Attaining Yoga or Union:

Attaining Yoga or Union:
Yoga or "Union" is attained by first training, balancing, and purifying each of the aspects of our being individually, and then systematically receding attention inward through those levels, expanding so as to experience the state of Union, Yoga, Samadhi, or Turiya.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Attachment is the Greatest Obstacle to Realization

From Sacred Journey
By Swami Rama
ISBN 8188157007
Reprinted with permission of the Publisher
Copyright Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust

Swami Rama

The greatest obstacle in the path of realization is attachment to the body and to the objects of the world. This attachment makes us slaves. It is because of our attachments that we experience fear of death and loss. The more body-conscious and body-attached a person is, the greater the fear of dying.

The same principle applies to people who are attached to the things of the world, to their houses, property, clothing, jewelry, and money. They fear losing those things because they somehow offer meaning, identity, and worth. People also become very attached to other people. The emotion they feel for others gives them an identity and they fear giving up that identity in death. They fear the deaths of those to whom they are attached for similar reasons. If one's identity is somehow defined by attachment to others, the death of others then affects that identity.

The solution is to do away with these attachments to the body, property, possessions, and other people. This point cannot be made often enough. Reducing and finally eliminating attachments does not mean to escape life, to deny the enjoyment of life, or in any way to
diminish life's value. Just the opposite occurs. Life is enhanced, enriched and expanded by reducing attachments. The person learns to love and give and open up to others and to the events of the world.

Attachment means to grip, clasp, grasp, and hold on tightly. When death comes all that was being clutched and grasped is wrenched away. The tighter something is held, the greater will be the wrenching away, the deeper will be the pain. If life has been led with open hands, with no attachments, then death comes but there is nothing to be wrenched away.

We cannot all of a sudden wake one moment and let go of all attachments. It is a lifetime's work to undo the habit of forming attachments and requires attention every day, because the attractions and temptations of the world constantly work to strengthen attachments.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Meditation on Form and Formless; Knowledge and Devotion

Audio Pocast:

Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
Recorded December 23, 2006
1 hour, 13 minutes, 9 seconds

Click here to listen to the audio Podcast:

This conversation is about Saguna and Nirguna, and the paths of
meditation and contemplation with form or without form, which is
related to the paths of Knowing (Jnana Yoga) and Devotion (Bhakti
Yoga). The discussion involves the approaches individually, and how
the work together. The recording ends with a 17-minute guided
contemplative meditation on either Form or the Formless, which begins
at 55:47.


SWAMI J PODCAST also available through I-Tunes,,, and others.

Teaching Meditation to Children

Let the Bud of Life Bloom
A Guide to Raising Happy and Healthy Children
By Swami Rama
ISBN 818815704X
Reprinted with permission of the Publisher
Copyright Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust

Swami Rama

When you practice meditation, initially you come in touch with
yourself and all your thought patterns; you come to understand your
inner dialogue. Then, you learn to discriminate—to select and reject;
and finally, you learn how to work with yourself. These seeds should
be sown in childhood.

Instead, believers of all faiths, clinging to external rituals,
impose their ideals on their children and force them to participate
in their time-honored customs. Children are taught to love and to
worship pictures of Christ, Krishna, or other gods and goddesses, and
sometimes even community or religious leaders. This does not help
them to become independent or to acquire peace of mind. Children need
to be taught how to cultivate divine virtues within themselves; they
need to be taught how to look within, and how to find within in order
to attain freedom. I think if everyone were to be given a spiritual
education in childhood, they would have fewer problems living in the
world. Without understanding the values of spirituality, with all its
currents and crosscurrents, one becomes lost living in this jungle
that is called world. The world is the real jungle; that which is
considered to be the jungle is not the real jungle.

