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Archive for July 18th, 2011

To: AM-GLOBAL
Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2011 21:01:34 -0000
From: NJK Deva
Subject: Phase of Pause in Sadhana

Baba

“Ke go tumi ele man ma’ta’te manorathe…” (PS 412)

Purport:

O’ Divine Entity, by Your grace on this auspicious morning You have
come and stirred my consciousness. You have come on a mental chariot and
divinely intoxicated my mind. You are so gracious, please tell me Who You
are. O’ Gracious One, please grace me by revealing Yourself fully.
O’ Divine One, You have come moving along the path of effulgence. You
have taken away everyone’s unit feelings and removed their personal desire.
You satiated their heart and mind by pouring Your infinite cosmic bliss.

O’ Baba, You have reached me by moving long the path of melody and tune.
Baba, by Your grace You have taken away everyone’s unit rhythm and infused
everyone by pouring Your divine cadence. You have come to sing the divine
song to everyone and satiate their heart.

Baba, with Your divine song You have inundated the entire universe; You
are ever-gracious…

== PHASE OF PAUSE IN SADHANA ==

Namaskar,
As sadhakas, it is perfectly natural for us to go through “ups” & “downs”
in our practice of meditation. At the same time we all wish that we could
always be in an “up” phase. So when a “down” phase invariably comes then we
should all know what it means and how to handle it.

Recently one senior tattvika responded to my queries on this topic and with
his permission here below I am giving a summary of his replies– all of
which the senior tattvika has reviewed and approved.

NATURAL FLOW OF LIFE: SYSTALTIC MOVEMENT

As Baba discusses in so many discourses– whether about sadhana, economics,
education, social progress, quantum physics, or literature etc– each and
every movement in this universe moves along a systaltic path.

Baba says, “As you know, in this universe of ours nothing moves – no force,
no expression, no manifestation, moves – along a straight line. The
movement is always pulsative; the movement is always of systaltic order,
order of pause and start. There must be a stage of pause, and another stage
just following the stage of pause – a stage of movement.” (AV-8)

So according to Baba, the “ups” & “downs” in spiritual life are totally
natural and to be expected. And His own terminology for these “ups” &
“downs” of life are known are periods of speed and periods of pause.

PAUSE AND SPEED IS PART OF THE NATURAL PROGRESSION

Each and every sadhaka must know that sadhana itself moves in phases of
pause and speed. This is the normal and natural pathway for everyone. This
is what Baba says.

Baba says, “While doing sa’dhana’ in the spiritual sphere, the state of
pause may come. Sometimes people say, ‘How strange! A few days ago I was
having excellent meditation, but these days I can’t seem to concentrate at
all. That’s very sad.’ Or at times one may say, ‘The other day while
meditating my body began to quiver. It was quite a pleasant experience. Why
don’t I get the same experience today?’ This sort of blissful experience
during meditation or in concentration comes within the scope of
assimilation. It becomes internalized. But if it does not find any
expression within the mind, you can never experience it. Maybe after a few
days you may experience an even greater bliss during incantation or
meditation. All this means that even in the spiritual sphere also there is
pause and speed.” (PNS-7, ‘Dynamicity and Staticity)

So while we should always put forth maximum effort in sadhana and never
skip any lessons, at the same time no one should become overly concerned
when sadhana is not as good as it once was. Because it is sure that in the
near future a new period of speed will come and one will advance ahead on
the spiritual path. This is Baba’s above teaching.

SOME TECHNIQUES TO HELP KEEP SADHANA STRONG:

THIRD LESSON HELPS

Given the fact that it is an inevitability that we will experience periods of
pause in sadhana, there are certain approaches we can do to help push our
sadhana back into a period of speed.

One point is to practice our lesson of tattva dharana– or third lesson. As
we know that this energizes our being, enhances our concentration, and
purifies the cakras. So it is a very good lesson to do when experiencing a
period of pause.

Certainly though, sitting for long or even short session in viira’sana (the
posture for 3rd lesson) is not particularly easy. Because the toes are
curled underneath and there is a lot of pressure applied to the joints of
the toes.

