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Archive for April 17th, 2010

From:
To: am-global@earthlink.net
Subject: A Particular Posture For…
Date: Sat, 17 Apr 2010 23:46:17

Baba

“Pita’ ma’ta’ bandhu sakha’ a’ndha’re a’lokavarttika’…” (P.S. 218)

Purport:

Baba, You are my most intimate and loving One; by Your grace You are so
close. Baba, You are my father and You are my mother; You are my friend as
well as my eternal companion. Baba, You are my everything– my One and
only. By Your infinite grace You are that divine lamp of effulgence, always
guiding me along the proper path in life. Baba You are everywhere. By Your
grace no one is ever alone or helpless. You are ever-present carefully
watching over everyone. Baba, by Your grace You are always residing in my
heart.

Baba, with Your infinite compassion, no matter how difficult the
circumstances are, You are always present to provide a gentle touch.
Amongst the thorns & tears You are the soothing balm of the lotus flower
which relieves all pains and sorrows; and in scorching heat of the burning
fire You are that refreshing, calm, cool sandalwood. Baba, You are the
ultimate Savior. When one has lost everything then in that bleak hour You
are the only shelter. You are that divine jewel which makes everything else
into a shining jewel as well. By Your touch, unit beings become divine.
That is Your causeless grace. Baba, You are the best of everything. In the
beautiful rose garden where all the flowers are aromatic and fragrant, You
are the most gorgeous– You are the most beautiful. Baba, You are the most
effulgent Entity in this vast universe.

Baba, You are the Cause of everything. You are the Source and You are
the Origin. Baba, because You are, I am. You are the breath of my very
life. Without You my whole existence is meaningless. Baba, You are my
dearmost, You are my everything. You alone are the eternal lamp of my
heart. Baba, please grace me by keeping me in Your divine shelter…

== A PARTICULAR POSTURE FOR A PARTICULAR WORK ==

Namaskar,
We all know that yoga is the systematic and mystical endeavour to merge the
unit with the cosmic: jiiva into Shiva. And in this journey by His grace
our movement is not haphazard, but rather methodical & precise. One aspect
of yoga which supports this forward movement is the correct use of our yoga
a’sanas– and in particular padma’sana, the lotus pose.

SYSTEMATIC WAY OF DOING

In life, & in the spiritual science of yoga, each and every thing is done
in a systematic way; there is a particular method for every activity and
action.

For example, if one wishes to drink water then lying down in shava’sana is
not the correct approach. Rather one must sit upright in an erect position
as this will aid in the process of digestion and allow one to drink in an
easy fashion.

Likewise if one wishes to sleep then standing up fully and holding one’s
foot to the nose as in granthimukta’sana is not the proper manner. One will
never be able to sleep in that posture. Instead, to fall asleep comfortably
and quickly one should take rest in a sideways lying position– on one’s
left side.

Similarly if one is hungry and wants to eat then one should not try to eat
while doing kaoshikii or tandava. Those dances are not the proper way for
taking food. As we know the correct approach is to sit quietly in
bhojana’sana, i.e. sitting with one’s legs & ankles crossed in a
comfortable manner.

Hence for each and every activity there is a proper posture– a conducive
pose.

That’s why Baba guides us that when doing sadhana, we should sit in a
particular pose: Padma’sana or lotus posture. Because to do meditation a
calm mind is needed and padma’sana helps one to achieve that special state;
it helps one to progress in the psycho-spiritual realm. For this reason
Baba directly states that padma’asana is one of the top poses, or even “the
best” posture for meditation.

OUR FIRST DUTY: WITHDRAW THE MIND

As we all know our AM system of sadhana adheres to the age-old yogic
theorem: As you think so you become. So in order to achieve that high
spiritual state one must focus and goad the mind towards that supreme
cosmic ideal– after withdrawing the mind from the crude worldly
propensities.

Hence our first duty in sadhana is not to allow our mind to run towards the
external world via the indriyas (organs). Because when the 10 indriyas are
sending signals to the brain and the brain engages in processing and
receiving those messages, then one’s mind becomes totally restless, making
sadhana impossible. So our first and foremost duty in meditation is to
withdraw the mind from these external stimuli. And for this process, Baba
specifically directs us that padma’sana is the most effective posture.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF PADMA’SANA

Everyone is aware that the lotus (padma) takes root in the mud and grows up
through that murky pond water until it finally blossoms & flowers on the
water’s surface. Thus despite living in dirty surroundings the lotus flower
maintains its pristine purity.

Likewise we human beings live in this crude world where everything is under
the bondage of maya, yet our duty is to keep the mind above this
quinquelemental world– moving on and on towards our spiritual Goal.
For this grand endeavour, padma’sana helps a lot.

Here below Baba directs us how to sit in lotus posture and at the same time
describes the special import of padma’sana.

Baba says, “Padma’sana is the posture of sitting with the right ankle over
the lift thigh and the left ankle over the right thigh, the tongue pushing
the teeth out. In padma’sana alone, the vision can be fixed on trikuti –
the middle point between the eyebrows. Just as the lotus blossoms forth in
water, so also in this posture the mind tends to evolve. That is why this
posture is termed padma’sana (padma – lotus, a’sana – posture). This is the
best a’sana for meditation.” (Tattvika Diipika)

So by siting in padma’sana the mind naturally gets goaded toward the higher
cakras, thus helping one to succeed in meditation. That is why after seeing
the situation from all directions, Baba outrightly tells us that padma’sana
is the top posture for sadhana.

STRONG COMMITMENT NEEDED

We all know that progressing in sadhana is not easy– it takes a strong
commitment and a determined effort. Our each and every aspect of meditation
should be proper and pointed. So if when doing meditation one just lazily
sits in bhojana’sana (eating posture in cross-legged position) and one’s
sadhana is hazy and loose because the mind is not concentrated, then surely
one is not going to get success.

