).

 

There are many other kinds of service that are performed by various charitable and non-profit organisations. These include a host of services like micro-finance, forming cooperatives for earning, running institutions for specifically disabled people, helping communities to learn self-reliance by teaching them various skills and crafts, facilitating people in getting employment, the list is never ending. When people collectively contribute to this cause the benefits of the service are collectively distributed. At an unconscious level, we are all connected and so the recording of these deeds and the accrual of the benefits is not such a problem.

 

Spiritual Blessings

 

Spiritual healing and spiritually helping people gain required benefits by giving them blessings is considered the highest form of service performed by saints. I have seen Gurudev perform this kind of service for over a decade, and for the benefit of hundreds of thousands of people. He also empowered over a 100 people to do the same, in different locations all over the country and abroad.

 

This kind of service gets you the highest effort- to- reward ratio that you can conceive of. One of his disciples can provide relief to several hundred people in just one day. Imagine what a hundred can do!

 

Written below is a very interesting quote which is a part of the teachings of Guru Vashisht to his disciple Ram. This is a part of the Yog Vasistha, probably one of the most brilliant books in the history of mankind (Translation by Swami Venkatesananda).

“ Austerity or penance is self- inflicted pain. Of what value is charity performed with wealth earned by deceiving others? Only they derive the fruits of such charity! Religious observances add to one’s vanity.”

 

Guru Vashisht believed that service to others and realisation of the eternal truth are the only purposes of spiritual life and everything else is insignificant. Though I agree with him wholeheartedly, I do believe I would rather be empathetic and accept people at different stages of climbing the ladder.

 

There are different stages to spiritual education like there are to formal education. Lucky are those who reach stage one and then decide to move on to the next. But one thing is for certain; service to other life forms is service to the Consciousness Supreme and service to the Self. So stop reading and thinking, stop analysing and evaluating, put this book down, do a good deed or plan one on paper and make a commitment. After your spiritual break, pick it up again, because there is more to come.

 

In the preceding chapters, I have tried to convey to you, the reader, about the possibility of spiritual growth while living in the grihasta ashram (i.e. living like a common householder does); the type of achievements which are possible and have indeed been achieved not only by me, but also by several of Gurudev’s disciples. The icing on the cake was Gurudev himself. He was in the final stages of meditation at Santokh Sar in Amritsar. He had left home after marriage to pursue his spiritual attainments. He heard a voice in the atmosphere (called akashwani) which said that he needs to go back and live a family life and that’s where his final attainments would take place. He did. And that is what happened.

 

Life score card

 

The objective of this book is not to denigrate the pursuit of normal householder requirements, materialism and intellectual attainments. The life score card below gives a balance to the average householder lifestyle, giving equal weightage to the three main parameters of a householder’s life i.e. – Physical, Intellectual and Spiritual.

 

The purpose of the life score card is to help you assess the relative success that you have achieved in the three parameters of life – Physical, Intellectual and Spiritual. These, we feel, represent the circle of life to a large extent.

 

For each parameter, 100 marks have been allotted, thus the total maximum score can be 300. While filling in the score card please use your judgment in assigning a score for yourself, except where the score card guides you in doing so.

 

Before you start, let us take two examples of householders and see how they would score in this exercise.

 

1. Mr. Iyengar is a DGM (Finance) at a successful public limited company, earning a good monthly salary. He is 55 years old, has his own house and has recently helped his son make the down payment on his house. His daughter is married to a software engineer living in the USA and is expecting his first grandchild. He is well versed in the scriptures, prays and makes offerings at his local temple daily. He chants mantras for one to two hours a day. He is a pillar of strength in his community and his neighbours often reach out to him for guidance. He would no doubt score very well on the material front and not bad on the intellectual front. However, on the spiritual front, he would have to consider himself average.

 

2. Mr. Kapur is an extremely successful businessman, running several successful businesses and earning like there’s no tomorrow. He owns a plush apartment in a ritzy part of town and has just bought the adjacent flat for his son. His daughter is studying Liberal Arts abroad. However, he has just found out that she is in a relationship with a boy from another community and wants her to return home to get married to a boy of his choice. He has already started seeking a suitable alliance for her in the business community. He works 12-14 hours daily, after which, he settles down at his club with a few friends for his daily dose of Single Malt. Reaching home just in time for dinner, he has little time for his wife or children as he is engaged with international business phone calls. He used to read fictional novels in his younger days but now it’s only TV. He has very little knowledge of Philosophy and thinks it is meant for the nerds. He would only score high on the material and financial part of the “Physical” part of the Life Score Card, but would probably score very low on the rest.

 

3. Why don’t you try to fill out the score card and see where you stand? If at the end of the exercise you are satisfied with your score, hats off to you! I will make a humble request that you pass on this book to someone who you feel needs it. If, however, you are not satisfied with your score, more particularly on the intellectual and spiritual front, why don’t you try putting into practice some of the thoughts I have tried to convey through this book. You might be pleasantly surprised!

 

NB :-

Although we have assigned equal weightage to each of the essential attributes namely, Physical, Intellectual and Spiritual, it is worth noting that a person who had attained an extremely high score on the Spiritual score card would not value his score in the other 2 attributes simply because he would have learned that his life is not limited to the 70 odd years that he has to spend in this body. His thought process would be (and quite rightly so), that his future has been well taken care of.d PHYS

ICAL

On examining self-worship – Chapter 4

I’m quite convinced that even though you may have had many hesitations, agreements, disagreements in the first three chapters, by and large, you would have seen the logic of being able to love yourself; for you are what you are, despite circumstances, destiny, conditioning, negative thoughts and beliefs, lack of self-worth and all that

.

However when it comes to the subject of worshipping oneself, oh boy! That’s like taking on more than what you can chew. WHEW!

 

It does not matter what you think of yourself, what your family and friends think of you, what the world in general thinks of you. You have to imagine you are bungee-jumping off a cliff and just take the leap.

The day you joined first standard in school you were already a high school graduate in the future. You were sure you would clear high school. That’s because everybody else did and you could see that. It was common knowledge.

 

Worshipping yourself? That’s not common knowledge.

 

Most people would think you need to have your head examined. Who do you think you are? A self-styled God?!

 

So, here is something you need to infer. A glass of water is a limited version of the ocean, a human being at its core. the jivatma, is a part of the Paramatma or the Supreme. We have studied and listened to this all our lives. The Gita says it, the Bible says it and every person who preached spiritualism has said this in one way or another. ‘In his image he made man’ is the common strain of thought.

 

Why don’t you learn to play spiritual golf? As you practise, you become perfect. It takes time but you get there. The biggest challenge is that you are trying to perceive a reality which goes beyond the mind and intellect. And those are the only tools of perception available to you. This is not a subject for the five senses to be able to perceive. And that’s all the mind is capable of. The intellect will try to figure out what could lie beyond the five senses, but still it does not have the power to gauge a reality which is not within its means.

 

In the words of Adi Shankaracharya, one of the greatest Hindu Saints, “I am not mind, nor intellect, nor ego, nor the reflections of inner self (citta). I am not the five senses. I am beyond that.”

 

That is why it is important for you to watch yourself do things that you respect. The observer in you has to be impressed by what he observes. It will convince you that you are larger than an average mortal. When you see yourself do a lot more of what you perceive to be good and elevating, you will see yourself as a much greater mortal. (The seer here is your entire being – the body, the spirit, the kaarna sharira or causal body and the jivatma).

The role-play of sharing, bending backwards to help others without a personal agenda, convinces you that you are no ordinary mortal. You will still make many mistakes and those will shake your belief pattern. But you have learned how to forgive yourself, how to empathise with yourself, and how to accept yourself on an ‘as is where is’ basis. This philosophy will help you press the delete button on any negative feelings that you might have about yourself.

 

You may stagger a little, but with resolve you can get back to being sturdy on your feet again.

 

Multiple Levels of Mental Existence

 

I would like to share with you an amazing secret that has worked for me for several years.

 

I realised that I could not hold one particular level of introspective thinking or I could not remain in one particular class all the time. I saw that often due to the circumstances of social life and day-to-day operations, I had to dwell in the seventh standard of philosophical existence; at certain times I had to behave like the high school pass out or at times I would react like a fifth standard student. Naturally, I would not find my own reaction mature enough. At other times, my reaction would be like that of a 12th standard student who is slightly more sensible and still at other times, I would be talking, thinking and behaving like a graduate, who has completed his education and is learning to practise it. And it was in between these times that I could play the role of a postgraduate. Of course, there were moments when the doctor in me got an opportunity to live with his PhD and use it. But it was always living at different mental levels, at different times. In short, my maturity and evolution were fractured and I could only enjoy them part-time. It was almost as if I had bought into the time-share of different levels of evolution and different levels of consciousness.

 

Does that sound bizarre?

 

No it does not.

Think about it!

It’s amazing if you can accept yourself to play different roles at different levels of mind, intellect and awareness. The particle of divinity within you does not need to be worshipped 24/7. You need to be able to oscillate to that level when you want to, when you do not wish to be living in a world of delusion or maya (knowing that your so called normal life is one of delusion, is a great realisation. Living a life of maya with this realisation keeps you flexible enough to oscillate in and out of the circle of maya – refer to the explanation on maya in the chapter on Second Thoughts).

 

Besides having to live as if you are studying in different classes at one point of time in your life, it lets you examine yourself as a personality at different phases of life.

 

Judge Yourself from Phase A to Z

 

Here’s Rajeev. He lives through strange circumstances and all of a sudden his world of style, wealth and luxury comes to an end, due to 166 the bad luck that strikes his family. The world has turned turtle and so has most of his father’s legacy. He now has to work and live off the dividend that his mother’s shares earn. So what does Rajeev do?

 

Rajeev becomes an alcoholic and a drug addict. Fortunately for him, he is already married and has a nice wife (one book is sold!). Rajeev spends years staying drunk – his escape route to the harshness of life. His wife joins in. So now the sizzling couple become the sozzled one!

There is pathos!

 

Rajeev, through someone, is introduced to the sthan and is inspired to take steps to give up alcoholism. In the meantime, his father-in-law comes to meet me and wants to know if we can do something to help his unfortunate son-in-law.

 

I do my own googly bowling. What I say to him next, is enough to ruin the effort he made to come and see me (Thank God he doesn’t claim the taxi fare!). “Your son-in-law is a saint,” I say, “trust me you will be more than proud of him and he will do a lot of good in this world. Your son-in-law will one day be respected and worshipped by hundreds and thousands of people.” (He wonders if I have joined the Rajeev Club and lost it completely).

 

Poor father-in-law! If only he could go back a few hours in time, he would not be here and he would not be subjected to such indigestible words. The expression he gave me was the one you give someone when you think he is talking through his hat! Our meeting ended shortly, but not without a snide remark from me. “You may laugh today Paliji,” I said, “but he who laughs last, laughs the wisest. ”Years later, Paliji came to see me again, this time without the same disenchanted expression. He wanted to thank me as his son-in-law had turned around completely, given up alcohol, acquired a sense of maturity, and was involved in a lot of social work and spiritual healing (by that time, he may have healed several hundred). My words were ringing in Paliji’s ears.