In that case, one can place some soft clothing articles or a piece of foam
underneath one’s feet when doing third lesson. In that way viira’sana will
feel more comfortable and one will be able to remain in that position long,
thus getting the many benefits. And certainly over time doing this lesson
will become physically easier and easier in which case the sadhaka can
involve purely in the psycho-spiritual plane.

SADHANA AND SADHANAUNGA

As we all know in our sahaja yoga system– i.e. the six lessons of
sadhana– the lessons can be separated into two basic catergories:
sa’dhana’ & sa’dhana’unga.

Our first lesson (iishvara pranidhana) and our sixth lesson (dhya’na) are
the only two lessons of sadhana. The former leads to mukti and the latter
brings moksa, by His grace. So those are both sadhana lessons.

Whereas our others lessons– numbers 2 through 5– are helping lessons of
sadhana known as sa’dhana’unga. These include: Madhuvidya (2nd lesson),
tattva dharana (3rd lesson), pranayama (4th lesson), and cakra shodhana
(5th lesson). All of these are helping lessons in sadhana.

Baba says, “There are certain helping sádhanás. Ásana and práńáyáma,
for example, are helping items. They are not sádhaná, they are called
sádhanáuṋga.” (Ananda Vacanamrtam – 23, How to Concentrate)

All the helping lessons of sadhana, i.e. #2 – #5, support, along with
other aspects of astaunga yoga like asanas, help bring the mind into
a balanced state where one can do sadhana, by His grace.

WHAT SADHANA LESSONS TO DO WHEN:

FIRST & SIXTH LESSON

The point then comes that when should one do 1st lesson and one should 6th
lesson be done. Here are some basic guidelines that everyone can try and
experiment with.

1. If one is struggling a lot in dhyana either because one cannot visualise
Baba or because one is not feeling that sweet, heart-felt connection
inside, then one can try to switch over to first lesson. Because first
lesson is comparatively easy.

2. And it should be remembered that first lesson itself is a devotional
lesson. So just after one completes the stage of cittashuddhi (the last
step of one’s withdrawal process) then before starting the practice of
mantra japa, first one infuse a strong feeling of devotional love for Baba.
And then after arousing that devotional feeling one can then repeat their
is’t’a mantra. Then that mantra japa will be fruitful by His grace. Here
the whole point is that one’s mantra repetition should be saturated with
devotional feeling and yearning for Him. That is one key point for first
lesson.

3. And then as first lesson builds momentum and spiritual flow and one is
getting support from the other lessons as well, then that is a good time to
again engage in the practice of dhyana.

4. So one should always remember that first lesson is easier than dhyana.
That is one point. And next is that normal dhyana is easier than very
intimate and deeper dhyana. So one should proceed according to one’s own
mental feeling.

MORE POINTS ABOUT PROCEEDING AHEAD IN SADHANA

5. We can say that the most important point is that a sadhaka should always
be natural in their approach to sadhana and not be artificial or
hypocritical. One should do as one sincerely feels.

6. For example, when a small child has a strong desire to sit on his
mother’s lap then that little baby is going to cry and cry until that
mother lifts him onto her lap. And this is quite natural and the mother
feels that she must respond to the child’s cry. Because that is the child’s
pure and natural feeling. In contrast, if that same mother also has an 18
year old son and if all of a sudden that elder son also starts crying and
crying and demanding that he be placed on his mother’s lap, then that is
not going to bear any fruit. Because the whole scene is unnatural; that is
not what 18-year-old boys are supposed to do. And no mother is going to
take such an old child onto her lap. It does not work that way. Rather
there are other ways for that 18-year-old son to get his mother’s attention
and concern. Here the whole point is that one must be natural in their
approach.

7. Similarly in sadhana also, one must follow a natural approach–
especially in dhyana. One should approach Baba and communicate with Him
according to one’s internal feeling. One should not act in any fake or
unnatural manner. Sincerity is the key for progress in dhyana.

8. There are some who may say that dhyana is the only lesson that one
should practice– but that is not at all proper. Rather all the lessons
have their utility and speciality, and they all help promote deeper dhyana.
So the way to develop a sweet and more intimate feeling in dhyana is by
doing all the six lessons and by being sincere and true in dhyana.