Most diseases originate in childhood. Children become ill because
they have not learned the means of acquiring peace of mind. Why do
you not lead your children to silence before they learn to be active?
Mothers can do this if they are friends with their children. But
these days mothers have no time. They go out and enjoy themselves
while their children remain at home. The lack of communication
between the younger generation and the parents is creating great
chaos. First of all, you have to learn to respect the family
institution where parents become counselors to their children, and
where children accept their parents, not only as parents, but also as

When you make meditation a part of your life, your children will
follow your example. Exemplary education is very important for
children. Children imitate their parents; you don't have to teach
them to meditate. Never do that. You should teach your children
through example how to sit quietly and make their minds one-pointed.
When you sit in meditation, your child will also come and sit next to
you and pretend to do what you are doing. In this way the child will
come to know what you are doing and will also form the habit of
sitting with you.

I used to do that in my childhood. When my master would sit in
meditation, I would sit next to him. When I wanted his attention, I
would climb onto his lap. He wouldn't say anything to me, so I would
do something to get his attention. Then he would rub my forehead, and
I did not know what had happened. I am sure I was not sleeping. If
you sit in meditation, and your child comes and sits next to you and
closes his eyes, it is very helpful for the child. Do you think the
child is meditating? I say the child is meditating better than you
are. Even when a child simply imitates you when you are meditating,
it is very helpful for the child.

Meditation is a very powerful thing that gives helpful vibrations to
all. When you meditate, it definitely affects your children. If you
record the brain waves of a child who is sleeping while you are
meditating, you will find a difference. Even your plants and your
pets are affected when you meditate. Instead of imposing your ego or
your emotional problems on your children in the name of discipline,
please discipline yourself, and then your children will also learn.

As a part of our educational training we must define spirituality in
its most precise and universal terms. Spirituality means that which
helps us to discipline our thoughts, speech, and actions; that which
leads us toward the center of consciousness, and thereby helps to
unfold our inner potentials. Education based on such spiritual
guidelines will help humanity to become self-reliant and confident.
Only education based on spirituality can bring harmonious balance to
both our external and inner life.

We need not force children to believe that there is a God. However,
we should provide them with the opportunity to unfold their inner
potentials, to gain confidence, and to become inspired to search for
God according to their own inner tendencies and capacity. For
children to learn to cultivate divine virtues within themselves, the
knowledge of theories that prove the existence of God is not as
important as to learn how to discipline oneself. Through self-
discipline God can be experienced directly.

Spiritual practices, undertaken at an early age, have a profound and
long lasting effect. Human beings have tremendous potential provided
they are taught to train themselves on all levels—physical, mental,
and spiritual. Let us teach our children how to become aware of
themselves on all levels. With a calm and one-pointed mind, children
can obtain a glimpse of true peace and happiness.

The Process of Kundalini Awakening

Excerpted from:
(There are useful graphics at this link. This newsletter is 1 of 7 sequential web pages at on Kundalini Awakening. The other pages are available at the link above.)

Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati


At the base of the spine, subtler than the physical body, lies the Kundalini energy, or spiritual energy, in a latent form. Regardless of what religious, spiritual, or meditation tradition one follows, the awakening of this energy, by whatever name you call it, is a most innate and essential part of spiritual advancement, unfoldment, or realization. Awakening kundalini and leading it to union with the Absolute is the goal of the Himalayan sages and the path of Yoga, Vedanta, and Tantra.

See also the article:
Bindu: Pinnacle of Yoga, Vedanta and Tantra

Also, listen to the audio (mp3):
The Secret of Shiva and Shakti


The graphics above display the seven major chakras (section #5), the left and right energies of Ida and Pingala (section #1), and the Sushumna nadi, the central channel that courses through the chakras (Sushumna is sometimes called "silver cord"). The six graphics visually represent the process of Kundalini Awakening. Clicking on each of the six graphics will move you through explanations of the stages. Also, there is an index for the contents of these pages.

