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Archive for February 16th, 2013

Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2013 21:06:39 -0000
To: am-global@earthlink.net
From: Subhas Deva
Subject: The Way One Must Start The Day

Baba

This entire email is composed of 3 parts:
(1) Prabhat Samgiita #1104;
(2) Posting: The Way One Must Start The Day;
(3) Trailer Quote: Why Some Sadhakas Can’t Do Sadhana Properly

Each section is demarcated by asterisks (*).

**** Here begins the Prabhat Samgiita ****

Intro to PS: In this following song, the loving Parama Purus’a, Tara’ka Brahma, is communicating directly with the devotee. Specifically, in a personal way, the divine Entity, Tara’ka Brahma, is asking the sadhaka various questions. In contrast, in most Prabhat Samgiita songs, the devotee is singing or expressing his own thoughts to Parama Purusa. But this entire song is different: It is expressed in the voice of Parama Purusa; He Himself is narrating the scene. That is the unique aspect of this song. Here the devotee is unaware that for whom he/she has yearning, that Parama Purusa is right there in front of them. This is the liila.

“Kende kende tava kavarii-bandha khuliya’ giya’che ka’r tare…” P.S. 1104

Purport:

O’ devotee, for whom have been crying incessantly, such that the braids in your hair have become loose and undone; now your hair is just falling in an unkempt manner. Who is responsible for causing you so much pain. You can no longer hide the yearnings of your pain-filled eyes through tunes and melodies. Even then you are trying hard to conceal your grief-stricken & broken heart; but by seeing your pain-filled eyes, anyone can understand how sorrowful you are. Indeed, you are so upset that you cannot maintain the proper melody or tune of the song which you are singing. What is wrong – who has caused so much suffering and distress in your life.

Now look, the whole day has passed and it is reaching up towards evening time. The brightness of the day is gone and now evening is falling. The sun is going to set; that time has come. Why are you sitting here by yourself in this isolated forest. Tell me, whose memory is churning your heart; why are you so heart-broken. The whole day you have been sitting here alone – involved in contemplation – and now evening has come and still you are remaining here. Who is the cause behind all this, how has this happened – please tell me.

Always remember that the balaka bird flies off to far, far distant places. The flying goose flies far, far away, but again and again it returns back to its own nest. Similarly, if your Beloved has gone far away, then He too will return again and come back. So please do not cry.

O’ devotee, whose love has shaken your whole existence. He will surely return. Rest assured that He will come…

== THE WAY ONE MUST START THE DAY ==

Namaskar,
Every so often the point comes about the practice of Guru Sakash and two divergent opinions get expressed. One side some are telling that the full shloka– “Pra’tah shirasi…”– needs to be repeated when doing Guru Sakash. And others say that this is not at all necessary, rather Baba’s name should be repeated.

This question is very interesting as Guru Sakash is highly significant. It is the way we begin the day. When done properly, the whole day feels quite different and infinitely more charming than when Guru Sakash is not properly done.

Here again is the question at hand:

Some believe that the shloka should be literally repeated while others give more credence to the idea that there is no need to repeat the shloka since in Guru Sakash one should just call out to Baba by repeating His name. Because that is what the shloka guides us to do.

This is a very important and interesting topic: Do we repeat the shloka literally or adhere to what the shloka directs us to do.

Here following are points about this very practice of Guru Sakash.

THE INSTRUCTIONS HOW TO DO GURU SAKASH

Here below is that special section of the discourse where Baba speaks specifically about Guru Sakash and how to ideate upon Him.

‘”Pra’tah shirasi shuukle’abje dvinetram’ dvibhujam’ gurum’…”

“Early in the morning one should meditate on the Guru in Vara’bhaya Mudra with two hands and two eyes seated on a white lotus in Guru cakra, and address Him with your most loving and affectionate epithet…”

“In what state does the Guru, endowed with two eyes and two hands exist? In the Vara’bhaya Mudra (in the posture of holding out the boon of fearlessness) He is your well-wisher, and as a matter of fact, the doer of your good.”

“The epithet with which you address the Guru or silently speak during your dhya’na or Gurudhya’na should also be used by you at the time of this Gurudhya’na. Always address the Guru at a stretch. This is Gurusaka’sha.” (1)

ONLY BABA’S NAME SHOULD BE REPEATED;

THE SHLOKA IS THE INSTRUCTION, NOT THE MANTRA

So, in this shloka, ‘pratah…’, Baba has graciously given us instructions how to do Guru Sakash.

By reading the purport of the shloka, it is understood that this is just one direction outlining how to do Guru Sakash. These are the guidelines telling what to do. The shloka itself is akin to an instruction manual.

