Don’t Say Corona, Corona, Say Karo Maa, Karo Maa

Don’t Say Corona, Corona, Say Karo Maa, Karo Maa

 

Taken from Online Satsang March 19, 2020

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I welcome all of you with love, from my heart. I really love all of you. Love is the only thing that is here right now, for all of us, that’s how it is, times are like this. However, we must not forget jnana, because love must have the support of wisdom, jnana, otherwise it becomes blind. Jnana means wisdom, wisdom means the eyes, the eyes should always be there, so that we can know what true love is, otherwise it becomes attachment.

So, let’s start this Satsang by paying homage to the guru. Who’s the guru? The inner light, guru means the dispeller of darkness, the one who dispels darkness. What a time! We need that so much, isn’t it? So, let’s bring the prayer from our heart and let’s start with the hymn to the guru:

 Om Akhanda Manadalakaram Vyaptam yena Charaacharam

Tadpadam Darshitam yena.

Tasmai Sri Guruve Namaha 3x

Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.

 The Lord is the one whose form is the whole, which is indivisible, present everywhere and which permeates both the living and the immovable (or inert) manifestation.

 

The Guru is the one who has been at the Lord’s feet, and who has experienced “Oneness” with the eternal, greetings, or blessed. Peace, peace, peace.”

Let’s just sit for two minutes, recognizing the inner light that we all are blessed with, the light that seems to flicker at this moment, but it is always there. The light of the inner guru let’s recognize it within us. (Meditative pause). Slowly, open your eyes.

If you really must appreciate a guru, really, then we must appreciate his teachings. Isn’t it?

What is he teaching? The teachings are the guru himself. My own Guru, Sri Sri Dubeyji, used to say that the guru is nothing other than sadhana. Sadhana means practice, that is the real guru. The form is not the real guru. The formless essence of the guru is the sadhana, is the practice.

And what is the teaching? What is sadhana? Sadhana is to abide in Truth. That is sadhana. Simple! Let us, not make it very complicated; it’s a very simple thing. What is sadhana? If I am abiding in Truth, if I am established in Truth, I’m in Sadhana.

So, what is Truth? The next question. In Vivekachudamani (a treatise in the tradition of advaita philosophy of Hinduism, traditionally attributed to Adi Shankara, 8th century AD) Adi Shankara says:

 Brahma Satyam, Jagat Mithya

 It means, Brahman is the only thing that is real, the Truth is Brahman. Jagat means the world is illusion, unreal. That is the Truth. One sentence, he says about Truth is this, Brahman is the Truth and Jagat is unreal.

We understand Jagat, but the next question is: what is Brahman? What is Brahman? Adi Shankara, answers “Aham Brahmasmi” I am Brahman, the SELF is Brahman.

So, the next question is, what is SELF?

I am SELF, you are SELF, what we have within and outside of us is SELF. So, you say I know myself, but what is yourself? What do you know about yourself? ‘Well I am this so and so person, I am married, I have so many children, I do this and this work, this is self’.

Vedanta says: no, no, no, no, that is not the SELF. That is what you imagine yourself to be, that is what you have wrongly identified yourself to be. The SELF that Vedanta talks about or the Shastras talk about is the one that is indestructible, imperishable, immutable, changeless state of peace and timeless. Whereas all that you have described about yourself which is form and name, I am so and so, that identity, is all perishable, ever changing in time and space, is it not so?

Look at yourself, I mean, look at anybody, our identity, whatever we identity with, in this form and this name is it not always changing? The relationships aren’t they not changing all the time? Is our form not changing?

So how is SELF unchanging, how is it imperishable, when I see myself, everything decaying day by day? I don’t know what Vedanta is talking about. What is it? The one that I know, the one that I’ve been told that I am who I am, is this form and name this is how I operate in this the world. This is how I function.

Vedanta says, no, that’s not who you are. You are the one who is changeless, immutable, imperishable and timeless. You don’t appear, you seem to appear in space and time, but you are not that.

Whatever appears in time and space is what you have imagined yourself to be, but it is not who you are.

So, one argument could be, how do I know that then, how do you say I am that Vedanta, c’mon how can you say I am that the one that you say? That is not my experience.

Vedanta says, well look deeper, can you not the witness the form? Can you not witness time? Can you not witness space? The one that you are is not the one in time and space, not the one who is perishable, not the one who changes, but the one that stands behind, the one that is witnessing everything that is changing, everything that is moving, but you are immovable. You are the witnesser and you can obviously verify that in your life, isn’t it? Simply, you can see how what you feel remains the same about yourself, right, that when you witness with total awareness, then that background awareness of feeling remains always the same. While everything around it, in the foreground as I say, in the foreground, ahead of it, is changing, is moving, is perishing.

The very simple thing, that Vedanta first understands about Truth is that one must get to know the background SELF, get to know yourself as that witnesser, as the one that is changeless, and then you will be able to understand a deeper dimension of your own self. There will be a good, an understanding of yourself which will not be restricted or confined to the self-imposed limitations, which is based only on your body, form and name. By being this witnesser, you get a deeper glimpse of what Vedanta talks about, as the real SELF, so that is the first thing.

Witnessing your thoughts, witnesser as witnessing the body, witnessing your sensations, witnessing your fears, witnessing your emotions. All of that, that is sadhana, that is Truth. But that is the first part.

