Anandway: Blog

Roadmaps to joy!

Traversing the path to enlightenment – Swami Rama

2983741910064013859S425x425Q85[1] The aspirant knows that everything in the external world is subject to change. On some level the objects of the world have value and are apparently real, but, in actuality they do not exist as they are. Their form changes, and, therefore their names change and their qualities also change. When an aspirant adjusts himself to this realization, he practices his sadhna by understanding the apparent reality and does not become attached to the phenomenal world or waste his time in acquiring more worldly objects than the bare neccessities.

To have only the bare necessities of life can become a means on the path of enlightenment.

~ Swami Rama

How can I quiet my mind?

how can i quiet my mind

“Your meditational method should be completely systematic, and you should discipline your body and breath and mind and it will become quiet. ...I am explaining why students cannot meditate.”

~ Swami Rama

How to know whether the person is enlightened.

How to know whether a person is enlightened?

If you want an honest answer, I can tell one thing. You can never find logically. If somebody is enlightened, when you see him, simply something will happen inside your heart; beyond your intellect. Your whole heart will fall in tune with him. Simply you will not be able to forget him. You’ll be pulled, your whole being will be attracted. Your whole being will be automatically filled by him.

You will not know what is happening to you. You yourself will not be able to understand, analyze logically. You’ll just be waiting, ‘When can I see him next?’ Simply your heart will fall in love.

I can say, with masters you raise in love. With ordinary people you fall in love. With masters you raise in love. Simply something will happen in your space!

Beyond your control, beyond your logic, your heart knows, ‘He is enlightened.’ Simply, you can’t say no to him!

Be very clear, if that happens, that person is going to help you. That person is going to show you the light. That person is your master.

If that doesn’t happen, don’t bother; continue the search, you will meet the right person. Continue your search, you’ll meet the right person. Don’t bother who is enlightened, who is not enlightened; intellectually you cannot find out.

If somebody is going to help you, simply your heart will fall in tune with you. If it falls in tune with him, even if he is not enlightened, he will help you. You will be helped by him.

If your heart has not fallen in tune, even if he is enlightened, he is not for you. Forget about him.

So, you don’t have to use your head at all. Just relax. Your heart knows how to show you the right path. How to guide you in the right path, your heart is the judge which will guide you automatically at the right time, in the right moment towards the right person.

~ Swami Nithyananda

The Spiritual Significance of Ramzan

Being seekers, we belong to a universal brotherhood which is gathered under the common flag of the unity of all faiths.

Let us also, upon this extremely auspicious day of the first of the Ramzan month earnestly pray to Prophet Muhammed and Allah. Who is the same as Jehova, Ahura Mazda, God Almighty, the Father in heaven or the Atma or Supreme Spirit, that we may be inspired and given the necessary inner strength to turn away from all allurements of this external physical world and to be awake unto the inner life of Yoga. Thus may we with great faith and with sustained exertion proceed upon the path of Yoga and may we be blessed with spiritual illumination, the culmination of Sadhana even as Prophet Muhammad had on the last day of Ramzan.

Various religions are but methods which seek to work out in some way or other the ascent of man from birth and death to Immortality.

Islam is one of those great brotherhoods, which has been given to mankind by prophet Muhammad of hallowed memory.

descending light


Sadhna of fasting and prayer

One of the Sadhanas laid down by Muhammad for the faithful was the Sadhana of fasting and prayer. This you will find to be the common Sadhana in every religion of the world. The fasting laid down by Muhammad is carried out in a special manner in one of the months of the year. That month is called the month Ramzan. The last day of Ramzan is a very momentous day. In the religion of Islam as well as in the life of the Prophet.

History of Ramzan and Eid

Muhammad was a great soul. He was born with the temperament of a saint. His time was one of violence. He was mortified by the way in which people were living. He was struggling to find out some way by which he could enlighten these people. In great disgust he used to seclude himself and go away from Mecca into the wilderness. One of his special haunts was a mountain called Hijra. There in a cave he used to spend long periods in fasting and prayer.