ASKING FOR HIS GRACE

9. And perhaps the most important point in sadhana is to directly ask help
from Baba. One may repeat, ‘I cannot do anything, I am helpless, so Baba
please grace me so I may move towards You’. Requesting His grace in this
way will invariably help one to move ahead on the path. This type of
constant request is needed for getting His grace. And certainly this type
of request should be carried out with all the sweet and sincere feelings of
one’s heart. Only then will it be successful. And this whole entire concept
of asking got Baba’s grace is His direct guideline. Baba teaches us that
each and every sa’dhaka should do like this.

Baba says, “They will have to approach Parama Purusa with these words:
‘Parama Purusa I want to move towards You, but I do not have sufficient
strength to move. Please give me strength, I want to move on.” (SS-18, p.
9-10)

Namaskar,
Nagendra

Note: All the above points are a senior tattvika’s explanation of points
originally given by Baba Himself. And by His grace all these guidelines
help a sadhaka in sadhana, especially if one is experiencing a period of
pause. Whereas when one is in a period of speed then by His grace all the
lessons are flowing naturally and one becomes completely lost in the ocean
of Cosmic Bliss.

**************************************
A New Era of Spiritual Age Will Be Coming

Spontaneous Spiritual Experience in Tomorrow’s Humans

Baba says, “To move ahead from physicality to intellectuality is the
Proutistic order. It is the surest movement of human life — it is the
surest movement of human destiny…human beings will be making tremendous
progress in the realms of intellectuality and intuition. The human beings
of that future age will be very sensitive. The efferent nerves will be more
active than the afferent nerves, and subtle experiences will be more common
than they are now. Today human beings seldom have subtle experiences, but
in the future they will occur naturally and spontaneously.” (PNS-17, p.36)
**************************************

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Baba

== RIDICULOUS DOGMA RELATED WITH SADHANA ==

Namaskar,
The quoted statement appended below in note #2 where one person is giving their suggestion about doing dhyana with a chair placed in front of them is not at all supported by the teachings of Rev. Baba.

BABA’S TEACHINGS ON PUJA

Baba has elaborately discussed the term puja or pujan along with its various expressions used by the karmkandis (dogmatic Hindu ritualic worshipers). A few sentences are as follows.

Baba says, “When a person, with or without any selfish motive, offers his or her deep reverence to an entity with undivided concentration, with or without external paraphernalia such as flowers, bel leaves, sandalwood paste, Ganges water, basil, bananas, rice, etc., that is called pújá or pújana. And the type of worship which is performed with selfish motive and external paraphernalia is called arcá or arcaná. The type of worship which is performed with or without selfish motive, but certainly without any specific external paraphernalia, is called prárthaná. And the special type of pújá which is performed without any selfish motive or external paraphernalia is called Brahmasadbháva [ideation of Brahma]. Now, these systems of worship are further divided into certain stages of priestly ritual, for instance: auṋganyása [bodily gestures], karanyása [hand positions], ácamana [sipping holy water], shikhábandhana [tying ritual hair-knots], áváhana [invoking the deity], mályadána [garlanding the deity], tilakadhárańa [smearing the forehead with vermilion or sandalwood paste] and visarjana [immersion of the deity in water]. This systematic mode of worship is called vidhipújana [systematic worship].” (Namah Shivaya Shantaya, Disc: 14. Shivopadesha 4)

Discussing these points Baba has proven that best of all of these is Brahmasadbhava, and finally established that NA MUKTIH VIDHIPUJANE (ritualistic worship does not lead to liberation).

TWO PROBLEMS FOR ANY SADHAKA

Actually, there are two great problems before the devotee:
(1) How to contemplate the vast entity i.e. Brahma or cosmic entity by his small unit mind?; and,
(2) If the cosmic entity i.e. Brahma comes in the ideation what should be presented to him as an houour?

In our Ananda Marga system we are given sixth lesson to do dhyana or ideation. As the Cosmic Entity is formless, yet very vast and unfathomable how He can come in the ideation of an unit entity. This problem has been solved by our Baba. He has directed us to ideate on Guru’s Varabhay Mudra because we know only our Guru’s physical form and treat Him as Gururbrahma.

Some devotees asked, “Baba we do not see Your varabhaya mudra in dhyana, even though we try very hard – please tell us the way.” In response, Baba told that perfect surrender is the needed for doing Guru dhyana properly. The sadhaka should not think that he is seeing the Guru but rather Baba is seeing me.