 

Paliji was amused and said, “You were so right but at that time how could I believe it? Thank you so much for initiating so many changes in Rajeev.” The funny part of the story is that Rajeev had always been a saint with a few years of absenteeism where he practiced alcoholism. I had done nothing to make him go through a process of metamorphosis, that was his destiny and I was destined to be his trigger. So now let us examine which one is Rajeev?

 

The child that wets his bed, the naughty little kid in school (he studied in Doon school no less), the adventurer in college and in MBA school in the US, the drunk one at his desk in office, the quick learning disciple at the Sthan, a well-respected and revered spiritual healer?

Which one is Rajeev?

 

Which one are you?

 

The great sage Valmiki, who wrote the Indian epic Ramayana, was, at one time of his life, a murderer. And yet he is called a Maharishi in history. The scholar Vishvamitra, was once an arrogant king who felt slighted by Guru Vashisht. In order to take revenge, he did penance so that he could achieve the same attainments that were held by Guru Vashisht. He failed several times but finally he made it to what is called a Brahmarishi (the most advanced in spiritual practices). So which one was he? The arrogant king or the accomplished guru? (There are some additions to this thought in the ‘You may not be you’ section at the end of the book).

 

So why judge yourself at the cross-section of today. If you have embarked on the voyage of self-discovery, do give yourself a fair chance. You can accept yourself. You can love yourself. In time, you can worship yourself too.

 

The seed is in the soil and so has it sprouted. Help it to grow and there will be flowers in the spring. Do accept your potential potencies. To make it easier, let us examine a few case-studies of extraordinary feats by animals whose level of consciousness was temporarily raised.

If animals can do what features ahead, examine your potential. Be ready for a few surprises.

 

Miracles by Animals

 

Let me give you examples of some bizarre feats by domestic animals that we see every day.

Example 1. When my son was born premature, he had to be kept in an incubator for several days. My wife had to stay in the hospital where that incubator was situated. She had to go and breastfeed him every morning at 6:15. As she was not a morning person, she would often get late and the nurses felt that was not good for the baby. A strange morning alarm came into play. An ordinary crow would arrive at 5:45 every morning and knock on the windowpane with its beak. It would keep knocking till my wife woke up. As my late mother-in-law, a light sleeper, accompanied her in the room, waking up was easier. When the ladies had woken up, the crow would stop knocking and fly away. But it was always on the dot and it never missed a single day of being the morning alarm. How does one explain that? How does a crow know when it is time to knock? For that matter how does the crow know that it needs to knock? And how does it know that it is 5.45 am? As this was a miraculous birth, where most of the nurses and the doctor had said to us that we should not have much hope, I do realise, that there were a few spiritual forces at play. The crow was probably one of them. It was more than just a crow. It was possibly a spiritual energy that had been allotted to help this child succeed to live. A power at play could have heightened the level of consciousness of the crow.

 

Example 2. We had gone for a family trip to Himachal Pradesh with my brothers-in-law, their kids, and our kids. We stayed at a unique hotel in a hamlet called Ghosheini. It was two hours away from Kulu. There was a hotel across the river and we had to pull ourselves across the river in an apple cart. An amazing place. An amazing holiday. But, I felt there was a kind of heaviness around my head, as if there was some external energy present in the room where I was living. This started off on the third or fourth day. I could not figure out why and what was happening. I suspected that an energy was hovering around me. I was not comfortable.

 

There was a lazy dog that lay down all day and all night except for when it had a commercial break for food. It was almost like a soft toy that sometimes moved. One evening, when everyone decided to go for a jeep ride, I decided to stay back and investigate the heaviness around my head. When all of them had left, I was standing in the garden, doing almost nothing, when suddenly the dog burst into life. It was as if some hyper energy had possessed him. Energetically, he came and stood right in front of me and turned around as if to ask me to follow. I was wondering whether my mind was playing games or was I sensing a communication with the animal. There was only one way to find out and so I followed him.

 

He led me up the regular walking path we took every evening. At one point, there was a fork in the road and one path went to the left around the hill, and the other went up the hill towards a village. I kept trying to take the left path, but the dog would not follow. It sat on the right side of the fork and stared at me. So I gave up and followed him. When we had reached near the top and the village was visible, the dog suddenly jumped, and disappeared. I asked a couple of young village girls if there was a temple nearby. They said yes, in 20 steps to the left was a temple in a tree. I took their directions and what do you know? There was a huge tree with a temple built around it and the dog was sitting right in front waiting for me to arrive. And when I did, it just disappeared and left me alone with the temple. I sensed that this temple was trying to say something to me and so I listened with my mind and not my ears. The temple said that I should come here and do service for the people around in collaboration with it, and it would help as well. At that moment, I found it diplomatically correct to say that I was willing to do that, if the temple were to make it happen for me. A few minutes later, I left. The dog was waiting further down the road to escort me back to the hotel in all its laziness, without the hyper energy. The heaviness around me had vanished too.

 

We were checking out of the resort the next day and the owner refused to charge us. We had to fight our way to pay the bill. Even then he accepted less than half. No explanation why. Liked our face?

 

We went back to our homes and forgot about this incident, but the tree did not forget us. Two years later in my office, my partner turned around and asked me, ‘Would you like to buy some land in Ghosheini?” What was that? And then he went on to explain, that there was an army colonel who wanted to sell his land in that little town and that if I wanted I could buy it as first choice. The tree certainly knew how to spread itself and reach me in my office in my city. Wow!

 

So can a lazy dog suddenly become a messenger between one spiritual energy and another? It must have had to reach a level of consciousness far beyond the level of consciousness of a lazy dog. What is there to stop us? Can a crow learn to look at a clock and wake someone up to go feed their baby? Again the level of consciousness of that crow was probably beyond what we see in most crows. If a crow can do that, so can we. I am just giving you proof of the fact, that what I’m saying is possible and not impossible. I am saying that you can worship yourself, provided you see yourself not as an identity with a label, a name, a designation, a domicile, a family, religion, but as someone who is on his or her way to eliminate the conditioning, the samskaras, the attachments, and the delusion of this world.

 

Metamorphosis…Yours!

 

Watch yourself change from X to X plus. As you put the strategies of the first three chapters into motion, you will notice changes in your attitude and your behaviour. But you have to put the strategies of the first three chapters into play. You have to!

 

*
p<>{color:#211D1E;}. You will be able to empathise with people and yourself.

*
p<>{color:#211D1E;}. Attachments will wane, detachment will take place.

*
p<>{color:#211D1E;}. You, the actor, would have emerged.You will learn to play your roles, rather than get emotionally trapped by them.

#
p<>{color:#000;}.

*
p<>{color:#211D1E;}. You will continue to receive negative thoughts, but because of your ability to accept things as they are, you will not find yourself indulging in self-blame and self-degradation.

 

Imagine that! Making a mistake and not feeling low about it, but feeling high about it. So it happened! So what? Empathising with the fact that you had to go through this experience in order to learn to create an intent, to avoid it in the future, is a victory.

 

You have learned to love yourself by now, as much as you have learned to love those comfortable old T-shirts, those worn shoes, your second-hand car. True love for anyone, including yourself, is not about expectations, but about acceptance. Self-acceptance has already kicked into play.

Enjoy it!

 

Mirror, Mirror on the wall who is the nicest of them all?

 

Answer it.

You have understood the secret that you cannot always be at one level of consciousness or one level of understanding. You, therefore, are now willing to accept yourself studying in different classes at the same time. Your first period was in the fifth standard, the third in college, and you ended your day working further on your PhD.

 

Aren’t you something else? Look at the change in you. It’s called metamorphosis. And it didn’t even take much. Only purusharth !

 

A word of advice. Remember that however badly you fare in the tests to come, you can’t get zero. Not possible. So you can’t get 100 either. You have to learn to accept varying percentages in different subjects. Too many tests going on at the same time! So be happy to do well in some and not so well in others. Like in the share market, you need to invest in your own share – the share value will go up.

 

Empathy towards self, detachment, acceptance, role play, self-counselling, will all work towards your share, beating the index. A blue chip you will be. So invest and watch your share in colour green constantly. Do not wait for all the processes to be evolved one at a time. Once you have joined college, you have already attended the graduation. It’s a matter of time.

 

Dreams, Visions, and Spiritual Experiences

 

Spiritual experiences and visions help fortify your beliefs in the subject.

Is that necessary? No, not at all.

 

But the human mind which lives in a state of constant delusion, needs more measurable delusions to have faith. Miracles, visions of saints, Gods and goddesses, premonitions, spiritual healing, sighting of ghosts or spiritual beings, psychic predictions are all part of the bag that helps create faith and psychological acceptance.

 

Dreams can be of many types. The vitarkas and other stored sundry samskaras in our hard disk can just fructify, or we could be suffering from indigestion, not having urinated before going to bed, having thought continuously about some subject or the other, having contemplated on a subject several days or even months ago – all possible reasons for dreams that do not make sense. They can also be pretty bizarre with no head nor tail, and no logic. On the other hand, there are many dreams that take place in a half-awake, half-asleep state which can seem meaningful and act as learning experiences. Many premonitory dreams, guidance by spiritual teachers or ancestors, interaction with spiritual energies, out-of-body experiences lead to a person acquiring faith in both the subject, and themselves.

 

Udhav’s Spiritual Geometry (Jain Sahib’s too)

 

Take the example of my friend Udhav Kirtikar, who lives in New Zealand. He used to be involved in spiritual seva when he lived in India. He would often trouble Gurudev, about giving him spiritual experiences. One day, while he was lying in his bed at night, half- awake, half-asleep, at approximately four in the morning, he saw a couple of blackish looking triangles fly through his window and stop in front of him. That woke him up! Naturally, he was perplexed and did not know what to do. Being an expert in martial arts he had a Nanchaku hanging behind his head, so he tried to rush towards it. The triangles were witness to his immaturity and our friend could not even move. He was absolutely frozen. His martial arts practice had gone for a six!

 

So all he did was watch those triangles enter into his personal home temple and come back opposite to where he was sleeping. After a few minutes, they went out of the window. I could have considered this a part of hallucination but I didn’t. One of Gurudev’s oldest disciples, called Bade Jain sahib, had also told me about a similar experience. He too had seen a couple of triangles enter his house and stare at him. The description of the triangles was almost identical and I knew for a fact that these gentlemen had not concurred with each other. I am quite sure that both these gentlemen must have awakened the next day feeling wealthier in terms of spiritual visions.

