Thursday, December 27, 2012
"Failure is important and nobody can reach That without failure. If you fail, if you have desires and problems, they will go away. Just go on, repeat your sadhana, they will disappear and God will give you the strength to overcome them... A teacher cannot give you anything. It is your mind, it is your prana, it is your soul. And it is your effort. Believe that. Nobody, no teacher can give you anything and no teacher has the power that you have. It is your confidence in yourself, your belief in yourself and your strength in yourself that can lift you up from this mundane world, from this vortex... Failure will make you a strong person. Don't worry about what others say; some will praise you, some will vilify you. Both are verbal delusion to a yogi."
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Thursday, December 06, 2012
-Erich "Mancow" Muller, quoted in this amazing new book.
*The money from the sold-off possessions was given to charity.
Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Monday, December 03, 2012
MS Subbulakshmi *and* and Pandit Jasraj
"Raghupati Ram" was Gandhi-ji's favorite hymn.
from the comments: From the 40th anniversary of Gandhi Ji's assassination. This appears to be Birla House, where while going for a similar prayer service Gandhi Ji was shot on 30th January 1948 at around 5:17 in the evening. (20:25)
MS Subbulakshmi had the rare honour of performing live for Gandhi Ji himself at such an evening prayer meeting, only a few months before he was killed.
Thursday, November 29, 2012
All yoga teachers and students, prepare yourselves! The year ahead will be a year of challenge. It will be a year that will provide many opportunities to really be of service to others. It will also provide us with the chance to discover how strong and faithful we truly are.
According to present and past conditions including predictions and even some direct evidence, sometime during and especially in late 2012, the Earth may pass through some severe weather conditions and maybe even some unusual phenomena. Those with lots of attachment to things and comforts may endure lots of pain and suffering, and those without good health and spiritual knowledge and who are attached to comfort surely will suffer more.
In our study of yoga, we learn about the Kleshas, the mental impurities, the root causes of all pain and suffering. All five are rooted in the first, Avidya or ignorance of your own True Self, but attachment or Raga, another one of the Kleshas, will cause many great problems during this period of transition and change. We can combat this as Yogis by re-dedicating ourselves to Sadhana (spiritual practice), and, the more we learn, the more we'll have to then share with others to help them through the dark days potentially ahead. Commit every bit of knowledge you can to memory and strengthen the physical body so you can help others who are weaker. Many Yogis become flexible and strong through their dedication to the Asana or posture practice, but you mustn't sacrifice cardiovascular fitness, since the ability to run if there is danger is of great value both to save yourself and to then help save others. Do something for at least five minutes every day to strengthen and tone the cardiovascular system, even Jumping Jacks. Pursue Self-knowledge every day with great intensity.
To fully arm yourself, spend more time in contemplation and realize what you really are today! We are all a portion of the Almighty One; immortal, omniscient and formless. It is only by this knowledge that you will truly remain unaffected by the possible external state of turmoil. Stay healthy and share as much as possible spiritual knowledge with others so that their pain can be reduced. Acting in this way is the highest type of charity. Remember, belief is not enough!
How unwise it is to sleep! (To float through life unaware of anything and without learning anything.) How foolish it is to remain unguarded and full of doubts! Constantly breaking the law and taking chances and stupid risks that will always result in disappointment, embarrassment, pain and suffering. The wise man is always awake and fully prepared. He follows the rules and guards his knowledge. Compassionate to all, he lives happily and is immune to delusion. The wise man is ever ready to face any amount of pain that may be inflicted upon him at any time.
But even the holy man's body and mind are still subject to extremes of discomfort, since no one is immune to the forces of nature. Those who are still without Self-knowledge and who abide in a state of ignorance as regards Supreme Reality doubtless will suffer more in the year to come. Due to the present condition of everything, including the mental and spiritual, everything is moving, acting and changing perfectly according to and is affected by these constantly shifting patterns, resulting in a specific new condition. Everything is controlled by the Divine Laws of Nature, and everything is connected to everything else. Whatever happens to anything in any distinct area has an effect on everything else to some degree. Einstein saw this through the lens of Physics: "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." In Karmic terms, perhaps this is better expressed as: "For every action, there is an equal required action." Or, "Everything we are passing through at present is a result of our deeds from the past." If we were able to look back at every action taken in previous lifetimes, we would come to understand with clarity everything we are now experiencing from moment to moment.
Those devoid of Self-knowledge are fully under the sway of their external environment and its given state from moment to moment. But the wise men and women, endowed with right knowledge, can control the effect these external changes have to affect the internal environment and, most crucially, the mind. Of course, no one can escape their fate entirely, but, since the enlightened one is not identified with the body and mind anymore, he or she is truly untouched by the effect of the outside world upon them.