At the exact time of practicing Guru Sakash, we should not repeat that instruction manual, i.e. we should not recite the shloka.

At that time, Baba’s name should be repeated – that is what is so blissful and meaningful. That is our practice: To lovingly call Him and see Him and feel His Presence in the mind, in Guru cakra. This is the special occasion early in the morning to call Baba. That is our devotional approach in Ananda Marga.

Thus during Guru Sakash we are to repeat His name, not these directions in the form of this shloka.

Repeating this shloka during Guru Sakash is the wrong thing to do. It is a misuse and abuse of the time – a waste of energy. And it goes against the entire spirit of Guru Sakash; because during Guru Sakash the mind should be fully focused on the form of Ista, exclusively repeating His name only – not the shloka or poem or song.

MIND IS ONE

As sadhakas we must remember that the mind is one. If during Guru sakash, a bhakta is repeating the shloka then they are not calling Him. Because the mind can only do one thing at one time. And the operative factor in Guru sakash is calling Him – repeating His name. Without that it is not Guru sakash.

So one must call Him while doing Guru sakash. Merely repeating the shloka diverts the mind from the actual practice of Guru sakash. In that case, critical time is lost and one is delayed in their early morning practice. Those precious few moments upon awakening are the key time to link with Him devotionally. Yet that special time will be wasted if one is just sitting there repeating the shloka and not calling Him. That is the critical loss involved.

Best is to plan ahead and be focused on calling Him in Guru sakash, as soon as one awakens. One should chant His name and visualise Him in Guru cakra. That is the ideal, nay only, way of practicing Guru sakash. Doing anything else is a sheer waste of time.

“BEFORE HAVING ANY OTHER THOUGHT”

“[One] should remember the Guru in the Guru cakra. This they should do sitting in siddhásana [perfect posture] or any other convenient ásana [posture], on the same blanket, skin, seat or bed as they had used for sleeping, immediately after waking up and before doing any other work or before having any other thought – even before performing their morning duties or any other task. This will be a high category of Gurusakásha. If it cannot always be done immediately after sleep, it is essential to remember the Guru early in the morning after overcoming sleepiness. If this is done, they will meet with success or illumination in each and every subtle and spiritual task that they perform in the course of the whole day.” (2)

AN ANALOGY: HALF-BATH

Here is another important reason why we do not repeat the shloka during the practice of Guru sakash.

Repeating the “Pratah…” shloka during the practice of Guru sakash is like reading the instructions for half-bath when really one is supposed to be doing half-bath. But instead of doing half-bath, the sadhaka just reads the explanation of half-bath as it is written in Caryacarya. And he never goes close to the water nor applies it to his body. This is the entirely wrong approach. Rather one should do half-bath per those instructions.

Here is another example.

If instead of bathing, a person just starts reciting the bathing rules from Caryacarya: ‘First pour water over the naval, then pour from the backside and then from the top of the head…’ If anyone reads like this and then returns from the riverside or the bathroom without even touching the water, then that is ridiculous. Because just reading those instructions without actually taking a bath is useless – and the purpose will not be solved.

Baba has given the instructions so people can follow and do those guidelines accordingly – not just read those things from Caryacarya and do nothing. The ideal way is to read and study the instructions ahead of time, and then follow this instructions during the time of practice.

Thus one should study the guidelines about Guru Sakash in the afternoon or the evening before, and then in the early morning when it is time to do Guru Sakash, one should do as per those guidelines.

If one reads those instructions and follows them at the same time, then that is also a waste. For example if while taking bath one reads or listens to the bathing instructions, then that is a waste of time as it is better to sing kiirtan while bathing. What is the need to repeat the rules about the bath system while taking a bath.

Same is the case with Guru Sakash. There is no need to repeat those instructions while doing Guru Sakash – rather it is a waste of time – one should repeat His name. Verily that is what He guides us to do. So we should abide by and follow what the shloka guides us to do – i.e. call and ideate on Baba in Guru Cakra – and not recite the shloka per se.

CONCLUSION

The Ananda Marga guideline is for His name to be repeated during Guru Sakash – not the shloka itself.

“Address Him with your most loving and affectionate epithet…The epithet with which you address the Guru or silently speak during your dhya’na or Gurudhya’na should also be used by you at the time of this Gurudhya’na…This is Gurusaka’sha.” (3)

FURTHER EXPLANATION

And one acarya further presented and elaborated about Baba’s divine teaching of Guru Sakash.

When you awaken, then immediately sit on your bed in an upright position. Then place your finger on top of your head. And then you will have some touching sensation there on the crown / top of your head. And then try to visualize BABA there. Although Guru cakra is a little below. But when the mind will start going from the lower cakras to the upper cakras, then at least the mind will reach a little closer to Guru Cakra or at the Guru Cakra itself.