 

Shiv Darshan

 

Rajiv Sharma, a false name given because the disciple does not want to be quoted by name, a favourite disciple of Gurudev, had an experience that anyone would give their left arm for. He saw Gurudev appear in his dream and take him out of his body to travel to a cave somewhere in a mountain, but not on earth. When they entered the cave, he saw three huge statues of men in deep meditation. I use the word statue because they were not awake in our sense of the word awake. He instinctively knew that these were the meditating bodies of Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma. The body of Shiva came to consciousness and stared at him with a deadpan expression. In a deep resonating voice, the body asked Mr. Sharma as to what he desired? “Nothing your Lord,” said Mr Sharma, “I need your grace.” The body of Shiva materialised white holy water with a milky texture, and poured it into the hands of Mr. Sharma three times, every time saying ‘mrityu, mrityu, mrityu.’ (death, death, death, to my interpretation it means the end of existence).

 

Mr. Sharma was naturally speechless and after some time they left that abode, and Mr Sharma returned to his bed and body. Pretty cool huh? Of course, people will say this is delusion of the mind, wishful thinking, creative visualisation (buddhi brahm) and what have you.

 

Sure, I agree! We live in a world of maya and everything around us is delusion. The senses are the creators of the delusion and so we are susceptible to imagine a world of reality that is nothing more than an appearance of this world and the reality created by the imagination of our minds collectively. That is maya. Let’s talk about it later in further detail. Delusion within a delusion is as true or as reflective as your perceived reality. The dream state is another state of reality within the circle of maya. Some of it as real as life itself, except that like physical life, it does not have continuity. It’s a book of short stories.

 

An Experience at Badrinath: Hello Brother!

 

Thank God Gurudev was not a cricketer and especially not a bowler. Otherwise, he would probably never have bowled a straight ball, only googlies!

 

He was camping at a place called Srinagar in Uttarakhand, and asked me to come and spend a few days with him at his camp. There were others too who came there, and so he decided to take us all to a famous temple called Badrinath.

When we reached there, he refused to go into the temple and asked me to go and hug the deity and say, “My dear elder brother, I want to give you a hug.” I went into the temple and did not know who to hug. I was quite sure that he did not want me to hug the deity of the temple, namely Badrinath. So in the compound of the temple I found the statue of the man who had established this temple called Adishankaracharya. Him I found easy to hug. He was tangible, measurable and huggable! I quite enjoyed hugging his marble statue (even though he never hugged me back).

 

When I came out of the temple he took an account from me of what I had done and sent me right back. I was supposed to go and mentally hug the Lord Badrinath himself. Whew! What was that? Who was this idiotic me to go and hug the deity of one of the most powerful temples in this country. It did not sound like a joke. Neither did it make sense. It took years for me to figure it out. It was one of the reasons that could have led to this book.

 

What Gurudev said to me, without putting it in words, was that I should consider myself to be a younger brother to that very powerful force. He expected me to believe in the equality of one aatma with another. He knew that this was going to be a huge concept for me to swallow, yet he wanted me to do so.

 

So, I did exactly what he had asked me to do, and tried my best to mean it. Naturally the conviction could be ‘made of sterner stuff’. But finally in years to come it did become sterner stuff.

 

A Vision of Rama

 

What happened next, and I mean in a few years from this episode, was that I got a vision in the early hours of the morning. I’d reached a kind of a gathering place, where there were people waiting to pay respects and to have an audience with the trio of Ramji, Sitaji, and Laxmanji. There were almost 100 people waiting, and it took some time, as each person had something to discuss. I recognised one of my Gurubhais (my spiritual associates), Ahuja sahib, an income tax officer who was highly devoted to Gurudev, in queue before me. When it was finally my turn, I surprised myself. When Ramji asked me what I wanted, I said I wanted nothing but had come here to give them my good wishes. Sitaji thanked me with a broad smile. Ramji and Laxmanji acknowledged me too, but with wry grins. When I woke up in the morning I was a little more than shocked. What was this Mr. Ordinary doing offering his good wishes to a man who is considered a God by millions of people? Are you kidding me? How can this be true? But whether it was true or not I started looking at myself as a part of the divine spark that was within me. I started identifying more with that part of me, than with the part of me I’d seen making an idiot of himself (quite an idiot, I warn you!). And of course, I wondered if I had a better sense of humour than Ramji (hope he doesn’t have an arrow in his bow right now!).

 

So you see it all depends on which part of you you’re willing to connect with, and identify with. You have a choice to identify with the divine in you, so why identify yourself with the waste- of- time character that you have to deal with anyway?

 

Think. Think again, and act on it!

 

I can almost visualize my friend Dr. Shashidharan reading this with absolute cynicism and saying, come on! This is buddhi brahm (delusionary thinking). Sure doc, it might just be. Sure we cannot deny all this as a play of maya, but then what is not maya in our lives?

 

Or yours for that matter?

 

Dreams: A Group Discussion

 

At a group discussion with my spiritual colleagues on dreams and visions, there were a few points that we all found interesting.

 

(1) That dreams were not necessarily happenings or events, but often they were the projection by our minds and of reality as we perceived it. For example, if I were to dream about a saint blessing me or interacting with me, it meant I believed that it made sense. That I did believe, I was competent and qualified to be in the acquaintanceship of saints who were somewhere near my equal, or I was in the process of wanting to get there. On the other hand, if my dream of Ram was a figment of my imagination, the fact that it was so vivid and so real, lasted for so long, and I could literally feel everything, touch everything and react to the atmosphere and its movement, meant that I considered myself qualified and justified in meeting this great soul.

 

(2) The fact that I got so many insignificant, unrelated, and nonsensical dreams meant that I was letting out some stored thoughts and engrams in the dream space. It was not meant to have any meaning, it was purely meant to let out steam. The steam being the stored impressions and engrams/samskaras.

 

(3) Out-of-body experiences that I had, cannot be compared to the above categories, as in this state, my spirit body had come out of my material body and my attention and consciousness had moved from my physical body to my spirit body. My physical body lay there in cold storage, kept alive by a part of the energy at the cortex of the head where the shivling of the human being is situated. If you shave a coconut at the point where it has impressions on the top of its head, you will find a clove-like structure which resembles exactly its counterpart in the human head, on the inside of the head. (This portion is called the sahasra and is the place where great saints aspire to exit from at the time of death). If you press your head at the back, you will find similar impressions as you would in the coconut, and that is why in Hindu philosophy, a coconut represents the human head and it is offered as a sacrifice to a greater power.

 

(4) Another category of dreams that I have experienced, is one in which certain powers or energies come and give you important information that would be of use in the future. When one of my children was about to be born, I got a message in my dream that I must leave my city and go out of station for the delivery to happen smoothly. I decided this was only a dream so I should not make too much of it. However the second night again one of Gurudev’s disciples appeared in my dream and said he wanted me to go. Though it did not make sense and I was quite sure that my wife would think it was one of the worst ideas I ever had, I still did this as a matter of faith.

 

My son was to be born premature and the doctor had indicated that they would perform a caesarean delivery. It was New Year’s Eve and around 11 pm, the doctor and his wife, both gynaecologists, and both commercially inclined, went up to their apartment in the same building to bring in the New Year with their friends. At sharp 11:35, my wife had a natural delivery and was saved the pain and agony of an operation. A loss commercially, no doubt, to the hospital and delivery centre. I remember, I had a dream several years earlier of men with green masks stabbing my wife who was lying on a bed. Gurudev had appeared in the dream all smiles, the situation looked as if my wife was going to die and he asked me my wish. I had said I left the decision to him, and I entrusted matters in his hands. It seemed to connect, what was to be a negative operation in terms of luck, turned out to be a natural delivery, quite by accident and spiritual conspiracy too! My presence might have been an impediment.

5) The dream state can sometimes be used for attainment of spiritual benefits. I have received mantras in my dream state. The deity that gave me the mantra even showed me the utilisation of it almost providing a 3D operational manual. I have never heard of this mantra or seen it in any book. The words are very uncommon and do not sound like any of the words I have heard relating to the subject.

As I mentioned earlier, the science of gati, or speed to travel astrally, was taught to me in a dream state.

Many people have seen me appear in their dreams and I have given them mantras that they didn’t know. Some of the smart ones even forgot them. Many of my spiritual associates have had similar examples of either receiving mantras or giving mantras to their disciples in turn.

 

Shri Santlalji, another hot favourite of Gurudev, received the accomplishment of the Gurucharan (establishment and synthesis with the power of the guru, which is a connection that takes place in the forehead of the disciple) in my dream. He and I were both waiting to receive this great attainment in my dream state, and we were both lucky enough to get it. It was my dream state, so I knew that, but I didn’t share this with anyone. One day, when Santlalji and I were sitting alone in a room, I told him that I knew about this great attainment. He was shocked. He wanted to know how I knew about it, because Gurudev had told him about this at approximately the same time. He had not shared it with anybody, so how would I know.

 

Ha ha! I love secrets.

Healing In a Dream

 

My friend Bittu Katyal, another favourite with Gurudev, and someone who has devoted his entire life to service at Gurgaon, had an accident due to the explosion of a gas cylinder. He had blisters on his entire face, hands and legs. The condition was not good. Two nights later Gurudev appeared to him in his dream state, or better if you call it vision state, and treated him. He told him that he will first set his face right, then his hands and finally his legs. He had also lost vision in his eye. In the dream state Gurudev took a silver rod, which the Sikhs normally use for their turbans, and he put something in Bittuji’s eyes with it. His wife and parents were shocked when he woke up the next morning and they found that the blisters on his face had vanished. They were not new to the miracles of Gurudev and had learned to accept them with gratitude.

 

A few days later it was Bada Guruvar, a special Thursday of the month, when Bittuji went in and bowed his head at the sthan. He found that within a minute or two his damaged eye seemed to be working all right. It took another ten to fifteen days for his hands and feet to heal. This was another story of how Gurudev had performed a miracle in a dream.

 

Materialising the Missing Locket

 

A few years earlier Bittuji’s wife Kalpana was very worried about her husband’s security as there were some issues. In 1991, three days after Gurudev’s demise, Kalpana had a vision in which Gurudev appeared and gave her a locket, to be put around her husband’s neck by Gurudev’s wife, called Mataji. After giving her these instructions in her dream or vision state, he asked her to hold the locket tightly in her hand, and disappeared. When she woke up in the morning she found the locket clasped in her palm. What was given to her in a dream state had materialised in her hand. This locket was put around Bittuji’s neck by Mataji at the sthan very ceremoniously. Naturally, it was no ordinary locket!

Bittuji would pay his respects to that locket every morning when he woke up and every night before he slept. Three to four years later he paid respect to the locket around his neck and went to sleep. When he woke up, the locket was gone. He looked all over, but the locket was not to be found. By then the security risk that he faced had long since been resolved.

 

If I was Bittuji, I would have hired Sherlock Holmes to solve the case of “materialising the missing locket”, but Bittuji, I guess, accepted his fate. He also probably did not have Sherlock’s number! The above story makes me wonder if Gurudev is in the Locket Lending Business!