The six stages are:

1) Prana usually flow in Ida or Pingala
2) Prana is made to flow in Ida and Pingala
3) Prana is made to flow in Sushumna
4) Kundalini energy is awakened
5) Kundalini is lead upwards
6) Kundalini rises to Sahasrara


There is nothing especially significant about describing this Kundalini Awakening in six stages (the six graphics), as opposed to some other number; it is simply a convenient way to explain the process. The simplest way of describing the entire process is in three stages:

1) Awakening, opening, or applying Sushumna
2) Awakening Kundalini
3) Kundalini arising to the crown Chakra, Sahasrara


There is one energy (Shakti) that keeps taking on new shapes and forms. Each time the energy takes on a new form, we give it a new name. See the article Kundalini, Shakti, and a River for an explanation of these names and forms.


Tantra considers the universe to be a manifestation of pure consciousness. Through this process of manifesting, consciousness divides itself into two parts, which, though seeming to be separate, cannot exist without one another.

Shiva remains as a static, formless quality.
Shakti is a dynamic, creative aspect.


Modern science also considers these two forms of energy, though viewing them in different ways. Science includes, for example, potential energy and kinetic energy (the energy of motion), recognizing that they are both manifestations of the same underlying energy. Tantra describes the unification of all as the pouring out of the energy of consciousness through the manifestation of the static (Shiva) through a veiling and projecting process (Shakti), creating the levels of the universe. At the physical level, modern physics also seeks to find a unifying source, and is in the process of explaining this unification through quark and string theories.


Shiva and Shakti are inseparable and coexist, like ink and the written word, which, though one and the same, are different. With one pen of ink, many different words or images can be manifested, although there remains only one container (pen) of ink. It is that creative process of manifestation that makes the ink appear to have different forms and meaning from one word to the next. When you write different words, or draw both a circle and a square, you have not created a single ink molecule, but have only rearranged the existing molecules, creating the appearance of different words or forms. It remains exactly what it was in the first place, which is ink. This is not negative or merely intellectually reductionistic, but is a most awesome, beautiful process. Similarly, the unmanifest Shiva can manifest into countless forms through the creative appearance of Shakti. Simple metaphors such as ink and written word can be extremely useful to contemplate on, so as to understand the principle of the one appearing to be two, and how these two dance together to form the elegant complexity of manifest reality.


The journey of Tantra and Kundalini Yoga leads to Kundalini Awakening and to the realization of the Absolute, where these two apparently different aspects of manifestation are experienced in their original union. Yoga means union, or joining, and this union of the static and the dynamic is the meaning of Yoga (see also Yoga Sutras, particularly sutras 1.1-1.4, which define Yoga). Through the process of going ever deeper or higher in practices relating to your own constitution, one repeatedly comes to see the way in which seemingly different realities and self-identities are only apparent, and that manifestation is the mere play of the creative aspect of Shakti with the static aspect of Shiva.


As with many principles of reality, some religious people and traditions conceptualize Shiva and Shakti as anthropomorphic deities, while others view the two as principles and processes of the universe. In either case, the journey of Kundalini Awakening is an inner experience, going from gross to subtle, to subtler, and subtle most, to one's own center of consciousness, by whatever name you choose to call that. In this article, Shiva and Shakti are seen to be the two principles and processes of static and dynamic, as noted several paragraphs above.

See also the article:
Secret of Shiva and Shakti


Kunda means bowl, or cave, and refers to the bowl of fire of consciousness resting in the first chakra at the base of the spine. Lini refers to that which resides in that bowl. Kundala means coiled, as the Shakti forms in a coil there.


The word shak is the root word of Shakti, and means to be able, or to have power. Hence, Kundalini Shakti is the power of consciousness that is coiled in a latent form, in the base of the spine.


For those who are lesser prepared, the path of external practices (bahiyayag) is preferred, which may include external forms of rituals or symbolic gestures. For those who are prepared, the path of internal practices (antaryag) is available, which involves making the mind one-pointed and doing introspection.