Otherwise it is not easy. And if for a few seconds your mind reaches to the Guru Cakra and there you will visualize Baba, then you will feel tremendous bliss. And if the same Baba’s image you are seeing somewhere else in another lower cakra, i.e. not in Guru Cakra, then you will not realize such bliss. So by that way you can feel that if you felt extreme bliss on certain point then you should consider that was Guru Cakra.

RELATED TEACHINGS

“Gurusakásha: gur + un + sa + kash + ghain.”

“Gurusakásha means “near the Guru”, “under the Guru’s umbrella”, “under the Guru’s wings”, “under the Guru’s shelter”. The word Gurusakásha has two other yoga-related meanings: one of them is Guru dhyána [meditation on the Guru] in Guru cakra, the other is a particular kind of Gurusmarańa [Guru’s remembrance] or Gurusharańa [Guru’s shelter] after sleep.” (Yoga Psychology, Under the Shelter of the Guru)

“The recognized cakras for japa [repetition of mantra] are the anáhata cakra, vishuddha cakra and ájiṋá cakra and a few other cakras and upacakras of the upper region. The Guru cakra is the highest cakra. The Guru cakra is used as the place of dhyána.” (4)

GURU CAKRA: THE ASPIRANT MEDITATES

“Now, there is a regulating point or práńakendra for each of the innumerable nerve cells in the brain. Over and above these many práńakendras or regulating points of the brain, there is one regulating point which controls the many práńakendras. This point resembles, to some extent, the tip of a blade of kusha [a type of grass]. In this point is the Guru cakra. From this point human beings receive a thousand and one kinds of inspiration and propulsion. The humanity of human beings and the animality of lesser creatures all depend on this point. In this point is ensconced the Guru, Parama Guru, Parápara Guru, Paramesti Guru. It is the loftiest point for the purposes of meditation and contemplation. It is at this point that the meditation on Guru has to be undertaken. That which I call the sahasrára cakra is an ideational point – without any realistic existence based on the nerve cells – but this is not the case with the Guru cakra. So human beings must take recourse to the Guru Cakra – they must take shelter under it: Nányapanthá vidyate-ayanáyá [“There is no other way than this”].”
“In this Guru cakra, the aspirant meditates on the Guru – on that ennobling Entity – channelizing his or her mundane bondages into the non-mundane realm, and elevating his or her non-mundane psychic bondages to the realm of the supramental entity, the source of supra-cognitive power. Hence, dhyána yoga [meditational Yoga] is the best yoga for sádhaná. Dhyána yoga is acknowledged by hat́ha yoga, Rája Yoga and Rájádhirája Yoga; it is also acknowledged by Buddhist Tantra and Jain Tantra, and by Bhágavata dharma. Well, Guru dhyána in the Guru cakra is called Gurusakásha.” (5)

AUTO-SUGGESTION DURING THE TIME OF SLEEP

“If a person constantly chants his or her japa mantra or meditates ceaselessly, then the rhythm of this japa, the rhythm that adores the Guru during dhyána, will act as auto-suggestion during the time of sleep, although the person will not remember it. After waking up, the person may wonder what the state of his or her mind was while he or she was asleep. He or she will feel that the state of sleep is the lack of any idea or thing – a sense of vacuum.” (6)

DHYÁNA AND JAPA EVEN IN SLEEP

“The pulsation that is caused by the action of japa or dhyána links the jiiva [unit being] with the higher realms, and establishes it in the cognitive properties for the time being. The pulsation that is caused by some physical condition is an unreal dream and connected with the mundane realm, and has no value. So when, through the symphony of meditation and japa, the rhythm of life persists, it is called dharmamegha samádhi. Moreover, if the symphony of meditation or japa persists for some time, and if in the natural course of events the jiiva does not forsake the meditation or japa, then loss of memory does not occur. This state is called dhruvásmrti, or “infallible, eternal memory”. A sádhaka with this capacity continues his or her dhyána and japa even in sleep. This kind of japa is called ajapá japa – which is to say, without one actually performing japa, japa is going on – or adhyáná dhyána – which is to say, without one actually meditating, meditation is going on.” (7)

“BEFORE HAVING ANY OTHER THOUGHT”

“[One] should remember the Guru in the Guru cakra. This they should do sitting in siddhásana [perfect posture] or any other convenient ásana [posture], on the same blanket, skin, seat or bed as they had used for sleeping, immediately after waking up and before doing any other work or before having any other thought – even before performing their morning duties or any other task. This will be a high category of Gurusakásha. If it cannot always be done immediately after sleep, it is essential to remember the Guru early in the morning after overcoming sleepiness. If this is done, they will meet with success or illumination in each and every subtle and spiritual task that they perform in the course of the whole day. It is said:”

Prátah shirasi shukle’bje dvinetraḿ dvibhujaḿ gurum;
Varábhayakrtahastaḿ smarettaḿ námapúrvakam.