 

Gurdev has pulled my leg several times; here is an opportunity that I will not miss.

 

6) Sometimes spiritual entities can be a saving grace to human beings and I’m sure most people have not experienced something like this.

My friend Pappu Sharma who lives in Jwalaji, Himachal Pradesh, is a very spiritually developed person and so was his father, a disciple of Gurudev. His father’s name was Shambhuji, and he died 25 odd years ago. Shambhuji was a respected man in his hamlet and was connected through his family to the Jwalaji Temple Management. He had also been given powers by Gurudev. One day my friend Pappu was resting at his house, when suddenly he saw balls of flame coming down from the ceiling and getting extinguished before they hit his bed. He was shocked beyond belief. While this was going on, he suddenly saw his late father standing in the room as if he was protecting him from these flames. In 15 to 20 seconds the flames disappeared and so did his father. What was the story?

In villages in certain parts of India, black magic is practiced and is called the left hand of tantric vidya. A dangerous trick in this form of black magic is to send flames through an aerial route to someone’s home and burn them. In the local language they call it mutth chalana or to use a spirit to deliver these flames to the chosen victim. It was a great experience for my friend who had probably never witnessed black magic, but was a victim, nevertheless.

There are many cases where spirits are used to hurt others and to create problems in others’ homes. Though this is not part of the subject of dreams, it is connected. So I thought you might be interested.

There are n number of categories of dreams and visions and there is no hard and fast rule that can be used to understand them. These are just a few examples that might help you categorise some of your own.

 

And, of course, let me not forget, dreams about snakes are normally not bad. They signify shakti in interaction with you in your dream state. Something like that.

 

A dream about seeing somebody die, more often than not, is a good dream, and could signify the end of a risk to that person, taking place in your dream state.

A lady appeared in my dream state, took my hand and clasped it with both hers and I could see power being stolen from me, not exactly a productive dream, but realistic anyway.

 

When you have reached different stages of self-evolution, some of the dreams you experience will fortify the fact that you have reached a status of some spiritual significance. This will help you recognise and accept in your subconscious state, the eternal truth of who you are and what you have become.

 

A Misunderstanding of Self-Love

 

I hope in my enthusiasm I have not, by any chance, given you the notion of self-love being a case of giving yourself importance in a worldly way. Material products and social graces definitely make other people look up at us with awe, respect and envy. They shower us with praises and make us feel we are special, and let us be honest, most people enjoy that. “Tell Caesar that he cannot be flattered and in that he is flattered” is a famous line from Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare.

 

I have noticed famous people are victims of the trappings of various kinds of attention, and if the attention wanes for some reason, it leads to depression. They get used to living with attention, flattery and recognition. I think I read this quip in college that said, ‘film-stars spend half their lives trying to get into the public eye, and the other half wearing dark glasses to hide from it’. Glorification of the self is quite different from glorification of the physical or social being.

 

A lady psychologist, with whom I spent a lot of time trying to understand the way a woman thinks, opened my eyes to many things I would never have guessed. She said you must give your wife positive attention, because if you don’t, she would rather have negative attention than none at all. Oh my God! Is that true?

 

You must ask yourself this question and see how this affects you. If you are a wife, do you crave for your husband’s attention? I asked my female architect once whether she did. She said, ‘yes and if he doesn’t compliment me on my clothes, I get very angry with him.’ So my question is can you do without this attention, considering the fact that it’s not even genuine most times? Does this not stem from insecurity, not being sure how much you should respect and love yourself? Ladies, you are the form of shakti or energy. You are a part of prakriti and without you and your form the world is incomplete.

 

This man would have been my friend, but unfortunately, he died before I was born and that was Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. He treated all femininity in the form of a mother. Absolutely. if you were to meet him across time and space, he would give you the form of mother. So why do you need attention from a poor husband who probably needs much more himself?

 

Self-love has to go beyond attention-seeking, and if you look around, your dog is asking for it, your kids are asking for it, many of your friends are probably asking for it. So don’t join the attention-seeking club. Once you see the spark of divinity within you, you will not want any attention. You will look for vairagya and that solitude will give you a high.

Self-Worship – The Way Forward- Chapter 5

So how do we do this? How do we actually get down to praying to ourselves? You can do this and yet not feel awkward about it. You have hopefully seen the merit of this line of thinking by now, so why not give it a shot? At best, it will make you divine!

 

Exercises for Self-Worship

 

Let us start with a basic physical exercise which is symbolic and easy for the mind to accept.

 

1) Take a photograph of yourself and put it up somewhere, either in your room or in your cupboard.

 

Treat this photograph like you would treat the photograph of any saint or God that you worship. Remember this is not your photograph. This is the photograph that represents the aatma, which is a part of the Consciousness Supreme, but covered by this set of bodies – the outer one being your physical body. It is not about worshipping this physical body in the photograph, it is about worshipping the spirit body within, the kar‘‘a of that spirit body, the kaarna sharira, the jivatma or the divine spark within (identified as an individual identity because it has its own ego called ahamkar).

 

Going beyond it is about worshipping that Consciousness Supreme without the citta or the the ego (which when surpassed takes you deeper from jivatma to pure aatma).

 

In short, it’s you minus, minus.

Your physical self is the doorway that leads to the worshippable you. So why not use this doorway instead of some other? There is no vanity involved, so do not fear it. There are seven billion doorways to the Supreme (the number of people alive), yours is one of them. But it is one of them. So use it!

 

Sant Tukaram puts it beautifully and I think his words are smarter than mine, I quote :

“I made an earthen image of Shiva, but the earth is not Shiva; My worship reaches Shiva, The earth remains the earth it was.

 

I made a stone image of Vishnu, but the stone is not Vishnu; My worship reaches Vishnu, The stone remains what the stone was.

 

I made a pewter image of Amba, but the pewter is not Amba, Amba receives my worship, Though a pewter that pewter remains. Even so are saints worshipped, The worship reaches the Lord, The saint is but His servant, an instrument, a conduit pipe.”

 

This poem was shared with me by Dr. Shankar Narayan, one of Gurudev’s favourite disciples.

 

My personal experience in my relationship with Gurudev during the last days of his life was uncanny. I had a strange dream, where I found myself talking to myself. My voice said to me, “Are you willing to accept him as whatever he may be, even if he is not the great saint that you think he is, even if he does not have all the power that you seem to believe he does? Are you willing to accept him unconditionally?”

 

I had to debate within. There was a play of doubts and counter-doubts. Finally, it was a premeditated ‘yes’. At this stage the conversation ended, but when I woke up the next morning my relationship with Gurudev had changed.

 

I realised that my guru was not a 5 feet 8 inch man who spoke well, lived brilliantly and set fantastic examples to follow. I realised that he was not a man, but a ball of energy. I realised that his physical form was like a bioscope for me to see his true self. I knew I should not worship the man, I should worship the being.

 

My constant desire to meet him and be in his physical presence faded. I would go to Gurgaon, pay my respects to the sthan and not try to get an audience with him as I normally did. Wasn’t I lucky that my relationship had changed from the physical to meta-physical?

 

It had surpassed the ‘me’ and the ‘him’ and reached a point of ‘us’. To break this profound philosophy, he called me in and gave me some big Punjabi bad words. He said, “you come all the way from Bombay to meet me and don’t even come and see me for a few minutes when you are here?” (Yet there was a chuckle of approval in his voice).

 

I had learned to see him beyond his physical self and so must you. Through this photograph (the one you have put up of yourself) you have done what software engineers do. You have created a path between the physical appearance in this photograph and the Consciousness Supreme at the other end. Every day you must bow your head to this photograph and all that it represents. If you can, offer a few nice flowers, burn a candle or an incense stick in the honour of the characters in this photograph. If you can take this a little further, sit in front of this photograph and meditate upon it. Tell the character in this photograph, you know that it is a godly character and that you love it very much, you know that the identities in this photograph will love you truly, not necessarily emotionally, and always wish for your good. You will communicate to this photograph that your love for it is unconditional and not dependent on the waxing and waning of the fortunes of the physical body of this photograph. That you love this person, on an ‘as is where is’ basis .

 

Do this and you will slowly start believing in the relationship.

 

Sometimes you may have a negative vibe from this character in the photograph, in your imagination or during meditation, the character might show you negative feelings in one way or the other. You will learn to accept that and wait for that phase to pass. You know that in the time to come, the love between you the worshipper, and you being worshipped, can only be pure and flawless.

 

Sometimes you may see certain expressions in this photograph and wonder if this is your imagination, and that this photograph is actually trying to communicate through its expressions. You may not find this easy to believe, but don’t deny it because logic does not allow it. You need to do this regularly and if I may use a word that I don’t normally enjoy using: religiously! Do not stop. You are connecting to the physical part of you in the photograph, as well as to the spiritual body or spirit body that was, is and will be you. You are also connecting to the third body, the kaarna sharira or causal body. This will create a bonding between your three bodies, and it will be observed by the jivatma or the witness within you.

This is a powerful personal strategy for spiritual growth. Do not be dissuaded by thoughts or reactions or the opinion of others. Let it take weeks or months or years but success lies at the end of the tunnel, because you have already entered the tunnel and there is only one place to reach if you don’t turn back. So don’t turn back. Make it to the end. Even if it takes more than one lifetime. Remember those magic words in Sanskrit? ‘Tat Twam Asi’ (That You Are).

 

I have actually taken the essence of this great sentence and deconstructed it for your reading pleasure and easy practice. You owe me the success.

Pay your debts.

 

 

Stare and visualise this figure or graphic on your forehead.

It helps clear the plumbing for the spirit.

Self-Healing By an Atheist

 

My sister’s friend in New York had a Black American boyfriend whose business was arranging boxing matches. She frantically called me one day and said she wanted help for her boyfriend. He had been diagnosed with blood cancer and that doctors had given him barely three to six months to live. She also said that he did not believe in religion and probably would not share my faith. I asked her to make him call me anyway and only then could I try to pray for some help. One day he did and said, “Hey, I’m John.”

 

He said he had been asked to call me, but he wanted me to know that he did not believe in God and that he was not willing to go to any church or temple to pray. This was a tough one. I was not sure whether I should feel insulted or if I should empathise with the man and try to help him.

 

So I said to him that if he wanted my help here were my terms. He would have to light a candle twice a day and pray to himself for not less than five minutes at a time. Sitting, standing, lying down or however he felt comfortable. I said, if he wasn’t ready to do that, then it was time to say goodbye. The rudeness worked. He said, “Sir,that I can do, that I can do!” I believe he did. And sincerely. I remember his girlfriend telling me, two years later, that he was much better, alive and kicking. The last I heard about John was that he was still around in New York, 20 years after my conversation with him. I am not sure how he has managed to overcome the cancer. I’m sure he must have taken certain therapies to benefit from, but I’m also convinced that all that he undertook medically was benefitted greatly by self-healing and self-worship. I do not know his current status, but he certainly did beat the predictions. Here is a case of an atheist worshipping himself and benefitting from his own divinity. John did it, you go do it too.