The second part is sinking into that state of witnesser. Can you not simply relax?  Even as I speak now, can you not really verify that? Can you not feel what I am saying? You all have it. It is not that one will have more than the other, one will be more advanced than the other, no, in this moment, everyone can recognise the simple fact, that you are the witnesser, and that, that witnesser can be felt as a feeling of a background state of peace.

When that peace becomes deeper and deeper and deeper and deeper you begin to enjoy Ananda, Ananda of your SELF, who you really, really are, called as Sat-Chit-Ananda. Sat means Truth, and what was Truth? That I am this background witnesser. This is the Sadhana.

Chit means what? As long as I am aware of this background awareness, that awareness becomes expansive, freeing, unrestricted, immutable, changeless. That is called as consciousness. Ever expansive state of consciousness is Chitta and Ananda. Then the peace, becomes deeper, not just stillness, we all experience stillness, and in that stillness as that stillness goes deeper and deeper, we experience Ananda. Joy. That joy, which is unconditioned, not that I get an object I become conditioned to it, ah, no unconditioned. Unconditioned by the presence or absence of any object. That is Sat-Chit-Ananda.

And that is Truth and that is Guru.

So, if you understand this, that being in this background state of Ananda, Sat-Chit-Ananda; of course, as you progress, you realise that even the body is Ananda, the foreground also is Ananda this I spoke about in the last Satsang. Your understanding matures from beyond witnessing, beyond witnesser, and everything becomes Ananda, everything becomes joy. Right, so this is Truth.

How beautiful it would be if things could be like this, isn’t it? But does it become like that? All of you experience what you are feeling, but then I know after 1 hour post satsang someone will send a message of corona or say something unpleasant and you will begin to self-contract…go into fear or anger…

You have that unshakable state of Ananda, the SELF that is unmoved and unchangeable that begins to shake, tremble. Isn’t it? It’s a common experience.

What we did now, when we are abiding in Truth, we are in a state of self-assurance, we are in a state of self-expansion. But the moment this fear comes, something, we go into a state of self-contraction. Suddenly expansion becomes contraction.

I am a teacher of the timeless, a worshipper of timeless, as I have written and as I talk about Advaita Vedanta. Non-dual.  We are this timeless state of Sat-Chit-Ananda, let that never, ever, leave your consciousness. No matter what you feel! No matter what this body goes through at this moment, whatever thoughts are getting into your mind, whatever sensations you are going through, please hold on this Truth. 

This timeless state, this is the message number one. Let’s not immediately, by a little incident or something, forsake this Truth and go into something that’s unreal. That seems to exist, but it’s unreal, according to Vedanta. Which you will verify yourself, which you must verify in your own inner sadhana.

Now, even though, as I said, that I am a worshipper of timeless, there are times where I understand the significance of Kaal. Kaal means time. There is an aspect of timeless, from the timeless, there is an aspect called as Kaal. Kaal can have an influence or impact (positive or negative) even though we are this timeless state of existence. It is like, the timeless state is like Shiva, but the shadow of Shiva is Shakti. So, the timeless state, the Shakti of the timeless state is Durga-Kali.

When too much adharma takes place, when we get too much self-obsessed with our own needs and narcissism, self-obsessed, then the timeless Shiva releases its Shakti into the world in the form of Kali and Durga. That is what I was going to talk about today, isn’t it?

This Durga and Kali, they appear to be very ferocious, they appear to be very threatening to our existence. But they are actually there to purify us, burn the unwanted dross from our mind.

You see, if you really understand Her doing, then you will really begin to appreciate what She is here for. That’s why I say, as I wrote yesterday, ‘don’t just say corona, corona, say Karo Maa, Karo Maa’, which means, ‘mother do, do, do Maa, do Maa, whatever You’re doing is fine’. Allow Her to do what she is doing; you cannot fight it anyways. You cannot. See, no narcissism, no amount of narcissism, self-obsession nor self-protection has been able to do anything so far, isn’t this so?  At least it appears like this. It may come with time when we learn our lessons. It is important for us to learn the lesson of why She is here. Is She here to harm to us? It appears like She is here to harm us, but this is not the truth.

It’s a warning, a warning for all of us to stop being self-obsessed about our needs, to stop being self-victimizing all the time, and to devote ourselves to be accountable for our actions, be accountable to ourselves and to the society and to people. That is what it is, drop this, me, me, me, ego all the time and include others in whatever, little way that you could, because if we could do this, in our lives, then even these things like the corona virus won’t happen. But time and time again we have seen that it happens and no politician no matter powerful he is, can do anything about it, can he? No! Because you cannot fight Durga-Kali in Her form. She is here to purify, She is here to cleanse, and She will do the job ‘til we realise this.

First, we need to understand that there could be a hidden blessing in this. And look at what, how Durga-Kali is indicating this, look at the message that She is giving to the world. What are the authorities telling you, first thing: wash your hands, isn’t it? Regularly, wash your hands. Clean them! What are hands? Hands are symbolic they are karmendriyas. They are the hands through which we work, so it means that you have to clean your work, clean it. Whatever we are doing, just do not only work for ourselves, do it for others. Be authentic in your living. That’s what it means, not just physical cleaning your hands, which is understanding from a lower point of intellect, from a medical point of view. But the deeper message that Maa is giving you for cleaning your hands is that you are to cleanse your karmendriyas, and therefore work for the betterment of people. That’s the first thing.