On one occasion, he was given no encouragement from Above. For an entire month he gave himself up to fasting and prayer and in supplication to the Lord. The Lord gave him some Light. This corresponds to Ramzan. On the last day there appeared the celestial being before Muhammad; and it spoke to him and gave him a message from the Highest. It commissioned Muhammad to go forth amongst his brethren and spread the gospel of true life, by which people may be led away from the path of evil and may come to walk upon a path of goodness, truth, purity, forgiveness, brotherhood and thus attain the Highest Bliss. This last day is the great day of the Muhammadans—Id. It is a day of intense prayer. Muhammadans congregate in lakhs everywhere, offer prayers and also have Darshan of the moon, which is symbolic of the Light which appeared to Muhammad from the Highest Throne of the Almighty. 

Ramzan fasting

They fast from sunrise to sunset throughout the month. They are obliged to take something immediately after sunset, at the given hour. They sound some signal both at the time the fast is to commence and when it is to be broken. It is severely enjoined that all should take food at a particular time. They are to take something before commencing the fast in the early morning (Brahmamuhurtha), and this should be of such a nature that at no time during the fasting period will any wind be passed and no belching experienced. If there is belching the person has to make some expiation! This is to ensure that they do not overeat at night. So strict is the injunction to fast during the day-light hours that Muhammadans spit out their spittle; they do not swallow the saliva even. 

Significance of Ramzan fasting

Muhammad gave this Sadhana with a deep significance attached to it.

In the Gita we have a Sloka:

Yaa Nishaa Sarva-bhutaanaam Tasyaam Jaagarti Samyamee
Yasyaam Jaagrati Bhutaani Saa Nishaa Pashyato Muneh.

"That which is night to all beings, then the self-controlled man is awake; when all beings are awake, that is night for the sage who sees."

This gives the entire significance of Ramzan fast in a nutshell.

This fasting is spiritually the inner method of Yoga; the spiritual quest is diametrically opposite to the path which the ordinary man who is attached to the world follows.

In the case of the worldly man, the senses take in the sum-totality of impressions of things amongst which he lives and moves during day-light. Samskaras are created more and more every day. This binds him to Samsara.

The abstinence from these Vishayas is what our great Acharyas have termed fasting.

path of realization The things upon which the senses feed are Ahara (food) for the man. The first injunction laid upon the spiritual aspirant is that he has to turn away from the world.

Muktimichchasi-chet Taata Vishyaan Vishavat tyaga,
Brahmacharyam Ahimsaam cha Satyam Peeyushavat Bhaja.

This avoidance of food is the first qualification. Physical food represents this inner Ahara that the Jiva draws unto itself through the senses.

Giving up the physical food during daylight symbolises that the faster is dead to the world. During the daylight hours only the world is visible. Thus the act of taking food at night symbolises the act of the Yogi by which he closes himself to the visible world and draws sustenance from the inner spiritual world.

Thus he proceeds along the path of Yoga. While the worldly man is busy he fasts completely. He lives in his own inner realm of the spirit and feeds himself upon the divine food of Sadhana.


Swami Chidananda

Message from the book Forest Academy Lectures on Yoga

Intellectual gymnastics are necessary at first

Study. What is meant by study in this case? Not study of novels, or fiction, or story books, but study of those books which teach the liberation of the soul. Then again this study does not mean controversial studies at all.

The Yogi is supposed to have finished his period of controversy. He has had enough of all that, and has become satisfied. He only studies to intensify his convictions.

Vada and Siddhanta. These are the two sorts of Scriptural knowledge, Vada (the argumentative) and Siddhanta (the decisive). When a man is entirely ignorant he takes up the first part of this, the argumentative fighting, and reasoning, pro and con.; and when he has finished that he takes up the Siddhanta, the decisive, arriving at a conclusion. Simply arriving at this conclusion will not do. It must be intensified. Books are infinite in number, and time is short; therefore this is the secret of knowledge, to take that which is essential. Take that out, and then try to live up to it. There is an old simile in India that if you place a cup of milk before a Raja Hamsa (swan) with plenty of water in it, he will take all the milk and leave the water. In that way we should take what is of value in knowledge, and leave the dross.

All these intellectual gymnastics are necessary at first. We must not go blindly into anything. The Yogi has passed the argumentative stage, and has come to a conclusion, which is like the rocks, immovable. The only thing he now seeks to do is to intensify that conclusion.

~Swami Vivekananda

Tag Cloud