The three schools of tantra are kaula, mishra, and samaya. The kaula school starts with the lower chakras, and involves external practices. The mishra school also works with external practices, and emphasizes the central chakras. The samaya school is the highest, emphasizing the upper chakras. It involves no external practices, focusing only on the inner (antaryag) practices. (The Tantra practice of Yoga Nidra is extremely effective in opening, balancing and purifying the chakras. See also the page describing the Yoga Nidra CD.)


Before treading the later stages of Kundalini Awakening, it is very important to manage the basic urges. Otherwise, the surge of energy may not be handled very well. This means regulating the four primitive fountains of food, sleep, sex, and self-preservation.


The approach of these writings is to describe the systematic process of intentional Kundalini Awakening. However, it may also come spontaneously to people who have done no intentional practices. One may argue that spontaneous awakening may be coming as a result of previous practices that are not remembered, but in either case the perception of the individual may be that nothing was done to bring forward the experience.


Regardless of whether Kundalini Awakening comes spontaneously or through practices, there may be some amount of time and effort needed to integrate the effects of such experiences into the body and personality. It is a time when stabilizing actions are important, including daily exercise, high quality food, regular sleep patterns, and healthy relationships with other people. During this time is very useful to be around someone who has knowledge of this process, and has experienced it personally.


Preparation is much more important than the practices of Kundalini Awakening themselves. If one skips the basics and the preparation of body, breath, and mind, then the surge of energy can be more disruptive than beneficial. In the Himalayan tradition Yoga, Vedanta, and Tantra go together, with a solid foundation being built first. The practices of yoga nidra and bhuta shuddhi (chakra meditation) can be quite useful.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Stages of Meditation, Subtle Experiences, Obstacles to Meditation

AUDIO PODCAST: This is a conversation on the stages of meditation dealing with senses and actions, body, breath, the various levels of mind, and that which is beyond the mind. It centers around a graphic on the home page of that shows these stages, along with a question mark representing that which is beyond. We also talk about subtle experiences of meditation, obstacles to enlightenment, yoga sutras, and balancing living in the world and the highest goal of life.

Click here to open the podcast

The podcast can be also be accessed through podcast page

The podcast can be also be accessed through any of the following links:

(You can subscribe to the podcast through iTunes,,, and The podcast sites take up to 24 hours to post, and may not be updated at the time you are reading this blog.)

Friday, December 15, 2006

Attention, Concentration, Meditation and Samadhi

QUESTION: Is Dharana just "meditation" in an advanced state?

RESPONSE: Remember that "meditation" is an English word that is used in many different ways by different people. Most often, however, "meditation" is linked with "dhyana". It is extremely common in English speaking cultures to use the word "meditation" for any form of attention or concentration. Hence, for example, we have "meditation music" where the person is not at all concentrating in the strictest sense of the word, but is instead just listening to music (which is useful and pleasant, though not meditation as dharana).

There is a sequence:

Attention leads to concentration (dharana).
Concentration leads to meditation (dhyana).
Meditation (dhyana) leads to absorption (samadhi).

Like most arts or sciences, yoga has its own language, which is usually Sanskrit. The terms are more specific than the English words. English words are fine, once we understand the context of their use.

See also Yoga Sutras 3.1-3.3 -

Friday, December 08, 2006

A Personal Philosophy of Life

From Conscious Living
By Swami Rama
ISBN 8188157031 (Book)
ISBN 818815718x (Audio)
Reprinted with permission of the Publisher
Copyright Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust

Swami Rama

I have come to share my joy truthfully with you. I say, ye human beings, among all the species on the earth, you are the greatest. You are the greatest for you can change your destiny, you can build your destiny, you can enlighten yourself. Other species do not have this privilege. From among the kingdom of animals, the kingdom of vegetables, the kingdom of rocks and clay you alone have that privilege. Why are you not enjoying that privilege? I have come to remind you of that. Have you seen guards at night? They roam around and say, “Remain awake, remain awake!” But you remain sleeping. I am like that guard. Uttishtata, uttishtata! Wake up, wake up! Jagrata, remain awake. Prapta varanya bodhasa, gain knowledge. This is my message to everybody. I know they are sleeping but yet I have to say this. This is my duty. This is my job. If I don’t do it, I will not be happy. We human beings, all of us, have the birthright to attain the final goal of life, and sooner or later we’ll reach that goal. So, everyone has hopes. But do you have the patience to wait for such a long time? I don’t.