Second, instructions that we have been given by the authorities, is that we are not to touch our face, we are not to touch our eyes. What does face symbolise? Face is your identity, isn’t it? We recognise each other, we recognise ourselves how? I am this person, I’m looking good today, I like it. I’m not looking good today, I don’t like it, isn’t it? We recognise each other also in this way, he is so beautiful, she is not that beautiful. See, these divisions that we have created. Our identity with our look, even this, Durga-Kali is taking away. She is taking away our comfort from us, taking it away. Now, if you understand it to be only about, not touching our face, you have understood it only partially, this is partial knowledge. What is She trying to say? Get into the deeper understanding by connecting with the Divine Mother, in that way which I’m trying to bring to you all, you will really understand what She is trying to do. What message she is trying to give. Don’t be identified with your face, don’t be identified with your look, don’t try to have a relationship based on looks, on how others are or how they behave. Identify with your consciousness, that is what She is trying to say. That’s the second message.

Third message what is she saying? Social distancing. What does that mean, social distancing? Ok I must now distance myself from other people that I like and love or whatever, no more being in crowds, no more going to offices, no more doing, is that what it is? The deeper significance of this is detachment. I must learn to detach myself from the situation, from the people, not get too attached, practice a sense, state of detachment, equanimity with everything. If I get something fine if I don’t get something fine. Now look at it, what’s happening with people, people are buying stuff more than what they need, and others who are unable to go to stores are not able to get essential things. See, see what they are doing is opposite of what they should be doing. Again, its human nature. But what Mother is doing is forcing detachment on people. With time to come, if we do not learn this lesson, it is going to get worse. I’m not trying to scare, no we will try and find a remedy, but to know a remedy we must know what Durga-Kali is trying to say first, right? We must first know a symptom before we cure something, we must know what causes it, so let us remove the cause first and then maybe we do not have to deal with the symptoms. Third thing is this, social distancing.

And the fourth thing is self-isolation. Now, we are required to remain in a room for 14 or 21 days. 14 days used to be the sadhana also for many people, do you know? People, in the olden times, people used to say, go for 14 days and sit in the room, and do your Sadhana. We can bring about meaningful changes in our lives and habitual patterns if we adopt a new habit for 14 or 21 days.  That is what it means, sitting in self-isolation. It does not mean sitting in self-isolation feeling pity for yourself, feeling like a victim. No. Rejoice! You have been given the opportunity to do Sadhana. You have an opportunity to do this great work and develop the habit of sitting alone in meditation.

So, if you remember these four points that are there, you will understand the deeper significance of Durga-Kali’s message. This is the primary, the most spiritual aspect, before I give you a mantra, because a mantra has no meaning, if you don’t change yourself, your attitude, your behaviors, those patterns that you are living with. You are still self-obsessed, still the narcissist. It’s not going to help; no amount of mantra will help with this unless you develop the deeper understanding of the mantra. And when I tell you the mantra also, you will know the significance of what the mantra is, understand the meaning of the mantra. Then when you do, the mantra, you will begin to appreciate what Durga-Kali is saying. Ok I will give the meaning of the mantra.

The second thing, before I give you the mantra, we are going through an astrological and numerological period of Rahu. Rahu is number 4. When we entered 2020, it became number 4. That means astrologically Rahu will have the greatest influence, now, in our life, and that’s what has happened, even though in Wuhan the corona virus started in December 2019, it only became known in January, February, March, the beginning of 2020. This year will be critical, 2020 and more so April because that is also number 4. January, February, March, April. Again, I’m not trying to scare you I’m just trying to tell you to prepare.

If we are prepared, we can deal with it and the beauty about spirituality, what the Shastras tells us, is that within us resides the Brahman. The entire Brahman is within us. Everything that you see outside is within us. So, if we make these changes, that the Divine Mother is imploring us to make, little bit, even slightly, we will begin to see changes in the Brahman around us. Try it, see it and feel it and then you will know what I’m saying. We don’t have to get scared, thinking that when April comes it is going to get worse, no. However, if we continue to behave, how we are currently behaving it will get worse.

And that’s why I am bringing this message today, make small changes in your life, follow the four points that I said earlier, do your sadhana, don’t be self-obsessed, drop your identity with yourself as the body-mind, try to feel yourself as pure consciousness. Yeah! Clean your act! Clean your act through your karmendriyas, through your hands and then you will see changes. 100% you will be able to see it and perceive the changes within you, you will start to feel the joy, peace, and you will see how things are also changing outside. Because that is science. Whole Brahman is within me, if I clean up, everything will begin to clean. Everything around also, will begin to reflect it. Within me is Brahman, I am Brahman, it is going to happen.

 So, who presides over Rahu? Maa Durga. She is the presiding deity of Rahu and Rahu is known to be a deceiver. Rahu is known to deal with illnesses that cannot be detected, the cure cannot be detected, that’s the whole thing about Rahu and such illnesses originate from a foreign land and affect all of us. These are the characteristics of Rahu. And the preceding deity of Rahu, the one that controls Rahu, the malefic influence of Rahu is Maa Durga.

