I hope everyone is having an ananda-filled Niyam Seva! I have been busy and also physically ill for the last few weeks, leaving me little energy for the many tasks I would like to perform such as writing on this blog. I have posted some notes on Facebook over the last few weeks and I have collected them and reposted them here. Most of them are from the writings of Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath. I hope you find them as instructive and inspiring as I have.
Prana is verily Bhagawan Shankara, Vishnu and grandsire Brahma. All the worlds exist on account of prana; the entire world is imbued with prana.
This prana is another name of Pranava. It is the Ishvara in totality and Jiva in the individual. This prana is Brahma with attributes, the power of this prana is kundalini shakti or the serpent power. It is this prana that dwells in this body in the form of five winds and it’s this prana that ceases, which is why disease, sorrow etc. are all outer-directed states. The normal breath is of the span of twelve finger-lengths. You can perceive this if you take a ball of cotton close to your nose. That is why it is said that natural breath is twelve-fingers long. When this measure increases, one may infer that the body is deteriorating –that’s why if the measure of breath is shortened, the deterioration is checked, the mind and the consciousness is turned inwards.
How should the measure of breath be shortened? By constantly repeating Sri Nam, the measure of prana will slowly diminish. What is achieved through Nam japa? As one repeats Nam, pranayama is done, the breath is automatically regulated and the prana does not waste away. Slowly as the wasting of prana gets reduced, to the same proportion the mind is drawn inwards. The state one achieves through rigid disciplines of yoga and the like can effortlessly be achieved through Sri Nam Sankirtana.
Nitai Gaura Radhey Shyam ~ Hare Krishna Hare Ram
Devotee mine! You have no cause for fear. Recite only My Names
Oh Dear! It is my duty to protect those who take My shelter with the words, “I am yours.”
Let the skies topple down,
let the fire of dissolution play its havoc,
let millions of thunders clash together,
let the universe totter and reel
and the fiercest storms rage,
let the seven seas swell and heave,
yet-yet my dearest! You have no cause for alarm
Never forget that I have been guarding you right within my bosom.
Sri Nam Yoga:
Kriya yoga is a technique by which you deliberately stimulate in a systematic manner all parts of the psychic body which is made up of the cakras and the nADI. Various mudrA and bandha are performed. It is essential to first perfect prANAyAm. One of the objectives of prANAyAm is to secure sahaja kumbhak. You become a master of the inner breath. Amazingly, if you train the mind’s monkey chatter towards Sri Nam, sahaja kumbhak dawns. If you practice Nam, the cakras get stimulated to the required degree by the nAda of Nam. Certain mudras happen themselves, unsolicited. Kriya yoga happens to you; you do not have to do Kriya yoga.
Sri Nam Yoga II:
Continuing with Nam, you are readied for the experience of anAhata nAda (unstruck sound) and jyoti (light seen without a sensory input from outside). The dawning of these mark the arrival of a devotee to new level….now it is possible to get a heretofore unseen glimpse of the grandeur to unfold. Samadhi of the various types may begin to occur. In order to make the body-mind complex ready for samadhi, much observation is done of the state of the IDA and piGgalA nADI. Samadhi cannot happen unless they are in a state of balance (which happens naturally during sandhya-kAla or twilight). If you practice Nam, you need not observe the nADI. zunya swAra (IDA and piGgalA in balance) will dawn of its own, and so also samadhi. Yoga loses its effortfulness. Raja yoga happens to you; you do not have to do Raja yoga.
The diksha given in the tradition of Sri SitaramdasOmkarna is nirAdhAra orjJAnavati diksha or Siddha Yoga. Ordinarily the initiate must work for himself and proceed stage by stage; he is to ascend the stairs himself by virtue of his own effort. Not so with those initiated in the Master’s fold. The essence of this initiation is that the Guru transmits power to the disciple, awakens his kundalini, which begins thereafter to take its own course. The Master infuses spiritual energy by touch, look or thought and the sleeping kundalini wakes up, never to droop or drowse again. The disciple has various experiences of various grades. Tremours, mild and wild, seize the limbs. One shakes as an aspen leaf, one sways and oscillates, assumes various gestures, all unawares, and without any effort on one’s part, indeed against one’s best endeavour to the contrary. The hands wave up gracefully in a thousand rhythmic ways, one feels electrified. One shivers all over, willy-nilly. One perspires profusely. The tears well up from the eyes, no matter how much one tries to restrain them. The hairs stand on end. Fragrance of flowers, sandal and incense come from nowhere. The tongue tastes sweetness never savoured before. Jyoti and nAda, non-generated Light and Sound, appear. Light of so many shades and hues blazes forth: one sees them with eyes closed as well as with eyes open. Equally incalculable and infinite are the super-sensuous sounds that are apprehended. Songs of no tone can be heard. Images of Gods and Godesses and saints reveal themselves. To be initiated in this fold is to have such experiences without effort: one has not to mount the steps, one rises in an elevator. Siddha Yoga that is administered in Sri Sitaramdas Omkardeva’s fold places one in a lift. Fulfillment comes as a matter of course: what is wanted is only a spirit of total surrender, which too has not to be cultivated but is induced almost automatically by his ineffable touch.
The Mahamantra is for everyone:
Tripura Devi has explained the meaning of “Hare” in Radha Tantra as Shiv-Shakti. The “hra” dhatu stands for “haraNa” hence the wise men define “Hari” as He who does pApa haraNa. Thus He who dissipates the burden of sin, blemish, rebirth etc. is called Hari.
He who does haraNa of saMsAra (worldly existence) is Hari
He who does haraNa of ajJAna (ignorance) is Shiva.
He who does haraNa of durgati (misfortune) is Durga.
He who does haraNa of vighna (obstacles) is Ganesha.
He who does haraNa of andhakAra (darkness) is Surya.
Thus the term “Hare” applies to all the five types of upAsakas (devotees of the five principal sects): Shaiva (Shiva), Shakta (Devi), Ganapatya (Ganesh) , Saura (Surya) and Vaishnava (Vishnu, Ram or Krishna) in their individual sense of the iSTA bhAvanA (attitude towards ones chosen Deity).
Thus the Hare Krishna Mahamantra is for everyone.
~Sri Thakura Omkarnath
Sadhakas and tricks of the memory:
Sadhakas must be warned against the tricks of memory, of which nothing is more harmful, nothing more destructive to the peace of mind which is necessary for successful sadhana. It cannot be too often recommended to them to forbear looking into the past with its trials and errors, acts of omission and commission, regrets, fear, passion, love and hatred, personal tragedies, etc. Everything is dust, everything transitory, including the seemingly indissoluble human ties, more so wealth and fame, and thus, not worth a moment’s regret. Nothing is changeless and lasting but the natural state of the pure being.
~Sri Ramana Maharshi