Monday, January 27, 2020

Redefinition of Yoga

Redefinition of [Raja] Yoga
(Shankaracharya's Aparokshanubhuti, verses 104 to 144)

The steps in order are: control of the senses, control of the mind, renunciation, silence, space, time, posture, restraining the root (mulabandha), bodily equipoise, firmness of vision, control of the vital forces, withdrawal of the mind, concentration, self-contemplation and complete absorption in the self.

(1) Restraining the senses with the knowledge “Everything is the self” is properly called yama. It should be practiced continually.

(2) The continuous flow of the self-thought to the exclusion of all other thoughts is called niyama. When regularly practiced it causes great bliss.

(3) Renunciation is abandoning the belief in the reality of the phenomenal universe by seeing that it is the ever-conscious self. It is immediate liberation.

(4) Known only to sages, congenital silence is that from which speech and the mind rebound. Observing silence by restraining speech is recommended for those who do not know who they are.

(5). The true posture is the spontaneous and continuous meditation on the self and not the meditation on objects that destroys one’s happiness.

(6). That perfect merger of the mind into the self, the support of the universe and the origin of all beings is known as “the accomplished posture.”

(7) That limitless awareness in which all existence is rooted should be the basis of a yogin’s restraint of mind.

(8) Absorption of the limbs of the Subtle Body in limitless awareness is true equipoise, not the mere balancing of the physical limbs.

(9) The noblest vision is the conversion of the samsaric way of seeing into non-dual vision, not gazing at the tip of the nose with the physical eyes.

(10) Direct your attention to the place where the seer, sight and the seen are non-different, not to the tip of the nose.

(11) Pranayama is the restraint of modifications of the mind brought about by understanding that the mind is the self alone

(12) Rechaka, breathing out, is the negation of the phenomenal world, and the thought “I am the self” is puraka, breathing in. The steadiness of mind that comes from this practice is called kumbhaka, restraint of breath. This is the true pranayama, not the yogic torture of the nose.

(13) Seekers of liberation should practice pratyahara, the withdrawal of the mind. It is complete absorption in the self, brought about by the understanding that the self is in all objects.

(14) Dharana, concentration, is a steady mind brought about by the realization of the self in every thought.

(15) Dhyana, meditation, is the independence from objects brought about by complete confidence in the thought, “I am limitless awareness.” It produces supreme bliss.

(16) Samadhi, also known as self-knowledge, is the non-attachment to thought brought about by complete identification with the thought, “I am the self, limitless awareness.”

(17) This samadhi reveals one’s natural bliss, which arises spontaneously as one clings to the thought, “I am limitless awareness.”

(18) While practicing samadhi many unavoidable obstacles occur: lack of inquiry, idleness, desire for sense-pleasure, sleep, dullness, distraction, tasting of joy and the sense of blankness. One desiring liberation should patiently remove these obstacles.

(19) As one thinks of an object the mind tends to identify with it. When thinking of the void it becomes void, whereas by the thought of the self it becomes perfect because the self is perfect. Therefore one should always think of the self if one wants freedom.

(20) Those who abandon the purifying thought, “I am the self,” will not succeed.

(21) By continual contemplation of the clay and the pot or the ring and gold or a similar metaphor illustrating the relationship between the self and the world one should understand that when the effect is dismissed only the pure self–which is beyond speech–remains.

(22) As a result of this meditation a state of continual awareness of the self arises in the pure-minded. Eventually, this awareness of the self brings about the hard and fast understanding,“ I am the self.”

(23) The inquirer should first look for the self, the cause, by dismissing all objects as “not-self,” and then look for self by seeing it in the objects.

(24) Once the cause is seen in the effect–the self in the objects–the objects should be dismissed. You are what remains.

(25) The mind becomes what it meditates on with diligence and conviction.

(26) A wise person always understands that the visible and the invisible, including himself, is only awareness.

(27) When the objects are reduced to nothing by inquiry the universe appears as awareness. This understanding fills the mind with endless bliss.

(28) This process of inquiry is called Raja Yoga. For those whose worldly desires are only partially attenuated it is to be combined with Hatha Yoga.