So, now I will tell you the mantra which you all should do daily if possible, in the morning and at night, twice, 21 times. The mantra is very simple, and I will request that someone send an email to all of you so that you get the right pronunciation also. But I will tell you the mantra, its:

AUM AIM RHIM KLIM CHAMUNDAYE VICCHE

This mantra you are to do 21 times, at least once if not twice in a day, morning and evening before you sleep. This is for Mother. Before you do this mantra, I must tell you please pay homage to Her Son who is Lord Ganesha. And so please do the mantra:

OM GAN, GANAPATAYE NAMAHA

Do this 21 times followed by Aum Aim, Rhim, Klim, Chamundaye Vicche 21 times and then 21 times:

OM NAMAH SHIVAAY

Shiva is the Lord of Mother. Here the entire family is brought together. See you have brought Ganesha who is Lord of wisdom, you have brought Shiva, who is Her husband, with you and you are paying love and homage to the Mother. When all three gods are together no harm can come; it is not possible. Do these three mantras during this time. I’m praying, with all of you of course, I’m doing the same thing and I will be doing the same thing until we get through this period. With pure, pure heart, She will bestow you the courage, and Ganesha will bless you with the wisdom about how to handle, because Ganesha is the Lord of wisdom. And Shiva you know, Shiva is the absolute state and right now he’s gone very silent. He’s allowing the feminine part, Shakti to do whatever She wants, and you know when Shakti wants to do Shiva can’t do anything. You know in your households, when the wife wants to do something, the husband can do nothing. Right now, the wife is in full power. Total dominance. So, we must do this puja, I’m saying on a lighter side, but you can verify this.

But also understand that it is not just about chanting the mantra it’s necessary to understand the deeper significance of this, as explained before, with full humility and surrender.

And the deeper significance of Aum Aim, Rhim, Klim Chamundaye Vicche is this, that we are asking the three goddesses, Aum is the world, the modern world, that is, the waking state, the deep sleep state and the dream state, and beyond the dream state, all the three states, ‘Oh Mother Saraswati, Mother Lakshmi and Mother Kali, Aum, Aim, Rhim, Klim, these three goddesses, please help me, please grant me the boon so that I can go beyond attachment and anger’. See this is the meaning of the mantra. Aum, Aim, Rhim, Klim, Chamundaye Vicche. Chand and Munda were two demons that Mother had killed during the wars.  What does Chand and Mund mean? Together their meaning is, one is attachment and one is anger and wherever attachment is there is anger, they are always together. That’s why wherever you see attachment anger comes along with it. Otherwise you will be peaceful, when you are not attached to something you are very objective about it. Have you noticed? But the moment you are attached to something, you get angry; if your expectations are not met and your attachment to something is there, anger will come, naturally. That is why they are together, Chamunda, they are not separate, they are one.  So, you are praying to Mother, not to save yourself from the Corona virus, not to save you from Rahu, which are the result of wrongful actions and habits; you are praying to Mother so you can get rid of anger and attachment. Even if they can’t be totally eliminated (as we are humans) at least we should know how to manage them. So, by praying to Mother Durga we are pleading to Her to give us the strength and wisdom to go past anger and attachment.

So, this is the message I’m trying to, convey, that we do these 3 mantras with the significance of the Chamunda mantra. First you start with the Ganesha: Om Gan Ganapataye Namaha. Second, Aum Aim Rhim Klim Chamundaye Vicche, 21 times, 21 times and Om Namaha Shivaay 21 times. This will protect you, and of course, we will pray, and we will pray to the Lord, to the Guru.

This is the time of Kaal you can say, this is the time of Mother, and we must go to Her and surrender ourselves at Her Feet.

So, on that note, we will do a little chanting now, just to get a feel of how to do it. We will do it 11 times each, only 11 times, the rest 21 times you please do when you go back home or anytime that you feel you are able to do it.

So, let’s start with first the Ganesha mantra: Om Gan, Ganyapate Namaha x 11. Wait for 30 seconds, meditate on Him, you can meditate on the form or you can meditate on the formless, Ganesha, the essence of Ganesha, in the formless. Feel His protection, feel His love. You can meditate on His lotus Feet.

Now we will meditate on the Mother Divine Durga. Aum Aim Rhim Klim Chamundaye Vicche x 11. For 30 seconds meditate on the meaning of this mantra while surrendering to the Divine Mother. You are surrendering your anger; you are surrendering your attachment to Her and at Her Feet. That Shakti, you are offering everything, that you thought your identity was, you are giving it back to Her. You are willingly cooperating, you are willingly supporting what She wants to do, what transformation She wants to bring by offering your anger and attachment at Her Lotus Feet.

We will now do the last, Lord Shiva, mantra for Shiva Om Namah Shivaay x 11. Meditate on Shiva. What is the best meditation for Shiva? Simple: I am nothing, I am nobody. I am you; I am me, I am Shiva. Lord Shiva, I am nothing, I am nobody, and when I am nothing and I am nobody I become Shiva. So, remember this, this is the best way to worship Shiva. The mantra is Om Namah Shivaay, but the feeling is of being nobody and nothing. I am nobody, I am nothing, I am Shiva.

Ego always wants to be somebody, something, but the moment you say I am nobody, I am nothing, the ego cannot arise and when the ego cannot arise there is only Shiva. From that state of nothingness, I realise myself as Shiva itself.

Combine your sadhana with these 3 powerful, powerful mantras and the essence of the mantras. Again, I am saying not just the mantras, but connect with the meaning, the deeper meaning as much as you can.