Baba says, “He is the subject, He is everything. He sees you, because He is the subject, you are the object. But if you are thinking of Him, then He becomes Your object. How can He become Your Object? It is an impossibility. To resolve this, I told you that as you do meditation, with the help of Your incantation, you should think that He is seeing You.” (Ananda Vacanamrtam, part 1, The Glory of Prańava)

In this way, dhyana will take place smoothly without any hindrance. That is Baba’s expressed guideline.

For second problem, Baba has suggested to offer Him the purity of one’s mind, i.e. ‘Nivedyami cha atmanam twamgatih parmeshwara’. (Pl refer to chapter 36 of Krasna tatva aur geetasar or Krsna and the Giita)

This clearly suggests that there is no scope for any external paraphernalia for doing dhyana of the Cosmic Entity. And indeed this is Babs explicit guideline in many discourses: Devotion is an internal affair where there is no place for external rituals and instruments

Baba says, “Bhakti cannot be identified with árcaná either, which means to worship the deity with flowers, leaves, [holy] water or other articles.” (Ananda Vacanamrtam-33, Bhaktitattva)

Thus, as for as the sadhaka’s below suggestion of offering a chair to Him to sit on is also ridiculous. We cannot support the dogmatic notion of placing an actual physical chair before us in dhyana sadhana.

WHERE GURU SITS

If we want to provide some place for Guru to sit, it is sahasrara / Guru cakra. It is only there where He is always found. It is His Vrandavan; see the promise He has made in Prabhat Samgiita

Baba says, “Vrnda’vanam parityajya pa’damekam na gaccha’mi…” (PS 4425)

“I am always eternally present in Vrindavan, in the hearts of devotees.That is the Guru cakra. I do not go even a little away from that. I am eternally present along with the devotees.”

CONCLUSION

So my humble request to those who are being misguided by anyone is that they should read Babas discourses very keenly. Then they will certainly get way to proceed on.

Dr T R Shukla

Note 1: MORE OF BABA’S TEACHINGS ON RITUALISTIC WORSHIP

Baba says, “The word archaná has come from the root verb arc. Archaná means to worship a deity with flowers and other paraphernalia like vilva leaves, ganga water etc. In this ritualistic worship, how much genuine love is there. The ritualistic worship with paraphernalia is done in the midst of time space and person. The difference between time place and person brings difference in ritualistic paraphernalia. So in external rituals, the spatial and personal difference between the Lord and the devotee is not obliterated. But with cosmic ideation people advance towards Parama Puruśa a bit by bit. The more the sádhaka comes close to him, the greater will be the degree of devotion. At that time the devotee will realize Parama Puruśa as his or her own, as the soul of souls and will surrender his or her unit existence in the Macrocosmic flow.” (APH-4, Bhakti and Krpá)

Note 2: WHAT ONE PERSON HAS WRITTEN

Kindly now see what one person has written.

“Before sitting on sadhana imagine that Baba is sitting in front of you physically and He is witnessing your practice, if possible arrange a suitable sit [seat or chair] for Him.”

As we all know Baba strongly condemns this notion of using external paraphernalia in one’s puja. Placing a chair in front when doing sadhana is nothing but a carbon copy of the ritualistic dogma found in the various religious. This is not the way. In sadhana we are to seek Him within – in our heart.

Note 3: MUST NOT IGNORE THIS PROBLEM

All in all this is quite a serious point. If we ignore this suggestion and allow people to put forth their notions of putting chairs in front of them when doing sadhana, then that will create a very negative reaction.

Then, instead of doing real sadhana, more and more people will be encouraged to place chairs in front of them while in so-called sadhana. And not only that but a competition will start as who has the fanciest and most expensive seat or chair. People will start bringing couches or gold chairs, as if that will get them closer to Parama Purusa. By that point our dharmacakras will be filled with chairs – one per every attendee. People will be totally focused on what chair they brought and how it looks, and they will be less focused on their mantra.

So many religious dogmas started in this way. We should not let the same occur in Ananda Marga. We should critically nip this dogmatic suggestion at the very root. It should not be allowed to grow.

Our is that path of dharma and we should not allow any cheap suggestion to take form in our sadhana.

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