(29) Those whose minds are purified by Raja Yoga will gain self-realization. Purity of mind is quickly attained by devotion to the teacher and the self.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Devotee's Experience: Robert Adams

Robert Adams tells a story about calmness that Ramana Maharshi told to him personally in 1948:

… also there is another incident that Ramana told me personally.

In 1948, I was at Arthur Osborne's home near Ramana ashram.

And Ramana used to walk in there every once in a while.

He came in one day, sat down and he started to talk about not reacting to things.

He said,


And he smiled and he told me this interesting story, that happened to him.

Back in the 1930s some pundits who lived in Madras decided that Ramana should not remain at Arunachala, that he should come to Madras, where many people can see him and be with him.

Twelve of them approached Ramana and said,

"Ramana, we would like you to come to Madras. We're going to take you to Madras where you can be with more people. You are left in the jungle here where hardly anybody knows where you are. Most people do not know about you. We will take you to Madras in two days time."



His devotees became very worried, very upset because they knew he would never answer, he never does and yet they were going to come in two days and take him away.

These were scholarly people.

When they left they asked Ramana,

"What have you done.

By not answering you've agreed to go to Madras with these people?"

He just smiled and said,


Two days passed, the devotees were biting their fingernails they wanted to lock the doors of the ashram.

Some of them wanted to take physical action against these people.

For the people from Madras said a group of twenty of us will come in a bus to take him to Madras.

They were supposed to be there at 4 o'clock but they never showed up.

Ramana called the cook and he said,

"Prepare a meal for twenty people, they will come soon."

And all the devotees said,

"What are you talking about? Are you going with them? You can't leave us."

They were crying and screaming and doing all kinds of things.

Ramana said,


And they did.

At about 6 o clock the group from Madras entered the hall.

They were disheveled. Some of them were bleeding.

They sat down in front of Ramana and just looked at him and didn't say a word and he didn't say a word.

What had happened when they were on the bus two miles from the ashram, the bus turned over three times.

Nobody was seriously hurt but they were in bad shape.

They sat on the ashram floor looking at Ramana.

After about an hour he said come let's go to the kitchen and eat.

He took them into the kitchen, they ate then they came back into the hall and sat down again.

After two hours of sitting they got up and went home and nobody ever heard of them again.

Ramana ended the story by telling me that:




This is something you must remember.

When you are perfectly calm, time stops.

There is no time, karma stops, samskaras stop.

Everything becomes null and void.

For, when you are calm you are one with the entire energy of the universe and everything will go well with you.

To be calm means you are in control.

You're not worried about the situation, the outcome.

What is going to happen tomorrow.

To be calm means everything is alright.

There is nothing to worry about, nothing to fret over.

This is also the meaning of the biblical saying,


To be calm is to be still.

If you have a problem right now, think about this problem for a moment. If there is anything wrong with your life, think about this for a moment.

As you become calm, peaceful the problem will dissolve of its own nature.

There cannot be a problem with a person who is calm.

It makes no difference how strong your problem may be if you remain calm throughout it, you will come out smiling, laughing, at peace.

To be perfectly calm is the same as self-inquiry.

When you ask the question, "Who is upset? Who feels discouraged? Who feels disillusioned?"

(Robert asks student)

Did you raise your hand Bob? I thought you felt disillusioned.

(Robert continues)

When you inquire within,

"Who feels this?"

The feelings begin to disappear, just from the inquiry, which is really interesting.

This is why self-inquiry is the best psychotherapy around.

Cheapest, because you can do it yourself.

Whatever happens in your life it makes no difference what it is, how serious it may be, merely inquire,

"To whom does this come? Who is going through this? Who is feeling this?"


But once you inquire and ask this question something happens within yourself.

There is a shuffling that goes on within yourself.

The nervousness, the stress that has been annoying you most of this time starts to back off and you feel good.

So even though some of you are not using self - inquiry for liberation or realization.

You can use it in your everyday life to become calm, peaceful and happy.