It’s not that if say I am nothing, I am going to become nothing the next day or the moment, just because I have said it. But even if I can feel some Truth in that, I will feel Shiva, I have succeeded. I will feel joy, I will feel peace and fear cannot come. Because fear cannot touch nothing, no? Fear can only touch that, when you are something when you have something, there fear comes. But when you are nothing, yourself, nothing can stick to you, then what is the fear for? It is the inner feeling of being nothing and nobody in front of that, no fear can come at all.

So, practice this, not just the mantra in these difficult times, but understand the significance of it, that’s why I have given 30 seconds. This entire sadhana of 21, 21, 21 and in between 30 seconds to 1 minute, and you might even want to go to 2 minutes, sometimes you may want to go to 5 minutes and 10 minutes, take it, whatever you can, that depends on you. 30 seconds does not mean that 30 seconds he said so I should do only 30 seconds. Wherever you feel in between, as your feeling increases and intensifies, and as you deepen in it. You can do it. But overall, this whole sadhana will not take more than 20 minutes maximum, 17 -20 minutes, maybe, and maximum I’m saying 20 minutes is the maximum sadhana.

Do it once, at least, in a day, and you will see the changes, not just in you, for you or for your loved ones, but also around you. That is the biggest Seva that means Mother is working through you, not against you. You are making Mother work through you. That message should go to Her, and when that happens along with the entire family, Ganesha and Shiva and Mother, Hare! Such will be the joy, unparalleled in your life.

So, on that note it is not a corona message it is a Karo Maa message, Karo Maa, do it through me, that is the message. Mother cleanse through me, clean me first, clean me first, cleanse me first, purify me first and then allow me to be an instrument through your sadhana.

~Rajiv Kapur 

  

The 3 Types of Pleasures

The 3 Types of Pleasures

Bhagavan Shri Krishna has laid down three types of pleasures: Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic. 

Starting with sattvic, the Lord says (BG XVIII: verse 37) :

 

यत्तदग्रे विषमिव परिणामेऽमृतोपमम्
तत्सुखं सात्त्विकं प्रोक्तमात्मबुद्धिप्रसादजम्

That pleasure which feels like poison at the beginning, but becomes the very nectar of life towards the end, is sattvic, and leads to happiness.

         

Sattvic pleasures involve study and activities involving creative art like music, martial arts, painting, acting, learning languages, rendering seva and service to society, etc. to name a few. Meditation is highest form of sattvic pleasure.

These activities require discipline, commitment and hard work in the beginning but once mastered, they become big sources of happiness for oneself and inspire others to do the same.

The next type of pleasure is rajasic. On this, Bhagavan says (BG XVIII: verse 38):

विषयेन्द्रियसंयोगाद्यत्तदग्रेऽमृतोपमम्।
परिणामे विषमिव तत्सुखं राजसं स्मृतम्।।

That enjoyment which, arising from the union of senses with their objects, is at first like nectar but like poison in the end, is known as rajasic.

 

Most pleasures fall into this category. The type of enjoyment that is highly appealing in the beginning, but turns out to be painful later is referred to as rajasicRajasic pleasures are food indulgences (over eating), movies and music (excessive visual and auditory stimulation), total preoccupation with career, money, fame (worldly pursuits), etc.

Our senses are forever turned outwards towards objects to seek some form of pleasure and happiness. The “unholy alliance” between the senses and the sense objects, even though they look promising in the beginning, always results in pain later. Neither our senses belong to the sense objects nor do the objects belong to the senses. They deceive each other and can often lose interest in each other. When that happens it becomes very painful and the mind will remain agitated for a very long time unable to meditate. That is why I call it an unholy alliance. Hence, a wise person does not fall prey to such an insidious play between the two, and therefore moderates the needs and desires of the senses and their objects.

Most do not understand the need for “sense management” and often get swept away by the play of senses and suffer severe consequences later. If the senses are allowed to roam freely indulging in every object of desire either through thoughts (fantasies), actions, or both, it will always lead to agitation of the mind and interfere in sadhana. Attachment to sense objects will also lead to fear and anger and create further disturbances in our mind. By restraining the mind and body (Sama and Dama) towards such indulgences, we prevent ourselves from much pain and suffering and can easily focus on our sadhana.

Sense management through Sama and Dama doesn’t mean total abstinence. It means moderating our desires towards these pleasures, so that we don’t fall into cravings and urges which would agitate our mind. Total preoccupation and obsessions must be totally avoided and efforts must be made towards removing them if we are to succeed in our sadhana. 

 Last are tamasic pleasures. According to Bhagavad Gita (BG XVIII:39):

यदग्रे चानुबन्धे सुखं मोहनमात्मनः।
निद्रालस्यप्रमादोत्थं तत्तामसमुदाहृतम्।।

That pleasure which deludes the self initially and in its result, caused by sleep, lethargy and intoxication, that joy is called as tamasic

Unlike the two other types of pleasures mentioned above, tamasic enjoyments are those which do not make you feel good at any point. Tamasic pleasures are intoxicating substances of any kind, excessive sexual thoughts and desires, excessive sleep, etc.

They are distasteful at the very beginning, in the middle and until the very end. Not only are they distasteful, but they also dull the intellect, and do not allow the mind to remain focused and concentrated on any higher goal as one falls prey to false intoxication, lethargy, dullness and sleep.  YET, many people suffer from indulgences of tamasic nature. Why?  Because there is some sensation of joy which has to be acknowledged even though it is unwanted and destructive. It is toxic and is a perverse form of joy and pleasure. This is what makes tamasic pleasures different from rajasic pleasures. 