 

2) Sit in front of a mirror cross-legged, and stare at the area of your forehead. Extending above your nose towards the centre of your forehead at the level of your hair you will see, if not initially at a later date, an imaginary straight line. Above your eyebrows going towards your hairline you will also see the shape of a half moon. Keep looking at this for the first few weeks and months. Later, when this half moon appears keep staring at it for several minutes every day, and do this for years. Please do not ask me to explain further as I think I have already gone beyond the boundaries that I should have. Trust me this works.

 

3) Sit in a meditative pose cross-legged like the graphic of Gurudev in the first couple of pages. Recite the mantra that you normally do, if you do or chant Om or Allah or Hail Mary etc. Imagine yourself sitting within you, staring outward, as you are in this current pose. The you, that you see within, should be sitting somewhere between your heart chakra and forehead chakra. Look at yourself in your current form and then slowly look at yourself at a younger age and later, at an even younger age. Keep going younger till one day you see yourself as a child sitting in the same pose within you as before. This could take weeks or months. Just do it. Initially you may not even be able to visualise yourself. So keep trying and keep failing, until you fail at failing.

 

Love

 

The subject of love has been misinterpreted for centuries. European poets talked about love in the sense of romance and the relationship between a man and woman. Even in India the general interpretation of love has always been romantic. The love of Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz Mahal led to the making of the Taj Mahal.

 

 

Visualise yourself within and rewind the image of your current age slowly but steadily,

till you reach the baby you.

 

Another classical interpretation of love, was love for one’s parents or children. And then came the saints who spoke about love for your fellow men, for all human beings, animals, elements, the love of abundance.

 

I believe that love is devoid of emotion and therefore cannot be a positive feeling. I remember a poem that I studied in school. It was Shakespeare’s sonnet, ‘love is not love which alters when it alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove’.

 

Love is also not a quid pro quo or return present. Love is not something that you direct towards a specific person or a specific set of people. It is an attitude that you have which can be directed to one, many and as many people you come into contact with. It needs to be an underlying theme, where you believe that you need to love all forms of Supreme Consciousness outside you, so that you can love that same spark of Supreme Consciousness inside you.

 

Love needs to be a reflection from the inside to the outside. Your love for yourself can never be true, unless it is available for you to share with the outside world too. The water in the coffee may have the ability to love the water of other cups of coffee, even though the other cups may have different shapes, sizes, and colours. That will come naturally, but the challenge is that the water in the cup of coffee should be able to love the liquidity in a glass of mango juice, in a cup of tea, and in all other forms of liquid as well.

 

The Lowest Common Denominator (LCM) of all liquids is water. So why should water only know how to love itself in the pure form. The ability to feel the oneness with itself in a cup of coffee or a bottle of tomato ketchup shows the ability to love.

 

We get bound by concentric circles. We are proud to be Indians, we are proud to be Punjabis, we are proud to be Khannas, we are proud to be from the same village and the same caste, and even better, the same family. To top it up, we are also proud to be practising the same religion, and for the microscopically advanced, we are happy to be from the same sub-sect. And we love people from our own fraternity within all these circles. This love that we have just spoken about stems from acceptable norms or homogeneity. This is not love without an agenda, this is not love for the sake of love itself; this is love of cult.

 

The very phrase ‘your loved ones’ has within its brackets an element of selfish love. Love for family or extended family is still love with an emotional tint. The lesson that I learned from Gurudev and put into practise gave me a completely different definition of love. He wanted us to do away with attachments and so I practised not being attached to anyone and it worked for me. I wondered whether at the end of this I had become a careless father, a loveless husband, an indifferent son, and a non-indulgent brother! The emotion had gone out of most of these relationships. But the sense of duty had not, and besides this, there was a superimposition of role play. I knew the 17 things I needed to do, to qualify as a good brother, the 14 ingredients of playing the role of a responsible son etc. A good father and a great husband are two relationships that have still eluded me. Hopefully my newly adopted Sindhi philosophy will help me get there (Sindhis are a community who are probably one of the best in the world in the art of diplomacy and negotiation).

 

My children could sense the change of attitude and wondered whether my advent into spiritualism had made me distant. And, of course, whose wife does not think that he’s not caring enough?

 

However something new has happened. I have suddenly started looking at other people’s children as much closer to myself than I would earlier. I found an underlying connectivity to most human beings known or unknown, Indian or foreign, rich or poor, surprisingly the good guys and even the bad guys. The kind of love that I had entertained earlier, had an emotional tint, and was replaced by a sort of indifferent caring for a much larger audience.

Let me once again throw Patanjali into the fray. I feel it is easier to believe someone in history than to believe another in geography. I quote “Human love is the highest emotion most of us know. It frees us to some extent from our egotism in our relation to one or more individuals. But human love is still possessive and exclusive. Love for the Atman is neither. What people “really are” is the atman, nothing less. To love the atman in ourselves is to love it everywhere. And to love the atman everywhere is to go beyond any manifestation of nature to the reality within nature. Such a love is too vast to be understood by ordinary minds, and yet it is simply an infinite deepening and expansion of the little limited love we all experience.”

 

I can sort of feel what it is like to be in someone else’s shoes. Though this might be a cliché, it has become an important aspect of my life. I realise that I will never be a popular friend or family man, nor will I be a social success, but I am happy to have seen this emotional love charged with agenda, replaced by a not-so-warm (intense) connectivity to others (unfortunately, that is not the description for a cool dude!).

 

I do not feel thrilled when a younger friend has a baby, I just feel nice for them and when I hear of someone losing their parent or family member, I do not feel distressed either. I find it difficult to mourn for anybody’s loss. In fact when people lose their adult parents of over 65 or 70 years, I tell them, I feel happy that they went without suffering and hopefully, having lived a good life.

 

Many of my wife’s family members have appreciated my letters, sharing not my sorrow, but my satisfaction as their elders died true to their destiny. I wished their spirits would do well in the after- life. I find this cold, dispassionate feeling of wanting others lives to improve, a much more productive form of love than I have known for the first 50 years of my life. I know that when I’m dead and gone my family members will give examples to others of their father’s love of balance and dependability.

 

An excerpt of a few lines from the words by Adi Shankaracharya, add ‘tadka’ (spice) to the above sentences. ‘I have no separation from my true self, no doubt about my existence, nor have I discrimination on the basis of birth. I have no father or mother, nor did I have a birth. I am not the relative, nor the friend, nor the guru, nor the disciple, I am indeed, That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva, love and pure consciousness.’

 

The reason I share these thoughts with you, is because I know that once you put the strategies of this text into action, you will reach a similar position on the dartboard. A recipe if made exactly as in the book, tastes almost the same every time.

 

Learn to love yourself without emotion. Do love yourself mathematically, if I can put it in jest!

 

Karmamukta (Non-Doership)

 

The word mukta means ‘freedom from’. Freedom from karma and its obligations is what you achieve if you can become karmamukta or free from bearing the fruits of karma.

 

As we have seen in different parts of this book. Karma is the fructification of stored samskaras in your hard disk that are brought into your citta by an energy called vasna. They become trends that lead you to action or karma. They are like seeds that sprout at a time that is relevant to their sprouting. Neither before, nor later. Their relevance is to the period of destiny that is running concurrently. Good karmas will fructify during a good planetary period and vice-versa.

 

So far so good, but the problem is, as we are not aware of this knowledge, and we believe that we are the doers of everything that happens through us, we take responsibility of this karma. If we had realised that these actions were predetermined, because they were fructifications of past stored up engrams or samskaras and had been able to view these actions not as doers, but as observers, then there would not be any emotion or doer-ship attached. Then these actions would have passed and not be re-stored in our hard disks or karmashayas, as new samskaras.

 

We would, therefore, not be responsible for this action a second time round and the cycle would not go on. This would lighten the burden of our karmashaya and we would need to take fewer births to exhaust our samskaras.

 

Thinking and believing this can make someone karmamukta, free from the fruit of future karma. However, this belief has to be as deep as the conscious, subconscious and unconscious levels of the mind.

 

I found this concept easy to understand but very difficult to practise. The ‘I’ was a habitual part of me. It wasn’t as bad as “who do you think you talking to?” but we are so used to relating all our actions to ourselves that it is difficult to suddenly distance ourself and not feel a part of ourself. I found a short cut, as I normally do, to most complicated problems. I decided that if I could practise not being a doer, for even one minute, for a particular time period, and feel it sincerely, I could connect to the next time I felt this by saying “from the last time to this time and from this time to the next time, I have not been a doer of any actions nor take any responsibility for any of my thoughts.”

 

I saw logic in this. I had nullified my misunderstandings of the past and predicted my misunderstandings of the future. In order to make me feel deeply sincere I used the concept of ‘arpan or surrender’ at the sthan (I am not trying to compete with Lord Ganapati, but then I do not believe that he has the monopoly for outwitting situations. I am referring to his competition with his elder brother for going round the universe. While his elder brother Lord Kartikeya actually went round the universe, Lord Ganapati circled his parents in a few seconds and said that was symbolic of going around the universe. So if Lord Shiva could accept the logic of his son, why would he not accept ours?).

Watch yourself do this at your place of worship and you will find it sink deeper, quicker.

 

The fact that you will learn to love yourself and worship yourself, will show that you definitely do not wish to live on endlessly, life after-life and death after death. It’s not a cakewalk to achieve this, and in weaker moments you may lose conviction and become unsteady in your belief. Therefore the resolve, I am not the doer has to be repeated several thousand times in a hypnotic way, to have faith in it. (Sometimes you may feel this is a mere theoretical exercise and therefore nice to read and bury in a bookshelf, but please remember hundreds of us have tested these theories and lived to tell the tale).

 

Spend five minutes a day saying this to yourself when you are free from stress. Make it a prayer by you to yourself. Insha’Allah! It will work. The complication herein is this. We find it easy to not take debit for our actions, but credit we do. We acknowledge the fact that we have helped others, been charitable, supported people and a host of other positive deeds. The Jews would call them ‘Mitsvah’, Indians – ‘Punya’, Sikhs – ‘Karseva’ and so on.

 

In the initial stages of wanting to serve others, these feelings will arise and that’s very fair. These feelings are highly motivating and push you forward. It is only at a much later stage when you have evolved enough that this concept should be replaced by the realisation that we may feel that these are our actions, but we have realised through our learning that these are pre-programmed and we need to avoid taking credit or discredit from these thoughts and deeds.

 

Adi Shankaracharya in his poem Atma Shatakam says, “I have neither virtue (punyam), nor vice (papam). I do not commit sins or good deeds, nor have happiness or sorrow, pain or pleasure, I do not need mantras, holy places, scriptures (vedas), rituals or sacrifices (yagnas). I am none of the triad of the observer or one who experiences the process of observing or experiencing, or any object being observed or experienced. I am indeed, that eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva, love and pure consciousness.”