[Early in the morning one should meditate on the Guru in varábhaya mudrá with two hands and two eyes seated on a white lotus in Guru cakra, and remember Him by chanting His holy name (through a mantra).]

“Prátah means “in the morning”. Understand that prátah is indeclinable. So the first, second, fourth, fifth and all other case endings are not needed – there is no inflection or declension. Prátah, prátam, prátena, prátáya, prátát, prátasya and similar forms of declension will be out of place, since with an indeclinable word no suffix is added. Shirasi means “at the topmost point” – that is to say, in the Guru cakra. Shukle means “in a white”; abje means “in the lotus”; shuklébje means “in or on a white lotus”. And you have to meditate on the Guru who is dvinetra [endowed with two eyes] and dvibhuja [endowed with two hands]. In what posture is this Guru endowed with two eyes and two hands? In varábhaya mudrá [the gesture imparting fearlessness and bestowing grace]. He is your well-wisher and your benefactor.”

“Whatever words you use mentally to address the Guru at the time of dhyána or Guru dhyána, should also be used at the time of this Guru dhyána. You should always address the Guru for an extended period. This is Gurusakásha.” (8)

Namaskar,
In Him
Subhash Deva

REFERENCES
1-8: Yoga Psychology, Under the Shelter of the Guru

The section below demarcated by asterisks is an entirely different topic,
completely unrelated to the above letter. It stands on its own as a point of interest.

***************************************
Why Some Sadhakas Can’t Do Sadhana Properly

“A Parrot says so many things, without understanding the meaning, without understanding the spirit of what is meant. Japa kriyá becomes as meaningless as the talk of a parrot for those who do it without love or emotion. It even loses the value of internal suggestion, intro-psychic suggestion…Where the Supreme Cognition is not loved, where the Supreme Cognition has not been accepted as the only object of adoration, withdrawing one’s propensities becomes meaningless, because they are not guided unto Him.”

“Where there is no love, the mind will not run after Him. So dhyána also becomes meaningless…So, if people practice all these things without having love for the Supreme, they won’t be able to get anything. But, if there is an iota of love, if there is a wee bit of love, they gain everything.” (Ánanda Vacanámrtam Part 1, Who Is Gopa?)

When a sadhakha does sadhana and repeats their mantra, then it happens that the mind goes somewhere else. When the sadhaka realises that their mind has run far away, then they bring it back and again start repeating their mantra. Then again, the mind runs away. In this way, the mind runs away unknowingly – again and again – and time passes. This is a very bad situation, yet not uncommon.

The crucial point is that when there is love for Parama Purusa the bhakta’s mind naturally runs in that direction – i.e. towards Him – and one’s mantra japa flows smoothly. Otherwise, without love for Parama Purusa, one’s mind runs hither and thither. In that case, the sadhaka’s mantra japa is like a parrot’s talk. The parrot does not have any feeling for what it says. It just repeats those words meaninglessly, and when a problem comes that parrot cries out. Such is the situation of a sadhaka whose mind wanders in sadhana. The key point for keeping the mind focused is love for Parama Purusa.

That love or devotion can be cultivated if one tries to engage in more and more spiritual endeavours. Then the mind will become accustomed in that way.

For example, initially on the first day when parents attempt to send their child to school, the child does not want to go. After much pain and effort the child goes. And once the child is habituated to going to school, then it likes school more than staying at home.

The same is the case with sadhakas. When the mind is crude then it does not like to do sadhana. Rather the mind just runs away. Yet as the mind engages more and more in spiritual endeavours, it is more attracted in that manner and likes to do sadhana. It is just like the child who gets accustomed to being in school. Likewise, the mind becomes accustomed to being in a spiritual flow.

That liking or attraction towards Parama Purusa is devotion. While the allurement towards worldly things is asakti.

If, when not doing sadhana, one tries to do some sadhana-related engagements like svadhyaya, kiirtan, sadhanaunga, japa, and thinks about Him off and on throughout the day, then the mind will develop a greater and greater proclivity towards spiritual life. Then more attraction towards Parama Purusa will develop. That is love or bhakti.

When that happens, the mind will not run away unknowingly and uncontrollably during sadhana and engage elsewhere. Rather it will stay fixed towards that spiritual endeavor. That is the key ingredient and solution. Then this disease of absent-mindedness in sadhana will be resolved. That is the stage when the mind will not run away in sadhana but rather become fixed to Parama Purusa.
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