Such habits don’t go away easily due to repeated past actions of indulgence in these forms of enjoyments. Often those who indulge in them experience an uncontrollable urge and craving, and fail to get passed such habits. They also suffer from guilt and shame due to that.

One must never be disheartened despite repeated failures to overcome such addictions and obsessions, and strive harder each day. One will require supreme effort to overcome it but with conviction and devotion to the Lord (Higher OTHER) one can easily overcome such addictions.

With love and support from ever deepening faith in the Lord arrived through discernment (making conscious right choice) and daily meditation (at fixed time each day) such cravings can lessen in a matter of days, and finally one becomes free of being dependent on them. Once free from these pleasures one must NEVER try to flirt with them even to test one’s inner strength. One must forever guard against them and totally renounce such pleasures. If memory or craving arrives we must remind ourselves the of the limitations (dosha) and suffering (dukkha) that such pleasures bring about. Total abstinence is the requirement as regards pleasures of tamasic nature.

Announcing new ebook by Rajivji ‘Ramana and “I” – 30 Verses of Devotional Self-Inquiry for Devotees of Shri Ramana’ [free download]

Announcing new ebook by Rajivji ‘Ramana and “I” – 30 Verses of Devotional Self-Inquiry for Devotees of Shri Ramana’ [free download]

New eBook available now for download

In this profound ebook, Rajivji shares his experiential insight into Sri Ramana’s definition of the “I”, and the limitations that exist within the common understanding of self-inquiry. Through his thirty verses, Rajivji addresses these limitations by expounding on the importance of devotion to Sri Ramana, who is none other than the SELF manifest, urging sadhaks to allow their spiritual efforts to transform into devotion and openeness to Sri Ramana’s Grace, and ultimately the depths of Self-realization. 

Why Holding the Sense of I-Am Exclusively is NOT the Most Effective Method

Why Holding the Sense of I-Am Exclusively is NOT the Most Effective Method

 

Holding the sense of I-Am is considered one of the most valid methods among traditional teachers. Those of us who have followed Self-Inquiry or Advaita teachings are well aware of the I-Am , especially after this method was advocated by the great Advaita Master Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj.

This method is popular and easy to understand. The technique can be summarized as follows:

You know that you exist — not as this or that, just simple existence — an existence without any reference to thoughts, names or forms. Now hold on to this feeling as your I-Amness. Keep coming back to this feeling and hold on to it at regular intervals. In time, with perseverance and dedication, the I AM will reveal itself and then, one day, it will finally disappear, leading you to your SELF.

This is a simple and profound truth. However, in practical situations it does not prove very effective nor productive for achieving the goal. In fact, the results from this practice, when used exclusively, are very inconsistent and can often leave a practitioner confused as to why they experienced a ‘drop’ in their state, or cannot feel their joyous being which they were able to feel a few days before.

The reason for this is due to the impurities collected at the gross, subtle, and subtlest levels at play within the I-Am feeling.

It is important to understand that the I-Am  feeling usually perceived by a practitioner is often a mixed feeling (awareness) of all the layers (koshas) at work within. These koshas have their energy, vibrations and codes which exert a ‘pull’ and influence over the Pure I-Am . Hence, when we abide in the sense of I-Am, what we are actually feeling and intuiting as our ‘existence’ is nothing but the totality of these koshas — and NOT the PureI-Am .

These five koshas, which act as coverings over the SELF, are the:

 

  1. Annamaya kosha – outer body feeling or sensation
  2. Pranamaya kosha – breath, the life-force that feeds and nurtures our actions, feeds our senses
  3. Manomaya kosha – mind, thoughts, emotions, memories
  4. Vijnanamaya kosha – intellect, discriminating faculty which decides what is right or wrong
  5. Anandamaya kosha –bliss sheath

These koshas are unreal, but still veil, conceal, and keep us from our real SELF.

In fact, the practitioner will find that each day of practice brings forth a ‘feeling’ from a particular kosha, and it is that kosha that is experienced instead of the Pure I-Am (Anandamaya Kosha).

So, some days, body sensations (Annamaya) will predominate the seeker’s awareness. On other days, energies coursing through the body (Pranamaya) will prevail. Yet other days, visions, intuitive ‘downloads’, or messages from higher Consciousness (Manomaya) will be more prevalent. And on some rare occasions, a torrential flow of Joy in the Heart (Anandamaya) will captivate the seeker’s awareness.

So the feeling of I-Am will vary. 

Sometimes the feeling of I-Am will be unstable, and progress will be inconsistent, depending upon the state of one’s mind. Often, when rare bliss (Anandamaya) is felt, it will quickly be disturbed by one of the four preceding koshas. This is because the practitioner has no awareness of how to control the workings of the preceding koshas. They have no awareness of the techniques available to control them quickly and effectively. This cycle will continue until a lot of effort, seeking, and ‘hunting of the I’ is done and enables one to finally transcend all the koshas and arrive at the final destination — the Spiritual Heart.