Only a lit candle can light the unlit wick of another. Some who lose everything will feel that the world really has ended. If you have a little knowledge and a little self-control, you will be able to serve and help anyone and everyone you come into contact with both now and after everything begins to possibly shift and change.
May Brahman bestow upon you the treasure of understanding this Divine knowledge! Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi.
Lots of Love,
Remember! The goal is Self-realization!
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Monday, November 26, 2012
Thursday, November 22, 2012
"We should not worry about who will guide us. The question is: Am I prepared to be guided? Jesus had only 12 close disciples. He helped many, but he imparted the secret wisdom only to those few who were prepared. The Sermon on the Mount is comprehended by only a few, not by the multitudes. Those not on the path do not understand, for example, why one should be meek and poor....
"You need an external guru as a means to attain the guru within you. Sometimes you may become egotistical and decide, 'I don't need a guru.' That is the ego talking. You must tame it.
"You'll never meet a bad guru if you are a good student. But the reverse is also true; if you are a bad student, you won't meet a good guru. Why should a good guru assume responsibility for a bad student? Nobody collects garbage. If you are in search of a guru, search within first. To become a yogi means to know your own condition here and now, to work with yourself. Don't grumble because you don't have a teacher. Ask whether you deserve one. Are you capable of attracting one?"
Thursday, November 15, 2012
"If you want to touch the sky, you better learn how to kneel."
-U2, on Isvara Pranidhana (from 1991's "She Moves in Mysterious Ways")
"You know you got to go through hell before you get to heaven."
-Steve Miller Band, on the Bhagavad Gita's description of sattva (from 1977's "Jet Airliner," composed by Paul Pena)
Thursday, November 08, 2012
"I tell you one thing my child — if you want peace, do not find fault with others. Rather, see your own faults. Learn to make the world your own. No one is a stranger, my child; the whole world is your own."
- From Sri Sarada Devi’s last words, spoken before passing away on July 20, 1920
Thursday, November 01, 2012
-Sri Dharma Mittra
Read the rest of this amazing essay here.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Divya Herbal Products, 2723 W. Devon Ave. 773.381.3738. Daily 11-7. Closed Tuesdays.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Monday, October 29, 2012
Thursday, October 25, 2012
"This can be explained by a simple simile. A candle light is extinguished by the breze very easily, but if that light is protected and allowed to catch the forest, it will grow into a forest fire. Then the breeze helps the fire instead of extinguishing it. Similarly, when an aspirant, with the help of discipline, protects the flame of desire burning within, it grows more and more. Then all the adversities, instead of becoming obstructions, in fact start becoming means. The obstacles which are supposed to obstruct the path of self-realization are not really obstacles. Our weaknesses and the values we impose on the objects of the world create these obstacles for us. Attachment is one of the strongest obstacles created by us. With the help of non-attachment we can overcome such obstructions.
"There are four ways of removing these obstacles. First, if there is no object, the human mind cannot become attached to it. Renouncing the object is one way, but it seems to be quit quite difficult for ordinary people. Second, while having all the objects of the world, if we learn the technique of using them as means, then the objects are not able to create obstacles for us. On this path, attitudes must be transformed. One who has transformed his attitudes can change his bad circumstances into favorable ones. The third way is the path of conquest, in which one learns to do his actions skillfully and selflessly, surrendering the fruits of his actions for the benefits of others. Such a person becomes detatched and safely crosses the ocean of life. Fourth, by self-surrender one surrenders himself and all that he owns to the Lord and leads a life of freedom from all attachments. This path seems to be easy but is really rather difficult."
Monday, October 22, 2012
Thursday, October 18, 2012
"....Vedanta admits three criteria of truth; scriptural revelation, reflection and experience. Scripture describes Ultimate Reality as revealed to the seers, whose minds were purified and made one-pointed by the practice of self-control and concentration. By means of reflection the pupil tests the validity of what he learns from scripture through a qualified teacher. Through contemplation Reality becomes evident, 'like a fruit in the palm of one's hand.' Experience gives the final stamp of validity. Scripture proposes, but reason and experience dispose. All these three act as mutual checks on one another. When scriptural evidence, reflection, and personal experience point to the same conclusion, one can be sure of having arrived at Truth, which may be further corroborated by the tests mentioned before, namely, it must be free from disputes and conflicts and must promote the welfare of all beings."