I will try to cover the entire philosophy of life in these lectures. We need to understand one word and that is called freedom—freedom from all bondages, from all ignorance. That state which is free from stress, strain, bondage and ignorance is called the state of enlightenment and that can be considered to be the state of perfection.

What is the aim and goal of life? You think I am going to tell you it’s God? No, that’s not being practical. The aim of life is contentment and for that you need adjustment. Can you adjust yourself mentally, physically, and through speech so that you are content? What do you mean by being content? I always say: do not be satisfied yet remain content. Contentment is a great virtue that you can develop in your daily life. If it is not there, your God business is not going to help you, let me assure you. Repeating God, God, God, God, God, without understanding! What a waste of time and energy! I am not an atheist, but I have learned to analyze things with clarity of mind and that’s how I was trained. And that same thing I am imparting to you now.

You may say that the purpose of life is to attain God. I say no. In my childhood, one day I went to my Master, a great yogi and sage from Bengal, who lived in the Himalayas for many, many years. And I said, “My heart cries because you have not shown me God. And so I think you have destroyed my life.” He kept quiet. He said, “Go on.” I said, “I want to see God.” He responded, “You want to see God? Are you sure you want to see God?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “I will show you God in the morning, tomorrow morning.” So that whole night I remained restless and I could not sleep. I was filled with joy but at times doubts too came into my mind. I could not sleep. In the morning, without sleep, I was looking tired. I took my bath and that day I became an extraordinarily holy person bowing often in front of my Master because he was going to show me God. He said, “What has happened to you today? Your behavior has changed.” I said, “It’s because I want to see God today.” He said, “I promised to show you God. I will be very honest, but will you please also be honest with me?” I said, “Yes.” He asked me a question, “Tell me what kind of God do you want to see?” I was taken aback and asked, “Are there many kinds of God?” He said, “No. I want to know what is the concept of God in your mind?”

All your life you long to meet God, but you have no concept of God. What type of God will you meet? Everyone says, “I want to see God, I want to see God.” Someone is doing chanting, someone is meditating, someone is talking of Gita, someone is talking of Upanishads. Nobody sees God, it’s all mere talk. Why? Because you don’t have a clear concept. You should have a clear concept and then you should learn to work towards that concept. Only then will you get it.

So I said to my Master, “It means you bluffed me yesterday. You promised that you would show me God. And this morning you say what kind of God do you want to see?” He replied, “Look, I promised to show you the kind of God you wanted to see. Think about it. I give you time. At any time you can come and say that this is the type of God I want to see and I’ll show you that God.” I was speechless. So is the case with all of you. You want to see God without knowing what He is and that’s why He never appears before you. If He suddenly appears before you, perhaps you will not recognize Him. So if there is no clarity of mind, if there is no purity of heart, your whole life remains full of confusion. This is my point. What do you mean by seeing God? Are you at peace, are you happy, do you lead a balanced life, are you attaining your goal in life? These are the vital questions of life.

So after half an hour, my Master again called out to me, “Have you decided what kind of God you want to see?” I said, “Not yet.” He said, “Please decide and come to me and I will show you.” To this day I don’t dare to say that I have.

If a swami, a priest or a yogi comes to you, if your teacher or guru comes to you and says, “My child, what do you want? What do you want to know?” There are many things in your mind and heart. You want to become millionaire but you won’t tell him. You’ll say, “I want to see God.” You want to have a good wife but you won’t say that. You’ll say, “I want to see God.” There is a beautiful saying, any human being who gives responsibilities to the Lord, his own responsibilities, cripples human potentials. If you don’t want to perform your duties and then say God will do everything for me, this is not good. You are not utilizing the gifts given to you by Providence.