 

Attitudes to Emulate

 

In the last several thousand years that this cycle of life has been in existence, there must have been thousands of people whose lives and attitudes were exemplary, and so were the results.

 

As I have been a disciple of Gurudev and observed him closely for several years, and been a student of Guru Vashisht and his teachings, just like his student Rama (during a different time zone and not in person, but a student all the same and a devoted one), I can talk about the attitude of these two people and how they viewed things. I find a lot of similarity in the teachings of Guru Vashisht and Gurudev’s style of living. Almost like one man spoke of how life should be led 12,000 years earlier, another man lived it 12,000 years later!

 

I have been an agnostic all my life and my father never taught me about the concept of God. Though he did teach me about Scotch! He also taught me how to charm women. He took great pains to teach me how to win people over, if you wanted some work done. Bribery and payoffs, in a mild measure, were a part of the curriculum.

 

Suddenly coming into contact with Gurudev and then being introduced to spiritualism was more than just a cultural shock for me (I knew I could not inject coconuts with crème de menthe and offer it to guests at parties, as I used to earlier).

 

Despite the fact that Gurudev had photographs of various Indian deities in his prayer room which we all called sthan, what was surprising was that he never went there to pray. I used to spend a lot of time with him after dinner, up to the early hours of the morning at times, but I never saw him pray, in the 10 years that I spent with him.

 

I realised much later that he had put up these photographs for the students of high school and college, but being a double PhD he did not need to indulge in practices that made sense to schoolboys and schoolgirls (different people on the path reach different levels and need to be addressed accordingly).

 

Sometimes, when he was going on a spiritual healing mission which seemed complicated, he would carry a photograph of himself in his front shirt pocket.

 

Naturally, I asked him why he did that, because it didn’t make sense to me even if I thought of all kinds of possible explanations. What he said made sense 20 years later. He said, ‘I’m carrying this photograph so that I can take myself along for this important mission. I want myself to come and help me complete it.’ He was probably talking about not himself the householder or the physical body, but himself, the spark of the divine. I therefore concur that he needed to align all the different components of his being to work together in consonance on that particular case

.

These are just two lines, but no small lesson this. We hardly ever communicate with all that is us! We find it easier to pray to a perceived God.

 

Gods and angels live within the circle of maya. I have seen how bhajans and hymns of different faiths are easier as means of worship rather than self-reverence.

 

Hinduism (in the words of Guru Vashisht), as I understand it, at some point, believes only in the Consciousness Supreme and believes that everything else that we may worship falls within the circle of maya. At that level of consciousness I guess, one needs to be an atheist. Someone who does not believe in God, in the normal sense of the term, but in the Supreme Consciousness that is all pervading. Which encompasses the world of maya where the concept of God is a reality, and it works……sure it works.

 

By no means do I believe that temples and other places of worship are devoid of power and capability. Certainly not! We are just looking at the curriculum of different levels of learning. The concept of maya is a post-graduate subject and therefore needs mentioning. We will examine it further in the chapter on Second Thoughts.

 

Gurudev took us to a few temples but never came inside. He would always stand far away and ask us to go in and pay our respects. These match the teachings of Guru Vashisht to his disciple Ram to whom he says, ‘There is no God, and this world is a world appearance generated by the collective mind and not the creation of the creator.’’ Guru Vashisht explains that everything is the Supreme Consciousness and therefore what is (existence), cannot be created by itself, to be itself. Heavy stuff, I know, but at the end of the lessons Lord Rama summarises the above as per his understanding. In the words of Rama, ‘The self or the infinite consciousness alone is the reality of all this - the earth, the mountains, etcetera. And the self is like space- formless, and supportless. All these have not been created at all. This notion that arises in consciousness is known as the mind, and it is the mind alone that exists as all this.

 

Time, and all the rest of it, all the appearance of the consciousness. Even so the mountains are nothing but consciousness. And the elements are consciousness, too. It is consciousness alone that is the essence of the characteristic of the elements – like solidity of the earth, fluidity of water, etcetera. In fact, however, the earth and the other elements do not exist: the infinite consciousness alone exists. It is because of the liquidity of the water that the one ocean is able to give rise to waves and currents; it is because of the infinite potentiality of consciousness that it is similarly able to appear to be diverse. When the notion of solidity and harshness arises in it, it becomes a mountain: even so with all other objects. Consciousness itself does not undergo any changes in all this. The notions of ‘I’, ‘you’, etcetera arise in it without any reason or cause, and they are all non-different from consciousness.

 

The mind, buddhi, ego sense, the five elements and all this world appearance exists in the infinite consciousness, non-different from it. Nothing has been created, nothing is lost.’ (extract from Supreme Yoga by Venkateshananda)

 

So! Let it take its time to sink in. Let it be the Titanic of these readings.

Reading this para a few times won’t hurt.

 

From Tree to Orchard

Gurudev lived in perfect balance within the circle of maya, on its line, and beyond the circle.

 

Every morning he reported to his government job in the agricultural ministry. His seniors felt he did his job conscientiously. He was regarded as one of the most dedicated soil surveyors in the department. He had five children and tried his best to spend some time with them. All have grown up to be mature and caring human beings. He spent a lot of time at the farm, working with his hands. Very often you could see him driving the tractor to plough the field. A unique sight was to see him milking the cows. If there was a calf nearby, he would milk the udder and spout the milk into the mouth of the calf. I wish I had taken a few photographs. When the vegetables in the farm were ripe, you could see him plucking them and putting them into a basket. None of the milk in the farm, nor any vegetable or cereal grown there, was sold. It was all used up at the sthan, where people were fed on a daily basis, gratis. As if this was not an entire day, he would spend a lot of time talking to his disciples, sometimes pulling their leg, sometimes pulling them up.

 

And of course, he would see at least 50 to 100 people, who would be waiting outside his house, to meet him to discuss their problems, their ailments and other woes.

 

And then there were us, who were living in his home. We would all try to manipulate our way into his room after dinner and seek an audience with him whenever we could, for as long as we could. After this, he would lie down on what he called paath or a kind of samadhi. Here he would venture out of his body and work on the patients that would be visiting his hundred odd sthans all over the world. During his life he must have dealt with over three to four million people directly, and another two to three million people indirectly.

 

Guru Vashisht taught me the greatest lesson any man can ever learn from another man. He refused to take moksha even though he was more than qualified to get it, so that he could help other people climb the path towards the same. What can be greater than that, not only in deed, but also in imagination?

Gurudev had over a couple of hundred disciples whom he trained in the art of spiritual healing, handheld them for a part of the journey, and then established them in their own homes to carry out his mission of service. These homes, then became sthans where once a week, and in some cases once a month, on Thursdays, people would come to avail of this service. This is how he grew from a tree to an orchard and accomplished the strategy of self-replacement. He gave them powers to heal others and to walk in his shoes. Most of them are still alive today and practice seva in big cities and hamlets across the country as well as in a few other cities out of the country.

 

When he passed into the beyond we all felt homeless. Naturally, we were nervous as we had no backup support but Insha’Allah! we have all survived and grown and created downlines of our own. We are now three generations who serve in his name using the power that still prevails.

 

We work together under the auspices of the Himgiri Charitable Trust based in Gurgaon, and in an outskirt of Delhi called Nasafgarh. There are two active websites which give details of our functioning: Guruji of Gurgaon.com and Guruji of Gurgaon – neelkanth.com

 

Help is available on both these websites and the names of his disciples along with their addresses, email ids, and phone numbers are given.

 

If you have any questions or suggestions relating to this book, or subjects herein, you can write to: [email protected] You can follow some of the exercises given in the book and communicate the results to us and if you so require, we would be more than happy to give you our feedback, suggestions, and try and help you along your path. In the process of worshipping yourself, there may be a few thoughts you want to exchange and we would be happy to oblige.

 

Cosmic Currency

 

You have spent an entire life earning the currency of your choice. How about spending a little time on the currency of my choice – cosmic currency, which will stand you in good stead and allow you to have a better lifestyle in the after-life.

 

It’s not about physical effort or mental effort, it’s about intent. Cosmic currency is basically earning energy that can be added to your own. It can be used for astral travel and to attain speed or gati in the after-life. The spirit body needs this energy to exist, travel, protect itself, etc. Of course it can also attain this energy through deeds done in its name, by itself and others. That is the primary reason we do charity in the name of our ancestors.

This Book is a Guide

If you think by reading this book, you will become the deity of your own life overnight, that’s an over – ambitious demand, according to me. I would consider this book to be a guide. You have to commit yourself to thinking about these concepts and how you are going to implement them. Come on, You can do it.

 

And look at what lies at the end of the rainbow- AFTER DEATH DOLLARS!

 

Again, again and… again!

 

Reading this book once can help you, but reading it multiple times will take this knowledge into your bloodstream and it’s scent will linger in your nostrils.

 

Do convert these words into 3D by putting them into practice. For them to come alive you need to think about them again and again. Even when you are not reading the book.

 

Get inspired by William Wordsworth, a famous English poet:

“When oft and on my couch I lie

in vacant or in pensive mood,

they flash upon that inward eye

which is the bliss of solitude.”

 

One of the greatest gifts that you can give yourself is recommending spiritualism to others, even if they are not close to you. Helping change one human being can change an entire pyramid of human beings that follows. For a restaurant to succeed, there is no better method than word of mouth! I guess it works for spiritualism as well. You never know once you have the ability to worship yourself, you might be able to create that metamorphosis in so many others. That is love. That is caring. And that is leveraging self-growth!

You May Not Be You

You may be shocked to know that your attitude towards people and things may vary greatly from the attitude of your spirit body.

 

The segment of the citta (the amalgamated mind of our physical and spirit bodies) that you use through your human mind, is probably different from that which is used by your spirit body. Let us take up a few case studies, before we discuss the topic.

 

Case 1

 

My father and I had different opinions on how to run the business, so we separated our commercial lives. We hardly spoke to each other even though we lived in adjacent rooms. I thought he hated me for my beliefs. If I have ever seen a genuine atheist, he certainly was one.

 

What shocked me were a couple of dreams, where he appeared and congratulated me on my spiritual pursuits. He encouraged me even though he took an opposite stance in his physical form. To top that, Gurudev once casually mentioned, “Your father does not have anything against you.” When I placed these facts in front of my chimp in the head, he scratched his armpit.

 

 

Case 2

 

I have hundreds of cases of dreams, both mine as well as others, where spiritualists have appeared in dreams, given messages and mantras and yet remained ignorant about it in their physical forms. Many people come to the sthan and cite instances of my having indulged in the above in their dream state. What took the cake was Anjali Chadha, thanking me for taking her on an astral tour of Uttarkashi. The funny part was I had to look for Uttarkashi on the map, because I hadn’t been there physically. Similarly, Gurudev had taken me to France (a country he visited much later for the first time). He made me stand on an old bridge over the river Seine and explained its story to me. I have given mantras in the dream state that I have never heard of in the physical state.