Thursday, October 11, 2012
AAMIR KHAN IN CHICAGO
The great karma yogi and Hindi actor-director-TV producer-host Aamir Khan has been in town for over a month, filming Dhoom 3.
Apparently they were shooting in Lakeview yesterday....
"Chicago is cold...." he says in this Chicago Tonight interview.
"...and it's still not winter."
He also talks about his groundbreaking TV show, which tackles formerly unspeakable issues. He says he is just trying to use his skill set - communication - to change things (and, incidentally, he is succeeding).
One can't help but ask....
What is your skill set?
How are you using it to help others?
Learn more about the filmy shooting below and here.
"The Charvakas are atheists who deny the existence of the soul after the death of the body. The materialists who worship the body as the soul and who deny the existence of a soul independent of the body, which is separate from the body, are also atheists. The Charvakas, the Lokayatikas, and the materialists believe that the body only is the soul and the soul does not exist outside the body. They also believe that the soul dies when the body dies.
"They say that the soul is formed by the combination of the five elements, just as the red colour is formed by the combination of betel leaves, nuts and lime; or just as an intoxicating liquor is formed by the combination of some ingredients. Is this not a beautiful philosophy? It is the philosophy of the flesh. It is the philosophy of Virochana and his followers.
"They believe in nothing which cannot be cognised by the senses. They will not admit the existence of anything which lies beyond the reach of their senses. They want ocular proof for everything. They must see the soul with the naked eyes. Then only they will believe in the existence of a soul. They do not know that the soul can be intuitively realised and that it is not an object of perception. Their philosophy is “Eat, drink and be merry. Have sensual enjoyment to the maximum degree. Do not think of the future. If you have no money, beg or borrow it and then eat and drink. Then again drink, because when the body is burnt to ashes, no one will have to be accountable for your actions.” Such philosophers are abundant in every country. Their number is increasing daily. There are many who do not believe at all in the existence of a soul.
"The Charvakas and the materialists do not bother about reincarnation or transmigration of souls, about philosophical questions like “Who am I? Whence and where? Whither? What remains after death? What is life? What is death? What is then on the other side of death? When the body dies what conditions shall man pass into; in which world shall he find himself?” They think that those who make such enquiries are ignorant persons and that they are the only clever and wise persons. No argument can convince them or change their views. They have written volumes after volumes against the existence of the soul. Wonderful people indeed with perverted intellects!"
-Sri Swami Sivananda
Monday, October 08, 2012
Thursday, October 04, 2012
Question: How can one learn not to criticize others - without causing to much strain to a beginner?
Swami Madhavananda: It bespeaks a 'holier than you' attitude, to have this problem at all. Here is one idea: A person's sins are being washed off onto oneself when one criticizes that person. This is an old and familiar way of thinking to us."
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Friday, September 21, 2012
Mysore Etiquette by Cara Jepsen / Kali Om, for tomorrow's Mysore 101 workshop at Yoga Now
You may arrive and leave at any time during the class
Enter and leave quietly. Try to place your mat without too much drama
For best results, come at least three times a week
Let the teacher know about any injury or condition you have
Once you get on your mat, stay. Take care of bathroom duties before class
Stop when/where the teacher asks you to stop
Do not drink water, as this destroys the internal purifying heat. Traditionally, no water is taken 20 minutes before or after practice, either
It’s OK to ask questions or wait for an adjustment. Just try to keep the volume low
Try to use ujjayi breath, dristi (gaze), vinyasa and bandhas as you practice
Do Primary Series the first time you practice in a new place / with a new teacher, or after travel
Traditionally, practice is not done on the new and full moon and ladies do not practice for three days during their cycle
If pressed for time, tell the teacher. In general, the sun salutations, standing poses and closing poses are most important. Do not skip the poses you don’t like.
Learn everything you can about the pose you’re working on, such as its name and meaning. Look up others doing the pose, and try to learn from them. You may do your “nemesis” pose three times in class, or hold it for a long time.
Every pose has a correct vinyasa – a specific way to enter and exit. When in doubt, ask
Those who sweat a lot should bring two towels – one for you and one for the teacher
Practice saucha (cleanliness) on your person and your clothes, mat, towel, etc.
Try not to come to class reeking of garlic, onions or meat. Yogis historically do not consume these items. A sattvic (mild) vegetarian diet is traditional, and yields the best results
Remember the words of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois: “Ashtanga is 99 percent practice, one percent theory” and “Do you practice and all is coming.” And keep in mind that the three greatest obstacles to practice are sleep, laziness and disease.