If I have no understanding of what God is, I cannot get enlightened, I can never see God. Even though I have a desire to see God, nothing is going to happen. Let us not cheat ourselves. There are things which we have been repeating without understanding why we are doing it. Tell me what is the purpose of God in your daily life? When you need food, you don’t eat God. When you want to wear clothes, you need clothes, not God. Where do we need God in life? Let us understand things rightly.

This human life is very precious. It’s not like animal life. Animal activities are completely controlled by nature. They cannot do anything. In the animal kingdom, nothing is by choice. But as a human being, you can do tremendous things, you can perform wonders. You have choice and the power to change. As easily as you can turn your face from this side to that side, you can change yourself. You can transform your personality completely. It’s a very simple thing, provided you are practical and you are truthful to yourself. We human beings live our lives based on how the world judges us. Take the case of a wife at home who looks toward her husband all the time, like a German shepherd, wanting to know what he thinks of her. And if he says, “Honey, you look very beautiful, you are wonderful.” She may feel, “He has made my day.” She leans on him all the time seeking approval. This great force on earth, called womankind, has never been utilized properly. It is only being exploited. And that is one of the causes of our suffering. Please, please, try to understand what I am saying.

I want to give you a glimpse of your individual self, because there are many false notions. When a human being suffers, the suffering is not because of external forces, not because of others. The suffering is because of his or her own thinking and understanding. So we will discuss that. We have many such fears in our life. We talk of God so much, we sing kirtans, we study the scriptures like the Ramayana, the Gita and Bible, we go to temples or churches. Yet our ignorance remains. There is no change in our daily life, in our behavior. What is the reason? The reason is that right from our childhood, we are trained to see and examine things in the external world. Nobody teaches us how to look within, find within, and see within. So we remain a stranger to ourselves, yet we want to know others; isn’t this strange?

So first of all, a human being should learn to understand himself on all levels and then he can understand all, the Self of all. And he can understand that absolute Self which is called absolute Truth. This is the right system and there are three schools, and any of these schools will help you: the school of meditation, the school of contemplation, and the school of prayer. If you learn to understand prayer, what prayer is, you can easily evoke your emotional self and attain that height of ecstasy and be there. If you understand the philosophy of life through contemplation you can attain the goal of life. If you understand the school of meditation and systematically meditate, you can attain the fourth state which is called sleepless sleep, you can attain the purpose of life. But if you practice meditation for a few days, contemplation for a few days, and then prayer for a few days, and finally decide that none of them suits you, you won’t attain anything. The basic thing is that we create certain problems and barriers for ourselves, because of our fears and confusion. We have certain questions in our mind and we should learn to tackle them first. As long as you remain under the pressure of fears you cannot do anything. And talking about God is a good pastime, but you don’t get anything. You may become godly but you cannot attain God, you cannot have peace, you cannot have happiness. Forgive me if I am crushing your sentiments but this is the truth.

Let us learn to enjoy one thing. All the great scriptures of the world, which have been revealed to the sages from the depths of their deep contemplation, say one and the same thing. A human being has been created exactly in the image of God. When God created human beings in His own image, why do human beings suffer? It’s because human beings have forgotten their Creator; that’s why they suffer. Otherwise there is no difference between man and God. The moment you realize that you don’t exist, but God exists, you are free. And in reality that’s true. All the scriptures say, God is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent, God is everywhere. Then where are you? Where is there place for you to exist? How can you claim that you and I exist somewhere and this is mine and that is yours? It’s the human mind that creates all the barriers for individuals. We have to understand this whole philosophy, get rid of all our confusions, be at peace and start realizing the great glory that is hidden deep within our hearts and minds. Therefore every individual should try to understand one thing: I will know myself on all levels in this lifetime and get enlightened here and now. There should be this determination. That is the purpose of this series of lectures.

