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Roadmaps to joy!

Learn to let go of attachment through yoga

Yoga is the settling of the mind into silenceAs stated in The Yoga Sutras, “Yoga is the settling of the mind into silence. When the mind has settled, we are established in our essential nature, which is unbounded consciousness.”

In this unbounded state, we experience freedom from suffering.

No longer identifying ourselves with our ego, we let go of our attachment to temporary conditions ― whether a relationship, a job, our body, or a material possession. We remember our essential spiritual nature and life becomes joyful, meaningful, and carefree.

~ Chopra.com

Mahamrityunjai mantra, lyrics and video

Mahamritunjai mantra, Sanskrit text, Shiva

Meaning of Mahamritunjay mantra

I worship the three eyed (the third eye is synonymous with wisdom) lord Shiva, who is full of fragrance and who nourishes everybody with health and vitality. May Shiva liberate me from mortality, just as a cucumber fallls off the creeper when it is fully ripe, may I live a full life...and know my immortal self.

Uses of Mahamrityunjai mantra

Chanting of the Mahamrityunjai mantra is recommended for a healthy body and mind. It is said to ward off untimely death by accidents or illness. Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh has recommended chanting the mantra on one's birthday for a minimum of 50,000 times. The video here helps recite the mantra correctly.

Mahamrityunjaya mantra comes from the Vedas. It is chanted to help fight physical or mental ailments. It brings peace and tranquility to the mind.

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.

By

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

Overcoming FEAR, the procedure

 

In enjoyment, there is fear of disease; in social position, there is fear of falling off; in
wealth, there is the fear of (hostile) kings; in honour, there is the fear of humiliation; in power,
there is the fear of foes; in beauty, there is the fear of old age; in scriptural erudition, there is the
fear of opponents; in virtue, there is the fear of traducers; in body, there is the fear of death;
everything in this world pertaining to men is attended with fear; renunciation alone leads to
fearlessness.
~ BHARTRIHARI (Vairagya-Shatakam)

The idea of some external superior power over one’s self is the
chief cause of fear.

Raga (attachment) is the long-standing associate of fear. Wherever there is Raga, there is
fear. Fear and Raga co-exist.

If there is no Raga, there is no fear. The first link in the chain of Raga is his attachment to his body. All kinds, of Raga start from this Raga to the physical body.

 

Sit for a while. Reflect well. Introspect. All imaginary fears will take to their heels.
They will dwindle into an airy nothing. Mind deceives you through imaginary fears. Learn to
discriminate, cogitate, reflect and meditate. Cultivate courage. Be a silent witness of the mind’s
menagerie. The mind will lurk like a thief. You will feel now that you were duped all these
years by this mischievous mind and that fear is a non-entity, a big zero.

One who is afraid of walking in darkness should try to get rid of this defect by taking a light in the beginning and walking in the night, and slowly trying to walk without light also. Fear will vanish in course of time. Fear is a negative force. It cannot stand before the positive virtue,
courage.

If you think of the opposite of fear, viz., courage, the negative (fear) will slowly vanish.

You will have to develop courage slowly. Have the word-image “OM COURAGE” before the mind. Repeat this Mantra or formula very often. A word is the centre of an idea. An idea is the centre of a mental image. A mental image is the centre of a mental habit. A mental habit is the centre of a trait in man.

Have a clear-cut image in the mind of the quality of courage, and this quality will develop. The  subconscious mind will do everything for you. The ‘will’ also will come to your aid. Desire to be courageous, and the ‘will’ will immediately follow desire.
Give up attachment or this perishable body. Do not identify yourself with this body. This body is like the shell of a coconut. It is like a pillowcase. Constantly think of the Indweller, the immortal Atman. Do Atma Chintana always. Identify yourself with the Atman. Fear will vanish. This is the most powerful method. Move about in the thick forests or dense jungles at nights and wander about in the streets of your place without light...

~ Sri Swami Sivananda

How to balance the heart and mind

Q: How does one make a balance between the heart and mind?

A: Yes. You do your business with your mind, and service with your heart. In both cases, there is a third component - intuition. Never be in the business with heart. With family, be with the heart, don't use your mind there. Do both with the gut feeling!

~ Sri Sri Ravishankar

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