Yes, it is definitely possible for all koshas to roll back revealing the SELF exclusively through holding theI-Am method, but it is like walking into a dark room not knowing what lies ahead. It is a very slow, tiresome and inconsistent method. Most often a seeker will understandably feel dejected and demotivated when they realize that they have practically no control over how they will feel in their meditation. That is why ‘holding the sense of I-Am’ exclusively as one’s practice of Self-Inquiry will not work for 90% of seekers (unless they have been a very strong meditator in this or past lives).

The other problem with this method, apart from its inconsistency, is that one usually ‘peaks out’ relatively early and feels that they have ‘hit a wall’. There does not seem to be much headway or progress, and their state feels static. Nothing seems to be happening. They will feel much the same as they did a few years back.

Remember, the great Nisargadatta Maharaj himself had to persevere with this method continuously, like a man possessed, for three (3) years. But such perseverance is rare to find in a busy, worldly life. Hence we need to use other methods along with I-Am to be able to sustain the state for deeper and longer periods of time.

The reason is that there is no insight or importance given to purifying oneself. This is one of the biggest flaws of current non-dual teachings. They do not lay down spiritual principles or ethics aimed at an inner cleansing of the life-force (Prana) and nerves (nadis) dealing with habitual tendencies/projections/vasanas, and outer adherence of non-violence in thoughts, speech, deeds, etc.

No matter how many times you dip a white shirt into dirty water, it will never come out clean. It will remain dirty. Similarly, no matter how many times you bring the mind to yourI-Am, it will still remain the same — unless you clean your koshas too (the layers that make up the I-Am).

It is, probably, for this reason that Sri Ramana hinted that the Heart is the seat of Jnanam (knowledge) as well as of the granthi (knot of ignorance). The nadis (nerves) that connect the Heart to the brain, prana, and spine must be purified, otherwise they can easily mislead the practitioner away from the SELF and into a state of ignorance.

It can be seen that those who abide in, or hold to, the feeling of I-Am as their sole practice usually do so at their Heart centre. As a result, it is not uncommon to witness these practitioners as being impulsive, unstable, reactive and predominantly driven by heightened emotions, even though they occasionally feel a sense of peace and love emanating from their Heart. The ‘high’ they experience in their meditation is often replaced by a new ‘low’, or depressive ‘gloom’, within a few days.

The reason for this is that they have little control over the inner workings and influences generated by impure nadis. This reinforces the fact that purification is a must for stability and sustained abidance in Pure I-Am.

That is why the correct way to practice ‘holding the sense of I-Am’ is to do it either in combination with a practice where the breath, prana and mind are relatively stilled, and kept suspended through either breath control techniques (pranayama), or by using Sri Ramana’s method “Who Am I?”, in both the waking state and the sitting meditation (where the breath is automatically controlled).

Breath control is, relatively, an easier method to practice than Sri Ramana’s “Who Am I?”, where a subjective awareness of ‘I’ is often difficult to maintain and sustain. Hence, a fusion of both is needed for the best, most effective, and longest lasting results.

It was from this perspective that the Implosive Self-Inquiry Protocol™ (ISIP) was designed — wherein holding the sense of ‘I AM’ is also accompanied by simple, yet highly effective techniques for removing and filtering the impurities of the distracting layers of koshas within the I AM. This provides each seeker with an instant glimpse of the real I AM, and enables him or her to sustain deeper and more stable abidance in the SELF.

The Song of Kali

The Song of Kali

The Song of Kali

by Rajiv Kapur and Daniel Mills

The I-Am that I am is not just in the background; the I-Am that I am is also in the foreground.

The I-Am that I am in the background is in the form of Durga; the I-Am that I am in the foreground is in the form of Me, Kali. Together we serve Shiva, the Absolute. But know, O Wise Ones, that unlike Durga, the Kundalini, I have no interest in merging with the Absolute; I work independently.

The I-Am that I am in the background in the form of Durga manifests beauty in this world. Golden sunshine, sparkling streams, flowering trees, majestic mountains are all part of My creation. But when I, as Kali, arrive in the foreground, the sun, streams, trees, and mountains may still remain, but their beauty fades and vanishes.

The I-Am that I am in the background has always been given attention; the I-Am that I am in the foreground has always been ignored. That is why I, Kali, come for you with a flashing sword, eyes red in rage, face and breast stained with blood. Your cries of “Mother, Mother” cannot save you. Your Father, Shiva, the Absolute, cannot protect you. No one and no thing can rescue you. Know that for certain, O Children.

The I-Am that I am in the foreground, I, Kali, am brutally fierce with any and all deep relationships you have established with anything, profane or sacred. Your misery, pain, and agony will show you I do not allow any trace of attachment or identification, lofty or lowly, to remain.

To know the Absolute, you need the blessing of the I-Am that I am in the background, but to recognize even a glimmer of Consciousness, you need My blessing.

Impure ones are obsessed with the world; pure ones are obsessed with the I-Am that I am in the background. But in the foreground, I, Kali, spare neither the impure nor the pure.

The I-Am that I am in the background is available as peace, stillness, joy, and bliss. But this is all lost to you when I, Kali, arrive in the foreground. I bestow the blessing of the destruction of your pride; I will burn you in the flames of True Wisdom.

The I-Am that I am in the foreground comes in three forms:

  • One to burn the seeds of habitual tendencies and vasanas.
  • One to dispel the results of past bad karmas.
  • One to deliver suffering, humiliation, and disgrace.

