Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thursday Quote

Sri Dharma's 2012 New Year's Message (written in December of 2011)

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,

Dharma Mittra

Remember! The goal is Self-realization!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mid-Week Video

Happy Karthik Poornima - the day that Lord Shiva defeated the demon(s) Tripurasura (and birthday of his son, Kartikeya! It also marks the end of Chaturmas (four months of tapas), among other things.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday Music

My favorite song in the world right now....

so much for vairagya.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thursday Quote

"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?"

-Swam Rama

Monday, November 19, 2012

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)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Thursday Quote

"Don’t be afraid. Human birth is full of suffering and one has to endure everything patiently, taking the name of God. None, not even God in human form, can escape the sufferings of body and mind.

"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

Monday, November 05, 2012

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Thursday Quote

"Even after enlightenment, you’re still subject to your Parabda Karma, you’re still subject to some impressions from the past. Not only in simple matters like making food choices, but in dealing with anything that’s already there. The main thing is this: you have to see that it is only the body and mind that are passing through and being affected by any given circumstances, not the Real You. Do what you can to acquire Self Knowledge and this will help you make progress. Who is full of doubts, suffering, depressed? It’s the body and mind passing through the effects from your previous deeds. Pass through this suffering gracefully and try never to complain."

-Sri Dharma Mittra

Read the rest of this amazing essay here.