Because as Baba reminds us that to do anything great, it demands taking a
strong vow and commitment. Only then can one reach the Goal.

For this reason all great yogis take that special effort to sit for
meditation in padmas’ana since it helps the mind rise up above the crude
worldly propensities and enables one to move towards that spiritual stance.
In order to set a proper example for the people Lord Shiva Himself would
always take to this position.

Baba says, “Usually He [Lord Shiva] would sit in a posture called
padma’sana . It is called padma’sana because it is just like a lotus in
full bloom. Just as the roots and stems of the lotus remain under the water
and only the leaves and flowers float above it — and although it is born
in the mud it sustains its love for the stars — in the same way, people
sitting in this lotus posture and remaining in the world, can keep their
minds above their mundane environment. That is why on the path of sa’dhana’
this posture has tremendous importance. Even though He took upon Himself
all the physical and psychic responsibilities of the entire world, Shiva,
when seated in this posture, was just like a lotus in full bloom,
transcending all the impurities and dirt of the mind.” (NSS, Discourse 20)

So in the above quote Baba tells how this was the special posture used by
Lord Shiva and then Baba again explains the special inner significance of
sitting in padmasana and how it relates with the lotus flower.
Overall, for moving along the spiritual path, Baba is emphasizing that
padmasana is highly essential.

FROM THE VERY BEGINNING IT IS NECESSARY

Here Baba describes how from the very beginning when one takes initiation
in their early childhood they should be taught to sit in padmasana.
Baba says, “When children are five years old and attain some awareness, the
parents, brothers, sisters or any guardian may initiate them in Na’ma
Mantra [the preliminary process of meditation]. They should be taught to
sit in padma’sana [lotus posture], but instead of interlocking the fingers,
they may rest one palm upon the other; and keep the spine erect.” (CC-1,
chapter 2)

WHY CALLED PADMA’SANA

In our AM system, asanas are name for various reasons. For example some
asanas look like a particular thing. For example when one does
bhujaunga’sana, the practitioner looks like a cobra. Hence it is called
bhujaunga’sana or cobra pose.

Likewise when one sits in gomukha’sana, the practitioner looks like or
resembles the head or face of a cow. Thus the name gomukha’sana.

However in padma’sana, the same rule does not apply. When one sits in
padma’sana one does not look like a lotus flower.

Rather there is another process at work. Becaues the special significance
of padma’sana is that one takes on the unique capabilities of the lotus:
Living in a dirty world but keeping a neat and clean existence. Just as the
lotus is not affected by the muddy water the sadhaka sitting in padma’sana
is not affected by the mundane world.

For this reason this physical posture is called padma’sana. Because one
takes on the qualities of a lotus flower.

HOW TO HELP NEW SADHAKAS LEARN PADMASANA

Initially, sitting in padma’sana is not easy for new people. So we should
carefully guide them step by step how to sit in this posture.

Firstly people new to meditation should get accustomed to sitting on the
bare floor, if it is their general habit to always sit in chairs. Jjust
sitting on the floor helps prepare them for various yogic asanas.

And then little by little– over the course of days, weeks, and months,
they should try to bring the ankles closer together until after a while
they can bring one of their their ankles onto the opposite thigh. But again
this should not all be done in one sitting.

Rather new persons should try in rounds or one day after another. And in
between they can massage the knee and then again practice. And little by
little, without putting too much stress on the knees, by trying again and
again over the course time they will gain the requisite flexibility to sit
in padma’sana. And by this way the mind becomes better suited for meditation.

Here Baba tells us more about how to sit in the full lotus posture.
Baba says, “Padma’sana (lotus posture): Place the right foot on the left
thigh and the left foot on the right thigh. Clench the jaws and press the
tongue against the roof of the mouth. You can maintain this posture as long
as you like.” (CC-3)

BABA’S BLESSING

By Baba’s grace He has blessed us with all the requisite tools to achieve
complete spiritual salvation.

Baba says, “Dhya’na yoga which elevates human beings through constant
self-analysis, obliterates the very existence of the non-spiritual, and
expedites one’s elevation into the supreme spiritual stance.” (MVNS, p.92-3)

Namaskar,
Ramlal

NOTE 1: HOW ASANAS ARE NAMED

Here in special fashion in His chapter, ‘Questions and Answers on
Meditation’ in His Yoga Psychology Book, Baba outlines in Q & A #6 how
asanas are named:

“Question: How do we name a’sanas?”

“Answer: We name a’sanas as follows:”

“(1) Some a’sanas are similar to animal movements so they are named
after those animals; for example, matsyamudra’ [fish posture], garud’a’sana
[bird posture], etc.”

“(2) Some a’sanas have the characteristics of animal structures, so they
are also named after those animals; for example, ku’rmaka’sana [tortoise
posture], etc.”

“(3) Some a’sanas are named by the qualities of the a’sana; for example,
sarva’unga’sana [shoulder stand; literally “all-limbs posture”]. The entire
body is benefited by this a’sana.” (YP, ‘Questions & Answers…’, #6)

By His above explanation we can easily understand that padma’sana is named
as such not because the posture looks like a lotus flower but rather
because sitting in that position enables the human mind to emulate the
pristine purity of the lotus by rising above all crude propensities and
reaching one’s spiritual Goal, Baba.

NOTE 2: PADMA’SANA IS DHYA’NA’SANA

Baba says, “Dhya’na’sanas are practised primarily for concentration of mind
and meditation. Dhya’na’sanas include padma’sana [lotus posture].” (YP,
Question #7)

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