I, Kali, come as temptation, anger, and attachments in my first form,
As loss of health, money, and people you love in my second form,
And finally as old age, prolonged illness, ignominy, and death in my third form.

The I-Am that I am in the foreground, I, Kali, see no difference between Jnani or fool, saint or sinner, spiritual or worldly. When I come, all doors to the I-Am that I am in the background will be closed.

O Proud Ones, remember that the I-Am that I am in the foreground, I, Kali, will destroy whatever pride and faith you have in Me as the I-Am that I am in the background. Indeed I am my own bane and adversary.

The I-Am that I am in the background deludes Jnanis, Yogis, and Bhaktas to believe their ego is gone; the I-Am that I am in the foreground reveals the truth that the ego never leaves you until your skin is burned, bones are crushed, and heart is wrung like a piece of wet cloth. The last shred of ego is never destroyed by any practice, means, path, Guru, or God, but by Me alone.

You cannot please Me through any penance, abidance, meditation, devotion, or good deeds. Nothing can soothe Me. Only the humiliation, disgrace, and helplessness that arrive by your defeat can satisfy Me. O seekers of Truth, know that this alone may calm Me and free you from My wrath.

When tremendous pain and suffering, humiliation and disgrace come, know that it is not a time for seeking or accepting. Both will be impossible. Meet My arrival by surrendering and enduring all, and taking refuge only in My ferociousness and brutality.

The I-Am that I am in the background can witness, accept, dissolve, and direct you towards the Absolute, but when I, Kali, arrive, none of that is possible. Know, O Wise Ones, that at that time, you are Mine.

Some offer Me mantras. Some offer their breath. Some offer various other sacrifices. Yet the One who pleases Me most is the One whose eyes are ever-resting on My feet, and whose heart is one-pointedly devoted to My Lord Shiva, the Absolute.

The Foreground I-Am

The Foreground I-Am

Most teachings, especially New Age, advocate a “romantic idealism” form of spiritual practice, rather than acknowledge the stark reality of the relative plane. But while we are in the body, the world continues to affect us all, including our abidance in SELF. This aspect of reality has repeatedly been ignored, and we have discovered new ways to escape from what stares us in the face. Hence, we are not prepared for calamity when it strikes.

Knowledge is freeing. It may not get rid of the situation we face, but knowledge can prepare us for the many things that can otherwise confuse and create doubts in us as seekers. I am addressing those sincere seekers who, in spite of their unflinching devotion and abidance in SELF, often lose their connection to their Being, or are suffering miserably on the earthly plane. I believe that if these seekers understand the workings of the foreground I-Am, they will stop looking for answers in places from where answers will never come, and hopefully stop criticizing themselves for their inability to fix the situation. Truth, no matter how harsh, is always liberating and healing. 

Many of us have been told about the background I-Am, which I call the “male principle.” All the spiritual practices we have all been doing are concerned solely with strengthening this male principle I-Am. Practices like witnessing, abiding in the “I” or the Self, and actively raising the Kundalini up the spine, are all concerned with the male background I-Am. 

The qualities of the background I-Am are that of stillness, peace, joy and bliss. As we deepen our relationship with this background I-Am, these qualities become more and more profound, and eventually lead us to the Absolute. There, everything dissolves. 

But there is another I-Am, a very important one. It has not been talked about, but presents itself again and again in our lives: The “Foreground I-Am”. 

That foreground I-Am is like Mother Kali who arrives with the noble motive of freeing us from our habitual tendencies (vasanas). But She then intensifies Her attack directly on anything we have latched onto, protected, or guarded. Having our attachments broken can be brutally painful and terrifying for us, for we cannot find any refuge in anything, whether God or the world. Even the Absolute, Shiva, absolutely collapses under Kali’s Lotus feet, and finds no favor. All our identifications, even the slightest, are Her enemy, irrespective of whether they are spiritual or material in nature. In Her eyes, all are the same.

Ego is never really eliminated until Kali visits. Facing Her, the subtlest trace of ego that remains hidden in us is plucked out. Such is Her power and glory. 

As I sat pondering Kali’s immense power, beauty, and terrifying form, the Truth about Her came to me as verses collected into the Song of Kali. I was fortunate to have Daniel Mills next to me recording them as they flowed through me. He helped me choose the verses, edited them, and offered his own input as my student, my friend, a teacher to many, and one who has finally awakened and continues to awaken deeply in his heart.

Together we present these verses to all those who feel the need to know the Truth as it is.

As a prelude to the Song of Kali, I share with you all a work by the Bengali poet, Dwijendralal Ray called “Clinging to Your Feet”: 

I lie clinging to your feet,
but you never look at me, Mother.
You’re lost in your own play,
and engrossed in your own emotion.
What is this sport you revel in
across earth, heaven and the underworld?
The entire universe closes its eyes in terror,
and calls out “Mother, Mother!”
while clutching at your feet.
In your hands, Kali, you hold
the world’s final destruction.
Under your feet
even the great Shiva
lies unconscious.
Wild laughter issues from your mouth
and streams of blood flow down your limbs.
Tara*, forgiving one, end our fear!

Pick me up like a baby in your arms.
Come shining like a star,
with a smiling face
and in fair dress, like the dawn
after a pitch-black night!
All these days, O Terrible Kali,
I’ve worshiped only you.
My puja is done, Mother.
Won’t you put down your sword? 

*Tara means star
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