-Robert Adams

Monday, January 13, 2020

The Morning Assertion

The Morning Assertion
By Robert Adams

"As soon as you open your eyes, what do you think about? You think about food, you think about your day, you think about work, you think about money, you think about friends, relationships, but you do not think about your mind being a projection of all the things that happen. Therefore, you have to think about the right things in the morning, as soon as you awaken. Don’t wait.

"As soon as you open your eyes in the morning, you have to say to yourself, "I feel and realize and understand that everything, everything (say ‘everything’ twice) is a projection of my mind.” Think about what that means. "I feel that, I understand that everything is a projection of my mind.” Then you may think about any problems, if you have any and you say to yourself, "If everything is a projection of my mind, where do these problems come from?” You then realize, “Why, they came from me. I projected them, I created them.” Then you say, “Who is this I that created them?” Now you are getting to the meaty part, to the substance. “Who is the I that created all this illusion in my life? Where did the I come from? Who gave it birth? My mind. Where did my mind came from? The I? They are both the same. The I and my mind, are the same.” It’s a revelation. You think along these lines. "Where did the mind-I come from?”and "To whom does it come?” You follow it deep, deep, within yourself, and if you do it correctly, you will realize there is no I. There is no mind, so there are no problems. It will be over, and you will start laughing. You will actually start laughing at yourself. Once you get in that consciousness, something will happen to actually physically relieve you of that problem, or what you think is a problem.

"As long as you believe in your mind that there is a problem, whether it is little or big does not matter, they are both the same, as long as you believe you have a problem, you will have a problem and it will grow and you cannot change it. It may appear that you change it, but it turns into something else of a worse nature when you try to work with the problem itself. You never try to work with the problem, but ask where the problem came from? That’s the problem. The birth is the problem. Because you believe you were born, you have the problem, and you can go on and on and on.

"That’s how you work with it. “I feel, I understand, that everything, everything, is a projection, a manifestation of my mind. Whose mind? My mind. Whose mind? My mind. Who am I? Who has this problem?” And as you ask yourself this question, you will begin to feel better and better and better. You will actually begin to feel better, and as you begin to feel better, the problem becomes less and less important, and it will vanish. This is great psychotherapy. It works. If psychiatrists gave this to patients, they would not have to give them any drugs."

from The Silence of the Heart

Monday, January 06, 2020

Keep Me Fully Glad with Nothing

Keep Me Fully Glad with Nothing
From "The Gardener" by Rabindranath Tagore

Keep me fully glad with nothing.

Only take my hand in your hand.

In the gloom of the deepening night take up my heart and play with it as you wish.

Bind me close to you with nothing.

I will spread myself out at your feet and lie still.

Under this clouded sky I will meet silence with silence.

I will become one with the night clasping the earth in my breast.

Make my life glad with nothing.

The rains sweep the sky from end to end.

Jasmines in the wet untamable wind revel in their own perfume.

The cloud-hidden stars thrill in secret.

Let me fill to the full of my heart with nothing but my own depth of joy.

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Happy New Year

"You should start the day with good things. When you start, it’s always with remembering the Almighty One. We then have to clean the mouth and wash the hands. Then, with the mouth clean, you can do your prayers. In order to have the energy to start the day like this, the evening before you must be firm in your promise (intention). You can even sign a paper: I will start the day like this. We should also try and start a New Year with good things — good intentions — the best that there is that is available to you. We have to make a promise. If you believe in a saint or there is a deity in whom you believe, if you promise to him or her to do this or that act as an offering, maybe then you have the power to keep it. And then you will start the year doing good things. In reality, everything depends upon your decisions.

"Everybody has lots of plans always. A New Year is a good time to put them into practice because there are infinite numbers of people making new commitments for the New Year. By making and keeping New Years’ resolutions, we will be able to merge in that ocean of decision. So, do it not only for you, but imagine that all beings are sharing those benefits through you and through your actions. And, you have to have faith. If you don’t start the year doing good, it is a natural tendency: you are going to end the year just the way you started, and that will be a disaster! So, make your decision, sign a paper if you can and, the best offering: offer everything to the Almighty One because whatever you offer to Him, you cannot break that promise."

– Sri Dharma Mittra