What does the body mean to us? Is human being a body alone? No. He breathes too. Then you see we are breathing beings. This breath of ours creates a bridge between our thinking process, or mind, and body. Why does the body not fall apart, separating itself from the thinking portion? Because there are two guards, called inhalation and exhalation. Life is breath and breath is life.

How does our mind function and from where does our mind receive its power and energy? There is a center of consciousness beyond mind and that is called your individual soul. So it is from here that you receive consciousness and energy. Individual souls are like ripples in the vast ocean of bliss called Brahman, the summum bonum of life, the very source of all life force, from where all the ripples rise, play, and again subside.

Let’s begin with the body. We take care of our body but do not understand anything about it. So if you want to be physically fit, understand the importance of a good body. Good body means, physically healthy body. You need to understand something about diet and nutrition, and about body language. Your body speaks to you.

When you learn to understand your body’s needs and body language, then you should learn how to breathe. We all are breathing but we are not breathing correctly, not breathing diaphragmatically. You’ll find that a child spontaneously breathes diaphragmatically but because of our defective living, our breathing changes after some time. So deep diaphragmatic breathing is very necessary for health (see Appendix A).

What is diaphragmatic breathing? When you push in your abdomen as you exhale, it will help your diaphragm to empty your lungs and will help you to expel the used up gas. When the abdomen moves out it will expand the lungs and draw in the oxygen.

It’s easy to know the body and breath, but it’s a little bit more difficult to know the mind, because there is no such education that teaches and trains us to understand our mind. So let us have simple understanding. Scientific research and scientists today say that 80% of diseases are created by the mind. They originate in the mind and are expressed in the body. All of the body is in the mind, but not all of the mind is in the body. You don’t see your mind but through your mind your eyes can see. If you are frustrated all the time, never happy, then your wife says, “What can I do? He’s never happy, no matter what I do. Very unhappy person, nobody can please him in this world. No matter what I do he’s never happy.” Poor husband is heading towards some problem!

As it is important for you to eat good nutritious food and to do some exercise daily, it is important for you to maintain mental health, spiritual health, by learning to do certain exercises of breathing, relaxation and meditation. It’s very good for you. Once you have learned how to use your deep diaphragmatic movement to regulate the motion of your lungs, then you watch your breath stream. It’s very joyous, wonderful. Who is giving you life breath? The Lord of life who gives to all. It’s your direct link with the Lord that you have all the time. Watch your breath, the flow of breath and the mind will find an easy way to attain peace, to taste peace.

For a few minutes every day you should learn to sit quiet, to sit still, to make your breath serene, to make your mind calm. Practice will make you perfect, not mere theory. This is something that you have to practice. I cannot meditate for you. I can do anything for you; I can cook your meals, I can drive you from one place to another. But meditation is that something which you should practice yourself. Buddha clearly said, “Ye, light thy own lamp. Nobody can give you salvation.” Meditation you should practice. A guru, a teacher, a priest, can give you blessings, and that gives you solace, good solace, but meditation practice you have to do yourself.

When you know you are not a body alone, that you are a thinking being, that you have a mind, then you ask, “Who am I? I have body and mind, who am I? Am I the body? No. Am I the mind? No. Then who am I?” You wonder. Then you don’t identify yourself only with your body and mind. That which you are is called soul, hub of the whole wheel. How do you know that? Unless you make your body quiet, breath calm and mind completely resolved, you cannot reach your finest self. You are constantly identifying with the objects of your mind, forgetting your true nature. Your true nature is peace, happiness, and bliss. But you are suffering because you do not know yourself. You know only the small self called body, breath, and mind. You have three selves—mortal self, semi-mortal self, and the immortal Self. The mortal self is this body that goes through change, death, and decay. Semi-mortal self is that which enables you to think. The real Self is that which makes you free, completely free. Then, there are no fears, there are no anxieties, there is no pain.