Text (c) 2012 by Kali Om. Photo (c) 2002 by Cara Jepsen
Thursday, September 20, 2012
"We spent seemingly endless hours in the offices of doctors and dentists. Once after a two-hour wait in a doctor's office Swami [Madhavananda, ninth president of the Ramakrishna Mission] said to me, 'If we, who come in this train of a divine incarnation and his partners, have it like this, just think of what must be the lot of ordinary people.'
"This gave me considerable food for thought."
Monday, September 17, 2012
Thursday, September 13, 2012
"In life, whenever one tries to attain something, one encounters obstacles. Personal karma, habits and health problems get in the way. Just like when Moses went to the desert and heard voices that spoke of temptations, the mind devises tricks. If one makes a decision to fast and just read the scriptures for 30 days, the mind will play tricks during that time. The tendency of the mind and senses is to want only pleasure. The mind is so powerful, it will discern a little headache so that one can start to make excuses for not practicing. One might say, 'I'll start in the New Year' over and over. Then the New Year passes, and one is still over-indulging and generally carrying on as before. One feels that one cannot stop and change behavior, and delays the decision until their birthday. In a short time, it's the new millennium. So it goes as you continue to do the things you do not really choose to. One acts automatically due to past habits. Then one day, you are 80 years old and it is too late.
"It's best to make a contractual promise. Write and sign the document, then give the promise to someone in whom you believe to help insure that you stick to your word and follow through with right action."
-Dharma Yoga Life of a Yogi Teacher Training Manual
Thursday, September 06, 2012
"Vedanta is not a creed, it is, rather, the foundation of all creeds and religions - those not only of India but the world; for it explains in rational terms the eternal laws governing all spiritual life and gives aid to all men and women in the spiritual unfoldment, whatever their individual religious affiliations and beliefs may be. It is, in truth, a Universal Philosophy and REligion, belong to no one race of people, but to mankind as a whole."
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Sunday, August 26, 2012
TCM had a Tyrone Power festival yesterday. Among the films they showed was The Razor's Edge.
I'd seen the film a few times, although not in awhile, and each time it makes more sense. *This* time it was clear that Tyrone Power's Indian guru is urging him on the path of Vedanta, or Jnana Yoga, and that Power achieves God-realization before being sent back into the world.
The scene with the guru is loosely based on Somerset Maugham's encounter with the great jnani Ramana Maharshi. Read Maugham's account here.
Click here to learn more about the four main paths of yoga.
Back home, Power's old friends have had their primary attachments ripped away form them, and they're miserable (no backup light!). They find Powers to be content, yet aloof.
Watch the whole film here.
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Friday, August 24, 2012
While folks were flocking in droves to the disco and the Sex Pistols were making their first tour of America and Egypt was making peace with Israel at Camp David and Pope John Paul II was being installed and Steve Dahl was debuting in Chicago and Son of Sam was being sentenced in New York....
....they were practicing yoga in Central Park....
What were *you* doing in '78?
Thursday, August 23, 2012
..."You have to ask yourself the question, Who am I? This investigation will lead in the end to the discovery of something within you which is behind the mind. Solve that great problem, and you will solve all other problems thereby."
-Sri Ramana Maharshi
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Sri Dharma saluting the guru. This video was made last year - shortly after Sri Dharma's own guru, Swami Kailashananda (Yogi Gupta), passed into mahasamadhi.
The subtext is that for most, spiritual progress cannot be made without the help and guidance of a guru - the remover of darkness.
Learn more about the importance of guru here.
Monday, August 20, 2012
Sunday, August 19, 2012
....also pranayama, meditation Satsang, Dharma 4 with Yoshio, Om Japa, graduation requirements, and more Satsang with Srii Dharma.
An easy day.
Plus i accidentally ran into the Indian Independence Day parade during the break.
Because without India, where would we be?
. - Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
Saturday, August 18, 2012
"Thoughts are like your friends. If they knock on your door and you invite them in and give them food, they stay and invite their friends.
"If they come and you ignore them, they stay a little while and then they go."
-Sri Dharma Mittra 8/17/12
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
Thursday, August 16, 2012
"Prana is not matter, but it is in matter; Prana is not mind, but it makes the mind to think; Prana is not air, but it makes the air to blow; Prana is not breath, but it makes the breath go in and out."
~ Swami Kailashananda
"Prana is the inseparable power of God."
~ Chandra Om
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Monday, August 13, 2012
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Thursday, August 09, 2012
To be childlike is good; but to be childish is not good.
To do simple tapas is good; but to spoil the health by mortification is not good.
To be devotional is good; but to be emotional is not good.
To have vairagya is good; but to expose the body to cold wind is not good.