 

Case 3

 

When Uddhav Kirtikar shifted to New Zealand, Gurudev asked me to keep him with me at the sthan. How was that possible? When Capt. Kapoor went into a state of depression and ran away from home, Gurudev asked me to keep him with me. The strange part was that physically these two gentlemen occupied different geographies but a part of their spirit, possibly the nirmaan kaya, allowed me to feel their presence at the sthan.

 

I don’t think I was a jailor, I think I was a guardian.

 

It was years later when Uddhav returned to India, on his second or third visit, that I was given the instructions intuitively to return him to himself (bizarre, isn’t it?).

 

Case 4

Nitin Gadekar and I visited a strange mountain which, in the vision state, we both knew was Mangal (Mars). We received boons in the form of red and yellow coloured objects. Some kind of a vardaan. In that vision state, we understood this very clearly and it was not surprising. I did not tell Nitin about this for 20 years. Hah! I love secrets! Of course, when I did tell him, he did not know about this. He did not know that he had two guaranteed boons from the planet Mars, which he could use whenever he liked. Now he knows, and he can.

 

Case 5

Bindu Maira, a close friend and a classy, socially successful lady, worked at a multilevel marketing firm, with ambitions to further this career.

 

One evening, I saw her spiritual entity as a powerful lady, a great shakti, with a trishul in one hand and her head tied up in cloth. Surprisingly, the day after, my sister Gita told me that she had seen Bindu in exactly the same form and in the same place.

Co-incidence? Or fact?

 

Today, Bindu has changed careers and is an accomplished tarot reader with great intuitive abilities. How did this happen? A change of heart? Or did the physical mind finally catch up with the spirit mind? Did she finally become what she actually was?

 

Bindu Maira, at the time my sister and I saw her being, was already then what she has become today. It was a matter of time and space. This is very much a part of nature because every seed already contains the plant that it will grow up into in the future.

 

Therefore, when you look into your mirror, look beneath the skin. You are often not what you perceive yourself to be. The late Gita Bajaj was the chairperson of ‘Eye on Asia’ a TV show in New Jersey and a journalist who claimed to have received these words intuitively.

 

I Am

I am the stillness of the virgin mind before the conception of a thought.

I am the silence of a fertile brain before the germination of an idea.

I am the calm that engulfs the spirit and the quiet that occupies the emotions.

I am suspension of the intellect before the exercise of faculty.

I am sublimation of the senses before the thrill of anticipation.

I am the void that is filled with nothingness.

I am the void that is filled with spirit consciousness.

I sometimes precede prayer and often follow it.

I sometimes precede meditation and often follow it.

I sometimes precede longing and often follow it.

I am the absence of curiosity before the formation of a question.

I am the blankness of attention before the sparking of interest.

I am the deep sleep of awareness before the awakening of wonder.

I am the vacancy of perception before the lodging of an opinion.

I am the plateau of disposition before the mounting of inspiration.

I am the stillness of the virgin mind and the silence of the fertile brain.

I am where nothing is. I exist where nothing does.

I exist at all times. I am everywhere.

I am.

 

When you looked at a person like Gurudev, a good-looking, simple man of approximately 5’8” height, who worked at a government office, none of his friends or family could have imagined that within this average height existed such an advanced spiritual being.

The humour in it is….neither did he! He would not have applied to the Film Institute at Pune if he knew what he would become! (On behalf of millions of people, I thank the man who rejected his application).

 

The man in the body of the young Bill Gates probably did not know that within him lay a philanthropist of immeasurable nature.

 

Atmic Equality

 

I am hoping that by now you would have gotten over any kind of identity crisis that may have plagued you. By identity crisis, I mean people identify themselves with whatever they think gives them some kind of significance. If you see some Army, Air Force and Navy officers, you will find that they add their rank to their names on their visiting cards. They even attach medals of honour that they may have won. Nobody finds this funny and we think of this as an accepted norm.

 

It was a journey for Group Capt. Dheer to become Dheer Sahib. He is one of the few people I know, who realised that the identity of his ‘self’ far outweighed the identity of his Air Force rank. I don’t think he attaches his Air Force A.V.S.M.s (citations) to his name anymore. He is now a jivatma, who lives a simple retired life of an Air Force officer in an Air Force colony trying to be as good to people as he can. There was a very lovable man called Major Sharma at the sthan in Gurgaon. He had been called that for over 30 years. To pull his leg, I decided to call him, Colonel Saab. I gave him a promotion on behalf of the Supreme Consciousness. A few years later, he had stopped getting amused by it, so I decided that henceforth we will all call him General Sahib.

 

It was a term that belittled a man of great stature, great service, great spiritual attainment. He had far surmounted the qualifications that any General in the world could have achieved.

What labels can you give yourself beyond that of a human being?

Please do realise that there is nobody greater than you except for the ones whom you feel smaller than. You must recognise your aatmic reality, and understand that there is nobody greater or lesser than you. Your favourite movie star, whoever you consider to be the greatest or richest people in your country, the gods you worship, the goddesses whose photographs you have on your wall, are all your partners in aatmic equality.

 

In case you are a favourite film star, a rich man, a powerful politician or businessman, do not let your power or significance blind you from the fact, that as a human being, you are much greater than any label or the wealth you may have amassed. On the other hand, don’t forget that the people who look up to you or hero worship you, are not lesser than you except in destiny, in timing, in karma. Adi Shankaracharya states further, “I am all pervasive. I am without any attributes, and without any form. I have neither attachment to the world, nor to liberation (mukti). I have no wishes for anything because I am everything, everywhere, everytime, always in equilibrium.”

 

I’m quite convinced that the mountain in you, will not see a midget of itself, in the mirror. Not anymore!

 

But we need to work towards this homecoming. Many of you will see this fructify in months, days or years to come. You may have interesting experiences, change of heart towards the way you see things, maybe a development of intuition and many such evolutionary signs. I do not guarantee them, but I do expect them to happen for you.

 

You can write in with queries, comments and your own viewpoints to [email protected]

I would love to hear your experiences past, present and future.

Please do not be lackadaisical in your efforts.

Time is relative, manipulate it.

Regards,

Hingori

On Second Thoughts- Maya

No book on spiritualism would be complete without a take on maya. Maya has been described by most spiritual people as delusion of the mind. Guru Vashisht has given fabulous interpretations of maya throughout his lessons to Ram called Yog Vasishta, the Supreme Yoga by Swami Venkateshananda.

 

Quote 1

 

“Whatever is seen, either in a dream or in the waking state, has space alone as support. It is born of space and it is of the nature of space (void). This space is not other than the supreme, infinite consciousness. Nothing, not even this body, has ever been created; hence nothing exists. The infinite consciousness experiences the existence as if in a dream. The diversity that arises in consciousness, on account of the limitlessness of its potentiality, appears to give rise to diversity of creatures.”

 

In case this quote encourages you to take a sabbatical, don’t. We will get to the bottom of it within a page or two.

 

Quote 2

 

“All things in this world are forever unreal, but they are also real because of the consciousness that is the sole reality and their content. Whatever that consciousness decides ‘This is such and such’ that it becomes, whether it is real or unreal. Such is the nature of consciousness. This consciousness conceived of a body, and it becomes aware of the body. It is self-awareness that becomes aware of the body, not the other way round. At the beginning of creation there was nothing else and only consciousness was: and therefore the world-appearance arose in that consciousness like a dream. In whatever manner consciousness conceived the world to be, that alone it became. What else is this world? Since the world is nothing other than consciousness or Brahman, it is declared to be so by the scriptures.

 

Yet, like a frog in the blind well, foolish and ignorant people base their understanding on the experience of the moment and, on account of their perverse understanding, they are deluded into thinking that the body alone is the source of experience or awareness. But we have nothing to do with them. However intelligent a person may be, if he is unable to dispel one’s doubts, such a person is ignorant. If self-awareness is one of the characteristics of the physical body, then why does a corpse not experience anything?

 

The truth is the other way round. It is the consciousness of Brahman, the infinite consciousness, that appears as this universe – just as the dream objects appear in your consciousness. Brahman is the infinite consciousness; he conceives of this dream-city, which is the virat or the cosmic person. This cosmic person is the creator Brahma and is also of pure consciousness, although it is known as this universe.

 

Whatever was conceived of in the dream-creation of Brahma the creator, alone, is experienced here in that same manner. Thus the body has two states – the living and the dead. Even so this creation appears and disappears. It has no cause other than Brahman, hence it is none other than Brahman. Whether the body exists or not, this consciousness experiences what it is aware of anywhere at any time, before and after ‘death’ ! It is consciousness alone which conceives of ‘the other world’ and experiences it as such. Such deluded experience does not cease until one resorts to the right means of liberation when the mental conditioning ceases and the consciousness becomes unconditioned.”

If you are still awake, maybe it’s time for a coffee break!

 

The Indian scriptures have spoken about maya being a world of perception and duality. All that we know about our world and in fact the cosmos is defined by the scriptures as a projection of the mind.

Though this is hard to swallow, the sages of yore learned these truths in deep states of meditation. If Rama was real (and I believe he was) and if Guru Vashisht was his teacher, then what he taught was knowledge beyond the realm of perception.

 

The Supreme Thought

 

It is difficult sometimes to understand people like Gurudev or Guru Vashisht or the exponents of the Upanishads because they speak with their background of knowledge and their level of understanding. So, in order to help you understand what these people mean, when they say that the world is nothing more than a thought-form and the creation of the cosmic mind, I have worked it out in simpler words. All of us sit down to think and sometimes our minds visualize creatively, not necessarily events, but anything we feel like visualizing. For example, if I were to ask you to visualize a goat-man, I am sure you would be able to, through imagination, create the image of a man who has some similarities to a goat. Artists do this all the time. They visualize and paint what is not real but what they imagine to be. In the earlier pages of this text, you’ve probably read and figured out that any mental activity consumes energy. Telepathy or visualization both fall in the same bracket. What I am trying to explain here is that you have the ability to create in your vision anything hypothetical that you may want to and that it is a consumption of a minute amount of energy.

 

When it comes to healing remotely, there are many people in India, who can cure the pain of a person across the world by using energy through the mind and visualization. This is utilization of visualization at a higher level. There have been so many mentalists who have been able to move matter by concentration of their mind. The best case and example that I have heard of is Yuri Geller who could bend spoons and move things even while he was talking through the television. People who were watching the show found their forks and spoons bent in their homes.

 

So let’s apply this concept at the level of the Supreme Consciousness. The thought or visualization or imagination by the Supreme Consciousness, uses a zillion times more energy than that of a mere mortal. Being the supreme form of existence, those thought forms of the Consciousness Supreme, manifest as planets, beings, and other life forms. This is why Guru Vashisht has always said that the world is not real, it is made of only creative visualization of the thought of the creator. Understanding this can help you figure out maya and delusion but not necessarily help you live in that realization unless you invest a lot of your life in transcending sensory perception. Please believe what I have to say and work your life accordingly. You can still worship yourself and revere yourself having accepted someone else’s testimony rather than spending half your life in trying to realize it.