When you repeatedly do something, you form a habit pattern. What is individuality, what is an individual? An individual is a character composed of habit patterns. You say God created you the way you are. That’s not true. God created you and you are beautiful. You are a most beautiful person. Don’t look at the mirror to admire yourself. You are most beautiful because you are unique, there is no one like you on this earth. No one can be compared with you. So don’t compare yourself with others. You are most beautiful, be aware of this. You are wonderful, be aware of this. God has created you in a wonderful way, try to learn this. So human beings have not attained the next step of civilization because of certain things, not because of God. If God comes down and says, “Ok son, what do you want from me?” What will you say, tell me? “I want to become a millionaire.” “There are many millionaires.” “I want to have two dozen cars.” “There are many people with dozens of cars.” What will you ask of God? What do you want from God? Finally you will say, “God, give me peace.” God will say, “My child, I have given you all the potentials to attain peace.” You can be at peace, you can make your mind tranquil and thus establish peace.

Our deeds, our karma, are the cause of all suffering. How can one live in the world, yet remain unaffected? First you have to understand the inevitable law of karma, which is a universal law, no matter from which community you come from. If you are a Hindu, you’ll have to follow it. If you are a Christian, a Buddhist or of any other religion, you’ll have to follow it. Never forget this universal law, accepted by all the great religions and bibles of the world: as you sow, so shall you reap.

I am doing my actions and I reap the fruits of my actions. And those fruits again motivate me to do actions and there is no end. It becomes a whirlpool. You all boast that you are doing your actions, duties, truthfully and you are right. But there is something missing in your statement. I once asked a housewife, a very gentle, very chaste, very loyal housewife, “Can you sit down for a few minutes?” She wanted to go home, but just to test her I said, “Just sit down for a second.” She replied, “I would like to, but what to do? I have to do my duties.” It means your duty has made you a slave. How to deal with it? You don’t know how to handle it. So the great men say, learn to love your duty then duty will not make you a slave. A simple thing, grease your duty with love. Otherwise your duty will create bondage for you, you cannot live without doing your duty. If you have understood this key, then you will try your best to perform your actions and learn the philosophy of nonattachment which is called love. What we mistakenly call love is actually lust. Love means nonattachment. Love does not mean attachment. Attachment leads to misery and pain, nonattachment gives you freedom. As St. Bernard has said so beautifully, all the things of the world are to be enjoyed but God alone should be loved. Our scriptures also say this.

You have to make a formula if you really want to practice and enjoy life. I’m not telling you to renounce the world and go to the Himalayas with Swami Rama, this is not my point. I want you to live here and enjoy life and yet remain above, as a realized being, a jivan mukta. How is it possible? Many people become swamis and how many swamis disappoint us? I once asked my Master, “What is this fun in the world? So many swamis?” He said, “Look here, everybody has good intentions to do something but they don’t. They are not competent, they are not able, they don’t find the way, so don’t blame anyone. They are trying, they are making efforts.” I said, “Ok. Out of 13,000 swamis I met in my life, I met only three people, rare people.” Then I said, “Why, why this?” He said, “All other swamis are like a hedge, and the rare ones are like the real flowers.” He told me, “Come on. I’ll make a formula for you. Share it with your students, share it with the people who come in touch with you: All the things of the world are meant for you. Please enjoy them. But they are not yours, don’t get attached to them.” You have no right to get attached to them. There is nothing wrong with your enjoyment. If there is anything wrong it’s getting attached. Where are you committing a mistake? You get attached to the things of the world which are not yours. Actually they are meant for you. So the first principle is that all the things of the world are meant for me. I will enjoy them but I will not get attached. Second principle, I will be conscious of the truth or fact that the Lord of life is within me. Thirdly, I will meditate, go within, beyond body, breath, and mind, to enjoy that silence which is the living silence within. If you just follow these principles, you are free.