 

To examine this subject at a much lower level of understanding (as promised a few lines ago), we need to accept that our senses have a limited range of perception. For example, a brick wall presents a solid, impenetrable obstacle for the physical body but presents a paper thin, easily penetrable “non-obstacle” for a spirit body (see chapter 3- “Matter with a different vibration”). Please also read the following essay presented by Vijay Mehra (a senior corporate executive in the USA), where he explains through empirical evidence, how little our senses really perceive. He then turns you turtle, by speaking of scientific postulations about the “observed” universe being but a function of the observer. This is pretty much how our sages defined maya.

 

Is science finally catching up? How long will it be before science proves that the observer and the observed and the observation are all three a part of the same consciousness?

 

The day this happens, this book will have to be shifted from the “Philosophy” section to the “Science” section of a book shop.

 

Limitations of Perception

 

Dear Reader: Have you ever wondered….what is reality? Have you ever caught yourself saying ‘if I can see it I will believe it?’

 

Well consider this: what you see with your naked eye is less than 0.00000000005% of the electromagnetic spectrum that exists, as proven by scientists (see figure below please):

 

This means that when as human beings we say “I need to see it to believe it”, we are essentially implying that unless ‘the seen by us’ falls within that 0.00000000005% of the band of ‘what is’, we will claim ‘because we can’t see it, we don’t believe it.’ Pretty narrow-minded, wouldn’t you agree?

 

Here are a few more facts, hard scientific facts mind you, that will help you realise how limited our sense perception is for realizing and fathoming what really is. Consider this:

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*
p<>{color:#211D1E;}. Just as the example above shows our sight is limited to only about 0.

00000000005% of the electromagnetic spectrum, can you guess how much of the acoustic spectrum we can hear as human beings? The answer is less than 1%. That’s right: we hear less than 1% of all the sounds that are prevalent on planet Earth alone.

*
p<>{color:#211D1E;}. As you read this book you might think you are ‘sitting still’ or ‘lying still’ and reading. Wrong. You are travelling 220 kilometres/second across the galaxy of the Milky Way. Can you even fathom how fast you’re travelling right now? Are your ‘senses’ picking that up at all?

 

*
p<>{color:#211D1E;}. What you think of as ‘your body’ and seems ‘very solid’ to you is actually mostly empty space. That’s correct. The atoms in your body are mostly 99.9999999999999999% empty space.

 

*
p<>{color:#211D1E;}. When you ‘see a rainbow’ the colours are not ‘out there’, they’re in your eyes and assimilated by your brain. The conical photoreceptor cells of the human eye create the signals which the human brain interprets as the ‘colours of the rainbow’. For animals without conical photoreceptor cells in their eyes, the same rainbow that appears to have seven colours to you and me, appears in shades of grey.

 

Also consider a few more things science told us about reality over several thousands of years:

*
p<>{color:#211D1E;}. The earth was flat and that if we went beyond the horizon we would ‘fall off’ the edge. We now know reality to be very different.

*
p<>{color:#211D1E;}. The earth was still and the sun revolved around the earth. We now know reality to be very different.

 

Fast-forward to today and we now know via Quantum Physics that the fundamental principles of the universe, as postulated by Albert Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton, no longer hold in the Quantum Physics world, and this has been empirically proven by scientists in the laboratory and is undisputed in the scientific community . Specifically, Scientists have now found that the ‘observed universe’ is a function of the ‘observer’, and that the notion of a ‘universe out there’ independent of an ‘observer’, is essentially an illusion, is not true. The famous ‘double-slit’ experiment done in a laboratory proved this beyond doubt .

 

Quantum Physics also shows via the phenomenon of ‘Quantum Entanglement’ that two or more particles can communicate faster than the speed of light at far ends of the universe. This collapses Einstein’s theory of the speed of light being the fastest in the universe, AND it opens up the possibility of explaining the concept of ‘telepathy’ scientifically .

 

So……if any of this has ‘piqued your interest’ to better understand ‘what is’ and to better understand your true nature, please read on. The point is not to make any ‘wild connections’ without empirical experience or evidence, but rather, to open your mind’s eye, dear Reader, to the fact that perhaps there’s ‘more out there’ than what you are directly perceiving with your senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch etc. This ‘acknowledgement’ or ‘opening up your mind’ is the first step toward ‘unconditioning’ or ‘unlearning’ what is blocking you from getting to know your True Self. The journey toward getting to know your True Self will change your life, and the life of those around you. That’s a guarantee.

 

The more you get into understanding your own true nature, the more you will be able to understand the nature of ‘what is’ and ‘who you really are.’

 

 

Glossary

Ananda: means bliss or contentment. This bliss is the point achieved at the time when a person’s consciousness evolves to the level of the anandmaya kosha or the sheath of bliss.

 

Arpan: the act of surrendering to a higher force or offering power/ energy to a higher source of power.

 

Asana: a yogic posture practised to stabilize the body and mind.

 

Asisa: the will of the individual to exist eternally. It is a kind of force that impacts a jivatma to exist in continuity.

 

Asmita: it is the identification of ourselves with our ego. We create a self-image of ourselves that we believe is us, but it is not us. We become trapped within the projections we have created of our life.

 

Awhelna: to go against the wish of a spiritual teacher, and make them feel let down and disrespected.

 

Bhoot: ghosts or spirits that haven’t received gati and passed the barriers; who hang around their family members haunting them.

 

Buddhi: intellect, higher inteligence. A part of citta.

 

Citta: the subconscious mind which includes the intellect and the spirit mind.

 

Citta Vritti Nirodha: the cessation of mental activity or disturbance to the mind.

 

Dasa: a running period where a particular planet is dominant in the birth chart, and is a ruler of that period.

 

Dharna: complete concentration.

 

Dhyan: a state of going into a deeper form of meditation.

 

Dwesha: it is an aversion towards things that produce unpleasant experiences. If we cannot avoid the things we dislike, we suffer.

 

Ekagratta: to be one-minded or of single-purpose.

 

Gurubhai: a spiritual batchmate.

 

Guru Purnima: a day on which disciples come and offer their obeisance to their guru.

 

Guru Vashisht: Was probably one of the greatest spiritualists that ever existed. He had spiritual powers and aatmic knowledge beyond comprehension. He was the tutor of Lord Rama and taught him the philosophy of life, after-life and delusion. He was probably the greatest amongst the Gurus that ever lived.

 

Gunas: the three gunas are the subtle energies through which our mind and deeper consciousness functions.

 

Gyan: internal knowledge attained through meditative thinking or intuitions.

 

Jinn: a supervisor or group head of a set of poltergeists; like a spirit chieftain.

 

Jivatma: the individual soul, regarded as a manifestation of atman plus the individual ego.

 

Kada: an energized bracelet that becomes a link between the guru and the shishya.

 

Kanyadaan: during the Hindu marriage ceremony, the parents of the bride gift the bride to the husband and his family, it is also known as the highest form of charity.

 

Kaarna Sharira: it is the causal body to which the karmashaya is attached. This body is just below the astral body.

 

Karma: it connotes the action that leads to the entire cycle of cause and effect (samsara). It applies to all action including thought, word, feeling and deed.

 

Karma Mukta: means a stage at which you stop expecting the fruit of your karma or a person who has reached the stage of detachment from everything.

 

Karmashaya: the hard disk or storage space where all our short-term and long-term memories (samskaras) are stored until they fructify.

 

Keelna: to cast a ring of spiritual energy around an object.

 

Kundali: the birth chart of an individual.

 

Kundalini: the serpent-shaped energy force that raises the center of gravity of consciousness between the chakras.

 

Lokas: different dimensions where spirit bodies exist. There are supposed to be 14 lokas.

 

Mantra Vidya: the science of practicing mantras and the ability to attain their power.

 

Moksha: disintegration of the self into the whole.

 

Mahurat: an auspicious moment according to the placement of the planets.

 

Mukti: freedom from this cycle of life and death.

 

Nirmaan Kaya: a duplicate body created by advanced yogis to live out their samskaras. It can be an energy body or a physical-looking body which is not as complex as a human one.

 

Niyamas: these are recommended disciplines and habits for healthy living and spiritual enlightenment.

 

Paath: to practise mantras mentality and silently.

 

Pratyahara: removal of attention from sensory objects.

 

Puja: prayer.

 

Purusharth: self-effort to try and intensify one’s intent.

 

Sadhna: discipline undertaken in the pursuit of a goal.

 

Samadhi: a state of semi-consciousness wherein the consciousness is removed from the senses.

 

Samskara: the impressions/engrams left on the subconscious mind by experience from the current and previous lifetimes.

 

Seh Sharir: along with the body. Many saints have been known to leave this world with their bodies disappearing and travelling to the ‘life after death’.

 

Shakti: energy or electromagnetic force.

 

Shraap: a curse which can be strengthened with the use of power/ energy.

 

Shuddhi: cleansing of the body and mind with the help of mantras and spiritual practices.

 

Siddha Guru: an accomplished guru who is capable of using spiritual power to help people.

 

Sukshma Sharira: the subtle body; the ghost.

 

Sthan: unique to Gurudev; a temple in the homes of disciples.

 

Tantric Kriya: a feat of tantra performed negatively to hurt people by use of energy, or positively, to help them; rituals of worship.

 

Tapasya: penance undertaken for spiritual realization.

 

Taveez: an amulet which contains a hand-written mantra to generate energy.

 

Vardaan: blessing to attain something.

 

Vichara: positive version of thoughts from the karmashaya.

 

Vitarka: negative version of vichara.

 

Vritti: mental activity also known as the state of existence of the mind. The five different states or vrittis of the mind are perception, delusion, sleep, imagination and dream.

 

 

 

Books By HINGORI

1. Karma Sutra – Cracking the Karmic Code (2014)

2. Aatma Sutra (2015)

3. Guru in my dreams (2016)

4. Guru Sutra (2016)


Aatmasutra-Unveiling the Soul

Through 'Aatmasutra-Unveiling the Soul', the author presents to you, the reader, several relevant spiritual concepts, interspersed with incidents and visions experienced by him and several of his spiritual friends. The purpose is to influence you to fall in love with yourself. This is of course, a colloquial way of saying, learn to accept, respect and revere yourself. The author documents his 35 year long journey from trying not to dislike himself, to learning how to love himself and more. Do join him in this story of understanding self-worth, shedding limitations and understanding your true nature. If you are a part of the Consciousness Supreme, then how come you don’t know it? Finally, how do you understand it?

  • Author: Hingori
  • Published: 2016-02-28 13:10:37
  • Words: 56750
Aatmasutra-Unveiling the Soul Aatmasutra-Unveiling the Soul